- Principal's message
- Being COVID-SAFE at Para Hills High School
- Student Leadership turn their focus to House spirit
- Year 10 students kickstart their construction pathways!
- PHHS student selected for SACE Art Show
- New faces in STEM
- Languages at PHHS
- SAASTA launches a new program
- Star students shine during Community Access
- Year 9 class explores Tea Tree Plaza
- Join our reading competition!
- Nominations for the PHHS Governing Council are now open
- Year 8 and 10 immunisations
- Parking Around Schools
2021 has truly started and our staff and students are already coming to the end of their first assessment period.
Last year was jam packed with good news: it was fantastic to receive the results of our Year 12s: Zaky Afzali as Dux in 2020. Molina Lohia achieved the highest grade in a Stage 2 subject in 2020 when she was only in Year 11! Needless to say, the race for DUX in 2021 is on, with a number of contenders in the running. Congratulations to all of our SACE students: 96% completed SACE and more than half our students' grades were A and B.
Towards the end of the year a number of improvement works were started at the school: the Gym was gutted inside almost completely and it will reopen this month, with a full size basketball court, improved specialised play surfaces and a whole new set of fixtures and lights.
The Performing Arts Centre is truly underway: the precast concrete shell is now in place, so a quick walk past will give you an idea of the size of our new specialist area. Seating over 200 in the auditorium, the Performing Arts Centre will include 4 distinct teaching areas, with flexible seating, moveable walls and modern versatile spaces that can be exhibition spaces, classrooms or performance spaces. We look forward to the completion of the Centre around September 2021, ready for the arrival of a double cohort of students in 2022.
It has been pleasing to welcome an increasing number of students at the school and even more so to see how our students represent the school with pride in the community. This is reflected in greater pride in the school uniform, maintaining a clean and tidy environment around the school and valuing the improvements made to the facilities during the holidays. I thank you all, students and parents alike, for your continuous support of our school - it is a bit of a hidden gem, and the positive reputation is spreading fast.
Our latest round of parental feedback in 2020 yielded great support for our work at the school. Thank you to the 146 parents who responded to our survey in 2020. We are proud of your very high endorsement of the school - we could not have done it without you and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the years to come. We urge you to access Daymap and Schoolzine and contact us with any concerns or feedback.
A great many things are happening at PHHS in an effort to ensure it is the best possible school and an engaging, inviting space for your young people. I will highlight that for us to really be able to help, our students need to be in school at least 95% of the time. That means that they should have less than 2 days off in a year. This will help them set up good habits for life, but also make sure they do not miss out on learning and fall behind. A day here and there add up - for example, missing out just 10 days a year for 3 years can put students almost a grade behind what they should have achieved. If your young person experiences difficulties in attending school regularly, please contact us. We may be able to help. We will be in touch daily via text and phone calls, but would much rather see you at school and work together to overcome any difficulties.
COVID-SAFE check-in and sanitiser stations are provided at each PHHS entry point for your convenience.
Our student leaders have begun meeting this term and are all excited to the impact they make on our school. The student leaders are passionate about bringing a positive culture and want to develop the school across a range of areas.
For this term, student leaders have been focused on raising House Spirit. We have 3 houses at our school - Tarnta, Nakudla and Wirltu - and every Friday the student leaders have been running their house meetings as we prepare for Sports Day in Week 6. The leaders have been doing an amazing job at relaying information to the students, practicing their House chants and calling for event nominations. Student leaders played big role on Sports day including supporting the fundraising initiatives and leading their houses to victory through house spirit and event participation.
In our recent student leadership meetings, we have also started to incorporate a skill development session, run by our onsite youth worker Nick. At the last meeting, students looked at how they can achieve so much more when they work together. Our students have lots of brilliant ideas, so we need to ensure we are all working together and are stepping forward to make a big impact on the school. These sessions will provide the students with valuable tools and strategies as we aim to develop their leadership skills for their future.
This year, Para Hills High School is doing learning a little different!
A group of year 10 students are learning a range of construction skills including painting, landscaping, rendering, paving and general construction.
For 2 days a week the group apply theoretical knowledge to practical applications.
So far this term, the students have started with sprucing up some buildings with a fresh coat of paint. Later in the year we hope to see them building some play spaces for the year 7s in 2022.
Along the way, each student is gaining SACE credits in Numeracy, Literacy and community Learning while gaining a Certificate II in Construction.
Both staff and students are very excited to see the transformations that will take place around our school!
Head of Senior School/ VET
It is with great excitement that Brandon Marx, a Year 12 Design student at PHHS from 2020, has had his work selected for the 2021 SACE Art Show!
The SACE Art Show is an annual event featuring Art and Design work created by Year 12 students from across South Australia. Student work is selected by a panel of judges to represent the most outstanding work produced by students in the previous year. The works are presented at the Light Square Gallery which is visited by thousands!
Brandon created a series of advertisements (billboard, bus stop poster and editorial design) to represent some of the environmental issues we are experiencing globally. He spent hours editing and compositing images together, to create his campaign. Congratulations Brandon!
The 2021 Year 12 Art and Design students will attend the exhibition later this term. The exhibition is also open to the public, with bookings encouraged due to a limit on visitors in the gallery.
Visual Arts Teacher
Introducing the 2021 Science and Maths Team
- Carolyn Naumann – Science/Maths Coordinator, Chemistry, Nutrition, Science
- Matt Robinson –Maths Methods, Specialist Maths, Physics
- Keagan English – General Maths
- Tina Pappas – Maths
- Joh Roubanis – Psychology, Science
- Daniel McLoughlin – STEM, Biology, Science
- Terry Harper – Maths, Science
- Michelle Mouvet – Science, Maths
If you have any questions or concerns related to your child’s progress in Science or Maths please email us or ring the school. All the Science/Maths Team regularly support students in homework club after school, so encourage your young person to stay for extra help if they are having any difficulties with their work.
Science classes tackle the big questions
Our students have been very busy in science so far this term.
Our year 8 students have settled in well and are starting to develop their laboratory skills. After an initial focus on safety, year 8 classes are now learning how to design their own experiments, record results and analyse data.
The year 9 classes have started their year with a STEM challenge looking at building paper planes. After initial testing they have identified a variable to change with the goal of improving the flight distance. During the second half of the term they will be focusing on the Chemical Sciences Strand of the Australian Curriculum.
Our year 10 students have also started their year studying the Chemical Science strand with a focus on understanding and using the periodic table to predict the properties of elements. Their first investigation has allowed them to measure the amount of oxygen in the air by allowing steel wool to rust in a closed system.
The Year 11 chemistry class have just completed their deconstruction of the question “What is the best material for a Coffee Cup?” This involved them brainstorming all the features of a cup used to hold hot drinks and then choosing a variable to test. Currently, they are working on their reports.
The senior psychology classes have been investigating social loafing, which is the concept that people work more efficiently when working individually rather than when working in teams or in groups. On average, students made more paper planes in 3 minutes when working alone, compared to when working in teams.
In STEM news, look out for the start of our VEX Robotics club later this term! We purchased 12 VEX robotics kits late 2020 and integrated their use into a year 9 STEM task in term 4. This year we hope to get more students involved in robotics with the goal of entering a team into a VEX Robotics Tournament.
I look forward to sharing lots of photos of what is happening in and outside our classrooms in our next newsletter!
Coordinator Science & Maths
As the new year commences at Para Hills High School, so does another opportunity for students to extend their knowledge and understandings of different languages and culture!
It is proven that bilingualism correlates with increased cognitive development and abilities. Furthermore, learning a language is paramount in developing greater intercultural understanding.
Our year 8 classes have started the year by exploring their own intercultural identity. It has been interesting to note that as you learn about different language and cultural expressions, we tend to reflect on our own culture/identity and question why we do or think in a certain way. Intercultural identity incorporates such things as your nationality, ethnicity, your belief or religion, where you were born, where you live, where your parents were born, what language you speak, the sports you play and your school life. It is important to be aware of your intercultural self so you can become a better intercultural learner and interact well with other people. Learning another language enhances your intercultural communication skills and gives you many opportunities to observe, compare and reflect on language use to identify how cultural values and perspectives are embedded in language.
In 2021 we have our 3 year 8 classes studying Japanese and we have 1 year 9/10 composite class of continuers. This year we are also very excited to be offering Ngarrindjeri language classes to our Indigenous students that are part of SAASTA Connect.
In addition to this we are looking at launching a new subject to offer in future years at STAGE 1 level called Language and Culture in which students will conduct self-lead language acquisition in any language of their choice, and champion intercultural understanding and cultural inclusion.
To support your young people in developing their language skills please note the following tips and tricks:
This year we have begun running SAASTA Connect - a program for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 8 and 9. The program incorporates learning from a variety of curriculum areas and has a focus on Aboriginal history, culture and contemporary issues.
Within our weekly lessons, students have begun learning the Ngarrindjeri language which is the language group of many of our students. This opportunity to learn Ngarrindjeri allows them to play an important role in helping the endangered language to survive. It also creates an authentic opportunity for our students to better engage with their culture and community.
Go Foundation Scholarships
Congratulations to Jacob Sharrock, Deacon Teefy and Byron Bilney!
All three students have been granted scholarships from the Go Foundation which was established be Adam Goodes and Micky O’Loughlin to support Indigenous students in schools. They have been awarded scholarships for their commitment to learning and the roles they play in supporting both the school and wider community.
As part of Community Access this term, students in the Star Senior class are investigating workplaces and developing employment skills.
For the last few weeks, our students have been visiting different workplaces to request donations for the Vivo shop. Vivo is an online rewards-based program that promotes positive behaviour. Students earn points for positive behaviour, which they can then redeem against items in the shop.
Students have been practising their communication skills by approaching shop workers, introducing themselves and asking them to pass our donation request letter onto the store managers. Despite being nervous, all students spoke clearly and confidently, and have been excellent ambassadors for the school.
Kmart Tea Tree Plaza have kindly donated some gift cards and our next task will be to conduct a survey amongst the Unit students to see what items they would like stocked in the shop. We will then return to Kmart to purchase the items and work on the students' finance skills by requiring them to purchase items while staying within a set budget.
For the remainder of this term, we will be visiting different workplaces to gain experience and understand different employment options for a post-school transition.
Many thanks to Kmart Ingle Farm, Kaiser Craft Ingle Farm, Woolworths Para Hills, Kmart Tea Tree Plaza, Coles Tea Tree Plaza and The Body Shop Elizabeth for their very generous donations!
If you would like to support the school by providing donations, it would be much appreciated. Stocks are running low and we are always looking for donations!
Special Education Teacher
Every Thursday, the Star Middle class embarks on a local community excursion to learn to use public transport, safely explore the local community, experience hands-on learning and have fun!
In Week 3, the class caught a bus to Tea Tree Plaza. While there, students looked in a variety shops, found people who could help if they got lost, looked at a map at Big W and looked for various groceries at Woolworths.
Upcoming trips include a visit to Salisbury Library, Cobblers Creek and Para Hills Reserve (weather permitting).
Special Education Teacher
On 11 February, our year 9 class visited Tea Tree Plaza as part of their community access. Before setting off, the students researched the most suitable bus schedule and decided on how much time could they spend at the Plaza before returning to school before the end of the day. They then discussed about the different exciting things that can be done at the plaza and after a whole lot of ideas, few shops were selected.
The group left at 9:30am sharp on Thursday morning, walked to the bus stop and caught the 502 to Tea Tree Plaza. The bus journey was enjoyable, as we found another group from our school and we had some fun discussing different land marks and cars we were seeing on the way. As soon as we reached TTP, we had our recess and the kids had fun posing for some pictures.
We started exploring the Plaza from the students favourite shop - EB games. Their task was to find out EB stand for. Haydyn took the initiative and asked the salesperson and to our awe we found out it means Electronics Beauty. The students then explored Coles and Woolworths to compare pet food prices, brands and their health ratings. All the students have pets of their own and wanted to find out which is the most suitable brand for cats and dogs.
For lunch, the students feasted on pies, Subway, Indian food and Mexican food.
We then caught the bus back at 2:30pm with plenty of time for students to complete their reflections and wrap up a very enjoyable and fruitful day.
Special Education Teacher
Every month, Para Hills High School hosts a reading competition.
Starting on the 1st of every month, the competition is open to all students across any year level. Readers are assigned stars depending on what type of reading they complete, with bonus stars available for writing a 200-word review of one of the books.
Type of reading
Book for a young sibling
Magazine / newspaper
Novel or non-fiction (up to 200 pages)
Novel or non-fiction (over 200 pages)
Readers with the most stars will receive the following prizes:
- 1st prize- $100 gift voucher of your choice
- 2nd prize- $60 gift voucher of your choice
- 3rdprize- $40 gift voucher of your choice
For more information or to collect a reading log, go see Ms Mattiske in Block 10!
Having parent input into the operations of the school is very important to us.
We would like to officially invite parents of Para Hills High School students that want to be active in developing the school to nominate for a 2021 position on the Governing Council.
As a parent you have an important role in your child’s education. The Governing Council advises the principal on matters such as school programs, partnership opportunities, grounds and facilities and policies and procedures.
The Governing Council is made up of current students, parent and community representatives, the principal and teacher representatives. No special qualifications are needed and the most important thing is to have a keen interest in your child’s education, the school and be willing to invest into the future direction of Para Hills High.
We are looking to grow our governing council to play a more active role in school development and operations. We always encourage you to talk with your child about school and have regular communication with their teachers.
Para Hills High School operates within Department for Education Policies and Guidelines. Individual school policies are determined in collaboration with the Governing Council and then shared with parents.
Our next meeting which includes our AGM is in Week 9 (Wednesday 24 March) from 6pm - 8pm in the Resource Centre. Light supper is provided.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any queries about this or you would like to register your interest.