Principals Report

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Colin Burke

Two new Assistant Principals

A massive congratulations to both Mr Schutz and Ms Loudon on being appointed as Assistant Principals for the remainder of 2021. We are very excited to have these two very experienced, foundation staff members join Ms Lane and myself in the Principal team.

Ms Loudon and Mr Schutz will begin their roles in term 2 and will work with Ms Lane and myself to lead staff and students in the school, plan and develop middle and senior school programs and complete a range of Administrative Tasks associated with the ongoing registration of the school.

This will create a small flow on affect in terms of classes, as both will have to relinquish some of their teaching load. We are in the beneficial position of having some great staff lined up to fill these classes and are hoping to finalise these arrangements in the next week.

Student Learning Conferences

It was wonderful to see so many families in attendance at our Student Learning Conferences a couple of weeks ago. Participation in our Student Learning Conferences is exceptionally high.

I was glad to personally meet so many of you for the first time and to hear so many students effectively articulating about their learning.

Our Student Learning Conferences are a key part of our student learning program. By students actively reflecting on their learning in each class in their booklet, they are then able to go into detail with you and their teacher about their next steps in learning. A powerful way to consolidate learning and build student agency in their own learning.

Nexus staff

We are also excited to have two new staff joining us next term via the Nexus program at LaTrobe University. Nexus recruits high calibre graduates and experienced industry types into education. Nexus teachers complete three terms embedded in a school working as a support staff member, whilst completing their teaching rounds and degree. In the following year they teach 4 days a week at the school, whilst completing their Masters of Education.

We are excited to welcome Jessica Beach, an experienced Biomedical Research Scientist and also Madeline Wright, a Business, Fine Arts and Technology graduate in term 2.

School Review

All government schools are reviewed within a 4 year cycle that helps schools to identify strengths in performance as well as focus areas for the new four year strategic plan. New schools are reviewed in their second year of operation, which is where we find ourselves in 2021. Recently our arrangements have been finalised.

The review itself will happen over two days in June, June the 1st and 17th and involve a range of activities with core panel review members, staff students and parents.  

The core panel members are:

  • Barry Soraghan – Reviewer
  • Vivienne Tellefson – SEIL (North Western Region DET)
  • Colin Burke – Principal
  • School Council President

We will also be joined by Challenge Partners including:

  • Michael Fawcett – Principal Homestead Senior College Point Cook
  • Julie Sonneman – Education Fellow – Grattan Institute

The review report should be finalised by the end of term 2. The recommendations of which will form the basis of our Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2024.

Restful Holidays

I wish all of the Elevation Community a restful school holiday break. Our students deserve a rest after a long term 1.

School returns at 8:45 on Monday the 19th of April for all students.


Assistant Principals Report

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Angela Lane

The Online World

My mother once said to me that if I wrote something that I couldn’t show her, I should reconsider if I should have written it in the first place. She didn’t know it then, but she was setting me up for some excellent advice for my interactions with people online.

The online world can be a wondrous place but parents play a key vital role in helping their children navigate it, communicate through it, how they use it and how to stay safe.

As a parent/guardian, if your child visits another household without you, your mind might go through a lot of thoughts. Some of them might be:

“Do I know who they are visiting and who else will be there?”

“Is it a safe place for them to go?”

“Do they have an exit strategy if they need to leave? How can they contact me if they need me?”

“Will they be polite and show manners that I expect of them?”

When then, should visiting an online site be any different?

“Do I know the site they are visiting? Who else might be there?”

“Is it a safe place for them to go?”

“Do they know how to get out of a situation they find themselves in and ask me for help?”

“Will their online behaviour reflect the behaviour that I expect of them in a real life social situation?”

Parents/guardians, what can you do to protect your child online?

  • Know the apps: sign up and start using the apps and social media your children are using. Have you linked your account with your child’s account?
  • Educate yourself: DET and the Australia Government have created a website with a whole lot of resources including cyberbullying, online safety and sexting: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents
  • Have the conversation with your child… and then continue to have it. Continue to touch base, continue to ask to see what they are doing online, and continue to encourage their online behaviour to be as open as possible.
  • Have clear expectations around the use of technology and being online: often as parents/guardians we are clear with expectations in real life situations, but it is as important to talk about online behaviour.

Students, what can you do to protect yourself online?

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  • Make sure you know the TOS (Terms of Service) that you are signing up for: https://tosdr.org/ is a good website that summarises what you are signing up for.
  • Do not share passwords with any friends: https://howsecureismypassword.net/ is a good site to test potential passwords for how strong they are.
  • Have open and honest conversations with your family about what’s happening online. Share the things you find.
  • Tone doesn’t always come across the right way online – consider if the conversation you want to have with a friend would be better in real life, even if being face to face is harder.
  • Don’t talk to people that you don’t know
  • Need more advice: https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people has information on cyberbullying, online drama, banter Vs bullying and online gaming.

“Remember that bullying behaviour is way more a reflection of that person who is being mean, than it is a reflection of you” 


Curriculum and Student Learning

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Sonia Loudon

Extension and Enrichment

As our school grows we’ve been able to identify opportunities to extend our high ability students. This year we will be introducing two enrichment programs. These programs run for two hours each week, starting in Session 5 and ending at 4pm in the afternoon.

These classes are advanced and challenging, but they are not just accelerated curriculum. Our intention is to extend high ability learners and engage students in valuable and rigorous curriculum connections to academic disciplines that otherwise wouldn’t encounter until VCE or university. We are introducing two programs this year.

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Matthew Williamson

Discourse

This class covers Politics, Philosophy and Economics where students explore classical ‘big ideas’ in democracy, political theory and culture. The class is structured around debates and critically analysing contemporary issues.

Logic

This class gives students the chance to engage with applied and advanced Mathematical concepts, proofs and logic that we don’t usually get to explore in Years 7 – 10. Students will also enter the Australian Maths Competition, Mathematics Olympiads and engineering challenges.

In Term 2, we are starting with Discourse. The class is led by Ms Tan, who will bring her experiences in journalism and law and passion for critical theory to the group. Ms Loudon and Ms Nicholas will also support the class, particularly in structuring arguments and preparing for debates.

Students are invited to apply in Week 1 Term 2 in an online application form published on Compass. Students will be selected on a range of criteria including: passion for the field, academic performance and work habits. There will be a separate application process for the Logic program in Term 3 and students may wish to apply for both.

We will add, change and continue programs each year so if your child does not feel ready or interested this year, there are plenty of more opportunities coming up. There are also opportunities throughout the year for students to enter competitions and challenges, not just our extension students.


Junior School / Engagement and Wellbeing

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Kyle Schutz

30-Day Challenge – Treating all members of the ESC Community with respect

From Week 6 – Week 9 of Term 1 our students and teachers participated in the first College 30-Day Challenge. For 30-Days, students focused on treating all members of our school community with respect. This challenge also saw students create scripts that they would feel comfortable in using with one and other when addressing disrespectful language or behaviour, as well as ways to continue demonstrating respect. All students were given a ‘Gratitude Bingo Card’ in Mentor Group, students had the opportunity to tick off boxes within their Gratitude Bingo Card when displaying a respectful gesture/behaviour.

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Kimberly Caulder

Over 1000 Aspire points were awarded to students throughout the 30-Day Challenge. Congratulations to 7B and 8F for accumulating the most Aspire points out of all of the Mentor Groups.

Lunchtime Activities

This Term, we launched Lunchtime Activities for our students. It has been fantastic to see many students attending and participating in a range of extra-curricular activities. These groups have included: 

  • Debating Club
  • Arts Club
  • Maths Club 
  • Fitness Club
  • Stand Out Club
  • DJ Club
  • Games and Chess Club 
  • Anime/K Pop Club
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Have a go – you might find you really like something you had never thought of doing before.

Devices in bedrooms

Last newsletter we spoke about the importance of sleep. One major cause of lack of sleep is devices in bedrooms including phones, iPads, laptops, gaming consoles and TVs. These devices emit blue light that tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime. It tells the brain it needs to stay awake, which makes falling asleep afterwards difficult. 

Lots of families have experienced success by having a rule that everyone charges their phones in the one spot in the house overnight and everything is plugged in one hour before bedtime. The first few nights are the most challenging, but when families are strict and consistent, it will become the new normal. (Don’t give in otherwise the process of change starts again). The benefits of this are obvious including increased motivation, calmer conversations and increased focus at school. 

 


Community Notices

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Winter Uniform Items

As we head into the colder months in Terms 2 and 3, families should check they have enough winter uniform, specifically Jumpers and Blazers.

State Schools Relief is available for any family that needs support in purchasing their items.

Uniform shop hours at Niddrie during the holidays are:

Closed Good Friday – Easter Monday

Week 1/Tuesday – Friday 9am-5pm

Saturday – 9am – 3pm

Week 2/Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday – 9am – 3pm

https://www.elevationsc.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/ESC_Uniform_Policy-2020.pdf

Hume City Council Introduces Active Kids

The Active Kids program is designed for children aged 6 months-15 years. The program encourages children to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and build healthy habits into the future. The program offers a large range of activities for children to participate in: Singing, Dancing, Taekwondo, Slash Slide Night. Click on the link below for more details.

Dental Check Ups

Sustainable Schools

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The College is conscious of the need to provide an efficient process for families to be able to buy and sell their second- hand textbooks, uniforms and other student resources.

We are delighted to inform you of the schools new initiative to provide parents with the ability to trade these second-hand items via the Sustainable Schools website: http://www.sustainableschoolshop.com.au

Results from other schools have been excellent – families have enjoyed a very comprehensive and convenient method of buying and selling second-hand items.

Our School is Becoming ResourceSmart

This year our school is taking action to become more environmentally sustainable through a Victorian Government initiative called ResourceSmart Schools.

ResourceSmart Schools is a program that helps our school embed sustainability in everything we do. We are aiming to reduce our resource use (like electricity, waste water) plus support indigenous plants and animals. This will also help us to save money. We also want to involve students, families and other members of our school and local community.

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We are working with Ms. Kelsey Smith from CERES Community Environment Park on the actions of the Core and Waste Modules.

This year, we are aiming to create a strong foundation for our sustainability program, continue to build on our sustainability achievements, monitor our resource use by using a free website called ResourceSmart Online, get our community involved, participate in exciting events, supporting our students, including sustainability in our curriculum.  

We can’t wait to… share our achievements with you, reduce our school’s impact, help make the Earth a better place for all, contribute to a sustainable future for all.

Read more about ResourceSmart Schools at https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/schools


Important Dates

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Diary Dates for Parents

Curriculum Days 2021 – Student Free 

Thursday 27th May

Tuesday 10th August

Friday 19th November

Public Holidays 2021

Friday 2nd April – Good Friday

Monday 14th June – Queens Birthday

Tuesday 2nd November – Melbourne Cup Day

Student Led Conferences 2021

Wednesday 25th August

Term Dates 2021

Term 2 Commences 19th April – Last Day 25th June    *** Early Finish 2:30pm ***

Term 3 Commences 12th July – Last Day 17th September   *** Early Finish 2:30pm ***

Term 4 Commences 4th October – Last Day 17th December   *** Early Finish 12:30pm ***