Flourishing Festival 2021
Our annual Flourishing Festival held in Term 1 showcased how Warnbro Community High School Education Support Centre is supporting students to flourish. Every day is an opportunity for our students to feel valued and be part of a strong and caring community. Parents and carers experienced a musical performance by “Music Rocks”, engaged with student enterprises, visited classrooms participating in learning activities and conversed with partners and external support agencies. Enjoy these highlights of our Flourishing Festival for 2021.
Your Local Communities Coordinator is just a phone call away.
They are friendly people who will make the time to get to know you, listen to what is important to you and help you to address challenges in your life. It is a free service by the Department of Communities.
If you live in Cooloongup, Hillman, Baldivis, Golden Bay or Shoalwater your Local Communities Coordinator might be able to help you…. see the link below for details:
Why inclusion is important for children with a disability
Recently, a cast of 21 teenagers performed a production called Experience Collider, involving circus and dance, at the State Theatre of WA.
Over 18 months of rehearsals, and between some deft and complex movements, sparks were flying between performers. Connections were being made.
It did not matter that some of the performers could not walk or talk.
In just 65 minutes every audience member, performer, teacher and parent saw for themselves that while the abilities of every person on stage were different, their place there was valuable.
“There were about 10 teenagers with high-support needs who developed extraordinary skills in their own right and they were able to blend their skills with those of typically developing children to create a production that was absolutely transformative to watch,” beams Dr Jenny Downs, an associate professor at Telethon Kids Institute which partnered with DADAA and Circus WA to produce the show.
“No child stood out as having a disability or not having a disability.
“It was an example of what an extraordinary mix of children can achieve when we back them and give them support and we were very powerfully convinced of the importance of participation with the typically developing population, even in complex tasks, because this showed the value in it for everybody.”
Importantly, this sentiment is now confirmed by science after WA researchers, for the first time, were able to prove there is a clear link between participation and a better quality of life for children with disabilities when they are given opportunities to be involved in their communities.
Scientists at Telethon Kids Institute examined 435 children with a range of disabilities including intellectual, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Rett syndrome.
They found that the children who participated more — so at least once a week rather than only a few times in a few months — had significantly higher quality of life scores.
And when children had meaningful involvement in life situations in their homes, schools and communities they had the chance to develop functional skills, independence, to connect with others and enjoy the activities.
While it may sound like common sense, Dr Downs points out that the power lies in being able to now quantify and measure the difference these kinds of interventions make.
“We wanted to better understand … whether simple interventions like community participation — something most people take for granted but which may be less readily available to children with disability — could make a difference to that child’s quality of life,” says Dr Downs of the research published in the Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology journal.
“Most children had participated in the community a few times over the past few months but very few children were doing weekly participation.
“More frequent participation was associated with higher quality of life overall, even for children with poorer functioning.”
She says all children need opportunities to overcome differences and find common ground and that part of a rich education is being exposed, and learning how, to deal with difference. Children also need to learn in environments which reflect the world at large.
“My ideal world is one where children with any sort of disability participate equally with anyone else in the population,” adds Dr Downs. “And, in our hearts as parents, we know our children need to connect with other activities that they enjoy and other children and other settings.
“Now we have the evidence to justify why we need more support workers embedded in some of our community organisations and for individual children.
“We can see the difference that makes to the child’s quality of life.”
New experiences – see Angelina grow & shine
Writer and researcher Katy Kell from Safety Bay, who has 18-year-old daughter Angelina with Down syndrome and autism, has seen how children with disabilities can shine in mainstream activities with the right support
We knew from very early on in the pregnancy that Angelina had Down syndrome but we knew we would not do anything. It’s not that we are religious, it was just the way we felt. This was the baby we made and this was the baby we wanted.
When Angelina was about three, it became clear something else was going on. She became very lost in her own little world and that was concerning because until then she had been quite chatty. We had all sorts of tests and when she was six she was officially diagnosed with autism so her disabilities are quite complex.
It means a bit more planning is required for us to give her opportunities to be included but it’s been worth it because of the ways Angelina always surprises us.
Whenever she participates in the mainstream community, she just blossoms. As a family sometimes we think we are a bit bonkers even considering doing some of the things we do with Angelina but they have only ever proven beneficial.
For example, last year she came with me to Kununurra for my work and we linked up with the Kimberley Toad Busters. I was not sure how Angelina would go with participating in a toad bust but she joined in with all the local Aboriginal kids and was the first one to catch a toad. It was amazing because picking up a slimy toad was not something I thought she would do given she is very sensory but she rose to the challenge. Had we not tried, we would not have known what she was capable of.
Just seeing Angelina run around in the dark with her torch and the other local kids was a wonderful experience. One of the boys showed her a freshwater crocodile he spotted at the lake and she went straight down to see it. Her confidence was just amazing to see and it comes from feeling included.
We do have to prepare her for different experience so we give her road maps of what is going to happen, when it will happen and what she can do to feel comfortable in situations.
This is what enables us to try new things with her — from art classes to hip-hop dance groups — and we are committed to doing it because of how enriching these experiences are for her.
Every parent wants the best for their child. Sometimes I am a nervous wreck about how things will work out because it can take time for her to settle into new things but we are consistently amazed by how well she copes and what she learns through joining in.
Enrol your child in VacSwim swimming lessons during the summer school holidays. They’re a great school holiday activity, and they help build your child’s confidence and skills in the water. Visit the website and enrol now! https://www.education.wa.edu.au/vacswim
Introduction to Communication
If your son or daughter has little or no verbal speech, this workshop will guide you through current thinking about how to best support them to communicate with others.
Areas to be covered in the workshop include:
- Why and how everyone can communicate, regardless of their disability
- Your loved one’s right to be heard, listened to and responded to by others
- Valuing all forms of communication, including those that are used instead of or as well as speech (alternative and augmentative communication – AAC)
- Supporting communication for interaction and relationships
- What it takes to learn to communicate in new ways (for example using a communication device)
- Practical things we can do to support our child or loved one with CCN learn to communicate in new ways
- What to look for when seeking therapists and other professionals to support you and your loved one on the journey to more successful communication
- Where to find further information and support to take the next step on your communication journey with your child or loved one with CCN
2020 Pricing for this 2 Hour (9:30am – 11:30am) training session: NDIS Funded: $123.52 (GST free), Additional family members $25.00 (inc GST)
If you do not have NDIS funding, please contact Teresa Pracilio on 9420 7230.
Location: West Perth
Date: 27 October 2020
Presenter: Laura Jones – Is a specialist adviser with the DDWA Advocacy team and lecturer to teachers and therapists for the Graduate Certificate in Education (Complex Communication Needs) at Edith Cowan University.
# At your NDIS Planning meeting quote the NDIS Price Guide “Training for Carers/Parents Support Item”
Ref No: 15_038_0117_1_3
Students from WCHS ESC are doing some great work at Chorus Rockingham and Kwinana, every Friday cleaning vehicles ready for when they transport people within the community. The staff at Chorus are very happy that their vehicles are nice and clean ready for the days work. Well done to the group of students from our Directions Class Year 13 program giving a helping hand for our local community.
One of our year 11 students has started his own business enterprise selling free range eggs from his family farm. He has 6 chickens and is selling a dozen eggs for $5. He has plans to use the money to buy more chickens, build a bigger enclosure and grow his business.
Muisc Rocks at Warnbro ESC
Without the usual end of term concert playing it safe due to COVID19 Music Rocks decided it would be really something to record their musicians.
Music Rocks and Warnbro ESC are so proud of our students and their music with so many challenges this term, in such unique circumstances. It has been a really big triumph!
Well done to some of our year 10 students on 100% attendance.
Media Art Class
Year 10 students have been working hard in their Media Arts class this term to complete a video project that involves choosing a topic, filming and editing the footage. The Year 10 girls chose to debate the topic of “Exercise vs Xbox” while the boys chose to produce a video depicting a lie detector test. Well done to the Year 10 students who are participating in this class and using some very complicated editing software.
The B.E.A.N Café
Belong Engage and Nourish
You may have seen in our Term 1 Newsletter that our school cafe has officially been named and branded!
The café was up and running on Wednesday the 20th of May for our staff to warm themselves up with a deliciously hot beverage.
Staff and students running the café have completed their COVID-19 Hygiene and Infection Control Training.
Fleur’s Channel 10 Debut!
On Thursday 30th April 2020, Channel 10 Perth aired an interview with one of our very own year 8 students.
They talked about what kind of impact The Starlight Foundation had on Fleur and her recovery.
The Starlight Foundation helps bring happiness to sick kids Australia-wide, and during the covid-19 pandemic, they’re needed it more than ever.
A Perth girl battling cancer is urging people to help a charity very close to her heart. The Starlight Foundation helps bring happiness to sick kids Australia-wide, and during the covid-19 pandemic, they're needed it more than ever. #10News
Posted by 10 News First Perth on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Yagan – UR Strong
In the Yagan Year 9 class we have integrated our URStrong Friendship skills and our PATHS learning into a numeracy lesson filled with maths & fun games to practice these skills. We arranged teams and allocated jobs to different team members while we practice some friendship skills such as positive encouragement, patiently waiting for turns and supporting each other even if we are not the winner of a game. This is a fun way to practice all these skills in a safe, fun way.
2020 Swimming Carnival
Students from both WCHS & WCHS ESC participated in the 2020 Swimming Carnival on Wednesday 26th February. Well done to all involved in a fantastic day of swimming!
Testing & training for the new Coffee Cart is underway! All students & staff are excited for this new enterprise to be up and running.
Stay tuned for the official naming and opening of the Coffee Cart at our Flourishing Festival in Week 10!
What a great start to 2020 for the Directions Class.
The year 13 boys started their Work Place Learning at Chorus’s large car depot detailing cars inside & out.
The large fleet of cars and busses are used to transport Community Members to and from much needed appointments.
Welcome Year 7’s!
The year 7’s have had a wonderful start to high school and the new school year.
Students have participated in activities to build a sense of belonging and collaboration within the classrooms and as a whole year 7 group.
Some of the highlights of the first week were starting new options classes such as PE and Food Technology and also having our photos taken for our brand new smart riders and library cards.
The year 7 students and teachers are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
Term 1 2020
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust
What a great start to the year we have had with two rich days of learning and opportunities to ‘sharpen our focus’ on our own and the school’s development.
Having ‘new eyes’ for how we can keep improving learning and progress for students is our ongoing commitment .
Staff engaged in Professional Learning related to Mathematics with Dr Paul Swan as well as social and emotional learning curriculum. Our teachers participated in a one day Visible learning workshop focussed on improving practice and empowering students to have ownership of their own learning and progress.
Visible Learning: When teachers see learning through the eyes of the student and students see themselves as their own teachers
Congratulations to our Principal Kim McCollum who won the WAESPAA School Leader of the year award and our staff member Jacqui Jones winning the Non Teaching Secondary Award. What an amazing achievement!
WCHS ESC Reunion
On Wednesday 27th November, Warnbro CHS ESC held a reunion for ex-students and staff to attend. The reunion was a massive success with over 30 students, from as far back as 2004, attending and sharing where they are up to in their lives. We heard stories of jobs and promotions, listened to recounts of travels all over the world, celebrated engagements, marriages and children, and reminisced about the best memories we shared together. Thank you to all the ex-students who came along.
Students Donate to Charity
On Monday 16th Sept, our wonderful student councillors presented the Salvation Army with food and clothing which had been kindly donated. This awesome gesture provided the councillors an opportunity to demonstrate character strengths of gratitude and kindness. Well done Student Councillors and our Youth Worker Amanda for organizing this charity collection.
Thanks to Woolworths Waikiki for their donation and Tamara for her generous time spent with the student councillors.
Camp Quality – Children’s Cancer Charity
On the 10th September, our students were fortunate to have Camp Quality perform an Education Program at our school. The performance was designed to help students understand what cancer is and how they can support someone dealing with it. The students thoroughly enjoyed the interactive experience and appreciated the opportunity to ask the puppeteers questions in regards to cancer. If you did not have an opportunity to donate to such a worthy cause below is a link to their website where you can donate any amount you choose.
Warnbro CHS ESC Exemplary Practice Showcase and Conference Presentation
WCHS ESC presented a workshop about leading a whole school approach to wellbeing at the West Australian Principals and Administrators Conference. We also took part in the Schools’ Showcase. The showcase was a chance to highlight our work and expertise in providing high quality educational programs for our students. We shared information on Literacy development, Transitional Planning, the Senior School BELIEVE program and Health and wellbeing . The response and feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive.
Distinguished Positive Psychologist Professor Martin Seligman, Founder of Positive Education
“Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment” Martin Seligman.
This week our School psychologist and Principal had the opportunity to attend an Education Department event to hear Martin Seligman speak, a world renowned Positive Psychologist and founder of Positive Education.
Professor Martin Seligman’s message reinforced the importance of schools supporting student wellbeing as well as academic development.
As a Positive Education school, we have developed a whole school social and emotional learning framework using a Positive Education Model, HAPEER. The HAPEER model is based on the premise that the key elements that enable an individual to flourish can be taught.
The aim of Positive Education is to promote flourishing lives that help facilitate both individual and organisational wellbeing.
The HAPEER Model aligns with the 6 wellbeing domains through which an individual can maximise their potential and flourish:
Senior School Mural
Artist Paul Deej worked with students early in the term and has created a vibrant mural in the undercover area of the Endeavour Building.
Congratulations! Warnbro Community High School Education Support Centre were recent winners of the School of The Year Award at WAESPAA Education Awards. This is a fantastic achievement and acknowledgement of the whole school community and the hard work and dedication of our staff to ensuring the very best programs and education possible for our students.