What I thought I would focus on in this edition is the planning that has gone into 2016 and some of the exciting things that will occur from the start of next year.
Timetabling - with increased enrolments, equity funding from the government and some creative timetabling, we have been able to add several exciting elements to our 2016 timetable. Recent student and parent feedback is for the need for a stronger music program and a greater focus on science. We have been able to achieve both for 2016.
By day 1 2016 we will have appointed the school's new Music/Performing Arts teacher and that person will teach each class for a period of music each week for the whole year. (unfortunately the previously appointed Performing Arts teacher has not been able to fulfil this position in 2016).
Jill Peterson has been appointed as the school's new Visual Arts teacher and will teach each class for a period of art each week for the whole year.
Esther Costa, who has done a wonderful job combining Performing Arts, Visual Arts and LOTE (Languages Other Than English - in our case Italian) (plus one day per week in the classroom!) in 2015, will return to the classroom full time in 2016, as well as leading Italian throughout the school. Italian will become part of the classroom teacher's role, however Ms Costa will play a leading role by training staff, providing online tutorials for classes to view and by providing resources throughout the school.
Kerryn Driscoll will become a specialist science teacher in 2016, ensuring each class receives a stand alone science session each week for the whole year. Some science elements will still be covered by classroom teachers in Inquiry sessions, however Kerryn's role will allow students to go deeper into specific areas of science.
We are very excited about these new possibilities for student learning in 2016. We thank parents for feedback, particularly our terrific School Council, as this has played a large part in our school's direction.
Staffing - countless hours have gone into our recruiting for 2016. Staffing is hugely important to the success of a school and Brent and I have left no stone unturned in finding the right fit for CSPS. We welcome the following staff 'on board' for 2016:
Emma Thompson - Year 5/6 classroom teacher
Molly Murray - Year 1/2 classroom teacher
Liz Hales - Physical Education
Jill Peterson - Visual Arts
The other very important aspect of sustained success is consistency of staff. In 2016, we have all of our current staff returning, which is a fantastic sign of the staff culture we currently have.
I wish everybody a wonderful Christmas and holiday period. Please stay safe and enjoy time with your family. I look forward to seeing you all for day 1 of 2016!!!