From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Wellbeing is a positive sense of self-worth, a strong sense of belonging, and the ability to practice skills that enhance learning, development and health in a safe and supportive school environment.

Professor Donna Cross

In 2018 the School took the decision to use the Australian Council of Educational Research, Social-Emotional Wellbeing Survey in an attempt to get a clearer understanding of our students’ wellbeing. This survey is given to students in Year 8 and Year 10, and this year the results were very encouraging.

Your sons report that they are generally happier, feel safer, are more hopeful, and that they feel a greater sense of belonging than comparable students participating in the survey.

Your sons report that treating others with respect is a priority and that they enjoy positive relationships with their teachers.

Your sons report they drink less alcohol and take fewer drugs than comparable students.

This is a sample of the questions that make up the survey, together with your sons’ responses.

Positive feelings and behaviours (PFB)

Question 1 – I am a happy person
Year 8Year 10
97.3% (*88.1%)94.1% (*86.1%)
Question 3 – I feel safe and free from danger
Year 8Year 10
91.1% (*85.9%)95.9% (*86.9%)
Question 9 – I get along with most of my teachers
Year 8Year 10
93.8% (*83.3%)94.5% (*84%)
Question 11 – I feel like I belong in my school
Year 8Year 10
88.8% (*82.6%)91.8% (*79.3%)

Negative feelings and behaviours (NFB)

Question 10 – I feel very stressed
Year 8Year 10
56.3% (*25.6%)51.6% (*35.5%)
Question 16 – I drink alcohol a lot
Year 8Year 10
0.9% (*5.4%)2.3% (*10.0%)
Question 18 – I use drugs
Year 8Year 10
0.9% (*5.8%)0.5% (*9.8%)

Emotional Skills (ES)

Question 26 – I have a hard time controlling how worried I get
Year 8Year 10
50.9% (*35.0%)44.3% (*41.6%)

Values (V)

Question 39 – I am hopeful about my future
Year 8Year 10
90.6% (*88.4%)89.5% (*85.2%)
Question 42 – I think it is important to treat others with respect
Year 8Year 10
97.8% (*94.1%)98.6% (*93.7%)

*Overall

It has become apparent through discussions with colleagues at other schools, that vaping by children and young people is becoming an increasing issue. Several schools have gone so far as to install vape detectors. It is a subject on which I have written twice in the recent past, in a spirit of partnership with you, to share my view that young children, boys and girls, are being shamelessly marketed to by the companies who manufacture vapes. Until recently, I was unaware that there was such a thing as a vape called a Cuvie, which mimics the appearance of a highlighter, or a Juul, which looks like a USB. It may be worth discreetly dropping the fact that you have heard about these devices in casual conversation and using the opportunity to parlay it into a chat about the risks of smoking. If you become aware of a shop selling these devices to children, the law is unambiguous. It is illegal for vapes to be sold to children under the age of 18, and you would be within your rights to alert the authorities. The School’s stance is clearly articulated on page 22 and 23 of the Record Book, and it would be prudent for you to remind your sons that vaping is neither safe nor permitted.

On School grounds, at School events, including events held by other schools where they are a guest or visitor, students must conform to the regulations of Trinity Grammar School. This includes any occasion when a student is coming to or from School or any School event, including excursions, camps, dances, sporting fixtures, performances, workshops or any other School activity. Students are not to consume alcohol, take illicit drugs, smoke tobacco or e-cigarettes (vapes) at School, travelling to and from School, at School organised activities, or as a guest or visitor at any event or activity at another school. Any student suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at School or at any School event, or being found to have been smoking or using an e-cigarette (vapes) whilst in the care of the School, irrespective of whether the breach has occurred off site or in transit, will be deemed to be in breach of this regulation and will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation is likely to be suspended or expelled. The use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and e-cigarettes (vapes) at School events is prohibited. Any student suspected of using cigarettes, e-cigarettes (vapes), alcohol or any other illicit substance at any School event will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation is likely to be expelled. Students in possession of smoking or drug paraphernalia (matches, lighters, tobacco, e-cigarettes [vapes], water pipes, bongs) will be deemed to be in breach of this regulation. Students who are suspected of bringing illicit drugs to School or to any School event, whether for personal use or for the purpose of trafficking, will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation will be expelled.   

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


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