Meaghan and student

Year 11 End of Course Examinations

Next week (Week 9), we embark upon a period of senior schooling that our Year 11 students haven't experienced before - a flexible exam block. This means that students are only required to be at the campus when they have an exam. The exam timetable is your son or daughter's responsibility so they need to ensure they check the assessment calendar and know what exams they have on which days/times to avoid being late or missing exams which will incur a penalty.

If your child is ill on the day of an exam, please call the office by 8am to let us know. Upon their return, they will need to bring in a Doctor's Certificate for the period that they were unwell, and be prepared to do the exam on the next school day they have recovered. In the case of multiple exams missed, the sitting of these exams will be coordinated by Mrs Louise Newbound.

Now that all the official rules are out of the way, one of the most important things to remember during this time is that this can be quite a stressful and overwhelming situation for our Year 11 students. Having gone through the process obviously as a teacher but also as a parent, offering support, encouragement and perspective will help keep your child in the best frame of mind to achieve their desired results and be the calmest they can possibly be

I wish all of our Year 11 students, the very best in undertaking their end of course examinations for 2020.

Trial Returns

Students have been receiving their trial examination results. These results are a great way for students to determine their strengths and weaknesses and give them focus for the study period ahead. 

Each and every class in the next few weeks will be vital in ensuring students’ knowledge and skills are where they need to be. I know many students are working hard during this time. Great job and keep up the hard work. The effort will be worth it in the end.

Although it has felt like a very long year, you will look back on this time as such a small segment in your life, so heads up and eyes on the prize.

Hastings Education Fund

The Hastings Education Fund was established to provide much needed financial assistance and support to local youth to help them achieve their post high school education, training and vocation aspirations. We recognise that the cost of regional students pursuing their post high school goals is often much greater than those of their metropolitan counterparts and that sometimes these costs can be prohibitive.

With this in mind, the Hastings Education Fund fundraises throughout the year and accepts donations from local residents and businesses in order to provide financial grants to students who need an extra helping hand. The funds come directly from your local community – none of it is government funded – celebrating the aspirations of local youth and working to help them achieve these aspirations. It’s our way of saying “we believe in you and want to support your goals”.

Country Fund

Criteria

Grants are available to local youth who have lived and/or attended school in the region for the majority of their high school years. Your local CEF does not focus on applicant’s academic success. The four essential selection criteria are:

  • That you have demonstrated need
  • You are aged 16-25 years
  • That you have gone to school or currently reside in the Hastings region
  • That you have shown commitment to achieving your goal

Please see your career advisor Mrs Shaw or Mr White for more information or Go to https://cef.org.au/foundations/hastings/ to find out how to apply for - or donate towards - a HEF student grant.

Closing date: Wednesday 30 September

R U OK?

Thursday was R U OK Day and I continue to ask that our community practice these four steps:

1. Ask R U OK

2. Listen

3. Encourage action

4. Check in

RUOK

GETTING READY TO ASK

Before you can look out for others, you need to look out for yourself. And that’s ok. If you're not in the right headspace or you don't think you're the right person to have the conversation, try to think of someone else in their support network who could talk to them.

To help you decide whether you’re ready to start a meaningful conversation, ask yourself:

AM I READY?

Am I in a good headspace? 

Am I willing to genuinely listen? 

Can I give as much time as needed? 

AM I PREPARED?

Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”?

Do I understand that you can’t ‘fix’ someone’s problems?

Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?  

PICKED MY MOMENT?

Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy? 

Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat? 

Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?

As a result of inappropriate and distressing social media this week, below is a follow-on from the SMS you would have received this week from Hastings Secondary College.

Advice for families regarding distressing content on social media

As you are undoubtedly aware there was some distressing content posted on social media this week. Here are some tips from Kirra Pendergast from Safe on Social.

Tips for Parents:

  1. Be as involved in your child's online life as you are their offline life. To them, it is just "life" it is so blurred now there is no definition in the eyes of a young person.
  1. Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13 years with their parents' permission but think about what they are being exposed to. When we sign up to use apps, there are extensive terms and conditions of use. By ticking that box accepting them, you are signing a document that puts all the onus back on the user. You are signing up to be a data generating commodity, handing over personal information that can be sold and shared at the app's discretion. When you click "I agree" to most terms and conditions on social media platforms – you give it up by legal contract. And you probably didn't even read them. Most adults don't let alone a child.
  1. Use parental controls where possible to minimise exposure to harmful and distressing content.
  1. Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how to.
  1. Put healthy boundaries in place. Don't ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use. Limit use to the family room with younger kids so that you can monitor them.
  1. Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.