Week 8 Term 3 2021
From the Principal
Dear Staff, Students and Parents,
Sincere thanks for continuing to work with us during this extended Lockdown period. From all reports, the changes we made to student engagement in Week 8 worked well so this will continue into Week 9 while we await news of what the Public Health Order might look like after September 10. In summary, Blended Learning during the week ahead will be as follows:
Year 12 – Periods 1 – 5 via Zoom (up to 45mins);
Year 11 – Periods 1 – 4 via Zoom (20-30mins) with Period 5 at teacher discretion;
Years 7 – 10 – Periods 1 – 4 ONLY via Zoom (15mins).
Staff will continue to issue the week’s work during the first lesson of the week for students to work through at their leisure. Zooms in the latter part of the week will be for student questions/clarification rather than direct instruction.
After a rigorous process of selection (which included written applications, Zoom interviews with Fr Bing, Mrs Reen, Mr Andrews and myself, a pre-recorded speech to peers and staff, followed by voting by staff and Year 11 students) and in conjunction with Fr Bing, I am happy to announce the 2022 Student Leadership Team:
Left to right: Madeline Ewing, Esther Lees, Harry Baker, Jillian Gao, Leia Golding, Liam Weekes, Tarryn Rathbone.
Congratulations to each of these students who I’m sure will do the College and their families proud. We are now in the process of appointing House Captains and Vice-Captains. I hope to be in a position to announce the full Student Leadership Team in next fortnight’s Newsletter.
Lismore CSO is again offering fee relief for families adversely affected by the current COVID-19 Lockdown. If any families are recipients of the COVID-19 Disaster Payment – NSW or COVID-19 Business Grant, full relief for Term 3 School Fees is available. Please contact Mrs Vicky Fitness, College Manager, or Ms Carolyn Hope, Finance Officer in the first instance to discuss your specific circumstances, in confidence.
Attendance at school continues to be limited to vulnerable students and those students where all parents/caregivers must attend their place of work and cannot work from home leaving their children unsupervised. We have been averaging around five (5) students per day on campus and these students are supervised by casual teachers. Thanks, again, for your support here which has allowed our teachers the time required to prepare and deliver work in the Blended Learning space.
Should your child meet the vulnerable student or child of essential workers’ criteria and need to attend school, please be aware, under the Public Health Order, students over 12 years old and all secondary students are required to wear masks in all indoor areas. Masks are also required in outdoor areas where you are within 1.5 metres of other people. Students who do not have a mask will be provided with one. If your child is exempt from wearing a mask, an exemption document must be carried with them at all times.
Finally, I have included an article for your reflection which appeared in last weekend’s ‘Sydney Morning Herald’. Written by the current Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott AO, the article outlines the resilience, optimism and capability of our 2021 Year 12 students. I’m sure all at Woodlawn would agree with Professor Scott’s final assertion: ‘As you approach the finish line, stay calm, complete your HSC and know that we are all cheering you on’.
With best wishes for your continuing good health over the fortnight ahead.
From the Assistant Principal - Mission
In difficult and challenging times it is our community which shields us, cares for us and tries its utmost to ensure that we advocate for everyone. This week we are thankful for the staff and teachers who have been maintaining relationships, encouraging student participation and moving forward with their curriculum. It is through clear communication that we are able to do this. Please continue to contact teachers and other relevant staff if you need any kind of assistance.
With a view to promoting more connectivity between our teachers and families, next Friday, 10 September we will be encouraging students to bring their parents to the Home Group Zoom for a ‘cuppa and a chat’. Encourage your students to bake, bring Milo, tea etc to this casual gathering. Relationships are at the forefront of everything we do, so this will be a great opportunity to say hi and meet some of the people who are responsible for the start of each school day. The Home Group will be extended and Period 1 Zooms will begin at 9.30am.
During your absence we have been working with the Maintenance Team to give our Canteen a bit of a face lift. We will be seeking more student input on your return.
Stay safe and well. We are definitely missing all of our students and look forward to meeting up soon.
Assistant Principal - Mission
One of the more common messages we hear from leaders across many sectors of society is the importance of remaining connected in these times. As human beings we are almost designed to live in community and thrive off the energy of the relationships and love shared within them. It has been really pleasing to see the number of ways that our staff and students have maintained connections during the COVID lockdown.
Our Catholic tradition and particularly, our Marist charism, teaches us and inspires us to live for each other through a spirit of solidarity. Caritas Australia tells us that Solidarity “is to do what we can to make life better for our ‘brothers and sisters’ around the world”. This is a simple, yet beautiful way of explaining some of the richness of Catholic Social Teaching, one of the greatest gems in our faith.
Last week, the Woodlawn staff put together a little show of support and solidarity for our students and families to try to stay connected in another way. The very simple message portrayed by those involved was aimed at keeping things light and reminding all members of our community that we are supporting you in whatever way we can. So, in solidarity with the whole staff, I’d like to remind you all that...You’ve Got This!
Leader of School Evangelisation
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
We all know the challenges that come with these difficult times. One of the ways to support our mental health is through practising gratitude. Earlier this week, during Home Group, we asked our students to think about the positives associated with Lockdown, encouraging them to see the glass half full rather than half empty. Here is a snippet of some of the responses and we can see there is much to be grateful for in our lives:
Prior to Lockdown we were preparing to celebrate RUOK? Day in Week 9, as part of the National Day of celebration. Whilst this obviously can’t physically happen, it is still important to acknowledge the importance of asking someone if they are ok.
Do you know how the people closest to you are really going?
Life's ups and downs happen to all of us. So chances are someone you know might be struggling. Your genuine support can make a difference to whatever they are facing, big or small. So, don’t wait until someone is visibly distressed or in crisis. Make a moment meaningful and ask them how they’re really going.
Are they really OK? Ask them today. Your conversation could change a life.
National Child Protection Week
The theme for this year’s National Child Protection Week is ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’.
Parent and Carers are invited to join a free eSafety parent guide to online sexual harassment and image-based abuse webinar:
- Tuesday, 7 September 12.30-1.30pm
- Thursday, 9 September 12.30 - 1.30pm
To register go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/8331659724914836752
Headspace - Parent and Carer Mental Health Education Session
Headspace is offering a free, online course for parents and carers to develop knowledge and skills for supporting young people when they are concerned about their mental health. The course is being held on Monday, 13 September between 7:00pm–8:15pm. Information about the course and registration details can be found here.
Year 12 Trial Exams
Year 12 students have done an amazing job dealing with the uncertainties related to the end of Year 12. They have shown resilience and perseverance in what are certainly trying circumstances. They are the first cohort to have completed their Trial Examinations in an online, open book format. As they receive their results, some will be celebrating their achievements as a culmination of their hard work and preparation. There will be others; however, who will be disappointed with their results and it can be difficult to know how to support these young people. Here are some suggestions to guide them through this challenging time.
Coping skills and resilience
Our young people need to have well developed coping skills and high levels of resilience to adapt to an ever-changing world.
‘Coping’ describes any behaviour that is designed to manage the stresses and overwhelming feelings that come with tough situations. By learning and developing positive coping skills in their teenage years, your child will build resilience and wellbeing and be set up with an important skill for life. It’s also important to understand the difference between positive and negative coping skills, and how these strategies can have very different long-term results.
Positive coping skills will help if:
- your child doesn’t cope well with stress;
- your child often feels overwhelmed;
- your child’s health and wellbeing are negatively impacted by stressful events and difficult emotions.
What is positive coping?
Positive coping strategies increase long-term resilience and wellbeing. In contrast, negative coping strategies usually only produce a helpful distraction in the short term. For example, using drugs and alcohol may provide temporary relief from difficult emotions, but reliance on this strategy can lead to substance dependence and abuse. This is why a focus on positive coping skills is crucial in maintaining long-term wellbeing or resilience.
What is resilience?
Resiliency is the ability to ‘bounce back’ from a difficult situation. A resilient person is able to:
- withstand adversity;
- learn from their experiences;
- cope confidently with life’s challenges.
Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient. These include:
- having a positive attitude;
- being optimistic;
- having the ability to regulate emotions;
- seeing failure as a form of helpful feedback.
On a different note, please remember that summer uniforms need to be worn after the holidays.
Please take care of yourselves and those around you.
Leader of Student Welfare
The full version of the Careers Update can be found at this link. Newsletters are listed on the left side of the page. Select the week for the most up to date news. Don’t forget to check the Calendar for Open Days, events, Career Expos, new dates and closing dates, etc.
In this fortnight’s news as well as the career spotlights on a number of fields, there is an urgent call-out to all students wishing to apply for any Early Entry schemes, SRS or EAS as the closing date is Friday, 10 September.
As those of you who are planning to undertake tertiary study after school develop a list and submit applications for early entry, we have included a video on how to preference University courses as we have not had the face-to-face time with Year 12 to discuss this.
Vocational Pathways Coordinator
School Locker - School Uniforms
Student Uniforms and supplies are available at the following stores. Please click on the links below for more information and opening hours.