Maitland Area School

Maitland | Yorke Peninsula | South Australia

For the first three days of this week, Roy Menner has been working with teachers in classrooms on improving our Literacy programmes, particularly in the area of reading. It is always a pleasure to have the Menner’s visit as their skills and knowledge are appreciated. This is part of our ongoing priority in the area of literacy.

First week back 2012Welcome back to the 2012 school year. I hope that everyone had a relaxing, enjoyable Christmas / New Year break.

New Staff

I would like to welcome Scott Moore as an English teacher and Brooke Edginton as a Junior Primary teacher to our site. To date we have been unsuccessful in employing a Tech Studies teacher. In order to ensure that we can deliver the curriculum to the students we have a Permanent Relief Teacher here currently. Barry Hajisarva is filling that role for the first few weeks with Sean Carroll assisting with welding workshops for our senior students. Congratulations go to Leigh Rothe who has been appointed the Secondary Co-ordinator and to Helen Moloney who has been appointed as a full-time, Reception to Year 12 Counsellor.

Read more: Welcome Back for 2012

If you have visited our site recently you will notice that work is well underway with our land­scaping project around the artificial turf and Performing Arts precinct.

Many of the larger trees have been planted (thanks Victoria!) and the irrigation is underway (thanks Fred Brokenshire and Gav Schilling).

Now that the area has begun to take shape we can envisage more what it will look like when completed, especially as our new Aboriginal art murals have now been mounted on the library wall.

A big thanks goes to Trevor and Sean, our groundsmen, for all the work that they have put into the area to date.
At last week's Governing Council meeting school uniform was discussed, particularly in relation to the changes that were introduced this year. It is timely to remind parents that the wearing of black shorts and pants are approved.
We seek your support in ensuring that the shorts are of an appropriate length and that all items do not have excessive branding in the forms of stripes or logos. We have also noticed a number of students are now wearing large, pointed ear rings. I would like to remind parents / caregivers that our policy outlines that only studs or sleepers may be worn due to health and safety reasons.
Homeclass teachers will remind students of uniform expectations in the first instance, then remind parents / caregivers by a note in the diary. Follow up will come in the form of a reminder letter from Tim Schwartz (Governing Council Chairperson) and myself.
During the consultation last year it was determined by a clear majority that we, as a school, believe that school uniform is important in a students identity as a student at Maitland Area School and in order for staff to be able to identify who are students are in the school yard.
Once again we seek you support in this.
Principal Andrew GravestocksThe report has been presented to staff and Governing Council and it is now up to us, as a school, to work through the recommendations that were made during the process. A really good part of the report is that it contains not only recommendations for us to strive for but also commendations from the review team on what we are doing well. In essence the main recommendations from my point of view were to ;
  • Develop a whole school literacy agreement
  • Dig deeper into an aspect of literacy e.g. reading .
  • Implement a leadership structure at the school to support our focus on literacy.
If you would like to read a copy of the Executive Summary, it will be posted on our webpage soon and hard copies are available from school.

On Tuesday of this week we were fortunate to have the Education Minister, The Honourable Jay Weatherall, visit our school.

It was a real pleasure to be able to take him on a tour of our school and be able to share the vision we have as a school community regarding our curriculum and facilities.

Thankyou to all the parents who attended the 8-12 interviews over the last couple of weeks. School and family working together to support the learning of a student is a known factor in the achievement of successful learning outcomes. If you have any ideas on how we can improve our interview / reporting process, please contact me at school.

Thankyou very much to the families who attended the R-7 three-way conferences. I have received much positive feedback from staff. Attendance at these was high with classes averaging over 80% and in one case 100%. This year we sent home interim reports to Years 6 and 7, who have a number of specialist teachers. Though class teachers managed the 3 way conference process, they were provided with information by other staff at a meeting prior to the conference. Please remember you are welcome to make an appointment at any time to meet with your child’s teacher/s.

Our school will be taking part in a Diagnostic Review process on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of week 1 next term.

The aim of this process is to look at ways of building on student learning outcomes in literacy and enhancing the education programs for our students both now and into the future.

The visiting team of 7 comprises of people from the Department of Education and Children’s Services, our Regional Office and a teacher from the staff. Many staff, students and parents will be involved in interview or discussion groups. Student learning will be observed and an extensive range of school data analysed. It is anticipated that a report will be back in the school by the end of May and its findings will provide directions for school development over the next three years.

After the diagnostic review we will work to further develop our literacy teaching and learning programs.

Thank you in anticipation to all who contribute to this process. It will provide our school with commendations and recommendations to assist us enhance our teaching and learning programs.

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