From the Assistant Principals
Posted: 26-Jun-2019

Education is Changing

Last week I had the pleasure of supervising two workshops that were held for our students. It reminded me of how the delivery of education has changed. Once the majority of teaching and learning took place within the formal boundaries of the classroom, now students enjoy the opportunity to learn skills and content by working with external organisation that specialise in a focused areas or by visiting institutions where witness to real life experiences confirms learning that has taken place in the classroom.

In order to support our Year 11 Students and their families into the world of driving, Damascus College utilised an educative approach to road safety through the Fit to Drive Foundation. This organisation, with Victoria Police, aims to engage with young people to deliver road safety messages that will empower and support young road users (aged 16-25) to achieve zero deaths on Victorian roads. The philosophy of the Fit to Drive Foundation incorporates the belief that young people have the capacity to change and influence attitudes and behaviours in relation to risky road use, and supports them to take ownership and responsibility for their own and their peers' safety. Through a series of small workshops and large group forums, we would hope that our students have a far greater appreciation of their role in ensuring a safe driving environment.

The Unit 3-4 Legal Studies group attended the County and Magistrates Court in Melbourne this week. Sitting in a courtroom and observing a Criminal Case involving a stalking charge, reiterated student’s study in Court Room Processes. In addition to this students were given a 30 minute lecture from a County Court Judge who was able to articulate the various roles of court staff. When prompted with questions by the judge it was pleasing that our students were already well versed in not only the roles of court staff but the processes as well.

With term 2 holidays approaching I hope that our students can take some time to recharge, get on top of the various colds and flu and prepare for the third term. Hopefully the sun will continue to shine.

Mr. Andy Robertson - Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing


Damascus College in Timor Leste 2019

 The 2019 Timor Leste Immersion Team are on the ground in Timor Leste and continuing the tradition that is now in its ninth year. This group of 13 students and four staff members landed in Dili, the capital of Timor Leste on Friday 21st June and headed to Ainaro following visits and making donations with two Dili organisations: Ba Futuru (For the future) which runs programs for Youth and Non-violence across Timor Leste, and Alola Foundation which supports women across Timor Leste On their way to Ainaro they also visited with Sr Mary-Anne Dwyer RSM, former staff member of Damascus College, at the town of Aileu.

A Report from in country Ainaro, Timor Leste

Saturday was a surprise for the team because our friendship school, Santa Maria, expected them. They ended up visiting the school with no notice, rotating teacher groups and doing get-to-know you activities. The Damascus students were amazing and seemed more comfortable about stepping into teacher life on the Monday. 

On Sunday morning the group had the privilege of joining the local Mass and listening to the most beautiful choir. Interestingly, Amu selected passages from the sacred texts that reflected our annual school theme, “Who do you say that I am?” The afternoon was spent wandering around the local markets and further exploring the township of Ainaro. Amu [Fr Armindo, Amu is the Tetum language word for priest] visited Sunday afternoon. His outreach Mass was cancelled as everyone was harvesting crops. Late Sunday lessons for the school were organised.

The accommodation has suffered from the wet season. Very damp and the mould has started again but not too bad. The ladies who are responsible for feeding the Immersion team are cooking in the house this year. The teachers have made sure that the back door is left open when the kerosene burners are on to make sure the fumes aren't an issue. There have been lots of beef dishes in the mix this year as the Feast for boarding college, Saint Loui Gonzaga 21st June, was celebrated the evening before the group arrived in Ainaro and a cow had been slaughtered.

Primary school [Sao Paulo – Emmaus Primary School Friendship School] and Sebagalou [Village above Ainaro] was scheduled for after class on Monday. The week will be filled with work with the students of our friendship school and visit other development programs and site in Ainaro before heading back to Dili on Friday.



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