Senior Executive Appointments for 2017

Dear Students, Parents and Staff,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Mr Michael Nightingale to the position of Director of Teaching and Learning and Mrs Janice Post and Mrs Michelle Shaw as Assistants to the Deputy Principal of the Primary School, effective from the start of the 2017 school year.

Mr Michael Nightingale is currently the Deputy Principal at Mount Annan Christian College and has a history of over 25 years teaching Mathematics and ICT in a number of independent Christian Schools. He joins our school with a great depth of experience in school leadership, having held the position of Principal at Snowy Mountains Christian School and Secondary School Coordinator at Illawarra Christian School.

Michael has experience in leading the professional development of staff at all levels, and in the design and implementation of innovative learning strategies in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) incorporating cross curricular, project based learning.

Michael has a passion for teaching through student centred learning plus great depth in educational leadership and management. I look forward to Michael joining us and warmly welcome him to our school community.

I am also very excited at the appointment of Mrs Janice Post and Mrs Michelle Shaw to the positions of Assistant to the Deputy Principal of Primary. This is an expansion to the Primary leadership team with the goal to promote the smooth continuum of learning from the early stages of Primary through to the transition from Year 6 into Year 7. Both Janice and Michelle bring an exceptional level of energy and commitment to quality teaching and learning and are well known and highly regarded in the school community.

Janice and Michelle will be carrying out the role with an equal share of load and responsibility. While their specific areas of expertise will result in separate responsibilities, they will also be working together with our Deputy Principal of Primary, Mr Robert Burgess, to continue to develop curriculum delivery.

I thank God for the provision of these new members of the school leadership team and look forward for what He has planned for William Carey in the years to come.

Yours in Christ

Keith McMullen
Principal

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STEM at William Carey

I would like to highlight and congratulate the team of students who participated in the local round of the University of Newcastle’s Science and Engineering Challenge. This day event comprised of a range of challenges including bridge and tower building to withstand a range of forces along with electrical networking and design problems. Our school team competed as multiple small groups taking out a number of first places. Our combined point score placed William Carey Christian School in first place in this local round and positions us well for the upcoming state round.

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This great result is just part of the STEM programs we are running at school. STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The promotion of these areas of study have become an increasing focus of the Australian Government and schools. https://www.studentsfirst.gov.au/restoring-focus-stem-schools-initiative
Earlier this month, I attended the AHISA National EducationForum held in Caberra where Ian Chubb (Australian of the Year 2011 and Australia’s Chief Scientist 2011-2016) spoke on the need for a cultural shift, in the way our society thinks about and supports STEM subjects and careers for both boys and girls.
He stated that in Australia’s Top 200 Rich List, only 2.5% of the entries were for people whose material success was based on innovation. The remainder had been from inheritance of family wealth or gain through property or mining activity. Ian Chubb’s point behind this information, is that for Australia’s future economy, there is no guarantee that material wealth will always come from property and mining development. With the reducing availability of these finite resources and their value dependent on factors outside our control, innovation plays a vital role in Australia’s economic and societal future.
Thus Ian Chubb’s push to schools and governments is to harness the naturally curious nature of children, the fundamental nature in all of us to ask ‘why?’ Schools need to provide opportunities for students to inquire about the world around them, to give them opportunity to access suitable technology and support to tackle the rigours of academic challenge.
What this means, is that William Carey will be continuing to promote STEM throughout the school to develop the skills, knowledge, and genuine passion in these subjects, equipping our students to engage successfully in a 21st Century society.
Promoting a nature of inquiry in our graduating students is a long term project and involves a range of programs across all our year groups. Extracurricular activities such as the Science and Engineering Day promotes STEM at our school, but it is in the regular classroom where there can be so much impact. The implementation of the National Science Curriculum (K-10) has been based on the resources and framework of inquiry learning with Science by Doing.
We are also running STEM programs as part of our regular teaching programs K-12. Watch this video to see how K-2 are incorporating technology into their day to day learning. Year 8 and 9 technology have just spent a day participating in Wollongong University’s Technology Roadshow. The aim of this is engage student interest in technology based subjects.
STEM is an exciting and changing area of education which taps directly into the future of our students. I look forward to seeing the benefits of William Carey’s involvement in STEM education in our students and how we will be utilising technology in the years to come.

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Growth vs Fixed Mindsets

In my new role of Principal at William Carey, there have been many firsts for me over the past couple months, and here’s another one.  While blogging has been around for a long time, I must claim this is my first venture into the blogosphere.

This blog will continue to allow the school community to catch up on highlights and other key events in the school’s life.  Plus, I am also hoping that it will be a space in which I can share some thoughts on various aspects of school education, both at William Carey and further afield.

The start of the year for staff and students has been a very busy one, and part of this is reflecting on how we approach our work and learning.

Instinctively we desire to do well at whatever we try. However, often we can fear failure and find ourselves choosing to give up or avoid situations or work, when uncertain of the chances of success.

There are some obvious situations where it is prudent to avoid failure. For example an attempt at a death defying stunt, is best avoided until the appropriate skill level has been developed. However, a fear of failure can often prevent people, students especially, from making a start or continuing to keep trying. This is the product of a way of thinking (or mindset) that is fixed and limiting.

Alternative to a fixed mindset, is a growth mindset. A growth mindset focuses on improvement rather than on gifts or talents. Intelligence is just a starting point. So from the perspective of a growth mindset, all our students (and all of us) are capable of improvement.

To realise improvement, however, it does take resilience, hard work and perseverance.  As indicated in the picture above, success usually comes about after a series of trials or setbacks.  To persevere in the face of setbacks, our students must know what they are aiming for. Developing clear and realistic goals is vital in maintaining motivation when success does not come easily.

It is for this reason that both teaching staff and students have taken some time at the start of the year to reflect on goal setting. Staff have set goals with a focus on developing in areas of their professional lives, while students have been encouraged to set personal or class learning goals.

 

So what kind of mindset do you have?

 

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New Principal Announced

I am very pleased with the announcement of the new principal of William Carey for next year!  Keith McMullen will do a fantastic job.  It gives much comfort knowing that the school is in very safe hands.  Keith has been an exceptional head teacher of our Science department for the last 14 years and has a passion and commitment to the delivery of a quality Christian education.  Very exciting news!

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Cocktail Party Success!

Congratulations to our year 12 Creative Arts students who performed and displayed their works last night.  I am continually amazed by the talents of our students.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and am confident the rest of the guests did as well.  Credit also must be given to the hard working staff who pulled the evening together. Well done to all!

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Amazing Generosity

Congratulations to our high school students who raised $2,300 from yesterday’s mufti day towards the Maphutseng Partnership.  This money will finalise our commitment to the Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s food security program.  It was very humbling to witness our students’ incredible generosity.  Proud of you all!

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Yr 12 study hard!

Year 12 students are working hard as they prepare for their up coming trials in week 3 of this term.  It has been encouraging to speak to a number of individual students who have utilised the recent holiday break to consolidate their work.  Our thoughts and prayers are with year 12 at this significant phase of school.

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Champion Geographers

Congratulations to the year 10 & 11 students who entered the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association and Royal Geographical Society competition for their excellent results.

Particular mention to Reuben Winder and Josiah Younes who achieved high distinctions.

A special congratulations to Ryan Pavey who also earned a high distinction and scored within the top 1% of the state!

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Primary school is Who-ified!

Well done to the primary school today who were who-ified in the lead up to the musical Seussical.  All funds raised are going to the Maphutseng bridge project.  A special mention to Mr Burgess who looks who-rific!

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A Little Night Music

This not to be missed event is on Saturday 13th June.  The Art Music concert is an opportunity for our students to perform and be encouraged for all their hard work.  It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the gifts and abilities God has given our children.  Tickets are free and available from the uniform shop, the concert begins at 6:00pm and there will be soup and snacks available to buy.

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