Dear Parents, Families and Students,

In this, my first reflection for 2018, I extend a warm welcome to our new students and their families to the John Fawkner College Community, and a happy new year to our continuing students and their families. I look forward to meeting with you all, and to having a productive and satisfying year of teaching and learning. I am particularly excited by the prospect of embedding the Fawkner Model and launching our new Vision and Values, which guides and shapes our approach and work as a College.

The school year commenced with students returning to classes in a gradual manner, staggered by year level over two days. I am pleased to report that our new year 7 students started well and are a sharp presence in their fresh uniforms. Our newest students are settling quickly into the rhythms and routines of the college and are applying themselves well to their class work and other activities. At the start of week 2, officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) visited the College and engaged with all students by presenting a series of workshops on bullying, and personal and cyber safety. I thank the AFP for their valuable work with all of our students.

Staffing

As the new school year commences, I am pleased to be able to welcome a number of new teaching colleagues to our staff, as well as extend a welcome to continuing staff who are returning from long term leave. Ms. Maria Hristova joins the team as a Leading Teacher and will be advancing and directing the College’s Teaching and Learning activities. Mr. Anthony Ricciardo joins us to lead the Student Wellbeing team and also has carriage of Student Integration services. Ms. Seri Pitman will be teaching Humanities and English. I also welcome Ms. Lorraine Reilly who has returned from extended leave and is teaching Media and English. Last but not least, I also welcome back Ms. Beth Perry, who has also been on extended leave and returns to duties in the Main Office.

School Council Elections

I refer you to the information concerning school council elections. Please read this information carefully. Participation in School Council is an excellent way of helping to shape the direction of the College and to support your children. Should you have any questions or need more information about election to School Council membership, please do not hesitate to contact me at school by telephone or contact our Executive Assistant, Ms. Kathy Miller, should you wish to make an appointment to speak with me personally.

Teachers as Leaders of Learning

Over the holiday break and late in 2017, College teachers were busy researching and beginning the discussion on revising how we teach at John Fawkner College. As the year progresses, students can expect to see many changes and improvements in the lesson structures being used at JFC, as well as providing students with more of an opportunity to reflect on their own learning, as well as giving feedback directly to their teachers on what works best for them.

Students as Learners

SRC meetings have commenced already and members of the committee are now working towards teaming up and discussing how they can best influence change at JFC. The areas that student leaders will be working on in 2018 will include, promoting student attendance, improving teacher – student feedback, providing advice to staff on the development of curriculum, and other important aspects of the school. Further to this, a team of staff is also currently researching best practice and timetable structures that we will consider implementing in 2019.

Community of Learners

The first round of Parent Teacher Interviews for 2018 is approaching quickly, and is scheduled for Tuesday 27 March. Information about this event will be placed on Compass and it is very important that every parent attend with their son or daughter to discuss progress and how we can best work together to improve their learning outcomes. Please add this important date to your diary now. The learning relationship between school – parents – students will only work if we do it together and continue our constructive conversations about learning.

I wish you all a successful year of learning in 2018!

Mark Natoli
College Principal