What’s New for Term 3?
The holidays have given the GCCC staff time to pause for thought on how your children are progressing and where they may need support or help. Perhaps this has also been the case for you as parents and students. Our staff went to a two-day conference last week and were challenged to consider that: ‘School is only of value if embedded in virtues. And, that ‘School and all of its foundational structures need to be challenged.’
A few staff also went to a Google conference and certainly the concept of the foundations of schooling was challenged in this forum. The virtual world and the incredible access to information at the tips of our fingers means that teachers and schools need to consider what their job really is. Teaching our children the virtues of generosity, the importance of belonging, contentment and faithfulness will endure past any body of knowledge and cannot be learnt by exploring the internet.
Extra-curricular Seminars this term
This term, we will have a Study Skills Seminar presented by the company Elevate as well as a Healthy Relationships seminar for each year level. I would encourage you to discuss and explore these two topics as they come up, assisting them to put good practices in place in these two areas. All parents will be notified by email when these will occur.
This week, Internet safety and in particular the danger of ‘sexting’ students was presented at an Middle School assembly. You may find this link to the Police Surf Safely website helpful as parents to gain more insight, help and tips on how to deal with this new area of parenting.
At GCCC we take bullying seriously. No person should have to put up with feeling left out, unwelcome, nervous or wary around others due to ongoing harassment. No matter whether the student or family thinks it is too small or insignificant to tell others – if it is causing distress – we need to know so we can nip it in the bud. Our school Connect site has a discreet bullying link where issues can be reported directly to the Head of Middle School. This has already been highly successful in dealing with issues efficiently and discreetly. It can be found by clicking on the ‘Students and Families’ tab. Then the ‘Handbooks and Support’; ‘Bullying Support’; then, ‘Bullying Report’. Please use this if you would like something followed up. The report is sent directly to the Head of Middle School.
Student- Led Conferences
These will be a great opportunity for you to be a part of your child’s learning journey as there is reflection on how this year has gone so far. This is in no way a ‘show and tell’; rather a productive time of discussing – as a team – with the teachers, parents and child, where they are heading and negotiating how best to move forward positively and proactively. More information will follow soon.
The Sunshine Coast University has an Open Day on Sunday, 10th August.
Even at Middle School age, it is not too early to begin exploring career pathways with your children. They have set up a Parent Lounge website where you can get answers to your questions about the transition from school to university. Their Open Day has a fresh approach where they have set up an Imaginarium for prospective students to explore university options. I would encourage you to check it out with your child.
Homework … something we always do.
At the beginning of a new semester, teachers think again how best to progress their students in their learning – as I am sure students and parents do too. Practice, rehearsal and completion of tasks that students already understand from their class have a significant effect on student’s achievement. Homework should be straightforward and achievable with our Connect site clearly stating what the work is and when it is due.
Remember our Thursday Homework club from 3 -4 pm. Please also contact individual teachers via email to assist your child in this area if you have concerns. You can also check this newsletter article from earlier on in the year to see our recommendations for how much time your child should be spending on homework for each subject.
This is also on the Connect site. There have been a few adjustments with the main one being that we now require students who wish to request an extension to complete a form and bring it in signed by their parent to their subject teacher. If possible, this needs to be 48 hours before the due date. The extension will then be granted as the subject teacher sees fit. After the due date, the draft will be marked if a final is not handed in. However, if the work is below standard, students will be required to complete it after the date to an acceptable standard. This is because we want to set every one of our middle school students up for success!
See you all at Funfest next Saturday.
Jacqualina Vreeling, Head of Middle School