It is so wonderful to be working alongside our hardworking staff and students who love their high school! I enjoy leading Muswellbrook HS and I am grateful to the warm welcome back I have received this Term.
A huge thank you to Mrs. Christine Fairweather for her outstanding job as relieving Principal during Terms 2 and 3. Thank you also to Mrs. Nicole Thompson and Mr. Dan O’Hara for their support of Mrs. Fairweather whilst in the role and for their ongoing support at Muswellbrook HS.
Mr. Scott Copland continues to remain on sick leave for the remainder of 2019. Muswellbrook High School will work with three Deputy Principals for the remainder of the year, supporting the learning and wellbeing of all our students.
Congratulations to all of our YR. 12 students who completed their secondary schooling, including the nine ATSI students. Research strongly supports that future quality of life and employment opportunities are directly correlated to the completion of education. I am always grateful to the support above and beyond that our staff will go to ensure our Stage 6 students have the best support for their HSC. Thank you to the HSC teachers who willingly put their own family plans on hold to ensure that they are available to our students during the holidays and throughout the study vacation period. Thank you to the Stage 6 Team – Mrs. Laura Martin, Mrs. Lauren Gallagher and Mrs. Dana Hogan. This team have ensured all students have been well prepared for these external exams and the level of communication via social media and phone contact is unprecedented. Thank you to the support of Muswellbrook Council Library team, led by Muswellbrook Library Coordinator Dion Hockley and Nattapong (Taytae) Teerakaew from UoN for their willingness to work with our school to ensure our students are comfortable and at ease.
Thank you to HSC supervisor Mrs. Tracy Pengelly and her team of highly professional and supportive exam supervisors who continue to ensure our students have a calm and supportive environment in which to do their best.
The HSC results will be released 17 December. Our staff and careers advisor, Mrs. Sonya McDonald, will be available to students, if they wish to finalise future plans – please make contact with us.
Congratulations to our two Music students – Brady Cavanagh and Aiden Powell, and also to their dedicated teacher, Mrs. Martin, for their selection into the prestigious Reprise HSC concert. It is outstanding to have even one student elected but to have two students from a school is exceptional – well done!
The DoE has always utilised an enrolment policy. This is needed to ensure that places are set aside for local students who may enrol during the year. Most recently this policy has been revised.
Each school is allocated a designated intake area and each school has an enrolment cap (the number of students that can be enrolled based on permanent accommodation), which is centrally determined. The school’s enrolment cap is the number of students that may be accommodated based on the number of permanent classrooms. Schools that have exceeded their enrolment cap will not enrol non-local students, unless required by the Director Educational Leadership. Non-local enrolment applications are from students residing outside the school’s designated intake area.
The department’s NSW Public School Finder tool locates a school and displays its designated intake areas. The School Finder will locate schools by name or from a residential address entered on the website.
Muswellbrook High School will always enrol students who permanently reside within the school’s intake area. The revised policy clarifies the enrolment rights for siblings of non-local students. The selection criteria for any non-local enrolment panel will give priority to siblings of existing students where possible. Siblings of currently enrolled students who were local when enrolled but are now non-local because of boundary changes are also entitled to enrol. The policy also says that schools can enrol students who are out of our local intake area if there are exceptional circumstances. These circumstances should be determined on a case by case basis by the school’s placement panel.
Upon returning to Term 4, I am overjoyed at the new works that have been completed. All facility upgrades result in greater utilisation of existing facilities and are more aesthetically pleasing, which is always a bonus. During Term 3 and the holiday period new flooring has been laid in most rooms in B, C, D and A block. The old infant’s school defunct toilet facilities have been converted into PE change rooms, an upgrade to the main toilet block (better lighting, freshly painted and tiled) and storage constructed in the Neate Theatre. We have converted a storeroom into a disabled toilet to accommodate student needs and provide a much wanted facility.
Thank you to the students and staff for their patience with the disruptions as the work was being completed. The school has more works in the pipeline which we hope to have complete during the end of year holiday period. It is always great to hear past students return as wither visitors or parents and to hear their comments about how great the school looks and ‘we didn’t have that when I was here?’.
I am overjoyed at the strong student leadership team elected as our Captains, Vice Captains and Prefects, and I am excited to work alongside them in 2020. This student team already have demonstrated and proven commitment to the improvement of Muswellbrook HS. I know that they will work well together to raise our expectations even higher. Ms. Ashlee Smeeth has been our SRC co-ordinator during 2019. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Smeeth for her passion and commitment to our student leadership team. Mrs. Michelle Farrell has now taken on this whole school role and I appreciate her willingness to demonstrate her leadership. In the junior school, the SRC consists of 6 representative from each cohort.
This is a full time of year as we move towards electing new students into the student leadership team. The timeline for the elections are as follows:
Week 2: SRC nominations open and close Tuesday week 3.
Week 7: successful nominates announced at the whole school assembly.
Week 9: SRC inducted and badged at the student Achievement Awards Assembly
On behalf of Muswellbrook HS staff and students, we would like to pass on our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Barry French (Uncle Charlie). His gentle concern and his willingness to represent his culture and community at many formal school functions over many years have been greatly appreciated. It is indeed a privilege to have known such a great man.