Dear Saint Ignatius College community members,
It was uplifting to see our students returning to onsite learning this morning after the short snap lockdown.
We will still need to be vigilant about ‘Covid Safe’ practices, as was the case before this lockdown period. For students, this will mean that they will be required to wear masks on buses, in classrooms and when they are unable to socially distance outdoors.
As it becomes clearer about what the latest changes mean for our planned activities such as the upcoming swimming carnival, we will inform you of any changes.
Thank you to parents and carers for your ongoing support of the College and your understanding and cooperation during the last three days.
Last Friday was a day of contrasts. In the morning, we conducted the beginning of the year full school assembly. This was an exceptional and outstanding occasion that set the scene for a very productive and rewarding year for our College as a faith and learning community. The foci were learning and leadership. Academic excellence and student leadership development were celebrated and encouraged. Two significant parts of this were the presentation of 2020 student academic awards and the 2021 student leaders' investiture.
I hope all of our students were inspired by these student achievements. The names of these students are provided in other sections of this newsletter. Well done to all students who received an award or a leadership badge. There were also some inspiring speeches delivered by present and former students. I encourage parents to ask their daughter or son about these speeches and in particular, messages from the 2021 College Captains, our guest speaker, former student Emily Harwood and the 2020 College Dux, Matthew McInerney. Discussing the speeches will help students reflect on the messages and what it can mean for your daughter or son’s approach to this and future school years.
Then as you are aware, in the early afternoon, we heard about the five-day snap lockdown. I commend the staff for how they managed this move to remote working and our students for their efforts to ensure their learning continuity—in particular, well done to the Year 7 students who had to' pivot' to remote learning after only a short time at their new school. And as I mentioned in my letter to parents at the time, I am disappointed for our Yr 8 students who would have been on camp this week at Anglesea. The Yr 8 students were unable to attend their camp last year due to the pandemic. Hopefully, but it is proving challenging to date, we can reschedule the Yr 8 camp later in the year.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be offering our usual Sunday Open Day for 2021. The good news is we will be running a series of tours and information sessions for visitors in late-term one, and early term two in 2021 before the Year 7 2022 enrolment applications close on May 7.
COVID-19 safe guidelines will be observed at all times during visits.
Each visit must be booked online, will take about 1.5 hours overall and comprises a brief information session followed by a tour. The information sessions will take about 25 minutes and include presentations by the Year 7 Coordinator, some students and myself. The tours will run for approximately 50 minutes and will be led by a staff member and some students. (Viewing the campus will be strictly as a member of a tour group only.)
The schedule for the Open Times each day offered is:
Session One - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Session Two - 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Each session commences in the Multi-purpose Centre, and visitors must wear a mask inside.
Please see our website (under Enrolments) for dates and booking links early next week.
Archbishop Peter Comensoli has written to school communities in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to offer his prayerful best wishes for the year ahead to mark the beginning of the school year. Parents, students, and staff's roles are an integral part of the Church’s mission in Catholic education. Archbishop Peter’s letter is included in this newsletter.
Unfortunately, the lockdown this week affected our ability at school to observe the commencement of Lent on Ash Wednesday, yesterday.
Lent is a period of forty days leading to the high point of the Church’s year, Easter. We are encouraged to reflect on our lives in the light of the example of Jesus during Lent. How are we travelling with our faith life? How can we improve our spiritual life and our relationship with God? What about our prayer life, worship and praise involvement, level of charity and service to others? We are encouraged to make Lent a particular time to reflect on and redirect our lives where necessary, so we are in better alignment of our ways to the values, actions and truths of the Gospel.
The celebration of a significant milestone commenced today with the Bicentenary of Catholic Education's national launch in Australia. Over 200 years, Catholic schools have grown to become the largest schooling provider in Australia (outside government) with one in five school-age students attending a Catholic school. You can find out more about the celebrations by accessing the 200 years website.
Michael Exton Principal
As we enter Lent this year we pause to gather our thoughts and reflect upon five days of lockdown. Ash Wednesday focussed our attention on Lent and also coincided with the announcement that lockdown was to end and life was to go ‘back to normal’; sort of. For our community this time was quite a shock. Even though we have experienced similar, on this occasion the inclusion of 5km travel limits and the closure of almost all shops and services alerted us to the great freedom we have and how fortunate we are to be able to access all we need at will. Ash Wednesday reminds us of the need to continually examine our lives and draw more to our centre; Jesus.
The Gospel last Sunday described Jesus’ miraculous healing of a leper. During his time lepers were outcasts. Excluded to the point of being forgotten and avoided when seen. In our society and even in our personal lives we see this today. The reading challenges us to consider who are lepers in our daily lives and how can we heal them. The answer of course is rhetorical. We cannot heal these people like Jesus did and in-fact who we need to heal is ourself. We need to call upon the Spirit to be more generous and merciful in every way to be able to heal as Jesus did. In accepting and loving those rejected or outcast by society we heal them because we have healed ourselves. This profound insight is a beautiful prompt as we enter into Lent.
Ash Wednesday heralds the beginning of Lent and coincided with the announcement made that we were to be ‘released’ from lockdown. This news led to a moment of great joy and the realisation of what being free means. On Ash Wednesday we also entered into the tradition of eating fish rather than meat. We do this as a symbol of fasting or giving up and because we have the freedom to choose. As we have recently experienced, freedom is intoxicating and beautiful.
When we become aware of the freedom we have we become more aware of God’s love and the needs of others. Making the decision to eat fish on Ash Wednesday is not guided by guilt but upon a decision based upon awareness of those who go without every day or as an action that turns our attention to the changes we need to make during the next forty days.
I suggest that Ash Wednesday is best framed by the Great Commandment:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” - Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus commands us to do these things and live within, and bring to life in the world the Kingdom of God. He taught many things during his life and offers us much guidance but the Great Commandment is truly all we need. As we enter into Lent we are prompted by this commandment to consider what changes are needed in your life and what you need to do during Lent to live ever more according to God’s will.
During Lent we are asked to consider and respond to three things: fasting, alms giving and prayer. Fasting is about giving up things that are not needed or not helpful to us. In giving up these things we open up time in our day and space in our hearts for God. Fasting might help us help others charitably as we ‘save’ money through our choices. Alms giving is an ancient Christian tradition of caring for others through charity. In our modern day people still live in poverty and we can make a significant difference by giving a little each week financially, just as we can make a difference through our charitable actions of compassion and kindness. The third aspect of Lent is prayer. A practice which most of us experience an ebb and flow because of our busy lives. During Lent we are encouraged to contemplate how we can encounter God in prayer. From an Ignatian perspective we are encouraged to find God where we encounter him most easily and do so more and more often.
Change however is not easy. Lent prompts us to enter into a process of change. Scientific study has shown that new habits take on average 66 days to become automatic and ongoing. The 40 days of Lent may seem have biblical meaning but leave us a little short if we are to be truly transformed. Just like all New Year’s resolutions we ‘hit the wall’ after a month or so and go back to our old ways. In our Tradition though we are reenergised at Easter and for the next 50 days walk with the Risen Lord. We then celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In total our Tradition offers us 90 days to be transformed which is more than enough according to science! When considered there great wisdom can be found in our centuries old Tradition and how the observance of Lent and Easter can truly transform us.
As we rejoice in the freedom we now have post-lockdown we look forward to experiencing Lent in communion with our friends, colleagues and loves ones. We are challenged to become more whole and transform our lives for the good of ourselves, others and our relationship with Jesus. As we prepare for Easter our experience of lockdown has made us aware of the joy of the Resurrection that we wait for as our stone has been rolled away after five days of being cloistered.
To begin this Lenten journey I encourage you to pray for those in great need at this time.
Jesus, you travelled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness.
At your command, the sick were made well.
Come to our aid now, in the midst of the pandemic, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.
Jesus, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.
St Ignatius, Pray for us.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
It was a pleasure to co host the recent combined 2021 Student Leadership Investiture and 2020 Academic Awards Assembly with Michael Timms, Deputy Principal [Students] last week.
We are in good hands with our 2021 leaders as the School Captains and Deputy Captains launched the 2021 theme, ‘Cura Personalis’, challenging us all to present our best selves throughout this year. We also welcomed back Emily Harwood, Class of 2015 as our guest speaker who provided great words of wisdom as well as practical advice on being open to possibilities.
Congratulations again to all our 2020 Academic Award winners. We know that 2020 was a challenging year for all our students as more than ever they had to draw on their resilience, be open and adaptable to the ongoing changes and be responsible for their learning.
Our 2020 Year 12 students achieved some outstanding results. The Dux, Matthew McInerney achieved an ATAR score of 99.6 and delivered a wonderful speech to the College community inspiring students to look for a ‘spark of inspiration’ to ignite their passion.
We acknowledged our students who achieved an ATAR over 90, placing them in the top 10% of the state and students who achieved a study score of 40 or above, again placing them in the top 8% of students in the state in that subject.
There were four VCAL Awards and Noah Moon was awarded the top VCAL achiever award. And finally, we acknowledged the top ten 2020 Year 7 to 11 Academic Award recipients who achieved the highest overall results.
Congratulations to the families of the award recipients and thank you to all St Ignatius staff who have supported the students in their journey.
Ms Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal [Learning and Teaching]
Every year, the City of Greater Geelong calls for applications for young people aged between 12 and 17 to nominate themselves for the Geelong Youth Council. The council is comprised of three representatives from each of four wards; Bellarine, Brownbill, Kardinia and Windemere, and members are selected by youth in the Geelong region.
To apply, each applicant was required to detail why they believe they would be a great fit for the youth council along with three key priorities they see for youth in the region. After applying for the 2020 youth council and being unsuccessful, I decided to apply again for the 2021 group. I was then fortunate enough to be selected to represent the Bellarine ward.
The youth council essentially acts as a voice for the young people of the region and provides advice to council on matters most important to youth. Being a part of the youth council involves monthly meetings, participating in a ward-based counsellor mentoring program (CCMP), reporting to council and organising a youth focussed event, along with attending various other opportunities that come up during the year.
With three meetings already completed, one of which was an induction, I can already tell that this year will be amazing. Being in the group will help me to add youth voice into the city and its decisions, and develop my leadership skill set.
For more information on the 2021 Geelong Youth council check out this link: https://www.geelongaustralia.c...
Mackenzie Sinclair (11 Sanchez)
Arrupe Leader @ Saint Ignatius College Geelong
City of Greater Geelong Youth Council Representative
On Wednesday the 10th of February, the year 12 VCAL cohort organised a welcoming BBQ breakfast for the new year 11 VCAL students and staff.
The students that were on set up, prepared the food as well as cooked included Abbey G, Ruby R, Bonnie D, Kye A, Cooper B, George C, Anthony E, Thomas H, Mackenzie P and Maycee B.
The aim of the event was to serve breakfast to the new Year 11 VCAL students, and breaking the ice with them, while implementing OHS procedures. At Senior level, we are responsible for the events we host and this is quite different to Intermediate level.
It was such a nice way to welcome the Year 11s into the program, the weather was great as the sun was out and the event was very well run. We cooked sausages, bacon, pancakes, eggs and had fruit on the side with burger buns, bread, maple syrup and many more items to choose from. It was very nice to see all of the staff come down to support this event and try some of our breakfast offerings, including Mr Exton, Mr Timms, Ms Donnelly, Mr Lewis and the Wellbeing team.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this day great.
Year 11 Environmental Science students started off the year with an unusual practical activity designed to highlight the importance of soil health in decomposition rates and nutrient cycling.
The students were testing different soil types around the school by burying pairs of new white cotton underpants - and then digging them up in two months time.
The activity, inspired by a University of New England challenge called "Soil your Undies" aims to see whether the soil biota (fungi and bacteria) is healthy at a number of locations around the school grounds. Upon excavation, if the undies have holes in them then it will indicate that soil microorganisms have broken down the cotton into special sugars they can use for food.
Students were challenged to think about variables that could affect the decomposition rates, methods of testing and comparing sites and possible environmental impacts related to the history and use of the site. The activity prepares students for the field based studies that they will undertake in the local area focussing on pollution and environmental issues and how to monitor and manage them.
Jessica Miller Environmental Science teacher
‘On Demand’ is an online resource developed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). The pool of questions reflects the standards in the Victorian Curriculum. The data, along with teacher judgements assists in forward planning of teaching programs and monitors growth across the year.
‘On Demand’ Testing is to be undertaken by Years 7-9 students in Mathematics and Reading. The Year 7 students completed the testing in week 2, with the Year 8 and 9 students scheduled for weeks 4 and 5.
Reading: Friday 26th February
Mathematics: Friday 5th March
Reading: Wednesday 3rd March
Mathematics: Thursday 4th March
Karen Perkins Learning Enhancement Coordinator
Parents and Carers of children in Catholic Schools
Staff and Colleagues in Catholic Education
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My warm and prayerful greetings to you all.
I do hope that the Christmas season brought many blessings to you despite the extraordinary times we find ourselves in.
May I take this opportunity to once again extend my gratitude to each and every one of you; parents, carers, teachers and administrators, who have risen to meet the challenges of these times.
You have been resilient and innovative, and kept your families and communities close in times of distancing. The rich life of Catholic education is an indispensable part of our missionary call to the Gospel, and the good people of God are blessed abundantly through your efforts.
I am sure that you are eager to commence this year and to be filled with the energy and excitement that comes from helping our young people flourish and grow.
May St Joseph, our protector, strengthen and guide you all as faithful carers and diligent workers as this year unfolds. Please know that my prayers are with you.
With every grace and blessing, I remain,
Yours sincerely in Christ Jesus,
Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Archbishop of Melbourne
Did you know reading has many benefits. Not only literacy but also many health and wellbeing benefits! There are many studies beginning to show how reading can improve health and mental health.
According to The World Literacy Foundation, reading can decrease blood pressure, lower heart rate, and reduce stress by up to 68%. Reading calms the mind and relaxes the body. This allows a person to have a clearer mind while engaging their mind with imagination, creativity, strengthens vocabulary and helps with focus. So what better time to pick up a book, newspaper, magazine, eBook and just start reading. Your mind will thank you for it.
Need a great read ask the ILC staff (email@example.com), have a look at the Reading list on the ILC catalogue or use the Wheelers ePlatform.
For more information:
Leonie Stephenson ILC Coordinator
Dear Parents and carers,
Please see flyer advertising a FREE online session around Supporting Adolescents to make positive, safe and responsible choices online offered by the eSafety Commissioner. It will be running on Tuesday 9th March from 7:00-8:00pm and you will need to register through clicking the link in the attached poster.
This session will take a focus on online trends as well as the impact on mental health that screen time is having on our adolescents.
In our ever changing society where online delivery of services is becoming more and more prevalent we feel this is an extremely relevant and useful resources that we encourage all parents and carers to engage with.
Tenille Thomson Student Wellbeing Coordinator
The City of Greater Geelong (COGG) has requested that we advise our school community of the following crossing change, and remind them of the road rules relating to each type of crossing.
COGG wish to advise that they will be relocating the flagged Children Crossing and its Supervisor from McKiernan St (formerly Andersons Rd) to Reserve Rd.
When the Drysdale Bypass was constructed Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) funded the construction of a Zebra Crossing on McKiernan St to provide a direct and safe crossing for pedestrians using the walking/cycling path. As it is now a slow-speed environment on a dead-end road a supervised Children Crossing is no longer needed at this same location.
A new supervised Children Crossing will be installed where the walking/cycling path crosses the road.
Parking will be prohibited close to the Children Crossing for safety reasons. Parking will still be permitted at other safe and suitable places along the edge of Reserve Rd for anyone using this crossing as an alternative drop-off/pick-up location.
COGG will be arranging for these works to occur in the next few weeks.
Now is a good time for all drivers and pedestrians to be reminded of the road rules that apply to each type of pedestrian crossing.
The City of Greater Geelong has also ask the following reminder about traffic movement be provided to our school communities.
To remind drivers to keep moving and improve parking options we arranged for the following works:
Children may walk/ride to and from these locations:
To encourage more people to walk and cycle to and from school we will also be moving the flagged Children Crossing from McKiernan St to Reserve Rd, now that there is a zebra crossing on McKiernan St.
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 22nd 2021
22nd Feb: A. Richardson, L.Vella, Needed
23rd Feb: S. Twaits, L. Strachan, M. Jackson, S. Donaldson.
24th Feb: N. Grillinzoni, C. Ford, N. Cooper.
25th Feb: C. Browne, Needed, Needed.
26th Feb: E. Stokie, J. Payne, S. Nyga
Week starting March 1st 2021
1st Mar: B. Rees, B. Brinfield, L. Kelly.
2nd Mar: K. James, S. Peters, L. Vella.
3rd Mar: L. Dowling, D. Worrall, S. Fleet, C. Holland.
4th Mar: M. White, Needed, Needed.
5th Mar: G. Sablonty, Needed, Needed.
Next meeting will be held on Tuesday 9th March 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the school’s decision to change the Open Day event to be more COVID-19 friendly there is no need for the working bee at this time. There will also be no BBQ required during the open evening sessions. Thank you to everyone who offered to assist on the day.
Uniform Shop Opening Days and Times are as follows:
Wednesday 3rd March 2-4pm
Wednesday 17th March 2-4pm
Thursday 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.
Parents and teachers influence children most during their first twelve years of life. We have less influence over teens as they become increasingly independent and look to their peers for guidance and approval.
The following strategies will help ensure that you have a positive influence on children at any age.
Nothing says “You matter” more than a busy parent giving a child undivided attention. Research has established that children whose parents are emotionally present for their kids have better social, academic, and wellbeing outcomes than those whose parents aren’t available.
Sometimes we can forget that our children are people too – particularly when they’re irritable, tired and obnoxious. By responding to kids warmly (even when you don’t feel like it), you show that you value them as people. A gentle touch, a smile, or soft words bring warmth to a relationship, and increase the likelihood that you’ll be listened to and be a positive influence on their lives.
Parents can fix sore knees, broken hearts, messy friendships, and even some difficult homework projects. But kids generally don’t need adults to fix them. They just want us to ‘get’ what they’re going through. When you see the world through their eyes, you are more understanding – and more likely to be listened to when they need us.
Nothing says “I love you” more than a firm and clear “No!” from mum or dad.
“No, you can’t say that to your sister. How can you make things right?”
“No, it’s not ok for you to stay out until midnight. You’re 14.”
“No, I don’t feel right about you having your smartphone/tablet/laptop in your bedroom. Ever!”
Children and young people will often argue with you, but setting limits means that you are having a positive influence on your children. The trick is to not become too authoritarian or you’ll simply drive unwanted behaviour underground.
Playing games and laughing together binds us close to our kids. Through play you build a relationship of trust with that facilitates our ongoing positive influence.
Grateful people are happier, healthier, have better relationships, sleep better, have more income, are less materialistic, achieve better academic outcomes and are more energetic. By being grateful you’ll be a positive influence in the lives of your children. Say thanks often – and mean it.
We’re always correcting our kids or telling them what to do. Pick this up, put that away, get off the computer, pack your bag, tidy up your room, and so on… and that’s before 7.30 in the morning! Our ratio of negative to positive statements can often be the wrong way round. So find opportunities to tell your kids such things as:
Your time with kids is short. By setting a positive example, you can be a positive and lasting influence in your children’s lives.
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.
YMCA Geelong: Junior Kitchen Assistant - Casual
YMCA Camp Wyuna is looking for an enthusiastic junior, to fill the role of a Junior Kitchen Assistant. This is an opportunity for a young individual to be part of a Non for Profit organisation who Believe in the Power of Inspired Young People.
See attached PDF for details:
Leopold Football and Netball Club: 'Come and try Girls Footy
Wednesday 3rd March at the LFNC main oval from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.
All girls welcome. No experience necessary. Wear comfortable clothes, sneakers and bring a water bottle.
For further information: Jamie Wray 0409 026 965
Lara Junior Netball 2021!
The Cats are back....
Come and join in the fun and fitness and make friends along the way!
All new and existing players welcome and encouraged to come along and have some fun!
Call Bridie, Junior Coordinator 0431 783 323
See the attached PDF for registration details.
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: