Principal's Update Week 8
Posted: 06-Jun-2018

It is a busy time for students and teachers. This week students across all year levels are completing assessments and Years 8-11 students are undertaking exams from this Friday. This can be a challenging and stressful time for students, please encourage them to focus on a growth mindset regarding what they are learning. Please also remind them that supports are available through their TA, House Leaders, class teachers or the College Counsellors if you feel that they are struggling with their work submission requirements. I remind parents to continue to monitor due dates and feedback on assessments in the Parent Access Module (PAM) on the College website.

A reminder that next Monday is the Queen’s Birthday public holiday and that we also have a student-free day on Wednesday, 13th June for students in Years 7 to 10 and Year 11 students not completing a Unit 3&4 study. The Wednesday student free day is determined by the GAT exam. Year 12 students and many Year 11 students will be undertaking the GAT exam as a part of their VCE studies and are only required at school for the duration of the GAT in full school uniform. Questions related to the GAT can be directed to Matt Hallowell. More information can be found here or by clicking the link below:-

GAT Information for Parents 2018 GAT Information for Parents 2018 (143 KB)

In line with our Early Start Program all students will commence their Semester 2 timetable on Monday 18th June. On this date, students will change over from their Semester One to their Semester Two pathways or elective subjects. For Year 7 families, if your student did not do Textiles or Art for example in first semester, it would be timely to ensure that they have the resources for these subjects that were listed on the booklist eg. Textiles kit or Art resources, ready in their locker over the next week. VCE and VCAL students will commence Units 2 and 4 on Monday. Students are encouraged to log onto SIMON from after school on Friday 15th to check their Semester 2 timetable in case there have been changes to their PE day, for example.

Last Friday evening the East Timor Trivia night was a wonderful community event. There was a great feel to the evening with past and current students, parents, staff and broader community members all contributing to the function. It was a credit to the entire East Timor team and I congratulate all involved. The 14 students and 4 staff head off on the 21st of June for their immersion experience and they will be the 8th Damascus cohort to venture across the Timor Sea. The generosity of the Damascus community in supporting our East Timorese neighbours has been absolutely outstanding. It is important to recognise that families fund the student’s trip and that they raise money for the local community. The 2018 group will distribute over $13,000 to the Ainaro community which is a remarkable effort. We wish safe travel to all involved.

It was a privilege to attend the VCE Drama ensemble performances last week and observe the talented group of young performers who had worked so hard at their script development and delivery. For those of us from the X Generation there were several laughs about elements of our earlier life. The theme was ‘Bridging the generation gap’ and the students had been artfully guided by Drama teacher, Andrew Seeary. Congratulations to all involved.

On Sunday I attended the first communion for a cohort of St Alipius Primary school students with their families at the beginning of a series of first communions within the Ballarat East Parish. These students entered fully into church life through their first Eucharist on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. As a person who loves food, the symbology of our faith community being gathered around a table and breaking bread and sharing wine together is incredibly powerful for me. It reminds me that the Eucharist extends to each occasion where I break bread with others, especially those who I love. I encourage families that whenever you gather around a table to take some time in gratitude and remembrance of the risen Christ and of the vulnerabilities and joys of human life.

May we keep Sienna Cooke (Yr. 7) and her family in our thoughts and prayers on the loss of her beloved Grandfather while our thoughts and prayers also go out to the Amos Family (Baxter Yr. 9 and Macquenzie Yr. 12) on the recent loss to their family. May they rest in peace in God’s loving care.

Enjoy the public holiday on Monday and if you are travelling over the long weekend, please do so safely!

Until next week …

MATT

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