From The Principal
The new term has commenced with much excitement and a sense of something approaching normality for schools. Moving around the College has given me an opportunity to witness energy and a positive atmosphere that has, to some degree, been missing in all of our lives since the emergence of the pandemic early in 2020.
I feel the lifting of most of the restrictions that we have worked under creates more occasions for us to reconnect as a community, particularly through the resumption of some programs we have not been able to conduct. An example of this is the current ‘Our World’ trip to Central Australia.
The term commenced with our staff from all campuses gathering together to worship God and share fellowship in the same space. It was such a blessing to sing, pray and share communion together, and to hear an inspiring message from Middle School Chaplain, Mia Kafieris.
The service was followed by an exceptional workshop conducted by Simon McCormick from ‘Australians Together’. This session engaged us in reflective personal conversation about supporting our students and expanding our teaching practices to enable greater awareness and understanding of First Nations Peoples.
As we returned from the term break, I shared with the staff some observations I had made about the current patterns of student behaviour, particularly concerning the way students speak to staff, follow expectations, and adhere to uniform requirements. There has been a level of grace and understanding for our students throughout the COVID–19 challenges, and in transitioning back to school. However, it is time for us as a community to restore the standard of expectations for our students that have always been a hallmark of our College.
Closely aligned with this concern are unfortunate examples of communication – both verbal and written – toward our staff that is aggressive and disrespectful, and comes from a small number of our families. In meeting with Principals from other schools, it is apparent that this is a common experience in many schools post the period of COVID-19 disruption. It is my heartfelt and prayerful request that our community makes a concerted effort to ensure that interactions within our community are respectful at all times. A positive working relationship and a strong partnership between families and the College is vital for our students to fully benefit from the learning and the wider experiences offered through our school.
The term commenced for our students with gatherings to commemorate ANZAC Day. Students respectfully participated in hearing about the roles played by Chaplains in wartime. Thank you to those who planned and led these services, as well as those who read, prayed, sang and played.
Schools across our nation are experiencing significant challenges with young people vaping. Unfortunately, our College has not been exempt from this behaviour, and we are working hard to educate our students regarding the risks and health concerns associated with these devices. Our approach involves awareness and education as well as taking appropriate measures to ensure a level of accountability, and to provide a duty of care. This is something that requires the cooperation of a whole community to support our young people and to protect them against high-level risk-taking.
I am very pleased that we have commenced rolling out the ‘Linewize’ resource to protect and educate our students in the online world and the digital space. Previous editions of The Vine have contained details of what Linewize is and how it assists us to keep our students safe from distractions when they are in cyberspace. Further information will be shared with families and students in the coming weeks, and we are planning an evening for parents and students to gather and learn more about our approach to educating students about navigating the digital world.
This week and next week we have been opening up our campuses to allow prospective families to see our College at work. We have not manufactured showcase programs – our preference is to present an authentic experience of a typical day at Christian College. We have been pleased with the level of interest and attendance, and feel delighted to be able to share the wonderful features of our College with our visitors. A feature of my conversations with visitors was that many reported they visited us as a result of hearing positive feedback from our families. I am most grateful to those who encourage friends or neighbours to come and visit us to investigate what we offer.
The Open Days conducted so far have been an outstanding success, with the standout feature being our students and staff working together and engaging in learning experiences. Many of the visitors I had the opportunity to speak with commented on the atmosphere of the College, and a sense of feeling very welcome. This is something that is often mentioned by the hundreds of families that visit us each year.
Next week it will be very exciting to see the performances of ‘Shrek – The Musical’ in the new RW Gibson Music Performance Centre, located at the Senior School. I wish the members of the cast and crew, the musicians and all of those who are involved in our College production, a rewarding and successful week of performing to the audiences.
The Senior School community will also soon be occupying the English and Languages Building which was completed this week, including extensive landscaping. The modern, contemporary learning spaces, forum for gatherings, and office and meeting spaces for staff, all look amazing and provide an excellent addition to the continued development of facilities at the Senior School.
As we anticipate the term ahead holding for us greater opportunity to re-engage, there is much to celebrate, and much for which we can be thankful. Forging ahead now without the looming possibility of lockdowns and enforced remote learning, we can focus on rebuilding relationships and working together as a community to provide the very best for our wonderful students.
I leave you with this encouragement.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
My best wishes to you all.
Our New Little Mate Named Marty
I would love to introduce our gorgeous little man Marty, the newest (and hairiest) member of the Bellarine Campus community. It has been well documented that animals encourage calm and compassionate reactions in children and adults. After the time of change that we’ve endured over the past couple of years we feel that the inclusion of Marty in the daily routine in the classroom and school environment at this time, will help provide both physical and emotional health benefits for students and staff. Studies conducted on the wellbeing effects of dogs in education concluded that having a dog present in the classroom can promote gains in:
- Decreased learner anxiety behaviours resulting in improved learning outcomes, particularly increases in reading and writing levels
- Improved motivation
- A positive mood and provide significant anti-stress effects on the body
- And, in many instances the dogs have been linked to increased school attendance
It’s also a valuable lesson for students to understand that God cares for all of His creatures, great and small, and wants us to do the same. It gives the children an opportunity to learn that we have a choice to be kind and show compassion in all we do.
Marty started visiting school with me in Term 1, so that at an early age he could become familiar with the school environment and also to enable him to socialise with lots of different people. He’s now 14 weeks old and is attending puppy school on weekends, but Marty still has a long road of training ahead of him. This week during the Junior School assembly and whilst visiting Middle School classrooms we introduced a few strategies that we can use to help him become a special friend to us all. Amongst other things, Marty has to learn to sit politely and wait to be invited to interact with his human friends, because whilst some children are very happy to receive his cuddles, some aren’t, and they to need to feel safe as well. Students, staff and Marty have been practising these strategies throughout the week and already we are seeing lots of growth from everyone.
Whilst spending time in Year 2, Marty was happy to relax and listen on as the students enjoyed a time of reading in class. We look forward to sharing lots of little ‘Marty Moments’ in the Vine in coming weeks and months.
Amazing Adaptations, Mystery Objects and Shark Teeth…
These were all part of our awesome experiences at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre in Queenscliff. Year 8 students witnessed a variety of behavioural, structural and physiological adaptations that enable species to survive and thrive. From spiny Globefish and transparent Ghost Shrimp, to gender morphing Wrasse and birthing male Seahorses. The second part of the session was about looking closely at how animals are classified and using microscopes to better understand the intricate structure and function of marine animals. Prior to the end of last term, students completed a fish dissection which assisted greatly in identifying anatomical structures and the role these play, be it the lateral line that detects vibrations in the water or the swim bladder enabling the fish to adjust its level of buoyancy.
Year 7 Humanities: The Lost Mummy Escape Room
Hi, my name is Kimberley Simkin and over the last five weeks I have been completing my final placement for my Master of Teaching (Secondary) degree, at Christian College Bellarine. I have been working closely with my mentor, Mrs Victoria Kent and the class of 7E in Humanities, English and our Wellbeing sessions.
This week in Humanities, the whole Year 7 cohort came together to complete an ancient Egypt escape room. Curiosity was in the air as we began by watching a Horrible Histories clip on tomb raiders and scary stories, alluding to the mystery that still surrounds ancient Egypt. In groups of three, students then worked together to complete the puzzles and uncover the secrets of the ‘lost mummy’ hidden in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
This activity was an exciting way for students to work collaboratively, problem solve and explore their own understanding of the ancient world. The puzzles proved to be challenging, with many “aha” moments of realisation during the session. I wish to commend all students on the perseverance and resilience shown during this learning.
Group 8, which consisted of Charlie Gregory (7S), Reagan McKenzie (7E) and Max Morris (7D), were the first to complete the escape room and uncover the lost mummy. Congratulations!
As a pre-service teacher, I had the opportunity to lead a large cohort of students, investigate a civilisation that I have a deep appreciation for, and inspire joy and wonder within students as they explore other ancient civilisations in Term 2. Using the knowledge and skills they will develop this term to create their own ‘Ultimate Civilisation’.
All students should be incredibly proud of their achievements this week.
Year 9 English – Global Conflict
This term in Year 9 English, students are exploring the theme of global conflict through a multimodal approach. This unit also has a Literature focus as students explore a range of views and values presented about war. Each student selected a core text and began working in small book club groups to unpack the themes associated with global conflict in connection with their text. The Year 9s are also developing their collaboration and social management skills as they relate to others, engage in teamwork and express their thoughts and opinions.
French Toast – Year 6 Food Studies
This week, both Year 6 classes learnt to make ‘French Toast’ in Food Tech in preparation for Mothers’ Day. They did an amazing job focusing on taste and presentation.
I do hope the students will take the opportunity this weekend to make this special treat, not only to show off their cooking skills but to also show their appreciation for the special people in their lives.
Japanese Children’s Day
May 5th in Japan is Children’s Day (say Kodomo no hi).
Children’s day is like one big birthday party for every child.
On Children’s day, families hang fish streamers called Koinobori on the balcony or another high place.
Koi means carp, and they must climb (nobori) the river to breed. The act of swimming upstream is seen as a sign of healthy well-being that Japanese wish their children to have too.
Our Year Prep, 1, 2 and 3 classes had the chance to make their own Koinobori as a part of this week’s learning Japanese culture.
Camping at Sunnystones with Year 4
Last week the Year 4 students and teachers had a wonderful time away at Camp Sunnystones, at Merrimu, just outside Bacchus Marsh. The adventure began immediately, with the students being dropped off for a challenging 1-hour bush walk into camp. Along the way a camp guide pointed out some of the amazing natural features of the land surrounding Sunnystones. Later that afternoon, everyone headed into the bush to participate in a survival game that involved chasing each other around and collecting tags. The day ended with a game of spotlight and roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
The next morning, students joined in a rotation of bush cooking, archery, and canoeing. The chocolate orange cakes cooked over the fire, were a standout whilst more than a few bullseyes were hit on the archery course. Once in their canoes the students were shown how to manoeuvre themselves on the water and were soon able to make their way all around the dam. During the afternoon students worked in small groups to design and build bush huts. Their designs were well thought out and really quite clever, however it was soon obvious that little thought was given to making them waterproof, as the teachers took great delight in spraying the huts with water as the students huddled inside.
On Friday morning, the students took part in a geocaching activity, similar to a treasure hunt. Once again working in small groups, the students used a GPS device to lead them to special treasures hidden in the bush. Hidden under rocks or the hollow of a tree, treasures weren’t always easy to find, but it made the hunt extremely rewarding.
After several years of limited opportunity to experience such adventures, it was great to see our Year 4 students make the most of their time away at camp. An exciting, adventure packed few days were enjoyed by all!
Chess Club Clocks
The Chess Club now has special Chess clocks. The clocks help to speed up Chess games and make them more fun. Please try playing Chess with a clock at the library during lunchtimes. Ask Mr Monagle and Mr Reidy about how to use the clocks.
Bellarine Campus Canteen Service
We are very excited to be offering Christian College Bellarine students a fast and easy lunch service each Thursday.
The Fresh Meal Fairy located in Drysdale, will be the provider of this lunch service to the Bellarine Campus. Servicing many schools across our region, The Fresh Meal Fairy offers a broad menu in line with Nutrition Australia Guidelines, made fresh daily in a local commercial kitchen and then carefully packed and delivered to the school.
The Fresh Meal Fairy will use an online ordering service https://www.school24.net.au/ which also includes the option of a mobile app. The registration details, including unique school ID number, are included in the attached Parent Registration Guide. This is a very convenient platform for weekly student orders and payment.
Parents and students can place orders online up until 9pm on the Wednesday prior to the Thursday service. The order is delivered to classrooms prior to lunchtime. Please see attached a parent information sheet from the Fresh Meal Fairy. Please note that Snacks for recess time will need to be supplied by parents.
We are looking forward to the opportunity to partner with The Fresh Meal Fairy in providing our students with a weekly lunch service.
Science Talent Search at CCG 2022
Students at Christian College Geelong in Years 5-10 students are invited to participate in the 2022 Science Talent Search (STS).
The Science Talent Search has three broad aims:
- To stimulate an ongoing interest in the study of sciences by:
- encouraging independent self-motivated project work amongst students of science.
- giving students the opportunity to communicate their achievements to a wider audience.
- according recognition of effort and achievement in a scientific enterprise.
- To promote the direct involvement of the students in the processes of science and its communication.
- To give the public at large an opportunity to see the quality of work being achieved in science, by both primary and post primary students.
CCG is pleased to offer the following sections in 2022.
- Creative writing
- Working models
Detailed information about each section can be obtained from your science teacher.
Entry fees will be covered by the school.
The number of entries across the school is capped, so students are encouraged to submit registrations to their science teacher as early as possible. Registrations are made by filling in the student registration form and handing in to your science teacher.
Registrations close: Friday 20th May
Closing date for entries: Friday 15th July
Participating students will complete their entries individually or in a group of 2 in their own time. Support will be available from their science teacher and at optional lunchtime sessions.
For more information please see your science teacher, or email Mrs Huddart, Director of Teaching and Learning – Science firstname.lastname@example.org
Shrek the Musical – Art, Technology and Design
Term 1 has been very busy in our Art, Technology and Design Faculty and we are extremely excited to be part of the College Shrek Production in the Senior Music Centre.
A selection of Middle and Junior School students’ Visual Art & Textile classes across four campuses have been madly creating artworks to exhibit. Construction Units of work have each had the opportunity to focus a variety of skills with each year level creating different themed pieces of work. Installations of Modroc swamp scenery, paper collage birds, paper mache critters, hand sewn bees, pastel drawings and lily pads on the pond is truly a wonderful collection of student artwork.
Senior School, Year 10 Food Studies classes have been designing, costing, testing and trialling options and making Sweet and Savoury Snack boxes of treats to sell for the evening shows of the production. Limited delicious snack boxes will be sold at intermission by the students in the Music Centre Foyer for $10 per box. (100 boxes available per evening) Shrek cake pops, green jelly slice…………ohhhh and so much more!
A MYTERN Thought for This Week
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