Secondary Matters - Term 1 Week 6

Thursday, 03 Mar 2022

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

The last two weeks have been very exciting and also exhausting across Year 7 and Year 10 camps as rites of passage. Year 7 have become part of the high school environment. The Great Aussie Bush Camp provided a time to build relationships within Tutor Groups and their Tutor Teacher. This year the Team Challenge, Survivor and our mud run provided a great experience for communication, trust, leadership and grit. It was pleasing to see the way Year 7 worked together and enjoyed some of the “very high” rope activity. I hope you have had a chance to ask about these activities and the relaxing beach visit as well. Thank you to Mr Close and his Tutor team, Mrs Hilton (for both camps) for a wonderful rite of passage.

Mrs Matthews, Mr Graham, Ms Goodman, Mr Andrews, Mr Kitcher, Mr Flanagan and Mr Norberry led the way with their Tutor Groups on a very challenging rite of passage at Pindari Adventures located past Glenn Innes. Year 10 goals for the week included developing mateship, leadership, teamwork, independence, grit/resilience and having some fun or adventure. Every student engaged with the program and accomplished most of these as a Tutor Group and often individually as well. The nature of this camp had a focus on personal and group responsibility from the time they woke for breakfast, got ready for inspection, collecting rations and cooking for others, completing exciting activities to practising good hygiene and avoiding snakes! This group are the Class of 2024 and the future looks amazing with their caring nature and grit that they demonstrated at camp last week. Well done Year 10.

There have also been a number of opportunities from swimming carnivals, trialling for sports, dance and performing arts in recent weeks. Students should keep an eye on News in their Schoolbox dashboard and emails for events that are coming up.

Career Pathways and Year 13

Mrs Gina Driscoll has been busy across Years 10-12. She has been presenting ideas for work experience, individual interviews for Year 12 and presenting on pathways into post-school options (Year 13). The service, study and community involvement has become extremely important for universities and early entry schemes. Many universities now look at academic results from Year 11 and leadership or service work for early entry. We encourage our students, as do parents, to be involved in activities, performances, sport and volunteer/service. Just like parents and families do as well. These everyday activities are also now important for consideration in early entry schemes. It is good to see tertiary institutions consider the whole person, not just the mark. Congratulations on our students who have commenced TAFE this year. Our university visits commence soon with Charles Sturt University being first this term.  Students have also had access to Mrs Dricoll and her expertise in Term 1 after graduation as part of our commitment to Year 13 and our World Prepared alumni.

Behaviour Concerns - graffiti, phone use and jewellery

Over the last two weeks, our staff had a significant focus in class and year groups to improve some areas of concern.

Our phone use and code of conduct is clear for students, phones cannot be used in class. Years 7 to 9 cannot use phones in the yard. Year 10-11-12 can access their phone in the senior area at recess and lunchtime. Year 11-12 may take a picture of work if given permission by the teacher or use it for music/podcasts during study periods. Please discuss this policy with your child.

Unfortunately, some vandalism and graffiti have occurred in bathrooms and classrooms. Graffiti is rare at the college. Staff have been checking desks/rooms often, some bathrooms have had their opening times changed and year coordinators have discussed this at meetings. The last week has resulted in a much improved environment. If at home there is any talk of graffiti, please ask your child to let the Year Coordinator know, but we hope we have moved past this unfortunate behaviour phase.

The uniform code is clear and located on the website if further information is needed to check items or to clarify what is permitted. We want to thank families for their efforts over this wet weather in maintaining uniform. Jewellery permitted does not include nose rings. Please discuss this at home if it is relevant for your child. Thank you for your continued support in uniform expectations.

Staffing Update

Nicole Matthews will continue as the Acting Year 10 Coordinator for Semester 1 (from Year 9 2021) and thank you Nicole for attending camp as well. HSIE changes include that we wish Mr Peter Barron well in his new role at Bellingen High School and welcome Mrs Rosey Lang and her return to the college in a part-time role for HSIE. There are still some changes to classes that may occur as a result of staff movement and we understand that this is not ideal now that the term has commenced. Thank you for your understanding due to staffing changes.

Health and Hygiene Updates

This week there has been a significant update for the secondary campus by NSW Health (and many businesses). Mask use is now optional within internal classrooms and we can now meet as a whole secondary campus for assembly or house meetings and chapel. These are wonderful updates. However, if your child (and staff) wish to wear a mask at school please let them know. Thank you for your long term support in these requirements and the use of tests twice a week. These steps in helping minimising risk or taking care of our families and community have often been an extra or time consuming for families and staff. Thank you very much. Some health requirements continue, such as wearing masks on a bus for excursions.

Secondary Parent Teacher Interviews

In the coming weeks, there will be information shared via email on how to book a time in the Branson Centre to discuss your child’s progress. These opportunities are only one way to discuss progress at school. Emails, a class information update or phone call may have already occurred (or over the year). Your child should attend these meetings with you if you attend. Please be aware that times are strictly kept for families and if you cannot make an appointment and need one, please contact the teacher directly via email for a progress update.

Wednesday 16th March -Year 8 and Year 12

Wednesday 23rd March -Year 9 and Year 10

Wednesday 30th March -Year 7 and Year 11


This week we will be fortunate to hold our first K-12 service for a long time. To do this with the significance of Ash Wednesday as a focus as we commence Lent and the preparation of Easter. It is a time to reflect, can we do things differently or better or to make good. Or possibly offer to serve or volunteer to give some of our own time for example to help others. I hope that our service this week is discussed at home and we get to enjoy being a whole school together. Our Bishop should be onsite and we hope that the induction of Rev Nic Hagon occurs (weather permitting for travel).

Simon Doyle
Assistant Principal (Head of Secondary)