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.
From the Chaplain
During our Staff Service at the commencement of Term 2, one of our Middle School Campus Chaplains Mia Kafieris spoke about the significance of ‘Befores & Afters’ in our lives. These are moments that impact the way we see, think or feel and can significantly alter the course of our lives. Things like getting married, starting a new job, first days of school and last days of school all have a period of time that is before and then an after. As we step into the ‘after’ of something, our perspectives can change, our knowledge can grow as we experience new things and the way we live can shift through the things we experience. Another one of these ‘Before & Afters’ is Easter.
We spoke a lot about the ‘before’ as we approached Easter, so what does that after look like? What did that significant event of Easter do to our future? Well, the book of Paul explains that we now get to enter into God’s grace and forgiveness because of what Jesus did for us. We can also have a steadfast hope for the future and find confidence in how much God loves us by looking at His actions lived out through Jesus and the incredible act of love we witnessed all that time ago on Easter Sunday. Through the journey of life, both in times of joy and in times of heartache and pain, we can hold on to this hope and peace we have been gifted. We may not rejoice because of our sufferings, but we can rejoice in them, knowing that we get to live our lives in the ‘after’ of the wonderful event of Easter.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
What’s Happening at Junior School?
Term 2, Week 3, Monday May 9:
Monday May 9 – Mothers’ Day Tabloid Sports (please refer to Vine article in this week’s edition and EdSmart broadcast for more information)
Tuesday May 10 – Friday May 13 – Year 3 NAPLAN (please refer to EdSmart notification for details)
Tuesday May 10 – Prep 50 Days Celebration (please refer to EdSmart notification for details)
Thursday May 12 – Bravehearts visit, Prep – 2 students (please refer to EdSmart notification for details)
Thursday May 12 – Bush Prep, Prep B,G,M,R
Friday May 13 – Year 3 & 4 students to attend CCG’s production of Shrek The Musical, R.W.Gibson Centre of Music Performance, Senior School
Week 4, Monday May 16th:
Wednesday May 18th – Prep Incursion, Magic story Journey (please refer to EdSmart notification for details)
Friday May 20th – Assembly, 3R Class Item
Friday May 20th – Timor Leste Independence Day, Casual Dress in colours red, white, black and yellow. Gold Coin donation.
Week 5, Monday May 23rd:
Monday May 23rd – Emergency lockdown and drills
Wednesday May 25th – National Simultaneous Storytime, ‘Family Tree’
Thursday May 26th – Junior School Arthur Reed Photos (individual and class, details to come)
Thursday May 26th – Bush Prep, Prep B,G,M,R
Friday May 27th – Friday June 3rd – Reconciliation Week
Mothers’ Day Tabloid Sports: Monday May 9th
Junior School is excited to once again be hosting the annual Mothers’ Day Tabloid Sports and Sack race. This will be held on Monday 9th May commencing at 1.45pm. Year 4 students will be organising and conducting games and activities for the Prep to Year 3 students. Families are welcome to come along and watch and support the students.
We have scheduled the Sack Race for 3:00pm and we are hoping to have some great support from the mothers and grandmothers from within our school community. We encourage you to pre-register for the Mothers’ Day Sack Race before the day by sending your name and the name of your child/grandchild to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is one of the highlights on the school calendar and we hope you can come and support this event!
Mum’s the Word!
Thanks to the incredible team of parent wrappers and helpers led by Mrs Kate O’Halloran, our students had an amazing time selecting gifts for mums and special friends at the JS Annual Mothers’ Day Stall. The Chapel was buzzing with excited conversations, our young shoppers clinging to their carefully selected gifts.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all of our special mums, grandmothers and women in our Junior School community. Wishing you all a relaxing and wonderful day with your families on Sunday.
Year 1 Urban Upcycle Materials Incursion
Towards the end of last term and the beginning of this term, the Year 1 classes have been learning about materials in our Integrated Studies topic called ‘Bend, Stretch, Twist’.
The children have been provided with opportunities to experiment with a range of materials such as, rubber, plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, metal, and fabric. Throughout our investigations, the children have been using specific vocabulary to describe the properties of these materials, such as flexible, hard, soft, strong, fragile, man-made, natural and bendable.
On Monday, we were fortunate to have Nicole from Urban Upcycle visit us to discuss the importance of recycling and reusing materials rather than throwing them out.
As part of this visit, the students were provided with an array of materials that would normally be considered ‘rubbish’ and set the task of making something new. It was wonderful to see the children’s creativity shine during this time!
Some of the creations included robots, airplanes, dolls houses, castles, rabbits, and dogs.
Camping Adventures in Year 2
Despite the poor weather forecast, nothing could stop the Year 2 students from approaching their first ever school camp experience with excitement, determination, perseverance, and resilience.
For nearly 60 students, Camp Wilkin in Anglesea was an accommodating and comforting home away from home where fun and adventure were had in abundance. Whether it was swinging on the flying fox, navigating their way across the low ropes course, or trying to hit the target with a bow and arrow, the students faced all challenges with a positive mindset and a desire to support and encourage their peers.
And, whilst these young people certainly returned home tired and ready for a great big cuddle with someone they love, they were also filled to the brim with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Well done, Year 2! Your teachers are ever so proud of you!
Year 2 – Masters of Measurement
Although Mathematics might not be every student’s favourite subject, Measurement topics are ones that many students really enjoy.
This was certainly the case for our Year 2 students who were immersed in hands-on activities where they used informal units to examine the concepts of mass, length, capacity and area.
For this topic, students worked in small groups to use pan-balances to discover how many counters, compared to unifix cubes, had the same mass as everyday items such as glue sticks. They explored how squares are a perfect unit for comparing the area of two different objects, and they used units such as teaspoons and cups to compare the capacity of various containers. Activities were designed around helping the students to select appropriate units for measuring, and developing the language associated with measurement.
At the end of their experiences, the students had a greater appreciation of the importance of taking care when counting and using accurate measurements. Comments such as, ‘It is important to make sure that the units we are using to measure are all the same size’ and ‘Counters must have a smaller mass than the unifix cubes because we had to use more of them to balance the pans’ were important takeaways from what appeared, on the surface, to simply be a lot of fun.
Year 4 – ‘If I was Prime Minister’
‘Solving homelessness’, ‘providing free vet services for all pets’ and ‘developing flying public transport’ were just some of the decisions to improve our great country if the students in 4R were to become Prime Minister. After reading the text ‘If I was Prime Minister’ by Beck and Robin Feiner, students linked their understanding of rules and laws and the role of governments, which we have been studying in Integrated Studies, to create three new ‘laws’ for our country that would help its citizens.
In addition to this, students created an image out of 2D shapes depicting themselves as the next Prime Minister. This activity enabled the students to demonstrate their understanding in a creative way with some impressive results. Who knows, one of our Year 4 students may just become a future Prime Minister of Australia. Watch this space…
Kimonos in Year 2
In Year 2, we have been learning about colours in Japanese. The children designed and described their own kimono creation using these new words. They demonstrated great design flair and creativity in their own kimonos. To allow students the hand on experience of what a real kimono is like, Valent Sensei from Surf Coast Campus brought her amazing collection of children’s kimonos to Junior School.
Our Japanese assistant, Shizue Nakayama, was amazing at being able to pick kimono and matching obi (waist tie) and get all the students kitted out in their kimonos in our lesson. This has been a highlight for many students who ended up on the monkey bars or playing soccer at lunch time dressed in their kimono. It was wonderful to have this real experience with Japanese items. We will borrow them again later in the year so other year levels can have fun with them too.
What We’re Loving in Library
The Wild Life – a berry long walk. By Laura and Philip Bunting.
Both Laura and Philip have written and illustrated some of the most beloved books in the Library. Many of their picture books have won awards and are extremely popular, Mopoke, Not Cute and Koalas eat gum leaves to name just a few. Philip and Laura have just released The Wild Life Book 1 in a new series. This is ‘a longer picture book’.
This is a quote from their website
“We Buntings love picture books (everyone knows that!), our only quibble is that they’re often over way too soon. Our aim for the Wild Life series was to apply picture book principles (E.g. fewer words, full illustrations, fun!) to a long-format children’s book. The result is a berry long picture book! Set out over eight chapters and a whopping 160 pages, The Berry Long Walk is a story for any picture book purists ready to take a step up.”
I will be very interested to hear how this new book is received by our students and families alike. The Buntings hope that their book will appeal to a variety of ages and be a book the whole family can enjoy together.
Lego Masters Competition
Lego Masters started with a bang this week here at Junior School. We had 21 teams of three from Year 3 and 4. The competition was fierce, and we had some very impressive creations. The results were incredibly close.
The challenge was to build the highest free-standing structure in just 20 minutes.
3rd Place with a tower 110cm tall: The Chicken Nuggies (Will, Hugh and Charles in 4B)
2nd Place with a 111cm tower: Among Us (Ollie, Dexter and Dorian in 3G)
1st Place with a tower standing at 112cm: The Vortexes (Feivel, Henry and Charlie in 3B)
Thank you to all our participants! I look forward to seeing you in Week 4 for our second challenge. Next week, it’s Prep – Year 2’s turn!
A reminder if you or someone you know would like to donate unwanted Lego please free to drop it into the office!
Specialised Chess Coaching
A reminder that Chess For Schools began this week. Junior School students for many years have enjoyed learning how to play chess and meeting like-minded students as they practise their techniques during lunchtime.
Chess For Schools will visit Junior School on Monday lunchtimes. If you would like to register your child to participate in the lunchtime sessions please visit www.chessforschools.com.au. Registrations are available to students currently in Years 2,3 and 4.
See Chess Club Information for further details.
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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