Warwick SHS has been named the top STEM school in Australia for 2018. The school was nominated for this Australian Education Award for its STEM (which we call STEAM, to include the Arts) program. These awards are offered by The Educator magazine and all schools (public and private) across Australia can be nominated.
Warwick was ranked in the final eight schools which included very prestigious private schools in Melbourne and Sydney.
As Principal, I was invited to Sydney for the award ceremony on 17 August, but the credit for this award must go to the STEAM Committee at Warwick SHS, led by Science HOLA Graham Johnson and D&T Teacher-in-Charge Jeremy Caspersz. I have accepted this award on behalf of the STEAM team and the whole school, as this is school-wide focus.
The work of this committee over the past few years has contributed to the new focus of our school on the STEM skills of problem solving, communication, collaboration and critical and creative thinking.
This skill set is necessary in all school subjects, but more importantly, they are life skills to be used in any vocation after school. These are the skills that workers in the immediate future need to ensure jobs in science and technology are capably filled across Australia. Warwick students will be very well placed in the future, to have employment in these areas, due to our STEAM program.
– Lesley Wintle
Many events in Term 3
Term 3 has been a hive of activity. There were many events which students could choose to be involved in for fun or to improve their learning or skills.
Literacy and Numeracy Week offered students the opportunity to be involved class and lunch-time activities that challenged their thinking and problem solving skills, and let them experience additional learning, but in a fun way. The Mathematics and English teachers (sneakily) ensured students were made to think creatively in the many activities offered.
The Athletics Carnival was an opportunity for students to engage in serious or simply enjoyable events.
The competition was fierce and fun. It was a great event that generated competition between the four factions, but also improved school spirit and sense of belonging in the students.
The chance to dress up was well embraced by staff and students and made for a very colourful day.
Science Week was again ‘fun’ but with the serious focus on engaging students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities, aimed at developing their skills and interest in eventually gaining employment in these areas.
The federal government has predicted if schools don’t assist in changing students’ vocational aspirations into these areas, Australia won’t have a workforce suited to mid-21st Century.
Year 5 students from local primary schools also attended Warwick on the day of the Science Fair. I observed that a good time was had by all, with students delighted at the activities they could experience!
And towards the end of term, the Health/Physical Education staff and the Year 12 Health Studies students conducted the annual RU OK? Day Expo.
Most Warwick classes and also West Coast SESC students attended the school gym on the day and spent time at many health and lifestyle focused stalls and displays.
These aimed to raise the knowledge and awareness of our students about caring for their physical and mental health. This was another very successful event.
Overall, it has been a busy but very rewarding Term 3 for staff and students. Congratulations to the students and staff that organised and conducted these events.