Hello, welcome to the Junior School newsletter for Term 3, I’m Anthea Jamieson, Junior School Principal at Hazel Glen College. I hope this newsletter finds you well in this very challenging time for all of us in Victoria.
Hazel Glen families, along with roughly one million Victorian students and families have been back in the thick of home learning. It has continued to challenge all of us, students, teachers and parents and we have worked very hard to try and support each other, the best way we can. Most parents have similar concerns which vary from “how will my child settle back into regular school when the time finally comes” to “will my child be ready to go up to their next level in 2021.” You are not alone if these thoughts have troubled you.
As educators, much of our work and preparation for term 4 and for 2021 has these concerns at the forefront of every decision we make. Our term 4 programs will be modified and differentiated to support every individual student both socially and academically. Our teachers will be working hard to both assess and fill the gaps and we will utilise all the resources we have available to us. Our 2021 term 1 programs will also be planned to support and build upon this learning so that every child is catered for. Please don’t underestimate the learning that has occurred during this time, particularly around the Victorian Curriculum Capabilities and please have trust that we will continue to work in partnership with you to support our students.
Parent Survey Results
Thank you to all of the parents who took time from their very busy lives to complete our recent survey. I would like to share a snapshot of some of the results with you.
As a Junior School staff we have spent time looking at the responses and are taking on your feedback to make changes where needed. We had a couple of our parents suggest that the children needed more social interaction on our Wellbeing Wednesdays and also spoke about the fact that the students have missed a term where a major focus would have been our Performing Arts House program, with many hours spent creatively designing and rehearsing their performance. We totally agree! In response to this, our Heads of House are working on a special Wellbeing Wednesday in Week 10, our final week of term. Stay tuned for more information on this and please dust off those House Colours.
As one of our Wellbeing Wednesday activities, we have joined the world of Spoonsville.
Hazel Glen’s Spoonsville is located at the Year 1 playground. Please feel free to add as many spoons as your children can make (although I have heard there is a wooden spoon shortage) or you can be extra creative and make them from sticks etc. I hope you are able to enjoy this area with your family on your daily walk or if you live more than 5kms away, perhaps you could start your own street Spoonsville. I love how creative our kids have been!
Parent Teacher Interviews and Wellbeing Day this week
This Thursday we are holding our second online Parent/Teacher interviews. I hope you all have had the opportunity to book in with your classroom teacher and specialists. Due to this day being a pupil free day, we have decided that this will be our Wellbeing Day and Wednesday will be a regular WebEx day of learning. Please ensure your children jump online on Thursday for some fantastic wellbeing activities.
2021 Prep Information Night
If you know of anyone who has not made a decision about which school to send their kinder child next year, please let them know that we are holding an Online Information Evening for 2021 Foundation at HGC, on Wednesday 16th September at 7 pm. Bookings can be made at https://www.trybooking.com/BLIUE
2021 Grade placements
Information will be sent home via Compass shortly, regarding changes we are making to the way in which we gather information to form our classes for 2021.
A Friendship Request form will be sent home with each child in Junior School to be completed together with mum and dad. Please stay tuned for more information in the coming days.
Please continue to contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns you may have. If your teacher is unable to help you they will be able to forward to relevant leadership staff who are always available.
Continue to stay safe and take care. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Junior School Principal
A big hello to you from your new Middle School Principal, Carolyn Bamberg.
I started at the College a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t wait to meet all the students and families when it is safe for us to return. In the meantime, I have been busy getting to know staff and some students, and getting to know the culture of the College. I am so lucky to come to work at such a vibrant and exciting college as is Hazel Glen, with so many opportunities for our young people as they develop across our years of schooling.
Thank you to all families for their continued support of students as they learn remotely as best they can. It’s been heart-warming to drop in on clubs and lessons and witness the kids in action, showing persistence, resilience and creativity. We are coming to the end of one the hardest terms ever, but our students continue to amaze me how they are committing to learning each and every day.
Staff are extremely busy teaching students, while at the same time preparing for the possibility of onsite learning some time in Term 4. What we do know from studies around the world is:
- Students may have learning gaps due to this disruption and we will take steps to address these. However, we are confident this will not adversely determine their future. The skills they have acquired through this adversity will help them thrive in the future, and we will continue to prioritise the most essential learning
- Some students may have trouble adjusting to new routines. It’s very important that we work together to help students adjust to the routine and social life of onsite learning, and this needs to occur gradually over time. They will need to rebuild their stamina for learning over the coming weeks and months
- Some students may struggle socially. Please continue to be proactive in monitoring social media, and encourage communication with friends where possible.
- Some students may feel anxious about returning to school. Some anxiety is normal, however, if this anxiety starts to negatively impact their wellbeing over time, please reach out for help.
Next Friday 11 September, students will attend House assemblies and begin HGC House @ Your House, a fun competition run by our House leaders. Students will have the opportunity to earn points for their house just by showing up to the assembly, and even more by participating in some of the challenges. Look out for more information next week as an exciting way to bring a close to Term 3.
Parent Teacher Interviews
This Thursday we are holding our second online Parent/Teacher interviews. There will be no live classes on this day, and students are not expected to complete their work. We hope they instead take the opportunity to reflect on their own learning, and attend the interview with their guardian.
Attitudes to School Survey 2020
On Friday 11 September, during period 4, students will complete this year’s Attitudes to School Survey. Our Year Level Leaders will guide them through the survey during a live Meet to answer any questions they might have. Their Home Group teachers will also be on hand to support them following the survey if students have any concerns.
Once again, I’m so lucky to be appointed the new Middle School Principal, and I look forward to working with you in the week, months and years to come.
Middle School Principal
Middle School News
Remote learning Term 3
Students and teachers in Year 9 and 10 returned to remote learning from the start of Term 3 with VCE, VET and VCAL teachers being back onsite for 3 weeks. Students and teachers rapidly and efficiently got used to the morning temperature checks and the wearing of masks throughout the day, I would like to acknowledge the way the student body embraced these changes despite the obvious challenges that this brought. When all students returned to remote learning in Week 4 this was a relatively smooth transition back to the online learning platforms of Google classroom and video conferencing. A number of adjustments have been made to our structures and programs across each year level to take on board feedback and observations from Term 2. This has included Year 12 moving to a more synchronous approach with online components for at least a part of each lesson and Year 9 creating a new timetable structure that allowed more effective content delivery, small group conferences and independent practice with time away from the screen blocked in. Students and parents have been surveyed in week 6 and the feedback from this has been shared with teachers in order to support students and develop the most effective programs.
Year 12 VCAL student’s early completion
Congratulations to the 20 Year 12 VCAL students who have completed their Senior VCAL certificates mid-year. These students have worked hard on completing their units of competencies and VET studies across Years 10, 11 and 12 and were able to successfully complete their Senior Secondary certificate at the end of Semester One. Students will be able to receive their certificates as part of our formal graduation program, and most have already transitioned into apprenticeships, TAFE courses or online learning diplomas.
Subject selection process
Despite the restrictions of remote learning and the inability for students and parent to come onsite for presentations and course counselling the Senior School subject selection process continued albeit in a virtual format. A subject selection website was created and populated with information and promotional videos that allowed parents and students to access all the information that would have been ordinarily presented. In addition, Year 10 students had a day of information sessions run by domain leaders online, and this was followed up with 300 Year 10 students receiving a course counselling interview via video conference.
Parent Teacher interviews and Interim reports
This week Term 3 interim reports will be released for parents to be given an update on a students attendance at online learning and their completion of tasks during remote learning. This report should be read in conjunction with the assessment tasks that are displayed in Compass Learning tasks.
Parent teacher conferences will run on Thursday 11 September when students, parents and teachers will be able to meet via Webex video conferencing. Feedback from the Term 2 parent teacher interviews has been overwhelmingly positive that parents liked the convenience of meeting via video. Bookings are now open on Compass.
Senior School Principal