22 April 2021

From the Principal

Article by Mr Michael Exton

From the Principal

Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,

Welcome back

Welcome to the new school term. I hope that the holiday period provided students with ample time for rest, recreation, revision of term one and planning for term two. I also hope that all families enjoyed the Easter break with family and friends. Many of us may have enjoyed hot cross buns and seafood on Good Friday and chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday in keeping with traditional Easter practices. In our increasingly secular society, Easter's significance and critical message can be diluted or lost if we are not mindful of why we are celebrating. 

Easter Sunday was the high point of the year for members of the Christian community to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. Our Easter celebration from Good Friday to Sunday is the core of our faith: “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.”

Supporting teenagers

Unlike last year, we are looking forward to undertaking Work Experience in the last week of this term. Our Work & Further Education Coordinator, Mr Bruce Connor, informed me earlier this week, that he was starting to see an increase in the number of Work Experience placements secured by our Year 10 students. The placement should not be a student’s regular part-time job instead of a field that may be of potential career interest. Students are expected to research and apply for a position.

There is valuable student learning in the experience of securing a position. We would prefer that each student takes ownership of this rather than a parent or Mr Connor having to do the search. (When a student cannot genuinely obtain a suitable placement, Mr Connor will provide help.) For some students, this task can seem daunting. How can a parent support their daughter or son to take steps to obtain a placement and not take over ownership of the task? The following story (*) provides advice for parents when their teenager is reluctant and wanting to shift the onus onto their parent for a job that they should be undertaking.

A daughter asks her father to call the library for her. Dad tells her to make the call herself. She is not happy, having never phoned a stranger before and fretting about what she would say if the librarian asked her a question. The father wondered if he was asking too much of his daughter, and devised some steps to make a challenge both manageable and instructive.

Remind your child of their skills.
You know how to make a phone call.
Express confidence.
I’ve seen you talk on the phone with friends many times.
Play what-if.
What will you say if the librarian asks you what your card number is?
Let’s practise the call.
Be present.
I’ll be right here if you need some help.
Lower expectations.
It’s okay to make a mistake.
Encourage authenticity.
Tell the librarian this is the first time you called the library yourself.
(* - Acknowledgement: “7 Ways to Give Support without Prolonging Incompetence” by Dan Rockwell in Leadership Freak, February 24, 2021)

Open Afternoons

Two more afternoons of tours and information sessions remain before the Year 7 2022 enrolment applications close on May 7 2021. This closing date also applies in the case of where a sibling is already enrolled at the College. Please click here for dates and times and how to book a tour.

If you know of any parent who is considering secondary schooling for their child, please encourage them to book a tour or apply for enrolment.

Before and after school supervision

A reminder that the College provides supervision from 8:30 am each morning until the commencement of the Homeroom class at 8:50 am. Students arriving at school before 8:30 am should gather in the Information Learning Centre (opens at 8:00 am). Each school day afternoon, supervision is provided for students catching a bus from the College from 3:05 pm until the departure of the last school bus at approximately 3:50 pm. Students waiting for a bus should remain in the Basketball court area or at the bus stop. The College Library is open from 8:00 am each morning and closes at 4:30 pm.

Uniform Term Two

Please note that all students are required to wear full winter uniform for terms two and three. As there may be some very warm days early this term, students may wear summer uniform on any warm days for the first two weeks.

Please check the Student Planner for details about what can and cannot be worn. Please note that the summer shirt with the College logo is not to be worn as part of the winter uniform as it is not made to be worn with a tie. The College uniform long sleeve shirt is to be worn with a tie and is compulsory with the winter uniform for boys and girls. Also, the kilt must be worn no longer than mid-calf with navy blue tights or stockings.

ANZAC Day Commemorative Service

We held a whole school assembly today to conduct the College's Anzac Day Service. This annual formal assembly paid tribute to the men and women who have served our country and the 3,300 Defence Force Personnel currently serving in twelve overseas operations.

Our guest speaker was Rieny Nieuwenhof. Mr Nieuwenhof served in the Vietnam War. He spoke to the assembly about his experience. Mr Nieuwenhof’s speech included his wife, Gaye’s, story about her experience of what it was like back here in Australia on her own as a wife and mother while her husband was in Vietnam. Mr Nieuwenhof is a past staff member of our school, so it was lovely to welcome him back to Saint Ignatius today. We are very grateful to Rieny and Gaye for sharing their personal experiences with us.

Many students were involved in the ceremony in many different ways, including laying of a wreath, reading or singing in the choir, all contributing to making this a special and memorable occasion. In particular, I thank and congratulate the cadets who participated in uniform:
Neo Williams
, Charlie Hardcastle, Seann Fitzgerald, Charlie Post, Tom Buttler, Mitchell Smith, and Jack Newland. Well done!

As a school community, we prayed the following prayer together.

God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks this day for the peace and security we enjoy, which was won for us through the courage and devotion of the women and men who gave their lives in time of war.
We pray that their sacrifice is not in vain, but that their spirit may live on in us and in generations to come. That the liberty, truth and justice which they sought to preserve may be seen and known in all the nations upon earth.
This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Best wishes,

Michael Exton