We will continue to offer limited on-site learning for those students who need to access this, including for students on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. We will provide further information about this shortly.
It is important that we work together and support each other during this challenging time. We will be in touch with staff and parents and carers shortly with further details of what remote and flexible learning will look like at our school.
In addition to the message sent via Compass on Wednesday March 25 in relation to the provision of school’s Wellbeing and Engagement services if/when working remotely to support learning and wellbeing continuity, please find below some tips to assist families:
Students who have existing appointments with a member of the well-being team are welcome to have a phone session. This will need to be scheduled and arranged directly with either Linda, Jamie or Jo via email.
Students/ parents are also welcome to email if they have any concerns about their child’s wellbeing during school working hours 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday, where further support/ information can be provided in more specific contexts.
Tips for Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety As the number of coronavirus cases rise across Australia, the level of anxiety within the community is increasing. Feelings of worry and uncertainty can be expected. It is important that we learn to manage our stress before it turns to more severe anxiety and panic (APS, 2020).
This following information outlines some useful strategies which can help both adults and children cope with the stress or anxiety experienced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Acknowledge Listen to the child and acknowledge any fears. Reassure the child that, given widespread media attention on COVID-19, it is understandable that they are worried about what is happening and how it could impact their lives. Normalise the child’s feelings. Let the child know that media exposure or hearing adults talk about worrying events such as COVID-19 might lead to heightened feelings of fear and apprehension, that this is normal, and such feelings will subside. Provide perspective. Respond to incorrect information or assumptions. Explain how information can be distorted when it is passed from one person to the next, as in the game known as ‘Chinese Whispers’ or ‘Broken telephone’ Know the facts. Don’t speculate — keep up to date. Inform the child or your class about what is happening in a way that does not promote further anxiety. Refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources.
Learn the facts Constant media coverage about the coronavirus can keep us in a heightened state of anxiety. Try to limit related media exposure and instead seek out factual information from reliable sources such as the Australian Government’s health alert or other trusted organisations such as the World Health Organization (APS, 2020).
Practise self-care To help encourage a positive frame of mind, it is important to look after yourself. Everybody practises self-care differently with some examples including: Maintaining good social connections and communicating openly with family and friends Making time for activities and hobbies you enjoy Keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting quality sleep and avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to cope with stress Practising relaxation, meditation and mindfulness to give your body a chance to settle and readjust to a calm state.
Tips for talking with children about the coronavirus Children will inevitably pick up on the concerns and anxiety of others, whether this is through listening and observing what is happening at home or at school. It is important that they can speak to you about their own concerns.
Answer their questions Do not be afraid to talk about the coronavirus with children. Given the extensive media coverage and the increasing number of people wearing face masks in public, it is not surprising that some children are already aware of the virus. You can do this by: Speaking to them about coronavirus in a calm manner Asking them what they already know about the virus so you can clarify any misunderstandings they may have Letting them know that it is normal to experience some anxiety when new and stressful situations arise Giving them a sense of control by explaining what they can do to stay safe (e.g., wash their hands regularly, stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing) Not overwhelming them with unnecessary information (e.g., death rates) as this can increase their anxiety Reassure them that coronavirus is less common and severe in children compared to adults Allowing regular contact (e.g., by phone) with people they may worry about, such as grandparents, to reassure them that they are okay.
Talk about how they are feeling Explain to your child that it is normal to feel worried about getting sick. Listen to your child’s concerns and reassure them that you are there to help them with whatever may arise in the future. It is important to model calmness when discussing the coronavirus with children and not alarm them with any concerns you may have about it. Children will look to you for cues on how to manage their own worries so it is important to stay calm and manage your own anxieties before bringing up the subject with them and answering their questions.
Limit media exposure It is important to monitor children’s exposure to media reports about the coronavirus as frequent exposure can increase their level of fear and anxiety. Try to be with your child when they are watching, listening or reading the news so you are able to address any questions or concerns they may have.
Further Resources to Assist Parents and Carers to Communicate and Support their Child: Please find some further helpful resources below: Lifemind Australia has established accessible links to vital connections and resources which are designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of those experiencing an indirect or direct impact from COVID-19. Emerging Minds has a helpful video, factsheets and many tips to guide your discussion.
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to let you know about some very exciting new initiatives that SSR will be introducing in the coming months. These include supporting students in need with programs and items such as;
THE MYKI CARD PILOT PROGRAM
Beginning in Term 1, 2020 schools will be able place applications for Myki cards for any students experiencing significant financial hardship, preventing them from attending school due to the cost of travel. Each card will be sent via registered post directly to the school with an initial $100 value. Students will then be able to receive a further two $100 top ups upon completion of a short survey.
The data received from this survey will be critical for measuring the impact of this pilot program and will play a crucial part in obtaining funding to further provide travel assistance to those students that are particularly vulnerable. Please note: these cards will be available for primary and secondary students alike.
SWIMWEAR FOR SCHOOL SWIMMING PROGRAMS
We have listened to schools’ feedback about the cost of swimwear being prohibitive for some families and have added swimwear to our ever growing list of items that we are able to supply directly. Stock for both female and male styles have been ordered and we will be ready to supply to schools beginning Term 1, 2020 (January).
There will be two styles available;* One piece racer back for girls (navy) and* Lycra trunks for boys (navy)
These bathers are made from premium materials and are guaranteed to survive the rigours of normal wear. Both styles are chlorine proof, piling resistant, offer 50+ UV protection and are breathable/self drying. (Sizes available for primary and secondary students).
WORK BOOTS FOR VCAL STUDENTS
Did you know that SSR also provides work boots for students undertaking VCAL courses? These boots are AS/NZS AS2210.3 certified, comprised of a steel safety toe cap and a lightweight PU sole resistant to most oils, acids and chemicals, have a moulded footbed for maximum comfort and durability and are available black or camel.
TEXT BOOKS FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS
Available now (Term 4, 2019) SSR is offering reimbursements of up to $80 per book for a maximum of 2 books to assist families struggling with the costs of sending their children to school. Applications can be made for up to $160 (2 books at a cost of up to $80 each). In order to be reimbursed, schools will need to supply SSR with an invoice/receipt detailing the books purchased and their associated cost/s. (Please note: textbook support is available for Term 4, 2019 and Term 1, 2020).
SCHOOL BAG SUPPORT
SSR is now offering assistance with the cost of school bags to the value of $50 (by way of providing a voucher to the uniform retailer). Applications for school bags can be made via our online application portal, as you would with any uniforms items.
Should your school require any assistance with placing applications, please contact our Applications Support team on 03 8769 8400, Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 4.30pm.
All the opportunities for assistance listed above are available to ANY student based on the normal assessment of need conducted within your school. Applications for our assistance can be made by your welfare/wellbeing team (or nominated staff member) through ouronline application portal.
Again, we will be asking schools to assist us with collecting data, particularly around the Myki program, as this will assist us in measuring the impact of the program and procuring funding to run it beyond the pilot stage.
Should you have any stories that you’d like to share with us, we’d really appreciate it. By sharing these stories it helps to spread the word about SSR so please let us know if you hear of any emotive stories from families/students who have received our support.
In 2020, State Schools’ Relief expects to impact over 60,000 Victorian state school students by providing additional assistance with our new programs & initiatives and we sincerely hope to alleviate some of the additional challenges encountered by families.
As always, please feel free to provide me with any feedback or suggestions for how we can continually improve our service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Karzis Chief Executive Officer
YEAR 7 CSEF UNIFORM PACKAGE The 2020 Year 7 CSEF package has now commenced, with the package consisting of top, pants/dress and a pair of school shoes. Please remember that if a student requires something over and above what is included in the package, an additional welfare application can be placed at any time of the year. More information (and all downloads) on the Year 7 CSEF package can be found here.
PAYROLL GIVING SSR’s school liaison staff, Sharon and Filomena, are available to host a morning tea at your school for any interested staff in order to promote our ‘Payroll Giving’ program. Plus, the ladies will bring delicious donuts for all to enjoy whilst they attend. For more information head to our website or contact them on the below:
FUNDRAISING Thank you to ALL the schools that have already raised funds for SSR this year. Fundraising is crucial for our organisation to enable us to continue assisting all Victorian students in need.
If your school is looking for a fundraising idea, why not think about a casual dress day, footy day, sausage sizzle, fun run or even a Topsy Turvy Day (where students can wear their uniforms back to front and/or inside-out!)? These are easy and effective fundraising events and offer great opportunities for all students to get involved.
We have a list of other fundraising ideas to make it fun and simple for everyone – request a flyer today at email@example.com
“Find Their Feet” is a careers event that brings together students and parents from across the inner north, including Northcote High School, Collingwood College, Fitzroy High School and Princes Hill Secondary College, to provide career exploration opportunities. The event will take place on Wednesday 14 August 2019 at Northcote High School.
Much more than a careers expo, “Find Their Feet” is a personalised three-step journey into the future world of work for high school students and their families. Using current interests, strengths and skills as a starting point and one-on-one conversations with real employers as a guide, students will leave feeling inspired and confident with a much clearer idea of where they are headed and how to get there.
Melbourne’s food truck pioneer Raph Rashid will be flipping burgers for a whopping 24 hours straight to raise much needed funds for charity Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) this August.
‘FLIP-A-THON’ will take place at Raph’s Beatbox Kitchen Shop in Sydney Road, Brunswick and will run from 11am on Saturday 17 August until 11am on Sunday 18 August, with all purchases made over the 24 hours going directly to YSAS.
A limited menu will be on offer for FLIP-A-THON and will include Raph burgers, cheeseburgers, Shroom burgers and Vege supremes alongside a range of drinks. Raph will also be running a donations hotline for those who can’t make it to the event.
Raph will be joined by some of Melbourne’s best hospitality personalities and creatives to help run the till over the 24 hours, including Pat Nourse (creative director of Melbourne Food + Wine), Lucy Feagins (founder of The Design Files), skateboarder Casey Foley, Jimmy Hurston (Jimmy’s Burgers), wine expert Matt Skinner, and well-known illustrator and wife of Raph, Beci Orpin.
The entertainment extends beyond just burger flipping, with some of Melbourne’s best DJ’s and bands helping out the great cause, including DJ Chris Gill and Mzrizk.
“As both a father and a business owner, supporting youth mental health is something which is very important to me. YSAS has a range of programs including youth outreach and Headspace, which offer great services to young people seeking support. By running FLIP-A-THON, it’s my time to make a difference and to do something that can have a direct effect,” says Raph.
11am Saturday 17 August to 11am Sunday 18 August Beatbox Kitchen 692 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC 3056
In 2009, whilst being completely obsessed by hamburgers, Raph decided to start Australia’s very first food truck, Beatbox Kitchen. Soon thereafter, he opened the aptly named Taco Truck, and now has a fleet of five trucks, as well as restaurants All Day Donuts, Juanitas Peaches and a Beatbox Kitchen Shop.
A community Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday 24 August 2019 has been organised to support the group of students, staff and parents who will embark on the epic Great Victorian Bike Ride (GVBR). Funds raised will promote inclusion by allowing a wider pool of students to access the GVBR, driving the focus of equity and access. Leftover funds may also be used to pay for contingencies and ongoing support of the FHS Great Victorian Bike Ride event, such as purchasing bikes, bike education etc.
Saturday 24 August 2019 7:00pm to 10:30pm
Spensley Street Primary School 193 Spensley Street, Clifton Hill VIC 3068