Tag: school



Peer pressure refers to doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do for the purpose of feeling accepted by your peers. It may influence teenagers to dress a certain way, listen to the same music or have a similar hairstyle as their friends. However, it can also influence them negatively, pushing them to drink alcohol, skip class, take drugs or engage in sexual activities when they may not want to.

Peer pressure can be direct, as in someone telling you what to do. However, it can also be indirect; for instance, your group of friends might do certain activities together that you’re unlikely to do outside of the group. It’s also common to put pressure on yourself in order to fit in.

A big part of going through adolescence is discovering who you are. It’s normal for teens to compare themselves to their peers as they consider how they wish to be, or they simply want to feel included.

You can help your child manage peer pressure by building up their confidence, keeping lines of communication open, suggesting ways to say no and giving them a way out by letting them know you can always come pick them up if they’re feeling uncomfortable.



Dear Matt, How does BYOD work?

The world is constantly changing, and technology is a big part of it. We are unknowingly preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet! Schools need to keep up with this ever-changing world, which is why the BYOD has been introduced in many schools nationwide.

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device”, an education scheme that allows students to bring their own device to school for learning purposes. It’s an exciting initiative that a growing number of Australian schools are taking part in, encouraging the use of technology in classrooms. Students use their device to research topics, complete assignments, use apps, design artwork, create presentations and much more; the possibilities are endless.

What devices does BYOD include?

Devices included in the BYOD scheme usually include tablets, laptops and 2-in-1 computers. You can complete the package with a keyboard and mouse, protective case and antivirus software. To make it suitable for school, your child’s device should have key features such as six hours (or more) of battery life, dual-band Wi-Fi, a minimum 10” screen and a weight of less than 1.6kg.

Guidelines for the BYOD program differ per school, and with so many products on the market, making the right choice can be overwhelming. At Harvey Norman, we have an enormous variety of devices all under one roof, one of which will be perfect for your child. We also offer student insurance plans, so if anything goes wrong with the machine, or if they lose it or break it, it’s replaced.

We can even help customise a device specific to your child and their school, so you don’t have to buy from the school if you don’t want to. With extensive retail experience, a huge range of devices, expert advice in-store and online, competitive pricing and hassle-free payment options, we’d be more than happy to assist.

Feel free to call us or pop in-store to have a chat.

a Cnr Heaths Rd and Bruce Highway, Mackay



Terrific Teachers Townsville, January 2019

Giles Derrett

Townsville Grammar School

“I hadn’t thought too much about teaching until I was coaching sport in a Prep School in England. I realised that inspiring children was something I wanted to do so I changed my university place from Economics to Education.

Giles has been teaching for 17 years and tells PakMag the best thing about being a teacher is ‘working with perpetually curious young people’.

His favourite subject to teach is sport. “The children love getting outside and being active and it’s a great opportunity to teach children the emotional intelligence skills they need to be successful in life – teamwork, humility and gratitude spring to mind.”


Laura King

St Benedict’s Kindergarten and Care

“The best thing about being a teacher is seeing and developing the children’s interests. For example, if we have children who are very inquisitive, we’ll focus on science activities. Then there may be other children who love to sing and dance so we’ll set up a stage and put on a little production. It’s great to be able to focus on every child’s interests because I get to do a range of things every day.

I can’t see myself doing anything else. I love my job, I love going to work every day. It is exciting seeing what children can do. I love being able to say to people – ‘Yes a 4 year old can do that’. Every day is different and every day is brilliant.”


Shayne Bowman

Ryan Catholic Kindergarten and Care

“I can’t think of anything better to do than be around children and be a part of their world. It’s challenging and interesting.

One of the best things about my job is that you can plan a day’s activities, but then a child will come with a question they want answered or they’ve found or discovered or heard something and they want to know more – then our whole day can shift around that. I love these surprises that come from each child. And I find myself learning along with them because kids notice the smallest things and ask those questions – why, why, why – it sparks a curiosity in me and all the kids. I get to go on a learning journey with them. I love working with children.”


Sandy Tisher

St Anthony’s Kindergarten

“Teaching runs in my family and was something I always wanted to do. The best thing about being a teacher is when children understand learning is fun, engaging and intriguing, and not a chore. I recall when a child, who didn’t want to be there and didn’t enjoy learning, finally realised that learning could be fun. He came up to me and said ‘Miss that was so much fun, what else can I learn?’ When children find a joy in learning it is so inspiring.

At Catholic kindies we have a big focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of our kids. When I see children feeling safe, secure and engaged, it’s a highlight of my day. On top of that parents who feel stressed about sending their child to prep can have their anxiety relieved when they see their child excited to learn and ready for prep.”




These spinach, feta and basil savoury muffins are the ideal healthy snack for the lunchbox.

Makes 12


2 ½ cups self-raising flour
250g of fresh shredded spinach
150g feta
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 cups milk
90g melted butter
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease muffin pan with butter.

2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add shredded spinach, crumbled feta, parmesan and stir until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, egg, and chopped basil until combined, then pour this into the flour mixture and combine.

4. Carefully spoon (or use a pouring jug) the mixture into the muffin tins, filling each spot roughly halfway. Bake for 20 minutes and they’re ready! These muffins are an ideal savoury snack for busy brains.

PakMag tip: For the real cheese lovers, sprinkle some extra parmesan or cheese of choice on top of your savoury muffins before putting them in the oven.



Back to school anxiety is very common around this time of year, with the new school year on the horizon. Listen, empathise, identify, reassure – What is the actual worry/fear? Be empathetic (I understand…), identify (I remember feeling … too), reassure (I will help you).

Positive talk

Tell your child how great and strong they are. Remind them of other times they felt nervous or anxious, or a previous time they experienced back to school anxiety, and how they got through it. Be positive yourself, do not show you are worried or anxious about them. Show them you totally believe in them and their ability to go to school and enjoy themselves.

Plan together

Involve your child in planning the routine, lunches to pack and things to do after school. Help them pack their bag and get clothes ready for the morning.

Practise runs to school

Wake up early, breakfast, dress and drive to school.

Go with a friend

If your child has a friend going to the same school, try and go together for the first couple of weeks.

Follow a routine

Same meal times, bed times, wake up times and leave times.


Take deep breaths. Picture something funny like a funny movie. Smile big – it tricks the brain and changes the way you feel. Learn tapping – it instantly calms and relieves negative emotions.



Marcelle Foster

Good Counsel College, Innisfail

“My job is in vocational educational and careers. In year 10 our students do a work experience program – they write resumes, conduct interviews, go to work experience, then use these experiences to help them choose subjects for Year 11 and 12. I try to encourage students to think outside the box”

PakMag: Why do you love being the vocational education and careers teacher?
Marcelle: “I can think of a student who was disengaged with schoolwork, but ended up doing a certificate course that led into the mining industry. Since then they’ve had so many opportunities within the mines, and is being held up as an example in the job. It is such a reward to see the kids become what they set out to do.”

PakMag: Where were you born?
Marcelle: Zimbabwe

PakMag: How long have you been teaching?
Marcelle: 36 years!

PakMag: Most inspiring memory of being a teacher?
Marcelle: I taught in a little remote South African school and it became dual language (African and English).


Jacqui Jackson

St Therese’s School

“I had amazing teachers that changed my life by how inspiring they were – they gave me the belief in myself that the sky’s the limit. I am now in the privileged position to help inspire children to be the best version of themselves. There are not many jobs that you can do that. It’s a responsibility and honour”.

PakMag: If you had one wish for students what would
it be?
Jacqui: I want all our students to develop a life-long belief that you can do anything you put your mind to and that we aren’t perfect at everything straight way – it’s OK and good to make mistakes, that is how we learn.

PakMag: Where were you born?
Jacqui: England

PakMag: What’s your favourite food?
Jacqui: Antipasto

PakMag: What your favourite subject to teach?
Jacqui: English, because I love working with children and helping them develop a love of reading and watching them develop as they learn.


Megan Jackson

St Thomas’s School

Megan loves teaching science and maths. Along with her colleague, Viola Heath, Megan has been running a lunch time and after school STEM and Robotics Club. Each term has a different focus. Our students choose what interests them – whether it is an Engineering and Maths focus, Technology, Arts, or Science focus.

Megan tells PakMag “The enthusiasm from students is catching. For Technology we investigated how boats and catapults worked and kids designed, built and tested them. During the Arts focus we used a green screen and made videos, movies and animations. In Science we had fun conducting different experiments. I notice how well students worked together and drew on each other’s strengths.”

PakMag: Why did you become a teacher?
Megan: I wanted to join the Navy, to do this I had to get a university degree, and I loved teaching so much so that the Navy idea fell to the wayside. I got hooked on teaching and really never gave the Navy another thought.

PakMag: Where were you born? Megan: Brisbane
PakMag: How long have you been teaching? Megan: 12 years.


Kirsten Young

MacKillop Catholic College

“The best thing about being a teacher is watching them in the early years – watching their social skills, grow, watching them develop friendships, provoking their imagination and inspiring them, pushing them to be creative and independent little learners. I take my role seriously, but I like to have fun with the kids and make sure they love learning. I also love teaching PE. I take the kids out for games as part of their learning; it helps with our lessons as well as building their fine and gross motor abilities.”

PakMag: What song represents your life right now?
Kristen: “Shotgun – summer is certainly here, and I love relaxing in the sun!”

PakMag: What were you like as a student?
Kirsten: “My mum was a teacher at the primary school so I was goodie two shoes. I was always worried if I got into trouble at school that I would have double the trouble when I got home!”

PakMag: What’s the best thing about being a teacher?
Kirsten: Watching, especially in the early years. I love watching their social skills grow. I love watching them develop little friendships, provoking their imagination, inspiring and encouraging them to be creative and independent little learners. And kids say hilarious things which makes my day.


Kim Hall

Freshwater Christian College

“I recall seeing the look on a Year 12 student’s face, when I told them I remember them singing me a particular song in Grade 6. I love the relationships that you form with the students during the course of the year and finding out what makes them tick. There are two subjects I (particularly) love to teach. Literacy, because I am a Word Nerd and I am passionate about sharing my nerdiness. Secondly, I love teaching Science. I love doing the hands-on investigations and hearing all the ‘oohs, aahs and wows.’ It’s also really something when an experiment draws out more questions than it answers.”

PakMag: What were you like as a student?
Kim: “I thought about nothing but music, playing it and listening to it. So, now I can relate to kids whose heads are full of Fortnite”.

PakMag: Where were you born?
Kim: “Hornsby, New South Wales”.

PakMag: What is your favourite food?
Kim: “Fajitas. My husband makes the best fajitas outside of Mexico”.

PakMag: Why did you become a teacher?
Kim: I can’t really answer that. I just know I always wanted to teach. I was one of those kids who always taught to a room of invisible children, from when I was knee-high.