Junior School Report

Message from the Director of Learning

- Ms. Alice Paget

Welcome back to Term 4!

 

We started the term with Mental Health Week, where we raised awareness about the importance of Mental Health, and empowered the students with strategies and skills they can use if they, or someone they know, is experiencing some Mental Health symptoms.

 

All Year 7 and 8 students listened to a guest speaker from Black Dog Institute where they had the opportunity to learn from a real-life story about someone who watched a close friend in high school go through depression. The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness. Their aim is to create a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness.

 

Year 7 and 8 students were also involved in a range of workshops during Mental Health Week, including Boxercise, Yoga, Emotional regulation, Self-image, Bike Riding and Bicycle Maintenance.

 

Thank you to Christalia Formoso (School Nurse) and Mr Jarrod Johnstone (Health and PE Coordinator) for organising this wonderful opportunity for the students!

 

Upcoming events in Term 4:

  • Grade 6 Parent / Student Information Night is on the 4th December. Grade 6 Orientation Day will take place on the 11th December. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new students and parents of the college, and we look forward to making the transition for your son/daughter a positive and supportive experience.
  • During Sport this term, students will be taking part in 6 swimming lessons at Noble Park Aquatic Centre.
  • Selection of our Junior School Captains for 2019. All Year 7 students, going into Year 8 next year, will have the opportunity to apply for this leadership role. The 2 selected captains for 2019 will have an array of leadership opportunities, including public speaking, promotion of the college, assistance with the transition of our new Year 7s, and input into the running of the junior school at Westall Secondary College. Good luck to all applicants! I would also like to thank Gloria Kiden and Mai Dinh for their outstanding contribution as Junior School Captains this year!

Headstart will begin in Week 9 (3rd December). Year 7 students will transition into their new Year 8 timetable, and Year 8s into their Year 9 timetable for 2019, commencing their first electives. Please make sure students have new exercise books / folders by the 3rd December, so they can make an organised start to the 2019 year!

 

Ms. Alice Paget

Mental Health Week

Mind Body Pedal 

 

Mind. Body. Pedal. Empowering and inspiring teenage girls to be more active.

 

During Mental Health Week, Westall Secondary College in partnership with Bicycle Network Victoria, provided a wonderful opportunity to our young women to participate in a free single-day event (incursion) at the school. The aim was to inspire more teenage girls to get active through bike riding, increase confidence, self-esteem and resilience. The program was delivered to the Junior School girls.

 

The program was led by a team of experts and set out to support and celebrate the differences that make high-school aged girls unique, while addressing issues of self-esteem and confidence that hold many back from being active.

 

Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive, saying that it was “fun and informative”, “challenging” and “the best way to learn about mental health”.

 

The program included:

1. Bike ride: A fully-supported bike ride that explored the local area by bike and learned basic road safety skills.

2. Bike maintenance: Designed to help develop skills and confidence in maintaining a safe and working bike.

3. Mind: Designed to address issues of self-care and resilience, focusing on social media pressures, peer perception, anxiety and depression.

4. Body: Designed to cover self-esteem in relation to looking after yourself by taking part in a yoga workshop.

Year 7 and 8

Swimming Lessons

 

This Term during Sport classes all Year 7 and 8 students will be taking part in 6 swimming lessons at Noble Park Aquatic Centre. This will enable our students to develop healthy habits and safe water practices that they will carry with them for life.

 

A range of skills will be taught, based on their base level of swimming experience, including personal survival skills that can improve safety, not only in the pool, but also in other waterways.

'Verbal Combat', Educational Theatre Production

 

On the first day of Term 4, all Year 7 and 8 students watched ‘Verbal Combat’, a live performance that addressed the consequences of cyber bullying, harassment and unhealthy friendship groups. It showed our students the behaviours that constitute bullying and encouraged empathy and compassion. The performance gave clear strategies for supporting victims and resisting peer pressure to say or post hurtful comments.

 

Verbal Combat is part of our student wellbeing curriculum and the program has been developed in consultation with teachers, psychologists, as well as real-life student experiences. The methodology of the program is safe, supportive and nonjudgmental and designed to provide students with positive and useful tools that they can use in their everyday lives.

 

Ms. Alice Paget

Junior School Celebrated  'Yishu' Arts and LOTE Festival"

The Arts and LOTE departments held our “Yishu Festival” last week. The week consisted of “Art and Chinese” themed programs and nearly five hundred students from Years 7 to 12 celebrated this unique event together.

 

 

Junior School students experienced Chinese Arts through a number of hands-on activities, including: Beijing Opera Mask, magic tricks, paper-cuts and kite-making. Some also practiced Chinese calligraphy technique.

 

Students from the junior school said, “we hope that we can participate in all the activities for this festival in the future. This Art and Chinese week was super fun!”

 

Ms. Minnie Zeng

LOTE Coordinator