Principal Xavier Cathloic College Simon Dash
Principal Xavier Cathloic College Simon Dash

Bay school's five-year plan to improve results

A FIVE-year plan aimed at improving OP scores and overall results at Hervey Bay's Xavier Catholic College has been implemented after disappointing results in 2017.

The results from 2018, while also lower than most other schools across the region, were actually a marked improvement on the previous year, principal Simon Dash said.

Last year the school had eight students who received an OP score between 1 and 5 out of 61 students who were eligible for an OP.

"Putting it in perspective, 2017 was a poor year for the college," Mr Dash said.

"Last year's results were a significant improvement."

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Since taking over at the school, Mr Dash has implemented a five-year plan aimed at improving the school's OP results and getting it on par with some of the top performing schools in the region, including St James Lutheran College and Fraser Coast Anglican College.

The introduction of curriculum accountability with students and Studiosity, which enables students to receive online coaching across a range of subjects, were two of the measures the school had put in place, he said.

While the school was in seventh place out of nine high schools in the region, Mr Dash said it was important to look at the big picture.

He said each of the students who had applied for further study had received entry into their degrees, giving the school a 100 per cent success rate when it came to offers for their students.

Mr Dash, now in his third year as principal, outlined his plan for the school.

"It's a five-year process to get results where I believe they should be," he said.

"We'll be looking for further improvements with expectations on both teachers and students."

Compared to 2017, last year there was a three per cent improvement in OP scores between 1 and 5 at the school.

OP scores between six and 10 saw a significant improvements, with a 21 per cent increase in students receiving a score in that range.

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OP scores between 11 and 15 saw a seven per cent improvement.

"We are back on track but there's still a lot of work to be done."

In addition to Studiosity, from Year 7, pupils are also being taught study skills in an effort to make learning more effective for students.

"That has been well received," Mr Dash said.

While scores were important, there was a lot more to a good school than simply test results, he said.

From the pastoral care offered by the school to the sense of inclusion felt by the students, there were many positive signs at Xavier.

"Last year we broke the trend and grew during the year," Mr Dash said,

"Our retention rate was great, we attracted new people to the school."

At the start of this year, 40 more students were welcomed, increasing the student body from 1065 to 1105.

Finishing below Xavier was St Mary's Catholic College in Maryborough and Hervey Bay State High School.

Three students from St Mary's received an OP between 1 and 5 out of 38 who were eligible, while at Hervey Bay High School, two out of 49 received an OP between 1 and 5.

The Chronicle yesterday <HH>reached out to both schools but did not receive a response before going to press.