Saint Ignatius College Geelong
On Wednesday July 10, 2019 a number of Saint Ignatius College staff attended the Jesuit and Companions Schools Association (JACSA) conference. The three-day conference is held every 3 years at one of the Jesuit Schools throughout Australia. This year we were fortunate to travel to Adelaide and our host College was Saint Ignatius’ College, Adelaide. This Education Conference focused on responding to the challenge to be companions in a mission of Reconciliation and Justice. The conference consisted of three key objectives:
To address the Province Bookend priorities: concerns for Australia’s First Nations peoples and for the country’s most recent arrivals, Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
To find ways in which Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises can be actively adapted to the school setting so that students learn the habit of stillness and the practice of discernment.
To nurture the established JACSA Professional Learning Communities.
The delegates were fortunate enough to hear from the Provincial Fr Brian McCoy SJ and Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ on some of the current issues facing educators today. There were also a number of key note speakers throughout the conference, delivering addresses on a range of topics. Fr Frank Brennan SJ challenged participants regarding our response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers and First Nations People in Australia querying how Ignatian Spirituality can and should contribute to this conversation. Mr. Nishadh Rego from Jesuit Refugee Service depicted the human face of those currently in detention or in precarious positions post-detention while Ms. Barbara Watkins, confronted those present with the challenge to transform mission into action. All speakers were thought provoking, inspiring and generated great discourse amongst the delegates in attendance.
I would like to thank the Saint Ignatius staff who attended the conference alongside myself: namely Mrs. Annette Chidzey, Ms. Alicia Deak, Ms. Deb Hodge, Mr. Paul Lewis and Mr. Brendan Nicholls.
Major Roads Project
The next stage of this project involves completing foundations for the pedestrian underpass and this work has commenced. The underpass will ensure safe and efficient access to and from the Education, Arts and Sporting precinct on Peninsula Drive and is a welcome stage in the ongoing development of the bypass.
The pedestrian underpass has been designed to be wide, light and welcoming for all users. It will be 8 metres wide, 3 metres high and 26 metres long and will open onto a new, landscaped open space with seating and bus shelters at the pick-up and drop-off points on Peninsula Drive. At night, the underpass will be well lit to ensure the safety of people needing to access it.
Piling work for the new pedestrian underpass will resume on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 with the rig moved on site prior to that date. During this time, you will notice some large machinery near the old entrance of Peninsula Drive. These machines will be drilling holes, driving concrete piles deep into the ground and building concrete footings.
While the underpass foundations are being built, the existing pedestrian detour will remain in place from Andersons Road to Peninsula Drive. There may be minor adjustments to the detour at the closest points to the piling work, but clear directional signage will be provided any time there are alterations.
I encourage all students to ensure they remain out of the construction area and follow the signage provided by the Major Roads Project Victoria group.
At the conclusion of last term, we had a number of international immersion trips that departed to various locations around the globe. There were significant life time memories created for all participants undertaking these experiences. It was pleasing to welcome back staff and students during the recent holidays and listen to the detailed stories that these trips provided. I would like to acknowledge the following staff who shared the experiences with our parents and students.
Kokoda – Companions Ladder Program – Staff Ms. Stacey Learmonth and Mr. Brendan O’Brien who attended as a parent
Timor Immersion – Ms. Alicia Deak
World Challenge – Mr. Michael Brown, Mr. Byron Mitchell, Ms. Leonie O’Brien, Mr. Nathan Patterson and Mr. Angelo Scotto. I would also like to acknowledge the College Alumni who attended the World Challenge Expedition as Expedition Assistants: Keira Ford, Chloe Barry and Bridget Waring.
The following students have brought distinguished acclaim to the school and themselves in recent weeks and I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge their respective efforts and achievements:
Jet Kneebone (9 Beltran) who represented VIC Country in the National U/16 Basketball Championships. There were only 10 boys selected from the Victoria country region. The team had a very good carnival making it to the Grand Final, where they were defeated by Vic Metro.
Tristan Bond (9 Arrupe) and Mason Ward (9 Gonzaga) were presented with the Australian Scout Medallion. To attain this award reflects sustained effort over many months and years, plus self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. All of the attributes we want from our students at Saint Ignatius. Well done.
I would also like to wish the following students all the best as they undertake the following endeavours:
Lucy Mawson (7 Ward) and Charli Nicol (9 Gonzaga) will be representing Team Victoria in the U/12 and U/15 Netball Schools Sports Australian Championships
Jye Clarke (9 Isore) and Ashley Van Loon (9 Regis) who are both representing Team Victoria in the U/15 boys and U/15 girls AFL competition.
We look forward to hearing about their experiences when they return to the College.
A reminder that Semester 1 reports will be accessible online via the Parent Portal on July 23, 2019 from 9am. In addition to assist future planning, there will be a Subject Information Expo for all year 9 and 10 students to be held at the College on Wednesday August 7. This evening is designed to provide detailed information in regards to upcoming pathways and 2020 subject selections at both levels.
Further details will be forwarded to parents and guardians of students in these levels closer to the Expo, but for now I ask that this date be diarized to ensure everyone can be present.
Michael Timms Acting Principal
As we return to a new semester refreshed and energized we are challenged to enter into another period of learning, discernment and growth. New beginnings are a very important part of life. When we begin something anew we have the chance to leave some of what was less helpful in our past, be transformed and bring new things to life in our lives. This fact is true of individuals, communities and society as a whole.
As individuals each of us has the opportunity to enter into the next six months with a revised vision for what we hope to achieve and who we would like ourselves to be. As a community we consider what might be achieved collectively between now and the end of the year and the plans that might be implemented and may bear fruit next year. As a society we enter into a new financial year and at all levels pause to consider what we might be able to achieve with the gifts provided by our resources and collective ‘hard work’.
Reflection and discernment is greatly needed in our Country at this time. This week our Government rejected recommendations by the Australian Human Rights Commission to relax a number of draconian and retrospective laws that affect some 30,000 asylum seekers. Many of the laws in place affect the ability for these vulnerable people to seek employment and contribute to the economy, to be able to live above the poverty line, to access elementary health services and have a hopefully vision of the future.
As we enter into a new financial year our Government has continued to slash the funds offered to support people seeking asylum. There has been a 60% reduction in the budget in this area over the last two years, which in the coming year will equate to approx. $30,724 per person being offered to support employment services, ‘welfare’ payments etc.
Conversely border protection and offshore detention blew out to $1.158billion in 2018-19. Meaning that the cost of offshore detention was $1.266millon per person. The enormous discrepancy in the cost of detaining asylum seekers and refugees offshore and the limited funding offered to support those in our communities is difficult to resolve.
These facts are part of an extremely difficult and emotive issue. However, the cost to our collective humanity and the wellbeing of vulnerable human beings cannot be summarily dismissed. The psychological stress upon those affected is inordinate. Without hope people become despondent and lost. This eventuality leads to significant mental health problems and suicide (24 cases since 2010). As a community we are a people of hope. Our vision is centered on the teachings of Jesus, his resurrection and the promise of eternal life. Let us consider how we can align our identity and views with this difficult and complex issue.
Last Sunday the Gospel reading was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A story that is well known and often used as an ethical yardstick. A few points that are less well known is the relationship between Jews and Samaritans at the time. The tension between the two communities was palpable and visceral. A comparison in Australia today would be the manner in which ‘right-wing’ groups view Muslims. Many of the asylum seekers and refugees affected by the budgetary decisions are Muslims. They are also have fled from cultures that are significantly different to our own.
As the narrative is so engaging we often remember the story rather than the key point in which Jesus asks the Lawyer, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” This question and response offers us the key to unlock the crux of any significant issue – mercy.
At this time, we as individuals, communities and as a nation would do well to reflect upon this reading in the context of refugees and asylum seekers. How may we pause for a moment and view the issue through the eyes of Jesus? How might we judge with his heart those who have sought protection in a manner that is against the laws of our Country? Are we able to see the person or are we only able to see an issue, legislation or labels? What viewpoint honours our faith community and our personal relationship with Jesus? Reflection of these points guided by the ‘head, heart, hands’ model many be of profit as you consider this demanding matter.
Head - Be informed
Seek information about the situation that is from reputable and unbiased sources and consider the problem rationally.
Consider and evaluate the suggestions of Pope Francis and faith based organisations such as Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO).
Contemplate the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) in a personal way in relation to refugees and asylum seekers. Which character illustrates your current position on the issue? Who in our society are illustrated by the other characters? Which character best reflects who you are called to be? Who is your nieghbour? How can you show mercy?
Heart – Pray
Pray for mercy and compassion. Desire to be like Jesus and ask God to provide the gifts needed.
Pray to be transformed. Ask the Spirit to seek out any hardness or lack of empathy in your heart and restore you to wholeness.
Seek inspiration in Scripture and pray that the Word will guide your heart and mind so that you might be able to go beyond your current field of vision. Pray that you might be able to truly ‘see’ the person.
Hands – Action
Show that you care. Advocate for change, help those who suffer by contacting a refugee and asylum seeker organization and volunteer, reach out to refugees in your own community.
Discuss the issue with others. Although doctors and health care workers are legally able to voice their concerns other professionals who serve in offshore detention centers face hefty fines and imprisonment if they speak out. Thus the reality of what refugees and asylum seekers face is largely hidden from and unknown by our community.
Evangelise. Have courage and affirm that your view is based not only upon objective data, considered thought, but also your lived faith. Let others know that you are able to move beyond numbers, labels and statistics and that guided by the Spirit you believe there is a better way and a hope filled future for all people.
As we settle into a new semester and our Country into a new financial year I encourage you to take a moment to consider the future of our society, our College community and yourself. Our journey of discipleship continues as we look toward the end of another year and our ability to discern the will of God and the change that we can bring to the world is unlimited.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On Thursday 27th of June, Luke Giblin and Darcy Nichols (Year 12 VCAL Students) completed an assessed performance for their VET studies in Music and Performance at the Queenscliff Brewhouse along with fifteen other students undertaking the same course from Bellarine Secondary College. They performed in front of an audience of 80 music lovers, locals, family and friends.
Luke sang 'Talk is Cheap' by Chet Faker, 'Someone Like You' by Adele and an original called 'Key to my Soul'. This is Luke’s first year in the VET program and this was his first performance in front of a live audience. Although he was very nervous and apprehensive, all his songs were greeted with rapturous applause. Luke will continue to build his confidence during the year.
This is now Darcy’s second year in the course playing guitar, drums and the keys. At the Queenscliff Brewhouse, Darcy performed with his band called CouCh, they played a high energy acoustic cover of 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley and then four original compositions, 'She’s on the Loose', 'By the Sea', and two which are available on Spotify and iTunes, called 'Orange Juice' and 'Home'. Go check them out now!
There will be a final performance at the Potato Shed where Darcy and Luke will present their final exam pieces, and everyone is welcome to attend. Luke wants to continue his music pathway by undertaking a Sound Engineering course in 2020 at either Melbourne Polytechnic or Collarts Music College. In 2020, Darcy is planning to study Music Business Management or Sound Engineering at either JMC or Melbourne Polytechnic.
Darcy and Luke acknowledged that the flexible Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) programme gave them the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake future studies in music composition and sound engineering. I’m sure we’ll see them both perform at such events like Splender in the Grass and the Queenscliff Music Festival in years to come.
Ms Kirsty Allan VCAL Coordinator
Last week of term
Tomorrow is the last day of classes for the term, and we look forward to the semester one break over the next two weeks. Over the last while, students have been very busy completing and then submitting final pieces of work for the semester. Teachers have also been very busy with corrections and writing the Semester One Reports.
These reports will be available online through the parent portal from 9 am on Tuesday 23rd July 2019. We do not have scheduled Parent/Students/Teacher Conferences to follow-up on these reports, however, parents are most welcome to contact teachers early next term to make a time to discuss student progress in response to these reports.
Tomorrow, the students will be dismissed at 2.20pm due to the special school bus timetable for the afternoon of the last day of term two. We will run six shortened periods so that all Friday classes will have some time on the day.
I wish all students a restful break and encourage them to spend some time revising and preparing for the next term. In particular, VCE students should be using some of this time to review the work covered to-date, preview and prepare for the work ahead and complete any set work given by teachers.
Please note that classes resume for term three on Tuesday, 16th July 2019. (Yr 12 VCE students will complete a mid-year English exam at the College on Monday 15th July between 9 am and 12:15 pm.) Monday 15th July 2019 will be a Teacher Professional Practice day, and there will be no regular classes on this day.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to take some of my sabbatical leave from the start of the forthcoming school holidays for five weeks. During this time, as part of my ongoing commitment to Education in Faith leadership studies, I will undertake a course, “Forming International Leaders in the New Evangelisation” through Australian Catholic University (ACU) at St Mary’s University in London, UK and ACU’s Rome Campus, Italy with visits to some schools and other significant locations in both countries.
During my absence, Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms will be Acting Principal.
Congratulations Fr Kevin Dillon on 50 years of priesthood!
On Sunday 1st June 1969, Fr Kevin was ordained at his “home parish” - Our Lady of Lourdes, Armadale. This was the beginning of his fifty years of connection with six parishes in Melbourne: East Bentleigh, Ivanhoe, Altona, Mitcham, Geelong and Rowville. Other roles during these fifty years include working at the Vocations Office, the organisation of the 1986 Papal Visit, and six years as Episcopal Vicar for Communications. Also, there are many, many significant achievements resulting from his leadership. However, for Fr Kevin, “it has been the ongoing and deep connection with parishes - and therefore with parishioners - that has been the keystone of my past fifty years as a priest.” In Geelong, we are very grateful for his time as Parish Priest of St Mary of the Angels where he provided extraordinary leadership and service to the Geelong Catholic and broader communities.
Our school community is very grateful for Fr Kevin’s generous support as President of the Association of Canonical Administrators during his time in Geelong. Fr Kevin served on the College’s Board, celebrated many, many student Masses and spoke at many major College events. His priestly ministry, his presence and his wise words were valued and enriched our school community, enhancing our Catholic ethos and identity. Many from the Geelong region, including myself and others associated with our College, travelled to Fr Kevin’s current parish, St Simon the Apostle, Rowville to attend a very special Mass and celebration afternoon tea on Sunday 2nd June so we could join in congratulating Fr Kevin on this milestone of 50 years of priesthood with gratitude and best wishes. Congratulations, Fr Kevin!
Two staff members will be leaving, and another one will commence parental leave at the end of this term as follows.
Mrs Nella Costa (Finance/Admin. Officer)
Retirement is a significant decision to make in one’s life journey. It is important, as a school community, we recognise this milestone for one of our long-serving staff members, Mrs Costa. To do so, I look back with gratitude for Mrs Costa’s dedicated contribution since she commenced her involvement with the College in 1991 at the then Catholic Regional College in Geelong. She has been a vital member of the Finance/Admin team and in particular, worked in the areas of accounts (school fees and the ordering of and payment for resources) and bus coordination.
She has been a loyal and hardworking member of the College Community. Her three children, Anthony, Miranda and Richard, all attended the College.
In looking forward, on behalf of the College community, I wish Mrs Costa every blessing for a very happy, healthy and rewarding time as she commences the next chapter of her life. We will miss Nella. Thank you and best wishes.
Ms Brooke O’Brien (Year 8 Homeroom Teacher/English and RE Teacher)
Ms O’Brien has been a very well-regarded teaching member of staff at our College for nearly five years. Among many valuable contributions, she has taught senior English and coordinated the College’s “Personal Learning” program. I am very grateful for her dedicated, enthusiastic and hardworking approach that has benefited so many students. On behalf of the College, I wish Ms O’Brien all the best for her future.
Ms Elana Cole (Year 7 Homeroom Teacher/Indonesian, English and Humanities Teacher)
I wish Ms Cole all the best as she commences parental leave. We look forward to good news later in the year!
I thank Ms Cole for all she has done to date to settle the Yr 7 Carroll students into secondary school, and in particular, her work to build on the College’s “Companions” Program.
To replace these three staff members, I inform you of the following appointments.
We had plenty of notice about Mrs Costa’s retirement and have appointed Mrs Jenny Peters as “Assistant Business Manager”. Mrs Peters’ role includes many of the duties Mrs Costa performed.
Current teaching staff member, Mr Michael Tod (Year 7 Homeroom Teacher/RE and English Teacher) will change his teaching allocation to teach Ms O’Brien’s classes and become the Year 8 Montserrat Homeroom Teacher. Mr Tod will also take on the Debating role with Years 7 to 9 in support of Ms Andrea Dart.
I am grateful to a current teaching staff member, Mrs Gemma Tolan, who will take on the coordination of the “Personal Learning” Program.
With Mr Tod changing his teaching allocation, this meant that we needed another teacher to replace his current teaching load. I am glad that I could appoint Ms Amy Anderson to the College’s teaching staff. Ms Anderson will be the new Year 7 Miki Homeroom Teacher from the beginning of next term.
Mr Andrew Blackstone will be replacing Ms Cole for the remainder of this year and will be the Year 7 Carroll Homeroom Teacher.
I am grateful to a current teaching staff member, Ms Tory Wood, who will take on the “Companions” Program coordination.
Also, there have been a few changes to the subject teacher of some classes to help make the adjustments necessary to accommodate the changes mentioned above. These changes will be indicated on the relevant student Semester Two timetables available through our online Student Management System, ‘Xuno.’
World Challenge and Kokoda
Photos from our World Challenge immersion in northern India and our Kokoda trip can be view in the gallery.
Michael Exton Principal
As we finish the semester we enter into a fortnight of rest and relaxation. It amazes me how quickly two weeks passes during the holidays. Before you know it well-meaning people will be noting that ‘you have less than a week left!’. With this in mind it’s worth spending some time considering what holidays offer us and how we might best utilise the time offered.
School holidays vary throughout the year and from year to year. Some holidays are pre-planned with ‘holidays’ to overseas destinations or to locations in Australia some distance from home. The Christmas holidays are superb as the weather is hot, Christmas is celebrated and the whole family has a number of weeks together. The term one holidays always offer us excitement in the celebration of Easter and time with family and friends over an extended break, the weather is good so camping is always an option. The term three holidays are usually cold and wet – best spent somewhere north! The mid-year semester break is the period where we generally have not much is planned. The end of semester holidays are an excellent vehicle to explore the idea relaxation and contentment. Let’s consider how these coming weeks may be enhanced and offer more than we might normally experience.
Assuming nothing ‘big’ is planned these holidays we have fourteen days to fill. The first weekend is often spent idle. Many sports and hobbies have a break over the school holidays. So the first weekend is savoured as a time to ‘chill out. No school work (for teachers or students) and very little is planned. These first few days are a time to unwind and forget the day to day pressures that have for almost three months have become increasingly demanding.
Once the first weekend passes the challenge is to use the remaining days well. How might one best make use of time offered to rest and rejuvenate? There are a number of options. Take each day as it comes. Or have one activity planned each day so that days don’t simply drift by. Another option might be to book everyday fully and use every minute in doing something that is worthwhile. There is no right or wrong. We each spend the time as we see fit. Each day we are allotted 86400 seconds. How we use them in our holidays is completely up to us.
The beauty of the holidays is that they offer us freedom. We have no commitments. We can choose what we do and when we do it. With this freedom we can use the time in a manner that brings contentment and wholeness or we can ‘waste’ the time doing things that leave us unfulfilled. We individually judge what is time well spent and what is time wasted. What we do with our time is unique and personal. The key to enjoying our holidays is to be in control of our choices and in being able to evaluate what was done in that time as being of value.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
The poem offers a beautiful vision of nature that leads us to a sense of gratitude to God for his gift of creation. The images Wordsworth paints with his words are alone enough to draw us beyond our normal thoughts. They direct us to Ignatius’ vision of ‘finding God in all things’. Nature is remarkable in the way in which it can move us from the ordinary to the profound or transcendent. So much occurs perfectly without the need for our actions. Nature is truly breath-taking.
As we move towards the school holidays we have the chance to use these thoughts well by spending some time in contemplation. Going out and observing the world that is so often concealed from our gaze nourishes us spiritually. Nature can never lead us to a feeling of boredom. There is so much happening if we simply ‘be’ we will be awestruck with the complexity of the interactions occurring all around. The secret to experience these things is to begin.
Over the holidays I encourage you to make time each day to go out and observe. Do nothing. Do not go for a jog or walk the dog. These activities offer rewards we often experience. Spend the time doing something different. When you are comfortable with this practice go a step further. As Ignatius suggests intentionally seek to ‘find God’ in the moment. This experience may offer a profound insight to the absolute presence of God that can be camouflaged in our normal interactions. We find God easily in friendships or things such as music. Purposefully seeking God in the ordinary without doing enables us to see with great clarity how present God is in every way; endlessly.
However you may choose to spend your time over these holidays I hope that when we return as a community you can look back upon the two weeks and say that it was time well spent. I wish you well as you enter this break and that you might be able to take up the suggestion; get out, observe, seek God and relax.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On Thursday May 23rd, our talented VCE music students performed their outcome 3 works at the Piano Bar in Geelong.
Over 100 parents and friends attended this fun evening. It was a great venue and the students, although very nervous, enjoyed themselves immensely. Many thanks to the parents, friends and staff who supported the students and to Eva Hay and Noah Gullan for being fabulous comperes.
“High School Musical Junior”
Over the past semester, the unit 3 theatre studies class has been extremely busy preparing and rehearsing ‘High School Musical Jr’ for there outcome 1 study requirements.
This has been a very busy time for the class, as each student as well and acting in the show, was also part of a design team. Whether it be set or lighting, costume or props we were able to work together and create/source many of the aspects for the show on our own.
This was an extremely beneficial and fun experience for all of us. Though at times it was a bit stressful, I am happy to say that we all, as a class, were able to overcome and adapt to any of the challenges thrown our way.
After a full week of intense final rehearsals, the big days finally arrived. Amazingly we were able to sell out both of our performances, each show leaving the audience singing along and begging for more! After speaking to many of the people who viewed the show, there was one clear consensus, that this was one of the best school musicals they had ever seen!
And this is 100% attributed to brilliant effort that each class member put in, so thank you very much for getting ya heads in the game and for always being ‘all in this together’.
A special thanks to Ms Walker, who calmly guided and mentored us all through this mammoth task! GO WILDCATS!!!
Noah Gullan, ‘High School Musical Jr’ Director
Year 7 Concert Band Evening
The students from Years 7 Borgia, Miki, Lewis, Claver and Ward presented an evening of musical excellence in the Potato Shed last week. Together with their tutors, they played a number of pieces as a large ensemble and in small instrumental groups. After only 2 terms of learning the technical realms of their instrument, they were able to play well in time with each other and played with good attention to tone and articulation.
Congratulations also to the Year 7 students who participated in the Honours Band, spending their own lunchtime preparing ‘We Will Rock You’. Thank you also the Junior Concert Band for presenting their item, which allowed the audience and insight into further musical opportunities at Saint Ignatius College next year.
A special thank you to the Instrumental Tutors Mrs Hobbs, Mr Corrin, Miss Cordell and Mr Neal, Ms Doble and Mrs Marrie for their hard work also.
A reminder that the Honorarium Application forms distributed at the event are due to the main office by Friday 28th June. Students who are being offered instruments for next term will be given their instrument to take home on this day also.
Veronica Marrie and Caitlin Doble
Over the semester at our College, the music department has held an array of musical opportunities for students such as the music Thursdays which have been held over the past five or so weeks.
Up and coming, we have the “Feast Day Talent Quest” which will give the students the opportunity to have a sing and also maybe win some prize money. We also have the snap shot competition which is up and running and there have been many applicants for this competition.
I am looking forward to many more Arts activities next semester.
Jack Woodfine Arts Captain
Youth Classical Competition
Congratulations to year 12 music student, Sean Neylan, for coming runner up in the recent “Regional Youth Classical Competition”. We were all so proud of Sean getting through his tough heat weeks before and managing to land himself in the final which was held in McCauley Hall, Sacred Heart College on Sunday, June 2nd.
The contestants at this final were outstanding and so we were delighted that Sean played so brilliantly. Sean received $1,000 in prize money! Congratulations to Sean and also to his piano teacher Mr Adrian Montagnese.
On Tuesday June 25th, the Year 12 music class performed at “Seaview Manor” aged care. Many thanks to Glenn Chidzey who made us feel so welcome and to the beautiful residents who were so appreciative of the performances.
Sean Neylan, our pianist, was especially grateful for the beautiful grand piano.
Year 8 Assembly
The Year 8 assembly last week showcased a number of very talented students.
Congratulations to Summer De Vries, Genevieve Kelly, MacKinley Watson and Lily Petterwood who were just fabulous and entertained the year level so beautifully. These students have displayed such amazing talent at such a young age and I look forward to seeing them develop as our future performers of the college.
If students are interested in taking private lessons in public speaking, voice or an instrument, they are to obtain an enrolment form from the office and return it to me before Friday 28th June.
Dates for all Performing Arts performances for next semester will be in the next newsletter. Looking forward to seeing many parents and friends at our future concerts.
Linda Pape Performing Arts Performance & Instrumental Coordinator
World Challenge Expedition
Fifty-eight Year 10 and 11 students (divided into four groups) and staff members, Mr Byron Mitchell, Ms Leonie O’Brien, Mr Nathan Patterson, Mr Angelo Scotto and Mr Michael Brown, depart on Saturday for an overseas adventure to spend a month in Northern India. Our school groups will be travelling under the guidance of World Challenge Expeditions who will provide Guides for each group. Accompanying the group will be three past-students of the College who went on a World Challenge expedition during their time at school. The groups fly into and out of Delhi. They will travel in northern India trekking in the Himalayas and travelling in Rajasthan. Their trip will include a service project as follows:
Team 1 - Jodphur
The Sambhali Trust is based in the city of Jodhpur in Western Rajasthan. Since its creation in 2007, Sambhali Trust works towards achieving gender equality in India. Team 1 will be based at the Jodhpur Empowerment Centre, where local women are taught literacy and a broad education, as well as crafts & sewing. On site there are facilities for the attending women's children to attend classes.
Team 2 - Udaipur
The Girls Senior Secondary School, Tekri is a Community School based in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The school has 10 teachers and about 296 children (Boys 31 and Girls 266) studying at the school from 1st class to 12th class. Most of the children coming to the school are from a minority and poor background.
Team 3 - Manali
This school is located in a small village just outside of Manali and is run by the local village government. The school has three teachers for about 50 children studying most of whom come from underprivileged families of the local community.
Team 4 - Manali
The John Wesley Public School was established to cater to the underprivileged children living in and around the village of Sarsai. There are about 170 children, both boys and girls studying at the school. Most of the children coming to the school are from a minority and poor background.
On behalf of everyone, I wish the group a very healthy, happy and safe time away. I look forward to their safe return on July 10th and the many stories they will have about their Indian adventure.
East Timor Immersion experience
On Sunday 23rd June, two of our Year 11 students, Jessica Breckon and Hannah Lace and, our Ignatian Coordinator, Ms Alicia Deak will travel to Dili, East Timor with a group of Year 11 students and teachers from Jesuit and Jesuit Companion Schools from across Australia. This “immersion” experience for the students will involve them visiting the Jesuit school and touring some of the surrounding areas. They will return early in the second week of the holidays. I wish them all an enriching and safe experience.
We look forward to finding out about Hannah and Jessica’s experiences through the newsletter early next term.
A new initiative this year is the parent – student Kokoda trip, Papua New Guinea. This trip is one of the opportunities we provide as part of the ‘Companions Program’ to support parent – daughter/son relationships. The inaugural trip departs on June 24th and will return on July 4th 2019. Teacher, Ms Stacey Learmonth will accompany the group which will be under the guidance of Mick O’Malley’s Australian Kokoda Tour Group.
I wish all participants a very safe and rewarding experience.
Congratulations to Sean Neylan (Year 12)
Congratulations to Year 12 student and pianist, Sean Neylan who was awarded “Runner-up” at the Regional Finals Concert of the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition on Sunday 2nd June. It is a very high achievement to be selected to participate in this competition organised by the Trustee of the Geelong Advertiser Music Scholarship Trust. Twelve finalists were competing, and the College congratulates Sean on his award which includes a $1000 prize. Many of us have watched and listened to Sean playing the piano over the years at many school-related concerts.
His performances have been outstanding and a delightful part of each of the programs. We wish Sean all the best for his future.
Congratulations to Mitchell Bond (Year 10)
Congratulations to Mitchell Bond (Year 10 student) who was recently named Junior Sportsperson of the Year at the Victorian Disability Sports and Recreation Awards. As you are aware, at Saint Ignatius College we encourage leadership development for our students, and it is a credit to Mitchell that his award recognised his leadership and commitment as a member of various wheelchair basketball teams. Mitchell’s involvements have included the Under 23 Victorian wheelchair basketball squad, South Australian wheelchair basketball team and the Australian wheelchair basketball squad. We wish Mitchell all the best for his future. An article published in the Geelong Advertiser on May 31st is included in the newsletter.
Congratulations to teacher Ben Collyer and his wife, Michelle on the arrival of two beautiful little girls, Zoe Jade and Lucy Mae.
Australian Catholic Youth Festival
Archbishop Peter Comensoli places a high priority on the formation of our young people. This is based in part on his experience that events such as the Australian Catholic Youth Festival and World Youth Day provide young people with a living and compelling encounter with the Lord, strongly present amid young Catholics who are committed to their faith. He has acted on this priority in his desire to take a very large contingent of students across to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Perth in December.
To realise his vision, Archbishop Peter has asked for the support of Catholic secondary schools to organise a group from each school to attend ACYF. The Archdiocese will generously subsidise half the cost for each student attending. I hope our College will be able to send a group to Perth.
Our RE leader, Mr Brendan Nicholls, is coordinating this trip for us. Mr Nicholls has commenced promoting this event to our Years 10, 11 and 12 students. I ask parents to discuss this wonderful opportunity with their daughter/son and encourage her/him to apply if they are interested in and would benefit from participating in what promises to be a tremendous youth faith experience.
More details of the ACYF are available at https://youthfestival.catholic.org.au
Year 10 Work Experience Week
Best wishes to Year 10 students as they undertake their Work Experience placement in the last week of term.
The aims of the program include the following:
to build self-confidence and independence by learning to cope with new situations and new people;
to learn about the changes taking place in society and the workplace;
to learn practically;
to explore a variety of career opportunities and decide how these relate to the student’s interests, skills, values and goals; and
to prepare students for life after school and provide an insight into the world of work.
Some Work Experience positions were made available through school; however, students and their families were encouraged to use their initiative to secure a suitable and interesting place themselves. When I signed the Work Experience forms, it was interesting to see the diverse range of placements that our students have been able to obtain.
Thank you to Mr Bruce Connor (Work and Further Education Coordinator) for his efforts to coordinate this program and Mr Brendan O’Brien (YLC) for his support in this area and the Year 10 Teachers involved.
Arrangements for the last day of Term Two
On the last day of this term, Friday 28th June 2019, the students will be dismissed at 2.20pm due to the special school bus timetable for the afternoon of the last day of term two. We will run six shortened periods so that all Friday classes will have some time on the day.
Commencement of Term Three
Please note that classes for Term Three resume on Tuesday 16th July 2019. (Year 12 VCE students will complete a mid-year English exam at the College on Monday 15th July between 9 am and 12:15 pm.) Monday 15th July 2019 will be a Staff professional practice day.
Michael Exton Principal
At the end of the week a large number of our staff and students will leave our shores for immersion experiences to Kokoda, Timor Leste and a World Challenge expedition to Northern India. For our students in particular these experiences are extraordinary and for many life changing. When we go beyond the ordinary and experience new things we grow and our perception shifts. In a similar way the Apostles experienced this profoundly at Pentecost and through the Spirit were able to do impossible things.
As our students enter into their adventures they will have a sense of awe and wonder. The world is so diverse and beautiful that initially many will feel overwhelmed. Observing a new place is a revelation, often seeming brighter and more spectacular than it is as our senses struggle to take it all in. These moments are truly special. When we see something new or see something in a new way we are changed and become more whole.
As our students travel to these places they will also encounter many challenges. The most difficult being a variety of different languages and their inability to communicate effectively with others. From experience I can say that this is the single most frustrating situation you can be in! Speaking loudly, slowly or with an accent suited to the other does not help. Inevitably we fall into a form of pigeon English and a primitive version of sign language, or charades, to bridge the gap.
If we are persistent and engage in the process with good humour we are able to communicate with those who we do not share verbal language with and in fact find that a stronger bond of friendship is developed.
When we engage with others what we say and do matters equally. However, when we cannot speak with the other person due to differing languages what is most important is what we do because this is the only form of communication we have. As people made in the image and likeness of God we are called to serve others and love. So in situations where communication is difficult the first thing we do is to show love and friendship through the act of smiling. A smile lights up our face and welcomes the other. Our desire to offer friendship is expressed best in our face and then I affirmed by our actions.
At Pentecost the Apostles were given the gift of speaking in other languages. Because of this they were able to communicate with others and evangelise. As our students travel to new places and meet new people they may not be able to speak the same verbal language but they are well equipped to speak the universal language of friendship and in turn offer the love of God to strangers. This is a form of evangelisation and an expression of our faith.
Interestingly when we consider communication we should note that each person has an accent. This accent may be literal or metaphorical in the way in which we form and maintain friendships. As our students travel they will overcome the challenge of verbal language but they will also grow as they form new friendships with the people they travel with. On this level they will encounter challenges as their ‘accent’ and the ‘accent’ of others may hinder the formation of these relationships. What they will learn through this process is that through patience they will in particular become more comfortable with the non-verbal ‘accents’ of others and more clearly understand and value them.
Verbal and non-verbal languages can cause many problems in our lives. In being patient and maintaining a desire to communicate there is however no limit to what we can achieve in life. To grow and become multi-lingual we need to understand the purpose of communication. The only purpose of language is express ourselves in love and service. This is the Gospel and we all are well equipped to live it and spread it each day.
We pray for our staff and students as they head off. We ask God to open their eyes so that they may see new things with a sense of awe and wonder. We call upon the Spirit to provide all that they need so that they can communicate with others and build new friendships as happened at Pentecost. And we ask God to bless them and keep them safe, in the palm of his hand, until the return safely to our community and their families.
I hope you also enter the world with these thoughts in mind keen to develop new friendships, serve others and work through the ‘language barriers’, and accents that might otherwise limit your opportunities. May you become a polyglot when it comes to ‘speaking’ with others as you journey forward.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Can you remember back to when your child first read to you? Does it nearly bring tears to your eyes, at the miracle of it all? Whether it was a phonetics approach or whole word or a combo of both, it is an incredible and empowering feat for any child. You would have seen the immense pride evident as they developed skills for decoding language. You may have shared the joy as they found the funny reader, and they couldn’t read the next lines because they were laughing too much, (this humour probably revolved around an accident or a fart!)
Well why stop your engagement with reading there? The event held in the ILC on May 30th titled ‘My book doesn’t have a charger’ involved the local community including authors, parents, students and staff who all gathered to chat about reading and books.
Sue Lawson, Michael Panckridge and Mark Smith engaged the audience in a panel discussion about the joys of reading and the incredible process of writing short stories and novels. It was fascinating to hear how each author became motivated to create fiction for the young adult audience.
There were broad ranging discussions about the sources of inspiration for writing, the long process of drafting and editing and the absolute joy of being able to publish texts that resonate with young readers. All of the authors admitted that great writing was all about having an idea that is interesting and draws the reader in. They strongly conveyed the message that students may not be the most accomplished writers but that shouldn’t ever stop them writing their stories. The role of a good editor was discussed and there were students asking pertinent questions about the whole process of creating a work of fiction.
There was a great atmosphere in the ILC as all the authors on the panel were speaking about the importance of finding the right book and discovering the joy of reading. The loud and clear message was that – Reading matters!
Sue, Michael and Mark’s advise to PARENTS included
Modelling reading - particularly Dad’s
Reading the novels/ plays/ short stories/ and films that are set for study and talking about what you’re reading
Accessing audio books ( Saint Ignatius College ILC & Borrowbox Geelong Library) and downloading these to a phone/ ipad.
Some suggestions for what to read included books by the following authors:
Vicki Wakefield, Scot Gardner, & Jay Krsistoff
Specific recommended titles included:
Lenny’s book of everything by Karen Foxlee (highly recommended)
Wildfire by Fiona Wood
Inheritance – by Carole Wilkinson
After the lights go out - by Lili Wiklinson
Promise me happy – by Robert Newton
Detention by Tristan Banks
I’d like to share some comments from students who attended the night with a parent/s:
It was really interesting to hear about the authors pasts and what inspired them to become a writer and all about their books and what inspired them to write them.
The literacy evening was an excellent experience that taught me so much. It taught me that you do not have to be excellent at English like punctuation or spelling, as long as you have a great story others can help you with the English language component. The food was delicious and it was a great night.
The night was really good and well organised. There was lots of food (maybe a bit too much) and the authors were really nice and gave good feedback and advice. Overall it was a great night and I really enjoyed it.
Finally – acknowledgement must go to Ms Elana Cole our (Companion’s Coordinator)
as this evening came from ‘a spark of an idea’ and she worked hard to bring it together. Elana was passionate about kids ‘unplugging’ from screens and picking up a book. The evening could not have been possible without the generous support of Librarians Mrs Leonie Stephenson and Mrs Rosemary Kelleher.
Thanks to all the parents, students and staff who attended and if you didn’t make it - there is always next year.
This evening proved that - ‘A book doesn’t need a charger’ - it is the ‘charger’.
Jane Alexander Literacy Coordinator
Building program update
The new Year 9 and Multipurpose Centres under construction are now very prominent buildings on the school site. The main building activity is now directed to the interiors and external landscaping. From outside, the buildings look like they are nearing completion however, there is still considerable works needed inside.
The latest estimate from the builders of the handover time is at the end of August. So we are looking forward to taking possession in September. Hopefully there will be no delays in the meantime.
On behalf of our College community, I express our sympathy to two families from our College community who have recently lost loved ones.
Prudence Flynn (Year 11), her brothers Clark and Joel on the passing of their dearly loved mother, Marjorie Flynn.
Teacher Stacey Learmonth and her family on the passing of her dearly loved father, Roger Learmonth. I also express our sympathy to Joe McLean (Year 12 YLC) son-in-law of Roger.
May Marjorie and Roger Rest in Peace.
One of the key tenets of our College mission is to form well-rounded young men and women. The College provides many and varied opportunities for students to support our holistic approach to education. We encourage our students to be involved in the co-curricular program to the best of their ability and interests.
To their credit, most of our students, most of the time do embrace these opportunities. We have worked hard to develop a culture where it is the done thing to try out and have a go. The attendance rate at Sport Carnivals has been very high. For example, the number of absentees from the Swim Carnival was about the same as a normal school day of classes. Our sports teams have no shortage of participants and our performing arts opportunities, particularly the College production are very well patronised. A strong culture of students participating in co-curricular activities and events builds school community, improves student learning outcomes and strengthens the holistic education we provide that results in our graduates being known as well-rounded young women and men of character and compassion.
It is important we monitor and support the expectation of high student attendance and participation in College events. It is a condition of enrolment.
Recently, I learnt that some of our Year 11 students did not attend a special year level day on Road Safety. I was disappointed about this.
Students must not opt out of such events without a very good reason. This was a valuable program and the organising staff put a lot of effort into providing this educational experience. I imaging that most of our Year 11 students are currently ‘L’ plate drivers and with the current focus on road safety because of the increased road toll, I think the value of this program would be self-evident and therefore not to be missed.
Strong values with consistent good habits develop character. The behaviour of most of our students gives me confidence that they are developing a strong character.
I want to protect and promote this. I expect parents to support us with the expectation that if there are no extenuating circumstances, their daughter or son does not pick and choose which days to attend. As a matter of course, the Year 11 Team will carry out an evaluation of the day with a view to ensuring they are always improving how we do things, so next year’s will be even better and hopefully attended by all students.
Finishing on a positive note, I am well aware of the high student attendance at many other recent events. Two that I recently had the pleasure of attending were the Year 8 Mass and Dinner and the VCE Music Soiree evening. Both were well attended and I commend the students for their involvement.
Michael Exton Principal
As I write this we are in the midst of the first true ‘cold snap’ for the year. The sky is dark, the wind is hurling rain so that it stings and the wind chill is minus nine degrees; meaning the temperature is effectively -2.5c! It’s times like these that you either love living in Victoria or start to consider a move to Queensland. Our seasons are a reminder that nothing is permanent and that we need to adapt and enjoy change. The true test of this ability is to have the courage to rug up and walk straight out into the storm with excitement and a sense of joy.
Our lives are not linear, everything ebbs and flows. All that we know changes like the seasons. Here for a while and then subtly change occurs so delicately that we often do not even sense the movement and then something new begins. There is no constant in our lives except for Jesus.
The cold weather over the past week can offer us something metaphoric to contemplate. Winter is a time of short, cold, rainy days. There are moments in our lives like this. Often the ‘winter’ in our lives occurs suddenly and demands a response. Often illness, a death, problems at work or a fracturing of a relationship are sudden and like winter force us to change what was in the past safe and enjoyable.
Our patron St Ignatius encountered this storm due to the catastrophic injuries caused at the Battle of Pamplona. His vision of the future was no longer achievable and all that he had known and all that he had prepared for became a memory. In his convalescence he encountered Jesus and his heart and desires changed due to the movement of the Spirit within him. His winter occurred at Manresa. The nine months in prayer and service of people in need changed him and afforded him mystical experiences that transcended the ordinary. Because of his injuries and his dedication to seek God he became truly whole and left a spiritual legacy that is a treasure freely given shared to this day.
As we are forced to respond to the cold weather we might profit from contemplating moments in our lives, maybe even in the present moment, where we have entered into an emotional or spiritual winter. What can be drawn from experiences that we would rather not encounter? It may be that during these times we stay indoors, seek comfort and warmth. We may pause our social commitments or superfluous engagements whilst we contemplate how to move forward. We may rest and seek comfort in what is safe or we might reach out and find warmth in friendships and family members who are able to affirm and revive us.
Take a moment to bring to mind a time of winter in your life. What shocked you about the change? What subtle signals were there that might have forewarned you and allowed you to plan if you were to notice? What did your time ‘indoors’ look like and what did you draw from this period of seclusion? How did the silence of being alone open your heart to the love of God that is particularly discernible at such times? What other things bought comfort and healing? How did this unwelcomed experience lead to spiritual growth and resilience?
Based upon this reflection it would be worthwhile going deeper. Based upon what you learnt from the experience how could you respond differently in the future? The American band Casting Crowns released a track called “Praise you in this storm” in 2005. The lyrics were written by the band as they sought to come to terms with the death of a young fan to cancer. The song reached #1 on the Billboard charts, stayed in the charts for over fifteen weeks and has been bought/downloaded over a million times since its release. The lyrics of this song are worth mediating upon as they encourage us to reflect about how we might prioritise God in times of need and enjoy his mercy and healing at the most difficult moments. The song offers us the following to contemplate:
“And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
That you are who you are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm”
As the seasons change and storms move through from time to time how can we ensure that we praise God more in our day to day lives and especially in times of trouble? Inspired by St Ignatius how can we draw closer to God in times of trouble; even if we are empty and don’t feel his presence around us?
As the weather this week offers us a point of reflection we can gain so much through what is offered metaphorically. As I conclude these thoughts the wind still blows and the showers continue to pass over, but the sun breaks through and the birds begin to call. Even though the storm rages we can glimpse what is better. Although it’s Artic outside the wind will calm, the rain will move on and the sun will shine again and bring new life. In the interim we can reflect, rug up and enter into the storm. Although we don’t desire the cold wet weather we know it is necessary and that we can be joyful and invigorated if we have the courage to open the door and experience the changes that are occurring. Just as the sun shines through even on the coldest days God’s presence is discernible even when everything around us seems dark and empty.
I wish you all the best over these first wintery weeks and hope that you can find joy in the change of season.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Year 9 students will undertake 6 core subject exams over the duration of 3 days. Each day students will sit an exam during periods 1 & 2, followed by a study session in periods 3 & 4, concluding with another exam during periods 5 & 6.
This is the first time the Year 9 students will sit for an extended period of time under examination conditions. Having witnessed first-hand recently the exceptional application and behaviour, by our Year 9 cohort during the NAPLAN testing, I am confident that this Year 9 group will conduct themselves admirably.
Year 9 students are also expected to prepare and revise thoroughly for each exam and many staff are organising graphic organisers, worksheets and conferencing in the lead up to exam week. I would ask for your support with this by not booking appointments during these times so that students are then providing themselves with the best preparation possible.
Exams can be a stressful time for both students and parents. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mind set in the lead up and during exams. Eating the right foods, getting sufficient sleep and conducting effective and efficient study routines can go a long way to improving performance.
Mr Joe Pannuzzo Year 9 Level Coordinator
Please view the Year 10 exam timetable and examination rules for semester 1 2019. Students work on an individual timetable at Year 10 and have been asked to take their own responsibility to know when they will be sitting each of their exams.
Exams really go up a level at Year 10 and our procedures and processes reflect that but I am also confident the students will rise with the expectations. Exercise, sleep and good routines at home will also assist students in what will be a busy time for all Year 10's
The exam rules reflect the VCE VCAA exam rules and are expected to be adhered to by all students.
When students are not in exams they are fully expected to be here at school for their supervised study sessions and I would ask for your support with this by not booking appointments during these times so that they are then providing themselves with their best preparation possible.
Year 10 students are also expected to prepare and revise thoroughly for each exam.
Advance notice - classes will run as normal post exams and prior to work experience although there are a number of alternative activities to complement their normal timetable (wheelchair basketball, wellbeing day, assemblies etc).
A PDF of the Exam Timetable and Rules of Conduct can be viewed here:
Thanks for your support in this busy time of the year
Mr Brendan O'Brien Year 10 Level Coordinator
As part of the year 11 studies at Saint Ignatius College Geelong students will be undertaking a series of Unit 1 exams starting on Thursday June the 6th. Students have been provided with an exam timetable and a set of examination rules to help plan their studies and have been informed when they will be sitting each of their exams. It is the responsibility of the students to advise Ms. Williamson, Year 11 coordinator or Mr. Brown, VCE coordinator of any exam clashes or dates by Monday June 3rd especially if students are currently timetabled to undertake more than two exams in one day. Once advised of such clashes, alternative arrangements will be made for these students.
Teaching staff have been preparing students ahead of these exams to reflect on their learning over the past semester as well as guiding them in the development of examination skills expected at VCE level. Ways in which you may support your son or daughter in these exams include helping them to maintain good sleep practices, undertaking regular exercise and maintaining balanced routines at home during this busy time.
During the exam, the rules and regulations pertaining to VCE exam as outlined by the VCAA will be followed. These rules can be found on the VCAA website: https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/assessment/vce-assessment/Pages/ExaminationRules.aspx
During the exam period, students will be expected to undertake private study here at the College during any non-exam periods. I would seek your support further by trying not to make external appointments in the next few weeks, so as to provide students with the best opportunity to optimise their preparation and exam performances. It is expected that students revise thoroughly prior to exams, reviewing notes, completing past questions and maintaining a positive work ethic.
At the completion of the examination period on June 14th, students will commence Unit 2 studies in their chosen subjects on June 17th. Students who undertake any College based immersion trips such as World Challenge or the Kokoda Expedition are advised to obtain directions from their teachers regarding any work that may need to be completed by the start of Term 3.
I wish all year 11 VCE students success with their Semester 1 exams.
A PDF of the Unit 1 Examination Timetable can be viewed here:
Unit 1 Exam Timetable Semester 1 2019 (33 KB)
Unit 1 Exam Timetable Semester 1 2019 (33 KB) 30-May-2019
Should you have any further queries, please contact me at the College via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Michael Brown VCE Coordinator
Supporting student perseverance
Perseverance is a characteristic of successful learners.
As you are aware, it is essential to praise and affirm students to support their learning. In education, we focus on effort, persistence and strategy as key characteristics for successful learning more so than the praise of intelligence or skill. Moreover, to some extent, perseverance determines effort and strategy.
Like many schools, at Saint Ignatius, we encourage our students to adopt a “growth mindset.” This approach is based on Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s work. The powerful statement, “not yet” encapsulates and supports this approach. When a student says, ‘I don’t get it,’ using this approach, we can respond, ‘You don’t get it yet. What’s our next step?’ In this way, we encourage a student to persevere with her/his learning.
Educationalist, Tom Meagher (STEM Educator, Minnesota, USA), offers another insight that can help us to develop student perseverance. I think he makes a good point that when talking to students about tasks they need to undertake instead of presenting challenges to students as things to work on that just need to be done, we should frame the challenges as opportunities for practice, for building knowledge and skills, for getting better with learning in the doing and not just the end product.
Does your daughter/son have trouble following through on tasks and commitments? Does she/he give up when it gets too hard, or say she/he has had enough of it? As parents, we know the importance of perseverance in life. I think most of us could recall many, many examples of the challenges we have been faced with. Regardless of how we managed these, our reflection on what we learned about how we handled these would include a recognition of the value of faith, hope and perseverance. No wonder parents would naturally worry about their child’s development of her/his ability to persevere.
I came across the following advice* for parents. Most parents are doing a great job at persevering themselves with supporting their daughter/son in this matter and probably have many insights, skills and experience that is valuable. I offer this for your consideration to help parents in this task.
Don’t think of your child’s character as fixed. Most of our worries about our children are about the future. We see the young person who quits and worry about what this could mean for their character as an adult. However, who they are now is not who they will always be.
Explain the difference between “I don’t want to” and “I don’t feel like it”. Distinguishing long-term desires from immediate feelings will help children understand the difference between an immediate task and the ultimate goal. This is a lesson that doesn’t register right away, but it’s worth planting the seed and emphasising over time.
Let them know you see the areas in which they do work hard or show motivation. Say “I know you’re someone who can stick with things when they’re important to you”.
Get to the root of their concern. Why don’t they want to go? Perhaps they feel they aren’t as good as the others. What might make that better? Extra practice with your help? Help them see we often have to be not so good at things for a while as part of the process of getting good at something.
Children should have control over their own lives, but that doesn’t mean they can back out of a commitment, or waste the money parents have paid for lessons or gear. If they are adamant, then expect them to write a letter to the coach or organiser explaining why they are quitting. This makes them take ownership of their decision. They cannot ask parents to phone and get them off the hook.
Keep exploring. It may take a while to find what really motivates and enthuses them.
We can’t make them develop grit. We can expose them to things they may like, support them in sticking with things as they get harder and express confidence that they can handle the stress or the boredom.
The world is so complex that we have no idea where the things that will inspire and excite our children come from. If we encourage children to keep seeking what they love and to work hard at it when they find it, that will help them grow into confident and self-directed young adults.
[* Acknowledgement – “Principals’ Digest,” Volume 24 Number 31]
College Assembly – tomorrow
We will conduct our next whole school assembly tomorrow, Friday 17th May in the gym. Parents and Friends of the College are welcome to attend. Please report to the office by 10:45 am on the day. The assembly will conclude at around 12:30 pm.
Year 7 Enrolments for 2020
Can I please remind parents of current students that if you have a child in Year Six this year that applications for a place in Year 7 next year at Saint Ignatius College Geelong close tomorrow, Friday 17th May 2019. Application forms are available online or from our office at the College.
Year 7 Camps
I was very pleased to be able to visit the Year 7 camps on the evenings of Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th May at Anglesea. I was very impressed by the positive and enthusiastic responses I received from the students about their camp experience and how they were settling into secondary school life. As in previous years, I took some of the College Captains with me. These Senior Student Leaders were delighted by the warm welcome they received. They did a tremendous job meeting as many Year 7s as possible, talking about their experiences of camps and school and encouraging the young students to make the most of their opportunities. I congratulate Ms Leonie O’Brien (Yr 7 Coordinator) and the staff team involved in providing this valuable experience for our Yr 7 students.
On Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and today, Thursday 16th May, our Years 7 and 9 students sat the 2019 NAPLAN tests. I visited the test venues each day and was impressed with the cooperative manner and seemingly diligent approach of the students to these tests – well done to the students. Thank you to Mrs Annette Chidzey, Ms Jane Alexander and Ms Vicki Munro for their work to coordinate these assessments and all staff involved in supporting the running of this external assessment program. Parents will be provided with a report from VCAA via the school about their daughter/son’s performance later in the year.
Jesuit Mission Maytime Fair
Saint Ignatius College Geelong was again very pleased to be able to support the Jesuit Missions Maytime Fair at Xavier College on Saturday 4th May. This was our seventh year of helping out. The proceeds will assist the Jesuits in their work with people in India, Myanmar, Africa, China, East Timor, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand and The Philippines.
Well done to the six Senior Student Leaders who with some staff help ran a “Tastes of the Bellarine” stall. They raised just over $2,200 on the day. As well as raising valuable funds or performing, the students were great ambassadors for our College and strengthened our connections with the network of Jesuit groups.
Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis (Depurty Principal), Mr Anthony Gravener (Student Leadership Development Coordinator), and all staff members involved in supporting our students’ participation in this event. And thank you to the many local businesses that donated items for the stall.
Farewell to Mr Andrew Humphrey (Grounds & Maintenance)
After 15 years in this role at our College, Mr Humphrey will be moving to a position at another school. On behalf of our College community, I express my gratitude to Mr Humphrey for his contribution to the development and maintenance of the College’s facilities and grounds during a period of considerable growth in school population and expansion of our College facilities. His work has helped ensure that our students have excellent and well maintained facilities and grounds so our students have a pleasant and safe learning environment. I wish him a rewarding time in his new role.
Staff member on leave
Mrs Claire Hewitt will be on long service leave for the remainder of the term. I wish Mrs Hewitt a restful and enjoyable time. Mr Max Green will be covering Mrs Hewitt’s Mathematics classes.
Michael Exton Principal
Being unique and special is an aspiration for many in our society. People work so hard to prove their value and their incomparable merit that they often fail to offer, or even know, themselves. Social media enables people to offer an edited vision of ourselves to the world. This image is a false and linear illustration of the person we are. The places we go and the images people view of us are presented only if they inform or enhance the approved narrative we have of our life and image. When we enter into relationship with others and are real and present, people being to uncover and engage with the complex and multifaceted nature of who we truly are. We are deeper and more valuable than we allow others to see or know. Ironically to be unique and special we simply have to know who we are and be that person.
In Religious Education classes at the College our students are encouraged to observe and be critical as they explore the history and teachings of the Church, the Bible and of Jesus himself. As students journey from their junior years to their senior studies they are guided to develop from a literal and fragile understanding of these things to a sophisticated and enduring appreciation of faith. For many students the image they offer the world begins to soften, as they find that their uniqueness is found in their sacredness.
Courage is needed in allowing young people to critically explore the Church. In exploring the history of the Church students see times where the Church was not true to the teachings of Jesus and that temptation and human weakness moved people who were viewed from the outside as good to knowingly do wrong. In our times young people have grown up hearing about how some used the image of their faith and ordination to hide their evil desires and actions. Worse than the Pharisee’s Jesus condemned are those who abused children and used the image of their priestliness to avoid scrutiny for so long.
Conversely in exploring the history of our Church the students find that although individuals within the Church can stain the Church with their choices, misuse of authority and ego have not changed the mission of the Church. The Holy Spirit always guides us so that justice, vitality and new ways come from times of challenge. Because of this the Church develops because of challenge and is brought closer to perfection and more able to bring about the Kingdom.
Encouraging the students to explore the Bible critically can cause alarm. Assisting students to explore Scripture as a text at a base level would ignorant and misguided. As foundational understandings are refined faith is questioned on this journey the students require guidance. This is an essential task for the College as an underdeveloped literal interpretation of the Bible is certain to fail them. To develop they require affirmation that their exploration and reasoning guided by the teacher and the Holy Spirit develops the ability to support their faith in the future and results in deep and enduring insights in the present. Growth requires challenge and development. Understanding and interpreting the Bible is for young people a very challenging experience. From this challenge growth occurs which bares fruit that informs and nourishes every other area of their life.
Associated with the student’s development in Biblical literacy is a change in how Jesus is understood and known by the student. In exploring the Gospels our students see Jesus in a new way. The person of Jesus, like ourselves, is complex and at unknowable. There is a mystery present that we cannot discern in examining the text of the Bible or the teachings of the Church. To know Jesus, we must ‘know’ him. To develop this personal relationship students, participate in prayer, liturgy and the Eucharist often. Even though he lives within us and we have a personal relationship with him we cannot truly know him in this life. Our love for Jesus is rewarded at the end of our lives when we meet him face to face. It is in our eternal life that we truly know Jesus.
Throughout the student’s time at Saint Ignatius College we accompany them as they complete their religious education studies, engage in social justice activities and develop their ability to pray and celebrate through liturgy. Over six short years at our College we hope and we pray that they are challenged, grow and come to see and be the best of our Church.
There is however another critical part of this process which occurs through unguided observation alone. Each day our students engage with so many members of our community. The staff at the College have a particular impact upon the individual and therefore it’s paramount that they are faithful to the aims of the College, Church and community. What is even more important that this is that they are an image of Christ to the other; always. In our humanness we fail at times to achieve this completeness. What is essential though is that when staff fail to be truly present, err or do not serve as are able to is to acknowledge this, make good what is undone and improve in the future.
At the end of this week we say farewell to a staff member who is a beacon to all in the community as to how we should hold ourselves. This Friday, Mr Andrew Humphrey will leave the College to take up a new position at Kardinia College. Andrew has faithfully served our community for fifteen years. He has overseen the development and maintenance of the grounds and facilities with dedication and enthusiasm over these years. He is always cheerful and encouraging. He is humble and is by name not known by many of the students. Yet, Andrew is an exemplar of what the staff at Saint Ignatius College can and should be. For the students his work ethic, personality and observable virtues are inspirational and enlightening. Andrew is a person who has little need to manage the image people see of him.
As our young people grow they are truly in the best place. They have access to excellent facilities, courses, professionals and formation. They also have people around them who model how being true to yourself and allowing others to also can lead to growth and a completeness in diversity as part of a community.
So with courage we offer all that we can to our students. In doing so we know with great faith in them and Jesus that they will be transformed and one day leave us as people who can offer their whole self to the world, unafraid of image and guided by their heart rather than their ego. The sum of our efforts is the development of exceptional men and women for others, who have a love for Jesus and a vision for a better more just world.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
New Beginnings and New Opportunities
Between the 6-10th May, our Year 7s travelled to Anglesea YMCA for a camp.
The focus of the camp was team building through activities. Students were encouraged to push themselves out of their comfort zone as they worked through a program of initiatives that ranged from Fishing to climbing 18m in the Vertical Challenge.
In this wonderful environment, new friends were made and laughter rang out across the camp ground.
Our students are to be commended on their positive attitude and behaviour. They supported each other and should be very proud of how far they have come on their journey at Saint Ignatius. They truely embraced the theme of New Beginnings and New Opportunities.
I would like to thank the students and our passionate and committed staff who worked tirelessly to make Camp 2019 such a success.
Ms Leonie O’Brien Year Level Coordinator
What the students had to say:
My favourite part of camp was the giant swing. I went all the way to the top! My heart skipped a beat when I pulled the cherry at the top but as soon as I was swinging I had so much fun. The view was great!!
Camp was amazing, phenomenal even. We were given so many opportunities and we got a chance to meet new people and create new friendships. My experience was awesome. I loved getting to know new people, and I must say all the activities we so much fun! My three favourite activities would easily be the giant swing, the mountain bike riding as well as the vertical challenge.
My favorite part about camp was the fishing. it was very fun, I caught 5 fish and one very big one.
My camp highlights was the crate climb it was really fun and challenging. Also Mr Timms on the giant swing screaming!
An Evening with Christine Nixon
'Comedy for Cause'
Scholarship Applications Open Today
2019 Academic Assembly
2020 Immersions and Trips Launch Evening
An Evening with Christine Nixon
An Evening with Tom Lonergan
Book Collection Day 2019
Class of 2014 '5 Year reunion'
College House Athletics Carnival
College House Swimming Carnival
College Office Opens 2019
'Comedy for Cause'
End of Term 1
End of Term 2
End of Term 3
Kokoda Expedition 2019
Labour Day Public Holiday
Open Day 2019
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Public Speaking Recital
Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Scholarship Applications Close Today
Semester One Reports
Senior School Expo Evening
St Ignatius Feast Day Activities 2019
St Ignatius Feast Day Assembly 2019
Start of Term 1 2019
Start of Term 2 2019
Start of Term 3 2019
Student Free day
Term 1 Holidays 2019
VCAA GAT Test (VCE)
VCAL 2020 Information Evening
VCE Music Soiree
VCE Unit 1 and Year 10 Exams
VCE Units 2 and 4 Commence
Whole College Assembly Term 2
World Challenge Expedition 2019
Year 11 2020: Senior Pathways Day
Year 11 Wellbeing Day
Year 12 Exam and VTAC Information Night
Year 12 Retreat
Year 7 Camp 1
Year 7 Camp 2
Year 7 'Father and Daughter' Night
Year 7 'Welcome Mass'
Year 8 'Father and Son' Night
Year 9 and 10 Subject Information Meeting
Year 9 Exams
Year 9 'Thyme and Plates' Evening
Years 9 and 10 Music Night