We have nearly completed the fourth week of remote and flexible learning.
Remote learning update
I want to start by acknowledging overall the great work that students, teachers and parents have been doing during these very challenging and difficult times. I am well aware of many tremendous examples of students who have pivoted, to use a word that’s been used a lot lately, to remote learning. I appreciate that there are many and varied challenges for families as they adapt to these current circumstances. Thank you for your continuing support, flexibility and the great efforts you continue to make to maintain our students’ learning continuity.
I have received positive feedback from many parents and students about how remote learning has been progressing. Of course, there have been some concerns raised. Still, the great majority of these have been framed in a complimentary and constructive way and expressed with gratitude to our teachers and our student wellbeing, education support, maintenance and administrative staff. They all continue to play such an essential part in ensuring we deliver our core business, student learning.
We will continue to learn and make improvements as we progress so we can better deliver learning online. To help us to improve, we welcome your feedback. Please see the “Remote & Flexible Learning Information for Students & Parents” document emailed to parents at the start of the term for who to direct the feedback to and their contact details. You can also access this document (with many other COVID-19 related resources) through the link on the College’s webpage.
We have a small number of students undertaking remote learning at school in the ILC. The students appear to be working very well on their subjects. Thank you to the staff members who are supervising these students.
I am very grateful for the dedicated support of our College Executive members. They have been working incredibly hard and will continue to ensure that our focus is on troubleshooting, problem-solving and supporting learning continuity for our students.
At yesterday’s Critical Incident Management Team meeting, we decided to set-up a return to on-site learning and working group. While the current plan is for a return to regular classes here at school from the beginning of term three, we are starting to sense that there may be a move before the end of the term and if that turns out to be the case we want to be as well prepared as possible. So over the next weeks, this group will work on developing a plan for return. If the return doesn’t happen before the beginning of next term, this plan will still be needed for when we do. Please stay tuned for updates via email.
It seems that after government deliberations on the 11th of May, we may learn what the direction for Victoria is in regards to the return to school. We will wait for the advice from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria which I expect will be in alignment with the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian Health authority advice before we finalise any return plans.
Congratulations to two 2019 Year 12 Students
As a school community, we are delighted with the news that two of our 2019 Yr 12 students have received significant awards as a result of their very impressive achievements last year. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, the very special awards ceremonies in Melbourne have been postponed indefinitely; however, the students have been recently publicly acknowledged.
Congratulations to the following students. As their families are, the College is very proud of them too. Well done!
The state winner of the VCAL Senior Achievement Awards, 'Excellence in the Category of Work Related Skills (Senior)' - Courtney Waugh
The annual Premier’s VCE Award, Study Award, Top of Form - Laboratory Skills (VCE VET) - Emily Gordon
I also commend the teachers who supported these students over the years.
Student wellbeing and mental health
The effects of the pandemic on wellbeing and mental health and in particular, for youth have been highlighted in recent media reports. Our students’ wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds In the Geelong area. Last week, Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms, Wellbeing Office Coordinator, Ms Tenille Thomson and I joined in an online meeting with Principals and wellbeing staff members from many Geelong schools and some local health professionals organised by ‘headspace Schools – Be You.’ We discussed the situation in Geelong, and how ‘headspace’ and the Education sectors can work with schools to support the Geelong community during this time. Our Student Wellbeing Office remains proactive and ready to support our students. If parents or carers have any concerns about the wellbeing of their daughter or son, please feel you can contact our Student Wellbeing Office for support. Each day we have a wellbeing team member rostered to be at school. For immediate assistance, seek medical or professional help. Mr Timms provides more information about support and resources available in his article in this edition of the College newsletter.
I share the following advice in “Principals’ Digests” (Vol. 26 No. 16) in an article, “Lessons for Coronavirus” from Ned Johnson (March 2020.)
The causes of stress fit into the acronym NUTS: novelty; unpredictability; threat (or perceived threat); sense of control. Pandemic viruses hit on all of those stressors, more so for the young, for whom the novelty is higher and a sense of control lower. Neuroscience shows that it is adversity in life, dealing with tolerable challenges, that wires the brain for resilience. So, while ideally we will be spared the worst of the crisis, there’s also an opportunity to use it to help our children.
Make a plan … and a Plan B. Visualising how to navigate a situation activates neural pathways in ways similar to actually doing the thing. This is why airlines give the same instructions to passengers time after time. Anticipate difficulties and make multiple plans to navigate them. It can be paralysing to feel you have only one route and that is blocked, so make a Plan B too.
Make a list. Putting plans, thoughts and concerns on paper can increase a sense of control, lower the power of those concerns and free up cognitive resources.
Assign children something to do. Parents want to make children feel safe but it’s better if we make them feel brave and give them a sense of control.
Teach children where to get help. Talk about what they should do if they feel ill or afraid. Show them where emergency supplies are kept. Share your plans. That helps engage their pre-frontal cortex and its problem-solving faculties, calming their amygdala (the stress response) and strengthening the connections between the two.
Teach children what to do. When they can see washing hands as something that helps others and not just themselves, it increases their sense of control. Hygiene becomes a super power!
Spread calm. When family members are alarmed or panicking, calmly say, “Do I look worried? This is manageable.”
Take the long view. We can remind ourselves of the difficulties we and our families have weathered in the past. It engages our coping skills, helping us better figure out how we will get through this challenge if it comes our way.
Talk back against your own fear in front of your children. “It is scary that so many people are sick but the news doesn’t talk about the fact that everyone else is doing fine, or all the people who are only a little sick. We have a good plan and other people looking out for us.” It is the sense of control that can be the source of future resilience. After this virus has run its course, not only will we have a greater herd immunity to the virus, we may also have greater herd immunity to the stress. And if we handle it properly, our children will, too.
Rescheduling of Teacher Professional Practice Day (PPD)
The first day of this term, Tuesday 14th April, had been allocated as a student-free day to provide a PPD. As you would be aware, with the move to remote working, teachers used this day to prepare for this change. The PPD has been moved to Friday 22nd May and consequently teachers will not be available for remote classes on this day.
Year 7 Enrolments for 2021
Can I please remind parents of current students that if you have a child in Year Six this year that applications for a place in Year 7 next year at Saint Ignatius College Geelong close on Friday 22nd May 2020? Application forms are available from our office or the College website.
Michael Exton Principal
Due to the move to Remote and Flexible learning, we are maintaining communications via the following options
For general enquiries please telephone the College on 5251 1136 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For student absence please contact the College office by 10am and leave a message or email: email@example.com
For College Fee related enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For account related enquiries email: email@example.com
For enrolment queries please phone 0429 962 259 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For general IT support enquiries please email: email@example.com
For Wellbeing support please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your understanding.
The world has changed dramatically over the last few months. People in India can see the Himalaya’s for the first time in thirty years, the canals in Venice now run crystal clear, wild goats are reclaiming towns in Wales, deer are roaming the suburbs of Osaka and wild boar are strolling through Barcelona. With the streets free of vehicles and people staying indoors nature is making a rapid comeback. What can we learn from our extended period of isolation and how can we be better because of it?
The environment is a complex and contradictory system. It is at times fragile and irreparable and in other ways it’s resilient and unbreakable. Through human activity species extinction is occurring one thousand times faster than due to natural events alone. It’s predicted that in the next twenty years another million species will cease to exist. Pollution from human endeavour has been recorded in every location imaginable across the planet. Plastics choke living creatures and vast swathes of our oceans. Since the beginning of the industrial age carbon dioxide concentrations have risen by 47%. Living as we are used to comes at an extraordinary cost to living creatures and the environment.
The COVID19 pandemic has caused an immediate and to this point lasting pause to our normal lives. Across the world factories are closed or are working at minimal levels, travel in all forms has all but stopped and ‘we’ are locked down in our homes. Without humans behaving as we normally would we are seeing the ability of the environment to heal. George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm encapsulates the dichotomy of our use of the environment and our human weakness in observing that, “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.”
Our actions and at times our inaction have significant impacts upon the world. Everything we do costs the environment in some way and therefore we need to be prudent and discerning in the way we live our lives. The pandemic has forced ‘us’ to pause and in doing so find new ways to continue. During this time businesses and different groups in society are creatively exploring new opportunities.
We are finding that somethings are actually done more efficiently in virtual constructs. There are few who argue that meetings are more focussed, productive and efficient via video conferencing. Many businesses will never be the same and this is a good thing. It’s likely that flexible workplace arrangements for many sectors will be a positive and affirming change for both employers and their staff. The pandemic has highlighted the trust required for people to work together collaboratively and in doing so have removed antiquated, yet lingering, visions of leadership. We are seeing the benefits of greater trust and autonomy in the relationships we have within our different networks.
At present our focus has been upon protecting our communities from a disease that exacts a terrible toll upon the vulnerable and elderly and finding ways of continuing to live and work under the restrictions in place. As we move towards overcoming COVID19 we shift our focus to the future. We are seeing the world around us does not need our intervention and exploitation.
In Genesis we see this encapsulated in creation and God’s instruction to, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Throughout human history we have certainly achieved this commandment. But since industrialisation we have not only ‘ruled over’ but in so many ways decimated what was created for us. In recent times our way of life has caused much destruction through corporate and personal greed and lack of personal connection to the world that sustains us. The pandemic and restrictions have forced us to pause our normal way of life and has offer us a reason and the chance to bring about change.
Throughout the restrictions in Victoria local ‘exercise’ has been the only outlet for most of us over the last two months. During this time, we have reconnected with ‘our’ local environment. We have seen the beauty and life that surrounds us. Rather than spending the majority of time away from our homes we have been able to observe that ‘life and living’ happens effortlessly where we live. We notice the weather each day with interest rather than as a nuisance or nice backdrop to our day. Plants and animals we never notice and neighbours we never see are now significant parts of our day. We are experiencing life in a new and personal way. We have been gifted the blessing of connection.
As we see the restrictions ease over the coming weeks and months let us hold onto what we have learned during this time. Let us hope that the business practices that we have found to be liberating and productive are held on to. On an individual level we should reflect upon our ‘old’ lives and the endless activity and obligation fills our days to the point of being overwhelmed. Living this way is not life-giving and the impact this way of life has on the environment terribly destructive.
In the not too distant past we honoured the ancient practice of the Sabbath. Maybe what we can take away from this experience is including a day of rest into our weekly cycle. A day to strengthen family bonds, enjoy our homes, ‘be’ in our local environment and relax without guilt. The Sabbath is in fact a day of producing. Through creativity, contemplation and connection we build a new world.
A day of rest each week will not only change our lives personally but the relationship we have with environment would lead to better and more considered choices about how we live our lives and evaluating cost our choices have on the earth. Could a day of rest, contemplation and connection satisfactorily replace our ‘old’ lives of consumption and individualism? The Sabbath may realign our existence as a species. Could become more because of the pandemic. Might we be able we honour the commandment to be stewards and we may even become like all other creatures by consuming and producing in equal measure? Maybe we can become the “lord of all animals” in a way that is responsible and honours the trust bestowed upon us by the Creator because of what we learn during this time of trial.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Welcome to our College.
It is important to note that applications for Year 7 2021 close on Friday 22nd May, 2020. Please see 'How to Enrol'.
We invite you to view and enjoy our digital e-OPEN DAY 2020 video on our homepage.
Immerse yourself in our other snapshots of the life of Saint Ignatius College with our “A Day in the Life of Year 7 Student” and our fun "Be our Guest” music video.
If you require and further information regarding Enrolments please contact the College Registrar on 0429 962 259 or email: email@example.com
Remote and Flexible Learning and Teaching - Term 2.
Information and Protocols for parents and students to support Remote and Flexible Learning
Information about the delivery of our VCE and VCAL program
This article will be updated regularly to ensure parents/guardians are kept informed of any new advice or changes as matters arise.
Mr Michael Exton Principal
Update 13th May 2020
Re phased return to classroom learning
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for all your support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.
Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) have advised that schools can begin a phased return to onsite schooling.
In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary students (Years 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) and all students in specialist schools will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
Arrangements for Year 10 students undertaking VCE/VET studies are as follows:
To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a studentfree day.
In the second stage of our return to onsite schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.
For those students who cannot be supervised at home as well as vulnerable children, the existing model of onsite schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which onsite schooling is required will continue for this two-week period.
All other students in those year levels will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.
Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. Thismeans if you choose to keep your daughter/son home after their year level has returned to onsite schooling, we can no longer deliver their learning from home.
This does not apply to students who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact the appropriate Year Level Coordinator so we can make an appropriate plan.
This same approach is being taken by all Catholic and government schools in Victoria.
To support the health and wellbeing of all students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent handwashing.
If your daughter/son is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.
While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools that will be made available in coming days. These will apply until further notice. I will provide more details about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes will include:
We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.
More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the CECV website, which will continue to be updated: www.cecv.catholic.edu.au/Coronavirus-information-for-parents.
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 4th May 2020
Please find attached an article by our Companions Coordinator, Caleb Ryan. Our Companions Ladder program is an important part of what we offer at Saint Ignatius College, and Caleb has provided some suggestions on ways you can continue to build and foster those important relationships with the young people in your household during the time of social isolation.
Update 29th April 2020
Notice of Cancellation of Semester 1 2020 Examinations for Years 9 -11
Dear parents and guardians,
As we continue to monitor the delivery of our curriculum to all students, Saint Ignatius College has made the decision to cancel Semester 1 examinations for all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 at the school.
This decision will stand regardless of any changes relating to remote and flexible learning arrangements between now and the end of this term.
Careful consideration has been placed into this decision by the teachers at the school. Structured consultation with curriculum leaders, year level coordinators, student well-being officers as well as the College Critical Incident Management Team has been taken into account in arriving at this decision.
Unanimous consensus has determined that to proceed with formal examinations previously scheduled for Weeks 9 and 10 of this term would be extremely difficult for students already dealing with the challenges of learning remotely. It is important that we ensure current learning can be undertaken and completed with more time than can normally be achieved with face-to-face delivery. To add an expectation of study and preparation for examinations in addition to coping with current learning has been deemed both unreasonable and ineffective.
Depending on the subject and the year level involved, teachers may choose to modify existing assessment tasks in place of the Semester 1 exam and/or adjust the weighting of these tasks in determining the overall percentage grade for that individual subject.
Please note that in keeping with the VCAA decision to extend Unit 3 studies, our Semester One learning and teaching program for all Unit 1 studies has been extended to the last day of Term Two, Friday June 26th. The Semester Two program will subsequently commence on Tuesday July 14th.
In cancelling the formal examinations for the current semester, we wish to advise that there will be Semester 2 examinations for all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 in the second half of the current school year. Once the College has been provided with further clarity from the VCAA and relevant State education authorities as well as any directives from Catholic Education Melbourne [CEM], information will be provided to students and parents with regard to dates and arrangements for these Semester 2 examinations.
In closing, I take this opportunity to thank you all for your understanding and continuing support as we respond to the challenges confronting schools in these uncertain times.
Mrs Annette Chidzey Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
Update 9th April, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Re: Transition to flexible and remote learning – provision of supervision at the College
As you are aware, following State Government advice, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) has advised that Catholic schools should move to remote and flexible learning at the commencement of Term 2.
“This means that, from the start of Term 2, all students who can learn from home must learn at home.”
Saint Ignatius College will commence remote and flexible learning for our students on Wednesday, 15th April 2020. (Teachers will begin on Tuesday 14th April.)
While it is expected that all students should be learning from home, schools have been asked to consider making supervision arrangements available at school for students in the following categories:
Children who are not able to be supervised at home and on days when no other arrangements can be made. This includes children of parents who cannot work from home, and vulnerable children, such as:
• children in out-of-home care
• children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
• children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service, mental health or other health services, and children with a disability).
To assess the need for supervision, we need to know how many students we would need to cater for.
If your daughter or son is in one of the categories mentioned above, and you would like to indicate your interest in her or him being supervised at the College while she or he undertakes the remote and flexible learning, please send an email message by 12 noon Tuesday 14th April 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide for each student:
• Student name
• Year Level & Homeroom name
• Days of the week attending school
• Brief reason for the need for supervision at school.
We will then contact you via email to let you know what arrangements can be put in place.
Some preliminary considerations include:
• Commencement of supervision on Thursday 16th April;
• 8:45 am to 3:05 pm;
• Transport to & from school will need to be provided by parents (at the time of writing this message, we have no advice about bus availability);
• No canteen, students to bring their own food & drink bottle;
• Social distancing would be expected as much as possible;
• The student would need to be well;
• Neat casual clothes;
• Supervision would be from a distance while students work using their laptops as if they were at home; and
• Students sign in and out at the front College office.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 7th April, 2020
Dear Parents, Students and Staff Members,
Given this morning’s announcement by the Premier about arrangements for Term Two schooling, the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) has provided advice that our College will be following from the start of Term 2 2020.
While this preliminary contact is relatively brief, more detailed information will be provided via a second email from me on Thursday 9th April once further consultation has occurred. In this update, I will outline specific advice related to Term 2 curriculum delivery and VCE
arrangements in keeping with today’s advice to Catholic schools.
Term 2 arrangements
On the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) has advised that all Victorian Catholic schools are required to transition to remote and flexible learning arrangements for Term 2. Given this advice, our students will commence remote learning from Wednesday 15th April. (Teachers and Education Support Officers will commence work for the new term on Tuesday 14th April.)
The Chief Health Officer has advised that these arrangements should remain in place for the duration of Term 2 and will then be reviewed.
Given the government objective act to slow the spread of coronavirus, schools have been asked to communicate to students and parents that all children who can learn at home must learn from home.
Schools are able to make exceptions for children of parents who cannot work from home, and vulnerable children.
Parents will be informed via email on Thursday 9th April about how they can access this supervision at our College and what arrangements we will put in place for this.
The Victorian Premier and Minister for Education have also announced the following changes to VCE studies.
VCE students will still receive an ATAR, but there will be a number of adjustments to the academic timetable for VCE and VCAL students:
• The GAT will move from June to October or November
• End-of-year exams will be postponed until at least December
• School-based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements
• Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for the impact of coronavirus on senior secondary students.
VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based assessment and external exams.
VCAL students will have more time to complete their courses and this will be consistent with the revised dates for the VCE.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is also examining a compressed end-of-year exam schedule – including slightly shortening each exam – in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
A small number of students undertaking VET may have the award of their VCE or VCAL delayed until the beginning of 2021, so that they can complete mandatory practical or workplace learning requirements – ensuring they are not disadvantaged by the lack of hands-on practice.
Making this transition to remote learning and teaching is understandably going to be challenging for us all. Continuity of learning is vitally important. We have been planning for this transition and are well-prepared. There is, however, still a great deal that we are going to learn over the coming weeks as we, along with other schools, implement remote learning & teaching.
Thank you in anticipation of your support for and understanding of, the need to move to remote learning and teaching. It is important that we work together in partnership to maintain learning for our students under these tough and trying times for all in our community whilst also ensuring the health and safety of all members of our school and the wider community. We look forward to the time when school resumes on campus but until that is possible, please be assured that we will do all we can to support our school objective to work together to maintain our students’ ability to learn in changed circumstances.
In closing, I reiterate that we will provide families with important information this Thursday to further support the transition to learning from home.
Michael Exton Principal
Update 6th April 2020
Update 2nd April 2020
Update 23rd March 2020
PDFs and website links noted in the above letter:
- Australian Psychological Society information
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Mental health and wellbeing support and advice for students and parents:
Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
Support specifically for students:
- Headspace fact sheet
- Kids Helpline support: https://kidshelpline.com.au/coronavirus#wellbeing
Update 23rd March 2020
Update: March 18th 2020
Enrolments for new Year 7 students in 2021 close on May 22nd
How to Submit your Enrolment Application
Refer to the 'Enrolment' section of our website for details.
Submit the signed enrolment form and copies of all supporting documents to one of the following:
• College office or
• by mail to 27 Peninsula Drive, Drysdale 3222 or
• by email to email@example.com
If you require any further information please contact the College Registrar Mrs Gail Myers on 0429 962 259.
Research suggests that 1 in 4 young people currently suffer from a mental illness. This statistic is quite concerning and highlights the importance of early diagnosis and support mechanisms that we need to put in place to ensure the safety of our young people.
SchoolTV, is an online resource designed to empower parents with credible, sound information with realistic and practical strategies. It addresses numerous issues relating to parenting and supporting adolescents through the difficult years of schooling.
In a special report by SchoolTV, Dr Michael Carr-Greg, a leading adolescent Psycologist, provides parents/carers with information on how to support the wellbeing and mental health of their children, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg outlines specific risk factors that increase the likelihood of teenagers developing a mental health problem. Adolescents are considered to be more at risk of anxiety and depression disorders which may affect their mood, thinking and behaviour. These can impact their ability to function and perform normal activities. Early intervention, diagnosis and treatment are more important than ever in the current climate.
The special report further highlights the signs that parents/carers should look for when determining if their daughter/son is suffering from a mental illness. Dr Michael Carr-Greg provides specific advice on what to do if parents/carers are concerned about their child and additional steps that could be taken. The link to the Schooltv special report is provided below. I have also included a link to the Beyond Blue Assessment tool, which could assist parents/carers to begin the conversation with their young person.
The College Wellbeing team have devised a substantial resource online through our CANVAS platform. The resource is for both parents/carers and students and has significant information on a number of wellbeing topics including: grief, understanding and dealing with suicide, controlling procrastination, anxiety, amongst several more. This is a great resource to look through with your young person and could assist in initiating some of those important conversations.
Working together can only strengthen the support our young people require during this difficult and changing time.
Michael Timms Deputy Principal [Students]
Schooltv – special report
Beyond Blue Assessment Tool:
4 - 16 years of age:
16 & over:
Saint Ignatius College Geelong has outstanding students. Some of those students have put their hand up to take on the extra responsibility of leadership roles. In difficult times leaders stand up whether at school or not.
Our student leaders will share ideas, actions and words of encouragement over the coming weeks on ‘facebook’ and through the newsletter. Today College Vice Captains, Florence Noble and Daniel McInerney-Sotomayor have recorded messages for the College community (particularly the students).
Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
It is with much pleasure that I can announce that Courtney Waugh, class of 2019, was awarded the state winner of the Senior Achievement Awards, 'Excellence in the Category of Work Related Skills (Senior)'.
Due to the current situation the awards ceremony was conducted online, however it was so lovely to watch the acknowledgement of Courtney's outstanding achievement. She spoke so eloquently, thanking the staff, and the College for supporting her through her secondary schooling education.
Courtney developed a business plan in her Senior WRS class, under the guidance of John Clatworthy and supported by the Senior VCAL teachers, in designing and constructing custom made pet feeding bowls. Her business 'Evergreen Furniture Creations' which she started in Year 12, is her current focus and she has such quality workmanship and an eye for detail.
Thank you to the VCAL staff for their innovation, support and commitment to delivering a high quality VCAL program for all of our students. Thank you to the College for enabling us to deliver such a program and of course thank you to all of you for supporting our students throughout their schooling.
I hope you are healthy and coping well with remote learning!
Kirsty Allan VCAL Coordinator
Emily outclasses her peers in the VET Laboratory Skills Certificate.
Last year Emily Gordon completed her Year 12 studies in English, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Methods Mathematics, School-based Religion and the off-campus Cert III Laboratory Skills course at The Gordon TAFE. Prior to that, in 2018 Emily accelerated her Year 12 Biology subject, thereby maximizing her ATAR score which turned out to be a very respectable 92.1.
Emily excelled and achieved the Premier’s Award for her VET studies. Emily has always had an interest in Science and was approved to study the Cert III Laboratory Skills course as part of her Year 11 and 12 studies. Emily’s interest in Laboratory work was solidified after a rewarding work experience placement at The Gordon TAFE’s Science Laboratory in Year 10.
Towards the end of 2019, Emily made application through VTAC and was successful in gaining two offers – Round 1 was with Swinburne University’s Science (Professional) Degree program and the Round 2 offer was the Laboratory Medicine Degree at RMIT University. She chose the RMIT offer.
The Premier’s VCE Awards recognises students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the Victorian Certificate of Education. For 2020 a total of 307 awards are due to be presented, including 276 Study Awards, 28 Top All-Round VCE High Achiever Awards and three Top International Student Awards. The Top All-Round VCE High Achiever awards recognise those students who achieved study scores of 46 or higher out of 50 in at least five VCE subjects, while Study Awards recognise the best performers in individual VCE subjects.
Congratulations go to Emily on her fantastic performance and I trust her decision to study at RMIT provides wonderful experiences and she will remember with fondness the opportunities that she engaged with as a student at Saint Ignatius College.
Mr. Bruce Connor Work and Further Education Coordinator
The year 7s are not missing out on their practical studies in music just because we’ve moved to online learning!
They continue to meet with their instrumental tutor and work through the program. Currently, students are playing repertoire such as Hot Cross Buns, Hard Rock Blues and Hit the Spot.
Normally, at this time in the semester, all the small ensembles would be joining together to play as one large group. While this is difficult in the current climate, students are still able to enjoy a similar experience by playing along with a specially designed backing track. This backing track has all the instruments of the band playing as one!
It means that students can practise playing in time with the backing track; a skill that takes dedicated rehearsal! Well done to all the year 7s currently studying music this semester. We are so thankful to the I.T. team and the instrumental teachers for transferring the program to the online learning format.
Mrs Veronica Marrie
Matilda Cosgrove, Rory Quinn and Jonathon Peck, our 2020 Academic student leadership team, understand that learning remotely presents many challenges, one of those being maintaining motivation and a sense of connectedness to class.
They provide the following tips for parents and guardians who are trying to support their children, while at home. We thank them for their suggestions.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We understand just as well as any student that learning from home can be a difficult experience, especially in regards to staying motivated to study. Thankfully, over here at the academic leadership team, we have come up with some tips and tricks for parents to help support their children’s education during this time of remote learning…
1. Give them space
We are aware that it can be very difficult for many families to separate study areas for their children. However, providing your child with a clear desk and area away from distractions can be beneficial for their studies. For example an office, the dining table or even a garage are great alternatives from the bedroom or kitchen bench.
2. Take breaks with your child
If you happen to be working from home and are flexible enough to do so, try setting specific times where you join your child for lunch or recess. This can promote a healthy routine where both the student and adult feel relaxed during the break and even more motivated to work during the set school hours. It also prevents the student from getting stuck on social media, prying their eyes away from screens and towards social interaction.
3. Be supportive
During this difficult time, many kids will be feeling less motivated to complete study due to certain distractions or the feeling of missing out on events, people and places that we too often took for granted. When your child is lacking inspiration for completing work, motivational support can be key to them increasing learning productivity through promoting a more optimistic approach to studying as well as encouraging a greater sense of wellbeing.
4. Keep updated
CANVAS is a great tool for parents in seeing how well a student's study is going during isolation. It allows you to see lesson plans for the day, assignment due dates and feedback that has been given on your child’s work. Make sure that you look at CANVAS notifications to track your child’s progress at school and to possibly implement ways on how to help improve their study habits.
5. Encouragement to learn from mistakes
We have all heard of the saying, “We learn from our failures more than we do our successes”, but it’s true. Mistakes are essential to learning and it's important to encourage students that errors are ok to make. Instead of them giving up altogether, many students could become more determined to put in the effort, fixing their mistakes and ultimately studying more effectively.
6. Ask questions
Many students tend to feel more motivated when other people care about what they are studying. For example, I watched my year 12 English film with my dad the other night and in no time we were chatting up a storm about the context, characters and theme of the plot. Of Course it’s not to say go complete their algebra homework, but instead perhaps ask direct questions that stimulate the students desire to learn such as “How do you say ____ in Indonesian?” or “What did you discuss on the ZOOM call in science?”
We hope that these tips are helpful and can be implemented in your lives one way or another. Please look out for more ideas from us on the Facebook page in upcoming weeks.
On behalf of all students, we would like to formally thank you for the support and time that you have put into both our traditional and remote versions of learning at Saint Ignatius College. It has been a challenging and confusing time for everyone, but we all look forward to returning back to school when safe to do so.
Take care and all the best for the future in remote learning,
Matilda Crosgrove (Academic Captain), Rory Quinn (Academic Captain) and Jonathan Peck (Arrupe Leader).
Information for Parents and Carers
It is not always easy to read young people, if fact, it can often be quite difficult and confronting.
As a parent, knowing the difference between age-appropriate adolescent behaviours (ie: occasional irritability or changes in mood) and emerging mental health issues can be a challenge.
The Headspace Fact Sheet below provides some helpful information and tips on how parents and carers can identify if their young person is struggling with their mental health, and support them through a tough time.
If you think your child may need some assistance, we encourage you to be in touch with our wellbeing team (firstname.lastname@example.org) who are more than willing to support.
Olivia Whitehead Student Wellbeing Officer
Last Saturday, the 69th annual Maytime Fair was due to take place at Xavier College, Kew.
Each year, Saint Ignatius College Geelong arranges a Tastes of the Bellarine stall to sell fresh produce from our region. Saint Ignatius College has been supporting Jesuit Mission for many years through our Feast Day celebrations, Loyola Market, Year 10 Jesuit Mission Unit and the JACSA Immersion to Timor-Leste.
Even though the Maytime Fair did not take place this weekend, due to the current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, we can still remember this day, the people we serve and give thanks for our solidarity and friendship.
Jesuit Provincial, Fr Brian McCoy and Jesuit Mission Rector, Fr Trung have recorded a “Maytime Fair Mass of Thanksgiving” and invite you, as members of our Jesuit educational community, to participate in this mass via the Jesuit Mission website: https://jesuitmission.org.au/maytime-fair/
Alicia Deak Justice and Service Coordinator
A message from the Arts Captains:
It’s with great excitement that we’d like to announce Project Ignite, a series of online arts competitions held in five areas: Photography, Visual Art, Musical Performance, Creative Writing and Short Film.
This project will be held over the course of Term 2, each competition roughly 2 weeks in length. Our aim is to inspire positive growth, creativity, and connection. Keeping in tune with ourselves and others is important, especially in these challenging times.
The dates for the competitions are as follows:
Photography: 27th April - 11th May
Visual Arts: 4th May - 18th May
Musical Performance: 18th May - 1st June
Creative Writing: 1st June - 15th June
Short Film: 15th June - 26th June
In these historic times, we are given the unique opportunity to truly pause and reflect. Through these various mediums of art, we encourage you to explore the theme of Isolation in your work, whatever that means to you. You can explore the serious nature of isolation, or highlight the comedic aspects of these truly bizarre times.
Together with the wonderful Arts teachers at our College, we’ll be judging submissions and awarding prizes to the winners of each competition when we return to school. The winning students will also have their works published in the school newsletter.
We hope you are inspired to express yourself, explore your passions, and ignite your light. “Go forth and set the world on fire.”
Coco Bullock and Noah Gullan Co-Arts Captains
Please click here for the latest edition of Catholic Education Today https://www.cem.edu.au/News-Events/Catholic-Education-Today.aspx
The Term 2 edition focuses on ‘keeping the light of Christ’ with articles that reflect Catholic schools’ point of difference: from supporting local communities by providing fee-relief to promoting slavery-free resources to make a difference on a global level. This issue explores the interreligious culture in our schools, contains guidance to help families with remote learning, and celebrates student achievement in the digital Creative Arts Exhibition and events ‘Around the Archdiocese’.
The current physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for some time. This cocooned existence is a test of parental patience, children’s willingness to cooperate and a family’s ability to pull together.
So, if you’re about to enter the family cocoon, or even if you’ve been living in close family quarters for some time, the following tips will help ensure your children not only survive each other, but emerge from the cocoon with a strong sense of camaraderie, a greater appreciation for their siblings and knowledge that they belong to a rock solid family who can pull together in a crisis.
Get kids on board
Start your period inside the family cocoon by getting everyone on board. Give kids a voice in how they’d like their social isolation time to flow. Listen to their fears and worries. Empathise with any concerns about missing regular activities and contact with friends but point to the positives of having more free time than normal. Consider providing kids with family organisation roles – the music girl, games guy, food planner and so on – and swapping these regularly to maintain interest. At Parenting Ideas, we believe that it’s reasonable to expect kids to help at home and there are many resources at our website that help with this.
Many kids struggle with anxiety when routines break down, so ensure that you have a regular structure that brings predictability to each day. Parents and kids need their own routines starting with get up times, work times and in the event of at home learning, times for schoolwork. Break the day into different time zones that mirror their school days. A regular structure will make the days more workable, feel shorter and be more manageable. It’s important to keep daily foundation behaviours in place such as waking up at the same time, dressing for school and preparing for class as they trigger your child’s readiness for learning. Similarly, relaxing your routine on the weekend gives everyone a break from the structure of the school and working week. A regular family meeting provides an ideal way to give kids some input into their own routines and also a say in how family-life looks in the cocoon. If formal meeting are not for you, then ask for opinions and gain feedback in more conversational ways.
Set up activity zones
The Nordic countries with their long, dark winters lead the way in successful close quarter living. One of their major strategies for success is the establishment of living zones within homes and apartments. These zones differ from the usual sleeping, cooking and communal living areas that you may be used to. They incorporate areas for individual activities including learning, playing, chilling out and exercise. With consistence use children soon associate a specific activity with a particular zone making concentration and focus a great deal easier. Avoid having multiple activities in one space as this may lead to conflict, while diluting the impact of this whole zoning strategy.
Get moving, grooving and having fun
Maintaining children’s healthy exercise levels when organised sports and informal group play are prohibited is a major challenge for parents. Some organisation and creativity will help. Establish mini movement breaks during each day involving dancing, shooting hoops and exercise to movement. Remember that any activity that gets kids arms and legs moving is beneficial to their physical and mental health. Amp up the fun factor by incorporating music, dancing to online videos and playing simple indoor games.
Instil good mental health habits
As the old saying goes ‘prevention is better than a cure’, which is pertinent if your child is prone to anxiety and depression. With routine preventative measures such as playing and talking face to face with friends on hold, consider introducing regular mindfulness and breathing into your daily routine. At Parenting Ideas we recommend the resources at smilingminds.com.au as they cater for mindfulness for all groups and at any level. Schedule times for kids to digitally connect with friends so that they don’t experience the effects of isolation.
Know when to steer clear
It’s hard for family members who are used to doing things on their own to suddenly be thrust together in each other’s company for extended periods of time. Many family holidays end in sibling squabbles because family members aren’t used to spending so much time together in the same space. Encourage kids to spend some time alone each day so they can relax, reflect and draw on their own emotional resources. Time alone is an under-rated contributor to a child’s resilience and mental health.
And know when to come together
While time alone is important it’s also essential for your family to come together to connect, to have fun and to enjoy each other’s company. Work out your regular family rituals and make these non-negotiable. Evening meals, family discussions and at least one weekly movie or entertainment activity give children and parents the opportunity to come together on a regular basis.
This time spent with your family inside the cocoon at first may be difficult, as it requires changes of habit and behaviour from everyone. There are many positives to close quarter living brought about by COVID-19. Families now get a chance to connect with each in real time and bond with each other in deep, meaningful ways.
Parents also get the chance to establish the positive behavioural and mental health habits in their children that has so often been made difficult by the insanely busy lifestyle that we’ve all been living for some time now.
The roller coaster has stopped. It’s now time adjust to a slower pace and have the types of conversations and pleasurable times with kids that have meaning, have impact and leave lasting memories.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s the author of 10 books for parents including Thriving! and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It, and his latest release Spoonfed Generation: How to raise independent children.