Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    Coronavirus update

    I write again to share thoughts for your consideration in regards to the Novel Coronavirus and school implications.

    As you are probably aware, there remains significant concern about the spread and potential escalation of this virus and the implications this might hold.

    As you understand, it is important, as the saying goes, “to be alert and not alarmed.” I provide the following for our shared consideration.

    Firstly, the College Executive has been monitoring the situation, and it is an ongoing agenda item for our weekly meetings at the moment. This matter was also discussed at the February Board meeting. In particular, the implications for overseas trips in 2020 was discussed. I will share the College Executive thoughts about the trips below. The safety and health of our students are at the forefront of our minds and actions.

    Secondly, the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s latest advice can be accessed at the following website:

    Thirdly, in regards to overseas trips, we are continuing to monitor the evolving situation in regards to the implications for the running of these. We will continue to evaluate the situation and respond to advice from government, travel companies involved, insurance providers, Catholic Education Melbourne, State Department of Education and Training and the ‘Smart Traveller’ website, to mention key sources of advice. The College will communicate with the parents of participants on individual programs as necessary. I encourage parents to attend any information sessions provided by the College. I invite parents with any concerns or questions to contact the trip organiser in the first instance.

    Lastly, personal hygiene practices are obviously crucial for maintaining health, not only regarding to the Coronavirus but the flu, colds etc. To minimise the spread of disease-causing viruses and bacteria, I ask that you, please reinforce with your daughter/son hygiene practices, particularly, washing and drying of hands regularly. At school, there are soap dispensers and dryers in each of the toilet areas. We have also located antiseptic hand ‘wash’ dispensers at strategic locations around the College.

    Thank you for your consideration of these matters. Our continual vigilance is obviously essential to minimise the spread of illness. Please be assured that the College continues to monitor this situation closely, and we will advise the school community immediately should any changes occur.

    Time for a check-up

    At about this time for many years, I have encouraged students and parents to review the term’s progress. We are now past the halfway mark of term one. It is now a good time for our students to ask themselves how well they have established their daily and weekly routines and in particular, the priorities reflected in their routines. Is schoolwork being given the priority it deserves and how balanced is the weekly program of activities? Are good meal routines and routines for those many housekeeping jobs are in place? What about her/his sleep routine?

    It is obviously essential that students have settled into a good routine by now so that as the demands of the school program increase they are in a good position to cope with the assignments and assessment tasks that will be set and be able to maintain the other activities necessary for a balanced life. Being able to set consistent routines early in secondary school will help students establish patterns that will help them with the demands of the VCE program in their final years.

    How can parents help their daughter/son establish a good routine? I am sure you are aware of many ways. I would like to suggest that now might be a good time to discuss with your daughter/son how they think they have commenced the year and ask them about their daily and weekly routines and what they may need help with or what she/he can do to improve her / his habits. It would also be helpful to ask them about the goals they set earlier in the year and whether they think they are off to a good start towards achieving them. And, new this year with the introduction of ‘Canvas’ as our learning management system, you could ask your daughter/son to show you the features of Canvas including, courses and assessments to date. These discussion points would be helpful in preparing for the end-of-term Parent/Student/Teacher conferences. In her article in this newsletter, Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning), Mrs Annette Chidzey provides more details about Canvas and these forthcoming conferences.

    It is very pleasing to see many students participating in a range of activities. At Saint Ignatius, we encourage the development of well-rounded young women and men, so we offer a variety of co-curricular activities. Through participating in areas such as sport, the performing arts, public speaking, debating, community service, environment group or social justice group we can see a strong sense of community, fair play, leadership and service fostered as well as the development of many different skills. I suggest that co-curricular involvement is considered in reviewing the term to date. What about joining a debating team or the choir or a sports team?

    Annual House Swimming Carnival

    As you are aware, on Thursday last week, we held the Annual House Swimming Carnival at Kardinia Pool Geelong. I congratulate the many students who participated on the day and all those who came along in good spirits to make the most of the day by cheering and encouraging their housemates and enjoying the opportunity to socialise with other students and staff. The students seemed to enjoy the availability of the waterslide and novelty events. As in previous years, many students swam very well and will go onto represent the College at the GISSA inter-school level.  The GISSA Carnival will be held on Thursday 12th March at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre.  Mr Andrew Philp (Sports Coordinator) will inform the students involved and their parents about this carnival.

    Congratulations to Bradman House members for winning the House Shield. Well done! 

    The overall results were:

    1st Bradman 2060 points

    2nd Fraser 1869 points

    3rd Elliot 1816 points

    4th Cuthbert 1613 points

    Congratulations to the Age Champions:

    13 Years: Mia Henriksen and Charlie Confoy

    14 Years: Philippa McIntyre and Finlay Rolfs

    15 Years: Lauren Campbell and Byron Ward

    16 Years: Mietta Morgan and Sam Hines

    Open Years: Nicole Forastieri and Jesse Hart

    Thank you to Mr Philp for organising the carnival and all of the staff for their work on the day to ensure its success. It was great to see that a number of parents were able to attend on the day help make it a special event.

    The swimming carnival is one of the many co-curricular programs that we expect all students to attend and participate.  We are now looking forward to all students attending the Annual House Athletics carnival on Wednesday 18th March at Landy Field, Geelong. We are holding this carnival at this time of the year, so we have things in place to enable our students to have access to subsequent athletics competitions and to take advantage of autumn weather. 

    There are two new Photo Galleries of the event on our College website:


    College Board

    The first Board meeting of the year was held on the evening of Thursday 20th February. I am very grateful that we have a very dedicated, talented and committed group of women and men who have taken on this important leadership role.  Members are appointed by the President of the Canonical Administrators to ensure strong governance of the College.  They contribute a variety of skills and knowledge to the decision-making processes, seek to enhance their stewardship of the school, work in partnership with the College Executive and ensure the College is focused on and fostering its Vision, Mission and Values.

    Mr Tony Frizza – Chairperson and past Principal of Emmaus College

    Fr. James Puppady – President of the Canonical Administrators & St Thomas Drysdale Parish Priest

    Fr Jim Clarke – Parish Priest St Mary of the Angels Geelong Parish

    Fr Darien Sticklen – Parish Priest of Queenscliff

    Rev Fr. Gerard Healy SJ – Representative of Australian Province of the Society of Jesus 

    Ms Kim Abbott – Board Coordinator 

    Ms Lisa Bell – Past Parent and Educationalist

    Ms Jo-Anne Britt – Previous PFA President & Primary Arts Teacher/Lecturer Deakin University

    Ms Annette Chidzey – Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) 

    Ms Marie Emmitt – Emeritus Professor of Australian Catholic University

    Mr Michael Exton - Principal 

    Mr David Fitzgerald – Business Manager 

    Mr Steve Gibbs – Past Parent and Self-insurance Business Partner

    Mr Darren Henry – Past Parent and Accountant

    Ms Fran Kealey – Former Director of Teacher Development SICG

    Mr Bernard Lewis – PFA Representative

    Mr Paul Lewis – Deputy Principal (Staff, Identity and Operations) 

    Mr Michael Timms – Deputy Principal (Students)

    The Board provides valuable advice to the College Executive and the Association of Canonical Administrators.  Among the many matters the Board deals with, recent areas that have been on the agenda include the College Masterplan, building program, review of various policies, and Overseas Learning Experience (Trips) Program. An essential area of the Board’s governance is ensuring the College is enhancing its Catholic Ignatian ethos and identity.  

    Drysdale Bypass update

    Please see important information from Major Road Projects regarding the construction of the Drysdale Bypass later in this newsletter. In particular, I draw your attention to the following traffic and pedestrian movement disruptions:

    "Over 10 and 11 March, expect delays of up to 20 minutes when moving through the western intersection and Jetty Road area. Please allow extra time for your journey. During the traffic switch, some bus stops are closing and moving. Check the map to see which stops are affected and when they will be reopened.

    The main intersection (Portarlington Road, Grubb Road and High Street) will be in a temporary arrangement and additional lanes will open as we build them, so expect the intersection to operate in a lower capacity until more lanes open near the end of March."

    Labour Day Holiday

    A reminder that next Monday 9th March is a Public Holiday and the College will be closed for the day. Best wishes for an enjoyable long weekend.

    Michael Exton  Principal

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