Newsletter - Welcome to 2024


Welcome to the January edition of our “newsletter", and our first update for the new school year. Thank you for taking the time to connect with our school; providing a regular stream of updates on the happenings at Urangan SHS remains an important way for us to maintain and build connection with our community.


This connection is an important part of who we are as a school, and what we are seeking to do through our work with students, staff, and community. In 2023, we consulted extensively to determine our Just Cause – a statement of our collective intent that, according to renowned leadership and organisational culture expert Simon Sinek, provides an optimistic, inclusive, resilient, and service-oriented touch-point for our school to ensure we deliver for the students, staff, and community that we serve. Through engaging with our students, staff, and community we distilled our work down to the following statement of our Just Cause: Empowering a community of curious learners, creative thinkers, and connected humans.

The last part of that statement – curious learners, creative thinkers, and connected humans – outlines the qualities that we strive to nurture through our programs, subjects, and offerings. However, for it to meet the requirements of a Just Cause, it needed to be more than just a list of the qualities that we aiming to develop in our students. If the core of our work is supporting students to develop these qualities, it is important to consider for whom we do this work; and the answer is ultimately our community. What do we hope to do for the community by producing these students with these qualities? To empower it, to support our students to be curious, creative, and connected members of our community and to drive the Urangan, Queensland, and ultimately the global community forward in the years to come.


Our pursuit of this cause has gotten off to a flying start today, as we welcomed our returning students back to another year, and welcomed over 300 new students to join them. We were particularly excited to welcome our newest students, and especially our Year 7s who have taken to High School life with enthusiasm. It has been fantastic to see our Year 12 student leaders out supporting our Year 7s through daily lunchtime activities on the oval, in the Resource Centre, and across the school, as well as the high levels of excitement and engagement across the cohort.​

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​Across all of our other year levels, I have been impressed with the pride with which students are wearing their uniforms, and the high levels of attendance that we have seen across the school. I am confident that our students will be able to maintain this fantastic start and high standards throughout the year; enabling students to maintain their good standing​, as we collectively work together to strengthen the culture of Urangan SHS.


As exciting as it is to welcome our new students, the start of the year also enables us one final opportunity to celebrate the successes of our Year 12 cohort from last year. It has been fantastic to hear the excitement and enthusiasm of our former students for their new pathways as they adjust to life after school. The vast majority of our ATAR-eligible students received a number that supports their preferred pathway, and it is sensational to see that over 78% of our University-bound students have been accepted into their first preference course.

For those who are still looking for some guidance on their post-school pathway; please remember the ongoing work of our Link and Launch Coordinator Emma Amor. If you need a little extra support in successfully transitioning to further study, training, or work, Emma is on hand to support and we are very proud of the ongoing assistance that we are able to provide our students to ensure they have pathways and opportunities for whatever comes next.

Across our other year levels, 2023 was a massive year for Urangan SHS and the pursuit of our Explicit Improvement Agenda. We saw significant increases in attendance and academic results for all students, with greater than 3% increases in our A-C and A/B achievement on the end of year reports. Most significantly though, was the results for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. 2023 saw a 15% increase in the number of students attending at least 85% of the time, to narrow the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students on this metric by over 12%. Similarly, we saw 11% more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieving A-C results in Semester 2 2023, to narrow the gap by over 8%. A massive shoutout to the work of our CECs and LCEB for their ongoing support of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and their contribution to the connected community that we continue to build.


As we look towards the new year, a significant change for our school – and indeed every Queensland State School – is the introduction of the state-wide policy of Away for the day. In line with the Queensland Government's announcement late last year, our school will be implementing a policy of mobile phones being Away for the day with the intent of reducing the distraction of mobile phones and other devices to provide optimal learning environments for all state school students.

At Urangan, this requires students to take responsibility for their own device, demonstrating respect for themse​lf and respect for others by keeping their phone switched off and in their bag at all times during school hours (8:50am-3:00pm). This also includes break times, and means that students will be required to use cash, bank card, and/or QKR! app for purchases at the canteen, or to make payments at Student Services for school excursions. You can read more about our policy on our website.


We continue to look forward to the completion of our new Sports Centre later this year, with construction work continuing apace over the holidays. This week, we are expecting the first of the structural steel to arrive and cranes to start appearing on our skyline to help raise the building from the ground. It is beyond exciting to see this space take shape, and I look forward to sharing it with our community as it comes to life.

In the meantime, a massive thank you to our students, staff, and community for continuing to be mindful of the traffic implications along Robert St. This will become increasingly important as steel deliveries and cranes become common place on the building site.


Finally, a quick plug for the work of our super-supportive P&C team. We are incredibly lucky at Urangan SHS to have a dedicated team of parents and community members who care deeply about our school, and their work through the P&C enables things like our Canteen and Uniform Shop to operate so successfully. As a foundation-building year, now is the perfect time to get involved in the P&C and have some input into the work that we are doing as a school. I would love to see you at our first P&C meeting for the year – Tuesday 13th February, 5:30pm in the USHS Boardroom (Admin building).

Together, we have a great school – a great, State School; the school of choice in the Urangan community. I look forward to continuing to work together to improve in everything that we do, and to collectively shape the future of our school in the community.

As always, if our school can assist you in any way, please continue to contact us. To keep up with all of our school events and see details of student success, you can follow us on Facebook (@UranganSHS), on Compass (, and on our website (

Many thanks
Tony McCormack

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Last reviewed 22 January 2024
Last updated 22 January 2024