It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Rushworth P-12 College website. I hope that you gain a sense of our many strengths and are impressed by the diversity of experiences that are offered.
While we have completed our formal three year involvement with the University of Melbourne’s Network of Schools program at the end of 2018 that saw us focus on reading, the work is certainly continuing within the college itself and we will maintain and utilise the many connections this outstanding program has created for us.
Our Leadership Structure for 2019 has secured new, quality staff that will only be of benefit to the students enrolled with us. The principal class team remains the same with Mr Peter Bovell continuing in his role as Assistant Principal after completing a course preparing him for future Principal roles. There is obvious growth in his approach and I am excited to continue to work closely together as a team to lead our college.
We will both be supported by three substantive Leading Teachers and two other quality teachers who have been given the opportunity to work at this higher level for 2019 as well. This has provided us with the opportunity to work in three teams with a stronger emphasis on the power of working together in our pursuit of excellence than ever before.
The first team is our F-6 Team with Ms Stacee Kingdon and Mr Ashlie Harvey being the leaders. Ms Kingdon commenced with us midway through 2018 as a classroom teacher and was eager to continue her stay here as a leader. She has strong experience delivering a balanced literacy program having worked under our Literacy Coach at her previous school. Her previous experience has also provided her with the ability to provide strong academic, social and emotional learning opportunities for all students.
Mr Harvey is an experienced leader having worked in an Acting Principal role several years ago in a smaller school and then being actively involved in pilot initiatives in his past school such as the Professional Learning Communities initiative. Mr Harvey is completing his Masters in Instructional Leadership at the University of Melbourne and is committed to his and others ongoing professional development.
The 7-9 Team will be our second team. There is also a shared approach to the leadership team here with Ms Elli Duthie and Mr Ashley Baldwin stepping into the position for 2019. Ms Duthie has been a member of the SWPBS team since she arrived at the college in 2017 and has built excellent rapport with students, their families and staff alike. She is committed to our college and I look forward to supporting her development as a formal leader within our school.
Mr Ashley Baldwin has shown a strong interest in the area of teaching and learning taking over the role of leading the implementation of a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum from midway through 2018. He has also shown a strong interest in professional learning ensuring that our involvement in the Professional Learning Community initiative in 2018 (what Mr Harvey piloted in his former school) had an impact back at the college. Mr Baldwin has worked tirelessly as the English Domain Leader and supported this young team in achieving unity. I am excited to see him unite the 7-9 team in the same way in 2019 so he and Ms Duthie can achieve success for each and every one of our students.
Mr Jamie Daff will lead our 10-12 sub-school. He is entering his fifth year as a lead teacher and is excited to be given the opportunity to teach predominantly VCAL in 2019 to ensure this vital program in our school provides students with outstanding opportunities for success. Having also taught VCE subjects in the previous years, he also has a strong understanding of the rigours and expectations required at this higher level. Mr Daff has led SWPBS in the college since 2017 and is ready for a new challenge which this role will provide. His knowledge of SWPBS will still be required as he supports his team in the setting of high expectations. We have not left him on his own though with this cohort and he will be ably supported by our Pathways Coordinator, Mrs Kerrie Raglus.
We continue to maintain small class sizes throughout the college providing teachers and students with multiple opportunities for giving and receiving feedback so that learning is personalised and relevant for every student.
The wellbeing of our students is supported not only by our teaching staff but also by our Education Support Classification staff. With a Social Worker, Family Support Worker/Behaviouralist Coach being employed by the school, and departmental staff consisting of a School Nurse, Psychologists, Visiting Teachers specialising in particular areas such as autism, Speech Therapists all sharing their expertise amongst us we are ready, willing and able to put into practise the work that is necessary to ensure academic success is possible for every child. We also have been fortunate enough to have headspace provide an in-service within the college in the latter half of 2018 and we are very much wanting this to continue in 2019.
2019 sees the commencement of our new School Strategic Plan (SSP). The review held in 2018 confirmed the work that we had been doing and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to continue this work going deeper as we continue to build our capacity to support our students.
There are two goals that we will be focusing on and these are:
- Maximising the literacy learning and growth for every student
- To embed a positive school culture that improves student engagement.
The SSP can be found on our website, along with a summary, and you are encouraged to read this to understand the work we are undertaking. The Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) is also accessible through our site and provides the current year’s work that links to the SSP. You could well have questions about these documents and how this is being implemented in the school and I encourage and welcome you to make contact with me to discuss.
We are continuing to develop our camps and excursions program to ensure that our students are given the opportunities to experience a wide variety of learning experiences in a range of settings that are unique and different to the traditional classroom environment.
We also provide our students with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting events throughout the year and our staff are active in supporting their endeavours. Did you know that we made the State Finals in Badminton and were runners-up in the State School Lawn Bowls Competition in 2018?
Families are reminded that they can apply for Camps, Sports and Excursion Funding which the government makes available to those with health care cards. Our friendly Business Manager, Mrs Rebecca Whitfield, will help you with these applications so please make contact with her.
We provide an environment that allows every student to excel and strongly encourage you to arrange an appointment to visit so you can experience the uniqueness of our beautiful college where we are constantly in Pursuit of Excellence.
Don’t let your involvement stop at the initial visit and enrolment interview though. We have a newly formed Parents and Friends group that would be delighted to have new members. We also have an active and very supportive School Council who would also love to have new people involved. Look out for this opportunity at the beginning of each year or discuss with me during the year in case there is a vacancy.