Our prayer today is for Year 12 VCE students across Victoria as they commence their exams with the VCE English paper this morning. We pray for wisdom in their approach and just rewards for their efforts. May all students who undertake exams over the coming weeks see them as an opportunity to reflect their learning and focus on their own individual improvement. We make this prayer of our loving God - Amen.
We had a lovely celebration last Wednesday for the students last day of classes, and I thank everyone who supported the assembly. Our guest speaker and former student, Eleanor Snibson provided an inspiring insight into overcoming adversity, and we are very appreciative of Eleanor sharing her story. It never ceases to amaze me the challenges that Damascus families face at times, and the courage families and young people display.
Right across the College, it is a time of important assessment and feedback. It has been great to see so many families come through to catch up with Teacher Advisors in preparation for these final weeks. These meetings are an important opportunity to build confidence or to look at refinements to the 2019 learning program. I thank families for your support. If you missed making an appointment, please contact the office, and they will try and arrange a time.
I congratulate our senior rowers on their great showing in the extended races in Nagambie on Saturday. We had a lovely evening last Thursday to launch the season with families, and it was announced that the 2019/20 Captains of Boats were Charlotte Ashley and Bailey Wilson – on behalf of the entire community I congratulate Charlotte and Bailey.
There are a range of activities coming up for students over the coming weeks. From Monday 11th November, Year 9 students will attend their camp in the Strathbogie Ranges. If there are concerns regarding Year 9 camp please contact Camps Coordinator Tamzin Perkins, who works hard to accommodate individual needs to make the learning accessible.
During this same week one half of our Year 10 students will have their induction to the Christian Personal Development Award (CPDA) through their retreat and other activities. The other half of Year 10 will have work experience. Could I please implore families to support students in engaging with these different learning activities as they are all structured in a way to develop our young people holistically. If your student does not have work experience at this stage, could you please liaise with the Humanities teacher or Careers Coordinator, Jo Lawrence, to meet this requirement.
I am concerned with the increasing number of responsible young people who, as the end of the year approaches, are taking a more casual approach to some clearly outlined requirements of the College. This might be things like incorrect socks or excessive jewellery – can I please ask families to work with us and your student to finish the year positively and to maintain the same high standards that we expect right throughout the year. Assistant Principal Mr. Andrew Robertson reiterates the importance of uniform in his article this week which can be found here.
I don’t need to remind students, but I must remind families that next Friday, 8th November is a Ballarat Public Holiday due to Ballarat Show Day. VCE exams will run as scheduled on that day with appropriate staff available here at school.
As we approach All Soul’s Day on Saturday and in our church tradition, the month of November is an important time for remembering and celebrating those we have loved and lost. Can I encourage you to visit the Commemorative Trail below the Mercy administration wing. The commemorative trail is a reflective walk to assist past, current and future members of the school to remember and pray for those who have gone before us and created the opportunities that we enjoy today.
We remember all those who need our prayers at this time. We particularly remember John Bylsma, who died this last week. John was a generous and humble contributor to the building up of St Paul’s College; he provided practical and in-kind support to the many projects that were undertaken by the parent and staff team. He is remembered fondly by former staff and students, and we remember the Bylsma family in our prayers. If you too have lost someone and you wish to have them Remembered click here to add their name to the Damascus College Remembrance Book and read more about this wonderful opportunity.
We also remember the family of staff member Sean O’Loughlin this week on the passing of Sean’s partner, Aimee’s Dad. We pray for their family this week.
Until next week …