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From the Deputy Principal, Staff and Student Wellbeing – Mr Patrick Brennan

Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan

Mr Patrick Brennan, Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing

Paul Dillon Returns to Waverley College in November

Drug and alcohol expert, Paul Dillon, returns to Waverley College presenting to Years 10 and 11, as well a parent session at 6pm on Thursday, 3 November. Paul has been working in the area of drug education for more than 30 years. 

The College has responded to feedback from the Parents’ Association and will hold the parent session via Zoom.

Paul regularly appears in the media and is regarded as a key social commentator, with interviews on television programs such as Sunrise, TODAY and The Project. Paul also writes a blog where he discusses topical issues of the day, as well as addressing some of the questions and queries he is regularly asked by those attending his presentations.

Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon

Paul’s presentations cover a variety of drug and alcohol-related issues, including the decline in alcohol consumption and the rise in vape use. Interestingly, he sees online gambling as an area of increasing concern for adolescent boys. This issue has previously been identified at the College and discussed at House Meetings, College Assembles, Mentor Groups as well as in PDHPE lessons.

Our Wellbeing Framework relies heavily on the parent partnership. I encourage all parents to log in to Paul’s session on the Thursday, 3 November. It is sure to be an entertaining and informative presentation. The parent session is titled ‘Vaping – short and sweet: What do parents need to know?

Vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’) has become a growing issue for many parents and carers across the country. Waverley College is not immune to this. This session will provide up-to-date and accurate information on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, including the potential harms associated with the use of these devices, particularly for young people.

Practical advice will also be provided on how to talk to young people about vaping, as well as some possible responses that parents/carers can use, should their child attempt to challenge them in this complex area.

Click to join the Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 814 7077 9076

Passcode: 224589

Online Gaming

Young people might have a lot of fun playing online games, but parents and carers need to make sure they empower their children to make wise decisions and help them manage the risks.

Numerous games can help your child become more coordinated, adept at problem-solving and multitasking, and help them develop social skills through online interaction with other players. However, it’s also critical to comprehend what may go wrong and what might be harmful to your child. Carers need to play an active role in understanding and being aware of what their young person is playing online and who they are interacting with.

This week’s SchoolTV provides parents and carers with strategies to walk with our young people to navigate the pitfalls of online gaming.

Click to view the SchoolTV edition on Online Gaming

Term 4 Focus Areas

This week, I spoke to students at our College Assembly about the need to tighten up in a number of areas. The Heads of House have identified the following areas that will be focused on in Term 4. 

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are not to be on a student during school hours.

For Years 7-12

◆ Devices are to be stored in lockers, and preferably placed on silent or flight mode to eliminate loud ringtones. They can only be used next to one’s locker before school, recess, lunch or after school, for short periods of time. The only exception to this is when students are instructed to contact their parent/carer regarding variations to scheduled events or, under direct teacher supervision, they may use their device.

◆ Devices cannot be taken to class.

◆ If a mobile phone is brought to any class, a student will receive a one-hour detention.

◆ Parents/carers needing to contact their son during class time, should contact the College reception directly.

◆ Students found to have mobile devices switched ‘on’, using devices to ‘hotspot’ laptops to external data sources, bypassing the College’s network, or used in any way deemed inappropriate by College staff or supervising adult, can expect a one-hour detention. Mobile phones will be confiscated if it becomes an ongoing disruption to the learning process, has been a medium for a breach of privacy, or holds information pertaining to a crime. Parents or carers will be notified immediately about any confiscation.

For Years 5-6

◆ Devices are collected in the classroom at the beginning of the day and placed securely in the office. At the end of the College day, they are collected and returned to each student.

Students on mobile phones

Vaping

Vaping is illegal for those under the age of 18 years. Vapes are a Schedule 4 drug in the Poison Standard, thus requiring prescription. They contain nicotine which is an addictive substance with harmful side-effects. Any student in possession of a vape will face a consequence in line with the College’s drug and alcohol policy. Consequences may include (but not limited to) suspension or enrolment review.

Common vapes

Common vapes. Image: courtesy NSW Health

Respecting Campus Property

Families make a significant financial commitment to send their sons to Waverley College.

Any student who deliberately damages school property will be billed for the repair/replacement costs incurred as a result of their actions.