From the Principal
We Belong Together
It has been such a joy for me to return to school and visit our campuses to see our community reconnecting after the summer break. I think I have felt this sense of joy for two specific reasons. The first reason is a personal perspective – after spending most of Term 4 last year away on leave, I certainly missed having connection with my colleagues and being involved in our wonderful College program. The second reason is a professional viewpoint – I can clearly see the growing health and strength in our community despite the negative effects of the disruptions caused by the ongoing difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges for society in general throughout the pandemic has been the ability to remain connected. The imposition of lockdowns, border closures, and requirements to isolate that we have experienced for the first time in our lives have temporarily removed our freedom to connect with family, friends, workplaces, sporting clubs, churches, and schools. Whilst technology enabled us to remain connected remotely, nothing replaces the ability to be together in the same physical space.
Opinions relating to how our respective governments at all three tiers have managed this process is currently being debated – and this will no doubt continue for some time to come – however, the impact of this season on our human condition, our wellbeing as individuals, and our health as a society, has become a concern for many, including educators.
The global pandemic has reminded us that schools thrive when our learning communities are together. This is true for a number of reasons. Not only do we learn more comprehensively in supportive and present groups, but, also, schools, just like any other example of human beings gathering together, are places where a sense of belonging can be created.
As I consider what this means for our Christian College community, I have been thinking through the lens of a child attending school or kindergarten for the first time. I am sure these thoughts have been influenced by watching my own grandchildren begin their educational journey – two of whom will be joining us at CCG.
In the past, the education sector placed great emphasis on the end result and the final stages of the learning process. Thankfully, in more recent times, we have become much more aware of the importance of the beginning of the learning journey, and the small steps achieved along the way, noting that the outcome is not the only significant factor in the formation and development of children’s lives and learning. Hence my reflection on education through the eyes of a small child.
Being, Becoming, Belonging
If being together is so important, how can we at CCG specifically focus our attention on connecting and re-connecting at the start of this new year?
The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (developed by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Workplace and Employment Relations in 2009) outlines the following key elements to support our children from birth to 5 years of age. Interestingly, these have a clear framework around the notion of belonging. The vision is for ‘each child to experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life.’ To achieve this, the framework states the fundamental view that children’s lives are characterised by being, becoming and belonging.
- Being – Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life.
- Becoming – Children’s identities, knowledge, understanding, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society.
- Belonging – Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighborhood, and a wider community.
I take this opportunity to encourage us all to adopt our own personal focus on these key aspects of our lives as we navigate our way into this new school year; to find the patterns and processes through which we can connect or reconnect to an understanding of being, becoming and belonging. There are limitless possibilities attached to the new beginning afforded us by a new year.
Thankfully, as Christians, we have so many Scriptural examples (including the words and actions of Christ Himself) to follow and to inspire our journey of growth and transformation as we look to the future. One such example is found in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19
We are reminded here that God wants us to embrace new things in our lives, and to look ahead to see the fresh new possibilities. He wants good things for us and He wants us to discover the purpose that He has for each of us and for our community. That is why He has brought us together at Christian College. We belong to Him, and to each other. Our challenge is to follow His direction.
It is my prayer for our community as we connect at the beginning of the new year and find a place where we belong together, that our College will be blessed with the capacity to love one another and treat each other with kindness and respect through our words and actions.
These truths are, I believe, the foundation of the ‘Learning that Matters.’
Thank you to our families, our students, and all of our teaching and professional support staff for contributing to what has already been a great new beginning for 2022 – and for that beautiful sense of belonging which makes our College community so remarkable and unique.
Blessings to you all.
It was such a joy on Monday to see our students return happy, and full of excitement as they reconnected with each other and their teachers.
Our new Preps looked amazing as they arrived dressed in new items from the College wardrobe. The smiles on their faces said it all.
2022 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for our Surf Coast Campus and there is much to celebrate and be thankful for. This year we welcome 36 new students to our campus, and we have our very first group of Year 4 students. Over the holidays we furnished and decorated two new classrooms and are waiting for the arrival of our new instrumental music classrooms. This year we welcome new staff members to the Surf Coast family. God continues to bless us, and we are truly thankful.
Mrs Sharon Sutton – Year 2
Mr Adam Stewart – Year 3
Mrs Claire Deretic – Year 4
Mrs Jacqui Simon – Learning Support
Mrs Emma Anderson – ICT
We are hoping and praying that, as the term progresses, the effects of COVID and the Omicron variant will be minimal, and we can have a term full of fun and learning. We are looking forward to events such as our family picnic, meet and greet sessions and the other activities we have planned.
Our children will be taking part in many opportunities this term that will enhance their learning while giving them a chance to develop relationships with their peers and teachers.
We look forward to caring for and supporting your children this year as we continue this journey together.
Our new Cyber Safety Hub and Partnership With Family Zone
It is with pleasure that I introduce to parents and the wider College community our new Christian College Cyber Safety Hub. This support and resource hub is just one element of a broader Cyber Safe Schools Program and formal College partnership with Family Zone that we will be unveiling more detail about progressively over Semester 1.
The Cyber Safety Hub is a relevant and tailored resource of information, guidance and advice for parents regarding all areas of navigating the digital world with their young person.
This includes up to date app and game reviews, and parents can also request an article on a specific topic, issue or theme.
I encourage all parents to visit the hub and explore the resources it provides.
The hub is accessible via a new tile on the parent links page of SEQTA Engage (see below), or directly via this link: https://christiancollege.cybersafetyhub.com.au/.
I look forward to sharing more about our new formal partnership with Family Zone, including about the Cyber Safe Schools Program which focuses on school and home working together in community to support all students in building positive digital behaviours. A part of this program is some new tools that the College will be implementing this year as part of our protection and support of students in the digital space while they are at school.
In addition, I’m excited about some complimentary Family Zone parental tools that will soon be made available as part of this program for our parents. These optional tools for the home will support Christian College parents to have better visibility and awareness of their child’s digital behaviour while at home. Parents may notice a Family Zone tab on the Cyber Safety Hub which relates to this part of the program. While these Family Zone tools are not available to parents just yet, our goal is to have them in place later this term.
I’m excited about the College’s partnership with Family Zone beginning this year and I look forward to sharing more about aspects of the Cyber Safe Schools Program with you as the semester progresses.
Welcome to School, Preps!
Dressed in items from the new College wardrobe, shiny shoes and fresh lunchboxes, our new Preps arrived at school with faces full of hope and aspirations. They enjoyed meeting their new classmates and exploring their new Prep classrooms. We are very proud of the way our Preps have settled in so well to the routines of their new school and classroom. We are very excited for the year ahead!
Our Preps Shine in the Advertiser!
This week our Surf Coast Preps were featured in the Geelong Advertiser. It is exciting to see they are looking forward to learning. After completing their first week at school they are a step closer to achieving their goals!
Year 1 at Surf Coast
What a joy it has been watching the Year 1 students settle back into school this week. On Monday, the children came bounding through the gates with enthusiasm and eagerness to get straight into 2022.
The students have jumped 100 per cent into hands-on learning, showing more than one way to demonstrate their thinking, mastered reading-to-self, followed new spelling routines to a tee, and have displayed some impressive first writing. They are such incredible learners! The Year 1s have shown gusto while learning new routines and fully embracing everything.
Week 1 has been full of fun, laughter, and, as expected, some tired little people by the end of the day; yes, including all the teachers too!
2022 is going to be an incredible year!
We have had a wonderful start to 2022 in Year 2. The students have settled into their new classes exceptionally well, getting to know new students and consolidating old friendships. We have enjoyed a sense of excitement and joy to all be together again and the children have had many stories of special holiday experiences with family and friends.
It has been a delight working with the Year 2 students and they have eagerly approached their learning this week with enthusiasm. The Year 2 students have been exploring place value in Maths, they have been organising their classroom reading corner, and they have begun thinking about designing a dream car to help the environment or society in our Integrated Studies unit. The Year 2 students have been getting used to their classroom routines and have delighted in listening to their teachers read some Enid Blyton classics.
We look forward to the coming weeks with our wonderful Year 2 students!
Wow! What a start to the new year! It has been eventful to say the least…. I would love to give a warm welcome all the new Year 3 students at Surf Coast (one of whom we are eagerly waiting to meet) and thank all of the returning students for helping us newbies settle in and find our way around. It is going to be a HUUUUGGE year and I can’t wait!!!
Jumping Into Year 4 at the Surf Coast Campus
It has been a fabulous week for the Year 4 students at the Surf Coast Campus. As the first group of Year 4 to come through it is very exciting to see what new things we will be able to do this year.
There is always lots of excitement surrounding the new 1:1 school devices, and while we look at the amazing creation of our earth and what it means to be custodians who look after our planet and its beautiful environment we have planted our own terrarium to look after and care for this year.
The Year 4 students are ready for the new challenges of a new year and are excited about the new challenges and experiences this will bring.
Nut Free School
This is just a friendly reminder that our Surf Coast Campus is a nut free zone. Please do not pack foods that contain nuts in your child’s lunchboxes.
We thank you for your assistance with this request.
Parking at the Surf Coast
Parents are asked to park in the parking bays of both the main carpark and the top carpark. For the safety of our families, we ask that parents do not enter through the farm gate near the top carpark. This is designated for the bus and staff parking. We thank you for your assistance with this request.
Annual Digital Learning and Student Device Policy Agreement
Late last week, parents received a copy of this policy via email, along with instructions for how to complete the mandatory parent agreement via EdSmart.
This agreement must be completed by a parent for every student at the College, as a requirement for access to digital learning technologies. This includes participation in the College’s 1:1 device program for students at Years 4-12.
Parents are requested to complete the agreement as soon as possible, and by Friday 11th February at the latest.
Students in Years 4-12 will also be made aware of the College’s expectations regarding safe and responsible use of digital technologies and will complete a student agreement within the first two weeks of their classes.
A copy of the Digital Learning and Student Device Policy Agreement, newly updated for this year, is available to parents for reference at any point in the year via Documents in SEQTA Engage.
CCG Interschool Snow Sport Team 2022
I am sure like me, you are all watching the Winter Olympics with much admiration of the skills and abilities of the athletes competing. One of our past students, Jakara Anthony Competed in the Qualifying Round of the Female Moguls, qualifying in first place with a dominant score of 83.75.
Jakara graduated from CCG in 2016 and her interest in skiing competitively began at the Interschool competition level.
You may not be aware that we have a CCG Interschool Snowsport Team, and while competitions have been cancelled the last two years, it looks more promising that this event will go ahead this year. The Victorian Interschool Snowsports Competition is held at Mount Buller between the 20th -28th August and is available to all ages and abilities.
If you would like more information and are keen to support your child(ren) in competing in this event, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am sure you will all be very keen to watch Jakara compete in the Moguls on Sunday night.