James Nash Year 12 student and 2016 Dux Mikaela Hourigan.
James Nash Year 12 student and 2016 Dux Mikaela Hourigan. Jacob Carson

James Nash High reflects on a huge 2016

JAMES Nash has as its core purpose to "Inspire Learning” and we have set ourselves the goal to be a hub of educational excellence for all learners.

At this, my eleventh Awards Night as Principal of James Nash State High School, I wish to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the students and staff of our school. I have chosen to present this written report as part of tonight's presentation because I am so very proud of our efforts this year and any speech would not do justice to the many highlights from 2016.

Though I have checked through all the newsletters and searched other reports, I hope you understand that this report is still only a snapshot of the achievements of our students and our school throughout the year.

By reading this report you should get a sense of the wonderful array of opportunities that modern schooling affords our students and also understand why I am so proud to be Principal of James Nash State High School.

This year has been another great year with James Nash continuing to be seen as a lead school within our community and across Queensland. The school continues to be the largest school in the wider Gympie area with our enrolments now capped at 1270 students. Unfortunately there is a now a waiting list of prospective families wishing to enrol in the school.

This year James Nash continued to be recognised as a State leader in providing educational excellence with the school winning the 2016 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-Outstanding STEM School Award and also was awarded the North Coast Region's Showcasing Excellence in Education-Leadership Award. These acknowledgements, along with our status as an Independent Public School and our International School Accreditation, certainly recognise that we are moving well towards our goal of being a hub of educational excellence for all learners.

In this report I will reflect firstly on the Academic, Cultural, Citizenship and Sporting Highlights of our students.

I will also provide you with a summary of the achievements/activities of the school in the areas of Leadership, Effective Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, Workforce, Student Services, Information and Communication Technologies and Facilities all of which combine to deliver a standard of educational excellence that provides opportunities for all learners. 

Academic Highlights

The first priority for me in my leadership role is to continually explore strategies to improve the performance of students with their studies. So I will start this report by sharing a snapshot of the Academic Highlights of the school over the past year.

  • Keely Powell, Grade 11
    Keely Powell, Grade 11 Jacob Carson
  • Outstanding School STEM Award-Queensland's Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.
  • Showcase 2016 Awards for Excellence in Schools-Leadership Team of the Year-North Coast Regional Winner
  • One of the highest performing secondary schools in the Region with Year 12 Student Outcomes
  • 100% of all graduating Seniors awarded QCE/OP or VET qualification
  • 99% of Year 12s awarded a QCE (Outstanding!!!!)
  • 100% of students with a diagnosed disability received a Senior qualification - 10 students received a QCE and 2 students received a QCIA with all students receiving at least one VET qualification
  • 97.3% of QTAC applicants received a University Offer
  • 15% of OP eligible students received an OP between 1 and 5
  • 82% of OP eligible students received an OP score between 1 and 15
  • 154 Cert I, Cert II and Cert III or above Vocational Qualifications awarded
  • 30% of Year 7 students in the Upper Two Bands for Reading
  • 98.5% of Year 7 students above National Minimum Standards in NAPLAN Numeracy
  • 96.8% of Year 9 students above National Minimum Standards in NAPLAN Numeracy
  • Very positive Parental Opinion about James Nash SHS on Parent Opinion Survey
  • Very positive Staff Opinion about James Nash SHS on Staff Opinion Survey
  • Very positive Year 8 Student Opinion about James Nash on Student Opinion Survey
  • 7 Distinctions in ICAS English Competition
  • Hosted Middle School and Senior School USC Creative Writing Course
  • Quinn Edwards and Eliza Parker awarded Lions Youth of the Year
  • Years 7, 8 & 9 teams participate in Readers Cup Competition - Year 7 team placed 2nd
  • Hosted Middle School STEAM Excellence Program in conjunction with the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Hosted Senior School STEAM Excellence Program in conjunction with the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • 28 students compete at National Science and Engineering Challenge at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Cameron Edward, Thomas Fea, Lahni Edwards and Sara-Rose Franklin placed first in the Region for the USC Bridge Design Competition
  • Alec Lee was selected to complete a science research internship at Queensland University of Technology
  • Keely Powell selected for the National Youth Science Forum including a 12 day program in Canberra
  • ICAS Science Competition has 70 participants from Year 7, 8 & 9, with 8 students awarded Distinctions
  • Science Club was introduced, with Cooper Blackburn winning the Microscope Photography Competition
  • A team of Year 7 Science students participated in the USC Robotics and Coding Workshop
  • National Science Week a huge success including guest presenter from Gympie Library with Ozobots
  • 11 students compete in USC Science Research Awards including Cooper Blackburn and Anikin Jones (2nd Place Year 7), Jill Rollings (3rd Place Year 7), Krystal Jones (3rd Place Year 10), Shannon Soutter (Highly Commended Year 11), Eliza Parker (3rd Place Year 12 & People's Choice Award)
  • ICAS Mathematics Competition, 55 participants from Year 7, 8 & 9, awarded 1 High Distinction, 6 Distinctions, 19 Credits & 9 Merits
  • Australian Math Competition, 15 participants from Year 10, 11 & 12, awarded 1 High Distinction, 3 Distinctions, 7 Credits & 1 Proficiency
  • Math Team Challenge - 1st place in Junior and Intermediate Division, 2nd Place in Senior Division, 3rd Place in Intermediate Division.
  • Jackson Barton, Ethan Pitt and Jared Spencer won USC Mathematical Modelling Challenge
  • INTAD has introduced 5 new Certificates I & II, as a result of their partnership with Train Assess Australia
  • Entered 3 teams in the Maryborough Technology Challenge
  • 3 students completing the ILPU Scholarship program in Year 11 for Engineering
  • 13 James Nash students gained enrolment into the Gympie Trade Training Centre Semester 2, 2016
  • 70% uptake with BYOd in senior classes

As you can observe, across the whole range of subject areas, James Nash students are achieving at the highest levels and certainly model one of our core values of pursuing excellence in all that we do. 

Cultural Highlights

James Nash prides itself on the Cultural and Artistic Excellence opportunities we provide to students. 2016 saw the continual growth of our Academy of Creative Arts under the leadership of Ms Renee Rackley and Ms Lauren Pritchard and their tireless team of producers, directors, writers, choreographers, musicians and creators. I would like to share with you a glimpse into the range of activities our students have had exposure to through our Academy of Creative Arts and Student Services Groups. The following list celebrates the achievements of our students in cultural pursuits.


  • Eliza Parker, Grade 12
    Eliza Parker, Grade 12 Jacob Carson
  • 75 students successful applicants of our Program of Excellence: Academy of Creative Arts
  • 130 students participate in Instrumental Music culminating in 5 Ensembles
  • GOMA exhibit attended by 50 Visual Art students
  • QPAC 60 Drama students to view "The Secret River”
  • James Nash Day
  • Gympie Gallery Visits "Botanicals” for Years 7-9
  • ACA Vocals opened Crematorium to support Gympie Regional Council
  • 2 Day Intensive at Civic Centre for ACA including professional workshops by Vonnie Selhoffer Ceramicist and "Grin and Tonic”
  • QPAC "Sound of Music”
  • Kids Day Out performance by Concert Band & Stage Band
  • 1 Day Intensive at Civic Centre for all Instrumental Music students
  • ACA vocalists invited to perform at "Simply Classic” St Patrick's Cathedral
  • ANZAC Day ceremonies and performances by Concert Bands and ACA vocals
  • Opening performance at Gympie Show People's Day with ACA Vocal group and Art displays
  • Art students receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes in Heritage Art Competition
  • TROY - Presented to packed houses despite a last minute cancellation due to a weather event
  • Fanfare - won 2 Gold and 1 Silver
  • Year 12 Visual Arts Creative Generations Excellence Award
  • 6 Visual Arts students competed in Rush Art Competition
  • Participation in Mary Valley Arts Festival


  • Quinn Edwards, Grade 11
    Quinn Edwards, Grade 11 Jacob Carson
  • Winter on Mary - JNSHS Bands and Vocal Group were the invited guests and opening entertainment
  • 25 students participated in Creative Generations Mass Choir event
  • 60 Year 8 & 9 students attend "Voices on the Coast”
  • Visual Art student won Honours award through Creative Generations
  • 15 JNSHS vocalists and musicians participated in Creative Generations
  • "Grin and Tonic” perform to over 300 students 'Shakespeare in the Modern World'
  • Gympie Annual Eisteddfod: All groups achieving Gold with 90 points or more
  • Sunshine Coast Eisteddfod - 80 students competed across 3 nights!
  • ACA Vocals won 3rd place at Sunshine Coast Eisteddfod
  • German Film Night for families and students
  • Artist in Residence Moto Niwa workshopping with our Visual Artists for 6 weeks
  • QPAC visit with 65 Drama students to view Bangarra's "Our Land People Stories”
  • Senior Production: "Welcome to Brecht” performed to over 70 parents and caregivers
  • ACTACULAR 2016 presented to 150 families and friends
  • "Wicked” Performance Ipswich Civic Centre
  • Dance Plus Production Crew Support
  • Muscle Muster Production Crew Support
  • 19 students selected to be part of the Conservatorium of Music Outreach Program
  • Instrumental Music workshops at Gympie South State School
  • Heart of Gold Film Festival participation
  • Production Crew invited to support Gold Rush Festival 10 x 10 Concert at the Civic Centre
  • ACA Vocal Group and Stage Band invited to perform in the Mayoress Concert in conjunction with the Conservatorium of Music
  • Talent Quest
  • 40 participants at the Gympie Gold Rush Festival - Champion School Float
  • 12 students participated in the 8 week Deadly Young Persons Program Year 10
  • 54 students participated in the AIME program with visits to USC Sunshine Coast
  • HiArtworks Exhibition
  • "The Event” Year 11 Art Exhibition
  • National German Film Competition "Goethe Institute” - Shortlisted student film

Citizenship Highlights

Being a positive, active citizen is integral in a well-rounded education. James Nash aims to provide a full range of opportunities for our students and staff to be involved with the Gympie community. I would like to acknowledge all my key staff and student leaders who work tirelessly to raise funds and to support so many of these wonderful charities/causes. I would specifically like to acknowledge our Student Representative Council for their leadership in this area. Our students and staff have been involved in a great range of citizenship activities across the year including:-

  • Relay for Life - 7 teams raised over $8,000
  • National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
  • Reconciliation Week activities and National Day of Healing Parade
  • NAIDOC Week and activities run by senior indigenous students
  • ANZAC Day Services - Record numbers of students march with the school at the Dawn, Normanby and Town March. Also at the Mary Valley, Woolooga and Rainbow Beach Marches.
  • Remembrance Day Services
  • Gympie Gold Rush Festival
  • Valentine's Day
  • Pick Sock Day Fundraiser for McGrath Foundation
  • Clean Up Australia Day
  • Blue Day for Autism and 40 Hour Famine - Charity Fundraiser
  • Saving Lives Program, 25 participants from Year 9 to 12 with all participants gaining a CPR and First Aid qualification, 15 students gaining a Surf Rescue Certificate and 10 students achieving a Bronze Medallion
  • Peer Skill program delivered to 80 students from Year 8 to 11
  • Beyond Blue awareness raising activity day
  • 'Brainstorm Productions' - Anti Bullying performance for all Year 7 to 10
  • 12 senior James Nash students volunteered their time to help run the Science and Engineering Discovery Day for primary school students around the Region
  • 4 Year 12 Legal Studies students were selected to be part of the Youth Parliament in QLD's Old Parliament House
  • White Ribbon Day against Domestic Violence
  • Father's Day Prostate Cancer Fundraiser
  • Mother's Day Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

Sporting Highlights

Troy Carlson, Grade 8
Troy Carlson, Grade 8 Jacob Carson

James Nash has a long standing reputation for sporting excellence and 2016 has seen an amazing number of our students reaching Wide Bay, Queensland and National Representation.

The sporting stocks of the school continue to grow and this year we have had more students represent Queensland and Australia than in any previous year. Our Heads of Sport Carmel D'Arcy and Katrina Knight, with the great support of our School Student Leaders, have had a focus on participating competitively at all events and to build school sporting pride. As you can witness by the outcomes below, 2016 has truly been a great sporting year. There are National Swimming and Hockey Champions within the school and National and State Representatives in Cross Country, Athletics, Swimming and Hockey providing examples for the rest of the school on outstanding sporting skill. This year has also seen a record number of students being awarded Sporting Distinction Awards but it has been the sportsmanship and participation that has been the stand-out for me. I consistently received reports not only of our successes but also the positive manner in which James Nash students have conducted themselves.

I would like to acknowledge my staff who have willingly given their time during lunch hours, after school and during weekends to coach and manage an enormous number of sporting teams and shared their expertise and passion for sport with students. The following list will demonstrate the extensive opportunities that students have accessed during the year and will showcase some of the achievements of our students including National recognition and performance.

State & National Representation

  • Matthew Hurrell member of the Australian Under 19 Schoolboys Hockey Team Tour South Africa
  • Troy Carlson Australian 200m Butterfly Champion
  • Troy Carlson won Gold medals at Australian School Swimming Championships in 200m Butterfly, Medley Relay, Freestyle Relay, and All Age Relay
  • Jarod Blanco selected in the Qld Cross Country Para Athletes Team
  • Cameron Hanson won Gold medal at State Athletics
  • Jarod Blanco, Chantelle Chippindall, Carleigh Munn and Jessica Stuart won medals at State Athletics

Summer Trials

  • 98 students representing James Nash at Gympie District Trials
  • 27 James Nash students selected in Gympie District Teams
  • 13 James Nash students selected in Wide Bay Teams (Cricket, Squash, Softball, Golf, Surfing, Touch Football)


  • PHOENIX House Champion
  • 4 new school Swimming Records by Troy Carlson
  • James Nash won Gympie District Swimming Championship for 2016
  • 51 students represent James Nash at Gympie District Carnival
  • 4 Gympie District Swimming Age Champions
  • 5 new Gympie District Swimming Records including 4 by Troy Carlson and 1 by Abby Schooth
  • 6 Wide Bay Swimming Representatives
  • Troy Carlson representing Qld at National Swimming Championships
  • Troy Carlson National Swimming Champion

Cross Country

  • CALEDONIA House Champion
  • 36 students representing James Nash at Gympie District Trials
  • 12 top 3 finishes at Gympie District Trials
  • 7 Age Champions at Gympie District Trials
  • 21 James Nash students selected in Gympie District Team
  • 6 students selected in Wide Bay Cross Country Team
  • Jarod Blanco represented Queensland at the National Cross Country Championship

Winter Trials

  • 134 students representing James Nash at Gympie District Trials
  • 81 James Nash students selected in Gympie District Teams
  • 30 James Nash students selected in Wide Bay Teams (Rugby Union, AFL, Hockey, Golf)


  • CALEDONIA House Champion
  • Over 120 students represent James Nash at Gympie District Athletics Carnival
  • James Nash won the Gympie District Athletics Championships for the 6th consecutive year
  • James Nash was the Champion School at Wide Bay Regional Athletics Championships
  • 3 new records by James Nash students at Gympie District Athletics
  • 63 students selected in Gympie District Team to contest Wide Bay Athletics Carnival
  • 9 students receive Age Champion Awards at Gympie District Athletics Carnival
  • 3 new records by James Nash students at Wide Bay Athletics
  • 2 students receive Age Champion Awards at Wide Bay Athletics Carnival
  • 16 students selected in Wide Bay Athletics Team

Team Sports

  • Open Boys Hockey won Wide Bay All Schools Hockey Championship
  • Open Boys Rugby League won 2nd Division Sunshine Coast 9's Competition
  • Under 13 Boys Rugby Union winners of Sunshine Coast 2nd Division
  • Under 15 Boys Rugby Union Runners-up Sunshine Coast 2nd Division
  • Open Boys Rugby Union Runners-up Sunshine Coast 2nd Division
  • Under 14 Girls Rugby Union Runners-up in Sunshine Coast
  • Open Boys AFL finished 3rd in the Sunshine Coast AFL Schools Cup
  • Under 15 Rugby League finished 3rd in the Sunshine Coast Rugby League 9's Competition
  • Under 13 Girls Rugby Union 3rd place in Sunshine Coast Competition


Events calendar created to assist with organisation in support of students, parents and staff which includes the following unbelievable range of opportunities for students:-

  • Swimming
  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Rugby Union
  • Futsal
  • Rugby League
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Touch Football
  • Volleyball
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Hockey
  • Cricket
  • Equestrian
  • Triathlon
  • Golf
  • Ten Pin Bowling
  • Fitness Training


School Annual Review

I will present a review of the outcomes and future directions for the school in the Key Planning Areas of Leadership, Curriculum, Effective Teaching and Learning, Information and Communication Technologies, Facilities and Student Services. It is through a clearly articulated strategic planning framework that we co-ordinate the raft of developments and projects that allows James Nash State High School to not only operate at the highest level but also to set directions for the future.


Leadership Planning

The leadership of James Nash is a collaboration between administration, staff, students and parents. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my Deputy Principals, Mr Robert Doust, Mr Mark Swan, Ms Bessie Nilon, Mrs Cheryl Greinke, Ms Shelley Gauld and my Business Services Manager, Mrs Debra Paige for their continued support and inspired leadership across the school. Amongst our very talented staff we have leaders in all aspects of schooling but it is in the classroom where the real business of learning occurs. I would like to publicly acknowledge their fantastic work in leading the core business of our school and that is to inspire learning.

I would also like to acknowledge the leadership of our School Captains, Helana Chippindall, Mikaela Hourigan, Matthew Hurrell and Alex Wilson and our Student Council President, Samantha Montgomery throughout the year. These fantastic young men and women have taken their role in supporting the leadership of James Nash very seriously and should be congratulated on their achievements and representation of the school. We have met weekly throughout the year to ensure that the student voice could be heard and also to allow me to utilise their thinking as a sounding board for our future planning.

I see my role as leading a school that assists parents with the education of their own children. As such, I value very highly the work of our key parent groups across James Nash and the support and direction they give to me as Principal. I would like to particularly recognise our 2016 School Council including; Chairman-Mr Rod Jenkins and fellow School Council members Jonathan Cross, Heather Kelly, Sylvia Fielding, Eric Sprott, Professor Greg Hill and Alec Lee; our Parents and Citizens Association including; President-Mr Jonathan Cross and his Executive team along with the Ladies Auxiliary including; President-Ms Melinda Yarrow and her Executive team for their leadership and support. These tireless supporters carry the burden of parental representation at an enormous number of occasions and meetings where we seek parental input and guidance. In 2016 these groups have undertaken to lead some significant change in the school. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the critical support offered in assisting with the strategic direction setting for the school. It is important to also recognise the incredible funds ($40 000) raised through the operation of our Tuckshop and Uniform Shop and then donated to the school to support innovative programs directly affecting student learning.

The leadership of a school is a collaborative exercise and I wish to acknowledge the support I have received from staff, students, parents and our broader community, throughout 2016, to help us achieve some of the fantastic results we celebrate at this year's Awards Night.


Effective Teaching and Learning Plan

In 2016, the major teaching and learning initiative involved a continuation of processes to adopt Explicit Direct Instruction as our signature teaching technique in the Junior School. Explicit Direct Instruction is a particular framework for highly effective teacher-directed learning processes, eminently suited to knowledge acquisition in the Junior School.  Our Master Teacher, along with a core group of 17 teachers, have led the Explicit Direct Instruction initiative through their participation in Professional Learning Circles and subsequent leadership of peer professional development programs. The acquisition of high level digital pedagogy skills for our staff has been a continued  focus for 2016 with awarding of many more Digital Pedagogical Licences to our teachers.  A Digital Pedagogical Licence is a well-respected state certification of skills in manipulating digital media and systems toward creation of effective 'anytime, anywhere' learning environments. Licence holders now cover all faculties across the school.

Another key priority in 2016 was the development of Professional Learning Teams.  All staff have participated in Professional Learning Teams which  meet on alternative fortnights to the Reference groups to explore these dimensions of professional knowledge.  Fundamentally, this program is designed to give opportunity for professional teachers to engage in meaningful investigation and professional discourse regarding pedagogical issues.  This will give shape and purpose to our school's consideration of key pedagogical issues and challenges underpinning our future work  across a broad range of areas.

We also saw further development of our supervisor coaching and feedback to teaching staff under the Education Department's Developing Performance Framework.  In this regard, all teaching staff at the school completed a comprehensive program of teaching performance development, which has strongly embedded feedback systems, involving both peers and supervisors. I commend the staff for their commitment to this practice and acknowledge the excellent teaching actions that I observed in my engagement with the process.  James Nash High remains at the forefront of professional action in regard to teacher development and aligned action towards our goal of being a hub of educational excellence for all learners.


Student Services Plan

At James Nash we pride ourselves on having a Safe, Calm and Disciplined learning environment for all students. This year has seen a continuation of a very positive cultural change across the school that was evident in the outstanding Parental School Opinion Survey data. The concept of a shared responsibility for James Nash being a Safe, Calm and Disciplined school is evident when-ever you walk around the school. Junior Secondary has become an integral part of our 'Hub of Educational Excellence for all Learners'. Part of the planning has been the introduction of new Junior Secondary leadership positions and awards in the school. These roles have a clear focus on leadership in the Junior Secondary area of the school and have supported a very positive cultural change across the school. This year's focus on improving attendance for all students has also been very successful with every year level demonstrating improved attendance figures.

The highlight for 2016 has to be the amount of community representation our students and staff have invested into our wonderful town. James Nash has taken enormous pride in being a part of the many community events that make up the fabric of our town. Events ranging from the Gold Rush Parade, Gympie Show, Eisteddfods, Technology Challenges, Anzac Day Ceremonies, Arts and Cultural Exhibitions, to list just a few, have had a common theme for our school and that is to ensure that the Gympie Community knows that the youth of our school are active and vibrant citizens willing to give back to their community.


Curriculum Plan

With 2016 being the second cohort of Year 7s into secondary school, the curriculum planning continues to focus on ensuring a seamless curriculum exists from Year 7 through to Year 12 at James Nash. We have ensured that all planning is aligned with the National Curriculum.   Along with the National Curriculum, our Year 7 and Year 9 students again sat the National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). I could not have been more happy with the performance of our Year 7 students in almost all of the dimensions measured and it was so pleasing to see our Year 9 students show such a significant improvement. Across 25 of the 30 dimensions measured, James Nash Students are performing at or above National benchmarks. With the introduction of our Success Team, students in Year 7, 8 & 9 have been focussing on improving their literacy and numeracy skills and we have had a school-wide focus on improving higher order thinking skills for all students.

With a new Senior Curriculum and Tertiary admission process being rolled out in the near future, teachers have been involved in the consultation process with the design and assessment of this new curriculum.  Last week it was announced by the government that the new system would now start a year later, 2019 rather than 2018.  This means the students currently in Year 8 will be the first group through under the new system.  Students currently in Years 9 to 11 will continue under the present system with OP and current senior syllabuses.  

Parents across the school can expect to receive three Report Cards each year communicating your child's progress in their studies, and our Year 7 and Year 9 parents should have received NAPLAN reporting information.

Our curriculum has continued to be extended for our high performing students through our differentiated curriculum and our partnerships with the University of the Sunshine Coast and East Coast TAFE.

With our Excellence Programs in Creative Writing, Mathematics/Science, Engineering and English Extension (Literature) continuing to gain students' university recognition, add to this the success of our Vocational students at a School, College and National level, I am confident that our goal of being a hub of educational excellence for all learners is being achieved.


Facilities Plan

James Nash now has some of the most modern and sophisticated teaching spaces available in secondary schools. In 2016, through our leadership of the wider educational community, there has been a monumental increase in secondary and tertiary schooling options available in Gympie.  Our Gympie Trade Training Centre continues to support and train student cohorts providing pathways to trade areas that are experiencing skill shortages across Australia. Our continued liason with  the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Campus in Gympie will ensure many more young people are able to stay and live in our community whilst they pursue further education.

We enjoy continued success by collaborating closely with students, parents and primary schools to ensure an exciting transition for Primary School students into High School and supported with high quality standards of teaching and  learning.

2016 has seen another massive investment in the maintenance of the school with the removal of paved areas replaced by concrete and new garden retaining walls as well as buildings repainted internally, flooring replaced and walkways repainted. These projects are important for the long term condition of our facilities and gives the school a refreshed and welcoming character.

The hard work put in by our grounds staff, to improve the appearance of our gardens and surroundings, ensures we are providing an environment that inspires learning and allows modern, technologically rich teaching and learning to be occurring. I would like to acknowledge my Facilities Officers, Cleaning Staff and volunteer workers for their efforts to make James Nash a clean, vibrant place to learn.


Information and Communication Technology Plan

Traditional learning opportunities continue to be enhanced at James Nash through access to digital content and activities.   The wide-spread access to laptop resources for senior students has seen learning in 2016 extend beyond the classroom both in terms of physical location and time parameters.  The partnering of mobile devices, EQ funded 3G connectivity and the creation of online classroom environments by most faculties, has enabled our school to capitalise on global information and resources to transform the learning of our students.

2016 presented one of James Nash's greatest challenges as we transitioned from a Government sponsored program (Prime Minister Rudd's Digital Revolution Strategy) to a model where students needed to "Bring your Own” device. The two and a half years of planning from our ICT Team, School Council and P and C to prepare for this change allowed for a smooth transition in the senior school with 420 students taking up the opportunity to BYOd.

At this point in time, over 1000 computers are managed on a daily basis at James Nash with an additional 420 BYOD devices.  The capacity of our staff, both technical and teaching, to fully maintain and utilise these resources continues to increase due to professional development undertaken at school.  2016 has seen all faculties actively engaged in professional learning around digital pedagogies. 


Workforce Plan

Our entire school staff is committed to making the school a hub of educational excellence for all learners. We are fortunate to have high quality staff in all faculties and work units of the school. In order to enhance the effectiveness and quality of our staff, our Workforce Planning reference group engaged in a range of actions and activities around workforce capability, leadership in education reform, health and staff morale.

For teaching staff, the main focus was:

  • National Curriculum implementation; School wide Pedagogy; Explicit Direct Instruction; Differentiation, Adjustments and Variation; Digital Pedagogies involving eLearning and mLearning (learning systems using mobile devices).
  • Student Behaviour Management with a focus on promoting and recognising positive behaviour of all students above 90% attendance standards and maintain a safe, calm and disciplined learning environment.

At James Nash High we have been at the forefront of development and action in professional support programs for many years, whereby professional staff engage in reviewing the practice and performance of each other in positive and collaborative ways. Our teachers are highly regarded in the profession for their ongoing commitment and action in continuing professional learning and development.

Staff morale remains at very high levels across all dimensions surveyed in the annual staff opinion survey.



I have, through this report, only provided a snapshot of the activities of our school and I hope you now understand why I do take such pride in leading our school. I have more detailed reviews of all areas of operation of the school available for your perusal if you want to learn more about what makes James Nash State High School a GREAT SCHOOL.

For those of you who have read through my report, would you please email me on dedwa40@eq.edu.au to provide me with any feedback on this Principal's Report. I have changed the format of my reporting for our Awards Night and would appreciate your feedback. 

Darrin Edwards

Gympie Times

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