Dear Parents and Carers,
Over recent months, the community’s focus has been on maintaining everyone’s health in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Alongside this has been the concern for mental wellbeing during this very uncertain and challenging time. Our society has worked well together to adopt the many measures to ‘flatten the curve’. Our College community response has likewise ensured that in most cases, our students’ learning continuity has continued. The community’s successful response to date has led to the welcome return of our students to classes at school.
I am grateful that so far we have had a very settled resumption of school with an overall sense that it’s good to be back and more connected. There continues to be no known cases of COVID-19 in our school community. However, we need to remain vigilant to the possibility of infection, and we have many practices in place to minimise the risk. Another area for vigilance is the maintenance of good mental health and wellbeing.
In the previous newsletter, I wrote about the tragic loss of four teens in the Geelong region since early this year. You may be aware that tragically another teen died last weekend. As a community, our hearts go out to the family and friends of this young man. I mention this again, to promote the continuing need for vigilance and prompt action if concerned about anyone’s mental health. ‘Headspace’ has provided a number of helpful information resources in regard to this and I included access to these within my previous newsletter article and make these available again through these links:
Wednesday’s ‘Geelong Advertiser’ (pg. 21) included an article, ‘Trust yourself’ by Associate Professor Steve Moylan (Clinical Director of Barwon Health Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol.) Assoc. Prof. Moylan wrote, “If you know a person feeling disconnected, reach out proactively in person, by phone or video conference. Organise a kick of the footy or a walk in the park. Let them know you are there for them.”
He added, “If you know of someone struggling and feeling a burden to others, help them understand the contribution they make to you and your community – remind them of a time they helped you out. Share how you are feeling too.”
And finally, Assoc. Prof. Moylan says, “While some people struggling at the moment will benefit from professional mental health awareness, don’t underestimate the power you have as a member of your community to help those around you. My advice to parents, teachers and friends is to trust your instincts. Remember that kindness and compassion are contagious. Work harder now than ever to remain connected and reach out to those who you believe may be struggling. If you are ever unsure of what you should do, access many of the excellent resources available online or call a mental health service for advice. Most of all; look after yourself – both physically and mentally – so you can help those around you.”
I thought Assoc. Prof. Moylan’s article was very encouraging, supportive and timely as we continue to face the challenge of promoting and maintaining our students’ mental health. As I’ve mentioned many times before, if you are concerned about how your daughter or son is travelling, please contact our Student Wellbeing Office.
Headspace 1800 650 890
Lifeline 13 11 14
Professional Practice Day tomorrow
Please note that tomorrow (Friday June 19) is a Teacher Professional Practice Day and students will not be required at school.
Peninsula Drive congestion
There have been some reports of traffic congestion on Peninsula Drive of an afternoon. To help alleviate this could I suggest the following:
- If you are turning right from our driveway and are holding up cars behind you, please turn left and at the southern end of Peninsula Drive execute a u-turn to travel back towards your destination; or
- Pick-up your daughter/son in Andersons Road. As a part of the Drysdale Bypass construction, parking spaces have been made available along this road. It is only a short walk from school via the new underpass for students.
The congestion along Peninsula Drive is only for a short period of time, so if you must use this way, please exercise patience and follow the road rules.
Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation.
As a key stage of the appraisal of my performance as Principal, interviews of a cross-section of our school community, was conducted yesterday. Ms Teresa Lincoln (Secondary Regional Leadership Consultant, Catholic Education Melbourne Southern Region) who is leading the review process, visited the school on Tuesday for a tour and an informal meeting of staff and students. Then on Wednesday, Ms Lincoln was joined by Mr Tony Frizza, our Board Chairperson and ex-Principal of a number of secondary schools, to conduct the interviews of many staff members, students and some parents. Thank you to school community members who were interviewed and to those of you who have provided comments by email to Ms Lincoln. Ms Lincoln will now prepare a report for the President of the Canonical Administrators, Fr James Puppady and me.
Last week of Term Two
As next week is the final week of term two, I draw your attention to the following notices.
Due to the Geelong region’s last day of term school bus timetable being different, our students will be dismissed on Friday 26th June at 2:20pm.
Classes for term three resume on Tuesday 14th July. (Monday 13th July is a Teacher Professional Practice Day.)
Semester One Statements of Results will be available via the parent portal as follows:
- Yrs 7-9 on Friday 17th July; and
- Yrs 10-12 on Friday 24th July.
As the term draws to a close, I again thank all parents for your ongoing support of the College. I commend my colleagues for their tremendous efforts to ‘pivot’ to and from remote working to ensure the learning continuity of our students during these very challenging times. I hope all students can have a relaxing and enjoyable time with plenty of physical activity and quality family time over the holiday break.
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.
As the semester draws to an end we should pause to consider what can be learnt from the experiences of the last five months. As an Ignatian community, we must take time to discern 'who' we are as a community at this time and determine how we may proceed over the second half of the year. There is no doubt that the challenges imposed upon us due to COVID-19 have been significant and that the ongoing limitations have changed how the College will operate for the foreseeable future. More importantly, though this period has been of great benefit as it has enabled several positive changes to occur. The key change is that it forced the entire College community to work even more closely to ensure the best outcome for each student.
During the semester a number of changes because of COVID-19 restrictions have led to a shift that if maintained will lead to excellent outcomes for each student. Because of remote learning teachers were forced to think on new ways of presenting their courses and were encouraged to use the technology available to not only ‘get through’ courses but enhance and improve what is offered. Students were required to be more resourceful and resilient. They were required to enter into conversations with their teachers and seek support more often. Parents were great supporters who ensured that gentle reminders and advice were given to help students become more competent learners.
None of these things could have occurred without the non-teaching staff of the College. The true hero's in education were and in-fact always are those who do not teach! Without the maintenance, administration, learning support, wellbeing and IT teams the teachers would not have been able to function effectively. The awareness of essential workers in Australia over the last few months has neglected these people and I hope that as a community we can show them the gratitude they deserve.
Reflecting upon these points at the end of the semester brings us to an awareness of how we as a community are different. As a Catholic community, we are in fact more than a school. We are the Church. The Greek word ekklesia (ἐκκλησία) is used in the bible to describe the Church has several definitions. In the context of our College, the following seems an excellent description, "a community of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings and manage their own affairs”.
The hierarchy people often apply to the Church is a poor understanding of what the Church in-fact is. At His most intimate level a family is the smallest complete unit within the Church. Families come together in parishes and schools to support one another and their children as a faith community. More broadly parishes are grouped in dioceses and then in national or regional units. At each level, leaders help those within their community. In family’s parents lead and serve, in schools various qualified and experienced staff offer leadership and service, Archbishop's guide and serve the priests and communities they oversee and so on.
Our Church is one of diversity and service. Service is a pleasant word to describe willing sacrifice. In serving someone we sacrifice and willingly accept the cost. Although the staff at the College are reimbursed if you like by their salary, what is offered is often given as a personal sacrifice. Teachers often give more of their time than they are required, they also emotionally suffer when kindness is not reciprocated due to frustration or when they willingly humble themselves rather than force a student to admit fault. Parents and non-teaching staff in a multitude of ways also sacrifice so that our young people can flourish.
Each member of our community is unique and has something special that they can offer ‘the rest of us’. Individually we seek to follow the teachings of Jesus and develop a personal relationship with him in our lives. In this way, we are disciples who not only seek to love Jesus and others but to serve. St Paul explains this well in his letter to the Corinthians in teaching that, “You are one body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it”. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) Every member of our College ekklesia is important and loved. For some, this period of remote learning has been traumatic and has damaged their sense of worth or purpose. As a community, we need to especially be aware of this and support these members with great compassion and love.
The last few months of restrictions and remote learning have offered a glimpse of a truth that is often hidden in our community. We are all needed, we all have unique gifts that can only flourish if supported by others and that often those who serve the most are the least acknowledged. I am very grateful for being able to help students continue their learning over the last three months. I have enjoyed the adventure but know that the relationships I would have developed with the students I care for have not eventuated as they would have if face to face teaching had occurred. I have been fulfilled in those moments when I have been able to truly support students by offering extra support or extensions due to the awareness of the challenges they faced.
What I have seen most clearly and want to hold on to is that each of us is unique and those who work in the background are the most important to our community and serve me so that I can offer my abilities in serving our students.
As the semester ends I encourage you to contemplate how we are the Church, as family's and as a College, and how we are part of the global Church, connected spiritually to all those of faith in the world today and all those who have entered eternal life. I also hope you will be inspired to make contact with the non-teaching staff at the College and offer your appreciation for all they have done to ensure learning could continue, that our community has remained safe because of their sacrifice and how much their service is valued and should be more often acknowledged by our College community.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Religious Education and Liturgy Coordinator
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 email@example.com 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
The Year 7 Semester 1 Music Program has nearly come to an end. Since returning to school, the students have enjoyed playing in small groups once again. Home Learning has meant attending online lessons with their tutor and rehearsing during the week with a backing track. Being back at school however, the students have had a pleasant surprise at hearing how much they have progressed and how wonderful the group sounds when playing at the same time! Please note, that students are to return their instruments to their tutor on the last day of their music classes next week.
The purpose of this article is to inform our families of what opportunities lie ahead. An email sent this week includes information about our Honorarium Program. Students who have completed the Semester 1 program can apply to hire an instrument from the College without having to pay a hire fee. Students will be able to continue learning their instrument in term 3 and 4 while being part of the Junior Band at weekly lunchtime rehearsals. Please note further information in the Care-Monkey letter and respond accordingly.
Students are also able to sign up for private instrumental lessons with tutors that visit the school each week if they wish. Further information regarding payment and sign up process is available from Mrs Linda Pape.
We are grateful for the work by our professional instrumental tutors this semester, particularly supporting and encouraging the students with their online learning. I was challenging but we did it!
Mrs Veronica Marrie Year 7 Band Program Coordinator
The SRC aims to address the concerns of students and implement improvements within our College.
For example, in 2016, Kiera Galan approached the SRC and proposed that pants be added to the girls’ school uniform. There was no change in 2016 but the idea was kept on the agenda.
Last year Meg Grist, now in Year 9, went to the SRC with the same request. This time the proposal was successful and pants are now an option for girls as can be seen in the photo below (Year 11 students – Emily Hurst and Florence Noble).
The SRC would also like to thank Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms, for his guidance and support with this initiative.
This is just one of the many examples of how change can be enacted through the Student Representative Council but change needs people to act so students with any areas of concern, or for improvement, within the school are encouraged to put their ideas in writing and approach their year level SRC representatives.
Caine Gale Year 12 SRC Representative and Mr Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
The remote learning scenario certainly impacted upon the VCAL pathway, as it did many subject areas. One of the subject areas, VCAL Applied Learning, in particular needed some rejigging to make it a worthwhile use of time and development of skills.
We started with some self-paced project based learning and were lucky enough to participate in the Jamie’s Ministry of Food online cooking course over the past five Thursdays. What a culinary experience it has been! One of the benefits of the online course is that everyone is working in a familiar (or not so familiar for some) space, their own kitchens!
Participating from home meant the students needed to utilise what they had at home, organise the shopping to create the recipes and prepare the space for the lessons. The ladies guiding us through the recipes were patient and kind, as well as pretty talented with a knife.
We created five meals, starting with eggs (poached, boiled and scrambled), chili con carne, homemade pizza, a spin on a traditional carbonara pasta with a fresh salad and homemade dressing and finally a spinach and lentil soup with chapattis. I can unequivocally say, the students were not excited about the spinach and lentil soup, however most were pleasantly surprised and even rated it their favourite dish.
The experience enhanced time management and communication skills, as well as expanded our understanding of what can create in the kitchen with simple, fresh ingredients. We are looking forward to continuing our journey with food through Personal Development Skills ‘Flavours of the World’ project and proposed 'Uber Eats' staff luncheon next term.
Kirsty Allan VCAL Coordinator
Year 12 VCAL have been working hard around their chosen themes this Semester. Remote learning certainly presented challenges for VCAL classes, however the Year 12 group have really pulled together to create awareness of, and support towards their chosen themes.
In 12VBarry their theme is Native Wildlife and Environmental Awareness and 12VHealy worked under their chosen theme of Fitness and Wellbeing. To tell you more about the VCAL happenings, here is an update from two of our Year 12 students:
12VHealy: Georgia Mantzaris
In our PDS (Personal Development Skills) class for Year 12 VCAL we have been constructing products to create a wellness hamper. As a class we decided on the theme of ‘Fitness and Wellbeing’ and split into groups to contribute an item to a ‘wellbeing’ hamper. One group is creating a lip balm, another is lotion, the other things that will be included are bracelets, sleeping masks and a candle holder (complete with a candle). We have been working constantly in order to achieve our goal of creating 20 hampers. Everything is being created from scratch and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far. These products will be sold and the profits donated to an organization supporting fitness and wellbeing.
12VBarry: Bailey Ash
During this semester the VCAL class of 12 Barry have been working on some products that will be auctioned on the 25th of June. We started the process in remote learning by having numerous Zoom calls and researching around how we can help the animals that were affected fires in Victoria. To raise awareness and to showcase what we are doing, we have made a website detailing information on numerous animals that were affected. We have made pouches and we've also constructed some bird boxes. We've been working hard alongside Mr. Patterson and Mr. Coffey to construct the bird boxes and have made 13 bird boxes so far. We were lucky enough to have Ms. Horbowsky lend us a sewing machine to help make the numerous pouches that have been hand sewn and we have also knitted blankets to look after the koalas and kangaroos that were injured in the recent bushfires.
On behalf of their classes, I thank the VCAL teachers and a myriad of other staff that volunteered their time to assist in the project, overseen by Mr Martschinke.
Kirsty Allan VCAL Coordinator
During COVID-19, we have had an increased reliance and use of technology in our day to day lives.
As such, it is important that we are vigilant to ensure the use of this technology is safe and appropriate.
The ESafety website has some fantastic resources and information for parents and young people to use, to further develop online skills and assist in safer online experiences. The ESafety Platform is running informative Parent Webinars including A Parent Guide to Online Gaming, Tech, Teens and Time Online, and My House My Rules.
Parents may find them helpful to hear expert tips on a range of issues including responding to harmful content, relationships, privacy and security, healthy online habits, where to get help, and how to safety communicate online.
For more information, to sign up click this link: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars
Olivia Whitehead Student Wellbeing Officer
Since our last update three weeks ago we have travelled another 900km!
We are now just 50km from Portland and looking strong to reach Port Melbourne by the semester break. Over the last few weeks we stopped very briefly a Seven Hills and St Ignatius College Adelaide.
Here are a few things we learnt during our visit:
• Located in the Clare valley and is the first winery established in South Australia by Jesuits who migrated from Germany in 1851.
• The winery was established to produce sacramental wine for Australia.
• Seven Hill is still owned by the Jesuits today and produces sacramental wine and high quality table wines that are available Australia wide.
• Fun fact: Sacramental wine in Australia is fortified. This is uncommon in the Church and was approved so that wine would not 'go off' as priest travelled large distances on horse back in the early Church in Australia.
St Ignatius College Adelaide
• Established: 1951
• Structure: Co-educational over two campuses. Junior (K-6) and Senior (7-12).
• Motto: 'Deo gloria' - Glory to God.
• Size: 1500 students
• Principal: Peter Coffey
• Vision: "Saint Ignatius’ College reaches beyond academic achievement to shape the morals and ethics of the whole person. Our unique approach to pastoral care champions inclusivity and compassion, relying on the development of one’s conscience. In doing this, we seek to form men and women who live fully when they live not just for themselves, but for others too".
As we finish up for the term I anticipate that this may be penultimate blog post for the Camino de Australia as if we continue at the current rate we will travel around Tasmania and arrive back at school (virtually) before staff and students return physically at the beginning of Term 3!
Read the blog and check our progress here: https://sicgwolfpack.weebly.com/camino-de-australia.html
Music to Our Ears
When students heard that band rehearsals were commencing on their return to school, the word excitement is an understatement.
It has been an exciting 2 weeks for many of our music students.
The Junior, Intermediate Symphonic Winds and the Stage Band are now back enjoying sectional rehearsals during the lunch breaks.
It is really heart warming to hear the students come together and play the pieces that they have been practising on their own for many weeks. Students have expressed their joy in making music together. Emily O’Kane commented - “I feel I’ve come home. Life is so much better”
We have no idea when our first performance post isolation will be held but students are still very keen to rehearse a number of works together.
It’s not always the destination but the actual journey that brings self satisfaction.
As the late famed tennis player Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” So it turns out that you might not even need to reach your goal to be successful.
Our Instrumental tutors are excited to be back face to face.
Nikki Zhao, our public speaking teacher, was very pleased with her zoom lessons with her students. This is what Nikki wrote to me during isolation, these are her reflections.
We are all adapting to new ways of working together during this unprecedented time. Thank goodness for the internet and social applications, that means I still get to see my students and their progress in Public Speaking. I was initially skeptical about teaching online. I thought, "how am I going to see their posture and breathing habits. How will I create an engaging and interactive learning space for my students online? Over the last 4 weeks I've realised that I need not have worried. Maintaining effective communication was the key to each student's own achievement. Students are unique and learn differently, so they have been encouraged to stay curious and open to explore their text, whilst using new 'tools' that supports their delivery.
Every week I meet with my eager students. I've felt rushes of joy seeing them become more confident with writing, speaking, and making improvements on vocal expression. I am very pleased with the students enrolled in Public Speaking, who despite the changes in their learning environment - still continue to practise the craft of communication. They are doing some great work, and we are looking forward to sharing that work soon! I am very grateful to be able to work with them.
If students are interested in taking private music or public speaking lessons, they are to complete the Instrumental enrolment forms which have been sent to all students.
Music on Zoom
During our zoom lessons we invited a guest singer/songwriter, Ms Rachael Brennan, to speak to the Year 10 Music in Industry class about the music industry and also the art of song writing. Rachael was most informative and the students loved hearing about her experiences and also listening to her perform.
I personally loved my experience of conducting zoom lessons and joining my students in their studies, lounge rooms or kitchens. Yes, we certainly covered much theory but what I loved the most, were the many vocal, guitar and piano solo performances from our talented students. The students also wrote songs and jingles and gave much praise and encouragement to each other.
What shall I miss about zoom? I shall miss the students’ smiling faces up so close to the screen, seeing their new cat or puppy. Hearing their shrieks of laughter, while my impressive white board went crashing to the floor and nearly taking out my study window! A wave and a smile from mum or grandma. Their cups of hot tea or chocolate sitting on their tables, sometimes accompanied by their weetbix. The sound of brothers or sisters playing or being overly loud and annoying all in the same room.
I shall miss Josh not being able to answer my numerous theory questions. The other members of the class said he had audio problems. “Cccan ot ee..to alk” were the sounds coming from Josh on zoom. One hour later -“Thanks for the lesson miss” said Josh.
I promised Josh I would get him back with an even better prank, as I am very competitive!
I awarded Josh the music trophy for Runner up in the Zoom Prank.
Maybe the students will tell you that story.
We are all looking forward to an exciting term 3 and hope the students have a restful term break.
Mrs Linda Pape Performance & Instrumental Coordinator.
Hello again everyone!
Sadly, this marks the final contest for the Project Ignite arts competition series! Today we open the Short Film contest, we implore you, the staff and students of SICG to create and share your own film media products.
The outlines for the competition are as follows:
- You are permitted to submit 1 film, up to 10 GB
- Your film is recommended to not exceed 6 mins in total
- You may submit a short narrative film, music video, parody, dance video etc. the sky’s the limit.
- We encourage you to submit a piece that you have created during isolation, or one that incorporates the theme of isolation.
- Students and staff can enter!
- The competition will run until the 26th of June.
Please follow this link to the submission form: https://forms.gle/TN3AwxM5NqaS8ESE8
Thank you to all those who have taken part in the previous contests, it is truly amazing to see all the great work everyone has produced! And remember, there is still time, so please enter for a chance to win and show off your talent and skills. Winners of the past competitions will be approached and announced soon!
Coco and Noah
These operation have been devised due to current Vic COVID-19 guidelines.
No parents allowed on site. No volunteers on site.
Maximum of 4 only to serve in the canteen.
Social distancing requirements.
Canteen open to serve:
Recess - Years 10-12 only (Not serving Years 7-9)
Lunch - Years 7-12
Years 7 - 8 : YLCs to give home room teachers a (washing) basket for each HR teacher.
Students to complete their order, place into the basket with money. Students leaders to take basket to canteen by end of homeroom and collect from canteen at 12.25pm.
Year 9: 1 basket near YLCs office (PANJ)
Students to complete their order on the paper bag, place into the basket with money. Students leaders to take basket to canteen by end of recess and collect from canteen at 12.25pm.
Years 10-12: basket at the canteen
Students to complete their order on the paper bag, place into the basket with money at the canteen by end of recess and collect from canteen during lunch time.
Staff: basket at the canteen
Staff to complete their order on the paper bag, place into the basket with money at the canteen by end of recess and collect from canteen during lunch time.
Each basket will have a Canteen Price List, paper bags and plastic money pockets.
Each basket will be daily cleaned and sanitised by Canteen staff.
Staff on Yard Duty to encourage physical distancing for students waiting in queues.
For Term 3 these Canteen Operations are to be reviewed and adjusted to comply with prevailing Vic COVID-19 guidelines.
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’.
Become part of the Parents and Friends’ Association
All future meetings currently on hold due to COVID-19.
We look forward to seeing you back there when we get the green light!
Meeting dates scheduled for rest of year are as follows (subject to above)
Nov – AGM TBA
Even if you can’t make it to the monthly meetings, but think you might be able to be on call to help at the different things we are involved in, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Uniform Shop
Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we have had to close the uniform shop until further notice.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but please note that NOONE is open for business.
We are always seeking Volunteers to help in the uniform shop when it is back open for business.
If you are available and have time to help out contact Sandi Clark by emailing email@example.com .
Training is provided.
The close quarter living that most of us have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the patience and communications skills of even the most assured parent. The constancy of members living together is a test of family management skills, revealing any flaws or limitations that exist.
Those that rely on a coercive (“do as I say”) approach probably discovered that dominance works well in small doses, but fails miserably over the long-term, with family harmony severely impacted.
Parents who use a laissez-faire (“she’ll be right”) approach may have found that one or more children struggled with a lack of structure. In the absence of positive leadership, a child more than likely stepped up to fill the void, rendering parents with limited influence.
Those who used a parallel (“you go your way, I’ll go mine”) approach may have experienced a relatively quiet parental existence, but this will more than likely come at the expense of group cohesion and children’s mental health.
Collaborative family leadership
Life in the family cocoon has suited parents that use a more inclusive, collaborative parenting style. This is a style that gives children a voice, commensurate with their developmental stages, in how the family conducts itself.
Features of a collaborative family
Parents who adopt a collaborative approach impact family culture in positive ways, so that their family becomes a collaborative unit. Here are some features shared by collaborative families:
Respect is a key value
This style of leadership treats kids with respect but importantly, expects respectful, considerate behaviour from children in return. When kids fail or forget to practise respectful treatment of others they are respectfully brought into line and reminded of their responsibility to others.
Kids in collaborative families generally help out without being paid. A jobs’ roster is the preferred method for ensuring kids contribute as authority is diverted from parent and rests with the group instead.
Language is cooperative
Parents who adopt a collaborative approach generally use language that invites children to cooperate. They also use the word “We” a great deal. “We’re relying on you to set the table before dinner” reminds a child or teenager of their contribution to the family good.
Rituals are strong
Collaborative families also use rituals such as mealtimes, special days and the like to build strong family bonds. These structured get-togethers are balanced with plenty of informal, fun activities where members can enjoy each other’s company.
Decision-making is shared
Most parents who successfully adopt a collaborative leadership style have a process that engages kids in family decision-making and resolution of conflict between siblings. A regular family meeting or council is a common forum used by collaborative family leaders. These meetings may take time to get right and some effort to convince all family members of their benefits, however once they’re embedded they become an invaluable part of a family’s culture.
There are many ways and methods you can use to successfully raise a family, however not every method stands up to the scrutiny close of quarter living we’ve been encountering. With more time at our disposal, a wonderful opportunity exists to implement a collaborative leadership style, that will bring benefits well after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Join Saver Plus and we'll match your savings, dollar for dollar, up to $500 for school costs.
To join Saver Plus, you must be at least 18 years or over, have a child at school or attend vocational education yourself, have regular income from paid employment (you or your partner), have a current Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card and be in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment.
The eligibility criteria has also been broadened to assist more families, with JobKeeper and/or a formal Child Support arrangement classed as ‘income’.
Contact: Your local Saver Plus Coordinator
See PDF flyer for details: