Senior School News 20 March 2015

What’s been happening….

This past couple of weeks there have been many opportunities for students to get involved in activities outside of school.

Sunshine Coast Youth Summit

Last week four boys in Year 11 and 12 attended the Sunshine Coast Youth Summit and spoke out on a range of issues affecting young people. These issues included:

  • Accommodation and Housing
  • Sexuality(Relationships, Health and Identity)
  • Body Image/Self Esteem
  • Drugs, Alcohol & Safety
  • Education, Training and Employment
  • Enviroment
  • Mental, Physical and Emotional Health
  • Recreation & Entertainment Activities
  • Peer pressure/ Social Inclusion/ Bullying
  • Transport

I’d like to thank James Proud, Josh Andrews, Jake Williamson and Troy Fullerton for attending this event over the two days and representing our College.

IWD Conference

We also had two of our Year 12 students attend the International Womens Day Leaders Conference which was sponsored by the Australian Defence Force.  I’d like to thank Maddy Kinsley and Felicity Tasker for representing GCCC at this event.

QUT Youth Ambassadors

We now have three Year 10 students and three Year 11 students acting as Youth Ambassadors for QUT.  They recently attended a workshop at the QUT Caboolture campus.  These students will hold this position until they reach Year 12.  I’d like to thank Jesse Woods, Ella O’Keefe and Billie Sandes from Year 10 and Lachlan McCaig, Isabelle Westaway and Will Smerdon from Year 11 for representing the College at this event.

RYPEN

Five of our students were nominated to attend the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment.  THey came back from this 3 day camp excited about what they learnt and did.  This was obviously a great experience for these students and I’d like to thank Rotary Beerwah for their support.  Those who attended this camp were Troy Fullerton, James Proud, Moale James, Billie Sandes and Ella O’Keeffe

What’s coming up….

Islander Day – 24 March

The Fiji trip is now well and truly in the planning stage and we expect approximately 25 staff and students to attend.  Our College is a strong supporter of the work done through this mission trip and so on 24 March we will be holding the first of our fund raising events.  Students can wear something that represents the wonderful culture of Fiji.  This, along with a minimum gold coin donation will show those going to Fiji that we want to support them.

Please note that it is normal uniform with an Island themed accessory.  The accessory is not to replace any part of the uniform but rather enhance it!

Exam Block

Next week, the Year 11 and 12 students commence their exam block on Thursday 26 March.  Exams run over four days with the weekend inbetween.  It is important that students are on time for exams and prepared properly.  A letter will be sent out that gives greater detail about the exams.

Hand back day – 2 April

Please ensure that your child is at school on the last day.  Our College deliberately push our exams back as far as possible so that we can have as much teaching time as possible.  The last day of school then is when most subjects will be handing back exam papers.  This is a very important time for students to review their work and learn from any mistakes they have made.

Easter Service – 2 April

On our last day of Term 1 we will be celebrating Easter with a special full school assembly.  This will be held in the Undercover Area at the rear of the Library.

Work Experience

In week one of Term 2 our Year 10 students will be starting their work experience.  Paul Nash, our Future Pathways Coordinator, has helped prepare the students for this important activity.  I’d like to ask parents of Year 10s to please take time to discuss with your child how they are finding the work experience opportunity and the direction their future pathway is taking.  This is an important activity for the next important activity for helping students in this journey which is the SET Plan process. Students in Year 10 will also be involved in the Experience University program being held in June.

Other points to note….

National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence – 20 March

A new app has been designed to stop and report bullies on mobile phones.

BullyBackOff is a password protected mobile phone app with built in settings to block and report messages classed as threatening. It sends out a strong message that the threatening behaviour will not be tolerated.

Local IT specialist and child safety advocate, Kerry Hurst, designed the new app and says it will notify parents/guardians when bullying could be occurring. It will also notify the person suspected of bullying that they have been reported.

When BullyBackOff is installed on a phone, its settings will detect a text message suspected of excessive language. The message sender and the message receiver are notified by text that the message has been blocked, reported and saved for future reference.

A nominated third party, such as a parent, guardian, school authority, school counsellor or law enforcement officer, will be notified of the suspected threat.

BullyBackOff also blocks outgoing excessive and threatening language.

The app, which is currently available on Android, can also be used by adults to detect threats in domestic violence situations.

YouTube videos about the app are available:
BullyBackOff for Kids   on YouTube
BullyBackOff for Adults    on YouTube
The app is available on Google Play.  BBO for Adults    BBO for Kids

If you have concerns about any bullying matter then please contact the College immediately.

Communication

It is important that we maintain quality communication between the College staff and parents/caregivers.  The Parent Handbook, available on Connect, suggests a procedure for you  to raise concerns with staff. On page 7 of the Handbook it states:

In the event that you have a concern, GCCC encourages parents to follow the following procedures:

  • First discuss the matter with the people concerned. This would usually be the teacher.
  • If you continue to have a concern then a meeting should be arranged with either the Head of Department or Year Level Coordinator.
  • Finally, if the issue is not resolved then a meeting should be arranged with the Head of School.

 

I always prefer parents talk with the teacher concerned before coming to me. In most situations, this will reduce the possibility of miscommunication as well as build stronger relationships between you as the parent/caregiver and your child’s teachers.

David Heyworth, Head of Senior School