It has been another jam-packed term of learning and extra-curricular activities. Our formal assemblies last week have been opportunities to celebrate student success and effort. Congratulations to those students who always put their very best into their learning.

Year 7 had their first experience of Colour Day, which is arguably the biggest day on our school calendar. A massive “well done” to Year 12 for pulling together your house themes, songs and costumes. They were suitably impressive! And a big thanks must go to Mrs Turner, our Head Teacher PDHPE, for coordinating this event and our cross country and athletics carnivals, which were also held this term.

We celebrated the wonderful inclusiveness of our school in April with our recognition of Autism Awareness Month. Many thanks to Abigail Gassman, our Head Teacher of Special Education, for her coordination of this important event, and a special mention to the students from Special Education who spoke to our whole school community – a very brave undertaking!

We have had much sporting success, with our senior boys 4x50m relay team making the CHS final, our girls softball team winning the Sydney East competition and progressing to the State Finals, our girls’ cricketers reaching the Sydney East final (still to come) and many members of our school community participating in representative sports at a high level. Thank you from us to all of the teachers who go above and beyond, giving up their time to coach sporting teams and develop the talents of our students.

In student leadership, our VOICE team was established by Ms Lombardo in 2021, which is an opportunity for ALL students to develop their leadership skills through social justice initiatives. We are very proud of our volunteer students who have stepped up to make a difference. All students are welcome to join. Grace Ryan from Year 11 was accepted into the NSW Youth Parliament (see her article about her experiences) and Szonja Dobras-Vincze from Year 9 undertook a similarly rigorous selection process to be accepted into the NSW Minister for Education’s Student Advisory Council. More on this later in the newsletter, too. Congratulations to both of these outstanding young women!

Parent-teacher interviews are coming up next week on 26 May and on 31 May, and we know our staff are looking forward to meeting you and speaking about your children’s learning. A reminder that bookings are through our Sentral Parent Portal. Contact the office if you need assistance with logging on.

Next term, the subject selection process will get underway for Years 8 and 10. Stay tuned for information sessions coming up.

Our Year 5 Enrichment Program is launching next week, bringing in 20 high potential students from our local feeder schools for an enriching learning experience on Thursdays over the next eight weeks – we can’t wait to meet them. Thanks to Rebecca Murray, our Head Teacher Learning & Support and High Potential and Gifted Coordinator, for her organisation of this valuable program.

Hipp Papangelis, our Head Teacher Wellbeing, and his Wellbeing Team, continue to bring us quality initiatives to support student wellbeing. Exercise the Mood continues this term, with our wonderful volunteer personal trainer Laura working with our girls in the gym and our counsellor Isabel, working with them on mindfulness. The Rock and Water Program program is up and running. Designed to support students to make positive decisions, manage their emotions and relate to others, Matt Waugh from our Maths faculty and Rae Worsley from our Science faculty have been trained and are running the program with targeted students during Thursday sport. Our Check-In Program, coordinated by Bianca Skinner, matches students to teacher mentors. If you think your child would benefit from a teacher mentor to set wellbeing goals, or work on organisation or behaviour, then please contact his or her year adviser, who will get the referral process happening.

This year we are focusing on student growth and attainment, and have many staff working with our students to boost their literacy and numeracy skills. English teachers Kristy Smith (Head Teacher Teaching and Learning), Sue Abson and Sandy Grekas are providing literacy support through team teaching and scaffolded support for students. Jan Ware, a former member of our Port Hacking Maths faculty, is providing team teaching support for numeracy in Maths and Science classes. And this week we welcome our newest Learning and Support Teacher, Joshua Wells, who comes to us from Galston High School.

Our staff professional learning for the new Strategic Improvement Plan is structured through “Professional Learning Communities” where our teachers will engage in deep dialogue and learning together, and we will be supporting aspiring teacher leaders through this new model, all with a focus on continuing to improve student learning outcomes, high expectations and to continue to develop our culture of wellbeing and learning at Port Hacking High.

We will see you all on the 26 and 31 May at Parent-Teacher interviews.

Joanne Collis, Lisa Edwards and Karen Murphy – Deputy Principals