Winmalee High School News

December, 2020

A message from the Relieving Principal

December is upon us and we are now in the last days of the year at school. It’s been a huge year for all of us and despite not having many opportunities to see each other face to face, I would like to thank all of our students and families for staying connected, for your communication, feedback and support. In particular, I would like to sincerely thank the Winmalee High P&C for their continued support this year. I have really appreciated maintaining our regular meetings and the consultation on a range of matters.  This wonderful team has provided such valuable support to Winmalee High this year. Thank you.

This week we have had presentation assemblies for each year group, with our Annual Presentation Evening taking place last night. I would like to  congratulate every student for their personal and learning progress this year and also commend all award winners for their high academic achievement. This year, as mentioned in previous communication, our Presentation Evening was a very small event and included only the major award winners this year. It was our first event with parents and carers on site since early March and it was very special to have our community attend. Our Presentation Evening was streamed via our Facebook page. If you get a chance, it is worth watching the amazing student performances! Thank you to the P&C for facilitating this event to be live streamed. A special thanks must also go to Mrs Shead, Mrs Rachel Jones and Mrs Kimberly McGregor for their organisation for the assemblies and also to our 2021 Captains, Vice Captains and Prefects for hosting and speaking at the events across the week.

Our Strategic Improvement Plan - we have been working on our Strategic Directions, Purpose statements, and our Vision and Context statements as part of our preparations for a new planning cycle. The P&C and groups of students have given us some terrific feedback so far and we would like to share our draft with you. The draft statements can be viewed online and we would really appreciate any feedback – the statements and survey can be accessed here. In Term 1, we will be writing our plan and will be consulting with the community further.

Next year, the Department has adjusted School Development Days for 2021. The number of days remains the same, but there are now 2 days at the beginning of Term 1 as a result of these changes. This means that Friday 29 January is the first day of school for Year 7, 11 and 12. Year 8, 9 and 10 will resume on Monday 1 February. On the first Tuesday back, our annual School Swimming carnival will be held at the Glenbrook pool. If you haven't signed the permission note for this, another copy of the note is included in this newsletter. For planning, it is important that this note is completed and returned by the end of this year.

Students in Year 7-10 will receive their Semester 2 Academic Reports this week. Any students who are absent can collect their reports from the front office. If there are any families who are going away on an early holiday and need to take extended leave, there is a Department form at the bottom of this Newsletter which needs to be completed and returned to our office please. Paper copies are also available at the front office. The last day of school for students is Wednesday 16 December.

With restrictions lifting and NSW doing well, I hope that everyone gets to spend time with family and friends over the Christmas break and that your travels are safe. Thank you for being such an amazing school community. I look forward to starting a new year with you all in 2021.

Voula Facas

Virtual Tour of Winmalee High School

This year, our Year 7 2021 new parents have not had the opportunity to be on the school site due to COVID restrictions. In response, we have created a Virtual Tour of our school. This tour can be also viewed on our school website.

This fantastic video was filmed and edited by past student, Lucas Howard. He did a superb job! Thank you, Lucas.

A huge thank you also must go to our students. The tour showed the school as it was on a regular school day.  Our student leaders and a range of other student volunteers led sections of the tour with style and grace, whilst all students joined in and allowed the camera to capture them learning, laughing and taking part in a range of activities across the school. 

2021 Student Leadership Team

Congratulations to our 2021 newly elected student leaders. We would like to officially introduce this passionate and dynamic team!

Lauren Bailey and Sam McGrath

Vice Captains:
Paige-Lee Stubbs and William Garrett

Hannah Brandenburg, Georgia Sroczynski, Oscar Atkins and Joel Beauchamp

We look forward to sharing some insights into their individual passions and ideas as they commence the 2021 school year. This team have already established a strong leadership presence within the school and they work marvelously together as a team. 

Zonta Scholarship - Congratulations Scarlett Abel!

Congratulations to Scarlett Abel on being awarded a scholarship through the Zonta Club. The Zonta Club of the Blue Mountains held their Annual Presentation and Christmas dinner on Monday evening, 7 December 2020, which was attended by club members, special guests, Scarlett, her mother, Tasha Huddy and Ms Facas. At the presentation, Scarlett was awarded her scholarship. This award will support Scarlett throughout Year 11 and 12. We are very proud of Scarlett and her humble and authentic application, which impressed the Zonta panel.

During the evening we learnt so much about the amazing work that Zonta do for women and young girls, worldwide. If you get the chance, take a look at their website to see more of the work they do to empower women through service and advocacy.

Goal Setting for all students

This year, students participated in an individual goal setting session, giving them an opportunity to reflect and think about some strategies which will help them improve in a range of areas. With the unexpected interruption to school due to COVID-19, the reflection sessions and follow up activities did not occur as planned.

This Term, all Year 11 students set some goals, following a reflection on their End of Course Report and as they commence their HSC course of study. The goal setting sessions were led by Ms Taylor and Ms Seabrook. The overall engagement by students in this process was impressive. Next year, students will be able to reflect further on their goals and track their progress.

Next year in Terms 1 and 2, all other year groups will have the opportunity to view data on their learning and attendance and set goals for individual improvement. Year 12, 2021 students will be trained and will lead the goal setting sessions with students. Ms Daniels and Ms Taylor, as leaders of the Learning and Engagement Team, will coordinate and oversee student goal setting. These sessions will take place during roll call. We look forward to sharing more information about this process next year.

NAIDOC Week 2020 - Always Was, Always Will Be

This year, NAIDOC week was held a little later, so that celebrations could take place with fewer restrictions. At Winmalee High School, our students led a special assembly to celebrate and pay respect to this important event. Our student leadership team shared with students information about this year's theme, Always Was, Always Will Be, as well as the important work on the Uluru Statement of the Heart. During our assembly, a video was shown which included many of our Aboriginal students sharing what their culture means to them. 

Our students proudly acknowledge their culture and stand with honour as they open assemblies and events with a welcome or acknowledgement to county, both in and out of school. Pictured is Year 9 student, Britney Dorman representing Winmalee High as she did the acknowledgement to country at an event at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre at Katoomba recently. Well done, Britney.

NSW ACPE All Schools Athletics Championships

Thank you to Lily Patterson, 2020 School Captain for her report on how Winmalee High students performed at the NSW ACPE All Schools Athletics Championships.

Last week we had eight Winmalee High School students compete across four days of competition in the NSW ACPE All Schools Athletics Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. Over the four days we saw some magnificent results but more importantly, we saw eight students represent their school with pride as they competed against some of Australia's best in a fierce competition that saw many long standing meet records broken. Many congratulations to the following students:

- Louie O'Connell coming in 7th in the 14yrs boys 3000m 

- Padraic Whale coming in 23rd in the 15yrs boys 3000m

- Finlay Hahn coming in 7th in the 15yrs boys Javelin 

- Charlie Wilkinson coming in 7th in the 16yrs boys 200m and 9th in the 16yrs boys 100m

- Ollie Davidson coming in 12th in the 16yrs boys 800m and 16th in the 16yrs boys 1500m

- Caleb Frost coming in 11th in the 17yrs boys 400m and 15th in the 17yrs boys 200m 

- Jake McLenghan coming in at an outstanding 2nd in the 17yrs boys 400m recording a personal best and a national qualifying time 

- Lily Patterson competing in her last All Schools championships scoring herself a 2nd place in the 19yrs girls 800m and a 4th place in the 19yrs girls 400m 

Further congratulations to both Jake McLenghan and Lily Patterson who secured themselves an automatic qualifier to the Australian Athletic Championships early next year. A tremendous result that is deserving of all the hard work you both put in on and off the track. All students should be highly commended for their efforts and sportsmanship over the four days of competition and their results should not go unnoticed. The training that they have put in all year round, despite the many challenges thrown their way, has demonstrated great perseverance, resilience and strength and they are all worthy role models of the Winmalee HIgh community. They should be extremely proud of their results - where many recorded personal bests. Once again, congratulations to all students on their amazing results

Western Sydney University Masterclass Program

This term, a group of Year 10 students, with the support of Careers Adviser, Mrs Ruskin, have worked collaboratively to develop a project for entry into the annual Masterclass competition run through Western Sydney University. 

The Youth Leadership Masterclass Program is provided across five online modules which are designed to empower students to think creatively and critically, and to become flexible, adaptable and multi-level thinkers. The theme that students have elected to design a solution for is 'poverty and homelessness'. Have a look at their idea and video submission, which is a school based solution that the school community can work together on to make a difference. We hope that this submission is successful, as the winning school receives funding to turn their ideas into action.

Congratulations to students who worked collaboratively to create the submission for the WSU Masterclass: Kayley O'Reilly, Maddison Budd, Henry Weaver, Troy Zoernlieb, Caleb Kennedy, Leroy De Haan and Ethan Day.

VET State Training Awards

This term was another exciting chapter in Ms Renwick's journey as the winner of the 2020 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award. Ms Renwick has attended training and functions relating to the National levels of these awards. We are very proud of how Ms Renwick has represented Winmalee High School and how she has shared her passion and skills as a VET educator with a broad audience. As a VET ambassador, she will continue to share her knowledge and skills with others. Pictured is Ms Renwick with Mr David Collins, Executive Director and Eduardo Carvallo Careera from NSW Training Awards, along with the other NSW category winners for the State Training Awards.

7G Artwork about the year that was impacted by COVID-19

The Covid-19 outbreak has affected the world this year in so many different ways. It was a tragic pandemic that has taken people's lives, businesses and torn families apart through lockdown. Schools were shut down in March for NSW which impacted Winmalee High School, sending us into lockdown with online schooling through zoom meetings and Google classroom. Students' learning and education were greatly affected at this time but we all had to try our best and continue our education through these struggles. 

During Learning and Wellbeing lessons, 7G after coming back from lockdown, created an artwork to display this “world history event”. On this board students printed out images and quotes that are related to the pandemic. Some examples were photos of masks, panic buying, DIY products that students made at home, the rules of COVID-19, such as social distancing and of course we could not forget the ridiculous fights over toilet paper.  

We created this piece of art to show as a summary of how crazy this year has been and how covid has changed many people's lives globally.  

Written By Tyler Cavanough and Gela Moss, Students from 7G 

Winmalee High School Radio Program

This Term, a group of committed students from Year 8-11 have been tutored by Mr Ron Fuller, to commence a Radio Station program. Ron Fuller is a P&C member, past parent and friend of the school. His Radio Station proposal has been embraced by students, who are currently being trained in all aspects of running a program. Ron, who has a wealth of experience and expertise in radio is generously sharing this with students. 

Last week, students worked with a special guest and they learned about how to conduct an interview and using various questioning techniques. They have also started to learn about the many technical aspects that come together to make up a radio program. 

We look forward to sharing regular news on this exciting new venture. We would like to sincerely thank Ron Fuller for so generously volunteering his time to teach our students and lead this program. Thank you also to Ms Alison Maddigan, English teacher, for supporting students and overseeing this school program.

Everyday Maths Hub

Last month, Minister Mitchell launched the Everyday Maths Hub - an exciting new online resource for parents and carers. The Maths Hub:

  • is an engaging and dynamic online platform for parents and carers of children in Kindy through to Year 10
  • aims to support and encourage family conversations about the relevance and usefulness of mathematics in everyday life
  • is part of the NSW Mathematics Strategy to achieve the Premier’s vision, 'for all NSW students to develop the mathematical skills they need to succeed in life'
  • was designed in consultation with our teachers, parents and carers
  • can support parents and carers in empowering their children to think critically and creatively, find and solve problems, and notice and wonder about the mathematics in the world around them
  • helps parents and carers connect with their children through mathematics.

Summer Skills - resources for school leavers

Through the Department of Education, a new Summer Skills package of fee-free training and skills support is now available to all 2020 Year 12 school leavers.

It doesn’t matter which pathway a school leaver has chosen – they can get onboard and get skilled by taking advantage of the fee-free training courses on offer.

2020 School leavers can use these fee-free training courses to:

  • find out what you may be interested in long term;
  • learn new skills that can lead to a new job.

Over 20 Short courses are currently available and cover a range of industries. Industries cover agriculture, construction, conservation, mechatronics, coding, communication and digital literacy. More information about the courses on offer is available via the NSW Department of Education Summer Skills webpage.

Mind Your Mate program - permission

A letter was sent to all Year 9 parents and carers about the Mind Your Mate program. The program links to outcomes from the Stage 5 PDHPE syllabus and the focus is on the Strand – Health, Wellbeing & Positive Relationships; looking at students developing knowledge, understanding and skills that are important for building respectful relationships and promoting the health & safety of self and others.  

We are seeking your consent for your child to participate in Mind Your Mate. To give your consent for your child’s participation, you can complete the paper copy provided to your child, or if you prefer, you can register your consent online via our school based survey.

Permission to run the program in 2021 is being sought and we appreciate your support.

School Uniform Update

As students start to prepare for their 2021 school uniforms, we are pleased to confirm that the following items have either arrived in our uniform shop or will be available in 2021.

New Girls Trousers -The new, long maroon, everyday wear school uniform pants have finally arrived.  Unfortunately due to COVID-19, they were delayed this year, but they can now be purchased.

New Puffer jacket for Years 7-12 - A black puffer jacket is currently in manufacturing progress and will be available for students at the end of summer next year. The jacket is for all year groups 7-12. The sample was popular among students and is incredibly warm. We will let you know when this is available for purchase.

Tracksuit Pants - The school is currently working with our uniform provider to make an everyday school tracksuit pant available for students. Tracksuit pants are not currently part of our school uniform, but we understand that students have been wanting a warmer option for winter. We will let students and families know when we have some samples available.

A variety of options will be available to allow students to select items which are most comfortable for them. The school will support any students who need assistance to purchase uniform items. With a wide range of suitable items, all students will be expected to represent the school in full school uniform. If any uniform items are purchased over the school holidays, it is important that they do match the school's dress code. Important things to remember as you purchase new items:

- Jumpers sourced outside of the school uniform shop should be plain, with no logos. Juniors in Year 7-10  can wear a plain maroon jumper and Year 11 and 12 students can wear a plain black jumper.

- School shoes must be leather and fully enclosed to meet safety requirements in practical subjects. School shoes should also be predominantly black. There are a range of suitable and supportive sneakers and shoes available which meet these requirements. White sneakers and other coloured sneakers are suitable for sport and PE only and are not part of our every day full school uniform.

The uniform shop is open during January. Below is a copy of the opening dates and times is available for you to download.

P&C News

The Winmalee High School P&C has continued to meet each month throughout 2020. At the end of November the AGM was held and positions for 2021 were voted in: 

President: Gloria Tabi
Vice President: Anne Hurni
Vice President: Fiona Wilkinson
Treasurer: Dean Goddard
Secretary: Belinda Sell

P&C President's AGM Report:

This year, as many have said, has been unprecedented. We hadn't recovered from the bushfires last summer or the Floods when the Coronavirus pandemic hit us unprepared!!

 This saw many of the country’s schools closing their doors and moving into remote learning.

Winmalee High, with Voula’s leadership saw a successful pandemic response and gradual return to a new normal.

The P&C would like to give a formal “Thank you” to Voula for her exceptional leadership. Please also extend our appreciation to your deputies, teachers, staff and students.

We know it has not been an easy year. Some of us have seen processes in our own workplaces turned upside down to manage Covid. So well done!!

Please join me also in thanking our Treasurer, Dean Goddard, for the work and hours that he puts in for P&C behind the scenes. As a small example, to get me fully signed up to exercise the role as President, we had to visit to the bank three times (during work hours).

Please join me in thanking our Secretary, Belinda Sell, for the time she has put in writing up minutes and other important information in a timely manner.

Also, for the work she did in writing up the tender and winning $15,000 grant from Federal Member Susan Templeman’s Community Grant, for our beloved school.

Understand these funds are being used to purchase and install inclusive sitting areas around the school which are well received by students and teachers.

Please thank Anne Hurni, for her work in drafting our responses to the Department regarding the Behaviour Strategy Feedback. Anne also participated in the Interview panel for appointing an HSIE teacher.

And finally, I would like to thank the “team P&C of Winmalee High” for your continual support and the time you commit, week after week.

We have risen to the challenges of this year and continued to attend meetings every single month when the format changed to online.

 We may be small, but your dedication to support the school is evident in how you have supported meetings and provided feedback whenever it has been asked.

As you know, this year our role as a Fundraising Entity changed significantly due to the pandemic. We moved swiftly into the role of supporting Voula in making critical and important decisions throughout these uncertain times. A role that we now see P&C doing more of into the future.

We have participated and assisted in many of the School’s key priorities this year.  Here are lists of some of these: -

  • The school’s Electronic Devices Policy
  • School Uniform – new items, including jackets and other warmer items for winter (trackpants for 2021)
  • COVID-19, return to face to face teaching on site timetable
  • Consultation on support of Year 12 students post HSC trials
  • Year 12 Graduation planning
  • Department of Education, Draft Behaviour Strategy feedback 
  • Presentation Evening consultation
  • Business Manager position consultation

Thank you everyone, have a wonderful break with your families and we shall meet again in 2021.
President, Gloria Tabi

P&C Meeting Times: Second Wednesday of the month 6:30pm start till 8:30pm finish. Venue: WHS Staff common room or Virtually online.

Documents available for download in this newsletter include:

  •  Support due to impact of last summer's bushfires
  •  Application for Extended Leave - Travel form
  •  School Uniform Shop January Opening times
  •  2021 School Carnivals permission note
  •  2021 Wednesday Sport permission note

Free support available for those impacted by bushfires

Free support is available for those impacted by last summer's bushfires. Download the brochure attached for more information. Support is available through Telehealth. 

Application for Extended Leave - Travel

Please complete this form and return it to our front office if your child is seeking extended leave for travel purposes. 

Uniform Shop school holiday opening hours

Please see attached for the January opening dates and hours. No bookings are required.

2021 School Carnivals Permission note

Please note, the 2021 School Swimming Carnival is being held on our first Tuesday back at school, 2 February. The permission note must be returned by the end of Term 4, 2020 for students to attend.

Wednesday Sport permission note

2021 Wednesday Sport applies to students in Year 9, 10 and 11 students.

Winmalee High School - Strive to Achieve