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SSC Newspaper : March 2012
education "The thing about McDonald College is that it's an inclusive school." – College learning support coordinator Katie Campbell Strathfield Scene 13 www.ourstrathfield.com.au A North Strathfield secondary school has introduced a buddy system to support its teenage pu- pils suffering from anxiety. “There is a big difference be- tween stress and anxiety and when students reach year 11 and 12, without doubt all students experience some sort of stress,” said learning support coordinator Katie Campbell of Mc- Donald College. “But the difference between anxiety and stress is that some students become unable to complete simple tasks because they are so wor- ried. It impedes their life,” she explained. The college introduced a system in which learning support staff, a student advisor, pasto- ral care coordinator and year coordinator all play a part in helping students overcome their difficulties. “ We have a support network of students and staff members who act as a safety network for kids who might have anxiety attacks in school,” she said. “Problems can range from bullying to aca- demic problems, especially in times of exams and assessments. In the final years of school when there is a lot of pressure, some students might find it difficult to cope with the workload.” Students are paired up with a combination of their peers and teachers if they need someone to talk to or seek advice. As an example, Camp- bell said if a student struggled with their school work, staff would assign a teacher to help the student break down the lesson into smaller chunks for easier understanding. “ We’ll assign a teacher to help the student if they need the help,” she said. “But a big part of our process is that if we can’t help the students – because the teachers are not psychologists or psychiatrists – we will contact the parents to seek external help.” Campbell said anxiety was now classified un- der the state’s Disability Standards for Educa- tion, meaning that children who require help or support are granted the same opportunities as mainstream students. In the past, teachers com- monly dismissed mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. She stressed the importance of students be- ing able to voice their problems to teachers and their parents. In a supportive academic environ- ment, McDonald College’s culture means stu- dents are not alone, she said. “ We do have a lot of talented students but the thing about McDonald College is that it’s an in- clusive school. We don’t want students to feel isolated or singled out because they might be experiencing some difficulties,” she said. StuDENtS At Homebush Boys’ High School now have the chance to study Korean, in addition to Chinese, Italian and French. As a language of growing importance in New South Wales, Korean classes are now running from Year 9 at the school each Mon- day and Friday. Their teacher is Ms Kyung-Ae Yu. The NSW Curriculum and Learning Inno- vation Centre of the Department of Educa- tion and Communities and the Korean Edu- cation Centre have highlighted the need for Korean to be taught in schools. This year is also the first that a Homebush Boys’ student has tackled the Chinese herit- age course in Year 12. Last year the school markedly improved its Chinese HSC results. Year 8 students at the school have been studying Aboriginal culture as part of the curriculum. teacher Suzi Milovanovic has introduced Dreamtime stories, traditional language and part to the students, who have also designed and made their own boomerangs after study- ing traditional painting techniques. The school continues to celebrate Aborigi- nal culture, art and traditions. ENROLLING NOW OPEN DAYS 2012 ALL SAINTS GRAMMAR A GREEK ORTHODOX SCHOOL FOR BOYS AND GIRLS JUNIOR CAMPUS Prep – Year 6 Thursday 8th March, 2012 & Thursday 17th May, 2012 Tours commence at 9.00am 13-17 Cecilia Street, Belmore SENIOR CAMPUS Years 7-12 Friday 9th & 23rd March, 2012 Friday 18th May, 2012 Tours 9-10:30am 31 Forsythe Street, Belmore Registration of your attendance is required. Please contact the Enrolments Officer on 9718 7715. E: firstname.lastname@example.org Helping hand for high anxiety Korean classes added signs of anxiety physical symptoms • Feeling irritable • Finding it hard to relax • Difficulty concentrating • Difficulty sleeping • Fearing something bad will happen • Heart palpitations • Tension and muscle pain • Sweating • Hyperventilation • Dizziness • Faintness • Headaches • Nausea • Indigestion • Bowel disturbance an anxious person will often interpret such symptoms as a sign of serious illness, making the problem worse. For help, contact the NSW Anxiety Disorders Treatment Centre; www. anxietytreatmentcentre.com.au . Phone: 4926 3000.