MAC News 7 2021

Principal’s Report

Dear MAC Community

Dear MAC Community

It has been a particularly challenging time for our school community during the school closure. Fortunately, the students and families who tested positive to COVID-19 are doing well and continue to receive the support and care that they need. I would like to thank the rest of you who have sent your well wishes to them. I want to sincerely thank you all for doing your part by getting tested and isolating. It has certainly made us all appreciate the opportunity to leave our homes for exercise and as we come out of quarantine, I am sure that the first opportunity to go for a walk will be cherished.

Yesterday, most of our school community completed their Day 13 test. Once you receive your negative test results you should expect a call from the Department of Health, followed by an email which officially allows you to leave quarantine. It is very important that all students email a copy of this email to the following email address clearance.students@mountalexandercollege.vic.edu.au. Students will not be able to return to onsite learning without the school verifying that students have completed their quarantine.

It was wonderful to see over 250 people join the Zoom session with Jeroen Weimar, Dr Samantha Axford and Dr William Cross from the Department of Health on Wednesday 11 August. Thank you to those of you who sent questions in advance. I would like thank Jeroen in particular for his support of our school community and making himself available to us, for what no doubt is an incredibly busy time for him.

As you would be aware, MAC is part of a priority vaccination program. To access this program, you need the Eligibility Letter which was posted on Compass on August 13. The vaccine is available to students and Primary Close Contacts above the age of 16. The vaccine is also available to those aged 12 -15 years with an underlying medical condition, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 years and over.

The school will reopen for onsite supervision on Monday 23 August for students of essential workers, students with disabilities, vulnerable students and out-of-home care. Students can only attend if they have emailed through their clearance from quarantine and parents or carers have completed the Google form.

Throughout these past two weeks, our class attendance has remained very high, and I would like to thank the teachers who continue to work tirelessly to create engaging lessons for their students. I want to thank the staff for their incredible care and concern for their students and I know many have made direct contact with students and parents to ensure students continue to be engaged as well as checking in to make sure students are okay. A huge thank you to our wonderful wellbeing team, Lynn Bentley, Carmel Nielson, Clarke Mitchell, Elaine Wong, Zeituna Hussein and the Heads of House, Vivian Duong, Erin Murphy, Konrad Sosnowski and Stephanie Balaburov for your outstanding effort in ensuring our students are cared for.

Thank you to all the staff who have been involved in Course Counselling, this has been a huge undertaking whilst working remotely. A big thank you to Megan Rawlins and her team for their outstanding coordination and effort in making this happen.

I am looking forward to some online events, including the Open Mic Event for Book Week and the continuation on events for Science Week. Thank you to those staff who have organised these events.

Finally thank you to all of you for your continued support. I have appreciated receiving your emails of support including Marina Black’s Quarantine Song which certainly made me smile and even laugh loud.

I am looking forward to seeing you all very soon. Please continue to reach out to the school if you need assistance.

Kind regards,

Ms Dani Angelico, Principal


Inside this issue


Student Wellbeing

SchoolTV SPECIAL REPORT: Instilling hope in uncertain times

Although life is always filled with uncertainty, the levels we are currently experiencing are unprecedented and it is becoming evident that this is taking a toll on our young people. The most recent research from Mission Australia makes clear the breadth and depth the pandemic is having on our youth across the nation.

It appears that lockdowns and tighter restrictions will be with us for some time, but it is important in such times of uncertainty to instil hope and remain optimistic. Adult carers can play a vital role in helping young people reframe their worries, encouraging them to see life as it is and getting them to focus more on the things they can control, rather than those they can’t.

It’s important young people remain connected with their social networks during these times as often their natural response to uncertainty is to exhibit varying degrees of fear and anxiety. With the continued disruptions, mental health concerns are on the rise and it is evident that many students may need some extra support to achieve their goals. Parents can help their kids focus more on the good things in their life, rather than fill in the blanks with catastrophic narratives.

This Special Report outlines how adult carers can help instill hope and offer support in such times of uncertainty. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If this Special Report raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report mountalexandercollege.vic.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-instilling-hope-uncertain-times

See more SchoolTV articles here

Carmel Nielsen, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Student Wellbeing Team


Parent/Carer evening workshop on supporting your young person’s mental health and wellbeing

Elaine Wong, our Mental Health Practitioner, is pleased to welcome all parents and carers to attend a FREE mental health education session by headspace schools.
During the workshop, we will discuss and provide information regarding mental health and wellbeing in adolescence, skills and strategies to enhance your connection and communication with young people about mental health, and strategies for you to support your young person and where to access professional support. We acknowledge that this is a challenging time, particularly for our school community but to maintain online safety, this workshop will not be a space to share personal stories nor will we be providing criteria around diagnoses for specific mental health concerns – rather, this will be a broad educational and informative session.
This workshop will be facilitated by two staff members from headspace Schools Mental Health Education Program Team, and is delivered via Zoom.
A reminder that this session is only available and relevant for parents/carers of Secondary Aged young people. If younger people or those you care for are around you in the home environment, please put on headphones during the session and keep notes of the session private. Thank you and we look forward to facilitating the parent carer session.

How to cope with stress related to COVID-19

 


Self-talk and having good thoughts

Self-talk can have a really great impact on your self–esteem and confidence. There is positive and negative self-talk and they both have an impact on how you feel. Positive self-talk tends to make you feel good, whereas negative self-talk often makes you feel pretty crap. There are a few ways you can develop better self-talk including just listening to what you’re saying to yourself each day. It’s worth practicing self-talk as feeling good about yourself is worth the effort.

Even though you might not know it, you’re already practicing self-talk. 

Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Often self–talk happens without you even realising it and can be a subtle running commentary going on in the background of your mind. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are.

So what is positive and negative self–talk?

Positive self-talk is the stuff that makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life. It is like having an optimistic voice in your head that always looks on the bright side. 

Example – “These clothes look pretty awesome on me”, “I can totally make it through this exam”, “I don’t feel great right now but things could be worse!”

Negative self-talk is the stuff that makes you feel pretty crappy about yourself and things that are going on. It can put a downer on anything, whether it is good or bad.

Example – “I look stupid in these clothes”, “everyone thinks I’m an idiot”, “everything is crap and nothing is going to get better”

Negative self–talk is particularly bad as it brings you down all the time. It can impact on recovery from mental health difficulties and tends to make people pretty miserable. But being positive all the time isn’t achievable either, and isn’t helpful all the time. So how can you make your self-talk work for you?

Better self-talk:

There are 3 things you can do that can help with changing the direction of your self–talk.

  1. Listen to what you’re saying to yourself – we don’t always consciously take note of what we’re saying in our minds. The first step in improving your self-talk is to actually notice what your inner voice is saying. Take some time each day to listen, and even write down, what you’re thinking.
  2. Monitor your self-talk– Is your self-talk more positive or negative? Start questioning your self-talk asking things like:
    • Is there actual evidence for what I’m thinking?
    • What would I say if a friend were in a similar situation?
    • Is there a more positive way of looking at this?
    • Am I keeping everything in perspective?
    • Can I do anything to change what I’m feeling bad about?
  1. Change your self-talk – Easier said than done, but definitely worth working on. Try by countering your negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you think “I’ll never be able to do this”, ask yourself “is there anything I can do that will help me be able to do this?” Avoid speaking in finite language and try and look for things that might add a better spin to a tough situation.

Why should I practice?

The more you work on improving your self-talk the better you will get. It’s kind of like practicing an instrument or going to sports training, it won’t be easy to start with but will get better with time.

It might not seem like much but self-talk is a really important part of our self-esteem and confidence. By working on getting more positive self-talk, you’re more likely to get things done and feel more in control of stuff that’s going on in your life.

References and further information: www.reachout.com.au

Michelle Hynson, School Health Promotion Nurse, Monday & Tuesday

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English

Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge

The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is ending at the end of Term 3 and already we have students who have completed the challenge. Congratulations to all who have completed it! There are also many who are very close to finishing, so we encourage all students to log in and add all the books they have been reading this year.

The PRC application offers a range of exciting features including:

  • access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)
  • a modern user-friendly interface
  • rewarding  students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved
  • the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review

Children from Year 7 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books. The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 17 September 2021.

All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.

To read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklist and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/prc

All students in Entry and Above Entry 8-10 have received their username and password for the challenge from their English teacher. If you have lost your log in details, please email Meg Dunley: meg.dunley@education.vic.gov.au


Book Week: Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds

Book Week is next week and we have a heap of activities lined up! Keep an eye on Compass and social media to keep up to date with it all:

Daily Compass and Social Media posts with staff and student books that changed their lives

Kahootz book quizzes

Zoom Dress Up Parade

Zoom Open Mic Event

Writing Competition Awards

Student Book Recommendations Padlet

Staff Book Recommendations Padlet

There’s still time to enter the Writing Competition. We have prizes that we want to give away so submit your stories here

Stuck for ideas on a story? Check out the Writing Competition posts on the school Instagram account 


Resource Centre News

Book returns

Thank you to all the students and staff who have contacted me regarding overdue books. Understandably, the books cannot be returned during Remote Learning. Please take this time while studying from home to find all overdue books and put them in your schoolbag to return them when face-to-face learning resumes.

Staff and students can renew books through the Library Catalogue (login using the Single Sign On with your school email address and password). If you can’t do that, please send me an email: meg.dunley@education.vic.gov.au

Ebooks and Audiobooks

The Eplatform has over 2500 ebooks and audiobooks that you can read or listen to with new books being added every day. You can access it by downloading the app on your device and signing in with your school details in the Single Sign On (SSO). It’s a great way to access books during uncertain times. Find out more here: mountalexandercollege.wheelers.co

Podcasts

Do you need a bit of bibliotherapy (the use of books as therapy)? Check out the State Library Victoria’s Bibliotherapy Podcast for some soothing therapy. Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria is a free, facilitated self-reflective approach, using stories and poems read aloud over a series of podcasts, to give everyone access to literature’s healing power.

Upcoming Competitions & Opportunities

EXPRESS MEDIA TOOLKITS

Toolkits is a rigorous 12-week program for writers aged 30 and under to develop their skills in a unique and exciting online environment. Each program includes one-on-one mentoring and feedback from an established writer, specialised presentations from guest artists and the opportunity to network with other young people working in the same literary form.

Season 2 (August – November 2021) – applications open July 2021

  • Toolkits: Playwriting
  • Toolkits: Digital Storytelling
  • Toolkits: Poetry

https://expressmedia.org.au/programs/toolkits/

STATE LIBRARY VICTORIA FREE STUDENT INDUCTION

Available all year

Learn how to make the most of the Library’s spaces, resources and collections with an exclusive and personal induction.

Library Student members are invited to an in-person or online induction with a Librarian, where you’ll learn how to:

  • Make the most of the Library’s spaces, including reading rooms and copying/printing/scanning facilities
  • Enjoy extended access to our meeting rooms
  • Connect with the Library from wherever you are
  • Access and develop an understanding of the different Library collections
  • Utilise the Library catalogue, collections databases and research guides

https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/library-student-induction

WRITE THE WORLD COMPETITIONS

Upcoming competitions

  • Flash fiction – August
  • FILM/TV SERIES REVIEW COMPETITION – September

https://writetheworld.com/competitions/upcoming

2021 Hilarie Lindsay Young Writers Short Story Competition For Australian School Children

ENTRIES CLOSE: 5.00pm (AEST) Tuesday 31 August 2021

Entries are sought in the following categories:

SECTION 1: Years 10, 11 & 12 Up to 2500 words Prize $150
SECTION 2: Years 7, 8 & 9 Up to 2500 words Prize $125

Meg Dunley, Resource Centre, Communications and Marketing Manager

This week we have celebrated National Science Week remotely with daily posts on Compass and social media. There has also been an escape room and more. Look out for more about Science Week in the next newsletter

Miriam Berkovich, Head of Science

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MAC Parents & Friends

Contact the MAC Parents and Friends to stay in contact with them about the next meeting: mac.parents.friends@gmail.com

Join the conversation over on the PFA Facebook Group

Community News and Advertising

We advertise and support local organisations that reside in our catchment area. These suburbs include Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds, Maribyrnong, West Brunswick, North Melbourne and Parkville.

 

MAC News Deadlines

The MAC News is published twice a term.

Please see the below dates for MAC News submissions deadlines for articles and advertising. Any advertising requests must be sent to mount.alexander.712@education.vic.gov.au

Term 3 2022

  • MAC News 6 - Wednesday 10 August
  • MAC News 7 - Wednesday 14 September

Term 4 2022

  • MAC News 8 - Wednesday 2 November
  • MAC News 9 - Wednesday 7 December

Upcoming Events

Community School Since 1858

Mount Alexander College is located where Flemington National School was established in 1858. The school, which has undergone many changes, has always served the community.

Contact Us

Email: mount.alexander.712@education.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0393761622
Fax: 0393765232
Address: 167–175 Mount Alexander Road Flemington VIC 3031
Provider No.: 00861K

Mount Alexander College is accredited under the Department of Education and Training’s CRICOS registration (CRICOS provider name and code: Department of Education and Training, 00861K). For further information refer to www.study.vic.gov.au.

Mount Alexander College acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, the Traditional Owners of the land on whose unceded lands the school stands, and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.