Middle School - Term 1, Week 2, 2019

I am pleased to share with staff that Gavin Neale will be the Head of Middle School from March 11 (Week 7). Mr Neale has been part of the School for many years although there have been two separate times where he has served overseas, most recently returning to Pacific Hills last year after working as a Principal in Jakarta, Indonesia for four years. Mr Neale is an excellent communicator, teacher and administrator, and will bring so much to the Middle School.

Meet the Teacher night
Thank you to all of the parents who attended the Meet the Teacher event last night. I trust that this was a valuable time of meeting and conversation for parents – the teachers certainly value the opportunity to improve working with parents. If you were unable to make the meeting last night the Home Room Teacher will contact you by phone (if they haven’t already) to introduce themselves.

What if your child is (still) anxious?
Anxiety levels are still likely to be high for students (and some adults) at the start of the year and behaviours in children (eg. sadness, anger, impatience, withdrawing, etc.) may be more significantly displayed at the moment. Please start communication with your children so that this crucial habit can start – open communication won’t solve things but overcoming anxiety is unlikely without avenues of communication.
There is often increased anxiety for students in Year 7 at the Week 6 or Week 7 mark when students experience their first “season” of assessment tasks. Communication is vital around this time as are time management and organisational strategies.
Please continue the conversation with your children, listen to them, be with them in their hassles, encourage them to persevere and contact your child’s Home Room Teacher if necessary.

2020 Scholarship Assessment – parents of children in Year 6 may wish their child to undertake the 2020 Scholarship Selection Test - registration closes February 15 for the assessment on Saturday March 2 click here for details

Devices

  • Years 5/6 – iPads will be provided to students by the School in the next few weeks. These iPads will stay at school. Students will need to access the internet at home to complete some homework activities as well as to complete online research.
  • Years 7/8 – the introduction of laptops (BYOD) in Years 7 and 8 has gone well. Approximately 70% of students are bringing their own laptop with an even mix of Apple and Microsoft operating systems. It is likely that by the end of the year all students will be bringing their own laptop.
  • Please ensure that students have a protective case for their laptop (or any device that comes to school).
  • REMINDER – smart watches are not permitted.

Healthy Digital Habits – compulsory for Year 7 students and parents
All parents are welcome to attend this seminar presented by David and Katie Kobler. Students in Year 7 are required to attend this presentation with at least one parent/carer as this is a key time in preparing students for more regular online interactions – particularly as it is the time when devices are first required to be brought to school.
We plan for this to be very useful for families - click here for a link to information about our presenters. More information will come home with Year 7 students.
Requiring parents of children in Year 7 to attend may be inconvenient for some parents, but is a pro-active measure for the wellbeing of the children who will be together as this group for the next six years.

School Camps – Year 7 (Week 5) and Year 5 (Week 6)
Notes have gone home with Year 7 and Year 5 students regarding the camps this term. It is important that parents read notes carefully with their children to help them be prepared before signing and returning the note.

Swimming Carnival
The Middle School Swimming Carnival is on Thursday 14 Feb. We really enjoy seeing the “support team” of parents and other family at these events – feel free to come along. The Permission Note has been brought in by most students. If a child has not returned a signed permission note prior to the Swimming Carnival they will not be permitted to attend the carnival and the School will call parents to collect their children from school.

Year 12 2018 achieved excellent results in their HSC – for details click here

Mr Colin Wood
Head of Middle School

Dates for your Diary
14 February Swimming Carnival
22 February Year 8 The Journey Breakfast
26 Feb – 1 March Year 7 Camp
1 March Year 5 Breakfast
2 March Open Day and 2020 Scholarship Examination
4 March Year 5 - Year 6 School Photos
6 – 8 March Year 5 Camp
7 March MS “Kick Off” Day
8 March Year 7 - Year 8 School Photos
13 March Year 7 Student & Parent Night
15 March Year 6 Breakfast
Bullying No Way Day
28 March Year 6 NSW State Parliament Excursion
4 April Parent/Teacher Interviews