High-Ability Program Update

We are excited to announce we have several students who have been offered the opportunity to be involved in the Victorian High-Ability Program. This is a state government initiative in which the Department of Education selects high achieving students to take part in a series of online classes across term 4 in Mathematics or English. The Department of Education selects students based on their NAPLAN results and Fitzroy High School facilitates the program for our chosen students. Students will also be offered a face-to-face Masterclass at the completion of the program, which enables them to connect further with other students of high-ability from schools within our local area. Congratulations to all those involved, we are so proud of your amazing ability! This program will run each term, so there will also be a new intake of students in term 1, 2021.

Additionally, we have been working to begin offering extra-curricular programs within the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series to students at Fitzroy across years 7-12. This is a separate program which encompasses all interest areas and is designed to support, encourage and further engage students within those areas of strength and passion. Opportunities include workshops, competitions, masterclasses and structured support for VCE. To date, we have had students taking part in writing competitions, chemistry masterclasses, theatre workshops and much more! Well done to all those who have taken part so far! Keep an eye out for more opportunities and talk with your teachers if you feel passionate about or want to explore a certain subject further– we are here to help you be your very best.

Emma Jones,
High-Ability Practice Leader

Term 3 President’s Report

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

As we move towards the end of Term 3, we continue to see the amazing resilience, agility, creativity and commitment of our Fitzroy High School community as we confront the impact of the COVID-19 crisis together.  In some ways, it’s been easier this time around.  We have all learned a lot as teachers, learners and parents and carers about the technology, about flexibility and about supporting more self-directed and independent learning.  But in many ways, it’s been harder.  The adrenaline and excitement that pushed us through Term 2 has gone and now we are confronting the challenges of dealing with something longer and more undefined.  

Confronting these challenges together as a school community has made so much possible.  I want to publicly thank all the parents and carers who have contacted the school in recent months to offer their support, expertise – and their encouragement and kind thoughts.  I also want to thank again all our amazing teachers, support staff and school leaders who continue to go above and beyond in their work. And I’d like to congratulate our students who are working so hard to make the best of a difficult situation and acknowledge their resilience and flexibility.  

During this time, the work of the School Council continues. We held two School Council meetings in Term 3.  Our July meeting was a busy one. We discussed a number of items relating to the school’s buildings and environment.  We noted that the ‘corridor’ area between the old building and the science/technology building has been reordered and replanted – and it looks great!  We also noted that, as a result of a successful application to an Australian Government fund, new air conditioning units have been installed in the Library and IT Area.  And we approved the school’s application to the Greener Government Schools Program to have additional solar panels erected on the science/technology building.  A special thanks to members of our Buildings and Environment Subcommittee and other supporters who have contributed so much to improving the quality of our school environment over the last couple of years.

Another area of discussion was around the annual School Council Self-Assessment, which is intended to help school councils understand and focus on opportunities for improvements in governance and operations.  Two key areas of improvement that we noted were in the induction and learning processes for new School Council members and ways to increase diversity on School Council.  On the second point, I’d like to encourage all parents/carers and students to consider nominating for election to the School Council.  We’ve had some great parents, teachers and student members join the School Council in recent years and their perspectives and ideas have greatly contributed to the way that the School Council supports our school and community.  You don’t have to be an expert or know a lot about the school to join the School Council.  It’s the diversity of views and experience that is most important.  If you are at all interested in joining the School Council next year, please feel free to contact me to find out more about the process of nominating.

Finally, Linda presented the 2020-24 School Strategic Plan to the School Council.  The School Strategic Plan is one of the key outcomes of the four yearly school review that the school completed earlier this year.  Some key takeaways from that plan are a focus on improving the growth and achievement of all students, empowering students as learners and leaders and improving student engagement.  We discussed ways that the School Council and our subcommittees can focus their efforts on supporting this ambitious agenda. 

Speaking of our subcommittees, in recent months, our subcommittees have done some excellent work providing input in areas such as the use of technology, languages education and the reporting of student results.  Current work includes a review of the school dress code and a working group focusing on student voice, agency and leadership, both led through our Community Subcommittee.  A reminder that you don’t have to be a member of the School Council to attend a subcommittee meeting or be part of a working group.  If you’re interested in joining in to have your voice heard or just to find out more about what is being discussed, feel free to contact the Subcommittee convenors or just look up the calendar on Compass.

Subcommittee convenors are:

  • Buildings and Environments: Roger Smith
  • Community: Clare Kermond
  • Education: Mim Ingvarson

Our August School Council meeting was also very productive.  Our main focus was on the 2019 School Annual Report and the 2020 Annual Implementation Plan.  We received a detailed report from Linda focused on the formal indicators of performance for the 2019 school year and discussed how the school plans to address areas of improvement in line with the School Strategic Plan.  We also discussed how the report can be presented to the school community at the annual public meeting.  More details about that soon.

If you want to know more about our July or August meetings, you can find the minutes and supporting documents for those meetings and all School Council meetings in Compass in the school documentation section and of course please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about School Council or the subcommittees.  My school email is ralphs@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

We are all fortunate to be part of this strong and supportive Fitzroy High School community.  I encourage you all to keep up your connections with the school, teachers, parents, carers and students.  We will all need help at some stage; we can all help someone else at some stage. 

Cheers,
Ralph Saubern
President, School Council

CAREERS NEWSLETTER 2020

#04 

Career Exploration Time

The aim of this newsletter is to give the school community an update on the current impact for Year 12 students with COVID 19 from a careers and pathway perspective, while also updating the Year 9 – 12 parents on happenings within the careers service at Fitzroy High School.  

Career Conversations are back online! 

With the school moving back to remote learning, career conversations have been taking place over Google Meet and telephone. The good news is that we are seeing a large uptake of sessions by Year 12s and Year 10s in recent weeks in support of their transitions into 2021. Thank you to the parents who have joined the process and equally for everyone’s patience when internet connections, background noises and strict session scheduling have been factors that we have all had to deal with 🙂   

Year 9 

The majority of our students have completed the Morrisby assessment, which is a terrific sign of their engagement with the careers process. The interview process with the CEAV will begin as early as next week for some students and will continue while remote learning continues. Further information on this will be circulated for parents and students but in the meantime you can support your student by viewing the checklist for their video interview session here. A friendly reminder for all consent forms to be sent to tysond@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au  

For further information for parents on My Careers Insights, click here.    

We are hoping to incorporate the Morrisby assessment results further into the curriculum, as many of our Year 10 students are using their profile to support subject selection and pathway planning. 

Year 10

We are making our way through Year 10 career check-in conversations, with a 10min phone call/Google Meet with every student. These have been productive, as I have been able to answer any questions that students have had around subject choices and senior pathways. Students have also been given the opportunity to book another 30 min session if they need further support. Again, I thank everyone for their patience, as fitting boht Year 10s and Year 12s into the schedule has had its challenges, but Marie and Vanessa have been ensuring that each student gets an opportunity to check in before the panel interview process. Thanks to all the Year 10 students who have engaged in this process and who have also revisited their Morrisby profile. Remember you can reset your password if you are having any difficulty, just send me an email on tysond@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au.  

Year 11

No major changes for the Year 11 cohort with all students still able to organise a career conversation by visiting the booking link of https://calendly.com/fhs-careercounselling/30min 

Unfortunately due to the timing of university applications and supporting both the Year 10 and Year 12 students, time slots are somewhat limited, but this will change over the next few weeks.  

Students are also encouraged to make the most of the university, TAFE and pathway information available at the moment, as many providers will have open day information and resources that Year 11 students can access. For more information visit the Fitzroy Career Page – Open Day/Virtual Tours. VTAC have also put together great resources for Year 11s in preparing for next year, which can be accessed here. 

Year 12 

A slightly bigger update for this cohort than usual…

2020 has brought uncertainty, lack of clarity and debate for Year 12s, including their pathways, results and wellbeing. COVID-19 has been nothing short of an incredible disturbance, not only in school communities but globally. As we move closer to the end of the year we are seeing universities, governments and industry bodies adjust to support the Class of 2020. In this update I’m hoping to bring these further to the surface so that students who want to participate in these can, while also educating the greater school community. Fitzroy High School is fully committed to supporting our Year 12 students and their families as much as we can.

Virtual Open Days  

Universities are scrambling to adapt to the changing market with international student numbers down, turning the focus towards domestic students. With the COVID restrictions in place, all Victorian providers and many interstate providers are moving towards a virtual open day experience. This is great for students to gain access to course information, not so great for students to better understand the culture and feel of a campus grounds, not to mention missing out on the opportunity to speak to faculty staff face to face and to observe the different facilities that they will have access to once they start their studies. The year has also demonstrated the importance of completing open day and higher education experiences in Year 10 and Year 11, as these students no doubt feel more prepared than the ones who are only starting this process in Year 12.  For more information visit the Fitzroy Career Page – Open Day/Virtual Tours. My recommendations for students to understand the student life experience further, is to focus on any networks or current uni students that they know in order to learn from their experiences so far in uni. It is ideal if they can connect with a student who is in their second year, as uni students have also been forced to undertake remote learning in 2020, which has been another huge impact on the higher education landscape.   

Early Offers 

Many universities are promoting early course offers to students who wish to apply for their course and have this as their number one preference in VTAC. Different universities are offering different incentives, so it is vital that you understand the course and check which ones fall under these promotions. Some courses are not available for early offers and will be published on the university websites. Please remember that in many cases you still need to complete the required prerequisites and it is simply a conditional offer for once you have finished Year 12. These conditional offers generally come out in the latter part of the year, however many applications need to be in by the 31st of August, with supporting documents or a reference and personal statement. Again, you only need to access these if the course you really want to get into is available through a scheme like this.  

ATAR/Selection Rank 

A few providers are explaining that the ATAR will not be the most important component of their selection and results from Year 11 and other requirements including folio work and interviews will become more of an important factor. 

Further dust will need to settle on this, as the VCAA has announced that ATAR adjustments will occur for all Victorian students, with more drastic changes to study scores (which then contributes to the ATAR) for students who have been ‘severely impacted’ by COVID-19, through the consideration of disadvantage process. Like every year before COVID, students also have the opportunity to apply for a SEAS application within VTAC. Please understand that SEAS applications are different from the VCAA consideration of disadvantage process and apply to a student’s selection rank in a course. This has nothing to do with their ATAR specifically, but adjusted where the student will fall in the selection process based on other measures like subject adjustments. All FHS students who are applying for VTAC are encouraged to apply for SEAS in Category 1 and 4 for the impact of COVID-19. Students are also encouraged to apply for SEAS if they feel that other factors have also impacted their studies and this can be discussed one on one with Tyson.   

Course Fees 

There has been a lot of discussion and headline attention around course fees, with the government proposing a plan to change course fees on certain degrees to encourage students to enrol in certain programs. Further headlines have focussed on if students pass or fail subjects, a student may be liable to pay the fee and not be eligible to place this on HECS or FEE HELP. Further updates around this will be considered by governments moving forward. Fitzroy High School is still encouraging students to pursue their interests and to factor in their career decisions based on what is important to them. Many of the career conversations have touched on fees and it’s great to see that students are aware of these current rumblings and how this may influence their career decisions.  

Something Extra 

With the future of work expecting further disruption, there have been some great articles and resources that have come to the surface in recent weeks. If you are looking for some further information around these areas I recommend the following links and articles: 

Foundation for Young Australians Research Reports  

Government Panel Review of Senior Secondary Pathways 

Call for Learner Profile Review 

Tyson Day
Careers Practitioner

When does gaming become a problem? New online test predicts risk of gaming disorder

Summary: The WHO recently recognized video game addiction as a mental health problem. A new online test can help detect those most at risk of developing gaming disorder. New research suggests personality traits and socioeconomic factors may contribute to gaming disorder.

Source: Birbeck University of London

Addiction to video games has been recognised as a new type of mental illness by the World Health Organisation (WHO), one associated with extreme cases of uncontrolled gaming behaviour and excessive game playing. In line with the criteria developed by the WHO, researchers have developed the first psychological test to check for ‘gaming disorder’– which they now plan to expand to produce the largest study to date on gaming disorder.

Read the full article here https://neurosciencenews.com/gaming-disorder-test-14135/

E-Safety during isolation

Dear FHS students, parents, guardians and carers,

With an increasing amount of time spent in front of screens during isolation and teenagers using on average five different social platforms, e-safety has never been more important. Today, we would like to shine a light on how parents can be more involved with their children’s social media as well as how young people can protect their safety online.

Parents, check out this link:https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-us/blog/fight-or-flight-4-tips-get-involved-your-childs-social-media 
Students, check out this link:https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/protecting-your-identity 

It is becoming increasingly more common for young people today to share nude photos of themselves in good faith, only to have their image sent or shown to others. It is important to understand that most young people only share nude photos of themselves with someone they trust, only to have things go pear shaped when later on that trust is broken. 11% of adult Australians have experienced image-based abuse.  

There is now a civil penalties scheme to address image-based abuse.  

See relevant links below:
https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/image-based-abuse  
https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/consent-sharing-photos 
https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/being-pressured-to-send-nudes
https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/my-nudes-have-been-shared
https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/receiving-unwanted-nudes
https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/someone-threatening-to-share-my-nudes  

If anyone needs wellbeing support with something that they have been concerned about please do not hesitate to contact the school.

FHS Wellbeing Team

Two recent improvements to the infrastructure and natural environment at Fitzroy High School

Over the last couple of months there have been two changes to the school site that have improved the school’s general amenity and also added to the school’s infrastructure in a positive way. These changes are outlined in A and B below.

A. The ‘Corridor’ area garden between the old building and the Science/Technology building has been reordered and replanted by Jenny Harrington of Horticultural Services with the help of the school’s Principal, Linda Mitchell.

For several years Fitzroy High School (FHS) have been investing time and resources into a project that is reordering most of the school’s existing garden areas.

As part of this project, Jenny Harrington of Horticultural Services prepared a Report, Fitzroy High School Indigenous Gardens Project: Management and Scheduling Plan 2019-2020, in 2019.

This project was instigated by the Buildings and Environments Subcommittee of FHS Council and so far has been brought to fruition by Linda and Jenny.

In the 2019 report, Jenny Harrington recognised five areas for reordering, the:

  1. Amphitheatre at the school frontage on Falconer Street;
  2. Garden bed at the school frontage on Falconer Street;
  3. Garden bed alongside the main school building on Falconer Street;
  4. ‘Corridor’ area between the Old Building and the 2003-2004                          constructed Science/Technology building;
  5. Area near the Ficus in the south-east corner of the school.

In 2019 the Area mentioned in 5 was replanted.

In 2020 the Area mentioned in 4 has been replanted, as outlined above. There was an emphasis on plains and grassy woodland plants being established in this ‘Corridor’. This location also includes the garden on the northern side of the Science/Technology building.

This whole project grew out of the 2014 ‘Commemorative return to Fitzroy High School – a celebration of ten years’ that took place in that year.

Its main aim is an attempt to represent and enhance the indigenous remnant vegetation that can be found throughout the City of Yarra.

The new ‘Corridor’ garden area can be seen in the image below.

B. New air conditioning units for the Library and IT Area have been installed. They can be seen on the cantilever veranda that covers the eastern entrance to the school, adjacent to the library.

In 2019 the Australian Government provided $30.2 million for the Local Schools Community Fund, with up to $200,000 available for each federal electorate. The Fund was to benefit students and assist schools to meet their priorities through the contribution of funding for small scale projects and their associated costs. 

These air conditioning units are the result of Fitzroy High School’s successful application to the Fund which is linked with the school’s local Federal Member Parliament, The Hon. Adam Bandt.

Part of the schools’ application to the Fund made the following three points.

“During Melbourne summers there are occasional days of extreme heat, which have increased in frequency since 2005 [Melbourne Regional Office of the Bureau of Meteorology, ‘Climate Statistics for Australian Locations’,Retrieved 5th March 2015]. In addition Melbourne’s 30 year average maximum and minimum temperatures have increased for all summer months. [Appendix 1 – http://www.baywx.com.au/melbavtemps30.html, Retrieved 18th September 2019]. This funding application aims to alleviate the impact of these changes on the efficacy of teaching and learning, teacher professional development and parent/community events in FHS’s Library and IT space.”

“The people who will mainly benefit from this project will be the teachers who permanently occupy the Library and IT space at FHS and the teachers and students who use these areas for teaching, learning and professional development. Additional benefit will be derived by parents and community members who are involved with school events, such as information evenings and parent/teacher gatherings that are often held in this space.”

“Knowing our students and teachers well is a core goal of our student and teacher well-being model. Understanding and continuously improving the relationship between students, teachers and the physical infrastructure with which they engage is a fundamental to providing support for their health and well being. An air conditioned Library and IT space will contribute greatly to achieving this goal.”

The new air conditioning units can be seen in the image below.

It is appropriate that these recent school achievements, that enhance the school’s buildings and general amenity, be brought to the attention of the whole school community. The school’s leadership group see this as one way of saying to parents, and the wider school community, that even though there have been many significant disruptions to the school’s working life over the last few months due to the corona virus pandemic, there have been some other activities that have continued. These enhance a sense of normalcy and will improve the general well being of the whole school community when we return to a post pandemic state of affairs. 

Roger Smith

Convenor

Buildings and Environments Subcommittee of FHS Council

Keeping it in the families – a good news story!

My name’s Kitty, I’m in year 7 at Fitzroy high school. I have my own business called Keeping it in the family where I hand make masks and sell them. My whole family helps out. My brother Sam who is in year 9 at Fitzroy is admin and built our website. My Mum helps with sewing, and my Dad helps with a bit of both. I started making masks because my friends in New York said that masks help a lot so to stop the spread of COVID-19 so I hopped on the wagon and started Keeping it in the family. I have made about 115 masks in 1 week and I have sold masks all around Australia, from Sydney to Queensland, and even to New York. I have learnt a lot about running a business already, including persistence, listening to advice, revenue and profit and how to manage finances.

On Wednesday one of our family friends told us about the weatherman on channel 10 who said that if a small business sends in one of their masks with a bit about their business he might shout them out on the news. So I did! Then the next day he called me and asked me some questions. Then he went on the news and we watched as he told loads of people about my business. You can order my masks at https://www.keepingitinthefamilies.com.au/

Watch video here https://youtu.be/x1R_tLvwTzE 

CyberParent through Australian Multicultural Foundation

The Australian Multicultural Foundation has launched a web app called CyberParent which encourages safe and healthy internet use in Australian homes. 

Created with development partner Liberate eLearning, CyberParent equips parents with the knowledge and confidence to identify early warning signs and seek appropriate support from Australian service providers.

CyberParent covers topical issues such as:

  • Internet terms and definitions
  • Information about social media and descriptions of popular apps
  • Information about different dangers for young people online e.g. cyberbullying, online gaming and grooming/recruitment
  • Practical tips on healthy and safe internet use
  • Where you can go for help

CyberParent can be accessed by all devices that have an internet connection, however, it is optimised for tablets and smartphones.

CyberParent is available in a total of 17 different languages, including: English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Pashto, Spanish, Somali, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

The AMF has also developed an accompanying guide to help new users download and navigate CyberParent. The document also provides trainers and facilitators with a plan, tools and some tips on running a training session about CyberParent. The Guideline is available in 7 languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Somali, Turkish and Urdu and can be accessed here

Please note that CyberParent does not collect any identifying information about users. 

To access CyberParent Web App click below or type http://amf.net.au/cyberparent into your browser.