By Mr Kort Goodman - Principal
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students
What else can I say to start this newsletter but; OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!!!
Wow, what an amazingly talented, dedicated and inspiring group of students. From the students who played lead roles, to the students who were part of the support crew and everyone in between, your efforts over the last seven months, culminating in your performances over the end of last week has been simply sensational. You epitomize the culture that we are constantly endeavouring to embed at Assumption College – striving to be the best you can be through application, hard work and dedication. Congratulations to you all! You should be very proud of your efforts, because as a College we are so very proud of you.
To Mrs Searson and her immediate team; Miss Bastion, Mr Kirby, Mr Schultz, Mr Bernardi, Mrs Johnson, Mrs Cullen and Miss Cooper, your tireless efforts and generosity to prepare such an event has been phenomenal and on behalf of the Assumption College community I thank you. Mrs Searson commented on Saturday night that the group of staff and students involved refer to themselves as the musical family and this has been very evident in the way that they have interacted, challenged, cared and supported each other throughout the year. I believe that I can confidently say that our students who have been part of this musical are better young people for the experience.
To the numerous other staff members, students and parents who assisted in anyway with the preparation of costumes and props, ushering of guests, serving at the canteen and the many other jobs that were completed, we thank you so very much.
Finally, I would like to thank the parents of the students who were part of this wonderful production. As I stated on Saturday night; we are very aware of the fact that we only have to deal with these students when they are on their best behaviour at school, or when they are loving the comradery of their peers and the excitement of the preparation and performances. You have been the ones who have had to deal with the exhausted, irritable teenagers who have been not only juggling school and the musical, but in a lot of cases part time work and sport. For your support of our College and your child we thank you so very much.
Continuing the School Year Well…
Over the first few weeks of this term we have held a range of activities that have highlighted and congratulated students on their efforts up until this point of the year. We have acknowledged the efforts of students striving for their best academically by presenting Academic Excellence Medals and Academic Achievement Certificates. We have also presented 100% Attendance Certificates; we have acknowledged numerous individual and teams of students who have represented our College outstandingly in a range of sports and we will obviously acknowledge the amazing students involved in the school musical in the near future at school.
In order to foster, this spirit of continuing the school year well, I have dug out a few helpful tips that I presented back in 2017 that parents reported were useful in supporting their children.
- Be intentional about nurturing belongingness; if a student feels welcomed, valued, trusted and respected at home, there is a high chance that this positivity will enhance the student’s sense of belonging at school. Recent studies show that there is a high correlation between a student’s approach to school, their approach to learning and their sense of belonging.
- Model and engender attributes of inclusiveness, kindness, courtesy and respect; there are some things that simply cannot be told, but are taught, felt and learnt by example and empowerment. Among these are the vital attributes that allow us to get along with others, such as kindness, courtesy and respect. By coaching our students at home and at school about how to care for others, we allow students to develop bonds with their peers and the College. These bonds are closely linked to developing not only their sense of belongingness but also a student’s sense of empathy and willingness to assist and be assisted in their learning by their peers and teachers.
- Champion a Growth Mindset; our students need encouragement (from someone who they trust) to strive for their best, and they need to understand that trying (and sometimes not succeeding) is of higher importance than not striving for your best. To dare to be brave and strive for your best elevates personal growth and eventually our students will see this as being more valuable than the risk of disappointment when they do not succeed at first.
- Let your child lead; as students become exposed to a myriad of situations and a greater diversity of personalities, they need to learn how to master themselves. This includes developing self-control, self-discipline, self-regulation and self-awareness. Where learning is required guide your child through social stories and invite them to suggest alternative ways that the situation could have been played out. Allowing our students to lead their own self-discovery empowers them to work through the challenges independently.
- Explain to your child that it is important at times to just breathe; the number one antidote for anxiety and stress is controlled breathing: even one good, deep breath helps. To just breathe is a conscious reminder of an involuntary function. To breathe deeply on purpose injects a boost of oxygen to the brain and vital organs, relaxes muscle tension that impacts our posture and sense of well-being, and takes the brain off high alert to enable clearer thinking in the moment to make the most of each moment.
I hope that these few tips are helpful in assisting with engaging your student for the remainder of the year.
Have a lovely week.
By Mrs Anna Hardy, Acting Deputy Principal
Week 8 of Term 3 is Child Protection Week. Below are some activities that will be taking place in the College during the week. We have been randomly selected to participate in the survey. Students will complete this at school during PC time and we ask that parents also partake in the survey. The link will be provided in the coming weeks.
Child Protection Week (1-7 September 2019) - Activities
The safety and wellbeing of students is something that we care about deeply. As part of Child Protection Week there will be a number of activities occurring in our school, as well as other schools across the Diocese. These include:
- Lessons from the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum for students in Prep – Year 9
- Presentation of a 4-minute video that was filmed with students from our Catholic schools, called “It’s OK to Speak Up”. This video encourages students to tell someone about any worries they may have.
- Display of Child Protection Week posters
- Some schools will be randomly selected to participate in a survey of staff, students and parents about student protection matters. This state-wide project is being coordinated by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and 17 of our schools will participate.
We encourage parents to use this week to promote safety messages with your children. Further information will be provided closer to Child Protection Week.
By Ms Eliza Harris - Assistant Principal - Curriculum
With Term 3 in full swing and our peak assessment period rapidly approaching I would like to take this opportunity to remind all students and parents of the College’s academic expectations. Students must arrive to all classes prepared with relevant equipment, including a charged iPad or laptop and appropriate stationery and textbooks.
Failure to bring these required items, or failure to engage appropriately in the program of instruction may result in students being issued with academic detentions. These academic detentions are also issued when students fail to submit either draft or final assessment items in a timely manner. These academic detentions are organised and facilitated by the Junior and Senior Program Leaders and a letter outlining the relevant details will be sent home with your student if a detention is issued. Should a student fail to attend an issued academic detention without a valid reason given with advance notice, this may result in them being internally suspended.
I encourage all students to proactively check the assessment calendars and make arrangements to prioritise their study over other extra-curricular commitments. Tutoring is still run every Thursday afternoon in Rm 311-312 and is well attended by our dedicated staff who willingly volunteer their time to facilitate this program. With a busy term of extra-curricular events, it is important to make every day of learning count! Keep up the excellent effort!
By Mrs Carol Sharp, APRE
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On Thursday, August 15th the school community joined with St. Mary’s Primary school and St. Mary’s Kindergarten to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption with a mass led by Fr. Franco. This yearly ritual reminds us all that we are part of the parish of St. Mary of the Assumption and, as such, we have a special place for Our Lady in the life of our schools. Our Lady is a role model of faith, love and justice and this holy day of obligation reminds us all that we can know and understand Jesus through the enduring example of Mary.
For more information on the history and significance of this holy day visit https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/the-assumption-of-our-lady-15-august/
An icon of the Holy Dormition of the Mother of God, written by Fr. Thomas Loya, at the Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, IL. © Scott P. Richert
Other Masses and Liturgies
Opening and Blessing of New Buildings: On Thursday, August 22nd the Most Reverend Bishop Robert McGuckin will join us to preside over an official blessing ceremony for our new and refurbished buildings. This liturgy will happen in the new Assumption College Sports Hall and will include a range of invited guests including the Executive Director of Catholic Education, Dr Pat Coughlan.
Prayer for the Assumption of Mary
Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
By Mrs Alison Porter, Program Leader Student Pathways
- Information sessions for Year 12 students interested in applying to university or TAFE for 2020 will be held in coming weeks
- Students have been provided an updated list of application dates and details of some large employers for 2020 apprenticeship intakes
- Reminder that the University of Southern Queensland Open Days are coming up (Toowoomba – 18th August, Ipswich – 24th August)
- Applications for an apprentice Diesel Fitter with Southern Downs Regional Council close on 2nd of September. Details have been provided to students.
Year 10 SET Plan Meetings
It was wonderful to meet with so many Year 10 parents for their child’s SET Plan discussion last week. These discussions centred around students’ plans, including career aspirations, senior subject selection and future training and education. I would like to thank those parents who were able to come along. I understand that it wasn’t possible for all parents to attend and would encourage those who weren’t able to be present to have discussions with their child about these topics. To help with these discussions student SET Plans can be viewed in the student’s secure portal on the College careers website at www.acwcareers.com.
Year 10 Work Experience
Year 10 students can complete work experience this year in the last week of Term 3 (17th to 21st of September). Year 10 classes will not run in that week in the hope that all students attend work experience. The aim of such work experience is to give students the opportunity to develop their employability skills and their understanding of the world of work and career pathways. This time is quickly drawing near and students should be finalising their plans for their work experience and returning their work experience agreement forms. If any students have queries or need assistance, they should see me as soon as possible.
USQ Television and Radio Two Day Experience
The University of Southern Queensland is offering a two-day program for students interested in working in Television and Radio. This is an opportunity, limited to just 35 school students (25 Television and 10 Radio) to take two days out of their school holidays (Monday 23 & Tuesday 24 September) to engage with USQ academics, current students and industry partners. Students need to register for the program at https://www.usq.edu.au/study/faculty-events/2019/09/tv-and-radio-two-day-experience.
For more careers information, tips and news please view the careers newsletter that is regularly emailed to Year 10, 11 and 12 students or view it online at www.acwcareers.com.
By Mrs Mary-Anne Driver
We helped with Science week in the library on Tuesday. Participants had to use the spheros to navigate a lunar surface. Everyone had a great time learning both how to use the speheros and what the surface of the moon is like.
Games continue to play a big part in our lunch times with a UNO challenge last week proving popular, we have a couple of ‘spin off’ uno card games that are attracting a lot of interest too.
Book week is next week and we have even more fun and games than usual planned for the students. The 2019 theme is ‘Reading is my secret power’. 26 staff have told us what their secret powers are and students will have the opportunity to match the ‘secret powers’ to corresponding staff. The winner will receive a prize – standby next newletter for results (and maybe some photos).
On Wednesday the 7th August, ten Assumption College students participated in the Year 7/8 Mathematics Quiz at Warwick State High School. It was a very exciting quiz which had some very difficult questions for the students to answer.
The teams were:
Team 1: Alexander Newley, Thomas Ryan and Gabriella Kerlin.
Team 2: Keely Byrne, Kathryn Venz and Xavier Byrne.
Team 3: Alexis Casey, Tasmyn Walters, Ewan Willett and Amity Willett.
It was a fun afternoon and the students represented the school with distinction.
In one section, the students had to answer 12 questions in 2 minutes with no calculators or working paper. Here is one of those questions: “What is the obtuse angle formed by the hands of an analogue clock when the time is 12.30?”
That certainly gets the mind racing.
Team 2 won through to the next round of the competition which is to be held at Centenary Heights State School in Toowoomba. Congratulations Team 2! Our teams all performed credibly and enjoyed the night out competing against other students from many different schools across the Darling Downs.
Throughout Semester One, Assumption was proud to support several of our College Debating teams as they travelled to Toowoomba every fortnight to compete in the QDU Secondary Schools’ Debating Competition. In particular, our Grade 8 team consisting of Erin Walsh, Tasmyn Walters, Keely Byrne and Laura Scheiwe competed admirably in multiple rounds of both long and short prep debates and consistently achieved excellent feedback from the adjudicators.
The girls progressed through to the semi-finals, unfortunately being narrowly defeated by a very polished Downlands College team. The girls represented the College proudly in every round, with impeccable presentation and incredible efforts to rehearse entertaining and well-researched debates providing informed stances on a variety of complex topics. These girls would not have enjoyed the season of success they did without the ongoing and complete support of Academic Leader, Taylah Hoffman who worked tirelessly to support the girls each week as their coach.
I congratulate all of these young women for the polished and respectful manner in which they have represented Assumption and I look forward to seeing them in action again next season to hopefully take home the championship!
Drought Support - SDRC Update
As many of you are acutely aware, the current drought is having a devastating impact on our region and community. Historically, our community has battled on and come out the other side. However, this natural disaster has not let up and is testing the resilience of our community; and at times, their ability to cope with the most simple things.
Over the past few weeks/months, Council has seen a steady increase in enquiries from the community around accessing the more basic essential of life - water. When coupled with financial stress, the purchase of this essential item can be problematic for many of our local community.
To help spread the word that there is hope out there, should you become aware of a family who may be having difficulty with the expense of purchasing water, the Queensland Country Woman’s Association (QCWA) Public Rural Crisis Fund may be able to offset some of the stress on these families through the lodgement of the attached application. Instructions on submitting the application are clearly stated on the bottom of the form.
The most important part in completing this form is to:
- Describe how the drought has impacted on the applicants circumstances;
- Include a quote (price) from the local water carter, which includes their BSB and account number; and
- Provide a copy of a driver’s licence, front and back.
In addition to the above, Council’s Community Development Officer (Drought Coordination) is also a resource that may be of assistance to you with some of the issues that you may see in some families of students attending your school.
In addition to water, there are other resources available to the community that may be of benefit. These areas include:
1. Adult Mental Health First Aid Training
Late last year Council made application for a grant under Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated Care (TRAIC) Grants Program. The application sought to develop the professional capabilities of the Council around Mental Health and ultimately, roll the program out into the broader community.
The purpose of the TRAIC grant program is to enable Queensland communities affected by adversity associated with drought, disaster and other crisis to build community resilience. Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to withstand and recover from adversity.
Earlier this year, Council was informed of its success under this program, and two (2) officers attended training to become Standard Mental Health First Aid (SMHA) instructors, which allows Council to now roll out accredited SMHA training.
Approximately 20% of Australian adults experience a common mental illness each year. Research has found that completing an MHFA Course will help develop the skills in individuals that can support friends, family, co-workers and the community.
Having mental health first aid skills means that those trained can assist someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis and make a real difference to the person, and ultimately the broader community.
The 12-hour Standard Mental Health First Aid course teaches adults (18 years and over) how to provide initial support to adults who are developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis.
This course can be delivered by Council to anyone who you think may benefit at no cost.
2. Drought Resilience Sub-plan
In 2018 Council developed the drought resilience sub-plan, which sits under the Local Disaster Management Plan (which is prepared under the provisions Disaster Management Act 2003).
The purpose of the drought resilience sub-plan is to develop a resource and provide support for the local community impacted during and after a drought disaster.
This Drought Resilience Sub-Plan is a living document aimed to increase community resilience during times of drought. The plan is a framework which will assist in minimizing impacts when drought conditions are creating financial, emotional and environmental challenges to the well-being of the local community.
A copy of this plan can be accessed via Council’s website, more specifically, https://www.sdrc.qld.gov.au/council/disaster-management/disaster-management-sub-plans
3. Council Assistance Information
The Southern Downs was drought declared in May 2018 following extremely dry conditions and little to no rainfall for many months.
While we can’t make it rain, there are other ways our farmers/community can be supported through this incredibly tough time.
There are a number of government and community drought-assistance and financial support programs available to farmers who are adversely affected by drought.
4. Council Water Updates
Council provides weekly updates on the status of the water issue facing our region. To access the weekly updates, again head to the Council website, more specifically,
5. Government concessions and rebates
Find and apply for concessions and rebates that can help ease the cost of living pressures (for Queenslanders). The website includes information on a variety of rebates and concessions including the Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS), water fee relief and land rent rebates. The website also includes information on transport related drought assistance measures. There is a lot of information here and worth exploring for eligibility.
6. FairPlay vouchers
Parents, carers or guardians can apply for a voucher valued up to $150 for their child, which can be used towards membership, registration or participation fees with registered activity providers. Current round opened 31st July.