Term 3, Week 7 - 27 August - 2021
Dear Parents & Carers,
I recently read through my newsletter article from two weeks ago and can only say - how things change! In the last newsletter, we outlined our plans if were to move to Blended Learning, not knowing it was going to happen the next day! In the past fortnight, we have communicated frequently with you to ensure all families have an understanding of Blended Learning, given suggestions on how to be organised for learning, outlined what students need to be doing while they learn at home, and provided information on how to get support (for both parents and students).
I am exceptionally proud of the work the staff have done and continue to do, to support the learning of our students; and I commend our students for their engagement and effort. I also wish to thank our parents and carers for the support you have given your children and the College during this time. We appreciate the fact that parents have complied with the Stay at Home Order by keeping their children at home. The school is open for vulnerable students and children of essential workers.
My summary of recommendations for online learning:
- Keep to a routine, based on the school timetable where possible
- Start the school day with homeroom every day at 8.45
- Use the Blended Learning Planner which Year Coordinators send out each morning
- Contact teachers for more information if your child doesn’t know what to do
- Learning at home is different from school - make sure that your child is not spending 5 hours a day staring at the computer screen. Take breaks, work away from the computer.
- Junior students should have 1 Zoom per subject per week (some teachers may organise a second, depending on the work being done); senior students may be zooming every lesson.
In the COVID Blended Learning section, you will find resources to assist you with Blended Learning.
Today announcements were made about the Return to School Plan by the Premier and State Education Minister. We sent the following message to parents from the CSO: The NSW Premier and the NSW Minister for Education made some announcements in their press conference this morning regarding the return to face to face learning and the HSC. The Catholic Schools Office is working with Catholic Schools NSW to confirm requirements and restrictions for schools in the Diocese of Lismore. We will communicate with you as soon as possible.
We will keep you updated when information is sent to us.
Our students have displayed great strength, resilience and courage dealing with the many changes they have been presented with over the last 18 months. This was particularly evident with the move to online exams halfway through the HSC Trials! Year 12 will return to online learning next week now that their Trials have finished.
Year 11 will start their preparation for Preliminary course assessments which will be held in Week 9. You will find more information about this in Mrs McGowan’s article.
We welcome to the College Bernice Pitt, who has joined the Administrative Team. We look forward to working with Bernice, who will be supporting the Curriculum and Pastoral teams.
In this Newsletter, you will find a lot of support resources for Blended Learning, parent education, recipes, and news from home-based classrooms!
Wishing you all the best for the fortnight ahead.
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
Much has already been said and written about our return to Blended Learning over the last fortnight. In a busy few days of preparation, I was exceptionally proud of the resilience shown by our students, in particular our Year 12 Students who had to adapt to changes in their HSC Trial Examinations.
From letters home and a zoom with families on the first day into lockdown, assessments have now been completed via online learning mediums. The school has responded with speed putting in place processes and procedures to support the students. The flexibility of the year 12s is a testament to their character - as a year level, they are willing to embrace change and do their best in rapidly changing circumstances.
My thanks to the careful coordination of our Blended Learning model by our College Executive Team who led our staff through changes in assessment and in addressing the pastoral and academic needs of our students. Many thanks also to the LOLs and year 12 teachers who led assessment changes responding to student needs.
Year 11 are now also prepared for the Preliminary Exams to go online as the lockdown is extended past week 9. All students have received the timetable via email, it is also posted on The class of Year 11 2021 Google Classroom. Students and parents were invited to a zoom yesterday outlining the school processes. The Year 11 Preliminary Examination period starts on Monday 6th September and finishes Friday 10th September. Year 11 Students will not be attending timetabled classes during this time.
For parents who are once again adjusting and juggling blended learning, work and home life! I take my hat off to you for having to manage so much during this time – The school community really appreciates the difficult situation that we are all placed in and we thank you for your support of, and partnership with, our wonderful school. The pastoral care team has put into place a number of measures to support your child with organisation and processes including a homeroom check-in each morning. We are also limiting the expectations of the work set in the junior school. Another support mechanism is for staff to email parents if there is little or no engagement over the week by any child in their specific subjects. This is our way of letting you know what may or may not be happening from the teacher perspective. Parents who are seeking information about what is happening in specific subjects are reminded to accept the Google classroom invitations that have been emailed to you. If you have not turned off Google Classroom notifications, you will receive an email on a Friday that outlines the work from the week. If you need support with this, please contact the school.
As always you know your child best, and need to let us know if we can support you in any way. This contact home is to identify what the teachers are experiencing in terms of engagement and seek reasons for ongoing concerns.
How To Stay Positive About Your Schoolwork
It can be difficult to stay positive at all times about your schoolwork, particularly if you have challenges, whether they be personal or whether you are grappling with something like online learning. When we allow pressure and stress to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result, students can feel even more drained and exhausted.
The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including schoolwork and exams is to “fuel up”. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in your life. You need to boost the wellbeing factors in your BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.
Considering our Blended Learning environment, I have included some information on the “home study environment” that may be useful to both parents and students - it will help with thinking about some of the environmental factors we can control.
TAKE A BREAK: Stretch, exercise and turn off the screen! We are on our computers for so much longer than we are used to. Play with a pet, garden, cook a meal or go for a walk rather than turning on the TV or Playstation.
QUIET/PRIVATE: It is important that you have a space that allows you to focus and have quiet periods when necessary. Some students place a sign on their door when they need quiet time or else the family agrees together when the quiet periods will be.
DISTRACTION FREE: We all intend to be strong when trying to deal with distractions but the reality is that willpower is rarely enough. It is much better if the temptation is removed. In the periods when you are working on schoolwork, turn off IMs, and your podcasts, close Facebook, turn off your mobile phone and remove all distractions – not for the whole night, just the blocks of time when you are focusing on schoolwork.
MUSIC: You can listen to music if you are doing work that doesn't require much effort or concentration. However, if you are doing anything that is difficult, requires effort, requires you to think, understand or remember information you should switch the music off.
SUPPORTIVE CHAIR: It is really important that you have a comfortable and supportive chair. The chair you use should be comfortable and adjustable to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. Your feet should sit flat on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle to the knee.
GOOD LIGHTING: Natural light is preferable, but not always available. If you need to have a light on you should have both your room light and a desk lamp on. Try and avoid fluorescent lights. Have the desk lamp situated so the light is shining onto your work, not into your eyes.
CLEAR WORKSPACE: A cluttered workspace means you will waste time looking for things and become distracted by the bits and pieces in front of you. A clear workspace sets the tone for the way you will approach your work.
VENTILATION: It is important to have fresh air and oxygen flowing into your room to help keep you mentally alert. If you are unable to open your window then take regular breaks where you walk outside and get some fresh air.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Due to ongoing border closures, the Lismore group registered to attend the Ignite Conference in Brisbane from 22-25 September has been cancelled. As many of the keynote speakers will be live-streamed there is an opportunity to engage in parts of the conference in this way. Links will be shared on Proclaim Lismore social media platforms.
Cooking Ideas in Blended Learning
Routine is so important during Blended Learning. Getting up, eating a healthy breakfast and starting the day right will get you ready for your Home Room Zoom. Here is a quick and super easy recipe for breakfast to help you get ready for the day:
3 medium ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ Cups water
5ml olive oil cooking spray
125g strawberries, hulled, thickly sliced
- Place bananas, oats, baking powder and 1 1/2 cups water in a blender. Blitz for 15 seconds or until the mixture is smooth and combined. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
- Lightly spray a large frying pan with oil, then heat over medium-low heat. Add 1/3 cup batter to the pan and spread to form a 12cm round. Cook for 2 minutes or until pancake is cooked two-thirds of the way through. Flip pancake and cook for a further 1 minute or until golden. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter to make a total of 12 pancakes.
- Divide pancakes among plates. Top with yoghurt, strawberries and maple syrup or your own favourite toppings
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
- Blended Learning Time Guidelines
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this finds you well and not too overwhelmed with the current COVID-19 situation. With limited time to prepare for this lockdown, staff have spent Monday 16th August planning for the first week of Blended Learning. This was to ensure their digital classrooms were set up so that your child can continue learning, despite the challenges we are all facing.
The theme for the current lockdown period is to stay connected!!! My advice for parents trying to help their children learn from home is to keep things simple! A few tips:
1. Routine is so important! Have them ready for online learning by 8.30 am. They will have a Zoom with their homeroom teacher daily at 8.45 am (the link will be sent by email). A Daily Planner will be placed on Google Classroom at 8.00 am by their Year Coordinator to help them organise their day. As a parent, you can see this on their Year Group Google Classroom. It’s a great way to help them plan their day and teach them how important it is to be organised.
This Planner will include tips for break times, exercise ideas, meditations and a recipe they may like to use at dinner time!! An example of this planner is attached.
2. Encourage breaks during the day where your children are helping out with daily chores and helping prepare meals.
3. The school has no expectation that students will be in front of a screen for 6 hours per day. Students are encouraged to follow their normal timetable and complete the tasks set by teachers. You may find for this week, as we ease back into Blended Learning, some of the learning activities for our junior students may not take the whole hour period. After our experience last year we are aware that learning online is different to learning in a classroom setting.
4. Have some technology-free time. I encourage all families to turn off the internet or encourage mobile devices down by 9.30 pm to allow time to switch off from the demands of the day and get ready for a decent sleep.
5. Ask for help! If you or your child is really struggling, contact the school via email or phone. Year Coordinators are available and ready to assist you - there are no silly questions, ask away!!
Take care, stay connected, keep in touch.
Leader of Pastoral Care
Year 7 Science have been investigating Surface Tension with Mrs Parkin.
Year 9 Visual Arts
Year 9 Visual Arts are currently doing the Art History Challenge HERE where people are recreating famous works of art.
Year 9 Agriculture Technology
Mrs Stainlay's Year 9 Agriculture Technology students are studying soil. The students were given a task to assess the soil in their yard, and determine the soil type by making a soil ribbon.
Junior Religion Prayer walks and reflections
During Blended Learning our RE teachers have asked their students to do a prayer walk each week and record their reflections as acrostic poems.
Take 15 minutes to go on a prayer walk in your backyard or a park near your house.
Do this in silence and use your senses - focus on what you see, hear, smell, touch.
After your walk
Write an acrostic poem as a prayer using the word SACRAMENT or CREATION. Think of some of the words and images you have explored over the past few lessons
Year 8 - Topic: Sacraments of Initiation
Appreciate the holy spirit
Read the bible
Accepting Jesus love
Make a change
Extra time devoted to our Lord saviour Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for humanity
Nothing beats church
Trust in God that he has a plan for you, for everyone.
Sorry for the wrong things I do.
And thank you for sending Jesus.
Christ, be in me.
Resurrect you did.
Amazing, you are.
Every day is a blessing.
Nothing you do is bad
Seize the time, and let me not take anything,
A day in which he was sleeping
Certainty, miss leading
Raindrops kiss the earth, whispering
A dead crowned his only nothing
Man is truly free, when not afraid and do not want anything
Naked and betrayed, suffering
Talk much to say nothing
Always be nice
Care for others
Always care for others
Try your hardest in everything
Year 7 - Topic: Stewards of Creation
Care for the earth
Everyone is different
And be nice
Try to protect animals
Invite people if they are lonely
Ownership of our actions
Nature is a gift from God don’t destroy it
Caring for the environment
Reflecting on what we have not what we want
Everyone is loved by God one matter what
Trying our best
In our youth, we should pray to God
On the planet are some of God's greatest creations
Nothing is perfect but everything is beautiful
Next week the library will be offering a click & collect contactless pick up for any student that wishes to borrow physical books. The best way will be to use the Oliver Library system to choose the book(s) you want, then email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will place them on the contactless table at the front of the College
During the lockdown, our ebook and audiobook library is also another great way to keep reading or listening. It is very easy to get. You can use SORA on your laptops or download the app from Google Play or the App Store. If you use the app you will need to search for the ACEN Member Collection in Libraries.
Go to the Student Intranet Page, click on this icon to the left
Next, you will get this screen
Next, use the drop-down menu and select ACEN Member Collection
Then enter your id and password and use the dropdown box and select Lismore.
Editing and Proofreading Work
Refining your own work is a necessary skill and a great approach to keep improving your writing. Proofreading involves focusing on specific details like spelling, sentence structure, and referencing. Editing, on the other hand, focuses on improving the 'big picture' of your assignment. Use the checklist below to help you fine-tune your work.
Tip: To spot errors more easily, read your work aloud, and take breaks between writing, editing, and proofreading.
Check for consistency of:
Source: Editing and proof-reading your work. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.monash.edu/rlo/research-writing-assignments/writing/editing-and-proofreading
- Tuesday 31th August - Charles Sturt Uni, Advantage Program Round 2 - applications close
- Wednesday 1st September - University of Notre Dame, Young Achievers Early Entry applications close
- Sunday 5th September - Bond University scholarship applications close
- Friday 10th September - SCU Star Entry applications close
- Friday 17th September - LaTrobe Uni Aspire Early Entry closes
-UNE Early Entry applications close
- Sunday 19th September - UNSW Gateway Early Conditional Offer Program applications close
-UAC SRS applications close
-University of Sydney E12 Scheme applications close
- Thursday 30th September - VTAC closes (5 pm)
-UAC applications close (midnight)
-UAC EAS applications have various deadlines for each offer round but submit by this date to be considered for early offer rounds.
-Torrens University Early Entry Program closes
August 2021 Update
Can Year 12 students apply for EAS based on the impact of COVID-19?
The QTAC Educational Access Scheme (EAS) is open to all year 12s whose studies have been impacted by COVID-19. Each EAS applicant must make a case based on their individual circumstances and supply all the supporting documents normally required for the category in which they are applying.
To see some examples of COVID-19 related circumstances that are considered in different EAS categories, please read our latest blog post here.
For EAS case studies, coversheets and a comprehensive list of FAQs click here.
eSafety webinars for parents on online sexual harassment and image-based abuse
This webinar will help parents and carers to understand online sexual harassment and image-based abuse, (non-consensual sharing of intimate images).
It is designed for parents and carers of young people aged 13-18.
It will cover:
- the difference between online sexual harassment and image-based abuse
- how to report online sexual harassment to social media companies
- how to report image-based abuse to eSafety and when to report to police
- where to get support if you feel upset or worried about something that has happened online.
You can choose to attend the webinar with your teen or share resources with them afterwards from the webinar package.
Tuesday 24 August 12.30 to 1.30 pm
Tuesday 7 September 12.30 to 1.30 pm
Thursday 9 September 12.30 to 1.30 pm
Reach Out Resources
Telehealth is a way of accessing a health appointment from a computer or smartphone, from anywhere in the country. There are lots of mental health professionals who are able to do their job using telehealth, including psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and social workers.
Why is telehealth a good idea?
In a telehealth booking with a mental health professional, you’ll receive the same service you’d receive from them in person. They will also have the same level of qualifications as someone you’d see in person. In fact, studies have shown that therapy done through telehealth is as helpful as talking to a health professional in person.
Here are a few reasons why seeing someone through telehealth might be a good fit for you:
- You could have more options available to you than just the mental health professionals in your local area.
- You could have a better chance of finding a professional who’s an excellent fit for you.
- You could feel more comfortable in your own home than in a therapist’s office.
Since you won’t have to commute to a mental health professional’s office every week or fortnight, you’ll have more time available for activities you enjoy.
How to book a telehealth appointment?
- See your GP. You will have an opportunity to talk to your doctor about what’s going on in your life and about what you think might help. Your doctor will then offer their perspective and write up a mental health plan that will allow you to receive 20 sessions a year at a discounted rate with the Medicare rebate.
- Book directly
For more information go to: https://au.reachout.com/articles/telehealth-and-more-getting-psychological-help-online
If your teen is experiencing mental health issues and is open to receiving professional help, these four steps to preparing them for a session with a professional will help them get the most out of it and make them more comfortable.
The Family Connect Service
$100 Creative Kids Vouchers
Every child enrolled in school is entitled to a $100 voucher which can be used to purchase things like ART PACKS. These pre-assembled art packs might be a good way to give your children a break from online study and assist with their artmaking in Visual Arts.
These packs can be purchased online and delivered via post within a few days by:
- Clicking on the link below or using your NSW App:
- Apply for a voucher (within minutes) and note the voucher number.
- Search the web for “CREATIVE ART PACKS” and choose a supplier that accepts the vouchers and packs that best suit your child’s individual interests. See the example below: