Glen Waverley Secondary College


Glen Waverley Secondary College

Infobox Aust school
name = Glen Waverley Secondary College

| motto = "Gain Wisdom"
established = 1960
type = Public School
principal = Gerald Schillercite web
url=http://www.study.vic.gov.au/school_details.aspx?ID=8808
title=Glen Waverley Secondary College - School Details - Victorian Government Schools - Study Victoria
publisher=www.study.vic.gov.au
accessdate=2008-09-16
last=
first=
]
city = Victoria
state = VIC
country = Australia
campus = Glen Waverley
enrolment = 1900
colours = Red and Blue
homepage = [http://www.gwsc.vic.edu.au/ www.gwsc.vic.edu.au]

Glen Waverley Secondary College is a public government school located in Glen Waverley, a southeastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is one of the four largest secondary schools in Victoria.

Overview

The school currently has over 1900 students from years 7 to 12, and according to a 2006 survey in "The Age" newspaper, had the most multicultural student population in Melbourne.Fact|date=May 2007

Students are divided into the Middle School (years 7 to 9), and Senior School (years 10 to VCE).

Glen Waverley Secondary College offers a tertiary-oriented curriculum at senior year levels, and is developing a learning enquiry-style curriculum at junior year levels.Fact|date=May 2007

The College was one of the Government 'Navigator' schools, which saw it being given the role of exploring the application of ICT (Information Communication Technology) to contemporary classrooms, and then providing in-service programmes to educators around Australia. The majority of Glen Waverley's technology solutions are developed in-house.

Typically, around 30-40% of final year students achieve ENTER scores above 90, and usually around 75% obtain ENTER scores above 70 (the maximum being 99.95).Fact|date=May 2007

The school is an active participant in international student exchange programs.

Amalgamation

The current College is a product of three separate secondary schools amalgamating in the early 1990s.

"Syndal Secondary College" and "Lawrence Secondary College" (the latter having a 'Technical School' specialisation) joined the existing Glen Waverley Secondary College and amalgamated school, sharing students, staff, and resources.

This came at a time when the Government was pursuing a policy of creating 'super' schools, rationalising small schools with dwindling enrolments out of existence. The belief was that larger schools would have a greater ability to offer a broad curriculum.

Lawrence closed first, followed by Syndal. The latter school continued as a junior campus (years 7 and 8) prior to closing.

The buildings on the sites of these former schools were demolished, and the land was used for housing developments.

The school buildings at Syndal were the "C-800" style, popular in Victoria through the late 1960s and early 1970s (a surviving example of this style can be found at Westernport Secondary College. [ [http://www.westernportsc.vic.edu.au/Westernport Secondary College] ] The design consists of a rectangular compound formed from inward-facing classrooms, this compound enclosing a pair of hexagonal-shaped buildings, one a library, and the other a flexible-use cluster of classrooms. The latter 'hexagon' was designed to enable internal walls to be temporarily reconfigured, allowing for team-teaching of larger groups, or other collaborative activities. This functionality has now been reproduced in the current College's Middle School Building, where the reconfigurable classroom design supports "Enquiry Learning" pedagogies.

Principals

Tony Bell was principal of the school from the 1980s until mid-1999, and oversaw the implementation of new facilities beyond what most state schools were able to offer.Fact|date=May 2007 Under Tony Bell, the school was able to unveil its heralded "Science and Technology Centre", which followed on from years of curriculum research and reform.Fact|date=May 2007 This new facility allowed a far more comprehensive base for teaching technology, especially in the areas of electronics, materials (wood, metal and plastic), textiles as well as information technology. The building also provided new science labs. His successor in the role was Darrell Fraser (1999-2004). In 2004, Fraser was offered the position of Deputy Secretary in School Operations in the Department of Education & Training, Victoria. Fact|date=September 2008

Gerry Schiller is the current school Principal, having previously been the Head of Middle School.

Demographics

The diverse school population comprises over 40 nationalities, speaking more than 50 different languages. As is the case with all Victorians, many students at the school are from migrant backgrounds.

Each year, GWSC students participate in a programme of cultural activities and exhibitions, as part of the Victorian State Government's 'Celebrate Our Cultural Diversity Week'. Within the College community, the programme is designed to recognise and celebrate the successful integration of GWSC's culturally diverse population.Fact|date=September 2008

Houses

The College uses a "house" system, and has four houses. The houses were initially used simply for sporting events, but are now used also to organise students into groups for organising timetables and sharing facilities.

"Goolagong" House is named after Evonne Goolagong, the famous Australian tennis player. This house's colour is yellow, taken from the colour of a tennis ball.

"Bradman" House is named after Sir Donald Bradman, the famous Australian cricketer. This House's colour is green, taken from the colour of grass.

"Elliott" House is named after Herb Elliott, the Australian Olympic athlete. This house's colour is red, derived from the colour of polyurethane athletics tracks.

"Fraser" House is named after Dawn Fraser, the famous Australian Olympic swimmer. The house's colour is blue, representing water.

ite Redevelopment

The last three years have seen major changes to the school's layout. In order of completion, the Art Centre, Administration Block, Middle School Centre and Library have been built, and the C Wing has been demolished. From September 2008, work on an extension to the Middle School Building commenced.

Library

Commissioned in mid-April 2007. The new purpose-built Library is a large, accommodating space, with natural-light-filled reading niches, fluorescent-lit private study areas, a central convention space, and the usual complement of library support spaces. The building includes hi-tech computer labs, a Careers Centre, and a "Sick Bay", the latter staffed by a full-time school nurse. The technology implemented in the new library is up to date. This project has paid off well, attracting many students to the library, increasing overall literacy rates.

The grounds surrounding the Library include not only wooden seating and faux bowers, but also a water feature. The water feature draws water from a subterranean reservoir filled by gutter-sourced rainfall.

A red-brown 'snake' symbol in the pavement works its way across the concreted area that lies between the Library and the Administration Block, stretching from the Senior Centre to the Middle School Building.

Arts

Once the existing school library building had been decommissioned, the structure was extensively refitted to serve as the College's new Art precinct. Exterior walls were partially 'pushed back', opening the space up and providing for large, studio-style learning spaces. The core structure is of a clear span construction, and was very suited to this conversion. As well as large internal spaces, the Arts building sports an external decking that students use for open air painting and sketching, as well as for socialising during recess and lunchtime.

The College's performing arts program is renowned for outstanding musical productions including “Guys & Dolls”, “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Sweet Charity”, “Chorus Line”, “My One and Only” and “Chicago” which won "Best Junior Show" at the Victorian Guild Awards. In 2007 the College performed the musical "Little Shop of Horrors", and in 2008, the Middle School produced "Into the Woods".

Administration Block

The new administration block was among the first spaces to be delivered, and sits on O'Sullivan Road, providing a clear entrance to the College, and clarifying the layout of the school. Previously, the Administration area was located in the centre of the site, and some visitors experienced difficulty finding it.

The Administration block provides accommodation for the school's principals, as well the Business Manager, Daily Organiser, Facilities Manager, and includes the General Office, Conference Room and Professional Learning Centre. The Communications Office is also located within the building.

enior Centre

As part of the redevelopment, minor extension work and reforming of the external accesses was carried out on the existing Senior Centre. Access for students with mobility challenges was specifically incorporated in the renovations, as previous access had been demolished. A large air conditioning plant was also added to the building, to help compensate for its poor passive heating-cooling design. A similar system is required in the new Library, as that entirely new building likewise has negligible passive heating-cooling features.

Middle School Building

The Middle Building is a two-storey building used mainly by Middle School students (7-9), and is equipped with large science and computer labs, and clusters of reconfigurable learning spaces. The key concept to these reconfigurable spaces is that standard-sized classrooms can be easily opened up (by redeploying operable walls) to facilitate team teaching programmes. These clusters are near small computer-equipped withdrawal spaces, allowing students to access a range of network-based resources, including web resources and computer applications. Interactive whiteboards and projection screens for rich media are also integrated into this space.

The Middle School Office is located in the Middle School Building, as is the school's new drama centre.

The building is fitted with an elevator for the convenience of students with limited mobility, and for transporting of stage equipment and other heavy equipment.

The Middle School Building and the Senior Centre form the end poles of the central axis of the newly redeveloped precinct of the College grounds.

Work on the second stage of the Middle School Building started in September 2008. Upon completion, the building will become approximately three times its current size, and will include a new canteen, and both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The building will replace the portables that currently lie upon the west border of the grounds, and they will be moved onto the oval during construction.

The N Wing

The N Wing, situated alongside the College oval, is slated for demolition as part of the final stage of the proposed redevelopment. The N Wing is the final remaining section of the school built in the 'LTC' (Light Timber Construction) style. It presently houses a mixture of classrooms, science labs, and a staffroom.

In the Media

Cultural Diversity website

The [http://www.culturaldiversity.vic.gov.au official website for the state government's 'Celebrate Our Cultural Diversity Week'] was developed by students from GWSC. At the launch of the website, the students were photographed by the media with various ministers and the Premier, Steve Bracks.

Principal for a Day

On the morning of Monday, October 27th 2003, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, then CEO of the Telstra Corporation, visited the College as part of the "Principal for a Day" programme. The programme was intended to give business leaders insights into the work being done in shaping the citizens of tomorrow. Due to his high profile, this visit was featured on current affairs programmes on commercial networks. [Business Sunday, November 2. [http://navcon.gwsc.vic.edu.au/index.cfm?print=123] ]

chool Funding Ad Campaign

In late 2004, Glen Waverley Secondary College was involved in a political advertising campaign in which it was compared to Scotch College Melbourne (an elite private school) over the issue of government funding. GWSC rejected claims that it was involved in the advertising campaign however it should be noted that, when asked by the Age Newspaper, they did not condemn it, which leaves room for speculation.Fact|date=June 2007

The aim of the campaign was to highlight the disparity in funding between rich private schools and modest state schools. According to nation-wide newspaper 'The Australian', Scotch College Melbourne responded legally in which an undisclosed remedy was awarded against the political party who made the advertisement.Fact|date=June 2007

tudent VCE Results

In December 2006, four students from the College achieved the maximum possible score on the Victorian Certificate of Education. This is an unusual and noteworthy result, as, from the 48,000 state-wide candidates for the 2006 VCE, only 35 achieved this "perfect" score. Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School had five students who achieved the perfect score, but the media concentrated on the four Glen Waverley students, the angle being that it was unusual to have so many perfect scores in any school, let alone a public one. The fact that all four students were from migrant backgrounds was also of interest to the media. [ [http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20911597-661,00.html Herald-Sun] ] [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/12/11/1165685616725.html The Age] ] [HSV-7]

Overall results for Year 12 were above average for this school in 2006. Former Glen Waverley Secondary College student Tianhong Wu received an all-rounder award from Victorian Premier Steve Bracks at a ceremony at the Regent Theatre on 30 May 2007 for her performance in the VCE. She achieved his award despite speaking little English when she arrived from China in 2002 [The Age, "Medals honour VCE top achievers" 1 June 2007 http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/medals-honour-vce-top-achievers/2007/05/31/1180205427885.html ,]

Curriculum and Extra-curriculum

Music Program

Students are required to learn an instrument in year seven, however, students can opt to learn an instrument as part of the music programme. Students enrolled in the programme will typically miss one period of class per week to attend music lessons, and learn in a small group. They must also attend rehearsals for the group/ensemble applicable for their instrument and level of competency.fact|date=September 2008

Ensembles include:

* Guitar Ensemble
* Junior Band
* Intermediate Band
* Concert Band
* Symphonic Wind
* Intermediate Strings, formerly Junior Strings
* Senior Strings
* Symphony Orchestra (Disbanded)
* Beginner Strings
* Junior Choir
* Senior Choir
* Advance Vocal Choir
* Senior Rock Band
* Intermediate Rock Band
* Stage Band (Senior)
* Improvisation Stage Band

The Director of Music is Ms. Jemima Bunn.

Every year music students attend "Music Camp" at Rutherford Park. For three days they ritualistically practice for seven or eight hours, only stopping for meals, sleep, and short breaks, in preparation for the Melbourne School Bands Festival held at the Performing Arts Centre at Monash University and the Spring Gala Concert held at the school.

In 2006, GWSC was one of 100 Australian schools to be invited to the 2007 Cheng Du Youth Music Festival, where they joined thousands of music students from all over the world in Cheng Du, China.

Bands Festival Awards

*2007: Battle of the Bands: Kranked - awarded Gold
*2006: Senior Strings - Bronze, Advanced Concert - Merit
*2005: Advanced Concert Band - Silver

2020 Program

The " [http://2020.gwsc.vic.edu.au 2020 Program] " is a Year 9 learning enquiry, run for the first time in 2008.fact|date=September 2008 The focus is "learning for a sustainable future". The program runs over a three-week period, and replaces core-subject class time. The four houses take turns to complete the program.fact|date=September 2008 There is heavy emphasis on the use of ICT, and some use of Web 2.0 concepts.fact|date=September 2008 Students are grouped into teams of three to five students, and select a research question to answer in depth.fact|date=September 2008 They communicate between themselves, other groups and teachers through their own group blog, and can publish resources they find useful to a central wiki.fact|date=September 2008 The program involves an excursion to CERES and an optional tree-planting trip.fact|date=September 2008

Eco-Committee

[http://gwscecocommittee.wordpress.com/ The Glen Waverley Secondary College Eco-Committee] is a student-run environmental group, independent from the college administration. They hold weekly meetings and monthly discussion forums which deal with current issues and concerns in the environmental movement. Past topics have included 'Carbon Trading - Can the Market Fix Climate Change?' and 'Individual Vs. Social Solutions to Climate Change'.In 2008 they organized the school's first annual 'Eco-Day', in which they invited speakers from The Wilderness Society and Sea Shepherd. The Eco-Committee has also attended numerous climate change and anti-nuclear demonstrations including the Walk Against Warming and the Climate Emergency Rally.

References


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