Term 4 Newsletter, 2023
The commencement of this term marked a busy period at our school, following a restful holiday break for me. My travels to Norway, Hungary, and the UK reconnected me with family and friends, making it a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation. Meanwhile, the school was very well managed by Mrs Broxton and Mr Wilson, to whom immense gratitude is owed for maintaining a productive and positive atmosphere in my absence. Kudos are also due to Mr Redknap, Mrs Nileshwar, and all those who contributed to filling vital roles during this period.
Some of our Term 4 highlights were as follows:
Preparations for the departure of our graduating cohort, orientation sessions for incoming primary students in 2024, finalizing staff allocations within our Centre and (for Options subjects) Warwick SHS, and compiling end-of-year reports have kept everyone fully engaged, leading to an inevitable sense of fatigue by the end of term. However, staff are still smiling and that is always a good sign!
This term commenced with a School Development Day focusing on "Trauma" professional learning. This dedicated day was well-received by the staff, reaffirming that our current practices align with established "good practice" in this domain and giving some excellent suggestions for improvements.
We welcomed former students back for our annual reunion and had an encouraging turnout once again. Engaging with past students, learning about their lives and their achievements, is a vital and delightful part of our school community mindset.
The Bush Rangers orchestrated an engaging Animal Focus Day, centred on Flora and Fauna. Students were thrilled with the animals that were brought in and really enjoyed the day.
Multiple sessions introduced the 2024 Year 7 students to the school environment, staff, and their future peers. Culminating in a successful parents' afternoon tea, these sessions facilitated connections between the new students and their peers – and school staff. They were a lovely group (14 of them) and we look forward to having them as part of our school next year.
We celebrated our teachers on Teacher Appreciation Day with small gifts and individual posters featuring positive comments from colleagues and students. We have an excellent staff and our teachers are amazing – so it was lovely to be able to tell them that!
We are finding that we have more opportunities nowadays to access Career Tasters for our Year 9 & 10 students and this term they have experienced: Animation & Game Art, Furniture Polishing, Foodbank initiatives, Pinhole Photography, Boom Radio Takeover, and Barbers Shop experiences. It is a great way for students to find out what they want – and don’t want – to do in the future.
We had our whole Centre Excursion to Whiteman Park and Caversham Wildlife Centre where students had the opportunity to go into the wildlife park to see the animals and/or play some cricket and dodgeball out in Whiteman Park. The looks of sheer enjoyment and the really positive social interactions between students was heart-warming. Almost all of the staff attended too – including our front office staff - and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the students in an informal setting where their smiles and laughter were the order of the day!
We were notified recently that one of our students has been offered a position as a WA Student Councillor for 2024/5. This is the second time that one of our students has been a part of this and we are thrilled!
Our annual Enterprise Market was held and almost $4000 was raised. The goods are of a really high quality and students are very proud of what they make. Funds go back into their budget to purchase materials and equipment for the following year.
A representative from the Variety Club visited the school recently to collect 25 vouchers of $20 each for teenagers at their Christmas party. We donated 18 vouchers last year and so they were delighted that we had managed to increase that to 25 this year.
Our Leavers’ Breakfast was a really enjoyable event and students returned to school to present their Vision Boards to their peers. Our End of Year Assembly, where we celebrated the Leavers and other accomplishments from 2023, was a lovely evening and we were entertained by the newly formed West Coast Tappers, coached by our MCS, Claire Hayhoe.
We moved to our new classes in Week 10 to allow students to settle in and reduce anxiety over the holiday break. We enjoyed a Webex with our Japanese sister school and students from each school answered questions posed by the other school. It was lovely! Students and staff also attended a "You Can Do It" Assembly on 13th December, where merit certificates were handed out.
The last day of 2023 for students will be Thursday 14th December and for teachers will be Friday 15th December.
Term 1 2024 for students will begin on Wednesday 31st Jan.
Have a wonderful, relaxing holiday break and see you next year!
Animal Focus day
On Tuesday, 17th October, West Coast SESC hosted a diverse array of fascinating animals on our school grounds. The line-up included snakes, a blue-tongue lizard, a skink, a tarantula, an eagle, a hawk, a tawny frogmouth, and a snowy owl. Additionally, there were various farm animals such as goats, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, chicks, and ducklings.
A wide range of animals graced the school as part of our Bush Rangers (Animal-Fauna Focus) Day. All students were thoroughly engaged during the presentations by Cuddly Animal Farm, Birds of Prey, and Critters Up Close. They relished the hands-on learning experience and gained insights into the specific needs of each animal, their habitats, and any natural predators they may encounter in the wild.
Mrs Donna Cleary
Bush Rangers Instructor
Teacher Appreciation day
In week 3, West Coast SESC honoured our teachers for Teachers Appreciation Day. This day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the teachers who are making, or have made, a significant impact on our students' lives. It serves as a wonderful occasion to express gratitude.
Teachers Appreciation Day allows us to say a heartfelt "thank you" for the remarkable contributions educators make to our community. We recognise the passion that teachers bring to their profession and acknowledge how teaching extends beyond the confines of the classroom, fostering connections through flexible learning approaches.
Mrs Rebecca Wenn
What a busy and productive year we have had in Enterprise! Our students have worked hard all year to produce the wonderful items that we had for sale in our annual market.
Students learnt and practiced many skills throughout the year from cardmaking, heat packs, simple jewellery, paint pouring, mosaicing to dog chews and many other items.
We hope our students have enjoyed the year and gained some valuable skills along the way. Thanks to all students for their persistence and hard work!
Mrs Gaye Yanev and Mrs Sue Kelly
Education Assistants - Enterprise
Term 4: Career Tasters
Over Term 3 and 4 some of our year 9 and 10 students have had the opportunity to attend a selection of Career tasters. This gave them the chance to look at different career pathways and what is available during and after school. The students got to be hands on in a real world TAFE environment.
The Career Tasters included:
- Discovering IT and an introduction to the Autism Academy
- Animation and Game Art
- Furniture Restoration
- Boom Radio Takeover
- Barbers shop
- Pinhole Photography
The feedback has been very positive from all students, with most of the students saying how much they enjoyed the Tasters they attended, and some even discussing a future career in the field they participated in.
The staff that attended also praised the delivery of each Career taster and gave positive feedback on all.
Mrs Karen Spencer
School Development Day: Trauma informed practice
Each year the staff of WCSESC undertake a variety of training to upskill on the latest innovations in education, safety, and student wellbeing. The beginning of Term Four saw the students having the first Monday off and the staff heading in for a Professional Learning Day. On this occasion, staff were split into two groups; one completing training in Team Teach with the emphasis being on student regulation and de-escalation and the other group completing training on Trauma Informed Practice presented by the Road Safety and Drug and Education Branch of Statewide Services. Both courses proved hugely popular with staff, and each group was able to take away some key learnings and strategies to further support the students at West Coast SESC.
Mrs Kerry McLaren
You Can Do It! assembly
On Wednesday in Week 10, students from Area B, E, F and G (2023 classes) hosted the end of year, You Can Do It assembly.
This term in You Can Do It, we have been working to overcome our blocker thinking. Blocker thinking stops us from achieving our goals by making us focus only on the negative thoughts. When we challenge our negative thought with a positive thought, we are more likely to be successful. Samson, Lucas and Eryn shared their personal stories about how they overcame their blocker thinking, enabling him to become successful in their various endeavours.
We enjoyed a lovely performance from the West Coast tappers and some of the girls from area F and G signed along using Auslan, to a Daft Punk song called "Harder, better, faster, stronger", a song that was well suited to our YCDI focus this term. Thanks to our students who took part in our assembly. It was great to see your confidence shine through with your public speaking skills.
Congratulations to the certificate award winners and the five winners who won a voucher. The staff and student tappers were also presented with a trophy from Miss Claire.
Thanks also to Henry and Tina who photographed the event, Matthew Zscherpel who assisted with the technology, Mr Koppl and Mr R who jumped in to offer assistance where needed and Rebecca Wenn for assisting with the merit certificates. Thanks to Miss Claire for your work with the West Coast tappers and to Mrs Clarke, who presented the awards.
Christine Abbott (area F), Tara Murphy (area G), Amanda Letizia (area E) and Julie Day (area B)
Mrs Christine Abbott
Area F Teacher
Area F - term 4 update
This term has gone by so quick! I can’t believe it has almost come to the end of another awesome year! So much has happened and a few highlights are detailed below.
In Chemical Sciences this term, we have been exploring changes that can occur to materials through processes such as mixing, heating or freezing. Some highlights included creating cool patterns by adding water to a plate full of skittles (it turns out that the coloured ink is soluble and the result was impressive!). We also explored chemical reactions by mixing mentos and coke together to make an impressive eruption. We even made our own lava lamp using vinegar, oil, food colouring and bi-carb soda in a jar!
Our year 9 and 10 students attended several Career Taster Courses this term, including a Barbers Shop, pinhole photography and animation and game art course. The students who attended these courses enjoyed a taste of what it might be like to study different courses at TAFE and enjoyed the practical experiences they took part in.
Two of our year 10 students completed their ASDAN Transition Challenge portfolios this year. Jayce and Braydon’s were externally moderated in November and were successful in this process. Congratulations to both students, for all of the hard work you put in over the course of the year. A special thanks to the area F staff for all of the hard work you have put in to get these finalised in time for the submission date. Our year 9 students who started this two year program in 2023 will continue working on their portfolios next year.
Jayce and Braydon have also had the opportunity attend Landsdale Farm for WPL for several days this term. Braydon has been working there in a waste management capacity and Jayce has been undertaking various tasks around the farm with the other students. Both have reportedly been doing an amazing job and Jayce even won the student of the day award one day for all of his hard work on his first day of placement. Well done to both boys.
Lucas is to be commended for his successful application and acceptance in to the Year 10 Student Councillor Program in 2024. Lucas submitted a video application, introducing himself and explaining why he wants to be a Student Councillor and what issues he will advocate for, as well as what he will be able to bring to this program. 60 submissions were received form students all over the network, from both Education Support and Mainstream schools. Lucas was shortlisted with 29 other students and participated in a video interview, collaborating with three other students and discussing various school-based issues via Webex. Lucas was successful in this process and will be engaged in this program in 2024. Lucas, we are all so proud of your achievements! Congratulations!
Area F students and staff who attended the whole school excursion in Week 6 had a great day exploring various animal enclosures at the Caversham Wildlife Park.
It has been a pleasure teaching our area F students this year. I wish them all the best for their new classes in 2024.
Mrs Christine Abbott
Teacher Area F
What a year Area K has had! Last week we brainstormed everything we could remember we have done and filled up the entire whiteboard! It’s been amazing watching our Class of Year 7’s grow and mature over the year as they have navigated high school. We’ve done a lot of work, had a lot of laughs and made some new friends along the way!
Here are some of the students favourite 2023 moments.
Erica Waldock, Area K teacher
We went to camp in Term 2, The best thing I did was the flying fox. The commando course was fun. We jumped on the bunkbeds.
I went to the Basketball Carnival and played Basketball with my team. I scored 7 goals in one game! At the end we were given a Wildcats Jersey. It was great.
This year in term 2, Area K went to Swan Valley Adventure Centre for camp. We did a lot of things like the flying fox, a maze, commando course, see-saw, recess and lunch. I had a great time!
Mum dropped me at WCSESC for transition. We were with students from different schools. Where I met Tyson, Lucas, Benji, Ronin and Wyatt. In term 2, the year 7’s and 8’s went to camp. First, we arrived at school and a few minutes later the bus came and took us to the Swan Valley. Some of the activities were the commando course, high ropes and the minefield. We also went on the giant see-saw and did archery. My favourite was the flying fox! We had dinner there and slept the night. I really had a good time there and was sad to leave.
In Term 1, we did swimming lessons in Balga with half of the school. I felt happy and excited because I was looking forward to swimming in a pool. I learnt to do freestyle swimming. I also swam to the deep at the end of the pool. They also have a whirlpool in a pool. There was a cold and warm pool.
In term 2, we came to the Bush Ranger camp. I went on the zipline. There was archery and the commando course. I went through the spider web, and we played minefield as a team. We had nachos and burgers for lunch at the cafeteria.
In Term 3 we went to Yanchep National Park for an excursion. We saw Koalas in trees. We went with Miss Bella. We took lots of photos at the park. We had a walk around the park and had lunch. We saw many birds in the park. We learnt about Aboriginal Studies.
In Term 4, we had Swan Valley Cuddly Animal farm, Birds of Prey and The Critters came to school for the Animal focus Day while I was away on holidays!
I liked coming to school in Pyjamas for the day. It was fun! A few of the kids had the same pyjamas as me.
I liked the reptiles at Caversham. The reptiles had scales and were cool. I saw a monitor lizard. Do you know that monitor lizards make great pets? They can climb up your legs up onto your shoulder.
On the first day of school, I was nervous inside. Two people talked to me, and we became friends. Those two people were Alex and Ronin.
In Term 2 we had swimming lessons. My favourite part was swimming in the water. It was so good and fun.
It was a nice trip to the camp; I liked the Commando course. I also really enjoyed sleeping in the dorm with all of my friends. I felt ok at the camp.
One day there was Pyjama Day at school. The mainstream did it too. The money went to donations to help kids and animals. Nice people paid more than $1 to wear Pyjamas to school. Pyjama day was so much fun-you didn’t need to get changed into your school uniform and not even get out of your uniform! It was also a time to get to look at what your classmates wear to bed. No everyone was in their pyjamas.
It's so lovely that there are class rules. If there were no rules, then everyone would misbehave. The twelve rules we made up are: put your hand up, respect others, no running in the classroom, follow all reasonable instructions, stay in your seat, don’t touch others things, take deep breaths, no gum, use kind words, no kicking or hitting others, don’t talk over people and use your manners.
I enjoyed the Swan Valley excursion because of the wonderful things, and I loved the walk. I enjoyed the swimming lessons because it feels like you are in space and its relaxing.
Work Skills room
This term has seen our students continue with pencils from ‘Give Write’. This has turned out to be a much bigger job than we originally thought and involves many steps, which we are currently refining.
Students have spent the last 7 weeks, measuring each pencil to make sure it is the recommended length, they then sorted them by brand/type and then moved on to colour. Pencils are then cleaned, sharpened, and bundled before being sent back to Give Write to be donated.
Back in Term 3 we created a “Skills I Need” List based on observations and feedback from staff attending Work Placement (WPL) with students. These skills include such things as being able to tie a knot, using a ruler and being able to measure and recognise money etc.
Each student attending Work Skills have been given the opportunity to be checked on these skills. This will allow us to go into next year having an understanding on certain skills each student will need to focus on to develop their skills.
Ms Karen Woods, Mrs Dionne Rowe, Mrs Jenny Hermens
Whole school excursion: Whiteman wildlife park
Following on from last year's trip to Perth Zoo, this year's whole school excursion took us to Whiteman Park and Caversham Wildlife Park. On Wednesday, the 15th of November, we departed from school just after the bell, boarding coaches to Whiteman Park where we set up under a couple of gazebos for a quick snack.
Students and staff were divided into two groups, with upper school students heading to Caversham Wildlife Park, while lower school students engaged in games like dodgeball on the large grassed area next to the gazebos and had the opportunity to tour Whiteman Park. After both groups reunited for lunch and replenished their water bottles with much-needed iced water, we switched, and lower school staff and students had the chance to explore the wildlife park.
Given the park's size, it would have been impossible to see all the animals in the limited time we had, so the students prioritised what they wanted to see and formed small groups to navigate their way around. Highlights of the park for many students included the walk-through kangaroo enclosure, the koalas, possums, wombats, and Tasmanian devils. The reptile house was another favourite.
The day passed quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to seek some welcome relief from the heat and board our air-conditioned coaches for the journey back to school. A big thank you must go out to Mrs Clarke and the Bushranger committee for organising such a fantastic excursion for this year. We are looking forward to seeing where we go next year!
Mr Chris Darling
Bush Ranger Instructor
Tap Dancing - recess club
This year we introduced tap dancing lessons as one of our recess and lunchtime clubs, which was available for all students to try.
Every week, the students enjoyed a 20-minute lesson learning various steps from heel closes to brush, brush downs. Each student tried their very best to perform the steps, regardless of their ability, with such beaming smiles on their faces. They were an absolute pleasure to teach.
When asked to perform at the End of Year of Assembly by Mrs Clarke they all said yes with great excitement. And what a show they put on for all the guests. A very proud moment!
Next year we plan to introduce tap shoes which I know the students are excited about!
Ms Claire Hayhoe
Tap Dancing Teacher
On Monday, November 27th, our 2023 leavers and staff shared an enjoyable breakfast at the Purple Goat Café, located at Hillarys Boat Harbour. It was a beautiful way to bid farewell to a wonderful group of students. The morning showcased the students' social skills, impeccable table manners, and etiquette.
This positive display is a testament to the students of West Coast SESC and the dedicated staff who adopt a holistic teaching approach, skill building in all aspects of life. The focus on independence, community participation, and communication skills was evident during the event.
As our 2023 Leavers embark on new journeys, we extend our heartfelt wishes to them and their families for a bright future.
Farewell to our Leavers of 2023!
Mrs Rebecca Wenn
The End of Year Assembly at West Coast SESC was held on November 28th, 2023, providing parents and guardians with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the students throughout the year. The evening included the presentation of student merit certificates, photography awards, and various special recognitions.
The assembly also served as a farewell to our Leavers, with 13 students completing their schooling this year. Each departing student was acknowledged for their active participation in all aspects of school life. Teachers spoke about each Leaver with heartfelt words, and students were presented with a gift bag and their portfolio.
The event was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was delightful to share this special night with attending parents, carers, and their families. Congratulations are extended to all deserving award recipients. To our leaving students, we wish each of them the very best for their future endeavours, knowing that they have given their all during their years at the school. Fond memories of their time with us will be cherished for years to come.
Mrs Rebecca Wenn
This term, we initiated a guitar program for our Year 7 and 8 students, introducing them to the world of music through weekly, personalised lessons that delve into various guitar and musical concepts.
The students have exhibited commendable progress throughout the term. Many have demonstrated an enhanced ability to strum along to the beat of their favourite song, showcasing a steady rhythm. Additionally, students have showcased their determination by successfully identifying specific strings, mastering alternating strumming patterns, and acquiring proficiency in learning new chord combinations.
The overall progress in the students' musical skills has truly surpassed expectations. I look forward to continuing their musical journey as we move into 2024. Next year, the guitar program will be extended to Year 9 students, providing them with the opportunity to build musical foundation before becoming eligible to participate in the Music Rocks program from Year 10 onward.
Mr Oliver Snowdon
West Coast SESC hosted its annual student Reunion on Monday, October 16th, welcoming former students back to visit.
This event is a fantastic opportunity for past students to reconnect with peers and teachers. Seeing familiar faces and hearing about students' learning journeys is always wonderful. WCSESC provided afternoon tea, creating an atmosphere filled with laughter and joy as we shared in students' new adventures and reminisced about their time at school. It was heartening to learn about each student's positive contributions to their community through leisure, volunteering, or work.
We look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come, as it remains a special social event on the students' calendars.
Mrs Rebecca Wenn
Archaelogical Summit, 2023
We are incredibly proud of one of our classroom staff, Qusay Abdulkareem, who was invited to attend the global Archaeology Summit 2023 in September, to represent Australia as a speaker, as he has a PhD in Archaeology.
I was invited to represent Australia as a speaker for the AlUla World Archaeology Summit 2023, on September 13-15, at Maraya, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. After obtaining travel approval and the approval of my manager at West Coast Secondary Education Support Centre, I attended the conference – which was fully funded by the Saudi government.
I was very excited to be invited and the organizers of the global conference indicated in their invitation, “We are honoured to have you join us as a speaker at the World Archaeology Summit. As an accomplished and respected expert in your field, your experience and knowledge will help to shape the conversations and outcomes of the Summit”.
I feel very proud to be an Australian now and so I took with me the Australian flag and an indigenous symbol, which I showed at the conference! I also displayed them when I conducted a field survey of several archaeological sites – in conjunction with the Saudi team – with a view to participate in research in the future.
Sister school web chat: Fukuyama Kita Special Support School
On Monday the 11th of December, a representative from each class at WCSESC had the opportunity to participate in a web chat with our sister school, Fukuyama Kita Special Support School in Hiroshima, Japan.
Both groups of students introduced themselves and asked and answered a selection of questions to get to know each other.
Our sister school students then presented a very special performance for us and played us a Christmas Carol called Silent Night, using musical hand bells.
Both groups of students were enthusiastically talking to each other and were applauding each other.
This is the message that I received from our sister school about this experience:
“Thank you for the web chat! Our students were looking forward to the day. Because of your warmful clap and reactions, our students got relieved I think. The students said they had fun. Again, thank you for wonderful time. So, I would be happy if we could keep in touch and continue next year. Finally, we are preparing to send presents to your school. So please look forward to receiving it. It is scheduled to arrive in March.”
We look forward to talking to them again next year.
Mrs Christine Abbott
Cultural Studies Teacher