I write this article with the intention of informing parents and students in Year 9 of a number of changes to the Year 9 Camps and Outdoor Education Program.
For the past 20 years all Year 9 students at Galen have participated in a number of Outdoor Education activities including:
An overnight bushwalk, a downhill ski day, an adventure camp that includes abseiling, caving, rockclimbing, canoeing and an environmental walk.
For many years this program was always viewed by Galen staff and students as being very successful, however, in recent years due to the costs of some of the different activities and the difficulties with coping with larger numbers of students we have decided to make some changes to the Year 9 camps program. These changes have only been implemented after considerable thought and discussion amongst those staff responsible for the Year 9 Camps Program.
In 2013 all Year 9 students will be expected to participate in the following activities:
• Overnight Bushwalk – This (two day, overnight) bushwalk will take place on the Discovery side of Year 9 and will be conducted in the Warby Ranges.
• Adventure Camp – This is a three day camp conducted at Mount Buffalo where students camp at Lake Catani in a ‘base camp’ format. During this camp students will participate in abseiling, caving, rockclimbing, canoeing and an environmental walk. Students will attend this camp on the mainstream side of Year 9.
• Domain Based Immersion Activities. These will be an addition to the Year 9 program and will require students to attend and participate in activities and excursions directly connected to different domains of study. These activities will be one day activities conducted during school hours. An example of a Domain Based Immersion Activity could be a field trip related to the topic of early European settlement and students would attend an activity based day at Echuca exploring the pioneer settlement.
For the first time in many years at Galen we will not be conducting the downhill ski trip. In recent times this activity has been hugely problematic to organize with the result that we have had postponements, cancellations and a growing awareness that offering a downhill ski day to every student in Year 9 is not reasonably possible.
Consequently we have made a decision to replace the ski day with the Domain Based Immersion Activities mentioned earlier in this article.
The proposed dates for each of the Year 9 camps for 2013 are as follows:
• Adventure Camp: 9.5, 9.6 and 9.7 April 29th to May 3rd.
• 9/3 March Monday 4th &Tuesday 5th
• 9/4 March Thursday 7th & Friday 8th
• 9/1 March Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th
• 9/2 March Thursday 14th & Friday 15th
Domain Based Immersion Activities: (Dates and content to be confirmed) There will be one Domain Based Immersion Activity on either side of Year 9 (Discovery and Mainstream) which means two DBIA’s per year for each student to replace the downhill ski day.
• Adventure Camp: 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4. Nov 11th to Nov15th.
• Bushwalk dates to be finalised.
Students and parents are invited to respond to this information by contacting Keith Willett at school via e-mail or phone.
Friday February 1st has marked the first day of classes for students in Year 9 and 10. In a general sense on an administrative front all things seem to be running smoothly.
Some things to note:
Welcome to our new students who have commenced at Galen for the first time in 2013. In Year 9 we welcome Kate Wilson, Alexander Critchley, Austin Ross, Laura-Lee Jose and Christina Shanley. In Year 10 we welcome Jack Wilson and Ben Kubala.
We also welcome our Homeroom Teachers for 2013, in particular those staff who are teaching at Galen for the first time.
9.1 Wendy Chuck, 9.2 Beth Code/Paul Walker, 9.3 Jody Heath, 9.4 Laurie Burt, 9.5 Jacqui Pengelly, 9.6 Ashlee Burke, 9.7 Tegan McKeown, 10.1 James Heath, 10.2 Paul Benedettii, 10.3 Brian Carr, 10.4 Shannon Murphy, 10.5 Elizabeth Holligan/Bernadette O’Connor, 10.6 Kelly Smith.
As we settle into the first few days of classes I encourage students and parents to check timetables, classlists, uniforms etc, so that we can be up and running as smoothly as possible within the first week.
Parents who have any queries in respect to any issue at school are welcome to contact me at school anytime on the school phone number or via e-mail.
Keith Willett – Middle School Director
Caritas in the Middle School
In the last newsletter we highlighted the efforts of the Middle School to raise money for CARITAS. The idea of a personal pledge (whereby students and staff are invited to reflect upon their lives and make a pledge to make an active effort to assist others less fortunate) is a cornerstone of the CARITAS tradition and makes a real link with the season of Lent on the Religious Calendar. It would be great if parents could have a discussion with their children about Lent, Project Compassion and about the CARITAS Organisation. If every student and staff member donated even $2.00 we would raise nearly $800.00 alone from this idea.
As part of the Caritas fundraising 9.4 will be having a cup cake, muffin and biscuit stall on March 28, so people can build up to the Caritas Ks and recover from the Athletics day…Please bring some money and support this venture.
Lockers and Laptops
There continues to be an issue with students, particularly in Year 10, not locking their lockers. Unfortunately there has been a couple of issues lately in respect to students having their personal possessions meddled with by others. In particular we have had some real problems with students not securing their laptops. As of next week, any unsecured laptop will be confiscated and will only be returned to the student when their security is organised, meaning all students having locks on lockers and locking away their laptop during recess, lunch or any other time when their laptop is not being used or supervised. Please get a lock on your locker and use it!!
I have already made a number of requests for students not to use aerosol deodorant cans at school as they cause some students to have allergic reactions. Students are welcome to use ‘roll on’ deodorant sticks but please leave the aerosol at home!
Keith Willett, Middle School Director
As is usually the case at the beginning of the year the first week has been a very busy time for students and staff. Thanks are extended to 9.2 and Mrs Wendy Chuck for conducting the first Middle School assembly in such a smooth and engaging manner. The theme chosen for this assembly was that of ‘Opportunity’. During their presentation the 9.2 students highlighted the vast areas of opportunity for all students at Galen. This theme of opportunity will be further explored in the next newsletter.
Uniform has generally been excellent with the exception being students not wearing their hats when they are in the sun. This is something that requires attention and with a cooperative attitude from students and support from home it is hoped that we can achieve a much higher degree of compliance with the sunsmart policy. Key elements of this policy are outlined below:
When in the sun students must wear the designated school uniform hat during lunchtime and recess during terms 1 and 4. (Students sitting in shaded areas do not have to wear their hat but must have the uniform hat in their possession.)
‘Catch Up’ classes have been introduced on a weekly basis in the Middle School. These classes are supervised and will be conducted each Friday providing students with the opportunity to catch up on study or homework or in some case allowing students to spend some reflective time in relation to how they can improve their performance at school.
Keith Willett, Middle School Director
Monday, February 6th saw the arrival and commencement of the Year 9 and 10, Middle School students.
As is always the case on the first day of the year there are a wide range of expectations and reactions from both students and teachers. Its always great to get back and catch up with friends and colleagues but we also need to prepare for another year of working to our potential and making the most of what Galen College has to offer.
A special welcome to new students in Years 9 and 10. We have introduced a buddy system to support the new students as they begin this next stage of their education at Galen. In upcoming newsletters we intend to supply a photo and a few words of introduction to all of the new enrolments in Years 9 and 10.
A welcome is also extended to the Year 9 and 10 Homeroom Teachers and Year Level Coordinators who are as listed below:
Year 9: Wendy Chuck, Kate Howard, Greg Matulich, Jacqui Pengelly, Christine Duff, Tegan McKeown and James Bourke (Coordinator).
Year 10: Olga Byrne, Shannon Murphy, Alicia Howard, Betty Holdsworth, James Heath, Rob Parsons, Gretta Norden, Paul Benedetti and Liz Morrow (Coordinator).
Day one was very busy. Lots of organisation, information and getting back into the routine of school. One of the initiatives at Galen this term will be in the form of ‘focus weeks’ where we encourage and promote student adherence to different school policies and processes. Uniform, punctuality, litter control are examples of the sort of issues that may become the topic of a focus week. The first of these focus weeks will take place shortly.
Finally I would like to encourage all students to take advantage of the huge number of opportunities that are offered at Galen. Whether it be academic, sporting, leadership, theatre, music or social justice there is a huge array of opportunities of which students can take advantage and ensure that their time in the Middle School in 2012 is both rewarding and memorable.
Keith Willett, Middle School Director