In the name of Allah (swt), the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful.
We send our salutations upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), his family and companions. We thank Allah (swt) for the boundless blessings has He bestowed upon us and are grateful for appointing us as His stewards.
Alhamdulillah, with the grace and permission of Allah (swt) we have been able to complete yet another productive and fruitful year. Every week, term and year, our College is moving a step closer to achieving its vision:
Raising thinkers and leaders who have confidence in their Australian-Muslim identity with a deeply rooted motivation to actively do good in the world!
This year bore witness to the achievement of some important milestones. We were able to commence the year with a brand new state of the art facility that houses our upper Primary and Secondary students and also includes a commercial kitchen, staffroom, and fully fledged Science laboratory. The official opening of the new facility took place in Term 2 with the attendance of the Education Minister, Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Member for Mulgoa Hon. Tanya Davies, Member for Fowler Hon. Chris Hayes, Member for Lakemba and Opposition Education Minister Hon. Jihad Dib, Fairfield City Council Mayor Hon. Frank Carbone, and numerous other delegates and community members. The total cost of the project equated to $2.8 million which consisted of $850,000 state funding.
We were also able to achieve a five year renewal of registration and accreditation for Kindergarten to Year 9 as a result of our NESA inspection. We also received initial registration for Year 10 and Record of School Achievement (RoSA) which marks the completion of Stage 5 and outlines the list of courses studied throughout Year 7-10. Next year we will be applying for Stage 6 and the Higher School Certificate for the first time since our College's establishment in 2013 which is very exciting.
Our students achieved another great milestone as we established our first very own permaculture garden. The initiative was spearheaded by our Year 4 and Primary Islamic Studies Committee member, Ms Samah, who collaborated with community leaders such as Shaykh Anthony Andrist who is a specialist in permaculture and Sister Sahar Dandan who assisted with the curriculum design of the project. Although the project was led by Year 4 students, all students had an opportunity to learn beyond the classroom as a procedure was developed for students to collect waste at the end of the day and place it into the compost and worm bins. Each class planted a tree in the garden and gave it a name to instill ownership and belonging to the garden. I would like to give a special thanks to Bonnyrigg Garden Centre for their generous donations and support along with our staff and students who recognised the value of this project.
This year we also commenced a new initiative as part of the Islamic Studies Committee who is responsible for Islamic Integration, namely the development of our College Graduate Attributes. Our Graduate Attributes are a list of character qualities and ways of thinking we want to inculcate in our students at the end of the
Irfan experience. Our graduate attributes are as follows:
These graduate attributes will play a critical role in realising our College vision. We are still in the preliminary stages of forming a foundational document that will serve as the basis for the rationale, indicators and implementation strategies as to how the Graduate Attributes can be achieved in the classroom. We are hoping to introduce the foundational document by Semester 2, 2019.
We also made great progress with our Islamic Integration project that was responsible for integrating Islamic worldview into the Australian Curriculum. To date, we have drafted a framework for the integration that consists of five core areas; Islamic Values, Historical Contributions, Islamic Heritage, Literature and Contemporary Issues. Using these five core areas, teachers will embed Islamic worldview into NESA mandated Key Learning Areas such as English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Geography, etc. We have so far completed the integration of the History, Geography and Science syllabuses from K-6, and have started the integration of PDHPE. We have also been able to extend this opportunity to Secondary by allotting a part-time allocation to oversee the Secondary integration. We are looking to make some significant progress with our integration project next year, in shaa Allah.
I would also like to mention the significant progress we have made with the academic standards of our students. The greatest contributor to achieving student outcomes according to research is 'teacher efficacy'. Our NAPLAN and school assessment records show significant growth in all KLA's. Our teaching staff has been working relentlessly to ensure that no students are left behind, considering the challenges that come with a significant portion of our students facing socioeconomic disadvantage.
On a final note, I would like to send a big thanks to our staff for their commitment and dedication to providing an excellent educational experience for our students. I would like to commend our students for believing in themselves and trying their best. Finally, I would like to thank our parent body for believing in our vision and entrusting us with the education of their children.
Mr Ali Arabaci.