Headmaster's Weekly Address

18-May-2017


Over the first few weeks of Term II, I took the opportunity, when time permitted, to visit several classes at Heyington. Observing colleagues in practice is a fascinating thing. Each of us is so different in how we go about our craft; and, while there might well be similarities to our method, no teacher is exactly like another. It’s one of the beauties of education: that students are exposed to so many different personalities and characters throughout their adolescent education, is an education in itself. What is undeniable in the classrooms on which I’ve called recently is that the boys’ teachers – all of them – care so strongly for each of their students and the education they deliver to them.

In the coming weeks, all students in Years 7 to 12 will be invited to complete Student Feedback Surveys. The responses the boys give to the questions provide excellent advice to the academic staff about how the students see their teachers. For the staff, we are given an insight into our strengths and areas of improvement, from the boys’ perspective. After all, it is they who see us in action on an almost-daily basis. Teachers use the results of the survey in many ways; however, they are chiefly used so that we can target specific areas of our practice where, in conjunction with our own knowledge of ourselves, we can enhance our performance as educators. Our own professional learning goals are important because, as professionals, we believe that we’ve a commitment to continue to learn and to develop and to grow within our wonderful vocation, all with the purpose of improving the quality of the education St Kevin’s boys receive. 

Last Monday afternoon, the Science Faculty hosted its annual Junior Science Conference in the Smith Hall. The venue was a-buzz with the enthusiasm of the Middle School students who demonstrated and explained their Science Talent Search projects to their families, friends and teachers. To see science in action is something at which to marvel, and a far cry from the really rather pedestrian way in which science was taught and learnt in 1980 when I was in Year 8. My thanks to all involved in that wonderful venture!

So many families, students and teachers saw the VCE Theatre Studies play in Week 4. This year, the boys from Ms Christie’s Theatre Studies class took the decision to perform the all-male classic, Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose. The 1954 play, which was, of course, originally written for live American television, is a strong example of naturalism, and deals with ideas associated with racial and social inequality. The Year 12 fellows are to be congratulated on their direction, production, staging and artistic interpretations of this challenging and mature drama. 

NAPLAN has once again been held for another year across the entire country for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It is an enormous undertaking. The testing in literacy and numeracy provides the boys, their families and schools the opportunity to discover where students’ strengths and deficiencies lie in these two key areas of student learning. Most importantly, the results for each individual student are best used when looking at student growth across the five assessable areas of the testing instruments. As a P-12 school, we had some 718 boys sitting for NAPLAN on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For the administration and facilitation of these three-day tests, I’d like to extend my thanks to Mr Wong at Glendalough, Mrs Wallace at Heyington and Mr Crompton at Waterford: the smooth-running of NAPLAN for such a large cohort of students is important for the boys’ confidence and the accuracy of their achievement. 

On Saturday of this week, I look forward to seeing our boys on the football and soccer ovals. It is an all-Catholic affair this fixture. I know that those boys who choose to come along to Heyington to cheer on their peers will do so in a manner that befits St Kevin’s students and our standard of support, no matter what the end result.

 Headmaster's Study Awards
 Year 10 French  Matthew Griggs
    Thomas Woods 
Philosophy Jack O'Malley 
     
Year 11 French  Simon Cosgrove 
    Luis Fennessy 
    Cyrus Raki 
    Anthony Salib

Kind regards


Mr Gary Jones
Director of Studies

St Kevin's College will nurture boys to become strong in their inner selves, to be confident, resilient and optimistic
about their future.
(from the Mission Statement)