NGSC Newsletter

24 February 2017
Issue Two
PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS’ REPORT
MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS
OTHER SCHOOL NEWS 
COMMUNITY NEWS
North Geelong Secondary College
03 5240 5800
130 Separation Street
North Geelong, Victoria, 3215
AU

PRINCIPAL'S REPORT

Key Dates

FEB 27    Student Photo Day                                   

MAR 3     Student Photo Day Catch Up        

MAR 13   Labour Day (public holiday)

MAR 21    Athletics Day

MAR 22    NGSC Open Night

MAR 23    Parent Teacher Interviews     

MAR 31    Last Day of Term 1 (1:30pm Finish                                   Time) 

Mr Nicholas Adamou

Principal

Whole School Assembly

The first whole school assembly for the year was held on Monday 13 February.  Our student Leaders, School Captains, organise and run these assemblies supported by Ms Emily Dowling – Events Manager and Mr Dawson - Assistant Principal.  Students and staff were officially welcomed to the new academic year. In particular a warm welcome was extended to all the new Year 7 students and all new to the College students from Years 8 to 12.

 

During my Principal’s address, I stressed key values upheld at the College as well as encouragement to students to strive for their absolute best.

 

To the Year 12 students who are embarking on their final year of their secondary schooling; a challenging year: filled with hours of study, deadlines and SACS, I wished them a productive and rewarding year.

 

My expectations as College Principal are very clear not just from students, but also staff and parents. My goal is to see all students follow the College rules, work with their teachers, improve their results and fulfil their full potential.

 

There are also the non-negotiable expectations; that all students are punctual, always prepared for all classes, always wear the school uniform with pride and enjoy what the North Geelong SC has to offer them. Students need to use their time here at the school and build a long and bright future for themselves, developing independent learning skills and succeeding with their chosen pathways. 

 

School Council
 

All government schools in Victoria have a school council. The school council is the group of people who assist in governing the school. It is given the power to set the key directions for the school, and is a legal entity in its own right. A school council directly influences the quality of education that a school provides to its students.

 

A school council's Constituting Order specifies the total size of the council and the number of members in each category. Most members of a school council stand for election at the school where they are parents or Department of Education and Training (DE&T) employee members. Other members can be co-opted by the council within the limits of the constituting Order.

 

Council Membership categories

A mandated elected parent category: Because parents have such an important part to play in schools, there is an elected parent member category. Parent members must comprise more than one-third of council's total membership. DE&T employees are eligible to be parent members at their child's school, as long as they do not work at the particular school.

 

A mandated elected DE&T employee category: Members of this category may make up no more than one third of the total membership of school council. As the Executive Officer, the principal of the school is automatically one of these members.

An optional community member category: Its members are co-opted by the decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experience, for example parent club representative, student representatives, an accountant. DE&T employees are not eligible to be community members.

 

The North Geelong SC school council composition includes:

(9 parents, 1 Community member and 5 DE&T employees - Voting members)  

  • 9 x parents (non DE&T employees)
  • 5 x DE&T employees – teaching and non-teaching staff
  • 1 x Community member

Total number of voting members 15.

 

The College Principal is the Executive Officer of the school council

 

This year we have 4 parent vacancies for a 2 year appointment (2017 & 2018) and 3 DE&T employee member vacancy for a 2 year appointment (2017 & 2018). I call for parent nominations for the 4 vacancies, any parent that would like to discuss the role of Council or the role of the parent member on council please call the school and speak to Ms Dina Markov or the Principal.

 

Nomination forms can be obtained from the General Office, see Ms Dina Markov and they close on Monday 6 March at 4.00pm.

 

 

I take this opportunity to thank all school council members in particular the parent body for their outstanding contribution to the life of the College.

Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to schools

Parents and Guardians are reminded that the Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students.

 

Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance/transport and any other transport costs. 

In some circumstances, medical or other expenses will be paid by the Department where it is assessed that it is likely, in all the circumstances, that the Department is liable for negligent (careless) acts or omissions of its staff/volunteers. 

 

Student accident insurance/ambulance cover policies are available from some commercial insurers, and can be obtained by school councils on a whole-of-school basis, or by parents/guardians for individual students. 

 

Private property brought to school by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage.

Homework

At the beginning of every academic year a great deal is written in various publications on the topic of homework. Many of the education opinion-piece writers argue strongly that homework is an ineffective means of improving academic performance. Some go as far as to suggest that homework has a negative impact because it turns other children off school and causes tension between parents and their children. I agree with some of the criticisms of homework: excessive amounts of homework are counterproductive; it is not a case of more is better; homework without a clear purpose, e.g. ‘busy’ work, is of little value.

 

However there is ample evidence from research and experience indicating that homework can increase learning and achievement. That is why it remains an important part and an expectation of the learning process for all North Geelong SC students.

 

There are many benefits that flow from completing regular, relevant homework. Homework helps students develop sound study skills and habits. By undertaking regular homework, students develop self-discipline and time-management skills, and begin to take responsibility for their own learning.

Homework supplements and reinforces work done in class. Revising work covered in class during the day greatly aids understanding and memory; the Ebbinghaus curve (The forgetting curve illustrates the decline of memory retention in time. A related concept is the strength of memory that refers to the durability that memory traces in the brain. The stronger the memory, the longer period of time that a person is able to recall it. A typical graph of the forgetting curve shows that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material)  underlines the role that  ‘re-visiting’ material plays in retention and recall of information. Homework of this type usually consists of written tasks, reading, drill work and memorisation.

 

Homework can also be used to extend students’ skills and understanding in areas that cannot be covered in limited class time. Extension activities usually take the form of longer projects which are an expansion of work covered in class, or problem-solving activities which may take several days or weeks to complete.

 

At North Geelong SC students always have homework irrespective of their Year Level. Students understand that homework is not simply the work set by their subject teacher; it is also work that the student needs to do to ensure that the day’s lessons are absorbed, previous work revised, preparation is made for new units of work, and assignments are completed by the due date.

 

The role of the parent in homework is to support and help students. Students need to be provided with the environment and resources necessary to undertake homework and to establish a regular routine for school work done at home. However, parents must never forget that homework is set for the student, and that teachers need to see what students can do on their own. Parents should also be aware if their child is spending too long on homework tasks. Students should be encouraged to take regular breaks so they feel refreshed and ensure their study time is affective. Learning does not only take place in the classroom during scheduled lesson times. Homework plays an important part in learning also. Please call the school and talk to your child’s Home Group Teacher, Coordinator or a Principal Class Officer, if there are any issues with your child’s homework.

Doctors in School program

Last year our school was successful in applying to participate in the Doctors in Secondary Schools program.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program will be delivered in three stages, with the first 20 schools commencing from Term 1, 2017; the second 40 schools from Term 3, 2017; and the final 40 from Term 1, 2018. Our school will participate in the second stage.

 

 

Through the program, participating schools will be provided with modern fit-for-purpose consulting facilities on school premises. We will proceed with a refurbishment of A Block at the beginning Term 3. The plan is to relocate the rest of the Wellbeing team in the same area. The Victorian School Building Authority will be visiting me soon to assess and determine infrastructure requirements.

 

More information on program coordination, GP services, infrastructure and consent and confidentiality is provided in the Doctors in Secondary Schools Fact Sheet available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/Pages/doctors-secondary-schools.aspx

Sister School Relationship
 

A sister school partnership is a meaningful, reciprocal and sustainable long-term partnership between two schools, aimed at fulfilling a range of purposes as determined by the school communities.  Sister school partnerships can be intrastate, interstate or international and are based on the principles of mutual educational benefit and reciprocity.

 

Participation in a sister school partnership is open to any school. Schools can identify and establish sister school partnerships on their own, or can seek advice from the International Education Division.

 

As part of the curriculum offerings this year it was decided that we introduced Japanese as an additional Language Other than English.

To strengthen the provision of the Japanese language and to link our students with students where the language is spoken, the school wishes to proceed with investigating a sister school relationship in Japan. Osaka is Geelong’s sister city/region and has been for a number of years.

 

Early in the term and through the City of Greater Geelong I received a delegation from Izumiotsu City, Osaka Prefecture; Mr Akinori Tomita, Superintendent, Izumiotsu City Board of Education, Ms Yumiko Tsujii, Director, Izumiotsu City Educational Support centre and Mr Naoya Kawasaki, Assistant Director to the Mayor of the City of Izumiotsu. During the visit we spoke about the prospect of NGSC creating a sister school relationship with one of a cluster of their high schools. Last week I received an official email from Mr Tomita who is asking NGSC to enter into a relationship with 3 of their Junior High schools.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS’ REPORT

Mrs Julie Andrews, Mr Paul Dawson and

Mr Brad Headlam

Start to the school Year – School Values
 

All students and families are reminded of the College values – Respect, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity. The School Council has also endorsed a College ‘Statement of Values’ that can be located on the school website. The underlying premise of our relationships, attitude and behaviour needs to be based on respect for one another, ourselves and the environment. Conversations at home can contribute to the development of a student’s attitude and how they manage themselves in and out of school. The section below is the introduction to the responsibilities of all school community members.

 

North Geelong Secondary College recognises the importance of the partnership between schools and parents to support student learning, engagement and wellbeing. We share a commitment to, and a responsibility for, ensuring inclusive, safe and orderly environments for children and young people. 

This Statement of Values sets out our behavioural expectations of all members in this school community, including the principal, all school staff, parents, students and visitors. It respects the diversity of individuals in our school community and addresses the shared responsibilities of all members in building safe and respectful school communities.

Discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, bullying, violence, aggression and threatening behaviour are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in this school.

Our Statement of Values acknowledges that parents and school staff are strongly motivated to do their best for every child. Everyone has the right to differing opinions and views and to raise concerns, as long as we do this respectfully as a community working together. 

 
Devices and Compass

Approximately 130 year 7 students have purchased their iPad through the school with another 20 iPads ordered by new Year 8-10 students. Some senior students have taken the opportunity to purchase the approved devices, Chromebooks and Apple laptops. There will be another round of second hand Apple laptops to be offered for sale in the coming months.

 

NSGC has begun the roll out of the new Compass platform. Roll marking and learning/behaviour observations (Chronicle items) have been the first modules for staff.

 

All students have Compass access via their devices (app on the iPad) or the College website. Parent login details will be mailed home very soon as the first Progress reports will be available in week seven and then the online booking for Parent - Teacher interviews will require parent access to the portal. We plan to have times at school for parents and guardians to be guided through the login phase and to explain the features that they see.

Phones at school

There has been some discussion at the Student Management level about the use of mobile phones at school and if they are really necessary to have in the classroom. Phone use is often a habit; checking for messages, time, notifications etc. on a very regular basis. This is disruptive to productive learning. The College expectation is that phones are not to be seen, heard or used during class/assemblies.

If the use of phones in class continues to be a problem then the school may need to consider a total ban of phones during the school day.  If we move to this arrangement, students would need to lock their phones in lockers or leave them in the relevant sub-school office. As per the current arrangement, communications to students from family members would need to occur via the general office.

Uniform

The start of the 2017 school year has been very good in terms of students complying with the School Uniform Policy. We are however continuing to monitor skirt/dress length, socks, shoes and non-school jackets.

Some students have received notices about their uniform to take home to their parents/guardians. There is a time frame of one week to remedy a uniform issue. 

Year 12 Study Camp

The year 12 study camp was again a success and was held from 8th to the 10th of February.  Nearly 90 students attended and from the smiles on their faces had a very enjoyable experience, both academically and socially.  Highlights were visits to the beach for a swim, the tutorial sessions and visit to the working dairy farm with the freebies included.  The Year 12s have begun the year with their heads down and are working hard, with few students requiring assistance to refocus.

Sub School Assistants

The school has now employed an extra Sub School Assistant to provide administrative support to the Middle School of Year 9 and 10.  We welcome Lisa Jones who will fill this important role.  Junior School will now comprise Year 7 and 8 and the Senior Sub-school will be Years 11 and 12.   They will still be based in areas that are easily accessible for students and will be staffed throughout the day to assist students as required. 

Cladding on the Internal Gym Walls

The Gym walls have now been cladded students have been amazed by the improvement that this has made to the gym.  The school is waiting on the school values to be added to the walls along with the new school mascots that were introduced at last week's assembly and can be seen attached.  These will be installed over the holiday break.

Past Events:

First Assembly

Our first assembly was a success with the presentation of 2017 scholarships and certificates. We also had the pleasure of hearing from some of the 2016 year 12 students and the pathway they are taking. The current college captains delighted us with a dance getting all the staff and students excited with what’s to come in the year ahead. Students also performed ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

Upcoming Events:

Pako Festa

This Saturday we will be participating in the Pako Festa parade with a number of staff and students representing the college. The captains will be in full school uniform carrying the banner while other students have made posters representing this year’s theme of ‘discover food of the world’.

 

Harmony Day

On March 20th we will be celebrating Harmony Day with a whole school assembly and lunchtime activities. The captains have some great ideas which they will run throughout lunch. During the assembly we will have a guest speaker (TBA) as well as a performance from students. This year is jam packed with events. Apart from our whole school assemblies there will be some special celebrations throughout the year celebrating our school’s diversity and achievements.  More information will be given closer to the dates. All feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.

Subject changes

The process for student electives is to offer students an opportunity to rearrange their courses in the first two weeks of school following the Christmas holidays. This is to enable pathway conversations with family members or a change of interest/pathway. Changes were granted based on a discussion around their career pathway with their YLC. These changes were completed last week.

MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS

Year 10 News

Mrs Martin and Mrs Hughson

Year 10 Coordinators

The Year 10 students are now fully immersed in their schooling and many are taking their newfound status as Senior Students very seriously. We commend our cohort on such a positive start to the 2017 academic year and are here to support them in everything that they do.

There are a few important reminders for both students and their parents/guardians to note carefully:

  1. UNIFORM -Full school uniform needs to be worn at all times. No PE uniforms are to be worn under any circumstances unless students have a PE practical
  2. LATENESS – should be avoided, and a note should be provided from home to avoid a detention if a student arrives after the school bell
  3. BAGS – must stay in lockers
  4. TECHNOLOGY – phones that are misused in class will be confiscated. They can be collected in the middle school office at the end of the day
  5. HATS – are not to be worn inside
  6. FACIAL HAIR –should be shaved off prior to coming to school
  7. PIERCINGS – need to be covered or removed when at school
  8. ATTENDANCE -should be a minimum of 90%.

It is very important that all students adhere to these rules so that consequences do not occur.

 

We end this Year 10 report on a very positive note, announcing our 2017 Year 10 Student Leaders. They are as follows:

 

Academic Captains- Angus Reynolds and Kylinda Connarty-Barrand

Cultural Captains – Beth Cook, Brooke-Lynn Rees and Jay Simpson

Sport Captains – Brock Cookson, Terry Tseros and Sarah Kirby

Art Captains – Sarah Diprose and Alyssa Pascua

 

Congratulations to all of the above students! Our Year Level Leaders will be announced in the next Newsletter after they have been through the application process.

OTHER SCHOOL NEWS 

Pako Festa

This Saturday Feb 25th we will be marching down Pakington Street celebrating cultural diversity. Come and represent NGSC by meeting us in Waratah Street at 10am, just look for the college banner. All students, parents and friends are welcome. Any questions please email [email protected]

Thanks,
Emily

Multicultural COmmittee New

Mrs Vera Dudas

Multicultural Liaison Officer

The Multicultural Committee is back in full swing, with the first meeting completed on Monday 13th February. There are a few events fast approaching: Pako Festa on Saturday 25th February and Harmony Day on Friday 20th March.  This year North Geelong Secondary College will be taking part in the Pako Festa Parade, with the theme: Discover Food around the World.  What a great opportunity to showcase the diverse harmony of our school to the wider community!  The Multicultural Community would like to invite students, staff, parents and friends to take part in the annual traditional Pako Festa Parade to celebrate and promote our culturally diverse school.

 

Mrs Barbara Peek has reported to the Committee that North Geelong Secondary College has received a very generous donation from the Christ Church parish, from their fundraising activities and personal  donations in aid of our needy refugee students.  We received close to $1000 in cash and in addition lots of stationery, backpacks and clothing for uniforms for our newly arrived refugees.  We are extremely grateful to the parish members, Mrs Barbara Peek and Father Russell Trickey from Christ Church (Anglican Church), 57 McKillop St, Geelong.  

 

Our next Multicultural Committee meeting will be held on Thursday 6th March at 12:45pm.  We welcome  all interested parents and friends to come and join us at our next meeting.  

 

 

Medication in College

Students should not carry medications, prescribed or non-prescribed, without the written approval of the Principal.  All approved medications must be included on the student’s written medical management plan lodged at the College.

 

Medication must NOT be kept in bags, lockers or carried by a student, the exceptions being asthma relievers and Epipens. 

 

 

WHO WILL GIVE THE MEDICATION TO STUDENTS?

Staff assigned to sickbay will be permitted to dispense medication adhering strictly to the School Medication Policy.  These staff members must be advised of possible side effects and other relevant information relating to all the medication in their charge. 

 

A parent/guardian may personally issue medication to their student by obtaining a visitor pass from the General Office and using the sick bay to give the medication. The parent/guardian will be asked to sign an entry in the medication register. This entry will note the student’s name and form, parent/guardian name and relationship to student, date, medication, time and signature. 

 

Records

All medication will be logged in a register.  Students who regularly take medication at school will have a dedicated page and will record each dose issued with date, time and initials of person issuing.  Students taking one-off medication will be listed in a medication register by date, time, medication and initials of person issuing. Students taking analgesic medication will be listed in a medication register by date, time, medication, parent/guardian contact details and initials of person issuing.

 

STUDENTS WHO NEED TO REGULARLY TAKE MEDICATION AT SCHOOL.

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION must be presented in a ‘Webster Pack’ or equivalent if it is in tablet or capsule form.  This pack is dispensed by a pharmacist at a small price and it will have all the prescription details listed on it and will have single dose amounts of tablets in sealed ‘bubbles’.  The Webster Pack can hold up to 28 single doses.  The Pack should contain medication only for use during school hours.  Medication required for home will be dispensed in the normal manner.  Parents will be informed when a new supply of medication is needed.

 

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION which is other than tablet or capsule must be presented in original container which shows the pharmacist label.   Medication that needs refrigeration will be kept in a locked container in the fridge in the sick bay.  All other will be stored in the locked draw in the attendance office. If medication requires a measure it must be supplied by the parent/guardian.

 

Medication must be handed in and registered at the ATTENDANCE office.  The medication will be kept in a secure cabinet

 

Authorisation from the parent/guardian relating to a specific condition is to be updated annually.  A proforma will be used to record the required information.

 

Alterations to dose or time of medication will only be accepted if written instructions from the child’s doctor are received.

 

 

ONE OFF AND OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS

Over-the-counter medications such as hay fever, cold tablets, etc and one off prescribed medication can be issued if the medication is handed into the Attendance Office at the beginning of the day.  This medication must be in the original container and if tablet or capsule, contain only the number of doses required for that day.  The container will be returned to the student once the dose/s has been taken.  The container can be used again should further doses of that prescription be needed on another day.   Parent/guardian must provide a clearly written note stating student name and form, date, name of medication, amount to be taken each dose, time/s to be taken, a contact phone number and a signature.  A proforma for this purpose is available from the school.

 

All medication requests will be monitored.  The school nurse will produce guidelines to be used by nominated staff.  Staff will refer all matters not covered by the guidelines to the school nurse.

 

ANALGESICS (PAIN KILLERS)

Analgesics products such as Panadol, Aspro, Aspirin, are not permitted unless written consent has been provided by a parent/guardian on the proforma available from the school. Analgesics must be provided by the parent/guardian and will only be accepted in the original box containing unbroken foil strips.

The parent/guardian named on the medication form MUST be contacted before this medication is administered.  Contact may be by phone.  A written record will be kept on the medication form listing date, time, student name and form, parent /guardian contacted, method of contact, dose and signature of person administering the medication. 

COMMUNITY NEWS

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