Hello to Kingsford Smith students and families.
My name is Mr Paul Branson and I have had the pleasure of being Principal of Kingsford Smith School since mid 2015. I am a true local having been born in Canberra and completed all my schooling in public schools in the ACT as well as my further education in two of the capital's universities. I have also lived in Belconnen previously for over 12 years and have taught in four Belconnen schools. I have been teaching for over 28 years in Canberra public schools and my last position before winning this role was at Canberra High School.
I relish working with all the members of the school community, including students, teachers, parents and carers, in making Kingsford Smith School a school of success for all students. I receive support and encouragement from many students and parents which makes me feel extremely proud to be a leader in this school community.
We have many activities and vibrant learning opportunities occurring across the school all the time for our students regardless of their stage of learning. There are too many learning opportunities that our school provides to mention them all but I will talk about a few new and key ones. We have teaching expertise across our school in our languages program from preschool all the way up to our secondary students, particularly focused on Mandarin. We have a specialist focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts (Design) and Mathematics (STEAM) through specialist teachers across our school. Our school has a very strong arts program with a major focus being on the performing arts. We currently have five school bands, a separate primary and secondary choir who often perform as a combined school choir, as well as a number of specialist music teachers across the school. We have a musical every second year which have included Oliver, The Wizard of Oz, our own Dr. Who the musical and No Strings Attached. We produce a dance and music spectacular on alternate years with an engaging theme for all students.
We cater for students across the spectrum of ability from specialised teaching in gifted and talented to an inclusive education approach which ensures quality educational access and outcomes for students with special educational needs. The inclusion program is one I am extremely proud of despite being an ongoing challenge in its development.
I hold strong in the philosophy of Kingsford Smith School as one school. When we create whole school opportunities such as through house days, sporting carnivals, sports teams, arts events and performances as well as cross age tutoring and mentoring, I take pride in seeing the support students have for each other and the school. This not only creates leadership opportunities for our older students but provides younger students with a strong sense of belonging and a clear pathway in their growth and learning journey.
The other connection with our community I want to mention is with the Ginninderra Rotary Club. Through our close relationship we have made many links including our choirs performing at lunchtime melodies and Rotary Dinners, our Interact and junior act clubs (young Rotarians) working with Rotary in the community and the Meccano group working with Melba shed in mentoring some of our young people. This association with Rotary helps our students to be connected with the community and the culture of giving.
Thank you to the families, staff and students for participating in our school community and I look forward to engaging with you all as we continue to build a positive and supportive learning environment at Kingsford Smith School.