- Alan Kay, American Computer Scientist
Before we embark on Term 2, I would like to introduce myself and comment on the many amazing aspects of Arthur Phillip High School. After the sad passing of Ms Lynne Goodwin in January 2017, I was asked by the Director, NSW Public Schools, Parramatta Network, to leave my substantive principalship at Glenwood High School and move to Arthur Phillip High School as acting principal. My name is Erla McMaster and I have been principal at Glenwood High School since June 2010. As the acting principal I am committed to working with the APHS community to continue the amazing work of all students and staff as the school transitions into the Department of Education’s first high rise high school.
Firstly, I would like to thank the student body of APHS who have made me feel very welcome since my arrival in early February 2017. APHS is a dynamic school community enriched by the cultural diversity of everyone who attends the school every day. Students at APHS are passionate about their education and work together to build harmony through an inclusive environment. I have not met one student who does not enjoy, and acknowledge, the exciting opportunities offered at the school. It is obvious they all value the dedication of the staff and enjoy each other’s company everyday at school.
Similarly, I have been very impressed with the passion and dedication of the teaching and administration staff. A number of them have been employed at the school for many years demonstrating their desire to make a difference in the lives of the APHS students. They work tirelessly to ensure students have access to quality education every day. Through the Connect 121 learning platform, teachers create individual programs for each student ensuring all learning needs are met whilst integrating technology to build student engagement and cultivating positive attitudes to learning. Currently teachers are working very hard in preparation for the new learning environment in the high rise high school. A consistent focus on collaborative teaching and learning will enable students to build critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills essential for success in today’s global community.
GTKU – Getting to Know You
Through GTKU our Year 7 & 8 students are individually mentored to ensure an easy transition to high school and beyond. Often it is these first two years of high school that impacts the academic and social engagement of students. At APHS we intend to make this a positive impact by ensuring all students build strong social skills and the resilience required to be successful throughout Stage 4 of their school years. With the help of a number of outstanding mentors, the Head Teachers of Welfare, Ms Marscham, Ms King and Ms Mitsopoulos have developed an excellent GTKU program to ensure Year 7 & 8 have an advocate at all times to support both within and outside the classroom.
Outstanding Student Leadership within the SRC
A special mention regarding the quality and calibre of student at APHS includes the amazing students in the Student Representative Council. From the school captains to the new Year 7 recruits, APHS is very proud of the mature and empathetic approach of all the SRC representatives. Throughout Term 1, 2017, they organised a number of fundraising events including Shave for a Cure raising money for cancer research. Similarly, their involvement and organisation of the commemorative assembly for Mrs Goodwin demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills beyond their years. Under the coordination of Mr Chin, Ms Mercado and Mr Banks, our SRC leaders are well on their way to being true leaders of the future. They are to be congratulated for their measured and consistent approach to all matters of student governance.
Diversity and Inclusivity – A Trademark Strength of the APHS Community
Finally I would like to comment on the happy and harmonious environment that I have experienced at APHS since my arrival. It is obvious students enjoy coming to school every day and value the friendships they make, as well as the opportunity to be part of a thriving multicultural learning community. APHS is a school of diverse cultures with students and families from all over the world, including many refugee students. This diversity is embraced by all members of the APHS community creating a culture of inclusivity, a trademark strength of the school, in every classroom and every corner of the playground.
Until next time