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Centenary Heights State High School > Calendar and news > Principal's blog
November 06
Principal's blog 6 November

Dear Families

 
Awards Night was amazing. An auditorium of 1500 people with a mix of proud students, families and teachers. Only the second time in the history of our great school, and that is a 50 year history, where there has been more than 1 Dux, two in fact. Again, unique, is the fact that 4 other students were within 1 point of the Dux. Dux aside, what is an absolute joy to watch is the capacity of our student leaders to run the night so very well including all leaders who delivered speeches with such aplomb. Apart from the rightful celebration of students, their service and achievement, this really is a night to brief families on the activity that goes on in a school of our size. I acknowledge here the staff who plan for this night so far ahead and ensure, to the closest detail, that it is run smoothly and of the highest quality
 
If not already, to all of our families, please join QParents – as I have communicated a few times earlier this year, from the start of 2019, we will be moving as a school to communication through QParents. I will still send my update emails out but for all other information, you will need to have joined QParents. Through this you will be able to access your child’s report card each Term, your child’s school timetable and attendance record. You will be able to check your school fee account as you wish and update your contact details should you change address, phone number – it really is a one stop shop and, once joined, so easy for you to navigate. Currently we have around 40% of our families joined. Earlier this week you were sent by our office staff an invitation to join. With that invitation was your QPAO reference code. To join just click on the link within the invitation email and follow the prompts from there. Have handy with you sufficient points of identification – driver’s licence number etc. To confirm, from Term 1 2019 report cards will be loaded to QParents for your access as opposed to emailing or posting
 
Student attendance at school – a reminder that, as per state government policy, students are required at school on every gazetted school day. I do follow that policy very strictly as you would expect of me. Please encourage your children not to put you in a difficult position such as asking for a ‘day off’ because they say ‘we have finished assessment’, ‘we are not doing anything’ – that resonates with ‘I do not have any homework’ which of course is never true. In terms of taking holidays in school time, as I have communicated earlier this year, the only such time off that I approve is of an emergent or urgent nature and in such cases our families have been good enough to give me sufficient information to make an informed decision. It goes without saying that I do not approve early departure or full day absences for students to attend such things as commercial concerts eg Taylor Swift and other popular artists. With regard to the last day of the school year you will see in many schools the attendance drops off. At our school we run an alternate program on that day. I really appreciate the support you give to our teachers and myself
 
Walker Awards – last week this night was a special! The awards, named after previous Principal Bob Walker who was a devotee of the Arts, are a wonderful showcase of student talent in Year 12. Students show their major assessment work and the words going through my head watching were clever and talented. Great to see Year 12 student Asher Wighton also receive an Empire Theatre Youth bursary this week as he furthers his passion and significant ability in the area of Film
 
Mayoral Awards – each year these awards are inspirational and this year, no different. Our CHSHS awardees Selena Laverty, Melissa Bowie and Santener Sakina proudly received their awards at the ceremony a fortnight ago. The criteria stipulate acknowledgment to students who have shown exceptional resilience and courage in the face of great adversity to rise and forge towards a great future. The Mayor and Toowoomba Regional Councillors always prioritise this night – a wonderful celebration
 
On the January 2019 student free days all of our teaching and non-teaching staff [232 in number] will participate in the first two of a four day course in Trauma Informed Practice [TIP]. It is delivered by the Berry Street Childhood Centre in Melbourne and their team will come to us at CHSHS to deliver. Having completed this program myself it will underpin a better understanding of our students and how to deal with their various significant life challenges so they are able to grow and learn despite the struggle. I am ever conscious of what our staff support with our students in terms of mental/emotional upheaval and at times the poor choices adolescents make which have the potential to derail their futures. If we understand better, we teach better, we relate better and we are able to look after ourselves better in the face of such difficulty. Many of our staff are parents and/or grandparents as well – these learnings have definite positive carry over. I invite you to go to the Berry Street website and look up the program – it will give you good insight
 
To the parents/carers of our Year 12 students – if this child is your last through our great CH, I thank you sincerely for walking the journey with us. I wish you well as you navigate the world of no school lunches, no pick-ups/drop offs at school, no exam time meltdowns and no ironing of Formal uniforms. To a little degree you may be able to reclaim your lives…
 
Best wishes.
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal

 

September 18
Principal's blog 18 September 2018

Dear Families
 
As we close for Term 3, report cards will be emailed on Friday 21 September.
 
Parents of Year 10 students, a reminder of the Senior Education and Training Plan [SETP] interviews taking place on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 October in our school Hall for those students who are returning to begin Year 11 in 2019. For the families of those students confirmed as moving into Year 11 in 2019, you have received your letter of invitation and many of you have already made your booking online – thank you. Participation in the interview, with your child, will affirm subject selection to begin the year. Once the interview takes place, subjects will be entered into our system. These are such enjoyable and instructive interviews where great advice is given as to the best suit of subjects selected given previous application and attendance. It is imperative that we take every care to ensure your child is set up for success from the outset. Please be sure to bring to the interview all items outlines in the letter and ensure your child has completed his/her well completed Study Planner [they have been working on this in Pastoral Care lessons] as without this, which begins the interview, the interview will have to be rescheduled. If you are having any trouble with booking your interview please call Lyn in our Textbook Office on 4636 7576. Please note that you will have received an invitation last week, sent to your email, to join QParents. QParents is the online communication method, designed by the Department of Education, for families to stay connected with schools and their information eg your financial account, your child’s report card, attendance etc – a real ‘one stop shop’. At the SETP interviews we will have laptops there for you to join up to QParents such is the importance of being organised to start Term 1 2019. Please remember to bring 100 points worth of identification as well as your invitation code which was recently emailed to you on Wednesday 12 September.
 
All families with children continuing on at CHSHS 2019 – regarding QParents [see my comment in the above item], report cards in 2019 will be accessible only through QParents unless a family does not have access to the internet in which case we will print a copy. For those who have not yet joined please be sure to act on the invitation that was sent to your email address last week.
 
Order your 2018 school Magazine now. This is a lifetime memory of a year in the life of your child. Excellent value at a cost of $30. Orders close at the end of week 3 of Term 4 - Friday 26 October. Please phone our Textbook Office on 4636 7576 to place your order.
 
School Trivia night – Friday night 26 October from 6pm – Venue our Flexi School Hub, corner of Chalk Drive and Hume Street. The inaugural Trivia night we held earlier this Term was such a fun night and a real success. If you are keen to participate please phone our Flexi School office on 4614 4100 from day 1 Term 4 ie Monday 8 October. Be sure to act quickly as there is no doubt the event will be popular.
 
The passing of Professor Glen Postle AM – Glen was co-founder of our Flexi School. At the age of 76 and after a three and a half year battle with cancer, Glen passed away Monday 10 September. He was a true legend of our Toowoomba community and indeed of our school. He was an innovator and such a caring man. He and his good mate, then Senior Guidance Officer with the Department of Education, Ed Bradbury, created Flexi in 1998 after they noted the number of young people disengaged from schooling and marginalised in society. His wonderful community group, Toowoomba East Rotary, worked alongside Glen to move Flexi from a small room in the Bell Street mall to where it is today, a superb complex on the corner of Chalk Drive and Hume Street. Centenary Heights State High School took Flexi over in 2004 and, apart from our partner in Toowoomba East Rotary, we have since partnered with Toowoomba Regional Council, Toowoomba Older Men’s Network and the University of Southern Queensland. Our graduate students go on to fulltime work, further study either at USQ or TAFE or into fulltime apprenticeships. They create lives for themselves, with support from our teaching and non-teaching staff and wider community partners, that are nothing short of inspirational. We have moved over time from what used to be called alternate education to what is now known as Doing School Differently. Our Flexi School has been the recipient of multiple Australian awards for its innovation and inclusivity none the least being $500,000 from the National Australia Bank in its Schools First program and a further $20,000 as the winner of the Department of Education Showcase award. All of this has come to fruition through Glen’s leadership where he has traded on his stellar reputation in the Toowoomba community and wider education community to shine a light on what is the most amazing educational concept – our Flexi School.
 
Enjoy your children over these holidays
 
Best regards
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal
August 07
Principal's blog 7 August 2018

Dear Families

A mid-term update:

1.       Athletics Carnival and half day Carnival – such wonderful events for our students and always so lovely to watch them enjoy each other’s company and, in many cases, participating. As per our school calendar the field events are held Tuesday 7 August from 12 midday to the end of the school day. All of our students are required to be either participating or spectating from the Terraces. I do not permit any sign-out from school on this day nor, for our Year 11s and 12s, any usual early departure. Students have been well informed. The exception always is where any of our students with a disability have received an exemption given a potential negative effect as a result of the noise levels and volume of student numbers on the day. The full day Carnival is Wednesday 8 August. Again, our students understand from me that it is a gazetted school day and they are required at school either participating or spectating. Students also understand that, should a call come in to advise of illness on the day, the student is required to provide a medical certificate [not parent note] by COB Friday 10 August. Parents/Carers you are very welcome on the day to come and spectate

2.       Tremendous success with Eisteddfod, Creative Generation on Stage [CGen] and Fanfare – what a whirlwind couple of months for our students skilled in dance, song and musicality. So much kudos has come the way of our participating students in these aforementioned events. Sincere thanks to our teachers for making these opportunities available to students. Next stop is 14 August with our Senior Strings off to the State Fanfare final in Brisbane. It is quite a feat to even get there!

3.       Student leave during school time – Parents/Carers, what I appreciate greatly is your timely explanation of any absence for your child. Where you request consideration for extended leave during school time, let me clarify the following:

        -  As parent/carer, you may request and explain the leave but, as Principal, I approve it or not. It is important that you do not consider that because you might submit a request, it is approved. When I consider the request I very much take into account the student’s leave history, how the student is engaging at school and the timing of the request in terms of important lead-in learning to assessment or assessment itself. Missed face to face learning is very detrimental to progress

        -  I rarely if ever approve requests for holidays during school time. The only exemption is where a family has an emergent situation and it requires all/most family members. Apart from the fact that I am bound, as a Department of Education Principal, to ensure maximum attendance in each schooling term, I am of the firm belief that learning missed is absolutely detrimental to a child’s progress

        -  If I do approve leave you will see that, beforehand, the student is required to complete a form explaining that he/she has notified all teachers and either completed learning or assessment before departure or has made an arrangement to complete it on return. I ask teachers not to engage in email or other communication while the student is away as our teachers rightly have much attention to give to students in front of them

        -  In relation to the last week of any term, please do not be tempted to permit your child to be absent. I direct our teachers to begin teaching new work immediately after the previous assessment has been returned and scrutinised and that new teaching is not to be revisited after the holidays. Teaching time is so valuable – it has to be maximised and valued by the student’s presence. Once again I do not approve any leave, other than of an emergent nature, in the last week of a term

        -  Our office staff are able to assist if you have any query

4.       Fundraising Trivia Night for our Flexi School – Friday 10 August 6.00pm start. Venue – our Flexi Intergenerational Mentoring Hub on Chalk drive. If you are free and keen on Trivia, please join us. Monies raised go towards subsidising the year level camps for our Flexi School students. Meals are served on the night as are drinks. Cost $10. Please phone our Flexi School Office Manager Nicole on 4614 4100 to book a table of 6-8 or just bring yourself!

5.       School Opinion Survey – my Assistant Bec has, last Friday, sent out the invitations to 1350 families to participate in this annual survey. Once you receive your code sheet, you complete the survey online and submit by COB Friday 24 August. Do not lose the code as there is no replacement. All staff are invited to participate as well along with an external random selection of year 8 and 11 students. The feedback is so very useful. I do appreciate you taking the time

6.       Parents/Carers of Year 12 students  

        - coming up is the QCS exam for those students who are OP eligible and those students who are Non-OP eligible but have chosen to sit the exam. Dates for this are Tuesday 4 September and Wednesday 5 September. Year 12 students who are not sitting the QCS exam are required to be in all regular classes on those days

        - Thursday 6 September is an allocated study day for all year 12 students and so students are not required at school [no regular classes will run] but may choose to access our school library as needed

        - Friday 7 September through to Wednesday 12 September inclusive is the Year 12 exam block. Students will be issued shortly, via email, with their exam block schedule. It will also be placed on our website for easy access so you are able to see what your child’s commitments are. As always students are required at school on those days only when they have a scheduled exam. They may again choose to access our library for study

        - regular classes resume for all Year 12s on Thursday 13 September. From then on and through to the end of Term 3, they will be receiving their assessment back, teachers will go through that assessment as a crucial part of future learning and new work will begin to be taught. This work will not be revisited after the holidays so attendance every day is both expected and essential. Term 4 is very short for Year 12s and every minute of face to face learning is valued

        - during 13 and 14 September our Year 12s will participate, in their Pastoral Care Groups, in the mandatory training and assessment for CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation]. Students will have their rostered times and be aware of these arrangements.

        *Please be aware that our teachers may require some Year 12s to come in to school during some of the abovementioned days eg on the Study day and/or parts of the exam block days where they do not have an exam. This will be because students may be behind in their learning. Teachers will advise such students with good notice and make contact with you to ensure you are aware of this requirement

7.       CHSHS 50th Anniversary this year and the last big event for the year will be the Community Fair on Sunday 4 November. Please visit our school website or anniversary Facebook page for detail. Have a look at our street sign as well – it has some detail on it. Please do set aside the date – as with the 50th lunch, the Fair should be a lovely family occasion

Best wishes

Maryanne Walsh

Principal

 
June 25
Principal's blog 25 June 2018

Dear Families
 
1. Looking ahead for some dates for your home calendars:  
  • Tuesday 28 August in period 4 for our Year 11s and 12s [except for those students who have their school based traineeship on a Tuesday] – is a required date for 11s and 12s to remain at school all day as we have accepted the offer of Queensland Road Safety to present to our driver-age students. Their presentation, in the interests of our students’ safety, is superb
  • Athletics Carnival - Wednesday 8 August. Such a great day for all. Always so wonderful to see our students having a good time with friends and with participation opportunities for those with a particular skill in this area and those who have not. I explain to our students that, given the months of preparation that go into this event by our student leaders and a range of staff, the most appropriate way to show respect for such is through attendance. Our students understand the inappropriateness of taking a mandated school day away to unfairly advantage themselves over others with doing extra schoolwork or asking a parent to explain the day as sick when that is not the case. To this end I require a medical certificate to support any absence on this day. As I say, to see our terraces full of cheering students is a sight to behold 
  • Parents/Carers of Year 10 students at our mainstream campus – Monday 13 August in our school Hall from 6pm through to 7pm is our Subject Selection night for Year 10 students going into Year 11. If you intend for your child to continue into Year 11 our students understand they are to be present on the night and sitting with their parent/carer. Such a crucial hour for advice on how to select subjects, what is the best fit and especially given our Year 10s are the first group through with the new QCE [Queensland Certificate of Education] system. With this system to change a subject somewhere in the 2 years is a thing of the past so it is essential the selection is entirely suitable from the outset 
  • Parent/Student/Teacher interviews –Thursday 2 August from 3.20pm. If you see on your child’s report card that teachers have an R for Required in terms of an interview regarding a subject performance, that means the teacher is very much wanting to speak with you and your child. If there are no Rs, we love you to come and sit anyway – it is such a delight to celebrate success just as much as it is to plan for success. Our students understand that if an interview is booked, they are required to attend and participate with their parents/carers

 

  • First Formal Uniform days for all students are Friday 20 July and Wednesday 25 July

 

  • Fundraiser Trivia night for our Flexi School – Friday 10 August in the Glen Postle Intergenerational Mentoring Hub just adjacent to our Flexi School carpark on Chalk Drive. Start time 6pm. Tables of 10. $10 per person and bring money for raffles as well. Our Hospitality students will be preparing some fine fare on the night. Please book through our Flexi office 4614 4100. This should be such a fun evening

 

2. Report cards for all year levels will be emailed to our families at the end of week 11 Term 2. Having proofed and read each of our 1642 reports I am especially pleased with our students’ overall engagement and application. A credit to our families and teachers and our students’ willingness to learn
 
3. Highlights to finish the Term:
  • The Changeover Dinner for our School Interact Committee took place at the Downs Club with our partners Toowoomba South Rotary. The South members are such a fine group of people and such good mentors for our young people. Our President Arwen Nugteren delivered an excellent speech on the work and accomplishments of our Interact group from mid-2017 to now. This was inclusive of the impressive Lifeline can collection – 6341 cans – to be distributed to families in need. A wonderful effort for 2 weeks’ worth of focussed giving from our students and their families!

  • The Regional Fanfare competition saw performances at the Empire Theatre from our Senior Strings Orchestra and Stage Band as they competed with another 3 selected schools throughout the region. It is such an achievement to make it to the regional finals let alone win it as our Senior Strings did and to quote the adjudicator’s comment they were ‘just beautiful’. Both performance groups were amazing. Sincere congratulations to our students and their teachers Jess Johansen and Jeff Poole. An absolute delight to watch

 

Best wishes
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal
May 10
Principal's blog 10 May

Dear Families

 
  1. Beginning this term and on from there we will be emailing report cards. If we have not received any advice from you to alter the email address we already have for you, it will be emailed to that address. I will continue to personally read all 1660 reports and sign each. In the end, a growing time delay with Australia Post in terms of the time we send them and the time they arrive at your homes has become unacceptable as has the increase in reports returned to us despite the fact that the address is correct.  The fact that the cost is infinitely less is also a consideration however there is something about a posted report that I have always liked – anyway, it is what it is and we will ensure those of you who do not have an email address will still receive a posted copy
  2. Parent/Student/Teacher interviews recently – what a fantastic turn up! Well done to so many of you for making the effort. I am always thankful to our teachers for being so well prepared and, as is an essential component of quality teaching, knowing your child and his/her potential intricately
  3. For your awareness:
  • Should your child wish to make an arrangement for you to collect him/her from school – please ensure such arrangements are made directly with your child, before the day of collection and with a note of explanation provided to office staff on the morning of the collection ie if it is to occur in school time. Having said that please make every effort to make appointments out of school hours. Missed learning time is very disadvantageous to a child. I do not permit our students to text parents/carers to collect them as the tendency is for the parent to present to the office and ask for the student to be called from class to come. In a busy and diverse school such as ours and with the size that it is, it is very often the case that a class may be working at a venue different to that which is on the timetable eg Physical Education might be on the oval or courts, a science lesson could have moved to a lab for a practical experiment. I do not ask our office staff to leave their work to find a student. Our students are well informed of this and understand what is behind the expectation and that they do not misuse their phones in this way. It is a conscious choice for me to permit our students to have phones on site and ideally students will not place themselves in a position to have the privilege withdrawn. In some instances, your child may not have texted you but you have come in to the office to collect your child for an appointment about which your child is unaware. Please understand that I have asked our office staff, for the reasons stated above, to decline such requests
  • Our 2018 School Magazine – if not already please call our Textbook Office and place your order. It is such a fine product and, at a cost of $30, you have memories forever as well as a pictorial record of your child’s schooling years. There is no question you and your child will haul that item out of a cupboard in years to come and sit and pore over it – remember him? Remember her? What a great time we had on that Camp and all of the other recollections. Last orders are taken by the final day of term 3 – do not run the risk of forgetting to order – get in early
      4.  In looking back this term:
  • A stellar ANZAC day service at school. Wonderful respect shown by our students – no surprise – and lovely for our guest from both Defence Force and the local RSL retirement village, Westhaven to experience. Similarly our Student Leaders conducted the service at Westhaven on the actual ANZAC day and drew great praise for their preparation and presentation. Congratulations to Year 8 student Dylan Hickey for his amazing performance of the Last Post and Rouse
  • All of our 194 Year 11 students recently participated in the annual Rotary Youth Driver Awareness driver education program and, as is the case each year, gained so much from the experience. The diversity of the program and the sheer relevance of it to emerging young drivers makes for the best feedback from our students. They really do take major messages away from it – whatever we can collectively do to keep your child and our student safe, there will be no stone unturned
  • The first ‘leg’ of our 50th  Anniversary celebrations took place recently in the form of a Saturday lunch and a series of school tours conducted by our Student Leaders. An incredibly large attendance which was testament to the sensational work of main organisers Tracey Kessels and Julie-Ann Whittaker, very ably supported by school staff Christy Parker and Jodi Robinson and our P and C President Wayne Heading. Months of preparation and such high quality in terms of product. Our Student Leaders were very well versed in articulating all of the changes that have occurred in our school growing from 111 students in 1968 through to 1662, across 2 campuses, in 2018. Our students commented repeatedly on how much they loved, as they walked together with our returned students and staff, about the stories of old – what happened in this classroom, how naughty they were and legend tales no doubt a little embellished. Such a great and uplifting day. Please place in your calendars the second ‘leg’ ie the CHSHS Community Fair on Sunday 4 November. Details are on our website
     5.    What is coming up this term?
  • Our School Musical – ‘We will rock you’.  Dates Friday 18 May [evening performance] through to and including of Saturday 19 May [matinee and evening performances]. Venue the Armitage Centre. The time and effort put in thus far by students and staff is inspirational and well deserving of our presence in the audiences as your family time permits. Speaking of family, I have no doubt for those of you who have a child in this production you have been making significant alterations to the regular family routine to ensure participation in the myriad of practices – sincere thanks to you and to our staff for the opportunity for our students
  • Relay for Life – Saturday 19 May – our senior students participate every year in this great cause and in major numbers. For the last 3 years CHSHS has held the record for the most school participants and thousands of dollars are raised by our students. They sleep over the night in Queens Park in what is an exceptionally well run event by the external organisers and yet again, I am incredibly appreciative of the number of our staff who take the time away from their own families to be with our students
  • Colours for Cancer - this is a day on Monday 14 May where our students are permitted to wear a shirt and/or jumper in the colour representative of a particular cancer eg pink for breast cancer. Students bring a gold coin donation on the day. Year 12 student Tom Panitz successfully began this drive last year when he was in Year 11 and our student body, as always, responded in a major way. Big funds raised!
  • Lifeline Can Appeal – this annual event is run by our School Interact Club. In 2017 the largest amount of cans ever – 7000+ were brought in. As Lifeline CEO Derek Tuffield said when he spoke on our full school parade last week, such support makes the world of difference to families that are really struggling and to individuals whose home is the street. The Appeal runs for the next couple of weeks – if you are able, please check expiry dates and send in some cans with your child in the coming days. Derek suggests ring pull cans if you have them as this is easier for people where they do not have the luxury of a can opener
  • Community event – in relation to raising awareness around the scourge of Domestic and Family Violence [DFV] – Wednesday 23 May from 7pm in the Armitage Centre, a Hypothetical organised by Toowoomba Together Incorporated [TTI]. The Panel will comprise police, lawyers, magistrate, educator, support worker and unravel a scenario typical of families that suffer in this area. The intent, apart from raising awareness, is to gain insight into how families might be cared for both in our social and legal systems. Gold coin donation is welcomed. Having participated in one of these last year, I highly recommend it. There is no question that victims of DFV will benefit from a very aware and active society that will not stand for this….
  • Dates for Year 11 and 12 Exam Block – Wednesday 6 June to Monday 11 June inclusive. On these days our Year 11s and 12s are not required at school unless specifically for their prescheduled exams. Students are welcome to come in to school and study in our school library and also to meet with their teachers having made appointments with them. During this time our students are not permitted to be in local parks or downtown. It is a time allocated for study or in some cases, where our students have school based traineeships, with employer approval, they may work extra days. The exam block schedule will be published to our students before the block begins and the block timetable will be published on our website. It is essential that our 11s and 12s are in full attendance after the exam block as, in the 14 school days post the block, teachers will be giving back assessment and going through it to maximise learning plus they will be starting new work which will not be repeated after the holidays
  • Parents of current Year 10 students at our mainstream campus – 2 extremely important information sessions for you and your child not to miss. When students enter Year 11 in 2019 they will be the first students to begin working under the new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Education structure [SATE]. This will be very different to what you as parents have known. To best support your child it is essential that you know what is happening. On Monday 21 May in our Hall from 6pm to 7pm, we will share that information with you. Please bring your child with you. A letter has already been sent home to you in our last mail-out explaining further information. That letter is also on our website. For your calendars in advance, on Monday 13 August at 6pm in our Hall all of our Year 10 students this year at the mainstream campus who are seeking enrolment to Year 11 are required to attend that particular Subject Selection night. It is essentially a Parent Night with students required to attend as well and sit with their parents. Our students understand this. More than ever, it is crucial that our students selecting their subjects for Years 11 and 12 ‘get it right’ as, with the new system students will not be permitted to change subjects after Year 11
  • If you have a child seeking to enrol with us to Year 7 in 2019 – our Information Night is Tuesday 12 June from 6pm to 7pm. Please come along with your child and join us in our school Hall
  • Our Year 12s who are OP eligible have a 2 day QCS [Queensland Core Skills] practice on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 June. These days are mandatory for OP eligible students
  • Parents of Year 10 students on our mainstream campus – the annual Mock Interviews for every one of our Year 10s take place at school on Wednesday 27 June. This is a program where local businesspeople have been good enough to give of their time to interview our students as if our students were applying for jobs. It is such good practice. On the day our students will present in full Formal uniform, with resume. Each student will have an interview with an employer and for the other parts of the day students will be in regular classes.
 
Best wishes
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal
 
March 28
Principal's blog 28 March 2018

Dear Families

 

1.  Term 1 Reporting – report cards are posted in week 1 of these holidays and parents of our year 7 students, you will have received your child’s report cards by now. I am especially pleased, across all year levels, with the application and performance of our students. Let me clarify something for you, when you read your child’s report card, if you see a C rating for Effort, while the Department of Education explanation is that a C is ‘Satisfactory’, the C actually means that on some occasions the student is working to capacity and respecting the rights of others to learn but at other times, not. At CHSHS our students know that I do not accept Cs for Effort – it represents mediocrity. Our young people deserve better than that ie to be challenged always to try their hardest. Where there are a number of Cs for Effort in a report card, conversations with either the Head of Year or Deputy Principal or myself will be arranged as we work together to assist a turnaround. These are great conversations and highly successful

  • Further on Reporting, where you see on the report card, a teacher asking for a Parent Interview, please come to our Parent/Teacher/Student interviews scheduled for Thursday 3 May and, after Term 2 report cards, Thursday 2 August. The reason teachers ask for this is because they do need to see you, sit with you and your child and discuss how things might be better. You will receive details of these Interviews in your report card mail and the process for requesting them is online. If you are unable to make these times, please email or call the teacher making the request and a reminder that our students understand they are to be present in the interview with you
  • Later this year we will cease posting report cards and rather, email them. Please be sure we have your accurate email address. We will continue to post reports where a family does not have an email address

 

2.  Harmony Day – our school has celebrated Harmony Day yet again in style. Our 60 nationalities were on show in cultural dress at our full school parade on 27 March and Guest Speaker, Prudence Marom was amazing. Prudence, in her short 21 years, has experienced 7 of those years living in a refugee camp and now studies Law at USQ. She is also a nominee in the cultural diversity section of the Queensland Young Achiever Awards. Suffice to say, she held the fixed attention of all our students and staff as she spoke so eloquently of the value migrants and refugees bring to Australia. I assure you, at our school, she was preaching to the converted

 

3.  Formal Uniform days coming up in Term 2 – these are on our website for your convenience however to start the Term all students are required to wear Formal Uniform on Friday 20 April and Tuesday 24 April

 

4.  Toastmasters course and Graduation for students in our Student Leadership group – earlier in March our 25 Student Leaders graduated their 7 week Toastmasters training course and what a delight it was to listen to and see, on Graduation night, their speeches and their confidence. It is imperative I believe to invest in the skills and capacity of our students to lead as opposed to merely present the badge and expect them to magically exude confidence, self-awareness and poise. Distance travelled from the outset of their training to Graduation, as it is every year, was just a treat to see. Skills for life! Sincere thanks to the wonderful personnel from Compass Toastmasters who relate so well to our young people

 

5.  Tutorials available to our students :

  • Chemistry Tutorials are run each Wednesday and Friday in 1st break for students in years 11 and 12
  • Science Tutorials are run Tuesday and Thursday after school    3-4pm in our Library
  • Maths Tutorials are run each Wednesday afternoon 3-4pm
  • For students in years 7, 8 and 9 a quiet space in room E10 is available each first break for the purpose of catching up on homework/assessment

 

I remain very thankful to our teachers for giving of their own time to provide such assistance

 

6.  Parents/Carers of our Year 11 students – Monday 23 April is the date where every one of our Year 11 students participates in the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness [RYDA] program. You will have earlier received from your child the letter outlining this day – letter dated 6 March and returned your permission form – due back 23 March. A copy is also on our website. At the start of each year I write to all of our school based trainee employers and TAFE and affirm that our students will not be at work or TAFE on various required dates – this is one of them. Our Year 11s are well aware that participation in the day is mandatory. The participation fee is included in school fee payment each year such is the value placed on your child’s life – this training, every year, is rated so highly by our student participants. They learn so much about driving sensibly and safely. The delivery of the training is second to none.

 

7.  Our P and C Executive 2018 – at last month’s P and C AGM, it was such a delight to affirm the election of our Executive: President Wayne Heading, Vice President Alastair Webb, Secretary Amanda Hunt and Treasurer Charles Corbett. These good people, so busy with their ‘day jobs’ and families and yet they find time to work to create such enhanced facilities for our students and staff and look ahead to decision-making in a whole range of ways that keeps our great school at the forefront of quality education. As Principal, I very much enjoy each of these people and appreciate so much their goodwill. Our Executive and I would love to hear from any of our parents/carers who would be interested in working with us on Executive – always keen to embrace the next generation of parents/carers.

 

8.  School Magazine 2018 – if you have not yet placed your order for this year’s magazine, I invite you to contact staff in our Textbook Office to do so. It is such a classy publication and an amazing array of student faces and stories and reports – a memory for not only your lives as parents/carers but for your children as they move through their lives. How good is it when you pick up the school magazine 20 years on and see faces and read stories from way back then? A $30 investment

 

9.  Parents/Carers of our Year 7s – our school bucket hat, designed by last year’s student leadership group and in consult with the 2017 Year 7 group, has been adopted in full by every one of our 328 Year 7s. It is so wonderful to see students coming in and exiting from school wearing their hats; each break leaving the building with their hats on; on excursions with their hats on. Our Heads of Year 7 took great pains to have all students name their hats and for your understanding, indeed the requirement is that all Year 7s come in to the school and exit from the school each day wearing their hats. At school their Pastoral Care teachers discuss with students how to remember the requirement each day – it would be great if you would reinforce this at home and have a structure that assists your child’s memory in this regard. As discussed at length last year at P and C meetings, the strategy is for this year’s 7s to move into Year 8 in 2019 with embedded practice in wearing their hats as required and the same expectation and practice is instilled with the 2019 Year 7s and so on. The purchase of the bucket hat is also open to our older students and a large number have adopted its wearing

 

10.  If your child is absent from school – our current practice is for our Attendance Officer to send you a text message advising of your child’s absence – texts are sent by 10.30am each day. From day 1 of Term 2 ie Tuesday 17 April you will have the option of replying by text. The option to ring the absentee line stays so feel free to opt for whichever form of response suits

 

11.  The wonderful work of our Cleaning staff – we are indeed blessed to have the quality of people at our school who work tirelessly in the role of Cleaner. I explain clearly to our students how important it is to take responsibility for their personal behaviour so as not to add to the already demanding work of our Cleaning staff. Our students respond exceptionally well to this understanding. Visitors to our school comment regularly on the clean and tidy appearance as they walk through various areas. At first full parade after the holidays I will remind our students that chewing gum at school is not permitted. The temptation is to drop it on the ground, stick it to walls, place under desks and when that happens, it is left to our Cleaning staff to tend to – incredibly unhygienic, unacceptable personal behaviour and demeaning of our Cleaning staff. By no means is this practice of epidemic proportions at our school but it is time, our Cleaners advise me, to issue a clear reminder. For your awareness as families, should a student transgress in this area, the relevant Head of Year will make contact with you to set up after school times 3-4pm where our student will work alongside one of our Cleaners to experience just how hard and well they work and how important it is to respect such work through one’s own considerate behaviour. We always try and work with our families whenever after school contact occurs – while any school is permitted to detain students for a half hour after school, our families like the idea of less afternoons and so longer sessions. It has been my experience, in all cases, that such work – our student with our Cleaner – is pleasurable for both and great learning comes from it. What I do ask of your good selves is that you counsel your child to ensure he/she does not have chewing gum at school, on the way to and from school while in school uniform

 

2.  Welcome and Congratulations:

  • Mr Will Curthoys is our new Deputy Principal coming in behind Mr Ian Insley who is working all year as Principal of Crow’s Nest State School. Will has oversight of Year 9 and has already been out and about in all classes 

 

  • Mrs Sheri Dale, has been successful in applying for a Head of Department position at Pittsworth SHS and will be based there from this week through to the end of 2018.   

 

Wonderful opportunities for both people!

 

Very best wishes for the Easter break. Hard to believe we are at the end of Term 1 in the year 2018. When our students say the years go quickly – and they do – one gains a sense of the pace we keep.

Maryanne Walsh

Principal

 

 

 

 
February 20
Principal's blog 20 February 2018

Dear Families

 

1. What a rollicking start to the year. We have so  much enjoyed thus far:
 
- The Year 7 Meet and Greet where parents/carers of our newest cohort came in to see classrooms, chat with main teachers and hear what topics they have begun to study. It was great to see so many people enjoying each other
 
- Our Junior Swimming Carnival - fabulous! So well organised as usual by our Carnivals Coordinator Frank Dowling, supported so very well by our Student Sports Captains and Vice Captains and teaching and non-teaching staff. Overall attendance and participation on the day for Years 7, 8 and 9 was, both as required and expected, outstanding
 
- Year 12 Badge Ceremony – where we officially acknowledge our Seniors. Wonderful to see so many of their family members present and to catch up with parents with whom I have enjoyed relationships in all of their preceding years
 
- Year 7 Camp – as you read, our At School Camp and Away Camp are in process. Respective coordinators Chrissie Lodder and Dave McMillan have done an amazing job in providing the best experience for all of our 328 Year 7 students. My sincere thanks to our staff at the Away Camp who, through working at the Away Camp Monday to Thursday, are giving up significant time from their own families. I often reflect on the goodwill across all of our teaching and non-teaching staff – we are truly fortunate
 
2. Our CHSHS landscape to begin 2018:
- Student number of 1660: Year 7 – 328 students; Year 8 – 288 students; Year 9 – 292 students; Year 10 – 285; Year 11 - 201; Year 12 – 266
 
- Within that number of 1660, we have 236 students for whom English is a second language and 120 students with a verified disability – truly blessed with our diversity
 
- Staff number of teaching and non-teaching staff – 227
 
3. Q Parents:
I strongly recommend, if not already, you sign up to Q Parents. Why? You are able to so readily remotely access your child’s timetable, the status of your fees, your child’s attendance record and your child’s Assessment Planner – google Q Parents and it is easy to register. Later in the year, while we have previously mailed out documents like Assessment Planners, we will cease that practice in the knowledge you have ready access electronically. If you are a family that does not have digital access, let us know and we will be glad to provide hard copy documents as needed. We will continue to mail out report cards
 
4. Staffing changes in 2018:
- We welcome new Deputy Principals Kerri-Ann Frew and Will Curthoys. We congratulate Deputy Principal Ian Insley who is now working as Principal for 2018 at Crow’s Nest State School
 
- We also welcome 14 new teaching staff and a number of wonderful Teacher Aides who are working in classrooms with our students
 
5. The annual Toastmasters course for our student leaders has begun with graduation on 13 March – this is a super program each year where our student leaders work with the great members of Compass Toastmasters over seven Tuesday evenings to become so very confident in their body language and ability to speak in front of both small and large groups. No sense electing leaders unless one invests in their learning and capacity
 
6. I am requesting your understanding and co-operation:
- When you are driving in our school precinct please remember you are at the same time modelling responsible behaviour to our young people. Please do not park in the Southtown Shops carpark while you wait to collect your child nor for any of our large at school events. We enjoy a tremendous relationship with our shop neighbours and recognise that they have a living to earn which is supported by available car parks for their customers
 
- Please do not pull up and have your child jump in the car at positions that are not designated for parking – incredibly unsafe. I suggest you make an arrangement with your child that you will collect him/her from an agreed position in an outlying street
 
- There is a designated section on South Street for a two minute pick up and drop off – the timing is to allow as many members of our family community as possible to collect children with ease. If you park there, interminably, it is not fair to others not to mention it flaunts local traffic regulations
 
- I do not permit our students to remain at the Southtown Shop area [inclusive of all shops] after 3.15pm. The Deputy Principals and I monitor our students’ behaviour and respect to the wider community from school exit time up to and including 3.15pm and so exit from the area by then is essential. Our students understand that if parents/carers are not able to collect them from the shop area by 3.15pm they will re-position to our side of South Street as they wait for you
 
- On matters other than driver behaviour – should you wish to make contact with your child through a working day, by all means text which is a common method of communication however a reminder that our students are not permitted to access their phones during a lesson or walking between lessons. Best times to send messages is in our breaks: 11.15am – 11.55am and 1.15pm - 1.45pm
 
- A reminder that external people to our school, inclusive of our family members, are not permitted to enter the school grounds or buildings without having made a prior appointment and signed in at our main office. This is a Workplace Health and Safety requirement and of course a courtesy to our students and staff
 
7. For your awareness:
 
- Year 12 Exam Block dates – Wednesday 14 March through to Monday 19 March inclusive. Students are required at school for their specific exams [schedule will be placed on our website soon] but not at other times unless they have been instructed by their teacher/s as a result of having to catch up on schoolwork or they wish to access our Library for study purposes
 
- Free Dress Day Monday 5 March – all students are encouraged to participate as our student leaders use the gold coin donation required to participate to ‘save up’ and ultimately fund such great organisations like Toowoomba Hospice where our school has sponsored a room for the past four years [$4000 per room]. A reminder that all students are required to wear covered shoes and wear clothing that is modest and respectful. Singlet tops are not permitted. Pastoral Care teachers will check compliance at the start of the day. Should there be an issue staff will contact families to collect your child, head home to change and return as soon as possible
 
- With reporting coming up for Term 1 – if you see on your child’s report card that a teacher has indicated an R – it is a request for you to make contact with the teacher to discuss how you and our teacher might work together to lift engagement. Please respond with your contact as soon as possible as it is imperative that we remain connected in support of your child and our student
 
- On our website you will see a couple of documents that I believe you will find worthwhile – use the pathway Support and Resources – Parent Resources and you will see ‘Family Technology Charter’ which has the approval of the E Safety Commission and ‘Raising Hell – why bringing up kids in the age of social media is sending parents crazy’

Best wishes
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal

 

 

 

 

 

December 05
Principal's blog 5 December 2017

Dear Families:

 

Many recent wonderful occasions on which to reflect:
- Our Awards Night – a packed auditorium at HumeRidge, speeches by our students that impressed everyone in terms of their wonderful delivery, celebration for students who were presented with awards, the smooth running of the event by our School Captains and Vice Captains  - all features of a superb family occasion
- Our Flexi School Graduation/Awards and Formal – the most stunning celebrations both at the Empire Church theatre. A super mix of community members who give so much time to our students at Flexi, business people and organisations who provide scholarships to further learning and of course families, so proud
- Our mainstream Graduation and Formal – The Graduation was mixed with warmth, humour, reflection and was a stellar celebration for our young people. The Formal, for the first time at USQ given our number of 600, was a show of major proportions as we witnessed our young people absolutely transformed from the green uniform
- Excellent QCS results have come through for those year 12s who are OP eligible
- The Walker Film and TV Awards night which showcased the absolutely superb work of our students in years 11 and 12 and saw the introduction of the inaugural Bennett Zeller award in memory of our delightful Ben
- Our Christmas Choir singing at Bupa Mackenzie Street – an annual event and again this year, the effect for our lovely older generation was tangible – smiles everywhere
- Our Cross Cultural Captains 2018 Charlene Marom and Cynthia Zhang, along with fellow year 11 student Priyenka Menon, speaking as part of the Youth Panel at the recent  National Interfaith Conference held in Toowoomba. Their topic – how to respect people of all cultures and faiths in a diverse community. My goodness they were sensational to listen to
- Our Junior and Senior Gold Ceremonies – again, lovely to recognise so many of our students who continue to show respect for themselves, their families and their school
- Our Junior Captains and Vice Captains accompanying me to the recent White Ribbon Day Toowoomba Community Breakfast we are a dedicated White Ribbon Ambassador school which means within our school we talk about domestic and family violence, how to support our students in such situations, how to skill our students as ethical bystanders in terms of their actions to act protectively when they are aware of such situations and work with our students so they, as adults, do not become victims or perpetrators

 

Looking ahead to 2018:

 

- Day 1 of Term 1 is Monday 22 January and we welcome Year 7, 8 and 12 students that day. Day 2 – Tuesday 23 January - all students are required on this day and this means we are joined by our Year 9, 10 and 11 students. On their first day students in the respective year levels are required to wear full Formal Uniform inclusive of their black leather shoes
- BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] laptops for all students in Years 7-10 inclusive – in 2017 all of our Year 7s and 8s have been required to bring their own laptops to school. This has been a major success and is the strategy now employed by state secondary schools as the previous federal government funding for computers in schools has come to an end. In 2018, all students in Years 9 and 10 will join our Year 7s and 8s in terms of being required to bring a laptop to school. Our Year 11s and 12s are also already doing so. Families, please access our school website [on the home page under Quicklinks] to download the specifications required for when you purchase a laptop. The laptop you purchase should be a minimum of 128gb to allow for the work that needs to be done in working weeks in school – anything less will not cope with the software that will be installed in the on-boarding process by our Computer Technicians. Stay away from anything that is 32gb or 64gb. On-boarding – what is it? For a cost of $50 our students will be linked to our network and Office will be loaded on – saving hundreds of dollars to our families. So – do not buy anything with Office or Adobe on it already – our Computer Technicians will load these on when on-boarding. Screen size – best size is between 14 and 15.6 inches. Anything bigger may not fit into your child’s school locker. Also stay away from the $300 specials you may see advertised – these are normally coloured laptops – they just do not have the capacity needed. Investing in a second battery [around $50] is a good idea as well as a charging facility is not provided at school. Some of our students bring a version of the portable battery pack. I notice in Toowoomba there is currently a really good machine for sale for $797. It has storage of 1TB and a 15.6" screen. As I say though – go to our website and check all details
- If you have changed addresses please do let us know – we always like to think that what we post to you actually arrives and in a timely fashion
- Formal Uniform dates 2018 – these dates are scheduled for 2018 and will be in the mail-out that is posted this week. Please place those perhaps on your fridge at home so you are always aware. Heads of Year will also give the dates to their year level students in Week 1 2018. On these days the formal uniform is required to be worn in full. The dates are on our website under Calendar and News/Events Calendar
- 50th Anniversary of our school – again check our website [on the home page under Quicklinks] but Saturday 28 April past students have a tour and a lunch;  Sunday 29 April past and current staff have a lunch and a Community Fair is planned for Sunday 4 November with market stalls, food and drink, outdoor theatre at night. From 90 students in 1968 to 1673 students in 2018. Overwhelming!

 

Thank you to you all, on behalf of all of our staff, for what has felt like such a quick year but one packed with the joy of young people, their happiness and their success.
 
Maryanne Walsh

 

Principal

 

September 11
Principal's blog 11 September 2017

Dear Families
 
School Social was recently held in our Hall Wednesday 13 September. Our student leadership group, particularly the year 11 contingent who have direct oversight of that event, did an absolutely marvellous job in planning, budgeting, preparing and cleaning up. It was such fun for hundreds of our students and a great way to finish the term
 
Term 3 report cards will be posted to be received over these holidays. Please take a close look at whether any of your child’s teachers are requesting an interview with you. If so I urge you to contact our school to make a time. The fact that a teacher will ask to meet with you suggests he/she sees the need to be greater than that of a phone call and important to ensure your child engages to the best of his/her ability. As always with our parent interviews around engagement/performance, please bring your child with you
 
Congratulations to our USQ Head Start graduates – earlier this term we celebrated 11 of our students graduating their programs in a range of disciplines: Biology; Cinematic Language; Economics; Foundation Psychology; Corporate Finance; Engineering and Spatial Science Applications; Marketing; Language, Culture and Customs; Physics and Scriptwriting. The Head Start program is open to students for participation in Semester 2 Year 11 and Semester 1 Year 12. Such a great initiative from USQ which allows our students to taste university life and, in successfully completing their subjects, take off time in the length of their university course once they actually begin such post school
 
Wonderful celebration recently for our teaching and non-teaching staff who have achieved 30 - 40 year milestones in their careers in education. When I look at the calibre of these good people I am just so thankful that they have influenced the lives of our youth. What is crucial in education is to build positive relationships with students so that they are encouraged to learn to the best of their ability and most importantly to keep abreast of new trends in knowledge. I hold these people in the greatest of regard for their dedication to our young people and the profession of teaching in general
 
Director General of Education Jim Watterston was in Toowoomba recently to visit our Flexi School. He has in a number of forums over time labelled our Flexi School as world’s best practice in re-engaging young people into education. As Jim rightly says, ‘every child and young person deserves the chance to succeed’.  There are times where students are not well enough physically or mentally to participate in a mainstream program. What Flexi provides, courtesy of our exceptional teaching and non-teaching staff, is a small, individually case managed environment where students may still attain their Queensland Certificate of Education and re-build capacity and confidence. The destinations of our graduates include USQ; TAFE; fulltime apprenticeships and/or fulltime work. Wide involvement from business people and community groups is an underpinning of the ongoing success of our Flexi. Such a fabulous program
 
We start term 4 with a full formal uniform day for all year levels on Friday 6 October. The remainder of required formal uniform days are on our website
 
Best wishes
 
Maryanne Walsh
Principal
August 03
Principal's blog 3 August 2017

Dear Families

1. Wonderful again to see so many families engaged in our parent/student/teacher afternoon/evening. I appreciate very much the time you take in support of your child/children and equally appreciate the time our staff take to be so well prepared for discussion. Importantly, the child is present for such discussions as it is only then that the conversation makes the difference – as we know, parent and teacher could chat forever about the potential of the child but it is folly not to include the ‘main player’ – the student

2. For your interest:

-  Our 2016 School Annual Report is up on our website. State schools are required to post the annual report for the previous year by 30 June of the following year. It lists facts and figures for the year gone as well as looking ahead to the year to follow

- Speaking of the year to follow [which is the year 2017]  in relation to facilities, plans continue to be formed for the building of a Performing Arts Centre, complete refurbishment of our Art precinct and refurbishment and extensions to our Hospitality facilities. As these plans firm I will be more specific but suffice to say the cost will be 10.5 million dollars in capital works augmented by further multiple thousands of dollars as allocated by the Department of Education and Training. These improved and enhanced facilities will be mostly in place to begin 2019 and prepare us for the year 2020 when our school is mooted to grow to 1750 students and near 300 teaching and non-teaching staff

- On our website, in the Quick Links section, you will see information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS] covering all aspects of how NDIS will work for parents and carers of a child with a disability

3. Safety of our students:

-  I have confirmed with our students [and why] that I do not permit them to be in local parks, in particular Lake Annand before or after school while in school uniform. They also understand that our students are not permitted to change out of their school uniform on exit from school rather they are to travel to and from school in full uniform. In monitoring this over the past weeks it is no surprise to me, and something for which I am always thankful, that there is 100% compliance with this directive. Families, this is not a new situation – I have always been clear that our students come to school and go home from school directly other than of course where they have alternate arrangements where they might meet families or the like. In recent times our local police, with whom we enjoy a very positive relationship, have advised me that some of the parks local to the school have served as areas where illegal drugs are exchanged and/or used – it is best that our students stay right away from those who see young people as a ‘captive audience’

Do you drop off and/or or pick up your child in Catto street? The other week there was a serious accident near the corner of South and Catto streets. It occurred at the busy time of afternoon where a number of our students were waiting for pick up. A car had turned the corner from South into Catto, at speed, the driver lost control and smashed into a fence. Some of our students were sitting only meters away. Exceptionally lucky that there was no injury. To this end Catto street neighbours contacted me to say that there had been other dangerous behaviours with drivers compromising the safety of our students – pulling up illegally too close to the intersection to collect children, speeding around the corner etc. In order to keep our students safe I have directed them to wait for pick up and be dropped off well into Catto street, nowhere near the intersection. Our staff on bus duty of an afternoon have worked with our students to ensure that has been happening and, as always, our students have been excellent in their understanding and cooperation. As parents/carers I ask that you observe the same protocol in terms of drop-off and pick-up ie drive well into Catto street and do not pull up anywhere near the intersection. I do appreciate your understanding

- Our Athletics Carnival comes up this week – full day Wednesday 9 August and a host of related events on Tuesday 8 August throughout the afternoon. As with every year and such events, given it is a school day, student attendance is mandatory. Please ensure your child brings sun protection. I do realise that participation in athletics is not suited to everyone and for that very reason the day is shaped so that there is something for everyone regardless of aptitude in this area. Students have a wonderful time with each other and their teachers and as I say always to our students, the mark of respect shown for the incredible amount of hours put in by our student and staff organisers, is through their attendance. Because of this clearly articulated expectation to our students we have very few absences on the day with a follow up text message requesting explanation being communicated to parents whose child is absent

 
- Year 10 to 11 subject selection evening Monday 14 August from 6pm through to 7pm in our Hall – our year 10 students understand that if they are contemplating returning to Year 11 in 2018, participation in this evening is required – such is the importance of sharing the information regarding the very different nature of Years 11 and 12. So much for parents to know!  Your child also understands that he/she will sit with you – this lends itself to the conversations that will naturally unfold as the information is shared. Students will have a sign on sheet to sign at the front of the Hall. I cannot stress enough to you the importance of this night in terms of assisting our Year 10s to make the best possible choices around subject selection and future pathways. From 5.15pm on in our Library on the same night you will see a host of people from local businesses and educational organisations showing what they have to offer to further your child’s pathway – this was a huge success last year. You are most welcome to begin your night in our Library
 
USQ Scholarships for our Year 12s – this year there are 2 types – the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarships which reward academic achievement and the Future Community Leaders Scholarships which recognise potential for community leadership. There is no longer a Principal’s Recommendation Guaranteed Entry element. All information, including application forms, is now up on the USQ website. Have a look also at the offering to Year 9 and 10 students who are interested in Science – a three day experience during the September holidays run by the Science Schools Foundation
 

4. Eisteddfod performances have been beyond amazing – I invite you to look at our website for specific detail about results but what an absolute pleasure it has been to see the quality of performance and the enjoyment for our students. I acknowledge here the commitment of our students and their families and skill and dedication of our teachers Jess Johansen and Jeff Poole. Further on Performing Arts – I have not seen anything quite like the recent Creative Generation [C Gen] for State Schools on Stage which was held at the Brisbane Convention Centre. As I have written to our staff, to see a 700 strong choir in action and synchronise for 2 hours with the most wonderful singers, dancers and musicians from primary, special and secondary schools around the State took my breath away. The fact that these students experienced the mentoring of famous artists in the week leading up to the event was an experience of a lifetime for our 9 students and I have no doubt every one of the other 1491 students involved. Absolutely extraordinary. Upcoming in C Gen is the State Final for Voices and our Choir which is one of 5 schools across the State to perform in the Final on 17 August at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Best regards

Maryanne Walsh

Principal

 
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