Henry Kendall High School was officially opened in January 1970. Since 1958, students had attended school on the Faunce Street site known as the Annexe of Gosford High School. As the number of students increased a new school was decided upon - Henry Kendall High School - with its own staff, uniform, badge and motto. The first Principal of was Mr Leo Hickey and he held full school assemblies in the courtyard of the then new building - 'A' Block (now 'J' Block).
At Henry Kendall we strive to develop the best in each student, to draw out their talents and interests, and to support them in all areas of their schooling, so that they are well placed to pursue their career options, and to live productive lives.
Henry Kendall High School is a comprehensive high school which continues to build on its reputation and stated purpose as described in our mission statement - "Developing self-confident, responsible citizens who strive for excellence." Henry Kendall High School is a large coeducational comprehensive high school catering for students Years 7-12. Henry Kendall prides itself in providing valued opportunities in the areas of: academic studies, student learning, sport, strong peer relationships, performing arts as well as extra curricular activities. Henry Kendall High School has a strong focus on student welfare with a range of programmes to support, both student learning and individual needs. Special features of the school include a Special Education Centre within the school catering for students with intellectual and physical disabilities and a middle school structure for Year 7 students and an Applied Learning Centre.
As you are no doubt aware the Minister for Education and Training has announced that Gosford Public School will be relocated to a site within the present grounds of Henry Kendall High School. The new Gosford Public School will begin operation from the commencement of the 2014 school year. It is expected that the new school will have the following features and be built to the latest Primary School Facilities Standard:
22 homebases (classrooms)
2 special programs rooms
Administration and staff facilities
Hall, canteen and covered outdoor learning area
Games court and free play area
The new school will also have its own dedicated grassed areas for learning and play and also access to the high school oval.
As part of this exciting development Henry Kendall High School will benefit significantly. The Special Education facility will be re-built elsewhere on the site and many existing rooms will be refurbished and upgraded. Essentially the school will be upgraded to match the current School Facilities Standard.
Planning is in its very early stages. The preliminary work I have seen is very exciting. It is very important that consultative processes are established so that parents, teachers and students have appropriate and significant input into the final product – the best possible learning environment for your children!
In order to ensure that the project is managed effectively and appropriately consultation processes are in place. The Department has established a Project Control Group (PCG). The PCG includes the principals of both Gosford Public School and Henry Kendall High School, representatives from the Department's Asset Management Directorate, the Government Architects' Office, NSW Public Works and me as the School Education Director for both schools.
Ms Trefry is your representative on the PCG. One of her early responsibilities was to develop a consultative process to enable parents, teachers and students to contribute to the planning process. Ms Trefry has been a very active participant in the PCG and at every stage of the ongoing planning process she will have access to all material, such as plans, developed through the PCG. Ms Trefry is available to answer questions relating to the PCG.
As planning for a new school is a complex process I intend, at various intervals during planning and construction, to have the relevant personnel such as architects and project managers available to discuss with parents, teachers and students some of the more technical aspects of the new school. Neither Ms Trefry nor I are architects or builders so this input will assist in ensuring that what is built is responsive to feedback and input from parents, teachers and students.
One of the PCG key tasks is to deliberate on issues raised by the 2010 Working Party. This working party met a number of times during Term 4 2010 with the aim of exploring all of the issues likely to impact upon the relocation should the Minister take that decision. You were represented on this group by Ms Trefry, the President of your P&C, teaching staff, and support staff. It is my understanding that the P&C representative on the Working Party led a communication strategy to ensure that all parents could access the minutes from these meetings.
As a priority, the PCG with the support of Ms Trefry and Mr Wort the principal of Gosford Public School, needed to approve a project to use the $3m available to Gosford Public School under the BER scheme. Approval has been given to upgrade the first floor of Block A at Henry Kendall High School (the doughnut building) to provide nine homebases and a special programs room for the primary school. This project will integrate with the future new works and will be linked by a walkway connecting the buildings. Ms Trefry has been a key member of the PCG in these discussions as funding under the BER scheme needed to be committed in a timely manner in order to meet the timeframe set by the Commonwealth government. Ms Trefry has a copy of these draft plans.
I hope this answers some of the questions you have about the relocation. I know that you will have many more throughout the process. The PCG needs your input. I am sure that the consultation process developed by Ms Trefrywill assist in this regard. I also intend to include updates such as this, as the need arises, in subsequent school newsletters.