At the College Council Meeting this week, formal approval was given to proceed with the D-Block redevelopment. D-block is the building beside our current Uniform Shop and is one of the College's older buildings. The new building, shown in the above artist's impression, will provide the College with a canteen and catering centre that will meet the needs of a school with over 1200 students, a social hub for students to gather and six modern learning spaces to house the College’s student community.
The demolition of the current buildings will occur during the June/July holidays with completion of the project expected by May 2020. We look forward with great anticipation to the completion of this project and the new opportunities it will provide for our students.
Wednesday 5 June saw two of our students recognised with Queensland Day Awards, in a program supported by our local member Ms Di Farmer MP. Adam Wyatt and Edie Biasibetti were nominated by their peers and were formally recognised at an event held at Parliament House. Accompanied by parents and friends, both represented the College with pride and can be justly proud of the contributions they make to the life of our College.
Our Primary school recently celebrated Under 8s week. A huge thank you to all who were involved in the events and contributed to it being such an enjoyable celebration of early childhood. This week, Primary students competed in the JTAS Cross Country Carnival and I congratulate everyone on their effort and achievements.
Congratulations to our da Vinci Decathlon teams who competed in the state competition last week. Our Year 5 and 6 teams scored some very pleasing results in individual components of the competition, while our Secondary teams combined to be the highest performing school in the state, with the Year 7 team placing first and our Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 teams all placing second. The competition consists of 10 rounds of competition, and I encourage you to visit the full report found in this newsletter to understand the extent of the challenge of this competition. Students are required to apply a range of skills and knowledge including problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork and creative thinking, which is a testament to the importance of the 21st-century skills we consider integral to a student’s educational experience.
Last week, I attend the Independent School’s Queensland (ISQ) forum titled ThinkNext. As an educator, it was both challenging and inspiring to explore the present and the future, with a realisation that many of our concepts about the future are present realities. Dr Catherine Ball provided insights into the way technology is changing how we complete even the most basic actions. Technological developments in 3D printing, the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, the social issues around cloning, the solutions being created using nanotechnologies to fight disease and reprogram body functions provided us with the greater challenge of determining what we should do, rather than what we can do.
Developing people with a strong ethical framework and the capacity to ask the right questions was identified as a key responsibility and challenge for educational institutions. Bernard Salt, of “smashed avocado on toast” fame, provided a very interesting and insightful commentary on Australian culture and the potential changes it will undergo in the next decade as the world continues its growth and realignment. The need to think differently, to ask new questions and challenge traditional perceptions was at the forefront of his address, as was the need to focus on providing a different set of skills and learnings to those traditionally taught. The development of new ways of learning, the enhancement of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics), enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking and skills, combined with agility and resilience to face the rapidly changing nature of life were identified as key to success in the next 10 plus years. As a College, we look forward to incorporating such research into the future Strategic Thinking of the College.
Watch this week's Principal's Voice.