MELVILLE Senior High School’s burgeoning reputation as one of Perth’s leading public institutions has received a big boost following a second consecutive finalist berth in the WA Secondary School of the Year award.
Principal Phillip White joined the school in 2008, the catalyst for an incredible turnaround that has seen student numbers nearly triple from around 500 in the early 2000s to more than 1400 today.
Melville SHS is now ranked in the top 10 public schools in WA for ATAR results, with 2016 graduate Jane Song the fifth highest achieving student from both public and private schools last year.
The school also consistently exceeds the Australian averages for Year 7 and 9 NAPLAN results and, proving there is more than one string to its bow, is a top eight public school for swimming and finished second in the WA public athletics carnival.
“Melville has a very strong commitment to student success in the intellectual, physical, cultural and the citizenship domains,” Mr White said.
“While the continual improvement of academic success is and will always be a key focus we are also concerned about the social and emotional development of all of our students and ultimately see our purpose as being to graduate confident, innovative and successful citizens prepared to contribute positively to our society.
Mr White said he could not be prouder Melville SHS had been named among WA’s best for a second straight year and that it was a privilege to lead the school/
“We have a wonderful community of students, parents and staff at Melville,” he said.
“I love what I do, which is a reward in itself, but having the school I lead recognised as one of the best in the state for the second year in a row is very satisfying for me as it should be for the wider Melville community.
“ I know we can always do better and I will never stop looking for ways we can provide an even better education for our wonderful kids.”
Driving home Melville Senior High School’s pedigree, science teacher Kristy McKay has been unveiled as a finalist in the Beginning Teacher of the Year category.
The third-year educator completed a graduate diploma of teaching after first obtaining a degree in biology and said she was inspired to enter education by one of her own teachers.
“I had one particular science teacher at John Forrest Secondary College – Mr Crozier – who really helped me find my way and I wanted to replicate that for others,” she said.
“I enjoy developing relationships with the kids and being able to foster their love for science.”
An innovator in the classroom, Ms McKay integrates electronic tablets into here lessons wherever possible and has this year introduced her Year 8 academic extension groups to FarmBot.
“I’m teaching the kids about how to grow food sustainably and FarmBot is basically a machine that does all the planting, fertilising, weeding and watering of a garden bed automatically,” she said.
“The students are busy building the robot and then they’ll need to program it so that it knows what seeds to plant and how often they need to be watered.”
The winners of the WA Education Awards will be announced on November 24.