From the Head of Campus - Castle Hill
I'm sure you, like myself, find yourself at the end of every year saying "This has been a big year." And the next year rolls around, and you feel like it's been an even bigger year. 2018 has been no exception. As a College community this year we have enjoyed so many highlights, moments of pride we want to savor and we have celebrated often. There have also been various challenges, some disappointments and even tears.
This school year has been another vivid example of the best that life can bring, as well as the challenges that confront our College families at times. Hills is a very special school and I count it a rare privilege to have been a part of the College, yours and your children’s lives for these last few years.
As the years quickly comes to an end it is clear to see from the endless stream of children with Christmas cards, presents and party food coming through the gate of a morning at Castle Hill campus Christmas is only around the corner.
While Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, He was born to overcome the very things that left unchecked would destroy the human spirit of love, tenderness, and selflessness. Jesus came to this earth and gave his life for us so that we have hope, joy, peace and love, now and forever.
As we continue the build up to Christmas and anticipate all that the summer holidays promise, may we all benefit from the spirit of Christmas and have an extra helping of hope, love, joy and peace this holiday season. - Ms Jessica Lee
Spend time with your children these holidays. When I say time, I don’t mean running errands together. I mean engaged time, or quality time. There is research that states that activities where the focus is on the child are most beneficial to the child-parent relationship . Not only that, this research indicates that the benefits are not just achieved through quantity, but that quality is a determining factor. The following are some dos and don’ts that may help you when spending quality time with your children these holidays.
1. Join in on whatever they want to do. Work/play alongside them.
2. Let them direct the activity and show how it should be done.
3. Encourage them! Actively show/tell them that you are proud of them.
4. Be present in the moment. Take that time to observe how your child has grown and changed this year. Notice their natural talent. You will feel rewarded by doing this!
5. Switch off/disengage from distractions around you.
1. Choose the activity yourself unless they explicitly express that they are happy for you to choose.
2. Try to show them how it’s done. If you want to make a suggestion, ask first. Suggestions can be easily taken as criticism.
3. Be distracted. Don’t have the television running in the background, be checking your phone, or be trying to clean up around them.
4. Base your activities around screens. If they want to show you a video game, join in for a limited time. But don’t let that be the only activity you interact with them on.
Merry Christmas and God bless you and your families in 2019!
- Mrs Sarah Kross
1. Milkie, M.A., Kendig, S.M., Nomaguchi, K.M., Denni, K.E. (2010). Time with children, children’s well-being, and work-family balance among employed parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 1329-1343. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00768.x
Staff Changes for 2019
We have some additional news regarding changes to the teaching staff at Hills Adventist College next year:
Jaina Puthumana is joining our English/HSIE departments. Jaina is a recent graduate from the University of Sydney and has extensive experience in the areas of mentoring and coaching students for exam preparation, essay writing and creative writing. She has also been a volunteer teacher for refugee language programs. She is very keen to be joining the Hills Adventist College team.
Dominique van der Merwe has accepted the Year 5 teaching position. Dominique has over 16 years of experience with a long background in teaching core skills; encouraging collaboration in the classroom; applying enquiry-based learning; and fostering the use of learning tools to enhance student learning. Dominique has previously been a casual teacher on the Castle Hill campus and will make a great contribution to our programs.
Sarah Rose has been a casual relief teacher on the Kellyville campus. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker and will be moving into the LOTE role vacated by Ms June Zheng. Sarah has a keen interest in assisting students with special learning needs. She is the organiser of a charity, ‘Lovehasnolanguage’ which supports students in Vietnam.
Chanel Gibson, who is currently teaching Health and I.T. at our Castle Hill campus, will now be coordinating the Learning Support program at Castle Hill. Chanel will be working closely with Susie Coyle to develop our learning support plans. Chanel is no stranger to our College community. We appreciate her willingness to move into the learning support role.
Home & School Association 2019
Last week, the Home & School Association conducted its final meeting for 2018. At that meeting the executive team shared their reports and vacated their positions to facilitate the election of new officers.
We want to take this opportunity to publicly affirm the huge contribution made to the Home & School by Richard Rudenko, who has chaired the committee over many years, and Pastor Pablo Lillo, who has been a leader for the Home & School through event management and as the committee's chaplain. Their individual and collective contribution to the success of the college will be long lasting.
The new Home & School Executive Team was then voted into office. The new team comprises:
Secretary: Fiona Hilbrink
Treasurer: Carolyn Bertelsen
Vice President (Junior School): Steve Coyle
Vice President (Middle School): Jo Jackson
Vice President (Senior School): Fiona Ludlow.
If you would like to be involved in the Home and School, please come along to our meetings in 2019. All families from both campuses are invited to be involved in the great work the Home & School Association does to support our College.
Year 8 Assembly
Year 7 & 8 STEM Challenge
Our Year 7 & 8 students have taken part in their final STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for the year. The students undertook a traditional engineering challenge called the ‘Rube Goldberg Machine.’ In this challenge, the students worked collectively as a year group to design and construct an overly complex automated machine that used over 50 individual elements working in a sequence to switch on the lights on a Christmas tree. The students learnt about levers, pulleys, inclined planes and many other mechanisms as they persevered through, and solved the many problems that they encountered along the way. The Year 7 & 8 groups did an exceptional job with both machines being successful. Well done! - Mr Kent
Year 7 & 8 Textiles Projects
The year 7 & 8 Textiles classes proudly showed off there completed PJ shorts recently. Most students had never used a sewing machine before, and used their personal style to design and produce some great results that even Peter Alexander would be happy to sell. Well done ! - Mrs Martin
Year 3 Student Honoured for Fundraising Efforts
Ilia (Year 3) was recently invited to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead by the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Morning Tea as a thank you for the fundraising that he has done for PICU over the last 4 years. Ilia's mother tells more below about that day:
"He was personally thanked by the Director of PICU Nick Pigott and other staff members as well. They were all very humbled and surprised that a boy of Ilias’s age does this. He was also the only person asked on the day to be taken through PICU which was a very special time and also very sad being in there.
Ilia had many special conversations on the day about his fundraising and why he does this.
Below are some photos of Ilia with Nick Pigott the Director Of Paediatric Intensive Care Unit who took us on a tour of PICU.
Since then we also received a personal thank you by email and a personal written note to Ilia by the Director of Paediatrics thanking him for his continual contribution.
Ilia is already brainstorming on what fundraising event we can do next year for PICU. (I told him let’s just get through our Christmas Toy Donation first and then we can focus on a fundraising event) 😊
We feel very blessed to be able to help others in need through our fundraising and toy donation."
Ilia also recently featured in the newsletter from the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for all his fundraising efforts and Christmas gifts he has helped organise to be donated to Westmead Childrens Hospital (see previous newsletters for more details). We are so proud of you, Ilia, what a great heart for others you have.
Sport House Leaders for 2019
Sport House leaders have been announced for 2019, and on Monday 3rd December the College recognized those students who succeeded in their application for Sport House Leader positions. Students filled out a self-nomination form and had to present reasons why they would be suited for the position. As Head of Sport, I am looking forward to working with the new sport house leaders in 2019. - Mr Ward
Brady Boehm “I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead my house throughout 2019 and being a good example for the little kids.”