This year, despite COVID, has been an incredibly exciting time for the whole Port Hacking High School community, particularly the introduction of our new ‘Values’ based student management system.

This highly proactive and positive system encourages students to strive for growth in their learning, wellbeing and altruism. A large number of students were able to quickly move from the platform ‘Learner’ Level to the ‘Connecting’ Level through merit acknowledgement in the following areas: success in learning, positive behaviour and leadership. The Wellbeing Team is also encouraged by the large number of students now moving to the ‘Success’ Level, meaning that are achieving in at least two of the areas previously mentioned.

Students who have been working consistently in all their subjects, completing all assigned work with a positive attitude towards learning at Port Hacking High School are also acknowledged by their Year Adviser through a special award known as a ‘Strive to Achieve’ award, students will receive and be notified through our virtual year assemblies. The students who now have ‘Strive to Achieve’ awards who have also reached the ‘Succeeding’ Level are now eligible through continued application in learning, behaviour and leadership to be considered for a Thriving Medal by continuing to receive merits: a minimum of eighteen merits.

The Wellbeing Team has also initiated a number of important programs to assist students with their wellbeing, including; The CHIP Mentoring system (Check-In Program) where students are given a choice of a teacher mentor, to assist students engage in their learning process, building positive and trusting relationships to foster self-confidence, goal setting and a large number of other organisational and social skills. At this moment we have over 30 students on this program and well over 45 teacher mentors who are working closely with the Wellbeing Team as to support our students.

The Wellbeing Team is also introducing some other proactive initiatives such as Exercise the Mood for some of our female students, which encompasses the positive result of endorphins created through exercise joined with a positive psychology lesson. This initiative involves the development of a personalised exercise programs for each of the students followed by a mindfulness session.

This year we also introduced a number of positive behaviour wellbeing lessons to all the junior years, which explicitly explained to all the students important learning and social skills such as anti-bullying strategies, how to be an upstander, cyber safety, and being respectful learners.

Given all of the concerns around COVID-19, the entire staff is committed to supporting our students who may be distressed by the current world circumstances through access to our counselling resources and mentoring systems to alleviate anxiety and concerns.

To conclude, as a school that celebrates cultural diversity, we’re proudly recognising the role of indigenous culture in Australian society and sport as we recognise the NRL’s Indigenous Week with indigenous jumpers (yes – I provided the Souths jerseys!)

Mr Papangelis – Head Teacher Wellbeing

Ms Edwards, Mr Paps and Mrs Murphy getting into the spirit of the NRL’s Indigenous Week (Souths jerseys provided by Mr Paps, of course!)