Thank you very much for your support over the last fortnight. We have had a really busy period and I have, as usual, been incredibly proud of the endeavours and achievements of our young people.
I was amongst the foolish and/or brave who arrived at Jubilee Park just after the sun last Saturday to Hike for the Homeless. I will make a point in future before volunteering for such ventures to complete my due diligence as the terrain was a little more intense and, dare I say it, vertical, than I expected. Mary MacKillop had a 27 strong team and we went considerably past our fundraising target. A huge thanks to the parents and students who gave of their time and sweat so readily for a good cause.
Also on Saturday the Human Powered Vehicle race was underway at the showgrounds. Led by Mr Brunner and Mr Cavanough, our students showed real determination to hit the course on what was a healthily warm spring day. This is a really fantastic way to learn about STEM subjects whilst engaging in the very modern discipline of Design Thinking. The involvement of Mr Chivers with his artistic and creative mind can only add strength to this into 2020.
Thank you very much to the P and F who have been very supportive over the past fortnight. They very kindly gave a gift, coffee and a muffin to all teachers on ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, but also donated fruit for the whole College Wellbeing Picnic on Monday. It pleases me greatly that the P and F are such a consistent presence during wellbeing events. Thank you.
The whole college focus on wellbeing is deliberate, and something that we will continue to promote. When we speak of wellbeing, I want the focus to not be on the need to take our young people who may be struggling and make them marginally better. That is a small-minded view that aims only to triage issues and put bandaids on them, rather than seeking to better understand the sources of issues and solving them. Much better is an approach that seeks to create a culture where we all, consciously, promote positive mental health as a right, and make clear the strategies that ALL of our students (yes, even the preppies) can use to be emotionally, socially and physically healthy.
As parents who have come to our information sessions will know, mental health issues are now the greatest cause of school absence in some areas of the country. It is incredibly naïve and irresponsible to assume that Highfields is immune to this, and my goal is to support the entire community to be better able to talk about youth mental health, to have the tools to raise the 21st century child, and to feel supported by your College should you need support.
You will have received yesterday the outline of Awards Criteria for our end of year Awards Night in November. You will see that we are focussing on awards for the very high achievers, but also for those who have improved academically. There are also awards for College spirit and Sports, as well as Arts and Culture.
Lastly – please support our Summer Showcase on 13 November. This event is curated entirely by our year 9/10 Art Class as part of their assessment. You will have the opportunity to see visual and digital art from the entire College, hear some music and song and get a deeper appreciation of our Senior students' curatorial abilities.