The Principal’s Blog

Allan Shaw

The key to choosing a school is to give yourself a little time to consider a few factors. There are two key questions to consider. • What are your key family needs, preferences and values? • What are the key elements to consider when researching a school? The alignment between the answers to these two key questions will provide good guidance in choosing a school. Family needs, preferences and values Glen Gerreyn (The Hopeful institute) in his article on this topic sums up the goal: Data is important, if I were raising a robot, this would be all I would need. However I ... Read More
February 24, 2017barrye
The 2016 school year ended well for The Knox School. Our annual Giving Tree Assembly saw over $16,000 in cash and kind handed over to the Salvation Army for distribution over Christmas. The Hon. Alan Tudge, our usual special guest, commented that it was one of the highlights of the local community. The commitment to the support for each other is palpable in this community. Our VCE results were a distinct improvement over recent years and congratulations to all concerned. Our median study score rose to 32; our percentage of study scores over 40 was back to historical average ... Read More
February 14, 2017barrye
Starting school or starting back at school is a busy time in many homes and can be a daunting task for young children and for some parents. I hope the following tips, based on my parenting experiences and nearly 40 years in schools might assist. At the very least they may assist you in framing up the questions you need to ask. Establish a positive routine Every family is different but a routine is vital. Set up what works for your family but then stick to it! Areas to consider: • Breakfast and getting to school on time are important... Read More
January 29, 2017barrye
There is much publicity generated through mainstream media comparing the three sectors of schooling in Australia. The majority of that information seems to paint independent schools in less than positive ways. Perhaps I am overly sensitive but…. This blog post by Mindy Laube is taken from I found it an interesting read and a welcome affirmation of the style of school we have here at The Knox School.That’s the silver lining on the grey cloud of data contained in the 2016 PISA report. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a global education benchmark ... Read More
January 25, 2017barrye
This year I commissioned an independent, confidential ‘experience’ survey of the 2016 Years 2, 5, 8 and 12 parents and Year 12 students as part of our commitment to continually monitor and improve the quality of education we provide to our students. We greatly value the views of parents and students. This information is most important for the School for our operational and strategic planning, as well as tracking changes in our performance. A total of 104 parents and 64 students completed the survey. We are most grateful to parents for their time and effort in assisting us ... Read More
December 5, 2016barrye

Interconnected Learning

Driving on country roads is enjoyable and can also provide time for some reflection. Such an opportunity this week allowed me to consider the learning my younger son has been undertaking in sitting his VCE exams and by extrapolation, the learning that our Year 12 students may also have been doing over the last week or so. The VCE exams are set by the State to test our students’ learning in their academic subjects. This is useful and an important task of itself and personal best academic results are our goal as individuals (students), our wish for our ... Read More
November 2, 2016barrye
Traditional, independent school values indicate that the best education is an education of the head, heart and soul. That is, the best education focuses on the whole person. This could be described as a strong academic education, supportive pastoral care building a strong sense of wellbeing and a rich, rewarding and cocurricular program, all operating within a positive and clear set of commonly held values. We take this rounded approach to a child’s education at The Knox School. To date we have done so based on tradition and insight: if a school focuses on student wellbeing, a good ... Read More
October 12, 2016barrye
Students, Heads of Schools, and Parents, We hope your holidays were productive and a nice breather. First I would like to open this speech with some quotes: Tom Brokaw: “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”Eleanor Roosevelt: “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events and great minds discuss ideas.” Quotes serve as a stepping stone to an idea that one can choose to explore. ... Read More
October 7, 2016barrye
Our NAPLAN results for students in Junior School are exceptionally good for the second year running and solid in the Middle School. For the School to average well above the state for each skill tested, at each year level, is a significant achievement. Indeed, while NAPLAN is an individual undertaking, the collective results of students in Years 3 and 5 particularly are formidable and I write with confidence that they would compare favourably with any school in the nation. Year 3 In Reading, Writing, and Grammar and Punctuation, 25% of students are around or above the top 10% ... Read More
September 9, 2016barrye
I would like to draw your attention to two articles, quite separate in intent that indicate the challenges and opportunities that face your children, our students, as they move into the adult world after graduating from the caring environment of The Knox School. Alan Finkel is Australia’s Chief Scientist and wrote an opinion piece in The Australian of August 29 that reflected on societal expectations of tertiary education. At The Knox School, we have an enviable record of placing students into their tertiary education course of choice, and do so for all our students, each year. A bachelor’s degree ... Read More
August 30, 2016barrye