News » Caring For All of Our StudentsLast updated 10:33 AM on 21 March 2016
There has been some recent media about the Safe Schools Program. During 2015 our school had a student come forward and identify themselves as ‘in gender transition'. This is the first time such a thing had occurred at our school and a first for many staff, including those who are very experienced. After listening to the student, we met with her parents and discussed their understanding and level of support for the transition. As a school we were initially uncertain about how to respond to best meet the needs of this student. Should the student be referred to as a he or a she? Her chosen name or the name which we had known her as for most of her life? What toilet would she use? What uniform should she wear? How should the staff manage any issues that arise between students relating to the transition? Safe Schools offered two staff meeting sessions to assist staff understand how best to manage these circumstances and could make available two handouts relevant to our circumstances – including a four page handout on supporting student through gender transition. We have accessed one of the two sessions to date (one to come) and the handout material. The session time provided helpful suggestions for staff. The school's focus has been on making a school a safe and happy place for all students. Adjustments to any learning programs have been minimal and focussed on ensuring a safe and inclusive place for all. There has been no change to lesson content or material delivered to different age groups outside of this. The school is aware some of the materials made available by Safe Schools are suitable for certain age groups of students. The school is also closely connected with our community and ensures the values of the school reflect the community of which we are an important part. The school is always striving to be the best it can be for our children and community. Achieving this is best served by shaping our curriculum and school culture with community values and resources in the context of our regulatory requirements. Please don't hesitate to email or make a time to see me to discuss this matter further should you feel you would like to do so.
Rob Walker – Principal