Dear Saint Ignatius College community members,
Welcome to the 2021 school year. It was uplifting to see our students return on Monday. We welcomed 1,359 students back to school; this included 250 Year 7 and 19 new students at other year levels. Hopefully, our students will have a more settled year with access to a broader range of programs and activities than last year and a very enjoyable and rewarding time.
I sent an email to parents and students last week to set the scene for the return to school. I reiterate the main points as follows.
Our College 2021 focus is “Learners and their learning – helping students learn to a higher level.” Our immediate focus is on establishing a positive, respectful and effective learning environment with a strong learning culture after a very unsettled 2020. We have high expectations for our students and will take advantage of the new start the new year provides to insist on student learning practices and behaviours that demonstrate a positive attitude, diligent application and reflect the importance of and gratitude for the opportunity of an education at Saint Ignatius College.
I know that parents and carers join me in the desire for a school learning environment where there are high expectations for our students and their daughter and sons can flourish. To get the year off to the best possible start, after last year’s challenges, I expect students to strive for an excellent standard in four key areas: uniform, punctuality, positive learning environment and respectful relationships. I ask you to please reinforce this with your daughter or son.
Another area I ask your support for is to please remind your daughter or son about COVID safe practices. In particular, would you please ensure your daughter or son brings a mask to school each day. Masks will need to be worn on buses,in classes and indoors at school.
I thank parents and carers for your efforts to support your daughters or son’s preparation to get the year off to a great start. School attendance and application must receive the priority they deserve. The home factors that make a big difference in student school success include parental involvement, quality family communication and, most of all, parental expectations.
The climate of the home for learning does matter. High expectations and high levels of communication enhance student learning. To facilitate the transition from holidays to school work, it is vital to set boundaries, plan for a balance and establish routines. This can be a challenge but is crucial for success. In particular, quality sleep time, exercise, recreation and study time are important considerations among many.
The start of a new school year brings a range of emotions, from the excitement and anticipation of starting afresh to the uncertainty and worry associated with forming friendships and coping with new learning environments, subjects, teachers and academic expectations.
As the school year begins, it is vital to nurture resilience in students, so they can better navigate challenges and respond to adversity with a “growth mindset” and make the most of the opportunities at our College.
Parents can promote resilience by:
• establishing connections with other students and supportive adults to help develop empathy and a broader support network;
• Encouraging students to help others as this enables feelings of empowerment;
• teaching students how to set aside or ‘take a break’ from excessive worrying by modelling right self-care strategies including exercise, relaxation and fun;
• helping students identify reasonable goals and how to take steps towards them, one step at a time. This helps to focus on what has been accomplished rather than what has not;
• nurturing a positive self-view by reminding students of the ways they have handled difficulties and hardships in the past, and connecting their past successes with future potential; and
• encouraging students to keep things in perspective rather than catastrophising – especially when they are stuck on something negative or challenging.
For additional guidance in supporting teenagers with the beginning of school, refer to Beyond Blue’s Tackling back-to-school anxiety. You are also most welcome to contact the Homeroom teacher or the College's Student Wellbeing Office if you are concerned about your daughter or son's wellbeing.
As well as many new students, there are thirteen new staff members and two returning from leave. Welcome to:
Kate Cash English, RE Teacher
Shane Cole Learning Support Officer
Luis Costa Systems Design , Digital Tech., Auto, & Robotics Teacher
Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning)
Dylan Frusher Wellbeing Placement – Semester 1
Carly Jenkins RE, English, Drama Teacher
Martin Kolka Computing, Digital Tech. Teacher & Learning Area Leader
Hayley Livingston Term One - Replacing Peter Grull
Jessica Miller RE, Environmental Studies, Science Teacher
Olivia Pearce English, Literature Teacher
Georgia Robinson Term One - Replacing Greg Fisher
Andrew Rose Technology, Robotics Teacher
Carley Thorpe RE Teacher
Emma Cuthill English Teacher
Blair Phillips Health & Phys. Ed. Teacher
A significant favourable influence on student outcomes is parental involvement in and support of school programs. Over the last few years, there has been a high attendance of parents at our Information Evenings. I want to encourage this to remain part of our community’s support of our students' active learning culture. The College calendar can be accessed through our online student management system, ‘Xuno.’ To help with your organisation, I have scanned the calendar and provide a list of some key dates for this month:
• Tuesday 9 Feb. (7 pm) Parents & Friends Association Meeting (Food Tech. Centre) (All parents welcome)
• Thursday 11 Feb. (6:30 pm) Yr 7 Welcome Mass & meet the Homeroom Teacher (MPC) (Yr 7 students with one family representative each, masks to be worn indoors, due to COVID Safe Plan.)
• Friday 12 Feb. (10:46 am – 12:42 pm) Full School Assembly – Academic Awards & Student Leadership Investiture in MPC. (Sorry, due to COVID Safe Plan, attendance only by invitation.)
• Monday 15 Feb. Yr 8 Camp Week (Parents will receive details soon via email.)
• Monday 15 Feb. (7 pm – 8:00 pm) Yr 9 Cape York Immersion Trip Information Evening for interested parents (Yr 9 Centre)
• Tuesday 16 Feb. (9 am – 10:30 am) Beginning of Year Mass (MPC) (Sorry no visitors due to COVID Safe Plan)
• Wednesday 17 Feb. Ash Wednesday liturgy for students during Homeroom
• Thursday 18th Feb. Year 7 Immunisation
• Tuesday 23 Feb. (6:30 pm) Yr 9 Parent Information Evening (Yr 9 Centre, parents only, no students)
• Thursday 25 Feb. College House Swimming Carnival (Kardinia Pool) (Parents welcome and will need to sign in at entry)
• The Yr 8 Parent Information Evening will be held later, and parents will be informed if and when this will be held.
• The Yrs 10, 11 & 12 Parent information sessions will be held online. Parents will be informed about how to access these online sessions.
On behalf of my colleagues, I look forward to working with you to support the education of one or more of your children and wish your family every blessing for the new year. We are looking forward to a rewarding year as we work together to help our students “learn to a higher level.”
Best wishes for 2021,
Michael Exton Principal
As we come together as a College community at the beginning of a new year there is a strong sense of excitement and hope. After a very disrupted 2020 there is relief in the fact that this year is set to be remote learning free and that we will have forty weeks ‘at school’ to learn together. College staff have begun the year with great enthusiasm and optimism. But as is right we began our year in prayer.
The first day for staff began with a mass. Traditionally the staff from the six secondary colleges come together on the first day at St Mary’s Basilica to share a combined mass. Sadly, the restrictions in place to keep Victorians safe made such a large gathering impossible this year. At Saint Ignatius College were fortunate however as Fr Gerry Healy SJ was able to offer mass for our staff.
So that we were united spiritually the readings and prayers offered were the same for all of the secondary colleges in Geelong. The Gospel reading for the mass was therefore common to all of the Colleges. The particular reading was from Matthew’s Gospel:
The Son of Man said “Come you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”
Then the virtuous will say in reply :” Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, naked and clothe you, sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the Son of Man will answer: “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of my brothers or sisters, you did it to me.”
This well-known reading is an insightful parable that explains the need for us to look to those at the margins if we are to truly serve and see Jesus’ face in the world around us. The reading was selected to focus our attention as staff this year on those we care for and those we might reach out to.
Fr Gerry’s explored this reading with our staff by relating a story of an event he experienced as a young Jesuit. His homily described his account of volunteering to help move sheep on a farm as a bushfire drew near. As they moved the sheep toward safer paddocks sheep he came across on old ewe who was exhausted and was unable to move any further. For some an old sheep among many hundreds may not have been a priority but the manner in which the worn out ewe awaited whatever was to come focussed his attention on the individual. Fr Gerry took a chance and placed the ewe on his horse and walked the rest of the way. Happily the entire flock was saved and the ewe recovered and lived to rear her lamb.
Such moments are transcendent and profound. In making the decision to literally be a ‘good shepherd’ Fr Gerry personally experienced what it means to place the lowest and most vulnerable above others. Regardless of whether we pay particular attention to a vulnerable animal or a person in need when we care for the vulnerable we are doing the Gospel. Experiences like these lead us to wholeness. Nothing can replicate the satisfaction deep within our heart of when we serve the vulnerable without seeking reward or affirmation.
Many of us do not encounter moments like these in our semi-rural lives. In a similar way, in the parable, Jesus teaches by using examples that are either spectacular or difficult to measure. In the modern world we don’t see people going about naked. However, we do see people who go without what we consider basic essentials. It’s difficult to measure who is hungry as they are not prostrate in the street. But we can easily see when someone can only access cheap, low quality food. Those in prison are hidden and impossible to visit unless they know you and name you as their visitor. Visiting those in prison in our modern world is limited to those people you knew before they were imprisoned.
When we interpret the reading and consider Fr Gerry’s experience the central message is discernible and applicable no matter what our situation is. The essence of the message is to seek those who are rejected or forgotten. Encounter them and be present to their needs both spiritually and physically. It is easy to care for those we are close to or are in some way connected to. The challenge in living the Gospel is in making a point each day of looking toward the edges of our society or community and responding to the need we encounter. We may find the broken and vulnerable amongst our ‘brothers and sisters’ and we may equally see this need in creation. Wherever you notice injustice, abandonment, hopelessness or desperation you encounter Jesus and your calling.
As we as staff begin the year we have been reminded of the need to care for each member of our community. To be the good shepherd though we have been reminded of the need to observe carefully, place great value on the individual and be courageous in caring for others. In being a good shepherd we not only mirror the actions of Jesus we meet him spiritually, physically, completely.
I pray that you may see him by seeking out suffering in the world today and that you become the good shepherd by responding to that need.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Thank you to the Saint Ignatius community for welcoming me into such a wonderful school. I have been impressed by the friendliness and care shown by everyone, as well as the excited anticipation about 2021, not only in my Year 7 English class, but also across Year 7 to Year 12 classes. The staff are very dedicated and there is a great positive energy around the staff offices and in classrooms.
This year our main learning goal is ‘helping students learn to a higher level’. Remote learning in 2020 challenged us in many ways but it also enabled students to take more ownership of their learning. Building on this, in 2021, we will revisit the Saint Ignatius Student Effective Learning Practices which will help support this goal. Staff have already commenced the review process and students will be asked to share their views too.
I look forward to working with the Saint Ignatius community in my role as Deputy Principal [Learning and Teaching] and meeting parents and guardians at the various functions this term.
Ms Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal [Learning and Teaching]
It is always an exciting time of the year when we welcome our new students who are starting their College journey in Year 7 or continuing in other year levels to the College at the start of the school year.
The gallery below is a selection of the happy smiling faces, both students and parents, as they arrived at the College on Monday February 1st.
To help in ensuring students are wearing the correct school uniform, please find attached our current Uniform Policy.
The College expects that students should always be well groomed and neatly presented in full school uniform. The uniform should be well maintained i.e. winter shirt tucked in, top button done up, shoes polished and in good repair and ties to be tied correctly.
The requirements listed in the attached Policy document below are not exhaustive and may be subject to change. The Principal and/or Deputy Principals will be the final arbiters on all matters of contention and will make other determinations throughout the year as to what is acceptable and appropriate as fashions and styles change.
If for unforeseen circumstances a student is not in full uniform, a written, signed and dated note from a parent/guardian must be presented to the Homeroom teacher. Such issues are expected to be resolved within one week from the presentation of the note.
International Women’s Day is marked annually on March the 8th, and is a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The 2021 theme for International Women’s Day is ‘choose to challenge,’ a challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change.
This year, due to gathering restrictions, our celebrations will be held virtually on Tuesday March the 9th.
We are delighted to host the 1997 Young Australian of the Year Award Recipient, the 1997 Medal of The Order of Australia Recipient, The 2000 Australian Sports Medal Recipient, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Hall of Fame Recipient and the 2018 Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership Award, Nova Peris as part of our annual International Women’s Day Celebrations.
Please see attached flyer for Zoom link details.
Looking forward to you joining us, albeit virtually, for our International Women’s Day Evening.
Ms. Elana Cole Companions Coordinator.
The College canteen menu uses the 'traffic light system' to inform
students, staff and parents of the College the healthier choice’s
available at the College canteen (See 'Healthy Food @ School Guidelines'
in our 'College Policies and Procedures' section for full details).
Canteen duty provides a much appreciated service to the school. It
gives you the opportunity to meet and talk with other parents and also
enables you to see your child’s school in action.
Five helpers are needed each day. Helpers will need to be at the canteen by 9:00am and will generally be finished by 1:30pm. If you can only be there part of the day, your help is greatly appreciated.
If you are able to assist, please contact Sandra Woodall at the College on 5251 1136.
Week starting February 8th 2021
8th Feb: E.Musella, P.Perkins.
9th Feb: M.Dunstan, L.Tigani.
10th Feb: K.Button, Needed.
11th Feb: A.Richardson, Needed.
12th Feb: Needed, Needed
Week starting February 15th 2021
15th Feb: Needed, Needed
16th Feb: R.Morris, M.Jackson.
17th Feb: C.Ford, Needed.
18th Feb: Needed, Needed.
19th Feb: N.Lowther, Needed.
On Wednesday February 3rd ARP took the College student photos for 2021.To view the images of your child and order photos, you will need to first register online.
Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket in last years’ Raffle – winners were:
1st: V Bairamidis - College Fees
2nd: J Robinson - $200 Campion voucher
3rd: N Baensch - $100 Noone voucher
4th: J Gangoso - $100 Noone voucher
5th: B Hynson – $25 P&F Second Hand Uniform Shop voucher
6th: D Montgomery – $25 P&F Second Hand Uniform Shop voucher
7th: R Poynder – $25 P&F Second Hand Uniform Shop voucher
8th: J Grant – $25 P&F Second Hand Uniform Shop voucher
9th – 18th - $5 school canteen vouchers
C Abreu, M Favelle, S Sutton, B Henriksen, M Walter, A Kristapsons, C McWaters, C Dykes, A Smith and A Nyga
Next meeting will be held on Tuesday 9th February at 7.00pm in the Food Tech Room.
We look forward to seeing you there.
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 email@example.com
Scheduled Meeting dates for 2021:
November 9th & AGM
In order to ensure the College is looking its best, the PFA will be arranging a working bee on Sunday 14th March from 8.30am to 12.30 pm. If you could spare a few hours, or even just one hour, come along. Good opportunity to bring the kids too! Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register your interest in helping!
Uniform Shop Opening Days and Times are as follows:
Wednesday 17th February 2-4pm
Wednesday 3rd March 2-4pm
Wednesday 31st March 4-8pm
Items to be sold can be dropped off on any of the above days or anytime at the front office.
We are always seeking Volunteers to help in the uniform shop. If you are available and have time to help out contact Kate Callaghan by emailing email@example.com . Training is provided.
The Saint Ignatius College Parents and Friends' Association (PFA) welcomes all new families in 2021.
Our first PFA meeting will be held on Tuesday February 9th at 7pm in the Food Tech Building.
Come and meet some new people, support our College and contribute to our College community in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
For more information or to sign up for regular PFA correspondence please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting dates for 2021:
November 9th & AGM
Parenting is the ultimate long game. You are in it for the long haul. You can’t change your mind, although there are times that you’d like to refund or at least trade a child in for a more agreeable model. You have to gird your loins, put a smile on your face and cope.
In the last few years there’s been a great deal of attention and resources directed toward teacher wellbeing, which is commendable. It’s not just teachers who need some TLC. Parents who spend a great part of their day looking after, caring for and worrying about kids also need to focus on their own wellbeing.
Here are some essential strategies that will help you last the distance in the parenting marathon.
Parents give up a lot for their kids including many of the activities, hobbies and friendship groups that bring them joy and add balance to their lives. The person first, partner second scenario common to most couples is tipped on its head when the first child comes along. Suddenly you’re a parent first, partner second and person last. Two or three kids and ten years later the order is still the same in most families. It’s not until kids leave home that many parents start to regain their own lives back. The advice is simple. Retain some part of your life while you’re actively parenting that gives you joy and sustenance. Guard it zealously and, if applicable, let your partner do the same.
The world abounds with parenting books (including my own, guilty your honour!) encouraging parents to be better managers of behaviour, solvers of kids’ problems, promoters of kids’ mental health and more, often at the expense of the leadership capacities. Leaders focus on the bigger picture, that is, the family as a whole, while managers focus on individual children. The latter is tiring, while the former is liberating. Leaders look after themselves, delegate jobs and use modelling and teaching as core strategies.
The basic task for parents is to make themselves redundant, which starts in the early years. Teaching kids to tie shoe laces, cook meals, feed pets and the like takes time and energy. However, it pays off when children are capable of looking after themselves, allowing you to sit back, put your feet up and relax. Not exactly, as independence can bring headaches too, particularly with teenagers who frequently confuse independence with freedom. Even tackling that type of worry is preferable to getting kids off the couch because they are too dependent and fearful to leave home.
If you’ve ever worried about the small, precise details of your child’s life then I suspect that you are raising a small family. It’s interesting how parents in larger families worry about different things than those in small families. Size creates perspective. I often ask parents with concerns about their children “Would you worry about this issue if you had six children?” Ironically, parents of families of four or more children generally find family life far easier than those raising one or two kids, as they don’t take personal responsibility for their children’s successes, failures and problems.
Poor choice of clothes, wet towels left on floors and untidy bedrooms are typical of some of the minor things parents argue with kids about. Unfortunately, these minor skirmishes wear many parents out and sour goodwill. One of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve received was to only battle with children over issues that matter such as poor treatment of a friend, mean-spirited behaviour and dishonesty.
The measure of your child is not another child, yet the temptation to keep an eye on another child’s progress, talents and character traits are ever present. In the short term, comparison can leave a parent feeling discouraged and dejected, especially if they have a late blooming child or one who has different strengths and talents to those in the mainstream. In the long term, comparison can be dispiriting for a child as they can easily feel that they never measure up. Each child has their own developmental clock and their unique strengths. You may have to dig deep to find them, but they will be there. Their strengths and talents may need some polish, which is part of the parenting job too.
The longer I’m involved in parenting both personally and professionally the more that I understand that building strong relationships with kids based on mutual respect, appreciation and understanding is at the heart of successful parenting. Loving and being loved are core to be human. Nothing provides the level of human connection more than being an accepted, appreciated member of a family.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It . Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.
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:
Local Community and Sporting groups you may be interested in.
Parent Education Events - Geelong Region: Term 1 2021
All Regional Parenting Services programs are free and will be offered face to face or Online via Zoom, however, bookings are essential.
To book visit www.geelongaustralia.com.au/parenting or call us on 5272 4781.
There are a number of events planned for Term 1, please see attached flyer for event details: