A wonderful welcome back to all members of the school community for the commencement of Term 2 at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSRACS). It has been a very good start to Term 2, with staff and students settling quickly into the routines of the new school term. It was particularly wonderful to see the students return with such eagerness and enthusiasm for the new Term. I am guessing that there were also some eager and enthusiastic parents at the drop-off last Wednesday morning.
Staff Professional Development Day
Staff commenced last week with a Professional Development Day which was held on Monday, 24 April, at HBF Stadium. This day is the traditional Anglican Identity Day, hosted by the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC), with all staff from the 12 Western Australian ASC schools in attendance. This year, all ASC staff were treated to key note presentations from Professor Donna Cross, who focused her presentation on staff well-being; and Mr Mark Glasson, CEO of Anglicare, who spoke to all staff on the vital work that Anglicare does to support the most disadvantaged individuals and families in our community. Both presentations were informative and enlightening, and the Staff Eucharist to end the day was just the perfect way to commence the new School term for all of our staff.
New and Returning Staff
- Mr Keith Briggs – Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Teacher, covering for Ms Antonella Tosi while she is on leave.
- Mr David Gething – Humanities and Social Sciences Teacher, covering for Mrs Jennifer Codd while she is on leave.
- Mr Denis Radacic – Digital Technologies Teacher, covering for Kane McLachlan while he is on long service leave this term.
- Mr Paul Rogers – Basketball Coach and Health and Physical Education Teacher.
- Mrs Nadia Cole – Administration Assistant, Reception.
- Ms Paula Rosige – Education Assistant.
- Miss Sarah Torode – Speech Pathologist.
- Ms Margo Nguyen – English teacher, covering for Miss Ella Pragt while she is on leave.
There are a number of returning staff who have also commenced in Term 2. They are:
- Mrs Kirsty Smyth, returning as an ESS Teacher, covering for Mrs Tahira Beavis’ absence.
- Miss Olivia Lee, returning as a Visual Art Teacher, covering for some of Ms Erin Burnett’s classes.
There are also a number of staff who have taken on promotional positions or changed their positions within our community. They are:
- Mrs Nerissa Berry – former Education Assistant, now working within the School Library as a Library Officer.
- Mrs Natasha Charteris – promoted to Teaching and Learning Coordinator – Middle School English.
- Mr Thomas Hannam – promoted to Teaching and Learning Coordinator – Middle School HASS.
- Miss Sarah Lacey – promoted to Teaching and Learning Coordinator – Middle School Science.
- Miss Georgia Myers – promoted to Year 7 Coordinator, covering Mrs Jennifer Codd’s absence.
- Miss Erin Burnett – promoted to Year 9 Coordinator, covering Mr Kane McLachlan’s absence.
- Miss Sharyn Howting – promoted to Year 12 Coordinator, covering Ms Antonella Tosi’s absence.
We wish all our new, returning and promoted staff every blessing as they support the work and mission of our School community; and trust that they find their experience at JSRACS both professionally and personally rewarding.
AMALGAMATION OF THE SCHOOL’S CAMPUSES
We are thrilled to report that the amalgamation of the John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSRACS) campuses has been an overwhelming success. As you may recall, the ASC Board and JSRACS Council decided to merge the Mirrabooka and Beechboro campuses in order to create a more cohesive and streamlined educational experience for our students.
Since the amalgamation, we have seen a number of positive changes in the way our School operates. For one, our teachers have been able to collaborate more effectively, sharing their knowledge and skills with one another in order to create a truly exceptional learning environment. Additionally, our students have benefited from a wider range of extracurricular activities and resources, including access to the state-of-the-art facilities and an expanded selection of sports teams, clubs, and programs.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff, students, and families. We are incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by the entire JSRACS community throughout this process, and we look forward to continuing to build on this success in the years to come.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the best possible education, and we are confident that our newly amalgamated School will continue to provide just that.
Senior School Musical
While most staff and students were having a well-earned break over the recent school holidays, staff at the Dance and Drama Department were busy coordinating the last few rehearsals with the talented students who will take the stage in the School’s upcoming Musical Production, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, this week.
I was fortunate to drop in and see the staff and students at one of their rehearsals over the weekend, and can attest to the effort and detail that all staff and students have invested into this production. I am certain that all who attend will enjoy this wonderfully entertaining performance.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) @ JSRACS
At John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSRACS), we are committed to providing our students with the most innovative and effective tools and technologies to support their education. One of the ways we are doing this is through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in our secondary school.
While there has been significant discussion regarding the use of AI in schools, most of the debate has focused on the impact and effect that AI may have on our grading and assessment of students. While grading and assessment are important factors in education, the priority is educating children. After reading a selection of articles on this topic, I had to ask myself the question – Have schools become production lines where the emphasis is too focused on grading and sorting? Perhaps the debate about the impact of bots on assessment highlights that in many cases, it appears that the purpose of schooling is too heavily focused on grading and sorting rather than on educating. Here at JSRACS, we are focused on educating your children, rather than placing a numerical value or assigning a letter grade to a piece of work. Education at JSRACS will always focus on what your children can do, what they cannot do, and providing them with the relevant and appropriate feedback in order that they can identify the areas that they need to improve; as well as providing them with the necessary information so that they can improve. A numerical value or assigning a letter grade is appropriate as part of the feedback mechanism; however, should not be the priority in the learning cycle.
Of course, we recognize that AI is not a panacea, and that there are potential risks and drawbacks to its use. That is why we are committed to using AI in a responsible and ethical manner, and to ensuring that our students are aware of the limitations and potential risks associated with this technology.
As always, we welcome your feedback and input as we continue to explore new and innovative ways to support our students’ learning and growth.
While the teaching staff are central to your child’s experience here at JSRACS, it should be noted that the staff are well supported by the Associate Principals responsible for each phase of the School. Leading the respective phases of our school are Mrs Georga Gratteri, Associate Principal – Early Childhood, Mrs Paula Martin, Associate Principal – Primary School, Mr Justin Krause, Associate Principal – Middle School and Mrs Christina Wallis, Associate Principal – Senior School. While I would recommend that you be in contact with your children’s teacher (Early Childhood and Primary School) or Pastoral Care Group Tutor (Secondary School) should you require specific information regarding how your child is settling into the new term, please be assured that all staff are well supported by our Associate Principals.
There is much to be thankful for in our community; the gifts of our children, the dedication and commitment of our staff, and the bonds of friendship and community with parents and friends. I wish you all a very successful, smooth start to Term 2, 2023. I trust that you will be able to join me in celebrating the many achievements and growth of our children throughout this term. I look forward to catching up with you at significant occasions or informally around the School.
My prayer for all of our students, staff and families is that you find our School a supportive and friendly community in which everybody’s contribution is valued and respected.