From the Principal
Across this beautiful region, on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people, our campuses awoke from their summer hiatus as the energy and excitement of more than 2000 students filled our classrooms and playgrounds. From Junior School Belmont to Middle School Highton, Surf Coast to Senior School and Bellarine to Back Creek, it has truly been a wonderful start to the 2024 school year.
Welcome to all families
I offer a tremendous welcome to all families, especially those new to our Christian College community. I look forward to partnering with you on the journey of educating your young person in 2024. We have approximately 100 Preps across our three Junior campuses and new enrolments in most year levels, especially at Year 5 and 7. At Year 12, a total of 194 Year 12 students, our largest cohort since 2019, will embark on their final year of studies at our Senior campus.
A great team of educators
I would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge all the preparations undertaken by our teaching staff in the days and weeks leading up to the return of students. We all came together at the start of this week on the Highton campus, and it was a truly wonderful occasion to be in a space with around 300 teachers and professional support staff, fixing our eyes on the tasks and responsibilities that will make 2024 a successful year for our community.
From the Campus Leader
As our new school year begins, it is with great excitement and anticipation that we extend a warm welcome to everyone. Whether you are returning families or new faces joining our community, we are so blessed to embark on this journey with you.
This year, we are delighted to welcome many new staff members who bring with them fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, a passion for education and a desire to teach through a Christian lens. Their expertise and dedication will undoubtedly enrich the learning and wellbeing of our students and contribute to the thriving environment we are growing.
Additionally, we are excited to extend a heartfelt welcome to all the new students who are joining us this year. We understand that starting a new school can be both exciting and intimidating, but rest assured, you are now part of a supportive community where you will be embraced with open arms. Our returning students have been eager to meet you, make new friends, and share in the joys of learning and growing together.
What’s Happening at Surf Coast?
This an up to date list of planned activities at Surf Coast Campus that you can use for planning purposes. Please be aware that these dates are set early in the term and occasionally items may need to be cancelled or dates/times altered. This itinerary is altered each week to reflect any changes – please check this list of events EVERY WEEK carefully when you read the weekly VINE newsletter.
TERM 1 2024
5 – 9 February Instrumental music begins
Monday 5 February School ID Photos (Preps and New Students)
Wednesday 7 February No Preps at school
Friday 9 February Buddy Session (Year 4 & Prep)
Welcome to School Preps!
The Surf Coast Preppies completed their first week of school with shiny new shoes, brand-new school bags, and lunch boxes filled to the brim.
Throughout the week, they had many opportunities to learn and make new friends.
In Literacy, the Preps focused on their name, learning how many letters there are, which order they belong in, and practising forming their letters using the correct pencil grip. They also learned about the letters s,a,t and c and manipulated them to create simple words.
In Maths, the Preps enjoyed counting all the way to 20 and showing conservation of number by making number collages. The week was filled with pure joy and excitement, and many great memories were made.
We are so proud of our new preps and impressed with how well they have settled into the school routine!
Surf Coast Music Ensemble Opportunities
It is with great pleasure we offer two new ensembles to the Surf Coast campus to accommodate our ever-growing program!
College music ensembles are a fantastic way for students to complement their music-making skills, and connect in a friendly, cross-year level environment, guided by our highly experienced staff. There are no costs involved for our weekly rehearsals and performance opportunities, with the exception of our Middle School Music Camp (Term 3 – for Strings, Choir & Band students from Years 5-6 – attendance for this camp is optional).
Please see below the 2024 Surf Coast Ensemble timetable. Whilst the choirs are available to ALL students, please be aware that for instrument-based ensembles, membership is granted via discussion with Classroom Music staff (Ms Kate Notini and Mrs Courtney Davey), and/or your child’s instrumental tutor.
Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow
Developing future leaders is something that is a focus for us at Surf Coast. As students transition into Year 4, learning about what good leadership is becomes part of our regular classroom discussions. We spend time identifying leaders that we know and respect from a range of places and, we come to appreciate that really good leaders exhibit the similar traits no matter what field they come from.
According to our current Year 4 students, traits that good leaders have include being inclusive, encouraging, displaying a growth mindset, showing compassion to others, and accepting responsibility or being confident to stand up for things that are important. Students also feel that leadership qualities develop when we experience challenges, can develop resilience and learn from our mistakes.
There are many times when students can develop their own leadership skills and, this can look different for students as they begin to identify the gifts and talents that God has blessed them with. Developing a better understanding of themselves can help to understand their personal leadership style. Perhaps the most important trait of effective leaders is that of self-reflection and identifying ways that we can improve but also celebrating the many successes that we experience along the journey.
Good Learners in Year 4!
The beginning of a new school year brings with it a rainbow of feelings, ranging from mild trepidation to high levels of excitement. This week, we have all felt some nerves as we headed into our new classrooms but students and staff have settled well into our new Year 4 learning community and there is a positive feeling about the year ahead. To support our students become familiar with routines, expectations and structures for positive learning we have focused on ‘learning to learn’ and what being a good learner means. Students have enjoyed discussing how they can be responsible, show respect and be safe whilst at school, as well as delving deeply into the significance of our school values. We have also focussed on how utilising MYTERN strategies can help us manage our emotions appropriately and we will continue to explore these during our MYTERN Monday Devotions. Students have relished the opportunity to explore the amazing text ‘Welcome to Country’ by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy. This rich text has encouraged us to develop understandings about the significance of this ceremony and why an Acknowledgement of Country is an important way that we can show respect to First Nations peoples, cultures and histories. This text has been the inspiration for our Devotions this week as we have opened our hearts to God’s word by reading and discussing scripture around the themes of belonging, care, friendship and connection. It has been a busy and fulfilling week for Mrs Rice, Mrs Daley and students as we began to connect with each other and the school building that has been empty for the holiday is once again filled with the joy and enthusiasm that only children can bring.
Looking Ahead to 2024
A warm welcome to the 2024 school year to all our Christian College families. The holiday season provided a well-deserved break for students, families and staff and I sincerely hope that these moments of respite allowed you to recharge, connect with loved ones and fill your self-care bucket to the brim. The return to school not only marks a shift back to old and familiar routines but also signifies a series of transitions for our students. The transition to a new learning environment is a major event in a child or young person’s life given they are periods in which both children and families need to adjust to new situations, environments, expectations, relationships, and potential changes to social and physical surroundings. This year as we do every year, we have children transitioning from early learning settings to primary school, primary to secondary school, movement of students from one campus to another, just to name a few. Our staff recognise the importance of supporting and guiding our students through transitions, especially those who may be encountering challenges or difficulties. As we embark on a new school year, it becomes a pivotal opportunity to not only navigate these transitions effectively but also to set our students up for success. Clinical psychologist and family therapist Andrew Fuller, offers insights on how our children and young people can achieve their goals while enjoying a fulfilling and successful year at school which I thought may be of interest to you and your family - Set yourself up for a great year, from Andrew Fuller (theparentswebsite.com.au). I look forward to working with you and for you this year in advancing our wellbeing practices and initiatives at Christian College.
Find Yourself at our Open Day!
On March 5, all five Christian College campuses and two kindergartens are holding Open Days. Our Open Days provide the opportunity for parents and others interested in enrolling their children at Christian College to have a firsthand look at our College campuses, speak with campus leaders, participate in student-led tours of the facilities, visit classrooms in real time and have their questions answered.
We would encourage everyone in our Christian College community to spread the word and tell anyone you might know who is considering schooling options for their children about our Open Day and the opportunity to come and visit one or more campuses and/or our kinders, with no tour booking required.
Details are on our website – follow the hotlink on our homepage or click Homepage > Join > Open Days.
Opening times for March 5 are as follows:
Junior School-Belmont and Williams House Kindergarten – 9:15 – 10:45am
Bellarine Campus – 9:30 – 11:00am
Surf Coast Campus and Butterfield House Kindergarten – 11:30am – 1:00pm
Middle School-Highton – 10:30am – 12:00 noon
Senior School – 11:30am – 1:00pm
We would love to see as many interested families as possible finding themselves at our Open Day!
Save the Date
The Foundation Gathering Hope Appeal Luncheon is back on and has been scheduled for Friday, 24 May 2024.
Save the date and join us for lunch at the stunning Provenance Wines in Fyansford.
This is a fundraising event for the Foundation and an opportunity to hear about the success and the growing needs of the College.
Our guest speaker and booking information will be announced in the coming weeks.