STUDENTS AND STAFF RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Welcome back to Term 4 and what I hope will be a successful term.
Thank you to all members of the community for your support and understanding.
Year 7s, Years 11 & 12 returned to face to face learning on Monday 12 October and Years 8, 9 & 10 will resume on Monday 26 October.
It was indeed joyful to see students and staff coming through the gates.
We will continue to be as COVID safe as possible:
- Well fitting masks are mandated;
- Students will continue to socially distance as much as possible;
- Sanitizer is available in many locations.
The school day ends in a staggered way:
Year 7 - 2:50pm
Year 11 - 3:00pm
Year 12 - 3:10pm
When the other year levels return we will adjust these times accordingly.
WEST GATE BRIDGE
This week marks 50 years since the worst disaster in Victoria’s history, the collapse of the West Gate Bridge. It collapsed at precisely “11:15 am on the 15 October, 1970”.
Actually that day I was in Grade 5 at Carnegie Primary School and we were on a school excursion. We had actually got out of the bus and were watching the construction of this bridge when it started to collapse – initially it appeared like it was a movie set and we really couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
The first ever photo taken was by one of the boys in my class and it was on the front page of the Sun newspaper on the Friday morning edition.
I remember this tragic event like it was yesterday.
Our Worksafe rules that now exist are because of the terrible events of this tragedy.
The West Gate Bridge is of course a vital link and over a million vehicles travel across it each week. I hope we never see a workplace disaster like this ever again.
MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
This week is Mental Health Week. I know many of us experience difficult days that impact our mental health and wellbeing. There has been an increase in mental health issues especially over the ‘pandemic’ difficulties.
On Friday 16 October we are raising awareness for Mental Health Week by participating in Odd Socks Day. It is reported that one in five Australians aged 16-85 experience mental ill-health in any year. For many, the stigma around mental health is still a barrier in accessing support. By encouraging our students to participate in odd socks day, we are taking steps to raise awareness on the importance of looking after ourselves and others.
As part of the week, our Student Wellbeing Team has shared some valuable resources and information on compass, with a particular focus on self care, gratitude and kindness. We thank our community for their participation and support of this event.
During the holidays I watched a very ‘concerning’ documentary called the ‘Social Dilemma’. I encourage all parents to watch this with their children. It really should be compulsory viewing (it is a bit dark but will indeed enable tremendous conversation).
It brings to our understanding the machinations of social media and the impact and influence it plays.
Last Sunday ’60 minutes’ also showed a story about the impact of social media – it was meant to be a way of connecting people but it really has been impacting people in a very troubling negative way.
For a long time we, along with many schools and other community organizations, have dealt with bullying and harassment on-line by “keyboard warriors” trolls that ruin lives.
People at home in their own spaces, through anonymity sometimes, feel incredible courage and say things they would never have the confidence to say to people face to face, destroying lives along the way.
We try and raise children who are kind compassionate and always respectful in their communication. I am often disappointed that good kids from wonderful families can do things that devastate other people’s children. Their courage comes because they do so behind a screen.
At McKinnon we will always continue to work closely with families to prevent this type of hurtful behaviour. Sexist, racist, anti-Semitic cruel comments cannot and must not be tolerated. I don’t want people to say things that are cruel and damaging. We want to perpetuate a respectful kind and inclusive culture and raise compassionate Global citizens.
I ask you to carefully watch what your kids are doing. Many are communicating via social media until the early hours of the morning.
Kids need clear boundaries and good sleep. Without these things their mental health will indeed be impacted. Let’s regain some lost time and disconnect to connect. I always live by the adage “if you have nothing good to say about someone say nothing at all”. I hope our young people will be less addicted to the various social media platforms that are so addictive and influential.
I again strongly recommend you watch this documentary and start the conversation that may bring about positive change.
2020 PARENT OPINION SURVEY
Our school is conducting a survey to find out what parents think of our school. The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst an automated randomly selected group of parents. It is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of parents’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour, student engagement and experiences of remote and flexible learning. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.
If you are selected please complete the survey. All responses to the survey are anonymous. This year, the Parent Opinion Survey is open until Friday 13 November.
The survey will be conducted online, only takes 20 minutes to complete, and can be accessed at any convenient time within the fieldwork period on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The online survey will be available in a range of languages other than English. These include: Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Chin (Hakha), Hindi, Japanese, Somali, Turkish, Punjabi and Greek.
WORLD SERIES COMPETITION IN SCIENCE
I would like to congratulate Luka Magee (9J) who recently competed in Education Perfect's World Series Competition for Science. Luka answered close to 50,000 questions, earning 40,000 points and placing him 4th overall out of 158,000 competitors worldwide.
Well done Luka, a wonderful achievement!