Archive for April, 2013

Term 2 Newsletter

Term 2 Newsletter Stromlo High School starts this term with some staff changes, and some resource implications that we would like to make you aware of.

Parent teacher night is on this Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm in SPACE.

Cross Country is on for one and all on Friday 9th May at Mt Stromlo Park!

NAPLAN Assessments are scheduled for Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 May

New Staff

  • ·         Michaela Barlow – Italian Teacher
  • ·         Ross Burdon – Maths and Science
  • ·         Kathryn Ibbotson – Science
  • ·         Katherine Redgrave – Youth Worker
  • ·         Suzanne Horan – Counsellor


Staffing Arrangements (Higher Duties):

  • ·         Rod Grieve – Deputy Principal
  • ·         Jodie Beaumont – Maths
  • ·         Jennifer Lawrence – Science


Toilet Upgrades complete – temporary measures that were in place for male students are no longer needed. Female toilets have also had new toilet paper rolls installed and have been painted with the help of the SRC.  Solar panels have been connected to the grid and are now earning money. The ability to read energy consumption from the internet has yet to be established, and we are assured that this will happen this term as well, so that students can learn the cost, mass and volume of renewable and non-renewable energy in this school.

Stromlo High School will receive 48 MacPro Apple Laptop computers and 64 iPads this term to supplement existing stock and replace out-dated computers in the school. Information Technology (IT) is rapidly changing and increasingly impacting on many areas of Australian life. Nowadays, high school students are considered the digital generation: IT savvy children who have never known life without a computer or the internet. Today’s students use IT frequently and in a variety of ways; as a source of information, entertainment and social communication. As IT continues to embed itself within homes and schools, how students make use of digital devices (with access to mobile phones, internet and wifi) is fundamentally transforming learning. Is this innovation to be welcomed, or is it to be resisted?

This article advocates the educated application and use of such technological availability and their clever integration into school life.

It is true that social networking can have narcissistic consequences, when students pay more attention to how they present on the web, engage more with Facebook and Twitter than with their daily lives, families or lessons at school. Excessive access to and availability of social networking risks students alienating themselves from others, family and friends. That is why some mainly non government schools have chosen to forbid the use of mobiles and wifi ready devices to be brought to school, or to be used while at school. A further irritant occurs when parents text their students while in class, or students text each other, arrange to meet, etc. Generally, concentration in the classroom goes out the window. Once you also consider the marginal but persistent evidence of cyber bullying, such policies appear indeed well founded.

But are they? First, let’s look at the facts, then the educational use of such devices, and finally let’s consider the role of education and society.

In the 12 months prior to April 2009, an estimated 2.2 million (79%) children accessed the Internet either during school hours or outside of school hours. The proportion of males (80%) accessing the Internet was not significantly different from females (79%). The proportion of children accessing the Internet increased by age, with 60% of 5 to 8 year olds accessing the Internet compared with 96% of 12 to 14 year olds.


A higher proportion of children used the Internet at home (92%) than at school (86%). Children using the Internet at home used it for a wide variety of activities, with the most popular being educational activities (85%), playing online games (69%) and listening to or downloading music (47%). Of the 2 million children who used the Internet at home, 42% usually used it for 2 hours or less per week, while 17% used it more than 10 hours per week (ABS, 30 October 2012).


These figures, already nearly four years out of date, suggest two irreversible trends, namely that the internet is now a feature of everyday life, and young people make use of it predominantly for educational reasons. :-


  • In 2009 already, 96%of 12 to 14 year olds access the internet. Internet access in homes with children is higher than in homes without children. Given the delivery of the Rudd Digital Education revolution in schools and the roll-out of computers and wifi to schools in recent years, school based access to the internet is now universal. Therefore it is easy to assert that the internet is now part of every student’s everyday life.
  • The majority use (85%) is made by students for educational reasons (!).


Mobile phone services currently reach 99 per cent of the Australian population where people live (Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy, April 2013). 91% of 14 to 24 year old young people in Australia owned or used a Mobile Phone in 2011 (Roy Morgan Research). This percentage can safely be assumed to be even higher today, as the trend and affordability continue to make it easier for people to own, use, and facilitate their lives with digital devices. The proliferation of tablets (IPods, IPads, MP3 players, Android devices) has only added to the blurring of internet and data use by a wide range of devices, carriers, competitive data plans and wifi ubiquity.


If you cannot beat it, join it!


  • A car in the hands of an irresponsible driver can be very dangerous: do we therefore ban all cars? No, education and driver training is the silver bullet!
  • A mobile phone in the hands of an irresponsible person can have negative consequences: do we therefore ban all digital devices? No, education is the silver bullet!


Stromlo High School is an example of a contemporary high school in Canberra that adopts a Responsible Use approach to the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices at school. Mobile phones and electronic devices are allowed to be brought to school and used responsibly before school, during recess and lunch breaks, and after school. During class times, a traffic light system is used to signal how mobile phones and electronic devices may be used.


Red Light: No use of mobile phones or other electronic devices are allowed


AmberLight: Limited use of mobile phones or other electronic devices

for educational purposes only, with the classroom teacher’s permission


Green Light: Use of mobile phones or other electronic devices

permitted with the classroom teacher’s permission



If a student is given permission by the classroom teacher to use their mobile phone (or other electronic device) for a particular purpose, eg, as a calculator or to take a photo of the teacher’s notes, to Google a question, the mobile phone can only be used for that specific purpose. It is important that students display courtesy, consideration and respect for others whenever they are using a mobile phone or electronic device. Misuse may result in temporary confiscation.


• Students may need to contact parents in emergencies or to confirm or change a collection time after school. This should not be done during class time. Parents / Carers are asked not to call students on mobile phones during class time. Messages that need to get to a student during class time should be directed to Student Services and a message will be taken to the student.

• Mobile phones are not to be used or switched on inside toilets and change rooms.

Students are not to take photographs or video with their mobile phones at any time during the school day unless a teacher has authorized it AND the subject has given their express permission.

• It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that their phones and other devices are always stored in a safe and secure place. Students are not to lend their phones or other electronic devices to others.

• If a student uses their mobile phone or other electronic device in class without permission, or misuse the device at any time, they will be instructed to hand over the device. The device will be locked for safe keeping in the school safe. Parents will be required to collect the device. It is the responsibility of the student to inform their parent/carer if their device is confiscated.


At Stromlo, we are witnessing an improved learning culture as a result of digital devices being freely available. Having wifi throughout the school, teachers and students are comfortable bringing laptops, tablets and mobiles with them and use these as a learning aid. Every classroom has digital projection facilties, and we are experimenting with multiple simultaneous data input on classroom monitors. Digital devices do not remove the need to think or be articulate. But they help.


The conclusion is obvious. To win the hearts and minds of young learners, it is not helpful to set up limiting boundaries by pretending that this technology does not exist and therefore cannot be used. Such an approach is tantamount to saying that TV should not be watched, because it may have negative consequences, or riding a bicycle, because you risk falling off.


Digital devices are increasingly used by young and not so young people everyday, teachers included! That is why the school will equip every teacher with an IPad this year, one that communicates via an Apple TV to every classroom. To recognise the obvious, to implement an educational, liberal approach in the use of digital devices is not only in the interests of a democracy, but also in the interests of the freedom to read, to learn, and to succeed. It is already happening, so don’t fight it, get with it!


Roll on second term!


Dr Michael Kindler


Year 8 Camp Arrival Time Now 4:30pm

The expected arrival time for students on Year 8 Camp back to Stromlo High School has changed to 4:30pm today, 12th April 2013.

Urgently Required: Treasurer for P&C

The current Treasurer of the Stromlo High School P&C has had to resign for family reasons.

We would like to expess our gratitude to Cassandra Inkley for her diligent work as treasurer. Her contribution has been greatly appreciated by all.

Please contact P&C President Jenny Usher on if you are interested in finding out more about the position.

Year 9 Jamberoo Trip

Year 9 Students will be travelling to Jamberoo tomorrow for their rewards day following a successful week of Peer Support Training and Careers sessions.

Students need to be at school for a 6am departure and  are expected to be back at school at 7pm. Don’t forget some food for lunch and your sunscreen and have fun on the ‘Funnel Web’!

Year 8 students travelling to Longbeach

Our year 8 students have set off this morning on their trip to the coast and Camp Longbeach. They all seemed very excited about the activities to get involved in over the next few days. We will keep you updated on their progress, hopefully with a few photos.

A reminder that the students on Year 8 Camp will be returning to Stromlo High School at 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Year 7 Students and Peer Support Leaders head off to Jindabyne

A successful start to the 2013 Year 7 Camp! With brief farewells to family members and smiles on their faces the year 7 students and their Peer Support Leaders set off for three days of activities at Jindabyne. We will keep you informed of their progress, hopefully with some photos.

A reminder that the students will be returning to Stromlo High School at 3.30pm on Friday.

Mont 24 Hour MTB race results for Stromlo Students

Congratulations to a number of Stromlo High Schools students who participated in the Mont 24 Hour Mountain Bike race.

The team named “The Fully Six” who consisted mostly of students or ex students from Stomlo High School placed an impressive 3rd in their class in the grueling 24 hour race.

After completing a combined total of 19 laps of the 20km course and racing against a total of 3075 riders the team consisting of Matt Crafter, Ruby Wilson, Mitchell Whitby, Liam Sproule and Owen Sulway should be very pleased with their result.

Well done.

Festival of the Shoe (School Cross Country Carnival)

On Thursday the 9th of May Stromlo will host the Festival of the Shoe (formally known as the Cross Country Carnival). This year it will be a whole school event, meeting in the morning at school then catching an Action bus to and from Stromlo Forest Park.

There will be a variety of activities taking place including cross country runs, staff vs students, house competitions and novelty events. Students are encouraged to wear their house colours and get involved in all activities. As it is a normal school day, students are expected to attend and no alternate program will be offered.

To cover the cost of bus and venue hire, there is a $7 fee for this excursion. Notes will be coming home on Monday the 29th of April outlining all details. Please have notes and payment in by Friday the 3rd of May. Look out for this note in your child’s bag next term.

Term 1 Progress Reports

Dear Families,

The teachers at Stromlo High have just completed progress reports for all students in their classes.  The reports will be posted home on Wednesday of this week.  Inside you will find information explaining how Parent Teacher Online (PTO) works.  This is the online booking system used for Parent Teacher Night in week 1 of next term. Also, you will find the progress report for your student in each of their classes. If the interview requested box is ticked, then please use the PTO details to book in a time to speak with the teacher involved.

Please contact the school if you are unable to make a booking using the PTO system for any reason.

%d bloggers like this: