Dear Parents, Staff & Students,
“Trust me on this: There’s a good chance that, years from now, you will feel a bit sentimental for these weeks spent in social isolation. We’re built for challenging times. We are writing the stories we will tell our children and grandchildren. Driving down a suburban street waving to elementary school children may not have the historical gravity of landing on Omaha Beach or working on a wartime assembly line. But when the children of the pandemic are old and grey, they will reminisce about the time the schools were closed. It will be a warm memory, even though so many people got sick, lost their jobs, and were afraid. They don’t have the vocabulary today to describe it, but the lessons will stick and become clearer in the retelling. It’s about social cohesion, love and loyalty, and how good people step up when we need them to.”
Robert Pondiscio in “The Lessons That Last in the Time of Pandemic” in Education Gadfly, April 8, 2020
On Saturday (April 25) we commemorate ANZAC Day – a national day of remembrance and anniversary of the day of the first landing of Australians and New Zealanders at Gallipoli. As a community we unite to express our gratitude for the peace and security we enjoy that was obtained for us through the courage, dedication and united effort of the women and men “who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.”
Tomorrow morning at 8:50 am we ask all students to participate in the College’s ANZAC Day 2020 service by following the instructions provided by Deputy Principal, Mr Paul Lewis in his email sent to our school community members yesterday. Although we can’t “physically” gather together as a whole College this year we can be together remotely.
While we are not at war, we are currently facing very concerning risks to our lives and our futures due to the coronavirus outbreak. I acknowledge the personal and professional challenges resulting from this very uncertain, challenging and difficult situation. I hope families are well and are managing despite the changes and restrictions we are facing. In this time of adversity, we have seen the wonderful response of so many members of our community. We applaud and appreciate the efforts and dedication of our health care professionals and other essential service workers and volunteers and all the unsung heroes who are helping us get through this situation. Times of crisis can strengthen us and foster a sense of unity.
Looking forward, I hope this feeling of unity will be sustained when the threat subsides. I hope so because the strength of our College comes from the united efforts of us all. How we work together will determine for all of us how bright our future will be.
College response to the Coronavirus outbreak
I am very aware of and grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our College staff to enable the transition to remote and flexible learning and teaching. I am also very thankful for the continuing support of parents for what we have put in place to enable our students learning continuity. It has been a big change and challenge for families to manage and support their daughter(s)/son(s) to undertake classes remotely. We have gratefully received feedback from many parents and students. Most feedback has been very positive or constructive and some concerns have been raised. I encourage parents and students to continue to send their feedback to the appropriate person as indicated in the document “Remote and Flexible Learning: Information for Students & Parents” that was emailed to all parents and students by Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms at the beginning of the term.
To coordinate and manage the College’s response, we have set-up a network of teams coordinated by the Critical Incident Management (CIM) team which I regularly convene. The purpose of each team is to assess, anticipate, act and refine action for its designated area – ICT, Curriculum, Student Wellbeing, Staff/Operations & Administration or OHS. Our overall aim is to ensure learning can continue remotely and the focus of each team is to trouble shoot, problem solve and support our teachers and students with their work. Feedback about how we are progressing with remote & flexible learning is discussed by the appropriate team. So feedback from parents, students and staff members to the appropriate team is vital.
Two areas of concern that have arisen are the amount of work and the amount of screen time for some students. The CIM Team has discussed both of these concerns. This team has obtained teacher feedback and advice about these concerns. The consensus is that in general, we should not expect the same amount of work while students are undertaking remote learning compared to regular day-to-day lessons at school. The general guidance provided to teachers is to reduce the amount of work. Obviously, this will be a ‘balancing act’, and considerations will include the variety of student differences (e.g., home circumstances, individual student learning needs, progress and application), the type of work and the year level, to mention some. Teachers have also been given guidance to provide off-computer time where possible. We will continue to monitor this, and our management of remote teaching will evolve as we become more familiar with this new way of working. As most parents are already doing, we acknowledge the guidance you are providing your daughter(s)/sons(s) as you monitor how they are managing remote learning.
Another College response to the current situation for which I ask you to please consider supporting is as follows. Mr Paul Lewis has written to our school community (email letter) to inform everyone that we are preparing meals here at school and providing them to St Ignatius families who are in need of such support in these difficult times. To further promote this initiative, I provide the follow excerpt from Mr Lewis’ letter.
Depending on how many meals we can make and how many families need our support, we will also investigate if we can offer similar support to other local charities.
If you would like to donate food items that can be used as part of this community support program that would be wonderful. If you are driving for an essential reason and it happens to brings you past school, you will find a container just inside the Front Office where you can leave your donated food items.
It may be that you wish to support the program but won’t be out and about driving past
school in the near future so you may like to make a financial donation. As we are an essential service, we are permitted to purchase quantities of most food items from the supermarket so we will use the financial donations to purchase food for this meals program.
Financial donations to the program can either be paid directly in to the College account, details as follows: BSB 063-512 A/C 10124719 Quote Ref “Meals Program” or via credit card at Reception.
We certainly realise that these are very difficult and challenging times for many people and for some their employment situation may have recently changed and as such we completely understand that making a financial donation to this program may not be possible for some families.
Support for student wellbeing continues to be a priority for us during this time of remote and flexible learning. Our Student Wellbeing Team are remaining very active and are available. The team have developed a wellbeing resource module that students can access via Canvas. I encourage parents to check this out. The team members are also available to be contacted by students or parents and their contact details can be found in this module.
To promote our community members’ wellbeing, I provide the following advice from Mick Walsh for your consideration. (You can visit Mick’s website for more information: www.learningcurveathome.com)
There is no silver bullet to caring for and growing your own and your children’s wellbeing. Just like the dashboard in your car, no single gauge tells you how well your car is running, but rather it is a combination of all of the important information you possess. The gold standard model for wellbeing is PERMAH, and your own and your children’s wellbeing relies on a combination of all of them. A shortfall in one adversely affects the others, and in these current uncertain times, this could easily occur should we all not be vigilant. As James Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Let’s have a look at simple things you can do as a family to ensure each of the elements of PERMAH are healthy.
P – Positive Emotions + Gratitude: it is the frequency of positive emotions, not their intensity, which has the greatest influence on growing your own and your children’s wellbeing. For everyone, social connection is the best way to achieve this. To self-generate positive emotions, try these things: exercise first thing every morning, text a friend who is struggling, aim to do three kind acts every day and Facetime grandparents.
E – Engagement + Mindfulness: your own negative mind chatter, which causes you to experience fight or flight responses will probably be the biggest thing for you to control and overcome. Remember your children are likely to imitate you. To focus yourself try: create positive I can and I will self-talk statement to combat the negatives, colour in for ten minutes and breathe deeply and slowly.
R – Relationships + Empathy: other people are the best antidotes for life’s ups and downs. Use Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout for you and your children to see happy and smiling faces, break out Uno, Scrabble and other fun games to generate laughter, have fun cooking up hot cross buns, and do Wellbeing Fitness Challenges together.
M – Meaning + Purpose: in these times, feelings of vulnerability are perfectly normal for both you and your children. To relieve these feelings, having a strong sense of purpose to focus on something bigger than yourselves to devote your energies to, will assist. As a family, make cards to drop in the letterboxes of elderly people in your street, make fun family videos, and as a family follow and learn about a caring charity.
A – Accomplishment + Optimism: to cultivate feelings of optimism in your family that together you can influence your own futures, set a goal at home every day. Try starting a vegetable garden with your children, paint a room or piece of furniture, do one extra sit up or push up, encourage your children to complete one thing at a time from their teachers or an online wellbeing activity.
H – Health + Strengths: to keep your own and your children’s immune systems strong, focus on the big five – healthy fresh eating, one hour’s exercise, at least 8 hours sleep, drinking plenty of water and looking on the bright side of life. An uplifting family activity is to identify your top character strengths by doing the free online Strengths Survey at www.viacharacter.org. Everyone puts their strengths on the fridge and tries spotting them.
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: email@example.com
For student absence please contact the College office by 10am and leave a message or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For College Fee related enquiries email: email@example.com
For account related enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For enrolment queries please phone 0429 962 259 or email: email@example.com
For general IT support enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Wellbeing support please email: email@example.com
Thank you for your understanding.
The impact of the COVID19 pandemic has been as devastating as it has been disruptive across the globe. The loss of life around has been tragic and will become worse as developing nations in Africa battle the pandemic over the next few months. The disruption to people’s lives, the restrictions and financial impacts, seem overwhelming. There is so much to be anxious about and yet Easter reminds us that there is nothing to fear and that we have reason to be a hopeful community.
As we journeyed through Holy Week and Easter we saw the disciples run in fear after Jesus died on the cross. They believed they were to share his fate. Jesus was dead. It was over!
On Sunday though the women found the tomb was empty – “He is risen”. Death had been destroyed. There is nothing to fear. Nothing could separate us from our God.
Being fearful is unhealthy and leads to great anxiety. Although it’s important to be cautious and following the advice from our Government at this time is important we should not live in fear. Fear is a wasteful emotion guided by the ‘bad Spirit’. What was true at the first Easter is also true today. There is nothing to fear, our God will come to us; nothing can separate us from him.
Lessons from a Saint
The question is, ‘how do we live positively during this time?’. St Ignatius can teach us much about our current situation. His time in Manresa was transformative and life-giving. Today in 'isolation' we too can live in a positive manner and become more whole through the process.
Ignatius found that to encounter God he needed to be removed from daily life. Under the current restrictions, this has largely been done for us! What a positive situation we are in. When we reframe the purpose of our isolation and what may be gained from it we can reframe a negative into a new beginning. Psalm 46 calls us to, "Be still and know that I am God". The early Christians knew how important solitude was for us as humans to encounter God. God is always present but in our busy lives, we often fail to recognise or hear his "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12).
During the coming weeks enter into the silence purposefully and seek God. What is it he desires to reveal to you in this period of isolation?
St Ignatius examined himself with great intensity at Manresa. He intended to go deeper and discern the reasons for his existence and his life’s true purpose. The Spiritual Exercises were written based upon his experience are is most accessible spiritual texts to this day. The Exercises have been used by countless people over the centuries to encounter God and transform themselves and their lives.
At a local level many parishes across our Archdiocese live-streamed masses on Facebook or YouTube over the Easter period. As masses continue to be suspended due to the current restrictions and churches as venues are 'closed' remember that the church is, in fact, the community. Live-streamed masses and other prayer experiences are completed in an online manner that you can experience ‘at your leisure’. You can still be connected to the community!
During this period consider what process could you use to help you encounter God? Would a pattern of dedicated silence and prayer ‘fit’ your spiritual style or would a structured method like the Exercises in a contemporary form be better for you?
The development of the Exercises was facilitated by the unique talents of the author, Ignatius, who captured what was revealed by God during his time at Manresa. Consider what is being revealed to you by God about your unique creative gifts during this time of isolation? Spend some time discerning how you best experience God through your creativity?
For some being creative is a process of literally making – music, art, gardening, writing etc. For some the process is passive – reading, listening to music, enjoying your surroundings. If your styles is more passive your creativity will manifest itself in other ways. You may be more peaceful, better able to think of new things or ‘dream up’ ways to help or connect with others. Regardless of how you engage your creativity during this time you observe how you bring beauty and love into the world. Do much of this!
During Ignatius' time of isolation, he purposefully made time to help others. Although he had no material possessions he felt a deep calling to serve. He spent much time helping at the local hospital, which is an interesting parallel to the pandemic we are living through. We have all been affected financially due to the economic impacts of the pandemic and have less opportunity to give financially and due to the restrictions at present have fewer opportunities to 'do' things for others.
The current situation may require innovation but even though we may have less we can give more! Consider how might you serve others during this period and whom you might best serve. Reflect carefully upon these thoughts before you proceed. Once you discern the answers you may find that your service during this time is more true of your gifts and may become the basis for a deeper and more purposeful approach to service that helps you ‘love others’ and spread the Good News. May this time be a period where the whole human family comes together and finds a deeper unity; this begins with each of us.
Although we are experiencing a period of great upheaval there is nothing to fear and much good can come from this experience. St Ignatius’ experience at Manresa offers us some tips that if applied could be as transformative and positive as his time of reflection. I hope you have time to reflect upon these ideas and apply them over the coming weeks. I also hope that the following message from St Paul to the young church Philippi offers you peace now and always.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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
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 Captains, Heidi Bakker and William Palmer have recorded messages for the College community (particularly the students).
Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
To state the obvious, it has been a very different and at times challenging beginning to the Term. However, the students have embraced the change, as young people do, and have definitely risen to the challenge of Remote and Flexible Learning. I am personally very grateful for the way they have demonstrated their flexibility and acceptance towards this new style of teaching and learning for Saint Ignatius College. I am also very appreciative of the ongoing support the parents / guardians and wider community have given the College during this unprecedented time.
Remote and Flexible Learning does provide new challenges that some students may at times find difficult. These challenges could be presented through the isolation they have from their friends, peers and organisations that they are involved in; an inability to be physically active through their sports and / or activities that they would normally participate on a regular basis; or simply not having the general supports around them that quite often provide that necessary support for their mental health.
It is important during this time of Remote and Flexible Learning that we constantly consider and are aware of the health of our young people, specifically their mental, physical and social health. There is a significant amount of resources available online in relation to the support that young people and parents/guardians could utilise to support each through this challenging phase and navigating through this material can be difficult.
I have attached a document and provided some links to websites that highlight specific areas that individuals can utilise to ensure they are looking after their own and others mental and physical health. The information also highlights and offer suggestions how young people can stay connected with her/his peers during these uncertain times. Sharing and discussing this information with each other is a great way to check in with one another, and develop a supportive and open environment.
As a College we are working through ways to best support our students during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Wellbeing Officers have developed a great resource for the College community, that provides advice and resources specifically during this time. This resource can be found under the Wellbeing Tile on CANVAS, which is available on every students CANVAS Homepage. This is a fantastic resource and I would encourage all students and parents/guardians to familiarise themselves with this information.
Michael Timms Deputy Principal [Students]
How Exercise Can Help During Coronavirus
Why You Should Do Something for Yourself Everyday - Beyond Blue:
The Importance of Establishing a Routine - Beyond Blue:
Managing Your Mental Health while in Self Isolation or Quarantine - Beyond Blue:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you require any further information please contact the College Registrar Mrs Gail Myers on 0429 962 259.
Our Wellbeing team have regularly been updating the Wellbeing CANVAS page to ensure students and their families have up to date information and support. There are some great resources and links on there for students, staff and parents including specific information on COVID-19 and navigating this complex time.
Look out for regular updates and new information including our weekly self care tips!
Our Wellbeing team are also still available for appointments using the Zoom platform (either audio, visual or both methods).
Please email the email@example.com if you wish to request support.
From the Wellbeing Team
As we enter our second week of remote and flexible learning, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful efforts of our students and staff to tackle this new way of learning with its varied challenges. There is no doubt online learning at home or at school is very different from how we normally deliver the daily curriculum.
Having a common learning Management System such as Canvas to deliver announcements and lessons as well as the additional ability to use Zoom to interact with students has made this significant shift in day to day learning much more manageable at our school than it might otherwise have been.
That being said, we are closely monitoring the learning program as well as student wellbeing in place for the term and wish to reassure that we are keenly aware this process may need to evolve further as we become more familiar with all the emerging challenges associated with it.
Motivation is one of the harder aspects to maintain for students when working remotely and Elevate Education, an organisation we have worked with for many years is offering a free webinar for their client schools and respective parent communities next Tuesday April 28th.
A letter was forwarded to parents and guardians yesterday with an explanation of how to register and these details are repeated below. As there are only 200 available places for this seminar, if you wish to register you are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
The event details are below:
Event Title: How to help your child study effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic
Date: Tuesday 28th April
Sign-Up Link: https://www.elevatecoaching.info/parent-webinar-vic/
Thank you once again for your encouragement and support as we proceed to work together to deliver remote and flexible learning.
Annette Chidzey Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
This 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 will 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
If you’re like me, the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has your head spinning and your heart pumping. That’s only natural as life as we know has taken a seismic shift in recent days.
International travel bans, cancellation of sporting and cultural events, shopping frenzies and talk of school closures continue to dominate the airwaves. Terms such as social distancing, self-isolation and social lockdowns have entered our vocabularies and may soon become part of our daily lives.
Coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on our daily lives, and will probably do so for some time. While keeping ourselves and children healthy and safe is our main concern, it’s also essential to address the anxieties of children and young people during these changing times. Here are some ideas to help inform, reassure and keep children and young people safe.
Build on what your children know
Children and young people have already been exposed to a great deal of information about corona virus through media, digital means and direct social contact. Their understanding will vary depending on their age and also the quality of their information sources so you probably will need to help kids process what they already know.
Casual conversations with teenagers and older children can be useful ways to glean their understanding. You could ask questions like “What are you hearing about Coronavirus? Is there anything you’re not sure about?” Younger primary age children may need a more direct approach with parents addressing their specific concerns without giving too much information that can overwhelm them.
Check your own thoughts and feelings
Check your own frame of mind and emotions about COVID-19 before talking to kids. Most children are astute mood detectives and they’ll gauge their safety by the way you communicate with them. If you tell a child, “You’ve got to wash your hands or you’ll get infected,” you are communicating your own anxieties, making it difficult for them to maintain a healthy state of mind. Have a think about how you can frame your instructions and their importance in a way that doesn’t heighten your child’s anxieties.
It’s difficult to work out fact from fiction, correct from incorrect, information from exaggeration when the news is changing so fast. However you need to educate yourself about the virus itself, including how it’s transmitted and how to stay safe. Get information from trustworthy sources such as The Australian Government Health Department website and the current federal government corona virus information media campaign.
Answer questions truthfully
It’s important that parents and teachers answer children’s questions honestly in age-appropriate ways and within context of what is happening at the given time. If their sport or hobby has been temporarily cancelled empathise with their concerns, while helping them maintain a sense of perspective.
Initiate positive action
One way to reduce anxiety and allay children’s fears is to involve them in planning and preparation for their personal and group safety. Positive activities such as maintenance of personal hygiene, greeting people with an elbow tap and getting plenty of sleep can help restore a sense of control, that is so important for their wellbeing.
Find refuge in rituals
Regular rituals such as mealtimes, bedtime stories and regular one-on-one time provide both an anchor to normality and a sense of connection for kids at times of change. Consider reconstituting favoured family rituals at this time if they have lapsed due to lack of time, or lifestyle frenzy.
In difficult times there is a tendency to look inwards, which is a natural protective strategy. The alternative is to establish a senseof connection and community spirit by focusing on generosity and togetherness. Help children see past their own needs and look for ways to assist others whether it’s shopping for an elderly neighbour, helping a younger sibling occupy themselves, or planning an indoor movie night for the whole family.
The Coronavirus presents many practical challenges to parents and other important adults in the lives of kids. Staying calm, keeping informed, and adjusting our own habits are just some of the challenges we face. However a significant challenge is one of personal leadership. That is, during these difficult times we need to be civil to each other, look out for each other and be mindful of the common good in everything we do. In this, we can all take a significant lead.
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.