Da Vinci Decathlon Success

The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students between year 5 and 10. Named after Leonardo da Vinci, one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars, students compete in 10 disciplines in teams of 8.

This year 1376 students competed in the competition which represent 172 teams, two of which were ours, from TSS Preparatory, one Year 5 and one Year 6 team.

The boys competed well and finished up the competition with some excellent results:-

Year 5 earned a second place in both English and Code Breaking.

Year 6 team placed second in Cartography.

Congratulations to the boys:-

Year 5:- Ashton Bellchambers, Declan Carl, Benedykt Dominikowski, Phoenix McNab, Dominic Stansbie, Tadhg Stuckey and Cody Wood

Year 6:- Daniel Aloysius, Max Carr, Lucas Dell, Jinxiang Li, Andrew McMath, Thomas McClintock, Rohan Sheppard, Jack Westmacott and Ryan Mahon.

Thanks to Mrs Poeszus (Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator) who trained the boys for the competition and to Ms Deb Schinckel for attending on the day to assist them.

Student Health

TSS is a school which proudly lives out its claim of providing a holistic education for the boys.  The curriculum program is broad and inclusive, the co-curricular program is extensive permitting every boy to find his passion and the pastoral program helps boys to develop their confidence, resilience and independence.

In addition we conduct many programs throughout the year which focus on the boys well-being both physical and emotional.  For example, this week will see the return of the Life Education van and educators who will work with the boys on health education and drug and alcohol education.  This program is well-loved by the boys and they eagerly await the return of Happy Healthy Harold and the crew each year.

We are constantly upgrading our support of the boys in this area and in 2017 we were able to provide the services of a school nurse to the Preparatory Campus.  I take this opportunity to introduce you all to Nurse Lou.

Nurse Louise Payne joined the school staff this year and brought with her a wealth of experience in providing high quality health care for young people.  She worked at the The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne for 17 years and concurrently with Monash Health, Melbourne, until her family relocated to the Gold Coast in 2016.

She lives in Southport with her two daughters and husband.

Her experience at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) covered Respiratory, Adolescent, Emergency, Oncology, and Allergy. From 2006 she became a Paediatric Dermatology Nurse Consultant both at RCH and Monash while still working on wards at RCH. Since moving to Queensland she has worked as a Clinical Nurse in Allergy & Immunology at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Louise was delighted to take up role as the TSS Preparatory School Registered nurse at the beginning of this year. She has enjoyed it immensely and has extended her involvement with the school by  now working additional hours at The Southport School Senior Health Centre to support the Boarding community.  One of her passions is promoting and assisting with proactive healthcare initiatives across the school community. She is embracing these new roles and have been thrilled by the way the entire school community has welcomed her.

The boys have come to know ‘Nurse Lou’ as a tremendously caring person who takes the time to get to know them well and we are delighted to have such a professional working alongside the teachers.

Asthma and Allergy Management Plans

There are students who are listed on our database as either Asthmatic or  having an allergy, both conditions which require a current management plan which informs the staff of the school exactly how a boy’s GP requires any incidents to be handled.  As parents can appreciate it is absolutely vital that the school has a very clear understanding of each boy’s requirements and so I request that all parents who have listed their son as having either condition ensure that they have a yearly visit to the GP to update the management plan.  This plan then needs to be forwarded to the school for our records.  This GP visit does not have to be a specific management plan consultation and can be done in conjunction with any other visit to the GP and really takes very little time.

In recent weeks, Nurse Lou, has been contacting parents to ensure that the management plans on record are up to date and clear in their intent.  While the overwhelming majority of families really appreciate this close attention to their son’s care, there have been a few that have indicated that this is not necessary.  It is important to note that parents cannot have it ‘both ways’ – claiming a condition and then not providing adequate information about its management.  If your son does not require a management plan, then it is unlikely that he should be listed as asthmatic or possessing an allergy.  If he is listed as such, then we require a current management plan to be recorded.

One of the main reasons a current plan is important is to provide teachers with advice on health management when away from the campus.  On excursion or camps, it is rarely the case that a qualified registered nurse is available and so teachers rely on the information provided by your son’s GP in order to assist him if necessary.  Boys cannot be left to self-medicate, as often in cases of these two conditions, their decision making is impaired and they may not make appropriate choices about their medication.

If you son does not have a current management plan it is likely he will be unable to attend excursions off campus until he does.  If you have any questions about a management plan, then please contact Mr Mark Wyer (Preparatory School Deputy Head – Pastoral Care) or Nurse Lou both through the Preparatory School campus.

Student Progress Reports

Teachers are currently working on compiling the boys progress reports for Semester 1 and these will be issued to parents in the first week of the school holidays.  They will be available on-line through the parent portal and a hard copy will be sent home.


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