Waratah Weekly - Term 3, Edition 3 - Friday, 06 August 2021
- Message from the Headmaster
- Deputy Headmaster
- How to stay connected during lockdown
- Messages of Encouragement
- Pastoral Care Matters - Middle Years 5-8
- Primary Matters - Book Week
- Performing Arts News
- Library News
- Employment - Last Chance!
- Application for Enrolment
- Church Services
- Pretend Headmaster
Message from the Headmaster
The Gospel of Matthew tells us the strange yet amazing account of Peter walking on water to meet Jesus. This is an incredible demonstration of Peter's faith in the power of Jesus to support him (literally!) through a challenge. And it would be great if the account ended there; however, we read on and discover that Peter started to sink into the water; he thought he was going to drown. He must have thought that he had made a mistake to step out of a boat and trust in Jesus. So what happened between courageously stepping out and fearfully sinking? The Gospel account tells us Peter saw that "the wind was boisterous and he became afraid". He took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm around him and at that point, he became afraid and began to sink.
It is so easy for this to happen to us also. We have courageous and confident times in our life when we trust in Jesus to look after us, but then we look at the circumstances of our life or our present difficulties and we become afraid; we take our focus off Jesus and we begin to sink. The good news for Peter was that Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him. Jesus is making the same offer to us in our storm. He wants to support you and look after you if you will give your life to him.
I would like to encourage you this week, that despite the challenges of COVID-19 and many other circumstances, God is still in control and he wants to look after you. Being a Christian is no guarantee of "the good life" but it is a guarantee that God will be with you through anything that life throws at you. And that promise of Peace is available to everyone.
Mr Trevor Norman
We crave connection and certainty
Human beings crave certainty and human connection, both of which are severely impacted by the current pandemic. Just when life appears to return to normal, COVID case numbers can flare, sparking changes to our daily lives. As demonstrated by the massive increase in people seeking psychological support services over the last 18 months, these are difficult times for us all.
Every family has its own COVID related story consisting of loss, disappointment, hardship, and frustration of some kind. While there is no magic bullet that will make living through these uncertain times easy, here are some strategies to help you and your family stay upright while you ride the COVID waves of uncertainty and change.
Model a coping mindset
Let’s start with a coping mindset, the hardest and most important strategy. The leader in any group is the person who remains calm in a crisis, so as parents/carers we need to do all we can to keep our acts together, or at least look like we are in control. Kids of all ages, but especially primary-aged students, take their cues from parents, the most important people in their lives, about how to view events. If catastrophising, anxiety and anger are modelled, then inevitably younger family members will mimic these behaviours. More significantly, these behaviours contribute to their feelings of lack of control. Alternatively, when acceptance, perspective and optimism are on display, kids learn how they can cope with uncertainty and change. This is not to suggest that parents aren’t struggling and that we shouldn’t show our vulnerability to children. However, children and young people feel safer and more secure when their parents radiate a sense of calm and composure in the face of difficulty. Challenging, but essential.
Act like a middle born
Despite the negative press that middle-borns receive including ‘middle child syndrome’, and ‘middle-child complex’, this cohort is generally very resilient. Their flexibility as a result of fitting into a life pattern set by an elder sibling enables them to more easily adapt to change. Often considered less ambitious and driven than first-borns, middle children generally expect less of themselves and are more inclined to bide their time, letting the big waves pass before riding the more accessible, easier waves to achieve success. Birth order research reveals that middle children tend to have broader social circles than children born in other positions enabling them to form social connections in many different settings. Their adaptability, lowering of expectations and wonderful approachability are examples of how to survive challenging times.
Embed wellbeing strategies into family life
If ever there was a time to make wellbeing come alive in a family, it’s now. If you have previously believed kids’ wellbeing is less important than homework, music or sports lessons and chores then it’s time for a priority rethink. Mental health practices are most successful when they are embedded into family life, rather than being focused on when life gets hard. While no means limited to these, the most significant wellbeing practices include sticking to daily routines (to maintain feelings of control), taking regular exercise (to get rid of built-up stress and promote feel-good endorphins) and prioritising sleep (to maximise the brain’s capacity to manage stress).
Only sweat the big stuff
If you find that you’re arguing with your child over minor issues such as leaving clothes around the house, then it’s time to let the small stuff go and focus on the bigger issues. You may need to set the parenting bar a little lower, relaxing screen time limits for a time if they are a source of conflict. Expect behaviour blowouts from children who have lost their own bearings - in some cases, access to friends, school, and schedule. Give kids space if they regress, rather than reward tantrums with plenty of your attention, which will reward and keep the behaviour going.
Connect with your village
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about your kids? It matters because each group reacts differently during lockdowns. Those on the introvert end of the spectrum can feel a little too comfortable being home and away from work or school. Scheduling regular digital catch-ups with friends and family can overcome reluctance to connect. Extroverts, on the other hand, can really struggle being away from friends and need little encouragement to stay in touch, which is vital during times of uncertainty.
There are no hard and fast rules about living through this pandemic. COVID didn’t come with a ‘how to’ manual, so most of us are writing our own rules as we go. Embrace any ideas that work for you and your family and let go of those that aren’t right for you. Be mindful, that the tide will eventually turn, the waves more predictable and our capacity to deal with hardship will have been enhanced by this experience.
Michael Grose (parentingideas.com.au)
Students Achieve Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Congratulations to Year 12 students, Maisie Hart and Layney Britton for achieving their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This is a remarkable achievement given the challenges of COVID-19 over the last 18 months.
Both students will receive their Award at a presentation by the NSW Governor at a date to be announced.
Mr Ian Croger
How to stay connected during lockdown
During these stressful times, it is common to feel anxious, angry and alone. One of the toughest things about lockdown for many is not being able to see friends and family, and this can take a real toll on mental health. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay connected.
There is a range of technologies including Skype, Zoom, Facetime and other apps that allow people to connect in groups via video chat. On these video chats, you can come up with creative ideas to spend time with your friends. Maintaining connections with friends will both support social and emotional wellbeing and may prevent someone from feeling isolated and ensure that our friends feel supported during this challenging time.
In the Senior Years, to stay connected, you might like to try starting a study group with your friends and discuss past exam questions, gaining insight and alternative perspectives from your peers. For other years, you can try interactive online games, such as Charades or Pictionary, go on a virtual tour with a friend or you can organise a group Facetime meeting, have lunch together or catch up after your work is done. It is also important to reach out to your friends to support each other and stay focused.
Remember that you don't need long conversations with people, just checking in with others, a thoughtful text message or funny meme sent to someone who may be feeling lonely can make a very big difference to that person’s day.
Cooper Sharp & Piper Rudd
Student Wellbeing Prefects 2021
Messages of Encouragement
I hope everyone is doing well during this unprecedented time! The last month and the prolonged lockdown period has brought great change and upheaval in our daily lives. The amount of time that we have had away from our family and friends, and normal life itself, has impacted various aspects of our lives, and as I know personally, students have struggled with the difficulties of Off-Campus Learning and the many distractions that can challenge us from home. It has been an immense challenge facing these circumstances, but despite this, we have all persevered and showed boundless resilience during this time, both as individuals and as a community. While we aren't able to change the circumstances of COVID-19, we are able to make the most of it, however challenging this may seem. Being challenged in life is inevitable, and we all have the choice to decide how we will react in the face of adversity. I believe we can all use this time to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Every one of us can work towards personal growth, building greater bonds with our families, and focusing on our goals for the future, while appreciating the smaller things in life. Lockdown has helped me to reflect on the things I am grateful for and to appreciate the value of being around people, and the friendship, hope, positivity, and joy they bring to life. So during this time, look out for each other and stay connected; we’re all in the same boat. I miss my friends and peers, my family, my teachers, and being at the College, but I trust that the moment we are all reunited will be well worth the wait and may even bring us closer together than before. I look forward to being back at the College and seeing everyone. I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during these turbulent times. I know that together as a community, we will get through this.
College Captain 2021
Messages of encouragement can be difficult during these times. Sometimes they might feel like you already know that it’ll be okay, that there is an end to all of this, that all you need to do is keep moving forward, and keep holding on. That’s all true. I know I have felt like that a lot over the past couple of weeks, I’m sure many of you have as well. But here’s the thing, despite struggle and uncertainty, we can still find rest. In the gospel of Matthew (11:28-30) Jesus says to a gathering of people that he promises rest for those who come to him. To come to Jesus means to turn your eyes from the craziness of this world and to confess the sins you can’t control and the life you can’t control, trusting that Jesus came and went to the cross and gave his life so that we might have life in his name. What Jesus promises from this is not peace today or tomorrow, but rest for our souls and eternal life with God. I have faith that Jesus will continue to keep the same promises. He never changes, he is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) Remember this, if you feel alone and isolated, all of us are in the same storm and we can turn to the same Saviour.
“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.” Matthew 11:28-30
College Captain 2021
Pastoral Care Matters - Middle Years 5-8
Make time for downtime
We all live wound-up, highly scheduled lives and need to rediscover the lost art of downtime. With two young children at home, I feel like my days just roll on until the girls are asleep and I get to stop and breathe.
Downtime is like mucking around except that it’s passive. It’s about kids relaxing, doing whatever it is they feel like doing - whether that’s watching tv screens, hanging around with family members, reading a book or simply daydreaming.
There are three compelling reasons to allow kids to have downtime:
- It’s great for mental health. Hard-driven kids need some time to rest their brains. The thinking wheels can’t keep spinning all the time.
- It builds relationships. You’ve got to be close to someone to feel comfortable having downtime with them. A household needs to be relaxed and free from tension for downtime to happen.
- It feels good, which is a good reason to do something.
The art of downtime comes with age
Toddlers are too active for downtime. Their physiology ensures that when they have some free time they’ll generally keep moving and exploring.
Children in the Primary Years start to learn the value of downtime. They generally spend downtime on their own or by playing with their friends.
Teenagers are natural downtimers. They do it without trying. Teens take up a lot of space during downtime at home, tending to sprawl out and fill living rooms. Many don’t mind downtime with their parents if their friends don’t see them.
Many parents feel uncomfortable when their kids spend too long in downtime. Busyness is seen as a virtue. Sure, it’s good for our kids to be occupied a lot of the time, but active lives need to be balanced with opportunities for inactivity.
Don’t confuse downtime with brooding
Brooding, like ruminating, involves a young person repeatedly visiting their thoughts, going over past mistakes, or worrying about the future. Downtime is different as it enables a young person to chill out and relax. It’s free-range mindfulness or unstructured meditation.
Downtime is a lifetime mental health, relationship-building, and happiness habit. It’s something to be encouraged, rather than shut down.
Article: Michael Grose - Parenting Ideas
Mr Stuart Houweling
Middle Pastoral Care Coordinator 5-8
Primary Matters - Book Week
To celebrate Book Week this year, there will be a variety of activities happening throughout Tuesday, 17 August. This will impact our normal Off-Campus lessons for the day. A schedule of the activities for the day will be sent out via our Teachers.
Years T-2 Digital Book Parade
Years T-2 students (both On-Campus and Off-Campus) will have the opportunity to dress up as one of their favourite book characters on Tuesday, 17 August. Students Off-Campus can wear their costumes while attending Zoom activities. Parents are invited to upload a photo of their child here by 3.00 pm on Tuesday, 17 August. A video will be created and shared later that week to highlight students' costumes.
What will happen on the day:
- Zoom Lessons will be based on CBCA (Children's Book Council Awards) books for the day.
- Fun activities will be uploaded to Seesaw.
- There will be competitions for each Year Group to enter such as Create a Book Trailer.
- Years 3-6 will have a Zoom Author visit with Tristan Bancks. Further details in next week’s Waratah Weekly.
We look forward to having a fun day that encourages a love of books.
Ms Jacqui Huxtable
Director of Teaching & Learning T-6
Performing Arts News
Performing Arts Challenges
Get excited! We will be running Performing Arts Challenges again this year during Off-Campus Learning. We will have one challenge for Junior Years students, one for Middle Years students and one for Senior Years students in each of the three main Performing Arts practices; Dance, Drama and Music. There's bound to be something for your child to enjoy! Please check next week's Waratah Weekly article for further details.
Auditions for Secondary students will be submitted virtually this year. Stay tuned to future Waratah Weekly articles for more details (start planning your entry now).
Stay In Touch With Your Ensemble
All of our Ensemble Leaders are missing our fabulous performers and want to support our students to stay engaged with their rehearsals and each other during lockdown. Below you will find a summary of what is on offer for the various Ensembles, and the contact email address for the Ensemble Leaders should your child need support in this area. Please don't hesitate to contact Mrs Talbot if you need further support for your young performer, firstname.lastname@example.org
College Band - Mr Grant has been working to supply students with sheet music (via Canvas '7-12 Student Resources: Performing Arts: College Band' or physical supply). He will also be hosting a Zoom session for Ensemble members, email@example.com
Primary Band - Students already have their sheet music to rehearse with at home. Mr Denley will be setting up a class for this group using 'Essential Elements' which will provide them with further support. firstname.lastname@example.org
College Strings - Ms Bridge will be hosting a Zoom rehearsal for students. The link has been emailed to Ensemble members by Mrs Talbot on their College student email accounts. Ms Bridge will also be supplying students with sheet music via Canvas (7-12 Student Resources: Performing Arts: College Strings), email@example.com
Primary Strings - Ms Bridge will be hosting a Zoom rehearsal for students. This link has been emailed to ensemble members by Mrs Talbot on their College student email accounts. Ms Bridge will also be supplying students with sheet music via Seesaw, with the help of Mrs Barker, firstname.lastname@example.org
College Choir - Mrs Robertson had been working with students to learn 'You Will Be Found' from the Musical 'Dear Evan Hansen'. Mrs Talbot has placed both the backing track and sheet music for this song onto the Canvas course for this Ensemble to allow students to continue with their rehearsals (Years 7-12 Student Resources: Performing Arts: College Choir), alisonclairerobertson@gmail.
Primary Choir - Mrs Apps is working with Mrs Turner to set up a Seesaw course for Primary Choir. There will be a small selection of songs there for your child to practice with (one that they know and a fun one to learn), email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Bucketz - Mr Hopkins will be working to provide student access to bucketdrumming.net which has lessons and exercises for our bucket drummers to practice with (watch out for your wooden spoons and pots and pans), email@example.com
Dance Company - Miss Valente will be sending weekly Zoom links via email for Dance Company students. The rehearsal will remain on Tuesday afternoons from 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org
College Cheer - Miss Valente will be sending weekly Zoom links via email to Secondary and Primary College Cheer students. The rehearsal will remain on Wednesday afternoons from 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm, however, Primary students can finish at 3.30 pm, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Stunt Group - Miss Valente will be sending fortnightly Zoom links via email to Stunt Group students. A day and time will be arranged, email@example.com
Photography Club - Please continue to work through the challenges being set via your Canvas course, firstname.lastname@example.org
College Musical - The College Musical is on hold for now, but don't worry, we will let you know when it is time to audition!
Primary Drama - Last Term, our Primary Drama classes were exploring puppetry performances. To keep them engaged in the fun of puppetry performance, we would like to encourage students to work through this 'Art Bites' lesson on making paper puppets, make their own paper puppets and tell stories with them, https://digital.artsunit.nsw.
If you would like your child to film their paper puppet story, please do so and send it to Mrs Atkins and Mrs Talbot. We would love to add their remote learning project to the Performing Arts website for Primary Drama, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Triple J Unearthed High
Congratulations to Year 8 Student Cara King who has entered the Nationwide Triple J Unearthed Competition with three original songs!
Mrs Sarah Talbot
Performing Arts Coordinator T-12
Changes to the Premier’s Reading Challenge
The Premier’s Reading Challenge closing date has been extended due to the current lockdown in Greater Sydney.
The new closing date is Friday, 3 September 2021.
Students on all challenge levels will be able to read 10 choice books.
Students on all challenge levels will be able to include books on their reading records that they read collaboratively as a class, in person or online with their teacher or at home with their parents/carers.
For more information, see the PRC Rules page.
Book Club Term 3
There will only be one issue of Book Club this Term. It will be processed when students can return to the College - date to be announced in the Waratah Weekly. The books will be a nice surprise for students when they return. The issue is currently online and will be available to parents for the whole Term. Here is a PDF version for you to view.
It is easy to order. The Book Club LOOP platform for parents allows you to pay by credit card. Your child’s order is submitted directly to the College safe and sound and the books will be delivered to class. You can place your child’s order at scholastic.com.au/LOOP or using the LOOP App, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
eBooks, Audiobooks and Digital Resources
While students cannot visit our Libraries in person at the moment, we do have a number of digital resources available from the Student Cloud. For example, our eBooks and Audiobooks are very popular with Secondary students which can also be located at https://wac.wheelers.co/ or download the Wheelers App. Use your College login to access. These eBooks can be read on your laptop, desktop, phone or tablet.
Mrs Justine Colombo
Employment - Last Chance!
Wollondilly Anglican College welcomes applications for the following permanent positions.
- Secondary Technology (TAS) Coordinator
- TAS Teacher
- PDHPE Teacher
- Primary Teacher (Pre K - Year 6)
- Workshop Assistant (Part-time)
Applications close this Sunday, 8 August!
- HSIE Teacher
Applications close Sunday, 15 August!
- Property Manager
Applications close Wednesday, 25 August!
Application for Enrolment
Applications continue to pour in for 2021 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
Mrs Kristy Biddle
Ph: 4684 2722
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 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.
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.
- Getting Korina Back on the road Trivia Night (Postponed to 2022)
- When: Friday, 11 March 2022
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.
Please note: With current restrictions in place, some stores may be inaccessible, and some items may be unavailable to purchase through our online pages.
Listed below are the stores that are currently closed to due NSW restrictions. If your uniform is through any of these stores, there will be a second 20% off sale once restrictions ease.
- CASTLE TOWERS
- MT DRUITT
- ST MARYS
- BURWOOD PLAZA
- FAIRFIELD NEETA
- ROUSE HILL
Pretend Headmaster - Scarlett Williams (KJ) is making sure her brothers are keeping to task during Off-Campus Learning.