From Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan
Welcome Back to 2021
The start of the year has been a truly positive one amongst staff and students. It was great to welcome our new Years 5 and 7 students on Thursday and celebrate the return of the entire student body on Friday with a wonderful Welcome to Country and College assembly.
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 our sons present ourselves in public says a lot about what we are about as a College.
2021 sees the entire student body required to wear the new academic uniform. With the new uniform comes higher expectations in terms of how our boys present themselves for school each day, including their transit on both private and public transport to and from the College.
From Term 1, no student will be permitted to attend class without the correct academic uniform including the College backpack. Should any student not be in full academic uniform, they will require a uniform pass from the Wellbeing Centre and will be subject to a consequence.
The only exemptions are a medical certificate or a pass from the Uniform Shop.
In addition to the correct uniform, students’ appearance including hairstyles must be in line with the College expectations from day one. The ‘mullet’ haircut trending at present is not acceptable and students will be directed to the local barber or their preferred hair stylist to rectify any issues.
On Tuesday 9 February from 1:30pm to 4pm parents and carers are invited to meet their son’s Wellbeing Mentor via Zoom to engage in a conversation which will help us to best cater to their needs in 2021.
This important initiative supports our student Wellbeing program. The purpose is to know as much as possible about each student, both in and out of the classroom. By identifying their goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future, we can work together to bring about the best possible learning outcomes for your son. We rely on the three-way partnership formed between the College, families and your son for this to occur.
These meetings are in addition to parent/teacher academic interviews which will also take place later in the semester.
Keep an eye out for a separate email with further details and login information.
Students in Years 7-12 will be dismissed at 1pm because it is expected where possible that students will attend these meetings with their parents. Limited supervision will be provided in the Library and in the Centenary Quad from 1pm-3:15pm.
Heads of House and our Psychologists are available to meet students and their families who may require additional support and assistance. Please email them directly if you wish to set up a meeting.
John McCoy – firstname.lastname@example.org
James Horrocks – email@example.com
Cathy O’Sullivan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Coleman – email@example.com
Damien Thompson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Barr – email@example.com
Olivia Kite – firstname.lastname@example.org
John McCallum – email@example.com
Alex McCredie – firstname.lastname@example.org
Adele Cutbush – email@example.com
Greg Cameron – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tessa Prior – email@example.com
A Fitting Acknowledgement to Ms Audrey Coupe
At our Presentation Day in December, former Headmaster and President of the Schools Rugby Union, Br Bob Wallace and Sydney Catholic Schools, Mr Tim Cleary made an appearance to acknowledge the many years of volunteer service undertaken by Ms Coupe with the Australian Schools Rugby Union.
Ms Coupe was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Schools Rugby Union in recognition of her work for the Australian Schools Rugby Union since 1992 in her capacity of Administrative Secretary. This role included liaising with states and countries as well as assisting tours and touring teams to Australia, arranging the annual fundraising luncheon, and key administration tasks required during the Australian Schools Rugby Championships.
The College congratulates Ms Coupe on her well deserved Life Membership.
TikTok and Young People
As Deputy Principal, I spend an increasing amount of time dealing with online incidents involving students. As a parent myself, I know the importance of checking the age and privacy settings of any app downloaded by my daughter.
Parents, in the case of TikTok, it is vital that you check that your sons have entered their correct date of birth when creating their account. The new security provision for under 16s that has been recently released by the app, will not function if your son has lied about his age. This function does work if your son has entered his real date of birth.
Checking and changing this is important but not easy. Earlier this month, TikTok advised that false date of births may only be altered in the following, convoluted way:
The account holder or parent must request a privacy report here and enter the applicable account information. Choose the Request information about account data option, listed under the What is your request subheading. Where you are asked to provide details, submit an explanation that the account’s date of birth is incorrect, and advise that proof of age can be provided.
Then, and this is problematic. The app requires official proof of identification. This method cannot be advised or recommended.
Parents are left with two main options which I would recommend:
Family sharing – requiring their child to delete their account and start again truthfully. The latter is likely to be very difficult and may cause conflict with your son. Family sharing provides parents with sufficient controls over the teen’s account to replicate most of TikTok’s new security features for younger users. It also allows parents to keep an eye on all of their son’s social media accounts.
The College recommends Family Sharing on Apple products for all students under 16 years of age. This allows parents to control phone usage times, set daily screen time, and monitor app usage. It also gives parents and their sons an opportunity to negotiate agreed settings before parents put them in place. Most parents find that boys are far more willing to support Family Sharing if they are part of the decision-making process as to what are fair and reasonable settings.