Message from the Principal

Dear parents, carers and guardians

On behalf of our school, I want to say a big thank you to all our students, parents and carers for your continued resilience and support during Term 3. I know remote and flexible learning has not always been easy, but through our collective efforts, our students have continued to make valuable progress in their learning. You can be confident that our school will support any student who has fallen behind to catch up.

Term 4 is important for every Victorian student, and our teachers will strive to deliver high-quality learning for everyone. Whether we’re teaching remotely or face-to-face, our focus for Term 4 is on making sure that every student is supported in their wellbeing, learning and transition needs.

The Victorian Government has outlined the staged return to on-site schooling as part of its gradual roadmap towards reopening. All Victorian schools will continue to provide remote and flexible learning for the remainder of Term 3, except specialist schools in rural and regional Victoria, who will continue on-site schooling consistent with current arrangements.

Term 4 on-site schooling arrangements for students:

Subject to the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has released a staged approach for students to return to on-site schooling. The purpose of the plan is to get students back in the classroom as soon and as safely as possible without putting at risk all that has been achieved through the period of restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To achieve both these aims, the return to onsite learning needs to be staged, just as the easing of all other restrictions is staged.

There are two reasons for this:

The first is that in metropolitan Melbourne, health authorities need to monitor the impact of students and parents beginning to move across the city again before schools move to a full return. Having one million students return to school all at once could compromise the ability to monitor this impact.

The second reason is that VCE students must return in week one of Term 4 and must be able to complete the three-hour General Achievement Test (GAT) that week. In order to ensure the focus is on these students and the appropriate safety measures are in place, this means no other students can be on-site on our secondary or P-12 campuses the week before the GAT.

This is the best way to ensure the ongoing safety of the whole community.

59 October (first week of Term 4)

  • remote and flexible learning will continue for all students
  • VCE and VCAL students can only attend on-site for essential assessments, including the General Achievement Test (GAT) on Wednesday 7 October
  • on-site supervision for children of permitted workers and vulnerable students will continue to be provided, consistent with existing guidelines.  

From 12 October (second week of Term 4)

  • students in Prep to Grade 2 will return to full-time on-site schooling. The existing remote learning program will not continue for these year levels
  • Year 11 and 12 students will attend on-site schooling full time. Year 10 students enrolled in a VCE or VCAL program will attend for those units only
  • remote and flexible learning will continue for all students in Grade 3 to Year 10 (except Year 10 students studying VCE and VCAL units)
  • on-site supervision will remain available for students in Grade 3 to Year 10 who are the children of permitted workers and vulnerable students.

This will continue until a date is set for the return of all students to on-site learning, based on health advice.

Health and safety measures

The Term 3 remote and flexible learning arrangements were put in place to significantly reduce the movement of more than one million students and their families across Victoria, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Thanks to you and your family for contributing to this on behalf of our school community.

As on-site schooling resumes, we will continue to have in place strong measures to protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community. This includes staggering start and finish times, restricting parent access to school grounds and continued emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing where possible.

Whether your child is, or children are, returning to face-to-face learning or will be continuing with remote and flexible learning, please be assured we will be focused on three key priorities in Term 4:

Mental health and wellbeing

Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.

Learning and excellence

Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.

Transitions

We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children moving from kindergarten into Prep, the Grade 6s moving into Year 7, and the Year 12s moving into employment or further education and training.

We know some families are worried that their child may have to repeat a year due to the disruptions of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is little evidence to support the benefits of repeating a year to catch up. Instead, schools will use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students meet their learning needs. 

Parents, families and carers can be confident that the best option for almost every child is to stay with their peer group, whether that is moving from kindergarten into Prep, or moving from Grade 6 into Year 7 at secondary school, or students moving up any year level in between.

Our school, working with you, has shown it can be flexible and adaptable in responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to meet student needs as we look towards the end of the 2020 school year and ahead to 2021.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Principal’s Report, August 2020

Dear families

I want to thank you all for your hard work these last few months. It has been a trying time for many people in many different ways. The Learning from Home surveys that students and parents completed in June gave the school some real insights into what was working and what could be improved, with the majority of feedback overwhelmingly positive. The staff has utilised the feedback to apply to the current round of remote learning, taking into account that it is somewhat more difficult at times this time around. I want to thank all of the students who have persisted in their efforts; reached out for help; and generally done very well, considering that they have spent more time in remote learning this year than face to face! Many of you will have received the green Compass posts acknowledging students’ efforts with regard to the School Wide Positive Behaviour remote learning matrix. It has been wonderful for me as Principal to open my Compass and see all of the positive posts about students doing their best. I also want to thank and acknowledge all of the staff who have done an incredible job this year. Many of them have been working from home with children of their own; many others have come into school to assist with operational tasks that cannot be completed from home or to support vulnerable students attending onsite.

School Council has been very busy this year and I also want to thank them for their amazing work, especially Ralph Saubern, the School Council president. I recommend his latest President’s Report to you; it can be found in the August newsletter and on the website. School Council was very involved in the school review in Term 1 and has subsequently worked with me on how the new Strategic Plan can be enacted through some of the sub committees and working parties. The DNA, if you like, of the Strategic Plan, is partnerships and collaboration: students and teachers, teachers and parents, students and parents, students and students, teachers and teachers, parents and parents. In order to achieve our goals we need to work together, especially in the current climate and the potentially challenging years ahead for our young people.

The 2019 Annual Report to the school community is on the website. I am planning to hold an open virtual meeting in the last week of term and will invite members of the school community to attend. This will give people the opportunity to discuss the Annual Report, the Strategic Plan and the future of the school. You will also see a separate article updating you on the Gasworks Senior Secondary Campus. This is the first of many newsletter articles to come, keeping the community updated on this exciting venture.

I would like to congratulate Jamie Bishop, who has been selected through an externally advertised process as the Mental Health Practitioner. This role is funded by the Department of Education at 0.5, meaning that Jamie can continue doing the great work he has been as a psychologist while also remaining on the teaching staff for the other part of his employment. We have also advertised an additional psychologist role at 0.4. Both of these roles will complement the rest of the wellbeing support that Fitzroy High School offers students, something that will be increasingly important during this time.

I will update you on the return to onsite learning once I have the information from the Department of Education, which I assume will be released after the Premier speaks on Sunday.

Kind regards,

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

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

Wear It Purple Day on Friday the 28th of August

This year, the Wear It Purple Day movement celebrates 10 years. It was started following an increasing number of young LGBTIQ+ people reporting that they had experienced bullying and discrimination and as a consequence they suffered from increased levels of anxiety and depression. 

Wear it Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people.

If you want to show your support for our LGBTIQ+ community, please wear something purple or rainbow colours on Friday the 28th of August. You could also change your Google profile picture to something purple or rainbow.  There will also be a lunchtime trivia for some fun. 
Please find attached a picture of FHS showing its support for our beautiful rainbow community by wearing purple.

Thanks,
Linda Ekman
Wellbeing Leader

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

2020 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005

Dear staff, parents and carers,


The Disability Standards for Education 2005 are currently being reviewed by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

As part of the 2020 review, an extensive community consultation process is currently underway to seek feedback about whether the standards are effective or if any improvements can be made.

Current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, advocates, educators, and other members of the public are invited to share their experiences, views and ideas to inform the review of the standards.


Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, engagement activities will mostly be held online via a dedicated 2020 review Consultation Hub. The hub offers a range of different ways that participants can share their views and ideas, and will be open until 11.59pm on Friday 25 September.

A series of webinars is also available for interested participants to share their experiences and opinions.

The webinars will be fully accessible, and will include Auslan translation and captioning. The webinars are open to the public, and each will have a different theme. These are:

For more information about the upcoming webinars visit the frequently asked questions page.

discussion paper has been developed with guiding questions to help interested participants have their say.

For more information email engage@thesocialdeck.comFind out more

For more information on how to get involved contact the Social Deck via:

Linda Mitchell
Principal

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/