This has been the first full and un-interrupted year of schooling for a large number of our students and their families, and we are certainly all feeling that at the moment.
We have had some challenges thrown our way this year with possibly the biggest this week in the form of storm damage. Our Early Years Unit has had significant water damage resulting in caved in ceilings, sodden carpets and a large amount of teacher and school resources damaged beyond repair.
Our Reception classes have been relocated for the week, our Visual Arts room is out of action, the canteen has been impacted and powered by a generator and, Jacqui and Lisa have been displaced from their work environment.
Despite the incredible efforts of our staff, we are as yet unsure what the start of 2024 will bring. Please be assured that I will be on call for the holiday period and will manage whatever works are required over the break. I will endeavour to let you all know the outcome before school returns and will support everyone through any of the impact from the uncertainty and change.
2023 has been another huge year for our Porties family with our:
- trial year of Outdoor Education,
- successes in the Sporting realm including our back to back wins in the Crows Cup, and culminating in another wonderful Beach Carnival
- 3 choirs including our first Reception choir and our dance troupe being included in the Choir Performance at Hopgood Theatre,
- some of our Year 4 students participated in an international Maths and Science assessment (happily),
- Our sensory space, the Cocoon, was created (thanks Jacqui) and quickly became an embedded part of our school
- The language consultation with families, students and staff leading to AUSLAN being introduced in 2024 as our whole school language
- AND then this term our RAP launch / Remembrance Day where we brought our community together.
Central to all of this are our students and we saw how wonderful they were at the final Assembly. We have one group of our students who are speeding towards the end of their Primary schooling. Our Year 6 students have completed their transition visits and planned their Graduation outfits, speeches and shone at the ceremony. The 2023 Year 6s are a diverse, funny and kind bunch who have experienced their share of ups and downs this year and throughout their primary schooling. I have personally enjoyed working with them and look forward to hearing of their future successes.
Our students wouldn’t be here without their families making the decision to share them with us and join our Porties’ family. We know that life isn’t always easy outside of the school gates for families and we appreciate your willingness to partner with us. Thank you to all of the volunteers and families who have stepped in and stepped up across the year.
To all of the families who are at the end of their time with Porties’ school, I would like to thank you for your contributions over the time that you have had your children enrolled here. I wish you every success for your future and that of your children.
I’d like to send a special thank you to our 2023 Governing Council Representatives Briana Field, Kylie Russell, Cam Baldock, Ariane Plowright, Kathy Blacker, Jake Fitton, Penny Sanchez, Skye Forde, Sofia Erikkson, Scott Lines, Kath Lines, Rachel Edwards, Ben Hatcher, Lauren Jackman, Grant Learmonth, Chris Burns, and Karissa De Leeuw.
They have questioned, problem solved, supported and made some pretty big decisions for our school. There have been occasions where I have been challenged at our meetings and this means that your representatives are pushing the important things and have passion. Finally I’d like to especially thank the ‘Gov’ Ben Hatcher for his leadership as Chair of the Governing Council. He has led with fairness and cares deeply about our school and community.
Every year we say farewell to members of staff for different reasons. This year I’d like to say thank you and goodbye to Ally Miller, Sarah Smale and Eilis Hobby. We wish them every success for their future and know that we will see them again one day whether as colleagues, parents or as friends.
Finally I’d like to thank our staff team. They are a remarkable group who have the best interests of our children at the centre of all that they do. In 2023 they have supported students in ways that many of you would not be aware of…they have provided clothing, bedding, vouchers, counselling, care and time across the year.
The emotional toll can be immense as this is an empathetic bunch who feel for our children, and their families. In our hearts, our staff are truly integral members of the Porties’ Family.
I am personally grateful to know and work alongside this staff team and am excited to see where we are headed to in 2024.
Thank you all for this year.