Tuesday this week was both a day for celebration and a sad day for many of us as we said farewell to our 2018 Year 12 students. It was the last day we would have them all on campus together.
At the farewell assembly, it was wonderful to acknowledge those students who have been part of Swan Christian College since Kindergarten, who had the pleasure to spend time at the Junior School assembly a few days before. For many of them, it was a time to catch up with teachers who had taught them in those early years.
This has been a very enjoyable cohort of students and we will miss their happiness around the College. During the assembly, I was reflecting on our strategic plan and our intention to build closer ties with our alumni. We will work towards that in the coming year.
In the meantime, we wished our students well and prayed together as they move on to prepare for exams, TAFE, work or, perhaps even travel, in the near future.
Impact of School Absences on Learning
A recent audit of attendance for students at Swan Christian College caused me concern when I looked at the number of days that our students were absent from school. Of further concern is the fact that many absences were not for illness but were being taken for family holidays. I would like to draw your attention to an article published in The West Australian:
Every Day Counts for Students - The West Australian - Bethany Hiatt
“WA primary school students are missing an average of 16 days a year, putting them up to six weeks behind in their learning, a landmark report has found. The study, the first to link school attendance records with results from national literacy and numeracy tests, found that any absence from school had a cumulative negative effect on students' future achievements in reading, writing and mathematics.”
As you can see, absence from school has an impact on learning and it is very difficult for a child to recover the six weeks in learning once they have been lost. While it is important that students who are ill are given time to recover at home, it is equally important that parents ensure that their child misses no more time than absolutely necessary if they are to make the most of their schooling. They only have the one childhood and the one opportunity.
Mr Adrian Scott