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The Calwell High School newsletter - Week 3, Term 1 2019

Welcome to our newsletter!

This is our first newsletter in our new format. Parents, friends, and students who have been part of our community for a while will know that we like using our newsletter to share information about upcoming events, explain what has been happening around the school and celebrate the achievements of our students.

Previously, we used an online tool called Schoolzine to achieve those aims and while that product was good, it didn't have all the functionality that we needed. It was a model that required a subscription which meant that a lot of families missed out because the message about subscribing just didn't reach them. As you know, this newsletter is emailed directly to you. We hope that this will improve our communications and keep you all informed of the great things that are happening at Calwell High School.

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Principal's Report - Welcome to the new year!

Dear parents and carers,

2019 will be an exciting year at Calwell High with many innovations in place that will develop and be implemented throughout the year. I trust you have all had a great break. I enjoyed the break but missed our students. The school year has begun well and our students are now well underway with their learning. I’ve enjoyed getting to know our new year 7 students. They are the largest intake we have had in my time as principal and it’s great to see the word is out in our community that Calwell High is a great place to learn. I want to thank all of you for your vote of confidence in our school and I can assure you that our staff are all committed to providing a great start for them as they settle into this new and exciting stage of their education.

Year 7 Camp

Year 7 were certainly excited about going to camp this week. They will have enjoyed a range of outdoor activities, but more importantly, will have built closer relationships with each other. I would particularly like to acknowledge our year 10 QUEST leadership students who have been supporting the camp. They are exemplary students who have been selected because they consistently demonstrate our school values and are such great role models. I also want to thank the following staff members who have given up their time with their families to support your children at Camp: Tom Bluck, Nicole Kay, Kira Waddell, Ben Edwards, Matt McLennan and Francis Ventura.

Farewell and best wishes to the Year 10 of 2018

We finished 2018 on a very positive note and it was wonderful to see our 2018-year 10 cohort graduating under our new Graduation Points program with many receiving special recognition for their commitment, achievement, and contribution to our school and the wider community. These students graduated with Honours, Distinction, and Merits. We wish them well as they settle into their college studies. Some have already called by to tell us about the great opportunities they are finding at college but also to tell us how much they miss Calwell.

School Improvement Plan

In 2018 our school underwent a full review and, as a result, we have developed a new School Improvement Plan for the next five years. Over this period our priorities will be:

· A strong learning culture focusing on academic achievement; improvement in reading and writing

· Social success for all students

New year, new members of the team!

This year we have had some changes in staffing. I would like to introduce our new staff:

· The Arts: Ms. Sue Birch-Marston (Visual Arts)

· HaSS( Humanities and Social Sciences): Ms. Sandy Drew, Ms. Renee Rapson, Ms. Jee Lee (Korean), Ms. Oriella Escobar Rodriguez de Johnson (Spanish)

· Science: Mrs. Halla Salem, Mr. Mitchell Alexander

· PE: Ms. Liz Chester, Mr. Mitchell Lamb

· School Psychologist: Dr. Jacqui Liggett

I am excited about having our new staff join us. They are all outstanding educators and will definitely deliver excellent learning to your children and support for the school.

In addition to new staff, some of our staff have changed roles. These changes are:

Year 7 Coordinator: Ms Kira Waddell

Year 8 Coordinator: Ms Pip Dimmick

Attendance Changes

Last year, many of you would have been aware of changes in our attendance procedures which were part of the system-wide rollout of the new school administration system – SENTRAL. This system has delivered more accuracy in attendance tracking and communication with you about your child’s school attendance. Since then, more components have been added. These include tracking of student behaviour and wellbeing; merits as part of our PBL framework and shortly, assessment and reporting. At the end of Semester 1 you will receive your child’s report electronically and in a slightly different format. All ACT Government high schools will use a common template and will deliver greater consistency across the system in reporting your child’s progress.

Please note, there will be no more paper reports mailed home from the end of Semester 1.

As you can see, we have an exciting year of learning and opportunities for our students. As principal, I welcome your involvement in our school - as partners to ensure your children receive the best education which will equip and prepare them for life in contemporary society.

Best wishes

Bruce McCourt


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Flag Raising Ceremony

On Tuesday 19 February we revealed our three new flagpoles to the students and teachers of Calwell High School in a very special ceremony. Students were asked to be the first to raise the Australian flag, the Indigenous flag and the flag of the Torres Strait Islands.

We are one of the first schools in the ACT to have three flagpoles erected and we couldn't be happier that we can now honour all the peoples of Australia as one.

Year 7 Camp

Every year we hold a Year 7 camp as early as we can in the school year. The camp is an opportunity for our students (who all come from a wide range of different schools) to get together in a fun environment where they can meet each other without the pressures of classwork or the busyness of school.

They are aided in that process by our Year 10 Quest Leaders who take a caring role at the camp to ensure that all children are participating and getting to meet one another. The bonds that are created at camp often stick with students for life.

Our camp takes place at Camp Cooba (near Berridale). This camp is a favourite of ACT schools and again, we choose it because it is often a familiar location for our students and the programs there are fun, practical and designed to allow students to challenge themselves.

Reports coming in hourly from this year's camp are extremely positive and obviously, a lot of fun is being had. Our students will arrive back at school this afternoon (Friday 22 Feb) tired, happy and with new friends. Mr. McCourt visited the camp yesterday and saw a lot of happy but weary faces! He couldn't be happier with the way our students have represented themselves and our school.

A big thank you to Ms. Waddell and her team of helpers for organising such a great camp!

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Meet the teacher evening

Tuesday, March 5th, 4:30-6:30pm

111 Casey Crescent

Calwell, ACT

This is an opportunity to come along and meet your child's teachers and have a chat about the year ahead. We'll be holding a free sausage sizzle! The event will take place in our Performing Arts Centre. There are no bookings to attend as it is just a chance to say hello and discuss the learning plans for your child for the rest of the semester. Can't wait to see you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

The Power of Creativity!

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What is happening in our learning areas?

Arts/ Technology

Welcome to 2019. First we’d like to welcome a returning staff member to the Arts/Tech faculty this term; Sue Birch-Marston has stepped into the position of Visual Arts teacher for Term 1. Many of you will remember Sue from last year when she stepped in for Holly Britton in Term 2, and acted as a relief teacher for the remainder of the year.

The 2019 Arts/Tech team consists of:

Alex Whitrow – Executive Teacher and Music Teacher

Kira Waddell – Drama & Media Teacher and Year 7 Coordinator

Laura De Costa – Dance & English Teacher

Chris Lorrimer – Wood/Metal & Photography Teacher

Sue Birch-Marston - Visual Arts Teacher


Our elective classes have already been hard at work with the photography students learning that the everyday is worth capturing.

Photography News from Mr Lorrimer

Not only will students be learning how to use the digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) but will also be studying some of the famous names in photography such as Frank Hurley, Olive Cotton and Robert Capa. A prime focus will be shooting in manual mode and editing then exhibiting images on Google Classrooms. Each week students must submit photos based on a range of themes such as ‘drive’, ‘reflections’ or ‘storm’. Documentation of everyday life in the suburbs is encouraged. Students will develop a curious eye for detail and an attitude: ”this moment” is worth capturing. Being able to review your own work is important, as well writing a narrative to support images will be expected.

Photography students will also be participating in the Calwell Archies Exhibition by submitting self portraits and portraits to be held in Week 10 of Term 1.

The Calwell Archies Exhibition

As Mr Lorrimer mentioned above, our Archies Exhibition will be held on Wednesday 10th April (Week 10, Term 1). The Archies Exhibition is an opportunity for students to display their artworks in a public forum. Students are encouraged to create portraits using their choice of medium. We invite the community to view the artwork and help us choose a winner for the Public Choice award on the night. Please watch out for more information about the Archies in the coming weeks.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your student’s progress or have questions or concerns about classes or upcoming events. The email address for all staff is firstname.lastname@ed.act.edu.au.

Health and Physical Education Report

The HPE Faculty would like to welcome everyone back for another fantastic and busy year ahead. This term will be another busy one with many sports opportunities as well as some fantastic programs ahead. As we have done in the past our program is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and is setup into a Junior (Years 7 and 8) and Senior (Year 9 and 10) classes. This year we have continued to incorporate a junior girls only class run by our new and very talented HPE teacher Liz Chester. We will also be continuing with the Senior TEAM and LIFT programs which have been extremely successful programs at Calwell HS in the past. Over the break the HPE team has been working very hard to continue developing the Health curriculum which is both relevant and informative to young people in today’s society. Each class will complete a Health unit of work each term which will focus on particular areas of healthy lifestyle choices.

Our HPE Team this year consists of Miss Liz Chester, Mr Mitchell Lamb (TEAM 9) and Mr Reece Jones (TEAM 10). All teachers are happy to assist with any questions you may have and making themselves available for further assistance to any student who requests it.

Warm regards,

Steven Deans

Executive of Health and Physical Education

The Big 3


On Friday 1 March (WK4) our annual Aquatics Day will be held at the Canberra Olympic Pool (formally Civic Pool) where students will have the opportunity to compete in traditional swimming events to qualify for the ACT Combined Regions Swimming Carnival, awesome novelty events or just some fun in the dive pool at the 2nd half of the day.


On Friday 5 April (WK9) our annual Athletics Carnival will be held at the Calwell Playing Fields (across the road from the school). More information about this day will be released closer to the time

Cross Country

Will be held on Friday 3 May (WK1) Term 2. Again, this will be held around the Calwell HS area and will run in the afternoon instead of normal classes

Interschool Representative Sports Term 1

All students are encouraged to sign up and try-out for school sporting teams if they have an interest in these sports. Each term there are a myriad of sports on offer. This term we will have teams in the following competitions:

· Boys League 7s Jnr and Snr WK3 20/2/19 – Mr Lamb

· Girls League 7s – WK4 27/2/19 – Miss Chester

· Girls Basketball Jnr and Snr WK7 21/3/19 – Miss Chester

· Boys Basketball Jnr and Snr WK8 28/3/19 – Mr Lamb

· ACT Regional Swimming WK10 10/4/19– Mr Deans

2019 Calwell High School House Captains

On Thursday of Week 1, we held the first House Meetings for the year to build team spirit and elect the new House Captains. It was truly courageous and inspiring to see so many students from all years nominate themselves and tell their houses who they are and why they would make a great House Captain. It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce the House Captains for 2019.

Irwin - Courage

Junior: Tiarrah Olsen & Ethan McDonald-Alcock

Senior: Bella Billerwell and Lachlan Kennedy

Freeman - Achievement

Junior: Jayla Taylor-Jones & Rocco Di Placido

Senior: Susie Booth & Mitchell Barnes

Webber – Self-Discipline

Junior: Caitlyn Fogarty & Dolton Rentmeester

Senior: Ashlyn Jones & John Vu

Fraser - Respect

Junior: Jessica Raptis & Asha Gamas

Senior: Cass Watson & James Andrew

Each of the House Captains will be presented with a name badge and certificate for their portfolios in recognition of their commitment to their house spirit and overall school culture at a school assembly.

Maths Report

Welcome back to another year and The Mathematics Faculty would like to take to extend a warm welcome to our new and continuing Calwell High School family for 2019. A new school year is always an exciting time for both teachers and students as the possibilities are limitless and motivation is high. Already this year, the staff have been working extremely hard to deliver the best program to each and every student in a bid to improve their skills in this hugely important subject. The philosophy and goal for our faculty again this year can be summed up in one word, “mastery”. It is our goal to teach our students how to master the diverse skill sets that Mathematics offers and requires to succeed at the standards set by the Australian Curriculum. Like mastering any skill, the core emphasis is on ‘practise’. We strongly urge and encourage all our students to practise the skills they learn in maths to show true mastery of the subject matter. Of course, all the teachers are more than willing to provide any assistance they can to achieve this feat.

Like any new school year, it is an opportunity for students to start afresh. Keeping up-to-date with the curriculum and on-top of assessment are the two biggest challenges students face in Mathematics. As most are aware mathematics builds upon the previous year’s knowledge and continues to extend deeper into how we use maths in the world. This can often be daunting to students who may feel less confident in their abilities with numbers. With hard work and persistence, these challenges can all be overcome. To practice these skills we have provided every student with ample resources both online and in hard copy format. All maths classes have set up a ‘Google Classroom’ page which is frequently updated with information and assessment copies/deadlines/examples etc. Again all students have free access to the online Mathletics platform which will also aid as the majority of homework requirements. Students will be explicitly taught in-class how best to utilise these resources for maximum effect and the advantages and disadvantages to all.

Lastly, I would like to introduce our staff for 2019. The Mathematics faculty is very lucky to see all our teachers returning from 2018. We have Dr. David Low who is in his second year of teaching, Miss Nicole Kay also in her second year, Mrs. Stephanie Akers-Barnes, Mr. Reece Jones taking the TEAM 10 boys and Mrs. Apinder Sehgal who is our expert teacher in the Learning Centre.

We would like to wish all students the best for the year ahead and again remind all students to seek help and guidance with their teacher if unsure how to tackle the challenges of maths this year.

Warm regards,

Steven Deans

Executive of Mathematics

BYOD 2019 – Mathletics - Mathspace

Mathematics has a large emphasis on digital technology within the classroom which has been made far more accessible with the rollout of Chromebooks for each student. As we delve deeper into the digital age the Chromebook is fast becoming an essential tool in all Mathematics classes. If your child has not received a Chromebook yet we strongly encourage you to contact Jodie Adams or the front office staff to gain access to this FREE tool. All students will continue to have access to Mathletics which is a fantastic program that has many great resources and questions built into the program which will be used in class and can also be used at home. All students have been issued with log-in details for access at school and home. If you would like your child’s access log-ins please contact their class teacher for further information.

Mathematics Tutoring

Free tutoring is available to all students throughout the year. This is offered during homework club on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in the library from 3:05 to 4/4:30pm. This is a great opportunity for students to further consolidate work from class, catch up on homework, fill in foundation gaps and work on assignments/Mathletics etc. Alternatively, the Maths staff are always approachable for questions during break times, so students please feel free to drop by and say hi.

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Humanities and Social Sciences Report

Welcome to 2019 from the Humanities (English, HaSS, and Languages) team. We welcome some new faces to the team this year. Sandy Drew is an experienced Educator who has worked across Colleges in the system and most recently comes to us from Lake Tuggeranong College. She is a permanent member of staff teaching HaSS and English. Renee Rapson has moved to Calwell High School from Lanyon High School and is also teaching HaSS and English. Oriella Escobar Rodriguez de Johnson (Mrs. Johnson) has joined us as our new Spanish teacher and is also teaching year 7 English. Jee Lee also joins us from Lake Tuggeranong College to implement our new Korean Languages program. We are now offering a choice of Korean or Spanish to all year levels and we thank Mrs. Lee for her work applying for funds to start a Taekwondo program for Korean students. More information about this will be available in the coming weeks.

In 2019 the Humanities team is made up of:

Jennifer Nott – Executive Teacher Humanities

Sharoll Chand – HaSS and Year 9 Coordinator

Philippa Dimmick – English and Year 8 Coordinator

Francis Ventura – HaSS and QUEST Leadership

Sandy Drew – English and HaSS

Renee Rapson – English and HaSS

Oriella Escobar Rodriguez de Johnson – Spanish and English

Jee Lee - Korean

We are always very happy to talk to you about your student’s progress, however, with the busy nature of a school day phone calls can be difficult. Email is always the best way to contact us and the email address for all staff is firstname.lastname@ed.act.edu.au. We look forward to a wonderful year.

Science and Technology (Food tech and ICT)

Students are settling in well in Science and Technologies in 2019. We also welcome two new Science teachers, Halla Salem, and Mitchell Alexander, who are both enjoying getting to know the students in their classes.

Year 7 is being introduced a whole new range of terminology that comes with High School science and are working on learning about the equipment we use and the safety features of our laboratories so that they can go on to do some really exciting things when they return from camp.

Year 8 are working towards a greater understanding of scientific method and are working towards developing an investigation that will be their own design on a topic of their choice, preparing for a presentation during Science Week later this year.

Year 9 and 10 are settling into their elective subjects. They had a large range to choose from this semester, with Trade Science, Engineering, Forensics, Psychology, Sports Science, Astrophysics and Cosmetic Science being the options. These electives have been designed to review a variety of STEM careers and also to highlight science in the real world.

We look forward to some exciting partnerships this semester. Already we have organised workshops with Australia’s Young Nanoscience Ambassador from ANU, and confirmed participation in the CIT Bridge Challenge, competing against other schools in Canberra, from both the public and private sector, to showcase our understanding of physics and structural engineering. We look forward to continuing to work on our partnerships to bring great STEM opportunities to our students.

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Student Wellbeing Report

Hey there!

Welcome back from the Wellbeing Team!

At Calwell High School we have a number of dedicated professionals who take pride in supporting the wellbeing of all students at Calwell High School. As we are able to do our best work in partnership with our families we would like to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves and tell you a little about what we do.

The most important people for you to know are our Year Advisors. These talented teachers are your first point of call and act as advocates for your child during their time at Calwell High School:

Nicole Flegg is our Executive Teacher for Student Wellbeing. Her role is developing more in-depth and individualised supports for students at their point of need. You can contact her on Nicole.flegg@ed.act.edu.au

Tom Bluck is our Executive Teacher for Positive Behaviour for Learning. He is responsible for whole school pastoral care and supporting staff with behaviour management. You can contact Tom on Thomas.bluck@ed.act.edu.au

Kate Cunningham is the Executive Teacher in charge of our Access Program which supports students with significant or more complex individual needs. She can be reached at kate.cunningham@ed.act.edu.au

These teachers are supported by our Youth Worker Ben Edwards, a School Youth Health Nurse Justine Hrstic, our Chaplain Annika van den Hoog and psychologist Dr. Jacqui Liggett. Additionally, we are able to access support through the Education Directorate and a number of external agencies.

If you have any questions or would like to chat about what we can do to ensure your child is thriving at school please don’t hesitate to touch base!

Tom and Nicole

Important information about legal rights and responsibilities in ACT Public Schools

The following information has been shared by the ACT Education Directorate and we have been asked to share it with our community. Inquiries of a legal nature should be directed to the ACT Education Directorate. Of course, we are always happy to facilitate that communication.

The ACT Education Directorate does not provide any insurance cover for injury,

disease or illness to students resulting from school activities or school-organised excursions.

Claims for compensation are met where there is a legal liability to do so. Liability is not

automatic and depends on the circumstances in which any injury, disease or illness was


As there is no automatic insurance cover for personal injury if your child is injured at school or

during a school organised activity/excursion, you should therefore consider whether taking out personal insurance cover for your child is warranted.

This insurance might cover contingencies including medical/hospital expenses, ambulance

transport outside the ACT, and cancellation of transport/accommodation or loss of/damage to luggage.

The ACT Ambulance Service provides free ambulance transport for students who are injured or suddenly become ill at school or during an approved school organised activity within the ACT.

Calwell High School collects information about injuries and incidents which occur at school or on school-organised activities, on behalf of the ACT Education and Training Directorate. Some of the information may be personal information as defined in the Privacy Act 1988 and the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. The information is usually included in a Student Accident/Incident Report or Notification of a Critical Incident together with any accompanying witness statements.

The purposes for which the information is collected include notifying the Territory’s insurers

and legal advisers of injuries and incidents and ensuring that the school itself has accurate and complete records.

The Directorate usually provides the form and any other information relevant to the

accident/incident to the ACT Insurance Authority and the ACT Government Solicitor.

Information may also be provided to WorkSafe ACT in accordance with the ACT Work Health

and Safety Act of 2011.

Schools have a duty of care to keep students safe. Where an injury or incident occurs schools

have an obligation to determine what has happened and therefore may question students.

Schools may also ask students to make statements in writing and to sign these statements.

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What's happening with your P&C?

Hello everyone,

My name is Angela Lalor and I am currently the President of the Calwell High School Parents and Citizens Association.

2018 was another busy year for the school, ending with another graduation of Year 10s that has led to a new chapter in their education. They leave to make room for another group of super keen Year 7 students!

I was here on their first day and it was great to be met with a sea of happy faces and red and white tops. It was a real joy to see so many students in our school colours. It has taken a couple of years for the older red and black uniform to be replaced by natural attrition and I hope the bold red and white continues throughout the year!

On that note, I am hoping that the parents of our new students are as keen to participate in other areas of the school – namely our very active P&C! We need new parents to join as many longstanding members will be leaving the school this year as our youngest children are in Year 10.

Why join the P&C?

So, what does our P&C do and why should you become involved? The P&C currently acts in an advisory role to represent the many diverse views of our parents and we work closely with teachers and the school leadership to promote our great school in the community. In the past we have reduced our fundraising efforts to allow students to show leadership in this area in the many programs that the school runs, from the School Representative Council (SRC) through to the QUEST leadership program in Year 10 and even the boys TEAM classes and the LIFT classes. All these initiatives have their own fundraising efforts and the P&C supports them all. Last year we did run a very successful BBQ fundraiser at the Tuggeranong Bunning’s that was a collaboration between students, parents and teachers. It is these out of school events that the P&C will likely focus upon in 2019.

However, new members can also bring new ideas and we are all open to different ways your P&C can support learning and our amazing students and teachers. The thing that binds us all together is that we care. So, come along and meet a bunch of friendly caring people and help us shape the new direction of our school. Last year we had a bunch of serious but fun meetings and I am looking forward to more of the same!

What are the next steps?

I can be contacted through the front office and our P&C meetings always take place on the Wednesday of Week three and Week eight of each term at the school. Our next meeting take place on the 27th of March and start at 6:00pm. Hope to see you all there!

Angela Lalor

P&C President