The College weekly news highlights all activities throughout the College each week. A reminder of weekly news is distributed to the College community via email each Friday but can be viewed online at any time.

Across Campus

Principal’s Message

Easter is upon us

Term 1 has certainly gone quickly and it has been a term that has provided so many opportunities for our students and extended community to show the Scotch Oakburn spirit. Just this week I received some wonderful feedback about our Year 9 students who ventured south to Port Arthur and beyond in the Southern Tas component of the 9 Alive program. The Port Arthur guides commented glowingly on our students’ enthusiasm and behaviour during their visit there; as always our students have done us proud.

I am sure that after so many events, performances, competitions and activities, everyone is looking forward to being able to relax, rejuvenate and spend time with family. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the College community for your involvement this term and your on-going support. There have been many wonderful events this year already, but from my perspective the event that typified the Scotch Oakburn spirit and sense of community was the Fair. The Middle School venue has proved to be a wonderful natural space for the event and with a few minor improvements this year it was again a resounding success. It certainly started the year off on a good note.

Whilst on the topic of larger community events, I’d like to take this opportunity to advertise a range of upcoming events in Term 2: the Autumn Concert (18 May), TCE Mid-year Play (13/14 June), Middle School Arts Evening (29 June), Paul Dillon presentation on teenagers, drugs and alcohol (3 May) and Steve Biddulph on raising girls (6 Jun). Later in the year, we have the Annual Dinner, TCE Play and Senior Play, Spring Concert, Spring Cocktail Party and the Middle School Arts Evening as well as many other smaller events and performances. All of these provide the opportunity for the involvement of a breadth of student age groups and the bringing together of staff, students and parents to listen, learn and enjoy the fruits of our students’ labours.

On a different note, I wish to remind all students that they are required to wear Winter Uniform from the first day of Term 2, Monday 1 May.

I wish everyone a safe and relaxing break over the next few weeks and trust that you will enjoy spending time with family and friends. I look forward to seeing staff and students on Monday 1 May, ready for the opportunities that the new term will present.

Andy Müller

College Shop

A reminder that all students will be wearing winter uniform from the start of Term 2.  Should you need any items from the College shop we will be open Thursday 27 and Friday 28 April from 9.00am – 5.00pm.

Mel Heather
College Shop Coordinator

Senior campus reception hours

Please note that the Senior School reception will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, then the following hours over the term break.

Open Tuesday 18 April – Friday 21 April from 9.00am-4.00pm

Closed Monday 24 April and Tuesday 25 April

Open Wednesday 26 April – Friday 28 April from 9.00am-4.00pm

Girls Cricket

Girls only cricket as a summer sport option, has been introduced for the first time this year as a result of a $2,000 funding grant from Cricket Australia which the College was successful in acquiring.

The girls attend training on Monday night after school and play on the NHSSA T20 roster on Wednesday afternoons. Our Scotch Oakburn College team have proven to be the team to beat so far, not losing a game throughout the Term 1 roster. Some of our highlights include: Round 1 playing in 34-degree heat under sprinklers where Amy Duggan (Year 9) scored 106 not out off 51 balls (batting through the sprinklers) and Kate Sherriff (Year 8) bowled 2 wicket maidens to finish with 4/4 off 3 overs. In round 2 Kate Sherriff scored 26 not out off 13 balls and Amy Duggan 22 not out off 14 balls including one massive 6. Round 3 saw Kate Sherriff score 55 not out off 24 balls and Daisy Willows (Year 6) bowled 2/25 off 4 overs and 4 runouts as wicketkeeper. In round 4 Alice McLauchlan (Year 8) scored 23 not out off 19 balls and Kate Sherriff bowled 4/8 and took 2 catches.

We are looking forward to resuming the roster in Term 4 and any interested girls are welcome to come and join us.

Naomie O’Loughlin
Girls Cricket Coach

Lessons from a basketball game

While watching the Boys 2nds basketball finals against St Patrick’s College earlier this week I was impressed by a number of things I saw during the game.

Our boys had opened up a solid 20-point lead by halfway through the game, and it is this type of situation that can test the characters of the players on both teams. On one hand, the opposition players who are far behind on the scoreboard can sometimes just give up and, sensing futility, stop putting any effort in. On the other hand, the team that is comfortably in front on the scoreboard can start to get complacent and careless. To each boy’s credit, neither team fell into any of these pitfalls. The St. Patrick’s College boys worked tenaciously right up to the final buzzer, trying desperately to score points and to claw back Scotch Oakburn’s lead. Our boys maintained their focus and discipline, keeping the play tight and effective with minimal errors. Both teams also maintained humility and grace on the court, despite the big difference on the scoreboard.

It was a good reminder that sport is about so much more than just fun and fitness. While these two components are very important, it is the development of personal and interpersonal skills such as self-discipline, teamwork, effective communication, perseverance and humility that make involvement in sport such a key part of our children’s education.

Mark Hassell
Deputy Head of Senior School

Easter at Scotch Oakburn

Students across the College have used this week to explore the significance of Easter. Whilst Jesus’ life 2000 years ago has had a direct influence on College life though our traditions and Values, his life can also affect indirectly all of our lives as we seek to make our world a more fair, kind and colourful place.

For their Easter Celebration, Early Learning students sat beside the chicken coup and explored ideas of new life, while their younger peers were wound up in coloured streamers as they identified characteristics of their teachers such as kindness, wisdom and caring, and pondered how their teachers could be living expressions of God’s love shown in Jesus.

Meanwhile, the Year 5 Peer Leaders led a very touching gathering that was modelled on a funeral service, with figurative mourners such as Mary, (Jesus’ mother), Peter the fisherman and a nameless woman from Samaria sharing their stories of Jesus. The student choir sang beautifully and certainly added a touch of solemn reflection before a risen Jesus appeared to light his own candle.

At the Penquite campus TCE Drama students and Keepers of the Chapel combined with Year 6 students to follow a script written by Year 12 Keeper Heather Collins. Key moments of the events of the first Easter were enacted in a simple yet quite profound way, with interpretive explanations along the way.

In each of these events students have found that the story of the first Easter and the life of Jesus can have a profound effect on making the world a better, more kind and compassionate place, regardless of whether we each believe in Jesus or not.

As you take some time off this Easter break, I hope you can find some space to do what is needed to be reinvigorated, refreshed and renewed, and in doing so, make your bit of the world a better place, where every person can live life to the full. Happy Easter!

Rev. Steve Terrell
College Chaplain

Junior School

Year 4 Education Outdoors

Personal development and environmental learning are key goals of the Education Outdoors program across the College and these goals were central to last week’s Year 4 adventures at Liffey.

Personal development includes dispositions and skills in areas such as peer relationships, teamwork, collaborative problem-solving, leadership and resilience. These are all facets of personal growth which are guided and developed at school on a daily basis, but living and working together in a camp environment provides an ideal platform for enhancing every student’s learning at another level.

The teamwork and peer support demonstrated by the Year 4’s at Liffey was outstanding. Along with other aspects of their personal learning from the whole Education Outdoors experience, the benefits of this in many aspects of their school lives and academic learning across the curriculum will be evident in coming weeks, months and into the longer term.

Thank you to all Year 4 students, along with the Education Outdoors staff, class teachers, other staff and Senior School Student Leaders who worked together to make the program such a successful and memorable one.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

End of Term

Thank you to all students, staff and families who have contributed to such a full and productive Term’s learning for our College community. From our 3 year old Early Learners who have tackled their first school-based experiences this Term, through to Year 5’s who have risen to their new leadership opportunities, students in all Years have embraced new learning, investigations and challenges with enormous energy and enthusiasm. The high levels of engagement displayed all around the Campus each day are testament to the strong home-school learning partnership which is such a strong feature of the College.

Best wishes to all families for a wonderful family Easter season and for an enjoyable school holiday break.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Zac Power author visits conneXions

Top secret: The author of the Zac Power series presented to Prep to Year 3 students last week in conneXions. Students were abuzz with excitement before, during and after the event! In this fun and interactive session students contributed details to collaboratively build a Zac Power story that happened at Scotch Oakburn College.

As taken from the Booked Out Speakers Agency …

Who is the mysterious H I Larry, author of the Zac Power series? As a close personal associate of H I Larry’s, Hilary can reveal all. Well, not the classified stuff, of course. However, Hilary has security clearance to discuss how she became a writer, what it takes to be a good writer and all about building a story, including plot and characters.

Kylie Brewster
21st Century Literacy Teacher

Vacation Care

Full details of the Vacation Care program are available here on the College website. This program is open to all students (Scotch Oakburn and local community) aged 3-12 years.

It is based at the Elphin Campus and runs from 19 April – 28 April on all week days apart from ANZAC Day. Times are 8.00am – 5.30pm daily.

Local author Angela Bertram visits conneXions

Early Learning students and Prep classes visited conneXions this week to hear from local author Angela Bertram share her first book entitled, ‘Where All Amazing Things Start.’  Students were drawn to the intricate illustrations in the story and were able to share ideas about their personal dreams and goals that Angela then incorporated into the retelling of the story.

This book is a beautifully illustrated tale of nurturing yourself, your dreams and kindness, delivering a body positive message that everything enabling you to make your dreams come true, is found within you!  Created for children in hope of starting a conversation and developing a new perspectives.

We thank Angela for her time in sharing her journey today.

Kylie Brewster
21st Century Literacy Teacher

Friendology 101

In Term Two the Junior School will be introducing a new program, ‘Friendology 101’ (

This program is designed to teach students explicit skills to help them grow and manage their friendships. What we know is that “children’s friendships are closely associated with children’s positive well-being. Children who enjoy close friendships are more likely to experience higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction and self-esteem”. Students who have healthy friendships and wellbeing are better equipped as learners too!

On Tuesday 9 May on the Elphin Campus, as a part of ‘Friendology 101’, there is a fantastic opportunity for parents and students from Years 1 to 6 to attend a Parent-Child workshop conducted by ‘Friendology 101’ creator Dana Kerford. This will enable parents to explore ways to support children in their friendships and develop a common language for dealing with ‘friendship fires’ as they arise. (Registration to attend the Parent-Child workshops can be completed online via  Download the event flyer here – Friendology-101-ScotchOakburn_Parent-child-event

In Week 1 of Term 2, Year 5 Hodgetts will be running lunchtime activities each day and hosting ‘A Festival of Friendship’. This festival will create a fun atmosphere around the campus and introduce some of the concepts and language that will help students to grow healthy friendships and manage friendship fires. We look forward to sharing more about our ‘Friendology 101’ journey with you as the term progresses.

Megan Booth
School Counsellor, Junior School

Composting at the Junior School

During Term 1 a small group of Year 4 Buck students have shown a keen approach to sustainable gardening through participating in the school composting program. This learning experience has allowed students to show initiative and leadership skills to collect the green compost bins from a range of locations in the school, wheel them to the composting area in the garden and then identify and sort out plastic waste from items that can be composted. This is often a smelly and dirty job and the students have shown a mature approach to this challenge, working well as part of a team to efficiently empty the bins and return them to their location.

These students now have the ability to identify what foods and organic waste can be put in the compost bin and will confidently share their knowledge to others in the school community next term when they teach students in Year 4 O’Loughlin about the composting system.

A big thank you to Mrs Georgia Gee and the Year 4 teachers who have been helping the students make this composting task a success.

Please remember to put your waste in the correct bin! Plastic can’t be composted!!

Mark Munnings
Director of Education Outdoors and Sustainability

Middle School

It takes a village to raise a child

I am sure that you have all heard the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.  With this in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts and support of our students throughout the term. We are very fortunate to have wonderful partnerships between home and school, where ongoing and regular communication is paramount.  In our endeavours to prepare out students for the future, we must continue to work together to ensure all students feel safe and supported throughout their journey at Scotch Oakburn College.

It has been a busy but successful term and we are grateful for the support we receive from our Scotch Oakburn College families.  Please take the time to rest and recuperate over the Easter break and I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and look forward to seeing everyone return well rested and prepared for Term 2.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

IY8 and Education Outdoors information evening

Please be advised that the Year 8 IY8 GREEN and Education Outdoors Information Evening is being held on 16 May from 7.00pm – 8.00pm in the Horton Auditorium.  These are two key learning opportunities for our Year 8 students and we would encourage all parents to attend.  You will receive important information about both of these programs on the evening and staff will be available if you have any questions.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School


NAPLAN testing will take place from 9 – 11 May, the second week back after the Easter break. All Year 7 students are required to sit these tests. Please be aware that NAPLAN is not a test that students can prepare for as the tests are designed to test skills that develop and improve over time.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s core teaching team.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Term 2 dates

At the start of Term 2 you will receive communication outlining all the key dates for the Middle School for the term.  I remind you, however, to refer to The Dash regularly for important information pertaining to your child ‘s year level, as well as reading the weekly College news online.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School

Friendology 101

Parents of Year 6 students are encouraged to read the ‘Friendology 101’ article in the Junior School section this week outlining a Parent-Child workshop opportunity conducted by ‘Friendology 101’ creator Dana Kerford on Tuesday 9 May.

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Heidi Schouten (Year 8) who is this week representing Tasmania in the National Water Ski Titles, being held in Perth, Western Australia. Heidi is competing in the Under 14 Girls Slalom, Trick and Jump Competition.

Julie Kemp
Head of Middle School 

Senior School

Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards

Year 9 student Charlie Warren was recognised for his hard work in fundraising and raising awareness for motor neurone disease at the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards in Hobart on 8 April.  Charlie, 15, of Newstead, was nominated in the community service and volunteering section.  He received a certificate from the Premier, Will Hodgman, in front of 300 people at a gala event at Wrest Point.

In 2016, Charlie trained for nine months before setting off for Tanzania, Africa, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He raised $2,100. It was part of his IY8 (Inspire Year 8) project.

Charlie said he was surprised to be nominated for the award.

“I did not know anything about it until a couple of weeks ago and I felt a bit emotional,” he said.

“It felt good to be recognised for the things I did, as it will raise more awareness about MND in the wider community.”

Charlie explained that he was motivated in his IY8 project after one of his mother’s close friends was diagnosed with the disease. During the past year, a second friend died as a result of MND.

“It is a devastating disease that affects the way you speak and the way you move,” Charlie said.

“It is really close to me and it is such a worthy cause.”

The Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young people across a diverse range of fields.

NHSSA Basketball Rosters

The wrap up of the NHSSA rosters this term saw our Year 10 Division 1 Girls team play off against Deloraine High School in the Grand Final on Wednesday night. The girls certainly went into this match as the favourites, given they were undefeated all season and their previous match-ups against Deloraine were won by 30 plus points on both occasions.

The girls hit the court with the same determination that they have displayed all season and dominated gaining a commanding lead at the quarter break of 13 – 2. The girls demonstrated excellent defence and offensive plays and certainly gained the upper hand early in the game. Deloraine regrouped and lifted in the remaining three quarters with a 21-16 split, however the first quarter deficit was just too much for them to claw back and the Scotch Oakburn girls won the game 34 – 18.

Congratulations to all the girls and to their coach, Mr Trevor Marson, on a very successful season.

Scorers: Ashleigh Reid (9), Mia King (8), Grace Dunn (6), Isabella Foster (4), Louise Tyson (3), Holly Langmaid, Camilla Taylor (2).

Other results in the Year 10 rosters this Term saw our Year 10 Division 1 Boys, coached by Mr Will Smyth, just fall short by one game of making the finals and finishing 3rd in their Division.

Our Year 10 Division 2 Girls, coached by Miss Sophie Williams, also narrowly missed out on making the Grand Final and also finished 3rd.

The Year 10 Division 2 Boys, coached by Mrs Liz Gray, played some great games over the roster. Despite lacking height against their opposing teams they were relentless and always gave of their best.

Congratulations and a huge thank you to all coaches and players for your dedication and commitment this season.

Natalie Good & Clyde Tuck
Persons-in-Charge Basketball

UTAS Taster Days

UTAS: Medicine/Paramedicine/Medical Research Taster Day

Tuesday 13 June

Registrations Open May 1

This event is for Years 10–12 students to find out about careers as medical researchers, paramedics and doctors, as well as student life at the UTAS School of Medicine.

UTAS: Pharmacy Taster Day

Monday 4 September

Students in Years 9–12 can find out about life as a Pharmacist.

UTAS: Nursing and Health Sciences Taster Day

Friday 8 September @ Newnham campus, Launceston

The details for this event are still being confirmed. More details will be provided later in the year.

Find out more information on all these taster days @

For more information visit the Futures Centre.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator

Senior Seconds Boys Basketball win

Our Scotch Oakburn College Senior Seconds Boys Gold team, coached by Mr Clyde Tuck, played in the NSATIS Seconds Grand Final this week.

The Scotch Oakburn team matched up against St Patrick’s College and with both teams having drawn in their previous roster match it was certainly set to be a tough game.

Whilst nerves and tight defence resulted in both teams struggling to make baskets in the first quarter, with scores SOC 6 to SPC 2 at quarter time, Scotch Oakburn steadied and increased their intensity in defence in the second and blitzed their competition with half time scores at SOC 23 to SPC 4.

Their same intensity continued in the second half, however St Patrick’s were never going to give up and whilst they couldn’t manage to recoup the second quarter deficit they endeavoured to stay in the game with the second half split being only 16-9.  Scotch Oakburn maintained their game speed and defensive tactics to take home the shield. Final scores were SOC 40 to SPC 13 with the team remaining undefeated for the season.

This is only the second time the Seconds Boys have won the shield and it is the first time that Scotch Oakburn have secured the double header for the boys NSATIS competition, by winning both the NSATIS Firsts and Seconds shields. A great achievement for Scotch Oakburn Basketball.

Congratulations to all the boys, their Captain, Patrick Illingworth and their Coach, Mr Clyde Tuck, for a great season and a great result.

Scorers: Nick Taylor (10), Ryan Sherriff (9), Miller Hodge (8), Patrick Illingworth (5), Josh Thomson (4) Lachie Gee, Liam Kendell (2)

Natalie Good
Person-in-Charge Basketball

Discover Agriculture Program

The Discover Agriculture program is an intensive but fun-filled 6 days for students in years 10,11 and 12 with an emphasis on practical learning, having a go, understanding the real fundamentals of agriculture and building important networks. The program is being held this year 8-13 October.

Throughout the program you will be visiting a range of farms to look at what they are doing and why. Most but not all visits will also include hands on activities. Some examples of activities planned this year (not all confirmed) are:

Fat scoring and/or weighing livestock
Wool handling in the Wool Store
Milking cows
Pasture assessment and measurement
Weeds identification
Laboratory work
Soil pH testing

The program also visits value adding businesses to gain an understanding of their role in the supply chain and the strict requirements of their customers. This includes activities such as:

Farm Planning
A look at the other industries built around Agriculture
Learning about Rural Merchandising

In addition, there will be a number of speakers who come along to talk about their experiences in the industry.

The emphasis is on what opportunities there are in agriculture and what opportunities the people met throughout the program see for the future, what skills they think are required or they are looking for when employing people and what their career pathway has been.

The program shows participants that agriculture isn’t just a job on a farm, that agriculture is far broader than that, with emerging opportunities all the time. It explores what training/study pathways are available by visiting representatives from UTAS and TIA and doing a hands-on scientific based activities, as well as meeting with representatives of TasTAFE to learn about courses and pathways and to learn some new skills.

Applications close Friday 12 May.


The cost of the 6 day program is $300.00 each.
A tax invoice will be sent to the school or the applicant’s parent(s)/carer(s) for payment, prior to the commencement of the program.
All meals and accommodation will be provided during the program.
Transport will be provided during the program.

Please see me in the Futures Centre for further information including a full outline of the planned itinerary and an application form.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Advisor / VET Coordinator

NSATIS Netball trials

Trials for the NSATIS Firsts and Seconds Netball teams will be held in the HPEC on Wednesday 3 May and Thursday 4 May from 3.45pm – 5.00pm.

If you are interested in trying out, can you please make sure you have emailed me with your preferred positions.

Yvette Cassidy
Person-in-Charge Netball

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Jack Schouten (Year 9) who is this week representing Tasmania in the National Water Ski Titles, being held in Perth, Western Australia. Jack is competing in the Under 17 Boys Slalom Jump Competition.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Round Square

The Round Square Discovery Framework – Exploring Character Education

“I see it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion” – Kurt Hahn.

Kurt Hahn was the inspiration behind Round Square and he regularly referred to character education and compassion as important beyond all else. Character education and the acquisition of “soft skills” are now widely acknowledged as being essential in the development of well-rounded, active and informed global citizens. It is still the case, however, that education is mainly described in terms of students’ academic success alone, and the vast-majority of schools focus primarily on this area.

While employers and university admissions continue to focus on exam grades, many schools will continue to feel compelled to promote academic attainment as a singular exercise above all else. Whilst this continues in education, employers and universities will continue to feel compelled to set the first measure of potential by exam grades.

My introductory paragraph above features extracts from an article written in March by Rachael Westgarth, The Round Square CEO. The full text of this article is available through the accompanying link below.

During Term One this year we have trialled the use of the Round Square Discovery Framework (RSDF) as part of the Year 6 Northern Explorers camp program at Narawntapu National Park and in the follow up inquiry unit back at school. I will be reporting on this trial at a workshop later this year. The initial anecdotal feedback from the teachers involved has been that this framework give us the tools to observe students from a different set of perspectives, focussing on these important character attributes. By providing on-going feedback to students we can explicitly help young people to focus on the important qualities of a caring, global thinker.

Please read Rachael’s article below to gain further insight into the value of embedding the philosophy of Round Square into all that we do at Scotch Oakburn.

The Round Square Discovery Framework – Exploring Character Education

Stuart Walls
Round Square Representative


Mental health tips for teenagers

Author: Dr Jodi Richardson

For the first time in 15 years, thousands of Australian teenagers named mental health as one of the top three national issues in the 2016 Mission Australia Youth Survey. Personally, they’re concerned about coping with stress, school, body image and depression.

I know that reading this is enough to raise our own anxiety levels as parents, but the fact that mental health is on the radar for our young people is a good thing. It means that there’s increased awareness around issues like anxiety, depression and suicide. This awareness will help reduce the stigma around mental illness and the subsequent discrimination which can stand in the way of young people seeking help and support when they need it most.

First and foremost, we want to help protect our young people from mental illness, but we also want to know that they can recognise when they need help, and ask for it. The Youth Survey shows that when young people do need help, overwhelmingly, they turn to their friends and their parents.

If we can equip our young people with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health, in doing so, they’re better prepared to support friends who turn to them for help too.

The following tips help promote flourishing mental health in secondary school kids:

1.    Help them find a sport or physical activity they love

Physical activity is essential for flourishing mental health. Young people who play sport are more fulfilled and feel healthier and happier about life. The key is helping them to find an activity they love. Physical activity instantly improves mood and can even lift symptoms of depression. This is because it ticks so many of the ‘psychological wellbeing boxes’ including movement and all of the ‘feel good’ hormones that go hand-in-hand, social support, opportunities for them to engage in an activity that captivates them so they experience ‘flow’ and helping them to maintain a healthy weight to name a few.  Secondary school kids need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day but even 15-20 minutes will help improve their mood.

2.    Make sure they get plenty of face time

Not FaceTime, face-to-face time! Positive in-person relationships promote psychological wellbeing and happiness. The research clearly shows that people with a variety of strong social relationships live longer, and are healthier and happier.

3.    Work with your teen to set screen time limits

A recent National Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey revealed over half of Aussie teens connect five or more times a day (heavy social media use) and 15 minutes before sleep every night. Incredibly, the wellbeing of one in two teens is also affected by their fear of missing out or FoMO, causing them to feel burnt out because they’re constantly connected. Work with your teen to set limits; consider no screens in bedrooms, tech-free zones in your home, limiting your own screen time and ensuring screen time doesn’t encroach on time for physical activity, socialising and relaxation.

4.    Teenagers need plenty of sleep

A challenge to get your teenager out of bed in the morning? You’re not alone! Teens need around 9 to 10 hours of sleep yet most sleep only around 7 to 8 hours on average. The trouble is that the sleep hormone melatonin only begins to rise in their brains around 11pm and so they can’t get to sleep until late. When woken for school they’re not happy about it and want nothing more than to go straight back to bed! Too little sleep affects concentration, alertness, academic performance and mood. Consistently getting enough sleep is one of the most effective ways of protecting against depression. The practices can help:

·         Getting up at the same time each day

·         Daily physical exercise, preferably outdoors

·         Avoiding caffeine after 4pm

·         No screens one hour before bed

·         Winding down around 30 minutes before bed

5.    Help your teenager develop mindfulness skills

In a nutshell, mindfulness is about paying attention in the present moment. That’s it! Sounds easy, but like any skill it takes practice but is worth the effort. Our teens’ minds are constantly overstimulated. A regular mindfulness practice will help them to regulate their attention and emotions; and teaches them to create a lifelong practice of taking time out to become calm, relaxed and in the moment. I highly recommend the Smiling Mind app for mindfulness meditations.

Or get them to try this simple breathing exercise: sitting comfortably with eyes closed, gently breathing in through the nose for two counts, holding the breath for one count and breathing out through the nose for four counts, for around 5 minutes. The longer exhale compared to inhale helps calm the nervous system and settle the mind.

Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist