Welcome to 2021!
Aside from the 5-day ‘circuit breaker’ earlier this term, we are incredibly grateful to be back working onsite this year! Hopefully these arrangements will continue for the rest of 2021. Welcome to our Year 7 cohort, and the many new students, who have joined us across the school this year. We trust that your time at Westall will be rewarding and enjoyable.
Student and staff photos were taken last week. Photos are now available online for families to purchase as individual photos or a photo pack. A second photo day will be scheduled in Term 2 for all those who were absent on the 1st March.
Individual photos will be used for student ID cards, which will serve as photo ID, as well as, public transport concession cards right up until March 2022. For VCE students, they serve as the photo ID for exams and other assessments. Payment for the student ID card is included in the school fees or it can be purchased separately for $10.
Year 7 and Year 10 Immunisations
The City of Kingston Immunisation Team were at the school last month to administer the first dose of the School Immunisation Program to Year 7 students, and, the Meningococcal ACWY to Year 10 students. Students who did not have their consent form or were absent on the day, can have their immunisation at local centres through the course of this term; please see the attached for dates and centres.
Compass is the Learning Management System we use at Westall. Attendance, assessment, communication, notification of excursions and events, booking interviews, are some of what is available through this platform. All parents/guardians are able to access Compass with a unique username and password. It is very important that parents and carers are able to monitor their child’s progress. If you are unable to do so for whatever reason, please contact the school. If you have not yet logged in, we encourage you to log in as soon as possible and begin using the system, so that you become comfortable with navigating Compass. All families, who had not logged in this year, have been recently emailed their username and password.
Students across the school are currently undertaking their first assessment in each of their subjects. Two weeks following the administering of the assessment, students and parents will be able to view the student’s result and teacher’s feedback in Compass. This is another reason to ensure successful login access.
Textbooks and BYOD
In order to make suitable progress, it is critical that students are equipped with the right textbooks and stationary. It appears that a large number of students are still attending classes without the required items. If this is due to disorganisation on the student’s part, please assist them in developing strong habits by employing simple strategies, such as, checking their timetable and packing their bag the night before. If your child does not have textbooks due to financial reasons, please get in touch with their year level coordinator so that measures can be put in place to ensure that your child has access to material.
Similarly, students must have a BYO device to bring to their classes. Teachers in most subjects are using technology to enhance teaching and learning, which means that students without a BYOD will miss out on certain opportunities. The school does have netbooks that students can borrow, however, these are not always reliable. As Westall moves to using Compass a lot more, students will be submitting work online, checking for work set by their teachers, as well as reflecting on their learning. Please note that all BYO devices are the responsibility of the student. They must be transported in a proper carry case and secured in the locker during break times.
It’s Not OK to be Away!
Daily school attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally. Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12, or an equivalent qualification, have better health outcomes, better employment outcomes, and higher incomes across their lives. It is important that children develop habits of regular attendance at an early age.
To minimize disruption to your child’s education, please make all appointments outside school hours and DO NOT book family holidays during the school terms.
Families are reminded that all students should be in full summer uniform this term. Please see attached for the College Uniform Policy, which is also available for reference in the student diary. Thank you to all families for your continued support in ensuring that your children are in the appropriate gear for school.
Please note the following:
- Summer dresses are to be worn with above ankle or knee-high socks, not stockings or tights or pants. PSW, the uniform store, now has tailored pants for girls.
- Scarves are part of the winter uniform, and cannot be worn in Terms 1 or 4.
- Non-obvious make-up is fine, however, students wearing excessive make-up will be asked to remove it.
We thank you for your continued support in ensuring that students are in the correct uniform for school.
Open Channels of Communication
In order to ensure your child’s continued growth and success at Westall SC, it is important to keep the channels of communication open between home and school. Research shows that children whose parents are involved in their education tend to achieve greater success than those whose parents are isolated from their child’s education. At Westall, we encourage parental involvement and value your role as your child’s first educator; no one knows your child better than you do. Simply showing interest in what your child is completing at school, is being involved, as is, ensuring that they have a suitable study space at home. You may even be in a position to help your child with their homework. Any small part that you can play in your child’s education is going to be extremely valuable to their success at school.
Mrs Sue Simadri