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Principal's Message - Term 3

Posted by Ali Arabaci on 14 October 2019
In the Name of Allah (swt), the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

All praise and thanks is due to Allah (swt), the Lord of the Worlds, and salutations and peace be upon our Master Muhammad (saw). With the grace and permission of Allah (swt), we have been able to complete yet another productive and fruitful term.

This term captured a number of highlights including:

  • Eid ul-Adha
  • NAPLAN
  • Development Application to Increase Student Numbers
  • Ambassador Program
  • Refugee Food Drive
  • Sports
  • Book Week Character Parade
  • Islamic Schools Debating Competition
  • LMA Teachers Appreciation Award Ceremony
  • 'Clean School, Clean World!' Initiative
  • 'R U OK?' Week

Eid ul-Adha
Eid ul-Adha is one of the two festivities Muslims conduct on an annual basis. Eid ul-Adha is an important reminder of the sacrifice displayed by our forefathers, Ibrahim and Ismail (as). In the spirit of this sacrifice, Irfan College collaborated with Hasene Australia to collect Qurban for the underprivileged and destitute in over 100 countries. As a result of our parents' and students' generous contributions, Irfan College was able to donate 95 shares of Qurban toward the 2019 Qurban campaign. We are ever grateful for the conscientious thoughts and donations of our parent body.

NAPLAN 2019

NAPLAN results were released this term which demonstrated significant improvement. Overall, our school achievement since establishment displayed steady improvement in all domains and participating cohorts. Year 5 and Year 7 scored the highest achievement overall since Irfan's inception, with Spelling being the most improved in all year groups. Areas that require improvement across all domains include the explicit instruction of reading comprehension strategies across all year groups. The widespread consumption of technology and unrestricted usage of devices is without a doubt having an impact on the achievement levels of our students, and school engagement in general. Our 'Gen Z' students are 'reading less' and 'viewing more'. A team effort from all stakeholders is required to ensure student outcomes are met and education standards are not compromised.

Development Application to Increase Student Numbers
Alhamdulillah, this term we were also able to progress our development application to Council to increase our student numbers. Our application was brought before the Fairfield Council Local Planning Panel. The panel acknowledged Council's assessment that the DA warrants approval, however requested some certificates and amendments to our plan of management. We are seeking a final determination by mid October, inshaa'Allah.

Ambassador Program

This term we were also able to introduce our student ambassador program. The student ambassador program had stemmed from the realisation that many of our students would benefit from opportunities to cultivate their interests and skills outside of the class domain. Through this program, students are given the opportunity to engage in social justice tasks utilising their style of learning and ultimately empowering them to make a difference in their community whilst upskilling their abilities. To date, we have appointed two student amabassadors overseeing the permaculture garden and media/graphic design. These two students have been issued responsibilities along with time allottment to ensure the objectives of the ambassadors program is met. We are hoping to introduce more ambassadorships in the future, inshaa'Allah.

Refugee Food Drive
Irfan College aspires to produce exemplary students 'who actively do good in the world'. To enact this vision, our College collaborated with Hasene Australia and Host International to collect and donate perishable items to refugees residing in Sydney, Australia. The initiative was a complete success with almost a tonne of perishable items donated. We are again appreciative and grateful of our parent body's generous contributions.

Sports
Unfortuantely, sports participation is an undervalued aspect of schooling in most Islamic schools. With the diligent effort of our Sports Coordinator, our students have had a considerable amount of sporting opportunities this term, both in Primary and Secondary. Our students competed in the Bachar Houli Cup, Harmony Cup, Faith Shield Soccer Cup, Bernera Zone Gala Day, NRL Harmony Gala Day and Oz Tag competitions. Being active is a significant contributor to overall health. We look to further develop this area in the years to come.

Book Week
This term witnessed the spectacular Book Week event that attracted a great turnout from our parent body. This year's theme was 'Reading is My Secret Power'. A costume parade was conducted in the quadrangle of our College with a whole school participation from Kindergarten to Year 10. Prizes were awarded to the most creative costumes which were displayed in the parade. I would like to thank all of our parents who took the time to make their children creative costumes, and to all our parents who went out to purchase them. Parent involvement plays a huge role in the positive development of our children.

Islamic Schools Debating Competition
Another one of our College's aspiration is to 'raise thinkers and leaders'. In this end, one of our English teachers initiated the Haroon and Musa cup under the umbrella of the Islamic Schools Debating Association of Australia. Five schools have confirmed participation in the debating competition. Our students participated in two debates this term against Western Grammar and Unity Grammar. The competition will come to an end in Term 4 inshaa'Allah and will be conducted on an annual basis.

LMA Teachers Appreciaton Award Ceremony
Irfan College recognises that the greatest contributor to achieving student outcomes is teacher efficacy. Alhamdulillah, three of our College's staff members have been nominated to receive an award at the Inaugural Teachers Appreciation Award Ceremony hosted by the Lebanese Muslim Association.

The nominations are as follows:

'Excellence in Leadership/Mentorship Award'- Mr Ali Arabaci

'Leading The Way: Innovation in Practice Award/Commendations For The Enhancement and Innovation of Student Learning'- Ms Samah Taki

'Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award- Ms Amena Yatim

The award winners were announced on the 5th of October, 2019.

'Clean School, Clean World' Initiative
Prophet Muhammad (saw) states, 'cleanliness is half of iman'. Allah (swt) has appointed Adam (as), and subsequently, humankind, to be His representatives on earth. It is the duty of the human race to care for and cultivate the earth, and not destroy it. To adhere to this principle, our College Executive team has introduced the 'Clean School, Clean World' initiative in which all students and staff are allotted 20 minutes every fortnight to collect rubbish around the school. The initiative has been received with success with students becoming more conscious about their waste disposal.

'R U OK?' Week
'R U OK?' week was also conducted this term which was facilitated by our Student Services team. Students participated in lessons and activities throughout the week that educated them about the initiative. The College Wellbeing committee also organised a staff event which included a bowling competition followed by a buffet dinner at Taste of Turkey in Newtown.

I would like to thank our parent body for entrusting us with the education of their children and ask Allah (swt) that He allows us to fulfill justice to our roles and responsibilities. I would like to also thank our dedicated staff for all their sacrifice and commitment to the betterment of our students and school community. I pray our parents, students and staff have an enjoyable and safe break over the holiday period.

Yours truly,
Mr Ali Arabaci
Principal.

Author: Ali Arabaci
Tags: Principal's Message

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