From the Dean of Christian Culture
Our College Leadership Team, from the very beginning of this year, has been encouraging our students, staff and families to focus, if possible, on the theme of engagement; the notion of new or renewed possibilities being created through the building of connection.
Early on during this process we noted that engagement increases opportunity, engagement releases strategy, and engagement delivers fruitfulness; and then we shifted our gaze to begin discovering areas in which we might possibly choose to engage or re-engage in 2022.
Recently, we raised the thought that perhaps this year could provide the opportunity for us to become engaged or re-engaged with the joy and delight of asking questions – with a view to learning and growing; and ultimately therefore being able to make a positive contribution to the lives of others.
This week we have another suggestion to consider; a further option for us to potentially view as an area of life in which we may like to engage or re-engage.
One of the most wonderful moments in the life and growth of a school is when you can see, feel, and notice the clear presence of a strong sense of community. Our desire here at Christian College is to continue growing a healthy understanding and experience of community internally, but also to take this a step further, beyond the gates of the school, by developing wonderful young people who are thoughtful global citizens, helping to build our broader society; young women and men who will step out into the world and make a positive difference by leading, serving, collaborating, initiating, innovating, and creating.
How does this happen? How do people learn to do this? In community.
This learning begins at home, and it is supported at school – home and school being two of the most basic and yet strongest forms of community existing within our society. Other examples of current environments in which community learning occurs could include, but would not be limited to; churches, sporting clubs, arts organisations, music clubs, youth groups, and community hubs.
Human beings are designed to live and work in groups, not alone. We are built for relationships – it is how we learn, how we grow and how we create the next generation. We need one another. We can do so much more together than we can do on our own. Community is so important because we function so much more effectively when we are able to work together. It is not always easy to work in community, but it is always the best way.
We will continue as a College to search for ways which may help us all learn about and demonstrate community. Through the classroom, our sporting clubs, our camps, excursions and trips interstate and overseas, our Year 9 Transformation Program, the Our World experiences, and specifically invited guest speakers, (including the Rev. Tim Costello AO who will be speaking with our staff and students on site in two weeks’ time), we aim to teach and encourage a better understanding of why community is so vitally important.
There is a great scripture in Deuteronomy 32:30 which says, “…one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight…” simply meaning that the combined efforts and abilities of two or more people is exponentially more productive than one person acting alone.
An extrapolated definition of the term community would include the areas of building relationships, developing social understanding, supporting wellbeing, working toward a desired future, and acknowledging shared culture and history – a clear picture of what is sitting within the terminology. The word ‘community’ is important.
In fact, if we look at the word community we can see that there are two very strong hints contained within as to the foundations of the concept of community – those being “communication” and “unity.”
The notion here is not that we should all be the same – on the contrary, community in all its forms is stronger and more effective when we are different – because each individual lends their particular gifts to the group as a whole, providing much-needed diversity in thinking and in action.
It is helpful for us to remember that we are talking about unity not uniformity – there is a massive difference between the two. We can use the analogy of an orchestra with every member under the baton of the conductor beginning to play the same note for the same length of time at the same volume on the same instrument – that is uniformity, and it would not be pleasant. Instead, the orchestra members play a range of notes for a mixture of lengths of time, at various volumes, on a variety of instruments – but as they all play in unity their very differences become the beautiful strength of the whole.
If a musical example is not your preferred analogy, contemplate a football team. We need the rucks, the midfielders, the forwards, and the backline, all with different skills, different heights and builds, and different speeds to combine to make a team that is capable of getting the job done. A team of 22 rucks alone will not win a premiership!
This same pattern of unity within community is referred to in Scripture.
“…Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it…”1 Corinthians 12:14-26
Unity is working together and using our differences for the good of the team – developing community.
The most basic and in some ways most important foundational skill within community is communication. Nothing happens without effective communication. Community is about relationships, and relationships are about communication. Communication is often difficult, but it must be a focus for all of us – open, honest, regular communication. It can be verbal, written, expressed or inferred but it has to happen openly, honestly and regularly.
In the research I have been reading recently regarding the development of resilience and strength in young people, communication sits in the top five attributes needed. I am sure the same can be said in relation to the development of community. Those five attributes are:
- Sense of purpose and identity
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to build relationships
- Communication skills
- Sense of humour
We are all part of this community at Christian College, and together we are aiming to further develop our sense of community by improving our understanding and practice of unity and communication. Perhaps this is a focus area with which you could consider engaging or re-engaging in 2022? If we all chose to engage in strengthening our sense of community this year, can you imagine what the positive impact of that decision might well be for many years to come? It could be very exciting!
Bless you all.
Year 2 Bible Presentations
It was with great excitement that we were able to host our Year 2 Bible Presentation this morning at Junior School. We were blessed to have many parents and special friends of our Year 2 students attend and share in the excitement and nerves of this special event. We acknowledge that our 2022 Year 2 students began their schooling journey in 2020 at the beginning and height of this global COVID pandemic. We feel so grateful that today we could honor them in coming together as a community.
In our service this morning Savannah Reynolds and Oscar Wang shared this Scripture verse:
“You are the light that shines for the world to see. You are like a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. People don’t hide a lamp under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand. Then the light shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
We pray that in the receiving of their Bibles this morning, that students can find comfort, strength, and peace from Scripture. We encourage all of our students who journey at Christian College to recognise that they can all bring the light of Jesus’ love into the world.
From the Chaplain…
As we all know, the last couple of years have been different in many aspects and it has been so wonderful to see the courtyards full in the mornings, hallways busy and bustling throughout the day, classrooms full of life and laughter and the smiles as our students flow out in the yard in the afternoons.
However, this is a big shift from what we have been familiar with over the last couple of years. This change can cause mixed emotions of excitement and joy, along with feelings of fear and worry about the unknown.
However, God reminds us that we can go to Him and find peace. He sits with us in the hard times and walks with us as we navigate times that feel overwhelming and unfamiliar.
John 16:33 encourages us in this, saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What’s Happening at Junior School
Week 7, Monday March 14:
Monday March 14 – Labour Day Public Holiday
Monday March 14, 4pm – Bookings close for Student Learning Conferences
Tuesday March 15 – Student Learning Conferences, 4-7pm (Please refer to Edsmart notification)
Wednesday March 16 – Preps attend School due in lieu of Public Holiday
Thursday March 17 – Student Learning Conferences, 4-6pm (Please refer to Edsmart notification)
Friday March 18 – Koala Fundraiser (Casual Dress, Gold Coin Donation)
Week 8, Monday March 21:
Thursday March 24 – Beach Prep (PB, PG, PM, PR)
Week 9, Monday March 28:
Friday April 1 – Assembly; 3R Item
Week 10, Monday April 4:
Thursday April 7 – Beach Prep
Friday April 8 – Easter Bonnet Parade
Friday April 8 – Junior School Easter Service
Friday April 8 – Term 1 Studies Conclude, 2:30pm finish
Student Learning Conferences
Last Friday, March 4th families received an EdSmart regarding the upcoming Junior School Student Learning Conferences.
These important Junior School events provide parents with the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and application in each of their subjects through attending an online Student Learning Conference on either Tuesday, 15th March – 4:00pm – 7:00pm or Thursday, 17th March, 4:00pm – 6:00pm.
To book a Student Learning Conference appointment with your child’s Homeroom Teacher, please access the online booking system at www.schoolinterviews.com.au using our school’s event code. The Online Conference Booking Information document attached includes the event code and full instructions to make your bookings. Bookings close on Monday March 14, 4pm.
Please click on the attached PDF for the steps for parents to participate in the online Teams conferences. We encourage you to forward any queries regarding accessing the online conferences to our IT team by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to sharing your child’s learning at the upcoming Student Learning Conferences.
Junior School will be raising money for the koalas affected in the bushfires in 2020/21. The Year 4 Project Care team have demonstrated kindness and compassion when planning for this event. Our casual dress day will be on Friday, March 18th.
Students will have the opportunity to dress in Animal Onesies, their favourite animals or simply an item of clothing with an animal theme. Students are asked to bring along a gold coin donation.
Looking forward to giving towards this wonderful cause.
Year 3 & 4 House Swimming Carnival Notice
We are looking forward to our Year 3 and 4 students participating in the House Swimming Carnival next Tuesday 15th March at Kardinia Aquatic Centre. Attached is a program of events for your reference.
Students are required;
– to wear house sports uniform (coloured top) and bring their school hat
– to wear or bring bathers, goggles, cap and towel
– bring enough snacks, lunch and drink bottle
– bring sunscreen if they cannot apply school-supplied sunscreen
Please refer to Edsmart correspondence for further information
A reminder that parents are invited to come along and join in the House spirit. All visitors will be asked to remain in viewing areas (provided by Kardinia Aquatic Centre) and to show vaccination evidence on entry.
Preps’ Sporting Adventures
Has your Preppie come home from school on Mondays talking about PMP?
You might be wondering what PMP is? PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) is a movement-based program which is a separate lesson to PE/Health. PMP sessions run for 40 minutes and are held each Monday in the Junior School gym. During a PMP lesson the Prep students rotate around 5-6 different activities. The activities are movement-based and aim to develop a variety of skills which are transferable across all aspects of learning. Some of the skills developed in PMP are hand eye coordination, balance and spatial awareness, agility, tracking, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, rhythm, memory and reasoning.
Our Preppies have lots of fun using all sorts of equipment in PMP. Some of their favourites are the climbing frames, trampoline, ladder, skateboards and bean bag steppers. PMP also provides lots of opportunities to practise sharing, taking turns, persisting through a challenge and trying new things.
Enchanted Investigations in 1B
In 1B we have started a new class novel this week. We are reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. Some of the children have enjoyed this book series before but are excited to read it again. During Investigations some of the students decided to draw on some of the themes from the book. We had some students construct their very own Enchanted Wood, create trees out of Lego and even design their own fairies complete with wardrobes of different outfits!
As a class we have been focusing on including more detail in our writing and ‘painting a picture’ for our readers. This has been a conversation when reading our class novel as well. We love how Enid Blyton creates pictures and images using her wonderful words.
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Carl Sagan
STEAM Fun in Year 3
This week in Year 3 as part of a fun STEAM challenge, the students have been designing a type of vertical marble maze designing and building like engineers. They have concentrated on the engineering component of STEAM and constructing “Gumball Mazes” like the one we read about in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory recently. The students shared their ideas and started by working on their design briefs and some students have moved into the construction phase. Next week we will complete construction, test our designs, and refine them as required.
An important step in the design process is testing and changing elements of the design that don’t work. The design of the marble maze needs to test out the different locations of the straw bumpers to make sure a marble can roll through from start to finish or be trapped in the dead ends. The mazes also allow our students to engage their creative and imaginative skills during the building and testing phases. Students were encouraged to use their imaginations to come up with challenging and interesting designs.
Teach Your Monster to Read – Digitech
‘Monster’ learning is happening in the Prep classes at Junior School this term, with students exploring and discovering the iPads during Digital Technology. Students have been learning how to care for the devices while navigating apps, logging themselves into learning programs, and discussing how we can use computers and technology to help improve our digital literacy within our classroom workspace.
Our Year 4 students have been amazing helpers to the younger students, spending time with their buddies, demonstrating and sharing their own knowledge and experiences, while encouraging the Preps with fantastic peer support.
Such a great start for the Prep students on their digital learning journey!
In-Time Reporting and Feedback
Beginning school and being back in the classroom, establishing friendships, packing a school bag and school lunches can sometimes be quite overwhelming for parents, carers and students alike. Especially after what has been the most incredible years of disruption to routines, patterns and familiarities. However, regardless of whether you are joining us in Prep, and or reconnecting at our Middle Schools or Senior Campus, the partnerships between home and school have demonstrated that children learn best when the significant adults in their lives (parents, carers, teachers), work together to encourage and support them.
At Christian College, feedback about student engagement and progress in learning is an integral component to building the Home / School Partnership. It provides parents, carers, students and teachers with information about learning experiences, and sets a direction to inform future teaching and learning experiences, both in and outside of the classroom. Powerful feedback occurs when the learner understands the gap between their current level of performance and that of their desired performance.
One of the significant benefits of teachers involving families as partners in the feedback cycle, is that parents themselves can provide additional informed support for student learning at home.
At Christian College such feedback is communicated to parents via various mechanisms. In-Time reporting in the SEQTA Engage platform, SEQTA Notifications, sometimes via email, Assessment Tasks themselves, verbally via a learning conference and ultimately on a Student Report distributed at the completion of each semester.
The agile nature of education in the last few years has brought with it some benefits in the use of technology, and this now provides a medium whereby parents and carers can access information at anytime and anywhere from a number of devices. At Christian College we hope to leverage off this benefit to provide more ‘In Time’ feedback regarding student learning, self-management and progression against the learning standards. Not only is this achievable through the SEQTA Engage platform, but for students with a College device, we would also encourage you to sit with your child and their device to view the work they are undertaking in their digital learning platforms, such as the Microsoft Teams App, where overviews of the learning may be visible in the upcoming Assignments feature of Teams.
Please don’t forget that there is also the SEQTA Engage App available for all parents and carers. The SEQTA Engage App is available for download, making details about your child’s learning, feedback and outcomes even more accessible than ever – and via the device of your personal choice. Instructions on how to install the App are linked here.
Parents of students undertaking studies in VCE Units 3 and 4, should note that the mark awarded and displayed by Christian College Geelong for any School Assessed Coursework (SAC) or School Assessed Task (SAT) is a raw score only, and is not the finalised score for the assessment. This mark remains subject to statistical moderation and review by Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).
We look forward to working in partnership with you as you connect with your young person’s progress in learning here at Christian College Geelong.
Notice to all Parents Regarding CSEF Funding
The Victorian State Government runs a program called the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF). As the name suggests, the fund is designed to assist families meet costs associated with school camps, sport and excursions and requires families to apply in each year they have a child who is eligible. Families who have an eligible child will receive $125 per year for a primary aged student and $225 per year for a secondary aged student.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. Please complete a 2022 Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) Application Form and return to your campus administration office by the end of Term 1 please.
Please read the attached letter for further information
Join the Chair of the Foundation Board for lunch on Friday, 8 April 2022 as we celebrate the significance of Easter and learn more about the work of the Foundation.
All funds raised from this event will be allocated to our Scholarship Fund supporting current students who need financial assistance.
Book online today at www.ccgfoundation.org.au/chairslunch
For all enquiries, please contact Jennifer Freind via email@example.com.
Canteen Ordering System
The online canteen ordering system has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The online ordering system as you know it still works the same way, but in the back end, the IT department have been working closely with the vendor to rebuild the product from the beginning.
The biggest issue this will resolve, is the linking of students to their parents. Existing account credits will be moved across to the new version.
We wish to thank all parents for their patience whilst this has been worked through and look forward to receiving your orders electronically into the future.
The IT department will change from the current broken application to the newly rebuilt application during the course of the long weekend.
If you have any issues regarding the online ordering system, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Syd Strauch 15/12/1953 – 05/03/2022
An inspiring teacher and much-loved member of the Christian College community
Our College community was saddened to receive news of the passing of Syd Strauch last weekend who died surrounded by his loving family on Saturday after a brave and courageous battle with illness.
Syd served our College in a range of roles including Deputy Head of Senior School, Director of Student Services, Head of Careers, Burrows House Group Teacher and as a teacher of History. He joined the College staff in 1994 and retired in 2016. He was a teacher whose knowledge, experience and wisdom were well-respected. He was also a man who loved to laugh, was down-to-earth, friendly, always ready with a one-liner or opinion on any number of other things that might enter a conversation…and whose penchant for donning a Hawaiian shirt to mark the first day for teachers after students had left for the year, became well-known.
Principal, Mr Glen McKeeman and former colleagues of Syd at Christian College, Rev. Denis Tomlins and Mr Daryl Pobjoy pay tribute to a man whose impact on Christian College – and in particular our Senior School Campus – along with the lives of thousands of students and staff was, and in many cases continues to be, profound. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Syd’s outstanding capacity as a teacher, together with his remarkable intellect and knowledge of history and global issues underpinned his impact on the countless students privileged to be inspired by his unique and broad contribution to education in Geelong and throughout Victoria over a period of more than 40 years.
A hallmark of Syd’s contribution to the lives of many students was his support and encouragement when providing careers advice and assistance with tertiary applications. He was also a long-term contributor to the Geelong Careers Teacher’s Association.
Syd contributed generously to the lives of his colleagues, providing incredible support to the growth of the professional development programs, curriculum design, the administration of VCE Studies as well as assessment and reporting procedures.
His contribution to College life extended to many sporting, musical, cultural, and collegiate events, participating in camps, tours, and conferences. He certainly left a mark and helped shape our college significantly.
Syd will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by our wider college community as well as many throughout education circles in Geelong, including Geelong High School, where he taught prior to joining Christian College in 1995.
He lived a very full life that we shall celebrate with his family at a Memorial Service at a time to be confirmed.
Our love and sincere condolences as a College family go out to his loving wife Jan, children Jenni, Zoe and husband Josh, Lachie and wife Emily and grandchildren Jack Sydney and Lucy Grace – they are very much in our prayers.
It was my turn to lead Devotions!
As I rose to share some thoughts, designed to offer focus for the commencement of the day, from somewhere in the room a voice proposed an alternative focus; “Anyone know how Arsenal went last night?” From the back of the room came an obviously pained response, “Oh, alright!”
Poor Syd! His team in the UK’s Premiership League had lost. We all enjoyed a laugh, possibly at Syd’s expense yet, before we launched into things of the Spirit, we had been grounded in that brief exchange.
Over the 14 years I was privileged to have Syd as a colleague and friend, I remember and celebrate the comfortable ease with which he negotiated his way through the challenges of establishing a new school, his personable style among the student body, along with the warmth and trust he developed with the College community.
His death is a significant loss for the many he touched throughout his teaching career, and I extend to Jan, Jenny, Lachlan, Zoe and family members, my deepest condolences and prayerful support as you meet the challenges in the days ahead.
Rev. Denis Tomlins
Former Chaplain, Christian College Geelong
Syd and I had similar backgrounds when we both came to Christian College. We each had around 16 years in the State Education system.
Syd’s areas of expertise – History/Humanities, and mine – Physics/Science was not a barrier to our working relationship. We both enjoyed our time as Homeroom teachers in Burrows House.
In 2000, both Syd and I were appointed joint Deputy Heads of the new Senior School Campus. Syd in the role of Student Services and me in Operations. When John Nelson retired as Head of the Senior School, we both had the opportunity to apply for that position but we decided that we were both in the positions we were meant to be in.
When Glen McKeeman arrived as the new Head of Senior School we were appointed Directors of Student Services and Operations which allowed for the position of Deputy Head to go to up-and-coming staff. Assisting and advising new, younger staff was something we both enjoyed.
Syd’s passion for guiding students on career choices was legendary as was his passion for his beloved subject of History.
I have so many great memories of our 20-plus years working together. What a privilege and pleasure to have shared this educational journey with Syd.
The many tributes to him from past students bear witness to his great legacy.
Former Deputy-Head, Senior School Campus
Casual Wood Workshop Assistant Position – Bellarine Campus
Christian College seeks the services of a trade-experienced Wood Workshop Assistant to work at our Bellarine Campus in Drysdale. If you are a hardworking, self-starter who demonstrates initiative and pride, with a passion for helping students and team-first approach, we would like to hear from you.
Duties include taking responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of all worship equipment in safe working order and liaising with teaching staff and administration to ensure materials are ordered and prepared.
This is a casual, one-day per week position with no work during school holidays. Please visit the Employment page on our website for a Position Description and application details (Home > Join > Employment). Closing date: Thursday March 24.
A MYTERN Thought for This Week
The less you judge the road that others are on, the less you will judge yourself. Remember, we never really know what someone else is experiencing.
So be kind and compassionate towards them…as well as yourself. 😊❤️
Discover more about MYTERN here