Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Friends of the College,

    We are very near the end of another academic year, and not surprisingly, it has been very busy over the last two weeks. This newsletter is the second last of the year.

    Our Years 7-10 students finished their classes this week and the Years 11 and 12 students finished up earlier on.  Over the last week or so, the students have been undertaking final assessments.  Years 9 and 10 students sat their exams and Years 7 and 8 students have been completing a variety of assessment tasks.  The Year 11 students completed the year undertaking the “Kick Start” program to prepare them for either the Year 12 VCE or VCAL program.

    As a College community, we have held very significant events such as Mosaic and the Year 12 Valedictory Dinner.  Our Year Level Coordinators (7-11) have each organised a “final assembly” to celebrate and reflect on their students’ year, give thanks to God for the many blessings during the year and to provide the opportunity for expressions of gratitude to staff members who have supported the students’ learning and wellbeing. I thank our Year Level Coordinators, Ms Leonie O’Brien (7), Ms Deb Hodge (8), Mr Joe Pannuzzo (9), Mr Brendan O’Brien (10), Ms Kristin Williamson (11) and Mr Joe McLean (12) for their leadership and management of their respective year levels and for their work to ensure a smooth and purposeful finish to the year for our students. I acknowledge the help our Liturgy Coordinator, Mr Brendan Nicholls provided for ensuring each Year Level participated in a meaningful and prayerful liturgy to finish the year. 

    Semester Two Parent Reports

    Parents of Years 7-11 students will be able to access the Semester Two reports via the ‘Xuno’ portal from 4 pm on Thursday 12th December.  These will provide an excellent basis for parents to discuss with their daughters and sons the progress made during the year and to begin to set some student goals for 2020.

    Mosaic Evening

    Our annual Mosaic Evening at Costa Hall was again an exceptional and important whole school event. Thank you to all the families who were able to attend. A strong school community enhances positive outcomes for our young people.

    As in previous years, Mosaic was a wonderful celebration of very impressive student achievement across a variety of areas. I congratulate all students who received awards or presented the results of their learning (Art and Technology Displays) or performed on the evening (Music, Dance and Drama) – well done! 

    It was impossible to acknowledge all student achievements, and I congratulate all students who have tried their best throughout the year.  It is also hard to show off some of the aspects of school life that we value.  Examples include students supporting each other and going quietly about their learning and making the most of the opportunities they have to discover and develop their gifts and talents and being of service to others.

    Thank you to our hard-working staff for organising and running this evening – most staff members played some part in supporting this community celebration. In particular, I thank Mrs Claire Hewitt for coordinating Mosaic. Photos of the event can viewed in the Photo Gallery section of our website:  www.ignatius.vic.edu.au/new/our-school/photo-gallery

    Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon and Concert

    Our College has enthusiastically supported the annual Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon for the last twenty-two years. On Tuesday 26th November, about sixty students performed or waited on the tables serving the lunch prepared by the Church group for the one hundred and eighty senior citizens present at Club Italia, Moolap. As in previous years, I received many glowing comments about our students. Well done to our performers. Also, as well as serving food, many of our students need to be congratulated for the way they conversed with the guests on the day helping to make the day a special one for them. Thank you to Mrs Linda Pape (Performance Coordinator), Ms Marina Brown (Choir), Mr Paul James, Mr Angelo Scotto, Ms Caitlin Doble and several other staff members who helped out for enabling our school to support this initiative of the local Parish.

    Year 12 Valedictory Evening

    On Friday 29th November the annual Year 12 Valedictory Dinner/Dance was held at GMHBA Stadium, Kardinia Park, Geelong. The evening commenced with the formal presentation of the graduands and some speeches. A very enjoyable dinner/dance followed this.

    A special feature of the formal part of the evening was an address by former student, Ms Stephanie Cowdery (2009) who provided an inspirational speech about her life’s journey since school. After completing a Diploma of Languages (Indonesian) and a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Psychology and Health Promotion, Ms Cowdery is currently a PhD Scholar with Deakin University School of Medicine. She is committed to investigating the nexus between physical and mental health. Ms Cowdery shared a reflection on how her learning and the values instilled at school have supported her through the ups, downs and challenges. 

    One of last year’s College Captains returned to promote the “Old Ignatians Association”. Dean O’Brien encouraged the Class of 2019 to keep connected to the College through membership of the alumni association. Each Year 12 student was presented with an Old Ignatian lapel badge that they will hopefully keep as a sign of their continuing connection to their secondary school.

    Fr James Puppady (President of the Association of Canonical Administrators) provided the blessing and expressed his congratulations and best wishes to the students. The College Captains, Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury spoke fondly about many aspects of their secondary school journey, expressed gratitude to the staff and parents and wished their classmates best wishes for the next stage of their life journey. 

    Thank you to the organising committee and in particular, Mr Joe McLean (YLC) and Ms Dani Stanesby. As in previous years, the evening was conducted in a positive, happy and respectful way.

    Photos of the event can viewed in the Photo Gallery section of our website:  www.ignatius.vic.edu.au/new/our-school/photo-gallery

    Year 12 studies 2020 - Unit 3 Orientation Program

    Thank you to the Senior School team of teachers for providing a valuable Orientation Program over the last week and a half to prepare the Year 11 students for next year. It is essential that these students use some of the holiday time to prepare for the undertaking of their Unit 3 subjects. Teachers have given guidelines and provided preparatory work. The students have a responsibility to take advantage of this and not turn up next year finding themselves behind the rest of the class. Can I please encourage parents to support this expectation? I expect that our senior students give their academic program the priority it deserves and other undertakings will need to fit in around their studies. I want all students, as I am sure parents do, to have the best chance of achieving to the best of their ability and this will be enhanced if the prevailing atmosphere is one where students are encouraging each other to do their best with their studies.

    The Potato Shed Wetlands beautification project

    I commend VCAL Teacher, Mr Attel Martschinke, for his leadership and management of this project.

    During 2019, many Saint Ignatius College students and some staff have contributed over 400 individual hours towards this project. This includes:

    • 8 x year 9 RE classes

    • 3 x SICG staff afternoons

    • 12 x year 11 VCAL classes

    • 8 x year 12 VCAL classes

    During these sessions, staff and students of SICG have:

    • dispersed 12 x cubic metres of ground mulch

    • removed 2 x cubic metres of rubbish and debris

    • planted 322 native trees / shrubs

    • made and installed 12 x native bird boxes / feeders and native animal habitats 

    On the 12th December 2019, Mr Martschinke and Mr John Clatworthy will be running two more staff planting sessions with the aim to plant the remaining 278 trees.

    We hope to continue this worthwhile project in 2020, partnering with the management team at The Potato Shed and the Landscape Architect at the City of Greater Geelong.

    Well done to everyone involved.

    Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) Perth

    Tomorrow, eleven senior students and Mr Nicholls, Ms Deak, Ms Kearney and College Chaplain, Fr James Puppady will travel to Perth for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. They will return from this very special opportunity next week on Thursday 12th December.

    ACYF will be a national gathering of Catholic young people in Perth. It was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) “to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia.”

    ACYF has been designed to:

    • “Provide a high quality formative and experiential opportunity for young Catholics to encounter Jesus Christ, in the context of the Catholic Church in Australia;

    • Listen to and discuss the issues and challenges in the lives of young Catholics in Australia;

    • Evangelise young people and empower them to be evangelists; and

    • Provide young people with local examples and connections of vocations, social action, liturgy and prayer, catholic music and catechesis.”

    Please pray for the success of the festival. On behalf of our College community, I wish all participants an enriching and faith enhancing experience. Thank you to the Melbourne Archdiocese for its organisation of the trip and contributing towards the cost for our students.

    Final days of the school year

    Next Tuesday we will conduct the Orientation Day for the grade six students attending Saint Ignatius next year. We look forward to welcoming 250 students to Year 7 for next year.

    The next and final newsletter for the year will be available on the afternoon of Thursday 19th December 2019.

    The commencement date for the 2020 school year

    Please note that classes for all Year levels will commence on the same day next year – Friday 31st January 2020.

    Advent Season

    Last Sunday, we commenced the Advent period of the Church’s calendar, the beginning of a new Church year. The Advent period is a time of waiting and preparing for Christmas. 

    “Lord, you sent us Jesus your Son to bring light to our darkness and lead us to eternal life.  As we begin this Advent season, enkindle within us the deep desire to seek him in all things.  

    Lord, you fashioned our hearts to be satisfied with nothing less than Your love which overflows for us in Christ.  As we journey through Advent, rekindle within us your gift of hope, and turn our expectant waiting into readiness to welcome Him in all persons we meet.  

    We ask you this in his name.  Amen”

    Best wishes,

    Michael Exton  Principal

     

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