Public Transport reminder to all students: COVID-19 safe travel notifications
From Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan
All students should be reminded to ‘tap on & off’ with their Opal cards as they travel to and from school. Travel to and from school is free of charge for many students, however they are required to tap on and off in order to validate their travel. This is particularly important during COVID-19 when tracing is an important part of the public safety strategy.
All school students over 12 years of age must wear a facemask when travelling on public transport. The College is supporting this NSW public health order by not permitting students on to public transport without a mask. Waverley students are encouraged to purchase a reusable mask. Limited single-use masks are available from the Health Centre.
Community Safety Notice
At last week’s assembly, I spoke to the students about an unfortunate incident that occurred to one of our students after cricket training. It provided us with a timely reminder that students need to be aware of unsavoury individuals in our community. On Monday, 8 February a Year 8 student was walking home from cricket training and was approached by a male occupant in a car who parked nearby. The male pursued the Year 8 student for about 50 metres.
Both the boy and his father attended Waverley Police station later that evening and provided a statement. This is a timely reminder to all parents to remind their children of some simple tips when walking home.
The College always recommends that if your sons walk, they should do so in a pair or group. But if they find themselves walking alone, here are some tips to keep them safe:
1: Wear appropriate footwear. School shoes or trainers after sport are ideal. Bare feet or thongs make you less stable and clumsy.
2: Stick to well-lit, busy routes. Always stick to routes that are busy and well lit, and try to stay in areas densely populated with houses. The shortcut across fields, through parks or down dark alleys may knock minutes off your journey, but it is not worth the risk.
3: Phone a friend (but don’t text). Call a friend or relative to chat whilst you’re on your journey to let them know where you are. A chat can also calm you down if you’re feeling nervous. Stay on the line chatting until you reach your destination, whilst keeping focused on the direction you are taking. Although a chat can provide a welcome comfort for a walk alone, refrain from texting or playing games on your phone that will require you to look down and distract you from your surroundings.
4: Keep your house keys to hand. Hold on to the key you need inside your pocket. When you get to your destination, you’ll be able to open the front door to your home straight away without fumbling through your bag or getting distracted.
5: Appear confident. Those who appear confident are less likely to be targeted. Even if you feel nervous, maintain the appearance of confidence by taking steady strides and keeping your eyes up and looking ahead. Always walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with people you pass.
6: Use your phone as a flashlight. If the light drops on your walk home, make use of your phone’s in-built flashlight to help guide the way.
7: Never wear headphones. Listening to your favourite songs may seem like a great accompaniment to a solo walk home, but wearing headphones greatly impacts on your ability to stay alert to your surroundings, such as detecting and responding to traffic noises or people approaching.
8. Plan your route. Planning the direction in advance will allow you to project confidence as you walk and lessen the chance of finding yourself in a position where you are unsure of your surroundings. If for any reason you do get lost, do not wander aimlessly. Find the nearest shop, petrol station or restaurant to ask for directions.
9. Avoid carrying multiple bags. If there’s a chance you will find yourself walking alone, try to carry all possessions in one bag. Having multiple bags will restrict your ability to respond to a situation quickly if one arises.
10. Make as much noise as you can. If you are worried about being followed, scream and make as much noise as you can. This will draw attention to yourself and whoever it is following you. This is the last thing that they want.