From the Principal
We Belong Together
It has been such a joy for me to return to school and visit our campuses to see our community reconnecting after the summer break. I think I have felt this sense of joy for two specific reasons. The first reason is a personal perspective – after spending most of Term 4 last year away on leave, I certainly missed having connection with my colleagues and being involved in our wonderful College program. The second reason is a professional viewpoint – I can clearly see the growing health and strength in our community despite the negative effects of the disruptions caused by the ongoing difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges for society in general throughout the pandemic has been the ability to remain connected. The imposition of lockdowns, border closures, and requirements to isolate that we have experienced for the first time in our lives have temporarily removed our freedom to connect with family, friends, workplaces, sporting clubs, churches, and schools. Whilst technology enabled us to remain connected remotely, nothing replaces the ability to be together in the same physical space.
Opinions relating to how our respective governments at all three tiers have managed this process is currently being debated – and this will no doubt continue for some time to come – however, the impact of this season on our human condition, our wellbeing as individuals, and our health as a society, has become a concern for many, including educators.
The global pandemic has reminded us that schools thrive when our learning communities are together. This is true for a number of reasons. Not only do we learn more comprehensively in supportive and present groups, but, also, schools, just like any other example of human beings gathering together, are places where a sense of belonging can be created.
As I consider what this means for our Christian College community, I have been thinking through the lens of a child attending school or kindergarten for the first time. I am sure these thoughts have been influenced by watching my own grandchildren begin their educational journey – two of whom will be joining us at CCG.
In the past, the education sector placed great emphasis on the end result and the final stages of the learning process. Thankfully, in more recent times, we have become much more aware of the importance of the beginning of the learning journey, and the small steps achieved along the way, noting that the outcome is not the only significant factor in the formation and development of children’s lives and learning. Hence my reflection on education through the eyes of a small child.
Being, Becoming, Belonging
If being together is so important, how can we at CCG specifically focus our attention on connecting and re-connecting at the start of this new year?
The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (developed by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Workplace and Employment Relations in 2009) outlines the following key elements to support our children from birth to 5 years of age. Interestingly, these have a clear framework around the notion of belonging. The vision is for ‘each child to experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life.’ To achieve this, the framework states the fundamental view that children’s lives are characterised by being, becoming and belonging.
- Being – Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life.
- Becoming – Children’s identities, knowledge, understanding, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society.
- Belonging – Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighborhood, and a wider community.
I take this opportunity to encourage us all to adopt our own personal focus on these key aspects of our lives as we navigate our way into this new school year; to find the patterns and processes through which we can connect or reconnect to an understanding of being, becoming and belonging. There are limitless possibilities attached to the new beginning afforded us by a new year.
Thankfully, as Christians, we have so many Scriptural examples (including the words and actions of Christ Himself) to follow and to inspire our journey of growth and transformation as we look to the future. One such example is found in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19
We are reminded here that God wants us to embrace new things in our lives, and to look ahead to see the fresh new possibilities. He wants good things for us and He wants us to discover the purpose that He has for each of us and for our community. That is why He has brought us together at Christian College. We belong to Him, and to each other. Our challenge is to follow His direction.
It is my prayer for our community as we connect at the beginning of the new year and find a place where we belong together, that our College will be blessed with the capacity to love one another and treat each other with kindness and respect through our words and actions.
These truths are, I believe, the foundation of the ‘Learning that Matters.’
Thank you to our families, our students, and all of our teaching and professional support staff for contributing to what has already been a great new beginning for 2022 – and for that beautiful sense of belonging which makes our College community so remarkable and unique.
Blessings to you all.
From the Head of Campus
Our new Cyber Safety Hub and Partnership With Family Zone
It is with pleasure that I introduce to parents and the wider College community our new Christian College Cyber Safety Hub. This support and resource hub is just one element of a broader Cyber Safe Schools Program and formal College partnership with Family Zone that we will be unveiling more detail about progressively over Semester 1.
The Cyber Safety Hub is a relevant and tailored resource of information, guidance and advice for parents regarding all areas of navigating the digital world with their young person.
This includes up to date app and game reviews, and parents can also request an article on a specific topic, issue or theme.
I encourage all parents to visit the hub and explore the resources it provides.
The hub is accessible via a new tile on the parent links page of SEQTA Engage (see below), or directly via this link: https://christiancollege.cybersafetyhub.com.au/.
I look forward to sharing more about our new formal partnership with Family Zone, including about the Cyber Safe Schools Program which focuses on school and home working together in community to support all students in building positive digital behaviours. A part of this program is some new tools that the College will be implementing this year as part of our protection and support of students in the digital space while they are at school.
In addition, I’m excited about some complimentary Family Zone parental tools that will soon be made available as part of this program for our parents. These optional tools for the home will support Christian College parents to have better visibility and awareness of their child’s digital behaviour while at home. Parents may notice a Family Zone tab on the Cyber Safety Hub which relates to this part of the program. While these Family Zone tools are not available to parents just yet, our goal is to have them in place later this term.
I’m excited about the College’s partnership with Family Zone beginning this year and I look forward to sharing more about aspects of the Cyber Safe Schools Program with you as the semester progresses.
First Day of School at the Bellarine Campus
The Bellarine Campus came to life as the Junior School students arrived for their first day of school on Monday. It was with a sense of wonderment that the Prep children joined their teachers and new-found friends in classrooms to begin their educational journey.
As you can see captured in the attached photos, there was an obvious sense of excitement in the air as students at other year levels prepared themselves for the many varied experiences that lay ahead of them this year. With the week coming to a close, this morning I looked into some very tired little faces and I’m sure the children are looking forward to a well-deserved rest over the weekend.
We look forward to sharing more of the fun and learning in Junior School with you as the 2022 year progresses.
Year 3 Follow Jakara Anthony all the way to the Winter Olympics
This week the Year 3 students put their allegiance on display as they encouraged former Christian College Bellarine student and Australian Olympic mogul skier, Jakara Anthony in her quest for a medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Jakara is one of Australia’s top medal hopes in the Winter Olympic team and we wish her all the very best in her quest. Students and staff will be watching with much excitement and anticipation as Jakara competes in the coming weeks.
Year 2 Investigations
The Year 2 students stepped into a whole new realm of learning this week as they began their journey of discovering how to use a Sphero Robot during their first Investigations lesson with Mr. Viegas.
The students are learning how to control and program the robots so that they can include them in an Investigations project that will be part of their EXPO presentation later in the year.
The students are looking forward to building on their knowledge and understanding as they participate in more exciting experiences throughout the term.
Annual Digital Learning and Student Device Policy Agreement
Late last week, parents received a copy of this policy via email, along with instructions for how to complete the mandatory parent agreement via EdSmart.
This agreement must be completed by a parent for every student at the College, as a requirement for access to digital learning technologies. This includes participation in the College’s 1:1 device program for students at Years 4-12.
Parents are requested to complete the agreement as soon as possible, and by Friday 11th February at the latest.
Students in Years 4-12 will also be made aware of the College’s expectations regarding safe and responsible use of digital technologies and will complete a student agreement within the first two weeks of their classes.
A copy of the Digital Learning and Student Device Policy Agreement, newly updated for this year, is available to parents for reference at any point in the year via Documents in SEQTA Engage.
Welcome Back Year 5 and Year 6 Students
While walking around the Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms on Monday, there was obvious excitement about the commencement of the 2022 school year. In Mrs McKenzie’s cactus themed 6D classroom, students were eagerly engaged in a goal setting assignment. In Mr Lee’s 5S class, I heard happy conversations and saw bright smiles as students posed for first day of school photos. Mrs Pritchard’s bright and cheery 5D classroom was a buzz of energy as students decorated hands for a Wellbeing task. And in my 6S classroom, students were happily creating a person for a community building activity.
It has been a quick and productive start to the term and this 5/6 cohort is a fabulous group of young people. The 5/6 teachers look forward to building sound relationships with these learners as they flourish into kind, caring, and resourceful individuals.
Year 7 News
I would like to extend a special warm welcome to our new families who have joined Christian College in 2022, as well as welcome back our existing families. It is great to have you as a part of our Year 7 family. I trust you have all enjoyed some quality time together over the recent holiday period.
The Year 7 students and teachers have had an outstanding first week. On Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February, Year 7 students participated in an alternative program which aims to support their orientation to secondary school, whilst building pastoral relationships with their teachers and each other. Students spent time unboxing and setting up their new device, as well as visiting the library and participating in a PE session. They spent important time with their homeroom teacher discussing routines and expectations at Year 7, whilst also getting to know those in their homeroom.
I appreciate there has been a lot of information going home to families over the past week. One important email sent to all families was an EdSmart notification regarding the Annual Digital Learning and Student Device Policy Agreement. Please take the time to go through this with your child and complete this in the coming days. All details and expectations related to digital learning is contained within this.
Two other important emails have also been sent home this week. One relates to the upcoming Year 7 immunisations which will take place on Tuesday 15 March and Tuesday 18 October. Students were sent home with a Year 7 Secondary School Vaccine Program booklet, and we ask that all families complete and return Part A of this (regardless of whether you consent to your child having this at school or not) by Monday 7 February.
The second, another EdSmart notification, relates to the Year 7 Camp to Cave Hill Creek taking place on Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 February. Please take the time to read through this, including the equipment list requirements, update medical information if required and complete by Wednesday 9 February.
The Year 7 team is committed to working closely with you throughout the year and I encourage you to contact your child’s homeroom teacher, or myself, at any stage should you have any questions.
2022 CCG Surfing Championships
Who will take home the prestigious ‘Scott Elliss Trophy’ in 2022?
The Sport Faculty wish to confirm that registrations are now open for students from Year 7 to Year 12 to compete in this year’s CCG Surfing Championships!
These Championships will be held on MONDAY, FEBRAURY 28 at Jan Juc Surf Beach.
As in previous years, it will be an all-day event – beginning at 8:30am – and parents / guardians will be required to transport students to and from the venue.
Performances at these Championships will also form part of the selection process for our College Surfing Team (Year 7 to Year 12) that will compete at this year’s GISSA Surfing Championships later in Term 1.
The ‘Scott Elliss’ Trophy is the most unique event on the College sporting calendar and has created a ton of highlights and memories for students in the past as they challenge themselves in the surf at one of the world’s premier beaches.
If you would like to enter this year’s CCG Surfing Championships, please register your interest by emailing Mr. Murnane at email@example.com.
Our Sport Faculty would like to wish students the very best of luck for these Championships.
2022 CCG Tennis Championships
The CCG Tennis Championships are back in 2022 – this time in its customary Term 1 timeslot!
Students are invited to register for our Tennis Titles set to be held on Friday, February 11 at Geelong Lawn Tennis Centre from 4pm to 7pm.
There will be a Main Male and Female Singles Draw to determine this year’s individual College Tennis Champion from each gender, and there will also be Doubles Matches for students to participate in once they are eliminated from the Main Draw.
Beyond this, performances from these Championships will form part of the selection process for our College Tennis Team (Year 7 to Year 12) that will compete at the GISSA Tennis Championships later in Term 1.
Our staff from the CCG Eagles Tennis Program – lead by Mr. Sam Nichols – are excited to be involved in this great twilight event, which always creates a lively, feel-good atmosphere thanks to the excellent facilities and generous hospitality of the Geelong Lawn Tennis Club.
Further, our Tennis Program Staff will use performances at these Championships as part of our selection process for the College Tennis Team (Yr7 to 12) that will compete at the 2022 GISSA Tennis Championships later in Term 1.
If you are interested in entering the CCG Tennis Championships, please register your interest by emailing Mr. Matt Murnane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Sport Faculty would like to wish students the very best of luck for these Championships.
School Sport Victoria ‘Team Vic’ Program
Our Sport Faculty is excited to help students from Year 5 and Year 6, as well as students from Year 7 to Year 12 engage with this year’s School Sport Victoria ‘Team Vic’ Program.
In 2022, students can attempt to gain selection in ‘Team Vic’ squads in 15 different sports – AFL, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Diving, Soccer, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Rugby League, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Touch Football and Track and Field.
For students in Year 5 and Year 6, our College will run try-outs, or some other selection process, early in Term 1 to decide which students can nominate for the first stage of ‘Team Vic’ process on behalf of Christian College Geelong.
There will be try-outs, or some kind of selection process, for the ‘Team Vic’ 12-and-under Teams for Year 5 and 6 students in Cricket, AFL, Basketball, Netball, Tennis and Soccer.
Our College Head of Sport Faculty must endorse the nomination of any student from Christian College Geelong and there are a limited number of endorsements our College are allowed to provide.
Please note, as it explains clearly on the SSV website, students who engage with the ‘Team Vic’ Program must “consistently display well above average team and sport-specific skills for 12-years-old students’, adding that this process is to “determine the best from across Victoria”.
Therefore parents and students are asked to carefully consider whether this description applies to them before choosing to engage with the ‘Team Vic’ process.
Also, it is the responsibility of the student or parent/guardian (not the College) to accurately complete the nomination form, make the payment, transport the student to the trials and cover all of the costs.
For students from Year 7 to Year 12, the process is different. Year 7 to Year 12 students can nominate themselves for the first stage of the ‘Team Vic’ Trials.
Again, it is the responsibility of the student or parent/guardian to accurately complete the nomination form, make the payment, and transport the student to the trials and cover all of the costs.
If there are any students from Year 7 to Year 12 who choose to engage with the ‘Team Vic’ process, please advise our Sport Faculty, so we can support you in any way we can and celebrate your achievements along the journey.
If students or families would like more information on the ‘Team Vic’ Program, please follow this link: https://www.ssv.vic.edu.au/team-vic.
Or you can contact our Sport Faculty for assistance by emailing Mr. Matt Murnane at email@example.com
CCG Interschool Snow Sport Team 2022
I am sure like me, you are all watching the Winter Olympics with much admiration of the skills and abilities of the athletes competing. One of our past students, Jakara Anthony Competed in the Qualifying Round of the Female Moguls, qualifying in first place with a dominant score of 83.75.
Jakara graduated from CCG in 2016 and her interest in skiing competitively began at the Interschool competition level.
You may not be aware that we have a CCG Interschool Snowsport Team, and while competitions have been cancelled the last two years, it looks more promising that this event will go ahead this year. The Victorian Interschool Snowsports Competition is held at Mount Buller between the 20th -28th August and is available to all ages and abilities.
If you would like more information and are keen to support your child(ren) in competing in this event, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am sure you will all be very keen to watch Jakara compete in the Moguls on Sunday night.