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The Calwell High School newsletter - Week 3, Term 2 2019

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Principal's Report - Welcome to Term 2!

Dear parents and carers

It has been a very busy and very positive start to the term. Over the first two weeks we have held an excellent student led ANZAC Commemoration service in week 1; and last week, The Calwell Experience: Try High School for a Day for students in years 5&6.

This week, on Wednesday we had a very successful Open Night. It was delightful to meet so many parents who are considering Calwell High as an option for their children. Choosing a high school for your child is a big decision and I was pleased to showcase the great educational opportunities we provide for young people at Calwell. Feedback from parents was very positive. Many families commented on the excellent facilities at our school and the engaging programs available for students. Many families praised us for the friendliness and helpfulness of our students. They were fine ambassadors for our school and visitors were impressed by the manner in which they were greeted and assisted by them.

I would also like to sincerely thank our staff for making the evening such a success. If you have friends or relatives with children in year 6 who are yet to decide on their child’s secondary schooling for 2020, please encourage them to contact me and I will be very happy to discuss the many opportunities and programs we have available at Calwell for their child. Simply call us on 6142 1930 and request an appointment to see me.

Staff changes

This term we welcome back Ms Stacey Griffiths as head of our Science/Technology learning areas. Stacey has been on maternity leave and we are delighted she is back with us. I want to acknowledge with appreciation the fine work done by Ms Jodi Adams leading the faculty in Stacey’s absence.

I would like to welcome our new Visual Arts teacher, Deb Walkenhorst. Deb is a very experienced educator with a strong passion for Visual Arts and we are delighted to have her with us as part of the Arts team.

In our last newsletter, I announced my retirement which will be at the end of this term. A number of students and parents have asked about who will be replacing me. Our Directorate has a merit selection process which will be underway soon to identify the new principal. This process will occur through the balance of the term with the aim to have the new principal ready to start at the beginning of next term. I will provide an update in our next newsletter.

NAPLAN testing

This week students in years 7&9 have been sitting the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). These are important assessments as they provide parents and carers, and teachers critical information about each student’s level of literacy and numeracy development. Students have completed their assessments online, so thank you to our students for bringing their Chromebook computers with them, fully charged.

At Calwell, one of the priorities in our school’s 5-year Improvement Plan is to build a strong learning culture. Improving improve literacy and numeracy is an important element of this. In September, we receive the results which we then analyse in detail to identify areas of strength as well as areas for further development.

While the results are an important snapshot of literacy and numeracy, it must be understood that they do not define the overall educational achievement of each student. A Calwell education is about the development of the whole child – academic, social, physical and as a young citizen.

At the end of the term, you will be receiving semester 1 reports for your child. Student achievement in all subjects will be assessed using an A-E scale.

All learning areas are assessed using the nationally agreed Achievement Standard for each year group and will be clearly marked as Australian Curriculum subjects. Students who meet the Achievement Standard in these subjects will receive a ‘C’. Students who exceed the Achievement Standard will receive either an ‘A’ or a ‘B’.

Please contact me if you have any concerns about your child’s report. I will be very happy to discuss your concerns with you.

Parent /Teacher interviews will be held on Tuesday 28 May from 4.30-6.30pm in our Performing Arts Centre.

Best wishes

Bruce McCourt


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Cross Country

As we go to press today we have just run our 2019 Cross Country event.

It has been great to see so many dedicated runners ready to do their best and represent themselves and their houses today!

A thank you to our Physical Education team for their organisation and for giving us such great weather today! (we had to postpone our last attempt due to rain)...

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Korean Embassy excursion

On Friday 10 May, 25 of our amazing Korean language students were invited to the South Korean Embassy to take part in an official Ban Gap (greeting) Day celebration.

Our students joined students from Gold Creek School, Gunghalin College, and Narrabundah College to take part in cultural events, an amazing lunch, and an in-depth look at what makes Korea such a different country and one worthy of study.

Each school was invited to demonstrate what they had been learning about Korea this year and we witnessed amazing dances, historical plays, and lovely speeches. When it was our student's turn they presented themselves beautifully. The Ambassador could not believe that our students had only been studying the Korean language this year.

Our students then delighted the audience with a taekwondo demonstration with our helpers from Rhee Taekwondo. The crowd was very impressed.

A big thank you to our Korean teacher, Ms. Jee Lee and all of our students on the day. They did themselves and the school proud.

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Calwell Showcase 2019

Our students are already busy rehearsing for our 2019 Arts Showcase where their skills in drama, music, and dance will be on display again!

This event is the cultural highlight of Calwell High School and tickets will go fast. Details are below!

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Open Night dazzles again!

On Wednesday 15 May we held our annual Open Night to welcome prospective students and their parents to our school as part of the ACT Education Directorate's enrolment process.

Feedback was extremely positive and our student leaders were amazing as guides and helpers on the night.

A highlight again was the effort our Hospitality students made to ensure our guests were well fed! To see them in their white uniforms was a sight to behold, gliding down corridors with their trays laden with snacks!

It was great to see so many families from NSW visiting to see what we had to offer. We are looking forward to a great number of enrolments in 2020.

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Parent/ Teacher evening

Tuesday, May 28th, 4:30-6:30pm

111 Casey Crescent

Calwell, ACT

Our second parent-teacher evening of the year is a wonderful opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to take some time to sit and plan ahead to ensure the best learning takes place. The event is held after school in our Performing Arts Centre.

To make a booking for the evening please follow the link below:


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Science, Digital Technologies and Food Technologies

I am excited to be returning from maternity leave to the Science and Technologies Executive Teacher role. Jodi Adams has done an amazing job in the role and the students and staff are very grateful to the work she has put in to continue to build and grow a strong Science and Technologies team. It has been exciting to see so many familiar students faces as well as to get to meet lots of new students who have been going about some incredible learning in the faculty. I am currently part-time, so if you are wanting to contact me on a Wednesday please either email or speak with Courteney May who is looking after the faculty on that day.

This term we have the applications for the Science and Technologies Extension program open again. This program is designed to allow our students with a passion in Science and/or Digital Technologies to have their learning extended and enriched. Students need to apply as there are only 30 spaces in this program. Applications were extended to Friday the 17th, however, if your child missed the information please email Stacey.griffiths@ed.act.edu.au and we can arrange for a late application to be considered. Successful applicants get to participate in extra excursions, are linked with mentors and can choose to participate in an after-school program in Term 3 and 4. Digital Tech participants may choose to take a Raspberry Pi kit home to build their own minicomputer (or a gaming station for Mr. Van!). All participating students remain in their mainstream classes but are given extension work where appropriate. They may also negotiate to submit a personal project in lieu of other class assessment items.

Our Hospitality VET students will be receiving a letter in Week 4 outlining the upcoming catering events and the number of hours they need to participate in a Hospitality setting to attain a Certification in Hospitality. Not only will the students are gaining work skills by participating in these events, they will be working towards the attainment of a qualification which is recognised across Australia!

We are currently, the only school in Tuggeranong that is offering a Certificate II in Hospitality to High School students, and we very proud of the huge commitment and the amount of work that these students are putting in.

Our eSports class has been working hard on finishing up their digital portfolios that they started in Term 1. Students who successfully complete the eSports I course may apply for eSports II in Semester 2. This course is heavily focused on the gaming aspect of eSports (rather than the Digital Tech side of eSports I), and students who are in this course will be competing in online gaming with students in Sweden, Norway, and Korea (not to mention that they will be establishing a high school league in Tuggeranong!). If your child is interested in a Digital pathway, they may also apply for Digital Portfolios. This course will allow them to design and run a digital project with support from a teacher and industry leaders.

I look forward to seeing you all again at parent/ teacher night in week 5,

Stacey Griffiths

Science and Technologies Executive Teacher

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ACT Government transport free month of travel coming to an end

Transport Canberra’s new public transport network will start on Monday 29 April 2019, offering one month of free travel. This will transform the way we move around our city and make Canberra better connected. Routes and timetables have changed with the introduction of light rail and more buses, more often, 7 days a week.
To find out how Canberra’s network is changing or to plan your future trip using the TC Journey Planner visit www.transport.act.gov.au
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Support from the Smith Family

Could you benefit from a saving plan that matches your investment dollar for dollar if it is going to be used for educational purposes? See the ad below for more details.
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Feedback on the new bus network

The ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations (the peak body for the school’s P&C) is collating feedback on travelling to school using the new bus network. They would like to hear from any public-school parents, carers or students about difficulties or concerns and will represent these to Transport Canberra. Send a message with your specific feedback to contact@actparents.org.au.