Worried about the return to school?

You’re about to return to school, maybe you have missed lots of things about school like your friends, school staff, or you just want to see something different from your 5km bubble; but you feel nervous, worried or even scared and you’re not sure why. This could be anxiety – a normal response we have that helps keep us safe in all sorts of situations, like when we experience change.

The anxiety you may have around returning to school might make you feel, think and do certain things. You may feel restless, stressed, breathless, tight in the chest, shaky and you may even begin to panic. You may worry and think things like ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I just want to stay home’, ‘what if no one talks to me?’, ‘I’m probably going to fail.’ You may even look for ways to avoid returning to school or start to avoid doing school work. While this can be a normal response to the transition back to being on campus, there are some things you can do to make it easier.

  • Be prepared for the return. Try and keep up with your work and maintain some connections with friends. In the week before, make sure you have everything you need: Your bag ready; uniform ready; get back into routine with sleep and recreation.
  • Use positive, accurate self-talk to challenge the negative thinking that may be happening. Say things like, ‘I have done this before, I can do it again!’ or ‘I’ve got this!’
  • The mind is powerful and so it can be helpful to imagine yourself doing well on your first day. Step through your predicted routine and see yourself experiencing it in a positive manner.
  • Use the tools you have to calm your mind and body before arriving, and during the day. Mindfulness and deep breathing are really helpful and there are lots of good apps too. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be.
  • Talk to trusted adults about your concerns. They can support you with the above steps and may have some other really good ideas to help you cope.

COVID-19 – 5 October Update 1

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

As was announced this morning by the Education Minister, James Merlino, all Year 7 students will return to face-to-face learning as of Monday 12 October. We are delighted with this news and look forward to our Year 7 students being with us physically here at the College.

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 will return to the College on Monday 26 October.

Please note that students will be required to comply with a number of recommended protocols to ensure their own and others’ safety upon their return to the College.

Students will be required to follow social distancing protocols and wear masks at all times in both the classroom and while accessing the College grounds at recess and lunchtime. Mask are also required while travelling to and from school on public transport.

Advice received from the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) states that ‘based on the advice of the Acting Deputy Chief Health Officers, given the current levels of community transmission in Victoria, mandatory temperature testing of all students on arrival to school will not be required in Term 4.’

To avoid crowding and maintain best practice hygiene standards, the College canteen will only be offering a lunch order service. Orders can be completed in homeroom. A canteen price list is available on the College website. Drink taps will not be available for student use. Instead students are asked to bring a water bottle from home.

Parent/Guardians are reminded that if their son/daughter is unwell they need to remain at home, even with the mildest of symptoms. This important action will reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19.

Students are asked to practise social distancing wherever possible. While maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres will not always be practical in the school environment, we are asking that you support us by reminding your son/daughter of these requirements.

We look forward to having our Year 7, 11 and 12 students here next week and are pleased that our Year 8, 9 and 10 students will be returning to us soon.

Take care and God bless.

 

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal

COVID-19 – 2 October Update 1

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

In readiness for the eventual return of students to school, parents/guardians and students are reminded that being well presented is part of the Uniform Policy and students are asked to follow all expectations with respect to wearing the uniform correctly, including hair being neatly tied back and off the face.

Students returning to school on Monday 12 October (that is, Year 11 & 12 students and Year 10 students undertaking a VCE study) are able to wear either their full winter or full summer uniform. As of Monday 19 October 2020, these students must be in full summer uniform, which includes the College blazer. Note: long or short sleeve shirts may be worn and, like the winter kilt, the summer dress length is to be around the knee. If the summer dress needs to be altered, please ensure this is done as soon as possible and in readiness for return on Monday 12 October. Likewise, while the date of return for Year 7-10 students is yet to be confirmed, it would be worthwhile to prepare uniforms for sooner rather than later.

To support your sons/daughters with meeting uniform expectations, and bearing in mind the current restrictions in place, parents/guardians may order and purchase uniform items from the Uniform Shop over the telephone. The Uniform shop will provide direction with regards to collection.

 

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal

N.B.
Uniform Shop Telephone: 8734 5280
Contact Hours: 8:15am-3:45pm, Monday – Friday

COVID-19 – 18 September Update 1

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Term 3 2020 has certainly been different to what we imagined it would be at the beginning of the College year. While we have had many challenges thrown at us, the resilience and sense of community shown by all staff, students and parent/guardians has been truly inspiring.

Thank you to our teachers and auxiliary staff who have continued to offer quality learning experiences to our students in very trying circumstances. Thank you to our parents/guardians for working alongside us to ensure their sons/daughters continue to engage with their teachers and their learning. And, lastly, a huge thank you must go to our student community. I am sure all of you have done your best to continue to engage in learning remotely. While this year has not turned out as we all hoped and planned, you have proven to be a resilient and strong group of young people, of whom I am incredibly proud.

As we head into the term break, I have a couple of important matters to highlight:

  • From Monday 5 October to Friday 9 October (the first week of Term 4) remote and flexible learning continues for all students, including our VCE students.
    Wednesday 7 October is the only exception to remote and flexible learning for those VCE students sitting the General Achievement Test (GAT).
  • For students completing VCE (Unit 2 and Unit 4) subjects, there will be no classes running on Wednesday 7 October.
  • On-site supervision for students of permitted workers and vulnerable students continues in line with existing guidelines.
  • From Monday 12 October students enrolled in a VCE or VCAL program will return to on-site learning.
  • All students from Year 7 to Year 10 will continue with remote and flexible learning. A date for the return of these year levels to on-site learning will be subject to further health advice, but will occur as soon as they are safely able to do so.

 

I wish you all a relaxing holiday and hope you all manage to find moments of joy.

God bless!

 

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal

National eSmart Week 6-12 September: Connecting Safely

Our school has registered to take part in National eSmart Week. eSmart is an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and is all about building supportive and connected social environments both on and offline.

This year’s National eSmart Week theme is Connecting Safely. The week from 6-12 September celebrates the work schools and families have done to connect safely while navigating remote learning.

If you would like further ideas about how to continue to work safely online please click on the links below.

eSmart resources for Students
eSmart resources for Parents

Child Protection Week 2020, 6-12 September

Protecting children is everyone’s business. As a school community, we acknowledge the importance of Child Protection Week and the role every adult has in ensuring children in our care, in families and our schools are safe, cared for and protected. We are actively committed to fostering communities that safeguard the right to a secure and safe environment for all children and young people. School staff are often early identifiers of family concern for children. We continue to engage in child-centred practices.

If you would like to know more about how to play your part, please follow the link below.
NAPCAN Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Tips

Information for parents/guardians:
Child Safe Standards Victoria
Child Safe Standards Guidance 2017

Further resources:
NCPW2020_CommitmentPoster_COLOUR_B
NAP20_ChildrensWeek_tipsheet_FINAL_GENERAL
NAP35_ChildrensWeek_A4Poster_FINAL_NATIONAL
NAPCAN-Commitment-Statement-FINAL
NAPCAN-NCPW-COMMUNITY-poster-photo-ONLINE-nodate-1

Thank you for your ongoing support in ensuring that children are safe and protected.

Capable, confident critical thinkers 

The advent of the internet has changed our lives and we must all respect and take responsibility for the online world in which we find ourselves. The importance of being media literate so that we may function consciously, critically and ethically in the media world, requires the assistance of the whole of society.

Everyone plays a role in helping the younger generations judge and sort the information that is bombarding their online existence and reinforcing their positive digital citizenship as they reflect their personal values within their online world. Parents, guardians and teachers alike have a role to play in the development of critical thinking, so that students are able to discern truth from the misinformation and misleading sources of information that are portrayed by the media as news.

Critical thinking can commence by holding open discussions revolving around what is being portrayed online with thoughts such as:

  • Does this look real?
  • Does this sound credible and accurate?
  • Is this demonstrating any bias?
  • Who is really saying this or behind this thought?
  • How can I verify this information?
  • Is this relevant to me?
  • When did this happen?

Why is this critical thinking important to us all? We all like to be informed and we need our news sources to be truthful and honest, portraying life as it really exists. Business behind the media and providing our news are just that, a business that needs to operate with profitable incomes. When sharing news and forwarding it on your social media platforms ask yourself, are you passing on misinformation, or have you been media literate and a critical thinker?

COVID-19 – 31 August Update 1

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Thank you for your support of our virtual Student Progress Interviews held last Thursday and Friday. Despite the unique circumstances and unusual process of delivery, the feedback has been that parents/guardians enjoyed the opportunity to speak with their son/daughter’s teachers and found the Zoom meetings or phone calls worked well despite the odd technical hitch.

Thank you, too, to those parents/guardians who completed our Remote Learning 2.0 surveys. The information gleaned from these surveys will inform us of what is working for our community and what could be improved to make the experience better for all concerned.

Over the coming weeks some of our Year 12 VCE students will engage in some of their School Assessed Coursework (SACs) remotely. This is something new for the College and presents a range of issues in regards to the authentication of student work. We thank, in advance, the students and their parent/guardians for the strict adherence to our processes and procedures that will ensure this system remains fair and transparent.

As we move towards the end of Term 3, we are beginning to receive queries from our community about what will be occurring regarding our response to COVID-19 and remote learning in Term 4. While we understand the concerns and would enjoy some certainty about what will happen next, we do not currently have the information many of you are seeking; we, too, receive information after it has been released to the wider community through the relevant media briefings. Please rest assured, however, that as soon as we know more, we will respond as quickly as possible while ensuring that what we share is accurate and continues to be in the best interests of our College community.

 

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal