Newsletter 21 February 2020

Thoughts From..

Head of Kellyville Campus - Mr Irwin Steyn

I had the awesome opportunity to go on the Year 7 camp again this year. One of the main reasons I go is to interact with the students and get to know their names and who they are to some extent. Knowing someone by name and addressing them on it is an awesome way to start a relationship, to start connections.

God said from the beginning: "It is not good for man to be alone." Data collected from 148 studies, involving more than 300,000 people, conducted over three decades, shows just how true this verdict from God is. People who have no social life are 50 percent more likely to die early than those who are well connected. Those who socialize regularly with family and friends live an average of 3.7 years longer than those who lead isolated lives. Friends and supportive people encourage us to "have better health practices, see a doctor, exercise more.” They may also help you directly by making you feel you have something to live for.

It’s also great to see our students disconnect from their devices and make connections with one another, playing sport, hanging out and chatting rather than being absorbed by their phones. Belonging to community is a wonderful thing.

As Hills Adventist College as our community continues to grow may we be a safe haven for many a young person to find connection, acceptance and support to spread their wings and to grow academically, socially and spiritually.

Meet New Staff

Mrs Karen Wilson-Polak

Mrs Wilson-Polak has joined us this year to teach Science and Maths at our Kellyville campus. Mrs Wilson-Polak wanted to become a teacher once she graduated from High School but was informed to not become a teacher as it will shed 10 years of her lifespan! So, as she was interested in Science, she completed a Forensics degree but couldn't stomach the cadavers. She then ventured into colorectal cancer research for her Honours project. During this project, she commenced working as a laboratory demonstrator in the subject area of molecular biology - one of which she has enjoyed for 7 years.

In this role, students told her that she would be a good teacher. This is when God's reaffirming voice told her that she was not following her destined pathway! Under scholarship, she was placed in a secondary high school in Western Sydney. During her 5 years of experience at this school, her passion to help the disadvantaged and be an advocate for justice was amplified. She feels very blessed to have worked with these students as they have impacted her life greatly. Having sat in different positions at her previous school, she felt the need to be further academically challenged and this is how she has ended up at Hills! She feels that it already has been a blessing working here with the amazing staff and students and we feel very blessed to have her join our College community. Welcome, Mrs Wilson Polak!

Quick Facts From Mrs Wilson Polak

  1. My favourite colour is turquoise as it reminds of the peace and tranquility of snorkeling in the coral reefs
  2. I prefer spicy food over sweets
  3. I enjoy growing my own fruit and vegetables.

Mrs Lauren Gray

Mrs Lauren Gray has joined our administrative team this year as the Executive Assistant. Mrs Gray will be familiar to our Castle Hill campus families, as she has spent the last two years as our Canteen Manager there. Previous to this role, Mrs Gray was employed as an Executive Assistant and spent 17 years employed by IBM in this and other roles.

Mrs Gray is a Hills District local all her life, and has been part of our College community for around 11 years. She likes spending time with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking, particularly baking. We are very pleased to have Mrs Gray has part of our team, and know she will make a great contribution in her new role. Welcome, Mrs Gray!


Elevate Education - Parent Seminar

Parents of students in Year 7-12 are invited to a Parent Seminar run by Elevate Education on Tuesday 3 March, 2020. Elevate Education has been running their programs with our students over the past three years. We have had great feedback from our students. Year 12 have already heard from Elevate this year and Year 7 will be have the session next Wednesday. The other year groups will have their session later in the year.

The Elevate Parent Seminar will focus on strategies to help you assist your child to implement good study habits. Your children are also welcome to attend the event.

When- Tuesday 3 March

Time- 7pm - 8pm

Where- College Library (Kellyville Campus)

RSVP- Click on the link below to register

We are aiming to develop study skills for our students as they commence High School grades (Year 7), and assist our Year 11 and 12 students develop a ‘toolbox of techniques’ as they prepare for the HSC. We recognise how important it is for students to learn these study skills progressively from Year 7 to Year 12 in stage specific areas that act as building blocks for highly successful students. The seminars are run by highly successful students and focus on study techniques that have shown to be effective. The following has been the focus for each of our year groups;

Year 7- Study Skills Kickstarter

Year 8 - Time Management

Year 9- Memory Mnemonics

Year 10- Study Skills

Year 11- Time management for Senior Students

Year 12- Ace Your Exams

If you have any further questions please let me know, otherwise I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Mrs Coyle, Director of Teaching & Learning

2020 Premier’s Reading Challenge

What: The Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.

Who: The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Years K-9.

When: The 2020 Challenge kicks off Monday 2 March and closes Friday 28 August.

2019 statistics:

• 64 participants at Castle Hill Campus

• 30 participants at Kellyville Campus

• 48 students completed the PRC for the first time

• 2 students received a Gold certificate for 4 years of overall participation

• 2 students received a Platinum certificate for 7 years of overall participation

• 2 students received a Medal and letter from the NSW Premier for continuous participation from Year 3 – Year 9 (the school’s first PRC medals!)

Register to receive your login details by emailing library@hills.adventist.edu.au with your child’s name and year group. If your child has participated in the challenge at previous schools, please advise the name of the school/s also.

Dymocks Children’s Charities Book Bonus

Reward your school, reward a school in need, reward yourself.

Book Bonus is an online read-a-thon linked to the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC), providing students with a safe and secure opportunity to seek support from family and friends for the books they read for the PRC.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible and donors will receive an official tax receipt.

The benefits:

1. Schools receive new books to 100% of the value of the funds raised.

2. Dymocks Children’s Charities (DCC) will provide 100% of the value of the funds you raise for new books for selected schools in need across NSW.

3. The top three most successful student fundraisers in NSW will also be awarded:

 Highest fundraiser- $2,000 worth of new books.

 2nd highest fundraiser- $1,000 worth of new books.

 3rd highest fundraiser - $500 worth of new books.

(in 2019 our solo fundraiser, Zara Gayan, made it to top five!)

Register online from March 2 2020 at https://www.bookbonus.org.au and make sure you let us know so we can make sure your fundraising page is linked to the school group.


Year 1 & 2's Visit from the Principal

Recently, Year 1 and 2 from the Castle Hill campus had a visit from our new College Principal Mrs Deppeler. The students were intrigued by Mrs Deppeler's story about frog legs and were curious to hear more. We enjoyed hearing Mrs Deppeler's analogy on what love looks like and how it is portrayed in the Bible. We even did a fun craft and made chatterboxes with our principal! This was a very exciting afternoon and it tied in well with the day being Valentines Day.

We look forward to many more visits from Mrs Deppeler.

Miss Trott & Mrs Tuitama

Year 2's Basket Weaving

Mrs Tuitama's Year 2 class have been learning about Moses in the Bible and practiced their fine motor skills by weaving baskets.

Year 9 Visit to Penrith Lakes

Year 9 Students travelled to Penrith Lakes last week for a Science and Geography excursion. Students learned about the quality of Penrith Lakes as its eco-system has changed over the years. It started as a woodland, progressed over time to a farmland, then a mining site, and now is rehabilitated lakes.

Students utilised different abiotic testing methods including that of phosphates, pH, temperature and turbidity. They also participated in biotic testing, including looking for speciation of birds and micrometeorites.

- Mrs Wilson-Polak

Year 11 Biology Excursion to Long Reef

On Tuesday the Yr 11 Biology class went to Long Reef rock platform for their ecology field trip. As part of their course they must complete 15 hours of Depth Studies, their ecology unit fulfills 9 of those hours.

We had fantastic weather, the waves had calmed down and the sun was shining. They were investigating what abiotic characteristics influence the distribution of organisms on the rock platform. It was great to see the kids getting into the animal catching segment – we discovered some pretty cool things.

- Mrs Reid

Mandarin Fun

Year 7 and Year 8 Mandarin students are exploring the paper cutting art after learning about the original paper cutting work that were used during festivals to decorate gates and windows.It originated from the 6th century, a very distinctive visual art of Chinese handicrafts.

- Mrs Cai

Year 8 Learn About the Digestive System

Recently our science teacher Mr Ku took us outside for a practical lesson to show how the digestive system works. We made a model of the digestive system by having 2 buckets, one for our body and one for the toilet. We all mixed coke and biscuits in a plastic seal bag to represent mechanical and chemical digestions and poured the content in a very long sock. The liquid that was pouring out of the sock represented the water and nutrients being absorbed in the intestine and the remaining solids are our waste which is let out into the toilet

- Bhavanjodh Singh - 8A

Year 7 - 12 Swimming Carnival

After School Care - Castle Hill & Kellyville

Mini Miracles after school care have been pleased to commence operation at both campus’ this year, receiving positive feedback and gratitude particularly from the families who live closer to the Kellyville campus.

The OOSH educators have been delighted to meet new parents and school administration staff who have all taken the time to build welcoming community connections.

In week 1, children focused on building a sense of community by establishing a buddy system for the new kindergarten children. Many of the older children said “i want to be a buddy!” and discussed characteristics of a leader; “respectful”, “kind” and “funny”. - Aisa, Angelina, Liana, Shivika

The children were bonding over a game of twister and cheered Melody and Selina on during a hula hoop showdown.

The theme for Week 2 was “Culture”, where the children explored activities that reflect diversity and learning about the traditional land owners. The children have noticed the Aboriginal Flag and the Australian Flag displayed in the OOSH rooms and have asked respectful questions, demonstrating enthusiasm to have a turn to hang them up and lead the group in the Acknowledgement of Country in that week.

- Laura, Mini Miracles

Sports News

Students Through to State Championships!

Congratulations to Marco B who made it through to State in U13 200m hurdles!

The Little Athletics State Track and Field Championships will be held at Sydney Olympic Park weekend of 14/15 March. We wish you all the best, Marco!

Indy W competed at the Little Athletics Regional competition on 16 February, and has made it to the State championship in javelin and discus for under 11 girls. She came 2nd in javelin throwing 17.44 m and 24.12m (5th) in discus. Congratulations Indy on this achievement!