Balgazette – Term 3, 2021
Term 3 has been very busy and like every year, our Year 12 students have been particularly challenged with their workloads and completing all of their course work. I wish them well over the coming weeks as they prepare for our school Presentation Evening. I also wish to thank staff for the manner in which they have supported the students over this period – their efforts have been outstanding.
Our school has been most fortunate to have been successful in requesting new and upgraded facilities and it was pleasing to have the most recent announcements by our state government that our Performing Arts Centre will be built as well as a Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre upgrade. These infrastructure improvements will further enhance Balga SHS as a school for the 21st century. I am pleased to also advise that our Science Block upgrade is progressing to plan and the phase 2 work will commence over this school holidays and be completed for the commencement of the 2022 school year.
I wish to address an issue that has become more prevalent across our local community and that is vaping. This has become an increasing concern as we see more students experimenting with vaping currently. It is illegal for anyone under 18 to vape and even if a student is over 18, they are not permitted to vape on school grounds or at any time during the school day. Our school has a no tolerance approach to vaping and students who bring this product onsite will receive significant consequences. I encourage families to discuss the health risks around vaping and seek further information if required from the Health Department.
Attendance and punctuality continue to remain a concern. We have students arrive late each day and this is having a direct negative impact on their learning. I remind parents and carers that school operates five days per week commencing at 8.50am and ending at 3pm and it is essential that students arrive on time.
Students should only miss a day at school if they are unwell or there is an exceptional personal issue that arises. Absences should be rare in the context of the whole school year. A student with a 90% attendance rate for a school year would still have missed 20 days of school, the equivalence of 4 weeks of absences. It is a priority moving forward that we have student attendance rates improve across the school and I call on families and students to focus on this as an improvement area.
A reminder to all that school uniform is compulsory at Balga SHS and that the use of mobile phones is banned. Please support the school and remind students of these rules.
To finish on some positives, I wish to congratulate our girls soccer team on being runners up in the Shield final and to our YOH Fest drama students (nearly 100 students involved) for having two performing groups making the state finals to be held in Mandurah on October 30. Additionally, we had a fantastic Arts Week program at the school which was showcased in an evening of the Arts where Visual and Performing Arts were on display and many families and community members attended. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the great NAIDOC events that took place at school and culminated with all our students enjoying a fantastic NAIDOC Assembly.
Thank you to all staff for their efforts over the course of this term, our students have benefited greatly from their commitment, support and guidance.
I wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday and remember try and do something for someone else on your break – you will feel better for giving rather than just receiving.
Mr Mark Carton – Principal
On August 4, we had 22 students, from Years 7 to 12, take part in the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC).
The AMC is an engaging 30 problem competition that demonstrates the importance and relevance of mathematics in students’ everyday lives. Australia’s leading educators and academics, with a deep understanding of our national curriculum standards, actively design the unique AMC problems each year.
The AMC is run at Balga Senior High School by Mr Quirin Sappl, and is an online competition. Many thanks to Mr Sappl for providing our students with this opportunity.
Next term, we will receive the results and celebrate the students who took part in the competition. There will be an opportunity for an excursion to Scitech for the participants of the AMC. This excursion is due to take place on 30 of November.
The Year 12 ATAR Mathematics students are currently revising for their Semester 2 Examinations. This exam will be held in the second week of the school holidays (6 October). We wish these students all the best for their exams.
Below are 10 coins arranged in three lines of four coins.
See if you can re-arrange the same ten coins to make FIVE lines of coins. Each line must be straight and contain exactly four coins.
The arrangement below shows 10 coins in 5 lines of four coins
Ms Jennifer Bulloch – HoLA Mathematics
CNAP DATA – Year 8 students achieve impressive results against national expected progression
To track student improvement each year our school employs an external company to complete ‘off-year’ NAPLAN Testing with our Year 8 students. This data allows us to reflect on teaching and learning practices in the classroom to ensure that our quality teaching and learning delivers improved academic achievement for our students.
It was pleasing to see that in our data review this year, our current Year 8 Cohort is progressing generally well beyond the expected mean of ‘like’ schools and above Australian expected progression in three strands of literacy (Writing was not assessed due to COVID 19). The results indicated outstanding progression in Grammar and Punctuation, Spelling and Reading.
As a cohort, many students are achieving ‘above standard’ indicating a positive trend in preparing for Year 9 NAPLAN and OLNA in Year 10.
It is clear from this test data, that the interventions that have been put in place to support this group of students in their learning, is targeting student need and extending students, at a faster pace than other schools. The data has also provided our teaching staff with clear strategies for 2022 allowing our staff to focus on addressing any learning gaps individual students may have, to ensure that each student in our care is able to reach their full potential and WACE success in Year 12.
Ms Lisa James – Year 7-10 Program Manager
Term 3 marks the final term for our Year 12 students, who have been busily completing their final assessments. This also makes it a hectic time for the English staff who teach these courses. I would like to thank the following teachers for the guidance, patience and hard work they have put into assisting their students on a positive and productive learning journey, Ms Jeanita Andy, Ms Sarah Bath, Ms Jenna Broadhurst and Ms Lisa James.
In Weeks 7, 8 and 9 the OLNA testing was conducted. Students in Years 10 to 12 who were required to sit these assessments, were provided with opportunities in the classroom, as well as given preparation activities to take home to complete in the lead up to these writing and reading comprehension assessments. We will receive the results of these tests in October.
In the Middle School area, our Year 10 classes have been completing a novel study on either, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta or The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, with a focus being on the themes explored. Speech writing was also examined, with students learning the concepts to write this text type. Students got to put their skills into practice by writing their own emotive speech and presenting it to their peers. Our Year 9 students got creative and designed some fantastic posters after viewing the film, Edward Scissorhands, directed by Tim Burton. I have included some photos of examples of this work. Well done to these students who designed some amazing posters. The students also analysed song lyrics, selecting a song of their choice to critique and presented their work in the form of an oral presentation to the class.
In the Junior School, the Year 8 classes read the novel Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson, exploring the main themes of friendship and growing up. The Year 7 classes explored poetry, writing their own poems and developing an understanding of the techniques that are used to write this text type. Students also read short stories and completed various writing and creative activities in class.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind students and families to take some time away from screens and visit the local library to explore the world of books. Reading has been shown to improve a student’s spelling and writing skills, and it is also a great way to allow our imagination to develop and to give our minds a break from the busy world in which we live.
As we come to the close of Term 3, I would like to thank all the dedicated English staff for the support and hard work they put into assisting our students to enhance their literacy skills, as well as develop an appreciation of all the different forms of texts in the English Learning Area.
Ms Silvana Cockroft – HoLA English
Science week in mid-August was exciting this term. Students and teachers were involved in a number of activities during classes and at lunch breaks. Science Area show-cased its technology side with robots, drones, virtual reality programmes on computers and 3-D vision glasses in the library.
On the basketball courts we displayed our racing cars with rocket powered engine fuels. Students were thrilled with what we displayed and teachers were on their toes to guide and help out during the activities. Science quizzes were carried out during form classes and the competition turned out to be more vigorous each day.
As Physics was the topic covered in all middle school classes, it intergrated well with the science week activities. Year 7 looked at forces, Year 8’s worked on energy conversions, Year 9’s covered sound, light and electricity and Year 10’s zoomed into motion with Newton’s laws.
To add to the excitement, “Engineers without Borders” motivated our middle school students with amazing lessons in renewable wind energy, prosthetic limbs and appropriate housing (floating platforms).
It was an exciting, busy and rewarding term and the science team did a fantastic job of delivering a successful science week.
Ms Guddy Litt – LAC Science
Investigating careers for your future
Term 3 has been a busy one in the Careers space, as students in Year 7 through to 12 have engaged in a range of career building activities. A number of workshops that explored STEAM careers were presented by the UWA Aspire team. The Year 7’s researched nature inspired innovation in Biomimicry, the Year 8’s conducted research into an ancient shark called the Megalodon and the Year 9’s participated in a real life simulation called Engineering Island to develop their knowledge of the broad range of opportunities that Engineering offers. All the workshops were highly interactive and the students learnt a great deal about career options that they may not have otherwise considered, whilst having a lot of fun.
The Year 10’s, were fortunate to be able to attend the SkillsWest Expo at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre which offered mini tasters of what working in trade related areas involved. In addition, for those students wanting to pursue an academic career, the representatives from all of WA’s excellent universities were able to provide information on course and career pathways. As usual, our students were excellent ambassadors for Balga SHS.
Our Year 12 students are about to enter the big wide world of further study and/or work after completing the Careers Fast Track counselling program. This program has provided students with careers advice tailored to their own unique set of circumstances. All students have had the opportunity to apply for courses at TAFE, either as their first preference or as a back up to university applications. Their enthusiasm for their career choices along with their continued dedication, will ensure their future career/life success.
Ms Mandy Hampson – Careers Coordinator
History is a major part of the HaSS curriculum, and students have had the opportunity to research ancient civilisations, cultures and events from over many thousands of years. The Year 7 students in Ms Paul’s and Ms Whitelaw’s classes researched and presented information on Otzi the Iceman and the Narrabeen Man. Both these skeletal remains, though discovered in different parts of the world, and in vastly different climatic settings, had similarities in that they had both met a violent death. Mr Richard’s class looked at the similarities and differences in the living conditions in Ancient Rome and the much older, Aboriginal Civilization.
Year 8 History saw students move from the Ancient World to the Middle Ages where their understanding of the impact of the Black Death was felt all the more, because of the recent real world experience of the Covid 19 Pandemic. This demonstrated however, that people survive these events and that the world does indeed recover and life goes on. In Years 9 and 10, after researching the terrible events of WWI and WWII and the loss of life that occurred, the students now understand the importance of studying History, in order to learn from our mistakes. In looking at the topic of Rights and Freedoms, the students looked at how the Civil Rights movement in the USA influenced the fight for Australian Aboriginal people to be given the right to vote, and to justice and equal opportunity in the wider Australian Society.
In addition, the students in Ms Spanier’s Year 10 class have also been doing some preparatory work for their studies of Civics and Citizenship next term. They have worked remotely on a project with the law firm KW Mallesons to learn about different types of law and the impacts on young people. The students communicated with the volunteer lawyers with the use of ICT and have learnt some interesting information, along with developing their ICT skills, using WebEx; a video conferencing tool.
Ms Mandy Hampson
HaSS & Careers Coordinator
Our talented, passionate, energetic and dedicated Drama students travelled to Mandurah to compete in the Youth On Health Drama Festival (YOH Fest). The Junior heat took place on Tuesday 7 September, and the Senior heat took place on Thursday 9 September.
The Junior performance titled The New Arrival explored the theme of Keeping Up Appearances by examining cultural insensitivity. The performance was set in a culturally sensitive workshop and transitioned into an Australian airport. The audience were taught how cultural insensitivity could cause a sense of isolation and
alienation in a person causing them to hide behind a mask and pretend they are someone that they are not. The scenarios depicted in this were based on personal experiences that have been faced by our students and their families.
Our students were outstanding on the night and performed with integrity and commitment, resulting in positive feedback from the judges and members of the audience.
The Senior piece titled Disney Appearances took the audience to the land of Disney where Mickey Mouse rules the land and forces his people to abide by strong rules. Mickey Mouse is determined to maintain a land whereby every citizen must Keep up appearances to ensure their happily ever after. The Avengers learn of
Mickey Mouse’s dictatorship and arrive in Disney to empower the citizens to be true to themselves. They teach the citizens to be open to new opportunities and to understand that differences make you special and unique. They also learn that a happily ever after is not always real, true happiness comes from resilience.
The Seniors’ performance was highly polished and exceptional on all levels. There are hundreds of schools around Western Australia that are competing in this competition and are striving to make the top 8 grand finalists. Fingers crossed both our teams make the grand final to be held in October this year. We are so very
proud of our amazing Drama students. Their commitment to each other, to us, and the project is exemplary. We are so proud to be on this journey with them.
Ms Kate Maughan – LAC Teacher Drama
Ms Jenna Broadhurst – Teacher Drama
IEC 2.3 students’ involvement in Scotch Community Service Learning programme
Once again IEC 2.3 had an amazing term with the Scotch boys, where different skills were learned and nurtured. Friendship, team building, team work, STEM all came into play this term. Well done, IEC 2.3, the Scotch boys and Miss Nicole Spanbroek who turned up every Friday afternoon to our school.
Miss Lorraine Marie – Teacher IEC
Students in IEC2.2 have been learning all about narratives. They enjoyed reading fairy tales and retelling stories. They wrote their own stories and enjoyed illustrating them. Students learnt how to plan, write, edit and publish their work.
Ms Kathy Wyatt – Teacher IEC
IEC Graduation Excursion Semester 1 2021
On Friday, 30th August our wonderful class 3.2 had their graduation from the IEC, and after our ceremony and morning tea we went on our excursion to Latitude in Joondalup. We had a lot of fun jumping around, doing some team building games and climbing on the walls. We had races climbing the wall, and some of us were very good at it and were able to climb up very fast. We were very lucky that after our graduation was cancelled last term, we were able to go this term. It was amazing!
Ms Steffi Selle – Teacher IEC
Indonesian Language Program
Our Indonesian language program this term has seen students continue to increase their vocabulary and develop a greater understanding of Indonesian culture. One activity the students enjoyed completing focussed on building intercultural knowledge and the students were challenged to create a paper model called Perahu (a small boat used in floating markets throughout Indonesia). The students did a great job completing the activity and continue to develop their Indonesian language skills.
Ms Embly Mumu – Education Assistant Ethnic
Learning Support Senior School Simulated Interviews
The LS Senior school students participated in simulated job interviews conducted by Mr Julius on Monday 16 August 2021. Being interviewed in a mock situation builds students’ confidence so that when they are in a real-life interview setting, they know what to expect and have a better understanding of how to prepare and present themselves.
The students were well presented and prepared for the interview. They communicated their responses to interview questions in a clear, detailed manner that confirmed their understanding of the interview process. All students are to be commended for their confidence and outstanding effort as they showed resilience under pressure.
It was a positive experience for our students and the success is due to the support and tireless effort of the Education Assistants who always ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure that students are well prepared and appropriately attired.
The LS staff are very proud and congratulate all the students who participated in the simulated interviews.
Mrs Mathews – Teacher Learning Support
On your marks, get set, go! The 2020 Olympic Games had us on the edge of our seats, cheering on our Olympic heroes. The determination and success of our Olympic athletes was the inspiration for our writing task this term.
The Learning Support LS2 students have shown great enthusiasm writing a biography about their favourite Olympian. Along this writing journey, they have also gained more knowledge about the impact of COVID-19 on sport and the addition of skateboarding and surfing to the games. What an amazing effort.
Ms Izam Haris – Teacher Learning Support
STUDENTS LATE TO SCHOOL
Students need to be in class at 8.50am
If your child is late, please send a note or call the school and ask for Student Services
Students late without a reason may be given a detention
Creating Positive Change Through Music
Sitting down with your peers to write and produce a meaningful song about your culture can be a daunting task for any age, but a class of indigenous boys here at Balga Senior High School have taken it all in their stride. The class of Year 7 and 8 boys, along with AIEO Reuben Yorkshire and me, have spent the past few months brainstorming ideas, writing lyrics, composing and recording a truly inspiring song.
Through the outstanding New Noise Program provided by WAM, the students got to be mentored by local indigenous rapper Josh “Flewnt” Eggington. Flewnt brought knowledge of culture and real-world performing to the group, sharing stories of his journey to where he is today. He was a perfect fit for the group and helped bring out the best in the students.
On Wednesday, 4th August, we had a film crew from WAM on campus to interview the students and record the benefits of having Flewnt mentor them through the New Noise Program. It was a great experience for the boys, and they got to perform the song live for the first time. Nik Culum, head of music, was so impressed with how the final track turned out that he, along with the students, submitted the song to Triple J Unearthed. In the short time the track has been online, it has already received some high praise reviews from Triple J staff. The students penned the group name “Proud Noongar Boys”, and the track is called “Flip the Shame”.
Below you can see some images of the boys writing Flip The Shame and performing the song for the WAM film crew.
Mr Nik Culum – Teacher Music
MOBILE PHONE POLICY
Student Mobile Phones are to be turned off as soon as the student enters the school grounds, until 3pm.
Remember: Off and away during the school day
If you need to speak with your child, phone the school and ask for Student Services. We will allow you child to ring you back using an office phone.
Years 7-10, LSL and IEC
Another busy semester is underway in Home Economics. This term the Year 7, 8 and Learning Support students have focused on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and the safety and hygiene requirements for food preparation. Year 9 and 10’s are consolidating their knowledge of the Essential Nutrients and food preparation techniques, whilst the IEC students are extending their literacy and numeracy skills in the context of food and nutrition and developing basic cooking skills. The year 9 &10 Textiles class have developed a greater understanding of a commercial pattern and are in the process of making a fantastic Hoodie.
An enthusiastic and creative term has been had by all. Well done everyone!
Certificate 11 Hospitality
The highlight this term in Hospitality was to be asked to cater and serve morning tea for Senior citizens at the Girrawheen Koondoola Senior Citizens Centre. This community morning tea was the initiative of Meredith Hammat, MLA for Mirrabooka, with the guest speaker being the Honourable Mr Don Punch MLA , minister for Seniors and the Ageing. The students, enjoyed interacting with invited guests and served tea, coffee and delicious treats throughout the morning. Congratulations to Miss Brown and all the year11 &12 students involved in a wonderful event.
Ms Annette Connop
LAC – Home Economics
Design & Technology
Building and Construction
This semester Building and Construction students moved on to bricklaying activities. They have developed skills in measuring and ensuring their work is level and built to plan. After practice, they progressed into building brick garden beds and walls. Year 12s have been working on a personal project to demonstrate the skills they developed over their time in the course. Year 11s are now creating model timber framed homes, which includes a truss roof.
Certificate II in Applied Digital Technologies.
Congratulations to Year 12 students Bilna Blue, Kee Gay Paw, Mark Ursal and Matthew Wojcikowski who have completed all of the requirements for and have been awarded a Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology. The students demonstrated competence in units about current computing hardware and software, electronic communications and workplace health and safety. This will give them a great launch pad for further study and the workplace. Thank you to Mrs Neha Singh for her work with this group over the last two years.
Lower School D&T
A new semester means new projects for those participating in the wide variety of Design and Technology classes on offer. Students from across the school have designed and are producing, refining and evaluating products including three wood variety chopping boards, custom lathe turned paper towel holders, sheet metal stationary racks and charcoal stoves modified from recycled metal cylinders.
Balga Senior High School was invited to attend and set up a display at the Resource Technologies Showcase in June. This project was led by Dr Ros London who ensured our great STEM projects including Drones, Robotics, F1 in Schools Challenge and Coding were on show. This included the DJI Tello drones on loan from AI Code. Year 12 students and past F1 in Schools participants, William Khee Tay and David Nguyen joined school volunteer Lita Chan, Dr Ros London and Mr Liam Penstone at the Perth Convention Centre with other schools, industry and government presenters.
A wet winter had helped the students grow great leafy green produce, though the weather has made outdoor work challenging. The spring plants are getting ready to come to market with peas and cabbages good to go. Companion planting has been practiced to support the healthy growth of plants while minimising pests and nutrient loss. The marigolds are in flower, which encourages pollinators and make a great product also. Each week students market fresh produce to staff, and consider in their planning, the crops with the highest demand.
Mr Liam Penstone – LAC Design and Technology
Balga Sporting News
Netball – Woola Woola Koolangkas
The winter season has been a very successful one for our Netball girls at WDNA. Woola Woola Koolangkas qualified six out of our six teams into finals. Congratulations to all players who represented the club this season. Fantastic effort. On Saturday 11, Woola Woola had their prizegiving to celebrate the players, supporters and volunteers for their hard work and effort throughout the season. We would like to thank everyone involved on such a wonderful winter season. Best of luck to the girls for the grand finals this coming weekend.
Ms Brydie Donald – Teacher Health and Phys Ed
Term three has raced along! Our students are exhibiting work, visiting shows and putting the final touches on their sculptures, prints and paintings ready for Arts Week.
We were lucky to have Mr Mark Carton and Meredith Hammat MLA, join us for the opening of The Empathy Project Exhibition on August 13, at The Square, Mirrabooka. We received many wonderful comments from the public and our students loved seeing their work on display. We would like to congratulate Jonathon Saw; his ceramic boot sculpture won the $100 gift voucher, awarded to the most popular artwork. Fantastic work, Jonathon.
Ms Brodie’s Year 11 class have created some incredible Surrealist paintings, currently on display in the library. Our talented students delved into their subconscious to bring their strange visions to life.
On the 29 of July, our senior school students visited the Perspectives Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. We viewed some of the State’s best Year 12 work in oils, ceramic sculpture and textile design. We enjoyed lunch at the Old Shanghai in Northbridge before taking a quick stroll around Kings Park.
Year 12 Landscape Paintings
Visual Arts - Perspectives Exhibition Excursion
Year 11 Surrealist Paintings
The Empathy Project
Ms Cindy Foster – Teacher Art
What is an Energy Drink?
- A beverage that typically contains large amounts of caffeine, added sugars and other additives. Some varieties are now sugar free but these still have additives that affect concentration and learning. These legal stimulants can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
Some of the dangers of energy drinks include:
- Dehydration (not enough water in your body).
- Heart complications (such as irregular heartbeat and heart failure).
- Anxiety (feeling nervous and jittery).
Students are asked not to bring these drinks to school.
Adolescent support services – Where to go for help?
Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 years. You can phone the helpline anytime on 1800 55 1800, or visit the website at www.kidshelp.com.au.
ReachOut.com is an online mental health organisation for young people, providing practical support with a range of youth issues not just limited to mental health but also sexual health, relationships, abuse, cyber-bullying, body image, drug use and more. This website is suitable for students, parents and health professionals and provides links to emergency counselling, resources and useful tips. Go to https://au.reachout.com/
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year old’s, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services. Go to www.headspace.org.au
YouthBeyondBlue aims to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to maintain their own good mental health and wellbeing and to help recognise symptoms in people close to them. An online chat service and 24 hour telephone support line is available to assist young people to find the help they need. Go to https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/ or call 1300 22 4636.
YouthLink is a Perth based service that assists young people, aged 13-24 years of age, who experience difficulties with their emotional or social well-being. It is a free and confidential counselling service, with experienced support workers who are friendly, non-judgemental and understanding. Free interpreting can be arranged to assist with communication if required. YouthLink is located at 223 James St, Northbridge or you can phone 1300 362 569
You can also talk through any problems you may be having with your local Community Health Nurse, at Balga Senior High School Tuesday, Weds, Thurs. Remember, no matter how big or small your problem is, there is help available and it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
Resilience is the ability to cope with difficult situations and ‘bounce back’ when things go wrong. Young people need to develop resilience in order to navigate life’s ups and down. As a parent, you can help your child to become resilient by giving him or her opportunities to learn and practise new skills, for example:
- Allow your child to solve some of their own problems. Learning to deal with issues builds skill and confidence. Don’t jump in to fix things, unless the situation has got out of hand.
- Arrange a fun, child-friendly activity each week like a trip to the park, play date with a friend or watching a favourite movie. Regular ‘ups’ provide a bank of positive emotions to buffer against life’s ‘downs’ that may involve disappointment or conflict.
- Help your kids to think positively. If your child is frustrated by a difficult maths problem, say, “I know that question was hard today, but yesterday I saw you solve a hard problem. You kept trying until you worked it out.”
- If you have a disagreement with your child, the most important thing to do is to reconnect and repair the relationship. Let your child cool down then offer a hug or words of support. This has benefits for your child’s mental health as well as their ability to deal with relationship problems throughout their life.
RETURN TO SCHOOL
MONDAY 11 October 2021