Dear Parents and Families,
A highlight of the last fortnight has been our first whole school assembly for the year, which was held last Friday. Assemblies are important occasions to bring our school community together to share news and celebrate achievement. Well done to our students; your respectful behaviour set the tone for the significance of these occasions. Our assembly was a celebration of student leadership and included the presentation of badges to Peer Mentors and Prefects. Our Guest Speaker was former student, Alice Robinson, who was Head Prefect in 2016. Alice spoke about her special memories of high school and how her time at Riverside High School has shaped her as a person. She also shared some of her perspectives on leadership. We were well supported by many parents and family members who attended. The student leaders play a very important role in the life of the school and are already involved in a wide range of school and community events. Our student leaders have made a great start in their new roles and it is wonderful to see their enthusiasm. They have already demonstrated that they are positive role models and will be very active contributors to our school. I wish them a rewarding and successful year.
Another important event in the last fortnight, has been the Grade 7 Parent Meet and Greet, held in the Grade 7 area on Tuesday, 25th February. This was extremely well attended by a large number of families and was a great opportunity to meet teachers working with Grade 7 and to share highlights and progress. I know parents also enjoyed visiting classrooms and seeing our new facilities. A huge thank you to our Peer Mentors who made visitors welcome and assisted with catering. Well done!
Subject in Focus
As I continue to visit classrooms and talk to students about their learning, I am continually impressed by the positive start that students have made to the year and the high levels of motivation and engagement that I see. Our students are keen to discuss their work and are very clear about the purpose of their learning. One of our whole school focuses over the last two years has been the use of learning intentions and success criteria. This provides students with clear direction and goals about what they are learning and what they need to do to be successful. It is also a powerful way for students to be able to take ownership of their own learning.
Starting in the next newsletter, we will be featuring a subject area in each edition. This is one way to inform you of the range of learning experiences that students have, to keep you informed of what is happening in our classrooms and to celebrate student learning. We also regularly feature and share classroom learning on our Facebook page.
We really value the importance of consistent and regular attendance. Attending school every day has a big impact on your child’s progress at school and as such we have high expectations for our students in this area. In line with these expectations, the Education Act limits the reasons for a child to be authorised to be absent from school.
Reasons your child can be authorised to be absent from school include:
- medical/legal or related appointments
- natural disaster or extreme weather preventing your child from safely attending school
- terminal illness of an immediate family member
- bereavement of a person that your child had a close, significant or family relationship with
- having witnessed or been subjected to family violence
- participating in a recognised learning experience
- being participant or official at a recognised State, National or International event
- an application for home education being received by the Education Registrar and provisional registration being granted.
An absence from school that is not for a reason in the list will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. As a school we monitor the number of unauthorised absences a student has and where necessary will contact you to follow this up.
We know that sometimes parents choose to take students out of school for a family holiday and while you can still do this, please be aware that these absences will need to be recorded as unauthorised. We encourage you to plan family holidays in scheduled school holiday breaks to ensure that students make steady progress with their learning throughout the school year.
We understand that adolescence is a challenging stage and that there are times when teenagers seek independence and push the boundaries. No matter how hard parents try, some students experience times when they can be reluctant or refuse to go to school. We know that attendance patterns are established very early in the year and that is why we have a strong emphasis on working with you to address any attendance concerns at the start of the year.
What You Can Do:
- Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, make that the expectation. Regular attendance sets up good behaviours for regular attendance at work.
- Help your teenager maintain daily routines such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep. On average, teenagers need 8-9 hours’ sleep to be healthy and alert. You may also need to monitor their use of the Internet, mobile phone and TV at night to ensure they are not staying up too late or being disturbed while sleeping.
- Avoid making hair, dental or medical appointments during school hours.
- Schedule family trips for school holidays, rather than during term time.
- Don’t let your teenager stay home unless genuinely sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.
- Monitor your teenager’s attendance and school performance. A regular check in by phone or email is a good idea. If you have concerns about your child’s attendance, please contact us through the Home Group Teacher, Grade Leader, Assistant Principal, the Social Worker or myself.
Last Thursday a group of students participated in a Student Voice Forum at the Door of Hope. The Forum was to discuss and seek input from young people in relation to the Year 9 – 12 Project, which has a focus on attendance, retention and learning outcomes for this age group. It was fantastic to receive very positive feedback about our representatives who were able to provide mature and insightful feedback to the group. Well done for your thoughtful contribution and for being such great ambassadors of our school - Angus 10C, Caitlin 10F, Cecilia 10B, Evan 9G and Arwen 9C.
© Department of Education 2020
We are currently sending home a letter from Home Group teachers; this is an opportunity for our Home Group teachers to introduce themselves and to outline some important routines. The Home Group teacher plays a vital role in supporting students and I encourage you to communicate closely with them as a first point of contact should you have any concerns or queries.
Today all of our students have had the opportunity to participate in a Digital Thumbprint Workshop focusing on being safe, responsible and positive online. We know that this is a highly relevant and important topic for our young people and hope that they will have taken away some important messages. I am sure it would be a good conversation to have with your young person over the coming days.
Many families would be aware that last week was the beginning of the community engagement process for the new Legana Primary School. It was great to attend the launch last week and I know that there has already been much discussion, feedback and excitement about the opportunity that this will provide the broader West Tamar community. Details of the Community Workshop being held next week are included in this newsletter.
On Sunday, 8th March, our two teams who will be representing both our school and the state in the F1 in Schools National Final, will travel to Melbourne to compete. Teams have done a fantastic job of preparing for this event and it has been a great learning experience. It has been great to see students working so independently and with such motivation. We wish them well during their time away and will be looking forward to updates on their progress.
Ms Natalie Odgers
On Tuesday, 18th February, the Prefect Board attended a GRIP Student Leadership Conference at the Tailrace Centre. We participated in a variety of events taking part in engrossing activities and talks, gaining crucial skills to help us work more coherently as a team and as leaders. This will help us work alongside our peers to create an enjoyable year for everyone. From listening to Ronan and Mani’s stories to engaging in the Noisy Boys’, Sam and Caleb, contests, everyone got something out of this exciting day. We look forward to making use of these skills throughout 2020.
Cameron 10D and Amelia 10D
Friday 6 March (Main Photo Day)
Tuesday 10 March (Absentee Photo Day)
Have your child’s school memories captured forever. MSP Photography will be at Riverside High on the dates featured above. Every student must be in full school uniform on photo day.
Please be aware that all photos must now be ordered online. Your child has received an order slip with a unique shootkey printed on it. Orders received after photo day will be subject to a surcharge.
ORDERING PROCESS FOR INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
- Log on to www.msp.com.au and click ORDER ONLINE. Online ordering will remain open until Midnight, Sunday, 15 March.
- Enter the Shootkey and select the pack you wish to order. Record your Reference Number for your information.
To order a pack for another student from the same family use the “Change Shootkey” function to enter the next shoot key.
Repeat the process with the sibling photo shootkey, you will find this on the separate sibling photo sheet.
- Your total order will be calculated and a discount will automatically be applied for orders over $100.00.
SIBLING/FAMILY PHOTOS (envelope available from School Admin office upon request)
- Families wishing to order photos of siblings together need to follow the information provided on the Sibling slip to order Sibling/Family photos. The student must return the Sibling Photo order envelope with the order reference to the photographer when they have their sibling photo taken.
We greatly appreciate your assistance with this matter.