- Striving for "the Greater Gifts" across Catholic Education Community
- Celebrating Catholic Education Week at St Columba's
- Deputy Principal Position 2018
- School Photo Day
- The Big Move
- Assembly - Monday 29th May
Across the Diocese of Ballarat this week, sixty-four schools educating 18,500 students are celebrating Catholic Education Week. The theme this year is Strive for the Greater Gifts (1 Corinthians 12: 31) based on St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in which he goes on to attest that all that we do must be centred on faith, hope and (particularly) love.
In essence, Catholic schools seek to provide education that is centred on love, which as St Paul reminds us, is patient, kind, honest, gentle and hope-filled; the sort of education that respects every student and stretches them towards constant growth; and the sort of education that says to every child and young person, "you have value and worth and we expect great things for you".
It is hard at the moment not to be caught up in the funding debate surrounding Catholic education and it can be easy to forget why we need to continue to put our case to the Australian Government. It is because in Catholic education we welcome and offer support to all families who desire an education in which we "strive for the greater gifts". That is not something that we want to lose. The current quantum of and flexibility around system funding in the Diocese of Ballarat allows us to provide fee alleviations for all students in primary schools who hold a Health Care Card and many other families who are experiencing financial strain. It allows us to provide timely support to a new student - even one with very high support needs - moving into a school after census day (the technical cut-off day for school funding). Flexible system funding enables our schools to ensure that every student has every opportunity every day to learn and to grow and to flourish. Such flexibility provides the "level playing field" that our society demands for every child and young person in Catholic education.
Catholic Education Week provides a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the contribution that our schools make to their local communities across our diocese. As communities of faith, hope and love, as education providers, as community hubs, as employers, as active community partners and in the service of parents who all want the best choice for their children, Catholic schools make a measurable contribution to our society. Education, centred on the Good News of Jesus, the love of the human person and hopefulness about the future, is how we "strive for the greater gifts" with our education dollar every day. That is something worth fighting for.
Director of Catholic Education in Ballarat Diocese
Celebrating Catholic Education Week at St Columba’s
This year our school will be celebrating Catholic Education Week with our ‘sister Catholic school’ - Our Lady Help of Christians, Wendouree.
Tomorrow, Thursday 25th May, OLHC Prep, 1 and 2 students will join with our junior students at St Columba’s for a shared liturgy in the church at 12.30. The children will eat lunch together and share in games and activities over lunch. The OLHC students will return to their school at 2pm.
St Columba’s middle and senior students will be bused to OLHC at 12 noon to share in a liturgy, lunch and activities over the lunch break. The students will return to St Columba’s by 2.15pm.
Deputy Principal Position 2018
Congratulations to Julie Cooper who is the successful applicant for the Deputy Principal position for 2018.
Julie will work alongside Shaun Mohr in leading St Columba's School next year while I am on one year's leave. Julie has been a long-standing staff member of St Columba’s and has had various roles in both leadership and classroom teaching over that time.
School Photo Day
School photos will be taken on Wednesday 7th June. Photo envelopes were sent home with students late last week. The photo envelopes need to be brought in on photo day and given directly to the photographers by the children. Full winter uniform needs to be worn by every child on the day, including the woollen school jumper. Please note that Grade 3/4 students will need to wear school uniform and bring their runners in their bag to change into for PE later in the day. Grade 6 students are able to wear their Grade 6 blue polo tshirt instead of the gold tshirt.
The Big Move
Finally the day of ‘handover’ of the new building spaces is fast approaching. Next Wednesday 31st May is the official ‘handover day’ of the new Prep and 3/4 learning spaces. We are all getting very excited to finally be able to move into these spaces and put into practice all the preparations we have made. Thanks to the parents who have already offered to assist with the move. We would really appreciate your assistance on Thursday 1st or Friday 2nd June - even if only for an hour. Please let any of the Prep or 3/4 teachers know if you can help, or leave a message at the office.
Parents, grandparents and friends will have the opportunity to wander through the spaces and see the children working in them at an Open Day on Friday 9th June from 12.00 to 4.00. This will follow the celebration of our St Columba’s Feast Day Mass at 11am. Hopefully you can join with us to celebrate this special day.
Lots of different terms are used for new building spaces in schools. Open plan, flexible spaces, collaborative learning; each of these terms seeking to describe something that is highly complex and far more involved than simply removing a few walls.
Shortly the new learning spaces at St Columba’s will be opened, beyond updating an aging building, these new spaces mark an exciting opportunity in the already incredible learning and teaching that occurs at St Columba’s. Simply creating a new building doesn’t bring about better outcomes. Countless hours and hard work have been invested by the teaching staff to best understand how to use these spaces.
For a number of years now teachers have been working collaboratively to ensure the best for all students. In education, as in many industries, we are seeing the benefits of a shift from an individual responsible for outcomes (1 teacher:1 class), to a team of educators responsible for all students.
Shifting to the new spaces allows us greater flexibility in our allocation of resources - time, space and people in order to create a truly personalised and targeted learning experience for all students. The spaces allow teachers to implement practices that they have been working towards despite the restrictions of their physical environment. Yesterday saw three of our learning teams working on a full day professional learning session unpacking just some of the opportunities afforded by the change, as well as working on the logistics of the short term disruptions that ‘moving’ will create.
We look forward to sharing these new spaces with our community in the coming weeks and months.
Assembly - please note change of date
This week’s assembly has been moved to next Monday 29th May due to a large number of the LG 5 students attending a football carnival this Friday. The assembly will be held at 2.30pm in the church and LG 5 will lead the assembly.
The following Prep students will be introduced at this assembly:-
Evie Morgan, Nathan Vowles, William Pitman, Ethan Mardling, Elsie Brady, Tanner McCarthy and Jack Barlow