Dear ADHS Community,
Welcome to term 4!
Welcome back to term 4 everyone, a time when we focus on important transition points, finalise learning programs and celebrate all that has been achieved throughout the year.
For year 10 students and families, it is a particularly poignant term. The next phase of college transition commenced last week, with both Canberra and Narrabundah Colleges onsite for course enrolment interviews. There are also the ‘rites of passage’ celebrations fast approaching. With all this activity, it can be challenging to maintain focus, but I would recommend year 10 students complete their Year 10 Certificate in as strong a fashion as possible. My experience tells me that the positive habits you have established at the completion of high school are the best indicator of success in the senior secondary arena. Equally, I could repeat that advice to years 7, 8 and 9 as they prepare to move to the next level.
We look forward to welcoming our year 6 families back for the Year 6/7 Disco and parent information session in week 6. Please keep an eye out for the next information mailout for year 6 families in the coming week.
The ADHS AAA (Access All Areas) Festival is set down for weeks 4 and 5 and will see a new format this year under the leadership of Rechelle Turner. Our community will be invited in to witness student learning in a range of spaces and experiences across the entire school.
School Youth Health Nurse Program
I am pleased to let our community know that ADHS has now joined the School Youth Health Nurse Program. We welcome Nicole (Nik) Ang to the school community. Nik comes to us with a wealth of experience in a range of community and allied health settings. In the short time Nik has been with us, her expertise has added significantly to our Student Engagement team. Nik will be available on Monday and Tuesday.
The SYHN program has been operating in selected schools in the ACT since 2009. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists between the Education Directorate and Canberra Health Services and outlines the responsibility and commitment from each agency.
The SYHN program:
• Is a preventative rather than treatment focus
• Works collaboratively within the school community to address the health issues affecting young people
• Provides a psychosocial assessment followed by referral to services or ongoing supports as needed
• Consultations are for a range of reasons including mental health concerns, sexual health, drug and alcohol concerns, family or relationship issues, healthy sleep, healthy nutrition, healthy exercise and movement.
• Provides health information or health promotion in small group, classroom or on a whole of school basis
Access and Referral:
- Access to the SYHN is through self, school staff, peer, and/or parent referral
- Parental consent for consultation is not required
- Consultations are voluntary; young people cannot be referred as part of an investigative or disciplinary process
• Where it is in the young person's best interest the SYHN will seek to share information with the school to provide additional supports around them
• The SYHN aims to work in partnership with families to support young people
Under s.62A of the Health Services Act, children and young people are entitled to confidentiality of their health information. The health record of the young person remains the property of Canberra Health Services and are held and maintained in accordance with relevant legislation.
Confidentiality is explained to the young person prior to consultation. They are advised that if their safety or the safety of others is at risk, or if a crime has been committed against them, the SYHN must seek help, including mandatory reporting.
If you would like further information on the School Youth Health Nurse Program, please contact Executive Teacher Student Engagement Todd Brazier, or Deputy Principal Katherine Stretton.
The recent Europe tour was a resounding success and I would like to acknowledge the students, teachers and families who contributed to making it so. The Instagram posts were amazing and the feedback from the public on how well ADHS students conducted themselves on tour was overwhelming. A special mention to the staff, Jenni Bodell, Alex Scott, Matt Gannon and Ro Lafferty, for their work in the planning and preparation for such a large undertaking, and for effectively being on duty all day for 20 days straight.
Our students had the privilege of spending some time with award winning author Phillip Gwynne last week. Phillip is the author of Deadly, Unna? and its film adaptation Australian Rules, both of which have been used as texts within the school for some time. Phillip ran workshops with Creative writing students, the PANTHERS English classes and the Deakin deadly Mob. Thank you to Rhiannon Brack for organising Phillip’s visit.
We had a very well attended Parent Teacher Evening late last term and it was a great opportunity to catch up with our families to discuss student learning. We appreciate the great support we receive from our parent community, as it is critical to the success of our students and the broader school.
Parent Forum – Mobile phones
Many of you may have seen recently the reports on the issue of mobile phones in schools being raised by the Federal Minister at the latest COAG forum. One of the complexities is that the evidence remains largely inconclusive, and to address this we have also seen the announcement of a new federally funded digital research centre at Queensland University of Technology.
There is a sense from our school community through the ADHS Board that it may be timely to review the current school policies and procedures in relation to mobile phone usage. Parent perspective is obviously important and, with this in mind, the topic of this term’s Parent Forum will be mobile phones in schools. We have also commenced engaging with our students on this topic through the Student Executive Group forums in term 4. Staff voice will be captured through another process.
In preparation for the forum I have included links to two articles below from an academic journalism website which provide an introduction to and overview of some of the evidence.