Secondary Matters - 2021 Term 4 Week 8

Wednesday, 24 Nov 2021

2022 is a year that will build upon many of the challenges that we have come across as a community over the last two years. We thank all of you for the support across a changing landscape throughout this time. Specifically the difficulty of only having families and parents for a limited time on the campus, this has been very difficult. Your patience, understanding and kindness during these changes and health guidelines has been appreciated as we aimed to minimise risk and promote a healthy environment on campus. We hope that we can commence 2022 with families able to be onsite as usual.

Students and staff have been working through the year with the mask requirements and our HSC students are wearing them for their written examinations. It is just something that we have become used to and we wait for updates and health information for 2022.

During the last two weeks at the college find  in this article just some of the around the grounds include:

  • Seniors re-starting our sustainability drive again with the construction of bins for the collection of recyclable cans/bottles in house groups. 
  • Goori group are working on our Acknowledgement of Country to formalise the one we use across the college with Clarke Webb and Rev Cooke.
  • Mr Kelleher has coordinated some very successful inter house sports during Tutor time.
  • Mrs Dal Pozzo coached the Philosothon team. 
  • Mrs Brown and myself assisted two teams in the Middle School Ethics Olympiad where we had judges from Canada, USA, NZ and Australia. Congratulations to BDC Pink Zeek Mattarollo, Phalayna Tudhope-Betts, Mary Jamison, Caroline Mostert and Charlie Wood who received a commendation. BDC Blue Rataj Abdullah, Sureyya Brennan, Chloe Braun, Jack Easter and Camble Scott who attained fourth in this event. 
  • Rataj Abdullah, Betty and Mikal Tesfamariam completed a weekend workshop with Mrs Rothacker for International Youth Day as part of Round Square. 
  • HSIE market day was an amazing success (check out the FB post). Entrepreneur skills clearly demonstrated on the day.
  • Mr Lang and the golf academy completed their tournament this week.
  • Year 10 Virtual Work Experience.
  • A range of assessment tasks and projects for Years 7 to 11 have been completed including the colourful gallery of Year 8 Visual Arts and their skate decks (congratulations to Ms Goodman, Mrs Phillips and Ms Minto).
  • The college has also continued to hear good news about Year 12 and their early entry into university for 2022.

Year 7 have completed their first year in high school and they are currently completing their own e-book in Tutor Groups. It will be a nice way to finish the year reading about some key highlights or areas they find important in their lives as they reflect on the year almost completed. Year 11 ventured out to a team building day at Margaret’s Field and also experienced the beautiful Nymboida River canoeing. These two days complemented the pastoral program that Mr Blythe and his Tutor team were completing, although modified, it was fantastic to be outdoors and also a little challenging with canoeing a few rapids along the way. Thank you to Mr Blythe and Mrs Hilton for your organization as Year 11 completed this rite of passage and then many have completed their first HSC examination as well as they are accelerated students.

Year 9 will be immersed this week into their final rite of passage in middle school. The week of peer support, leadership and wellbeing activities will culminate in the Year 9 Leadership Assembly and a welcoming into the senior school. Mrs Matthews and her Tutor Team will be very busy as they welcome Year 9 into the next phase of high school. Year 10 are experiencing virtual work experience this week as something different and Mrs Driscoll and Mrs Brown will be exploring some different careers with our Year 10 cohort. Year 8 are completing Kaizen projects and will enjoy a pastoral day with Mrs Gudgeon and Tutors next week. 

The secondary campus is still busy over these two weeks and the focus is on completing our curriculum requirements as we build up to our presentation day assembly. 

Last week we had a special presentation on the importance of White Ribbon Day and the difference we can make in reducing violence or abuse, physical or psychological for women. Our seniors who spoke have received much praise on this important aspect of wellbeing. 

I also encourage parents to discuss respectful relationships and mindfulness when the right time occurs over the Christmas holidays in support of these important behaviors.

Unfortunately we have had reported incidents of vaping on buses and school grounds again. The follow up is a discussion about health, making healthy choices and also that it is not permitted. It will usually result in a suspension if a college activity. Our youth see vaping in social media, the entertainment they watch and even on local buses. It is still an ongoing health problem. I encourage you to discuss the health benefits of not vaping as well over these holidays when you find the right time. Talking to your teens about vaping HERE 

Tik Tok trends have also caused a number of problem behaviours recently with some students cutting through chairs with their mask cords. These online trends are very difficult to counteract. However they usually involve damaging something and this can cause safety concerns and may result in great expense. Please be aware that these trends or challenges are considered vandalism when it involves college property and is not tolerated at school. Please be aware that this could also become a problem at home over the holidays.

At the conclusion of 2021, we wish Rev David Morgan all the best in his retirement, Mrs Rosey Lang who has resigned to follow other adventures. Thank you to Mrs Nicole Matthews for being a wonderful Year 9 Coordinator and Mrs Sandra Smith for her dedication as acting head of Faculty in Performing Arts. We welcome Mr Sodeau back and Mrs Day returning to their roles in 2022. Mrs Ruth Stuart is also retiring and although many would know her from primary music she has been very familiar supporting us at major events with her music expertise and we wish her the very best in her retirement from BDC. Mrs Santilli in HR works closely with our staff and will be on maternity leave and we welcome Mrs Jane Pearson relieving for 2021.

We ask that all families and students are familiar with the uniform dress code and requirements for the start of 2022. The link to our website is HERE Our expectations are that each student is in the correct uniform at all times. Some key reminders include that our dress code includes black polishable shoes (Doc Martens are not permitted), sports joggers for PE and sport (no slip on shoes), hair is to be neat/tidy, no hair dye, jewellery is at a minimum (check the guidelines for specifics), nose rings are not permitted.

Please refer to the key events to the end of the year for specific information about upcoming events. 

On behalf of the secondary campus, thank you for 2021 and we wish you a safe and holy Christmas. We look forward to seeing Year 7 and Year 12 on Friday the 28th January and Years 8 to 11 on Monday 31st January.

Simon Doyle 
Assistant Principal (Head of Secondary)