Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,
As you are probably aware, the Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, announced yesterday that lockdown restrictions would be lifted in most of regional Victoria from Thursday night, following advice from Victoria's Chief Health Officer.
Regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Year 12 students who live in regional Victoria, while remote learning will remain for all other levels. This means that our Years 11 & 12 students studying VCE Unit 3 & 4 subjects and Year 12 VCAL students will have onsite classes from tomorrow. Years 7 – 11 students will continue with remote and flexible learning.
Onsite supervision will remain available for vulnerable children and children of essential workers in all year levels. This service remains at our College under the arrangements that are currently in place.
As was the case before this lockdown period, we will still need to be vigilant about ‘COVID-19 Safe’ practices. For students attending school, this will mean that they will be required to wear masks on buses, in classrooms and outdoors unless an exemption applies.
Deputy Principal Michael Timms has emailed all students about the arrangements for the remainder of this term from Friday. A summary for parents and carers is as follows:
As has been foreshadowed for many years, a significant change in the provision of student bus services will commence at the start of the 2022 school year. This will mean that a bus fee will be introduced on many bus routes. Whether a fee will be payable and how much it will cost depends on the type of service.
A letter has been emailed to parents about this, with an attached document explaining what applies for each type of service where bus fares will be introduced. The bus fares information document is also available on the College website under Enrolments > Bus Information.
Please contact our Bus Coordinator, Mrs Deb Pisarskis, if you have any questions (E: email@example.com or Ph. 03 5251 1136.)
Saint Ignatius College has an excellent educational reputation and has been well supported by many wonderful families from across the Geelong over many years. We want such families to be able to continue to access our College, and we are committed to working with various authorities to see what can be done to make future bus fares as affordable as possible.
This is the last newsletter for this term, and I would like to inform you about some staff changes beginning next term.
Mr Brad Manczak will return from term three leave. Thank you to Ms Sarah Rothwell for covering Mr Manczak’s classes. Ms Tess Duddy will be finishing her Music teaching. We will welcome Mr Michael Wilding to the Performing Arts Faculty. He will teach Years 7 & 8 Music classes and coordinate our Bands & Year 7 Music programs.
Information Librarian, Ms Tahnee Bruynen will be replaced by Ms Melina Torres while she is on parental leave.
Ms Tory Wood will continue her leave, and her position has been advertised.
And our Development Manager, Mrs Claire Hewitt, has informed me she will be finishing at the end of this term. Mrs Hewitt is a long-serving staff member whose dedication and enthusiasm for promoting the College is well-known and greatly appreciated. Mrs Hewitt has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the College, and I will pay tribute to her more fully later in the year.
On behalf of our College community, I extend my best wishes and thanks to all staff taking leave or finishing their time at our College.
As the end of the third term draws close, I thank all parents & carers for your ongoing support, particularly during this latest period of remote and flexible learning, as we work together to support our students’ learning continuity and well-being. I wish all families patience, peace, and strength during the continuing uncertain and challenging times. May our students enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating time over the coming two-week break.
Michael Exton Principal
As an Ignatian companion school we are connected to the wider Ignatian and Jesuit network locally and internationally. One of the great benefits of this network is hearing of the work being done to support and empower people so they can experience all of the success and joy we do in our very fortunate lives. Therefore, I offer following piece by our Jesuit friend, Fr Andy Hamilton SJ who is editorial consultant at Jesuit Communications on International Literacy Day which was celebrated on Wednesday of this week.
In our society we take it for granted that everyone can read. But it was not always so. Three thousand years ago few civilisations had written documents or books. The voice was all important. Story tellers held the traditions and the wisdom of the tribe which were communicated in ritual dance and play, and community matters were decided by speech. Even where alphabets were used to represent speech so that people could write down words, as was the case in ancient Greece, only privileged people in society could read, and political decisions were decided by the quality of speeches. People would memorise important writings by heart.
As the Bible was written down, however, missionaries to peoples with their own spoken language needed to speak in those languages about faith and the stories on which it was based. They had first to learn the new language and to find a way of representing it in letters in which they could translate the Bible and other sacred books. Because many early missionaries spoke Greek alphabets found in Europe and Asia show Greek influence. In this way writing was introduced to Ethiopia, the Germanic tribes, Ireland, England, Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. This process continues to our own day, with the language of the Hill tribes in Laos and Thailand being written only recently.
Even after languages were written down, few people were able to read and write. Literacy became took on added importance in the sixteenth century when the Reformers emphasised the importance of the Bible, and the invention of the printing press allowed written material to be distributed widely and relatively inexpensively throughout Europe. Churches established schools in which children could learn to read and write. As societies became more complex both religious and state sponsored schools spread rapidly, and the ability to read and write became important for finding work and also for communication in society.
Today the vast majority of people can read and write. Yet many cannot. Some come from remote communities in which communication is largely oral. Others, particularly elderly people, have come late to Australia from societies in which few people were literate, or where their native language was written in a different script. Some immigrants, too, began working in factories immediately on arrival and so had no time to learn to read or write. If people cannot read or write in English they often feel inferior and ashamed, and try to conceal their inability. Their lives can be plagued by anxiety that their inability will be discovered, or that they will miss important information from government and other sources.
For this reason International Literacy Day is important. It offers a space in which to remember people who are illiterate, and to support the work of those who reach out to them to by helping them learn to read and write. Literacy opens doors to society that would otherwise be closed. It opens up the joys of reading and understanding books and magazines. It allows people to participate in the public conversation about society and to become citizens. It also helps people who are shut out of society by their illiteracy to apply for jobs and to gain confidence through connecting with society in other ways. If they are Christian, too, they may be enabled to understand and to respond to God’s word through liturgy and reflection.
In the programs of the Jesuit Community College at Jesuit Social Services encouraging literacy has been of central importance, especially for isolated migrant women for whom opportunities to work and to connect with society can increase as they become more confident in reading and writing English.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Given the remote learning challenges and social disruption currently being experienced across the state, we as a school community are extremely mindful of monitoring and supporting our students’ mental health. In recognition of RUOK? Day taking place on Thursday 9th September, we thought it timely to highlight a few aspects of teen mental health.
What’s going on out there?
Headspace reports that approximately 1 in 4 young people experience mental health difficulties in any given year, while Beyond Blue reports that over 75% of mental health issues occur before the age of 25. On top of those statistics however, research recently released by the Monash COVID-19 mental health research group has demonstrated that lockdown restrictions have been associated with near double the population prevalence of moderate to severe depressive and generalised anxiety symptoms (across all ages).
This issue is therefore of great relevance to our secondary student population. The current COVID-19 impacted climate, when added to the (already significant) developmental changes and associated social challenges and emotional extremes, can make for a very difficult time for our young people and their families.
When should you be concerned?
A question frequently asked by many parents is: “how can I tell if my child is having a normal reaction to difficult experiences?”.
A ‘normal’ range of feelings and responses to stressors can last for days or even a couple of weeks for young people, during which time they will benefit from support and perhaps guidance. Young people may experience a range of emotions, and all emotions (although they may not be pleasant) are okay. Experiencing even difficult emotions just makes us human. Rather, parents should be on the alert for more significant mental health concerns, as indicated by Beyond Blue below.
The main thing to look for in your young person is a sudden and ongoing change from the way they usually behave and feel. Depression doesn’t just cause young people to feel sad or down, and anxiety doesn’t just make people worry. Young people can express feelings of anxiousness and depression in many different ways.
Questions to ask yourself
These quick questions can give you an indication of how worried we should be. The more you answer ‘yes’, the more you need to consider discussing these changes with your young person and/or a health professional.
Where to go if your teen needs help
Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s homeroom teacher, year level coordinator or the wellbeing team (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they wish to discuss any mental health concerns. Alternatively, or in addition, a conversation with a trusted GP can be a good place to start. You can access a ‘mental health care plan’ through your GP which allows for access to subsidised medicare sessions to support mental health. The Bellarine Community Health Youth site in Drysdale (1800 007 224) or Headspace in Ocean Grove (5253 0400) are also very helpful supports. There are of course also a large number of private psychologists across Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, although some currently have lengthy waiting lists.
More information and practical tips
Here are two great, short videos released by Headspace and Drummond Street Services to assist parents with the important job of monitoring and supporting their teenagers’ mental health:
Other useful information for parents can be found on the Wellbeing Canvas page, or by accessing the following links:
Raising Children: https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/mental-health-physical-health
Student Wellbeing Team
Just before lockdown #7 arrived our Year 11 VCE Environmental Science students had the opportunity to complete field studies monitoring air quality and pollution around the College.
In high pollution areas particulate matter is absorbed onto the surface of leaves causing disruption to photosynthesis and coating the leaves with minute coarse particles from exhaust fumes and other pollutants in the air.
Additionally, particulate matter is harmful to the lungs of people and animals and is monitored by the Victorian EPA in both the Melbourne and Geelong airshed. In the absence of expensive and high tech machinery to monitor air pollution students used leaves coated in petroleum jelly at sites around the school to monitor the presence of particulate matter on the leaf surface.
A weight change in the leaves after a period exposed to pollution could indicate the presence of particulate matter.
Sites were chosen near the bushland at the top of the school, at the bus bay and at the car parking pickup zone. The experiment was affected by weather conditions – heavy rain and wind – but students were able to determine site selections, discuss impacts on the experiment and design considerations for future experiments.
Jessica Miller Science Teacher
Year 7 - 11 Student Parent Teacher Conferences will run via Zoom on Thursday 16 September, 4:00pm - 7:00pm and on Friday 17 September, 9:00am to 12:00pm. Bookings will be open as of Friday 10 September and close on Wednesday 15 September, 3:30pm.
We wish all students and families well over the coming Term break. Unit 3 and 4 students will have an opportunity to prepare for their trial exams, as well as some time to reinvigorate. Hopefully, Years 7 to 11 students experience some lovely spring weather.
Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
Congratulations to the following students on their appointment to student leadership positions for 2022.
College Captains for 2022: Emily Green and Sam Hines
College Vice Captains for 2022: Audrey Hughan and Toby Mew
Portfolio Captains for 2020:
Academic Captain: Amy Thompson
Arts Captain: Lily Petterwood
Environment Captain: Matilda Stepto
Justice Captain: Erika Slevin
Ministry Captain: Ella Beasley
Sport Captain: Luke Fraser
Wellbeing Captain: Ross DeLange
We are also in the process of selection of House Leaders, SRC Leaders, FIRE Carriers and Arrupe Leaders. They will be finalised early in Term 4.
Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
During the year, we, the year 12 VCAL students, here at Saint Ignatius College have been exploring and researching the different environmental issues that have been affecting our local community. These issues include Urbanisation, Pollution, Renewable Energies, Climate Change and Global Warming.
We have had the opportunity to visit the Serendip Sanctuary where we were able to further explore the environmental issues we are facing. We were then asked to come up with our own ideas of ways we can help the environment. If any of our ideas were practical and would benefit the Serendip Sanctuary they would then look at implementing them at their sanctuary to further better the environment.
The year 12 VCAL students also had the opportunity to organise our own environmental camp. The purpose of this camp was to look at the different environmental issues and implement those solutions at their camp location. We were able to choose where we would like to stay and decided on Phillip Island. We also organised the accommodation, food, activities, how to get to the location to and from school and more. This was then presented to Mr Timms, where it was later approved.
Unfortunately however we were unable to go ahead with the camp as another lockdown happened, therefore we had to find another way to adapt to the situation and come up with an alternative way we can help the environment.
So, we have come up with the idea of an Environmental Awareness Project, where we are challenging all SICG students to join the ‘I Pledge Campaign’ and join their fight to make our world a Greener place. This challenge will begin next week on Monday 13th - Thursday 16th of September.
By registering their interest, students are saying:
During the week students will be asked to register and accept a challenge. (registration information available on Xuno and the Colleges intranet 13/09)
We look forward to seeing what a difference our school community can make during this campaign.
Junior debating has continued under lockdown with the finals for the Schools Competition proving to be an exciting diversion from yet another round of Remote Learning. Our first finals playoff round took place on Thursday 26th August with Saint Ignatius squaring off against Yarra Valley Grammar. Taking the negative position on the topic: ‘That video games are harmful for children’, our side had to make the case for this much maligned but undoubtedly popular form of entertainment. Curtis McCoughtry (Year 9) opened the team’s case by suggesting that each generation had to overcome fears about the latest forms of entertainment. He went on to explain how games are meant to be fun, not harmful, and made quite an impression with his considered and deliberate delivery.
Alana Clark (Year 9) spoke next, allaying fears about any connection between the popularity of computer games like Grand Theft Auto and actual crime statistics. Alana spoke with great conviction and was able to rebut the key points of the opposition with humour and finesse. Finally, our third speaker, Stephanie Reynolds (Year 9), dismantled the opposition’s case with some hearty rebuttal, delivering an animated and compelling summation of our team’s case. Saint Ignatius College was awarded the victory, meaning that they only had one week to prepare for their next playoff.
On Thursday 2nd September, the team quickly regrouped and took the negative position on the challenging topic: ‘That the Victorian Parliament should sit in regional centres rather than Melbourne’. Our first speaker, Owen McCoughtry (Year 7), opened the case with a lucid explanation of how much money such an idea would cost and how it would be better spent simply supporting regional areas. Owen's relative inexperience was certainly no obstacle as he delivered a confident, engaging speech.
Curtis McCoughtry (Year 9) followed up as second speaker, arguing that modern technology allowed greater access to information than regional sittings would provide. His polished presentation, including a withering rebuttal of the opposition’s case so far, certainly made an impression.
Our third speaker, Alana Clark (Year 9) demonstrated real flair in her ability to rebut the key points of the opposition, including some witticisms that drew a smile from the adjudicator. Her performance won her the Best Speaker for the debate and Saint Ignatius 1 was awarded the victory. This team is currently undefeated and heads into the final debate for the year excited by the prospect of competing against some of the most talented speakers in the state.
The Junior Secondary Program also started on the 2nd September and our team consisted of Ella Downing (Year 7), Jade Cowdery (Year 7) and Stephanie Reynolds (Year 8). This first round was won by forfeit as the opposition failed to attend. However, the adjudicator generously offered to hear the debate and improvised the opposition speeches so our team were able to receive some great feedback about their performance.
Michael Tod Junior Debating Coordinator
Our raffle has been drawn, congratulations to:
1st Prize (total value $2,400) winner is F Ferguson
2nd Prize (total value $842) winner is Y Denning
3rd Prize (total value $315) winner is J Ramsay
Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets in the Mega Raffle. We made an amazing profit of almost $8000 which will help us to continue to support our school community.
Also a huge shout out to all the businesses who generously donated prizes to help us achieve this amazing result. With warmer weather returning and a possible reduction in lockdown restrictions please support these businesses and help us to say thank you.
Do you shop at Rebel Sport? You can support our school every time you shop by linking your Rebel Active Membership to our school. 5% of what you spend is given to PFA to purchase sporting equipment for our school. If you’re not a member it’s free to join either online or ask a team member in store.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday September 14th at 7.00pm in the Food Tech Room. We look forward to seeing you there. Even if you cannot 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
Uniform Shop Opening Days and Times are as follows:
Wednesday 15th September 2-4pm
Wednesday 6th October 2-4pm
Wednesday 20th October 2-4pm
The above dates are dependant on current visitor restrictions within catholic schools. Please check the Saint Ignatius Facebook page for updates regarding open days and times. Email the uniform shop at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Do you know the Uniform Shop also sells brand new socks, ties and hats?
Items to be sold or donated can be dropped off on any of the above days or anytime at the front office.
Please ensure any item that is sent in for sale has been freshly laundered, if not it will be returned to you.
We are always seeking Volunteers to help in the uniform shop. If you are available and have time to help out contact Kate by emailing email@example.com . Training is provided.
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 September 13th 2021
13th Sept: No Canteen
14th Sept: No Canteen
15th Sept: No Canteen
16th Sept: No Canteen
17th Sept: No Canteen
Week starting October 4th 2021
Please note: due to COVID restrictions it is not know at this time if the canteen will operate in the first week of Term 4. If this changes parents will be contacted by text if they are rostered on and to check availability.
Fatherhood has been transformed from the breadwinner and disciplinarian role of the past to a far more complex framework. Here’s how:
A look at different cultures even within our shores shows there’s no one ‘right way’ to be a dad. Fathers have a strong biological urge to ensure their children’s survival, which drives dads to be protective, some to have high expectations and others to promote self-sufficiency. Fathers may differ in how they parent, but ultimately, we all belong to the same valued club. Fathers almost universally want what’s best for their child.
Being a dad is not given the same attention as motherhood. The parenting advice industry is often skewed toward mothers as the direct or primary carers. The lack of recognition can also at times be seen in the mental health field. It’s now recognised that men experience heightened anxiety at all stages of fatherhood, however, most simply suffer in silence because ‘that’s what men do.’ The recent advances in mental health promotion still have some way to go when it comes to fathers.
Playtime is crucial
Fathers have long been seen as the kings of play. Science now shows that play is a critical part of the fathering toolkit. Whether it’s engaging in rough and tumble play with toddlers, sharing pizza night with primary-school kids or laughing with teens over the latest cat video, dads bond best with their children through play. Oxytocin, the bonding chemical that promotes strong relationships is released most intensely for men when playing with kids. On the other hand, oxytocin spikes for women are prompted by affectionate activities such as stroking, cuddling and talking softly to kids. Activity is at the heart of effective fathering as it’s through play that many men do their best fathering work.
Part of team parent
‘I wish my partner raised children like me’ is a common parent comment. While usually uttered out of sheer frustration this comment misses the point that evolution dislikes duplication. Put simply, if one parent is the disciplinarian the family doesn’t need another. Better for the other parent to focus on nurturing, teaching or arranging daily timetables. In busy families it’s better to ensure all the parenting bases are covered rather than duplicating roles and leaving out important functions. Working together as one part of team will ensure that most of the needs of a child are met. Alternatively, if you are parenting a child on your own stay connected with other families and reach out for assistance when required.
The school of dad
Traditionally, fathers have been heavily linked with children’s learning, but not necessarily of an academic kind. The reinforcement of values, real-world problem-solving and teaching for self-sufficiency have been the usual domain of dads.
Recent studies show that dads can also positively impact their children’s academic achievement, but in different ways to mothers. While mothers are more likely to be involved in at home learning activities such as hearing children read and supervising homework, fathers are more likely to positively impact their children’s attitude to learning. According to American educational researcher William Jeynes, dads focus more (than mothers) on moulding and modelling correct mindsets and behaviours, which provide the foundation upon which children and teens can build their academic journeys. It’s this bigger picture focus where fathers can do their best work, particularly changing boys’ attitudes to women and giving their daughters the confidence to stand up and be heard.
Dads and kids’ development
If a father wants to positively influence children and teenagers, it’s important to ensure that their relationship is warm and supportive. While this may be at odds with men’s natural tendency to push children’s developmental boundaries, fathers should lean on their well defined ability to relate to their kids through play. As Australian educational leader Dr. Tim Hawkes noted in his book “Ten conversations you should have with your son” dads who engage in banter and fun are better placed to discuss issues of real substance with their children.
Dads and resilience
Fathers who promote children’s self-sufficiency are well placed to develop resilience in their children. In fact, a key role for modern fathers is to ensure, as part of team parent, that their children can confront and overcome the hardships, frustrations and difficulties that life throws at them. This is done less by adopting tough, hard-nosed tactics, and instead allowing kids to take physical and emotional risks in the knowledge that they can return to a warm and secure base.
Dad is a social role
With children growing up in step, adaptive, single parent and same sex families fatherhood has become less a biological and more a social role. As society changes and assisted parenting techniques continue to advance, whoever answers to father takes on importance in a child’s life. This is not denying the rights of a biological father, but rather acknowledges that for many children the person who shows up whether stepfather, relative or family friend, or even a single parent doing both roles, is the social father for a child.
As society changes the role of fathers is also shifting as well. While the place of a father in a child’s life has always been important, there’s never been a greater need for fathers to be supported in their role and to widen our view of what it is to be a dad.
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.
Local Community and Sporting groups you may be interested in.
Surfcoast Basketball Association
Surfcoast Basketball Association are seeking support from schools to re-engage U16 and U18 girls back into basketball. This age group is statistically when we see girls drop out of sport. The focus would be on health, well-being and creating a fun and social environment with friendly competition. With this in mind the teams would be limited to having 3 Representative players, as all domestic competition adhere to.
Individual players interested in playing can register and be joined with a team. The games for this age group will be played at the new WurdiBaierr Stadium in Torquay on Monday evenings.
Humans in Geelong Expo 2021
Sunday 10th of October 10am – 3pm at Deakin University Waterfront Campus and Online on Humans in Geelong YouTube.
This is a free community event with everyone welcome and something for everyone. There will be face-painting, henna, crafts and wooden toy making.
Uplifting speakers include Chloe Hayden who is Princess Aspien and The Streets Barber. Be entertained by live performances and inspiring exhibitors. For the complete program as it unfolds: www.humansingeelong.com
Ocean Grove Cricket Club: Cricketers Wanted!
Ocean Grove Cricket Club is looking for boys and girls (and men and women) interested in playing local cricket.
Any Age, Any Gender, Any Ability
We have 4 teams in Senior Mens, 2 Senior Womens teams, Under 17, 15 and 13 Junior Boys teams, 2 Girls Junior Cricket teams, Mixed under 11 teams and Woolworths Blast program for mixed youngsters 5-8 years old
We love a social atmosphere but we are also a competitive and family orientated local Cricket Club
If interested contact Paul Madden – 0400 912 167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Education Events - Geelong Region: Term 3 and 4 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 3. Please see attached flyer for details: