Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

The Year of Freedom


‘Teens: Lengthen the Fuse’

Term 4 can be a divergent time for students at school. Years 7 to 10 students begin to prepare for end of course tests and exams. However, for our Year 11 students they are anticipating the ramping up of their HSC studies as they have successfully finished their Preliminary courses.  It can also be a time when many students become irritated and frustrated because of a number of stressors. These may include: not getting a good result in an assessment, having a friendship issue, not being invited out with her friends, not getting enough sleep and the list could go on.

Psychotherapist Amy Morin, who wrote the book ’13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do’, says that being able to deal with stress, anger, frustration and anxiety requires a specific set of skills. And that’s where brain training comes in. Morin remarks: “A child’s academic and wellbeing skills will only take them so far in life. A child who can’t control their emotional responses or who can’t handle feeling frustrated won’t be able to succeed.”

In her book she offers some visualisation strategies for regulating emotions which could be helpful for you as a parent to use with your daughter. These include:

  • For teens she suggests getting them to think of themselves as a fuse. Teach your teen how to lengthen her fuse.
  • Talking to a friend, listening to her favourite music, or doing something she enjoys might help her in reducing her stress.
  • Identify the things that could help her handle stress in a positive way.
  • Share the strategies that help you lengthen your fuse on a challenging day as well.
  • Discuss how to recognise when she has a short fuse. Perhaps she gets irritated when anyone talks to her. Or maybe she starts pacing back and forth.
  • Talk about the signs you experience when you have a short fuse. Then explain how everyone has options when they are stressed, tired, or having a bad day.
  • As a result, everyone in your household can take steps to lengthen their fuse.

By teaching teens to regulate their emotions this can help them grow into adults who only put energy into things they can control. In the end, that’s a goal worth considering.

This week’s photos in the gallery are from the Orientation Day held this week. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos as we welcome these students to the school in 2018.

Please feel free to contact me on if you have any questions or concerns.


Mr Justin Madigan

Dean of Pastoral Care

Conversations this week:

Year 11

Pastoral Conversations with Tutors

Year 10

Online Safety Conversation with Senior Constable Lynda Hart

Year 9

Community Service Conversation with Mr Merchant

Year 7/8

Conversations with Advisors


Upcoming Events  – Term 4

Year 12

Student Council

Principal’s Student Leadership Dinner

Friday 27 October

Year 7 Senior Constable Lynda Hart – online Safety Presentation

Wednesday 8 November

Year 10 Self Defense Day – Brent Sanders

Friday 10 November

Year 8 Senior Constable Lynda Hart – online Safety Presentation

Wednesday 15 November




If your daughter is leaving school to attend an appointment, it is important for our duty of care that she has a note explaining why she is leaving school. If your daughter is absent from school and you have phoned, emailed or sent an SMS, your daughter is still required to bring in a signed note explaining her absence when she returns to school, as per  the NSW Attendance guidelines.

When absent from school

There are two ways to contact the school:

  1. Email:, or

  1. Phone: contact the Student Attendance Line on 02 9473 7354 – leave a message that includes your daughter’s name, House, Year and a brief explanation for her absence.

Please inform the school of your daughter’s absence before 8:30am. If your daughter’s absence remains unexplained after 8:45am, an SMS message will be sent to your mobile phone reminding you to contact the school and explain her absence.

On your daughter’s return to school, a signed note by a parent or guardian explaining the absence is required. You can use the perforated slips in the back of your daughter’s Student Handbook. The note needs to be handed to Mrs Andersen or Ms Storey in Student Services within seven  days of the absence. The absence note is a legal requirement.

Partial absence

If your daughter arrives at school after 8:20am, she will be required to sign in late using her Student ID Card. A signed note will need to be provided by a parent or guardian to verify the lateness with an explanation. If your daughter is required to leave the school grounds earlier than 3:15pm, she will be required to sign out using her Student ID Card. A permission note, not an email, must be provided, clearly stating the reason for the leave and the time of departure. Again, the signature of the parent or guardian is required.

Please contact me on or 9487 3488 if you have any questions.


Please support us in relation to school uniform. Your daughter should be wearing her full school uniform, including her hat, to and from school.  One earring in each lower ear lobe that is a  plain gold  or silver stud,  sleeper or small white pearl is allowed.  No student is permitted to wear makeup, nail polish, necklaces or multiple earrings, sparkly or other shaped earrings. Nails are to be natural and not acrylic or shellac.  If your daughter arrives at school with makeup she will be asked to remove it. Repeated issues with jewellery will result in a conversation with her Head of House or myself. Information pertaining to the Uniform Code is found on page 24 of your daughter’s handbook.