Principal 20/10: Term 4 begins: Events, exams and online safety

Welcome to this last term of the year. Term 4 is always a whirlwind of activity relating to formal schooling and events along with planning for the new year.

Firstly, a quick rundown on what has been happening and a number of events to mark down in the calendar.

Last week, we celebrated Grandparents Day and Book Week with hundreds of family members visiting and enjoying time at school with the Primary students. This included a visit to the library and enjoying a BBQ lunch. I would like to thank the Primary, Library, Marketing staff and CPC members for a wonderful day of community celebration.

Examinations in the High School are very much on the go. The HSC commenced last week and has been running smoothly.

There is a current need for volunteer readers and writers to help students who require extra support with their exams.  This is a valuable volunteer role, and we often find it difficult to fill all spots. If you can help in this way our High School Student Office staff would love to hear from you ( or (02) 9608 2277). With Years 7-10 also sitting their yearly exams, it is certainly a season of academic assessment and focus for many High School students at William Carey. 

This week our Year 3 students enjoyed an afternoon trialing different musical instruments in preparation for the new 2024 Year 4 Music Program. Students explored making sounds from flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets and percussion. It was a fun afternoon, and we are really excited for this new program. Learning a musical instrument has numerous advantages, and we are looking forward to this program building in the years to come.

In the coming weeks, the School will be hosting a series of orientation events for families moving into Kindergarten and Year 7. Keep an eye out for notifications outlining the details. We also have some great community events including the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Open Night on Monday 13th November, Gingerbread House Making Afternoon on Friday, 17th November and the Carey Carols on Friday 24th November. Be sure to put these in your calendar so you can join us for these great community events.


While we enjoy a safe and settled community, we must acknowledge the turmoil that is underway in different parts of the world. In one sense, we are very sheltered from much of the human tragedy and suffering created by conflict and war. However, there are some within our community who are experiencing the impact on family and loved ones. We are particularly mindful of these families and pray for the safety of those they love.

Further, the connectivity of social media and mobile technology means that distressing content is finding its way into our homes. This poses the risk that our children may be exposed to imagery or information that may cause distress or trauma. Current developing conflicts make this risk particularly more prevalent. Therefore, parental awareness and supervision of children’s use of technology and social media is particularly important.

In a recent Channel 9 news interview, psychologist Dr Justin Coulson provided helpful advice about talking about the war overseas with children and teenagers, and how to limit them coming in to contact with distressing content.

Dr Coulson’s advice included minimising exposure to news content. However, if children start asking questions it is usually out of curiosity or concern. The interview provides information on how to respond to each of these types of questions.

Further, he provides some talking points when discussing your concerns with teenagers, regarding the risk of being exposed to distressing content. These are (4E’s):

  •       Explain – ask “what you are worried about?” (in relation to this content or news)
  •       Explore – ask “what do you think about this?” and “how does it make you feel?”
  •       Empower – ask “what do you think is the best way to keep yourself and those you care about safe?”
  •       Encourage – suggest that they remove from social media for the coming days.


Further information is also available from the eSafety Commissioner on this matter. This includes a fact sheet on what to do if your children are exposed to distressing content, how to report illegal or restricted online content, along with resources to support parents and children.

A primary role of parents is to keep their children safe. We want to support you in doing this, and engaging proactively together, is one way we can do it.


Keith McMullen