Term 1 Newsletter, 2023
It is hard to believe that Term 1 is over already. It was a busy but productive ten weeks and a great start to 2023. We held our first School Board meeting and AGM for this year. Bronte McMahon resigned after sitting on the Board for a number of years and we thank her for her service. We elected and welcomed two new members to the Board: Geniene Adam and Mischa Taylor.
The Rangers staff organised a First Aid Day for all students, and it was hugely informative and successful. Basic first aid is such a valuable skill set for all of our students and we never know when it will make a huge difference in an emergency situation.
The three-day, Upper School Camp at Fairbridge Village was held mid-March and students participated in a variety of activities, aimed at building their confidence and encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zone. Students enjoyed evening activities too and it was a positive team building experience for everyone. Thanks to all staff who were involved in the organisation and supervision!
Mr Koppl arranged a variety of sporting experiences for students this term, including swimming lessons at Balga pool every day for two weeks for the lower school students. This fortnight of intensive lessons allowed students improve their skill levels in a short period of time, while having a lot of fun in the pool. This is a huge excursion to organise, and staff worked really hard to support students both in the water and out. Selected upper school students attended a Basketball Carnival at Kalamunda along with students from other education support facilities. This was a day filled with fun competition, opportunities to meet new people and where students could demonstrate their team skills and sporting prowess. Students and staff have had the opportunity to try Pilates this term – with a Pilates instructor coming to school. Mr Koppl also arranged for classes to attend the Warwick Stadium to learn how to use the equipment in the gym. These are all valuable experiences for students, where they are exposed to different types of physical activity, and our hope is that they will continue with these activities in the future.
Mrs Wenn arranged for everyone to participate in the Harmony Day feast and activities. Students and staff dressed up in national dress – or orange clothing – and brought a plate of food to share with their friends and colleagues. Mrs Wenn also produced a large, world map and students and staff put dots on it to show where they and their extended family members originated from. It was an interesting exercise, and we all got to know and celebrate a diverse range of cultures!
We welcomed Karen Spencer back to WCSESC as our new Career Practitioner to implement a more robust career development program for students in all years. This will involve weekly Careers lessons to develop employability skills as well as participation in Career Taster and Try-A-Trade events, aimed at increasing student knowledge of potential career pathways and opportunities.
Upper school students attended the RAC bstreetsmart excursion at RAC Arena in Perth on Wednesday 5 April 2023. RAC bstreetsmart features a crash scene re-enactment attended by the emergency services, simulating what would occur at a real crash site. The students have the opportunity to listen to speakers who have been directly impacted by road trauma and talk with emergency services personnel. It is a real eye opener for some of our young people and hopefully, it increases their awareness of the impact of risky behaviours, including those that can occur in cars with friends.
The school has been given a large number of RATs from the Department - to be distributed to families and staff. We will distribute some to each student at the beginning of Term 2.
Update on Student Crossing Area on Lloyd Drive.We have recently been informed that, after continued pressure from our School Board on Main Roads and the City of Joondalup, a crosswalk will be installed near the ESC bus bays during these school holidays. There is the potential for a crosswalk attendant to be stationed there in the future but, as there is currently a state-wide shortage of available people to take these roles, this will not happen immediately.
After the holidays, students and staff return to school on Monday 24 April. ANZAC Day is a public holiday on Tuesday 25 April and then students return on Wednesday 26th.
We have had an upsurge in COVID-19 cases again in Perth and WA, and as we continue learning to live with this, I hope that you and your families are well. Have a lovely and relaxing holiday break and I look forward to seeing you in Term 2.
Carol Clarke, Principal
A great time was had by all at the 2023 School Ball, which was held on Friday 17 March for the Year 12 and 13 students. There was excitement in the air at the pre ball party with all the students looking wonderful in their formal dress. Thanks must go to Hunter Reeve’s family for hosting the get together.
From here, we jumped on the party bus to begin our journey to Joondalup Resort with a very quick, and somewhat windy, stop for photos at Hillarys. The Ball Room looked sensational, set up to reflect the theme of “The Secret Garden”. After eating a delicious three course meal we danced the night away. All the students and staff carved up the dance floor and could be seen with smiles on their faces.
Matt, Jayden and Renee took out the awards for the evening, which students and staff had the difficult task of voting on. The night was an absolute success and full of great times with friends making memories that will last forever. Thanks to the staff who gave up their Friday night to accompany the students to the ball - and to Rebecca Wenn for all the preparation behind the scenes.
Lisa Broxton, Deputy Principal
Upper School Camp
Bright and early on Monday, 13 March, our Upper School students packed their belongings onto the charter bus and embarked on their journey to Fairbridge Village.
Upon arrival the students participated in a tour of the historical Fairbridge Village site. They learned about life back in the village when it was operating as a school and visited the village museum, learning a range of facts and interesting information.
After lunch the students undertook two different activities, the Big Swing and Rock Climbing. These activities were perfect opportunities for the students to test their confidence and push themselves outside of their comfort zone. The Big Swing saw the students jump from a platform where they swung like a pendulum four metres in the air! The students then had to try to catch a range of stuffed animals, before throwing them into the nearby crate - a very difficult challenge!
Rock Climbing saw the students push themselves to new heights - both figuratively and literally. Students challenged themselves to climb as far as they were comfortable with, and then one hold higher! It was fantastic to see the students challenging themselves, and they finished the activity knowing they had given their all! After a delicious Lasagne dinner, we attended the clubhouse for a movie night. However, this was cut short due to every student being exhausted from the day’s activities and preferring the comfort of their dorm rooms to prepare for the next day of activities.
Day two saw our students engaging in the High Ropes course and the Fairbridge challenges, an assortment of team based and competitive challenges. Once again, our students pushed themselves to complete the elements of the High Ropes course and we even saw one student overcome her fear of heights and complete two elements of the course, a massive accomplishment. The Fairbridge Challenges had our students use a range of problem-solving and team-work strategies to overcome obstacles and puzzles. The challenges were tough, however, the students were able to work together to find the solutions. We were also lucky enough to see some of the Fairbridge wildlife up close!
After our lovely chicken curry dinner, our group undertook a Quiz Night run by the staff at Fairbridge. This saw mixed teams of staff and students test their knowledge against one another in a range of different topics. This activity was a favourite amongst staff and students alike.
Our final day saw the students undertake Archery and Abseiling. After a long couple of days, it was great to see the students climb to the top of the tower and have a go at descending safely by abseiling down the wall face. Students accepted the challenge to step out of their comfort zones and they worked through their fears to the best of their ability, which was a huge accomplishment indeed!
The bus ride home from camp was a very quiet ride, with many students (and staff) having a well-earned rest after the busy past few days. All in all, we had a very successful camp at Fairbridge Village and look forward to attending again in the coming years.
Zachary Redknap, Teacher
In the first part of 2023, the Careers Education space has seen some restructuring, as we welcome Mrs Karen Spencer back to WCSESC in the role of Career Practitioner (CP), where she will be responsible for career development from Years 7 to 13.
All students will be taking part in Careers' lessons, with the aim of helping each individual to develop their employability skills, working on areas such as: teamwork, planning and organisation, communication, using initiative and enterprise, problem solving, self-management, learning and technology. Year 9 and 10 students will also be participating in Career Taster and Try-A-Trade events to expand their career knowledge. There will be other exciting initiatives as we move forward - so watch out for further updates.
Amanda Clancy-Lowe will now be managing Workplace Learning and VET - working closely with Mrs Spencer to ensure that these areas of learing are cohesive and interlinked. Senior students are currently taking part in work placements - for example at Good Sammy’s, Woolworths, City of Joondalup, West Care & Football Futures, School Based Traineeships with companies such as GMS Industries and Water Corp, and TAFE Courses including Certificate II Construction Pathway & Certificate II Hospitality.
Amanda is always looking for businesses that are willing to have our students for work experience. So if you know of a business or person that could help, please contact her by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Spencer, Career Practitioner
For this first term, most of our Physical Education classes started off in the school pool! With staff joining the students in the pool every week, we had the students practising and improving their swimming abilities, as well as being introduced to water sports such as water polo and water volleyball. Students showed their enthusiasm for these lessons by coming prepared with their swimming gear every single week. It was a fantastic unit of work, and the students had a blast. Thank you to the EAs that went above and beyond to help some of our students feel comfortable in the water! Due to the success of our swimming program, we will be back in the pool in Term 4 when the weather gets warm again!
Throughout Term 1, students from Area M and N had the opportunity to go to the local gym for half a term each. The groups went to the Warwick Workout gym, located inside Warwick Stadium, and we were able to access this easily, by walking over the road to the end of Lloyd Street. Each session started with a group warm up, followed by a guided workout where students in groups would try out different cardio and weights machines and a variety of free weight activities. Along with learning how the machines and movements are meant to be done, students also learned gym etiquette, including how to clean up the equipment, how to share the equipment and be respectful in a common workout space. The level of participation, enthusiasm, smiles and the positive comments were clear evidence of how much the students have enjoyed and gained from these sessions. We will continue this program next term with Areas A and L.
Students in Area H and G have had the opportunity to try out pilates - again for half a term each. Pilates is a system of low impact exercises performed on a yoga mat to promote strength, stability, and flexibility. We have had a Pilates instructor come to our school every Wednesday of Term 1 during last period to teach some classes the different movements and body awareness needed in pilates. This has exposed students to a new way of moving their bodies, and pilates is a safe, accessible way to stay active and healthy. Some students that do not particularly enjoy ball sports have thrived in these classes and have really found an exercise that they will continue to pursue! Due to the success of this program for these two classes, we will continue to run these classes next term.
West Coast students in years 7, 8 and 9 participated in swimming lessons during weeks 7 and 8 of this term. The in-term swimming lessons were held at Leisurepark Balga, where we filled the pool with around 50 participating students. Swimming classes were separated not by year level, or class area, but rather by our students swimming ability. This provided our students an opportunity to engage with students from different classes and really benefit by having the lessons catered to their swimming capabilities. Our staff willingly got in the water to help some of our students who needed extra support to succeed. Students made West Coast proud with the way that they conducted themselves during the two weeks of swimming lessons. After the success of this year’s swimming lessons, we can’t wait for the lessons at Leisurepark Balga next year again!
On the 22nd of March, the students from upper school classes participated in the Kalability Allstars Basketball carnival. This year, we had 14 students participate, making up two teams. One team participated in Division 1 and the other in Division 2. All our teams played with heart and maximum effort and showed great sportsmanship throughout the entire day. We felt that the effort students put into their performance, the amount of fun they had and the way our students represented their school was a huge victory!
Ryan Koppl, PE Teacher
On Tuesday 28 March 2023, we celebrated Harmony Day, which is a day where we aim to spread the feeling that everyone belongs. As always, our wonderful school community came together and celebrated our diversity.
Students and staff were encouraged to wear traditional dress of a chosen country, or wear something orange - which signifies communication and relates to encouragement of mutual respect.
In class, the students discussed their different cultural backgrounds and countries of origin and we marked on a world map all the countries that our school community is a part of.
We joined together for a grand feast during lunch time, with students and staff asked to provide a plate of food representative of any chosen country or from their own culture. What a grand feast it was! With a huge variety of tasty food and sweets from across the globe, students and staff had the opportunity to sample new flavours and widen their knowledge of food.
The winners of our best dressed students were Monica, Mohammed and Jude. The best dressed staff were, Kim Gallyer and Christine Abbott. Many thanks to all who helped to organise, set up, clean up and supervise the grand feast. Special thanks to Rebecca Wenn for organising the day and creating our map.
Glenda Malecki, Administration Officer
WA Museum: Boola Bardip Excursion
On Friday in week 9 Area F and G staff and students had the opportunity to go on an excursion to the Western Australian Museum, Boola Bardip to see the Wonderland exhibition. It is an interactive exhibition that celebrates Lewis Carroll’s timeless stories and Alice’s adventures on film. We explored Alice’s journey from book to screen, through original pictures books, magic lanterns and more than 40 moving image, film, and TV moments.
First, we listened to an introductory talk by one of the Museum staff. We learned all about the Alice in Wonderland story, its history and journey from the book to the screen. We learned that there were different versions of the movie released, including a silent film from 1915! After the introductory talk we explored the Wonderland exhibition. There was a hallway of doors each with their own surprises. There was a very big table with a big key on top so we could pretend we had shrunk like Alice did when she drank the mystery potion. In an old fashioned cinema we could sit and watch some short video scenes from the silent movie. Various screens throughout the exhibition showed us all of the different Alice in Wonderland movies that were made over the years. We also saw set designs and mementos like pages and illustrations from the original book.
The stand outs for students were the interactive exhibits, particularly the Mad Hatters Tea Party where we could pretend that we were guests. Videos and light projections on the walls and the table setting made it a magical experience. We could see pretend ants running across the table, butterflies landing on our plates and video shorts playing on them too. The walls had changing scenery throughout as well.
After the tea party, students made their own character on their own individual Wonderland map. They cut and glued an assortment of body parts to create their original design. Once they were finished, they posted the picture in a slot of a photo booth and put their face in a hole to get their face photographed. When we looked at the wall, we realised that everyone’s character was walking around on the screen! The characters we created were on a playing card that was the body, and their face became the head of the character. We could watch the characters walking around the screen for a short time, and the students had a great time trying to spot each other’s characters.
Once we had finished exploring the Wonderland exhibition, they could go and look at another section of the museum of their choice. The wildlife exhibit was a popular choice. We then ate lunch together before heading back to school.
We would have loved to have spent more time there, and hopefully we can have the opportunity to visit again in the future.
Mrs Abbott and Mrs Murphy, Teachers
TEACCH and Work Skills
We are off to a flying start here in Area D, and we have welcomed Miss Dionne into the classroom on Mondays and Tuesdays. Our new students have settled in well and are enjoying learning new and valuable skills which will help them both now and in the future.
"Wedding Wednesdays" are back, and it’s definitely a favourite with staff and students alike. We are currently busy producing environmentally friendly Leafetti for Mr Kierans (Area F) upcoming wedding.
As part of our Work Skills program, REmida continue to provide our students with work tasks, and the products are then returned to REmida for distribution to the general public.
Karen Woods, Kirstin Barton and Dionne Rowe, Education Assistants
In Area J we were fortunate enough to welcome three delightful Year 7 students. Charlie reports that he really likes the teachers and education assistants here because he feels listened to. Ben says that he likes his new school and high school work is great! He would like there to be more play time to socialise with his new friends. Lincoln enjoys moving about the campus for different classes and IT is a particular favourite of his.
The last ten weeks have flown by and some additional highlights for our class have been improving our swimming skills during the two-week swimming block, making eye pillows in enterprise, and learning all about how our ancestors lived in the 1900’s. Most students agree that fridges and wifi are some of the best inventions of this century!
Beth Tracey, Teacher