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 Junior School
On behalf of all the Junior School staff, it is with great delight that I welcome you to the first edition of our weekly publication ‘The Vine’. Here, we aim to both capture student learning and communicate events relating to our Junior School community. I also encourage you to keep a regular check of the Parent Portal and College Calendar on the Christian College website, as these are continually updated with new information. Please advise Mrs Ann Begg at Reception on 52411565 or email@example.com or our IT Technician Sascha Romeril firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any difficulties accessing the Parent Portal or College Calendar so they can assist you.
This week the students have been enjoying discovering more about their new teachers, their new classmates and their new classrooms. There is a lot to discover, anticipate and be excited about but there is also the recognition that all these changes may cause nervousness or worries. Please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher if your child does have worries as we want to ensure that their start at Junior School is a positive and enjoyable one. Especially in these early days and weeks of Term 1, staff are dedicated to laying the foundations for a safe, caring, connected and respectful environment and we sincerely appreciate your partnership in this.
The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time for us to come together for various events. As we navigate these first few weeks of 2022 and the impact of Omicron on students, families, and staff, we still wish to acknowledge these early calendar events, however we are having to look at ways of running them differently. One way to achieve this is to hold student assemblies and postpone more formal ceremonies to a later date. To this end, we will be acknowledging our student leaders in a Year 4 assembly next week where we will have the opportunity to announce our school captains to their Year 4 cohort. We will then take an opportunity as soon as we are able to host our Leader’s Induction Service where students are presented to the broader community.
Another event held differently will be our Year 4 Parent Device Session. Year 4 staff are working hard to bring you this session online in 2022. We feel it is important not to wait to connect with you about the Year 4 devices, therefore the session will be delivered digitally. Further specific information will be provided to you via EdSmart closer to the date which has been scheduled as Tuesday, 22nd February.
Also, our Prep Parent Information session in Week 3 will be delivered via video link for families to watch together at home. This will be a hands-on and engaging look at how you can help support your child with their Literacy and Numeracy skills. Our Prep staff will send home a special pack with each child that they will be able to share with you during the session. We hope this will help you feel connected to the processes we use in the classroom, and to assist your child with their learning.
In relation to the Parent Helpers’ information session, as we are currently still unable to have Helpers visit classrooms, we have decided to delay these information sessions until later in Term 1. Again, an EdSmart will be sent to families once we are able to host these sessions for you.
Whilst we have been living with COVID-19 for the past couple of years each new variant and stage of the journey brings with it new changes and challenges. One such challenge this week has been where students, parents and staff have returned positive test results for COVID. I have been extremely grateful for the trust and support we have received from families where this challenge exists and I thank you for your understanding as this current wave of Omicron affects our community.
As we journey this year together let us be comforted, strengthened, and upheld by the knowledge that our loving Heavenly Father has walked before us, continues to walk beside us and will, when we need, carry us.
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.
What’s Happening At Junior School?
Week 2, Monday Feb 7th:
Thursday Feb 10 – Beach Prep – Prep B,G,M,R (please refer to Edsmart notification)
Friday Feb 11 – Year 4 Assembly, Presentation of Student Leaders
Week 3, Monday Feb 14:
Friday Feb 18 – Assembly, 4G Class Item
Hello to the Junior School Community – From the Chaplains
Our names are Mr Sam Leal and Mrs Darcee Braun, and we are joining the Junior School community in 2022 as Chaplains.
We are really looking forward to getting to know students and families and feel honoured to become part of such a wonderful community.
We are here to support students and families in any way we can so please, reach out via phone or email via Junior School Reception, phone 5241 1565 or email@example.com
We look forward to a wonderful year ahead.
Start of the School Learning Journey
There was lots of chatter in the courtyard Monday morning as families gathered. There is something special about the first day of school. There is a buzz of excitement and anticipation for all the children and families, as well as the teachers. Photos were taken, welcome packs handed out and big hugs given.
The Prep children waved goodbye to their families and entered the school buildings ready to go! Bags unpacked, hats hung up and eyes wide open – the Preps were looking forward to what they would do first.
The Prep children have jumped straight into their learning. Already having had a go at writing our word of the week ‘cat’, making numbers in a variety of ways, exploring the school value of love, discussing who Jesus is and his importance.
We had a chat about all the different reasons we come to school and how we will care and look after each other. There was also a lot of discussion about what the children might like to be when they grow up. Lots of big ambitions and some interesting career paths for these little ones.
It has been wonderful to see the eagerness with which the children have taken on new experiences and established friendships. They arrive and leave with smiles on their faces!
Learning is a journey that weaves in all sorts of directions and is not always easy. Children need perseverance, focus and lots of effort to develop the foundational skills for learning. What a blessing it is that we get to be at the forefront of this journey!
Year 2 Super Stars
How wonderful it is to be back at school, reconnecting with friends and getting to know new classmates and teachers after such a long break. The Year 2 students are off to an encouraging start and have been enthusiastically participating in all kinds of interesting learning challenges. Whether working in small groups to share ideas, or working as a class team to complete a task (such as placing numbers on a number line correctly), learning is often better when it occurs alongside others.
Our experience with remote learning has taught us not to underestimate the importance of connection with others, especially in protecting the emotional wellbeing of our young people. So, congratulations Year 2 on a magnificent start to 2022 and for the resilience you have demonstrated with the transition to a new year level! We are all very excited about the year ahead.
Wonderful Whirlwind in Year 3
Wow, what a wonderful whirlwind it has been in Year 3 this week. We really hit the ground running with our learning in 2022. We started our first Integrated Studies unit called ‘Roles and Responsibilities’.
This has seen us begin to investigate why we have rules and laws and how we participate in our community. During our learning sessions we developed class norms which has helped us to think about the type of learning culture that we would like in our classrooms.
These norms were voted on democratically and then agreed to by each Homeroom class. This was an important process as they will underpin the values that we have in our learning community in Year 3. Our Maths sessions have provided opportunities to further develop our understanding of metric units of measurement. We have been measuring all sorts of things in our classrooms, focusing on the accuracy of our measuring, and choosing the most appropriate unit to use.
I wonder if the students will be trying to measure things at home too?
College Uniform Regulations
Please refer to the following uniform expectations for students. Further detail can be located on our College Parent Portal.
- All articles should be clearly labelled.
- The new College Wardrobe or older College Summer uniform must be worn in its entirety. Please do not mix uniforms.
- Students who have pierced ears may wear only small or plain studs or sleepers and only in the earlobe, with a maximum of two in each ear.
- Students may wear only a watch. All other items of jewellery are deemed inappropriate. Failure to observe this regulation will result in the jewellery being confiscated.
- Hair is to be clean and tidy and must be tied back from the face. Shoulder length hair or longer must be tied back from the shoulders.
- Hair ribbons must be navy or maroon only.
- Extremes in haircut/styles are not permitted; this includes dreadlocks, sculpting and patterns shaved into the hair. A number 2 haircut is the minimum. Hair must not be dyed using outlandish colours or extreme variations from natural colour.
- The following are NOT permitted with the uniform: sneakers, beanie hats, jewellery (except for watch), visible body art, hair ornaments, including coloured combs, clips, large bows, nail varnish, cosmetics (excluding neutral BB Blemish Balm cream), t-shirts or skivvies that show at the neckline.
- Students who are out of uniform must provide a written explanation to the Homeroom teacher either via the Organiser or by email.
- Parents will be contacted if students continue to ignore uniform regulations.
What We’re Loving In Library…
It was wonderful to have all the classes back to the Library this week. Students had the opportunity to borrow books for the week and visit during their lunchtimes also.
We welcome Mrs Sue Grigg to the library this year as our Library Assistant. Mrs Grigg has enjoyed meeting the students and the getting to know the books that the children like.
Over the holiday break we have added some wonderful new books to the collection that I look forward to sharing with the students over the coming weeks.
Your School is the Best written by Maggie Hutchings and illustrated by Felicita Sala is a fabulous new Picture Story Book we have shared with some classes this week. Last year, during 2021 Book Week, the first book Your Birthday was the Best by the same duo was an Honour Book. Its humour and visual literacy has proven extremely popular across many year levels.
Scholastic Book Club News
The first 2022 issue of Scholastic Book Club has been distributed to students and orders should be placed online or returned to school no later than Thursday, 17th February.
Our preferred payment method is via LOOP either via the mobile app or the desktop site which can be found at https://mybookclubs.scholastic.com.au/Parent/Login.aspx
You may also return your order form and payment by cheque to school. Cheques should be payable to Scholastic Australia.
Please do not send cash as we are unable to process cash payments.
Thank you for your assistance and ongoing support of Book Club.
Junior School Choir, Strings, Percussion and Rock Ensembles – Beginning Week 2!
Music Ensembles at Junior School will commence in Week 2, (please note Percussion Ensemble rehearsals will begin in Week 3). Being part of music ensembles provides students with specialist music training by Christian College Music Staff, the opportunity to learn and develop performance and rehearsal skills and participation in performance opportunities. Students can then progress their musical skills by following the many exciting CCG music pathways offered, as they transition through Middle and Senior campuses.
The following information is specific to each music ensemble at Junior School. Please feel free to direct any questions or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
*In line with current Covid19 guidelines, Parents are asked to please bring students to the front doors of Reception. Staff will be available on rehearsal days to assist students in moving to their ensemble space.
Junior School Choir:
Rehearsal Day – Tuesday
Time – 8.00am-8.40am
Year levels – Prep-Year 4
Where – Chapel
Director – Carla Dunlop
*Please note, new members are welcome to simply come along on Tuesday morning
Junior School Strings: *Please note, attending the String Ensemble is by invitation only. String Staff will contact families as students are ready to join the String Ensemble.
Rehearsal Day – Wednesday
Time – 8.00am-8.50am
Where – Chapel
Director – Trish Timmins
Junior School Percussion Ensemble: *Students wishing to join the Percussion Ensemble should be currently undertaking instrumental lessons.
Rehearsal Day – Thursday
Time – 8.15am-8.45am
Where – Junior School Music Classroom
Director – Jacqui Anderson
*Please contact Jacqui directly if you would like your child to participate in the Percussion
Junior School Rock Group:
Rehearsal Day – Friday
Time – 8.30-9.00am
Where – Maker Space Portable (next to the Junior School gym)
Director – Ivan Bilic
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.
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 email@example.com.
I am sure you will all be very keen to watch Jakara compete in the Moguls on Sunday night.