Term 4 has been huge for our students and staff with the staggered return to onsite schooling, accelerated return to full time schooling and most recently the easing of most restrictions for secondary school students – including the removal of the mask mandate.
Through all of these changes our students and staff have responded well and with a minimum of fuss.
It’s been great to have students return to onsite schooling and be back in classrooms once again. While our students and staff did a great job with remote learning, nothing compares to being in the classroom for speed of instruction, learning from peers and being able to catchup on learning.
I sincerely thank all of our families and students for their support of the various public health measures over the last 2 years – where we have had overwhelming compliance from students and support from families.
I’m pleased to say that the tender process for a builder for our stage 2 building program is well underway. The Victorian School Building Authority is hoping to appoint a builder before Christmas for a January start on the project.
The timelines have recently been revised to bring the building project back to being a single year project as opposed to an 18 – 24 month process. So while we will still have significant disruption to the school during 2022, our whole facility is on track to be completed before the start of the 2023 school year.
Staffing for 2022
We have been readily preparing for the 2022 academic year by hiring some more amazing teaching and support staff. Once again we have had an enormous amount of applications for positions at the school and have appointed some outstanding staff.
As well as the leadership appointments discussed in earlier newsletters, so far we have hired the following staff for next year:
It is great to see students back in the classroom and all staff back. Thank you to all the parents and carers who have helped prepare their child for the return to school. We hope that the Return To School Information night, documents and fridge lists assisted you.
Let’s face it – being a parent is hard. Being a parent of teenager is harder still. It’s not like there is a handbook… or is there?
There is a lot of parenting advice out there. Some are more useful than others. Below is list of resources that are very useful – especially for those parenting teenagers.
Headspace isn’t just for young people experiencing distress – it is also there to support families.
Contains activities for promoting healthy relationships and wellbeing
Information around responding to conflict and disagreement with young people
Watch videos on other’s stories and articles.
Also remember that the College is also here to support you. If you have a concern about your child, please discuss it with us – this may be through your child’s Mentor Group teacher, the coordination team, or through wellbeing.
It has been wonderful to see students returning on-site with classes running at full capacity. This has taken a great deal of effort from families who have done it really tough over the past two years. The resilience shown by everyone has been fantastic to see and we hope that we have seen the last of remote learning.
Year 8 students have chosen their Year 9 elective subjects for 2022. Thank you to all families for discussing subject choices with your child, ensuring the choices made are based on areas of interest and strength. This is the first of many important educational decisions you will need to make over the coming years.
Next year subject choices will be a lot more in depth, as some choices may involve VCE or VET subjects, and should be linked to future study options.
Elevation Secondary College and GOTAFE have been working hard behind the scenes and were prepared for a visit from their mobile campus on December 1-6. While Elevation Secondary College has been hosting the bright orange van, students have experienced ‘TAFE Tasters’, and got to experience what learning a vocational subject is like. Students have had the opportunity to explore:
The mobile van is alsogoing to be open on site on Saturday 4 December for families and friends to check out the mobile campus, as well as discuss different career and pathway options.
“You’re never too young or old to plan your next learning and career experience“
We are very excited to introduce Elevation’s new Adolescent Health Nurse, Lauren Turnbull, who will be joining our wellbeing team to support our school community with health promotion and health education.
Lauren is a school nurse that works at a number of different schools and will be with us every Friday.
Lauren is experienced in counselling, mental health and has been working with teenagers in this capacity for a number of years.
We are very fortunate to have Lauren on board and are very excited to have her as a part of the Elevation Team.
Lauren can support students, families and staff to create a safe and healthy learning space.
Students can find Lauren by contacting their wellbeing team leader, Liesl Albion, a year level coordinator, or teacher to ask any physical or mental health related questions on : 8339 8000
Sleeping and Eating Well
As we edge closer to the end of the year, it is so important to fuel your body with healthy food and allow your body to rest adequately in order to get through each school day successfully. Students should be aiming for 9-10 hours of sleep every night. Anecdotally, many students have told us they are getting around 4-5 hours, which is not enough for their bodies and minds to rest. Sleep is needed for the brain to absorb what it has learnt throughout the day. When you don’t get enough sleep, not only is it difficult to concentrate, we also haven’t retained what we’ve learnt previously. A double whammy! Put the phone away, switch it for a book, and ensure you’re making a conscious effort to get your 9-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night!
Wellbeing Questions Answered: Vaccines, Restrictions and Moving Forward
Our wellbeing team would like to share a few tips to help address some of the most common questions we are hearing from our school community:
My child does not feel ready to come back to school, can we wait a bit longer?
Coming back to school is an important step towards a covid-normal life and parents can really help their children accept this step by the way you listen to your child, and the way you talk positively about returning to school. Some students are excited to return onsite, and are able to adapt to changes fairly easily.
Other students may feel overwhelmed, angry or anxious about returning to school. This can be due to them preferring the home environment, worry about friendships and other students at school, worry about the classwork being too hard, unsure about why we have had to go in and out of lockdown, or struggling to change their routine after a long time at home.
The most helpful way for you to respond to your child if they are saying they are not ready to come back to school is to listen to them without judgment or criticism, and encourage your child to be open and honest about why they are unsure about going to school.
Let them know you hear and understand their reasons and then help them identify the reasons why going back to school at the same time as their peers is important. Coming back to school now is going to help them catch up on schoolwork faster, and strengthen some friendships that after a lockdown may feel a bit shaky. If we wait until we “feel ready” to do something hard, we may never do that thing, so encouraging your child to push through that lack of motivation or actual fear is very important in building future skills of resilience and managing emotions.
Big feelings are completely normal but you can help your child find ways that they can soothe themselves when feeling an overwhelming emotion – you might try listening to music, fidget toys, prayer, moving their bodies, talking about it, or watching something funny to distract them. Then help your child list the people or services in their life that are their ‘support crew’ and remind them that their support crew is there for them to lean on in tough times.
Remind your child that there are things we can do to help ourselves feel a little safer coming back to school, like wearing our face masks correctly, washing hands and using hand sanitizer, staying home and getting tested for Coronavirus if we are even slightly unwell, not sharing food or drinks with other students, keeping socially distanced from others when out in public and making sure we eat nutritious food and sleep enough so that our immune systems can be as strong as possible.
Young people can also focus on their general health right now, to give them the boost they need to help make term 4 a fulfilling and successful term. Students may like to focus on one or more of these areas to build on; sleep, nutrition, connection to others, building our self esteem by spending time with people that value us and are kind to us, and try making little steps towards their goals each day.
I’m worried about my child getting Covid at school?
Many of our school community have been personally affected by Covid, and we send our best wishes to anyone currently unwell and/or isolating at home. The Victorian Government has deemed it safer for students to come back onsite now, due to many factors but including the high % of vaccinated adults and teenagers in the community which mean that the likelihood of a student getting Covid, and passing it onto others at school, is much lower than it was before this lockdown.
The return to onsite learning has been slow, and included many small steps. Coming back to school in slow stages and restrictions adapting slowly allows our healthcare system to keep up with the Covid cases in the community. Schools have been working hard to create an environment, which is as safe as possible for students and staff to return to and are welcoming students back onsite across Victoria.
Schools have made several changes to the way classes are structured, changes to the way staff and students move around the school, reduced school visitors, mandated vaccines for staff, improved access to cleaning and hand hygiene supplies, improved airflow and ventilation in school classrooms, and have strict guidelines for unwell staff and students staying at home.
If a student has even the slightest Covid symptoms please keep them home from school and get tested, or speak to your Doctor about their health. If parents would like to learn more about the effect of Covid on children and teens, please watch this informative conversation by the Royal Children’s Hospital, discussing the effects of Covid 19 on children’s physical health.
Do I have to be vaccinated to come back to school?
The Covid Vaccine is not mandatory for students, but it is mandatory for school staff as we know that having a high number of vaccinated adults is an effective way to protect our younger students from getting a Covid-19 infection. Although it isn’t mandatory for students to be vaccinated, it is HIGHLY recommended and young people aged 12 years and over are now able to receive the Covid vaccine. People who have recently had a Covid infection can be vaccinated only after speaking with their Doctor as it depends on your recovery and health as to when you can get your vaccine.
You, your parent/guardian or carer can also book a vaccine appointment at a participating GP, pharmacy or community health service through the Vaccine Clinic Finder. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.
This term, we have renewed our focus on growth in Mathematics. After settling into face-to-face learning again, students have been encouraged to look at the gaps and next steps in their maths learning on Maths Pathway.
Throughout the year, students have been using the Maths Pathway (MP) digital resource for personalised maths practice and homework. One of the best features of MP is that it helps students practice the maths skills that build up to the work that they are doing in class, and for many students, allows them to practice and extend themselves.
At the end of Term 4, Maths teachers have noticed that many students should be spending more time on their individualised Maths Pathways modules. This is partly because it’s an important way to make up for lost time during lockdown, but also because Year 8 students in particular are not too far away from needing to identify pathways-based maths to enrol in for Year 10. It’s so important for students to work hard and catch up now, so that they have as many options as possible in later years. This includes demonstrating the skills necessary for vocational courses. It’s also a key part of aiming high – students who are aiming to undertake subjects that lead to University courses – ranging from nursing through to engineering – require students demonstrate a certain level of maths to be accepted into the course.
Families are encouraged to ask students: How are you going with Maths Pathway? Students can share their progress with you! You can look out for students’ growth – they should be doing enough work and practice to grow at least 100% per cycle – maybe more depending on the gaps they are filling. There are instructional videos and supports within the program to help students if needed.
To support students’ efforts in Maths Pathways, they will have more time in class to complete modules with teacher assistance. We are also holding Maths support at homework club on Tuesday afternoons where Maths teachers are on hand to help students who may be hitting a wall on a particular question set.
This year’s Parliament Prize Competition involved submitting a 90 second ‘Members Statement’ to Parliament as if you were an MP on a topic of your choice. Our very own Jasmir Imran of 8C entered the competion and was awarded the Creativity Award amongst all Victorian Schools. Jasmir spoke about Graffiti which he considerers a major issue.
Congratulations Jasmir. We are very proud of your achievement:
Sustainable School Shop
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.
The mobile van is alsogoing to be open on site on Saturday 4 December at Elevation Secondary College for families and friends to check out the mobile campus, as well as discuss different career and pathway options.