2. Our Capacity to Succeed
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?" --Robert Schuller
The capacity to improve learning outcomes for students and to creatively explore and implement innovative approaches to education is based on a strong track record of success. Some of our achievements during the past 3-5 years include:
- Best ever results in external testing, Higher School Certificate, School Certificate and literacy and numeracy testing. In the HSC and School Certificate, Bands 5 and 6 results doubled in comparison with the previous peak performance.
- The introduction of the PEC student voice team, student guidance program and PBL, positive behaviour for learning, has seen significant improvements in capacity building for our students. There has been a more responsible, proactive approach to life at school by students and a resultant dramatic reduction in inappropriate behaviours, with an emphasis on supporting students to develop skills to manage their lives at school more effectively and to engage more productively in learning. Behaviour referrals have been reduced by 30-40%, suspensions have been reduced and attendance has increased by approximately 5% during this period.
- The introduction of cutting edge technology being implemented across PEC to improve the quality of teaching and learning and to enhance connections between students, classes and school sites. This is a highly effective way to enable staff to share effective practice and to better use existing expertise. We are currently developing the use of a range of technologies to enhance teaching and learning within and across schools. This includes the use of DER laptops, interactive whiteboards, connected classes technology, Moodle, individual electronic response systems and an integrated messaging system. Last year Plumpton High School delivered the HSC course in Filipino to another school, St Marys Senior High School, using this technology to ensure their students are able to access the expertise we have at Plumpton High School. Students in this class secured 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places in the state in this course.
- The introduction of the Ningbo Volunteers program caters for the development of Mandarin teaching across PEC. The PEC Sports Gala Day and the PEC Creative and Performing Arts expo to provide rich learning experiences and leadership opportunities for secondary students in working with primary students, a major initiative for the Plumpton Education Community schools. The introduction of the Citizenship Continuum, including Student Portfolios supports students in achieving a range of competencies in a way which is both exciting and challenging. These competencies are based on the skills which employers have identified as being keys to employment.
- The establishment of the PEC Schools Learning Support team has ensured a more strategic approach to supporting students with high learning needs. The schools' resources for providing intensive support for students are being coordinated through this team. The Learning Centre at Plumpton High School is consistently full of students who readily access it for additional support with their learning and the achievement of improved results is providing strong evidence for the success of the centre.
- The PEC submission for a major grant from the Commonwealth Government as part of the Local Schools Working Together program has resulted in approval for a new $2.4 million state-of-the-art performing arts centre with tiered seating for 400 people. This facility will be shared by all PEC schools and also with students from the Good Shepherd Primary School and the Australian Islamic College.
As a result of the high quality work which occurs on a daily basis we received the Regional Director's Award for School Achievement for our work as the Plumpton Education Community and the Regional Director's Award for Innovation in Technology. Plumpton High School also received the Director-General's Award for Outstanding School Achievement. These awards are recognition of a culture which has challenged existing practices to create new possibilities for education provision.