Mr Simon Scoullar
Middle Sub School Manager
Parents/Students and Guardians;
Hope this term is treating everyone well. Just a few housekeeping issues relating to uniform and permission slips. Students are well aware of the expectations regarding uniform. North Geelong prides itself on its standing in the community, but more importantly our students feeling a sense of belonging. Through uniform we are one, ready to learn and dressing with dignity. If uniform is a financial issue please let us provide any required items.
Permission slips must be returned on time. Departmental regulations require the official slip, not a phone call or hand written note. This is not the school's decision, but a government requirement. The morning of an excursion is very busy - imagine organising over 100 teenagers and then recognise how difficult it is organising students who did not return a permission slip.
Lastly I have included an interesting article regarding adolescence. I couldn’t help but reflect on a school's role as mediator and place where teenagers often cool off or debrief after conflict at home. We often forget we see students more than our own families.
Growing up isn't easy, but at least kids in Greenwich have somewhere to go when they need to let off steam. Lesley Gerard reports
Thursday 13 July 1995 23:02 BST
It is called growing up. It is about defying authority, standing up for yourself, claiming independence and, sometimes, being a total pain. Teenagers do not come with a foolproof instruction manual and parents often get the balance between friendly support, guidance and discipline badly wrong. A minor argument over clothes, messy bedrooms or coming home late can escalate into violent rows or a complete breakdown in communication.
For many teenagers, the only answer seems to be a shouted exit via the front door. For some there is no return. But for teenagers in Greenwich there is somewhere to go, somewhere to cool off - a hostel that takes youngsters in and allows tempers to cool.
Although adolescents might have drug or alcohol problems, the most common sources of conflict are children staying out late and truancy.
Ms Navin adds: "The important thing is to realise that every teenager's problems are different and to listen to their needs."
The mother's story
Olive Kalili Of Woolwich Common, south-east London, is 37 and has seven children aged 17 months to 17, including Delroy, 14.
"Delroy began skipping off school. I was shocked and angry. I shouted loud, but I knew it was half the fault of the friends he had got in with. At first I grounded him, then moved him to a new school. It was fine for a while, but then the truancy started again. He kept the same friends. Once he stayed out all night. I was frantic, had the police out. I thought he'd been kidnapped.
"We had rows because I wanted him home by 9pm and he wanted to be in by 10. He was trying to run me. One day he told me he did not want to stay and his brother had to physically sit on him to stop him from running away. I felt I would hit him if we didn't get help.
"Social services arranged for Delroy to do his schoolwork at Combwell Crescent. He comes home each evening and we see an outreach worker once a week. It is getting better. We have compromised on 9.30pm as a time for him to come in.
Teenage pains: what the experts say
Life with teenagers need not get out of hand. Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of Positive Parenting, advises parents not to over-react when teenagers push at the boundaries.
"Make clear, fair home rules and keep them. Parents can be threatened by their seeming not to need them any more. Becoming over-protective and authoritarian can make matters worse."
Trying to be a child's best friend and confidant can be equally disastrous.
Caroline Douglas, director of Exploring Parenthood, says: "A mother who goes down the disco or smokes pot with her children's friends at parties only succeeds in being an embarrassment and loses authority and respect."
According to the experts, here are some basic dos and don'ts for anxious parents:
Insist on certain family rules - despite battles. See disputes as a sign of caring .
Listen before you leap, don't fly off the handle, and remember that you should be setting an example.
Accept swings between mature and immature behaviour. Behaving like a three-year-old one minute and a 30-year-old the next is what adolescence is all about.
Avoid accusations. Use "I feel," rather than "You make me feel ..." to start discussions.
Recognise that an adolescent needs increased independence and has a right to have a point of view, even if it differs from your own.
Look out for extended periods of depression or other unusual states of mind, and if necessary get help - around 30 per cent of adolescents are known, at some point, to be clinically depressed.
Don't raise complaints as they are going out of the door. Wait until later to talk.
Don't worry about when they are doing their school work if they are doing OK at school.
Don't throw in six other complaints when addressing one issue.