Junior School Report
Somehow through the blur, chaos, and disruptions of the year that has been 2020, we find ourselves in the middle of Term 4. It has been great to have students back on site and despite some confusion around uniform, locker locations, combination lock codes, subjects, and rooms it is wonderful to all be back attempting to settle into routines again and engaging in face-to-face learning.
I have observed that across both year 7 and year 8, although taking everything in their stride, students are finding settling back into the routine of school difficult. This is definitely expected given that any routines established during term 1 and our brief return at the end of term 2 have well and truly been shattered. The “new normal” that we find ourselves negotiating is hardly “business as usual” and there are many hurdles and challenges to negotiate. I would like to share some small suggestions that I believe can assist our students, your children, to equip themselves with the tools that they need to successfully negotiate these unprecedented and unique – hopefully once in a lifetime! – times.
- Optimism. As humans, we are inspired to feel optimistic when our world gives us the certainty that the future will be good. To this end, our students need the routines of school if they are to feel that their world is predictable and safe. These routines include reasonable expectations for bedtimes, homework, and chores and help to replace the chaos and stress of the last few months with the reassuring feeling that things are “normal” again. Those who are optimistic tend to form better relationships with the people around them, are less anxious, and feel more self-confident. We should encourage our students to take a little time each day to express gratitude for something that went well.Maybe they saw a mask they really liked? Was it nice to see some friends? Did they learn anything new?
- Open communication. Speak openly with students and help them to feel that they are part of a collective purpose. It’s ok to let students know that we, as adults, are also a bit stressed and finding the challenges of working from home or adjusting to new routines difficult. The more our students feel that they can talk about their strange experience of remote learning and then returning to school, and the more connected they feel to their families and others in our community here at Lowanna College, the less anxious they will be.
- Opportunities. Students need opportunities to make decisions and shine – and this has been difficult with limited access to sporting activities and some of those extra activities like music lessons. Students should be given the opportunity to assert their individuality still and make choices about some of the activities they undertake.
I am hoping that with a focus on optimism, open communication, and opportunities students can really make the most of the last part of the term to ensure they maintain a focus on their learning and trying their best to close any gaps that may have emerged during remote learning. As I say to many students who I speak with in my office, it’s never too late to start improving who you were yesterday.
I would just like to close with a couple of reminders about processes.
- All students and families should be aware that lunch passes are only granted for the purposes of going home to a residential address to eat lunch. Students must not go to the Newark Avenue Store and must be back on the property in sufficient time to be punctual to period 5. Any student not adhering to these expectations will have their lunch pass revoked.
- Students are not to leave the property unless they have either a) a lunch pass, or b) correctly signed out for the day (parent note required). Any student who is off the property without permission will automatically receive an after-school detention.
- Mobile phones are not permitted between the first and last bells of the day. Please support both our staff and your child to adhere to this and if you need to get a message to your child this can be arranged by contacting the College on 5127 9200.
I hope we all have a really successful push to the end of the year and I look forward to sharing the stories of the remainder of this term with you in our final newsletter of the year.
Junior School Leader
Middle School Report
Welcome to our Middle School newsletter for Term 4. As we come to the end of a remarkable school year, which has been defined by
Covid-19, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of both staff and students in 2020.
It is wonderful to be back on site seeing students engaging in their learning as well as socialising face to face, students have reengaged with onsite learning in a very diligent way.
Term 4 GPA’s will be posted shortly and with that, I implore that both students and parents take the opportunity to reflect on their learning behaviours. If any parents or students require follow up, I would ask you to contact the relevant teacher or the middle school office to speak with me.
During remote learning and upon the return of onsite learning, we have been closely monitoring student attendance. A large number of students have demonstrated consistently high attendance during this time and as a reward, the Middle School will be having a Pizza lunch day as a reward. We will be informing those students who have achieved high attendance of this in the next week.
Both Year 9 (English and Maths) and Year 10 (Core subjects) will be participating in the end of year exams, these are to be held the week commencing the 23rd of November. There are several reasons we run exams, amongst them are assessment of students learning, experience in an exam setting, and the development of high expectations in all students. These exams are compulsory; all students are required to sit them. If any students or parents have concerns, please contact the Middle School. Students will be given a full explanation of the process as well in a letter home to parents in the coming days.
The school will be commencing the 2021 Head Start program on Monday, November 30 for two weeks. Students will be undertaking their 2021 classes, at the end of the two weeks I urge students to reflect upon their course choices for 2021 to ensure they have chosen the correct classes.
The number of students wearing full school uniform in the Middle School has increased significantly. Thank you to those families and students who support our uniform policy. If any family is experiencing difficulties with their child being in full uniform, please contact the Middle School office for assistance.
In closing, I implore all students to try to achieve 100% attendance. While there are circumstances such as illnesses or family issues that are unavoidable, it impacts highly on student outcomes if they have low attendance.
I would like to wish all students the best for the remainder of 2020.
Middle School Leader
Senior School Report
Right in the middle of the action in the Senior School right now.
Year 12 VCE students are currently beginning their exams, and it’s great to see so many of our students stepping up when it counts. 13 years of schooling has led them to this point, and no matter what comes next, we at Lowanna are incredibly proud of our students and their endeavours. Exams continue through to November 30 for our students.
For our Year 11 students, only a short time left remaining of your time in Year 11, with end of year exams occurring from November 20 - 26. These opportunities to demonstrate your learnings from 2020, as well as getting invaluable practice in preparation for this time next year cannot be understated.
As a new addition, we are looking to have our Year 11 VCAL students sit an Aptitude Test during the exam week. This will be a legitimate aptitude test, very similar to what our students could come across while applying for many of the apprenticeships and traineeships in our local community. This way we are helping prepare our students, as best we can, for transitioning from school to their next opportunities.
From November 30, our current Year 11 students will begin the Head start program, and for two weeks they will be Year 12s. They will begin the coursework for 2021 and setting up the foundations for what will hopefully be a successful year. Our current Year 10s will also be stepping up and beginning their journeys as VCE and VCAL students. As usual, attendance is vital, as any student missing time here will find themselves potentially weeks behind at the start of Term 1.
Keep up the great work everyone, and let's work towards finishing 2020 on a high.
Senior School Leader