Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

The Importance of Sleep

Welcome back to Term 3 and I hope families had a relaxing winter holiday. It is always great to have our girls back at school and to hear their stories of the holidays and various catch ups. Leisurely days and sleep ins are replaced with alarms and busy schedules again. So as we get ready for the new term, I share some pointers about the importance of sleep.

Sleep is the natural way for our body to restore and replenish itself so we can function on a daily basis. There has been much written on the importance of sleep for people and in particular teenagers. Sleep hygiene is an important conversation for parents to have with their children. Does your daughter have a sleep hygiene plan and if so have you discussed what this might look like? Some suggestions include the following:

  • A healthy, balanced diet will improve energy levels and sleep.
  • Avoid taking your mobile phone or other smart device to bed.
  • Mobile phones should not be in bedrooms.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Bed time is for sleeping.

Bright lights and screens just before bed can keep us awake. What many do not realise is the light these devices emit (particularly blue wavelengths) suppress melatonin, the hormone that encourages sleep, making it harder to fall asleep. You can read more about this impact at the following link.

Another helpful strategy is to practice mindfulness meditation techniques which have been found to be effective in helping people drop off to sleep. These involve relaxation, meditation and awareness exercises that help focus your attention to be ‘in the moment’, acknowledge different sensations, and ‘letting go’. This is something we often practice with the students so they can incorporate this into their routine.

If you are worried about your daughter’s sleep habits, then I would recommend a visit to your GP for a check-up because sleep deprivation and insomnia are not helpful for growing teenagers at a time when they need between 8 to 10 hours sleep a night.

SchoolTV  Edition : Drug and Alcohol use

Many parents are concerned about alcohol as well as other drugs as their children grow up, and for good reason. Young people are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults. Relatively recent research has shown that the brain keeps developing until we are in our mid-twenties, and that alcohol is more harmful than previously thought to young people. Research findings include:

  • Young people who use alcohol and drugs before their brain has fully developed are at increased risk for future addiction.
  • Those who start drinking before the age of 15, are five times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than those who first use alcohol at the age of 18 or older.
  • Alcohol exposes teenagers to a greater risk of injury and harm, and doing things they may later regret, than adults.
  • Teenagers are likely to drink more and take more risks when drinking compared to older people.

Click here for this edition of SchoolTV. You can also access a special report on e-cigarettes and vaping by clicking on this link.

It was wonderful to have Paul Dillon speak to our Years 10-12 students this week and to hear the pertinent messages he provides to our young people. I encourage you to peruse the information provided in this edition of SchoolTV and to continue the dialogue with your daughter at home.


Mrs Lynn Long

Director of Pastoral Care


Paul Dillon Talks

This week, Mr Paul Dillon was in the school to work with Years 10, 11 and 12 about alcohol and other drugs and how to navigate parties and respond to situations if something goes wrong. Paul is always engaging in his delivery of the key messages about alcohol and other drugs.  Xanthe Althofer in Year 10 said: “Paul Dillon’s presentation has made me more aware that if I go out I need to be more aware and cautious of what is happening around me.” We know that our young people will be social and that they will attend parties. Our aim is that they be equipped to manage situations and make positive choices when out.


Hills Bus Travel Advice

There will be service adjustments for Hillsbus public routes from Sunday 28th July 2019. Your school travel advice sheet has been updated due to below changes:

  • Route 603 will have path changes and timetable changes.

  • Route 620N will be replaced with 620X.

We advise all students to check their services before travelling. For more details about the coming changes, please click here or visit


Parenting through the Ups and Downs of Adolescence

The Northern Sydney Local Health district is holding  a seminar for  parents of High School Students, and will be discussing:

  • Understanding Adolescent Development.
  • Challenges of Parenting Adolescents with strong emotions, including self-harm and suicidal ideation.
  • Parent strategies and tips to help parents remain calm and be a resource for their adolescent.

Click here for more information, including  registration for this seminar.


Anxious Kids Seminar Tour

Michael Grose and Wellbeing expert, Dr Jodi Richardson are co-authors of the highly acclaimed book, Anxious Kids.    On the 6th August they  will be at the Hornsby RSL Club  presenting  their evidence-based  approach to managing  kids’ anxiety.    This seminar is designed for parents, carers and educators of children and young people from early years through to secondary school. 
Click here for more information including registration for this seminar.


Tutor Group Leaders, Term 3 

We have a new set of Tutor Group leaders for Term 3, 2019, please click here for the list. 


Conversations this week:

Year 12  Careers Conversation with Ms Smith
Year 11 Tutor Conversations
Year 10 Pastoral Conversation Mr Madigan
Year 9 Learning and FNQE Conversation with Ms Albert and Mr Merchant
Year 8 Advisor Conversations
Year 7 Advisor Conversations






Upcoming School Events

Year 12 HSC Trials – From Thursday 1 August

Year 9 FNQE Program – From Sunday 4 August

Tonight, Year 10 will attend their Dinner Dance at The Epping Club and you will hear more about their evening in next week’s Pastoral newsletter. Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions.


Mr Justin Madigan

Dean of Pastoral Care