From The Principal

Insights – Presentation Evening

Dear Community,

I would like to share with you an excerpt from my speech from this week’s Presentation Evening.

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Good Evening, Rabbanim, distinguished guests, and our wonderful school community.

As many of our parents walk their kindergarten students into the campus from the carpark on Dandenong Rd they pass a collage in the stairwell which bears the words from the famous Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song: “From little things big things grow.”

Looking out at our graduates tonight these words ring particularly ...

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Insights – B’hatzlacha and Kadima!

Dear Community,

I’d like to share with you, the message I gave to our Class of 2019 at their Graduation Dinner held last night.
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Dear Graduates,

I think I can speak on behalf of your parents, teachers and the whole KDS community when I say that we are all bursting with pride. It sounds like such a cliché but let me take a moment to delineate why.

You are an extraordinary group of individuals who have a vast array of individual talents ...

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Insights – the importance of feedback

Dear Community,

Prominent Australian educational researcher, John Hattie, explains that “the most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback.” Indeed, timely instruction and advice on what one can do differently in the future is crucial to effective learning.

Despite this, recent research indicates that Australian parents are largely dissatisfied with the quality of feedback and reporting provided in Australian schools. The study, conducted by Edumate in 2018, involved surveying over 1000 parents of students across all states and school settings about ...

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Insights – building harmony and connections

Dear Community,

I wish to describe a few scenes for you. The first involves our Year 11 students weaving friendship bracelets, playing soccer, making ice cream and reading with young members of the Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese communities. This occurred at the annual King David and Stand Up joint Mitzvah Day event at our Dandenong Road Campus. For the eighth year in a row, the Jewish and African communities came together for a joint celebration on this special day.

A highlight ...

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Insights – a commitment to reconcilliation

Dear Community,

Last week a group of students, teachers, parents and grandparents gathered for a meeting after school to launch our process of developing King David’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Under the umbrella of Reconciliation Australia, RAPs are developed as an organisation’s formal statement of commitment to reconciliation with Australia’s first nations. You can learn more about RAPs here: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/

At King David we have been on a journey of enhancing our students’ knowledge and understanding of Australia’s indigenous heritage. This has ...

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Insights – social media storms

Dear Community,

Over the last week I have followed with some interest the gathering social media storm that was prompted by a cartoon by Michael Leunig. The cartoon depicted a young mother so engrossed in her phone’s screen that she had not noticed that her baby had fallen out of the pram. The image was accompanied by a short poem which ended with the line that the baby was “wishing that he was loved like a phone.”

The negative response that the ...

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Insights – nurturing future leaders

Dear Community,

When you see the typical teenager represented in advertising or sitcoms they are usually depicted as monosyllabic, absorbed on their device or rolling their eyes at something their parent has said. The media and wider popular culture are responsible for perpetuating an image of youth as apathetic, self-consumed and shallow.

While in any population there are individuals who will conform to a dominant stereotype, my experiences with young people present a character type that is vastly different from ...

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Insights – “kids these days”

Dear Community,

“[Young people] are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances…They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”

This fourth century quote from Aristotle fits into a consistent pattern of criticising youth that dates back to at least 624 BCE according to a recently published study by John Protzko and Jonathan W. Schooler in Science Advances magazine. The study aimed to explore the propensity of older ...

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Insights – upstanding students

Dear Community,

This week I saw some wildly contrasting images. One was a bleak photograph of the lonely, single figure of climate activist Greta Thunberg sitting on the steps of Swedish Parliament in August 2018. She is seated next to a sign which reads “Skolstrejk för klimatet” and this was the very first School Strike for Climate. The other images were taken 13 months later. They were aerial shots of mass crowds of protestors at iconic sites around the world held ...

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Insights – a passion for learning

Dear Community,

If I asked you to close your eyes and think of a classroom and then to draw the main features, no matter how old you are or where you went to school, the likelihood is that similar elements would be represented. While the world has changed dramatically over the last century, our approach to education has changed at a far slower pace.

This is highly problematic as it is clear that we must alter our educational approach to best equip ...

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