Week 5 – Term 3
Welcome to week five. We have had another great week, with some highlights this week being the Middle Years incursions from Headspace and the “Kidnapped Teacher”.
Headspace is an organisation committed to building the mental health of Australians. The sessions developed our students understanding of mental health, resilience and how to support friends whose mental health may be suffering.
Rob Hunter is a teacher with an amazing story of resilience. He has written a book called “Health After Hurt” and works in a range of schools to deliver positive messages around resilience and personal growth. Having been kidnapped in 1977, he tells his story of survival, of bravery, or resilience and focus. This captivating presentation had our students listen attentively, captivated by his tale, and how he navigated and survived a harrowing ordeal. The workshop equips students with practical tools to cope with their own challenges and the promotion of good practice to facilitate social, emotional and mental health and character strength development.
During the week staff participated in two professional learning sessions, focussing on how to build on students strengths through classes and the other on lifting VCE outcomes, and what we need to focus on to best assist our Unit 3 and 4 VCE students prepare for their practice exams in the up[coming holidays.
Students by now should have concluded their course selections, and that data sits with the College Leadership Team as they now determine which subjects run in 2020.
This week the ABC ran a story on capital expenditure and Australian Schools, list the “richest” schools in the country. They based this definition of “rich” around capital investment in classrooms and facilities. There is no doubt these investments assist a school build and maintain a positive culture for learning, and over time FHC has invested heavily in this area. However, culture is developed through great people, processes and facilities. At FHC we feel rich. We have a wonderful staff, with great facilities and processes. We are blessed to employ such a talented and dedicated staff that provide wonderful opportunities every day to our students. Whilst we have an inequity in our country around school funding, and the debate is a very hotly contested one, at FHC, we are rich in culture. We believe in students and staff working hard to achieve personal best, and that’s what makes our school great.
During the week we also displayed and celebrated the entries to our Art Competition. This year the theme was climate change, and the works were all inspired by our students views on the topic. Some provocative and challenging views were seen in some amazing pieces of Art. Many students visited the exhibition throughout the week, and the level of sophistication of the conversations they were having about student art work was great to hear. The amount and the quality of the entries exceeded past years. Winners will be announced later this term at Assembly. We would like to congratulate all students on their wonderful work, and thank Sam Smith for her tireless efforts to once again make this competition a key feature of the College calendar.
Finally we wish the Nunawading Spectres all the best as they take on the Bendigo Braves in the NBL 1 Grand Final this Saturday night. Basketball Academy coaches Dain and Luke will both be representing the Spectres in the game. In fact, Dain Swetalla has been named in the NBL1 All Star team such has his performance been across the season. The match will be played on Saturday August 17 at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, tip-off at 8pm. Go Dain and Luke.
Have a great weekend.
Year 8s Grit and Resilience Day
Rob Hunter, author of Kidnapped Teacher, spent time sharing his experiences and learning, with our Year 8s. Rob spoke about when he was kidnapped, along with 9 students, in 1977. His riveting storytelling had our Year 8s hanging on every word. In the follow up workshop, Rob shared his journey to health and recovery. He shared the power that gratitude, forgiveness, having an outward focus and a strong foundation had upon his way towards healing.
Rob encouraged the Year 8s to consider what they are grateful for, encouraged them to let go of their hurts in order to free themselves, to develop an outward focus (to reach out to others) and to build a strong foundation of purpose in life.
The session covered;
- Heroism and bravery
- Character strengths
- Social, mental and emotional
The story of the Kidnapped Teacher demonstrated that life can involve setbacks, pain and sadness however it is how we deal with this that defines us as survivors or victims. Choosing to move forward, seeking support and pursuing recovery enables someone to move past the pain and not to forever defined by it.
Mental Health Literacy Workshops
Today all year 8 and 9 students at Forest Hill College participated in a mental health literacy workshop facilitated by Headspace Schools. The workshop aimed to open up a discussion on mental health and wellness, explore helpful coping strategies as well as noticing the need for support and how to access it. The workshop experience provides the opportunity for parents to continue this discussion by asking their child what they have learnt and what changes they plan to make so as to improve/maintain their mental health.
- to improve their quantity or quality of sleep by switching on the blue light filter on their phone,
- getting more exercise by walking the family dog most days
- selecting healthy food options over “junk food” on school days
- develop a routine for practising mindfulness
- scheduling time to connect with friends face-to-face
- giving time to their passion
- being more balanced with the amount of time online
- identifying who they can talk to and planning how they initiate that conversation.
There are many possibilities. If your child is able to identify an area for improvement they are more likely to commit to it with your support.
If you would like more information for your child, tips to keep a good mental health can be found at:
If you would like to know more about building resilience in your child, building good mental health in young people for parents can be found at:
Adolescent Health Nurse, Forest Hill College
Department of Education and Training
Academy Pre-Selection Morning
Our next Academy Pre-Selection morning is fast approaching. Students and prospective students for 2020 are invited to attend and try out for their Academy of choice.
Bookings are essential and can be made through our event on Trybooking.