Message from the Director of Learning
- Ms. Alice Paget
What a great start to the year it has been in the Junior School. The Year 7 students have had a very smooth transition into the beginning of their high school experience and are starting to settle into their new routines with ease. They have had several Peer Support sessions with their Year 10 leaders. They have discussed and engaged in workshops about friendships, organisational and study skills, as well as typical stressors of secondary school.
It is coming up to that time of the term where the students have several Common Assessment Tasks (CATs). It is very important the students are using their diary to ensure they are tracking their assessment schedule and putting aside time for revision outside of class. Two weeks after the CAT in each subject, teachers will provide feedback to the students through a rubric in Compass. This feedback is vital in providing each student with the next step in their learning progression. Using the Compass Parent Portal, you are able to see the assessment mark and rubric.
A few reminders:
- Please inform the school if your child is going to be away, by either entering it on the Compass Parent Portal or contacting the school via call or email. Thank you to everyone who has been logging their child’s absence.
- Please continue to check your child’s diary and the parent portal of Compass, to stay up to date with all the events, feedback and news of your child’s education and the school.
- Recess does not commence until 11:30 a.m. Please encourage your child to get up on time to start the day with breakfast, so they have the required energy to begin the day.
On the 5th March, all Years 7 and 8 students were involved in a bullying and cyber safety program called ‘Cyberia’. This interactive theatre production addressed a range of adolescent issues including: cyber bullying, digital citizenship, appropriate social media usage, internet security, exclusion, internet addiction, online reputation and cyber safety.
During this educational theatre, the Year 7s and 8s were transformed through the life of 2 teenagers, Ruby and Tim. Ruby loses her moral compass on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and MSN. She is instantly banished to "Cyberia". Tim is in self-imposed exile, playing online games. When they indulge in cyber bullying and anti-social behaviour it creates havoc in the real world. They suddenly realise they can't just press the "undo" button to retrieve their relationships, reputation, dignity, and most of all, their privacy.
The workshop by Brainstorm wove together true stories of Gen Y/Z's internet experiences. It posed questions about how the digital age can affect our brains, our humanity and our future. The students then had an opportunity to discuss the implications of the characters behaviour and debrief about the compelling performance.
Semester 1 Subjects
In the junior years at Westall Secondary College, students study a broad range of subjects to assist them in working out their passions and interests. Most subjects are studied for the entire year, however, those with an asterisk are studied for just one semester. In Semester 2, the students will also have the opportunity to study Food Technology, Art, Dance and Drama. When students get to Year 9, they will be able to choose one additional elective, as well as, an iCreate subject.
|Year 7||Year 8|
|English or EAL||English or EAL|
|Global Literacy||Global Literacy|
|Health and Physical Education||Health and Physical Education|
|Music*||Visual Communication and Design*|
Budding Young Scientists
The fear of Friday the 13th did not stop the Year 7 Science class from enjoying their very first practical activity in WSC. The practical activity, which was a common assessment task, was designed with a focus on creating a meaningful and engaging learning experience. For students, the highlight of the lesson was to finally use the Bunsen burner and put their knowledge into action. All students received a Bunsen burner license for meticulously following the safety rules. In addition, students had the opportunity to determine the boiling points of beverages they drink in daily life, which generated some interesting discussions.
As a teacher, I could not be any prouder watching the students engaged and practising the safety rules. I have always been inspired to create young scientists with analytical and interpersonal skills! The students worked amazingly well in teams and braved through trials and errors, which are the key aspects of conducting an investigation. I hope the knowledge and skills learned by these students will help them understand the importance of scientific evidence, and to make daily-life decisions with informed perspectives. In WSC, we are all about paving pathways for young minds to grow and learn. A big thank you to Ms Philips, Ms Hansen, Ms Dewhurst and Ms Parlanti for making this practical session a memorable one! (Plus, watching Mr Lanarus and Mr Henderson playing tennis against each other on a Friday afternoon was quite entertaining for both staff and students. For students’ information, Mr Lanarus won, so, better luck next time, Mr Henderson!)
Miss Divinna Arasu
Science and Mathematics teacher