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We're going back to school

We're going back to school!

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, it's almost time for students and teachers to dust off their notebooks and line up for class. To kick the school year off with a bang, UniSQ's Media and Communications Team has compiled expert rollcalls for newsrooms seeking 'Back to School' stories. We'll be sending out the lesson plans every morning this week, so be sure to sit up straight and pay attention...

Managing 'Back to School' anxiety

The first day of school is such an exciting time for students and parents alike, but it can also be a time of extreme anxiety – particularly for students starting at a new school or for anyone who might struggle with the change to routines after such a long break.

  • Registered psychologist and educational counsellor Dr Yosheen Pillay can share some strategies parents and children can use to manage 'Back to School' anxiety and stress. Dr Pillay can discuss the practical ways parents can help prepare their children for the start of the school year, tactics students can use throughout the day in the classroom, and calming tools for parents who might be dreading sending their babies off to school for the first time. Media contact: Sophie Volker 0431 579 370

Dos and don’ts of packing school lunches

Packing a tasty and nutritious lunchbox for your little one can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when it comes back uneaten. But with obesity rates among children getting worse, the pressure on parents trying to balance their children’s nutritional needs and their wants is only increasing.

  • Dietitian Dr Andrea Fuller says a nutritional lunch box can help children build healthy bodies and minds, stay alert in class and be energetic all day, but doesn’t have to be a nightmare to pack. Dr Fuller has some 'Back to School' lunch packing tips for parents struggling to produce school lunch ideas for their fussy eaters. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435

'Back to School' shouldn't be 'back to back pain'

As most Australian children are getting ready to go back to school over the coming weeks, some may unknowingly be heading into a "back to school, back to back pain" cycle. A common myth has blamed this squarely on backpack ergonomics and backpack weight. Whilst for those students who are experiencing pain, lightening the load, and wearing the backpack correctly will certainly help, there is little evidence to state that heavy and poorly worn backpacks cause back pain.

  • Physiotherapist Dr Pierre Röscher says just like the start of a sporting season is an adjustment for athletes, the start of the year for students means unconditioned bodies and muscles due to the long holiday period and the general break from activities and sports. Easing into the year with gradual exposure to activities like sports and reducing backpack weight where needed are effective ways to help students avoid the "back to school, back to back pain" cycle and condition their bodies to cope with the demands of school. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435

Let’s not get physical: Why the senior PE syllabus needs a rethink

Queensland senior secondary school students (Years 11 and 12) studying Physical Education have their final grade based on just 18 per cent of the marks coming from practical work. In the coming years, the marking breakdown of the final grade could be weighted even more towards the theory component to resemble New South Wales and Victoria, which considers only theoretical work when grading.

  • Health and Physical Education expert Dr Brendan SueSee argues marking a Physical Education student based entirely or almost entirely on their theoretical knowledge was like marking a Home Economics student without cooking. Dr SueSee explored this issue in his latest paper in the journal Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. Dr SueSee also points out that there were twice as many Year 12 students completing the Queensland Senior Physical Education Syllabus before it was changed in 2019. The former syllabus awarded a final grade based on equal parts practical and theoretical knowledge. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435

School’s in, sleeping late is out

Do you have a child who wants to stay up past their bedtime on a school night? You’re not alone. Making your children go to bed at a reasonable time is one of the most difficult tasks for parents, especially when they’re not tired enough to go to sleep.

  • Sleep expert Dr Chris Watling says sleep is critical for young people as adequate sleep offers many benefits that will help them do better at school. Dr Watling can provide simple tips parents can use to create a bedtime routine for their children ahead of the start of school. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435

How simple strategies can help weather the ‘Back to School’ storm

The 'Back to School' season brings a lot of changes that can be stressful for children. Transitioning from their laid-back summer routine and comforts of home to a structured school environment can be a big challenge and add to 'Back to School' jitters.

  • Occupational therapist Emma Kay says introducing some simple strategies into the routine at this time of year is the best way a parent can help their children have a positive transition back to school and support their well-being. She can share advice on the ways parents can help their children cope with the challenges they might face when starting or returning to school. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435

It’s not just the first day for students!

The first day of school is a momentous occasion for students, but it’s also a massive day for graduate teachers stepping into the classroom for the first time.

  • Education expert Dr Ellen Larsen can discuss the strengths graduate teachers bring to a classroom and how schools, parents, and fellow educators can help support them through their first year. Dr Larsen can also discuss why keeping our teachers is so important for our kids. Media contact: Sophie Volker 0431 579 370