From the Head of Senior School
A Students Focus - Jessie Morrow and Her Faith
The Christ Church Meals Program is a program that our College supports through the Year 10 subject, Jesus in the Modern World.
On Tuesday 10 July, Christ Church had a special service to celebrate the meals program. I had the privilege of being in the packed church to hear Jessie Morrow, a Year 12 student at our Senior School read 1 John 4: 16-21.
Jessie read with poise and confidence, beyond her years. I asked Jessie to write about her faith and her response is written below:
How do I define myself? Simply with two quotes. The first, a quote said by Mahatma Gandhi that reads ‘The best way to find yourself is in the service of others’ and I couldn’t agree more with this. I have this inspirational message on the background of my school laptop and it is there to remind me of what is truly important, others. The best way to find out who you truly are and what matters to you is through service to others, because in doing this there are endless things to learn not only about yourself but for others less fortunate than yourself.
The second quotation that has stuck with me was from a speech two years ago by one of the College School Captains. It reads ‘Life begins where your comfort zone ends’. To me this means that everyone can live a life to their own standards and have their own barriers that they are not too keen on crossing but that this is okay. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your life begins when you face your fear of heights and go abseiling, it only means that a true quality of life begins when you’re prepared to slowly break down barriers and open yourself up to unfamiliar things and embrace it. If there is one thing I have learnt in my life it is to be able to adapt to change and just enjoy it, because everything happens for a reason and it is not always straight away that the reason uncovers itself.
So how do I define my faith? Again, through the messages and inspiration of others. I love meaningful quotes and am always reciting them to other people. I guess I could say that I have faith in those that have lived before me and therefore believe that they are full of wisdom and knowledge. In a way, I put my life in the hands of the people like Gandhi and live through his words or through the words of Zac Edwards simply by always living where my comfort zone ends.
My faith in this way is not what most would call conventional but I have truly found myself in the service of others through the Christ Church Meals Program. In Year 10 I chose to study Jesus in the Modern World which is one of the four Christian Education subjects. I was blessed to have Ms Jane Smith as a teacher and I could not speak highly enough of her. Ms Smith’s passion for helping others and making a difference was contagious and incredibly inspiring. She informed our class about a meals program that ran in Geelong and asked if any of us were interested in going along with her and helping out, and I jumped at this opportunity. Still to this day I am so glad that I became involved. I remember the first night that I went and I was not sure of what to expect or who I would meet, but I was overwhelmed with friendly faces all there for the same reason; to help people less fortunate than themselves. Straight away I felt at home.
Christ Church could not run without the volunteers and support from many. I have always said that it is better to give than to receive because of the joy and pride that fills you inside. I believe that there is something quite special about helping those in need because as Kristi Van Es said ‘You can’t do everything but you can do something’.
Through this experience I was fortunate to meet Andy, a man who had such a beautiful outlook on life and all it had to offer. Seven years ago he found himself in a difficult situation which led him with no other choice but to live out of his car. It would have been incredibly difficult to keep a positive mindset and keep going the way he did before but Andy recalls that he found overwhelming peace in nature through being able to live amongst forests and the freedom that came with it. I see myself very similar to Andy in a way as we both have a very strong faith but it’s not always the faith that everyone expects us to have and I think that’s why it’s special. It is the most important thing to be your own person and live life differently to those around you after all you have to be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
Year 12 Student
Meningococcal Vaccination for Year 10 Students
On Monday 30th of July all Year 10 students are asked to wear full PE uniform to facilitate easy access for nurses administering the Meningococcal vaccine. Immunisation will take place during periods 1 & 2 and may impact recess slightly. For any further questions in relation to this morning please speak with Mrs Dianne Martin, Deputy Head of Senior School.
Our Subject Expo was held on Wednesday and it was a great success. The various departments worked hard to prepare their stalls that housed information about the subjects they offer. The staff were also on hand to answer a range of questions. The evening was very well attended and we thank all the parents, guardians and students for making time to attend.
Our feedback was that the night was a very worthwhile venture for future subject selections for our students.
Subject selection is open online on Thursday 2 August.
We have just completed our Futures Week and we need to thank our Career Counsellors in Ms Robyn Bishop and Ms Bec Bromilow. Each day the students were presented with a range of speakers that offered a broad range of options post Year 12.
The students were enlightened and we hope that they will now see that there are more possible pathways for them than maybe, they first imagined.
If there are any further questions you may have then please contact Robyn or Bec.
Student Learning Conferences
Our Student Learning Conferences for all Year 12 students and any Year 11 student undertaking a Unit 3 & 4 subject will be held on Tuesday 31 July from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm. These conferences are very important as parents, or guardians as well as the student may receive vital feedback about the learning that has taken place. It is also an opportunity for the teachers to learn more about your child, so they may teach them in a more effective manner. Please ensure you attend with your son/daughter and bookings are now open online until Monday 30 July at 12.00 noon
Gonski 2.0 Funding Schools
The release of Gonski 2.0 has ignited another debate on education funding as well as what education should look like on the ground. Schools are seeking to develop and nurture students who ask questions and draw connections, helping them to own their learning.
Gonski recommends that there be more prominence given to the general capabilities of critical and creative thinking, personal and social capabilities and makes the case for more inquiry based learning.
Research over many, many years continually finds that the most important factor for educational achievement is teacher directed instruction. How that instruction is, does vary. The instruction is more effective when it is designed according to how human brains process and store information. British educationalist Dylan Williams has called the “Cognitive Load” theory, the single most important thing for teachers to know.
Inquiry learning has its place in a thriving classroom. Students explore topics, ask questions and draw connections helping them to own their learning. But inquiry learning cannot stand on its own and instead must be interwoven into a dynamic and responsive teaching mythology which employs a myriad of techniques to ignite student interest, to engage students in learning and to direct their cognitive development.
Another important point is teachers adjusting their teaching to the cohort and the individuals in the cohort, has significant positive effects. The staff at our College continually reflecting on the success of their pedagogy, is vital for grounding the student, rather than the subject.
Good schools exist on a continual improvement spectrum, constantly striving to improve their educational environment and outcomes for students. Good schools also hold a steady course in line with their vision and mission.
Mr Graeme Dent
Head of Senior School - Waurn Ponds