Hello, and welcome to my blog

From time to time I hope to share with you my observations and insights into the journey we are taking at Birdwood. We are always looking to help students own their learning and to take risks. I hope to keep you informed on our achievements and challenges.

Regards,

Heather Makris
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Published on Monday, 08 May 2017

The second half of Term1 2017 continued our event rich tradition with Sports Day, our Echizen Study Tour from Japan, International Women’s Day, Harmony Day, Year 8 and 9 'Presenting Evidence of Learning' (PEoL), Open Day and our Governing Council AGM. Our student, Prefects, House Captains have demonstrated impressive leadership skills when organising and taking a leadership role in many of these events. We can all be very proud of their achievements as well as our VET Hospitality students who enthusiastically catered for the events.

 

Year 8/9 PEoL

Research shows that parent involvement with their students’ progress can make a significant difference. We would like to thank the parents and friends who participated in their child’s learning and being part of the outcomes that were achieved.  We know showcasing learning outcomes are important to a child’s learning and we would welcome you to cease the opportunity to provide us with authentic feedback. Please forward your feedback to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Year 10 PEoL and Senior School Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences

On the 9th and 10th of May the Year 10 PEoL will take place. Students will present and showcase reflections on their learning to significant individuals in their lives; parents, caregivers and teachers and set their goals for Term 2.

On 16th and 17th May we will hold our Year 11 /12 Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews. We encourage all families to seize the opportunity to talk with subject teachers about how we can work together to support your son or daughter to achieve their personal best. Subject teachers particularly need to see any student who has a ‘D’ or ‘E’ grade or who is not maximising their potential to achieve the best possible outcomes in SACE.

We know that to get the best outcomes for your son or daughter it is essential that students attend these interviews. They need to contribute their perspectives and to hear what teachers have to say about their strengths and areas for development. If there are matters that you would like to discuss privately then this can be arranged.

Year 9 Camp

Fifty Year 9 students will travel to a chilly Ballarat for a 4 day camp in Week 6 as part of the Australian Curriculum History topic 'Australia and Asia: Making A Nation'.  The students will immerse themselves not only in the 'Shaping Our Nation' project also standards from the Geography, Science, English, Mathematics and Technologies. The Ballarat camp serves as a chance for students to get up close and personal with the primary resources as they study in depth significant national events in the birthplace of Australian democracy. The remainder of the cohort unable to take part in the camp will also be exploring historical events that have shaped the country we live in. The research will form the basis of creating a 'Sound & Light show' drawing on the ideas from the "Blood Under The Southern Cross" show at Sovereign Hill.

Semester 1 Stage 2 Research Project A and B Key Dates.

 

A reminder to students and families that the Stage 2 Research Project final submission date is Friday 9th June, Week 6 with the drafts are due by Friday of week 5. It is imperative that students meet these due dates to allow feedback and moderation processes to take place ahead of the submission of work to SACE.

 

Families are encouraged to contact subject teachers if they have any questions regarding the Research Project.

 

2017 Hills Interschool Combined Senior Formal

 

The 2017 Hills Interschool Combined Senior Formal is in full swing with the event fast approaching.  The formal will be held on 19th May at the Stamford Grand at Glenelg, commencing at 6:30 and concluding at 10:30. There is a feeling of anticipation and excitement amongst the senior students as their ‘Big Night’ approaches. Oakbank Area School and Swan Reach Area School will join Birdwood High School for the event in celebration of the student’s final year of their schooling life.

 

The staff at Birdwood High School hope the Senior Students have a wonderful evening and a night to remember.

Annual Report/Strategic Directions

Our Annual Report and the Site Improvement Plan is now available on our website. It provides evidence of our students’ achievements and in external assessments such as NAPLAN, PAT R/M and the SACE. I would invite you to read this report.

STEM WORKS BUILDING Project

During our school holidays the STEM works planning group met with the architects to firm up the plans and to look at possible commencement dates.  Although the building works will be staged throughout this year with an anticipated and delighted that it is scheduled for the December 2018 completion and we look forward to the other areas of the school being refurbished in the process. 

The decanting process will occur with the relocation of the Year 9 students, Resource Centre, Student Services and changes to our B building.  Having worked through a number of building works processes in the past I am aware the impact this will have on the curriculum delivery and making use of all our classrooms.  The Timetable has been aligned to ensure as we progress through the stages of the build we will be in a position where we limit the impact to our learning in AIL and Senior School.  We have negotiated a full upgrade to our Amphitheatre outside of our STEM works funding.  We have also been informed of the number of transportable that were placed on the register more than three years ago are up for removal.  This will be integrated in our master plan for the building works program. We are delighted that this part of the project is on schedule for December 2018 completion.

The relocation of some AIL spaces into classroom will need to occur however I have been assured and have confidence in the leadership team that the many challenges we might expect and those we wont expect there will be a solution we will be able to compromise on in the short term.  Senior school students have been proactive in identifying possible solutions to introduce a Fitness Club on Wednesday lunch time and focusing on a space in the school to be solely to support their independent learning during their non contact time.  We commended the students the way in which they communicated this with our Senior Leadership Team and we have endorsed the Fitness Club and refurbished the bottom of the B building and in the process on working with students to identify furniture to be used in the computer suite in addition to the Year 12 hub area.

Learner Management System - DayMap

During Term 2 we will be introducing a new student management system called DayMap.  Parents and students will be able to log into DayMap to check on assignments set and completion dates, the system will also show all students absences from lessons.  More information will be sent out to families.

Governing Council Training

We will be hosting Governing Council Training on the 30th May at Birdwood High School in the Exhibition Centre.  If you are interested in joining our Governing Council or if you are on our Governing Council and would like to attend please call the school and speak with Bronwyn alternatively email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wellbeing Update

At the end of Term 1 we farewelled Ms Leoni our Student Counsellor.  We congratulate Leoni on her years of service to the children and young people of the Birdwood High School community.  Leoni has decided to retire to spend time with her family.  

We are currently in the process of advertising the position and in the meantime Mr Goran Krivokapic has been kind enough to step in.  Joining the Wellness team is Irek Belkner and Mark continues with us for the rest of the year.  The Wellness Team will soon be working on implementing the DECD 2017 Wellbeing for Learning and Life framework and we will be seeing input from our community as we continue to develop and change according to the needs of our school community.

Information for parents regarding 13 Reasons Why will be coming out to you shortly

Some of you may be aware of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the criticism surrounding the series.  Since the series was released in March, many organisations and medical professionals have raised concerns over the content as the series does not meet the national media guidelines. 

The content is extremely graphic and the  school does not recommend that students watch this series as it conveys unhelpful and dangerous messages, no references are made to seeking help and children and young people may start to identify with the characters.  It is essential as a parent to have open and honest conversations with your child particularly if they express an interest in the series. 

 

If you have any concerns about your child/ren’s wellbeing, more information on this topic can be found at https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/Resource-library/Family-and-friends/Information-for-parents-and-carers-FAF-web.pdf  or you may like to contact the school-based counsellor or a helpline.

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