Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    This newsletter is the second last of the year. The contents reflect the hectic, energetic and active period when we finish-up another school year.

    Our Years 7-10 students finished their classes this week and the Yrs 11 and 12 students finished up earlier on.  Over the last week or so, the students have been very busy 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 Yr 12 VCE or VCAL program.

    As a College community, we have held very significant events such as Mosaic and Yr 12 Valedictory Dinner.  Our Year Level Coordinators (7-11) have each organised a “final assembly” to celebrate and reflect on the students’ year, give thanks to God for the many blessings during the year and 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 Tory Wood (7), Ms Deb Hodge (8), Mr Ben Collyer (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.

    Parents of Years 7-11 students will be able to access the Semester Two reports via the ‘Xuno’ portal from 4 pm on Tuesday 11th 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 2019.  I imagine at this hectic time it might be difficult to find the time (and energy) to conduct this vital conversation; it may well be best to be left to after Christmas. 

    Whenever it happens, I believe it is critical to ensure another year doesn’t pass and as parents we demonstrate the value of education by taking the time to affirm positive and constructive student learning habits, challenging where there is room for improvement and guiding the setting of improvement goals for next year.  Parents could book time with their daughter or son to reflect on the year.  Some examples of prompts that I provided at this stage last year for reflection by students were: 

    Think about what you were like this time last year.

    How much have you changed?

    How has your life changed in that time?

    What good things have happened?

    Are there any areas you think you could improve in?

    Anything you would like to be better?

    Think about your hopes:

        for the summer?

        for next year?

    This will also provide the opportunity for students to give thanks for their growth and increase in knowledge, understanding and skills during the year and for parents to encourage students to say ‘yes’ to all the suitable opportunities for growth and development in the year ahead. 

    Mosaic Evening

    Our annual Mosaic Evening at Costa Hall was again an exceptional and important whole school event. Thank you to all families who were able to attend. A healthy 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 – all staff played some part in supporting this community celebration. In particular, I thank Mrs Claire Hewitt for coordinating Mosaic.

    Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon & Concert

    Our College has enthusiastically supported the annual Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon for the last twenty-one years. On Tuesday 27th 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. I was very proud of our performers, many talented singers and musicians. 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 Andrew Humphrey, 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 30th 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 delightful dinner/dance followed this.

    A special feature of the formal part of the evening was the return of one of last year’s College Captains to promote the “Old Ignatians Association”. Greg Lewis encouraged the Class of 2018 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, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien 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. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner and dancing.  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.

    Yr 12 studies 2019 - 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 will have given guidelines and provided preparatory work, and 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.

    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 our new college members.

    The next and final newsletter for the year will be available on the afternoon of Thursday 20th December 2018.

    Commencement date for 2019 school year

    Please note that classes for all Year levels will commence on the same day next year – Monday 4th February 2019.

    Advent Season

    The Church season of Advent began last weekend. Advent is a wake-up call to us. We can ignore it and divert our attention to the commercial distractions, or we can regard it as an invitation to reflect on what we truly need and long for in life. Advent invites us into a reorientation of life that means knowing God in a new way. The Season of Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. However, if we reflect on it, life itself is a “waiting room”. So, what “preparations” are we up to as we wait? A final thought from the theologian, poet and Benedictine Monk, Sebastian Moore, “Christ is present to us in so far as we are present to one another”.

    “Lord, lead me to see, through Your love, the changes I need to make in my life. Break into my life and help me to move forward, perhaps along untravelled paths to new aspects of my life that help me to mirror You to others. Amen.”  (Acknowledgement: “Prinscripts 37, 2010)

    The commencement of Advent also marked the beginning of the Church’s new year and the closing of the Year of Youth.  Last Sunday, a number of our students attended a Mass to celebrate this special year.  This very special Mass was celebrated by Bishop Mark Edwards and Fr James Puppady with members of the Drysdale Parish at St Thomas Church.  It was great to see students from Saint Ignatius present and that our choir and musicians, under the leadership of Ms Marina Brown, could also be present to help make this a special liturgical celebration.

    Best wishes, 

    Michael Exton  Principal


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