High School Expo

It has been a very busy week for staff and students alike at AVѧԺ. The Primary School Open Day and the High School Expo on Monday were fabulous; I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the evidence of learning in the Primary School and it was clear that the parents felt the same enthusiasm about the activities on offer. The choir and bands sounded brilliant and we also had the pleasure of listening to a number of talented solo performers.

Feedback after the Expo held in the High School was also very positive; parents and children from Years 4 to 6 enjoyed taking part in Science activities, completing Hebrew word puzzles and baking damper on a stick over a fire pit. Our Arts teachers showcased Media, Visual Art, Music and Drama and the English, HASS and Maths staff presented activities and talked parents and students through the many opportunities on offer. It was lovely to see the High School students volunteering their time to assist their teachers and proudly showing what we do. Mr Shadgett spoke about the many ways in which Carmel High School staff support students to achieve their potential and work with them to empower them to make the most of the different pathways available. A huge thank you to the wonderful staff on both campuses who invested so much time and care into making Monday such a special day.

We have nearly finished the scholarship process for Year 7 and will shortly be able to announce the students from Carmel and from other schools who have won these prestigious awards. Academic scholarships and arts scholarships will be awarded to a number of talented students chosen through a thorough process which has involved the assessment of portfolios, academic testing and formal interviews. Watch this space!

On a more challenging note, many schools are currently having to hold challenging conversations on the use of sexualised language that can feel quite shocking to adults who may be used to the odd swear word, but not the sort of offensive sexual threats which are being heard in school yards. It’s very difficult to write about this sort of thing, as using the language involved would be too offensive for this forum. But it is essential that we open up the conversation with our sons and daughters and ensure that they understand fully that we are not prepared to accept some unimaginably offensive sexual threats.

I believe it important that we share resources with you to support the conversations that must take place at home as well as on campus if we are to educate our children effectively. The most clear information I have read on this topic recently comes from the eSafety Commissioner and is available for you to read I also strongly recommend you read the heartbreaking and shocking account of an online scam currently preying on young people in various communities,

I share these resources not to shock, but to equip parents to talk about these issues to protect their children.

Perhaps you will be able to open up the conversation over the Shabbat dinner table tonight and ensure your children are aware of how to protect themselves online and of the power of the language they use. Even more importantly, they will know that they are always able to talk with you about any issues, however shocking or embarrassing and this in itself is highly protective.

Shabbat shalom.

Julie Harris