DEPUTY PRINCIPAL, Wellbeing & Operations
I hope this edition of the College News find you all well. As you read this newsletter all students at the College are involved in completing their final assessments for this semester, whether it be in the classroom at Year 7 – 9 & Year 12 level or in formal exams at Year 10 & 11 level. We wish all the girls the very best with all of these.
It has also been a successful semester from a Wellbeing perspective, with many initiatives, activities, events and guest speakers being involved in the life of the College, but I have no doubt that all of the girls are looking forward to a much-deserved break later this month.
A number of the Wellbeing Leaders have noticed in recent times an increase in the number of students arriving to school consuming or having consumed energy drinks. Some of the more popular and recognizable ones are ‘Red Bull’ or, ‘V’. Whilst we cannot control what food and drinks students consume outside of school, we have some serious concerns with students consuming drinks of this nature.
Studies conducted suggest that the consumption of energy drinks can pose several dangers for young people. Some of these potential risks and concerns have been outlined below:
- Energy drinks often contain high levels of caffeine. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause symptoms such as heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and in severe cases, even cardiac arrest;
- Energy drinks are diuretic in nature, meaning the combination of caffeine and high sugar content can contribute to dehydration, especially when consumed in large quantities or during physical activity. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and reduced cognitive function.
- The combination of caffeine and other stimulants present in energy drinks can have negative effects on the cardiovascular system. It can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and the risk of arrhythmias.
- The high caffeine content in energy drinks can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep. Regular consumption, especially in the evening or at night, can result in chronic sleep deprivation, which can have a negative impact on overall health, cognitive function, and school performance.
- Some studies have also suggested a link between energy drink consumption and increased risk-taking behavior in young people. The combination of high caffeine levels and other stimulating ingredients may lead to impulsivity and a reduced perception of risk, which can have negative consequences in various situations;
It's important for all of us to take an educative approach about the potential dangers of excessive energy drink consumption and really promote healthy alternatives such as water, natural fruit juices, or herbal teas. Encouraging a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are also crucial for maintaining energy levels and overall well-being. We ask that all parents and guardians spend some time speaking to their daughters’ about this. There are some further resources available by following the links below:
Whilst the COVID pandemic seems to be a distant thought and families have mostly return to pre-COVID routines, many are still struggling to restore screen usage boundaries and rules for their children. Some people continue to deal with digital conflicts and ‘tech dependency’ on a daily basis. Latest research and statistics indicate that over 75% of teens spend more than 5 hours a day in front of a screen, whether it be a mobile phone, iPad, computer or even a television. Parents play a vital role in modelling a positive and healthy approach to screen use and helping children navigate the content they see. It is better to model and mentor screen use rather than to monitor it. Children tend to do more of what they see us do and less of what we tell them to do. However, it is still important to outline the risks and emphasize the benefits of screen usage in order to maintain a balanced mindset. Parents and guardians are encouraged to initiate discussions around the issues that people experience in monitoring their screen time and be honest about their own difficulties. Please remember that excessive screen time can adversely affect a child's overall health. Parents need to be aware of the potential impact of screen time on a child's social, emotional, educational, behavioural, and even physical spheres and therefore parents need to maintain a solid and consistent approach to managing screen times. Finally, it's also important to make sure you have the right privacy settings to prevent your child from being accidentally exposed to inappropriate content or online predators.
Strategies and advice and parent webinars can always be found on the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner website.
A fantastic way to end the term on Friday 23rd June is by way of the traditional College Walkathon. We will be running 6 shortened lessons on the day, with the Walkathon commencing at approximately 1.50pm and students being dismissed at normal time. Parents and guardians have already provided permission for their daughters to participate via the General Permission Letter on Operoo published at the beginning of the year. It is vital that your daughter attends this last day of term. Apart from the fact that we will be running 6 lessons which we don’t want students to miss, whole College events such as these provide great atmosphere and the opportunity for enthusiasm. There is also the opportunity to meet new people and affords students time to develop and renew friendship. Students can be the best version of themselves by demonstrating peer support, care and excitement. These days are a genuine opportunity to create lasting memories and long-term friendships. Very importantly, they also rejuvenate the school community as a whole, bringing it together in a different environment and they build on our school values.
Year 10 Community Action Week
We wish all of our Year 10 students a successful Community Action Week during the last week of this term. Community Action Week has not been able to occur since 2019 and we are excited about the opportunity this week presents for the students. Thank you to Ms. Anne-Marie Allen, Mr. Mark Hyland and Ms. Lauren Sach for all of their work behind the scenes to ensure all students have a placement.
As always, please remember never hesitate to be in touch should you have any queries or concerns.
Mr Sam Di Camillo
Deputy Principal, Wellbeing & Operations