From the Vice Principal
As the year comes to a close, I wish to thank you, the parents and students, for sticking with us throughout an incredibly challenging season including lockdowns, CL@H, on-site learning, starts, stops, and pauses on various events and activities.
However, I do hope you have been able to reflect on the incredible opportunities afforded to our students, in viewing the vast array of ‘virtual’ celebrations over the past two weeks. The incredible creative talents of our students presented in the Art, Technology & Design Festival, the beautiful music created and shared online from the amazing R.W. Gibson Centre, and the individual Campus Celebration Evenings, acknowledging the ‘Learning That Matters’ for our students, have all been wonderful moments. But most importantly, we have had the opportunity to honour and give God all the glory for what we have collectively been able to share and achieve in 2021.
I wish to commend our whole community for the incredible teaching and learning undertaken this year. Teaching and learning that has occurred at school, in your home, outdoors, in isolation, with family members, and with friends. It has taken grit, determination and resolve to work through each challenge we have confronted. Everyone has gone above and beyond, and we could not have cared for, encouraged, and supported our young people without the partnership of our families. I also wish to thank the dedicated team of incredible teaching and professional support staff, for their tireless work and service to support the learning and wellbeing of our students. My sincere thanks also go to the campus leadership teams who have had to re-think, re-design and re-plan multiple initiatives whilst working within the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines. This has been an exceptional effort from our entire community at Christian College Geelong. Thank you.
As we look toward the end of another year, I think it is important for us to acknowledge, that in life, challenges will always present, in various fashions and forms. It is how we confront and deal with such challenges that can have lasting impacts on our personal health, our wellbeing, and our relationships. Where do we turn in our time of need? I am reminded of Psalm 121. When Jewish pilgrims made their way to the temple in Jerusalem, they had a group of poems they recited together as they travelled, and these poems or psalms were called the “songs of ascent.”
Psalm 121 describes the anxiety pilgrims would sometimes feel while making the trip. Many travellers would pass through Jericho and the road from Jericho to Jerusalem rises almost 1000 metres. The mountain roads were dangerous, robbers and bandits could lurk around any corner, and it was a physically demanding journey.
The Psalm begins by saying, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?” Psalm 121:1. It is easy for us to imagine an anxious traveller eying the ominous mountains ahead and worrying about their safety. Who would protect them? “Where does my help come from?” The Psalm offers an answer to this question.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:2-8
As we continue to face the uncertainties of life, we may ask the same question: where will our help come from? Where will we put our trust? Where can we find hope?
The answer remains the same, our help comes from the Lord. He will never leave us or forsake us; He is never too distracted or too tired to come alongside us. We have eternal security knowing that God is our ever-present help, and we can fully trust in Him.
As you celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Saviour, with your families this year, may you find peace, hope and reassurance in the Lord and His salvation.
I pray that you can enjoy a great time of renewal over the holiday period, relaxing, and reconnecting with family and friends. For those who are travelling, may God grant you safe travelling mercies, just as He did for the pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem.
We look forward with great anticipation to seeing you all in the new year when school recommences for our students on Monday 31st January 2022.
From the Head of Campus – New Beginnings
This week has truly been one of celebration and reflection. As our year draws to a close, we have had the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our Year 4 students as they end their time at Junior School; we have had the opportunity for students to celebrate coming together as a community on Activities Day where fun and fellowship were the focus; and we have had the opportunity to share the year that was, in a unique way during our virtual Celebration evening.
At the Year 4 Graduation service I had the privilege of addressing the Year 4 students with a focus on the notion of New Beginnings. New beginnings are full of excitement, challenge, and opportunities. Our God shows us so many examples of new beginnings. From the very first sunrise in the Garden of Eden to the new heavens God said, “I am making all things new!”
God is in the business of new. New years, new months, new weeks, new days, new hours, new minutes, new seconds. Every moment of every day is another chance to experience the ‘new’ He brings and with that the challenge for us to put on fresh eyes to see the many opportunities and to try out the new. I asked the students to wonder about what their 2022 new beginnings might look like in relation to friendships, spaces and learning to explore, meeting new members of their Christian College family, and discovering new purposes for themselves and how they can love and serve others with the encouragement from Isaiah 40:31 “But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak”.
2021 has certainly been another year where not only our children, but we as adults, have been required to focus on the hope of new beginnings. In meeting the challenges of 2021, I was often reminded of the saying “this too shall pass” with the encouragement to keep our eyes fixed on the grace, mercy and blessings of a God who loves us.
Whatever lies ahead for our beautiful Junior School community in 2022 I know God has us all safe in the palm of his hands. On behalf of the staff at Junior School I wish you all a wonderful, safe, restful and blessed Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Important Calendar Dates 2022…
Monday 17th January – Reception Opens
Monday 31st January – Term 1 Resumes
A Very Special Time of Year
As we draw to the end of another wonderful year of learning that, in many ways has had its challenges, I wanted to leave you with something to ponder in preparation for the Christmas Season and New Year.
Christmas is a special time for me and my family. I love it. The music, the smells, the shopping, and the festivities of carolling and parties. It is a time to celebrate all we have been blessed with and the many things to look forward to in the coming of the new year.
I love decorating the Christmas tree with my family on the 1st of December every year and binge-watching all the magical and amazing Christmas movies we can fit in before Christmas Eve, where our tradition is to watch ‘White Christmas’ followed by ‘Carols by Candlelight’.
Christmas is a time when I can look back on the year that has unfolded and appreciate all that God has blessed me with. I enjoy reminiscing with my family when people have blessed us with their time, their gifts, or their support.
I wonder how you like to celebrate at Christmas time. Do you have a special family tradition? Do you hang a wreath? Go to midnight services? Or simply enjoy having a slower pace at home with the family?
Once again, we have taken on a lot of challenges this year. We have navigated continuous learning at home (multiple times), endured lockdowns and restrictions, had events and special occasions denied and had the loss of social engagement with family and friends.
However, we have ploughed through, determined to not be crushed, not to be defeated. We have raised ourselves up, leaned on others for strength and achieved more than we could have imagined. Helen Keller faced challenges and adversity and was a role model in not giving up. She said “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” I particularly like that last line: ‘together we can do so much’. It speaks of community. Something that rings very true for me when I think of Junior School. The ’togetherness’ this remarkable community of staff, students and parents demonstrate is one filled with love, concern, and support. It is what makes Christian College stand out from other schools.
As you prepare your hearts and households for the Christmas Season, I pray that you remember all the moments of ‘togetherness’ that our school has demonstrated over the year and the many people who have reached out in love to show compassion and care.
I wanted to thank you all for welcoming me to the Junior Campus and for your continuing encouragement and prayers.
Have a wonderful Christmas and may God bless your new year in 2022.
A Year of Prep
We have come to the end of our school year and the Prep children have been reflecting on what they have learnt and loved in 2021!
It has been an interesting journey of learning at home and school and the Preps have been adaptable and flexible in their approach.
The Prep children really do put a smile on your face when you talk to them about their learning and their year. We created calendars for 2022 with all our photos from 2021. This is a great way for us to be able to reflect on the year that was and prepare for the year to come.
Thoughts from Prep R:
Prep is interesting because you get to do lots of fun things and lots of cool learning. – Luna
This year in Prep I have had lots of fun and also I love going to Bush Prep. – Tripa
Prep is great because I like my teacher Mrs Shutie. – Harry
I have had lots of fun learning Maths and I have had lots of fun learning how to write lots of different words and doing different activities. – Patrick
I really like playing with my friends and drawing lots of pictures. – Evie
I have a good teacher and I am thankful that I had a good teacher because I had a good year so I hope the next Year Preps have a good year too. – Jesse
In Prep I have learnt to write well and I love Art. – Zara
Prep is great because I have a great teacher and great friends.– Theo
The activities which have been good is Maths because we learn things which are good. I like doing lots of activities. – Benji
I have learnt how to write and read and how to draw and how to write ‘trenches’ and how to love others because Mrs Shutie has taught me. – Callen
I enjoyed Prep because we get to do lots of fun things like doing our Christmas activities. – Ewan
I like Mrs Shutie and to colour and I learnt Maths and reading. – Jiaai
I really like playing at the playground and learning and I had a fun time learning. – Mitashya
I like going around at Beach Prep and playing in the playground. – Cruz
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in Year 1
We have been learning about the Nativity in Year 1 this term. Every week we have added a special coloured bead to our ‘Nativity Bracelets’ to help us remember all the most important parts of the story.
We first added the pink, orange and white beads which represent the amazing messages the angel delivered to Mary and Joseph informing them of the impending birth of the Son of God.
After that we added the grey and brown beads which remind us of the important roles the donkey and the stable played in the birth of Jesus.
Next, we celebrated the birth of Christ with the clear bead. We then learnt that after the birth of Jesus the angels then visited the shepherds in the field. We represented this on our bracelet with the green bead.
We added the yellow and the purple bead on next, which remind us of the Wise Men following the Star to Bethlehem.
Finally, we rang out the good news by adding a little bell. We enjoyed retelling this amazing story to our friends in Christian Education.
The students in 1B hope that all Junior School families have a safe and happy Christmas season!
A Year 3 Winter Wonderland
As part of our Christmas end of year celebrations students in Year 3 have been making beautiful Christmas Winter Forest centrepieces using a range of natural and man made Christmas decorations and various craft items. The students have thoroughly enjoyed creating their masterpieces and it has been wonderful to see what Christmas looks through their eyes in their representations of a ‘Christmas Winter Wonderland’.
The students have been thrilled with the end results and are very much looking forward to bringing them home.
Year 4 Pizza Lunch
On Thursday 2nd December, the Year 4 cohort came together to join in a pizza lunch and dance, hosted by the Year 4 Enhancement & Enrichment (E&E) Group. The E&E group had spent Term 4 working towards coordinating the event and were supported through an inquiry-based process that explored identifying character strengths and the application of these to a real-life experience.
Students applied for roles in different domains, identifying the relevant skills and talents they possessed that would benefit not only themselves, but the planning process and the group as a whole. Students were assigned individual roles that included Communications Coordinator and Master of Ceremonies (MC) where they developed collaboration, negotiation and time management skills. Emotional regulation and building resilience were a key focus where skills to foster these aspects of Wellbeing were explicitly taught.
The Luncheon was a great success with the E&E group working together to bring the event to life for their peers. Year 4 cohort enjoyed this special time together, with a highlight being a dance with their Homeroom Teachers.
Congratulations to the Year 4 E&E group for a successful event, one that marks the end of students’ time at Junior School.
As the school year quickly comes to an end, I thought I would share a few thoughts and recommendations for reading over the Summer. I always look forward to my holiday reading time and hope we can develop that same love in our students. Holidays are a great time to enjoy a ‘balanced diet’ of relaxing activities including reading. So please find below a few suggestions of holiday reads for our students…
1. Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, this book is set in Snorkel Bay Caravan Park over the Christmas holidays, a delightful and entertaining read (8-12 years old)
2. Eliza Vanda’s Button Box by Emily Rodda, this is a magical mystery story set in Tidgy Bay where Milly’s life is about to be turned upside down by the arrival of Eliza and some magic. 8+
3. Wandi by Favel Parret is based on a true story about a rescue dingo pup. Favel is a local Surfcoast writer who has won numerous awards for her adult books. 7+
4. Audio Books are available through the Geelong Regional Library free of cost and may provide some entertainment on a long car trip!
5. Finally, it may be time to get your classic books out and introduce them to your children…I’m thinking Trixie Beldon, Famous Five and Secret Seven. Mysteries are always popular for adults and children alike over the Summer.
Happy reading and warmest wishes for a safe and restful Summer.
The G.A.T.EWAYS Challenge
On the 1st of November four Year 4 students competed in The G.A.T.EWAYS Challenge, an exciting team-based competition for students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Over the course of this term our Junior School team, called the JS Eccentric E-Types, travelled to our Surf Coast Campus to compete in challenges with other schools. G.A.T.EWAYS Challenge provided a facilitator who guided students through the process.
Each challenge had a different focus and required the team to use their various strengths to support each other in finding solutions. Each student soon learnt each other’s strengths and relied on their remarkable team work to tackle each challenge. The challenges for this year were:
- Calling Creative Cartographers
– Mix-Up on Mt Olymusaurus
– Rewilding Ark Island
– Loopy Lucy and the Laptops of Lunacy
The challenge began and the JS Eccentric E-Types worked through each of the challenges with only 30 minutes to find a solution. It was testing and at times exhausting, but they never gave up and showed phenomenal resilience and persistence.
The day ended with a badge and certificate presentation plus a special message from Peter Hitchener from Channel Nine News!
Congratulations to our inaugural Junior School Team.
Christmas Inspired by Nature and Culture
Nothing beats the love and care that a handmade artwork represents, and these are objects that are timeless and meaningful.
Our students had a lovely time making a Christmas decoration, as a part of Activities Day, that was inspired by nature’s patterns in snowflakes. They also explored the Mandala or Circles of geometric pattern that represents wholeness, totality, infinity, timelessness, and unity.
Students were fascinated to learn that every snowflake, or rather snow crystal, is unique. Also, that very snow crystal starts as a tiny hexagon. From there, branches begin to form at each of the six corners, and a crystal’s shape begins to emerge. Crystals experience a range of differing temperatures and humidity while sailing through the clouds, each of which contribute to the shape and details of the snow crystals’ six arms. Some students were able to make the connection that like a snow crystal, each person is unique and shaped by their journey.
Students also participated in our inaugural pavement Christmas tree Art. The perfect way to bring in Christmas cheer around the school.
Find below some beautiful examples.
The Christmas art sessions complimented other activities on this special day, including an incredible big screen movie experience at the front roundabout, a hot dog lunch and dance parties led by Geelong’s very own Piano Bar Andrew Pobjoy.
If you have any spare time and you would be interested in contacting some new readers. Please contact reception on the 17th of January 2022.
Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Old House Polos Now Phased Out
Today (December 3) was the last day that students could wear the old style House polo tops. After a three-year phasing-in period, the new style House polo tops will be required to be worn by all students. They are available through our uniform shop at Centreway Arcade in Belmont, or visit our online shop here.