Dear Parents and families,
As our year draws to a close, we can look back on 2019 with a sense of pride in the achievements of our students and what has been accomplished during the year.
This week marks a significant milestone in the lives of our Grade 10 students; highlights have been our Grade 10 Formal Dinner and Graduands Assembly. These have been special occasions for students, staff and families. As we farewell our Grade 10 students we have been able to both honour and celebrate the contribution they have made to Riverside High School. These are a fantastic group of young people who have enriched the life of our school in so many ways. We wish them well in their future pursuits and we look forward to hearing about their success and their progress over the coming years.
Our Presentation Evening last Wednesday night was a wonderful celebration of student achievement from Grade 7-10 and highlighted the many skills and talents of our students. As a school community we have so much to celebrate. We were able to acknowledge effort, progress and achievement in a variety of areas and it was great to see so many students being presented with awards and prizes. The full list of recipients is published in this newsletter. The evening was well attended with fantastic support from both families and community members. It is always great to receive positive feedback from parents and community members about this occasion. I would like to congratulate all students who were acknowledged at Presentation Evening and thank you for your support of our school at this important event. During our Presentation Evening we were also able to announce Prefect roles for 2020 and our current Prefect Board took part in a handover to our new student leaders. Congratulations to our incoming Prefects – we know you are very excited about the wonderful opportunity to be student leaders in 2020!
This week each Grade has held a special end of year assembly. This has included acknowledgement of achievement and effort in a range of areas. I know each Grade has enjoyed the opportunity to share in this time together before the year ends reflecting on successes and highlights.
During the week each Grade was also able to enjoy a picnic and share in celebrating the end of the school year at a range of nearby locations. Students enjoyed the opportunity to have fun, relax and take part in some outdoor activities. A great way to end the year, made even better with fantastic weather!
While I was on duty earlier in the week, I couldn’t help but notice a group of Grade 9 students who had organised their own special lunch to share together to celebrate the end of the year. With a red table cloth, the Santa hats and a table spread with food, it was hard to miss. It was wonderful to see students enjoying each other’s company. What a great example of students showing initiative to care for their friends and get into the festive season!
Capital Works Update
Our redevelopment has continued with increased activity in recent weeks in the lead up to the end of the year. I know that many visitors to our school have commented on the changes and how much has been achieved in one year. We are on track for a large number of teaching spaces to be available to us for the new school year, including our Foods room and 12 new classrooms in our Grade 9 and 10 area. This will be a very exciting change as our senior school moves into contemporary facilities.
The ground floor of our new building will be handed over in various stages throughout February and includes a new Administration area, Library, STEM space, café, Student Support Centre and a range of shared services including IT, Uniform Shop and First Aid.
The demolition of some existing buildings and significant landscaping being undertaken throughout Term 1 is going to require high levels of flexibility and adaptability from all members of our school community in the first part of next year. We look forward to work being completed during Term 2 and to sharing further details with you.
Once again, a massive thank you to all members of our school community for the co-operation, patience and support throughout this process. The end result will be worth it!
Mobile Phones 2020
At the beginning of next year we will be implementing a new Mobile Phone policy, aligned to updated DoE requirements for all schools. This will mean that for students, mobile phones will be required to be switched off and securely stored in lockers during the school day. Any communication between parents and students during the school day, will need to be through the school Admin Office.
While we live in a world surrounded by technology, we are also becoming increasingly aware that mobile phones are causing a distraction from learning and impacting on the development of respectful and supportive relationships. At the beginning of next year we will be communicating to all students very clear expectations with regards to mobile phones at school and we seek your support with this. Further information will be provided at the beginning of next year.
2020 Grade Leaders
Our Grade Leaders play a key role in supporting students, developing a positive and focused Grade culture and working with parents. Our Grade Leadership Teams for next year will be as follows:
We are very lucky to have a hardworking, skilled and dedicated staff team at Riverside High School. This includes not only a very committed teaching team, but a wonderful support staff who work away behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the school. I know all staff take great pride in their work and I would like to thank them for their highly valued contribution to the school this year. Staff constantly go ‘above and beyond’ so that students are provided with an enormous range of additional activities and opportunities. I know that students and parents are extremely appreciative of this; I thank staff for their dedication in ensuring that as a school we can provide such breadth in our program.
Unfortunately, at this time of year we usually have to say farewell to some staff who move on for various reasons.
- Ms Jenny Sharp is retiring after many years of service to the department including working at Riverside High School since 1996. Ms Sharp has taught Art, along with teaching in a number of other areas. Ms Sharp has made an outstanding contribution to Riverside High School and has our very best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement.
- Mrs Gill Phair has worked at Riverside High since 2001 teaching in the area of English and HASS. Mrs Phair has also worked as an AST providing leadership in a number of areas including on Grade teams and in English and literacy. We thank Mrs Phair for her extensive contribution to our school and wish her a long, happy and healthy retirement.
- We are also farewelling a number of other staff who are moving on to other schools and positions. We thank them for their support of our students and their positive contribution to our school. Best wishes to Mr Vince Walker, Mrs Lauren Taylor, Mr Dylan Archer and Miss Brooke Thurlow.
- I’d also like to thank staff who have completed short term contracts this year and have shown great flexibility in very quickly establishing strong relationships with students and providing great learning opportunities in a range of areas. Our thanks to Mrs Marissa Hall, Mrs Meredith Morrell and Mrs Rachael Howell; we look forward to seeing you back in our school for further work in the future.
- Best wishes to Miss Anna Woolley who is taking up an acting AST role at Prospect High School for 2020.
We will have a number of new staff joining our school in 2020 and I look forward to introducing them to you at the beginning of next year.
I would like to thank our parent community for your support of our school throughout the year. We greatly appreciate the value you place on education and the close partnership you have with Riverside High School. These strong relationships are essential in how we support and care for students and achieve high quality learning outcomes.
2019 has indeed been a busy and exciting year at Riverside High School with many fantastic learning outcomes for all of our students. I know everyone is looking forward to a well-earned break. I hope students and families have an enjoyable holiday, an opportunity to enjoy some special family time and a chance to have some fun and recharge! Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy Christmas. Best wishes for a Happy New Year.
Ms Natalie Odgers
Good evening everyone, I hope you have been enjoying the presentation so far. I am so honoured to be standing up here today and speaking to you all. Throughout high school, we undertake a learning journey and tonight I’m going to share mine with you. A lot of people think that getting an award like this means that you’re constantly studying and not being able to sit back and relax. I used to think that as well but having gotten through this year; it’s not like that.
Honestly, it’s best if we go back to the beginning. When I came here in grade 7, I found it a little challenging. It took me a few months to get adjusted to a new school and new people. Grade 8 was a lot more relaxed and while I tried, I was getting an even amount of A’s and B’s. For me back then, school was a little bit more about having fun and friends which I definitely don’t regret. I remember I wanted to be a lawyer back then; something I’m definitely not interested in anymore.
Then at the start of grade nine, I decided to try really hard. I definitely tried, but I was still a little distracted. It was kind of like a New Year’s resolution; I tried for a few months and then tried again whenever I remembered. At the end of the year, I knew I wasn’t going to get the report that I desired. I was really disappointed with myself at the end of last year and told myself I would do better this year.
I told myself I would try harder this year and I did. I threw myself into my work. I started off the year by studying pretty much all the time. I felt productive but I was always stressed. I got all my work done ahead of time and even had time to hand in some extra work. Combined with that and all the planning for Relay for Life, I was always busy. I found out I was always paranoid about my marks and stressed all the time.
When Term 2 started I found it a little bit harder to get back into the swing of things and I realised I had almost completely burnt myself out. I tried to study as much as I was doing before but I was just tiring myself out more and more. When exams came around, I finally had a chance to slow down. With less assignments around the corner it meant our grade got a chance to actually go over everything we had learnt and just slow down. That was definitely an important learning curve for me. It doesn’t always have to feel like you are tiring yourself out to achieve something.
In term 4 and definitely towards the end of the year, I was back into the groove. The difference was I wasn’t stressing as much and eased up if I needed to. Out of school commitments can make it a lot harder to get things done on time so you have to have good time-management skills. Take it slower if you need to but not only because you want to. Push through the work that you have and don’t procrastinate. It might be hard but it’s worth it. It’ll prepare you for next year and every single year of your life after that.
I also learned that it’s alright to not know what you’re going to do in the future. Most of us, know we’re going to college for the next two years but after that it a little bit hazy. And that’s ok because we still have to figure that out.
That brings me to where I’m standing right now. I am so honoured to be receiving this award but I couldn’t have gotten here alone. Thank you to my parents who always pushed me to achieve my best, thank you to my teachers who encouraged and helped me. Thank you to anyone who believed in me, especially my friends.
When I started out last year, I was pitting myself against the people around me. It was more about the competition and not about the achievement. I was trying but for the wrong reasons; a good explanation for why I didn’t do quite so well. But then grade 10 happened, and we all realised what a bumpy ride we were in for. One of the biggest lessons I learned this year was that it is not you against everyone else; it is you against your goal. Don’t bring anyone else into that. Help the people in your class out if they need it. And believe me they will definitely help you if you need it.
One thing in common that our grade had was that we all started to try harder in grade 10. Going to college next year meant that we had to get good grades this year and so many people worked so hard. I know that there were so many other people who could have gotten this award and no one would have batted an eyelash. It was a hard year for all of us but we got through it alright in the end.
Being at Riverside High has definitely been a great experience. Over these four years, it’s no surprise that I have changed as a person. I’ve learnt so many lessons and become a better person overall because of it. The school’s values are ones that I have grown to follow myself. It’s definitely prepared me for the future and for that I will always be grateful to the school and everyone who helped me on my way. It feels amazing to have such an encouraging set of people to go to school with and I can’t wait to go to college with them next year.
This report will be a summary of everything the Prefect Board has either held or participated in this year. As we reflect on this year, we think of all our achievements and how much each individual has developed. Ask yourself if you succeeded in achieving your goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. If you did, congrats - it truly is an important part of your individual development, but if you didn’t - figure out what you can do to achieve it next year. We could mention every event or activity the Prefect Board has ran this year, but we thought it necessary to only mention the ones that had a real impact on either our school community or wider community. During our final Prefect Report, we will also announce the 2019 Prefect Board’s Legacy.
Term 1 saw the Prefect Board take on many activities including Relay for Life, Bullying No Way Day, Harmony Day and Clean up Australia Day. The main activity of the term being Relay for Life. Relay for Life was held on 30th & 31st March, but saw planning begin before the school year even started. Our thanks go to everyone on the Board who helped make this possible but more so to our Fundraising Prefects, Aarthi and Chloe, who worked tirelessly to make sure everything ran smoothly. All together our school was able to achieve our fund raising goal and raised $3,500. Bullying No way Day, Clean Up Australia Day and Harmony Day were days in which we raised specific awareness of issues to our school and planned action to support the cause. For Bullying No Way Day we had a chalk mural where students signed their names, for Clean Up Australia Day we held a house challenge as to which house could pick up the most rubbish and for Harmony Day we ran a poetry and art competition.
Moving on into Term 2 we hosted, Pride Week, White Ribbon Day, ran the sports roster and House Logo Competition. All of these events took a lot of planning, but nevertheless they ran very smoothly. Pride Week was something our Board really wanted to be involved with. For Pride Week, we ran a flag making session, a kahoot and a Rainbow Free Dress Day. To finish off the week we had a friend of the Board, Gabrielle 10B, deliver a moving speech about pride. For White Ribbon Day we talked about the issue of domestic violence in an assembly and as well as that, we watched a video on the issue. We also sold white iced doughnuts and handed out White Ribbon merchandise at lunchtime. Term 2 saw the beginning of the successful sports roster, with Grades 7 and 8 playing football and Grades 9 and 10 playing basketball. Our House Logo Competition began, giving students at Riverside High School an opportunity to have a voice, something our Board has been keen to develop.
Term 3 was a stressful term for the Grade 10’s in particular, due to exams. We thought it only necessary to cut down on how many things we were undertaking so we could focus on our studies. With this though, we still managed to make it a busy term. A sub-committee of the Prefect Board worked together to collaborate with the Grade Councils with the organisation of Multicultural Week. This turned out to be a huge success with the councils holding stalls to celebrate multiculturalism. We held two veranda sessions organised by Mr Rainbird, the Arts Prefects and the music students. We found the veranda sessions to be successful ways to showcase talent and provide lunch time entertainment. The Prefects were also required to help assist at the Parent Teacher night in Term 3. Another service we provided was to assist at the Sparkle for Hope Ball, which was a community event raising money for cancer research. Footy Tipping concluded in Term 3 with the winners being announced. Thank you to all those students who represented their class in this competition. The Deputy Head Prefects, Chelsea and Connor, held moot meetings during the term allowing Grade Representatives an opportunity to discuss events they were planning. These proved to be very beneficial. The Health and Wellbeing Prefects thought it necessary to hold some lunchtime activities that helped cope with stress that many Grade 10 students were feeling. They held a half court shoot out and a yoga session. The house top designs were finalised and the tops were printed ready to be purchased by students for the Athletics Carnival. Thank you to all those students who helped contribute to the logo designs. Added to the busy time we saw, thirty Grade 10 students set off to Cambodia the last week of term and had the most amazing time. A far less busy term for the Prefects but, we can assure you, it was stressful.
Term 4, our final term for 2019. It was at this point we realised how quickly time had flown. Term 4 has been a very busy one for us all. The Health and Wellbeing Prefects ran their house meetings for the Athletics Carnival and spent countless hours organising the events for the carnival. The amount of work the Health and Wellbeing Prefects put into the carnivals goes without saying. The Academic Prefects held the Academic Carnival. This went for three days during Week 7. Congrats to all the winners and thank you to those who participated. The Arts Prefects held Arts Week that consisted of many activities throughout Week 6. Once again, congratulations to all the winners of the competition and thank you to the competitors. The Arts Prefects, Eliza and Daniel, did their very best to get the equipment and organisation required for next year’s Prefects to pursue the mural. Due to its popularity this term, we decided to continue the basketball sports roster once more. This turned out to be a major success with many people playing their best and others cheering them on in the gym grandstand. Congratulations to all teams! Term 4 has consisted of many assemblies and the amount of effort that goes into organising an assembly is tremendous, so Will and I just wanted to say a big thank you to Mr Smith, Ms Burt and also to Mrs Matkovich with her work around the Presentation Evening. Although Term 4 started with students continuing to work hard in class, it has quickly come to the time of celebrations, especially for the Grade 10’s, so on behalf of the Prefect Board, we hope you have enjoyed your last days of fun activities.
The organisation and planning of our legacy has been a significant part of Term 3 and 4. At the beginning of Term 3, the Board brainstormed ideas for our legacy. We decided that we wanted something interactive and something that would fit nicely in the new redevelopment. With much thought and consideration, we decided to contribute to the new outdoor area of the school. With considerable consultation with Ms Odgers we have planned to purchase a Table Tennis Table to go in this area. This will be at the gym end of the new Block 4 building and this space will be developed with a roof and seating, the brick wall be painted with the mural. The school will also purchase 2 more Table Tennis Tables to make this space a fun place to be. Although they will not be purchased until the end of the redevelopment, we wanted to show you what they look like.
We hope students enjoy using these during lunch and recess and they will also be incorporated in physical education classes.
As a Board this year, we have endeavored to make the school a better place. Whether it be by running activities to connect us all together or by raising awareness of some very real and significant issues. Ella and I cannot thank the Prefect Board enough for consistently working hard to make sure everything works. We thank all the teachers and staff for giving us the ability to move into college comfortably, and for this we thank you. From our Grade 7’s to our Grade 10’s, all of you have played a massive role in making this year one, none of us will ever forget. Ella and I speak on behalf of the Prefect Board when we say you guys have been truly amazing and you are all destined for great things. Thank you.
We extend our best wishes to the 2020 Prefect Board and wish them every success.