I am delighted to commence my sixth year as the Principal of Caboolture State High School. Together, we are creating bright futures for our students by building on its proud educational traditions and successes. The next few years will continue to be an exciting time to be part of our school community, as we transform our classrooms and grounds into modern, 21st century learning environments, redefine our learning culture, document our curriculum plan and shape our signature teaching and learning practices. We are committed to celebrating the rich history of the school and seeing the motto “May I be worthy" come to life for our staff and students. We are measuring our worth as a school based on:
- a narrow and sharp focus on our core business – teaching and learning
- a rich, viable and guaranteed curriculum
- engaging pedagogical practices and
- the consistent application of the responsible behaviour plan, now called the 'Student Code of Conduct'
At Caboolture State High School, our vision is “Making the difference today…for tomorrow". We set the bar high in terms of our expectations on attendance, participation, uniform, effort and behaviour, so that our vision can become a reality for all members of our school community. We celebrate diversity and we are very proud of our inclusive culture that values everyone's differences, similarities and talents. Our school community is focused on continual improvement around three priorities:
- Learning Culture
- Curriculum and
Priority 1: Learning Culture
The school has entered a new phase of growth, welcoming many new families and staff as we approach an enrolment of 1600+ students. We are passionate about catering for students with a range of talents, learning needs or disabilities within an inclusive model so that every student has the opportunity to learn with same age peers. As a speciality we welcome and cater for vision and hearing-impaired students, academically talented students and those interested in become Medical Practitioners, Nurses or Veterinarians through our Health Hub and Agriculture programs. Our languages programs include Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi), Chinese and Auslan. Students interested in performing and or the creative arts flourish at our school in our Creativity Hub. We have a strong sporting culture, showcasing Academies in Athletic Performance, Volleyball, Rugby League and Netball.
A culture of learning support, enhancement and extension is important to us. We provide interesting and engaging differentiated learning opportunities through the 8 Key Learning Areas (KLAs) to individualise each student learning program.
Student well-being and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) are key priorities for our school and we refer to this as our Positive Culture for Learning (PCL). We also offer a wide range of student services and support which includes Home Group teachers, Year Coordinators, Heads of Department (HoDs), Deputy Principals, Guidance Officers, a Youth Support Coordinator, a Chaplain and a School Based Nurse.
Partnerships are an important part of our learning culture. Our Industry Liaison Officer (ILO) works closely with local businesses to secure school based traineeship or apprenticeship opportunities and we have strong links with Caboolture TAFE, Universities, and Metro Health Services. Our parents and community members can be positively involved in the school through an active Parents and Citizens Association and a School Council comprising parent, community, student and staff representatives.
Priority 2: Curriculum
Our learning culture is underpinned by a rich, viable and guaranteed curriculum. The range of subjects we offer will continue to evolve during the next few years as we cater for new student needs, interests and pathways into work, future study or training. Our vibrant academic and vocational curriculum is supported by a range of extracurricular cultural and sporting programs designed to engage and excite students. Other signature curriculum initiatives include our Academic Excellence programs, Sports Academies and our unique range of Agricultural programs based at our purpose-built farm. We have also introduced three new curriculum area learning hubs:
- The Health Hub
- The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) Hub and
- The Creativity Hub
In 2022, we will continue to refine our vibrant and exciting new curriculum plan, which redefines what we teach to bring us in line with both the National Curriculum and the new Senior School curriculum. Teachers are working on improving student outcomes by using new assessment and moderation processes that help give students targeted feedback on their learning. Inclusivity and ensuring every student has access to our curriculum is our priority, underpinned by our strong belief that every student can learn. Our curriculum plan is the key document teacher's use, which outlines the three tiers of planning and our approach to assessment, calibration, moderation and reporting.
At Caboolture State High School we are creating a learning culture which features curiosity, wonder, creativity, inquiry, investigation, design and innovation. We want our students to be engaged in their learning, have fun, be happy and excited by what our curriculum offers them. Join us to open up their world of learning and broaden their horizons. There is a place for everyone in our career spheres centred on STEM, Creativity and Health.
In Year 7, our curriculum is arranged around the exciting and new focus: STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. In Year 8, our curriculum is arranged around student choice and the development of foundational skills that will prepare students for their senior years. Year 9 is the final year of Junior Secondary and delayed specialisation in subject choices.
In Year 10, our curriculum broadens to maximise student's choices around their interests, talents and learning needs. Leading our students to their final senior years in 11 and 12, whereby they have a broad range of subject offerings to choose from.
Priority 3: Pedagogy
Teaching and learning is our core focus, as we aim to inspire and challenge our students to develop a generosity of spirit for others, resilience when facing adversity, integrity in their conduct and tenacity in their approach to learning and life. Our staff understand the importance of identity, purpose and belonging the young people in our care need, based on our school vision and values - Persistence, Respect, Integrity, Diligence and Excellence (PRIDE).
Together we are 'Making the difference today … for tomorrow'. I invite you all to join us in our work at Caboolture State High School to help us bring our values to life in our school community:
Persistence – Never give up
Respect – respect yourself, others and the environment
Integrity – be honest and trustworthy
Diligence – give everything a go
Excellence – be the best you can be
My aim as the Principal is to:
- foster a genuine sense of identity, purpose and belonging for the young people in our care based on our values;
- persistently explore strategies and ideas on how our teachers, students and parents can address individual students learning needs as identified in their academic, effort and behaviour results that link in with our strategic priorities; and
- continue to excite and inspire our school community about learning and enact our motto and vision.
I am looking forward to continuing to lead the school with the support of our leadership teams, the school council and P & C, as we work on our strategic priority areas, each of which have three focus strategies in 2022:
- PBL – Positive Behaviour for Learning
- Transition Program
- Restorative Practices
- Whole school Literacy initiatives
- Whole school Numeracy initiatives
- Professional Learning Plan
- Pedagogy Plan
- BYOD Plan
and through these priorities creating some fabulous outcomes for our students and staff.
I believe in a growth mindset, and through this, I will encourage and challenge every one of our students to:
- attend every day with pride, enthusiasm and commitment to learning;
- take on student leadership, coaching and/or mentor roles within our student body;
- make the best contribution they possibly can to our school community;
- explore all the educational possibilities and curriculum options available to them;
- embrace difficult challenges as opportunities to grow and develop; and
- think seriously about what career options they are interested in.
My educational leadership history
To conclude, I thought I would share some of my educational leadership history.
I completed my final teaching practicum as a pre-service teacher at Caboolture SHS in 1995, so I have now come full circle in my career, commencing here as Principal in Term 4, 2018.
After I completed my teaching degree, I began my career in education as a Science, Maths and Agriculture Teacher in a small rural secondary school in Moura, in central Queensland. This was a fabulous school to hone my craft as a teacher and this is where I developed my passion for leadership.
After the birth of our first son, I was appointed as the Science Head of Department and then the Deputy Principal in a large secondary school, Kepnock State High School in Bundaberg.
Our second son was born, and we then moved to the Sunshine Coast where I worked as a Deputy Principal at Gympie State High School and then Sunshine Beach State High School. For the next 6 years, I enjoyed my first Principal role at Meridan State College in Caloundra in the secondary campus.
I am very humbled and excited to be the Principal at Caboolture State High School and wish everyone the best for an exciting, engaging and productive school year!