Providing support and care for our community
Just as we concluded Term 3 with a focus on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our young people through our RU OKAY Day Activities, we commenced Term 4 in a similar fashion with the introduction of our ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing Week’. Partnering with Headspace, Nillumbik Youth Services and REACH Foundation, we have provided a range of engaging speakers, activities and awareness of supports available for all students across those two weeks.
Assistant Principal Joe Caruana will highlight the wonderful things we did during this week in his report. However, mental health and wellbeing of our young people is something that requires support each and every day – not just over a period of two weeks. Recent statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that 1 in 7 young people have experienced a mental health disorder in the past 12 months, and that anxiety and depressive disorders are amongst the top 5 leading causes of burden of disease amongst children aged 0-14, with similar representation in youth aged 15-24. While mental health and wellbeing concerns are not new to education, as we are learning more, we are also learning more about ways to best assist our young people to prevent, support and cope with mental health and wellbeing illnesses. At Warrandyte High School, we are fortunate to have Jake Newton (our Wellbeing Coordinator), Kylie Lloyd (our Mental Health Practitioner) and Fiona Keech (our Adolescent Health Nurse) working as part of our Wellbeing Team, led by Assistant Principal Joseph Caruana and Director of Student Services, Christena Gazeas. This team work collaboratively on a weekly basis to ensure the wellbeing and mental health needs of our students are well supported. In addition to this, Warrandyte High School staff have been involved in series of fantastic professional learning sessions to help support out students. We also continue to build upon our relationship with Real Schools and regularly use their support and tools to assist our students daily.
In late 2022, the Department of Education developed ‘High Impact Wellbeing Strategies’ (above) designed to empower teachers with the knowledge and skills to be active agents in building their students’ wellbeing as part of their practice. Our Wellbeing Team have been working with our teaching staff to ensure that they have the skills necessary to support all students and their wellbeing. We have had a strong focus this year on looking at building relationships with students, facilitating peer relationships and engagement. We are starting to see some great results from this and early signs are very encouraging. Feedback from our students is that this is being noticed in their classrooms. If any parents/guardians are concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of their child/children, I strongly encourage you to reach out to a member of our team, or a staff member with whom your child feels comfortable, for support.
Another key focus of course is ensuring that the mental health and wellbeing needs of our staff are supported. During RU OKAY Day, our staff came together that afternoon and shared and reflected on the day and what mental health means to them – and they also participated in a range of engaging activities including a wellbeing walk, mindful colouring and origami while enjoying an afternoon tea. At the start of this term, we also supported our staff throughout the week with a relaxation massage, a morning tea (yes, teachers love food!) and I introduced them to our new ‘therapy cat’ – Marlow. In a few weeks I will be introducing Marlow to some of our students – stay tuned in the next newsletter for an update!
The teachers at Warrandyte High School are some of the best educators I have ever worked with. The professionalism, dedication and care they provide our students to shine and grow each and every day is a true credit to them. The media continues to report extensive staffing shortages across the state, and the country, and Warrandyte High School has certainly been affected to some extent by that this year. Having said that, compared with other schools we have managed to ensure that almost all classes were running this year with exceptional staff. It has been interesting to see such a focus on education in the media of late, and it seems that teachers are hopefully starting, once again, to be viewed as highly valued professionals in society. There is a long way to go however, and it is important for us to acknowledge, on a broad scale, the hard work, the hours, and the dedication shown by all of those in education – which I am proud to say I see each and every day at Warrandyte High School. On October 27, we recently celebrated ‘World Teachers Day’ by acknowledging our staff and showing our gratitude for all they do – our Year 7 and 8 students also gave their teachers a ‘Shout Out’ card to say thank you!
2024 Planning Update
All students have now concluded their subject preference selections for 2024. I thank them for their patience as we have navigated this process. As you are aware, we are moving to a five-period day from 2024 and this, combined with an amazing staff member learning the ‘ropes’ of timetabling has meant our students have had to be patient while we have completed this process.
Looking ahead, we will commence our Year 11/12 2024 Transition Program in the week beginning November 20, for two weeks. This will be predominantly staffed by the teachers who will be teaching those classes next year. This is a compulsory program for all students (both VCE and VCE-VM) going into Year 11/12 next year and attendance will contribute to your overall VCE/VCE-VM attendance. Students will commence the first two weeks’ work of Unit 1/Unit 3 and therefore it is crucial that all students participate in this program.
We are really pleased to be able to offer a range of new electives to our Year 9/10 Elective Program from next year (some examples are ‘Abominable Assassinations, Environmental Science, Wood Fusion, STEM, Earth and the Cosmos and Game Sense). To be able to offer such a breadth of opportunity is so important for our students and we are sure that they will enjoy the new program for next year!
Trails of Discovery Update
All of our students have now selected their ‘Trail of Discovery’ for 2024 and we are so excited to be able to bring this new program to life. Based on the work of educational expert, Kath Murdoch, we have developed an ‘Inquiry-Based Model of Learning’ allowing all students to become active agents of their own learning in this program. Students will investigate an overall ‘Essential Question’ and will direct the inquiry, and subsequent learning, themselves – working in collaboration with others and their teacher – to research, think, self-manage, and create/design/run a solution to their investigation. Our staff have spent all semester learning about this model through a series of professional learning after school and are equally as excited to be able to bring this to life for our students next year.
We regularly celebrate the extra-curricular successes of our students through our socials and newsletter. Recent great examples have been our three students competing and the State Athletics Championships, Inter-School Sport, and our nominations for ‘Matilda’ through the Lyre Bird Awards. We also believe it is important to celebrate success in many ways, and recently all students who had 90%+ attendance throughout Term 3 were acknowledged and congratulated at our first Year Level Assemblies early this term. Attendance at school is extremely important as ‘every day counts’!
Year 12 Final Week
Our Year 12 students made me extremely proud to be their Principal in the lead up to their final day this year. Throughout their last week of classes, before they commenced their exams, they were entertaining, respectful and had a lot of fun. Dress-up Days included ‘Primary School Dress Up’ and ‘What I want to be When I am Older’ – and they came with fantastic costumes and attitude. Their Celebration Day was brilliant with the usual tradition of toilet paper and shaving cream over the school (to their credit, every single part was cleaned up by them!), hilarious ‘teacher memes’ which included all of our staff place strategically around the school, a slippery slide (despite freezing cold conditions), a dance party and a BBQ – all before 11am! Well done to all of them on respecting our school, and themselves, while having a great time wrapping up their official time with us. Thank you to Andrew Blair (VCE Coordinator) and Christena Gazeas (Director of Student Services) for supporting our students so well throughout their final year. I recently wrote them a poem about the importance of giving their very best during this exam period, also reflecting on their time at school and the exciting journey that lies ahead of them. I wish them all the very best of luck – not only for their exams but for their futures. No doubt each and every one of them will find the success they are looking for.
Please regularly log on to your child’s Compass page (I know, as a parent who still hast two teenagers myself at high school, it is sometimes easy to forget in the busyness of life!)
To help you stay up to date with your child’s behaviour at school, we have recently changed the way we report our Compass Chronicle entries. Whether it be a grey/yellow post to report inappropriate behaviours or a green post to congratulate a student on demonstrating excellent behaviour – these posts are now visible to parents. This will ensure the three-way partnership between WHS-the student-and the family is strengthened. Please contact your child’s Year Level Leader if you have any questions about this.
A gentle reminder to our parents/guardians dropping off students in the morning that the area directly in front of the Main Office coming through Car Park C is a No Standing Zone. The area is clearly labelled with signs and road markings, yet each morning I see many parents stopping their cars so that their children can get out.
This is unsafe and it also prevents other vehicles from entering the car park. I kindly request that all drivers observe and respect the No Standing sign and choose a different area to have your child disembark your car – their safety is our priority!
The Warrandyte High booklist is now available.
The Warrandyte High 2024 Booklist is now available
ALL ORDERS TO BE COMPLETED ONLINE
using “633B” as your code
Tuesday 5th December 2023
Year 8-12 Early Delivery Novels 2024
Warrandyte High and Campion are offering an Early Delivery Service for Years 8 – 12 English Novels.
Student undertaking English subjects in 2024 are recommended to purchase their novels from Campion now for reading during the holiday period.
A separate booklist of “Year 8-12 Early Delivery Novels 2024” is now available on the Campion website.
ALL ORDERS TO BE COMPLETED ONLINE
using “633B” as your code
Please note early orders need to be placed by Friday November 10th.
Orders can be collected from the School Library at Lunch, 1:18 – 1:50, November 23rd.
Please remember to not re-order these products on your main resource list.
PDBArt Project – Year 7 Art
After all our mini skill building workshops exploring a range of mediums, our year 7 Art students have taken on a Design Thinking challenge using the 5 D’s of Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver and Deliberate to work on an Art and Science project hosted by the Protein Date Bank in Europe. Students have selected whether they would work in partnerships or independently to respond to their selected protein from the data bank so they can discover new ideas and develop concepts related to them. We were also very fortunate to have Structural Biologist Onisha Patel from The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research visit WHS to share her knowledge of proteins and initially guide students to explore the possibilities in the Data Bank.
Next our students will develop a range of possible ideas that they could use to create an innovative and original work of art. Once we have completed the project, we will then send it to the PDBArt project in Europe where some work will be selected for exhibit and into the future possibly used in science publications. Watch this space as we will share snap shots of their amazing work as they progress.
Click on the images below to view a slideshow.
Term 4 Sports Update
Term 4 started busy with regional finals for the intermediate boys Hockey team, year 7 girls Volleyball team and the Regional and State Athletic Championships. Congratulations to all students who have been involved in these events and demonstrated excellences in both team and individual events.
Whilst it was an extremely wet day the Warrandyte High Intermediate hockey team entered the regional finals ready and hoping for success. In very challenging conditions in the pouring rain the boys fought hard in all games. Playing against some tough competition the team did an amazing job winning 2 of 3 games and only losing to the eventual winners. The boys should be very proud of themselves, their perseverance and demonstration of excellence and teamwork.
Congratulations to all involved from the Warrandyte High School community.
Congratulations to the year 7 girls Volleyball team who participated in their first regional finals. The students were coached and managed by VET REC leaders Atalia and Rafael and all students gave their absolute best against some tough competition. Congratulations to all students involved and we hope to see them progress over the coming years in more regional finals.
What a great day for Warrandyte High School students competing at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Athletics Finals. 7 students attended competing in various events.
The standouts for the day were Kyan Swenson (year 11) who competed in high jump, triple jump, 800m finishing 3rd and long jump finishing 3rd, Joel Denny (year 8.) who finished 3rd in high jump, 4th in 800m and 2nd in 1500m, Dillon Vidanapathirana (year 12) finishing 2nd in 100m and 200m multiclass and 3rd in the 800m and long jump multiclass and Josh Evans (year 12) who won the Javelin. Both Joel and Josh now progress to the state finals next week where we wish them both the very best. Kyan Swenson and Josh Evans were also awarded age group champions for the day – a fantastic effort. All other students performed to their absolute best with results being separated by only a couple of cm. I congratulate all students on their efforts, sportsmanship and encouragement of each other throughout the day.
The State Athletics Championships was a fantastic day for the three students involved. In tough cold conditions Dillon Vidanapathirana (year 12), Josh Evans (year 12) and Joel Denny (year 8) gave their absolute best in their events. Dillon finished the day coming 3rd in 100m multiclass, 3rd in triple jump multiclass and 5th in 800m multiclass. Josh finished 5th overall in a tight javelin competition throwing close to his personal best. Joel finished 3rd in the 1500m running a fantastic race smashing his previous run time by 20 seconds and beating his personal best. The Warrandyte High School community are very proud of these 3 amazing athletes who always give their absolute best. We wish Dillon and Josh all the best as they continue their sporting journey post-secondary schooling and look forward to seeing Joel continue to strive to obtain success over the next few years.
Currently the year 7&8 students are practicing hard for their gala day on Wednesday 15th November where they will be participating in a day of tight competition in Futsal, European Handball and Ultimate Frisbee. We wish all the year 7&8 students the best of luck.
Click on the images below to view a slideshow.
Warrandyte High Uniform Shop Sale
The Warrandyte High Uniform shop is having a 20% Off sale store wide.
Uniform shop hours of operation
Tuesdays 8.00 – 10.30am
Thursdays 2.30pm – 5pm
Please note that the Uniform Shop will be card-only from December 1st.
Cash payments will not be accepted after this date.
You can order your 20% discounted uniform online now through FCW Fashion.
Warrandyte High Has Got Talent
The Student Voice Council recently organised an entertaining: WHS Has Got Talent. Students from across year levels signed up and the performances were fantastic. Most students chose to showcase their impressive singing ability, whilst one student performed a stunning number on the drums.
The school’s theatre was jam packed and electric with energy as students and staff who came along to support the performance filled every seat. The school connectedness and happy vibe from this one event alone was palpable.
This exciting event was all part of our week-long focus celebrating school connectedness and mental health.
Click on the images below to view a slideshow.
Mental Health Week at Warrandyte High
Recently the Wellbeing Team and the Student Voice Council at Warrandyte High School coordinated a week of activities and guest speakers aimed at further promoting awareness and safe practices regarding mental health. Further promoted school connectedness was also the primary aim.
Dynamic presenters from Headspace engaged with our Year 7 – 10 students during the week, running interactive workshops that promoted healthy mental health discussion and information. The workshops increased mental health literacy, reduced the stigma that is sometimes associated with mental health and built the capacity of our young people, enabling them to better understand their own wellbeing needs whilst empowering them to better support their peers and explore pathways for help seeking.
In a safe and trusting environment, our students were able to better understand mental health and the importance of looking after ourselves. Moreover, our amazing students were able to build a healthy headspace action plan and gained a stronger understanding of self-care: what it is and ways to achieve this. Finally, our interactive workshops complemented our ongoing wellbeing focus which includes ensuring our young adults know where, when and how they can seek support should they need to do so.
During the week, Warrandyte High School also teamed up with REACH and facilitated an engaging program, specifically for our VCE students, that focused on creating positive and supportive environments. The response from our Year 11 and 12 students was exceedingly favourable. So many said they found the workshops to be engaging, refreshing and helpful. Focus areas included:
- Recognising judgement in the group and understanding the impact it has on our confidence and the group dynamic
- Understanding the concept of comfort zones and how they affect us
- Creating awareness of others experiences to build empathy
- Empowering individuals to create a positive change
The focus on wellbeing and mental health is unrelenting and ongoing at Warrandyte High School. This was one week where we gave this particular priority extra focus. The year-long work and dedication of our wellbeing team and of our Student Voice Council is truly inspiring. Our core goal is to educate the whole child: academically, socially and emotionally because at WHS we know that the brightest child won’t shine if they are not happy.
Click on the images below to view a slideshow.
Year 10 Consent & Respectful Relationships Education Sessions
Warrandyte High School aims to ensure that all students are equipped for happy, safe, and successful lives, and learning about consent and respectful relationships forms an integral part of this. As consent education is mandatory in all Victorian schools, on Monday 30/10, Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (ECASA) came to the school to facilitate sessions for the Year 10 students.
ECASA provides a free counselling and support service to people who have experienced sexual assault either recently or in the past. The service is also available to non-offending family and friends. ECASA’s counsellors are trauma specialists with degrees in psychology, social work, or counselling.
The session sought to help the students understand their legal rights and responsibilities and to equip them with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about intimacy, sex, and relationships.
The following information was included:
- Consent definitions & practical examples.
- Consent – Victorian Legal Definitions.
- Sexual Assault – definition and related behaviours.
- Implications & consequences of sexual assault.
- Sexual assault supports.
- Looking after yourself, friends & staying safe.
The overall aims of the session were to empower students to think about intimate relationships, promote respectful behaviours and encourage personal safety.
The school recognises that some members of the school community may have experienced family/intimate partner violence, including sexual violence and content may be triggering and upsetting. The external facilitators have the necessary statutory requirements and are skilled in their delivery of this sensitive information. School wellbeing staff were in attendance for the sessions and are always available for any additional student / staff follow up and support.
Adolescent Health Nurse