Welcome back to Mooroolbark College after your Easter break.  I hope everyone had the opportunity to spend time with their families.  Welcome back to the students and staff who attended the Central Australian and Tasmanian tours, which ran during the last week of Term 1. Particular thanks to the staff who attended the tours and who became the students’ second family whilst on tour.  Thank you to Mr John Nichol and Mr Luke McCormick, who ran an outstanding Central Australia Tour and to Mr U’ren, who put in many hours of preparation prior to the tour.  Thanks also to Mrs Janet Whitby and Mrs Jodie Tilley for running a superb Tasmanian Tour.  I am always very proud when I hear from staff about the wonderful comments our students received from the general public regarding their behaviour and respect while on camp.

Welcome back to Chantelle George and Emalyn Timm, who return to the College after family leave.  It is exciting to have them back in the College working in their respective areas of English/Humanities and Mathematics/Science.  We also welcome to the College Ms Hazemin Catallo, who will be joining the Mathematics area. 

On Tuesday, the College was represented at a number of local ANZAC Day services to commemorate and respect the sacrifices made by our armed forces.  The College’s Middle School Captains laid a wreath at the Dawn Service in Lilydale and our Senior Captains laid a wreath and participated in the ceremony at Hookey Park in Mooroolbark at 12 noon.  It was wonderful to see so many of our College community at the two services.  Today we held an ANZAC Day commemoration service for our Year 7 and 8 students.  This was a moving service where our College Captains spoke about the meaning of ANZAC Day for them.  I would like to thank Jason Kennedy for playing the Last Post as part of the formal proceedings.

On Wednesday 26th April, we had our College Open Night, which was a wonderful showcase of what the College has to offer the local community.  With 600 people in attendance, it was again wonderful to see so many students supporting their College.  I can always rely on our students to be outstanding ambassadors for Mooroolbark College.  Students participated in so many displays including practising their lines for the upcoming production of Bats, making chocolate chip cookies in Food Technology, building medieval towns in Humanities and taking on the very important role of tour guides.  Thank you to all the students involved.

On Monday 1st May, the second of our sporting carnivals will take place.  The annual Athletics Carnival is another opportunity to take part in the range of activities Mooroolbark College offers.  It is also a chance to earn House Points for your House.  Last year the Athletics Carnival was won by Yellow House, so this year the challenge is out there for Green, Blue and Red to take the shield from them.  I wish all four Houses every success.  At this stage, the weather looks fine for Monday with a top of 18 degrees, which should help make it a very pleasant day.

The annual NAPLAN program begins on Tuesday 9th May 2017.  Parents/Guardians of Year 7 and 9 students will receive further information next week.  However, it is important the College community understands the importance of NAPLAN data for Mooroolbark College and for all students involved to take each of the assessments seriously.  Mooroolbark College staff use NAPLAN data on a daily basis, on which to base the teaching and learning program.  We look at results for entire cohorts to determine where a priorities lie for the following year.  We receive data, which tells us the skills Mooroolbark College in which students are excelling and where extra time needs to be given.  A very real example of how we use NAPLAN data, is the College’s Independent Reading Program at Years 7 and 8 where the program targets both reading, comprehension and writing capabilities.  We also use the data to ensure individual students receive the specific instruction, help and support they need.  Teachers are constantly looking at individual data to ensure students’ needs are catered for.  I encourage parents/guardians to talk to their children about ‘doing their best’ and taking each assessment seriously, to ensure the College is working with the most up to date and relevant data to improve teaching and learning at Mooroolbark College.

Mooroolbark will be holding a Year 7 parent/guardian Mathematics Forum On Wednesday 3rd May 2017, commencing at 6.30pm in A Block (A5/A6). Information has been sent through Compass and you will receive a letter in the mail.  If you would like to attend please RSVP on 9727 8100.

Ann Stratford