As we begin the 2023 school year I am pleased to welcome all new and returning families to the Helena College community. I am excited about the year ahead as we move forward with what will be the most ‘normal’ year we have had in recent times. This means that all aspects of our learning program across the College, including camps, clubs, sports carnivals, field trips, assemblies and performances are going ahead as scheduled. Our Year 12 students have already been on their Retreat, and it was a wonderful way for them to get their year started.
Of course, COVID-19 remains an ongoing issue globally, and we will continue to be vigilant at school, particularly in keeping classrooms ventilated. A reminder that any person feeling unwell, or with cold symptoms, should not attend school until they are well.
It has been wonderful to see so many parents join us for Meet the Teacher Evenings on both campuses this week. Our aim for these evenings is for parents to be informed about the learning program for their child, and to make a connection with their child’s teachers.
For our Middle School families, this is a new initiative and I have been very pleased with the positive feedback we have received from parents who have appreciated learning about the year ahead. If you were unable to attend the information evenings, or have any questions about our programs, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher directly for more information.
2023 is the third year of action on our current Strategic Plan. This year a key area of focus will be on reviewing processes for supporting student wellbeing across the College. As always, we will investigate what we do well, where we can improve, and develop strategies for improvement. Examples of where this process has been put into practice over the last year include the addition of a school psychologist on the Darlington Campus, the hiring of a school nurse and the repurposing of the Caretaker's College at the Glen Forrest Campus into a location for our College psychologist's office, sick bay and Learning Support area. I will share details of further progress on our wellbeing programs throughout this year.
Once again, welcome to a new school year. I look forward to seeing you around the College.
Child Safety: Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is a global event that brings together communities, families, schools and organisations from more than 180 countries to help create safer online spaces.
The world is more connected than ever before, making online safety awareness even more important. That’s why the 2023 Safer Internet Campaign is encouraging everyone to Connect. Reflect. Protect:
Connect safely and with purpose – by keeping apps and devices secure and using social media in positive ways.
Reflect before we act – by taking a moment to consider how what we do and say online may affect others.
Protect ourselves by taking action – by telling family, friends or colleagues about eSafety and how we can help.
Did you know that Helena College has a free cybersafety hub that is accessible to all parents, students and staff? Powered by ySafe, the Helena Cybersafety Hub provides lots of resources - from guides to popular apps, through to advice on dealing with online bullying, and more!
There is also a wide range of support, information and webinars available through the eSafety Commissioner's website.
If you would like information on Helena College's Child Safe program, please contact Mr Justin Pitt, Head of Senior Campus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a warm and wonderful start we have had to the 2023 school year - with the Summer temperatures being ideal for our swimming program!
There is nothing better than hitting the reset button and launching into something new - and the commencement of the school year embodies this notion well. We have loved seeing the Helena community come back together and we have many exiting experiences planned for Term 1.
Parent information evenings
A huge thank you goes to all the parents who were able to attend our annual parent information evenings held this week. The purpose of the evenings included providing parents with specific class and teaching and learning information to facilitate the transition into a new year level or, into the College.
Positive partnerships are an underlying philosophy of our school, and as such, the information sessions are viewed as a very important component in assisting families as they settle into the new academic year. Should you have any questions relating to your child’s teaching and learning experience, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant staff member at any time throughout the year.
2023 marks for me over 27 years in the field of education. Needless to say, I am genuinely excited to be working together with our community to make this year an outstanding one. If you would like to discuss any questions or school matters at any time, please feel free to contact me via telephone (9299 6626) or schedule an appointment to come and see me through Holly Clatworthy (email@example.com).
As week two draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our students, parents and staff for a great start to the year. I have appreciated the positive comments regarding how well your children have commenced the school year, along with the pleasing comments regarding our College, their new classroom and teachers.
Wishing everyone a super weekend ahead.
Greg Miller | Head of Junior School, Kindergarten to Year 5
Let's talk ChatGPT
The release of the Artificial Intelligence platform ChatGPT has resulted in quite a bit of interest in the media around its impact on education. While ChatGPT is not the first of its kind, it is the most sophisticated in its ability to generate human-like responses to questions or tasks. It is backed by the computing power of Microsoft and the speed at which it is able to generate material is impressive.
A number of concerns have been raised around the use of this technology. Since ChatGPT has the ability to produce summaries of content or provide answers to questions, students may be tempted not to do the research and synthesise information themselves. These are important skills that students should develop as part of their education.
It should also be noted that ChatGPT does not always generate answers that are correct, nor does it have the ability to help students develop a deeper understanding of content. There are also concerns that students would use it to ‘cheat’ on assessments that are done on the computer or out of class time. At Helena College, we regularly review how we are assessing students’ understandings and ensuring that those assessments are genuine student work.
Using ChatGPT also has ethical considerations. The sources of the information used by ChatGPT to generate its responses are not transparent. Our students are encouraged to acknowledge the sources they use when responding to questions. ChatGPT, while having the ability to provide references, does not always reference genuine articles or use appropriate sources of information.
Dr Maree Baddock
Director of Teaching and Learning
Notes from Director of Upper School
There is a new webinar coming up for parents: How to Help Get (& Keep!) Your Child Motivated
Elevate Education is excited to announce that on Wednesday, 15 February, they will be hosting their first free webinar of the year for parents.
Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high-impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series, you will learn how you can help better support your children at home by reinforcing the skills they learn at school:
Date: Wednesday 15 February
Time: 6.30pm (AEDT)
Topic: How to Help Get (& Keep!) Your Child Motivated
Here's what Elevate will be covering on the night:
What impact does praise and reassurance have on your child's motivation?
What are the best types of goals to be setting with your child?
How can you help your child create meaningful and lasting motivation?
Year 12 Students may drive to school as a matter of privilege, not of right. To be registered to park, students must register their vehicles by completing and returning a Student Vehicle Permission Form and a copy of their licence to the Administration Office. The form is available in the Administration Office and on SEQTA.
There is a strict 10km/h speed limit on campus. Student drivers are to park in the Year 12 carpark located between the College oval and Bilgoman Road.
If passengers are to be in the vehicle, their names must also appear on the form, along with an accompanying parent signature indicating permission. Any changes to previously registered details (e.g., new passengers, new make/model etc.) must be re-registered on a new Student Vehicle Permission Form. Only Year 12 Students may park on campus and must park in the student parking area.
Driving with Peer Passengers
Did you know that if your child drives with a car full of peer passengers, it increases their crash risk by four times compared to driving alone? Please discuss with your P-plate driver the importance of being a responsible driver. It may also be worth reminding your child that as a passenger of a P-plate driver, they should avoid engaging the driver in distracting conversations and behaviours.
Year 11 Evening Dinner Cruise - Save the Date
Dress: Semi-formal/Evening mocktail.
The ticket price includes the three-hour cruise, meal service, DJ, photo booth and bottomless soft drink. The school day will finish at the normal finishing time of 3.15pm.
Year 12 Retreat
Our Class of 2023 started their final school year on a bright and breezy Saturday morning. The trip to St George's College along Mounts Bay Road included an impromptu spotting of the famed 'Hula Bula". Students settled into their digs and then sat down to lunch in the Harry Potter-esque Dining Hall. A post-lunch workshop in the palatial Junior Common Room allowed our Year 12s to explore what it takes to ensure Senior School Success before making study planners.
Mr Hayward's Homeroom Teacher quiz caused equal amounts of delight, engagement and consternation as students identified which of their teacher's first job or first car was whose. For the rest of the afternoon, students read, listened intently for the number one song in Triple J's Hottest 100, spiked volleyballs, talked, played badminton and cricket. After dinner, we tried out a few 'stress-busting' ideas under the stars in the Quad before students explored their best possible selves and dream jobs.
Sunday was all about Wadjemup. Upon arrival, we acknowledged that Whadjuk people know Rottnest Island as the resting place of the spirits. The Island is a place of transition between the physical and spiritual world, and the deceased's spirit is believed to travel to Wadjemup during its journey towards the afterlife. Whadjuk people were present at the end of the last ice age when sea levels rose and formed the islands off the Fremantle coast. Whadjuk people observed this significant geological event and recorded it in their oral histories. These stories have been passed down from one generation to the next for over 7,000 years.
However, the subsequent colonisation of Western Australia resulted in Wadjemup acquiring a different significance, one which still impacts Aboriginal people today. For nearly a century, Rottnest served first as a prison and then as a forced labour camp for Aboriginal people. In 1994, the State Government recognised Wadjemup as the largest site of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in Australia.
To acknowledge and respect Noongar elders, we each took a handful of sand from the water's edge, which signified being at one with the land, and then released that sand into the water.
During the day, we rode/raced around the island, took quokka selfies, surfed, snorkelled, swam, and drank good coffee. After Dinner, we explored the concepts of gratitude, awe, laughter, and character strengths as techniques to nurture our wellbeing.
On Monday, we visited UWA and Curtin University. At Curtin, students sat in a Psychology lecture. The lecture's purpose was to challenge their perceptions. The bus ride home was quiet after a busy few days. The Retreat was a great way to start what will be a great 2023.
Director of Upper School
Senior School | Glen Forrest Campus
Initially the residence for the on-campus caretaker, now completely refurbished, the Caretaker's Cottage is a place where students can find the care and support they may need during the school day.
Located at the Glen Forrest campus, the Caretaker's Cottage provides support services for all Senior School. Students are able to access College psychologist, Yael Agron, get first aid from the school nurse, Vanessa Kennedy, and our Learning Support team, Cono Mangano, Tenielle Nelson and Shirley Fullam.
Quick Note: If you've been called to collect your unwell child, please go straight to the Caretaker's College, which is accessed via the drop-off zone on Bilgoman Road. There is no need to go to the Admin building to sign in.
The Interhouse Lap Challenge is back!
The popular Interhouse Lap Challenge is back in 2023. The fun starts on Monday 20 February (Week 4) will run through until the end of term. Students and staff are encouraged to come down to the oval from 7.45am to 8.30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to walk, jog or run laps. The winning House at the end of the term will receive a prize.
Our annual Interhouse Swimming Carnival will take place on Wednesday 1 March (Week 5) at Bilgoman Pool. Our unique twilight Carnival starts at 2.30pm and will finish at 7.30pm, which allows families to come along and support the children and the House groups. Students will complete periods 1-5 and lunch at school, before being bussed down to Bilgoman Pool.
The student nomination process, via a Google form, commenced last week and so far we have had an excellent response. Please encourage your child to nominate if they have not done so already. The link has been emailed to every student and is also available via the notices on Seqta.
Our NEAS interschool season is back for 2023! After several years of postponed and modified programs due to COVID-19, this year sees a return to normalcy for students in Years 7 to 12.
For those new to the Senior School, NEAS is the North Eastern Associated Schools, a division of the Associated & Catholic Colleges (ACC) sports organisation. The schools we compete against in NEAS include Ellenbrook Christian College, Holy Cross College, La Salle College, Swan Christian College and Swan Valley Anglican Community School.
Juniors (Years 7 to 9) play on Tuesdays and Seniors (Years 10 to 12) play on Wednesdays from 4pm-5pm, competing against Swan Valley Anglican Community School, Swan Christian College, La Salle College, Holy Cross College and Ellenbrook Christian College. Year 6 students participate in interschool sport at a primary level, joining the older students from the Junior School campus in Darlington.
The season consists of Home and Away fixtures in Week 4 to Week 8, with finals held in Week 9 for the top two teams. Sports on offer in Term 1 include Basketball and Ultimate Frisbee, in the age brackets below:
Year 7 Girls Basketball
Year 7 Boys Basketball
Year 8/9 Girls Basketball
Year 8/9 Boys Basketball
Year 7-9 Mixed Ultimate Frisbee
Year 10-12 Girls Basketball
Year 10-12 Boys Basketball
Year 7-12 No Limits Basketball
Year 10 – 12 Mixed Ultimate Frisbee
Students who are interested in playing in any of the NEAS teams should nominate through the link in the Seqta notices as soon as possible.
We have an abundance of ceramics and artworks that are sitting in Visual Arts waiting to go home with their artist. Please ask your students to come and have a look, and collect what is theirs. We're sure there is a special spot at home to display these wonderful works.
On the Menu at Glen Forrest
The 2023 Canteen Glen Forrest Term 1 menu offers plenty of options for families. At the Glen Forrest campus, online ordering is preferred, but over the counter purchases may be made at recess and lunch. It is important to note that the Canteen is cashless, and onsite purchases can only be made by eftpos or through their College Smartrider card. For information on how to set up your child's Smartrider card on Quickcliq for canteen purchases, please download this handy information sheet.
Junior School | Darlington Campus
Settling in at Kindy
We have had a fantastic week welcoming our new Kindy students to Helena College. We had so much fun making new friends and learning all about what it means to be a big ‘kindy kid’.
Friendships Blossom in Pre-primary
The Pre-primary children have settled into their first week of school very well. They enjoyed seeing their friends from Kindy and meeting the six new students . We have had lots of fun experiences and explored some of the specialist learning areas for the first time. We have started our first inquiry, on friendship, and how we can get along with others. We are looking forward to a fun year together.
What's on in the Junior School Library
A warm welcome to everyone!
Our Library in the Junior School is a fantastic part of our College. The Darlington Campus students visit the Library for a session every Thursday or Friday.
Your child’s library day is as follows:
Kindy: Friday (starting in Term 2)
Year 1: Friday
Year 2: Friday
Year 3: Friday
Year 4C: Thursday
Year 4P: Friday
Year 5M and 5B: Thursday
We expect all students to borrow each week and return books to the box (crate) in front of their classroom before school on the day of their lesson.
To help protect our library books we do ask that students use our Helena College (dark blue) library bag. All new students are given a new bag when they start at Helena. Replacement bags can be purchased from the Library for $5.
Just a reminder that our overdue book reminder emails are automatically sent out at the end of each week for your information. If your child has been absent from school, please disregard the email.
Please also visit our online library catalogue ORBIT (Oliver) and try out our school subscription to World Book Online www.worldbookonline.com - the username is helenacollege and our students will be reminded of the password over the next few weeks.
Please feel free to pop into the Library and visit us any time on a Thursday or Friday.
Emma Debnam, Teacher Librarian
Junior School Hits the Pool
It was a whirlwind start to the 2023 school year for our Junior School Students in Year 1-5 commencing Swimming Lessons on day one. The students have taken this in their stride and have been having a fantastic time in the pool and appreciating the warm weather to go along with it.
Our annual lessons are such an important part of our Physical Education Program because it gives our students the skills and confidence to safely be in around the water. With the weather and lifestyle of many here in Western Australia, these skills align with our leisure time and can be lifesaving tool.
Whether students are learning to blow their bubbles or how to safely rescue someone, there are benefits to be had in every swimming stage.
Our Junior School students should be very proud of having the confidence and courage to dive straight into this school year and their swimming lessons, with no hesitation.
Rebecca Bol, Physical Education Teacher
During the school holidays Oskar was selected to play in the West Australian U15 Boys Indoor Hockey Team that competed in the National Championships in Brisbane during January.
Mum, Kendra, lead the way as Team Manager making sure all the players had enough to eat! On the court it was tough going against the best U15 indoor players in the country and unfortunately no medals this time around. However off the court fun was had by all.
Around the College
Helena Hornets Netball Club News
The Helena Hornets Netball Club are excited to announce our registration evening on Monday 13 February at 5.45pm to 7pm at the Glen Forrest Campus (netball courts and oval area) and we look forward to welcoming all new and returning players. Come and check out the launch of our new uniforms!
Please wear sports clothing, hat and bring a water bottle as there will be some fun games. A light pizza dinner will be provided.
An information session will be held for parents and carers whilst our netballers are occupied with some fun games.
Helena Hornets Netball Club encourages fun, fitness and friendship for girls and boys aged 6 to 18, although there are some restrictions on boys’ competitions.
Helena Hornets teams participate in the Swan Districts Netball Association’s Saturday winter competition during Terms 2 and 3 and the Tuesday evening spring competition in Term 4. There is no netball during Term 1. All games are played at the Swan District courts in Gray Drive, Midvale.
Young players are able to learn the game by participating in Net-Set-Go Skills for Year 2 and Net-Set-Go Competition for Years 3-4, before moving to the Juniors’ competition for Years 5 to 12.
For anyone wanting to get involved in the Netball Club, the Special General Meeting will also be held on Monday during registration day in the classroom outside of the Gym. There are lots of opportunities to become involved and if you know of anyone who would be keen for volunteering, coaching or umpiring, please encourage them to attend.
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Helena Hornets via our Facebook page.
We look forward to seeing you at the Registration evening on Monday.
Lost and Found
Have you lost your beloved pet? A rainbow unicorn was found wandering around the Glen Forrest campus at the end of 2022. If this you know who his owner is, please call into Admin to collect him as soon as possible!
While our colourful visitor appears to be in good health and spirits, we are sure he would love nothing more than to return home. He has a cuddle or two from our Admin team, but home is always best!
We hope that by reuniting this beautiful creature with its rightful owner, we can bring a little joy back into someone’s life.
2022 Reflections Yearbook
If your child was not at school on the last day of Term 4, they may not have received your family's copy of the Reflections yearbook, which are normally sent home with the youngest child in each family.
If your family did not receive a copy, please pop in to Reception to collect a copy.
Photo Catch Up Day
If your child is not at school for the photo day, there will be a catch-up session for individual photos on Monday 27 February (Week 5).
Further details will be provided in What's On closer to the time.
Top 10 Reasons to Learn a Language
Learning a new language can be a great way to expand your horizons and open up new opportunities. There are many benefits to be gained from becoming proficient in another language, whether it's for business, travel or simply to appreciate different cultures. Our Languages Department shared this terrific article that gives just a few of the top reasons why you should consider learning another language.
Kindy Enrolments 2024
Our Kindy places for 2024 are filling up fast. If current Helena families have children they intend to enrol in the Junior School, and are not yet registered in Kindy, please do so as soon as possible.
The school day in Kindy runs from 8.30am to noon, in the first two weeks of school, and for two full days a week in Term 1, until 2.45pm.
From Term 2 , our two Kindy A and B classes combine and attend for four days a week – on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. They share a purpose-built, Early Learning Centre and ‘big backyard’ playground with our Pre-primary class. Register online today.
In line with our Enrolment Policy, siblings of already enrolled students receive priority placement, with all other applications assessed by date of registration.
New Staff Welcome
This year, Helena is excited to welcome a new group of staff members. This diverse and talented group comes from different backgrounds and brings with them unique perspectives and experiences that will help to create an even more vibrant learning environment for our students. We are confident that their enthusiasm, dedication, and strong work ethic will be invaluable assets to the school community as we strive for excellence in all aspects of education.
As part of this team, they will have the opportunity to grow professionally while contributing their knowledge and skills to enriching the lives of our students. We look forward to working together with these new staff members as they embark upon this exciting journey!
Shirley Fullam - Learning Support Education Assistant (Glen Forrest Campus)
Donna Goodlet - Library Officer - Semester 1 (Darlington Campus)
Stefan Humphreys - PE & Health Teacher (Glen Forrest Campus)
We have pleased to confirm that a number of staff are taking on new challenges this term. We wish them all the best for new roles and look forward to seeing the great things that will be accomplished. We hope that these new roles will be rewarding and fulfilling.
Lauren Bates - DC Auslan Teacher
Pippa Barnard - Year 1 Teacher
Peter Cumming - Year 4 Teacher
Hazel Granville - GFC Indonesian Teacher
Janelle Dowler - GFC Food Technology Teacher
Béatrice Archambaud - Head of Languages
Shane Gray - Head of Mathematics
Karen Coombs - Head of Technologies
Anne-Marie Lee - Head of Year 6
Matt Zarb - Head of Year 7
Steve Emanuele - Head of Year 8
Tim Hayward - Head of Year 9
James Waterhouse - Sports Coordinator
We say farewell to our Head of Department - Languages, Ibu Danielle Horne. She has been a part of the Helena community since 2008, and we will miss having Danielle as part of our team.
We wish Ibu Horne all the best on this new journey and thank her once again for her contributions to the Languages Department. Ibu Danielle Horne will be working at the School of Isolated and Distance Education, where she will be teaching remote and regional students, and will be to completing her Masters degree in Educational Neuroscience. Sampai jumpa lagi, Ibu Horne, dan semoga sukses selalu!
We are pleased to announce that Mme Béatrice Archambaud has been appointed as the new Head of Department - Languages.
Mme Archambaud brings with her a wealth of experience in language instruction. We look forward to her leadership in this role and know that she will be an asset to our College community. Feliciations, Madame Archamboud.
This semester, Ibu Chloe Biggerstaff is studying in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, after being awarded a prestigious Columbo Award scholarship last year. Ibu Biggerstaff is looking forward to sharing her stories and experiences when she returns for Semester Two. Ibu Hazel Granville will be returning to take Ibu Biggerstaff’s classes for Terms 1 and 2.
We welcome Pak Josh Tedjasaputra as our new Indonesian teacher. Pak Tedjasaputra will be starting in Week 3.
Calling Old Helenians!
Call out to our recent graduates (or their parents!)
If you or your Helena graduate has an old ClassPad from their Upper School Maths days, we have some Year 10 families that are interested in purchasing second-hand ones.
If it is in good working order and undamaged, please email Shane Gray with your contact details, to share with current Year 10 parents. We think these could fetch a fair price of around $120.
Also, if anyone is keen to assist tutoring students at Helena in Mathematics, with capability and confidence in this subject, please send your details to Shane Gray. Tutors are often in demand, and it's a nice way to earn some money, help and mentor fellow Helenians, and at set times that suit you.
Invitation to the Class of 2022
CLASS OF 2022 | Calling the newest Helena graduates! Come along for a tasty (free) brekkie on 17 February. Mr Hillman will be cooking up a storm, and you'll have the chance to catch up with your classmates, and your teachers. We'd love to hear where life has taken you!
MAWA Maths Expo
A maths expo – now that’s something different!
The Expo is targeted at families with the aim to provide support to parents and students with mathematics learning at home by showcasing interactive resources.
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