Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of Saint Ignatius College Geelong,
It was uplifting to welcome all students back to onsite learning on Monday 12 October. The wearing of masks didn’t lessen the excitement as students and teachers greeted each other in person on arrival after an absence of seven weeks last term and the first week of this term when classes were online. Overall, I am happy with the students’ transition back to school. However, during periods of change, we need to monitor student wellbeing as they adjust to the school day routines and expectations. One of our priorities is the reestablishment of student engagement and application to their studies as soon as possible. Term four seems to go very quickly, usually. Please contact, as soon as possible, the subject teacher if you are concerned about academic progress or the homeroom teacher if concerned about a pastoral matter. I thank all parents for your ongoing support of the College. I commend our students, their families and our staff members for working together to ensure our students’ learning continuity and wellbeing during the most recent period of remote and flexible learning.
Each year, term four is characterised by the challenge of final assessments, in particular external exams and the mixed emotions surrounding the finish-up to secondary school by our Year 12 students. Typically we would conduct a series of events to acknowledge, celebrate and farewell our most senior students. As you would understand, we are unable to conduct such occasions as they have been done in previous years.
On the one hand, students may feel sad about leaving school and on the other, excited about what lies ahead. In consultation with the student leaders, the Year 12 Team, led by Kristin Williamson (YLC) produced a modified program to celebrate the Class of 2020. This week we enjoyed watching a Year 12 student versus staff netball game on Monday followed by a “Wellbeing Fancy Dress Day” on Tuesday. I commend the Year 12 students for the efforts they went to and the enthusiastic and cooperative way in which they participated in these activities.
Next week, Wednesday 28 October will be a special day of celebration that will include an ‘online whole school farewell assembly’ and modified graduation ceremony for our Year 12 students. Then we invite Year 12 families to make the evening a special and memorable one by participating in the online Valete Mass via Zoom at 6 pm together at home. We suggest this is followed by a celebratory family dinner together afterwards.
Year 12 is usually a very special and memorable time for most of our senior students. We are very mindful that the year has unfolded in a way we had not imagined. As a cohort, our Year 12s have been an impressive, friendly and admirable group. I wish them well for their final days at our College.
You can read my letter to our school community about the exciting news of the appointment of Ms Bernadette Donnelly as our new Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) commencing at the beginning of next year by clicking on the following link:
As you may be aware, 2020 is our school review year. Term Four is a busy time for the review process with the two independent reviewers spending four days in meetings with school personnel. The first day was held on Wednesday 7 October when the reviewers checked that the College is compliant with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) and state and federal government requirements. As I mentioned in the previous newsletter, I was pleased that as a result, the school will have its registration renewed.
The next phase of the review involves analysing the College’s performance over the last four years and then using this to inform the development of our School Improvement Plan for the next four years. Yesterday and today, the reviewers, Mr Malcolm Joseph and Mrs Margaret McKenna interviewed a cross-section of our College community, including various leaders, teachers, Education Support Officers, some parents and students. They also visited six different classrooms to observe teaching in action. Thank you to the parents who were able to help by participating in an online meeting with the reviewers.
The reviewers will meet with the College Executive Team on 11 November to report back and work with Executive members to commence the development of the next School Improvement Plan (2021-2024).
On behalf of our College community, I farewell Neil Hodder. Neil finished up on last Thursday after over nine years of work with our grounds and maintenance team. I thank Neil for his dedicated contribution to the maintenance and development of the College facilities and grounds. I am sure he feels a sense of pride when he looks back at the growth and development of this area that provides our students and staff with a safe, well-organised and attractive environment. Best wishes for your future Neil.
A reminder that the College will be closed tomorrow for the Victorian public holiday.
I wish you and your family an enjoyable and relaxing long weekend.
Michael Exton Principal
Over the last six years, our Year 12 students have developed in every way. As a College, we have guided and mentored them over the years as they became more aware of the person they wanted to be and as a self-directed competent learner. Most importantly, our senior students graduate as young adults who are aware of the importance of balancing academic and sporting success with a keen eye for injustice in the world and developing spiritual awareness of God's presence in their lives, and the connection this provides spiritually to all of creation.
As the final days of secondary education occur the focus of our students and their families is placed upon what can yet be achieved rather than focussing upon what has changed and dwelling on the disappointment. A re-framed vision of what can still be is will be a fitting capstone for their time as students at our College. The pandemic and the impact it has had upon our whole society has been dramatic and in many ways overwhelming. Moving beyond the initial response to the situation is the definition of a teachable moment. A surreptitious gift if you like.
Our students have encountered an event that families, the College and society could not diminish. The reality of the pandemic and the sacrifices necessary to protect the vulnerable could not be hidden or softened. In their final year our students have encountered the demands of society and without objection have moved forward. During the year we have all encountered moments of negativity or resentment toward the way life 'is' at present but through contemplation, they have decided to focus on what can be controlled and what can be achieved despite the limitations.
The significance of the impact of the pandemic and difficulty presented to students in their final year is absolute. Choosing to share with others and seek support from those in their various networks is a decision that for most young people is not required until well into their twenties. The pandemic has forced the issue and presented each of our students the choice of proceeding on their own or reaching out for help from those close to them. This choice humbles us. The one thing our students have truly missed out on due to the pandemic is the ignorance of youth; those few more years of thinking that they can do everything on their own.
As young adults, most of us are blessed with the illusion that we can do anything all by ourselves. For our senior students this fantasy has been destroyed, however, this is not entirely regretful. Becoming aware of our limitations and the need to trust in others is an important and final aspect of maturity. It also awakens us to the need to truly trust in God. As soon to be alumni our students hold within them a link that will be key in connecting the two – God in All Things.
Over the coming weeks, each student will come to realise what they are capable of on their own as learners and what they require support in. In these moments considering where God is in that moment or where they can or have encountered him will not only bring contentment but be evidence of their formation as a member of this community. The growth our students can expect to observe in their maturity and spirituality will be deep and intense.
A key aspect of Ignatian education is the formation of the whole person. This is often referred to in the Latin phrase cura personalis. The concept comes directly from the mystical experiences St Ignatius had at Manresa and in the structure of the Spiritual Exercises. Spiritual formation is a lifelong process which we as a College community seek to nurture and guide each student in over their years. The results of our efforts are not observed fully during their time as daily members of our College. The pandemic and the associated fast-tracking of the maturation of our senior students offer a significant change in this formation process and offers them wisdom and maturity beyond their years.
As we say farewell to our Year 12 students we celebrate their resilience and with pride watch their positive approach to their disrupted 'end of school'. As a community, we look forward to celebrating their final Valate mass next week and know that we will see the proof of their wholeness as we come together virtually and spiritually.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
At lunchtime on Monday 19th October, Year 12 students competed against the staff in a vigorous netball game at lunchtime. It was an energetic and fiery game that saw the Year 12 students take the victory in a close contest. Thank you to Sports Captain Nic Nadile and his team for organising this fun event.
Tuesday 20th October was the Year 12 Wellbeing Day.
Year 12 students came to school in a wide range of fancy dress costumes.
The Wellbeing team provided each Year 12 Homeroom with a pizza lunch and they had the chance to spend time as homeroom group.
Thanks to the Wellbeing team for being so supportive of the Year 12 students this year.
Students had a great day with their friends and Homeroom teachers,
Wednesday 21st October is the final day for official VCE classes. On Thursday 22nd October, all VCE students will be completing their practice exams in preparation for the final written exams commencing on Tuesday 10th November.
VCAL students are busy completing their work placements, VET courses and final assessments.
We send all our Year 12 students our very best wishes as they complete their 6 years of education at Saint Ignatius College over the coming weeks.
Kristin Williamson Year 12 Coordinator
Congratulations to all students appointed to leadership positions for 2021.
I would like to thank all (staff and current student leaders) who helped with the process of appointment and to all in the College community who encouraged students to apply.
A full list of the new leaders for 2021 can be viewed here
The outgoing Year 12 student leaders ought to be commended on their contribution to the College. They have been instrumental in building a culture of selfless leadership for and with others.
Anthony Gravener Student Leadership Development Coordinator
Since we have been back at school, we are full steam ahead with the more practical components of the VCAL program that were a little difficult to assess at home. Excitingly many of our students have been able to resume their work placements, and some have been able to secure apprenticeships for 2021 at both Year 11 and Year 12. I offer my congratulations to those students. It is always really affirming to know that work placements do in fact open pathways into industry while giving our students the safety net of school.
The Year 11 students are in the beginning stages of the planning and organising of their Mixed Abilities Awareness Campaign (See the Person). Watch this space for an exciting and inclusive activity day here at the College, restrictions allowing. They have also been lucky enough to participate in a Black Dog Institute webinar tackling mental health, which is so topical and relevant at the moment.
Our Year 12 VCAL students are in their final phase of their senior schooling and it is a very busy time as they finalise outcomes, organise a sustained oral presentation and undertake their projects. There has been a new addition to the Senior Quad area, with some native bird nesting boxes (made by 12Barry) have been erected and 12 Healy currently have a fundraising/donation campaign for domestic animals. There is a short outline below of how to get involved in this initiative.
This is your Year 12 VCAL cohort. We decided to create a fundraising donation drive campaign for domestic animal welfare as part of our community engagement project. We have made DIY dog beds, toys, treats and other items. We're also seeking donations from the SICG community to donate dog food and cat food ( dry and wet ), new blankets, towels and toys which we will donate on your behalf to GAWS (Geelong Animal Welfare Society). They are a great organisation that improves the lives of animals who may not have a forever home.
So why not donate something in order to make another canine, feline, aquatic creature and whatever other animal might exist, and make their lives better. It’s always important to support the people who support the animals if we can’t be there to physically help them out!
Have we piqued your interest? I hope so! If we have, you can donate animal products on Thursday 22nd October in a few areas. There will be spots to put your donations in the Xavier Centre, 11/12 M Block, Year 9 Centre and the Office.
If you have any questions or inquiries don’t be afraid to email either Georgia Mantzaris email@example.com or Isobelle Allan firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or the answers to your questions.
Thanks for reading and we hope that you’ll be able to contribute as well!
VCAL Students of Year 12 Healy
Round Two of the JSP debating competition took place on Thursday 10th September via Zoom.
Our Junior team, consisting of Year 7 student Georgia Neicho, and Year 8 students Curtis McCoughtry and Max Craven, once again took up the challenge to represent the school and make their case. Taking the negative position on the topic, ‘That we regret the use of participation awards’, the team, after a first round loss, were especially keen to test their oratory skills against their opposition, Haileybury College.
Georgia spoke with great poise as the first speaker, succinctly outlining the team’s case before demonstrating how fun runs were community events where participation, not winning, was the real victory. Curtis, as second speaker, coolly dismantled the opposition’s key arguments with great finesse. He then pointed out some psychological facts underpinning a person’s competitive nature and carefully explained how our survival as a species relied more on cooperation than competition.
Our third speaker, Max provided a witty and engaging summary of our team’s key arguments after thoroughly undermining the opposition’s case, dissecting their arguments with surgical precision. The adjudicator praised both teams and awarded the win to Saint Ignatius College.
Congratulations to our junior debaters for their marvellous performance and first victory. The support of all parents involved is also greatly appreciated.
Michael Tod Junior Debating Coordinator
Our annual Time and Space Evenings will take a new format this year, a virtual experience.
Please see attached flyers for registration information.
Parents of Year 7 students are invited to join us on Tuesday October 27th.
Mums/Female Mentors of our Year 8 girls and Dads/Male Mentors of our Year 8 boys are invited to join us on the evening of Thursday October 29th.
I look forward to welcoming you, albeit virtually to these wonderful evenings.
Elana Cole Companions Coordinator
The EMPOWER (educate, mindfulness, progress, obstacles, wellness, emotions, regulation) program that focused on teaching a group of Year 7 students about managing stress and anxiety concluded this term.
The small group of Year 7’s celebrated with a party and some games to acknowledge what they had learnt and strengthen their friendships.
The program ran over 6 weeks with 5 of these occurring during remote and flexible learning so the wellbeing team members, Tenille and Mel, were so proud of the student’s commitment and perseverance through the unique delivery of the program.
The program focused on managing stress, noticing symptoms of anxiety and strategies to cope with stress in the future.
The program was a great success with amazing feedback.
Tenille Thomson Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Save the date!
Join us for AGM on Tuesday November 10th at 7.00pm
(Zoom meeting details to be advised in the next newsletter)
Please help support the PFA by buying a ticket in our Annual Fees Raffle – our biggest fundraiser! Log onto Trybooking to purchase a ticket.
First Prize is College Tuition Fees for 2021
(Fees applicable for youngest child at the College, does not include Digital Technology, VCAL or VET Levies or other extra-curricular activities- Donated by Saint Ignatius College)
It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but we will be seeking nominations for 2021 Executive committee positions (President, Vice President , Secretary and Treasurer) in the coming months – if you would like to know more about these roles, please feel free to email me on email@example.com
Stays safe and look out for one another.
Sandi Clark President
Parents and Friends' Association
Life has a way of throwing curve balls that really test the strength and resilience of families. Personal tragedy, natural disasters and global pandemics are the types of events that challenge us all to the core, testing our emotional and social resources.
When difficulties occur children look to the adults in their lives to maintain their security and safety. When change and uncertainty reigns, kids want strong, empathetic leadership from the significant adults in their world. As a parent it can be difficult responding to a child’s needs when you’re trying to adjust to changes that are forced on you.
Following are some elements to consider when parenting through times of challenge, change and difficulty:
Like a television antenna your attention is tuned to pick up the strongest signal. In times of difficulty a child may not necessarily signal that they are struggling, so you may need to fine tune your attention to pick up their needs. Start to notice the small comments and subtle behavioural changes, as they may not be small at all, and can provide helpful clues to their state of mind.
In challenging times your focus may need to shift away from schoolwork, household neatness and chores. If can move toward relationship building, maintaining wellbeing and helping each other out. Parental priorities need to shift to the immediate rather than the future, the emotional instead of the behavioural and from thriving mode to survival mode in tough times.
Children and young people often struggle to express their feelings and thoughts in the face of adversity. They look to the significant adults in their lives for guidance about how they should respond to change, loss, uncertainty and disappointment. Allow them to speak about how they are feeling. Prompt conversations through closeness and connection. Display your own vulnerability and in doing so give your kids the permission they need to express themselves in safe ways.
Difficult times will invariably suit a family that enjoys a collaborative, close parenting style. In collaborative families kids feel listened to and also have an ability to impact family decision making. Shared mealtimes and regular family gatherings are generally a prominent feature of collaborative families. In difficult times those families that prosper are those that value and promote close connection between siblings and parents.
Child and parent wellbeing becomes paramount in times of hardship. That may mean reprioritising the importance of school and work, doing something joyful every day and practising regular wellbeing strategies such as exercise, mindfulness, deep breathing and spending time in nature. The wellbeing bucket needs to be regularly refilled during challenging times.
These five elements form the basis of a planned parent response when major difficulties occur. Be patient, be kind to yourself and be willing to reach out to the wider community for help.
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.
Parent Education Events - Geelong Region: Term 4 2020
All Regional Parenting Services programs are free and will be run 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 4, please see attached flyer for event details:
Drummond Street Services
Drummond St services is still here for you, running many webinars, groups and events all accessible on line. There is something for everyone, from music and movement for kids in lockdown, to support with new babies, to managing uncertainty during Covid and staying connected with worried kids and teens during this challenging time.
The Geelong team will be facilitating a free webinar and then a 4 week group – this is a version of our Parenting teens who worry seminar and the focus is on Staying connected with your Anxious Teen through Covid.
Registration is online. The specific link https://ds.org.au/events/parenting-teenagers-who-worry/
South Geelong Netball Association 2021 Rep Trials
South Geelong Netball Association 2021 Rep Trials will be held November 8th and 15th at Grinter Reserve.
For more details see the attached flyer.
Geelong Baycats Baseball Club welcomes all players old and new for the 2020/21 Summer Season.
Mens Seniors (14 years and over), Womens Seniors (13 years and over and Junior Competion for boys and girls aged between 5 and 17 years of age.
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: