A large crowd populated the College Library last night to hear from SCEA CEO Neil David and College Principal Paul Beacham as they spoke regarding the plan for taking Southern Hills forward.
Based around the three pillars of quality pastoral care, academic rigor in a Christian setting and a renewed focus on communication, Mr. Beacham spoke to assembled parents about the steps he is taking to ensure the College is a safe learning environment which caters for the needs of its students. Many parents commented that they felt optimistic about the future, with the changes around the College already being welcomed by students and staff.
Some of the positive initiatives such as the ongoing success of the Cadets program, the appointment of Mr. Andrew Johnston as Dean of Curriculum, Mr. Joel Vallance as Head of Pastoral care, and the newly-formed Student Services office are already in effect under Mr. Beacham’s leadership.
One of the improvements for communication was released last night. Parent Lounge is an online platform where parents can log in and see their child’s results, upcoming events and communicate with the College.
With the aid of TASS expert Melissa Carter, parents were shown how to access Parent Lounge and how they can use it to stay up to date with all school-related business. This has been rolled out in several SCEA schools and is well supported by parents across our Association.
Also on the communication front, SCEA’s Marketing and Development Manager Daniel Pillar showed parents the new Southern Hills Christian College App. The app is available on most smart phones for round-the-clock coverage of Southern Hills events and notifications. To download the app search ‘Southern Hills’ in the App/Play Store on your smart phone.
The app will relay the latest news items, let parents know of schedule changes and even has a live calendar that can send notifications of upcoming events that affect our students.
Mr. Beacham spoke about the recent history of the uniform changes and outlined the new direction with regards to the College blazer. The blazer is still compulsory for our high school students, but is now an optional item for our primary students. With the cold mornings already upon us in Bedfordale, the College has contacted a local supplier which can supply us with Australian made wool jumpers that will bear the College logo and be available in just three weeks time. A uniform shop credit program will be initiated for our primary parents if they wish to return the blazer for credit at the uniform shop. The jumper will cost $50 and can be pre-ordered through Mrs. Bracegirdle in the Uniform Shop. A sample of the jumper is available at College Reception.
PARENT COMMITTEE INFO
Community Liaison Mr. Giles Creelman spoke to College parents about the formation of the Parent Committee for Southern Hills. To become a member of the Parent Committee, parents must apply for SCEA Association membership (which includes a Christian Lifestyle Declaration) and then authorization from Mr. Beacham as to available places on the Committee. The maximum number of Committee members will be seven people.
Those parents who want to support the College through fundraising and helpful advice but choose not to be a part of the Parent Committee will form the Sub-Committee.
All details regarding Association membership, Parent Committee membership and Sub-Committee membership should be addressed to Giles Creelman by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to hold a Parent Committee meeting before the end of Term 2.
The SCEA AGM will be held at Ellenbrook Christian College (auditorium) on June 28, 2017 @ 7pm.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Some of the questions that were asked last night may have helpful answers for you:
Q: The Photo Days are June 7 & 8. What do we do if the school ties don’t arrive from China or we don’t have a blazer by then?
A: We have changed photographic contractors to MSP. Many of our other SCEA schools also use MSP. MSP has some great new ideas, including the return of siblings photos. The reason for the change was due to serval complaints about last year’s contractor.
We will have loan blazers for students who do not have a blazer on the day. We expect the ties to have arrived by then.
Q: What about blazers for Sydney/Canberra trip this year?
A: There will be loan blazers for this trip.
Q: What is happening with the sports polo shirt going forward?
A: The black polo that is being used in kindergarten will be continued up through Primary and Secondary. The white polo was unusable because it was transparent and the numbers option was unfeasible.
Q: Why are we changing uniform suppliers for some items?
A: The quality of the current supplier was not at the standard that we were hoping for as a College. We tried several times to improve this. We are looking at new suppliers and we believe we have some good options going forward. We also had numerous complaints about the quality of the school bags and the girl’s dresses. We are looking at addressing this also.
Q: Because its cold, can the sports jacket to be worn to and from school?
A: The new jumper is expected to alleviate this issue, and the hope is that a formal school uniform will provide for the needs of each student. The PE uniform is a separate item for sports usage and we would not like to see mixing and matching of the two distinct uniforms. We understand that this is a transitional period and the sweaters will not be available for 3-4 weeks.
Q: What happens if we have ordered a blazer in Primary but it is not practical for day-to-day activities?
A: If a parent has purchased the blazer in the Primary years, then they can seek a store credit from the Uniform Shop, which can be used towards the purchase of the new school jumper. Please note it is not compulsory and is only an option for primary parents.