FROM THE PRINCIPAL
End of Year Events, Awards Night and New Initiatives
So much happens in a school in the last couple of weeks. Last night I enjoyed celebrating the end of Year 6 with students and staff, the last of a number of such celebrations, Year 12 Formal and Year 10 Dinner being two of the other significant events.
Today our primary students are enjoying the amazing array of performances being presented as part of our Fireworks Presentation – I have just returned from watching the students and I have to say we have some amazingly talented students at our school.
Monday and Tuesday next week will be filled with Activity and Fun Days for both Primary and Secondary, and the year will then culminate in our Awards Night programs on Wednesday evening. Although I will share more on this at Awards Night, let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and commitment to CCAS throughout this year. 2015 was a very steep learning curve for me as an incoming Principal, but I have felt much more settled this year within this great school and have an ever increasing appreciation for the wonderful community that we have here.
As I alluded to in last week’s newsletter, we are looking forward to rolling out a number of new initiatives across both the primary and secondary program in 2017, which I would like to briefly share with you as we bring 2016 to a close. As educators here at CCAS, we continue to focus our attention on providing the best learning opportunities for our students to adequately prepare them for a rapidly changing world. Students need to be taught the 21st Century Skills of problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity, and apply these skills to ever changing circumstances. Education is no longer the regurgitation of facts and figures, and the teacher is no longer the custodian of knowledge and information, but rather the facilitator of learning. Some of our new programs reflect this changing focus.
Following are some of the new initiatives being rolled out in 2017:
- BYOD: We commence the roll out of the BYOD (bring your own device) technology program in Secondary, starting with Year 7 and 10 (Year 11 and 12 already have a non-compulsory program operating).
- LAPTOPS: New class sets of laptops for Year’s 5 and 6, to be used in class, as well as a further expansion of iPad’s for use in Pre Kindergarten to Year 4.
- PBL: The introduction of PBL (Problem Based Learning) into Year 7 - a cross-curricular subject that will specifically teach students to solve real world problems in a collaborative, technology rich learning environment. Watch for the transformation of our traditional Library facility into an innovative Learning space to facilitate PBL for both primary and secondary students. PBL will also continue to be integrated into the upper primary years to teach these important skills.
- SPECIAL CHARACTER: A major development within our senior secondary program involving a new approach to the delivery of Bible and the Special Character of CCAS. Studies of Religion will become an elective within our subject line-up (starting with Year 11 next year), but all students will be involved in a new component of our program which will challenge students to consider their spirituality through consideration of the big questions of life such as "Is God Real", "Who am I?" and "what is my purpose in life". It will focus on personal development and our leadership program will now be delivered to all senior students through this new initiative. This is important as we see all our senior students as potential leaders at CCAS.
- PASTORAL CARE: There will be a more intentional focus on pastoral care within the secondary program. Our primary wellbeing program, that most will recognise under the GAPP umbrella, is being further developed and integrated into our regular primary classroom program.
To facilitate a number of these changes, particularly for secondary students, we have adjusted our timetable structure, moving in 2017 to a seven period day which has given us a more flexible structure (and will actually lead to longer learning blocks for students through more double and triple periods), to facilitate some of these new directions. Primary times will adjust slightly also. We will share some more details on some of these new initiatives in the new year as they are rolled out but wanted to give you this overview of some of the exciting new developments.
I hope you enjoy our last newsletter of the year.