This is the last newsletter article that I write for 2020. A year like no other. Wow, what a year no wonder we are all so tired!
Writing this gives me an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful events that have occurred at HHA and the not so wonderful, the mask wearing, the hand sanitizer and the on line and remote learning. It also allows me to celebrate, because we did it! We did it with collaboration, caring and we were successful – all of us. Well done!
We are particularly proud of our graduating students, we have a number of students leaving us to move to further education and employment. We are excited for what the world has ahead for these young people.
We also have another group of students who have worked hard to complete their VCAL level. They will transition to either Intermediate or Senior VCAL in 2021. Well done, it is not easy to complete applied learning outcomes remotely, but you have!
I am so thankful for the hard work of our staff who have allowed us as a community to work toward the continual improvement of HHA and have been instrumental in the outcomes and successful pathways for our students.
We tell our students to aim high, think big and we do hold high expectations of them, they can and will achieve great things in their lives.
It would be impossible for me in this article to tell you about all of the wonderful things that have been achieved at HHA this year but I am confident that you will have seen over the year that at The Hester Hornbroook Academy we put our students at the heart of what we do. We do this through fostering personalised growth and always working to create ways to enhance student wellbeing and learning. We are proactive, responsive and collaborative. We seek to inspire a passion for learning and achievement.
I take this opportunity to thank all who have contributed to our School community;
Our mission at HHA is to provide an innovative, inclusive and engaging educational experience that will Engage, Equip and Empower our young people. To our students never give up, we won’t give up on you either. Students, I ask of you, commit to learning, the most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put in it. Try harder every day to achieve greatness and be the best that you can be. We are here beside you all the way.
Finally, I take this opportunity to extend to all members of our school community my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a thoroughly relaxing, refreshing and safe holiday.
Principal-The Hester Hornbrook Academy
Joseph Phan has been a student of Hester Hornbrook Academy since 2018. In that time, Joseph has successfully completed his Intermediate VCAL and completed a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.
For this act of service, Joseph has been awarded a prestige award of a Bronze Commendation in recognition of his commitment made, supporting St John Ambulance Victoria in its response to the COVID- 19 Pandemic. This award is only given to those who make a significant contribution to the St John Ambulance Australia. Joseph will formally receive his award on Saturday 5th December via a virtual presentation. The Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, the Lord Prior, Professor Mark Compton, the Chancellor Cameron Oxley and the Chair, Virginial Bourke will be the ones presenting the awards on this special occasion.
A message from Joseph:
I joined St John after seeing them at a local festival when I was young; and always admired what they contributed to the community. I decided to join the organisation because I wanted exposure to the health field. This is a passion of mine ever since I was small. I have always considered paramedicine; however, I have chosen nursing after being inspired by the people around me. I would encourage other young people who have an interest in health to become a volunteer as the opportunities provided in experience and exposure you can’t get from anywhere else. It has enabled me to feel more confident, gain skills and practice that I can take with me in my future studies and career.
Joseph is now becoming an Alumni of Hester Hornbrook Academy and has applied to start a Diploma of Nursing in 2021.
The staff of Hester Hornbrook Academy are extremely proud of Joseph’s achievements within his VCAL and his volunteer work. Joseph has gained a lot of confidence from being at Hester Hornbrook Academy and we are keen to follow his progress into his new career.
Hester Hornbrook Academy in 2020 has been through an extremely different year that could never have been predicted. As per normal with HHA, our main focus was on our community as a whole especially the wellbeing and learning outcomes for our young people. The pandemic and school shut down period was no exception to this.
To ensure our students had the possibility to continue with their education and connect to their wellbeing supports, school peers and community, HHA provided each student that required the assistance with an HHA laptop, internet dongle or phone data.
During both shut down periods, we as a school designed a teaching/learning program and wellbeing support systems that were as normal to our every day school program as possible. Each morning we met within our class communities to have a time to connect together and undertake learning for an hour. For the remainder of the day, HHA offered our young people learning and wellbeing support through three types of Focus Sessions. These included an education, wellbeing or education support officer (ESO) focus session.
The Education Focus Sessions offered 1:1 support with the teacher and the student to assist with explicit teaching of VCAL outcome learning tasks, to answer questions from the student regarding learning tasks and to create plans with the student to ensure continued learning trajectory towards their VCAL certificate progress.
The Focus Sessions with the students Education Support officer were offered to assist with specific Literacy and Numeracy needs of the students and to continue their growing strengths in these areas.
The Wellbeing Focus Sessions offered 1:1 time with the student and the youth worker. These sessions assisted with providing individualised interventions such as; supporting mental health needs, assisting students in need of housing support and providing resources such as material and food aid when required. The wellbeing focus-sessions also aimed to promote connectivity to HHA to encourage attendance.
Each student also received a remote learning timetable. This was aimed to assist with our young people’s sense of routine and predictability, to assist with students remembering when their wellbeing, education or ESO focus session were throughout the week and to instil a sense of independent accountability for students to ‘own’ their learning program during the school shut down period.
HHA also offered our students, online health and fitness-based workshops each week throughout remote learning. These sessions included an online workout session with an AFLW player, to ensure our students had access to fitness and movement whilst in lockdown. Additionally, we offered a HHA ‘cookalong’ dinner that provided students with budget style meals they could cook for their significant others or family facilitated by our HEAT educator.
HHA undertook an RUOK themed school day, to highlight how important it is to create a dedicated space to safely discuss and to meaningfully connect with people around them and to start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling. We also offered our careers and wellbeing curriculum.
We as a school, would like to recognise ALL our students who in a time of a global pandemic were able to adapt to the online learning environment and still engage with their wellbeing supports and HHA community. It is an amazing achievement by all to display the commitment to their educational and wellbeing goals and their resilience during these challenging times.We recognise the sustained efforts of our graduating students and the determination and accountability these students showed to their VCAL and VET progress over the course of 2020.