Monthly Archives: June 2016

Semester one Musings

As we come towards the end of term two it is an opportune time for me to reflect on my first semester at Kardinia. My immediate thought is that we cannot possibly already be at the end of the semester! Kardinia is one of those schools that is constantly on the move with so much happening both during the school day and with our co-curricular program. Kardinia students certainly have a “buffet” when it comes to opportunities and most of our students take full advantage of the opportunities that they are presented with.

When I arrived at Kardinia everyone told me that our students were something special and having experienced Kardinia first hand now I would absolutely agree. Our students really are our greatest asset and a tremendous endorsement of the environment (home and school) in which they live. It is a delight to walk into classrooms and see engaged, curious students interacting collaboratively and respectfully with their fellow students and teachers. This theme of respect is also evident to anyone walking around the College and is something that numerous visitors have commented upon to me this year.

Of course even with great students a school may still not truly be regarded as outstanding because a school can only ever be as good as the teachers and support staff that work there day in and day out. Kardinia is fortunate to have a group of highly dedicated and professional educators who truly do put the interests of students at the forefront of everything that they do. You only have to look at the amount of work that goes into preparing a lesson and providing multiple learning opportunities for students to realise that Kardinia is blessed with outstanding educators. This dedication is also evident in our co-curricular commitment opportunities such as Westside story, drama evenings, camps, excursions, sporting events, cultural events, environmental events, family events and social events.

Finally, my impression of Kardinia parents, whether they be from individual meetings, school events, social occasions or parent development board meetings, is that our parents are highly supportive of the school and who are committed to providing the very best educational opportunities they can to their children. I would also say that a common request that I have heard is to have greater parent voice in the College. We have discussed this at parent development board meetings and as a direct result are reviewing the constitution and charter of the parent development board with the aim to provide greater voice into Kardinia for parents. Further information regarding this development will be shared with parents in term 3.

In summary, my reflections of Kardinia are that we are a highly successful school with outstanding students who are supported, challenged and encouraged by their parents, their teachers and the entire school community. Surely the perfect ingredients for us to take the next step towards being recognised globally as a world leading school. This theme of going from good to great to exceptional (sorry Jim Collins for adding the “exceptional”) will form the basis of the strategic plan that we are currently working on for 2017-2020. I have encouraged the various groups working on the plan to dream big and to set BHAGS (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals) as we step boldly into the next phase of our development.

I look forward to sharing these plans with parents throughout the second semester and developing quality partnerships with our wider community over the coming years.

Have a great break!

David

The role of Reflection in Education

 

 Reflection

Educators know the importance of reflection and encourage the use of reflection in their students on a daily basis. Reflection not only assists academic development but also social development. Reflection is both an active process, students reflecting on their work as it is being conducted, and a passive process, students reflecting on their work after it has been completed.

 

As we approach the end of semester and the distribution of reports, it is perhaps timely for students and parents to reflect on both the work that the students are currently engaged in and the summative report itself which attempts to distil the learning and attainment that has taken place over the previous semester. This reflection is vital for students to be able to set learning goals for the remainder of the year as well as long term goals for our senior students.

 

The following are some examples of “dinner time” discussion starters that parents might find useful in supporting their children to reflect on their learning and to set new goals.

 

How much did you know about the unit before this semester?

What was your biggest learning during this unit?

What did you find challenging in this unit?

What will you know be able to do with your learning from this unit?

How is what you learnt during this unit connected to other areas?

What is one thing you would like to improve upon?

Who could help you with this?

Can you teach us something you learnt in this unit?

 

Have a great week!

 

David