Another school year draws to a close, and I can proudly say that there have again been many great things that have happened at the school during the year.

While not winning the big awards of the past few years, we have still had a number of our staff nominated for the annual Western Australian Education Awards, and been ranked as finalists.  These were: Mr Jeremy Caspersz (finalist Secondary Teacher of the Year), Mrs Jade Muli (finalist AIEO of the Year) and Mrs Julie Rutland (nominee Beginning Teacher of the Year).  Mr Ben Garnaut was also a finalist for Rising Star of the Year in the Australian Education Awards.

These staff are highly representative of the calibre of all the staff, both teaching and support staff, of Warwick Senior High School.

A number of students have been nominated for awards, scholarships and prestigious courses including the annual National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in Canberra, Professor Harry Messel International Science School in Sydney, Youth ANZAAS in Adelaide with others being accepted into WA YMCA Youth Parliament, Rotary Adventure in Citizenship (RAIC) in Canberra, and the Summer Science Experience (Perth), Girls in STEM (Perth) and many other exciting off school site adventures.

Warwick staff consistently nominate our students for experiences that challenge and extend their thinking, and allow students to make professional relationships with adults and ongoing friendships with likeminded students, all over Australia.

In “creating positive futures” for our students, we must provide opportunities for students to step outside their comfort zones and localities, into the big, wide, technological world.  Students now live in a global society, where traditional trade boundaries are broken, and new alliances are in place with our northern neighbours.  Technology means entrepreneurs and inventors can remain in their home to work, and sell their ideas and designs all over the world.

So we must encourage our students to be makers of new technology rather than just being users.  The school’s curriculum is rapidly morphing to have a more technological focus with lower school engineering courses being timetabled and becoming popular with students.  Also students are developing coding skills in IT classes and in our after school CoderDojo club.

Our Arts program has been going from strength to strength with two fantastic Music Concerts this year where novice and seasoned performers played and sang together.  Both concerts were highly enjoyed by the big audiences.  The Dance program conducted it annual Dancefest in August and its Contemporary Dance competition in December for Year 7 to 10. To finish the year, Home Economics, Visual Arts, Drama and Indonesian, held the very first HAI Expo showcasing the work and skills of their students in these curriculum areas.

My thanks must go the school’s hard working and dedicated parent and community groups including the School Board, and School P&C.  My thanks must go to Mrs Mandy Marais and Mr Warren Patrick who will retire from the School Board after being inaugural members of the Board in 2015, and serving on it for 5 years each.  The P&C work hard on fundraising events and giving feedback to the school on parent and community matters, and I highly value my working relationships with the P&C Executive.

Best wishes for the festive season and the New Year to all our parents/carers, students and school community members. Schools cannot work in isolation and as they say “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Stay safe and happy over the break.  I look forward working with every one again in 2020.

Lesley Wintle