From Head of College, Graham Leddie
International Women’s Day
The UN International Women’s Day will be running two campaigns this year: “Leave no woman behind” and “He for she.” The first of these themes looks at the vital role that women play in humanitarian and disaster planning and response. The second theme explores the need for men to further the goal of achieving gender equality. We encourage our students to be informed about and engage with these issues.
The college will be supporting the International Women’s Day campaign on 8 March with a special breakfast event featuring guest speaker Emma Kate Wallace, Creative Director and Co-Founder of WEFTshop. WEFTshop helps refugee and migrant textile artisans from Thailand and Burma to build livelihoods beyond the essentials, while preserving traditional weaving skills and passing them on to more women in their communities, so that they too can earn a fair wage. The organisation promotes gender equity by ensuring the skills and work of women is properly valued and rewarded.
Students who are selected as SRC representatives or Prefects in 2018 are invited to attend along with one female guest per student. This can be their mother, grandmother or a significant female role model in their life. This is a fantastic opportunity for the boys to celebrate and acknowledge the women in their lives who have supported them.
The event runs from 7am, for a 7.30am start until 9am, at the Br JP Lacey Gymnasium (Braidwood entrance on Birrell Street). It promises to be a fun and informative morning. In Australia the day will be promoted with #PressforProgress.
Year 9 NAPLAN unlinked from HSC
From this year, Year 9 NAPLAN tests will no longer be an early way for students to demonstrate the literacy and numeracy standard required for the HSC. This change has been made to ensure NAPLAN remains focused on its original diagnostic purpose and to reduce unnecessary stress on young people.
The NSW government continues to be committed to requiring students to demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to receive the HSC from 2020, because these skills are needed for success in life after school.
There will be multiple opportunities for your child to show they meet the HSC minimum standard by passing online tests of basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. These tests can be taken when your child is ready in Years 10, 11 and 12 and after the HSC.
For more information and flyers visit the NESA website: educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/HSCminimumstandard
If you have any further questions about this change, please feel free to contact our Teaching and Learning Directorate.
Choosing your words carefully….
This week, a couple of students’ careless comments have reminded me of this Mark Twain quote: –
‘The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.’
The lightning bug is a tiny firefly, while lightning is one of the most powerful atmospheric events. The difference is vast.
Please encourage your sons to think before they speak, whether it be on social media or face to face with others. Words can deliver very powerful positive messages and also negative. The timing of humour is an art in itself.
So how does one know what is right to say and what is not? I believe we do not have to look any further than Gospel values to help guide us in what is appropriate:
Do my words have compassion?
Do my words have mercy?
Are my words building community?
Am I serving myself or am I serving others?
Are my words the truth or gossip?
Are my words just?
Am I creating peace or something else?
House Swimming Carnival
We enjoyed an active, noisy and competitive day at the House Swimming Carnival at Homebush. Strong competition between Houses was accompanied by colourful outfits and vigorous House chants. It is a fun day when every student is encouraged to participate in some way and a sense of connection is fostered in our community.
Year 10 and Year 5 Big Brother/Little Brother Program
This week our Year 5 and Year 10 students participated in our first Big Brother/ Little Brother session for 2018. This is the beginning of a three-year journey designed to assist with the Year 5 boys’ transition into secondary education at Waverley.
At this first session they were introduced to their ‘brother’ and spent the lesson getting to know each other by working through a series of games and activities. The students’ enthusiasm and cooperation was exemplary, helping everyone to make the most of this first session.
The relationships created by this program will endure for the next three years, so that when the younger students transition to Year 7, their big brothers will be there in Year 12 to help them settle in to high school. They will have three more sessions this year and the program will continue until the younger boys are settled into Year 7. Read more about this in the Director of Student Wellbeing’s story.
Cyber Safety Night
Thank you to parents who attended our Cyber Safety Night this week. As usual, our parents turned out in impressive numbers to find out more about how to manage their sons’ life online.
The evening kicked off with a briefing on social media from Yasmin London, ySafe Director and Cyber Safety Expert. Yasmin believes Australians of all ages have the right to access technology in a safe, informed and supported environment and her organisation is committed to helping schools and families provide a solid foundation for the young people in their care to navigate the digital world safely. ySafe is a partner with Family Zone and Waverley College to assist you in providing this support to your child.
Our goal is to protect every student from exposure to online threats – from inappropriate content to cyberbullying. While the college has extensive protections in place for the school environment, we have extended this in 2018 by providing our families with free access to the Family Zone ‘School Community Pack’. By setting up a private Family Zone account, you can apply age-appropriate parental controls on the devices used by your child, in any location. This doesn’t only include their school issued laptop, but extends to tablets and mobile phones. Each family’s package includes 6 mobile devices covering three children.
Our second speaker, Jess Hill, is Education Manager with Family Zone. She provided detailed information on how access and set up Family Zone for your children.
Whether or not you attended our cyber safety evening, I urge you to set up your family’s account today by visiting https://www.familyzone.com/waverleynsw and clicking “sign up”. Only by working together can we meet our digital duty of care – at school, at home, and everywhere in between.
Continued Blessings on your Lenten journey.