Hills Adventist College Newsletter - 9 November 2018

Principal's Message

We are probably all saying, ‘The year has flown’, ‘How can it be Christmas in six weeks?’. Just reading those words might be adding to your stress, so we have the answer –


A moment to chill out, forget the rush, have some fun, enjoy a laugh and some food, a moment for the whole family, and all for a great cause.

Our Home and School Association has organised the Colour Fun Run for next Sunday, November 18. It will be a great time together. Students can help fundraise by chasing sponsors to raise money to help improve the facilities they use each day at College.

Please take a moment to put this event in your calendar and for more details see further down in the newsletter. We look forward to seeing you next Sunday.

Counsellor's Corner

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Have you ever felt sad, angry, anxious, or so hungry that you’re in a bad mood? Have you ever struggled to stay calm? Children experience the same big feelings that we do as adults. But because of their age, children often lack the tools they need to manage these feelings. This is when we see melt-downs at home and at school that can often be dramatic and even overwhelming for us as parents and caregivers.

There is a reason for your child’s behaviour. It is very important not to dismiss the signals they are giving you. Something is wrong in their world and they need you to take the time to talk to them.

Children need strategies to help them manage their big feelings. The following strategies are from a website called https://theschoolcounselorkind.wordpress.com:

1. Name the feeling

- Help your child figure out which feeling they are having/were having. Putting a name to it can help validate their experience. Having a feelings poster or reading children’s books about feelings can be helpful to identify their own feeling.

2. Normalise the feeling

- It can be confusing for a child whose feelings take over and lead to behaviours they may not usually have. Explain that all people have these feelings sometimes, and we all have to learn how to manage them.

3. Talk about what is going on in their body and brain

- Our brains and our bodies are connected, and our brains send out signals when we experience certain “big feelings.” Explain that we have a part of our brain (thinking brain) that’s in charge of making decisions, thinking things through, and managing our emotions. Explain that another part of our brain (emotional brain) is in charge of important things like breathing, digesting food, and holds onto big feelings like anger or anxiety; this part of our brain also reacts to any threats, and can make us feel like we need to run (flight), fight back, or freeze. Sometimes this part of our brain overreacts, and we need to try strategies to calm it down.

4. Practice calming/self-regulation skills

- When children are calm, their thinking brain is on, and this is the best time to come up with a plan for when their emotional brain tries to take over. Encourage taking a break (not a timeout as this is not to be confused with discipline), deep breathing, releasing angry energy by exercising, and relaxation strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation, colouring, music, etc. Practice these repeatedly when they are calm. Helping your child begin to recognize their body’s early signs of a big feeling (heart racing, clenched jaw, etc.) can help them learn when to use their self-regulation skills.

These strategies are just as relevant for adolescents, however, the implementation needs to be adjusted appropriately for age. Adolescents experience the same big feelings and often feel overwhelmed. It is important that as parents and care-givers that we still make the time to listen and work through the feelings, as shown above.

- Mrs Sarah Kross, College Counsellor


College Staffing for 2019

Over the last couple of weeks staffing for 2019 has been underway, creating changes for members of our staff.

Jess Lee, our Head of Campus at Castle Hill has accepted a position at the Greater Sydney Conference office as Project Officer for NSW/ACT, managing Primary curriculum, ELCs and teacher accreditation. This is a great opportunity for Jess and we congratulate her on this appointment. Jess has been Head of Campus for the last 3 years and will move to the Conference office at the end of the year. We wish Jess the very best as she starts the new role.

Julie Sutton, our Learning Support Coordinator at Kellyville, has been a central figure in all learning support developments at Hills over many years. Julie has accepted an appointment to Wahroonga Adventist School where she will continue her learning support role as a classroom support specialist.

Susie Coyle, currently our Learning Support Coordinator at Castle Hill, has accepted the position of Learning Support Coordinator on the Kellyville campus, replacing Julie. Susie has been a key figure in developing our learning support processes. We welcome Susie to her new role.

Tara Ratu (Hansen), who teaches in the humanities department, has recently applied for teaching work in the UK. The Ratu family plan to work, travel and immerse themselves in the UK/European experience for 2019. We look forward to hearing about their overseas working/travelling adventure in due course.

Lynne Steyn currently teaches Kindy-Year 1 at Castle Hill and will be transferring to Kellyville to teach Year 1. We are looking forward to the progression of the Junior School program at Kellyville and thank Lynne for transferring to join Alyssa Weslake in looking after the youngest students on the Kellyville campus.

Breanna Davies, an Avondale College graduate, will join us to teach Science and Maths for Middle School.

Emily Trott is an Avondale College graduate who will join the teaching team at Castle Hill in the position of Year 1 teacher.

Both Breanna and Emily are very excited to be starting their teaching careers with us in 2019. Both teachers found their time teaching in Cambodia as part of their professional training to be inspirational and life changing. We welcome Breanna and Emily to our staff.

Coralee Kemp, who has been on a one-year contract at Castle Hill, plans to seek employment closer to home on the Central Coast. We are grateful for Coralee's time on staff and we wish her well as she re-establishes her home on the coast.

Katrina Williams will be transitioning from Year 1 to teaching the Year 3 grade at Castle Hill. Katrina has enjoyed the move to Year 1 and is equally excited to be teaching Year 3.

Ian Cangy, our newly ordained Chaplain, has been appointed to two churches - Associate Pastor at Parramatta and Pastor at Caringbah. Ian moves to his new ministry appointment with great memories and depth of experience from his time at Hills and we know God will continue to best his future plans.

- Dr Malcolm Coulson, Principal

Overview of NAPLAN Data - 2018

Quick Facts

• Percentage of each year group that achieved in the top two bands for numeracy:

• Steady growth seen in Year 3 reading results over time, this reflects changes the College made to our reading program in 2016.

• 78% of Year 5 students showed greater than expected growth between year 3 and year 5 in reading

• Over 75% of Year 7 students showed greater than expected growth in either Reading, Spelling or Numeracy

• 55% of year 9 students achieved greater than expected growth in Writing

Overall, our results were very encouraging, especially those that show our growth over time. Our focus is growing every child two years for two years at school. We have achieved growth greater than this in many cases.

As good as these results are, I want to acknowledge the result that shows our area for growth as a College. Our writing growth results were not at the level that we would like. However, we have already started making changes in this area, with a focus on staff training (K-8), student practice and implementation of a new writing program for K-6. We still have more to do in this area as a College and we encourage you to assist your child improve their writing at home by:

• Encourage students to read regularly from a wide variety of texts

• Help your child edit their homework and assessment tasks by asking them to read it out loud to you, to help pickup errors

• Encourage journaling

• Assist your child in the planning stage of assessment tasks so that when they write there is a clear and prepared plan to follow with ideas that flow

- Mrs Carlie Deppeler, Director of Teaching & Learning

Travelling by Public Transport

Just a reminder for those who have children travelling to and from school by public transport. If students are travelling on public buses, they MUST have an Opal card, otherwise they have to pay adult fares in CASH. They must also ensure that they "tap on" and "tap off". Thank you for noting this.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is a project we as a College have been supporting for a number of years. Students are invited to fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts for children around the world who are living in poverty.

Each shoebox has something to wear, play with, for school, to love, for personal hygiene and something special. For Gift ideas please click on the link -

If you would like to support this cause you or your child can pick up a shoebox at the Castle Hill office.

Please fill your shoebox with gifts and return the box to the Castle Hill office by Monday 3rd December

Year 5 Band - Final Performance

Parents are invited to enjoy the Year 5 Band's final performance for the year. Come and support all the hard work and practice your children have been doing, and see how much they have achieved!

Massed Choir Opportunity - February 2019

Hills Adventist College students from Years 3-12 are invited to sing in a Massed Choir performance with other participating Adventist Schools in the Greater Sydney Conference for the 2019 Ignite Program on Saturday 16th February. The event will be held at Olympic Park and is divided into two main programs: Church Service from 10am – 12pm and an evening concert from 6pm – 8pm. The Massed Choir will be performing for both of these programs. Rehearsals will be held at Hills Adventist College North Kellyville Campus from 10am – 2pm on Monday 19th November 2018 and Tuesday 12th February 2019. Please click on the link below to view the permission note and further information. Please contact Ms Thomas for more information at emily.thomas@hills.adventist.edu.au

Christmas Toy Donation

Children's Hospital - Westmead

Are you wanting to give a little something this Christmas and are unsure what to do?

We have an idea.

Ilia (Year 3) and Yianni (Year 1) have decided that for Christmas they will be collecting Christmas presents for the Children's Hospital Westmead. This is their second year collecting presents and they want to go even bigger. Last year they collected over 100 toys thanks to some amazing people who really went out of their way to collect toys.

The joy it brought the families and children is unbelievable.

Delivery options:

You can drop off your donation at the Castle Hill office. Alternatively if you would like to make a monetary donation, Ilia and Yianni's parents are happy to buy the gifts on your behalf.

There are so many families and children doing it tough and will be spending Christmas in hospital. It’s amazing how a Christmas present can brighten up a child’s day.

For more information on present preferences and restrictions please check out the link.

Nominations for House Leaders - 2019

Students have been given nomination forms for House Leadership positions for 2019. We are attaching a link to the form for parents information, if you wish to encourage your child to nominate, information is attached to this document. Nominations close next Wednesday 14 November.


Remembrance Day

Year 4 students led Castle Hill Campus in a special assembly to commemorate Remembrance Day today. Students shared about the significance of Remembrance day and each class laid a wreath of poppies that they had made as a class along the fence beside out flag pole.

Combined Schools Choir

Middle School students from Kellyville Campus participated in the Combined Choirs event at Avondale College over the weekend. Other participating schools were Avondale School, Wahroonga Adventist School, Central Coast Adventist School and Kempsey Adventist School. Students enjoyed singing modern worship songs under the direction of Mr Benton Craig from Avondale School. They are looking forward to the next biannual Combined Choirs day in 2020!

Kindergarten's Teddy Bears Picnic

Kindergarten students from Castle Hill and Kellyville joined together to have a Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Tuesday 6 of November to finish off our recent information report topic on bears and our Jez Alborough book study. Both Kindergarten classes enjoyed sharing their blanket or picnic rug with a friend and eating lunch with their favourite bear. We also talked about why our bear was special.

- Mrs Rudenko and Mrs Weslake

Hills Zone Triathlon

Students in Years 5-10 participated in the Hills Zone Triathlon on Friday 26 October. 30 eager Year 5 & 6 students formed teams to swim, ride and run their way around Penrith Regatta Centre. For some of them it was the first time they had entered.

The first race Individual Senior Boys Ben V – swam, cycled and ran a great race to come 2nd! Well done!

Our Senior Boys Team: Ben V, Zac G and Darcy A had a great race leading for most of the way but Darcy had his work cut for him running against a State long distance runner and they came 2nd. Great race boys.

The Senior Girls Team: Sapphrine A, Olivia M and Maddie A had a fantastic race coming 1st. These girls beat most of the boys teams home and they had to do the same distances. Awesome job!

Next were the Primary Teams and we had 9 teams entered in total. The final results will be on the website on Monday . The best results for Primary Boys Team Race was Taine, Brendan & Koby coming 4th! So close to 3rd just pipped on the line.

The Junior Boys team nearly didn’t get to race because one of their team didn’t show up. After lots of discussion we organized Taine to fill in for them for the run leg. Taine ran 2km then had to turn around and run another 3km in the very next race. What a Champ! Preston A got the team off to a great lead coming out of the water first, Nic G flew through his 10km bike ride and gave Taine a handy lead for the race leg. Taine hung on to that lead and the boys came 1st. Fantastic effort from all!

- Mrs Reid & Mrs Fraser

Science Incursion - K-4

On Monday 29th Kindergarten and Year One were excited to have a special Science incursion in which we learnt about the Weather and Flight. We saw fantastic displays of smoke doughnuts popping out of a bin, balloons shrinking and blowing up with air pressure and shaving cream vacuum expansion demonstration. The students were very excited to participate in this session.

In the afternoon, Kindergarten to Year 4 enjoyed another show, called Big Fun Big Science show in which students saw toilet roll paper flying out because the leaf blower was providing ‘lift’, large flying bubbles and hair raising electricity.

It was an educational and fun way to engage with Science.

Kindy & Year 9's Fun Day Together

On Wednesday 31st October, Kindergarten Castle Hill travelled to Kellyville campus to enjoy a party that Year 9 Food and Technology students prepared for them. The Year 9 students made fruit kebabs, mini pizzas, smoothies, frozen yoghurts, pretzel butterflies and a hungry caterpillar sandwich. They then enjoyed a game of pass the parcel. Both Kellyville and Castle Hill kindergartens were then able to have a play together. Students had a fantastic time and year 9 learnt how to make appealing healthy food for 5 & 6 year olds!

-Mrs Rudenko and Mrs Deppeler

Home & School Association Presents - Colour Fun Run & Fete

Don't forget to register your child's online fundraising account and source donations so they can participate in the Colour Fun Run on Sunday 18 November. Free Entry (payment only if participating in Colour Run). Children other than Hills students, and students who have not set up a fundraising account can register at the links below for a $25 fee. If you wish to take advantage of the car wash and valet service on offer, get in quick and register at the link below. Places are limited. Look forward to seeing you there!

Weet-Bix Tryathlon

Sunday 3 February 2019

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