Strategic2017Plan – 2022
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Message from the Chair of the MLC Board As I commence my second year as Chair of the MLC Board I am proud to present to the MLC community the latest Strategic Plan. As with the previous edition, this plan has been developed in consultation with students, staff, parents and the wider MLC community to provide the College with a clear plan for the future. The 2017 – 2022 plan continues to build upon and further develop our vision and direction for MLC around the six clear strategic pillars. This document outlines the College’s strengths and articulates future actions necessary to ensure MLC remains a leader in education and continues to support and nurture world-ready women. I look forward to continuing to play a key role in steering MLC’s future direction together with the other members of the Board, Principal Diana Vernon and her exceptional team. Mr Tony Peake Chair and current parent
Contents MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF THE MLC BOARD������ 2 INTRODUCTION FROM THE PRINCIPAL�������������������� 4 A BRIEF HISTORY ������������������������������������������������ 5 AN MLC EDUCATION������������������������������������������� 7 ACADEMIC RESU LTS������������������������������������������� 13 COLLEGE VISION AND MISSION������������ ��������������� 14 2017 – 2022 STRATEGIC PILLARS������������������������� 15 2 MLC Strategic Plan 2017–2022
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Introduction from the Principal M L C G I R L S B E C O M E WO R L D - R E A DY WOM E N Our responsibility as educators is to prepare the next generation of young people for their lives as adults in a world which is changing at an unprecedented rate. With globalisation, alongside significant political, economic and social change as well as continued technological advancement transforming all of our lives, our social and professional futures will be more mobile and globally connected than ever before. I am extremely proud that at MLC we continue to embrace these challenges through our focus on teaching and learning, our attention to staff development and our emphasis on the continued review and further enhancement of our world-class learning environments. MLC is committed to preparing our students for life beyond the school gates to ensure they truly are ‘worldready women’. We provide our students with a range of diverse opportunities to prepare them to enter a globalised society where digital communication will define and shape their lives. Today’s education must serve the needs of young people growing up in this tremendously exciting, yet continually shifting context. It is a huge privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility for educating young people. At MLC we are focused on providing a relevant and enriching education that equips students with the contemporary skills, essential knowledge and guiding values needed to shape their future and contribute meaningfully to both local and global communities. I am confident that these students will leave MLC well-equipped to be the next generation of thinkers, innovators and achievers. MLC is internationally renowned for its extensive curriculum choice, innovative approach to education, diverse community, varied learning experiences and outstanding academic results. As technology continues to drive an ever-escalating pace of change, MLC recognises and understands the new landscape and as such, we are well positioned to plan and deliver cutting-edge programs relevant to today’s world. MLC’s Strategic Plan is reviewed annually following feedback from and consultation with parents, students, staff, directors and others across the College community. The Plan features six Strategic Pillars, which have been identified as fundamental to MLC’s commitment to successfully educating and preparing young women for the changing world that awaits them. This Strategic Plan is, in essence, our roadmap for the years ahead. While it reflects on the College’s proud history as a pioneer and educational leader, the Plan’s primary purpose is to provide direction for the future, necessary to ensure that MLC remains one of the leading schools in the world. I am most confident that the Plan will continue to position MLC at the forefront of ongoing innovation and achievement in education. Diana Vernon Principal
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A Brief History 1882
1979 – 1996
The Wesleyan Methodist Church’s commitment to education led to the founding of MLC with the rallying cry that Methodist girls in Australia deserved the same opportunities that had been given to Methodist boys at Wesley College (est. 1866). From the outset, founding Principal Rev Dr WH Fitchett (Principal 1882 – 1928) successfully attracted interstate and international students, promoting MLC as “The Queen of Australasian Schools”.
David Loader became the first lay Principal of MLC in 1979. His primary goals were “more active, self-directed student learning” while maintaining the “full growth of all individuals.” In a period of rapid technological development, MLC in 1990 became one of the first schools in the world to provide laptop computers for students. Recognition of the importance of physical activity took many forms: the PEC opened in 1987, more extra-curricular sports, including rowing, were offered through increased parental involvement and MLC Marshmead was established in 1991 near Mallacoota, to provide an exceptional educational experience including leadership, sustainability and collaboration for Year 9 students.
1890S – LATE 1920S Reputation, size, and a varied curriculum saw MLC through the 1890s financial crisis. By the 1920s, higher academic standards and enhanced sciences and mathematics programs increased opportunities for students who wished to pursue tertiary study. A state-of-the-art Domestic Sciences building opened, and there was an increased emphasis on sport. Business Diploma programs attracted new students and helped train young women to fill positions vacated by men serving in the war. 1928 – 1938 By 1928 enrolment had risen to 73. Principal Rev John W Grove and the Methodist Conference successfully navigated through financial challenges incurred during Fitchett’s last years and The Depression. Grove maintained MLC’s goals of “developing a girl’s whole character [and] encouraging individual abilities”, noting that young women could certainly become a “force and power in the community”. 1939 – 1966 The term of Principal Rev Dr A Harold Wood saw a strong academic emphasis, in part due to growing competition from government schools and higher government standards for curriculum, teaching and facilities. This also led to a major rebuilding and expansion program funded largely through philanthropists George and Alfred Nicholas. Dr Wood was adamant that fees were to be kept low “in order to make education widely available,” stating that education “was not for monetary rewards but to benefit mankind and to serve the present age.” Enrolment rose dramatically and MLC’s student population became even more diverse; many Asian and Jewish girls attended, the latter specially invited by Dr Wood who provided them with modified scripture classes. 1967 – 1978 The social upheaval of the 1960s perhaps influenced Principal Rev Ron AW Woodgate to dramatically alter MLC’s administrative structure by facilitating much greater autonomy for staff and students: teachers’ and students’ ideas and input were encouraged and the Staff Association and SRC both originated during this time. He described MLC as a “living institution”, noting that his role was to release the potential of individual teachers so they, in turn, could release the potential in students and ensure the College would provide a meaningful experience for each girl.
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1997 – 2017 Encouraging students to develop their own style of leadership and ensuring that MLC’s culture fostered diverse opportunities were mandates of Rosa Storelli’s term as Principal (1997 – 2012). The introduction of the International Baccalaureate program in 2000 provided additional opportunities for academic excellence. The opening of MLC Kindle in 2000 ensured a stream of students to feed into the Junior School, which was redeveloped in 2007, honouring MLC’s long tradition of accommodating younger students. In 2002, MLC was the proud winner of The Australian Newspaper’s School of the Year competition – leading a field of almost 300 independent and state secondary schools. The same year, MLC expanded the College’s world class education program by launching MLC Banksia. This site, located on the unique Banksia Peninsula of the Gippsland Lakes, was acquired to provide Years 5 to 8 students with an outdoor learning program that, like MLC Marshmead, builds skills, confidence and environmental awareness. Older girls benefited enormously from the new Science Precinct at MLC Kew, opened in 2010, ongoing exchanges with the Ngukurr community in southern Arnhem Land were initiated in 1999 by Debbie Dunwoody (Principal 2012 – 2013). MLC further expanded its horizons through additional tours and increased connections with overseas schools. The success of this global outlook was more recently recognised when Principal Diana Vernon, who commenced in 2014, announced that MLC had achieved Certification from the Council of International Schools. This certification recognised MLC high standards of professional performance in international education and commitment to continuous improvement. MLC’s vision, ‘inspiring students to be the citizens the world needs’ leads MLC into an exciting new era of innovation in the education of young women.
Sources: Historysmiths Pty. Involving Learning: MLC 1982 – 2007. (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2007). Zainu’ddin, Ailsa G. Thomson. They Dreamt of a School: A Centenary History of Methodist Ladies’ College Kew, 1882 – 198(Melbourne: Hyland House, 1982). MLC Archives: various documents.
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An MLC Education MLC is one of Australia’s leading independent girls’ schools, internationally recognised for its extensive curriculum choice, cutting-edge approach to education, varied learning experiences and outstanding academic results. As an open-entry, non-selective day and boarding school, we are a welcoming, diverse community offering a broad, holistic education that prepares our students to be world-ready women. MLC’s interdisciplinary approach to learning, with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) subjects, encourages our students to collaborate, combine critical thinking with creativity and challenge themselves. A broad choice of 69 subjects is offered across VCE, VCE VET and IB providing our students an abundance of opportunity and flexibility. With an unrivalled range of co-curricular options including music, creative arts and over 30 sports on offer, we encourage our students to discover new interests and develop their passions. While we provide big-school opportunities, our renowned and integrated wellbeing programs and school structure ensure we deliver small-school care, so every student is supported.
MLC Kindle Our Kindle program celebrates the natural curiosity of children through hands-on exploration of the world around them. The play-based learning program welcomes both girls and boys aged six weeks to five years and is staffed by a dedicated and experienced team of educators. The program combines high-quality care with a high staff-to-child ratio, a family centred approach and MLC’s renowned educational expertise. Our comprehensive program includes music, Japanese, gymnastics, library and computer skills. There are also opportunities to explore literacy and numeracy. The Kindle program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and all practice and documentation is informed by the National Quality Framework.
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Junior School MLC’s Junior School is a stimulating, caring environment for girls in Prep to Year 6, where students are inspired to explore their world, develop skills, discover new interests and form friendships. Students undertake a fully integrated curriculum that develops their curiosity and builds a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy. Every student from Prep – Year 2 has her own iPad, which plays a fundamental role in supporting students’ learning and discovery. From Year 3, students receive their own notebook computer which is used to further enhance their learning throughout the curriculum. Science, in particular, is enhanced by the use of technology in the classroom as well as introducing our students to newer educational areas such as coding. MLC Junior School also offers a range of specialist programs including art, physical education and swimming, library lessons, languages and an extensive music program. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a vibrant series of remote learning programs at MLC’s Banksia campus. Student wellbeing is at the centre of our Junior School, with a specialised program dedicated to incorporating the benefits of mindfulness, meditation and yoga as a balance to our engaging academic curriculum.
Junior Secondary School In Year 7 and 8 students are part of a welcoming and inclusive environment in Junior Secondary School. Here, the focus is on successfully transitioning students into secondary school life, building strong academic foundations and preparing students for the years ahead. Each student is supported through this time of new subjects, new teachers and new friends, reinforcing each student’s sense of belonging and achievement. The broad core curriculum allows students to identify their strengths and interests, while experiencing a full range of subjects to gain the skills and knowledge needed in a globalised era. We encourage and foster independence, collaboration and a lifelong love of learning. Students also participate in a series of remote learning programs at MLC Banksia with their home groups. All Junior Secondary School students are provided with their own notebook computer which is a key tool in their learning journey. Students use their computers to access MLC’s extensive range of online resources, as well as their email, the internet and a range of different programs to support their classroom learning as well as their homework.
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Middle School The focus in Middle School is on balance and choice. Students are offered extensive academic and cocurricular programs within a stimulating learning environment. There are a multitude of leadership opportunities to prepare them for their final years of schooling as well as building foundations for independence, responsibility and the courage to take the initiative. Academic programs are designed to offer students a balanced curriculum that prepares students to access the range of different pathways offered in Senior School. Within a framework of ‘guided choice’, students are encouraged to try something different and discover new areas of interest. Most Year 9 students elect to spend a term at our residential campus, MLC Marshmead. The Marshmead program stems from the concepts of sustainability, community and leadership, and students learn through practical, hands-on experiences. In Year 10, the focus turns to future pathways and subject choice is broadened with the opportunity to apply to study Unit 1 and 2 VCE subjects. Throughout the year, careers staff work alongside the students’ teachers in providing support to students to guide them in their course and subject choices.
Senior School As a Senior School student, life at MLC is rich, varied and exciting. Students enter a world of possibilities where no dream is too big and every student is encouraged and supported to achieve her personal best. With the choice of three distinct pathways – VCE, VCE VET and IB – students can select a pathway that meets their interests, needs and career goals. Students enjoy one of the broadest curricula of any school in Australia which provides greater flexibility and choice when students are creating their timetable. A well-rounded, balanced education is encouraged and many Senior School students choose to assume one of the College’s many leadership opportunities while also maintaining their dedication to the diverse range of cocurricular activities on offer. Extensive learning support and resources means that students are provided with the tools to achieve their very best, which is reflected in the College’s continued tradition of academic excellence.
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College Vision and Mission “An education that inspires young women to be the citizens the world needs”.
Academic Results MLC has a proud tradition of academic excellence. These results are all the more impressive because MLC is a proudly open-entry and non-selective school. The results from our Class of 2016 students were outstanding: • Six students achieved the top-ranked ATAR of 99.95 • 27% of students achieved an ATAR of 95+ and above, placing them in the top 5% of the state • 54% of students achieved an ATAR of 85+ and above, placing them in the top 15% of the state • 17 top VCE subject study scores, the third-highest of any Victorian school • For the ninth year in a row, top-achieving IB students attained the highest possible score of 45 • 79% of our 2016 cohort were offered their first or second preference university placements
MLC develops confident and articulate young women who have the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes to shape their future and contribute meaningfully to the international community. MLC is committed to providing a challenging, enriching, safe and supportive learning environment through our core values of responsibility, respect and compassion. MLC: • Fosters intellectual, spiritual and personal development of MLC girls and young women so they develop the tools necessary to lead meaningful and enjoyable lives. • Provides a broad and challenging academic curriculum to support students in achieving excellence. • Offers an extensive co-curricular program that ensures students identify their strengths and develop skills such as team work, leadership, creativity and enterprise. • Develops independent, adaptable thinkers with a passion for learning, the courage to take risks and the initiative to apply what is learned. • Provides a caring, supportive and child safe community in all school environments for all students. • Develops a sense of self-worth and identity for students as well as the resilience required to grow through life’s challenges. • Develops young women of conscience, compassion and responsibility with the ability to make positive choices in life. • Engages respectfully and responsibly with Australia’s Indigenous people, culture, and country and is committed to continuous learning in this area.
• Eight students received tertiary scholarships
• Contributes to social justice by forging community and global partnerships, valuing diversity and developing cultural awareness.
At MLC we celebrate all of the achievements of our students including academic merit to notable sporting achievements on the national stage, accomplishments in music and the creative arts, excellence in leadership and significant contributions to community service and social justice.
• Raises awareness, respect and responsibility for our natural environment.
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• Honours the values of MLC’s Christian heritage whilst celebrating and nurturing spirituality and other faiths.
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2017 – 2022 Strategic Pillars In order to deliver and uphold the College Vision and Mission, MLC has developed a series of strategic pillars.
Pillar 1: Student learning and achievement STATEMENT OF INTENT:
MLC provides a broad and challenging academic curriculum which fosters a passion for learning and focusses on excellence, whilst developing independent, creative and adaptable thinkers.
STRATEGIC PILLARS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Student Learning and Achievement Student Wellbeing Excellence in Staff Innovation and Resources MLC Community Secure Future
STRATEGIC AIMS: • Advance MLC as a centre for teaching and learning excellence. • Provide a high quality learning environment for both curricular and co-curricular programs, that ensures every student strives for excellence and reaches her potential in all aspects of her education. • Meet the needs and interests of a diverse group of students by providing an engaging, challenging, inspiring, contemporary and broad curriculum with authentic student experiences that promote lifelong learning. • Adopt and effectively integrate emerging technologies to support and amplify learning. ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018: 1. P rogress innovative and contemporary teaching practice, in all learning areas, to actively engage students in learning and promote growth for each individual student. 2. E ngage with leading innovative pedagogical thinkers and researchers, locally and internationally, and build partnerships with universities and industry to ensure our practice reflects latest research. 3. R eview and structure holistic curriculum pathways and offerings to ensure inclusion of foundational and enterprising learning. 4. D evelop innovative, experiential and interdisciplinary programs that provide stretch and challenge for our students, whilst fostering creativity and excitement in learning. 5. D evelop a whole College approach to effective use of data to track and optimise individual student’s learning and achievement. 6. B uild opportunities for all teachers to engage in teamwork, collaborative practice and action learning to obtain the best possible outcomes for students.
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Pillar 2: Student wellbeing
Pillar 3: Excellence in staff
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
MLC offers age appropriate, sequential and integrated programs within a responsive student wellbeing framework in order to develop resilient young women who are confident to make positive choices in life.
MLC recognises that quality educational outcomes are driven by excellence in teaching and learning provided by the highest quality, motivated teaching and educational support staff.
• Provide a respectful, safe and caring environment where all students thrive.
• Recruit, motivate, develop, recognise and retain high performing staff.
• Deliver appropriate and responsive, sequential and integrated wellbeing programs that encourage and challenge students throughout their MLC years to reach their potential in all areas of school life.
• Invest in professional training, development and support of staff to ensure an engaged and motivated workforce.
• Develop students’ skills and attitudes to enable them to contribute meaningfully to a diverse community, through the inherent values of responsibility, respect and compassion.
• Strengthen innovative pedagogical practices and teacher efficacy, by drawing on current research, educational partnerships and industry connections.
• Provide the support required for a successful academically non-selective community and celebrate the diversity this brings to the learning environment.
• Develop leaders recognised for their excellence across the education sector.
• Foster a community that encourages and supports students to feel connected, build resilience and make positive choices in life. ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018: 1. Further embed a child safe culture across the MLC Community, ensuring that we deliver best practice in meeting the Child Safe Standards. 2. Embed the PROSPER framework, driving a culture and focus on wellbeing throughout the MLC Community. 3. R eview leadership opportunities and empower students to participate actively, to develop their capacity to lead self and others. 4. R efine structures in the successful MLC student wellbeing model to ensure students are supported and challenged to make positive choices and develop resilience.
• Continue to embrace diversity to provide a variety of role models for MLC students. ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018: 1. D evelop the Professional Growth Model for staff across the College to enhance engagement, motivate and support a high performing culture and workforce of lifelong learners. 2. Review strategies and initiatives to enhance recognition of staff, both internally and externally. 3. F urther develop leadership capacity across all management levels of the College. 4. P rogress the review and development of systems to support and align the functions of Human Resources, and Staff Learning and Development. 5. E stablish partnerships with external organisations, aligned with research priorities for the College, to enhance pedagogy and learning.
5. F urther develop the MLC Boarding program to ensure the delivery of optimal student experiences, to ensure students thrive in a supportive and exciting environment.
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Pillar 4: Innovation and Resources
Pillar 5: M LC Community
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
STATEMENT OF INTENT:
MLC will continue to lead and innovate in developing resources, sites, programs and facilities that support our students in a vibrant learning environment.
The diverse and extensive MLC community provides a rich source of opportunity, personal growth and sense of belonging for all members.
• Build on the success of MLC’s world class sites and facilities, develop leading learning environments, buildings and spaces that inspire.
• Foster an enduring sense of identity and pride in belonging to and being associated with the MLC community.
• Foster a culture of inquiry in staff and students that stimulates a climate of challenge, innovation, and collaboration. • Use state of the art technologies, in supporting students and staff to pioneer practices that engage and enhance learning outcomes. • Invest in new equipment and technologies that enhance the learning environment, and continue a high investment in the College’s IT system infrastructure
• Engage with the MLC Community to support and enhance students’ experiences and preparation for their futures. • Enhance the value and opportunities in being part of the diverse local, national and international MLC community. • Continue to demonstrate empathy and action toward social justice by forging community and global partnerships, valuing diversity and fostering intercultural understanding.
• Explore innovative physical and digital spaces to support the College’s curriculum initiatives.
• Strengthen MLC’s engagement with Australia’s indigenous peoples and cultures to encourage continuous learning for all involved.
ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018:
• Ensure MLC’s communications strategy reflects and reinforces MLC’s Vision so as to engage with and strengthen the MLC Community.
1. Implement the College Masterplan, embedding state of the art practice, to create leading learning environments.
ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018:
2. Invest in programs that support development of students’ digital literacy competencies (across applications and devices), empowering them to be effective digital age learners and to be prepared for life beyond the College.
1. T hrough ongoing market analysis develop strategies and activities to optimally engage with current and future MLC families and support future commitment to the College.
3. Consolidate and extend the use of Canvas, the College cloud based Learning Management System.
2. R efine MLC’s external communications ensuring integrated and best practice in traditional and digital media.
4. Invest in R&D, the trialling of new technologies, such as 3D printing and Virtual Reality, and support their transition into the current and future learning environment.
3. P rovide relevant and mutually beneficial opportunities for active and personalised engagement for MLC’s wider community.
5. Commence implementation of an integrated College Information Systems infrastructure solution.
4. D evelop the MLC scholarship program further to support excellence, and provide for those who might not otherwise be able to benefit from attending MLC.
6. C omplete the roll out of MLC’s student wellbeing software across the final year levels to support the College’s comprehensive approach to student wellbeing.
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5. R ecognise MLC’s place globally and develop intercultural understanding both internationally and through our Indigenous community links.
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Pillar 6: Secure future STATEMENT OF INTENT:
MLC is committed to a secure and sustainable future that supports investment in facilities and resources which deliver a world class education for MLC students. STRATEGIC AIMS: • Develop the College in a financially secure manner ensuring strong operating cash flows to facilitate ongoing development and investment in developing excellence in all aspects of the College. • Continue to recognise the financial demands placed on families who choose an independent education, and set MLC fees in line with relevant financial indicators. • Develop the culture of philanthropy within the MLC community and further develop the engagement and reach of the MLC Foundation. • Ensure the operations of the College are optimally managed and operate with sustainable and best practice structures and systems that support the College’s Vision and Mission, now and into the future. • Ensure MLC maintains the highest level of governance over its operations, decision making, risk management and regulatory compliance. • Incorporate consideration of environmental sustainability in all new developments. ACTIONS FOR 2017 – 2018: 1. Grow the MLC Foundation through broader and more active engagement and philanthropic connection with the College. 2. Evaluate opportunities for greater reach of MLC beyond the current campus and school structure. 3. Enhance the analytical reporting of the College operations to ensure a continual focus on optimisation and achievement of the highest targets in all operations. 4. Pursue efficiencies and opportunities to value add to operations through partnership with third parties. 5. Following constitutional change, embed the new governance arrangements that include opportunity for greater engagement with alumnae and parents of MLC. 6. Increase investment with renewable energy resources and environmentally sustainable design at the Kew Campus, building on the developments at the remote sites.
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INSPIRING THE POTENTIAL WITHIN
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An outline of MLC's vision and direction, developed in consultation with students, staff, stakeholders, parents and the wider MLC community...