Principal's comment 27 September

As the week hurtles towards the end of term three we have some more congratulations to offer.  Taylor Hughson, teaching in the English Learning Area, has been awarded one of three Woolf Fisher Scholarships worth up to $300,000 to undertake doctoral studies at Cambridge University.  Taylor plans to begin his study late next year and will remain with us until then.  It’s a brilliant opportunity and we’re thrilled for him.

Also making a national impact this week is Daniel Peckston of 13LR.  Daniel was recognised at this week’s sports awards for his incredible dedication and focus this year as manager of the First XV rugby team,  and that vote of thanks has been reniforced by “The Hits” radio station with a second place in their national competition to recognise people who get in and serve the community.  The school receives $3000 of Stihl products, which is a lovely bonus, but the best part is that Daniel’s commitment and focus as a volunteer in the service of others is seen so clearly.  He’s done a great job this year.

This week we have sent out information on measles and a request form to identify those students who lack immunisation against the disease.  Thank you to the over 500 students and staff who have replied already.  This is a precautionary step, so we know who is potentially at risk should we have a case of measles in the school.  If you’ve not replied yet, we’d be grateful for that to be done as soon as practicable, so we can be confident of managing any health challenges that might occur in a speedy and focused way.

This week has also been Mental Health Awareness week with our seniors organising activities including the second Mental Health Awareness march of Year 13 students from around the Valley.  The work this week has been to raise awareness that mental health remains a key issue and to make visible the fact that there is a supportive community here ready and able to offer support to each other.  That this is a student-driven initiative is a compelling affirmation of our students’ engagement and humanity.

Meanwhile we have a group of students off campus taking part in the student strike for climate day. Some might disagree with me, but I see this as very much an educational opportunity and am happy that we enter “Justified” on our attendance record, provided we receive confirmation from parents/caregivers that their son or daughter was at the strike day event.  Social activism is an engaged and active stance that I see as a genuinely educational step in a young person’s passage through teenage years. 

We’ve spoken to students about achieving a balance during these holidays.  Yes, the academic pressure is real and the derived grade examinations that begin Term 4 are important. Equally important is having a break and looking after their individual well-being.  I’ve suggested “a week for me and a week for my future” as a way of dividing time during these holidays.  As students leave for that break, I thank them for their efforts to endorse and live our school values.  I’ve had two lovely messages today from people outside the school praising our students for their volunteer service in the community.  That’s a great way to end Term Three.


Ross Sinclair