From the Principal Class Team
Dear Parents and Families
Welcome back to Term 3. It certainly feels like we’ve hit the ground running with year level assemblies, a Curriculum Day, the 100 Days of Success celebration for the Year 11 students, the Year 10 Information Night, 3 camps and Course Selection days already under our belts …….. and it’s only week 3.
Term 3 is an opportunity for students to reflect on their achievements across Semester 1, and to consolidate and build on their successes. It is also the term where our focus shifts to include planning for 2023. Course selection, and all the work by the Careers/Pathways Team to support students in the lead up to this, is the first major step in this process for our Middle and Senior School students. We are confident of the excellent advice they have, including from their families, and wish them well with their decisions.
This term is also the final full term of secondary education for our Year 12’s; not without mixed emotions, as well as a sense of pressure for those approaching final exams. We really encourage them to enjoy this time together, and to give all they can to their studies. They have a wonderful network of support and expertise to draw on in their Coordinators, the Wellbeing Team, their teachers and staff, families, and, of course, each other.
A Warm Welcome……
Several new members of staff have commenced with us this term. Nicole Haddad joins the English Learning Area. Jacob Marinelli joins the Health/PE team, taking over Brendan McFarland’s classes; Myers Nguyen will be teaching Science and Literate Practices whilst Gloria Vlasonjic is on leave this term; and Krizza Salugsugan joins the Wellbeing team as a Wellbeing Officer. We wish Nicole, Myers, Krizza and Jacob all the very best for their time at St Albans Secondary College.
Jeka Kukulj announced her intention to retire this term after 17 years as a Library Technician here at St Albans. Over that time, Jeka has seen and been a part of so many changes in the ways that libraries are structured, the services that they provide, and how they interface with their users; and she adapted and contributed to the opportunities these changes presented.
What has been a constant, though, is Jeka’s love of reading and learning, her desire to develop this in others, and her calm reassuring manner with students and staff. Libraries are central cultural, learning and social places in schools, and Jeka has been a valued part of this aspect of the life of our school.
Jeka is looking forward to the next chapter of her life, and on behalf of the School Council, staff and many students with whom she has worked and interacted, we wish her every happiness in retirement. We also gratefully acknowledge her dedication and contribution to St Albans Secondary College.
Van Rudd, our Maintenance Officer, for the last year has taken up a position at Springside West Primary School.
Our thanks to Van for his diligence in keeping the school ship shape for all of us to enjoy. He made a difference every day. We wish Van well in his new role, and for his ongoing work as a children’s author.
The recent Curriculum Day saw staff spend time developing their skills in planning for student collaboration. Research shows that when students collaborate they learn better, and have greater voice in the classroom. Staff were exposed to some new learning, and listened to the students’ perspective, courtesy of members of the Student Learning Action Team.
Using the GROW coaching model, teaching staff then set a goal they will work on for Term 3. Thanks to the members of the Teaching and Learning Team for their work in developing and delivering this excellent professional learning day.
Year 12 Progress Reports are available this week on Compass. Year 11 Progress Reports will be published on August 12, and Year 7 to 10 on the August 19. As these reports become available, please take the time to read through them and have a discussion with your child. Coordinators will make contact with parents/guardians where these are issues. As always, please contact your child’s Year Level Coordinator if you have any questions.
Preliminary NAPLAN results were released to schools this week. We are currently analysing these and further details will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Individual student results will be available for parents and students towards the end of August.
Course Counselling and Subject Selection
We recently ran the course selection days for Year 11 moving into Year 12 and Year 10 moving into Year 11 for 2023. These are an important part of our calendar of events as they allow every student to receive individual attention regarding their pathway options and assist them in finalising decisions. The Careers/Pathways Team with the support of the Year 10 teaching staff conducted the Year 10 pre course selection information sessions during week two this term. During these sessions and their individual interviews, students received information to assist them make decisions about subjects they should study aligned with their interests, course and career aspirations.
Year 10 Parent Information Session
The Year 10 Parent Information session for Year 11 2023 was held on Tuesday 19 July. As VCAL has now merged with the VCE, this was run as a combined session to cover both the VCE and VCE Vocational Major pathways. The session provided an overview of the subject selection process and changes as VCAL transitions to the VCE Vocational Major. There was opportunity for parents and students to ask questions on the night. A frequently asked questions document was circulated after the event and this will be added to as more questions come in. This document provides a great reference as part of the comprehensive package provided for students and parents as they work through the process.
We were pleased to have such a large turnout for this event with the majority of students and parents in attendance. The information from this session, including the PowerPoint presentation is available on Compass to all Year 10 students and parents. Year level Handbooks were also sent out and are available on the school website.
At this stage, we have successfully completed the Year 10 and 11 course selection interviews with individual students. Any student who was unable to attend their interview can reschedule by contacting the Careers Office or speaking with their Year Level Coordinator.
Year 9 Course Counselling
The Course Counselling interview sessions for Year 9 moving into Year 10 will be held on Tuesday 2 August. Year 9 students are only required to attend school for their interview time. There are no scheduled Year 9 classes on this day. Students will be provided with the time of their interviews, and parents are welcome to attend the interview with their child.
Year 8 Parent Information Session
There will be an online session for students in Year 8 and their parents to work through the process of selecting electives as students progress into Year 9. This will run on Tuesday 9 August from 6.00pm – 7.00pm via WebEx. Details have been sent to parents and students by the Junior Sub School. For further information please contact your child’s Year Level Coordinator.
The care and thorough approach given to this process is a credit to the Careers/Pathways and Sub School Teams. The intensive work this involves is done with passion and integrity by all staff who support and assist students to make these decisions, in the knowledge they will have the support of all those at the school to achieve success.
We wish all our students well with selecting their courses, and thank all the staff and parents involved for their support in this process.
During the winter school holidays Australia celebrated NAIDOC week. The College, in recognition of this important week, celebrated during week 1 of Term 3. NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. It is an important time in our College calendar.
The Theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week was: Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! This theme calls for us all to continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders and our communities.
At the College, we held a range of activities for NAIDOC week with wide spread student involvement. We also led sessions in classrooms and invited all students to think about the true history of Australia – a history which dates back thousands of generations and to consider the wonderful accomplishments of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to this great country Australia.
CPR Theme – Problem Solving
Our Connect, Protect and Respect (CPR) theme for Term 3 is problem solving.
Helping students to solve problems effectively is a skill that needs to be taught. Especially in relation to conflict. A phrase we frequently share with students it to use your head and your heart. Helping students with strategies to use their head and their heart is something we can all do through our interactions with you people.
Using your head means
- Assessing the size of a problem and reflecting on whether our reactions are proportionate.
- Getting help from a trusted adult/person before our problem gets too big.
- Talking it out and committing to using decision making and conflict resolution skills like negotiation and compromise.
- Using a problem solving model like POOCH from Headspace or the Reachout Model.
Using your heart means:
- Responding with empathy and trying to walk in the other person’s shoes– Brene Brown’s video on this is a great intro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw.
- Actively listening.
- Responding with compassion and a spirit of generosity.
- Using a growth mindset (consider seeing problems as opportunities).
In the classroom, we strive to further help students by creating an inclusive, safe and engaging learning environment and explicitly modelling and teaching these strategies. We encourage all members of our school community to use and model effective problem solving to support all people to feel connected, protected and respected.
Covid Safety Measures
The Department of Education has recently stated that all students over the age of 8 and all staff are expected to wear masks whilst at school. This is not a mandate, but it is a covid safe measure that we strongly endorse.
Together with the vaccination and ventilation, masks are an essential element of a covid safe environment. Please support us to keep your child healthy.
Thank you to parents for your support in getting your children to school on time each day.
We have had a focus in improving punctuality, and have been contacting parents where lateness is an ongoing issue.
Regular attendance of over 90% and being on time are essential life skills, and ones that we continue to promote and foster.