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Dear GSSC families,
Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas holiday period and managed some time off to relax and spend with family. I was fortunate to be able to take some time out to spend on the NSW coast with family and during this school holiday break, I have taken the opportunity to reflect on our first year at our Hawdon Street campus and what we hope to achieve in 2023.

During our second year at the new GSSC, our aim is to strengthen our partnership with families and community to further support our young people to learn and succeed. We know that our parents and guardians are our student’s first teachers and that it is our efforts combined that make us greater together. These partnerships support our notion to build a “team around the learner” which incorporates our teaching and education support staff, our wellbeing team, Multicultural Liaison Officers, Ngarri Ngarri team, Careers staff and our many external allied health and education agencies that work within the school to provide additional support.
Our House and Neighbourhood design is also key to supporting our students, particularly on a more personal level as this structure is set up to create a ‘small school feel’ within the College. Throughout the school year, our Neighbourhood Principals, Sub-school and House Leaders and Neighbourhood Assistants will get to know your children well and will be your first port of call should you need.

An exciting change this year will also be our shift to ‘vertical Home Groups.’ This will see students from all year levels in a Home Group at the beginning of each day from 8.55am to 9.05am. These sessions will provide important, pastoral care and will enable students to build mutually beneficial relationships with Home Group teachers and fellow students from across all year levels. Through this model, we hope to provide a sense of greater care and belonging.

Our four school values of respect, responsibility, aspiration and integrity will remain the foundation on which we work together to build a positive culture and inclusive learning community. The focus in Term 1 will be on aspiration and responsibility. This will also form the basis of our PAC Cup – PAC standing for Positive Acknowledgement Chronicles. For students displaying our values of aspiration and responsibility a positive chronicle will be noted via Compass and at the end of the five-week Cup the House with the highest number of positive chronicles will be awarded. It is always a bit of fun and healthy competition to see students working towards a common goal and of course a well-earned prize.

During our final week of holidays, I thought it was timely to touch base about the 2023 school year and arrangements for our first days back.

GSSC office
The main office and phones lines will open from Monday, 23 January. You can phone us on (03) 5891 2000. Please note the office will be closed on the public holiday on Thursday, 26 January and on Friday, 27 January as all staff take part in training. Normal office operations will resume from Monday, 30 January.
Start dates
Years 7, 11 and 12 will start back on Monday 30 January.
All students will be back on site on Tuesday 31 January.
Meeting areas
Students will meet in the following areas on their first days:
Year 7, 8, 9 and 10: Neighbourhood Bleachers
Years 11 and 12: Home Group rooms
Bell times
The school day begins each day at 8.55am with Home Group. Music will play for five minutes before the bell at the beginning of school and at the end of recess and lunch to remind students to make their way to class.
Recess – 10.59am
Lunchtime – 1.33pm
End of the day – 3.10pm
Recess and lunchtime will be 40 minutes each, while sessions will be 57 minutes.
Being on time to Home Group and attending every day counts.
We all want our students to get a great education and coming to school every day is the only way to achieve that. When a student starts missing days, they can become disconnected from their friends and teachers and start falling behind in their learning. Every day at school is an important day.
Please phone the main office to notify us if your child will be absent. For future or planned absences, please notify your child’s Home Group Teacher.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, please know that we are here to help. Reach out to see how we can work together with you to address any issues.
Important reminders
I would ask that you assist us by talking to your child/ren about the following:
• Wearing the full school uniform with pride: See attached photos for the correct wearing of the uniform.
• Sun smart: During Terms 1 and 4 students are required to wear a broad-brimmed hat when outside. We are pleased to let you know that new shade sails have been erected in alcove areas of two Neighbourhoods and we are working with the Victorian Schools Building Authority to have additional structures built to cover the north-end basketball courts and parts of the main courtyard.
• Coming to school and each lesson prepared: Bring your planner, laptop and materials needed.
Remember we are a TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More. I look forward to hitting the ground running in 2023 and working with our GSSC families and students to build a brighter future.

Yours sincerely
Barbara O’Brien
Executive Principal