The Rain is Pouring and our School is Humming!
March 26, 2021
As I write this newsletter report the rain is pouring and our School is humming!
The Junior School are hosting learning conversations. This is an opportunity for students to lead conversations that demonstrate their learning progress, autonomy and growth. The MAP data tracking project has been officially launched for all Junior School families providing exceptional insight into progress and the individual attainment of every student. This project commenced in 2020 and has allowed our teaching staff to deliver specific and individual differentiation for every student in the target areas of mathematics and literacy. The individual data gathered over the 12-month implementation has been used extensively to identify each student’s needs, confirm growth and form flexible and appropriate small instruction groups.
The da Vinci Decathlon preparation is underway in the Library with our teams of High Potential Learners working hard to prepare for this competitive inter-school opportunity. TIGS will host this event on Tuesday and Wednesday with over 528 students from the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Sydney gathering on campus. Mock trials are occurring under the leadership of Mr Paff and the Debating team are polishing their skills ready for battle!
During lunch and recess, rehearsals are being announced via the PA system for the ArtsFest and as I walk around the School every possible space is busy with Captains and Year 12 student leaders working hard to polish up dance, band, and other items ready for the creative and very competitive House competition. The IGC is buzzing with students practising on the grand piano on stage, a dance troupe at the front and even a small basketball game occurring at the rear hoop!
Sports teams are training for NASSA netball, CIS soccer and our AICES swimmers are working hard as they prepare for the scheduled carnival. At the same time, enthusiasm and enjoyment are clearly evident at our in-school sports programmes both in the Junior and Senior School.
In our classrooms, NAPLAN technical testing is occurring in preparation for a fully online NAPLAN programme, assessment tasks are on the minds of most senior students and teachers of Year 12 are preparing reports in readiness for upcoming parent-teacher interviews. Round one of Year 12 academic counselling is coming to conclusion with every student in Year 12 having received personal and data-informed insight into how they are travelling towards their post-school goals as well as support and advice in how to make the most of the final months ahead.
Our teachers are evaluating and reflecting as units of learning are coming to conclusion as well as planning and preparing for Term II. With our School registration by NESA due at the end of the month, evidence of our programmes and student work samples are being uploaded ready for submission – and they look fantastic! The P&F are holding their first meeting for the year (a combination of face-to-face and Zoom) and the incoming executive committee is focused and excited about their plans for enhanced parent connections and community.
And while all this is happening, I observe happy and engaged students, connected and enthusiastic teachers and a community centred around excellent learning, individualised personal care and the provision of broad opportunities that develop and grow a flourishing and whole person – which sounds just like our CORE values on full and vibrant display! What I definitely do not observe is a slowing down or loss of focus or energy as we near the end of term. In fact, the opposite where there is a last burst of energy and commitment to getting done all that is planned for a busy first term at TIGS.
After the restrictions and disappointments of 2020, it is such a joy to see our community enthusiastically throwing themselves into everything that makes our School wonderful. I’m sure that our students and staff will need the Easter break when it arrives but there is certainly plenty of action happening on campus right up until the last day of term!