Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As the year draws near to an end, I'd like to thank you for your welcome to my family and I to the Agnes Water community. We love living and working here in our special piece of paradise.
Enjoy this newsletter that showcases a sample of what’s on offer at Discovery. This is only our fourth year of operation and we have achieved so much together. Whether you have been here for all or some of the four years, we’ve been glad you’re on the journey with us.
Recently, a number of our staff attended a seminar on mental health. As educators at Discovery we are concerned for the well-being of the students in our care. The seminar emphasised, amongst other things, the importance of teenagers getting enough sleep every night. Did you know that teenagers require at least nine hours of sleep per night? Research studies show that sleep, learning and moods are linked to each other in adolescence.
"When you see an unhappy, grumpy, lazy, moody teen who has no engagement in learning, you can almost bet that they are sleep deprived." Dr Chris Seton from Sleep Shack. You can make a difference with your teen in this area. One way is limiting screen time to one hour before bedtime.
Discovery Christian College was represented at the third stage of the Academic Triathlon between schools in our region. Seventeen teams in total were present for the competition. This stage involved spelling: an area that has caused much angst for many of each generation.
We had two teams of four representing our college: a junior team and a senior team. Events included activities such as individual spelling, a word search, a crossword and word jumbles.
Despite the stiff competition, Discovery Christian College was able to bring home the trophy for each division.
We are very grateful to Trevor Buchanan, Principal of Agnes Water State School, for coordinating this event.
During the first couple of weeks of this term we had the privilege of welcoming our younger siblings and kindy friends to the college during our Prep transition days.
The Prep/Year 1 class was very excited to welcome, socialise and guide our special visitors experiencing the routine of school life.
In fact, her name was Karen, not Mary and she brought a whole trailer load of animals onto the school oval.
For Mental Health week this year we had Old Mac Donald’s farm come to visit for the day. Before the day a PowerPoint was presented to students describing different ways animals can help improve our mental health. Students then spent some time inside the enclosure with the animals. There was a lot of laughter from the Year 12 students as they helped bottle feed many of the animals in the early part of the morning. Students cuddled and interacted with an alpaca, goats, lambs, ducks and chickens but the most popular would have been the piglets. It was interesting to see students visibly calm down once they started stroking the animals. It was a fun day and what a way to celebrate how animals can bring benefits to our mental health!
This term students can sit down in the art room during Wednesday lunch and play games or have a chat whilst having a cup of Milo. This is a safe space for students to have some down time. Our first Chappy Café was last week, and we had just over 30 students attend. Once students have finished their ‘cuppa’ they have the option to leave, to remain and play the games or to go to another part of the room to do some art under Ms Pinchen’s guidance.
This means that sound can pass through solids, liquids and gases. The Year 9 students were producing sound and exploring how the pitch changes as the beaker is tapped, with varying volumes of water.
On Tuesday 30 October, the President of Discovery Coast Rotary, Noni, came to present a book donation to every Prep student. The current theme at Rotary is Numeracy and Literacy and they have decided to present a book to each Prep student. Our Prep students were delighted and very thankful for their new books.
This Term, the Year 2/3/4 classes got together for a special Friday Fun Night. The Night was filled with fun games, pizza and dancing and there was even a piñata! The students were able to design their own T-shirts to keep as a memento of the night. The Year 4 students then stayed on for a sleepover in the classrooms. We watched a movie, had some more games and even had waffles for breakfast. There wasn’t a lot of sleep had that night but it was a great experience for the students who had such a great time!
As part of Mental Health Week, a group of students went to the South Kolan River for the day where they participated in a workshop. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness of and understand stigma associated with mental health. The students also learnt how to weave natural vines, so they could experience another way of self-care and learn to appreciate how the arts can aid in mental health.
Here’s how some of the students responded:
"Weaving and other techniques can help calm your mind and make you feel more in control." B.
"I would like to spread more awareness about mental health issues." R.
"People with mental health problems should be treated properly." L.
"The vine can also resemble mental health and the tree, our minds. The vine slowly can take over and smother our mind…… like the vine it can turn into something better." L.
Years 5 & 6 enjoyed a sensational time at Fraser Island during the second week of the term. After an early start and a few hours in the saddle we arrived at River Heads and boarded the barge.
A variety of activities over our three days encouraged team work, such as raft building, beach games and canoeing. We were also able to learn about the wildlife on Fraser Island through our friendly guide, Ranger Robin. Archery allowed some to demonstrate their skills akin to Robin Hood while Laser Skirmish was a favourite activity among many of the children... and adults.
We are very grateful to the children who all represented our college well and maintained a positive and encouraging attitude throughout the week.
Praise God that there was some rain during our time away, and that it never interfered with our timetabled activities.
Looking forward to next year's adventures now.
The Year 7/8 Art Class have been making crazy fish for their ceramic project. These are just a few examples of their creative output. Each creature is handmade, bisque fired and then glazed. What a great effort!