27 June 2024

From the Principal

Article by Mr. Michael Exton | Principal

From the Principal

Last week of term

We have just passed the winter solstice, and today was the last day of classes before the mid-year break. Semester One is almost over, and after a long term, we are looking forward to the upcoming break. Over the past few weeks, students have been very busy completing and submitting their 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 through the parent portal from 4 pm on Thursday, July 25, 2024. We do not have scheduled Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences to follow up on these reports; however, parents are most welcome to contact teachers early next term to make time to discuss student progress in response to these reports.

Looking back over the last couple of weeks, I see that there have been many enriching and enjoyable activities that have enhanced our vibrant school community. Some examples from our calendar were:

  • 27 Jun 2024 – Geelong Catholic Secondary Schools Yr 12 Winter Ball at St Joseph's College

  • 26 Jun 2024 - Year 8 “Catch the Wave” Retreat - Ministry Program

  • 20 Jun 2024 - Year 7 & 8 Netball Championships

  • 19 Jun 2024 – the Yr 9 Team organised an extra-curricular day for our Year 9 students to celebrate and bring to life the novel, “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton, which the Year 9's studied as part of their English curriculum last term.

  • 19 Jun 2024 - Yr. 7 & 8 Carnival Day - AFL, Soccer & Netball

  • 18 Jun 2024 - VCAA – GAT for students undertaking a VCE Unit 3 subject.

  • 17 Jun 2024 - Yr 7 Music Showcase evening - MacKillop Theatre

  • 13 Jun 2024 - The Cage, justice activity in support of refugees. (Overnight sleepout at school.)

  • 12 Jun 2024 - Men’s Health Evening Event with guest speaker Kieren Perkins

Looking forward to the next two weeks, I hope all students have a restful break. I encourage them to take some time to review and prepare for the upcoming term. Specifically, VCE students should use this time to review the material covered so far, preview and prepare for the upcoming material, and complete any assignments given by teachers.

Please note that classes for term three resume on Tuesday 16th July 2024. Monday 15th July 2024 will be a Teacher Professional Learning Day.

Yr 7 enrolments 2025

I am pleased to report that very strong interest in the College continued again this year, with many more applications than places available for next year.

The support the students, staff and parents provided for the Open Afternoon sessions and enrolment promotion program was a valuable and vital contribution to this success – thank you. The very positive reputation of the College is a commendable result of the commitment of our students, staff and parents to our College community and its continual improvement.

I have made offers of enrolment to 260 students (ten classes of 26 students) for Year 7 next year.

Any enquiries about enrolment can be made to the College Registrar, Ms Deb Miles.

Letter of Invitation to Fr John McCarthy's 60th Anniversary of Ordination Celebration

Saint Ignatius College families have received an invitation from Lumen Christi Catholic Church Leopold to join the Church community at Lumen Christi Leopold for the occasion of Fr John McCarthy's 60th Anniversary of Ordination celebration.

Date: Sunday 21st July 2024 at the 10:30 am Mass.

Morning tea will follow the Mass. This will be a wonderful celebration of the service Fr John has given the priestly ministry for 60 years, with 46 of those here in St Thomas Parish.

Please note that this is not a College-organised event, and parents will need to oversee and supervise their daughter’s or son’s involvement.

On behalf of our College community, I congratulate Fr John McCarthy on his tremendous dedication and service as a Priest for 60 years, particularly his 46 years serving the local Drysdale Parish. I wish him and all the people who can attend a very memorable and happy occasion.

Staff changes

Three teachers will be taking a significant period of leave during next term:

  • Ms Isabella Losi’s classes will be covered by Kate Otto and Lynae Baker for the entire term.

  • Mr Andrew Smith’s classes will be covered by Mr Gary Kane for term three.

  • Mr Joe Pannuzzo will be away until July 26, and his classes will be taught by Ms Jill Schultz.

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.’

And a reminder that I will be away on leave for Term Three, and during my absence, Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms, will be Acting Principal.

Safety message

I have been alerted to a concerning incident in the Drysdale area where a student from another school was approached by an unknown man as she was walking home from school.

I have been informed that the student is safe and well and the matter has been reported to Victoria Police.

The safety of our students is always our number one priority and, while we have no reason to believe at this stage that this is anything more than a one-off occurrence, it is a timely reminder to reinforce safety messages.

I share the following points that you could use to discuss safety with your son or daughter that have been communicated to other schools in the area:

  • Always walk directly to and from school and avoid making stops or side trips along the way.

  • Avoid walking alone – whether it’s with parents or friends, always try to walk in a group.

  • If there is anything that makes a student feel uncomfortable in any way, they should leave the area and report any concerns to a responsible adult.

  • Avoid talking to strangers – students should walk away from anyone they do not know and tell a responsible adult what happened.

  • Avoid getting into cars, even if a student thinks they know someone in the car, unless the student has been told that someone known to them will pick them up.

  • Details of incidents are important but should only be recorded, filmed or written down if it is safe to do so.

These conversations can help ensure that students feel safe and are confident to handle a difficult situation if it arises. I also ask that you encourage your son or daughter to report any concerns going to and from school to you and the College.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the College.

Best wishes,

Michael Exton