Final 2019 message from the Principal
It feels like only yesterday that I walked through the gates of the school for the first time and was welcomed by the staff and students. I was immediately struck by the warm and welcoming environment and knew that MAC was a special place and that I wanted to be part of it. Everyone who visits the school, whether it be parents and students on school tours, visitors from overseas, or interstate all experience the same warmth, friendly and positive environment, they see first-hand the high engagement and enthusiasm of staff and students as they go about their day, the deep levels of learning, the progressive and innovative teaching environment and of course happy staff and students who are proud to be part of this wonderful community.
As the year ends, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your collective effort in continuing to make MAC a wonderful place to be every day. I want to thank you for your support in making my transition to MAC as the principal an easy and enjoyable one. Every day I am honoured and privileged to work with remarkable young people. I want to thank the MAC staff for their hard work, enthusiasm, commitment in ensuring our students have the best learning opportunities and provide an environment where all students no matter their age, talents, interests and passions experience success, both in and out of the classroom. I am confident that the work we are doing here at MAC is the right work, and is serving our students well and preparing them for a successful future.
There have been many highlights this year. We started the year with an Entry cohort of 125 students, the largest enrolment intake this school has seen in years. We saw high levels of participation in new programs such as Illuminate Nextgen Entrepreneurial Challenge and True North Leadership Program; large numbers of students involved in Sporting Carnivals, Interschool Sports and teams and individuals making it through to regional and state competitions; outstanding results in Science and Mathematics Competitions, students placing in the top 3% and 10% of the country; high participation rates in the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Mock United Nations Conference, camps and excursions. We witnessed the incredible performing arts talents of those involved in the school production Animal Farm; talented musicians in the various instrumental concerts; the Spring Arts Festival which showcased the exceptional artistic talents of our students; the Wakakirri Team making it to the state finals, and the Robotics team placing 7th at the National Schools Championships. These are just some examples highlighting the richness and diversity of the activities in the school. I am very proud of all our students and staff and I want to congratulate all the students involved and of course acknowledge the efforts of all the staff and their support of the students and their hard work behind the scenes.
I would like to also highlight some other achievements:
- Significant improvement and above-the-state achievement in benchmark growth Years 7 – 9 in Spelling and Numeracy
- The percentage of Year 9 students in the top two bands in all measures of the Naplan compared to similar schools is above similar schools.
- Students who are involved in the Literacy Withdrawal Program have seen significant gains of up to 2 to 3 years growth in reading.
- Significant gains in the Senior School with:
- 100% completion rate in VCE
- 50% of students achieving an ATAR over 60, a significant improvement from last year
- 30% of students in the top 30% of the state, and several scores in the 90’s
- 6% of students achieved 37 plus scores exceeding the target of 3% set in the 2019 Annual Implementation Plan
- 91% of students have received their first round tertiary preference.
- Many more students undertaking VCAL turning their Work Placement into offers of employment as well as being offered apprenticeships.
- The Attitudes to School Data continues to be above the state in all measures with a further improvement in Sense of Connectedness, Advocate at School, Respect for Diversity.
- MAC was identified as high performing school in students engagement and the implementation of Student Voice and Agency and was used as a Case Study for Amplify – Amplify is Departments Framework for Improving Student Voice and Agency in all government schools.
- Increased levels of staff satisfaction measured by the Staff Opinion Survey, with gains in every measure. In particular we saw great improvement in Collective focus on student learning (62% to 81%) and Teacher Collaboration (46% to 60%). This year we implemented Professional Learning Teams and restructured the Professional Learning Program to allow for more teacher collaboration and this has clearly worked.
- Parent Satisfaction of the School continues to be high and well above state averages, almost all measures in the 80th and 90th percentile including Positive Climate for Learning, School Support, Parent Support and involvement.
This year we were also part of the Flemington Based Education Plan, in a partnership with Flemington Primary School, Ascot Vale Special School and Debney Meadows Primary School. The Flemington Education Plan was established to improve the provision of education in the Flemington precinct. As a group we focused on developing a plan that catered for the diverse needs of the students, provided a seamless transition from primary to secondary school, ensured high quality teaching and learning across the four schools. As a result of this work together, the Principal Teams from the four schools have formed a Community of Practice focusing on literacy improvement, namely reading. To date we have conducted observations of learning environments and instruction, began to share resources and participated in professional learning together. We look forward to continuing this work in 2020.
We have also formed a Community of Practice in Writing with several Primary and Secondary Schools in the Moonee Valley Network, as well as a Community of Practice in VCE Improvement with the other four secondary schools. This work will continue in 2020.
Part of the work in the Flemington Education Plan has been working with Kosloff Architecture in developing a Masterplan to increase the student capacity of the school from 500 to potentially 900 based on projected enrolment data. The Masterplan has been completed and will form part of the bid to Minister Merlino in the next budgetary cycle.
In 2020 we look forward to:
- New Student Leadership Positions – including Interschool and Sports House Captains, Arts, Debating, Environmental, International Students, Performing Arts and Science Captains
- A New Leading Teacher in Professional Growth
- Additional Positions of Responsibility including Senior School Academic Advisor and Junior School Transitions and Programs Coordinator
- Continued Literacy Improvement – with the implementation of a Literacy Plan developed by Richard Van Rooyen our Literacy Learning Specialist and the Leadership Team
- Increased resourcing in Technology to cater for increased enrolments and student interest (5 Robotics classes)
- New subjects including Climate Change, The Feminist, Global Empires, MAC Sports Extension., subjects born from student’s interests and passions
- Student choice in English Subjects at Above Entry 8 and 9
- Continued improvement in Student Empowerment with more opportunities for students to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills
We farewell the following staff:
Adam Cribbes – moving to Templestowe College in a promotional position Assistant Principal position. Adam was a key driver of the transformational change that occurred at MAC
Nicole Dobson – moving to Whittlesea College in a promotional position as a Learning Specialist. Nicole has been the Teaching Leanring Leader in Science and an advocate for increased pareticipation of girls in STEM
Andrew Stewart – returning to Canada. Andrew was Head Of Atherna House and a maths teacher
Jens Boernemeyer – returning to Germany with his family. Jens has been the Careers and Pathways Coordinator and was recently awarded the Maryanne Mooney Perpetual Trophy by the Career Education Association of Victoria.
Joy Seed – pursuing a change of career. Joy taught English
Narelle Pritchard – is moving to Glen Eira College to a Senior Maths and Accounting Position, has led the work in in Numeracy and Mathematics Improvement
Thank you to all of these outstanding staff, for your contributions to MAC and in particular, for your work with our students you will be sorely missed. We wish you all the very best.
Schools work well when there is a strong partnership between students, staff and parents. I want to acknowledge our parents, starting with the School Council, for their strong advocacy of the school, positive and valuable contributions. Thank you for having the trust in my capacity to lead the school.
Thank you to Parents and Friends Association and Bronwen Jefferson and her amazing team for their ‘can do’ approach. MAC is very fortunate to have such as active group of parents who come together on the first Monday of every month with enthusiasm and passion to make MAC an even better place.
I would like to thank all the parents for their support, trust and belief in the ideology and vision of this amazing school. I look forward in continuing to develop positive and constructive relationships with you.
Finally I want to thank the students. MAC is a great school because of you, your enthusiasm, passion for learning, warmth and respect you have for each other and your teachers. You makes MAC special! I am honoured and privileged to be part of your lives and the Principal of this great school.
To the 2019 Graduates, congratulations on achieving a significant milestone. At MAC you have had the opportunity to learn, grow, fail, try again and strive to learn more. Each of you have grown in a way that you should be so proud and are now ready to transition to a new exciting chapter in your lives. As you embark on the next phase of your lives remember, Be kind, work hard, stay humble, give thanks and dream big!
The school closes this Friday at lunchtime, and the office will be unattended until Tuesday 28 January. The Entry and Graduate students commence school on Thursday 30 January and all other students commence school on Friday 31 January.
I would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable break and festive season. I look forward to working with you all in 2020.