From the Principal
Love, Faith and Influence
Last week I attended the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) / Independent Schools of Australia (ISA) National Education Forum in Canberra. The purpose was to discuss matters relating to the vital role that Independent Schools play in the lives of our young people. There are so many aspects to this, and as I listened to political leaders from the major parties, notable speakers in the fields of education, reconciliation, wellbeing, governance, e-safety, and economics, I reflected on the role that Christian College plays in the lives of our young people, and wider College community.
Over more than 40 years our College has influenced and shaped the lives of our students, staff, families, and more broadly, our local, national and global community. It is remarkable to think that in our relatively short history, there are so many people connected with the College contributing to society in so many ways, through wide spheres of influence: business, the arts, theatre, music, sport, medicine, law, science, the environment, recreation, community service, our churches – and more.
Whilst celebrating the life of a former colleague and friend Syd Strauch at his Memorial Service held in the Middle School Chapel last Friday afternoon, I was reminded of the impact that one person can have on a community. It was a privilege to gather with Syd’s wife Jan, his children Jenni, Zoe and Lachlan, and their family, friends, colleagues and many of the students Syd taught, to mark the life of a man who positively influenced the lives of others. Indeed, sadly this year, we have also had cause to reflect on the lives of Major Wilga Morris and Mr Bob Schultz who also passed away earlier this year. Wilga, a former Salvation Army member of our College Board, and Bob, through his involvement as a parent, like Syd, made wonderful contributions to the lives of others by contributing to the life and ministry of Christian College.
Interestingly, the data discussed during the National Forum indicates that increasing numbers of families are making the choice to send their children to Independent Schools. Enrolments in Christian Schools are growing at a significant rate.
In the conversation last week, we explored some of the important factors that challenge our young people and how schools can best meet the complex demands they face. I am convinced as I work each day alongside my colleagues at our College, that we are taking every measure in striving to meet the demands we face to support our students and staff to flourish.
Over the past few years, a significant amount of our energy has been directed toward the area of wellbeing with the lofty intention of seeing individuals and our community flourish. Flourishing might seem to be a fanciful notion in a world that is confronted with the horrific events in Ukraine, the recent floods along the east coast of Australia and a global pandemic. However, flourishing is our aim, and schools like ours can begin by providing the love, faith and influence through our Christian ethos that offer our young people and families a level of hope and peace in these uncertain and unsettling times.
At the recent Prefect Investitures, each Guest Speaker reminded us of the example Jesus is for our lives, whether we have been chosen for leadership or not. Learning from His life reminds us of our call to love and serve others as we seek to find meaning and purpose. And, as I think about that, I think about Syd, Wilga and Bob and what it was about them that we celebrated. It was their love and service to others – that’s why we mark those people’s lives as having been well lived.
The challenge then for schools and families in supporting our young people to flourish is to continue investing in the way we encourage, nurture and model the Christian faith each day.
This week our community has been blessed to have Rev. Tim Costello as our guest. It was a privilege to hear Tim share with our staff and students in various formats and as our Guest Speaker at the Gathering Hope Appeal Luncheon hosted by the College Foundation. His message of hope through a presentation which encouraged us to see the community strength provided through faith, morality and democracy, was poignant in light of current global uncertainty.
One of the first verses I recall learning in Sunday School was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” found in Philippians 4:13. I remember thinking that Jesus was a type of ‘super hero’ to provide such protection and support. As I think about that now I am reassured that despite the challenges that we see in the world, and the difficulties we might individually face, God’s love and grace help us to find a place of peace, contentment and safety in times that shake us.
The notion of a flourishing life is lofty. But with God’s help and influence, it is obtainable and available.
Perhaps this is why more families are seeking and choosing Christian schools for their children?
Harmony Week – From the Head of Junior School
This week at Junior School students have focused on National Harmony Week in their learning across all areas of the curriculum, culminating with a specific focus across countries of the world this morning in homerooms.
Harmony Week is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity and recognise the cultural diversity in the world in which we live. Harmony week is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
In his address, David Hurley Governor-General of Australia describes Harmony Week as being about celebrating one of our greatest strengths – our diversity. He goes on to say “The sum of our different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives make anything possible, and it makes me optimistic about our future.” In his Australia Day address, he speaks about the goodness that exists in our communities, towns and cities across the country and calls it a richness of spirit where “regardless of your cultural background or how long you’ve been an Australian that richness is part of who we are.”
We are blessed to have an ever-growing rich cultural diversity at Junior School Belmont which we celebrate every day. National Harmony Week allows us the opportunity to celebrate inclusiveness as a specific focus and grow our children’s understanding of what it is to be global citizens.
Cyber Safe Schools Program: Parent Update
Parents may recall that in Week 1 of this term I introduced our new Online Safety Hub as part of a new Cyber Safe Schools Program that the College is in the process of implementing. This is in formal partnership with Linewize by Family Zone, providing tools and support for school and home to work together and guide our students in the development of positive digital behaviours.
Over this term, we have been putting in place some new tools at school that will help support and protect students in the digital space while at school and enable teachers and pastoral staff to be empowered to support our students’ wellbeing more effectively going forward.
In my communication earlier this term, I also shared some excitement about some complimentary Family Zone parental tools that will be made available to parents as part of the Cyber Safe Schools Program. 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. I’m pleased to share that these tools will be made available to parents, along with further information about the wider program, early in Term 2.
We’re delighted that these significant preparations to better protect and support our students in partnership with parents are nearing completion. Parents can look forward to the official launch of the Cyber Safe Schools Program in Term 2 as part of a broader wellbeing focus that will provide opportunities for parents to connect, engage and partner with the College to support the wellbeing of our young people while at school and in the home.
Following the upheaval and challenges of the past two years, the need to proactively support our young people in the areas of wellbeing and the development of positive digital behaviours has never been greater, and we’re so excited about the steps we’re taking with parents to meet that need.
2023 Junior School Enrolments
We are currently receiving many enquiries for enrolments for next year (2023).
Places are filling fast and if you have a sibling who hasn’t enrolled at Junior School, and you wish to secure a position, can you please contact the Junior School Office for information on how to enrol using our new Online Enrolment System.
What’s Happening at Junior School
Week 9, Monday March 28:
Monday March 28 – Prep AFL Auskick visit, PMP sessions (please refer to Edsmart notification for details)
Tuesday March 29 – Prep Pyjama Day (please refer to Edsmart notification for details)
Thursday March 31 – Prep Excursion, Narana Cultural Centre (please refer to Edsmart notification for details)
Friday April 1 – Virtual Assembly, 3B Class Item
Week 10, Monday April 4:
Thursday April 7 – Beach Prep
Friday April 8 – Easter Bonnet Parade (please refer to Vine article in this week’s edition)
Friday April 8 – Junior School Easter Service, 9.00am
Friday April 8 – Term 1 Studies Conclude, 2:30pm finish
Term 2, Week 1, Wednesday April 27:
Wednesday April 27 – Students commence, Term 2
Wednesday April 27 – Junior School ANZAC service (please refer to Vine article in this week’s edition)
Friday April 29 – Junior School House Cross Country (Year level times to be advised)
Term 2, Week 2, Monday May 2:
Tuesday May 3 – Junior School Open Day (times tba)
Thursday May 5 – Year 2 Camp, Camp Wilkin Anglesea (please refer to Edsmart notification for details)
Friday May 6 – Mothers’ Day Stall (*please note, Year 2 students will have an opportunity to purchase Mothers’ Day gifts prior to attending camp on Thursday May 5)
Friday May 6 – Assembly (class item tbc)
Community Support Group Update
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all who have volunteered to be partakers of our Junior School Community Support Group via the Edsmart form sent to families earlier in Term 1. We have been overwhelmed by the response and the generous heart of so many within our College community.
Moving forward, a bank of volunteers has been collated. When there is a need identified within our community, we will reach out to our Coordinator Amanda Chester, who will then advise the Community Group what we are in need of. This may include meals, groceries, or other methods of support. Amanda will work alongside Mr Leal, Mrs Braun and Mrs Weigl in communicating any information that will need to be shared with you.
We would encourage each of you in the meantime, that if you know or hear of any significant family needs, please make contact with Junior School Reception on 5241 1565. Amanda Chester, our Coordinator, will oversee the main logistics of the Community Support Group and will liaise with myself and Mr Leal to ensure we are adequately covering the needs. A reminder that any information our Community Support Group receives remains confidential to ensure that our community feels valued, care for and safe.
We will not always require everyone to participate in the provision of support for a family in need, so please be aware that you may not hear from us for some time. Please do not be discouraged by this. We have had such an influx of volunteers and over time we will need to reach out and ask for assistance. Please know that we value your willingness to partner with us to ensure we can continue the ‘Good Work’ within our wonderful Junior School Community.
Junior School ANZAC Service, Wednesday April 27th
The Junior School ANZAC Service will be held on the first day for students in Term 2, Wednesday April 27th. The Service is an annual event on the Junior School calendar, encouraging students and staff to stop and observe the anniversary of the first major military action of Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
Students are encouraged to bring along a posy of flowers/home made wreath (etc) to place at the flag pole during the ceremony. Students are also encouraged to bring along family medals/wartime memorabilia to wear and demonstrate for all Junior School students to see.
Please see following information regarding parents/visitors attending this event:
Due to current restrictions, Parents/visitors attending events at Christian College campuses are required to sign in and present vaccination evidence, (3 vaccinations by Friday March 25th). We are currently determining ways that we may be able invite our community to enjoy this event. Further information will be shared in Week 9.
Time to Dust off the Easter Bonnets!
We are looking forward to Easter Celebrations to conclude the term at Junior School. All students will participate in Easter Services held during the morning on the final day of Term 1, Friday April 8. This will be followed by the Annual Easter Bonnet Parade held later in the day, (time tba).
Parents/carers are encouraged to work with your child to design their Easter Bonnet which will be worn in the parade. There will also be a special visit by the Easter Bunny! Below are photos from past parades for inspiration!
Due to current restrictions, parents/visitors attending events at Christian College campuses are required to sign in and present vaccination evidence, (3 vaccinations by Friday March 25th). We are currently determining ways that we may be able invite our community to enjoy this event. Further information will be shared in Week 9.
Year 1 – Goldilocks and the Three Bears
During this term, the children have been working hard building and demonstrating their language skills. They have been provided with opportunities to consolidate and extend their learning as they have completed a range of activities encompassing the different areas of Literacy.
For instance, as part of our Reading and Writing program, the children were able to read different versions of the fairytale ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. They were encouraged to share their thoughts as they compared the stories, identified the main ideas, and sequenced the key parts.
The children were then set the task of creating a paper bag puppet of one of the characters from the story. They set about applying their creative thinking skills as they used a variety of materials to construct their puppets of ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Father Bear’, ‘Mother Bear’ and ‘Baby Bear’. Their final task was to write a recount describing the processes they each followed in order to create their paper bag puppets. The students enjoyed sharing their creations and written pieces with their friends.
When children can make links in their learning, this helps them to build their understanding and develop strategies to problem solve, as they are presented with new concepts and ideas. In Year 1, we are looking forward to further building our ability to connect our ideas as we learn about the world around us.
A Love of Literature in 3B
This term in 3B we have been exploring a range of literature chosen to enhance our understanding of text structure and specific language features. We have focussed on three texts, each with a different literary focus.
We began our year with ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’, by Roald Dahl as we examined character development and simple narrative structures. This enabled us to begin to examine language structures, such as similes and vocabulary choices within the text. We had a variety of discussions about how the use of language has changed over time and how vocabulary choices used to describe characters have evolved.
Next, we delved into ‘The Iron Man’, by Ted Hughes, a classic text which still has so much to teach in our contemporary context. Students examined the idea of theme and how a range of grammatical features can be used for specific effects. Some of the differences noted between the Dahl and Hughes text were that Dahl relies heavily on adjectives, whilst Hughes uses strong verbs, similes, metaphors, alliteration, repetition, and personification consistently in his writing. This was an interesting observation and is beginning to widen their grammar and writer’s craft choices when creating texts independently.
Finally, we have been studying a rich picture story book called ‘Hello, Lighthouse’, by Sophie Blackall. This award-winning text is a historical fiction text shared using a contemporary lens. As our learning goals have predominantly included building vocabulary and background knowledge of specific topics, we have been focused on lighthouses in our literacy sessions. We have used a range of resources to build our understanding of how and why these structures were significant. Our analysis of Blackall’s text has included sentence and word level investigation, including detailed study of specific prefixes and figurative language.
Students have particularly enjoyed extending their understanding of morphology and particularly, etymology or the origins of words. We have discovered that the English language is influenced by many languages and discovering the root of words is the highlight of our days! For example, did you know that the word ‘astronaut ‘is a Greek root word? The prefix ‘astr’ means star, the ‘o’ is a vowel connective that links the two parts of the word (the ‘o’ gives us a huge clue that it is a Greek root word) and ‘naut’ means sailor. So, the word ‘astronaut’ literally means ‘star sailor’!
Stay tuned for more literary adventures from 3B…
Splish Splash Summer Art
Inspiration, it’s what we all need and finding that magical moment with our students can often deliver fabulous results. Our summer break was not that long ago! The great Aussie summer has to be one of the best times of the year, celebrating and reconnecting with friends and family.
So, in the Art Room we set about reliving those moments by creating expressive art works. Through the early weeks we shared our favourite summer moments. We discussed and explored possible materials we could use. New words like horizon and perspective and even vanishing points were introduced.
The artwork flowed as naturally as summer sun! Art students were asked to paint and draw themselves and their family enjoying a summer’s day at the beach. The works below express so much more than words. To me they evoke a sense of joy and carefree exploration. Many art skills were practised too.
According to Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, ‘hot cognition’ expert, Art has the role in education of helping children become more like themselves instead of more like everyone else.
Have a look for yourself and perhaps you might feel yourself reliving summer and smiling.
Japanese Activity for Harmony Week
Our students in Christian College are provided opportunities to learn that in a world where everyone is included it makes the world a better place. To acknowledge the diversity of all students is the core concept of our Japanese programs and a sense of belonging and the respect for differences are embedded in our daily classroom activities. Harmony Week is a further opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity. We try to create harmony in our classrooms, school, community and country.
To make the week very special, the students wore Japanese traditional summer costumes, ‘yukata’. By wearing ‘yukata’, students not only enjoyed dressing up with the Japanese traditional costumes but also learnt that there are certain rules to wear Japanese costumes and the way they walk while wearing them. They enjoyed this cultural activity immensely.
Swimming Sport News
On Tuesday 22nd March, two Year 4 students combined with a number of Middle School students to compete at the Bellarine and North Geelong Division Swimming Championships.
Amalia Keller swam in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke and Ingrid Lloyd-Johnsen swam in the 50m freestyle and the 50m breaststroke. Both girls swam really well and were well supported by their peers and parents.
We have a number of Middle School students progressing to the next stage at the Deakin District Championships in a couple of weeks time.
Well done to all students who competed and thank you to the many parents who came and supported on the day.
SSV GNB Division Swimming Titles
If our College needed any further reminder of how bright the future is for our CCG Eagles Swimming Program, the evidence was there for all those who were at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre this week.
Competing at this year’s School Sport Victoria Geelong North Division Championships, our College was admirably represented by a combined Team from the Middle School Highton and Junior School Campus and another joint team from the Bellarine and Surf Coast Campus.
Both CCG Eagles Swim teams, made up of 15 students each, enjoyed success on event day, with every student swimming their heart out as they lined up next to other primary schools from around the Geelong region.
Our Sport Faculty would like to sincerely thank and congratulate every student who qualified for these Championships, even those who were unable to actually compete on event day.
Team Managers Nick Rice and myself, Matt Murnane, were very impressed with the energy and encouragement students provided each other between events, creating a buoyant team spirit that no doubt lifted each of our competitors to greater heights than might have otherwise been the case.
After several years where this event has been impacted by COVID limitations, it was also great to have parents and guardians back at the stands, and their positive and calming influence on the students around them was also a valuable contributing factor.
Our College had two relay teams win their races at the Division Event on Tuesday, the first being our 11 Years Mixed Freestyle Relay Team made up of Year 5 Burrows students Alfie Lynch and Lucas O’Brien as well as Penman pair George Kitson and Holly Tucker, who stepped in as a last-minute replacement.
The second relay team to claim the blue ribbons was our 12/13 Years Female Relay Team made up of Year 6 Flynn Falcons Chelsea Ronning and Ava Mousavi, as well as Taylor’s Macey Dow and Burrows Bear Tahlia Steel.
There were also several students who finished in the top 2 of their individual events. This means they have earned the right to compete in the next stage of SSV’s Swimming Program – the 2022 Western Metro Region Championships coming up at Aquatic Centre on April 5.
Burrows Bear Alfie Lynch won the 11 Years 50-Metre Male Backstroke Event in a time of 46.27, while two female students finished second in their individuals events – Flynn’s Chelsea Ronning in the 12/13 Years 50-metre Freestyle Event with a time of 34.92, and Burrows Bear Mikayla Grunberg in the 50 metre Female Backstroke with a time of 45.17.
We wish those students moving onto the Region Titles in just over a week’s time the very best of luck as they compete for a spot in the SSV State Finals.
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
Christian College seeks the services of a Digital Technologies teacher for Terms 2, 3 and 4 this year.
This is a part-time (0.5) position based at our Middle School – Highton Campus. Interested, or know someone who might be? Check our website for a Position Description and application details (Homepage > Join > Employment)
A MYTERN Thought for the Week
In this world of uncertainty , try not to be too influenced by the opinion of others.
It is not THEIR journey. Your journey is unique. Seek advice, but then make sure that you are in control of the roads that you choose to drive down 😊
Discover more about MYTERN here