Hillcrest News

4 March 2022

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Romans 10:9

Jeff Davis
Executive Head of College

Executive Head of College, Jeff Davis shares an update on the College Musical, flooding, Year 11 assessments, COVID restrictions easing and end of term celebrations. Please note this message was recorded prior to our most recent College closure today.



Early Learning


Junior Years


Middle Years


Senior Years


Sports, PA & More

Other News

Other News & Key Dates

Culture and Wellbeing

Stress and Anxiety: Coping Strategies

What is Stress?
Stress is a human reaction that everyone experiences at some stage in life. A small amount of stress can be motivating, but too much stress makes even small tasks seem daunting. Some common symptoms include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive worry
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches

It Sounds Like Anxiety to Me!
Stress and anxiety share many of the same symptoms making it difficult to tell them apart. However, there is a difference! Stress tends to subside once the stressor is mediated. Anxiety on the other hand, hangs around. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to manage both stress and anxiety.

Deep Breathing: Great for managing emotions.

  1. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, allowing abdomen to rise
  2. Hold air in your lungs for four seconds
  3. Slowly exhale through your mouth for six seconds
  4. Practise for 3 – 5 minutes.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Useful when feeling tense.

  1. For each area of the body, tense muscle tightly, but not to the point of strain
  2. Hold the tension for 10 seconds noticing how it feels
  3. Release tension while focussing on the feeling of relaxation.

Order: Feet, claves, thighs, torso, back, shoulders, arms, hands, face, full body.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding technique: Helpful for reducing anxiety.

  1. Find 5 things you can see
  2. Find 4 things you can touch
  3. Find 3 things you can hear
  4. Find 2 things you can smell
  5. Find 1 thing you can taste.

It is important to remember these skills take time and work best when they are used often.

From the ELC

Wildcall Incursion

In our Early Learning Community, each day is a celebration and we love taking the opportunity to link in with events in the life of our families, the College and our wider community. Thursday, 3 March was World Wildlife Day! We were excited to celebrate this day and raise awareness for the world’s wild animals and plants!

The amazing team at Wildcall were able to visit our Early Learning Community on Thursday to allow our children the opportunity to meet and interact with some interesting Australian wildlife!

Developing and nurturing an appreciation of nature in our children is a fundamental element that safeguards the safety of our wildlife and environment. Helping to educate future generations on the importance of saving wildlife is one of our best resources for preserving nature.

Wildlife conservation is reliant on future generations and our children can make a difference in their future if we support them to instil a respect and appreciation for nature.

What a great way to learn and what a fabulous experience to share together!

Michelle Cecil

Director of Early Learning Community

From the Head of the JLC

JLC Gatherings – Time to CELEBRATE

Gatherings are a key element to the culture of Hillcrest, and the JLC Gathering is specifically focused on sharing Biblical themes at an age-appropriate level. Our teachers and chaplains do an amazing job of sharing Bible truths through a variety of themes. They have managed to do this in an online format whilst we haven’t been able to meet in large groups. We have enjoyed and been encouraged through songs of praise and worship, Chappy Chats, skits and puppets all sharing the life-changing word of God.

We started our year with the theme ‘CELEBRATE’. Based on the verses in Philippians 4:6-7, we have looked at practising prayer, learning that we can talk to God about anything and everything. He listens and brings us peace. Jesus is a trustworthy friend, with whom you can share the good times and the hard times.

We have also looked at applying scripture. In Ephesians 4:32, Jesus taught about love and kindness ALL the time. How do we show love and kindness to others to strengthen each other? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 has taught us about maintaining supportive relationships, as together we are stronger.

Most recently we have been exploring the theme of abiding in God’s unconditional love, as found in Matthew 28:18-20. JLC students are encouraged to obey everything Jesus has told us. We can be sure He will be with us always – not just when we are following the right path. God’s love is ALWAYS and FOREVER!

Damien taylor
Deputy Head – Junior Learning Community

What’s been happening in the JLC

ILR Program – VAK (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) activities

In Term 1, Prep explores our alphabet as part of our ILR program. We learn the letter names as well as the sounds each letter makes. Each week, we immerse ourselves into three new letters as a focus. On a Monday we love exploring the letters through a session of VAK activities where the children are intentionally scaffolded in a variety of activities where they explore the letters we will focus on throughout the week. Our VAK time is essential to the learning process as it allows the children to engage in a hands-on manner where they are offered the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the letters and sounds in a fun and play-based way with others. The opportunity to engage in a variety of learning activities that are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic allows every child to fully immerse themselves in the program, no matter their learning style. Once we have our knowledge of the alphabet and sound we look forward to growing even more and learning our vowel sounds in Term 2!

JLC Flare

Flare classes are underway, and students have been engaged in a variety of learning opportunities. Younger Maths students have been introduced to George Polya’s SEE, PLAN, DO, CHECK model and have used this to solve problems. Older students have been involved in a range of mathematical challenges, including preparing for the APSMO Maths Games. English students have been researching authors and exploring various novels while I-Time students have used their SECRET Skills in order to develop research questions for their investigations.

3KM Science – Animal Groups

This term, Year 3 have been exploring living and non-living things, including the features something needs to be classified as a living thing. Last week we looked at the animal groups and what scientific reasons there were for classifying animals in each of these groups. After listening to a fun animal group song, we worked as a class to place animals in the right classification.

From the Head of the MLC

It has been a challenging start to the year, with a number of students and staff absent for various reasons including flooding, sickness and isolation, as well as our delayed start to the term. This is generally the time of the term when many assessment pieces are due. To alleviate any undue pressure, teachers will be either modifying assessment tasks or extending due dates; in some cases this has already occurred. Our students’ wellbeing is of utmost importance, and we trust this will help students feel more confident as they return to school following extended absences. Subject teachers will be in touch directly with students where they have deemed that an adjustment is necessary.

Please stay safe during these unstable weather events and as always reach out via mlcpa@hillcrest.qld.edu.au if you have any questions or concerns.

Darren Rackemann
Head of Middle Learning Community

What’s been happening in the MLC

Student for a Day

Last week, there was a new class member in the 7D class. I decided to leave my office to see what it was like being an MLC student for the day. I enjoyed my first ever French lesson (J’habite en Australie!), learned about the legacy the ancient Chinese left us through the invention of paper in HaSS, and dove into the novel “Chinese Cinderella” as part of our English lesson. It was interesting to see the life of a Year 7 student through their eyes; the dash up the hill to make sure I wasn’t late to French, making sure I had access to all my Microsoft Teams and OneNotes, and getting to experience a range of teachers, all highly skilled in their own areas of expertise and passion. In class, I saw students, some who only joined Hillcrest a couple of weeks ago, supporting each other in their learning. I saw enthusiasm and positive attitudes as the students approached new concepts and ideas. More than anything, I saw the way the teachers truly care about the students in their classes, both from an academic point of view but also pastorally. The middle years are all about building relationships, and if my one day as a Year 7 student was anything to go by, our students have a whole team who is setting them up for success each day.

Danni Foster-Brown – Deputy Head of Middle Learning Community – Alignment

Upcoming Webinar for Parents – Time Management & Beating Procrastination

We’re excited to announce that parents of our College have exclusive access to Elevate Education’s Parent Webinar Series this year. Elevate works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series, you will learn how to better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school. This webinar will be held on Wednesday, 9 March at 7pm (AEDT).

Register for free here

In Time Management & Beating Procrastination, Elevate will show you:

  • How to avoid fights over homework and study;
  • Strategies to ensure your child is balanced, stress free AND productive;
  • The most common causes of procrastination and how to avoid;
  • What types of work the top students prioritise to get top marks.

​​​​​​The webinar is run live online from 7-8pm (AEDT)where the presenter will share Elevate’s key research and skills, and will conduct a live Q&A so you can ask them questions directly.

If you have questions or would like to contact Elevate directly, their details are listed below.

📞 1300 667 945
✉️ aucoaching@elevateeducation.com
💻 get.elevatecoaching.info/au/schoolwebinar

From the Head of the SLC

Where do you sow your seeds?

So far this term, Matthew 13 – The Parable of the Sower, has consumed a large portion of my devotion and reflection time. I am taking the three themes from the parable: 1. You reap what you sow; 2. If you sow on good soil, you reap more than you sow; and 3. You reap after you sow. I have been using these three themes as I reflect on numerous parts of my personal and professional life.

If you do not sow, you cannot reap. Sometimes we are afraid that it won’t work out, so we don’t take the next step. We need to be courageous and step forward. Students are now in Week 6. Examinations and assignment due dates are quickly approaching and if our students are not settling into a good study routine, they will not reap the rewards. Time management is an important skill and allocating an appropriate amount of time to a task is required if success is to be achieved. Distractions, such as social media and mobile phones take away from a student achieving success, just like the birds that came and consumed the seeds. I hope that all students who are sowing the seeds will reap the rewards multiple times over from their efforts.

Next week we will see a further relaxation of the COVID restrictions in schools. Masks will no longer be mandatory, and we will be able to conduct assemblies, gatherings and excursions. I thank the community for their support as we have navigated the start of the year.

Enjoy your week.

Jason Day
Head of Senior Learning Community

What’s been happening in the SLC

Year 12 Jerseys

Year 12 students have received their personalised jerseys! This is a privilege Year 12 students have the option to participate in each year and is often worn with pride. This jersey may be worn with the sports uniform during activity days, sporting carnivals or at the discretion of the Head / Deputy Head of SLC. 

Seeking Work Experience Providers

This year our Year 10 students will be participating in a Work Experience Program as part of their pathways journey. Students are required to find a provider in industry who would be a suitable match to their career goals. We are seeking any expressions of interest from the College Community to be part of this program as a Work Experience Provider. If you are self employed or work for an employer who would be interested in offering a work experience placement to one of our Year 10 students, we would love to hear from you!

Please contact Joelle McCully – Careers and Pathways Coordinator at jmccully@hillcrest.qld.edu.au or 07 5655 0930.

Try A Trade

Gold Coast Trades College is taking expressions of interest to try a trade. Click here to register your interest, Limited places available.

Academic Enrichment

Gold Coast Junior Council

On Thursday, 24 February, Hillcrest’s four Gold Coast Junior Council (GCJC) members: Laila Chequer de Souza Yr 11, Torrek Elbeb Yr 11, Lizzie Maynard Yr 10, and Ted Hastings Yr 10 – had their first General Assembly meeting. They were a part of delegation of Junior Councillors representing over 30 schools across the city. For their first meeting they introduced the new Year 10s, Lizzie and Ted, who received their City of Gold Coast Junior Council badges. The GCJC is one of the largest youth programs in QLD. This week the students heard from various city officials including Division 11 Councillor Hermann Vorster, and the Lord Major himself, Tom Tate. They heard officials speak on youth leadership initiatives and city plans to expand public transportation infrastructure. The GCJC program seeks to develop an understanding of local Government by discussing and raising awareness of current and local community issues, developing skills including communication, public speaking, consultation, leadership and program development, and provide a platform to meet like-minded student leaders across the Gold Coast to have a voice and exchange ideas through workshops and volunteer opportunities. This first event was held virtually.


Cross Country Training

The Cross Country is scheduled for Week 10 this term.

Are you ready for this? Come and join us for Cross Country training which occurs every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:15am-8am on the oval.

Choral Workshop

On Saturday, 19 February a group of our finest choristers – members of Bella Voce, Bel Canto and MANCHOIR – came together for 7 hours of singing! Students were lucky enough to be joined in the morning by Associate Professor Margaret Schindler, Head of Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, before breaking up into a rotation of focused workshop groups in the afternoon. Margaret and our committed choral staff, Dr Stewart, Mrs Rienecker, Miss Battle, Mrs Kilpatrick, and Mr Kissick worked with the students to refine their breathing technique, and vowel placement, as well as working through their current repertoire.

Other News

Seeking Work Experience Providers

This year our Year 10 students will be participating in a Work Experience Program as part of their pathways journey. Students are required to find a provider in industry who would be a suitable match to their career goals. We are seeking any expressions of interest from the College Community to be part of this program as a Work Experience Provider. If you are self employed or work for an employer who would be interested in offering a work experience placement to one of our Year 10 students, we would love to hear from you!

Please contact Joelle McCully – Careers and Pathways Coordinator at jmccully@hillcrest.qld.edu.au or 07 5655 0930.

The Hub Cafe New Menu

As many of you may have noticed, this term we have a new Hub Menu. Please see the link here to view the Menu and also instructions on how to order using Flexischools.

Key Dates