A Prayer for Catholic Schools Week
God, thank you, for the blessing of Catholic Schools.
Help our school to grow in Faith, Hope and Love.
Jesus, thank you, for the blessing of all those who work in Catholic Schools.
Help our school staff to always be your face to those they encounter.
Holy Spirit, thank you for the blessing of the families, children and parents
who are part of Catholic Schools.
Help our school families, children and parents to grow in understanding of the world
and grant them the strength to make right choices
when the world challenges what is right. Amen.
Dear Families, Students and Friends
Welcome to Term 2!
I trust you enjoyed a lovely Easter break. I hope you found time to relax with family and friends. Term 2 is off to a great start with the students settling very quickly to their routines and school commitments.
This week marks Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This aligns with the commencement of our enrolment period. Our theme this year, ‘Engaging Faith, Minds and Community’, best describes the Catholic school experience. It illustrates our holistic approach to educating children to become adults who personify Catholic values and serve their communities. You would be aware of the various activities occurring across this week with our K-12 Pathway schools. CSW provides a wonderful opportunity for our primary and secondary students to work together to enhance learning experiences.
Our term began for College staff with two days of input from the Berry Street Childhood Institute, Melbourne. These days form part of the four day program being delivered over 2019/2020. All staff from the College, along with colleagues from St Mary’s, St Bernard’s, St Bede’s Braidwood, St Patrick’s Bega, St Francis Calwell, St Patrick’s Cooma, and Lumen Christi Pambula were involved. Together, there were approximately 150 educators engaged in learning about the Berry Street Education Model. Essentially, learning skills to support best classroom practice to enhance student learning
“Berry Street believes all children should have a good childhood. The Berry Street Childhood Institute contributes to this vision by collaboratively building & sharing knowledge, encouraging public dialogue and mobilising leadership”. https://www.childhoodinstitute.org.au/
Year 7 2020 Parent Information Evening
On Monday, we hosted an information evening for families wishing to enrol their children at the College in Year 7 for 2020. It was a very successful evening with strong attendance. The atmosphere was energetic, and Year 6 students and their families enjoyed the curriculum displays and interactive nature of activities. There was plenty of opportunity for families to meet staff and other families new to the College. A presentation followed the expo with performances from the College Concert Band, along with musicians entertaining our guests and showcasing the exceptional talent we have at the College.
I think as parents, we look for a few key elements when considering school selection. Obviously for Catholic families, a Catholic Education is extremely important, where Christian values are modelled and are integral to a school’s culture and tradition. Regardless of a family’s faith or religious beliefs, Carroll College is a Catholic school that welcomes everybody who wishes to contribute to our community. Outside our academic rigour, our real point of difference is our philosophy on inclusion, respect for difference, and celebration of diversity. We have a very strong Learning Support Team and our pastoral care is of the highest quality. Parents want to be certain that their children will be safe, feel secure, and will make an easy transition into a trusting learning community for their secondary education. We expect that students will be engaged to strive for excellence, and be supported to do so with confidence; well connected with their peers and teachers.
This year our enrolment process has an online option. Families will be able to lodge enrolment forms online which will include the option to upload all supporting documents. Enrolment interviews will be held during May and June with myself. As soon as Enrolment Forms are lodged with the College, Mrs Nadine Cooper will be in contact with families to organise a convenient time to meet. If you have any questions at all regarding the enrolment process, please contact Nadine Cooper at the College on 44715 600. Also, if you know of family or friends who were unable to attend the Parent Information evening this week, please let them know that the enrolment period has commenced. Please encourage them to contact the College at their earliest convenience.
The Year 7 2020 Orientation Day is scheduled for Friday 29 November. Parents will be invited to join our Executive staff and our Senior Leadership Team for morning tea and tours of the College. These tours will include the opportunity to view our new classrooms which are due to be opened in Term 3 this year.
I am pleased to announce that our recently advertised Senior Technology and Applied Studies (TAS) position has been filled. Mr Jason Szkwarek has been successful in gaining this role and will be joining the Carroll College team from the start of Term 4. Mr Szkwarek comes to us from Lavalla Catholic College Traralgon, Victoria. Mr Szkwarek currently holds the position of Product Design and Technology/VET Building Teacher/Victorian Certified of Applied Learning (VCAL) Learning Leader/Trades Skills Centre Manager.
Mr Szkwarek is a highly motivated and passionate educator with a proven ability to foster strong relationships with students and parents. He has extensive knowledge and experience in Inquiry-based, Project-based Learning and an understanding of UbD methodology, and Product Design and Technology Method. He has industry skills in Building and Construction, Cabinet and Furniture Making and Manufacturing, and advanced skills in Information Communications Technology.
I congratulate Mr Szkwarek on his appointment to Carroll College and look forward to his arrival in October.
Community Council Open Meeting – Claim the Date!
The Community Council will be holding an “open meeting” this term. This will take place on Wednesday 5 June 2019 at 5.30pm in the HUB. The time has been moved back by half an hour to allow working parents to attend. We will have a guest speaker presenting from Catholic Education on the subject of Parent Engagement. Performance and Improvement Leader, Mr Tim Smith from Catholic Education is a founding member of Catholic School Parents Australia and has presented at national conferences on Parent Engagement. More details will follow in the coming fortnight, outlining the agenda for this meeting. All parents are welcome to attend.
NAPLAN ONLINE ASSESSMENT
A reminder that next week, students in Years 7 and 9 will be undertaking NAPLAN Online testing between Tuesday 14 May and Thursday 16 May. Students do not need to be computer experts to take the NAPLAN test online. Making sure students have computer skills is part of our school curriculum, and our teachers will ensure your child is familiar with the online format. To see the types of questions and interactive features of NAPLAN Online, visit the public demonstration site.
For more information:
- How to support your child during NAPLAN
- information for parents and carers
- Watch a video that explains NAPLAN Online
- Subscribe to ACARA’s monthly parent newsletter, Parent Update
Mr McAteer returns to the College next week, after taking some additional leave following the holiday period. I’m sure he has enjoyed the break with his family. I take this opportunity to thank Mr Sean Mulally who has been MacKillop Pastoral Coordinator for the past two weeks in Mr McAteer’s absence.
Enjoy the weekend ahead. Happy Mother's Day!
Welcome back to Term 2. I hope everyone had a holy and restful break.
Over the holidays many students took part in ANZAC day services around the Eurobodalla. Some students attended Dawn Services whilst others marched proudly in the memory of those who have given so much to serve our country. The College had great representation at many services held all through our local area which reflects the diversity of our College community. Thank you to all those who took the time to also attended services whilst away on holiday.
On Thursday at Assembly we took some time to explore some of the history of ANZAC day and to highlight the support and roles that women and families played in supporting the soldiers. Often they can be overlooked in stories and memorials. The life of those left behind in Australia was particularly hard, especially when those serving abroad came back with severe mental trauma with no support for the returned servicemen and women, their families and a culture in which it was not discussed and hidden away.
Mental health and wellbeing are more freely discussed and supported now more than any time in history. There is still though much work to be done as research uncovers ways we can support each other and our young people and their development.
As a College last week we were fortunate to have direct feedback into the provisions of mental health services in the South Coast region as part of a state-wide review into service provision and funding allocation. Some students from the College were able to give feedback as part of a forum on current service provisions, what could be done to support young people better, current services they have or use and discussion on how they currently manage their mental health.
The students responded with honest and thoughtful answers, and gave the review service much to think about, especially with their thoughts around what could be done to support young people and their families better in the local area. They were able to outline practical ideas around what services could look like and the correct locations in our local area to access support.
On Friday, I was invited back for input into a discussion with service providers and have further input into the provision of needs to support mental health services. The group was presented with some statistics on the mental health of young people in the local area. It showed an alarming need for further services in the Eurobodalla, with the coming Federal Election parties all promising an increase in funding to support mental health in this area which is promising no matter who is elected.
Boys, in particular, need all of our support with regards to their mental health. There is still a reluctance for them to discuss concerns when they are not travelling well, particularly at the point where early intervention and support may stop problems from developing further. This is something we are aware of as a College and are working to put a plan in place. In partnership with families, we can help and support our young men. The best way to support young people is to start conversations about mental health at home. Young people are very open and honest about where they struggle and need support; even small check-ins daily make a huge impact.
The College has many resources to support students, families and advise parents in how to support young people and their mental health and wellbeing. There are a large number of online resources than can be accessed online or over the phone.
The College has additionally partnered with an online service provision which allows students and families access to online counsellors and psychologist sessions via skype with the referral from their local GP. This services is accessible through Medicare and provided by onPysch. Their website is found here www.onPsych.com.au. If you would like further confidential information please contact myself or Naomi Bee, College Counsellor, and referral forms can be sent through. I will also arrange to have these forms put on the College website in the near future.
Please contact the College if you have any concerns with support needed for students around mental health. Early intervention is vitally important in supporting young people as well as strong support networks between home and school.
Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care
Welcome back to another term at Carroll College. I hope and trust our families had a safe and holy Easter Season. Term Two tends to be a little more quiet for the College in terms of large religious events and celebrations. In Week 5, the Year 10 CSYMI class will be facilitating a Retreat day for students in Year 6 who are preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. For any families in the Carroll College community interested in Confirmation for their child, there is an information session on Thursday 9 May at 5:30 pm in the iCentre at St Bernard’s Primary School. Families in the Sacred Heart, Moruya Parish, please contact the Parish for information. We wish all students preparing for the Sacrament many blessings and keep them in our prayers.
Catholic Education Religious Education Project
Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn is undergoing a significant change. Teaching theory and practice is modernising and responding to the needs of local contexts. The aim is to deliver a more engaging, dynamic and inquiry learning based curriculum. In order to prepare for these changes, every school in the Archdiocese is undertaking an RE Project in their schools to assess and analyse RE across the College. This investigation covers curriculum RE as well as the Catholic culture and religiosity of the school more generally.
I am pleased to be conducting the Project with following members of the Implementation Team: Karen Ashby, Catriona Colalillo, Paul Hamer, Charlotte Nicoletti, John O’Neill, Lizette Richards and Anna Smart. These staff come from a cross section of our community and all bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for RE to the team. I look forward to keeping parents and community members up to date with this project.
Religious Education Coordinator
Last term, the Xavier House celebrated Xavier Day. Our focus was on mental health and the theme was Crazy Socks. Each of the Xavier Homerooms worked hard to prepare stalls of delicious foods and activities for us to enjoy. We met in the hall for a brief presentation on the importance of good mental health. This was followed by a heads and tails competition as well as judging of the craziest socks. The lucky winners won a hot chip lunch for their homerooms. Our day was a great success with over $1000 raised for Muddy Puddles.
At last week’s assembly, our house captains, Jack and Talia were able to present our donation to Cate McMath from Muddy Puddles. All funds raised will be used to purchase resources for speech therapy. Congratulations to the Xavier House with a special mention of thanks to the Xavier homeroom staff for their support and assistance.
Xavier House Pastoral Leader
Hello teachers, parents and students,
I recently came across this open letter by the Virgin Airlines founder, Richard Branson. It addresses happiness and states of mind. I think it is worthy of further discussion. I have used it before but it is worthy of being re-printed. I would appreciate any suggestions for future articles.
You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.
It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my 66 years. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.
I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.
So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.
Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’ They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.
Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.
If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.
For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchild's tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer. It’s sunrise and sunset.
There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.
Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.
But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.
Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being – I promise you, happiness will follow.
This piece was contributed by Mr. Branson to help raise money for MIND, a Mental Health Organisation.
Happy regards to you all,
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