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From Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing, Patrick Brennan

Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan

Mr Patrick Brennan, Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing

Welcome to 2020

The start of the year has been a truly positive one amongst staff and students. It was great to welcome our new Year 5 and 7 students on Wednesday and celebrate the return of the entire student body on Thursday with a wonderful College assembly.

In the January heat it was great to see so many boys wearing the new uniform with pride and opting to wear shorts. Over 450 students who were not required to wear the new uniform have moved across early which is a great sign of the popularity of the change among our students.

Week two has begun with great enthusiasm and activity. It has been great to interact with students across the Junior School and the Senior Schools over the last few days.

At Thursday’s College assembly, I spoke about the ongoing care we will provide our students following the passing of Year 8 student Archie Perkin over the break. A group session was held with our psychologists last week as well as a memorial service this week. In addition to planting a tree this week in memory of Archie, a plaque will be hung in the Chapel later this year. Archie’s memory will live on and he will be acknowledged at the major milestones of the current Year 8 as they move through to their graduation in 2024.

I would like to invite all parents to our Commencement Mass on Friday 7 February to be held in the Gymnasium at noon.

A less formal event coming up is the Parents’ Association Welcome Cocktail Party on 20 March. Last year over 800 parents got together to renew old acquaintances, welcome new parents and celebrate the start of another College year.

I would like to thank parents for the way their sons attended school this week, the uniform standard was excellent and so too was their behaviour and grooming. The way we present ourselves in public says a lot about what we are about as a College. Any boy not in correct uniform or wearing a hairstyle outside of College policy will be asked to rectify the problem before returning to class. Full details are available in the A-Z section of the College Diary.

Parents are requested to always keep their contact details up to date by informing Suzi Sucur in the Wellbeing Centre whenever there is a change. An opportunity for this will be the Mentor Meetings on Tuesday 11 February between 1:30 and 4:00pm. A separate email has been sent out about this.

Year 5 and 7 Laptop Deployment

I would like to thank Mr Simon Potter and his team for deploying over 350 laptops over the past few months. There are a number of simple, common-sense policies when it comes to safe and effective laptop use at Waverley College.

Backup – Boys should ensure they store their important files in Google Drive. Losing files off the computer is no excuse when an assessment is due.

Battery Charging – There is no charging of laptops in School. Boys should come to school with their laptop fully charged and then manage the battery through the day. Charging cords are a trip hazard and the laptops were chosen because of their battery life.

School Use – The College laptop is for educational use only, it is not a game machine or a device to watch sports highlights or videos.

Stickers – No stickers are to be put on the laptop. Boys can customise their laptop by putting stickers on the cover, but not directly onto the laptop.

Social Media – Students should be wary and use social media responsibly. They should not attempt to communicate with staff via social media. Any incidents of online bullying should be dealt with by taking a screenshot, blocking the sender and sending the screenshot to their Head of House.

Travel – The device is covered by a global warranty and can be taken abroad. Curfew times will adjust to the country you are in by default. Travelling overseas is not a reason to have the curfews removed.

Email Etiquette – Students should be respectful in their email correspondence with others. The College Diary has a good section on appropriate email construction.

LED Screen – The laptops are extremely robust, however, the LED screen is its weakest point. Protect it, keep objects off your keyboard so you do not trap them and damage the screen.

Transport Security – Keep your laptop in your school bag when travelling to school. It’s advisable not use it on the bus or train.

Maintenance – Make sure if you get any problems or issues that you report these to iAssist as soon as possible. The sooner they are reported and resolved, the sooner you can be back up and running.

Software – You are not to attempt to remove any of the school-issued software without the permission of iAssist. You are not to install any other applications without their permission, you must have the appropriate licences.

EREA Student Leadership Conference

EREA Student Leadership Conference Our College Captain, Ben Elder (front row, white shirt)

Over 50 Young Leaders from across Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition gathered in Adelaide last week for the annual EREA Student Leaders Conference. This gathering provided an opportunity for them to connect from across the country‚ to share their stories of leadership, to participate in decision making, to provide their views on important issues facing young people and to build a national and international community. The focus for this year’s gathering was Reconciliation with Australia’s First Nation Peoples, and Ecology, based on Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home.

Our College Captain, Ben Elder (front row, white shirt) enjoyed the highlights that included:

  • The opportunity to build relationships and share stories about the richness and diversity of the schools in the network.
  • Engaging together through daily themes of Encountering/Listening/Speaking and Reflecting.
  • Reflecting on how all life on the planet is connected and the power we have to affect this in positive and negative ways.
  • Engaging with one another around the issues facing young people, with a focus on leadership, learning, the Church and the World.
  • Reflecting on the question: “If I had a chance to speak to the EREA community about my hopes and dreams for a better world for all, what would I say?”.
  • Participating in prayer, reflection and ritual experiences.
  • Networking, socialising and collaborating while sharing insights and building community.

At the same time, the remaining Vice Captains and Prefects undertook a leadership formation day with Performance Edge Director and consultant, Bob Carbines.