Dirk van Bruggen
Acting Executive Head of College
It was great to have the students back with smiling faces ready for a great first week of the term. If you drove to the College in the last fortnight you will have noticed some big changes. Our entrance has had a partial face lift and we have been continuing to do restoration work from the flooding that occurred at the end of last term. The hub has been temporarily relocated whilst we work towards refurbishing it. The Middle Learning Community is having more of the external landscape work undertaken which should be completed by the end of Term 2. They are all part of our ongoing refurbishment program throughout 2021.
As we start the term we have had many opportunities to engage in community activities. Our Cross Country carnivals were held for Prep to Year 12 in each of the communities and the participation and enthusiasm was fantastic. We also held our Anzac Day service that was attended by nearly 1600 students, staff and families. It was an opportunity to acknowledge those who have served and do serve our nation. The student parent teacher conferences for SLC have been held over several nights with great engagement by students and families. As always our community is a vibrant one with many community events occurring every week.
As I see the current changes occurring, I am reminded again of God’s faithfulness to this College. In our nearly 40 year history there have been plenty of challenges, however the one constant has been God’s provision and dedicated people. All the wonderful staff, students and families who have been part of this College in past decades have all helped set the platform for this current season. So to our current families, staff and students, thank you for being part of this great College. We are preparing for our 40th year celebrations next year when we will give thanks for the past and prepare for our future. Know that we are all part of something bigger than each of us. We are here for our students, and I know that as we work together over this next season, they will be the ones who surely reap the benefits along with generations to come. We look forward to you joining with us to celebrate our community.
Dirk van Bruggen
Acting Executive Head of College
Culture and Wellbeing
“The wellbeing of today’s youth has never been more challenging.” Dr Michael Carr-Gregg.
Today parents face a multitude of modern day challenges in raising happy, well and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance. Hillcrest Christian College is excited to be launching SchoolTV which addresses some of the challenges you may face through an online resource designed to empower you, as parents, with credible and sound information featu
ring realistic, practical ongoing support strategies. This is a valuable resource filled with research-based articles and references. These resources are updated and added to regularly and we encourage parents to use discernment when viewing and referring to external links as the College is unable to view the scope of all resources on the site. We have three separate SchoolTV sites with age-appropriate content for each Learning Community. Please navigate to the app
Junior Learning Communityropriate site when searching for information to support your child and take a look at the introductory video to learn how to use this great resource. SchoolTV – supporting schools, empowering parents!
Connecting with your child
As social beings, the capacity to form and maintain supportive relationships is essential to us and how we function within society. It is a key component to being mentally healthy, and having a positive sense of wellbeing. This is true for children and young people of all ages, from the very early years through to the teenage years. At this stage in a child and young person’s life, the relationship they form with their parent or carer is vitally important. As children grow up, their ability to form and sustain relationships – be that with peers, parents, teachers etc. is crucial and this parent / carer relationship is key. In this short video, one of our College counsellors, Mrs Emily Townsend shares a few simple strategies to help us, as parents develop and nurture positive relationships with our children.
From the Director of the ELC
We would like to wish our families a warm welcome back to Term 2. What a wonderful start we have had in the Early Learning Community.
Our Kindy children were blessed with the opportunity join the wider College community and participate in the Prep – Year 2 Anzac service. By building young children’s understandings about the traditions and facts of Anzac Day, the many real-life stories of sacrifices and heroism of everyday Australians and New Zealanders will not be lost but handed down to future generations. These opportunities provide the children with exposure to the College and helps to support them in their transition into the wider College community as they reach Prep and beyond.
This term we have some really rich and exciting learning experiences happening in our Early Learning Community. We will be celebrating children under 8 with some fun and exciting activities for under 8s Day in Week 6. We also have the National Simultaneous Storytime coming up which promotes the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children’s book that explores age-appropriate themes. Later in the term we are excited to have the Ocean Life Education Show for World Oceans Day where the children will get a hands-on experience through an interactive touch and learn session introducing children to a range of interesting creatures from the ocean.
We pray that our families have a wonderful Term 2 and we look forward the ongoing blessing of being able to watch our Pre Kindy and Kindy children grow and develop.
Lead Educator ELC
Over the last few weeks Kindy 1 have been learning all about dinosaurs! We discussed what we would like to learn and what we already knew about dinosaurs. We then read a few pages of the “Questions and Answers About Dinosaurs” book. We learned the first dinosaur discovered was the Megalosaurus and was discovered in 1824! The children were curious as to how they were discovered if all the dinosaurs had died. We learned that they discover dinosaurs through fossils in the ground! The children wondered where they lived and the children shared their ideas before we researched and found they lived all over the world. We explored mathematical concepts as we measured out how long some of the dinosaurs might have been and compared their weight to common creatures the children know about and are able to visualise such as elephants. We also explored literacy concepts as we read some amazing books about dinosaurs and explored the letters in the names of some of the dinosaurs! Reading books helps children understand sounds, words and language as they develop early literacy skills. They learn to value books and stories, ignite their imagination and stimulate curiosity. Reading books also help to develop children’s brains, ability to focus, concentrate, build social and communication skills, understanding new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them.
We discovered some amazing information about some of the commonly known dinosaurs such as size, diet, where they lived and what group of dinosaurs they belonged to along with some fun facts. The children were amazed! This branched off into a discussion about the three different types of eaters, the carnivores, the herbivores and the omnivores. Miss Katie was impressed with the children’s prior knowledge! Quite a lot of the children knew which the different foods the different categories of dinosaurs ate. When children actively contribute to the program, they are more likely to be engaged in play that responds to their interests, abilities and strengths.
Miss Katie set up a big fossil dig for the children which was a huge hit! Miss Katie made some fossils using the small dinosaurs in our classroom. The children were provided with some magnifying glasses and small brushes which the children were able to use to discover the fossils Miss Katie had dug into the sand. As the children discovered the fossils, they were able to investigate which dinosaur the fossil belonged too! It was wonderful to see the children collaborating with each other, sharing their finds and discussing their working theories about each of the dinosaurs they had found. Throughout this activity the children were provided with the opportunity to develop and extend upon sensory skills, language and communication skills, and fine and gross motor skills. This activity also supported the children to build muscle strength and encouraged turn-taking ability and persistence.
From the Head of the JLC
Welcome back to Term 2! We hope you all enjoyed the Easter holidays and are recharged and ready to start a new school term. It has been a busy and exciting start to Term 2. Our JLC students have participated in the Cross Country, attended ANZAC services, and commenced new units of work.
We have an exciting term of fun and learning ahead of us. Please remember that as the weather begins to get chilly, to label all uniform items so we can return them to you quickly. Last of all, I’d like to wish all our mothers a very special day on Sunday! Enjoy.
Head of JLC
JLC Cross Country
On Wednesday, 21 April, the Cross Country was held for the Junior Learning Community students. With perfectly blue skies, it was great to see all our children participating and having fun. Thank you to the parents who were able to attend and cheer on all our students. The overall Champion House winners for the day were Flynn with 276 points! Followed closely was Taylor (270 points), Carmichael (264 points) and Greene (238 points). Congratulations to all participants!
To see the full gallery of photos from the day click here.
Anzac Day Services
Year 2 Digital Technology Lego WeDo 2.0
Year 2s are exploring all things robotic this term! As part of their learning students are building and coding their own robots that can perform set tasks. The best part is hearing the students as they collaborate, struggling to hold in their excitement: “This is so cool! I get to play LEGO at school!” was heard over and over.
Year 3/4 Flare i-Time
Year 3/4 Flare i-Time students have been using their SECRET skills to research various topics. They have developed their own games, rockets, information reports, Kahoots and even interviewed Mr Davis to determine what he thought a futuristic Hillcrest would look like. The students proudly shared their knowledge and gained confidence when presenting their ideas to an audience.
Specialist Visual Arts
JLC Specialist Visual Art works from Term 1 are now on display in the Bus Library, located at The Castle. Please feel free to drop by when you are on campus.
From the Head of the MLC
I firstly want to thank the 300+ parents that attended the Celebr8 Evening in Week 2, it was such a great success. We appreciate you taking the time to invest in your child’s learning and look forward to these events growing throughout the year. There is a separate article in this newsletter with more information about the evening.
After focusing on establishing a culture of support and collaboration within the staff and students during Term 1, this term we are focusing on a deeper working knowledge of the SECRET skills and Team Teaching across the MLC. In our next newsletter I will unpack more about the SECRET skills but for the moment I want to focus on Team Teaching and how this supports your child’s learning.
As students progress through the MLC from Years 5-8, the vision is that they will be given more student choice; more choice in the specialist subjects they study, furniture they use during the lesson, content for projects or DCL tasks, extra-curricula programs and so on. To underpin this journey staff work on the skills that are necessary to gain more responsibility year after year.
Part of this comes in the way we use Team Teaching to drive student agency as the students mature and become familiar with their peers, teachers, surroundings and learn more about themselves as learners. Team Teaching in its simplest form is where staff combine classes and work together so students can access more than one teacher to support their learning.
In Year 5, students start the year in very traditional classroom spaces where most learning is with the Core teacher in isolation. Students will start to see more opportunities to work in groups with students from other Year 5 classes as we move through Term 2. Moving into Year 6, students will see more of their learning in a Team Teaching approach as the teachers utilise the incredible open space that we have on Level 2 of the MLC. Just last week I walked through the Precinct to see a Year 6 Maths lesson where all 100+ students were supporting each other’s learning in small groups and it was apparent just how many more opportunities students had for feedback with Core teachers and Support staff able to offer guidance when necessary.
Students in Years 7-8 have been left to settle into their new surroundings during Term 1 with a fairly traditional approach to their learning; however, they will start to see more Team Teaching from this point forward as the staff start to utilise the flexibility of the new Learning Zones to their potential. The timetable in Years 7-8 has been designed so that the core subjects of English, HaSS, Maths and Science always have half of the cohort learning together at any one time. This gives the ability for two or three classes to collaborate while learning and the new space has been designed to support this process.
So does Team Teaching work? Feedback from the Year 5-6 Precinct, now in its fifth year of operation, would suggest that this approach provides students with more support in their learning and helps to build confidence in the students as they begin to understand themselves as learners. Claremont College in Randwick is an external school that was researched as part of this approach and some of their data is quite compelling.
The data that interests me the most is the parent response to whether they have seen enhanced learning as part of the team teaching approach. In the first year 56% of parents agreed but this grew to 76% by the end of the third year. This data demonstrated that parent understanding of the approach grew in the first few years while the staff and students also improved their journey together.
Team Teaching leads to better support for our learners and is something that we are committed to in the MLC. The SECRET skill framework also underpins this practice and hence I will be sharing more about these skills in our next newsletter article.
Head of Middle Learning Community
MLC Celebr8 Evening
MLC Celebr8 Evening
In the MLC, students enhance their learning of core subjects through a Design-Centred Learning (DCL) approach. DCL is made up of six steps that we refer to as the ‘six8s’ model: Collabor8, Investig8, Innov8, Cre8, Evalu8 and Celebr8. On Thursday 29 April, MLC students hosted their first Celebr8 Evening, where they showcased some of their learning from Term 1 DCL projects, to hundreds of our MLC parents. There were bushfire-safe houses, a gallery of self-portraits, data from Maths and Science Investigations, kite-flying, Kindness Projects, poetry author readings, videos and more. Thank you, students and teachers, for a wonderful night celebrating your learning with us, and to parents for attending. We look forward to welcoming you back to our next Celebr8 Evening, next semester.
Deputy Head of MLC – Alignment
MLC Cross Country
The oval was alive with colour and noise as the MLC embarked on their Cross Country carnival. Some students ran their personal best and absolutely smashed the course while others enjoyed a leisurely jog with friends. There were wonderful food stalls and fun games run by the Year 12s too. The highlight of the day was the incredible House Spirit displayed by all houses. Participation was at an all time high in both the races and the cheers. The final presentation was a deafening roar of cheers and House pride. Congratulations to Taylor, the Cross Country Champions and Greene, the House Spirit Trophy winners!
To see the full gallery of images click here.
Year 7 & 8 – QYSA
On Friday 23 April, the Queensland Youth Skills Academy (QYSA), developed by the Australian School of Entrepreneurship (ASE), ran workshops with our Year 7 and 8 students around the topics of Financial Literacy, Business Communication, Business Marketing and Human Resources. Students got to tackle an issue by creating a business name and idea, and pitching to an audience of their peers. These workshops, funded by the Queensland Government, provided our potential young entrepreneurs and those with a passion for innovation, with the skillset to tackle a wide array of complex problems that required innovative thinking. We were excited to have the opportunity to further equip our MLC students with new skills which will help them as the next generation of change-makers.
Our last Gathering in the MLC was a little different than usual. Due to College photos being taken in Terrace Hall, we decided to use our new outdoor undercover area for our Gathering! We had a lot of fun praising, playing, learning and a little bit of friendly House rivalry thrown in.
From the Head of the SLC
Welcome to Term 2. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the students and their families who have joined our community this term. It has been a fantastic start to the term with events including the postponed Term 1 Celebration Assembly, Cross Country, ANZAC Day Service and the Year 9 after school social activity to TimeZone. It has been pleasing to see the students engaging in these experiences.
We also commenced the term with parent / student / teacher interviews. These interviews are a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between home and school and the teachers appreciate the additional information and insights they gain from the parents. Another round of parent / student / teacher interviews will occur next term. I am always keen to reflect on events such as this to identify ways in which we can improve. If you have any feedback on the recent parent / student / teacher interviews, please email it to email@example.com.
Traffic is an issue at every school as the volume of vehicles increases dramatically in the half hour before school starts and the half hour after school finishes. As a solution, I encourage families to utilise the College buses or for the older children, pick them up later. There are a range of activities, including the free tutoring service in the SLC Resource Centre, that is available to SLC students after school. I have received reports from the local community that parents are parking illegally on Bridgeman Drive and Ridgevista Court in the afternoon. Please be aware that Gold Coast City Council parking inspectors frequent the area and issue fines to those who are illegally parked.
It is hard to believe that two weeks have already passed. Assessment dates will be published next week and some students will already be receiving assessment tasks. I encourage you to discuss the assessment dates with your student and assist them in allocating sufficient time each week to complete assignment and undertake systematic weekly revision.
I wish your child a productive term as they navigate through their chosen pathway.
Head of Senior Learning Community
SLC Cross Country
It was a fun day in the sun at this year’s annual SLC Cross Country Carnival. The day comprised of food vans, flying water balloons, tug-o-war with soaking sponges and a quick dash around the College. The four houses were very creative on the day with Flynn House rocking the retirement village look, Taylor Wild Wild West, Carmichael Bulls and Greene marching on the day as the Army squad. Carmichael House took out the House Spirit award and Flynn house were crowned Cross Country Champions. Thank you to all the parents, staff and students who took part in this event.
To see the full gallery of images, click here.
Anzac Service Yrs 3-12
Stymie – Report Bullying Anonymously
On Tuesday, Michael Jeh from Stymie helped launch STYMIE into our Senior Learning Community. Stymie is an online reporting tool that allows students to support their peers in cases of overt and covert bullying. We have designed a way to empower bystanders with the confidence to stand up for each other without fear; we are teaching them to say something. Stymie helps combat the bystander effect by enabling students to report incidents of bullying and harm, safely and anonymously. Stymie is a welcome addition to our Pastoral Care and Wellbeing support we have in place at Hillcrest and is accessible through links on Student Portal, Student Cafe, Parent Lounge and Teacher Kiosk. For more information about Stymie, you can go to their website here or contact our Deputy Head of Senior Learning Community – Pastoral, Mr James Colefax.
Year 9 – Time Zone
As part of our intentional Year Level engagement year, Year 9 students are invited to participate in a social evening of arcade games and laser tag, hosted by Hillcrest Christian College at Timezone Coolangatta.
Students are provided with many intentional opportunities to connect and build friendships in a variety of ways:
- Life Groups provide students with an opportunity to support and mentor in mixed SLC year levels.
- House competitions enable students to collectively compete against other houses and foster a bond within each House.
- Year level activities are designed to enable students to meet across the whole year to either meet and make new friendships or continue to foster childhood friends regardless of student pathways and electives which may see friends choose different streams.
- Class and co-curricular activities provide students to connect over shared learning or interests.
- Camps provide another level of shared experiences while also enabling different strengths to be displayed. Other team and challenge-based activities provide opportunities to collaborate and build resilience.
Sports & Performing Arts
Classic Tunes and More – SLC Choir Performance
Students in the following choral and instrumental ensembles will perform in the Hillcrest Theatre on Wednesday 12 May, 6.30pm. Popular music hits and classic tunes will be performed for all to enjoy! Bella Voce Bel Canto MANCHOIR Wind Symphony SLC Rock Band Volare Stage Band.
Come along and enjoy the performance in the College Theatre from 6.30pm.
Gideon Burnes – Swimming Championships
Annalise Daniel competed at Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney in the last few weeks. As a 17 year old racing in the under 20s, Annalise ran the 100m, achieved a PB in the 200m to be 10th overall and was selected into the Queensland under 20, 4 x 100m relay team and snagged a silver national🥈medal.
During the recent school holidays, Bond University ran a Mathematics Extension program for Year 12 students. We would like to congratulate Cambell McGregor who achieved a distinction in this program.
Professor Bruce Vanstone and Professor Steve Stern (who ran the academic component of the program) were genuinely very impressed by all students in attendance.
The academic component of the program involved students learning how to use the R program (most for the first time) and then applying their knowledge of matrices to solve a problem using R. The program was pitched at a high level and students displayed resilience and adaptability.
Well done Cambell McGregor!
Master Plan Workshops
Last week Wilson Architects held the first of several workshops to gain community input into the master plan. There were 86 members of our community who spent time in the various workshops throughout the day. Years 4-12 enthusiastically shared their ideas and feedback about their College. In addition to student participation there were sessions for staff and parents to provide feedback and suggestions as well.
The ideas and feedback will form an important part of the process. The next step is discussion with council and the wider community.
We are developing a Strategic Plan to help guide growth and define our objectives and identity. Master planning can help ensure that the physical campus is developing in a way that supports and enables the College’s strategic vision.
School Banking is back
For those participating in school banking, please have your child bring in their bank book every Tuesday and hand it to their teacher when class goes in. It will be processed by our lovely volunteers and make its way back to your child later that day 😊
All you need to get involved in the School Banking program is a Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver account. You can open an account for your child in one of three ways:
- Online: commbank.com.au/schoolbanking and click on the link to open a Youthsaver account.
- In branch: visit a Commonwealth Bank branch with identification for yourself and your child, like a driver’s licence and birth certificate.
- In person with the CBA representative later this term. Date to be confirmed.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who have committed to helping out on Tuesday mornings. If you are able to assist, please contact us – even once a term is helpful!
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Supervised Study Sessions (with Teachers)
Teachers in certain faculties will offer supervised study sessions for their classes on a weekly basis, and will communicate this with their individual classes. These sessions will run from week 5 to week 8 in the Resource Centre.
Tutoring (University Student Tutors)
The Senior Learning Community provides a ‘Tutoring Program’ for students in Years 5-12. This is a free service and an excellent opportunity for small groups to support and learn from each other with the guidance of Student Tutors. The Tutors are some of our top academic Hillcrest Alumni who are currently studying at various universities. During Term 2, Student Tutors will be available for assistance with Mathematics, Science, English and Humanities subjects predominantly. ‘University Student Tutor Sessions’ will take place from week 5 to week 8 in the Hillcrest Resource Centre as follows:
- 1:00 -1.40pm – Lunchtime (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)
- 3:00 – 4:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 3:00 – 5:00pm Thursdays
Online Tutoring (University Student Tutors)
Tutors can include 1 x student via Teams online while in a group session. The ‘online’ option will be set up with the ability to book 20-minutes during the afternoon sessions as outlined above. Mr Wotton (Tutoring Coordinator) will advise as soon as the booking system is active. If you have any questions regarding the student tutors, please contact Mr Paul Wotton in the Resource Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Fernance – Deputy Head Senior Learning Community – Academics
Danni Foster-Brown – Deputy Head of Middle Learning Community – Alignment
Paul Wotton – Head of Resource Centre / SLC Tutoring Coordinator