From the Acting Head of Campus
This week I received a phone call from a gentleman named Brad who had been travelling through Central Australia with his young family. He was ringing to let me know that he had come across a group of our Year 10 students on two occasions, once in a caravan park in Alice Springs, and once in a caravan park in Yulara. He said that in his 20 years of travelling he had never encountered “a more well-behaved group of students.” He said our students were incredibly respectful and polite, and recounted a story of our students supporting his 2-year-old child to use the waterslide at the caravan park. The fact that he had taken the time to call and share this feedback was evidence of the impact this group of students had upon him and his family. Of course, we know that our students are pretty special, and we know that, through our partnership with parents, we are supporting our young people to develop characters that allow them to have a positive impact on those with whom they come into contact.
Senior Food Studies
Year 10 Food Studies
In Term 2 the Year 10 Food Studies students have been working on their student-led garden projects. These projects aim for students to consider the importance of food in daily life and investigate the links between food, food processing, nutrition, and health in an environmentally sustainable way. These projects have complemented their cooking experiences and have also involved general garden duties such as weeding, planting, and harvesting. As part of this work, students celebrate the end of each garden project session with a student led BBQ. Inside the kitchen, students have been exploring dishes from around the world. In groups, students discuss and challenge their creative thinking about how these dishes may/may not become fused in preparation for their upcoming Multicultural Fusion design task.
Unit 1 Food Studies
The Unit 1 Food Studies students have been learning about the characteristics of food production and consumption among Victoria’s first peoples, prior to European settlement. Students have been achieving this by learning about a range of foods and flavourings available to Australia’s first peoples and researching the tools and technologies they used in food production, prior to European settlement. Students have been cooking with roasted wattle seed, kangaroo meat, lemon myrtle tea, wild herb salt, mountain pepper, aniseed myrtle, saltbush and warrigal greens.
Business Management – Operations
On Wednesday and Friday last week, our Unit 3/4 Business Management students visited the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie in Bellbrae. The Chocolaterie is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state and they make all 800 of their different products on site. Although we would have liked this excursion to be all about eating chocolate and ice-cream, there was some serious business to be looked at.
The excursion provided students with an opportunity to see how the concepts covered in Area of Study 3 – Operations Management are applied to a real-world manufacturing and service business. The students were able to view the production processes, find out how quality is maintained, and see the practicalities of managing inventory. It was also good for the students to see the Chocolaterie’s commitment to environmental sustainability and to appreciate the practical steps that businesses can take to reduce their environmental impact.
Naturally, there was also lots of chocolate eaten as students were given samples of dozens of different chocolate flavours. I suspect there was also a fair bit of chocolate given to our mums for Mother’s Day as I noticed quite a few students stocking up on the goodies available.
Year 12 Literature Theatre Workshop
“Exit, pursued by bear.” And so goes what is arguably the most famous Shakespearean stage direction in history, and fortunately for our Year 12 Literature students, it features in our current text The Winter’s Tale. On Tuesday the class had the valuable experience of witnessing the play deconstructed and examined by visiting performers Andrew Blackman and Sarah Clarke from the ‘Complete Works Theatre’ company. The workshop involved performing select scenes and then engaging the students in discussion and debate regarding their meaning and significance. The jealous Leontes and his wife Hermione were scrutinised, and the different ways in which the same scene may be interpreted further consolidated the students’ grasp of the importance of interpretation in any play’s reception. Students will be completing assessment tasks that involve closely examining scenes from the text, giving them the opportunity to see them brought to life and adding to their awareness of the complexity of theatre and performance. For now, I am sure I speak on behalf of the class in saying that we will continue to enjoy the text, despite the injustice inflicted by a “jealous tyrant”, remembering the sage words of character Mamillius “A sad tale’s best for winter”.
Propagating and Planting Native Trees
The year 12 VCE VM students collected manna gum seeds at the College’s Back Creek Farm last year. They have grown the seedlings in the greenhouse they built. Once the seedlings germinated, each plant was moved into individual tubes to grow into a suitable size for planting. Manna gum and Yarra gum were selected because they are indigenous to the Scotsburn area.
Six students participated in the planting in early May. Dan Frost, a local horticulturist educated us in planting techniques such as how to prepare the soil, the correct depth for planting and most importantly, how to place protective guards around the seedlings.
The students understand that they are making a meaningful contribution to the environment by planting trees. They realise that the planting of trees will help to combat global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide, removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.
All up – a sunny and successful day.
Year 10 Our World – the Central Australia Experience
Year 10 Our World classes have recently returned from their 11-day Central Australia experience. This year we were able to reconnect with both the Finke and Alcoota communities and although there were many highlights for staff and students, spending time in the community always stands out and is at the heart of the program. Not being able to visit Finke for the last 3 years made me realise the importance of this relationship. I was able to reconnect with community members who were excited to welcome Christian College back again. They shared with me the excitement their own son/daughter’s felt prior to our arrival and the joy they felt watching everyone enjoying each other’s company, either inside the classroom, in country, or on the sports fields. It is important that we recognise all the staff who have helped make these programs possible, you went above and beyond your roles as teachers, driver, chaplains, and leaders and ensured everyone had a positive experience. We would also like to thank the students for continuing the positive relationships that we have been building for the past 15 plus years. The coming weeks’ Vine articles will feature a series of student reflections from the Central Australia programs.
Cassidy Hurrell, Director of Outdoor and Environmental Studies
Thanks to Bella Lynch for this week’s reflection:
“Today we headed out bush! I learnt so many amazing things from the kids and elders in the community. It astonished me just how clever these little kids are in their own way, knowing so much about the land and its purposes. We were shown honey flowers, emu & dingo tracks, Tjala holes (Honey Ants), and plants that we could draw on our faces with. I got to try a Tjala today, which was amazing. Again, I was so amazed by how much the kids, even the littlest ones, like Avery and Frida, knew about the land.” Bella Lynch
Mindful Mondays in May – the Power of the Wool
Continuing our Mindful Mondays in the Library, students and staff created a gorgeous macrame wristlet. Macrame is the art of tying knots to create beautifully patterned pieces of work. Macrame has a soothing effect on the mind, focusing on the task at hand allowing a person to feel positive emotions and calmness. The feeling you get after you complete your art boosts your self-esteem and confidence.
‘Mindfulness’ simply means paying attention to the present moment. Practising mindfulness can help you to cope with tough times in your daily life and can help you to relax, concentrate and be more productive, all which are so important to both students and teachers.
Being mindful has so many physical and emotional health benefits. It’s known to decrease stress and sadness while increasing focus and happiness.
Aside from feeling great, practising mindfulness is associated with changes in the structure and function of the brain. It aids in changing our response to stress. Mindfulness helps lower blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, and more importantly for students – improves sleep and concentration. It gently helps you focus and relax.
During the month of May, students have learnt several different mindful techniques that they can put into practice to help assist with anxiety, depression and insomnia. Crafts incorporated into their everyday lives, such as colouring to create, paper folding to make or knotting wool to calm, can make for a smoother day.
Many thanks to students and staff that got involved in all the lunchtime activities during Mindful Mondays in May and were able to walk away with a piece of art.
Many thanks to Ms Martin for being our chief knot maker.
The power of the pet –
Therapy dogs can help reduce student stress, anxiety and improve school attendance.
Welcome Mrs Gabby Mahon!
The Careers Team has been joined by Mrs Gabby Mahon for Term 2. She has a wealth of experience from her time previously at Clonard College. Gabby Mahon replaces Robyn Smith, who is currently on leave enjoying a wonderful trip overseas. To make contact with Gabby please email [email protected]
Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC) Dates
Year 12 students wishing to apply to go to a Victorian University next year or in 2025, will apply for their chosen course/s through VTAC.
VTAC Applications open July 31 with timely applications closing on September 28. University Open Days will occur from the end of July through August. It is highly recommended that all students from Years 9 to 12 start exploring their tertiary options.
Current Year 12s who have experienced education disadvantage due to financial or medical hardship or difficult circumstances are encouraged to create a SEAS (Special Entry Access Scheme) application alongside their VTAC application.
Exploring More Options
As well as University pathways students have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to their next steps after school.
This week students were given the opportunity to hear about a range of options for when they finish school, including:
GISSA Track and Field Championships
Our College Track and Field team recently competed at the GISSA Championships, with some excellent individual and team performances across the day. With our team captains, Isabella Jordan, and Aaron Hansen, along with our senior students leading the way, all team members competed very well in their various field and track events.
Our younger students embraced this opportunity to compete against the other GISSA schools, posting some fantastic results, which culminated in winning both the girls and boys 13yr 4 x 100m relays. We acknowledge our male 4 x 100m relay teams, who nearly performed a ‘clean sweep’ of these races, with the 16yr boys finishing second in a very close race across the line.
The following students are to be congratulated on breaking GISSA records on the day: Suzannah Mavromihalis 16yr 1500m 4:52.27; Jacob McKie Open 1500m 4:16.03; Jack Berry 15yr Discus 37.26m; and Indianna O’Neill 13Yr Triple Jump 10.65m.
In the overall point allocation, the College finished a very close second to Kardinia IC. However, with an eye to the future our Junior Boys (13,14 and 15yr age groups) won their section on the day. We congratulate all team members for their fantastic performances on the day, and thank our team managers/coaches, Mr Kelly O’Neill, Mr Callen Wade and Mr Drew Oliver for their efforts with this team.
GISSA Swim Team
Our College was well represented at the recent Victorian School Association Swimming Competition held at MSAC. Swimming Victoria invites each of the School Sporting Associations to enter a team into this swim meet that attracts some of the best school age swimmers in the State. Nicole Briscoe, Jacob McKie, Kylan Nelson, Meg Conheady, Brooke Briscoe, Jagger Small, Olivia Clark, and Chelsea Ronning were part of the 32 member Geelong Independent Schools Sporting Association (GISSA) swim team that competed on the night.
The GISSA team finished a creditable twelfth on the night, with some excellent individual and relay performances. All our College swimmers performed very well, enjoying this opportunity in both their individual and relay swims to swim against the best. Nicole Briscoe finished second in her 50m backstroke, along with three other top 8 results. Chelsea, and Brooke enjoyed top 8 results in several their events as well.
We congratulate and thank these students for their fantastic swimming performances as part of this GISSA team.
National Science Youth Forum
An opportunity for current Year 11 students in January 2024
Are you a Year 11 student passionate about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)? Do you want to meet like-minded young people from across Australia? Do you want to learn more about your study and career options? Look no further than the 2024 National Youth Science Forum Year 12 Program! Applications are open now – for more details, visit this website.
ChatGPT, Generative AI and Young People
Information and guidance for parents
Parents may be aware of the news and hype around recent developments in generative AI (artificial intelligence), especially the digital tool ChatGPT that launched in November last year. ChatGPT reached a million users in five days, and by January of this year had 13 million daily users.
By typing in a specific prompt, a person can ask ChatGPT to produce a written response and it will create it in seconds. It can produce emails, poems, song lyrics, speeches, reviews, recipes, stories, social media posts, working program code, and academic essays and reports. It can analyse text and code, and offer advice on improvements, corrections, and alternative approaches for just about any written text.
ChatGPT facilitates a chat-based conversation between the person and the AI chatbot that produces the output, allowing for questions, refinements, and iterations on the original output until the resultant text suits the intentions of the user.
Vocation Education and Training (VET) Tasters
Year 9 and 10 Preparation for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in 2024
Senior School students can choose to study a VET course off-campus as a subject in Year 10, 11 and 12. These courses are usually undertaken over two years giving students a TAFE certificate qualification on leaving school in addition to their VCE. They providestudents with an opportunity to gain industry training assisting them with career pathways. The Gordon is offering some free VET tasters for interested students.
Registrations are now open for Taste of TAFE sessions.
This brilliant two-day program will give Year 9 and 10 students an insight into the incredible careers TAFE can deliver. They run from 9.30 am – 2.30 pm and students can choose to do one or both days. Taste of TAFE is a fun and engaging program that will see students get hands-on with all program areas at their East Geelong and Geelong City campuses.
Tuesday July 18 2023 Taste of TAFE at East Geelong Campus
Tuesday July 25 2023 Taste of TAFE at Geelong City Campus
Registration forms and information about the tasters on offer can be collected from the student office or Year 9 Coordinator. Forms must be completed and returned to the student office no later than May 24. Early application is advisable.
For more information about studying VET at Senior School please contact Kerryn Fearnsides via [email protected]