“In every block of marble, I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

Michelangelo 1475 - 1564

I woke to the news that our new Australians of the Year are Georgina Long and Richard Scolyer. For those of you who do not know, I have sat in Georgina Long’s office as my husband battled melanoma. What an amazing, inspiring woman and I am delighted that these two have been given this award. Their goal is that there will be zero deaths from Melanoma. They are well on the way to achieving this goal and are now expanding their research to cure other cancers. In their acceptance speech both urged Australians “ … no matter what life throws at you, seek out opportunities to contribute, to participate and to action change.” Finding a cure for Melanoma is a pretty ambitious goal and they have already made such a difference for our world.

What a challenge. We also endeavour to contribute, participate and action change in our field of expertise: education. I don’t want our school to be just “good”, I want our school to provide an environment where your child will receive a brilliant education. In our school our staff also take that challenge seriously. We want each child to develop that same belief and attitude exhibited by our Australians of the Year, that they can make a difference and improve the world.

At the beginning of the year our staff have been working hard preparing for the new year so that each student will have a successful year of learning. As well as preparing grounds and classrooms, we have worked with experts from the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Our focus has been on improving our academic results further, improving literacy, learning further about ways to cater effectively for students with disabilities and child protection.

During our professional development sessions, our staff committed to the shared beliefs that:

  1. All students are capable of achieving high standards given the right time and the right support
  2. All of our teachers can and do teach to high standards through our Building Learning Power approach
  3. High expectations and providing support for all students is essential

Analysis of our student data is a crucial part of helping our students achieve their best. Staff spent time delving deeply into individual student results, looking for ways that we can continue to improve our practice. In particular, we are exceptionally proud of the HSC results achieved by our Year 12 students. Many of our students achieved the highest level of academic achievement in 2023. Since implementing our Building Learning Power approach our results have improved, not just in the top levels of achievement, but in terms of value adding and raising our mean ATARs. This cohort were in Year 7 when we introduced our BLP framework so have benefited from a consistent application of learning how to learn.

We view children as unique, with many talents and strengths, created in the image of God. Our two Australians of the year were probably two beautiful pieces of marble at school, ready to be sculpted and shaped by the master. I would love each of our young people to take up their challenge and seek out opportunities to contribute, to participate and to action change in our world. They can!

Mrs Lorrae Sampson

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

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