Rising to digital challenge

Goals will be a large part of the new school year for Cumberland High School students and new principal Mechel Pikoulas.

Mrs Pikoulas, a former English, French and modern Greek teacher, said students had become digital natives since she began her career in education more than 20 years ago. Her plans to meet with the change include a mentor program, where teachers help every student in years 7 to 12 create an individual learning plan in line with their goals.

A project-based approach to learning will be introduced to further engage students and make subjects more real to them.

"Our learners are coming to us in a very different state than they were 10 or 15 years ago . . . able to multi-task, to think differently and wanting to engage in a different way as well," she said.

"The staff are just extraordinary in terms of their nurturing, commitment to the school [and] the way they work together to innovate and to create new programs to inspire."

Mrs Pikoulas was previously deputy principal at Chester Hill High school where more than 87 languages were spoken and there were about 200 refugees in the student body.

With 650 students, Cumberland High is smaller, but Mrs Pikoulas said she was pleased to be at another fantastic school with a multicultural element.

"It's very mixed, which I think is also lovely," she said.

"That adds to the richness of the experience here.

‘‘What I’m most looking forward to is bringing community, students and staff together to make this school even more special, to ensure that every student is achieving their personal best.’’

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