2019 has been a very positive one for our school community. There has been a strong focus on further strategic planning into 2020 and beyond, and we are delighted to continue to strengthen our educational offerings both in and out of the classroom.

It is with excitement that we announce a number of new initiatives for 2020, which are aimed to provide further opportunities for students.

Strategic Plan and Master Plan

In early December, at our annual Speech Day, we will be unveiling our 2020 – 2024 Strategic Plan and Master Plan. This is an exciting time for our school community and for the Snowy Monaro region, as we will be communicating the impressive construction works plan that will provide for our growing school population and the local community over the coming years.

Play Spaces

The first of these is the development of additional play space for Kindergarten to Year 6 students. Soon, we will be adding a number of suitable colourful and purposeful play markings on the hard-paved surface for recess play times, in particular. These will provide additional learning opportunities while students are having fun at the same time.

Similarly, on the oval surrounds beyond the grassed area, we are presently planning to provide a new adventure-style playground with a series of purposeful challenges which are great fun. This work, involving a specialist landscape architect (and parent), is scheduled to be ready for Term 1 next year and will utilise the hillside elevations without encroaching on the valuable oval space.

We are now in the final phase of master planning and we remain committed to providing additional green play and sports space for all our students to utilise, guided by our master plan to identify the exact areas. Along with this, we are also invested into building two multi-purpose hardcourts with surrounding amenities.

Jindabyne OSHC (Outside School Hours Care)

Since earlier this year, we have been working closely with Gidgillys Early Education and Care Centre on a combined arrangement to offer after-school care to our Junior School students on our site from 2020. Gidgillys will provide specialist staff to care for our students after hours. SMGS will provide the venue, including a Junior School classroom and a number of resources and amenities.

From Term 1, 2020, OSHC will be offered to families of students in year levels ranging from Kindergarten to Year 6, and this service will continue for as long as there is adequate demand from families. Full details will be available in the coming weeks in preparation for 2020, including days, times, costs and other relevant information.

Click Here for more information about the Jindabyne Outside School Hours Care program. 

Updated Fee Structure

This year we have enjoyed the problem of having a full-size single class in Year 6, a full-size Year 4/5 class at capacity, and the need to split Years 2 and 3 mid-year, owing to growth. In the Senior School, we have had a record number of enrolments this year, and for next year this will require us to split virtually all grades into two classes. Our boarding house has been full for two years now and, overall, Snowy Mountains Grammar School is in a strong position, with the acquisition of additional land for our student needs, along with a master plan identifying future development over the longer term in a sustainable and responsible manner.

This growth has also enabled us to provide an unprecedented number of staff members in our structure, including leadership positions only familiar to considerably larger schools. Additionally, our growth has allowed us to purchase new equipment for student learning, which until now has not been attainable, including 3D printers, laser-cutters, new student indoor and outdoor furniture, new dining facilities, playground equipment, and many other resources.

Despite this healthy growth as a school, we will always retain our smaller-school-feel, as this is part of our DNA, and that important distinguishing feature will never change. However, with measured responsible growth comes additional benefits for our students and this is what we are experiencing now.

Our continued growth across the school has given us the opportunity to revise our fee structure to better align with our current school structure and population, something that we have not done since the school became fully independent in 2009. This will allow us to improve the affordability of our Kindergarten and early Junior School year levels (K-2) over the next three years.

In addition to the new fee structure, we are also introducing an alumni discount to encourage old scholars to return to our school community. It is exciting to see so many of our past students still in the area or returning to the area to settle with their young families. We want to make sure that our alumni have every opportunity to provide their own children with the same educational experience that they were afforded at SMGS.

Click Here for more information about the 2020 Fee Structure.

STEM 2020

Next year, we will be providing new curriculum-designed stand-alone STEM classes within the Junior School. This will ensure that students are exposed to state-of-the-art learning technologies in all grades in the Junior School (extending into Senior School) with a new faculty created, including a Head of Department (commencing 2020) and a new executive leadership role (commenced in 2019), both strongly focusing on specific and broader leadership initiatives.

New Classroom Furniture

This year, the work-based furniture in a number of classrooms has been bolstered with various initiatives. In 2020, this will continue, with further upgrades of specialist furniture for learning, especially catering to various types of learning styles and learners. In addition, we are aiming to substantially fit out new rooms for Stage 4 next year which will benefit our current Year 6 students significantly. This is part of our renewed focus on upgrading both indoor and outdoor areas across the school. We will be completely refurbishing up to seven learning spaces for 2020 for our Senior School students, including state-of-the-art senior (Year 11/12) corporate board-style learning rooms for those classes that are very small in number, i.e. fifteen students or fewer, as well as larger innovative designs similar to the classroom in the library. These are exciting refurbishments, from which students and staff will benefit.

Staffing

Owing to overall growth, the following appointments have been made in preparation for Term 1 next year:

  • Dr Adam Lloyd returns as Head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and was previously with SMGS as Head of Maths in 2018. Dr Lloyd is presently Program Convenor for STEM in the Bachelor of Education (Secondary), and also course coordinator for a number of masters subjects, he is also supervising PhD students and conducting his own research at the University of Newcastle. While at SMGS, he was involved in mountain biking, among other activities outside of the classroom.
  • Mrs Rosheen Nikora will commence as the Kindergarten/Year 1 classroom teacher. Mrs Nikora has many years’ experience as a K/1 specialist teacher, with a particular strength in music as an enrichment area of learning, and joins us from Jindabyne Central School, having taught locally for many years and prior to that on the Central Coast.
  • Mrs Julia Cane joins us to teach Year 5/6 next year and also has a wealth of experience as a passionate educator, with extensive experience in the upper Junior School classes in particular. Mrs Cane joins us from Jindabyne Central School and is also an active snowsports qualified instructor.
  • Mr Brendan Alcorn is a PD/H/PE specialist teacher with extensive experience in teaching PE and also Science to senior level, and joins the team with experience coaching in a wide variety of sports including as a former professional cricketer. He will be re-locating from Brisbane with his family and has experience in three independent schools. Brendan has also been heavily involved in pastoral programs involving the community, with a special focus on boys’ education and disadvantaged young people.
  • Although not new to SMGS, Mrs Chrissie Philpott will teach Year 4/5 next year as the full-time classroom teacher. Mrs Philpott is an experienced teacher with added specialisation in STEM and Science innovation, as well as experience with enrichment learning in educational support. Chrissie will make a seamless transition to the role of full-time classroom teacher, already being familiar with our students and routines.
  • Mrs Ashleigh Pratt will continue to teach in the Junior School, extending into Stage 4 (Year 7/8) in areas of specialisation. Mrs Pratt will also be able to strongly focus on her position of responsibility as Head of Teaching and Learning, working with all teaching staff in 2020 as we embark on a renewed era of professional learning engagement school-wide, K-12, across all faculties.
  • Mr Scott Frize will continue in 2020 in his new 2019 role as Director of Learning Innovation and will be teaching some new STEM learning courses in the classroom for students in both Junior and Senior School, as well as leading our overall learning innovations.
  • Ms Heidi Shvetsoff will continue in her current role of Year 2/3 teacher and Acting Director of Junior School. Ms Tavia Taylor will continue to teach in the Junior School, particularly working with K to Year 3, as well as a specialist educational support teacher with the faculty.

Our school is going from strength to strength and we are delighted that we can bring our students a number of new initiatives into the new year.