From the Principal's Desk
With the term and College year now well underway we are pleased to see so many students highly engaged in learning and making a positive contribution to our culture. It is especially pleasing to see how well our new students are connecting with friends, teachers and their new learning community. This is also the stage in the term where a few students test the boundaries. In that vein we are noticing an increasing number of issues arising from inappropriate use of mobile phones. This issue is not unique to our community but it is something we want to discuss with parents in the near future to establish new guidelines around the use of mobile devices.
According to a number of experts, the benefits of mobile phones include:
• The link that is possible between parents and their children for issues of safety,
• Phones offer access to assistive technologies which benefit students with certain learning needs,
• ‘Selective, quality and empowering’ uses of technology enable student learning.
Those who promote the benefits also believe that phones are now so prevalent that students need to learn to use them appropriately, and that to ban them will only encourage students to hide their phones.
The concerning issues being identified across a range of research projects include:
• The loss of face-to-face communication between individuals,
• The evidence that smartphone apps prompt dopamine release, creating an addiction,
• Having a phone in close personal proximity diverts our attention (even on silent or turned upside down) which in turn reduces working memory,
• We are less able to cope with uncertainty, which is linked to rising levels of anxiety,
• Viewing inappropriate content,
• Using the camera to video others in compromised behaviours and then transmitting onto social media.
Late last year the NSW Education Minister, Mr Rob Stokes, ordered a review of mobile phone use, under the leadership of highly respected child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. The recommendations from that report have very recently been released and are available online (sorry for the irony!) at https://education.nsw.gov.au/about-us/strategies-and-reports/media/documents/mobile-phone-review.pdf. As a result of the NSW Education Department review ‘mobile devices will be banned during school hours in NSW public primary schools and high schools will have the choice to opt in to a ban or introduce measures to more tightly restrict the use of devices during school hours’.
NSW Premier, Ms Berejiklian said: “We want to ensure mobile phones and other smart devices complement students’ learning, and are handled at school in an age-appropriate way.” “These changes will provide clear boundaries in our schools to ensure technology remains an enabler, not a detractor.” [https://education.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/nsw-takes-action-on-mobile-devices-in-schools].
Over coming weeks we plan to engage our community in a discussion of the research into mobile devices to inform a review of the College policy. We look forward to your thoughts on this matter and will share how to provide input on this topic in the next newsletter.
- Dr Malcolm Coulson
New Staff Profile
Ms Jaina Puthumana
Jaina has commenced teaching in our Humanities Department, teaching English, History and Geography. She completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Secondary Education at the University of Sydney, and has previously taught on a casual basis with our sister school, Mountain View Adventist College. She was born in Papua New Guinea, and moved to Australia when she was 8 years old. Jaina loves to read, and is a particular fan of the Lord of the Rings series of novels. She would like to see all her students at Hills grow in knowledge and confidence, and we are very happy to have her join the teaching staff this year to assist our students in this area.
Ms Kira-Leigh Josey
Welcome to Ms Kira-Leigh Josey, who has come to us from studying at Avondale College, and is teaching Biblical Studies. Her interests include reading novels, writing articles and podcasting. She has a vision for each student at Hills to have an understanding of how much they are valued. We are so happy Kira-Leigh has joined our teaching staff this year.
Year 7 Enrolments for 2020
Please note we have been experiencing extremely high demand for Year 7 places over the last year or two at Hills Adventist College. While this is a happy problem to have, we also want to ensure our current families are able to enrol their children as a priority. If you have placed an application for another child in your family for Year 7 for 2020, and you have been contacted by our Registrar to arrange an interview with the Principal, please contact Mrs Reilly ASAP at email@example.com, so we can proceed to the next step in your application process. We do not want any of our current families missing out on a place.
If you have yet to submit an application, and you are a current family, please do so as soon as possible. You can submit an online application on our website, or pop into the office to pick up an application form. Interviews are currently being held, and will continue into April, after which all offers will be sent out. If you know of a family that would like to enrol for 2020, please advise them to do this as soon as possible.
2019 Open Days
We are again holding Open Days for families that are interested in sending their children to Hills Adventist College. If you have friends, family or neighbours that would be keen to explore our College, particularly with students who will be ready for Kindergarten in 2020, please let them know to register on our website for either Castle Hill or Kellyville Open Days.
2019 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. *Please note students will receive House Points for participation*
When: The 2019 Challenge kicks off Monday 4 March and closes Friday 30 August.
• 29 participants at Castle Hill Campus
• 22 participants at Kellyville Campus
• 18 students completed the PRC for the first time
• 5 students received a Gold commendation certificate for 4 years of participation
• 6 student received a Platinum certificate for 7 years of participation
Register to receive your login details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name and class. 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.
1. Schools receive new books to 125% of the value of the funds raised.
2. Dymocks Children’s Charities (DCC) will provide 25% of the value of the funds you raise for new books for selected schools in need across NSW.
3. Students who raise:
$200+ will be rewarded with a book of their choice* to the value of $20.
$380+ will be rewarded with a book of their choice* to the value of $40.
$560+ will be rewarded with a book of their choice* to the value of $60.
Register online from March 4 2019 at https://www.bookbonus.org.au to start earning books for your school and schools in need!
If you are interested in booking in for Vacation Care in the April school holidays, this will be run by Mini Miracles at our Castle Hill campus. Please click on the link below to see a program and contact Sharyn at: email@example.com to book in.
Australian National Chemistry Quiz
Please click on the link below to access information regarding this Quiz, run by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. If your child is interested in participating, please contact Ms Hey at the College or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
K-6 Swimming Award Presentations
Our lunchtime Makerclub has recently started again this year, with over 30 creative and eager students attending on Tuesdays and Fridays in our new Makerspace. Students are currently designing and creating pop-stick catapults - where they will build, evaluate, problem solve and rebuild to create the best catapult they can! Students are also learning about using 3D modelling software to bring their own ideas to life. Later this year students will explore electronics, prop making, advanced 3D modelling and many more exciting skills!
- Mr Taskis
Clean Up Australia Day
On Friday March 1, students at Kellyville in Kindergarten and Year 1 set out with their bright yellow gloves to participate in 'Clean Up Australia Day'.
Students enjoyed working together to make our school grounds free of rubbish and taking part of something bigger, helping to keep our country clean. It was great to see the enthusiasm and passion students showed in being responsible for places important to them.
We look forward to next year where we hope to assist with cleaning up another part of our local community.
- Mrs Weslake & Mrs Steyn
Year 8 Science Fun!
For Year 8 Science this term, we are learning about the human digestive system. Our teacher Mr. Ku introduced a practical lesson, showing us first hand, what our digestive tract looks like as it digests the food that was consumed. It was very fun as we got to use everyday items like coke and crackers. However, it was devastating to see the coke and crackers combined into a mush as some of us were very excited to drink and eat it. This mush was then put into a stocking that overhung a bucket. The solid parts of the mush stayed trapped in the stocking, while the liquid matter escaped into the bucket. The solid part trapped in the stocking was our waste while the liquid matter was the nutrients from the food that our body soaked up. Through this lesson I was able to understand clearly of what happens in our digestive system.
-Soee K, Charmaine C and Ruisi L from 8C.
‘It was disgusting but fun and interesting.’- Charmaine
‘I couldn’t handle how it turned out in the end, it was too much for me.’- Ruisi
Year 3 Bike Safety Excursion
On Thursday 7 March, Year 3 had the opportunity to go on a bike safety excursion teaching students about how to ride safely on the road. Students learned about the 4's: scanning, safety, signs, smooth moves. Everybody loved the practical component of the day and we all learned something new!
Year 6 Aquarium Excursion
Year 6 students went on an excursion to SeaLife Aquarium in Darling Harbour. The excursion complemented the unit ‘Living Things’ that the students are studying in Science. The visit to the aquarium enabled the students to explore adaptations of marine life. It was amazing to stand in a tunnel with sharks, sting rays and a dugong swimming above us. It also included a chilly small boat ride through the penguin enclosure. It was a great day filled with excitement and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves!
A few weeks ago, two Year 6 students Atharv B and Elysha H represented our college in ASISSA Tennis and Basketball trials. Atharv traveled to Maroubra to the Tennis trials and finished in the top 4. He then progressed to the CIS Tennis trials on 25 Feb where he played well but unfortunately didn't make it through. Elysha traveled to Sydney University to the Basketball trials and played well scoring points in her games, but didn't make the team this time. Congratulations to both students for representing our College!
Year 5 Gala Day
Last week Wednesday the Year 5's participated in a Gala Day, playing T-ball and League Tag against other schools. Our learners gave it their best and we were extremely proud of their great teamwork, sportsmanship and positive attitude. Overall, a fun day was had by all and they did Hills Adventist College extremely proud. Well done Year 5's, your dedication and hard work has paid off.
- Mrs van der Merwe