The Principal’s Blog

Allan Shaw

In the last issue of The Falcon (June 3), I outlined the Safe, Happy and Fulfilling Pathways Framework that underpins the data we have gleaned from surveys taken by your children, our students in Years 5-12 earlier this year. This outline of the framework which might allow you to better understand what follows is available on the school website in two places, my blog site ( or where copies of The Falcon are housed ( In this edition, I will focus on the results for Senior College students (Years 10-12) and on groups of younger students in ... Read More
June 23, 2016barrye


One of our core values is Resilience, the mental or psychological skill to properly adapt to stress and adversity. In doing this we each draw upon the best in ourselves and those around us. Building resilience involves creating the three things every parent wants for their child, every teacher wants for their students, and every community wants for its young people. This is for children and teens to have safe, happy and fulfilling lives. The more resilience our students have the more likely they will be to have a safe, happy and fulfilling life. The four interconnected strengths that make up the ... Read More
June 1, 2016barrye
I repeat regularly that a successful education is a partnership between the student, parents and teachers. With young students, parents and teachers carry most of the ‘load’, but never all. As the student becomes older the partnership increasingly becomes an equal three way partnership with the aim that upon exiting Year 12, a small child has grown into an accomplished, well-educated young adult, capable of thriving in the adult world. Based on this, parental involvement in schooling is vital. But how much is not enough or is too much? ... Read More
May 12, 2016barrye
The physical site of a school provides the school community with a sense of place, where the school community forms around your children, our students. We gather to see children grow, develop and thrive, essentially to learn. The physical site, buildings and facilities are a significant influence on our sense of The Knox School, our sense of our place! At the Community Consultation this week a draft Master Plan for the school site was introduced. Access to the consultation draft Master Plan is available via this link. This draft plan has been influenced by staff and parents ... Read More
April 21, 2016barrye
The National Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), Mrs Karen Spiller, urged parents to look beyond My School data when evaluating schools. Her comments came as My School 2016 was released by ACARA this week. ‘My School offers parents insight into school performance on NAPLAN tests up to Year 9, but there are a host of parental concerns that the site does not address, and was not designed to address,’ said Mrs Spiller, who is Principal of St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane. ‘It is clear what makes for a quality education ... Read More
March 10, 2016barrye
There is much happening and much to be proud of at TKS The new school year is well and truly off and running. A successful House swimming carnival, an interschool swimming carnival with some strong results, two successful athletics carnivals, a Year 9 science camp, parent information evening, parent/teacher/students conferences and interviews and the list goes on. Year 7 students have moved into a completely refurbished building which is now state-of-the-art in supporting the learning of teenagers. The building provides flexible learning spaces, traditional classrooms, breakout spaces, indoor passive recreation areas, meeting rooms and two large staff rooms. Two Junior ... Read More
March 10, 2016barrye

The SOS Report

On February 16, The Age published a report which was based on a document prepared by Save Our Schools, a small activist group that campaigns against government funding for non-government schools. A fundamental flaw in the SOS document in that it is based on flawed and disingenuous methodology – its use of percentage increases in government funding for schools between 2009 and 2013. It uses these percentages to argue that government funding favours non-government schools over disadvantaged government schools. Some facts:The government schools mentioned in the SOS report receive substantially more government funding per student than non-government schools. All of the ... Read More
February 23, 2016barrye

Welcome back to School

The 2016 school year is well and truly started! There have been parent information evenings in all sub-schools; parent coffee mornings in the Junior School run by Ms Heather Ablett; an information evening for homestay families and guardians of International Students and teachers are reaching deep into teaching and learning. That said, welcome to all new families to the school and welcome back to those who have been a part of the school community for some time. Positive relationships mutual of trust between parents and staff, especially your child’s classroom teachers are important. Such relationships send a clear message ... Read More
February 15, 2016barrye
The 2015 school year draws to a close; 2016 rises above the horizon and the Festive Season lies in between. In my last communication I wrote of ending and beginnings, the natural cycle of school life, divided into academic years. The excitement of new energy and the perspective of experienced but new wisdom was described in terms of our two significant new appointments to the executive staff of the School. But it is also a time of some sadness as well-loved, successful and loyal staff find it is time for them to move into a new stage of their ... Read More
December 11, 2015barrye
Term Four is a time for mixed emotions in schools! It is a natural time for conclusions, finishing and departures, and also for new beginnings and plans for the future. Year 12 exams have all but finished and that group of young men and women are both finishing a major part of their lives and new doors are opening for them. It is sad and exciting at the same time. For their parents, it is often the end of a long association with The Knox School also. In several cases it is the end of a 15 year ... Read More
November 16, 2015barrye