Tia Dullard, year 12.James Nash State High School students, October 26, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Tia Dullard, year 12.James Nash State High School students, October 26, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times Patrick Woods

James Nash High School celebrates Awards Night


THE following are the major award recipients from the James Nash State High School 2015 Awards Night held at The Pavilion on Tuesday night (below it is a full transcript of principal Darrin Edwards speech).

Gold Awards were presented to students for the most outstanding achievements in the areas of Sport, Culture, Citizenship, Academic and All-round performance.

The recipients came from any Year level and were awarded an engraved Gold Medallion and framed certificate, along with a cash prize. The identities of the students who are to receive these awards were secret until Tuesday night.


The first of the five Gold Awards is for Sport.

In 2015 there were many elite athletes and the decision was very close.

The Top Three nominees were:

Troy Carlson, Cameron Hanson and Tino Faasuameleaui

The winner was Cameron Hanson

Cameron represented James Nash SHS in Rugby League, Rugby Union, Touch Football, Swimming and Athletics; and represented the Gympie District in both Touch Football and Rugby League. He was awarded Age Champion for swimming at the Gympie District Inter School Swimming carnival and also at the Wide Bay Regional Athletics Championships. Cameron broke records in Long Jump at both the James Nash Athletics Carnival and the Gympie District Athletics Carnival. At the Wide Bay Regional Championships, he broke records in both Long Jump and Triple Jump. At the recent Queensland schools Athletics Championship, Cameron received a silver medal in the 14 years Boys Triple Jump event and is expected to qualify for the National Athletics Championships.

The school recognizes the pinnacle of achievement in the fine and performing Arts through the Cultural Gold Award:

The Top Three nominees were: Hayden Cappel, Mikayla Hourigan and Eliza Parker

The winner was Mikayla Hourigan

Mikayla is a key cultural ambassador for our school. She plays a variety of instruments and often switches from Concert Band, to Stage Band and to String Ensemble seamlessly throughout public performances. Mikayla has demonstrated outstanding Cultural Leadership in every opportunity presented to James Nash Students, ranging from events like Kids Big Day Out, to Winter on Mary, to the recent Gold Rush parade and Mayoress Concert. Mikayla was one of the most loved lead roles in this years' Musical "Jungle Spirit" and is a lead Actor in our Academy of Creative Arts, working on the ACA production of Blabbermouth. Mikayla has attended every rehearsal with passion and enthusiasm and is undeniably a worthy recipient of this award.

The next award is for outstanding Citizenship, both within the school as well as service to the broader community.

The Top Three nominees were: Chloe Alexander, Tia Dullard and Lachan Humphreys

The winner was Chloe Alexander,

Chloe has been President of the school Student Representative Council in 2015. In this leadership role she has represented the school at numerous functions throughout the year, both within and outside of the school. Chloe has been involved in organizing school based events and activities, such as Valentine's day, James Nash Day, the school Talent Quest and Press club. She participated in a wide range of school events including Pink Socks day, Anzac Day, Gold Rush parade, and school sports carnivals. She always portrays the ethics and values of a great student leader at James Nash High and is a worthy recipient of the James Nash Citizenship Gold Award.

The next award is Caltex Allrounder Gold Award.

The top Three nominees were: Tia Dullard, Quinn Edwards and Edwin Thompson

The winner was Tia Dullard

Tia Dullard has consistently performed well and participated competitively in her sporting pursuits in 2015.  She achieved the Age Champion in both Swimming and Cross Country; Captained the school netball team; and represented the School and Gympie District at Netball.

Tia's citizenship contribution is highlighted by her work as 2015 School Captain, where she enthusiastically participated in a wide variety of events including, School parades, James Nash Day, Anzac day, March against violence, Human Powered Vehicle Technology Challenge, Homeless Sleep-out, Relay For Life and Gold Rush parade.

Her cultural pursuits included a lead role in the school musical "Jungle Fever" and Lions Youth of the Year contestant.

Academically, Tia has been on the Roll of Honour every year since Year 8. This year she was first in subject for Biology and Chemistry and Second in subject for Legal Studies.

The final award is for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

The Top Three nominees were: Tia Dullard, Mikaela Hourigan and Lifa Whyte

The winner was Lifa Whyte

Lifa has been on the Roll of Honour every semester since Year 8. This year she has excelled academically, with first in subject for English and Mathematics B, and second in subject for Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics C.  Lifa has an outstanding academic record including the highest possible score in her Year 12 Maths B result at Verification, a VHA step 10. She is truly worthy of the 2015 James Nash Academic Gold award.

Deputy Principal Robert Doust said:

Each year we announce the incoming student leaders. I'd now invite this year's school Captains to join Mr Edwards on the stage.

The successful applicants have been through a rigorous selection process and are now assembled in the wings to be presented to the school community. We announce tonight, four captains as senior student leaders of our school for 2016.

Please congratulate and welcome the School Captains 2016 in alphabetical order, by gender:

Helana Chippindall, Mikaela Hourigan,

Matthew Hurrell and Alex Wilson.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that concludes our Special Awards category.  Would you please welcome to the stage our Student Representative Council President, Chloe Alexander, to complete our ceremony with the Vote of Thanks.

2015 Awards Night Principal's Report

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 tenth 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 include 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 2015. 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 seen some very significant changes for James Nash. Firstly we welcomed Year 7s into our school, growing our student population to 1270 - the largest the school has ever been. Along with this growth came the necessity to put in place an enrolment management plan to limit the student numbers for the future. This year James Nash has continued to be recognised as a State Leader in providing Educational Excellence for our school and our community. 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.

  • One of the highest performing secondary schools in the Region with Year 12 Student Outcomes
  • 100% of Year 12 students received Queensland Certificate of Education, OP or Vocational Education and Training Qualifications (Outstanding!!!)
  • 98% of Year 12 students exited with Queensland Certificate of Education
  • 15 of the 17 students with a diagnosed disability received a QCE and all SWD students received at least one VET qualification
  • 15% of OP eligible students received an OP between 1 and 5
  • 74% of OP eligible students received an OP score between 1 and 15
  • 4 Australian Vocational Award winners
  • 273 Cert I, Cert II and Cert III or above Vocational Qualifications awarded
  • 100% of QTAC Applicants received an offer (Outstanding!!!)
  • Year 7 NAPLAN results equal to or above Nation in 14 of the 15 measured areas.
  • Year 9 NAPLAN results in writing show massive improvement
  • 86% of all students' grades at A, B or C standard for all students in all subjects
  • 95% of all students' behaviour ratings at an A, B or C standard for all students in all grades with 47% receiving an A
  • James Nash 2015 NAPLAN results at or above National standards in 23 out of 30 dimensions measured
  • Regional Wide Bay Inter-School Chess Champion Team
  • Regional Wide Bay Inter-School Chess Champion Player - Sam Marsh
  • Outstanding student performance in English program in 2015 with 50% of students achieving either a VHA or HA standard
  • Outstanding student performance in English Extension program in 2015 with 42% of students achieving at a VHA standard and 78% of students achieving either an A or B
  • 59 students in Years 7, 8 and 9 participated in the International ICAS English Competition. James Nash was awarded 5 distinctions & 14 credits
  • Hosted USC-James Nash Middle School Excellence Program in Creative Writing
  • USC Readers Cup
  • 90% of students awarded a C or above for P.E. & Home Ec.
  • 97% of students awarded a C or above for Year 12 P.E. at verification
  • 95% of students awarded a C or above for Year 12 H.Ec. at verification
  • VHA 8 confirmed at verification in Year 12 Home Ec.
  • Year 7 science students "Scary Specimens" presentation by the Deadly Australians Production
  • Geordie Macdonald, Jackson Barton and Krystal Jones received awards of Distinction in 2015 Science ICAS competition
  • Alisha Gaskin and Elisha Gallaher were named the 2015 UQ Science Ambassadors for James Nash SHS
  • National Science Week celebrations
  • Hosted USC-James Nash Middle School Science and Mathematics Excellence Program
  • 26 Year 10 students represented the school in the regional trials of the National Science and Engineering Challenge at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Patrick Bailey, Quinn Edwards and Joshua Fea placed first in the Region for the USC Bridge Design Competition
  • James Nash SHS representation at the USC Science Research Awards
  • Eliza Parker was awarded 2nd prize for her Physics project in the USC Science Research Awards
  • 5 teams of Year 8 students participated in the 2015 USC Robotics Challenge
  • Laura Rooks, Elora Rookyard and Ayeisha Kilby placed first in the Robotics Challenge
  • Year 10 students participated in Science Engineering Challenge at USC
  • 23% of participating students in Upper Two Bands for Year 7 NAPLAN Numeracy
  • 14.4% of participating students in Upper Two Bands for Year 9 NAPLAN Numeracy
  • 97.3% of participating students at or above National Minimum Standard for Year 7 NAPLAN Numeracy
  • 98.5% of participating students at or above National Minimum Standard for Year 9 NAPLAN Numeracy
  • ICAS Mathematics Competition, 50 participants from Year 7, 8 & 9, awarded 3 Distinctions, 16 Credits & 5 Merits
  • Australian Math Competition, 22 participants from Year 10, 11 & 12, awarded 6 Distinctions, 11 Credits & 3 Proficiency
  • Math Team Challenge - Placed first and third in Intermediate Division. Placed second in Senior Division.
  • Students achieved four VHA 10s in INTAD Authority Subjects
  • Entered 3 teams in the Maryborough Technology Challenge
  • 3 students completing the USC Integrated Learning Engineering Scholarship program in Year 11
  • 7 James Nash students gained enrolment into the Gympie Trade Training Centre Semester 1 2015
  • 79% of all Structured Learning students in Junior School receiving a C or better in core subjects
  • Australian Geography Competition with 1 High Distinction, 6 Distinctions & 8 Credits
  • Geography students engaged with the community and the environment in field work at the Buderim Rainforest, Mary River, Noosa, Inskip Point, Mary Street, South Bank Brisbane and the Community Gardens.
  • Outstanding student performance in Senior Drama 10 VHAs and 2 VHA 10s!!!!
  • World first approach to using the Promethean ActivTable in Digital Technologies
  • Makerspace established as an extracurricular activity for students
  • Frank Breedon and Douglas Lewis attained High Distinction in the National Computer Science School Challenge
  • Year 9 Economics and Business participated in the Office of Fair Trading: Buy Smart Competition
  • Mackenzie Alexander, Amelia Parker, Kiana Sprott Queensland finalists in the Office of Fair Trading Buy Smart Competition
  • 100% Year 12 Economics students have attained A or B
  • 91% Year 12 BCT students have attained A to C
  • 100% Year 11 Economics students have attained A to C
  • 92% Year 10 Economics and Business students have attained A to C
  • 100% Year 10 Digital Technologies students have attained A to C
  • 100% Year 9 Business Information Processing students have attained A to C
  • 94% Year 8 Business and Digital Technologies students have attained A to C
  • 95% Year 7 Business and Digital Technologies students have attained A to C

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. 2015 saw the continual growth of our Academy of Creative Arts under the leadership of Ms Renee Rackley and her tireless team of producers, directors, writers, choreographers, musicians, artists 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. It is worth highlighting that in their first year of performing competitively, our Vocal Group won the North Coast Region's Choralfest as the best Senior Choir. The following list celebrates the achievements of our students in cultural pursuits.


  • 75 students successful applicants of our Program of Excellence: Academy of Creative Arts
  • 100 students participate in Instrumental Music culminating in 5 Ensembles
  • GOMA exhibit attended by 50 Visual Art students
  • James Nash Day official opening of J Block with String Ensemble and LARK
  • Workshops from Zen Zen Zo, Kath Walker from the Conservatorium of Music, Robert Langton from the Ration Shed
  • ANZAC Day ceremonies and performances by Concert Bands
  • Opening performance at Gympie Show People's Day with Concert Band and Art displays
  • Art students receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes in Heritage Art Competition
  • AcTacular  - A huge performance to a packed house showcasing Music, Vocals, Dance and Physical Theatre
  • Presented JACA Showcase including 25 local primary school students


  • Winter on Mary - JNSHS Bands were the invited guests and opening entertainment
  • Western Desert Gallery trip with the Year 8s to view Indigenous Art Work and partake in activities at the Sunshine Coast University
  • Visual Art student won Honours award through Creative Generations.
  • 15 JNSHS vocalists and musicians participated in Creative Generations.
  • Gympie Annual Eisteddfod - LARK & Stage Band and String Ensemble all won first prize.  Junior and Senior Concert Band winning 2nd place
  • Sunshine Coast Eisteddfod - 80 students competed across 3 nights!
  • Drama Festival: Year 10 Drama students represented the school and won the Bronze trophy
  • Senior Production: "Welcome to Brecht" performed to over 70 parents and caregivers
  • Whole School Musical "Jungle Spirit"
  • Choral Festival - ACA Vocalists North Coast Region winners in Senior Secondary
  • 19 students selected to be part of the Conservatorium of Music Outreach Program
  • Noosa Jazz Festival
  • Instrumental Music workshops at Gympie South State School culminating in the Nelson Reserve Concert
  • 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 Fraser Coast Conservatorium of Music Outreach Program
  • Talent Quest
  • 40 participants at the Gympie Gold Rush Festival
  • ACA Vocalists perform at the GALA Fanfare event at the Old Museum in Bowen Hills, Brisbane alongside the State's winning schools
  • 2 James Nash student German films shortlisted at Goethe Institute Schools' German Film Competition
  • 23 students participated in the 8 week Deadly Young Persons Program  Yr 7 and 8
  • 34 students participated in the AIME program with 4 visits to USC Gympie (each term)


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 in 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 $10,000
  • 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
  • Blue Day for Autism and 40 Hour Famine - Charity Fundraiser
  • JNSHS Environmental Committee implement Planet Ark Cartridge Recycling program.
  • JNSHS Environmental Committee planted, cared for and harvested fresh organic produce in the Science Horticulture Centre.
  • Saving Lives Program, 21 participants from Year 9 to 12 with all participants gaining a CPR and First Aid qualification, 11 students gaining a Surf Rescue Certificate and 10 students achieved 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
  • James Nash Charity Sleep Out for the Homeless
  • Community Action Charity Sleep Out for the Homeless
  • 12 senior James Nash students volunteered their time to help run the Science and Engineering Discovery Day for primary school students around the Region


Sporting Highlights

James Nash has a long standing reputation for sporting excellence but 2015 has possibly been our most successful ever. This year James Nash won the Cooloola Athletics and Cross Country and was named the Champion School in Wide Bay for Athletics. An amazing number of our students reached Wide Bay and Queensland Team representation and National Team selections. The School Captains and Sports Co-ordinator, Carmel D'Arcy's focus this year has been on Pride, Purpose and increasing competitive student Participation in all school activities. This year has again seen a large 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.

Individual & Team Highlights

  • Matthew Hurrell and Harrison Parker members of the National Champion Qld Schoolboys' Hockey Team
  • Matthew Hurrell selected as a Shadow Player for the Australian Schoolboys' Hockey Team
  • Jarod Blanco selected in the Qld Cross Country Para Athletes Team
  • Troy Carlson selected in the Qld Swimming Team
  • Tino Faasuamaleaui represented Qld in the National Champions' Under 15 Rugby League Team
  • Matthew Browne selected in the Qld U'12 Boys' Hockey Team
  • Qld Secondary Schools Athletics Championships
  • Jarod Blanco Gold in 13 Years Para Athletes' 400m
  • Jarod Blanco Bronze in 13 Years Para Athletes' 100m
  • Tino Faasuamaleaui Silver in 15 Years Boys' Shot Put
  • Cameron Hanson Silver in 14 Years Boys' Triple Jump
  • Jessica Stuart Bronze in 14 Years Girls' Triple Jump
  • Thomas Fea Bronze in 14 Years Boys' 800m
  • James Nash won the Gympie District Athletics Championships for the 5th consecutive year
  • James Nash announced Champion School in Wide Bay Athletics
  • James Nash Open Girls' Hockey Winners of Wide Bay All Schools Cup competition
  • James Nash Open Boys' Hockey Runners-up of Wide Bay All Schools Cup competition
  • Under 13 Boys' - Winners of Wide Bay All Schools Touch Football
  • Under 15 Boys' - Winners of Wide Bay All Schools Touch Football
  • Under 15 Boys' - Rugby Union Runners up in Sunshine Coast 2nd Division
  • Girls' Open Rugby Union Runners up in Sunshine Coast
  • Under 15 Rugby League Team winners of Gympie District Inter-school Competition
  • Under 13 Rugby League Team winners of Gympie District Inter-school Competition
  • James Nash Open Boys' Hockey Runners Up of Wide Bay All Schools' Cup Competition
  • James Nash Open Girls' Hockey Winners of Wide Bay All Schools' Cup Competition

Summer & Winter Sports' Trials

  •  232 students representing James Nash at Gympie District Trials
  •  111 James Nash students selected in Gympie District Teams
  • 43 James Nash students selected in Wide Bay teams


  • PHOENIX House Champion
  • 5 new School Swimming Records
  • 51 students represent James Nash at Gympie District Carnival
  • 3 Gympie District Swimming Age Champions
  • 5 Wide Bay Swimming Representatives
  • Troy Carlson representing Qld at National Swimming Championships
  • Troy Carlson State Champion in 50m Butterfly
  • James Nash second at Gympie District Swimming Carnival (by 1 point)

Cross Country

  • PHOENIX House Champion
  • 46 students representing James Nash at Gympie District Trials
  • 14 top 3 finishes at Gympie District Trials
  • 7 Age Champions at Gympie District Trials
  • 3 Age Champions at Wide Bay Trials
  • 20 James Nash students selected in Gympie District Team
  • 6 students selected in Wide Bay Cross Country Team


  • CALEDONIA House Champion
  • 14 new Records at the School Athletics Carnival
  • Over 120 students represent James Nash at Gympie District Athletics Carnival
  • James Nash won the Gympie District Athletics Championships for the 5th consecutive year
  • 5 new Distrcit Records by James Nash students at Gympie District Athletics
  • 63 students selected in Gympie District Team to contest Wide Bay Athletics Carnival
  • 8 students receive Age Champion Awards at Gympie District Athletics Carnival
  • 4 students receive Age Champion Awards at Wide Bay Athletics Carnival
  • 14 students selected in Wide Bay Athletics Team
  • James Nash announced Champion School in Wide Bay Athletics


School Sporting Teams

  • Swimming
  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Rugby Union
  • Futsal          
  • Rugby League
  • Aussie 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 James Nash 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, Ms Bessie Nilon, Mrs Cheryl Greinke, my Assistant Principal 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, Lachlan Humphries, Jared Butcher, Tia Dullard and Taylor Cross and our Student Council President, Chloe Alexander 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 2015 School Council including; Chairman-Mr Rod Jenkins and fellow School Council members Jonathan Cross, Heather Kelly, Sylvia Fielding, 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 2015 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.

This year also saw us grow to our maximum student enrolment capacity, resulting in the implemention of an Enrolment Management Plan for James Nash. This presented an enormous number of challenges as we also welcomed the first Year 7 cohort in secondary schools. I could not be more happy with the performance of our Year 7 students this year. I thank our school leadership groups for their wisdom and leadership in assisting us to successfully negotiate this unchartered territory.

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 2015, to help us achieve some of the fantastic results we celebrate at this year's Awards Night.

Effective Teaching and Learning Plan

In 2015, 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 new 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.

Another key priority was the acquisition of high level digital pedagogy skills for our staff.  Teachers in all faculties have undertaken professional learning activities regarding the effective engagement of student mobile elearning devices as well as other information communication technologies.  A feature in 2015 has been the 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.

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 results received in Education Queensland's Teaching and Learning and Behaviour Management Audits. 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. 2015 has also seen the implementation of our planning to welcome Year 7 students into 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 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.

The highlight for 2015 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 the introduction of Year 7 into secondary school, the curriculum planning has been focussing 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 in their writing. With the introduction of our Success Team, students in Year 7, 8 & 9 have been focussing on improving their literacy and numeracy skills.

Parents across the school can expect to receive three Report Cards this 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 2015, through our leadership of the wider educational community, there has been a monumental increase in secondary and tertiary schooling options available in Gympie.  Our $5.2M Gympie Trade Training Centre has two student cohorts providing pathways to trade areas that are experiencing skill shortages across Australia. Our work with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) helped secure a USC Campus in Gympie, which opened its doors in July last year. These projects will ensure many more young people are able to stay and live in our community whilst they pursue further education.

I am excited that our Year 7 building for the 2015 Flying Start (Year 7's going into Secondary School) has proven to be such a valuable teaching and learning space.  We worked closely with students, parents and primary schools to ensure an exciting transition in 2015 and by all reports we have been very pleased with how the transition has worked and how the actual building has supported high quality learning.

2015 has seen massive investment in the maintenance of the school with many buildings repainted and flooring replaced as well as providing a fully airconditioned library for all students. These projects are important for the long term condition of our facilities and gives the school a fresh and welcoming ambience.

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 2015 extend beyond the classroom both in terms of physical location and time parameters.  All senior students have been provided with a laptop to support their learning.   The partnering of the device, 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 presents one of James Nash's greatest challenges as we transition from a Government sponsored program (Prime Minister Rudd's Digital Revolution Strategy) to a model where students will need to "Bring your Own" device. There have been two and a half years of planning from our ICT Team, School Council and P and C to prepare for this change next year. All the feedback we collected supported the desire/need to continue with a one to one computer program (i.e. one computer device for each student) in the senior school and we have been encouraging parents to prepare for this transition since 2013. The focus of our Bring Your Own Device program (BYOD) will be on Year 11 in 2016 and details are published within the school website under the BYOD tab.

At this point in time, over 1000 computers are managed on a daily basis at James Nash.  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.  2015 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 to:

  • Embed the Flying Start-Year 7 into Junior Secondary planning strategies and all Key Planning documents, and develop Explicit Instruction expectations across all Junior Secondary classes.

Other noteworthy focus areas were:

  • 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.

In 2015 the School Council endorsed some new leadership roles for the Junior Secondary Area of the school. These positions have been developed to ensure a smooth transition when our Year 7 students joined us.

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 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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