- From the Principal
- Validation Forms
- ‘Meet and Greet’ afternoon on Wednesday, 4th March, 2020
- Collecting your child before the end of the school day
- Middle Years Literacy Project
- Dangerous online challenges are never funny
- Do Years 11 and 12 your way
- Mental Health Council Engagement Sessions
- Could $500 help you with school costs?
Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020. I hope that you have all had a safe and relaxing summer break and the staff and I are really looking forward to progressing the fantastic work that has been happening at the school with respect to improving learning outcomes and school culture.
2020 will see us continuing our focus on developing Professional Learning Team processes aligned to collaborative planning and teaching, with the specific focus on improving writing.
Our other priority, closely aligned to our curriculum delivery and data collection, is embedding the work we have been doing on School Wide Positive Behaviour Support.
With respect to parent/carer and wider community involvement with the school this year, we are also embarking on a process that will hopefully see as many of you as possible involved in helping us create a vision statement for the school that reflects the values and aspirations for education in the Huon Valley. Please watch for this and take up the opportunities, as possible, to be part of this process.
There are a few changes to the staffing this year.
Returning staff are Rosy Keen, who has returned to her role as AST, and Angela Prince has also returned to us following maternity leave, working with some Art classes as well as taking on a Support load.
New teaching staff are Jabra Latham who will be working in the Tier 2/3 Space, Tracey Ozkilinc who has been working with a number of students out of the Energy Hub building and will continue this work, but aligned directly to HHS as opposed to it being an externally supported program, and Dev Tiwari who is joining us as a "Teach for Australia Associate", and will be teaching within the 7/8 team.
Jessica Lowe, who was teaching Drama last year, is continuing on here, partly filling in for Andrew Stanley who is undertaking a "Graduate Certificate in Support" course for Terms 1 and 2, so will be here on a 0.5 loading.
Congratulations to Jen Clifton who has been appointed as AST with a specific focus on the year 10-12 students; Andrew Butler who has taken up a part AST load with a TASC Liaison focus; and Dan Bailey, who was successful in applying for the AST Support role.
Joining the support team are Mark Bryce and Sandra Kent, with Andrew Douglas successfully being appointed as Teacher Assistant for MDT.
I am really excited about having the returning and new staff on the teaching team for 2020, confident that each will contribute with their specific strengths to improving learning for all students at the school.
2020 Grade Coordinators
I am also pleased to announce our 2020 Year 7-10 Coordinators are:
Homeroom or subject teachers should, as usual, be the first contact should you have any concerns about your child’s learning or general well-being at school. This also goes for information that you think would be beneficial for us to know so that we can best cater for their individual needs whilst at school.
Personal Technologies Policy (PTP)
The response from the majority of students to the PTP has been terrific, with relatively few students requiring intervention for transgressions and fantastic support from parents/carers.
The important point to remember here is that this is leading into a government mandated position, “Off and Away All Day”, on mobile technologies, phones in particular, where they will be banned from K-10 environments during school hours from the start of Term 2 this year. Whilst there are aspects in the government’s stance where exceptions can be made according to specific circumstances, there is no reason for us as a school to consider these, as we have the capacity to cater for all student needs with our available technology/devices.
General feedback is also indicating that the banning of mobile devices during class time has been positive with respect to less disruptions and more focussed classroom environments.
The School AssociationAnnual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 30th March. This is an opportunity for you to become involved in supporting the school in a proactive way, and the Association Executive and I encourage you to become involved in this important group.
More informatiomn will be coming out in the next week or so regarding positions and how to become involved.
Student Information Validation Forms have been given to students or will be posted if a student wasn't at school. Please update any details that have changed and return the whole form to the school office no later than Friday, 28th February, 2020.
You will notice that there are a few changes to the form.
In order to ensure that the Department of Education is meeting legal requirements around use of student images, video and names, there are some changes to enrolment and validation forms. Feedback received by Learning Services has indicated that the current permissions process does not allow you (parents and carers) to permit the use of images and names in one publication type, but not in another. The changes will give you more options for image and video use and provide clear guidelines about when and what part of student names can be published. As a result, the permission section of the form is longer, but will provide more information and choice on the use of the images, videos and names.
This information is important to review and update in relation to:
- Contact and medical information;
- Consent for Minor Excursions and Permissions (which is required every year)
Validation of all data is important as it is used by the Australian Government and Department of Education to support funding of school and other important programs.
Please pay particular attention to the following:
- Has your child’s medical information changed?
- Have names, addresses or phone numbers changed for Parent/Guardians or Emergency Contacts?
If you have any questions please contact the school office on 6264 0800.
It has been a very busy start to the year with eighty Grade 7 students joining us. Our focus has been to introduce students to the routines of High School, getting to know each other, and how to represent our school values of Safety, Responsibility, Growth and Respect.
Important events for this term include our ‘Meet and Greet’ afternoon on Wednesday, 4th March (3:30pm–5:00pm). This will be an opportunity to meet Mr Williamson, senior staff, and the Grade 7 teachers. There will be opportunities to ask any questions you may have and also tour the school.
This year’s Grade 7 Camp will be held on Maria Island. The focus of the camp will be on students and teachers developing positive relationships to ensure a successful year for all Grade 7 students. The camp is scheduled for week 10 (late April).
If you have any queries or concerns regarding your child, please do not hesitate to contact me at school on (03) 6264 0800 or by email me - email@example.com
Grade 7 Coordinator
Communication has been our starting focus in English this year. The junior classes have examined listening and speaking, while also recounting information. In years 9 and 10, our focus has been to communicate professionally, preparing resumés and cover letters.
Here are some of our year 8s drafting and then revising their work
Next we will be moving onto imaginative writing, examining how we tell stories in various ways. There will be an opportunity open to all students to enter the Write4Fun writing competition, submitting a short story or poetry.
Here's a lesson from Oscar winning director, Taika Waititi, about creating: "I constantly remind myself that there are terrible movies out there. I try to watch them, some of them, to give myself an understanding of what not to do."
Head of English
If your child has an appointment during school hours or you need to collect them before the end of the day, please give them a note that they can hand to their teacher so that the teacher can let them leave class and meet you at the office to be signed out.
The person signing your child out needs to be on the child's contact list. You can contact the office on 6264 0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to update details.
If you just arrive at the office wanting to collect your child, it can mean you are delayed while we locate them.
To reduce disruption to learning, we do not use the PA during class time.
eSafety is aware that a dangerous new challenge doing the rounds on social media is putting the safety of young people at risk.
Kids are encouraged to trip an unsuspecting friend or classmate in a specific way that makes them slam against the ground. The potential for brain and spinal damage is high and there are already reports of serious injuries and possibly one death overseas.
Other challenges cause the participant to pass out, sometimes from self-inflicted violence.
What makes these challenges even more dangerous is that videos of them are being live-streamed or posted on the popular TikTok app and shared elsewhere on the internet.
So they are spreading to a very large and impressionable audience, in an increasingly competitive online environment where young people are anxious to take part in the latest fad or tell others about it while it’s still trending.
The potential harms are not just physical, they are also psychological – being pranked in front of an infinite audience can cause long-term damage to the self-esteem and confidence of the victim.
And any challenge that invites people to laugh at others being harmed or humiliated discourages empathy – not just in those who carry out it out, but in everyone who likes or shares the video.
What can be done?
TikTok has advised eSafety that dangerous challenges violate its Community Guidelines and it removes the videos when they are reported.
But these are not the first dangerous online challenges and they won’t be the last, so parents and educators need to be aware that they can play a role in minimising the potential impacts.
It’s a difficult issue to deal with, because warning a young person about risky behaviour can actually tempt them to try it out, especially once they learn it’s popular online. So eSafety encourages a careful approach, underpinned by general conversations about online safety issues.
When a challenge is circulating online
- Keep a close eye on particularly vulnerable children, to ensure they are not targeted.
- Do not introduce the idea or the name of a specific challenge or risk-taking behaviour if young people are not already aware of it.
- If young people are aware of a dangerous challenge, talk about how bad the injuries could be and ask how they would feel if they were pranked and it was shared online.
- Remind them that respect and empathy for others is far more important than getting laughs, likes or followers.
- Do not show them any videos of a dangerous challenge, even to warn them about how risky it is.
- Advise them not to view or share videos of the challenge themselves.
- Encourage them to report any videos of the challenge to the apps or services where they were posted – the eSafety Guide has a list of links they can use.
Arming young people with early guidance
- Focus on developing the critical reasoning skills of young people, encouraging them to question what they see online even if their friends don’t.
- Let them know that they should always be careful of other people’s safety and feelings, particularly if they see something dangerous online.
- Ask questions about the games and apps they are using and what they are watching online.
- Ask open-ended questions in a non-judgmental way about risk-taking behaviour and use it as an opportunity to talk about the issues – parents might like to have the conversation shoulder-to-shoulder instead of face-to-face to make it less awkward, while driving in the car or doing something else together.
When you finish Years 11 and 12, anything can happen.
If you are currently in Year 10, you will need to continue studying until you finish Year 12 (or meet a leaving requirement). Once you leave school, it can be tough out there.
Most jobs today require you to complete Year 12 as a minimum, and 91% of all new jobs will also require a VET or university qualification. That’s why there are now more ways than ever before to finish Years 11 and 12 your way.
You don’t need to finish school the old-fashioned way - there are courses and training programs available to suit everyone. Just ask your teachers, Year 10 Coordinator (Mr Cowlard) or My Education Coordinator – they will be able to tell you all about your options. There are so many more opportunities available to you if you complete Year 12.
Always remember if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re not stuck. You can always shift focus and find the best options to suit you.