By Mr Simon Fleming - Principal
The Role of Parents in Learning
In recent years a great deal of research has emerged about our brains and learning. Traditionally, people believed that you were born with a certain level of intelligence and giftedness. This view has been well and truly debunked over the last decade.
Wendy Berliner and Deborah Eyre have written a wonderful book titled, Great Minds and How to Grow Them. They argue that:
Based on the overall body of research, we believe the balance of evidence is that genetics have minimal significance on how well you can perform at school … we believe that a combination of potential and motivation underpinned by learning opportunities and support delivers high performance … and that parents are crucial in helping to mix that learning cocktail.
Research from both the US and UK shows that:
Children of parents who were involved with the school had fewer behavioural problems, better academic outcomes and were more likely to finish high school.
The more parents are seen by their children to be working in tandem with the school the more this reinforced the importance of learning to students.
Berliner and Eyre argue that first and foremost, parents need to be seen to support the school. If teenagers receive conflicting messages from their parents about the school, then this will undermine the student’s approach and attitude to learning. This is not to say that you have to agree with everything we do as a school. If there is an issue then this should be made known in the appropriate context and forum. The bottom line is – how you speak about the school significantly impacts on your child’s perception of the school which influences their approach to learning.
As a College we look forward to working with parents/caregivers and students in building on the importance of striving to be best we can be at all times. We also encourage our parents/caregivers to make contact with the College at any time to provide constructive feedback on the efforts we are making to provide a great education for our students.
Have a lovely week.
By Mrs Anna Hardy, Acting Deputy Principal
Social Emotional Education
This year the College pastoral team have initiated a new social emotional education program for all students from Year 7-10. Year 7-10 students are now undertaking the ‘Program Achieve’ education program. Each social emotional activity addresses aspects of the ACARA national curriculum’s personal and social capabilities.
Activities are run in year level house groups by PC teachers. Activities take between 30-40 minutes and will operate in Monday Lesson 4 as per the College calendar. Year 7 and 8 students will also engage in Unleashing Personal Potential workshops run by Luke McKenna. The first of these workshops is Monday.
We have considerable data that suggests that all students need to engage in such a program whilst at school. Below is a snippet.
- In 2014-15 four million Australians reported having experienced a common mental disorder
- In Nov 2018 the Australian treasurer requests the productivity commission to enquire into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth for Australia.
- One area that the commission will report on is how the educational sector can contribute to improving mental health and economic participation and productivity in Australia
- QCEC and TCSO have made submissions to the enquiry and TCSO are lobbying Diocesan schools re: the educational benefits of explicitly teaching students social and emotional skills
Social Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.
Year 11 and 12 students will be delivered targeted social emotional workshops throughout the year along with academic skills.
If you have any queries about this new program please do not hesitate to contact the College pastoral team.
By Mrs Carol Sharp, APRE
Faith and Social Justice Groups
There are multiple opportunities for students to join in a variety of groups that help to develop faith or work actively for social justice.
- The Liturgy Group – this group has already started to meet and provide valuable input into the style, design, readings and themes of the masses and liturgies scheduled for 2020.
- Vinnies – The St Vincent de Paul group had its first meeting last Monday. The purpose of this group is not only to fundraise for charity but, most importantly, to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. As a social justice group, Vinnies works to challenge unjust structures within society.
- Sewing Group – last year’s Dress for a Girl group was very successful, providing new dresses and human dignity, for girls living in poverty who are often neglected. This year the group will expand to other sewing projects as well.
- Environmental Group – later in the year, an environmental group will be established for interested students to consider ways they can protect the earth and encourage a ‘green’ approach within the school and wider community.
- Riding for the Disabled – as always, the RDA group will commence in term 2. A group of interested students walk to the showgrounds once a week to assist disabled people in horse riding activities. A truly rewarding experience for both the disabled children and our students.
- Tuesday 25th Feb – Year 7 Hatch Retreat
- (held at ACW, students to wear sports uniform)
- Wednesday 26th Feb – Year 8 Hatch Retreat (held at ACW, students to wear sports uniform)
- Wednesday 26th Feb – Ash Wednesday liturgy (held during PC time in house groups)
Every year during lent we run our Project Compassion fundraising for Caritas. In keeping with the themes of fasting and almsgiving during this time, we encourage students to go without something and instead, use this money to donate to those in need. This is not just an act of charity but an act of solidarity. When we go without things by choice, we are reminded of those who have no choice but to go without. We become grateful for what we have been given and are open to Jesus’ message of love and compassion.
We strongly encourage all students, regardless of their religious beliefs to make an effort to deny themselves those things that they want but don’t really need this Lenten season. Let’s remember just how blessed and lucky we all are.
For forty days, Ash Wednesday calls for us to accompany Jesus on his passionate journey to Calvary where despite his suffering, shows immense mercy to those who had sentenced him to his death. This powerful moment highlights the importance of both asking for mercy of God and showing mercy to others within our own lives. As we reflect on our lives during this Lenten season, let us consider the things in which we ask God for mercy, and recall moments in which we have not shown mercy to others.
Fasting, almsgiving and prayer are the cornerstones of Lent and Jesus tells us they should not be done merely for personal gain or status. Rather, when we take the time to pray, fast and give to others, it should be done in consideration of the good of others and honouring in God.
The blessed ashes are a reminder to us of the Lenten promises we will make in our own lives, and to encourage us to give ourselves to others, just as Jesus did for us. This significant time in the liturgical season asks us to reflect on the needs of our brothers and sisters and be thankful to God for our many blessings. We are reminded of those who do not have access to the basic necessities to live, and consider ways in which we can act in service to them. As we prepare for the death and resurrection of Christ this Easter season, let us go further and give ourselves in service on this Lenten journey, together.
By Mrs Julie Collins - Program Leader Sport
Border District Swimming Carnival
On Wednesday 12 February, 14 students represented the school at the Border District Swimming Carnival. There were many highlights on the day with the girls collectively taking out the overall point score trophy.
Individually, Alyssa White was awarded the Under 14 girls' age champion and Lily Osbourne took home the Under 15 girls' age champion runner up award.
Congratulations to all of the students who participated and represented the College with pride. It was fantastic to see Assumption College so well represented on the day.
By Mrs Mary-Anne Driver
This fortnight we have been spending time getting to know the students who are making this space their own. We are inundated with chess players and students who are very keen to socialise while playing board/card games and, of course, the new ipads are very popular to spend time on.
We are a community and we are following in the footsteps of Edmund Rice, Catherine McAuley, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Sr Mary Vincent Donovan, our house teams. It is lovely to see our community at work, including others, welcoming all to join in a game, or just ‘moving over’ so 4 can fit on the couch!
Mrs Andrews has been running some library skills lessons with years 7, 8 and 9 so we now expect students can search, reserve and find books and information in our physical collection through the AccessIT online platform. Over the coming terms, she will also step them through the extensive collection of digital resources that we subscribe to, like Gale and Encyclopaedia Britannica, as well as a host of other free sites such as: FUSE secondary, Trove, Google arts and culture, and our local Southern Downs Regional council.
Ask them to show you our wonderful Access-It platform!
By Mr Scott Clegg
Term 1 School Fees are being charged this week and the accounts are due 27th March 2019 unless you have a Direct Debit or other payment arrangement with the College.
If you have any queries, please contact the college office. Thank you.
Student Address Collection
Senior Visual Art Student Studio Day
On the 13th of February Senior Art students attended a Margaret Olley/John Honeywill inspired still life workshop. Photos below give you a glimpse into the still life set up in the art class room for students to engage with and develop works across the day.
Students were asked to complete observational drawings, mono-printing and acrylic paint media experiments on the day. Finally they completed a photography challenge where they had to select from the objects within the still life and generate their own interesting photography composition that would wither - celebrate the beauty of the objects or tell a story through the relationship - proximity or closeness of the objects within the image they created.
I thank students for their participation on the day and Mrs Alannah Johnson for loaning a range of interesting objects from her collection to enhance the visual interest within the still life set up for students.
Year 11 Biology
Last week, Year 11 Biology students used their scientific skills to create slides and view them under the microscope. They used onion skin to view plant cells and identify features within them. Students have been learning about the structure and function of cells within plants and animals and their essential role in sustaining biological systems.
Highways and Byways
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton will be speaking in Toowoomba at the invitation of the Missionary Sisters of Service and their mission organisation Highways and Byways – a Community of Service.
She will share her story “A Personal Journey of Faith” at St. Theresa’s parish centre, cnr. Campbell and Curzon Sts. on Sunday 8th March. Arrive at 1.30 for a 2pm start. Cost $25, includes afternoon tea. Pay at the door - cash preferred. The lecture is open to all who are interested.
At this same gathering Bishop Bill Morris will also launch a book of the letters of the founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service, Fr. John Wallis: “Dear Mother, Dear Father”.
Bookings required. RSVP before 28 Feb. 4634 9786 or email email@example.com