Progress despite the pandemic

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Secretary Mark Scott reflect on the successes of Term 3.

25 September 2020

Video: End of Term 3 message

Duration - 3:03
A message from Minister Sarah Mitchell and Secretary Mark Scott as they reflect on Term 3.

Mark Scott

Well, we've come to the end of Term 3. I know everyone will be relieved and happy to be here. Special word to our Year 12 students, congratulations on reaching the end of the formal part of your schooling. Only the exams lie ahead. We wish you a very successful couple of weeks preparation and then all the best through the HSC season. And to all our teachers, all our students, all the parents, all who work in our schools, our thanks for a remarkable Term's effort. I'm joined by the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell. It's been a remarkable term, Minister. What have been the highlights for you?

Sarah Mitchell

A remarkable term, indeed, Mark. And I just want to thank all of our school communities, our parents, our teachers, our school support staff, our principals, and also all of our early childhood services. I think they've done an incredible job during Term 3, and will certainly earn the holiday that they're about to have. Look for me, some of the highlights have been that we've been able to continue on with our work around the curriculum review, making sure that we can focus on those strong foundations for education and also freeing up some more time for our teachers, giving them time to be able to teach. I think it's also been great that we've been able to continue to roll out our program when it comes to student wellbeing, our school counsellors and student support officers starting in many of our schools across the state. And also making sure we hear from our students. I was really excited to launch the first ever Student Council. I can't wait to see that program come to fruition and get some great feedback from our students across New South Wales.

Mark Scott

It's been interesting with so much taking place online. We've just clocked up some really big numbers this term. We put out these new assessment tools to help schools identify where students were up to, because we didn't have NAPLAN this year. And we had 1,300 schools sign up for those Year 5 and Year 9 assessments. And it was so successful we rolled it out to Year 3 as well. Every school is at work on their School Improvement Framework, so every school has a clear strategy and a pathway, so we're seeing improvements for every student. We had 2 million views for our Education Week online. It was a virtual Education Week this year, of course, and very, very successful with such great engagement at school communities all around the state. And more than 300,000 page views for our HSC Learning Hub to support our HSC students in their final weeks of preparation leading up to the exams. Remarkable engagement and ingenuity using the technology all around the state to keep us connected at a time when COVID-19 kept us all a bit apart. So it's been a great 10 weeks and I hope everyone gets a break. I hope you're getting a break.

Sarah Mitchell

Look, I am Mark. I'm going to spend a little bit of time at home in Gunnedah with my family. I hope everybody else gets to do that too. I'm sure our Year 12 students will be studying hard and look, maybe some other people will take a break in regional New South Wales, come out and visit us. It'd be great to have you.

Mark Scott

Refresh, renew. Thanks for everything. And we look forward to seeing you all in Term 4.

End of transcript.

The pandemic has not halted progress. That was the view of Education Secretary Mark Scott and Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Sarah Mitchell as they reflected today on Term 3.

Mr Scott highlighted the remarkable online engagement and ingenuity in using the technology all around the state “to keep us connected at a time when COVID-19 kept us all a bit apart”.

He pointed to the roll-out early in the term of the new check-in assessment tool to help schools identify where students were up to after the cancellation of NAPLAN.

“We had 1,300 schools sign up for those Year 5 and Year 9 assessments and it was so successful we rolled it out to Year 3 as well,” he said.

Mr Scott also took the time to congratulate Year 12s on reaching the end of the formal part of their schooling.

“Only the exams lie ahead. We wish you a very successful couple of weeks preparation and then all the best through the HSC season,” he said.

“And to all our teachers, all our students, all the parents, all who work in our schools, our thanks for a remarkable term's effort.”

Ms Mitchell, who encouraged families to visit regional NSW in the holidays, said it was important the department had been able to continue to deliver on important reforms such as the curriculum review and expanding the rollout of school counsellors and student support officers across the state.

“I was [also] really excited to launch the first ever Minister’s Student Council. I can't wait to see that program come to fruition and get some great feedback from our students across NSW,” she said.

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