Newsletter Term 4 Week 3 2023
This year our staff has been learning about how to deal with students in a more compassionate way by using restorative practices. These practices are designed to build character and enhance their empathy towards others. At the heart of this initiative lies the belief that building stronger, more compassionate connections with our children can help them thrive, both academically and emotionally. Through training our teachers in restorative justice practices and sharing these techniques with you to use at home, we are embarking on an exciting journey of support and understanding.
Empathy, Not Just Punishment:
Traditionally, schools have often relied on punitive measures to address misbehaviour. However, restorative practice encourages a more compassionate and holistic approach. Instead of simply punishing students, we aim to foster empathy and understanding in both teachers and students. By doing so, we can mend the harm caused by misbehaviour and promote personal growth.
Teacher Training for Better Communication:
One of the cornerstones of this initiative is equipping our teachers with the tools to create a supportive, inclusive, and empathetic classroom environment. Through extensive training, educators learn how to engage with students in a manner that promotes dialogue and understanding. Our teachers are becoming skilled facilitators, helping students recognize the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for their behaviour.
Bringing Restorative Practices Home:
We firmly believe that restorative practice should not be confined to the school environment. We encourage parents and guardians to embrace these principles at home to further reinforce our students’ learning and emotional development. Affective statements are personal expressions of feelings in response to others’ positive or negative behaviour. They model respectful communication and help students develop empathy and recognise the impacts of their actions on others. Affective statements are the very first step in take in responding to behaviours of concern and we encourage parents to practice this at home. Affective statements use the following structure:
When observing the behaviour, it is important to be as objective as possible in order to avoid dredging up feelings of defensiveness, humiliation or resistance. We must strive to give the observation free of judgment, criticism or blame. For example: ‘John, when I hear your voice while I am talking’ is a relatively neutral observation whereas ‘John, when you keep disrupting me…’ carries a tone of judgment. If our goal is to promote sustained pro-social behaviour, we want students to feel as though they have a chance to restore the relationship.
After observing the behaviour, it is important to use the words ‘I feel…’ and follow with a word that describes an actual emotion. We want to model for our students how to express their emotions using words, rather than acting out their emotions in negative ways. It is essential that teachers have a bank of ‘feeling’ words so that we avoid pseudo-emotions like ‘disrespected’ or ‘bullied’. For example ‘I feel anxious/frustrated/nervous…’ allows students to understand and learn to be mindful of the impact of their behaviour on others.
While an observation followed by a feeling is usually enough to shift most students to more pro-social behaviour, sometimes teachers may need to follow this by identifying a need or a value. By explicitly articulating what we need or value in a given situation, we support students in developing their empathy and ability to infer a person’s needs based on their emotional responses. It also makes clear why we are asking students to certain ways. For example: ‘I need everyone to be able to hear me' or ‘I value a welcoming classroom…’ This can also be a good opportunity to introduce some strength-based language by telling students what you value about them. For example ‘…I really value your...'
While most students will begin demonstrating the desired behaviour before you have even finished expressing the need, some students will require an explicit request in order to understand what is required of them. By using the language of ‘request’ rather than ‘demand’ we avoid activating a students’ unmet need for autonomy and pushing them out of their window of tolerance. However, it is important to deliver the request in an assured, level tone rather than as a question with an upward inflection. For example: ‘Would you be willing to listen while I finish explaining?’
As we embark on this journey, we invite you to join us in celebrating the growth, empathy, and personal development of our students. Through restorative practice, we're not just addressing misbehaviour; we're shaping a brighter future for the next generation.
Dates to Remember
|Monday 6 - Friday 10 November||Year 9 Exams|
|Monday 6 - Friday 10 November||Year 10 Work Experience|
|Monday 6 November||P & C Meeting|
|Monday 13 - Friday 17 November||Year 8 Exams|
|Tuesday 28 November||Year 7 2024 Orientation Day|
|Tuesday 5 December||Presentation Evening|
|Thursday 7 December||Sports Assembly|
|Monday 11 December||P & C AGM|
|Friday 15 December||Last Day of Term 4 for Students|
|Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 December||Staff Development Days|
|Tuesday 30 & Wednesday 31 January 2024||Staff Development Days|
|Thursday 1 February||Years 7, 11 & 12 First Day Term 1|
|Friday 2 February||Years 8, 9 & 10 First Day Term 1|
We are pleased to announce a new initiative at Killarney Heights High School that will be launching in Term 4, Week 1 – the Breakfast Club. Students are invited to join us in B-Block every Thursday morning, from 7:30 am to 8:40 am, where a selection of wholesome breakfast options will be provided. This is not only an opportunity for students to have a nutritious breakfast, but also to engage in conversations with peers and teacher
The aim of the initiative is to:
- Improve Attendance: We recognise that mornings can be challenging, and by providing a nutritional start to the day, we aim to encourage regular school attendance.
- Build a Sense of Community: We hope that this initiative will foster friendships, unity, and a stronger sense of community amongst our students across the various year groups.
- Nutrition First: It's well-documented that starting the day with a nutritious meal enhances concentration, energy, and overall well-being. We want to ensure every student has the opportunity to begin their school day in the best possible way.
We believe that with your support, the Breakfast Club can be a positive start to the day and contribute greatly to our school community. If you have any queries, suggestions, or would like to contribute in any manner, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Edward Payne or Mr. Luke Gardiner.
Mr Luke Gardiner Edward Payne
Head Teacher of Wellbeing (Rel.) Student Support Officer
Year 12 News
Yr 12 Graduation and HSC Exams
It was so wonderful and my absolute pleasure to be involved in the Year 12 Graduation ceremony that took place at DY RSL on Thursday 21st September. The cohort looked so grown up and excited as they took part in the final KHHS event culminating their last 6 years.
Students are now in the midst of their HSC examinations which run through until Friday 3rd November. I continue to wish them good luck in this final hurdle and am reminding all students to try their best in this last exam.
A reminder of the following events and key dates that students should be aware of:
Wednesday 11th October - Commencement of HSC examinations, concluding on Friday 3rd November
Thursday 9th November - Students sign out between 10.00am and 12.00pm
Thursday 14th December - Class of 2023 Morning Tea Celebration
January 2024 - University offers to students. Email Ms McDermott information about the course you have been accepted into: email@example.com
Tuesday 20th February 2024 -Assembly to celebrate high achievement in HSC, ATAR over 90 and merit list mentions in individual subjects.
I am wishing all Year 12 students the very best of luck in their final HSC exams and hope to see Year 12 students at the Class of 2023 Morning Tea on Thursday 14th December to hear how they went and to congratulate them on their results.
Year 12 Advisor
Stage 5 Languages Short Film Competition
In term 3, the year 9 French class worked hard to create a 2 minute film to enter the national Linguafest film competition. This year’s theme was History and the object to include in all films was a necklace.
Madame Pho was incredibly impressed by the hard work and creativity of her students! The many, wonderful student ideas are too numerous to mention however, here are some favourites:
Victoria and Gidget created a hilarious Victorian era version of Mean Girls. Archie and Nicholas are casually walking down the street when they find a necklace that transports them all the way back to 1793 Paris until the guillotine chops off Nicholas’, ahem I mean, Louis the XVI’s head and brings the boys back to present day Killarney Heights. Hannah collaborated with Chloe from the Japanese class to tell a bilingual story of a battle between Napoleon and the Shogun. Charlotte and Jess created a delight for the eyes by painstakingly arranging wooden dolls for their stop motion film “Le garçon du temps”.
Nonetheless, Arian Hatami’s film Mon Histoire, a reflection on his personal history and regretful treatment of a friend, was deemed the clear KHHS winner. His film was beautifully crafted, taking the viewer on a deep and dark journey with him. Critics were stunned by the nature-shots, carefully selected to set the mood and the close-up of Arian crying in the shower, a nod to Hitchcock himself.
Stay tuned to hear how Arian’s film fares against the other schools across Australia.
Teacher of French
Tahitian Sister School Visit
We received a visit from our sister school in Tahiti, le Lycée La Mennais. Three teachers, including their principal and 20 of their Y12 students will be visited us for the day to observe school life in Australia.
Un grand merci to everyone who hosted Tahitians in their class or who helped out at all. They really enjoyed their experience in an Australian school. It was also wonderful for our students to be able to interact with young French speakers. It is these sorts of experiences that make language learning "real" and that help create an ongoing relationship with the language and culture. Our students were hospitable and proudly showed their school to their buddies.
Jasmine Rintel year 9, won the Gold medal in the competitive girls 15 400m at the CHS State Championships.
Jasmine also qualified last at the NSW State All Schools in the 400m, to represent NSW at the National All Schools Championships in Perth in December.
Congratulations to Zac Roome for his silver medal in the Open Boys 800m at the NSW State Schools Athletics Carnival last term. Also, congratulations to Max Figueira for his bronze in the Javelin. A remarkable achievement from both boys and well done for being such great representatives of Killarney Heights High School.
Understanding Your Child's Strengths
The research shows that understanding and working with our strengths builds resilience. Our staff have been learning how to incorporate trauma-informed, strengths-based practice into our teaching and learning. Our Wellbeing team has been working with students using strengths-based language and students have been learning about their personal character strengths through wellbeing lessons and programs.
On Tuesday 14 Nov we invite all parents to a Parent Session on 'Understanding Your Child's Strengths'. Sonia Brooke, parent, educator, Psychology graduate and currently studying Masters of Counselling will be speaking on this important topic. Please join us in the KHHS Library from 6:45 for a 7pm start.
Please RSVP to the school office for this free event.
Tell Them From Me Survey
This term, our school is taking part in the Tell Them From Me student, parent and teacher surveys. Please see attached information about the student survey.
The parent survey asks questions about different factors that are known to impact on student wellbeing and engagement. The data collected from the surveys is valuable in our planning for 2024 and beyond.
Although participating in the survey is entirely voluntary, your responses are very much appreciated and will take about 15min or less to complete.
The survey is available in 23 languages. Please complete by Friday 3 November.
To access the survey for our school go to http://nsw.tellthemfromme.com/khhs
A new report has been launched exploring young people's perspectives on vaping, with the voices of more than 260 young people from across NSW informing the 2023 report.
Young people who participated in consultations had diverse perceptions about vaping and vaping culture in schools. The data found that vaping is used as a stress management tool and there is an alarming misunderstanding of how harmful it can be to your health.
Participants held the belief that vaping can’t be that bad for you, given that adults had not done more to stop them.
The top three ideas young people have to support vaping cessation are in-person support tailored to young people, an app and social media support and information messaging.
The data highlights that young people believe that it’s not a one-size-fits all approach, and it’s important that a suite of supports are developed to ensure more young people are able to find a support suitable for them to quit vaping.
To read the full report, click here.
Mental Health Month
October marks Mental Health Month, a great opportunity to champion activities and concepts that can bring positivity to not only our daily routine, but also the lives of those around us.
KYDS provides free, confidential counselling and mental health support services for young people up to the age of 19 across Northern Sydney. Each year we deliver around 6000 sessions without the need for a Medicare card, GP referral or mental health plan. All of this ensures young people can access support when they need it, for as long as they need it, without any barriers.
KYDS has arranged a series of free webinars during Mental Health Month, tailored for young people, parents, caregivers and educators.
Click here for more information:
SPECIAL REPORT: Discussing War & Conflict
Children are frequently exposed to distressing news through the 24-hour news cycle and social media. These experiences can provoke anxiety, especially in young minds still forming their worldviews. Parents and caregivers should be mindful of overexposure to such content as it can lead to symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. Children’s responses to trauma can vary, from being strong emotional reactions to being indifferent. It can leave an emotional imprint that can affect a child's behaviour and perception of danger.
Children need reassurance about their safety as they navigate uncertain times. Tailor conversations to your child's age and emotional maturity. Younger children benefit from simplified explanations focusing on peace, empathy, and cooperation, while older children can delve into historical events, root causes of conflict, and the complexities of international relations.
Before discussing these topics with your child, it is also important to assess your own emotions and comfort level. By staying calm and providing physical comfort will help your child regulate their own emotions. In challenging times, compassionate adults play a crucial role in helping children cope with anxiety and providing hope and understanding in our complex world.
This Special Report provides guidance on how to tackle this difficult topic and helping children understand there is still hope in our complex world. Please take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please consider seeking medical or professional help.
Here is the link to your special report
Aboriginal Education News
Acknowledgment of Country Writing Workshop
During the first two weeks of Term 4 the Aboriginal Education team held workshops with the SRC and Prefect Team on understanding the significance of giving an Acknowledgement of Country. This workshop guided the leadership team through the difference between an Acknowledgement of Country and a Welcome to Country and helped them understand the importance behind an Acknowledgement of Country.
The workshop gave students the skills, knowledge and opportunities to write their own Acknowledgement of Country which they can give at school events.
Aboriginal Languages Week 2023
Aboriginal Languages Week was launched by the NSW Aboriginal Languages Trust, and is an annual event that will take place during the week of 24 October, from Sunday to Sunday, to coincide with the passing of the Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 into law.
The aim of the week is to raise awareness about Aboriginal Languages and increase support for Languages revitalisation and reclamation.
Aboriginal Languages are part of the cultural heritage of New South Wales and Aboriginal people are the custodians of these languages and have the right to control their growth and nurturing (Aboriginal Languages Act 2017)
This year’s theme ‘Language Alive, Culture Thrives’ highlights the importance of revitalising and reclaiming Aboriginal Languages, and ensuring they are maintained for future generations. Aboriginal Languages are embedded with knowledge and culture and place, playing a central role in strengthening cultural identity by connecting Aboriginal people to each other, to their ancestors and to their land.
Join the virtual celebration on the NSW Aboriginal Languages Week 2023 page https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/aec/aboriginal-education-in-nsw-public-schools/nsw-aboriginal-languages-week
This term, members of our Student Representative Council (SRC) and Prefects have been busy working on projects and activities to help improve their school and the wider community.
Earlier this term, SRC and Prefects in years 10-12 met with Mr Michael Regan MP, the independent member for Wakehurst in the NSW Parliament. Students took the opportunity to present issues to Mr. Rega, ranging from climate change, housing affordability, school and assessment issues including the current teacher shortage, and access to specialised youth mental health services. Mr. Regan was impressed with the passion and maturity our students demonstrated, and he made specific notes on many issues and ideas that he intends to follow up in parliament.
A special mention goes out to year 10 student Lily, who took the initial steps to organise for Mr. Regan to visit KHHS. She has met with Mr. Regan previously to discuss issues that matter to her, and has been very active in the school community. In the June/July school holidays, Lily was selected to be part of the 2023 NSW Youth Parliament, in which she debated with the best of the older year 11 and 12 students on the floor of the Legislative Council in Parliament House with fortitude and passion. Killarney Heights High School should be proud of Lily and her team's efforts to win the amendments to the Mental Health bill that will be presented to the Health Minister in due course.
Annabelle Dietrich’s trio (Senior level, International levels division) came first at the National Clubs Acrobatic Gymnastics Carnival!
Their club SXL Gymnastics also won the Champion Club trophy in that division. They all worked very hard.
Annabelle’s trio is hoping to be selected to go to the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships over Easter next year. The trials are coming up early November.
Well done Annabelle and good luck for November.
Cooper Horley took part in the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships in Perth in the last holidays.
He was part of the NSW Senior Boys Team.
In the Southern Cross Challenge which includes New Zealand Cooper's results were
Sprint Distance: 3rd
Relay : NSW Team 2nd
Long Distance: 4th
In the Australian Championships:
Sprint Distance: 1st
Relay : NSW Team 1st
Long Distance: 2nd
Results from Australian Orienteering Championship racing in the Men’s age 20 and under Elite category:
Middle Distance: 7th
Long Distance: 2nd
NSW were also the winning team overall and Cooper was selected in the Australian Honours team.
Congratulations to Year 10 Music student Neesha Bhagwat, who has been selected in the DET Arts Unit ‘PULSE ALIVE’ Spectacular at Sydney Olympic Park in 2024. Neesha has been chosen as a Principal Vocalist in the vocal development group, which is a huge honour and a testament to her amazing talent and hard work. Well done!
Now that the exams are almost over, it is time to think and reflect on your future pathway. Please check the careers website for updates on jobs, traineeships, apprenticeships and more. Please check https://www.killarneyheightshscareers.com/
UAC KEY DATES
10 Nov 2023 7.30am First round of Schools Recommendation Scheme early offers released
14 Dec 2023 6.00am HSC results released
14 Dec 2023 9.00am ATARs released
15 Dec 2023 11.59pm December Round 2 change of preference deadline
21 Dec 2023 7.30am December Round 2 offers released
11 Jan 2024 7.30am January Round 1 offers released
2 Feb 2024 11.59pm Applications close for semester 1, 2024
YEAR 11/12 NOVEMBER KICKSTART SEMINARS - MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY & UTS
Date: Sunday 5th November & Sunday 12th November (9:30am-12:15pm)
Venue: Macquarie University (5/11) & UTS (12/11)
Participants: Students & parents in Year 10 & 11
For the 18th year, Macquarie University & UTS, in partnership with InspirationED, will be hosting a set of free seminars later this term. These are designed to support both students and parents who are beginning (or about to begin) their HSC.
Run by highly experienced HSC markers and qualified counsellors, these sessions will cover:
- Practical tips to handle stress & maintain motivation
- Tried-and-true strategies to achieve your best in your tasks & exams
- A straightforward guide to understanding the ATAR & admission processes
- An English seminar on Paper One & how to write better essays
- For parents, we also have practical tips on how to support your child through the HSC.
Why you'll love these sessions:
- Real Insights: Direct, actionable advice. In these 45-min sessions, we’ll share the best study strategies, exam techniques, and ways to stay on track during your HSC year/s.
- Advice from the Experts: Our seminars feature expert HSC Markers and qualified counsellors ready to share their tips and years of experience.
Spaces are strictly limited for this half-day event. Secure your spot here.
A flyer is also attached with further information.
Considering a Career in Medicine or Dentistry?
UCAT, Interviews, Med School Applications, Pathways into Medicine and Dentistry (for universities in Australia)
An Excellent Opportunity for Students, Teachers and Parents
~ 15 November 2023, 7.00pm – 9.00pm (AEDT) ~
YEAR 10 – TERM 4
It is a very busy term for me but I have arranged a number of exciting activities to keep year 10 students engaged. I hope that all students have a very positive and rewarding work experience.
YEAR 10 WORK EXPERIENCE is on from the 6 – 10 November 2023.
All Year students are expected to be on work experience for 5 days from the 6 – 10 November.
Students are expected to secure their own placements. All paperwork must be completed and signed by the employer, the student and the parent and then returned to me. All paperwork is available online at https://killarney-h.schools.nsw.gov.au/learning-at-our-school/careers.html
It is essential that students have a travel form if they are travelling in a car with an employer. They must also obtain a WHITECARD (safety certificate) if they are going on a construction site. Please see Ms McDermott urgently if you need more information.
The WHITECARD course was offered here at school to students who required it for work experience.
Whitecard training provides the qualification that is necessary to work in the construction industry.
Congratulations to the group of 4 girls and 16 boys, all year 10 students who worked extremely well all day to gain this industry-based certificate.
APPLY FIRST AID COURSE will be offered to all year 10 students later in the term. The course will be held on Thursday 23rd November and Friday 24th November. This course is highly recommended and will give students the skills and knowledge to be able to provide first aid response and life support, manage casualties, the incident and other first aiders until qualified help arrives at the scene of an incident. There will be limited numbers so permission and money will need to paid asap.
FINANCIAL WORKSHOP -TALK MONEY is a free workshop that will be offered to all year 10 students later in the term. It is designed to help students understand money. This module explores ways to make money to help build financial independence and how to navigate the workplace including understanding their rights at work and managing superannuation and tax.
Year 10 students will also be completing the Minimum Standards tests in Numeracy, Reading and Writing. Many students have already completed one test.
Please contact me via email if you would like to book an appointment.
Our Instrumental Music Ensemble Program would like to welcome all students from our school community with an interest and some experience in playing an instrument, to join our IMEP program in 2024. Students who played an Instrument in primary school, that may not have decided to join our high school band program, and would like to reconsider, it is never too late to join.
KHHS IMEP offers a comprehensive program with many amazing opportunities throughout the year, which will develop, improve and inspire each student's musical passion with a variety of ensembles taught by professional conductors to suit every student's ability.
At the start of Term 1 2024 week 2, Monday 5-Friday 9 February our IMEP offers a 'Come and Try Open Week', for all students currently enrolled, new to our school or our program to try any or all of our ensembles, to see which ensemble group may best suit you, we welcome you to this week.
Please see attached our IMEP Registration Form for 2024 for extra information about our program, should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Samantha Eakin | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligibility for a School Opal Pass
To be eligible for a free school travel pass students need to live a minimum distance from school. The minimum distance varies according to the year/grade you are enrolled in, in that calendar year:
- Years K to 2 (Infants): no minimum distance
- Years 3 to 6 (Primary): 1.6 kilometres straight line distance or 2.3 kilometres walking or further
- Years 7 to 12 (Secondary): 2 kilometres straight line distance or 2.9 kilometres walking or further.
If the student doesn’t qualify for free school travel, you may be able to buy a School Term Bus Pass for discounted travel on buses between home and school. For further information and customer service please contact Transport for NSW on 131 500 or use the links below:
- Using your School Opal card | transportnsw.info
- Plan your trip to school | transportnsw.info
- Lost, stolen or damaged School Opal cards and travel passes | transportnsw.info
Free Webinar Teach us Consent
You are invited to our upcoming webinar on "Protecting Young Minds with Healthy Relationships and Consent Conversations."
Join us on Wednesday 15th November 7-8.30pm for this important discussion. The event is free to attend, and you can register by clicking on this link https://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Protecting-Young-Minds