Friday 23 June 2023

Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)

  • Real Schools
  • Vaping
  • Uniforms
  • Real Schools
  • Vaping
  • Uniforms

A culture where the best Student-Teacher Relationships occur: our Partnership with Real Schools.

Every day there are a multitude of interactions between students and staff (regardless of whether teaching or non-teaching). These interactions impact on a student’s social, emotional, and academic experience. At Ave Maria we have a partnership with Real Schools to work with staff, students and parents to ensure that the best communication occurs. When communication breaks down between any student or staff, our restorative processes must be at the centre of restoring the trust between each party and moving forward with a fresh start.

To this end, Cassie Kitani, an expert facilitator from Real Schools, worked with parents, students and staff on Thursday 25th May and Friday 26th May. At our parent evening, Cassie unpacked what a young adolescent’s brain looks like in their teenage years, and why young people respond how they do. She explained that teenagers are designed to push boundaries as they work out who they are and their place in the world. Cassie also worked with parents to unpack why young people are at times unkind to others and the difficulties young people have at times reasoning with their parents. Parents were provided with alternative language to use when communication is not at its best. Saying things like “I am shocked/disappointed that you think this is an acceptable behaviour towards………”, may help the young person in a calmer moment reflect on their choices.

Staff will continue to be professionally developed by Cassie as we have a three year partnership with Real Schools. Staff training has involved deepening the awareness of where students are at the beginning of the lesson so that they can forge greater connections and understand the adolescent’s responses throughout the lesson or in a restorative conversation. Staff understand that the young person will have greater leverage if they feel that they are being asked to reflect on the choices they made and the impact that it may have had on others.

Vaping: the effects on the young person

Last month VicHealth Chief Executive Officer Dr Sandro Demaio welcomed the latest commitment from the Federal Government to protect its citizens from the effects of vaping.

These measures under consideration include:

  • Ban the sale of all single use disposable e-cigarettes
  • Introducing minimum quality standards on certain flavours, colours and ingredients and reducing allowable nicotine content.
  • Raise public awareness about the health impacts of e-cigarettes
  • Prohibit advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of e-cigarettes 
  • Monitor and prevent illegal importation and supply of non-prescription e-cigarettes in Australia.

Dr Damaio went on to say E-cigarettes can contain up to 200 toxic chemicals, including those present in paint stripper and weed killer.  These substances can cause cancer and impair brain function. They don’t belong in our lungs.”

At Ave Maria we continue to follow up any student who is in the bathrooms when the vape detectors are activated as vaping is illegal in any school within Victoria. We continue to work with the student and their parents/guardians to realise the effect on their health when they vape. In our partnership with parents, we will continue to work with our young people to ensure that their health and safety is not compromised by choosing to vape. One resource you may wish to view with your young person is provided by the Victorian Government through Quit: Get the Facts on Vaping: See through the haze | Quit Vaping Facts. It may be worthwhile that you read the information sheet provided and watch the following video together and then discuss the effects of vaping.

Uniform: Use the Term break to check uniform

At Ave we are very proud of how students wear their uniform. The move to wardrobe choices has been well received by all students. Please use the break to ensure that uniforms still fit and that their blazer is neat, tidy and clean to complete the uniform of choice each day for Term 3. On returning to classes in Term 3 we expect that students are adhering to our expectations on uniform in their Planners.

I hope that all young people have time to re-energise over the Term break and refresh in preparation for Term 3 and 4.

Ms Leonie Rushbrook
Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)