Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    Canvas – our new learning management system commences.

    A new and essential way for parents to be better informed and engaged with your daughter’s/son’s learning progress is now available. Our new learning management system, “Canvas,” provides parents with access to more information about subjects, assessments, teacher feedback and results. Parents will be able to follow their student’s assessment results and teacher feedback online. Therefore, teachers will no longer prepare and distribute interim reports at the end of term one. We will still provide the opportunity for Parent/Student/Teacher conferences to discuss student progress and performance at the end of the term.

    Deputy Principal (Teaching and Learning), Mrs Annette Chidzey provides more detail about parent use of Canvas later in this newsletter. I suggest that all parents familiarise themselves with Canvas, in the first instance, by asking your daughter/son to show you how they use our new learning management system on their laptop computer.

    Next building program commences

    I am delighted to inform you that local building company, Lyons Constructions (LC), will build the new Loyola Administration Centre. LC moved their site sheds on to our grounds last week, and we should see construction activity commence very soon.

    This new centre will be another significant feature of our school grounds. It will comprise three levels and house reception, student services (including counselling, sickbay, student leadership, IT help desk), meeting spaces, offices, staff room and ample multi-purpose space. This magnificent new building will be located where the old Year 9 classrooms were and therefore in a central position.

    I expect that this significant project will be completed around the middle of next year if all goes to plan.

    House Swimming Carnival

    Later in this newsletter, Mr Andrew Philp (Sports Coordinator) has advertised, with more details, the Annual House Swimming Carnival to be held on next Thursday (27th February) at Kardinia Pool, Geelong. Parents should have received the usual permission letter with more details about this compulsory College event via ‘Caremonkey.’  All Year 7 – 12 students are required to attend. Can I please reinforce the requirement that all students attend with the intention of participating if they can? Whole school events like this one are important, and as a College, we have the clear expectation that all students take an appropriately full and active part in our co-curricular programs.


    On Wednesday next week, we will commence the Lenten period in the liturgical calendar of the Church year with ‘Ash Wednesday.’  Lent is forty days leading to the high point of the Church’s year, Easter.  During Lent, we are encouraged to reflect on our lives in the light of the example of Jesus.  How are we travelling with our faith life?  How can we improve our spiritual life and our relationship with God?  What about our prayer life, worship and praise involvement, level of charity and service to others?  We are encouraged to make Lent a particular time to reflect on and redirect our lives where necessary so, we are in better alignment of our ways to the values, actions and truths of the Gospel.

    On Ash Wednesday we will conduct our usual liturgy, involving the distribution of ashes.  Each student is marked on the forehead with the Sign of the Cross in Ashes as part of this prayerful liturgy as a call to ‘Repent and believe in the Good News.'

    Launch of Project Compassion 2020 

    As has been our practice, with the beginning of Lent next week, we will launch our school-wide Project Compassion appeal in support of Caritas Australia.  

    Project Compassion is supported by Catholic communities across Australia during Lent to help empower our world’s most vulnerable communities to “grow stronger and share their strengths with their communities to lift themselves out of poverty.

    The 2020 Project Compassion theme is “Go Further Together.” “When we Go Further Together in love and compassion, the whole world thrives.

    Students across the College will be encouraged to donate ‘loose change’ to the Project Compassion Boxes placed in their Homeroom and around the College. This is one way they can support the call to almsgiving during the Lenten period.

    Parent Information Evenings

    We have conducted Parent Information Evenings over the last two weeks. I have received very positive feedback from many parents about the evenings, and I thank all parents who were able to attend for their support of our College. We welcome feedback about College events to continually improving what we offer. You can write, ring (Ph. 52511136) or e-mail the college ( any constructive comments. Please address the comments to the chief organiser; in the case of the information evenings this would be the relevant Year Level Coordinator (YLC.)

    Thank you to the YLCs, Ms Leonie O’Brien (7), Ms Deb Hodge (8), Mr Brendan O’Brien (10), Ms Alex Simpson (11) and Ms Kristin Williamson (12) and their staff teams for providing these evenings.

    Beginning of Year Masses

    On Tuesday we held a very special Mass, our first Mass as a whole school in the new Multi-purpose Centre.  This was a very significant community gathering of students from all year levels together with staff members to thank God, pray for God’s blessing on the new school year and encourage students to respond positively to God’s gifts and the opportunities the school year will bring.

    Thank you to Frs James Puppady, Michael Ryan SJ, Darien Stickland and Hang So for celebrating the Mass for us.  Unfortunately, a great supporter of our College, Fr Gerry Healy SJ was unwell and could not be present. I know he was very disappointed and I ask you to please pray for a speedy recovery for him.

    Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis, Mr Brendan Nicholls and our new Youth Ministry Facilitator, Mr Jarryd Atkinson for their work to organise these Masses. 

    Thank you also to Ms Marina Brown, Mr Francesco Melli and our choir students and some musicians who led the singing and music for us. 

    Parents and Friends' Association (PFA)

    The PFA is a very positive and vital support for our community. They held their first meeting of the year on Tuesday 11th February. There was a very good turn up of parents which augurs well for the PFA’s year ahead.

    I want to recognise the generous and valuable contribution parents can and do make to our school community through membership of this group. Thank you to all members of this group and in particular the outgoing office bearers: Ms Rebecca Hay (President) and Ms Cathy Dykes (Secretary.)

    I express my gratitude to Ms Sandi Clark (President) and Mr Peter McInerney (Treasurer) for taking on these important roles. The PFA still needs a secretary, and I look forward to a parent taking on this valuable service; please consider helping out. You can contact our College Development Manager, Mrs Claire Hewitt (Ph: 03 5251 1136 or E: to put your name forward or make an enquiry about this position.

    Please consider coming along to the next PFA meeting on Tuesday 10th March, at 7:30 pm in the Food Studies Centre.

    Many of the members of this group have given generous service to the school community for many years, and it is vital that we have new parents join this group each year to replace those who finish up. So I encourage all parents to please consider joining this group – a strong PFA will strengthen our school community and improve outcomes for all students!

    There are a variety of ways parents can help out. The College canteen helpers are vital to helping us provide a canteen service to our students. Many parents and friends of the College have put their name down to assist in the canteen, and I encourage you to consider contacting our Canteen Manager, Mrs Sandra Woodall, to offer your services. 

    Some of the ways the PFA supports our school community include: running fundraisers and social events, helping out at school functions, organising working bees, encouraging and supporting a sustainable school environment, running a second-hand uniform shop and a second-hand book sale. I ask all parents to please support the PFA where you can; this group’s work benefits all students.

    Road Safety

    All drivers travelling to and from our College are reminded of the need to adhere to traffic sign requirements at all times.

    To promote safety, I remind our community that the speed limit is 40 km/h at all times on Peninsula Drive.

    When attending after-hours events at the College, please do not park in the St Thomas Primary School or Potato Shed carparks.

    Thank you for your support in prioritising the road safety of all those in and around the College.

    Best wishes,

    Michael Exton  Principal



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