From the Acting Principal
As we bid farewell to another remarkable year at Christian College, it is a fitting moment to reflect on what a truly unique and special place to which we belong. We are a school made up of five distinct campuses yet bonded together with shared values, a collective call to “Seek First the Kingdom of God” and a philosophical aim to provide an education that not only excels academically but also nurtures the holistic development of each individual. I am proud to be part of this school.
Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of attending all five campus’ end-of-year celebration events, firstly Senior School’s Presentation Afternoon last Tuesday, followed by celebration evenings at Costa Hall for Belmont, Bellarine, Highton and Surf Coast campuses. They each recognised not only the efforts, achievements and contributions of students throughout 2023, but also celebrated the important role that community plays in shaping the hearts and minds of our young people. And each campus was able to do that in its own unique and powerful way. I am truly amazed how each campus was able to put together such a high-quality event at such a busy time of the year.
From the Head of Campus
As we reach the end of another full and rich year across our campus, I write with a strong sense of hope for our future and deep feeling of gratitude for our Middle School – Highton community. Our campus theme throughout the year has been ‘with spirit’ and we had a wonderful opportunity to explore and showcase what this theme has meant to us, during our Celebration Evening on Wednesday night. Music, speeches, award presentations and powerful dramatic performances filled the night, which truly was a celebration of all of us, and that which we have collectively achieved as a united, spirited community in 2023. We then enjoyed a great day of fun and fellowship together, as our Year 5-8 students (and their ‘big kid’ teachers) hit the pools, slides and open spaces of Adventure Park. This morning, we gathered together for the final time as a campus community, for our Christmas Service, led by our Campus Chaplain, Mr Andy Francis. Andy, with a tribe of supporting student speakers, actors and musicians, reminded us of the true gift of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.
As is sadly the case each year, a number of highly skilled, deeply respected and much loved staff have departed, or are about to depart CCG in 2023. This includes our dear friend, Mrs Vicki Hayden, who is retiring from her incredible career in education, including her last 31 years in service to our College. Our wonderful students and staff lined the driveway yesterday afternoon, farewelling Vicki with a ‘guard of honour’ and reminding her of the powerful legacy she leaves here.
What’s Happening at Middle School
Term 1, 2024 Week 1
- Wed 31 Jan – Students Commence Term 1
- Thurs 1 Feb – New Student ID Photos
- Fri 2 Feb – Year 5 Chilli Challenge Day
Year 9 Leaders’ Camp
On Monday and Tuesday this week, the 2024 Year 9 Prefects and House Captains from Highton and Bellarine Prefects had a two-day leadership camp at Back Creek Farm. My personal highlight was joining with the Bellarine leaders and making new connections.
Students loved meeting the animals and the sheep herding brought out some innovative leadership styles, but eventually traditional methods proved the most effective. The guinea pigs were a fun and entertaining way to spend the break times for some of us.
We spent some time doing team and relationship building exercises, doing chores, and taking responsibility for cleaning up. The Shark Tank activity was used for pitching ideas to improve the school as leaders and there were some brilliant ideas from the groups.
It was insightful to reflect on who we are and how others see us in different settings. There was a really positive, supportive environment and I feel like this camp will help set us up to have a successful year.
Elizabeth McLure, Year 8
I loved the dance party and working together in groups with other people and connecting with the Bellarine students. Reece Hornsby, Year 8
I really enjoyed seeing how leadership isn’t just about the badge it’s about the team work and how we can all contribute to the MS community. Benson Flanagan, Year 8
Thank you, Daryl
A few weeks ago, the students of 7H found themselves in a bit of a pickle. They needed cardboard and there was none to be found anywhere. We had none in the classroom and there was none in the usual places we check at Middle School. Daryl came to empty our classroom bins and the students asked him if he knew where we could find any. Daryl very kindly left his scheduled work and came back to us with armfuls of empty boxes. The students of 7H appreciated this so much that they decided to do something special in return and we started a fundraiser called #dollars4daryl. Over the past few weeks, we have collected some money and bought Daryl a gift from his favourite footy team (The Cats!) to go along with a handmade card with messages from us all. On Tuesday afternoon, we invited Daryl to our classroom to present him with his gift, card and a heartfelt “thank you” for everything he does around Middle School every day.
Thanks Daryl, from 7H and all Middle School staff and students.
Life-Changing International Experiences
The College has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Naga Senior High School in Japan for over 30 years. However, due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there was a hiatus of five years with no exchange programs, leaving our students disheartened.
In 2023, resuming of all exchange programs presents our students with enriching opportunities to foster their global citizenship. Hikaruko Ikemoto, a long-term exchange student from Naga Senior High School, has been in Australia since April, immersing herself in new experiences and forging strong connections within our community. During her stay, Hikaruko has formed valuable friendships and gained profound insights into Australian culture through various subjects she has explored.
Highton Students Bring Christmas Cheer
On Wednesday this week a group of students attended St John of God Hospital in Geelong to bring some Christmas cheer to others by singing Carols around the various wards of St John of God Hospital. The students are to be congratulated for their work in preparing for the day and as well as their beautiful singing and impeccable conduct while attending the hospital. Their beautiful singing accompanied by Mr DeMarte on the guitar was appreciated by patients, staff and visitors across the three areas of the hospital that were visited.
All of the singers enjoyed the process of practising and preparing the carols together in rehearsals, over the past few weeks, as well the social experience. They demonstrated excellent teamwork as well as care and compassion.
The performance was well-received, the students gained a great deal from the experience by giving back to the community at lifting the spirits of the patients. It was rewarding for them to bring joy to the audience and create a happy and positive environment through singing Christmas carols.
Congratulations Elizabeth McClure, Piper McKenzie, Lucinda O’Callaghan, Harlow Salajan, Brooklyn Morris, Amelia Standen, Violet Ash and Nieve Smart.
Middle School Brick Club
One of the wonderous things I have been involved in this year is the Middle School ‘Brick Club’. This is a club for Lego enthusiasts that get together during Friday lunchtimes to build together. Whilst our group of students is small, they have had such fun building whether it’s from a kit or an amazing creative build.
One of the great aspects of our ‘Brick Club’ is the student’s interactions with each other, as one of our club rules is ‘you must build as a team’. The collaborative teamwork that comes from this is truly amazing, including the disagreements and compromises that come from working with others.
Our Brick Club uses three roles as the basis for their building groups, engineer, supplier, and builder. The engineer is in charge of reading the instructions, telling and showing the supplier what piece is needed. The supplier hands over the piece to the builder who works on the construction, roles are changed regularly during the build.
This teamwork provides all members with roles to play and the sense of accomplishment once a build is finished is evident in their smiles and eagerness to showcase their finished build on our display table.
I look forward to new members joining our Middle School ‘Brick Club’ in 2024 and joining in the fun!
From the Director of Wellbeing
As we near the end of 2023, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday break. Holidays provide us all with the chance to take a much need rest, connect with family and friends or to engage in many of the life pursuits and hobbies that ‘fill our bucket’. It is important to acknowledge however, that holidays can bring about unique challenges and some unexpected stressors for some members of our school community and so with this in mind it is important to remember that support is always available to you and your family.
In the spirit of promoting a mentally healthy community and to encourage help seeking behaviours, I would like to share with you some information about support agencies available to you and your child during the holiday break.
New Christian College Drama Club coming in 2024!
I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
The Christian College Drama Department is pleased to announce a new initiative in partnership with the Geelong Arts Centre, which will give our students in year 7 to 12 and their families, greater access to a range of professional theatre experiences. The Drama Club will run outside of the school week, on a Saturday or Sunday matinee, with parents and students being able to buy discounted tickets directly from the Arts Centre to allocated performances.
The Drama Club aims to bring together students from across campuses and year levels, to share in a range of theatrical experiences that will challenge, inspire, delight and amaze, as students discover new ways of thinking about the world. It is also an opportunity to support drama students passionate about their studies, who what to learn more and grow as artists.
Co-ordinated by Ms Broad at Highton and Ms Clifford at Senior school, the students and parents involved will have an opportunity to discuss and reflect on each play through pre and post discussions.
Get Some Unique Christmas Cards and Support Williams House
This year Williams House is selling packets of Christmas cards designed by our own little artists!
We are selling our Angel/Shepherd cards for $5 for a pkt of 6 and our Nativity cards are $7 for a pkt of 10. Each packet contains either 6 or 10 different designs.
If you would like to support the kinder and share our creations with the community this Christmas, the cards are available at all CCG campus receptions and of course at Williams House. Payment can be made with cash or card.
We also take over-the-phone orders with direct deposit. Phone 5241 3556
All money raised will go towards making some new additions to our outdoor yards!
We hope you love these gorgeous creations and enjoy sharing them with your family and the community this Christmas!
With thanks from all the children and the team at WH!