Welcome to Week 6. The Opening College Mass, held last Monday, was a very special event. We not only sought blessings on the new school year but welcomed many new students and teachers as well as inducting our Year 11 Vice Captains. I spoke about our 2020 theme of ‘acting justly’ Pope Francis’ challenge to us:
“That is why I would remind you of the most important question of all. “So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves: ‘Who am I?’ You can keep asking, ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. But the real question is: ‘For whom am I?’”. Of course, you are for God. But he has decided that you should also be for others, and he has given you many qualities, inclinations, gifts and charisms that are not for you, but to share with those around you.”
We also began Lent with an Ash Wednesday liturgy in the Hall. Students will be challenged to ‘act justly’ throughout Lent by hearing the stories of people from various Third World Countries and making contributions to Project Compassion. The Dine and Donate program run in house groups is an excellent example of our students acting rather than just talking about justice. The next Dine and Donate is on Tuesday, March 10.
Our first Community Council for 2020 was held last Wednesday. Mrs Linda Cavanagh was elected as Chairperson and Mrs Natalie Turner as Vice Chairperson. I would like to extend a big thank you to both of these members and to thank all Community Council members for their contributions. The team for 2020 is:
Linda Cavanagh - Chairperson / Parent Representative
Natalie Turner - Vice Chairperson / Parent Representative
Gary Harton - Secretary
Peita Payne - Parent Representative
Charlie Cleverdon - Parent Representative
Tracey Cullen - Staff Representative
Father James Onoja - Parish Priest
Sharon Hibbert/Mark Chifley - Hennessy Leadership representatives (alternating)
Plans for the 2020 Debutante Ball were discussed and we are seeking a guest speaker for the Term 2 Open Forum.
This week we farewell Ms Zoe Lynch as she begins Parental Leave. We wish her and Will all the best on the birth of their first child. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her time at Hennessy - I have heard wonderful things about her from both students and staff.
Parent/Student/teacher Interviews will occur on Thursday, March 12. Please take this opportunity to discuss with your child and their teacher, their strengths and how they can move their learning forward.
How wonderful it has been to hear raindrops this week. Please keep all those affected by drought in your prayers.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are concerned about anything or just if you would like to introduce yourself. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
A reminder that PTS Interviews will be held next Thursday between 8am and 6pm. To book go to https://www.schoolinterviews.com.au/code?z=DlhUEb and enter the parent code: 9cabp
Year 12 students will be in normal classes and should only be making bookings during study lessons or before/after school.
All other classes are cancelled for the day, although there is supervision in the library during normal school hours. Students attending the interviews should do in their school uniform.
USE OF STUDY LESSONS
Year 11 and 12 and again remaindered that they need to be effectively using study lessons. These are not social occasions and nor should they be a chance to argue about their phones with the study supervisor. My observation is that many students are generally not putting as much effort into their work and are instead doing what needs to be done at a minimal with little evidence that they are trying to extend or challenge themselves.
While it’s important students have downtime, they do need to develop a balance between social activities, work and sporting commitments and be prepared to sacrifice some social time when they have a heavier workload when assessments are due. Parental support here is vital as we cannot control what students do out of school time and we appreciate your assistance.
The best use of these lessons is to:
- Complete homework and work on assessments (they can ask teachers to assist if available)
- Make and update study notes from each week’s learning
At home they should be doing such things as:
- Watching relevant and/or assigned ATOMI videos
- Working on homework and assessments
- Using study notes to answer past paper questions – students can find these on the NESA website along with the marking criteria and marker feedback.
So if senior students say they have no homework, that doesn’t mean they have no study work to be doing.
The HSC is a marathon, not a sprint and they should be doing a little each day especially around the completion of past paper questions.
HOMEWORK AND HOMESTUDY IN YEARS 7-10
Stage 4 should be following a home study program – this means completing classwork not done each day and any assigned home tasks that help develop skills. In addition, they should be doing 30 minutes of numeracy and 30 minutes of literacy each weekend. Tasks they could do including:
- Education Perfect exercises for both Numeracy and Literacy
- Mathspace exercises
Stage 5 should be following a homework program which is identical to Stage 4 but they should have an increase in homework and common tasks should be more challenging. Even then, students working efficiently in class and utilising teacher assistance may be able to complete their work during the day. As such they should also be developing their literacy and numeracy skills with the above suggestions appropriate.
We welcome the following students to our Hennessy community over the past two weeks:
We also farewell Isabella Loprestti (Year 10) as she concludes her exchange with us and returns to Argentina. We wish her all the best and have enjoyed hearing all about life across the globe.
Assistant Principal - Teaching and Learning Director of Studies
SHARON HIBBERT ANDREW FOURACRE
The College continues to challenge the students to live this years theme of “Act Justly” by being involved within the College and local community. With that in mind students have involved in many varied activities.
On the 11th and 12th of February Year 11 attended their retreat at Galong. This retreat builds on the theme of the Year 10 Leadership Retreat, welcomes new Year 11’s and also prepares them for their final two years as leaders of the College. The students enjoyed the musical talents and storytelling of Chris Doyle. On the first day Chris challenged the students to make challenging choices and lead a good life. The second day focus on their remaining two years.
The newly elected House Vice Captains were quick to start work by cooking pancakes for all the students on the morning of Shrove Tuesday. Thank you to the College Hospitality staff and students who prepared enough batter for a pancake for every student and staff member.
Year 7 Religion classes were actively involved in their Stewardship Unit by participating in Clean Up Australia Day last Monday. They cleaned the College grounds and surrounding parks. They collected 8 full rubbish bags, only one from the College.
Next Tuesday the College Vice Captains will travel to Wagga Wagga to be involved in the Senior Secondary Pathways. To share ideas and focus on what might help students demonstrate their broader skills, capabilities and experience when leaving school, in addition to their academic results, students can be best supported with effective career advice and planning and how well students are supported based on their individual needs.
Also next Tuesday Gallagher House Captains, Bronte and Zac will host the first Dine and Donate of the Year. This is an initiative where staff and students come together, prepare, cook and share a meal as a House community. They also prepare many spare meals which are donated to the Parish to be donated to the local community.
Later this term the College will work with the local chapter of the St Vincent de Paul Society by working at their centre. This will take place during Year 9 and 10 Religion classes that fall either side of Break 1 and 2. More details to follow.
As always if you have any concerns please contact your child Pastoral Care (PC), House Leader, Jess McInerney or myself.
Lent has begun so the countdown to the Easter Season is on. Lent is a time of PRAYER, FASTING and CHARITY in the Catholic Church.
This year the College will again be supporting Caritas through Project Compassion. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia's annual Lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal. Millions of Australians come together in solidarity with the world's poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
Each week during Lent we will be sharing with the students during PC a different story about a person and their community that Project Compassion is supporting.
This Week is Shirley's story. The links are below if you would like to read or watch:
On Thursday every week until the Easter holidays, student volunteers will be going to PC to collect each PCs Project Compassion box.
We hope that you can give all you can for this worthy cause.
Nagle House has been supporting St Vincent de Paul this term assisting with the service of breakfast to the students of Young North Public School. Our students have kindly donated their time and represented the College in this community service program. There are still a few positions available for the last weeks of term 1. Please see Mrs Nowlan if you are interested.
Thank you to these Hennessy students who have helped out so far; Mia Hennock, Taleah Manwaring, Millie Leitner Ford, Jasmine Sullivan, Indy Bedford, Lydia Martin, Camden Cummins, Tom McEvoy, Charlie Tuckfield, Emma Collins, Jazmine Eschbach, Annabelle Banwell, Isabella Grainger, Bella Brownlie, Darcy Hennock, Sarah Hector, Chloe Norris, Hanna Keevil and Clare Flick.
Hennessy students who elect to study STEM in years 9/10 take part in this competition as part of this course.
This year we achieved our highest ever result with 2nd place out of 8 regional schools.
Henry Lawson High (Grenfell) have won the competition for the last 11 years but our team pushed them the closest it's ever been with the scores only separated by 4 points.
Hennessy finished on 1673 points compared to the winners with 1677 points.
Students only have two weeks of preparation in the lead up to the competition and their representation and participation for the College was outstanding. Congratulations to the following students, who competed in teams to complete a series of engineering challenges to accumulate points for the College.
Will Adams, Damon Xia, Cooper Wells, Jack Anderson, Ryan Blake, Reuben Boldrini, Oscar Cranny, Liam Tierney, Tristian Summerfield, Mitchell Price, Levi Smith, Charlotte Doldissen, Jazmine Eschbach, Campbell Cummins, George Fuller, Ella Nott, Dylan Madden, Luke Lloyd, Adam Galvin, Jebediah Gorringe, Ryan Laybutt, Jayden Hampton, David Harrison, Declan Laybutt, Andrew Hu.
“On Friday, 20th March, Hennessy will be participating in the National Day of Action against bullying and violence. The NDA promotes school, parent and community partnerships to build supportive learning environments and find workable solutions to address bullying. On this day, we are putting our anti-bullying initiatives in the spotlight and calling on our school community to stand with us. We’re proud to say ‘No Way!’ to bullying.”
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ONLINE (adapted from esafety.gov.au):
- Be careful when choosing your online contacts
While having a lot of followers is awesome, it also means that there are more people that you don’t know who can see your stuff. When this happens, there is a higher chance of unwanted contact from strangers (eg through DM’s, comments etc), and a higher chance of your personal stuff being misused.
It’s best to limit your online contacts to people that you know personally, or if this is not reasonable, use your app’s group contact settings to separate the contacts you know personally and those you do not.
- Do a stocktake of privacy settings and use two factor authentication
Every few months, it’s good to do a digital spring-clean:
- check the privacy settings of each app you’re on. In other words, check who can see your stuff, what they can see, and make changes where necessary.
- If two-factor authentication has not been set up on your apps, set them up now. This is a smart way of protecting your accounts, as it will alert you via either phone or email whenever somebody (including yourself) attempts to log in, and will prevent any unauthorised access.
- untag yourself from images/posts that you don’t want to have connected to you.
- Avoid sharing passwords and passcodes
This one cannot be stressed enough. Once a person knows one of your passwords or passcodes, it’s not difficult for them to access all of your accounts (whether you’ve given them access to these or not), and they can cause a lot of drama online on your behalf.
If you know or suspect that somebody knows one of your passwords or passcodes, you should change it immediately and check your app’s settings. (having trouble keeping up with all of your passwords? A password manager may help - check this article for reviews on some of the best: https://www.cnet.com/news/best-password-managers-for-2020/)
- Avoid sharing your private details (or other people’s private details) online.
This includes home addresses, phone numbers, and what school you (or they) attend. It’s also important to avoid sharing in public online spaces where you’re going to be and when you’re going to be there (for example, organising a meetup with your schoolmates through a comments section on social media) - you don’t know who’s seeing that information and what they’re going to do with it.
Another online space where your personal data can be misused is when you are offered something for free (like an iPhone or a gift card) in exchange for your personal details. Think twice before sharing your details in such cases. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is - check in with a trusted and informed adult if you’re unsure.
- When things don’t go to plan, know that help is available
We want you to know that you will not be in trouble for seeking help (even if you think it’s your fault). You do not have to sort out these issues on your own, and the sooner you get help the easier it is to resolve it.
If this happens, this is what you should do:
- Collect evidence: take screenshots, save links, download files.
- Change your password or passcode if necessary.
- Tell a trusted and informed adult: At school, these people are your teachers, House Leaders, Director of Students (Mrs McInerney), Assistant Principal-Wellbeing & Mission (Mr Chifley), Principal (Mrs Holding) or Student Wellbeing Officer (Mrs Mergard).
- If required, report the matter to the social media company or site administrators, and if the material is not removed within 48 hours, report the matter to the eSafety Commissioner (a trusted & informed adult can help with this).
There are also support organisations online who can help with any issues of online safety and wellbeing. These are:
- Kids Helpline (kidshelpline.com.au)
- ParentLine (for parents of children from 0-18 years: parentline.org.au)
- eHeadspace (headspace.org.au)
- eSafety Commissioner (esafety.gov.au)