NGSC Newsletter

07 February 2020
Issue One
PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS’ REPORT
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS
SENIOR 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

17 FEB                   Whole School Assembly

26 FEB                   Student Photo Day  

9 MARCH             Labour Day Public Holiday

12 MARCH            Information Evening/Open Night

16-18 MARCH     Year 7 Camp 1

18-20 MARCH     Year 7 Camp 2

20 MARCH            Whole School Assembly

24 MARCH            Parent Teacher Conferences 7-12

26 MARCH            Athletics Day - Landy Field

27 MARCH            Last Day term 1

                                 (1:30 PM Finish)

13 APRIL               Easter Monday

14 APRIL               Term 2 Commences

20 APRIL                Year 7 Immunisations

Mr Nicholas Adamou

Principal

Welcome back to the 2020 School Year

It is with great pleasure that I welcome everyone back to the 2020 academic year.

 

I trust that students, parents and staff had a great holiday break and are now ready for yet another successful year.

 

I extend a special welcome to our new Year 7 students and their families who joined us this year. On Monday, 3 February, at a Welcome to Parents and Students and iPad Distribution Evening, I was pleased to meet and talk to many of our new Year 7 student families.

 

Also, special welcome to all new Year 8 to 12 students and their families to our school community.

 

In the last two weeks, it has been great to observe classes settle into their new Home Groups, developing a clear focus on achieving their goals and personal best for this academic year.

 

To the Year 12 students, as they embark in their final year at the school, I take this opportunity to wish them a year full of success. I cannot promise that it will be a year without any challenges, however, I can guarantee that by applying themselves is the only way to succeed. Last year’s Year 12 cohort has set a high benchmark with outstanding results; however, I believe that this year’s Year 12 students are capable of greater outcomes, pushing the benchmark even higher.

 

North Geelong SC is a proud school community and places high importance on the way we look and behave in the wider community. Our aim is to continue improving the learning and teaching environment of our students, enabling all kinds of learners to reach their full potential.

 

Once again, welcome back to what promises to be another great year for our school community. I look forward to meeting and working closely with as many parents/carers as possible during the course of the year.

 

Wishing all the students, staff and parents a great academic year.

Welcome to New and Returning Staff

I welcome the following staff to our College and wish them a very productive and enjoyable year. We are looking forward to working closely with our new staff to ensure the best possible learning opportunities are provided to our student body. 

 

New and returning staff members

  • Mr Thomas Thorn (English/Humanities)
  • Ms Carolyn Kent (English/Humanities)
  • Mr Tom Grayson (Science/PE)
  • Ms Nicolle Brigden (English)
  • Mr Michael Kilroy (Science/PE)
  • Mr Mark Collins (Maths/Science)
  • Mr Cameron Siketa (PE/Soccer/Health)
  • Ms Emily de Leeuw (English/Hums)
  • Mr David Zuccaro (IT/Maths)
  • Mr  Max Filippzik (German Assistant) 
  • Mr James Allen (Mathematics/Science)
  • Ms Amal Isac (English/Humanities)
  • Mr Paul Schmieder (Science/Maths)

Beginning of Term 1

Unfortunately this year, Term 1 begins with a couple of extra challenges (unprecedented bush fire, extreme weather events across Victoria and Coronavirus). Some bushfires are still burning in parts of the state, posing on-going threats, and, at the same time we enter a recovery phase for those schools and areas affected. Some schools have had flood damage to contend with and there is also the Coronavirus and its implications that will need careful management.

Getting Kids Back to School after the bush fires

The bushfires have presented challenges across the state for people who were trapped in holiday areas, lost homes or businesses or who have been fighting fires. The loss and/or trauma for these individuals is unimaginable and those suffering could be from all parts of the state, not just the affected areas.

 

NGSC Wellbeing Team has developed a comprehensive response relating to any student who has been through any related bush fires trauma. The following DET links provide further details, resources and supports to help address questions from student families and other community members regarding “The Bush Fires 2020”. For targeted advice, phone Bush Fire Case Support: 1800 560 760.

 

Extra support is being offered to help those of our students affected by the bush fires in the 15 Local Government Areas of Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Indigo, Mansfield, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga, to return to school at the beginning of Term 1, 2020.

 

Families that have been impacted during the current bush fire season can receive assistance for each student family member to cover the cost of uniforms including school shoes, books and stationery and other essential school items.

 

Support is available to all students whose families have been impacted by:

  • Loss of family home - $1200

OR

  • Loss of income through volunteering to fight bush fires - $500

OR

  • Loss of livelihood/income caused by bush fires - $500.

If you have been impacted, please contact the school to speak to the Wellbeing Team asap.

 

Please note that families will be asked to confirm their eligibility for this support.

School Council -
Parent Nominations

School councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Effective councils have a wide range of skills, expertise and knowledge to support good governance and provide the best possible educational outcomes for students.

 

The annual school council election process provides an opportunity to attract members keen to add value and bring their expertise and skills to assist the governance of the school.

 

All government schools with students enrolled in Year 7 and above are now required to have a Student member category on council. The school election process for the Student member category must occur at the same time as Parent and DET employee member elections.

 

Where a council has Community member positions, council can co-opt members following the election process and add to the council’s skills and expertise.

 

School council membership

 

Each school council’s constituting Order makes provision for its structure and membership:

  • Parent members – parents of students at the school must comprise more than one third of the school council’s total membership. ‘Parent’ includes a guardian or person responsible for maintenance or with custody of a student of the school. Department employees are eligible for membership in this category as long as they have children attending the school and the Department employees do not work at the school (except for the Principal who is a member of the Department employee member category) of that school council.
  • Department employee members – must not be more than one third of the school council’s total membership. The Principal is automatically included in this membership category and has full voting rights. Other staff (teaching and non-teaching) are elected or co-opted to this category. To be eligible for election to this category, a person must be a member of the Department of Education and Training (DET) employee electorate of the school.
  • Student members – ‘student’ describes a student who is enrolled at and attends the school and is in Year 7 or above. Students are elected to this membership category, or co-opted if a casual vacancy occurs. To be eligible for election, a student must be a member of the student body of the school. The number of student members is recorded in the Ministerial Order for the school council.
  • Community members – is an optional membership category. The council’s membership schedule may include this category. If a council has the option of community members, the council decides who to approach and co-opt into this position. People are co-opted by the school council to a community member position to bring additional skills and perspectives. Community members hold the same rights, responsibilities and terms of office as elected members. Parents are eligible to be co-opted to a community member position but Department employees are not. Students may also be co-opted to a community member position.

The North Geelong SC, school council composition includes:

(10 parents, 2 students and 5 DET employees including the Principal - Voting members)  

  • 10 x parents (no DE&T employees)
  • 5 x DE&T employees – teaching and non-teaching staff
  • 2 x students

Total number of voting members 17.

 

The College Principal is the Executive Officer of the school council.

 

This year we have 4 parent vacancies for a 2 year appointment (2020 & 2021) and 1 DE&T employee member vacancy for a 2 year appointment (2020 & 2021). We also have 1 student vacancy for a 2 year appointment (2020 & 2021). 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 Mrs Narelle Wiffen or the Principal.

 

Nomination Forms can be obtained from the General Office, see Mrs Narelle Wiffen, and they close on Friday, 6 March at 4:00 pm.

 

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.

Novel Coronavirus

As you may be aware, the situation regarding the emerging outbreak of novel coronavirus has continued to evolve.

 

The Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer have recommended a stronger precautionary approach to managing coronavirus for travellers returning from mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) from 1 February, 2020.

 

This recommendation is that parents/guardians/carers should ensure that any student returning from mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) who was in mainland China on or after 1 February, 2020 is isolated at home and should not attend school until 14 days after they were last in mainland China.

 

This recommendation does not apply retrospectively. It applies only to students who were in mainland China on or after 1 February, 2020.

 

The existing advice remains that parents/guardians/carers of students should ensure that any student is isolated at home and should not attend school for 14 days:

  • following exposure to any confirmed novel coronavirus case; or
  • after leaving Hubei Province.

This same advice applies to any impacted staff.

 

The Commonwealth has also advised that: “additional border measures will be implemented to deny entry to Australia to people who have left or transited through mainland China from 1 February, 2020, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family and air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment”.

 

Please refer to the Department’s coronavirus web page, where the latest advice including fact sheets (with translations) for schools and parents will be uploaded as soon as available.

 

Additional advice and information on the steps to take can be found on the coronavirus web page which also includes advice on:

  • continuity of learning for students who are not attending school
  • international students and families hosting international travel
  • maintaining good health hygiene at school
  • health promotion posters and materials
  • information, resources and contacts related to coronavirus.

This new advice is based on the latest expert recommendations of the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

 

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

 

The virus seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is now evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.

 

Where can I get more information?

For Victorian updates to the current incident, go to: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

For national updates: https://www.health.gov.au/news/latest-information-about-novel-coronavirus

For international updates: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

WHO resources https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Privacy Reminder to all Parents/Carers

North Geelong SC collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy

 

Please take time to remind yourself of the school’s collection statement, found on our website.

 

For more information about privacy, see: Schools’ Privacy Policy – information for parents. This information also available in nine community languages.

School Zone Speed Limits

With the new school year started, it is an opportunity for school communities to be reminded of the importance of road safety around schools. 

 

School Speed Zones are enforced from the commencement of the school year and parents/carers are reminded to adhere to all VicRoads School Speed Zones rules.

 

Also, parents and carers are reminded to take care, obey these parking signs and observe the road rules when picking up or dropping off students around schools. The City of Greater Geelong Parking and Information Officers monitor all supervised school crossings on a regular roster and issue infringements to drivers who stop in unsafe areas, such as: “No Stopping” zones, within 20 metres of a school crossing, parallel to a yellow edge line, or if double parked, even for a moment to drop off or collect a student.

 

Queuing to enter a pick up or drop off zone can often lead to traffic congestion with vehicles being stationary in prohibited areas. Should the pickup/drop off zone be occupied with vehicles, to avoid the possibility of receiving an infringement it is advised to drive around the block and return when legal parking is available.

 

Statistics show that illegal parking around schools is greatly reduced due to an Officer’s presence and Council prefers to achieve these results though education and awareness.

 

Designated school speed zones: Specified times (8.00 - 9.30 am and 2.30 - 4.00 pm).  

 

Further information in regards to VicRoads speed limits around schools can be found at: VicRoads School Speed Zones

 

Also, please note that the school car park is out of bounds for all parents/carers. The car park is only for staff. It is imperative that parents DO NOT enter the carpark during pick up/drop off as they are placing students and staff at grave risk.

 

I wish to thank all parents/carers who always adhere to all traffic rules re: school zones and also the school carpark rules. The safety of all children, staff and parents is paramount.

Students and Paid employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics keeps track of the number of students engaged in paid employment. Their most recent report on the subject shows that the number of school age students involved in paid employment continues to rise. Another interesting trend that has emerged from this report is that a growing proportion of younger students are now working on a regular basis.

 

The main reason students work is to obtain spending money. Very few of the jobs that they undertake have any reference to likely future full time sustainable employment and very few supplement family income.

 

There are many advantages to students that can arise from paid employment. Exposure to the world of “real work” can be an eye-opener for young people. They often take far more notice of the expectations of employers regarding punctuality, appearance and communicating with others than they ever do of the same requests made by parents or their teachers. It can attribute to improving organisational and communication skills and the meaning of responsibility. It can also provide them with a degree of financial literacy and independence.

 

As Principal and a parent, I have long been an advocate of students contributing to the cost of sometimes expensive educational extra-curricular activities such as state, interstate and overseas camps or exchange visits.

 

There are, however, some disadvantages at times. The main concern with students undertaking paid employment is the impact that it can have on school performance. The additional income, at times, can be negative, as it enables and encourages students to become engaged in a more sophisticated social lifestyle or in many ways diverts them from their school-work and other social, family or recreational activities which are essential to their development.

 

Like most things there is no clear-cut answer to the question. The most important thing is getting a balance between work, social-work, social, family and recreational activities.   

 

Casual work is most common, followed by holiday jobs, regular part-time work, and then rostered work. Obviously any work on week nights is a problem as it means students cannot complete set homework. Similarly work straight after school can prevent students meeting school commitments, which is not a good thing. Rostered work which often involves the student being called in to work at short notice can also cause problems.

 

Not surprisingly research has established a clear correlation between hours worked and impact on student performance. Working up to an average of 12 hours per week (providing that the work is not on a week night) had little measurable impact on academic performance of high school students. Working more than 16 hours per week, however, was directly correlated with deterioration of academic progress.

 

Overall, holiday jobs are no problem. Part-time or casual work, limited to 12 hours per week and done at a time which does not interfere with homework, school commitments, recreation or sleep, is seldom a cause of concern.  Students working 16 hours or more a week, however, inevitably suffer a deterioration in their academic performance.  Students who work at times which interfere with their other needs and commitments also suffer adverse effects to their progress.

 

The school supports students that are in paid employment, provided that the work they do and the hours they work per week do not interfere with student academic performance. I encourage parents to communicate with the school if they have any concerns about their children having paid employment.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS’ REPORT

Mr Stan Koullas & Ms Sarah Bridges

Acting Assistant Principals

Mr Bradley Headlam & Mr Paul Dawson 

Assistant Principals

NEW MOBILE PHONE POLICY

I would like to thank students and parents for their support with the new mobile phone policy. The majority of the students have been extremely compliant with these new laws. The feedback we have had from students has mostly been positive with many students commenting on how they did not realise the distraction a mobile phone can have. Students are reminded that first offences result in lunchtime detentions and subsequent offences will result in after school detentions. Please remember to communicate via the Administration or the Sub School Offices. We can also put any support in place should there be a need. Thanks for your ongoing support.

SCHOOL WIDE POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR (SWPBS)

This year the school has begun a positive behaviour strategy. We have begun with a Behaviour Matrix that students will refer to as a reminder of appropriate behaviour. We are also undertaking a positive behaviour feedback program. This is a consistent program throughout the whole school and will result in students going into the running for rewards for positive behaviour. The more positive feedback the greater the chance of earning a reward.

FEEDBACK AND ASSESSMENT

Please note that the following feedback on classwork/assessment will be provided to parents/carers via Compass:

  • Progress Reports: Issued every 4 weeks and includes teacher feedback on your child's/children’s basic work habits.
  • Learning Tasks: These are the major assessments in each subject. There are 4 of these for each subject every semester. These will include a Rubric and details around progress towards the education standards.
  • Semester Reports: This is a report on how a student is progressing when compared with the expected standard and these occur at the end of each semester.

UNIFORM AND CLASSROOM MATERIALS

We are now heading into week three of the year and students should have all items of the uniform and booklist. These should be labelled with your child’s name. Any issues regarding your child and their uniform/classroom materials are to be referred to the Sub-school Managers or Student Wellbeing.

 

Please observe and familiarise yourselves with the diagrams below relating to our expectations with regard to acceptable footwear (non-sport days). Please communicate any issues around this with the appropriate Sub School staff.

 

 

COMMUNICATION WITH SCHOOL

At NGSC, there are a number of methods to share information and communicate.

 

Attendance: all student absence days need to be accounted for by phone contact with the relevant Sub-School Assistant or a written note (student planner or separate piece of paper). At NGSC, students are expected to have an attendance rate of 95% or more to make the best use of the learning opportunities. Concerns are raised for students whose attendance rates fall below 80%.

 

Student Planner: all students receive a student planner. Students use the planner to record homework, upcoming test dates and assessments, school events and reminders. The planner is also useful for parents and carers to send/receive notes with teachers. It contains information about uniform, iPad/device responsibilities, term dates, bell times, school map, library processes and classroom management strategies.

 

Phone calls: Staff welcome phone calls but often a voice message will need to be left. Contacting the relevant student manager is sometimes a preferred option. Staff will usually try to make phone contact with home to discuss learning concerns, relocations, etc. A follow up email is often used if phone contact could not be made. Sometimes it is easier to have a meeting at school; these will be arranged by a student manager or a member of the student wellbeing team.

 

Emails: Within Compass there is a feature that enables you to email teachers. This is another convenient way to communicate about your child’s education or learning and is very helpful for us to ensure we meet the needs of all of our students.

COMPASS SUPPORT

Should you have any questions or need any support with Compass please do not hesitate to contact Brad Headlam for assistance.

YEAR 7 STUDENTS BEGIN HIGH SCHOOL

We have been thrilled with the way that over 180 Year 7 students have settled into their first week of Secondary School. They have met their teachers for all eight of their subjects and have begun to confidently navigate themselves around the large school grounds.

 

Last Monday provided an opportunity for the Year 7 families to come into the college and meet some of their child’s teachers and collect their new iPads. Student network access details and parent Compass login details were also distributed. Staff thoroughly enjoyed having some great chats with families, both new and familiar to the college.

 

SCHOOL PHOTOS

School photos will be taken on Wednesday, 26 February, at North Geelong Secondary College. No forms or payments are required before this day. Students will be provided with a unique code that will allow families to register to view photos online. To ensure a sibling photo is taken on photo day, please complete your request online before midday on the day before photo day. For further details see the “Community News” page within this newsletter and further information will be shared to families via Compass shortly.

INFORMATION EVENING FOR 2021 YEAR 7 STUDENTS

Parents and prospective students are invited to our Information Evening on Thursday, 12 March, commencing at 6:00 pm with a presentation in the school Gymnasium , followed by self-guided tours and specialist information sessions regarding:

  • Select Entry Accelerated Learning,
  • Scholarship
  • Excellence in Sports Programs

JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS

Steve Quinn

Junior Sub-School Manager

Junior Sub-School News

Welcome all parents and carers to the 2020 school year. I hope that you and all students had an eventful and safe break. After the first two weeks, students are really starting to settle in and get their heads around the structured routine we call secondary schooling! To ensure a positive learning experience it is important for us to focus on getting the little things right, from the start. Students should by now have their lockers and locks. They should come prepared to learn each day with their required books, planner, pens and pencils, other relevant stationery and a working, charged iPad. Finally, they should be taking pride in themselves and the school by wearing the uniform correctly and being prompt and punctual each day. Implementing these actions will set strong foundations for a successful school year.

 

Before we know it, the Year 7 camp will be here (week 8). All relevant information will be given to students early next week (week 3) and forms and payments need to be completed on Compass as soon as possible. 

 

All parents and carers should by now have their login details for Compass. This will allow you to access and monitor how your child is progressing at NGSC via Chronicle entries, progress reports, emails, etc. The College also has a Facebook page that can improve your connection with the school community throughout the year.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me through Compass so that I can ensure a prompt response. I look forward to providing you with informative articles throughout the year.

MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS

 

Rebecca Durran

Middle Sub-School Manager

Middle Sub School Newsletter article

Welcome back to Year 9 and 10 students and parents for the 2020 academic year. We have had a busy start to the year in the Middle Sub School with new subjects, new lockers and a new coordinating team.

 

In 2020, we have Daniel Grozdanovski coordinating the Year 9 cohort with Luke Sharp and Suzanne Henry assisting.

 

Joel McDougall is the Year 10 Coordinator and Darcy Cropp will be assisting.

 

We are all very happy with the positive behavior and attitude towards learning the students in the Middle Sub School have shown at the beginning of the year. It is evident that a lot of students have grown and matured over the summer break and have begun the year on a positive note.

 

It is important that if your child is absent from school that you make contact with Pauline Cara, the Middle Sub School attendance officer, as soon as possible, or provide a note in your students diary for them to bring the following day.

 

Reminders:

  • PE uniform is ONLY to be worn on days that students have PE practical classes

  • Phones are to stay in lockers for the duration of the school day

  • Students need to take all required learning materials to every class

Upcoming events:

  • Week 3:  Year 9 EIS camp 10 to 14 February 

  • Week 4: Year 10 EIS camp 17 to 21  February

  • Week 5: Year 10 Leadership camp 24 to 28 February

We look forward to continuing the positive start to this year and celebrating students growth and achievement across the term.

SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS

Sarah Bridges

Senior Sub School Manager

Senior Sub School News

Welcome back to students and families in the Senior Sub School.  We have had a positive start to the school year; students are engaged in their learning and enjoying catching up with friends and classmates after the break.  At the first Senior Sub School assembly I spoke about leadership and role modelling the school values for our younger students now that we are leaders of the student body. I am confident that all our senior students will embrace the opportunities provided to them this year.

 

 

Year 12 students enjoyed a lovely, but warm, stay at Deakin University residences in Warrnambool last week. They visited Port Fairy and spent time at Warrnambool beach where some students ventured in for a swim. Students studying VCAL visited a local wind farm. The students participated in activities and listened to a guest speaker who spoke about motivation, organisational skills and looking after yourself during the final year at school. 

 

Senior Sub School Staff

Senior Sub School Leader: Sarah Bridges

Yr 12 Coordinator: Sherryn Martin

Yr 12 Assistant Coordinator: Visnja Perin

Yr 11 Coordinator: Aaron Milsome

Yr 11 Assistant Coordinator: Kim Nguyen

VASS: Lauren Sulomar

Acting Attendance Officers: Lauren Sulomar and Tonia Tigani

 

 

Reminders:

Uniform: Please ensure all students are in correct uniform. Sport uniform can only be worn when there is a double period for the sports/PE subject. Dresses and skirts are to be an appropriate length (no more than 5 cms above the knee) and piercings are to be studs only.

 

Key Dates:

VCE Meet the Parent Evening:

25 February 2020, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

Come and meet the teachers, have an informal chat about the course, VCE, your student, etc. A flyer will be placed on Compass and sent home.

 

We look forward to working with you and your students during 2020 and encourage you to contact us with any concerns.

 

Thanks for your support.

Other School News

Vera Dudas 

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer

THE MULTICULTURAL COMMITTEE NEWS

A warm welcome to you all for the 2020 school year. 

 

I trust you all had a great break and are rejuvenated and ready to start a new school year and resume our Multicultural Committee meetings.

 

The first Multicultural Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, 24 February, at lunch time (12:40 pm - 1:30 pm).

 

The main focus of the meeting will be Pako Festa, which will be on Saturday, 29 February, with this year’s theme “Elements of Cultures”. 

 

New members, including parents and friends from the community, are most welcome to join in the Multicultural Committee Meeting, contact school for more information.

 

I am looking forward to seeing you and welcoming you to our first meeting of 2020. 

Merryl Arnold
School Nurse

A SILENT TRAGEDY
Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos Psychiatrist

There is a silent tragedy that is unfolding today in our homes and concerns our most precious jewels: our children.

 

In the last 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

 

Statistics do not lie:

  • 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
  • A 43% increase in diagnosed ADHD
  • A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted
  • There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14

What is happening and what are we doing wrong?

 

Today’s children are being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material objects, but they are deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:

  • Emotionally available parents
  • Clearly defined limits
  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement in general but especially outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom spaces

Instead, in recent years, children have been filled with:

  • Digitally distracted parents
  • Indulgent and permissive parents who let children “rule the world” and whoever sets the rules
  • A sense of right, of deserving everything without earning it or being responsible for obtaining it
  • Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Endless stimulation, technological nannies, instant gratification and absence of boring moments

What to do?

 

If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and get back to basics. It is still possible! Many families see immediate improvements after weeks of implementing the following recommendations:

  • Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you have control of the helm.
  • Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what children NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your children if what they want is not what they need.
  • Provide nutritious food and limit junk food.
  • Spend at least one hour a day outdoors doing activities such as cycling, walking, fishing, bird/insect watching.
  • Enjoy a daily family dinner without smartphones or distracting technology, let everyone feel valued.
  • Play board games as a family or if children are very small for board games, just let them pretend to play it.
  • Involve your children in some homework or household chores according to their age (folding clothes, hanging clothes, unpacking food, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).
  • Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough sleep. The schedules will be even more important for school-age children.
  • Teach responsibility and independence. Do not overprotect them against all frustration or mistakes. Misunderstanding will help them build resilience and learn to overcome life’s challenges.
  • Do not carry your children’s backpack, do not carry the homework they forgot, do not peel bananas or peel oranges if they can do it on their own (4-5 years). Instead of giving them the fish, teach them to fish.
  • Teach them to wait and delay gratification.
  • Provide opportunities for “boredom”, since boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. Do not feel responsible for always keeping children entertained.
  • Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it at the first second of inactivity.
  • Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, shopping centres. Use these moments as opportunities to socialise by training the brains to know how to work when they are in mode: “boredom”.
  • Help them create a “bottle of boredom” with activity ideas for when they are bored.
  • Be emotionally available to connect with children and teach them self-regulation and social skills:
  • Turn off the phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distractions.
  • Become a regulator or emotional trainer for your children. Teach them to recognise and manage their own frustrations and anger.
  • Teach them to greet, to take turns, to share without running out of anything, to say thank you and please, to acknowledge the error and apologise (do not force them), be a model of all those values you instil.
  • Connect emotionally – smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them.

Linda Castle

LOTE Teacher

LOTE News

Japanese 

The Japanese Language Program will be welcoming Ms Minori Goto as our Japanese Language Assistant for four weeks starting from 15 February. Minori is volunteering as a language and cultural assistant in our classes to help our students expand their understanding of Japanese. 

 

Japanese Sister School Visit August 2020

Save the date!

A study group from our Sister Schools from Izumiotsu City, Osaka, Japan will be visiting us in August this year. We will soon be seeking families willing to welcome a student into their homes for the duration of their visit to Geelong. Please consider hosting a student. More information to come.

 

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

The Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival returns again in 2020 at Federation Square to delight with all that Japan has to offer. Come down to Federation Square on Sunday, 23 February, from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm. FREE ADMISSION.

Website: https://www.jcjsm.org.au/fest/

German

North Geelong Secondary College welcomes Mr Max Filippzik to the German Language Program. He will be working with our students throughout 2020. Max comes from Hamburg, Germany and studied English Language and Physical Education before applying to volunteer in Australia. Max is interested in expanding his understanding of the Australian School systems, English language and Australian culture. He hopes to see Australia and get to know the Australian sports scene. Max is very passionate about sharing his culture and language, especially from his home region in the north of Germany. We are sure that our students will greatly benefit from his knowledge and skills, and we look forward to a fantastic year ahead.

COMMUNITY NEWS

School Photo Day
26 February 2020

Annual school photos will be taken on 26 February, 2020 when sibling photos will also be taken by request.

 

IMPORTANT - To ensure a sibling photo is taken on a photo day, please complete your request online before midday on the day before the photo day.

  1. Grab your phone and go to arphotos.typeform.com/to/k09nMo
  2. Enter the name and class of the eldest child to be in the photo
  3. Enter the names of all other children to be included in the photo

There is no need to return any forms or payment to school for photos before photo day however if you do not have internet access you may contact the school for an order form.

 

School photo ordering details will be issued closer to photo day.

 

Community Event
"Social Connection as a Wellbeing Strategy"
25 February 2020

 

Opportunity for Students and families to become an Aussie Host Family 

 

Group Parent Education Events
Barwon South Western Region - Term 1, 2020

 

Free Parenting Forum
"The Teen Brain"
18 March 2020

 

Barwon Health Immunisation Centres and Hours

Hamlyn Heights
Youth Space

How Deep Are Your Pockets?

As the weather improves Barwon Coast and others are seeking your support in helping to protect our sand dunes.  As inviting as it is to run up or play in sand dunes, this damages the dunes, the plants and the animals that live there. Enjoy the coast, and share our shores by staying out of the dunes at all times to ensure the dunes continue to provide us with access to the beach. 

 

  

Victorian School of Languages

North Geelong Centre

Located at

North Geelong Secondary College

 

The Victorian School of Languages is a specialist Government school offering complementary language instruction outside of regular school hours. It enrols students in Years 1 to 12, who are unable to study their language of choice in their mainstream school. Students from all educational sectors (Government, Independent and Catholic) are eligible to enrol.           

 

The Victorian School of Languages offers quality courses aligned with Government curriculum standards, based on communication skills, that include; speaking, reading, writing and listening. Its VCE Program is fully accredited and can advantage students in the calculation of their University entrance score.  

 

The school`s Language Program is delivered through face-to-face teaching in over 40 Language Centres situated in government Secondary Schools across the state, and through Distance Education mode.

 

In North Geelong, classes are held on Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 12:15 pm at:

North Geelong Secondary College

 

Languages offered:      

Croatian, Karen, Vietnamese, Dari, Persian, Polish, Macedonian, Bosnian, Turkish and Russian

*New languages may be offered subject to demand*

 

For enquiries Telephone: 5277 9833

 

Further details and enrolment are available online at our website:  www.vsl.vic.edu.au

   

Discover the World of Languages!                 

NGSC Newsletter