Heathdale flower 24th November 2022

Celebration Nights Ahead

We are excited for our upcoming Celebration Nights where we will recognise our students' amazing efforts this year.

Heathdale flower

The time of year is upon us when we watch your precious children show you their learnings for the year. It is a wonderful time when we can see them reaching for their God given-potential and we take time out to see the gifts God has given them.

Some of our guiding principles for celebrating are:

- It is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ.

- It is a time for our community to come together as one to celebrate the learning that has occurred.

- It is a time to have fun and enjoy each other's company.

- It is a tradition that we honour and respect.

- We do not limit Celebration Night to one year level because it is good for children to see what they can aspire to.

There is however a bit of a pragmatic shadow I wanted to share with you.

As a Primary school we are big, with over 1000 children spanning two Learning Modules, K-2 and 3-6! As such, we have outgrown Werribee Baptist Church as a venue for celebrating the end of the academic year. So, this year we are holding our Celebration Nights at Encore, just across the road. Even still, due to space limits, you will see tickets have been limited to 2x per family. This is even with splitting each Module into two so we can have each year level and house represented!

I am mindful that 2x tickets per family is not enough for many. The weather in Melbourne is too changeable for outdoor presentations so we will continue to look for larger venues. Streaming is an option, but it takes away the excitement of live performance. Most of the larger venues are further away, this does bring with it the challenge of travel and rehearsals. Therefore, we would love to hear from you if you have any further thoughts in this area.

Classes for 2023

For the 2023 school year, we have been working with a new program for Heathdale called ‘Class Solver’. With the Primary school being so large, we needed a little help with the algorithms of student placement. We work with the program by inputting parameters and information. This might be information about who students work well with, who they do not work well with, who their friends are, their academic results, any extra needs, etc. Then, the program works out the best class configurations so that needs are met, but are also spread out for the whole cohort. After this, we have spent much time adjusting parameters and inputting further information in the ultimate quest of optimal placement.

What does this mean? What it ultimately means is that we believe we will have the best placement, not only for your child, but for the whole year level and for the teachers. This is with the hope of a settled and happy year level. It also means that movement from now on is highly unlikely. You will receive a letter in the last week of term with your child's new class and teacher.

It is our intention as a leadership team that all teachers are highly skilled and effectively provide the best education that we can give, so your child can develop their God-given potential. We are always open to feedback to keep improving our skills.

As a final note, this time of year is busy and stressful for many, and we have very much appreciated everyone's patience as we are trying out some new ideas. Thank you particularly to all who have been liaising with Nadine Birkett, my wonderful PA and Primary School Office Coordinator, about Celebration Night tickets with kindness. She has a huge job and always does it with grace and amazing efficiency.