Principal News – Week 4

Mrs Mary Anne Evans

Mrs Mary Anne Evans

As years 3, 5, 7 & 9 have just completed the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) examinations, we reflect that NAPLAN tests are one aspect of our assessment and reporting process. NAPLAN is a diagnostic tool for us so that we can improve upon your child’s education. They do not replace the extensive ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance.

The central message from David de Carvalho, Chief Executive Officer NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) is:

  • The HSC minimum standard is being introduced to help ensure that students leave school with the basic literacy and numeracy skills fundamental for life after school.
  • NAPLAN is a chance to check a student’s progress towards the HSC minimum standard or, for more advanced students, prequalify for the HSC minimum standard with Band 8s or higher.
  • Most students will demonstrate the minimum standard by passing online reading, writing and numeracy tests in the lead up to Year 12.
  • Year 9 students have three more years of learning before the HSC.

 

Last Friday saw our annual “Taster Day” which was a resounding success. It was an opportunity for  potential students and families to come and look at our School and all that NEGS has to offer. Our Enrolments Team have once again excelled to ensure that every family was catered for, and we look forward to these new students joining our School in the terms to come.

As a parent, we all need to be aware with what is “current” and what our children are “watching”., and this can be daunting. The latest “it series” is on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why”. The show depicts concerning content on youth suicide, self-harm and rape. The advice has been that young people should avoid watching the show, particularly if they are vulnerable to mental health difficulties. Unfortunately, in reality a number of young people may have already been exposed to this series and if you are not aware, here are some useful pieces of advice.

 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia has released the following statement regarding “13 Reasons Why”:

“Telling young people they shouldn’t watch it may reinforce the idea that suicide shouldn’t be discussed. Instead, it’s important for the adults around them to be ready to talk to them about the content, and about what they should do if they or one of their friends needs help. MHFA Australia has created two documents to help with this. The first is a list of possible discussion points about the show. It is by no means exhaustive. The second summarises the plot and explains what material may be distressing or even triggering for vulnerable young people”.

Both of those documents are linked here for your reference.

https://mhfa.com.au/sites/default/files/13-reasons-why-plot-talking-points.pdf

https://mhfa.com.au/sites/default/files/13-reasons-why-plot-summary.pdf

 

A key message that we want to encourage for our young people is the importance of seeking help when they or someone they know is experiencing such thoughts.
For further reading, please access this article ABC Radio: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-03/13-reasons-why-how-to-talk-to-teens-about-suicide-and-mental-health-issues-raised-in-the-netflix-ser/1668858

 

Whilst it is always easy to think of all the things that render our youth vulnerable, it brings everything back into perspective when, as Principal, you receive an email like I did last Friday afternoon. I have always known NEGS students are the best in the country, but when this is reinforced by a member of the public, in an uninitiated way, well – it is so much sweeter.

I leave you with the unedited email, and wish you all a wonderful month of May.

To the Principal

Today, as part of my volunteering for the NSW RFS, I was in charge of bus and coach parking at Frensham in Mittagong. I had occasion to observe most of the schools as they disembarked when they arrived and embarked before they left. As a recently retired teacher [of 38 years], I am, and always have been, a close observer of children’s behaviour. The children of your school are a great credit to you. They waited where they were told to, and assisted their teacher willingly and when other children from your school joined the initial group, there was no sign of exclusion. They may not have won any trophies [I don’t know if they did or did not], but there was “daylight” in between the behaviour of your school and the others. I asked other members of my Brigade who have experienced this event before and their response was “Yes, they are always like that” – and that is a “trophy” in itself. Congratulations.