Whenever Mother’s Day arrives, I often begin to panic about two things: Have I remembered some presents? AND The year is nearly half over!
So firstly, a FANTASTIC Mother’s Day to all mums. May you feel truly loved and valued on a day dedicated to you!
Now… the fact that half the year is over means that 2020 is not far away! As we are all getting ready for the new one campus model, it is important that families are kept up to date and involved.
Firstly, our Transition Program at the end of Term 1 was a great success. It was a great opportunity for students at both campuses to come together, and to experience their 2020 campus as a whole school. There will be further opportunities throughout the year for students and staff to come together so that 2020 will be a great year! My thanks to Mel Scott, our Campus Coordinator for her superb organisation, the teaching staff at both campuses for their teamwork, and to Melissa Belton, our Victor Harbor Junior School Wellbeing Leader, for her leadership.
To be fully ready for 2020, we are also ensuring that we have ample, state-of-the-art classrooms available. We are installing a brand new Drama and Music Centre adjacent to the Performing Arts Centre. This will provide close connection with the theatre, and also free up beautiful classroom spaces in the Junior School area. This means that we have “plenty of room” for 2020 and beyond!
But of course, a College is more than just classrooms, music and drama centres! During the Term 3 holidays, we will also be installing a brand new playground on the grass “quad” area for our Junior School students!
This will complement the extensive Nature Play developments so far and there will be further nature play developments in 2020. The picture below gives just a little idea of how the new playground will look- but a final design (more extensive than what is in the picture) is being finalised now.
While thinking 2020, families are encouraged to view the Scholarship Applications for 2020. They can be found at:
Scholarships are not only financially rewarding – they are a wonderful recognition of a variety of student achievement. Scholarships are limited… and applications close on 30 August.
I’m also delighted to announce that the College Curriculum team is constructing a College Learning Improvement Plan (CLIP). Part of improving the learning at the College is consistent review and planning. Most importantly, we will also be seeking STUDENT and FAMILY input once initial work on the plan is complete. From Term 3, there will be several opportunities for families, staff and students to come together to discuss and develop – please get involved.
2020 will also provide a unique opportunity for us to revisit and reinvent better ways for parents, caregivers and families to have a voice, to be involved and to contribute to the life of the College. Based on the great work of Louise Davies and her ebullient ELC team, we will be launching:
This will be a community whose aims will be to connect, to network, to bring together the College Community. More news to come!
Finally, you will be aware of the great success of the third European Study Tour (see article in next column). You may also be aware that, this year, the College commenced a Beginners Italian class, open to students in Year 10 and above, as well as adults in the College Community. For students, this means a SACE Stage 1 Accreditation…for adults, a new language and a lot of fun! I am currently liaising with a prestigious school in Vicenza, Northern Italy (70kms from Venice!) to commence an exchange program. Open to students at the College who intend to study Italian in 2020, this will be a unique 3-week immersion. Students will mix with Italian students who are learning English, visit several historic Italian centres, attend classes at a school, and be hosted by an Italian family (and enjoy my company for three weeks!). Anticipated dates are 7-25 January 2020. Anyone who thinks they may be interested should contact me…places are limited. More news to come!
Back to 2019…
We have just commenced our NAPLAN assessment period. Investigator College is a fully “online” school, one year ahead of the nationally mandated commencement. The staff, led by Melanie Scott, have undergone training so that the online environment will be a more “student” friendly environment than the old paper tests (please note, however, that the Year 3 Writing test remains a paper-based test across Australia). Despite media “noise”, staff at the College are reminding students that the NAPLAN is only ONE assessment, providing a snapshot of student achievement. Students are helped to approach NAPLAN the same way they would approach any assessment in the classroom.
Where was my favourite place in Europe? A huge cohort of 46 (23 students, 18 adults and 5 staff) is still asking themselves the same question. Was it walking the streets of Hamburg, where once the Beatles walked? Was it being able to see both sides of “the wall” in Berlin? Was it the fairy-tale beauty of Prague? The elegance and grandeur of Mozart’s Vienna?
Was it the breathtaking beauty of Venice? The renaissance elegance of Florence? Or was it the untouched medieval splendour of San Gimignano? Maybe it was actually the imperial beauty and cosmopolitanism of Rome. Or perhaps the ancient beauty of Herculaneum and Pompeii set against the stunning bay of Naples? Or was it our last stop, the birth of modern history, democracy and art, Athens?
Probably, we will never decide. One thing, however, is certain. None of us has returned the same person. We have all learnt so much, travelled so far, tasted different foods, heard different languages, made so many friends…
No matter how many times I go to Europe, I always love it. Most of all, the memory I will carry forever is the looks of amazement and wonder on the faces of everyone on my tour. Every day was full, new and a fresh glimpse at the world.
My thanks go to my team of staff leaders- it is no small undertaking to organise and run a tour of 46 people, 5 countries, 8 cities, 8 hotel check-ins, planes, trains and automobiles. I thank also all the parents and friends of the College who placed their children in our care…and especially to the wonderful group of 18 adults who came along!
And finally, to our marvellous students. Every hotel, museum, art gallery…everyone made a point of telling me that they’d never seen such well-behaved, friendly and engaged students. It should come as no surprise – they are Investigator College students!
Believe it or not…I have already met with my travel team in Sydney to plan the next tour in 2021!
2021 EUROPE: EAST TO WEST
If you are interested in Budapest, Munich, Venice, Milan, Switzerland, Nice, Barcelona and maybe even Dubrovnic…watch this space! Expressions of interest will open in late Term 3!
Andrew Panozzo | Acting Principal