From the Principal
It’s so good to see our community back together
What a joy it was today to have all year levels return onsite after what we all hope will be the final phase of CL@H (Continuous Learning at Home). Hearing the bustle of busyness in the yard and in classrooms this morning gave a warm sense of normality following recent disruptions and large amounts of time spent apart as a community. The students and their teachers have once again demonstrated remarkable focus to maintain consistent levels of learning and connection under these challenging circumstances.
Congratulations Year 12
This week our Year 12 students participated in activities to celebrate the completion of their final year as students at Christian College. The week provided the staff and College leaders with many opportunities to mark this milestone and to share our praise for these young people for their tremendous achievement in completing their studies over the two years of the global pandemic. For example, whilst sharing the traditional signing of the brick walls in the Clock Tower, it was heart-warming to hear the positive reflections and memories that the students expressed, and to hear many talking about how they feel they had grown through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. A breakfast together with the Senior School staff, coupled with the final service and traditional farewell parade on Wednesday, was a fitting send off for the Class of 2021. The College has purchased a tree that will be planted, together with an appropriate plaque, to commemorate the resilience, courage and perseverance of this class. They and their families should feel very proud of the way they have conducted themselves. We pray for them as many now make final preparations for their exams and turn their minds to the future. May God continue to watch over and bless each one.
World Teachers’ Day
Next Friday 29 October we celebrate World Teachers’ Day in Australia. After the past two years, it is fitting that I take this opportunity to praise and commend the passionate, dedicated and highly talented colleagues whom I have the privilege to serve alongside in the provision of the education and care of our students. Christian College teachers are renowned for going the extra mile for their students and for each other.
The relationships, and the exemplary teaching and learning experiences that our teachers provide, in and outside of the classroom, is something to note and celebrate. I encourage students and families to consider how you might take the opportunity next Friday to encourage our staff in some small way for all that they have given to our community over the past two years in particular.
Launch of the new College Wardrobe
This week we had the exciting launch of our new student wardrobe. It has been very encouraging to receive an overwhelmingly positive response to the new range, as well as some helpful and constructive feedback. I again offer my apologies for the elements of this process which created discomfort or caused concern for some members of our College community. Please know that as a result of communication we have received from within our community, a decision has been made to extend the transition period, and allow all students the choice of wearing the current uniform or the new wardrobe throughout the next three years until the commencement of 2025. We have been receiving your feedback and questions via the dedicated email address and this will remain the means of direct communication with families until Friday 12th of November. The feedback is being collated and will be shared with the Review Team. This link will take you to the launch website for those that have not seen the new wardrobe. This page will be updated as physical items of clothing become available and we can include photos and videos to show you more of the range.
Thankfulness and Kindness
Over the last two weeks I have had the need to undergo various tests, and to attend several medical appointments, including a visit to emergency. As I navigated this process, I have had time to observe the amazing people who work in our healthcare system. I have felt a deep sense of gratitude and thankfulness toward those who dedicate their lives to care for our community. After one of the tests this week, I offered my sincere thanks to one of the nurses caring for me. Nothing special or over the top; just a natural expression of my gratitude. My words brought tears to her eyes, and even though her face was behind a mask I could see that she was emotional. She thanked me for being kind, explaining that it had been a tough week. She was thankful that I had shared my gratitude.
Ever since that moment, I have pondered her response, as it has caused me to wonder how I might continue to do this, more regularly, for others; for those who serve me a coffee, take my money when I purchase fuel, work in the supermarket, and so on.
Mother Teresa so wisely once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Emerging from the challenges of lockdown and starting to see greater interaction in our communities will provide each of us with the opportunity to show kindness to others. I am genuinely thankful for the healthcare that I have been receiving from those looking after me over the past few weeks, and I’m glad that I was able to show my appreciation. I had not anticipated how much that appreciation would mean to the person on the receiving end – and I am now encouraged to deliberately look for the next opportunity to sincerely express my gratitude to someone else.
Be kind and stay well.
Literacy in Prep
As our children begin their final term in Prep, it is amazing to watch the growth they have achieved throughout the year. One of the areas of tremendous growth is with their literacy knowledge and understanding. Our Preps came to us at the start of the year with a basic understanding of letters and sounds and now they can read fluently. They arrived at school experimenting with writing and now they have learnt how to spell, write recounts, narratives, reports, letters, and procedural texts. Their oral language skills have improved, and they can entertain each other with skits and plays. We are so proud of all they have achieved, especially during a year such as this one.
At the end of last term, we welcomed a fluffy new member of staff to Surf Coast campus! His name is Ollie and he is a part of the Story Dogs program. The Story Dogs program sends volunteer dog-teams into schools to read with children to help create a calm, enjoyable, judgement-free environment while building confidence and a passion for reading.
Each week, Ollie dons his orange reading vest and comes to school with me to read with a small number of the same students each week. In the short time since we have begun coming to school together, it has been beautiful to watch the bonds between Ollie and his new reading friends grow. The students enjoy a pat while they read a book to Ollie, who often struggles to stay awake and has been known to climb onto a lap for extra cuddles.
Ollie and I are looking forward to meeting and sharing a love for books with more of our little readers over the course of the term.
Last week brought an exciting new addition to the Year 2’s school experience – the Guinea Pigs arrived! The students have been feeding, cuddling, playing with, and caring for, five furry critters. The children have named the Guinea Pigs, and much of their recess and lunchtimes are spent with their new school pets, familiarising themselves with the habits and behaviours as they get used to each other. By the beginning of next week, the Year 2 students will have introduced the Guinea Pigs to all of the other students and will have shared their knowledge about the best way to hold and care for them. The Guinea Pig enclosure will be a popular attraction for all of the students, and there are sure to be many Guinea Pig stories back in the classrooms after recess and lunch.
The Year 2 students also enjoyed an opportunity to dress up for our Book Week celebrations, taking part in the annual Book Week parade, having a dance, and following the clues to guess the winning book for Book Week. It has been a busy but fun start to Term 4!
Japanese Week 3
Students at Surf Coast campus have started the Term 4 Japanese with excitement and enthusiasm.
This term in Prep we have begun our focus on sea animals and expressions about their existence, such as saying that there is or is not a sea creature. Our Preps have also been working on recognising and reading the sea animal names in the Japanese alphabet, hiragana. To help us memorise our new learning, we have been playing games such as ‘code breakers’, which helps us to both practise saying and reading our new vocabulary while solving a puzzle.
The topic of Year 1 Japanese this term is Family. Students quickly learnt basic words for family members by singing a Japanese song ‘Finger Family’. We also discussed that the words for the senior family members such as おとうさん (dad), おかあさん(mum), おにいさん( older brother), おねえさん(older sister) – they all start with お and end with さん. They learnt that it is because these words express the speaker’s high respect to senior people even within their own families. Students have been enjoying making finger puppets of their family members and they will use them to introduce their family to each other.
Year 2 students have been enjoying learning about Japanese food. They are leaning the words for common Japanese food and how to say “….をください.” (Please give me….) and “ …をたべます/のみます” (I eat/drink…). We will practise these sentences in a restaurant setting later this term. Students also leant Japanese table manners and practised how to use chopsticks at the table, wearing kimono.
Year 3 students were excited to see our new kimono corner in the Japanese classroom. During the lunchtime, they visited the room and enjoyed dressing up in kimono. The topic of Year 3 Japanese this term is ‘The days of the week’. Students are learning each day of the week in Kanji which is one of the most complicated writing styles in Japanese writing systems. They learnt that each kanji represents a meaning of a day of the week. For example, the kanji 月means ‘moon’ and it is used for 月曜日 (Monday). Students enjoyed practising the kanji with Mizu Shodo (water calligraphy).
Young students are curious to learn new things. It has been a great pleasure seeing them develop their language skills and cultural knowledge through various hands-on activities.
Katherine Moore/Yukiko Valent (Japanese teachers)
School of Back Then
What a week it has been! The Year 1 children have been immersed into the ‘School of Back Then’ and have had a grand old time comparing then to now. On Thursday the children had a day reenacting what it was like to go to school back then. They donned clothing from the past; some children were barefooted for the day because shoes were not for everyone’s budget. They began their school day reciting the Oath as they saluted the flag and then entered, ever so silently, the schoolhouse classroom; ladies first of course. Students experienced the joys of the teacher writing in chalk on a board (aahh…eek) and having to dust the dusters when found to be speaking out of turn. Luckily the cane did not need to come out of the teacher’s corner! Children enjoyed learning joined writing and were amazed that they only had one reader for the whole year. When it was lunchtime, lunch came in tins or wrapped in cloth, and playtime was a hoot with the children playing marbles, dancing around the Maypole and playing games with only their imagination.
The day was an excellent hands-on experience for the children, making their recent research findings of school back then come to life.
Order Your East Timor Calendar Now!
The 2022 East Timor calendar is due to arrive soon! Proceeds from sales will enable funding for 16 University scholarships. Each year Christian College sponsors four new university scholarships, and we are excited this year that these students will come from our very own Uma Maun Alin volunteers.
You can pre-order and pay for your calendar now by calling any one of our campuses and paying over the phone via EFTPOS. They will be available for collection in the next two to three weeks.
A MYTERN Message for the Week
Every detour that you believe you are forced to take …which feels away from your destination…is a chance to gain more experience.
Know that this is the perfect route for you….allowing you to arrive at your destination, equipped with the knowledge and skills you need for this part of your journey 👍😊