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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.

Glen McKeeman,

Principal

The School of Back Then

What a week we have had in Year 1! As a great way to start our history unit, Year 1 was able to experience what school was like back in the early 1900s. We relinquished all use of power in the classroom and were only able to write using chalk on small chalkboards. We had lots of wonderful conversations about how times have changed, and our provocation table set up with all historical items, was a great way to start conversations. We also talked about the importance of making your own food because items were not readily available at stores as they are now. We made our very own butter from scratch using a jar and a marble. We then used our butter to spread over our damper that we cooked down at Deep Creek! It was an amazing day and it was great to see so many of the students get into the spirit by dressing up

Bush Prep

On Tuesday afternoon, the Surf Coast Preps were filled with excitement as they ventured down the big hill to our very first Bush Prep session!

With gumboots on and smiles on faces, the Preppies happily chatted all the way down to Spring Creek valley. On their walk down, the Preps were eagerly looking out for bouncing kangaroos and black cockatoos who often glide in the sky above us.

Some of the Preps enjoyed building fairy castles, pretend campfires, teepees and fortresses and loved being archaeologists, hunting and excavating for dinosaur fossils!

Upon reflection, the Preps were so appreciative of our school’s natural surroundings. We discussed the importance of looking after our environment and how we need to protect it to keep it beautiful.
Down on the Surf Coast, the students are so grateful of all the beautiful things God created.

Busy Times for Year 2!

Year 2s have been as busy as a train station in peak hour!
They have been learning about similes and how they make our writing creative, helping readers to visualise the text. Here are some of the similes they have written:
As happy as a sunny day.
As busy as a brain.
Fresh like corn on the cob.
As busy as an ant.
As snug as a dog in front of the fire.
Clean like a dishwasher.
As happy as a kid eating lunch.
Flat like paper.
Tears were sliding down my face, going down as slow as a snail.

Year 2s have also been exploring the ‘Show Don’t Tell’ writing technique, where they show what the character is experiencing. Here is some of their work:
‘I hid, horrified, under my covers while listening to footsteps outside my door.’
‘I blew my nose madly as tears fell down my face.’
‘My eyes blasted open like a bomb coming out of a bomb gun and my hands went onto my hips immediately.’
In Maths, we have been learning about measuring capacity. Capacity is how much a shape can hold. Year 2 students compared containers and estimated which might hold more, thinking about how they could test this accurately. In the sand pit they then compared the capacity of different containers.

Year 4’s Big Start to Term 2

Year 4 has had a big start to Term 2. We have had our ANZAC Day service, where the Year 4 students had the opportunity to take lots of leadership roles. From selling badges to our visiting parents, to laying the wreath and raising the flags.

We have also had our first BLP groups, this was such a highlight for so many students, having the opportunity to join the groups they are interested in. Activities ranged from gardening, to dancing to coding!
We have also started our swimming program in at the Highton Campus. We are so lucky to be able to go in and use such an amazing pool.

This term we will be looking at our Australian History and Heritage. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can come up with. This week we have planted our “Edible Indigenous Garden”. The students have researched the plants that we have planted and each group will become an ‘expert’ in their plant. It is going to be exciting to see how we can help our garden grow!

Year 4 Leaders

This week I had the pleasure of discussing the leadership roles with my Year 4 students and handing out the badges for this term. Each student will have a leadership role for each term, giving them the opportunity to try various roles and develop their strengths and skills in each. This is such an amazing group of students who have already taken on the leadership of their campus with so much pride.

  • Public Relations; Sophie Virtue, James O’Shanassy and Georgia Griffiths.
  • Campus Custodians; Arcadia Worn, Rosie Ryan and Darcee Dunnoon.
  • House Captains; Lachlan Walters, Ava Rice, Guy Sossin and Pippa Dow.
  • Touch Shop Coordinators; Blake Hunter, Tom Burnell and Georgia Kelly.
  • Project Care Representatives; Matilda Mills and Isabelle Thornton.

I really look forward to continuing to work along side these students and to help them grow in confidence as they finish their last year of Junior School.

Celebrating our Mums

Our Mothers’ Pamper morning is always such a special occasion and today was no exception. It was such a blessing and an honour to celebrate our beautiful mums. Our mums were treated to a morning of fun activities from making baths salts, decorating biscuits, planting flowers, having their portrait drawn, making jewellery and having their photos taken. Our mums were entertained by our Strings Groups and enjoyed scones jam and cream with their children. Being able to have events such as this one again is heartwarming,

  • Mothers’ Day in Japanese

    Mothers’ Day is a special day. In Japan, it is on the second Sunday of May as well. The Year 2, 3 and 4 students at Surf Coast Campus made beautiful Mothers’ day cards this week. Using Japanese calligraphy pens, the students wrote お母さんありがとう( Thank you, mum) or the kanji 愛 (love). They practised the characters, concentrating on details and wrote good copies neatly. Then the students made origami flowers to decorate the cards and wrote nice messages for their mums. Everybody enjoyed this cultural activity.

    Off Your Back

    Welcome back to our Project Care Program. I am very excited to be able to tell you about one of our Project Care initiatives this term
    We are taking part in the “Off Your Back” program. Nineteen years ago, a small group of likeminded, enthusiastic people got together to start a winter coat collection drive called OFF YOUR BACK. The idea was that no money would ever change hands, it would be pure and simple with no collateral and only an email directing people to collect and take their pre-loved coats to be re-distributed to the staggering number of homeless people in Victoria. This is a fantastic program to be able to help and is widely supported by The Salvation Army.
    What a perfect time to go through your cupboards and find those old coats that your children have grown out of or that just don’t get worn anymore!
    Please make sure all coats are washed, clean and in good condition, they will be delivered to a drop off point in Geelong and will be going to help those in need as soon as possible in this cold weather. Please be assured that no jackets are used for rags.
    This is a fantastic and simple way to help those of us in our community who need it. As well as being a great way for us to pull together in this confusing time of having to stay quite separate.
    There will be a collection point in the Multipurpose Room at our Surfcoast campus for any coats to be dropped off.
    Dates: Monday 9th May through to Friday 10th June.
    Please follow link below for any more information or contact me at school via email
    https://offyourback.com.au/

    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!

  • Sally Gray ,

    Director of Art Technology and Design

    A MYTERN Thought for This Week

    Comparing the roads you travel and the car you drive to those around you is not helpful.

 A flower doesn’t compete with the flower next to it. It just tries to become the best flower it can be.

 So look within, and know that what is in there is perfect. Your job is to just let it out  👍❤️

    Discover more about MYTERN here