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 Deputy Head of Senior School
Week 2 of the Term has seen us launch back into our House programs at Senior School. Our focus for the first few weeks of term is on Vaping and Positive Coping Strategies under our “Making Good Choices” banner. During House Group time, students have begun exploring some of the facts and myths about vaping, as well as the short and long-term effects. Subsequent lessons will delve into how e-cigarette companies are targeting young people through advertising, as well as how our students can say no if they feel pressured to vape, and learning about positive coping strategies rather than turning to risky or unhealthy behaviours in times of stress. We encourage you to pick up these conversations with your child around the dinner table or in the car on the way home from school, sport or part-time work. We truly believe that the best outcomes for our students come when we work in partnership with our families and want to keep you informed of what we are speaking to your child about so that we can support them together. From Week 4 our focus will shift to “Diversity & Inclusion” as we learn more about our First Nations people in line with Reconciliation Week. If you are interested in learning more about our House Wellbeing Program, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s Head of House.
Alongside our Wellbeing Sessions, each House has begun gearing up for House Choir as we look towards our House Music Carnival on June 2. The House Choir has a long and vibrant tradition at Senior School, and after two years of hiatus the mantle has been passed to our current cohort of Senior School students – none of whom have fully experienced House Choir in all its glory. Songs have been chosen and Houses have had their first sing-alongs; we can’t wait to see how well they perform in a few weeks’ time.
Parent Welcome Evening
We also wish to extend an invite to all parents on the evening of Tuesday May 17 for our annual Parent Welcome Evening. Whilst we were unable to host this in Term 1, we did not want to miss the opportunity for parents to connect with their child’s teachers, including their House Mentor, as we believe this is an important part of developing the vital partnership between teachers and parents. This informal event will provide an occasion to put ‘names to faces’, build relationships and connect with some of the key people in your child’s life at school, including Campus Leadership, Heads of House and Chaplains. We welcome you from 5:30 until 7:00pm. Please put this event in your calendar, more details will be emailed to families at the beginning of next week.
Students have made a positive return to school with regards to uniform, and we thank students and their parents for supporting our community to continue meeting these expectations. As mentioned during Term 1, we see the neat and appropriate wearing of the uniform to be an important aspect of being a member of our community; not only for its ability for students to show respect for themselves and pride in the school, but also for its ability to offer boundaries, stability and accountability for students, which are important elements in adolescent development.
We wish to remind parents and students that next week marks the transition to full winter uniform for those students who are wearing the traditional uniform. This includes trousers or kilts with tights, long sleeve shirts (tucked in) and ties. For students who have made the transition to the new wardrobe, there is flexibility with which items are worn, however long sleeve shirts should always be worn with a tie. For both the traditional uniform and new wardrobe, the blazer is a compulsory item and should be worn to and from school. As the weather begins to turn cold it is timely to remind students those items of clothing that are not part of the uniform should not be visible, this includes hoodies and undershirts, and non-College beanies and scarves.
We understand that some families choose to take holidays within the school term. Whilst this is your prerogative, we recognise that, naturally, this can impact a student’s learning and progress. The College discourages mid-term holidays for this reason. Please be aware that, for students who are absent due to a family holiday, staff are not expected to make alternative arrangements for the delivery of content or for assessment tasks. Students who are absent will be able to access missed content and learning tasks through the usual channels utilised by their subject teachers (class OneNote and Teams channel) and missed assessment tasks will take place in the regular after-school sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please continue to communicate with your child’s House Mentor or contact the Student Office in advance when there is a planned absence. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Important dates for Senior School
Sunday 8 May – Mothers’ Day
Monday 9 May – Presentation Ball Rehearsal 1 (6.30 – 8.30 pm)
Monday 9 May to Thursday 12 May – Year 11 OES Grampians Program 1
Tuesday 10 May to Friday 13 May – Year 11 OES Grampians Program 2
Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 May – Shrek the Musical
Friday 13 May – GISSA Athletics
Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 May – VCAL Urban Camp
Tuesday 17 May – Senior School Welcome Evening
Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 May – Year 11 OES Grampians Program 3
Wednesday 18 May to Friday 27th May – Year 10 First Nations Trip (Finke)
Excursions are Back!
Last Friday the Unit 1 Studio Arts’ students were treated to a trip to view artworks in the galleries of Melbourne.
There was a real sense of excitement amongst the students as we boarded the bus, as for many of them it was their first excursion in two years, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Our first port of call was to visit The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank. At this gallery we were treated to an exhibition of solely sound works presented in two installation spaces. The students then had their lunch outside in the Malthouse Theatre gardens.
We then walked to The National Gallery Of Victoria in St Kilda Road to view the numerous exhibits on all three floors, these encompassed ancient art right through to contemporary works .
Our last visit was to the Australian campus of The National Gallery of Victoria in Federation Square. Here we viewed Top Arts. This exhibition showcases the exceptional work and folios of students who have completed Studio Arts as part of their Victorian Certificate of Education in an extraordinary past year.
The day was truly a feast for the eyes. The students were elated to once again be able to leave the
Year 10 Gene Science at Biolab – Coded for Success
On Monday, Year 10 Gene Science students attended a program at Biolab to investigate links between genetics and sporting success. The session began with students measuring their own grip strength, vertical leap and flexibility, which are examples of traits that can predict potential success in specific sports. Students then focused on the gene for flexibility and two different types of the gene (called alleles) that confer either normal or super flexibility. The students used restriction enzymes, micropipettes, centrifuges and gel electrophoresis, all techniques, and technologies of the molecular scientist, to analyse DNA of elite athletes from table tennis, AFL, marathon running, rowing and gymnastics. This allowed the students to determine which athletes carried which forms of the flexibility gene and how it related to success in their chosen sport. There was discussion of the potential for screening to select individuals for sports to which they are particularly suited, prior to them even trying the sport. There was also discussion around how these technologies are used to screen for susceptibility to particular diseases, before any symptoms have even started to develop.
The excursion was a great opportunity for students to extend their learning and apply their understandings in a real-world context.
How Studying History can Help Understand the Present
Roe vs Wade and the American Constitution
This week in Year 12 Revolutions the students have been learning about how the Constitution of the United States of America came to be. Following the challenges the new nation faced under the Articles of Confederation, the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 sought to re-set the foundations. Importantly, this convention would set the stage for contemporary issues in America as well.
As a part of this class, students were asked to consider the speculation around the overturning of Roe vs Wade- how did history lead to this moment?
The Philadelphia Convention set in place the relationship between national and state governance, but as the history of America reveals, this is a contested relationship. The question of whether states should be able to govern themselves was really the same question that the revolutionaries asked back in the 1700s.
The American Constitution set in place a series of checks and balances between the Legislature (Congress and Senate), Judiciary (Supreme Court) and the Executive (President), which as you can see from their diagrams, are confusing and complex. Using these relationships, students speculated over the potential next steps the Executive or Legislature could take in response to the Supreme Court rescinding Roe vs Wade.
We also discussed the shortcomings of this system of governance, particularly what happens when one party is in charge of multiple levels. For example, the second President John Adams was the first to ‘stack’ the Supreme Court with Judges who were inexperienced but would approve of his agenda for the country.
Finally, the class unpacked the world views that were engrained within the Constitution. Despite the concept of ‘separation of Church and State’, the influence of Christian ideals is clear. So which ‘church’ was supposed to be separate from State?
In History, we don’t shy away from these tough and challenging issues. The classroom is a great space to objectively examine how something came to be. History students need to be curious, asking questions about the connections between their historic topic and the modern world. In the Revolutions classroom, we not only learn about the events of the American revolution, but consider how the event continues to echo in contemporary issues as well.
Eltham HS Concert Bands Visit
On Monday May 2 the Senior Music Department hosted the concert bands from Eltham High School for a day of musical collaboration, rehearsals and performances. The Eltham High School Band Program is recognised for its excellence and one that we have a long standing relationship with. The CCG Senior Wind Symphony travelled to Eltham at the end of last term to commence learning some performances pieces and on Monday afternoon the bands combined to form a band of over 100 musicians. We had a great day together sharing our love of music & the respect that we share for both programs.
Mr Rankin and I would like to congratulate all of the members of the CCG Wind Symphony on their great work and participation in Monday’s event with Eltham High School. We are very proud of you and had great joy conducting the band!
Thanks to the parents, families and friends in the audience, and special thanks to our parent volunteers who helped us make 220 burgers! – we really get a buzz playing for you and appreciate everyone taking time out of their busy schedules to join us.
Science Talent Search at CCG 2022
Students at Christian College Geelong in Years 5-10 students are invited to participate in the 2022 Science Talent Search (STS).
The Science Talent Search has three broad aims:
- To stimulate an ongoing interest in the study of sciences by:
- encouraging independent self-motivated project work amongst students of science.
- giving students the opportunity to communicate their achievements to a wider audience.
- according recognition of effort and achievement in a scientific enterprise.
- To promote the direct involvement of the students in the processes of science and its communication.
- To give the public at large an opportunity to see the quality of work being achieved in science, by both primary and post primary students.
CCG is pleased to offer the following sections in 2022.
- Creative writing
- Working models
Detailed information about each section can be obtained from your science teacher.
Entry fees will be covered by the school.
The number of entries across the school is capped, so students are encouraged to submit registrations to their science teacher as early as possible. Registrations are made by filling in the student registration form and handing in to your science teacher.
Registrations close: Friday 20th May
Closing date for entries: Friday 15th July
Participating students will complete their entries individually or in a group of 2 in their own time. Support will be available from their science teacher and at optional lunchtime sessions.
For more information please see your science teacher, or email Mrs Huddart, Director of Teaching and Learning – Science email@example.com
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
Discover more about MYTERN here