Our School - Principal's Blog

February 7, 2017

Seven school days of the 2017 school year have flown by with such a lot covered, the energy of activity at MHS has been inspiring! Even amidst several exceedingly hot days, our students and teachers have made a strong and focused start to the school year!

We have:

  • welcomed our delightful new Year 7 students and they have made a wonderfully industrious and settled start to high school 
  • held our swimming carnival
  • brought in a new student management and wellbeing system called Sentral
  • begun our intensive literacy and writing focus across every class and subject in the school
  • implemented new teaching and learning programs focused on the development of higher order thinking, problem solving and conceptual development and
  • we are about to launch our new 'Zeros Aren't Permitted'  (ZAP!)  high expectations for every student in every class across the school!

Here's what ZAP learning looks like:

 

 


 January 26, 2017.

I am excited about the new school year which begins tomorrow for our teachers, and next week for our students! Many staff have been in throughout the holidays preparing for 2017. I am very proud of the dedicated teaching staff we have at MHS. I know all of us are also keen to see our students again and also, to welcome our new Year 7 students. The school is experiencing a significant increase in enrolments beyond those anticipated for 2017, building further on the steady increase in student enrolments (7%) I have seen since my arrival as deputy principal in 2011. While I have been Relieving Principal for the past two years at MHS, I am delighted to now be Principal of this wonderful high school!  As indicated on the front page of our website, our school is evolving and has gained strong recognition in the education community. It is now also and gaining recognition in the broader community which reflects the truth of the school: a caring and committed staff, great young people, responsive, effective classrooms and the widely positive relationships we experience as a community, across the school. You might expect me to say that here, but any old stories to the contrary are not based on the calm, positive reality of this school today.

To our new Year 7 parents joining the MHS community for the first time, I am aware that sending your child to high school is a big step. I have heard the anxieties some parents feel about their child entering their high school years: the media seems full of stories about ICE epidemics, school yard bullying, fights and unruly young people.

Be most assured, NOT in my school! I have high expectations of student behaviour in and out of the classroom. I have zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour of any sort and I take swift action to ensure it is stopped immediately and does not impact the safety and happiness of our students. I do have a reputation of being 'firm but fair' and all students at MHS are aware of the very clear disciplinary consequences which ensure our safe and happy learning community. Therefore, your young one will not: have his/her head 'flushed' (these stories were about when I started high school and I have yet to hear of it actually happening!), s/he won't be picked on by older students, offered drugs or suffer any other terrifying experience.

Your child will: meet a lot of new friends from over 17 different primary schools; have a 1/3 of the playground for Year 7  only; find lots of teachers caring about her/his happy transition to high school; have supportive conversations with his/her year adviser, deputy and principal as we go out into the playground to get to know our new students at recesses and lunches and; they will have our reassurance that if something is worrying them, they need only to see us to have any problem sorted very quickly. I am very attuned to the negative effect worry has on young people (and parents!) so please, if ever you are wondering whether you should call to talk about something, even if it is small, the answer is always, 'yes' - my door and my telephone line is always open to you!

Proudly, En Avant!

Paula Graham

 

 

 

 

11 / 11/ 16

Remembrance Day.

Today MHS held a poignant Remembrance day, with the unveiling of the newly restored 'Red Ensign' and Roll of Honour. The school hosted many visitors, who sat under the shade of a spreading Jaracaranda tree, and listened to the sound of bagpipes and the Last Post reasonate through the playground. Retired principal, Tim Weston, described the very personal stories of valour and sacrifice associated with the Roll of  Honour and the Flag of Honour. Both of these items have been recently return to the school following extensive restoration and were rededicated by RSL Chaplain, Eric Bell.

Welcome to our new website! Maitland High School is, without a doubt, the best community I have worked in! We are strong, comprehensive and proudly a public high school, whose profile in the community continues to increase as the school of choice in our local area. Our school is very focused on continually addressing the basics of what makes a successful school - indeed, it is written as a mission statement across the front entrance! Our continual improvement has three key areas and these are captured in detail in our School Plan: Successful Teachers enable Successful Students, which combined, create a Successful School!

What this means in action is that over the next three years, we have committed to increasing the teaching expertise of our teachers as this is what has the greatest effect on improving student learning outcomes. Our teachers engage in collaborative professional practice, where they analyse their teaching and the teaching of their colleagues: they reflect on how to improve and further develop their teaching ideas. Unit programming is also developed together regularly, where teachers change up their teaching programs and work on the development innovative learning activities. A high level of expertise and currency of subject knowledge, both as it relates to curriculum delivery and high stakes examinations such as the HSC, and to real world applications and problem-solving ability, is expected of our teachers at Maitland High School. The Instructional Leadership capabilities of our executive teachers are being developed in order to lead our teachers in ensuring rigour, or high intellectual quality learning in the classroom, with an overt focus on improving student literacy skills - particularly their ability to write well and successfully decode meaning in a range of different texts.

High standards and expectations of student behaviour are enforced at Maitland High School. Positive classroom management using Calmer Classrooms precepts underpin classroom management. I will not tolerate persistent disruption to classes and teachers are instructed to use our 'Deputy Direct' system to ensure that classrooms remain productive and engaging learning spaces.

I would greatly welcome any prospective parents and students interested in finding out more about the school, and in fact, welcome you to come and see it in action! Please contact me directly via phone call or email, to organise a tour and discuss your child's learning future!

 

Paula Graham
B.Ed. Grad. Cert. Ed. Stud.
Ph: 02 49337933
EMAIL: paula.graham10@det.nsw.edu.au