By Mr Kort Goodman - Principal
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I look at my calendar and realise that we are nearly at the end of week three of term four I start to break into a bit of a cold sweat. No matter how we plan and strategise, there never seems to be an escape from the frantic rush which characterises this time of year. Term four is our shortest term of the year, though packed full of major events and celebrations. In many ways, the biggest threat is looking ahead to the finish line, without ‘lowering the eyes’, to ensure that all potholes are successfully navigated. Study schedules must be plotted, assignments well-drafted, social events managed and staples such as sleep, and nutrition are attended to. The majority of our Year 11s have commenced Unit 3 of the new QCE and Year 12s will be finishing their final assessments for their QCE and OP results at the end of the year. For both groups this will be a demanding term where they will need to focus on their studies.
When researching time management or organisational management strategies there are literally thousands of self-help guides and resources that guarantee to help us be more organised. Pinterest alone displays 246 different organisational planners, lists, quotes, books and other resources which would, or if you believe the sales pitch, will change your life and achieve stress-free success! There are many common themes which flow through these organisational resources including;
- Write a to-do list
- Break big tasks into smaller chunks
- Remove yourself from distraction
- Set priorities
- Create a planner
- Goal setting exercises
- Get enough sleep
- Eat well and hydrate
- Do regular exercise
- Have a positive mindset
- Practice mindfulness, which is really another way to pray
- Manage social media use
- Utilise mentors
Many of these tips and resources can be useful but in my mind none of them are sustainable for the long term without two important ingredients – self discipline and being open to the support of others.
Self-discipline is about choice, we can either choose to do things as we have always done or we can break with our old habits. I find that making improvements to my organisation assists in developing my self-discipline and vice versa. Like all the other habits, improvement in organisation can slowly build up over time, it requires some effort, consistency and attention but it will pay off enormously in the long run.
The second ingredient is even more important than the first. I need people around me to support me in being more organised and disciplined. I am fortunate to have a number of critical friends who I draw on for support and who keep me honest and on the right path. When we admit to ourselves that we can’t do all of this alone, we open ourselves to the support that is around us.
I say this especially at this time of the year to the young women and men of our College, particularly our Year 12 and 11 students. I have always had the belief that our most successful students, the ones who are on their way to realising their full potential, are those who have drawn on the support of those around them.
As parents we have an important role to play in supporting our children, particularly at this time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and proactively engage with your daughters and sons, even it they push back a little. So to all our parents and our students, I offer these couple of pieces of gratuitous advice as we enter this critical time of the academic year.
Parents – try to avoid nagging about study but offer consistent support and encouragement. Don’t be busy around exam time as they will need you more. Make short visits to their study space with food and water and positive encouragement.
Students – include your parents in the process. Let them know when work is due or when examinations are coming up and get them to help you revise. Continue to constantly draw on the support of your teachers. Remember that they will do everything they can, to help you achieve your goals.
Finally, a reminder that our Presentation Night will be held on Thursday 14th November, in our new Assumption College sports hall. This event, which commences at 7.00pm, is significant in our College calendar as it provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the great achievements of our students. We ask that students and parents arrive and are seated by 6.50pm. As a sign of respect to students receiving awards, we ask that parents and students remain for the duration of the ceremony. It is anticipated that the evening will conclude by 9.00pm.
Have a lovely week.
By Mrs Anna Hardy, Acting Deputy Principal
Are Students Really Digital Natives?
A common phrase that we hear to describe our generation of adolescents is ‘digital natives.’ However, teachers report that many students, despite being "digital natives," need guidance to use social media beyond entertainment purposes (ASCD, 2019). Educators and parents need to find the delicate balance. Rather than seeing online platforms as a distraction, devices need to be harnessed for teaching and learning purposes. Students need direction and guidance on how to use these devices for educational purposes. Digital literacy is important for students and is not always skills that they have ‘learnt’ as digital natives.
School devices need to have a line between "educational technology" and "personal technology". School-issued tablets or laptops are for learning and official curriculum while personal tech is for entertainment and communication.
However, from a student perspective, there is no such separation in day-to-day usage. This is the difficulty for educators and parents alike. They may take notes on their phones, email their parents from a school tablet, play educational or commercial games on a school laptop, or ask friends about homework in a group text from a personal device. It may be important to have distinctions between school and personal tech, but it is equally important to acknowledge that these distinctions are frequently irrelevant to our students.
By directly addressing the challenges as well as the benefits technology might pose, teachers provide more opportunities for learning, increase trust, and improve classroom harmony (ASCD, 2019).
Students are rapidly assimilating skills in gaming, search tools, social media, and texting. Things are bound to go wrong sometimes, so it important to look for methods of repair than to simply focus on prevention of problems students may encounter when using these tools. Prevention is so central to many digital citizenship or "tech safety" curricula that this shift can take some time to adjust to, but repair is crucial.
In each of these cases, it is worth asking students these questions:
In what situations should students involve parents or teachers? When should they handle it on their own?
What might make situations easier to resolve?
How can we avoid a repeat or similar situation?
Would it be better to resolve this conflict in person or via email or text?
These questions work for a whole host of scenarios, from "everyday" social conflict to more intense situations where parent and educator involvement is called for. These questions can help our students see the implications of their actions and understand the transgression of boundaries. By talking through the scenarios with them, we provide students with a set of tools to handle peer conflicts without making them more intense.
ASCD Express, 2019, Teaching with social media. Retrieved on 21/10/2019 from http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol15/num03/toc.aspx?utm_source=ascdexpress&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Express%2015-03.
By Mrs Carol Sharp, APRE
Year 10 News
It has been a busy couple of weeks for our Year 10 students. Last Wednesday they had the opportunity to attend an excursion to Brisbane as part of their Religious Education course of study. Students were taken through a guided tour of the Buddhist temple complex in Brisbane where they saw, not only the temple itself but also the meditation room, calligraphy room and pagoda. After lunch and a bit of down time in the park, students were then bussed to Holland Park in South Brisbane to visit the Mosque. As they were there early, students were invited to watch midday prayer. Prayer rituals are one of the Five Pillars of Islam that students are currently studying in RE and no doubt witnessing the ritual allowed them a greater understanding of how Muslims express their beliefs in God. The Imam of the Mosque then sat down with the students and explained the structure of the Mosque and how it reflects specific beliefs of the Muslim tradition. A big thank you to Mr. Godley, Mr. Yates and Ms. Johnson for taking the students on the day. They said that the students represented the College and themselves very well.
“I really enjoyed the experience as a whole but I would have to say that listening to people passionately talk about their religion was by far the best thing to happen on the excursion. I also really enjoyed looking at the Buddhist temple.” Yr 10 student
This Tuesday all Year 10 students participated in a full day retreat with presenter Az Hamilton, the founder and director of the organisation Just Motivation. As a social justice organisation, Just Motivation’s mission is to empower students to make positive changes in the world. The focus is on making small changes that have a big impact. The core message of the day was:
- Be passionate about what you want to do
- Be grateful for what you have
- Be generous
Az shared multiple stories from his journey that explained the significance of the three messages above and many students said that they were inspired. The big challenge for the day was for students to list the 100 things they were most grateful for. The purpose of this exercise was to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on what they have.
“We also learned about the harsh conditions that many young children and teens in third world countries have to live with. This could include not having clean drinking water or not having a roof over their heads. We learnt to be thankful and to have gratitude towards the things in our daily lives we take for granted eg. Hot water, access to medicine and immunisations.” Year 10 student
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduation Mass
Last Monday, two of our Year 12 students attended the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduation Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba. This is a graduation mass for students across the diocese and recognises the important milestone of the completion of formal schooling for these students. It was a beautiful mass full of moving symbolism and inspiring speeches. A big congratulations to Joshua Forbes and Angus Gale for this important achievement.
SVDP Christmas Hamper Appeal
The Saint Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Appeal is well underway, and we thank students who are bringing in donations to supply local families with all they need for a special Christmas. We would encourage everyone to donate what they can, although we are mindful of the stress that many in our community are under with the continuing drought crisis and its far-reaching implications. We do not want families to feel pressured so our general advice to students is to consider going without something extra and using that money to contribute. Perhaps not having tuckshop for a week and bringing a simple, but nutritious lunch from home instead. This allows students to give something more than money.
By Ms Eliza Harris - Acting Assistant Principal - Curriculum
Term 4 has commenced with the energy and gusto we have become accustomed to throughout a significant year of change in Queensland education. As the excitement of Christmas holidays grows ever closer it is important to sustain positive study habits and focus on academic improvement of all students in our College community until the final bell of the year rings. This is of particular importance for our Grade 11 students who have worked industriously throughout the year to rise to the challenges and opportunities presented in the new QCE system.
Year 11 Mock Exam Block
In preparation for the discipline-specific external exams that all Year 12 students will sit at the conclusion of 2020, our Year 11 students will be sitting a mock external exam block in Weeks 4 and 5 of this term. The purpose of this is to establish an exam culture with our students and demonstrate the requirements and significance of the external exams for their subjects. Students have been well prepared for these exams and their remaining assessment items by teachers and the formative feedback these exam results provide will allow for more tailored and individualised support of all learners moving forward into 2020. Study hard and good luck!
New subject offerings in 2020
Assumption College is pleased to support the inclusion of several new subjects in 2020, including Senior Engineering Skills, Senior Music and Junior Agricultural Science. Due to these new inclusions within our curriculum student preferences for elective subjects will be re-entered for students in years 8, 9 and 10. We are excited to be able to offer a broader array of subjects particularly those with significant links to local industry.
By Mrs Mary-Anne Driver
Welcome back to the library! We are in full swing with our lunch activities again, bringing a sparkle to our area (and for days to come I suspect) with our glitter pictures.
It makes our hearts glad to see a room full of boys reading – silently engrossed in different worlds. The 10 minute reading during skills has increased the number of books being read, and the number of students looking for different genres to try.
Chess, poker, UNO and lego are being enjoyed with friends in our lovely cool area at lunch times.
St Mary’s Parish Family Groups
Are you wanting to make new friends, have some fun, extend your support network, or create a greater sense of belonging in the community? If you are single, a sole parent, a family with/without children, or a grandparent then a St Mary’s Parish Family Group may be just what you’re looking for.
Family Groups meet once a month for a simple social function (eg. picnics, BBQs, pizza nights, tennis, fishing, games nights) and are low cost/no cost. We’d LOVE more people to be involved – ALL WELCOME! For more information contact Family Group Coordinators, Justin and Marguerite Walsh on 0411092841 or the Parish Office on 46611033.
Melbourne Cup Lunch
By Mrs Alison Porter, Program Leader Student Pathways
- Year 12 students have been emailed information about several traineeship and employment opportunities for 2020. These are great opportunities and students should check these out to avoid missing out
- Year 12 students will be receiving their “school leaver packs” and school leavers guide. These will be provided by local community groups with representatives also speaking to students to provide information regarding post-school support services in our community
- Current Year 10 and 11 students wanting to take up a TAFE course with senior studies in 2020 will need to register their application by the 28th of October
- A reminder that Year 12 students applying for university in 2020 should complete their QTAC application. Please note that QTAC will not register the application until the application payment has been made and processed.
Thanks and Congrats
Last week we held morning tea for our school-based trainees and apprentices, their trainers, parents and employers. This event was in recognition of the work of these people, in particular, the local employers who have offered students these opportunities. Congratulations to our school-based trainees and apprentices!
TAFE At School – Register now for 2020
TAFE Queensland, South West (Warwick campus), is offering school students the opportunity to complete selected certificate courses as part of senior school studies in 2020. These courses are aimed at current Year 10 and 11 students. We have had a meeting this week with interested Year 10 and 11 students and discussed course offerings and the application process.
For further details of the courses and options families can consult the TAFE Queensland South West ‘TAFE At School’ 2020 Course Guide booklet. This booklet can be obtained at the Careers office at the College or online at http://tafeqld.edu.au. With the guide is the price list for the courses, however, most are VET funded and therefore fee free.
Any student interested in completing one of the courses should register an online application before the 28th of October. Students have been provided details of the application process and can register at www.tafeapply.com.
For more careers information, tips and news please view with careers newsletter that is regularly emailed to Year 10, 11 and 12 students or view it online at www.acwcareers.com.
Yr 12 Home Economics
This term the students are studying a unit that focusses on leaving home after school for further study or work. This week they produced an interesting dish that they could produce if they had guests coming – Pot Sticker Dumplings!
Nudgee College Performance
On Friday, 18th October, we were delighted to welcome the Nudgee College Music Tour to the College who performed for all Year 7 and 8 students, Year 9 and 10 Music students and all instrumental and band students. The bands showcase ensembles and an array of instruments with our students enjoying the range of songs and even putting on their dancing shoes for the final number.
Southern Downs Youth Council
Being a part of the Southern Downs Youth Council has been an amazing experience. I would strongly recommend being a part of the SDYC to anyone who is interested. The SDYC taught me how to be a part of a formal council meeting, communicate effectively with a team and how as a community we can make a positive difference.
Kaitlyn Newley and I enjoyed the conviviality of the lunches and the networking and meeting of people from around the district. We would like to thank all of the staff members who were a part of setting up this experience for Kaitlyn and myself.
by Matthew Higgins