My Vision for the School
I am so honoured and privileged to have been selected as the Principal of Boronia Heights Primary School. From the day I started as Acting Prin back in late April, I felt this was the place for me. My collaboration with the staff, students and School Council over the last six months has reassured me that I made the right decision in applying for the Principal position, and to be given the job made me so pleased.
As part of the selection process, I was asked to prepare a 15-minute presentation to the panel about my vision for the school, my priorities in the first two years and what challenges I envisage. I’d like to share with everyone a summary of my presentation so you can get an idea of what my vision is for the school.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous work of the staff and leadership team over the past 5 years. Boronia Heights PS wouldn’t be the great school we know and love without the tireless efforts by all involved. I’ve seen photos and heard stories about what the school was like prior to the rebuild project, and it’s clear that it was a very different place to what we see now. The school is in a strong financial position, the students are achieving good results in comparison to similar schools, and we have dedicated team of teachers, ES and parents who are committed to helping children grow in all facets of their education.
Boronia Heights PS should be a “Shining Light” in the community. Under my leadership as Principal, the school will aim to achieve three overarching goals:
- All teachers commit to becoming expert practitioners, developing their skills and abilities through professional learning and ongoing reflection of practice.
- The students are motivated to learn new things, grow their knowledge base and experience success.
- The parent community is proud to say their child was a student at Boronia Heights PS.
The work we are currently doing to achieve these goals is significant. Here are some highlights related to learning and wellbeing that will help us succeed in the future:
- NAPLAN scores are above network and similar schools in most areas;
- Our structures and processes are well established, with teachers using data to drive planning and teaching;
- There is an evidence-based teaching and learning model, driven by teachers who work in Curriculum Action Teams;
- Specialist subject areas are taught by expert, passionate teachers;
- The Berry Street Education Model is embedded into the school’s wellbeing practices;
- Our School Welfare Officer, Sarah McIntosh, provides ongoing support to kids and families;
- A team of staff and para-professionals are dedicated to improving inclusive practices;
- A range of lunchtime clubs to support children to improve social skills and have choice over activities are offered.
Whilst there are lots of highlights and positive things happening at the school, there is always room for improvement. The two areas I see most worthy of a “laser-like focus” over the next two years are Writing and Student Engagement in Learning. Let’s look at Writing first.
My Theory of Action in respect to Writing is:
- If we focus on improving teacher skills and knowledge about the process of writing and how we teach it to children,
- First we will see improved confidence and self-efficacy by teachers to employ effective instructional strategies of the writing process,
- So that later we will see students displaying improved writing skills, including better organisation, coherent structure, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary usage.
Work has already begun to improve teacher knowledge and skills of how students learn to write using The Writing Revolution as a professional reading resource. The Literacy team is leading this work and will develop a program of professional learning to upskills all teachers.
With respect to Student Engagement in Learning, my Theory of Action is:
- If we investigate what motivates and stimulates students to want to learn, then develop a learning program to reflect this;
- First we will see improved effort and persistence so that students realise their skills and knowledge are improving over time;
- So that later we will see students being self-motivated and driven to do well at school, finding personal relevance and meaning in what they’re learning.
An example of the work we’re currently doing to improve student engagement is the multi-age activities that are happening alternate Friday afternoons this term. These sessions involve classes of students from all year levels coming together to do fun, stimulating learning activities that focus on problem solving, celebrating special events, social interactions and collaboration. We will also be developing a consistent approach to student goal setting so the children can improve learning confidence.
In finishing my presentation, I used a quote from May Angelou that says, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” This is what I want all staff and students to strive for so that we can honestly say that Boronia Heights Primary School is the best school ever!
New drinking fountains
During the school holidays we installed three new drinking fountains to replace the original troughs. These new fountains have two faucets, one is a regular faucet and the other lets the kids fill up their drink bottles. They’ve also got a very striking aboriginal artwork design in colours very similar to the school’s colours. I’d encourage you to check them out next time you wander through the school grounds.
If you’ve wandered over to the playground areas recently, you may have seen the junior and middle playgrounds nearing completion. They are just finishing off the synthetic turf surrounding the playgrounds, and once that’s done we should get handover and the kids can start having fun on the playgrounds again. Safe Play have done an amazing job!
Bayswater Primary Schools Writing Competition Winners
We welcomed Jackson Taylor MP once again to present the awards in his local writing competition. A big congratulations to Jasmine & Audrey in Year 3.
Farewell to Miss Searles
From all of us at Boronia Heights PS, I’d like to wish Miss Searles all the very best as she takes maternity leave in preparation for the arrival of her baby in November. Miss Erin Ascenzo has been working in 2A this week to transition into the role.
Have a great week.