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June 2015

05-Jun-2015

Truly an Education Worth Having
You may have read the recent media reports questioning the value of education that is provided in Independent Schools. Much has been said about the reported data that has interpreted benchmark results which make negative references to schools in our sector.

Whilst I am committed to seeing our students strive to obtain the very best academic results and to see them achieve high levels of success, I have always reminded them that they are more than the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) that serves one purpose, which is to gain offers to University places.

Christian College students are more than a ‘score’. They are confident, caring and capable students who have developed a sense of their place and purpose in our world. Through the outstanding opportunities offered they have rich cultural, creative, physical and emotional experiences that enable them to form sound values, a solid work ethic and abilities to contribute positively as global citizens.

This article recently published, makes reference to research conducted by Adjunct Professor Gary Marks actual disputes the recent articles about Independent Schools:

http://theconversation.com/private-catholic-schools-do-add-value-to-students-results-42543

However, the following aspects of our College program highlight additional evidence of an education worth having.

Sporting Opportunities
The regular campus newsletters share the many examples of sporting activities that our students enjoy. Playing in sporting teams and representing our College in Inter-school competitions at local, state or national levels develops skills, a sense of fair play, team work and pride for their College.

At the recent House Cross Country carnival, I joined the Senior School runners in the 4km event. Whilst feeling extremely out of condition and finding the sections involving any form of gradient quite difficult, I was delighted to witness first hand the encouragement that the students gave as they passed 'the old bloke', struggling along. Our students are remarkable young people! I find them genuine and positive, even competing over a 4km run.

Senior House Music
The annual Senior School House Music competition held at Costa Hall continues to be a significant feature of the life of our senior students. This event involves the entire House. Every student participates in each House Choir, whilst selected musicians perform in small and large ensembles as well as solo performers to compete for the DD Davey Cup. House Leaders take responsibility for the preparations of their House performance and the result is incredible.

This event contributes enormously to the tone and atmosphere at the Senior School, providing an incredible sense of unity and belonging.

                                         

Debutante Balls
A highlight for a large number of Year 11 students each year is the Debutante Ball. After weeks of preparation of learning the dance sets, the debutante couples are presented in front of their family and friends at a spectacular night in the Middle School Sports and Aquatic Centre.

A feature of these nights, and a particular joy for me, is the opportunity to greet each couple as they are presented to my wife Pam and I, together with the other guests of honour. In fact, it is actually my honour to see the fine young men and women on these nights and to hear their dreams and aspirations for the future. A common aspect of each of the young people presented, is the expression of appreciation to their families for the opportunity, as well as the common expression to make a positive contribution to the world and the lives of others.

Q'Ed Program
As the semester marches on, I am excited to hear about the progress of the two Q'Ed programs. The gifted and talented students within the Q’Ed program are preparing to share their work they have been undertaking.

Q’ed 2 Exhibition
This will run online from Wednesday 10th June until Wednesday 17th June.
The students have been working on the challenging question, "Is it possible for a household or person to be self-sufficient?"
The exhibition will be accessible through a link which will be posted on the Parent and Student portals through SEQTA.

Q'ed 3 Board
The Q’ed 3 Board has identified ‘homelessness’ as a significant community issue. The students have also discovered the fact that a very large percentage of homeless people have mental health issues. They decided to take a proactive approach in developing an Educational Kit designed to be used in schools to assist students to understand the impact of three major mental illnesses. This will enable students to identify early warning signs within themselves and positively seek intervention and support in an effort to avoid a future mental health crisis which could end in homelessness.

The rich learning that occurs as part of this program is now strongly influencing all of our classrooms. This is achieved through a shared understanding of the expansive education that develops within teaching and learning that embraces real world and global issues.

Red Shield Appeal
Over many years Christian College students and staff have assisted with door knocking as part of The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. The generous support and assistance provided by those who volunteer for this effort to raise funds to help others is a wonderful example of the willingness to serve that forms part of our College's Christian heart. Thank you to the many staff and parents who also provided supervision and transport for our students out on ‘collection’ last Sunday morning.

These are just a few recent examples of our College program that I believe contribute in part to a wonderfully rich education that is definitely worth having.

Glen McKeeman
Principal


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