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Wellbeing Support During Lockdown

Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing, Mr Patrick Brennan

Mr Patrick Brennan, Deputy Principal - Student & Staff Wellbeing

I would like to thank all students who have seamlessly transitioned to online learning this week. Reports from both the curriculum and wellbeing teams indicate that attendance has been excellent and students have been following the online protocols and are actively engaged in their learning. 

When the NSW Government calls for a return to face-to face learning, it will be particularly important for us to know if any of our students become exposed and will therefore be required to complete a period of 14 days of isolation. In such a case we will do our best to provide access to remote learning. Any student who attends school, even with the slightest cold and flu symptoms, will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school.

Tips to Boost Our Immune System

Last week, I reminded our community of the following tips to boost our immune system during the flu season:

  • Eat vitamin-rich seasonal foods such as root and green vegetables, legumes and grains
  • Seek out the sun to maintain levels of Vitamin D
  • Regulate body temperature and processes by drinking plenty of water
  • Maintain exercise levels even if competitive sport is suspended
  • Defeat boredom – find a new hobby or rediscover an old interest

Reach Out to Your Support Networks if You Need Help

The Wellbeing team appreciates the difficulties faced by our community who are currently impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Mental health and wellbeing changes over time in response to different stresses and experiences. Remember to reach out to your support networks; teachers, mentors, Heads of House, Psychologists and members of the College Leadership Team: 

Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing

Mr Patrick Brennan: 9369 0713

Heads of House

Head of Aungier House: Mr John McCoy 9369 0613

Head of Brennan House: Mr James Horrocks 9369 0614

Head of Conlon House: Ms Cathy O’Sullivan 9369 0611

Head of Green House: Mr Scott Coleman 9369 0610

Head of Lacey House: Mr Damien Thompson 9369 0609

Head of O’Connor House: Mr Matthew Barr 9369 0612

Head of Quinn House: Ms Olivia Kite 9369 0608

Head of Tevlin House: Mr John McCallum 9369 0607

Psychologists Years 7 – 12

Mr Greg Cameron: 9369 0645

Ms Tessa Prior: 9369 0635

Psychologists Years 5 and 6

Ms Alexsandra McCredie: 9387 5022

Ms Dawn Young: 9387 5022  

Registered Nurse

Ms Adele Cutbush: 9369 0644

Professional Support Outside the College is Always Available When You Need it Too

Mental Health Services and Support

Sleep is Crucial

I spoke at this week’s assembly about the importance of sleep, exercise and diet at times of change, anxiety and increased stress. Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information.

Poor sleep hygiene is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Boys should be getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Good sleep hygiene involves a routine that includes no screen time an hour before bed and sleeping in a cool, dark and quiet environment away from any devices, particularly their mobile phone.

Keep Moving!

Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety.

Even in this time of lockdown, I am seeing many of our students engaging in COVID-safe exercise such as jogging and cycling in Centennial Park, skating at Bondi Skate Park, football drills at Erskineville Oval and surfing at Bronte. I believe we have some of the most active teenagers in Sydney. We are blessed with a natural environment conducive to incidental and planned physical activity, and it’s great to see our boys taking full advantage of these spaces.

Hydration, Fruit, Vegetables – More Influential Than You Think

Eating a balanced diet with adequate hydration and plenty of fruit and vegetables helps to reduce the risk of sickness and disease.  It also helps with sleeping patterns, energy levels, and your general health. A healthy diet also affects your mood and helps to manage your anxiety and stress.

Eat, sleep and move during lockdown

The Importance of Students Attending Period One During Online Learning

As well as being the first teaching and learning period of the day, period one serves as the College’s mandatory recording of daily attendance as required by law.

Students who do not attend their Period One Google Meet will be marked absent and their parents will be sent a text message from the College indicating this. This often causes parents who receive this SMS anxiety and concern. This is escalated when parents are under the impression that their son is actively engaged in online learning. To avoid this situation please ensure your son is ready to commence his Google Meet at the start of Period 1. When we return to face to face learning, if he attends school after the bell, he needs to sign in late at the Wellbeing Centre with his student ID card.

Your son’s teachers and Head of House will monitor his attendance during the day and will notify parents if he is not attending his scheduled periods.


Mr Patrick Brennan

Deputy Principal – Staff and Student Wellbeing