Information for New Parents

At Hillbrook there are many families at different stages of the journey; students in Year 7 and in other grades who are starting at a new school this year, parents doing their best to support new students and families who remember what it was like back in those early days of high school.

The move from primary to high school is a significant milestone for families and also a learning curve for students and parents as they navigate their way through unfamiliar routines.

To make starting out a little easier, here you will find some great tips and handy references whilst settling in, including a Featured Tip of the Week from Week 3 - Week 8.

We hope that during your time here you’ll find support and friendship within our community and that you’ll find opportunities to share ideas and make contributions of your own.

See below for upcoming new parent evening calendar events.

New Parent Information Evenings

september, 2017

No Events

A mum and son on the first day receiving information for new parents

Term One: Featured Tip of the Week

Week 3 Tip: Parent.Lounge

What it does. How to use it. When to check it.

Parent Lounge Image

What do I use Parent Lounge for?

Update your address & contact information

Accept your child’s attendance at school excursions

Pay school fees

Select parent/teacher interview times

Email your child’s class teachers

View and update medical information

Look up past semesters’ academic reports

View your child's daily timetable

How often should I check into Parent Lounge? Generally at least once a week. You will also receive an email alerting you when something important has been added that you are required to act upon. How do I check into Parent Lounge? A link to this portal can be found on the Hillbrook website (Parents Page). You will be provided with a user name and temporary default password just prior to Term 1 commencing. Once access has been granted, we encourage you to log in and make sure your contact details (including your personal email addresses) are current and correct.
Week 4 Tip: Online@Hillbrook

What is Online@Hillbrook?

This is a very important online student portal where new information is constantly uploaded. Teachers upload course materials and resources on to this site for students in every subject. Login with your child to see what they are currently studying and access subject task sheets and resources. For students, this is where they find:
  • Important daily notices (check each morning)
  • Daily lesson timetable and music timetable (check daily/weekly)
  • General year level information (check as needed)
  • Subject assignment sheets, activities, course links and general support for each subject. (Check daily)
  • New information on: iPads, carnivals, regional sport, inter-school sport, the musical and the library (check as required)
  • Study Skills Handbook: Building a great study routine and keeping it (check as required)

How often should I check into Online@Hillbrook?

Your child will need to access this portal every day, often several times in a day. As a parent, your child’s academic needs will determine how often you will want to login with them to provide support. When your child first starts at Hillbrook you may wish to prompt them to log in every day until they’re used to the new routine of high school.

How do I check into Online@Hillbrook?

A link to this portal can be found on the Hillbrook website on the Students’ Page. It is designed as a student portal and as such parents do not have a username and password. Please login with your child.  
Week 5 Tip: Study Skills Handbook
What is the Study Skills Handbook? Your child can learn important study and homework strategies using this handbook. It is a fantastic learning program to support student success, particularly if your child hasn’t used a homework/study routine before. How often should I check into Study Skills? At first daily, then weekly, then only when needed. Students can usually expect to get homework. However, on those afternoons they are given less or none, this is when they can spend their ‘homework hour’ brushing up on study skills. How do I access the Study Skills Handbook? A link to this external educational site can be found by logging onto online@hillbrook and selecting 'Resources'. Log in with your child. Is it their first time logging in?  Prompt them to reset the default password and add their own (and remember it!)
Week 6 Tip: A Parent's Guide to Staying Up-To-Date
The Hillbrook school app is the best, most up-to-date source of information for Hillbrook parents. We recommend that all parents download the app to their iPhone, Android device or iPad and check it regularly for calendar updates, news and notifications. You will find the app here on iTunes or the Playstore. There’s no need to add subscriptions at this stage. On the app you will easily find links to useful documents such as the Staff Contact List, the Tuckshop Menu and Uniform Price List. You will be able to access:
  • The newsletter
  • Important notices
  • Whole school calendar
  • Links
  • Important contacts
You will also receive an email newsletter once a week which can be read in your email program, on the website or the App. The newsletter provide a week-in-review and upcoming news. Any more pressing announcements for parents (i.e. a bus running late back from camp, or a change of venue for a school activity) will come up as a notification on your device. Students will continue to receive their daily notices via online@hillbrook. Social Media Our Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts are designed to share in the fun of school life, to view photos and videos of your students as they partake in the balance of activities Hillbrook offers. We may share notices and events on here as well as on other platforms.
Week 7 Tip: The Year At A Glance
While many more events occur throughout the year, here is an overview of major events. More details can be found in the Events Calendar - with a handy search function, or on the school App. Term 1
  • Welcome BBQ & Chapel Service
  • Swimming Carnival – Whole School
  • Parent Information Evening
  • Year 7 Camps
  • Year 8 Camps
  • Year 12 Camps
  • P&F AGM
  • School Musical
  • SRC Voting
  • Outdoor Education Day
  • Parent Teacher Interviews
Term 2
  • Cross country – Whole School
  • NAPLAN - Years 7 & 9
  • Hillbrook’s Foundation Day Ceremony
  • EAC Parent Information Evening
  • Outdoor Education Day
  • Student Progress Reports
Term 3
  • Junior Subject Selections (Choosing Electives)
  • Australian Maths Competition
  • Athletics Carnival
  • School Photos
  • Hillbrook in Action (Open Day)
  • Photography Competition
  • Outdoor Education Day
Term 4
  • Hillbrook Under the Stars
  • Celebration Evening
  • Outdoor Education Day
  • Year 10 Camps
  • Year 11 Camps
  • SRC Handover Ceremony
  • Year 12 Graduation
  • Year Level Day Excursions
  • Student Progress Reports
Week 8 Tip: Digital Devices - Finding Balance
Being online is a big part of young people’s lives and there are limitless opportunities for entertainment and interaction. While these opportunities exist, a balance is needed between the online world and the offline world. If your child’s digital life is interfering with other areas of daily life such as school activities or relationships with family and friends, it may be time to talk it through and agree on some time frames. The iPads at Hillbrook website is full of tips and information on areas such as digital citizenship, balancing screen time and digital footprint.
A Day in the Life of a Student: Martine

Martine - Year 7

Martine in year 7

Before School

My day usually begins at 6:15 am when I wake up. It then takes another 15 minutes for me to actually get up. To help me in the mornings, I always pack my bag the night before, including the books I’ll need, my pencil case, student diary, phone, Go-Card, sports uniform (and my dance uniform if I go to dance that day). At 6:35 am I go to the kitchen, have some breakfast and water, then pack my lunch. I shower and dress in my formal uniform or sport uniform (depending on the day). Most of the time I go to school in the car with mum at 7:20 am when she goes to work.

During School

When I arrive at school I usually check my email, Instagram and messages. I also check Online@Hillbrook to make sure nothing has changed on the timetable for that day. I make sure I’m at my Home Class room before 8:30 am because there aren't any bells here to tell me to get to class on time. During our 15 minute Daily Starter we do different things with our teacher, Ms O’Shea: we play games, set goals, watch YouTube videos on the projector or just chat to our friends. Ms O’Shea also reads us the daily notices, which includes important messages about the day. Every day we have four 80 minute lesson blocks, with a break between each lesson block. On Mondays we start with Global Studies. We do this in our Home Class room and our teacher is Ms O'Shea again. We have a seating plan. We use the paper textbooks that we keep stored in the classroom. We don’t always get Global homework – usually it’s what we didn't finish in class, but we do get a weekly Global homework task to write about a world news event and answer: Who, what, when, where and why we care about the issue.

 At Morning Tea I sit with my group of 5 other friends and we chat and make sure that all our homework is done. I usually bring a packed lunch and eat some good food. After Morning Tea we have Japanese with Mrs Fay. I like Japanese and it is one of my electives for next year. We usually get some homework where we practise writing letters in Hiragana. In our 10-minute Brain Break my friends and I usually grab a snack, go to the bathroom and chat. Then it’s Lesson 3 and we have English and Maths. If we have an assignment we work on it in class and get help from the teacher, Ms O’Shea again. In Maths, Mrs Johnston is our teacher. We finish a certain amount of textbook chapters during the week and what we don't finish in class we do for homework. Our Maths textbooks are loaded onto our iPads. We also get a weekly Maths mate to help us remember what we have learnt. At lunch I sit with my friends somewhere in the shade, eat some yummy food and chat to everyone. In our last lesson on a Monday, we have Science with Mr Larkin. Here we do experiments or work on assignments. Sometimes we get homework to read a piece of the textbook.

After School

At 3:20 pm we finish school I catch a bus and train home. On Tuesday I don't have dance class after school, so I go home, make a snack and do whatever homework I have. Once I’ve finished, I usually watch YouTube, check Instagram or play the Sims 4. I also message my friends and then help mum make dinner. Before I go to bed I always get ready for the next day: I lay my uniform out, pack my books, pencil case, student diary, Go-Card, lunch box, sports uniform and tidy my room. I usually go to bed at 8:30 pm and I read a book for a while.

A Day in the Life of a Student: Ryan

Ryan in year 7Before School

I wake up at 6:30 am when my phone alarm goes off and I have a shower and get dressed. After I've cleared my breakfast of cereal and put the bowl in the dishwasher, I clean my teeth. Then I get all my stuff together. For example, if I have a sports day then I get all that together. In my room I have a timetable so I know what to pack. I make lunch: usually a sandwich, an apple and a muesli bar. Mum drives my older brother and I to school because she works nearby. We leave at 7:30 am and arrive 20 minutes later.

During School

When I get to school I talk to my friends outside my Home class room. I check my iPad to see if I have emails and I also check online@hillbrook. I have a watch so I know when it’s 8:30 am, because we don’t have any bells. Once inside our Home classroom we put our bags on the bag rack, grab a seat at our desks and our teacher reads out the daily notices. Then we’re ready for Lesson 1. Home Ec is first on a Monday. We do some work like theory on the different types of foods and what they do and how to have a healthy diet. We have two teachers for Home Ec: if we cook we have Ms Burrows and for theory we have Ms Nash. Home Ec is followed by a break. Sometimes we go to our spot where we sit at Morning Tea and some of the guys play games on their iPads. At other times we go down to the Rec Centre and play basketball with some other friends.

We had a Maths test today. It was reasonably easy because I’d studied. After Maths we had Brain Break for 10 minutes. During Brain Break we generally wait outside the classroom and I usually have an apple while my friends and I play handball until the teacher arrives. After our break we had Science in the Science block and Mr Larkin is our teacher. It’s fun in Science because we get to do experiments. Today we built something that could hold an egg without breaking it. For lunch I go to the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) and practise drums with my friend because we love to drum. We eat lunch on our way back up to the next lesson. After lunch is Personal Spiritual Development (PSD), where we talk about things like friendships, bullying, goal setting and sometimes we lie down and do some meditation. We finish the day with Sport. My favourite part of Sport has been playing soccer.

After School

I catch the bus home after school with my brother and we get home about 4 pm. I unpack my bag and get my stuff ready for the next day. I also do my homework, which I find at online@hillbrook. After that I watch TV for a bit before we have dinner together. Then I have a shower and get ready for bed. I charge my devices and set my alarm if I need to. Lights go out at about 9 pm.

A Day in the Life of a Parent
Your Connections

Home Class teacher

The Home Class teacher has primary responsibility for the academic progress and well-being of each child in their Home Class and is the best first point of contact for most enquiries. If you have any concerns about your child’s social and academic progress, or feel non-school activities or relationships may be impacting your child while at Hillbrook (family tragedy, extended holidays, intensive extra-curricular activities, emotional or anxiety issues), please inform the Home Class teacher. Email information for all your child's teachers can be found on Parent.Lounge.

How often should I contact my child’s Home Class teacher?

Most parents make contact with their child’s Home Class teacher once or twice a term, depending on their child’s specific needs, usually to check on academic or personal progress.
Occasionally some parents need to communicate with the Home Class teacher more regularly, particularly if their child requires specific learning support. 

Counsellor

Both female and male counsellors are available to students, and also to parents so they may support their child better. The role of the counsellors is two fold:

Personal - Students who feel they need emotional support beyond that of the Home Class teacher, parents or friends, can take advantage of the ‘open door’ policy in the Counsellor’s centre in F Block. Unless there's a duty of care to register a student potentially in danger, all conversations remain confidential between the student and the counsellor.

Career pathways: The Counselling centre is where students can access printed information and support relating to subject selection, tertiary applications and career pathways.

How often should I contact the Counsellor?

For some students, they will only speak with the counsellor once, when they choose their senior subjects in Year 10. Other students may drop in to speak with a counsellor occasionally, for example if they want to work out a plan of action to deal with stress. Some students benefit from weekly or fortnightly sessions, to resolve a longer-standing issue. Students who wish to change subjects are required to see the counsellor for information and ‘Change of Subject’ forms.

There are many other forms of student support and more information can be found here.

Parents can find a connection with other parents in their child's Home Class through Parents.Connect

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who do I inform if my child will be absent?

A. Leisa or Beck on Reception before 8 am. Ph: 3354 3422


Q. How can I see what my child is currently studying and look at subject assignment tasks?

A. We advise that you log onto Online@Hillbrook with your student periodically (they have a login to this student learning portal) to support them in their study.  You will find a link to Courses and under this menu item you will find subject assignment sheets, criteria sheets, exercises and resources.


Q. How can I pay for an excursion?

A. Log into Parent.Lounge and follow the prompts.


Q. What if my child is experiencing friendship issues?

A. Email your child’s Home Class teacher at your earliest convenience. Their email can be found on Parent Lounge.

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