18 February 2021

From the Principal

Article by Mr Michael Exton

From the Principal

Dear Saint Ignatius College community members,

It was uplifting to see our students returning to onsite learning this morning after the short snap lockdown.

We will still need to be vigilant about ‘Covid Safe’ practices, as was the case before this lockdown period. For students, this will mean that they will be required to wear masks on buses, in classrooms and when they are unable to socially distance outdoors.

As it becomes clearer about what the latest changes mean for our planned activities such as the upcoming swimming carnival, we will inform you of any changes.

Thank you to parents and carers for your ongoing support of the College and your understanding and cooperation during the last three days.

Last Friday was a day of contrasts. In the morning, we conducted the beginning of the year full school assembly. This was an exceptional and outstanding occasion that set the scene for a very productive and rewarding year for our College as a faith and learning community. The foci were learning and leadership. Academic excellence and student leadership development were celebrated and encouraged. Two significant parts of this were the presentation of 2020 student academic awards and the 2021 student leaders' investiture. 

I hope all of our students were inspired by these student achievements. The names of these students are provided in other sections of this newsletter. Well done to all students who received an award or a leadership badge. There were also some inspiring speeches delivered by present and former students. I encourage parents to ask their daughter or son about these speeches and in particular, messages from the 2021 College Captains, our guest speaker, former student Emily Harwood and the 2020 College Dux, Matthew McInerney. Discussing the speeches will help students reflect on the messages and what it can mean for your daughter or son’s approach to this and future school years.

Then as you are aware, in the early afternoon, we heard about the five-day snap lockdown. I commend the staff for how they managed this move to remote working and our students for their efforts to ensure their learning continuity—in particular, well done to the Year 7 students who had to' pivot' to remote learning after only a short time at their new school. And as I mentioned in my letter to parents at the time, I am disappointed for our Yr 8 students who would have been on camp this week at Anglesea. The Yr 8 students were unable to attend their camp last year due to the pandemic. Hopefully, but it is proving challenging to date, we can reschedule the Yr 8 camp later in the year.

Open Day 2021

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be offering our usual Sunday Open Day for 2021. The good news is we will be running a series of tours and information sessions for visitors in late-term one, and early term two in 2021 before the Year 7 2022 enrolment applications close on May 7.

COVID-19 safe guidelines will be observed at all times during visits.

Each visit must be booked online, will take about 1.5 hours overall and comprises a brief information session followed by a tour. The information sessions will take about 25 minutes and include presentations by the Year 7 Coordinator, some students and myself. The tours will run for approximately 50 minutes and will be led by a staff member and some students. (Viewing the campus will be strictly as a member of a tour group only.)

The schedule for the Open Times each day offered is:

Session One - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Session Two - 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Each session commences in the Multi-purpose Centre, and visitors must wear a mask inside.

Please see our website (under Enrolments) for dates and booking links early next week.

Message from Archbishop Peter

Archbishop Peter Comensoli has written to school communities in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to offer his prayerful best wishes for the year ahead to mark the beginning of the school year. Parents, students, and staff's roles are an integral part of the Church’s mission in Catholic education. Archbishop Peter’s letter is included in this newsletter.

Ash Wednesday

Unfortunately, the lockdown this week affected our ability at school to observe the commencement of Lent on Ash Wednesday, yesterday.

Lent is a period of forty days leading to the high point of the Church’s year, Easter. We are encouraged to reflect on our lives in the light of the example of Jesus during Lent. 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.

Launch of the Bicentenary of Catholic Education in Australia

The celebration of a significant milestone commenced today with the Bicentenary of Catholic Education's national launch in Australia. Over 200 years, Catholic schools have grown to become the largest schooling provider in Australia (outside government) with one in five school-age students attending a Catholic school. You can find out more about the celebrations by accessing the 200 years website.

Best wishes,

Michael Exton  Principal