Year 5 students have been heavily involved in leading a growing understanding of practical ways in which we can protect our environment and act sustainably through the Champions for Change initiative, led by Mrs Lu Pollard. Developing environmental and cultural understandings is an important part of a young person’s growth and the Pacific Champions for Change have joined the Sunshine Coast Council’s Kids in Action initiative to deepen their understanding and broaden the impact of young people acting together in our schools. The Year 6 students are also involved in a global environmental program as part of the Microsoft Educator Community. They are looking forward to their Skype connection with a turtle rehabilitation centre in South Carolina on Thursday 30th May. We thank Mrs Lu Pollard and Mrs Linda Sydes for their leadership of these exciting initiatives in this area.
Recently, I was one of four independent school principals to participate in a forum of around 30 people that included the Executive Director of both Catholic Education and Independent Schools Queensland as well as representatives from Education Queensland, Independent Schools Queensland and universities, to reflect on the role of the soon to be instituted new National Evidence Institute: https://www.isq.qld.edu.au/media-resources. This week, students have been engaged in NAPLAN testing across Australia. These tests do provide important information in terms of the development of literacy and numeracy skills for individuals and cohorts. One of the important considerations we have in planning for the improvement of education into the future is that we recognise the development of literacy and numeracy is one important element, but not the whole of the picture of what is important in the education of our young people. Narrowing what is reported and publicised can lead to a narrowing of delivery of learning for young people. It is important that there are strong voices for the development of innovation, entrepreneurialism, lifelong learning capabilities, social emotional capacities, creativity, critical thinking, digital skills, global understandings and spiritual understandings. An education system judged solely in terms of what is easy is to measure loses its humanity and richness. Our Pacific community understands this well.
We pray for wisdom, love and joy for the parents, students, teachers and leaders who are involved in the growth of young people around the world.
Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal