Message from Principal Fiona Webster – guess who’s turning 115?

Fiona Webster

In this first edition of VSV Life for 2024, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new students and families and express my gratitude to our returning families for your continued support in our 115th year.

My thoughts go out to all those in our school community impacted by the current bushfires and recent storms.  If you have been affected please be sure to let your Learning Advisor, subject teacher or the Year level coordinator know about it.  Reasonable adjustments and consideration can be made for students in these circumstances.   

Our original school motto was ‘Opportunity and Perseverence’ and it still rings true today with many more students joining the VSV community. The school has experienced continued growth in enrolments this year.  At this point in time nearly 450 additional students have enrolled in our school compared to the same date last year. Thank you for your patience with our new online enrolment system.  Our virtual school community is built upon strong partnerships between parents, staff, and students.  We are committed to perfecting the new system and making it easier for all next time around.

Joining our school community this year are students enrolled in the new VSV campus in Morwell, the Bellum Bellum Blended Learning Hub.  Located within Gippsland Tech, the new hub offers students who live in inner Gippsland the opportunity to study VCE Specialist Mathematics, Physics and Politics through a blend of onsite and virtual learning.  Welcome Bellum Bellum students and staff. 

Last year was an important year for VSV.  We formed our inaugural School Council and together we completed a school review.  This is required of all schools approximately every four years and is facilitated by an external reviewer. Part of the review process was the development of a school vision which will guide us over the next years. 

Virtual School Victoria provides contemporary, evidence-based virtual and blended learning opportunities for a diverse student community, with a strong focus on inclusive practices, student wellbeing and enabling every student to achieve their personal learning goals.

What does ‘blended learning’ mean? It is the combination of different types of learning.  At VSV that means online course materials (sometimes known as module work), online classes, opportunities to meet with teachers and other students online and in person through seminars, workshops, camps, excursions and Connect events. 

We have had many face-to-face seminars at our Thornbury campus already this year.  It’s great to see and hear the buzz of students in the building and garden.  I’m very much looking forward to our first hybrid Senior School Connect Day on Wednesday this week.

This year our staff continue to work on a hybrid roster of teaching onsite and working from home.  This arrangement will continue for the foreseeable future while the Department of Education secures additional space within the building at Thornbury. If students and/or parents would like to meet with their teacher/s in person at our Thornbury campus, this can be arranged by making an appointment with your teacher. Students and families are very welcome at VSV and we want to make sure that the staff you want to visit are onsite when you drop by.

As we navigate through continually changing times, our commitment to student learning and wellbeing remains unwavering. I am confident that this will be an excellent year for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to working together to make this year a successful one.

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