Last Friday the whole school was involved in planting out our new garden beds. If you have visited you will notice the significant improvement the planting has made. It was fantastic to see the students working together with staff and parents to undertake this task. A big thankyou to Victoria Johns who has led this process, our Groundsmen, Trevor Allen and Sean Carroll for their efforts, and the parents, staff and students for their work on the day.
Our Ag students competed at the Royal Show last week in the Led Steer and Goat categories. I was lucky enough to be able to visit the students on the day of the Grand Parade. It was very evident that they had put a lot of effort into preparing the animals and took great pride in representing the school at the show. Well done to Sarah Townsend for setting the bar high for this programme and for all her work. A big thank you to Julie Bagshaw and Sean Carroll for the work they put into supporting Sarah and our students. Thanks also to Ashley Nankivell, Martin Dodd and Perry Oliver for their support at the show. Read further to discover the outstanding results our school achieved.
Continuing on with recent successes, well done to the students and staff for the high standards achieved at the Festival of Music last Tuesday night. A lot of hard work goes into preparing for an event of this magnitude and I know that I would certainly be nervous performing in front of a packed audience at the Festival Centre in Adelaide. It was great to see Brianna Schwartz performing a solo on the night and continuing the high standard being set by students from MAS. This is the third year in a row that a student from our school has been chosen to do this. Thanks to Belinda Wundersitz, Di Wheare, staff and parents for their ongoing support.
Work will officially begin in these school holidays on our $1m Agricultural upgrade. Courses are being developed for our senior Ag students which will also be available to students across Yorke Peninsula, specialising in Broad Acre Cropping. If you would like further information please contact the school.
Staff from Maitland Area School have once again been recognised in the SA Public Teaching Awards.
Four staff were nominated for awards (Deb Schwartz, Jackie Norman, Anna Taheny and Vanessa Secomb).
Anna Taheny was successful in winning the Regional Award for Inspirational Early Career Teacher and Vanessa Secomb was successful in winning the Regional Award for Inspirational Primary School Teacher. Congratulations to all staff and good luck to Anna and Vanessa for the State Awards.
This week we have had a change around and welcoming of staff to our school to cover a number of staff who are on leave. Aaron Ward is replacing Beth Hector as Deputy. Aaron has worked closely with our school over the past three years assisting to develop flexible learning programmes from his Regional Office position and comes with a wealth of experience from his last school, John Pirie High School. Kaye McCauley has returned from Long Service Leave allowing us to retain Anna Gubbin to undertake Vanessa Secomb’s role whilst she is away on long service leave. Gary Pammett has once again stepped into Deirdre Moloney’s role as librarian and Charmaine Simmons has returned briefly to cover for Helyn Southwood who is also on leave.
Last week I finally had the pleasure of meeting with the building contractors who will be undertaking the work in our Ag area. Work is planned to begin in the next school holidays. Parallel to this work occurring negotiations are continuing with Regional Skills Training to deliver broad acre cropping competencies for students across YP next year based at Maitland Area School. I believe that this will be an exciting and complementary addition the to the Ag programme we currently deliver.
Last week I attended the State Leaders Conference in Adelaide, a large event with over 500 site leaders in attendance.
Probably the major message that I came away with was from the Premier, Jay Weatherall and our Chief Executive, Keith Bartley, who both spoke strongly about the State Government's direction in the early years and the need to be able to connect services in communities.
For us in Maitland this has begun as currently connect with many services regularly, particularly Health, SAPOL, and Families SA.
I am hoping that this current political climate will all add support to the proposed re-location of the Children's Centre to the School site as we believe this will provide an even greater opportunity to support children and their families in the community of Maitland.
This week I have had the pleasure of welcoming the Japanese Exchange to our school and community.
It never ceases to amaze me how different it must be to travel to a foreign country, with foreign food, customs and language and adapt for a relatively short period of time.
For me it has been a real thrill to see our students guiding and explaining how things work in our community to our exchange students.
During this week I will be meeting with the officials from Mimasaka City to discuss Maitland Area Schools return exchange in 2013.
Once some initial planning and costings have been completed we are planning to hold a meeting in early Term Four for interested students and parents.
Thanks again to the parents and staff who have kindly opened their homes and lives to our Japanese visitors.
Thankyou to the families who have offered to billet the Japanese Exchange students who will be arriving soon. It is fantastic that we are able to maintain the connections with the Japanese schools and I am hoping that next year our students will have the chance to visit Japan as part of the exchange (the last two opportunities have been disrupted by the bird flu and tsunami!).