9 February 2024
From the Princapal's Desk
Welcome Back to 2024: A Year of Promise and Possibility!
Dear Atherton State High School community
It is with great enthusiasm and anticipation that we welcome you all back to another exciting year for our school! The air is buzzing with energy, and the school is alive with the promise of new beginnings and endless possibilities.
Our new timetable structure has been celebrated by our students and staff, the new daily structure of 4 x 70 minute lessons has been welcomed by all and levels of student engagement have increased dramatically. The Phones away for the day has also had an excellent impact on student engagement as students are no longer distracted by phones during school hours. I would like to sincerely thank our parents for their support with this new state wide policy which extends to all mobile devices being off and away for the school day.
We kick-started the year with a series of events that set the tone for what promises to be an extraordinary year. Here are some highlights:
Senior Induction: Our seniors took centre stage as they were officially welcomed into their final year of high school. With pride and determination, they embraced the responsibilities and opportunities that come with this pivotal chapter of their schooling. Our year 12 students have whole-heartedly embraced the opportunity to lead the school and have already shown themselves to be worthy, outstanding role models.
Student Leadership – Congratulations to our student leaders who received their badges of office at our Welcome Ceremony. The calibre of these young people is to be acknowledged and celebrated, to each and every one of our School Captains, Student Council Executive, House Captains and Prefects we congratulate you and look forward to seeing you “Make a difference” this year for our school community!
ARTIE Welcome: It was wonderful to see so many of our students participate in our Artie Launch. The Former Origin Greats (FOGS) ARTIE (Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education) Academy assists to ‘Close the Gap’ in educational outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their non-Indigenous peers. It provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attending Queensland Schools the opportunity to participate in a program that encourages and rewards improvements in school attendance, behaviour, academic achievement, effort and ultimately Year 12 attainment or its equivalent.
Art Incursion: Creativity knows no bounds at our school, and what better way to ignite the imagination than through art! Our students delved into the world of creativity and expression, exploring various mediums and techniques under the guidance of our wonderful art staff, a huge shout out to our amazing art department and to Ms Clair Lane for co-ordinating the event!
Meet the Teachers Afternoon: Building strong partnerships between home and school is at the heart of our educational philosophy. The Meet the Teachers Afternoon provided an invaluable opportunity for parents and guardians to connect with our dedicated educators, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
From the Deputy's Desk-Senior Schooling
From the Deputy Principal Senior Schooling Desk
We’ve had a fantastic start to the year for our Year 11 and 12 students. Our Year 11 students have commenced their senior schooling journey with enthusiasm and purpose, with many making adjustments to subjects selections in order to fine tune their pathways. All subject changes should now be finalised so that students are able to fully engage in the learning experiences that foreground their assessments.
Tuesday this week saw our Year 12s inducted into their final year of schooling and acknowledged as the positive role models and student leaders they are. Students composed and recited a pledge as symbol of their commitment to each other and our school community.
C - Confidence in our abilities
O - Optimistic for our future
M - Motivated to make a difference
M - Model excellence
I - Inspire others to succeed
T - Trust in each other and our school
Our Year 12s have also signed a Senior Student Responsibilities agreement, outlining the responsibilities that they, as senior students, agree to uphold during their final year at Atherton State High School.
As we move into the assessment preparation phase, I would like to remind both students and parents that attendance and engagement are the key to success in the senior years. Independent study at home, or a quick catchup with friends or the teacher, can in no way replace the deep learning and quality discussions experienced in classes. Attendance in both Year 11 and 12 is currently well under 80%, so I ask parents to please support their children to be on time and present for all lessons.
I look forward to working with you in support our Year 11 and 12 students for success in 2024.
From the Deputy's Desk-Middle Schooling
Welcome back to 2024 for all our Year 9 and 10 students and families. I am Mrs Ann Grimshaw, email@example.com Deputy Principal of Middle Schooling for those that I have not yet met. I am so excited to be working with our middle school students again in 2024 and guiding them to make the most of the very exciting opportunities that are available, particularly in the world of work education.
The year 9 and 10 students have had a smooth start to the 2024 school year and were well presented for the school photos last Friday. There is still opportunity to purchase photos online for those who feel they may have missed out. Please see our Facebook page for details.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our Year Level Coordinators for Year 9, Ms Jen White firstname.lastname@example.org and Year 10 Ms Ellen Ms McGuigan email@example.com to their roles. Our Year Level Coordinators are focused on wellbeing and support for their year level, in particular through events and presentations in the Wellbeing and Values lessons as well as celebration events throughout the year. They also coordinate and run the weekly year level parades and communicate directly with parents and students about what is happening in each year level.
Supporting our Year Level Coordinators are the Heads of Department for Maths, Mr Andrew McCosh firstname.lastname@example.org and Health , Mr Warwick Lyndon email@example.com. The Care Class teachers are made up of staff from Maths for Year 9 and Health (and Humanities) for Year 10 so there is a whole team of support working with each year level in the wellbeing space.
Year 9 Care Class teachers are
Year 10 Care Class teachers are
9A Mr Brad Fisher
10A Mr Matt Touwan
9B Ms Kelly Heidenreich
10B Mr Yani Karamaroudis
9C Mr Luke Herring
10C Mr Harry Simpson
9D Ms Karissa Martin
10D Mr Matthew Simpson
9E Mr Andrew Campbell
10E Mr Dean Sullivan
9F Ms Tamara McIntosh
10F Mr Mitch Ebdon
Year 9 students have a year level parade each Thursday morning during care class time in the hall and Year 10 students have a year level parade each Wednesday morning during care class time in the auditorium.
This year we encourage even more Year 9 and 10 students to access their 30 days of work experience available to them to help make informed decisions about work pathways into their future. Please speak with Ms Kylie Coleman firstname.lastname@example.org our Industry Liaison Officer for further information.
Looking forward to sharing some exciting times ahead in 2024 with you all.
Kind regards, Ann Grimshaw
From the Deputy's Desk-Junior Schooling
Words from the Deputy Desk Junior
Students in years 7 and 9 will be completing NAPLAN testing this term. The school is completing a practice test to check device capability as NAPLAN is completed online. The practice also allows students to prepare themselves for what to expect during their NAPLAN testing window. The NAPLAN test window is 9 days. This is to accommodate schools that may have fewer devices.
The NAPLAN test window starts on Wednesday 13 March and finishes on Monday 25 March 2024.
For more information please see the NAPLAN Information for Parents and Carers in this newsletter.
Immunisation program for Year 7 and Year 10 students
Our school is participating in Queensland Health’s annual School Immunisation Program. All Year 7 and Year 10 students will be offered free vaccinations to protect against vaccine preventable diseases. Year 7 students will be offered a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and a combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. Year 10 students will be offered vaccines against meningococcal disease.
Vaccines offered in the Queensland School Immunisation Program
Please read the information booklet contained in the consent pack which will be sent home with your child in term 1.
Only students with a signed and completed consent card, indicating ‘Yes to Vaccination’ will be vaccinated. If you would like your child to be vaccinated, please fill in the consent card and return it to the school.
If you do not consent to your child being vaccinated, or your child has already been vaccinated with the offered vaccines, please complete the ‘No to Vaccination’ section on the consent card and return the consent card to the school.
The vaccinations will be conducted by a team of authorised registered nurses and/or a medical practitioner. Parents, legal guardians or authorised persons are encouraged to ensure their children have breakfast on the morning of vaccination.
The first vaccinations will occur on Tuesday March 26.
Student Resource Scheme 2024
Dear Parents and Guardians,
To provide parents with a cost-effective alternative to purchasing textbooks and/or resources elsewhere, Atherton State High School operates an SRS for 2024.
The scheme ensures that students have the resources required for them to engage with the curriculum for their education, and saves parents time and money in sourcing the prescribed materials elsewhere. Savings are gained through the school’s bulk purchasing practices and hiring arrangements. The scheme is not used to raise funds for other purposes, and revenue collected through the scheme is applied only to the resources and operation of the scheme.
The scheme’s operation, resource inclusions and participation fees were approved by the school’s P&C Association.
The objective of the scheme is to provide a convenient and cost-effective way for students to access the educational resources necessary to enhance their learning experience at school. The Department encourages parents to participate in the scheme. Participation in the SRS is optional, and no obligation is placed on a parent to participate. Participation is for the duration of your child’s enrolment at the school.
Participation Agreement Forms have been sent out to those parents of continuing students for whom we do not have forms on file indicating their status of participation in the Student Resource Scheme or have not been filled correctly. Please return these as soon as possible. New Incoming Year 7 students have also been issued with forms. If you have received a form please ensure these are also returned now.
Parents who choose not to participate in the scheme will be responsible for providing their student with all items that would otherwise be provided by the scheme.
Please make use of the payment arrangement included in the SRS if you need to be able to make payments of Student Resource Scheme fees over time throughout the year or call the school to make arrangement to pay by BPOINT Electronic Direct Debit or make a Centrelink agreement. Email email@example.com or call the school on 40305222.
Payment of Fees
Please ensure all previous fees are paid up to date to enable students to receive resources when they return to school in 2024.
All 2024 Student Resource Scheme levies have been invoiced. Subject fees will be invoiced soon. All 2024 Fees are required to be paid by the end of Term 1 or as per your arrangements made with the School.
Certificate Courses 2024
A letter and Fact Sheet are being provided to students who have who wish to enrol in certificate course at the school. Payment is required to be made to external providers of these courses, therefore payment must be made on commencement of courses that do not attract VETIS funding or where VETIS funds have been used on another course. The documents will explain this further.
Paying School Fees:
You can pay your child’s school fees in one of the following ways:
- BPOINT to pay by credit and debit card
- BPOINT IVR (Over the Phone Payment) Call - 1300 631 073
- Direct Deposit into the school Bank Account BSB: 064-800 Account: 00090137
- EFTPOS at L Block Reception.
- Arrange payment plans and centrepay payments at Reception
- Payment can also be accessed online via your QParents account.
We are currently transitioning to a Cashless School and would prefer payments be made by one of the above methods chris
Eleanor's Spot on Health
Social Media and Your Health
This week we have ‘celebrated’ safer internet day 2024, highlighting the need to connect, protect and reflect while using the internet or social media.
We have also started the new school year with ‘phones away for the day’ policy in Queensland. This rule was brought in to encourage face-to-face social interactions between students. Evidence shows that physical, face-to-face interaction with other people acts as a boost to our mental health.
For many people, social media is an important part of their lives. It can help us stay connected, explore our interests, find new friends, find virtual connection and can also be a space for creativity and self-expression.
Sometimes though, spending too much time on social media can leave us feeling down, overwhelmed, or unable to switch off. We might compare ourselves to others, spend less time doing the things that keep us healthy and experience adverse mental health outcomes such as, fuel feelings of addiction, anxiety, depression, isolation, and FOMO (fear of missing out).
High levels of social media use or screen time may negatively affect our physical health too in multiple ways. For example, hyperconnectivity can reduce users' amount and quality of sleep, expose them to excessive amounts of blue light, increase stress or displace health-promoting activities such as exercise.
If you’re spending an excessive amount of time on social media and feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or loneliness are impacting your life, it may be time to re-examine your online habits and find a healthier balance.
What can we do?
- Notice and track how much time you’re spending on social media.
- Set time limits for yourself (Apple and Android have built-in tools that can help)
- Unfollow accounts that take up too much of your time or are making you feel bad about yourself.
- Turn off notifications.
- Limit the time you spend on social media before you go to sleep.
- Leave your phone outside your bedroom so you’re not tempted to check.
- Use an alarm that isn’t on your phone.
- Do not engage in social media drama or cyberbullying.
- Remind yourself social media isn’t real life – many influencers and celebrities are paid to look a certain way or promote a certain lifestyle – i.e., Instagram vs reality.
- Tell your family and friends you’re slowing down or taking a break.
- Check-in on friends and family who you think may be displaying signs that they’re not doing okay.
- Talk to someone – a friend, family member, your GP &/or engage with a professional support service.
In today’s world, many of us rely on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TIKTOK, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to find and connect with each other. While each has its benefits, it’s important to remember that social media can never be a replacement for real-world human connection. It requires in-person contact with others to trigger the hormones that alleviate stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more positive.
There is a need to raise awareness about the possible risks associated with excessive use, which can negatively affect out physical and mental health. Mindful use of social media consumption and putting in the time and effort to safeguard our physical and mental health is an important job for all of us.
Technology faculty update
A huge welcome to all the new and returning students to the Technology Faculty.
You might not be aware but our faculty covers many teaching areas;
- Design and Technology:
- Industrial Design (Manual arts)
- Textile, Food and Fibre (Home Economics)
- Digital Technology
- VET (Vocational Education and Training)
- Certificate II in Engineering
- Certificate II in Construction
- Certificate II in Hospitality
- Senior Furnishing
- ATAR: Food and Nutrition
The Technology faculty is a much loved and supported faculty. Falling into the elective area, we expect students who choose one of our subjects to be successful and embrace their opportunity to create awesome items.
Through out the year I will be highlighting the amazing work our students are doing and celebrate their successes.
Safety is always the most important part of our faculty and we hope families support their teachers by ensuring students follow the safety expectations set by the teachers.
Over then next few weeks I will be showcasing our faculty more in depth along with the wonderful teaching staff who dedicate themselves to delivering quality education and experiences to all our students.
Head of Technologies
Mobile Women's Health Clinic
Atherton State High School welcomes five international students enrolled through the EQI (Education Queensland International) study abroad program.
We welcome Masaki Hashimoto, Yuzuki Fujita and Shiho Omori who are students from Nanyo High School, Kyoto Japan. Thirty students from this high school were selected by the Kyoto Board of Education to participate in a study abroad program at a Queensland school for Term 1, 2024.
We also welcome Aline Borges and Carlos Santiago enrolled for 6 months from the State of Parana, Brazil. Aline and Carlos have received a scholarship to study aboard sponsored by the State of Parana based on academic achievement at their public schools.
It is an exciting time to welcome back long-term international students at Atherton State High School. If you would like to know more about being a homestay family for upcoming international student enrolments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weekly rate for hosting our long-term international students is $339 per week.
MARCH STUDY TOUR
19th – 28th March – 9 nights
Atherton State High School will be hosting a Japanese school study tour visit and is need of homestay families from our school community to accommodate 19 female students, 1 male student (aged 15 – 17 years), one female teacher and one male teacher.
- Provide a bed for each student
- Provide three meals a day and transport to and from Atherton SHS
- All residents over 18 years must hold a valid Blue Card.
Nightly rate is $45.50 per student per night. $91 for two students per night (double placement).
Nightly rates are the same for hosting teachers (single placement only) and no blue card required.
Please contact International Students Coordinator Ainsley Jackson for an application form:
Ph: (07) 40305 232
News from the Library
Welcome to our Positive Behaviour For Learning (PBL) space for 2024. This year has started with a bang! Our staff have been engaging with professional development that has focussed on proactive approaches to our learning environments. Additionally, we have welcomed our new Year Level Co-ordinators to our support structure, embedding our PBL values and messages into our Wellbeing and Values (WAV) classes, weekly year level parades, and morning care class communications and activities.
Our team have reviewed our 2023 annual action plan, and are busy reflecting and evaluating to devise a renewed plan moving forward into 2024 that aligns with our key target areas of the school. Our plan includes; assisting students with visual signage to reinforce our school and community values, continued development and progression of our positive acknowledgment system for student behaviour, achievement and culture, and continued community collaboration; are key areas of growth for our PBL team. This will start with the expansion of our PBL shop, where students can access physical rewards that acknowledge their consistent application to our four school values: We are Respectful, We are Responsible, We are Successful, We are Safe. We encourage our parents and caregivers to have a conversation with your young people about our positive acknowledgment processes, that also includes positive postcards home, staff phone calls and emails and the every day positive reinforcement conversations we have with our students.
Keys to success; attendance. This has been a focus message and will continue to be over the coming weeks. Educational psychologist and author, Sarah Nettleton (2013) states that attendance at school is a key contributing factor for further successes for an individual. Not because of the algebra or the literary dialogue they may encounter; but rather for the routine, the consistency, the social and emotional skills they obtain from being within the multifaceted educational environment. Our students deserve the opportunity to experience success, and we are thrilled with our student’s attendance in the first three weeks of the school year. Collectively, our school has achieved 90% attendance from year 7 to year 12. This is an awesome start to the year and the student’s opportunity for success. Congratulation’s students! We will continue to encourage success through attendance, healthy competition through care classes, visual representation and praise and acknowledgment towards our students. Our year 7-10 students are keeping track of their care class attendance through visual barometers in their classrooms. Students are actively responsible for identifying their individual and whole class attendance.
Lastly, daily check-ins are encouraged and are happening within our daily care classes. Our whole school PBL focus over the past three weeks has been centred around organisation, being in the right place, at the right time with the right equipment. Our dedicated staff take the time in the morning to check in with their students about a multitude of different life events. Students are encouraged to check-in with their care class teacher each morning regarding any challenges they are having, events that are coming up, or just to have a yarn. We strongly believe these relationships are fundamental for our students’ wellbeing and development.
If not could you add something like this somewhere
As part of Atherton High’s year 7 orientation programme, we will be conducting Septofest on Friday 16th Febrauary 2023.
The purpose of this day is to:
- Help our current year 7 students adjust to high school life
- Develop bonds and team work skills with classmates, year 11 and 12 prefects, class teachers and other staff
This day is full of fun and all year 7 students are expected to attend and participate. Septofest will begin at 8.50am in the hall, with various team building activities run throughout the day. Students will work collaboratively to earn points with prizes awarded at the end. Year 7 students are encouraged to dress in a colour or theme as chosen by their class. Please note: fully covered in shoes and appropriate, sun safe clothing must still be worn, all students need to bring a water bottle and their lunch.