This year has been another busy one at Carrum Downs Secondary College. We recently held our Year 12 Valedictory dinner which was a highly successful celebration of the completion of secondary schooling for all of our Year 12 students.
We have just received our VCE results for 2018 and I would like to congratulate our Dux of the college, Evan Katsianos who intends on pursuing a pathway in Law and has applied to the relevant Universities to gain a placement in this course. We wish him well.
Last year we had over 50% of our Year 12 VCE cohort gain places in Universities and Tertiary Institutions and we will be aiming to surpass this mark again this year. Overall our senior students in both VCE and VCAL are very successful in gaining relevant pathways as they leave our college and we will continue to support our current students to pursue the pathways that they have chosen.
We also recently held our college Awards night which celebrated the achievements and academic success of our students across Years 7 to 12. As I outlined on this night our core business as a college is student learning along with all of the other programs that we conduct to support all of our students to develop and grow.
I would like to congratulate all of our award winners who have shown a high level of commitment to their studies. I would also like to thank the parents and carers who attended on the night and are supporting their children with their learning. We are in a partnership with all of our stakeholders to ensure every student is progressing through the college and that their learning is at the required standard.
As you may be aware we have been running our SHINE (Student Help in Numeracy and English) program this year which supports students who need extra assistance with their studies. Data clearly indicates that the learning of our Year 8 and 9 students who participated in this program grew by twice the expected amount as measured by our testing program and all other students in the program demonstrated significant learning growth. We intend to continue this program in partnership with Monash University into 2019 to further support our students.
Our gymnasium construction has begun and our builder, Interface Constructions is making rapid progress. We are hoping that the gymnasium will be completed by around July next year and we will be able to access this new space. We have plans in place to conduct our PE classes during construction and we will also be hoping for good weather so that we can conduct classes in our outside Physical Education spaces while the gym is out of action.
We have once again provided a large extra curricula program for our students which has included camps and excursions, music programs and concerts, school production-Little Shop of Horrors, inter house and inter school sport, pathways activities, hosting Japanese students and our students touring Japan and the many fundraising activities that our students and college supports.
Once again we ran our student leadership camp for our 2019 school leaders. Our innovative leadership program is aimed at developing leadership skills and activating student voice in our college. Our 2019 college Captains, Josh Trickey and Angelina Nania and Vice Captains, Klaire Santos and Jake McCarten did a fantastic job of leading the program and mentoring our student leaders. I look forward to working with them in 2019.
This term we welcomed our Year 7 students for their 2019 Orientation Day. These students will be graduating from our college in 2024 which seems a long way off but will be upon us before we know it. We will have an extra class of Year 7 students next year as our student numbers increase significantly in 2019. This indicates that our reputation as a destination school is growing and is a reflection of the work we have all been undertaking in recent years. I would like to thank our school community for supporting our college and the journey we are on.
In 2019 our college will be undertaking a school review. This is standard practice across all schools and will give us the opportunity to develop our strategic plan that sets the directions and focus of the college for the next four years. Part of this process will be ensuring that we have a strong community voice in our college and we will be inviting all stakeholders to be a part of this process.
I would like to thank our college staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the year. Our staff go above and beyond to support every student in our school and it is important that their efforts are acknowledged. After all schools are not just buildings and it is the people in them who make up the fabric and culture of the school.
I would like to also thank our school council which is made up of our key stakeholders of parents, students and staff. They form an important voice in our school and give up their time freely to support our college. Our school council has stood strongly behind the direction that the college is headed and has also set the direction for key areas in the college.
Our council is currently investigating mobile phone usage in our college and the impact they have on the learning environment with the aim of developing a policy that will once again place student learning and wellbeing at the forefront. These types of discussions and decisions are the things that good schools have as they are constantly trying to improve their practice.
I would like to take this time to wish everybody a safe and happy holiday break and I look forward to seeing everybody in the New Year refreshed and ready to tackle another year of learning and growing at Carrum Downs Secondary College.