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Warners Bay High School

Warners Bay High School

Quality Education for All

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Social Science Achievements 2019

2019 was a highly productive and exciting year for the Social Science faculty. There were many opportunities for students to engage with new sustainability and entrepreneurial initiatives, develop their financial literacy and deepen their understanding of key concepts through fieldwork. Staff were excited by the partnerships and community links that were formed to assist us in providing a real-world context for the teaching of our subject areas into the future.

Our top highlights were:

start.business Learning in Action Program

We were excited to be one of the twenty one schools chosen to participate in the ‘Local Schools for Local Industry' initiative in 2020, funded by the NSW Government. This initiative will allow the Year 9 Commerce students in 2020 to work in teams over two terms to create a product solution in response to problems identified by local employers. Students will be involved in a school based and national pitching competition, working with industry members to develop their creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills.

Ms Noonan and Ms Sommer attended the National Brilliant Business Kids Festival during Global Entrepreneurship Week to gain a better understanding of the program leading up to its implementation in 2020.

Year 9 Commerce Bizfair

On 29 August the Year 9 Commerce students conducted the annual Bizfair. This is an initiative that has been running at WBHS for the past ten years in conjunction with the 'Running a Business' topic. It aims to improve student's teamwork, organisational and decision-making skills as well as help develop an entrepreneurial mindset. It was a successful day, despite the wet conditions, and students sold an array of delicious goodies such as pancakes, slices, brownies and drinks. Congratulations to the students involved who performed their roles as CEO, marketing, finance, operations and legal advisers admirably.

Greater Bank Finance Academy Pilot Program

Commerce students received the benefit of the new Financial Literacy program developed by the Finance Academy, a five year partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Greater Bank. This initiative will be incorporated into the Stage 5 Commerce program over the next five years. 

UON Ambassadors, Lynda Hoskinson and Kurtis Heaney delivered a session on the fundamentals of Financial Literacy and Josh Swetnam, Branch Manager from Greater Bank, Charlestown informed students about credit/debt during the second session.

Financial Independence

All Year 11 students participated in the newly developed Financial Independence workshops as part of the Life Ready program in Term 4. During these sessions, students undertook a pre and post test to determine their level of knowledge and understanding of basic financial concepts such as credit, interest and budgeting. They participated in activities to develop their financial capability when dealing with obtaining loans, signing contracts and getting a credit score. Ms Noonan is researching the financial literacy programs that are being implemented in secondary schools as part of her First State Super Premier’s Teaching Scholarship for Financial Literacy and Capability in 2020 and hopes that this initiative in the school is a sign of things to come.

Creative and Sustainability Challenge

A group of motivated Year 10 students were involved in a new project-based learning initiative in Term Four. They were involved in a series of activities designed to develop their skills and capabilities in creativity, critical thinking, advanced problem-solving, collaboration and communication. Working in groups over four days, they responded to the driving questionz:

How might we tackle waste with student-led sustainability initiatives which benefit the Warners Bay High School community?

They followed a creative problem-solving process to discover, define, develop and deliver initiatives in response to the driving question. Students focused on a range of waste issues within the school such as energy usage, lack of paper and plastic recycling, and the need for a more efficient general waste collection system. Their research findings and sustainability ideas were pitched to a panel of expert judges and their presentations were outstanding. Congratulations to the winning team ‘The Resistance’ and to all of the students involved on their passion, enthusiasm and creativity.

Partnership with Elasmo Ocean

2019 saw the emergence of a passionate group of students driving the need for sustainability and environmental awareness in our school. Some of our Year 10 Geography students benefited from the wisdom of local environmentalist, Hollie Newman of Elasmo Ocean, who presented an engaging talk on plastic pollution as part of the Environmental Change and Management topic. Hollie inspired students to start thinking about how they can minimise their plastic usage and how they can become more actively involved in environmental protection. Some of the students involved in the Sustainability Challenge are forming an Environmental Representative Council in 2020 and will be supported by Hollie in the future.

GTA NSW Brock Rowe Fieldwork Competition

Each year the Geography Teachers’ Association (GTANSW & ACT) holds a special function to celebrate the success of the recipients in the Geography Fieldwork Competitions.  On Tuesday, 2 April, Ethan B was awarded third place in this competition for his submission on the Water Quality of Lake Macquarie. He was presented with a certificate recognising his achievement and a trophy to keep as a memento of the occasion. Tahnee M also received an award for her fieldwork report on the Warners Bay Foreshore Development, receiving 4th place in the competition. Both students are to be congratulated on these outstanding achievements.

Great Barrier Reef Excursion

The Year 10 Geography excursion to the Great Barrier Reef followed up the success of the inaugural excursion in 2018 with a revised itinerary and accommodation choices. Twenty students, including four boys for the first time, participated in organised activities such as snorkelling, zip-lining, traditional aboriginal hunting in mangroves, as well as water quality testing, a reef health survey, and mapping activities​. 2019 saw improvements in student appreciation of the impacts of climate change and pollution on the reef, and overwhelmingly positive feedback on this trip.

Mock Trial

The 2019 NSW Law Society Mock Trial Competition represented another opportunity for WBHS ​students to participate in a world class courtroom experience. Year 11 Legal Studies students competed in a round-robin event against three schools from the Hunter region. Impressive performances from the students at Newcastle Court House were praised by the local solicitors, who acted as the Magistrates in each of the cases, but were not enough for the team to advance to the knockout rounds.

Legal Studies Student Success

A number of students who completed HSC Legal Studies in 2019 received early offers of positions in the Bachelor of Laws Combined program at the University of Newcastle. This was reflective of their effort and application in class over last two years and of the outstanding work Ms Varley has put into supporting these students. Congratulations to Charlotte Y, Lennard F, Ryan C, Oskar B, Abigail J Shaye K.