Waratah Weekly - Term 4, Edition 1 - Friday, 8 October 2021
Message from the Headmaster
This week I was able to attend an online presentation by Psychologist and Author Lyn Worsley. Lyn has been working in the area of developing RESILIENCE for many, many years and shared some very helpful ideas with us as we support our students, staff and families through these current COVID challenges. The most helpful insights came from her study of Vice Admiral James Stockdale. James was a POW in Vietnam and what is so interesting is that while almost every POW left the camps with significant PTSD, James and his crew had no signs of PTSD. The reason for this was their conscious and intentional thinking that we can also practice today. Two particular practices were:
- They accepted that they were in a very tough situation and didn't try to predict when it would end
- They spoke positively about their future and what they would do when this current situation was over
I would like to encourage our children (and ourselves) to practise these skills in our context.
- We should accept that COVID and the related implications are very tough for many of us, and we are not sure when it will finally ease up
- We can practise speaking positively about the future; where we will go when restrictions ease, who we will visit, the trip we are planning to take and many other exciting activities
This positive thinking is one of the keys to building resilience in young people and also in adults. We do have a bright future ahead of us and I am looking forward to it.
Mr Trevor Norman
From the Deputy's Desk
Staged Return to the College
Students will return to face-to-face learning at the College with NSW Health-approved COVID safe settings in place in the following order as announced by the Premier this week:
- 18 October: Year 12, Transition, Kindergarten and Year 1
- 25 October: All Other Year Groups Returning
Conditions for a Staged Return to the College
The NSW return to face-to-face learning plan for schools under stay-at-home restrictions has been informed by the Doherty Institute Modelling Report for National Cabinet and ongoing advice from NSW Health.
For a staged return to face-to-face learning (Level 3 plus), the following conditions will need to have been met:
- Where requirements are reached, students return to school in cohort groups – with students in department Preschools, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 prioritised, and other cohorts to follow.
- If cases in certain LGAs increase significantly, learning from home will resume for that LGA until case numbers drop. This will be advised by NSW Health.
- Any staff member returning to school sites will be required to present evidence of two doses of vaccine.
- Eligible high school students will be strongly encouraged to have received two doses of vaccine before their return to face-to-face learning.
To provide a safe learning environment for students, minimise opportunities for transmission and enable the most effective contact tracing and containment measures in the event of a COVID-19 case, schools will be required to adopt a cohort model.
The principles of student cohorts are to:
- minimise unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds
- ensure that students learn and play only with those in their cohort, wherever possible
- minimise opportunities for transmission and enhance contact tracing
- minimise the potential for widespread infection across the school and wider school community
The College will communicate with parents and students with more specific details of how the return to face-to-face learning will occur under our COVID Safe Plan.
Staff Development Day
The Staff Development Day scheduled for Friday, 22 October has been cancelled due to the earlier return of students. This will be a normal teaching day for students on-site and off-site.
Mr Ian Croger
Teaching and Learning 7-12
Year 12 2022 Resources Collection - Week 1 Term 4 LAST DAY!
Thank you to the parents and students who have been able to collect the Year 12 resources. They will still be available for collection today between 2.30 pm - 4.30 pm (Friday of Week 1, Term 4). If you live in the Southern Highlands and would prefer for the resources to be delivered to the College collection point in Bowral, please email Mrs Colombo firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange this.
Students are also encouraged to return their Year 11 Textbooks at the time they collect their Year 12 resources.
Year 12 2022 Assessment Information Evening save the date...
Year 12 students will receive their Assessment Policies and Assessment Grids in the coming weeks. This document contains important information that will be covered at the Assessment Information Evening on Tuesday, 19 October. Students and at least one parent are expected to attend this evening via Zoom. Further details will be provided directly to Year 12 families closer to the date.
Students commencing their HSC studies are encouraged to work consistently and manage their time well, particularly in Term 4 2021. A good start to Year 12 in Term 4 sets students up for the year to come.
Year 9 and Year 10 Substitute Tasks Week 3 and 4
Students in Years 9 and 10 will have Yearly Examination Substitute Tasks during their class time in Weeks 3 and 4 for HSIE, English, Mathematics and Science. Class teachers will provide a Formal Assessment Task notification with the relevant details.
Mr Paul Burns
Director of Teaching and Learning 7-12
Pastoral Matters T-12
Emotional Vaccine - Three ways we can move from languishing to flourishing in these testing times
If you’re feeling uninspired, stagnant and joyless, you’re not alone.
A sense of languishing is one of the dominant emotions of 2021 as we navigate life in an ongoing pandemic and process other terrible world events alongside.
But although many people are struggling and these struggles are not to be ignored, the pandemic has also provided a chance to flourish - functioning well and feeling good, with a sense that life is meaningful and worthwhile, despite challenging circumstances.
Flourishing operates at the top end of the mental health continuum, with languishing at the bottom end.
A separate but related continuum relates to the experience of mental illness symptoms (from zero to severe). Key to this thinking is that mental health (languishing versus flourishing) and mental illness are independent from each other, and it is possible to flourish with mental illness symptoms and vice versa.
So, here are three strategies we can use to acknowledge the languishing but nevertheless move towards more experiences of flourishing.
1. Hold the ‘and’
Holding the “and” is a psychological practice commonly used in several therapies, including dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). At its simplest, DBT encourages a balance between opposites.
Often, when we are coping with difficult experiences we fall into a habit of “all or nothing” or “black and white” thinking and we find it hard to see the grey. Lockdowns and the Delta variant are good examples of challenges where we might find it hard to see a balance between both extremes, oscillating between thinking “things will never get back to normal” or “everything is fine”.
Holding the “and” in this scenario might look like acknowledging that our normal is being disrupted right now, and knowing that we have the tools to make it through in one piece. This style will give you permission and encouragement to feel frustrated and grateful, angry with moments of calm, and cautiously optimistic while feeling scared.
2. Practice active acceptance
When we have some ability to influence or control a situation, active coping or problem-solving strategies are generally best. But this approach of taking charge is much less effective when we are managing in circumstances beyond our control, like the current pandemic.
Research shows a style of coping called “acceptance coping” results in significantly less distress during such times.
Importantly, acceptance isn’t a passive process. It’s not giving up. Rather, it’s reminding ourselves “this is how things are right now”. Psychologists call this helpful, active acceptance, as opposed to resigning acceptance.
Key steps to acceptance are to notice and acknowledge thoughts and feelings about a situation and then focus on what is important as we tackle the challenge. For example you may notice feeling sad, allow yourself to experience that emotion (acceptance) and then focus on something that is important for that day, for example dialling into a team meeting to check on colleagues.
3. Connect with others
A third strategy that helps nudge us towards flourishing is connecting with others. In our world of physical distancing, the good news is that with connection, it’s quality over quantity. The benefits of being with others come largely from the emotional connection you make with another person.
Significant research has shown that experiencing frequent positive emotions (hope, joy and achievement) help people stay resilient and thrive even in times of crisis. Recent studies show co-experienced positive emotions – the good feelings you get when you really connect with someone – may be even more important than positive emotions experienced alone.
In even more compelling evidence, recent research examining more than one hundred risk factors for mental illness found that social connection was the strongest protective factor against depression. Finding ways of feeling connected with people in your bubble, as well as staying connected online with others, is one of the best strategies.
These key strategies of balance, acceptance and connection help us to move from languishing towards flourishing. Focusing on practising these skills may serve as a psychological vaccine in these pandemic times.
Sutherland, Parkin and Wallace (2021)
Mr Liam Toland
Director of Pastoral Care T-12
In Weeks 1 and 2, students are invited to participate in the Sporting Skills Challenge. This is an opportunity for students to film themselves demonstrating a skill or skills they can do. This could be Juggling, Balancing, Trick Shots, spinning a Basketball or any other sporting skills. All entries are to be filmed and sent to email@example.com by the end of Week 2.
Mr Mark Goldsbrough
Secondary Sport Coordinator
P&F 2021 WAC Golf Day - CANCELLED
Attention Golfers and High Tea Attendees
Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions with running events, we are cancelling the 2021 Wollondilly Anglican College Golf Day which was meant to be on Wednesday, 27 October 2021.
Mr Bill Norman
Mrs Rhonda Hay
Headmaster's Personal Assistant
Students Leaving at the End of 2021
If your child will not be attending the College in 2022, please give written notice immediately so that your bond may be returned and to avoid Term 1, 2022 fees and charges, as agreed in the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment.
Should you have any further general queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 4684 2722 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year 7 2023 Sibling Applications
The Headmaster will begin reviewing places for Year 7 2023 siblings in the upcoming holidays. If your child is in this cohort, please send in their application ASAP to avoid disappointment. If your child is already enrolled at the College, they do not need to apply.
Application For Enrolment
Applications continue to pour in for 2022 and beyond, across all Year Groups, but especially our entry years of Transition, Kindergarten, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 11.
All current College families looking to enrol siblings for the coming years are encouraged to do so without delay to avoid disappointment.
Enrolment packs are available from the College Office or from the College website www.wac.nsw.edu.au
I am delighted to advise that the Wollondilly Anglican College Scholarship Program is now open for Academic and Creative Arts scholarships commencing in 2023.
The College Headmaster may award a number of scholarships offering partial fee remission for each year in the areas of Academic, Music and Dance. Most scholarships will be awarded for two years and are conditional on the continuation of the relevant criteria being met. They will be available to students currently enrolled at the College or at other schools. Students who are studying in Years 6, 8 and 10 in 2022 may apply for a scholarship as they enter their next stage of learning.
Application Process for Scholarships
- Complete the scholarship application form and return it to the Enrolments Officer, Mrs Kristy Biddle with the supporting portfolio.
- Complete the online application with ACER at https://scholarships.acer.edu.
au. (Parents will need to create a Parent Account, from which they can register their child for the scholarship test at Wollondilly Anglican College. A $110.00 application fee is also payable to ACER as part of the registration process).
- For Academic candidates, be available to complete the scholarship test on Saturday, 26 February 2022.
Music and Dance Scholarships
- Parents should complete the scholarship application form and return it to the Enrolments Officer, Mrs Kristy Biddle, with the supporting portfolio.
- Music/Dance scholarships need to be accompanied by a scholarship application processing fee of $110.00.
- Shortlisted students will be required to audition before a panel at a later date to be confirmed. There will not be an additional audition fee.
Applications are now open and will close on Friday, 4 February 2022. The closing date is final and late applications cannot be accepted.
A comprehensive information pack and application form is available for download from the College website. Alternatively, all information and forms are available from myself at the College Office.
Should you have any further general queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 4684 2722 or at email@example.com.
Mrs Kristy Biddle
Ph: 4684 2722
Lowes 3 Day Sale
Staying connected in the Wollondilly Shire
During this time, it is important that we stay connected as a community. Due to the restrictions in the Wollondilly Shire, this cannot happen face-to-face. However, many churches in our local area still gather together online. For those within our community who have a faith, can I encourage you to keep meeting as a community of believers as it says in Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
To those in the College community, we encourage you to consider attending a Church Service or Bible Study Group online. In these difficult times, you may be feeling isolated, burdened and even fearful. Because of this, we encourage you, even more, to connect to your local Church, to explore Christianity, to seek the peace and relief that Jesus can give you. It says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” There is no better time to seek and to come into relationship with Jesus than now. Below are some local Churches in the Wollondilly Shire and surrounds with their services and programs and contact information for any enquiries.
Wollondilly Anglican Church
Currently posting pre-recorded messages and services on their YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1LQDtFMRt1RFZQ8KhRC2kA
If you are interested in attending a Bible Study, or Youth Group and connecting with the community this way, please visit these links for more information
We also encourage you to check out their website to stay updated with any new information https://wollondillyanglican.org/
Contact them about any enquiries at
C3 Picton and Camden
Live-streaming their services on their YouTube channel:
If you would like to find out more information about C3 connect groups, please visit these links:
If you would like to know more information about C3 and keep updated please visit their website:
Contact them at:
Campbelltown Christian Community Church (C4)
Currently streaming their services on their YouTube channel:
Wollondilly Presbyterian Church
Currently streaming their services on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClGGkiM_xP5rCdViW3uo6Xw/featured
They are also holding Church Zoom Calls at 9.15 am on Sundays, if you are interested in connecting to the community in this way, please visit their Facebook page for the links as well as updates, information and to contact about any enquiries.
Tahmoor Baptist Church
Gathering via Zoom on Sunday mornings, please visit their page for the Zoom link, as well as resources, other services, and updates.
If you are interested in attending a Bible Study, or Youth Group and connecting with the community this way, please visit this link for more information
Picton and Wilton Anglican Church
Currently streaming their services on their YouTube channel at 9.30 am on Sunday mornings.
I also encourage you to visit their website
To stay updated with information or to contact them about gathering groups and for any general enquiries, please click on the link below:
Most importantly, we encourage all to meet with God directly and personally through daily reading of The Bible and prayer. This is the best way to get to know who God is and further trust in him during this time. If you don’t have a Bible or don't know where to start, we encourage you to download “You Version” on your device, this is a great resource to assist you in your journey and relationship with God.
Staying connected in the Southern Highlands area.
Highlands Christian Church:
Highlands Baptist Church
Christian Leadership Prefects
Nerida Seidel and Ethan Schultz
WAC Kids Care
From time to time, families undergo trauma such as severe or terminal illness. There are short term support structures in place at the College to assist families during these times.
We have a collection of beautifully prepared meals that are ready for distribution for any families in need.
The WAC Kids Care Program offers support to families in the way of meals. Please contact Mrs Hay or Mrs Rockwell at the College. Confidentiality will be respected. If you know of anyone who may need meals at this time, please contact the College office.
One of our parents will be participating in a fundraiser for JDRF, raising funds for diabetes research and support. Nikki will be walking 100km during the month of October. If you wish to support this cause, please click on the link below. https://walk.jdrf.org.au/
Please note that the above is a service to the Community and items advertised do not necessarily carry the endorsement of the College. The College tries to be selective with what is advertised but cannot take responsibility. Please look into events advertised carefully.
Pretend Headmasters - Riley Hinton (KJ) and Elsie Hall (KF) are helping with the distribution of book packs to all our Primary students who are doing Off-Campus Learning.