Dear Parents/Caregivers

Firstly, thank-you for choosing Yarrawonga College P-12 as your child/children’s education provider.  There are a number of reasons for you to be very pleased with your decision.

We began the year like a whirlwind, moving into new Administration and P-4 buildings that were finished just in time to see us moving resources in on the last few days of the summer break.  The effort over the break and towards the end of last year has certainly paid off for the students and teachers who are experiencing brand new flexible space classrooms.  The level of teacher and student interactions that enhance learning are higher than they have ever been at the P-4 stage of our college.

Throughout the year you will have noticed additional resources land across the P-8 area of the college including a new front fence, fence between the cemetery and P-4 Campus, new Playgrounds at P-4, new shade sails at P-4, extension of staff car park at P-4, Workshop Shed, grassed area between administration and 5-8, Hayshed at 5-8 and new covered Basketball Court at 5-8.  We also saw all ceilings replaced in the Western Wing of the 9-12 Campus.

The P-4 Campus have settled into their new buildings and surrounds and as mentioned earlier, we will continue to improve play spaces outside.  There has been some great learning in the Foundation (Prep to Year 2) area of the college.  Our state wide testing results are very competitive with the overall average in Year 3 NAPLAN, which is a credit to the dedication of our teachers.  Our Year 3/4 Team continued to make slight improvements in student learning as witnessed by Year 5 NAPLAN and we will continue to work on continuous improvement in the best interests of our students.

We are very proud of the improvement our 5-8 Campus has made in respect to student learning outcomes.  The Campus began five years ago with very little infrastructure, the campus lacked play spaces and shaded areas.  In the winter it was too wet to play on the oval and playground and in the summer it was too hot because of a lack of shade.  There were enormous challenges that the teachers worked through with innovative solutions to provide places and spaces for students to both learn and play.  This year’s results indicate that some amazing gains have been made in teaching and learning and it is something our entire community should be very proud of.

Our learning achievement across all campuses continued to improve according to state wide measures of NAPLAN, so too did our student opinions of the college.  We have student satisfaction results across all campuses that are above State, Like Schools and schools within our Network (Northern Goulburn).  The improvement witnessed this year has been testament to a lot of hard work by all staff at the college and clearly demonstrates our commitment to putting the student first.

Please have a look at the results through the following link; https://yarrawonga.vic.edu.au/naplan-and-attitudes-to-school-results/

Our staffing profile for the 2019 school year will continue to grow, we have successfully employed the following additional positions;

  • Student Engagement & Wellbeing Leading Teacher P-4
  • Student Engagement & Wellbeing Leading Teacher Year 5 – 8 Campus
  • Campus Principal Years 5 – 8
  • College Counsellor based at Year 5 – 8 Campus
  • Senior Mathematics/Science classroom teacher

 Currently we are in the process of advertising extra positions to create and support classroom structures across the college;

  • Three Prep to Year 6 classroom teacher positions
  • One Home Economics/Physical Education or English Method classroom teacher

That will be an additional seven positions within our college in 2019, which, demonstrates remarkable growth in our student enrolment and confidence in the programs our college offers.

The 9-12 Campus continues to grow opportunities for students to develop themselves into life-long resilient learners that are well equipped for further study or a future career.  The outcomes in this area of our college are at a high level with many entries into University and great career entry programs ensuring that all of our students end up in either employment or further study.  There are great opportunities for students to develop themselves personally through overseas travel programs, two of those higher profile programs include School for Student Leadership (China) and Kokoda Trek (Papua New Guinea).  We are also looking to grow our travel opportunities to include Gallipoli.  The feedback around both of these programs from all parents is excellent.  Keep an eye out for these programs as your child progresses through the college.

As a college we are building confidence in our processes to ensure that students will have a seamless journey from Prep to Year 12.  This year’s Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) focused heavily on six areas for improvement, including;

  • Creating a whole school Prep to Year 12 focus on Literacy using the Literacy Strategy
  • Building teacher capacity to differentiate teaching to challenge and ensure progress for every student
  • Enhancing the capacity of staff to collaborate and match teaching practice with physical facilities
  • Developing personalised learning for students to stimulate interest, curiosity, promote questioning & connect learning to the real world
  • Embedding student voice and agency in student learning
  • Developing approaches to build school pride

There has been a lot of improvement focused work take place over the school year and I am confident that we are beginning to see the rewards of the hard work and dedication of our leaders and teachers across the college.  The improvement of student satisfaction across Prep to Year 12 is a clear indication that we are working towards our students taking pride in the college.  I am extremely pleased to see that students clearly believe that their teachers care about them and that they have high expectations of them.  Please refer to the link on the previous page.

Currently we have teams of teachers and leaders reviewing college performance against the 2018 AIP and beginning to set priorities for improvement in the 2019 AIP.  Some of the obvious priorities will be improvement in writing from Year 3 to Year 9, high relative growth in the Year 3/4 area, responsive parent communication, improved student voice, reporting structure, developing a clear vision and re-visiting our Values.

Thank-you for your support over the past two and a half years, I appreciate it.  The college has worked towards and obtained some brilliant results in targeted areas thanks to the hard work and dedication of many people.  Please take the time to have a look at the learning improvement through the provided links, I am very proud of our students and staff for their hard work towards continuous improvement.

Kind Regards

Damien Keel
College Principal