As we conclude the first week of a new school year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the College. We have set high standards for the students as we enter 2023 and they have stepped up in an impressive manner.
I spoke at Assembly on Monday to ensure students are clear on College expectations, and I have included this information for you below.
In the Junior School, mobile phones are to be handed in to the class teacher at the beginning of the school day and collected at the conclusion.
In the Senior School, mobile phones are not permitted outside locker areas. If students have their phone outside these areas, in the first instance they will receive a one-hour detention. In the second instance, it will be a three-hour detention.
If students use their phone to film in class, it will be confiscated until an investigation has been completed. Taking photos or filming teachers/support staff is a massive breach of their privacy.
Students will need to use their student ID card when accessing the canteen. Please follow the links below to set up Flexischools:
How to Set up Your Flexischools Account
Getting started with Flexischools
We have seen an increase in students filming themselves, their peers and teachers on school grounds. If students upload images or videos onto social media – including Tik Tok – that brings the College into disrepute or involves a teacher, they will receive a two-day suspension. I have asked that students immediately delete any content from their account that would fall in this space.
Haircuts and Shoes
All students are expected to adhere to our haircut policy. Horizontal meetings were held on Tuesday, in which students were given the opportunity to receive a haircut on site, or leave to rectify this. I thank you for your support on this day.
Shoes are to be black leather lace up, no brands including Nike, New Balance or ASIC are permissible.
All students are expected to arrive at school, assemblies, meetings and class, on time. Any students out of class during normal school periods in Years 7 – 12 will need a written note from their teacher.
Vape detectors are now in the bathrooms. It is a two-day suspension if you are found vaping or in the possession of a vape.
As we move through the year, I will bring to your attention important topics you need to know, to best support your son. All students have now been given their own laptop, therefore it is timely that you are given information on how to best protect your son online.
Predators Using Chat Functions on Gaming Platforms – Parental and Carer Supervision a Critical Factor
Parents and carers may recently have learned via the Australian media that predators are taking advantage of chat functions on gaming platforms to exploit and groom school-aged children online. eSafety, which safeguards all Australians from online harms, has delivered new research showing that over the past year, almost half of children were victims of online nastiness.
At Waverley, we are following the advice of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and encouraging parents and carers to be actively involved in their children’s activities online – particularly online gaming.
Communicate early and openly with your child and through each stage of their human development. This is essential in keeping them safe. The AFP considers the start of the school year, when children are frequently given an electronic device, a crucial time.
According to the AFP, predators might:
- pretend to be young or use your child’s profile information to suggest they are a friend of one of their friends
- encourage your child to communicate on another platform that can share videos and images, and then begin sexualised chat
- use coercion to trick your child to share child abuse material or meet up
- use in-game currency to groom children to share child abuse material
- use the tactics of fear, shame and isolation
Some helpful resources for parents and carers include:
- The new eight-part Predatory podcast series, featuring advice from cyber safety experts and police, presented by Madeleine West and Gary Jubelin. It is available via subscription.
- The children’s picture book Jack Changes the Game (published 2022) by Tess Rowley and Shannon Horsfall, to help parents, carers and educators to talk about online safety with children. It is produced by the AFP’s ThinkUKnow program and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE). This book is available in the Junior School Learning Hub.
Chat Functions – Tips for Parents and Carers
- Does the app/game have a direct message or chat function? If so, check whether the child is communicating with offline friends they know and trust or also people they met online
- If possible, disable the chat if it is not needed for the app/game
- Make sure the child understands what a personal question is, and not to answer personal questions
- Implement privacy settings on the app/game and regularly check these settings
- Nurture critical thinking skills in the child – not all people online are who they say they are
- Be alert to suspicious activity such as someone directing your child to move to an alternate platform or add them as a ‘friend’ on an alternate platform
- Know how to block and report suspicious activity
Here is How to Report Online Sexual Abuse
- If you think your child is in danger, call Police Triple-0 or visit your local police station
- If your child is encountering online problems, you must collect evidence such as screenshots or photos of the content. Then block and report on the problematic app/site/platform.
- Report online child sexual exploitation to the ACCCE accce.gov.au/report or to Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.
- If you or someone you know is impacted by online exploitation and child sexual abuse, you can find support services at accce.gov.au/support
- Find parent/carer advice about how to protect children online at ThinkUKnow thinkuknow.org.au
Register Now for eSafety Commissioner Parent Webinars in 2023
These free, live webinars will give parents and carers the tools to support their children to have online experiences that are safe.
Term 1 Webinar Dates
eSafety 101: How eSafety Can Help You
- Wednesday, 8 February – 12:30pm – 1pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Tuesday, 21 March – 7:30pm – 8pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
Setting Your Child up for Success Online
- Wednesday, 8 February – 7:30pm – 8pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Tuesday, 28 February – 12:30pm – 1pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Tuesday, 14 March – 12:30pm – 1pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
Getting the Most Out of Gaming
- Tuesday, 14 February – 12:30pm – 1:15pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Tuesday, 14 March – 7:30pm – 8:15pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
Navigating Online Friendships
- Wednesday, 22 February – 12:30pm – 1pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Wednesday, 29 March – 7:30pm – 8pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
Learn more and register now for Term 1 webinars
NSW Police Legacy Child Safety Handbook is Now Available
This essential child safety resource can help parents and carers, and contains content updates from: NSW Rural Fire, NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue NSW, Transport NSW, State Emergency Services, NSW Department of Family & Community Services, eSafety Commissioner and NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian.
Click here to view the digital Child Safety Handbook
Australian Government Youth Advisory Groups – Applications Close Sunday, 12 February 2023
Applications are open for Australians aged 16-24, to join one of five new Youth Advisory Groups to advise on Australian Government policies and programs across key issues facing young people.
Each of the five advisory groups will examine an issue of importance to young Australians. Focus topics and group membership will change each year.
In 2023 the topics are:
- mental health and wellbeing
- promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
- climate change
- ensuring young Australians are safe and supported
A dedicated First Nations Youth Advisory Group will also be set up to work with the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
The advisory groups will seek to represent young people from diverse backgrounds, and ensure all states, territories, and regional, rural, and remote Australia are represented.
The groups will work independently of the recently-established Youth Steering Committee. Their work, however, will complement each other in bringing the insights of young people to the Government.
How to Apply
Click here to apply through the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition website
Successful candidates will need to be available to travel to Canberra on 28-31 March 2023 for the first meeting of the Youth Advisory Groups. The Office for Youth will cover the cost of this travel.
Ms Gabby Smith
(Acting) Deputy Principal – Students