It is fantastic to have all of our children back and active in classrooms this week. The sound of laughter has been like drought breaking rain for the staff at OLSCC, and we are certainly appreciating having your children back with us, living and learning in our amazing little College community. I also appreciate that parents are going through the same emotions as the first day of the school year including relief, anxiety and worry, though I can assure you that the children have started back very well.
Thank you to all of our community members who have respectfully been engaging in the new drop off and collection arrangements. I know it can be painful, though I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the road rules. We have further information in this newsletter regarding this, though I must support you by further explaining 2 items:
- You may only cross a solid single white line like the one that runs from the Prep end car parks right through to the Senior end car parks on Nicholson Street if you are entering or leaving the road. So, it is okay for vehicles that are entering the bus zone and staff carpark to cross the solid white line, or to cross the line to turn onto another street but it is not legal to cross the line to enter a park or complete a u-turn. The fine is 3 points and $240. Please drive around the block.
- Park in the marked car parks where possible. Definitely do not park between the marked carparks and the crossing.
Please, don’t do yourself out of your hard-earned money or demerit points to save a few seconds. Most importantly, it can be really chaotic out the front in the afternoon and people doing the wrong thing creates an unsafe environment for our children. We will continue to encourage police presence here whilst these behaviours continue. To avoid being booked by the police, please just follow the road rules.
New P&F Association Executive Elected
On Tuesday night at the P&F Annual General Meeting, our 2020 executive was elected after the reporting procedure for the 2019 year. I would like to sincerely thank Lotte Verhoef for her dedication to the role of President over the past 15 months. Her enthusiasm and passion for making a difference was a highlight of 2019, and we thank her for everything she continues to contribute to our College.
Our executive members for 2020 are Steve Barwick (President), Peta Spies (Vice President), Janelle Cronin (Secretary) and Clare Gibson (Treasurer). We look forward to another great year with the P&F Association!
Due to the fallout of COVID-19, our focus on preparing for enrolment season has only just commenced and there will need to be some changes in how we go about the process. This means enrolment will look a little different for this year. Firstly, if you are worried about not getting a spot for your child for next year, please contact the office and simply let one of our amazing staff know that you are interested. We are revamping our enrolment pack, so once it is finished, we will send you out a nice new pack with everything you need. Please be mindful that we have some year levels that have limited or no spaces at this point, though there is always the waiting list.
We are expecting an increase in numbers again in 2021 and are already beginning our staffing and timetabling, so please be sure to register your interest as soon as possible. Starting in Week 8, I will be conducting twilight tours around the College, as well as working on a virtual tour for those unable to make it here personally.
Over the Christmas break and into Term 1, we refurbished an original office and classroom area of the College which will now be utilised as our Chapel. This prayer space is nearly completely set up and will be blessed as our sacred space later in the year. This simple space has been converted into a place where students will be able to sit and pray and where gatherings can be held for class or year levels. This week we were blessed with a gift from Roslyn Boland and her family which will adorn our altar. We are blessed as a College to have families who appreciate their rich connection with the College as present and past students, and who give back to our community through their own talents.
I wish to share with you the beautiful letter that accompanied the altar banner.
The Boland family began their education in Dalby in 1979 at St Columba’s and St Mary’s Christian Brothers College. To date, 18 members over two generations have been educated by the two schools and the combined school.
Our College vision calls us to engage our young people in a journey in faith and knowledge. This quilted banner has a focus on the Mercy values and the Edmund Rice vision of helping others and reaching out to those in our community. The heart and hands symbol remind all in our community to spread the good news by word and through our actions. May the symbols of the hands making the shape of a heart also be a reminder that we give with our hearts and hands, as well as receive with them.
Deputy Principal Religious Education
"When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them." - Acts 2:1-4 (MSG)
Pentecost literally means 50th. It is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the Passover feast by the Jews, and it is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus by the Christians. On Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Christ in His Physical Body. Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church, of all those who have been reborn into His Mystical Body.
1) We need to permit the Holy Spirit to direct our lives
2) We need to cultivate the spirit of forgiveness.
3) We need to observe Pentecost every day
4) We need to be Spirit-filled Christians
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God's love.
“Come Holy Spirit
Make our ears to hear
Make our eyes to see
Make our mouths to speak
Make our hearts to seek
Make our hands to reach out
And touch the world with your love. AMEN.”
Middle Leader LYF and English
With the recent increase of staff supervision and police patrols at drop off and pick up times, it is evident that some road rules are not being observed. We do not wish for anyone to be issued traffic infringement notices, but ignoring the road rules is unacceptable as it increases the risk of an accident or incident occurring in a very busy school zone.
There have been a number of reminders about traffic movement on Nicholson Street and the areas where parking is permitted. Parking outside the standing zones in unmarked spaces is not permitted. The school crossing has 'no standing' areas on either side which allow for the crossing supervisor to have a clear line of vision when entering the road ensuring her safety as well as the safety of your children. Please do not park in unmarked spaces and no standing zones. You must also stop if you see the crossing supervisor entering the road with the sign raised at 45 degrees.
The option of stress free parking on Cooper Street is a great idea if your children can meet you there. It takes only a couple of minutes for students to walk to Cooper Street across the oval, they don't have to cross any roads and you don't have to deal with buses, reversing traffic and the difficulty of circling the block if you can't find a space. We hope that more people will soon start utilising Cooper Street as a great option, especially in the afternoons.
There is a solid white line that stretches from the beginning of the angled parking spaces along Nicholson Street at the Prep end all the way to the Senior end. Please look at the video below for the road rules around crossing the solid white line. We are observing a number of illegal manoeuvres every day and drivers can be fined for crossing the white line illegally. More details from the Department of Transport and Main Roads are also available via the link below the video.
For safety of parents/caregivers and students, we recommend that all pedestrian crossing of Nicholson Street takes place at the supervised crossing which is attended by the Crossing Supervisor. The supervisor is there for 45 minutes in the morning and then half an hour in the afternoon. If you are within 20 metres of any pedestrian crossing, you must use the crossing. Outside of this, we ask that you observe safety of yourself, your children and road users when choosing where to cross the road. Please look at the image below for some tips on pedestrian safety with kids.
Please also remember that the school zone has a speed limit of 40km per hour. The reaction time to stop if you are travelling at 40km per hour can be the difference between a minor accident and someone being killed. Please check your speed when travelling through the school zone.
The Year 10 and 12 students are both at important times in their lives. We are looking at pathways for Year 12 students and senior secondary pathways for Year 10’s. Attached are two articles that are worth reading for students and parents. The first is about researching the quality of courses that students may choose post Year 12. Whether it be a University course or a TAFE course, students need to put effort into choosing the right option. They must consider employment outcomes and whether a course has appropriate ‘work experience’ hours. Employers are looking for graduates who not only know the academics but those who can use them in real world opportunities.
The second article offers some helpful hints for students in Year 10 on what to consider when they are choosing subjects. Remember there are two important things to consider; 1) What do I like and what am I good at? Research proves that students perform better overall in subjects that they like and enjoy being in. 2) Choose subjects that may be prerequisites for a university course or a trade pathway. Make sure you and your child take the opportunity to meet with me to look at all the wonderful options that are available.
I am happy to start having initial conversations with students now and then the more formal meetings for pathway discussions will take place early next term. Parents or students will need to contact the College Office to book a meeting. I look forward to meeting with you and your child to start planning their pathway to success.
Careers Development Practitioner
Successfully transitioning students back to school
The recent home-schooling experience of Australian students is about to end with most states and territories transitioning kids back to school. For parents, many of whom have discovered just how complex teaching can be, the return to school will be a welcome relief. For children, going back to school may bring a mixed bag of feelings. Eager anticipation about reconnecting with friends and teachers will probably be accompanied by a level of anxiety about what school may be like upon return.
School undoubtedly will be a different experience for students post COVID-19. For a start they’ve just experienced a prolonged period of remote learning and an absence from their friends, which will take time to process when they return to school.
With organised extra-curricular activities put on hold most children have had a great deal of free time, which has placed the locus of control firmly in their hands. I suspect many kids will grieve their lack of freedom, as they’ve had a glorious glimpse of what an unstructured life is like. It may take some time for them to get back into the swing of school life.
With the return to school imminent here are some sensible strategies to make adjustment easier for students. Get ready for a return. Worriers and anxious types in particular like to know what’s ahead so your approach will make a difference. Prepare your child for a return by discussing the safety procedures the school will be implementing. Let young children know that an adult won’t be accompanying them past the school gate. Ask your child what they are looking forward to and check in with how they are feeling about a return. Validate any fears and apprehensions and correct any misconceptions.
Go slowly. This period will mirror the start of the school year when your child had to adjust to new teachers, different classmates and a new year level. Adjusting to change takes a great deal of personal energy, so you child or young person may become tired, grumpy, even moody at home. Make allowances for these personal changes and make sure they have plenty of free time to unwind after school.
Focus on reconnection. Make reconnection the theme for your child’s return to school. He or she will have to reconnect with friends, teachers and learning, which takes time. In all likelihood, your child’s teachers will use many strategies to help your child connect with their friends, reflect on their time at home and move them back into full-time learning mode. Support these activities and keep your learning expectations for your child in check.
It may take the rest of the term for some children to adjust to their life back at school. Stay calm. Anxiety is very contagious, so it’s easy for us as parents to take on our children’s worries and fears. The reverse is true, and kids can pick up our worries, taking them on as their own. As a buffer against anxiety ensure you do something each day that brings you some joy, whether it’s listening to music, going for a walk or having a coffee with a friend.
Look after yourself. In recent months parents and teachers have been doing significant emotional labour. The learning and adjustment curves have been massive, with little time to relax and take a break. Consider your own emotional resources and make your wellbeing a priority, which will make it easier for you to stay calm if your child experiences difficulties.
Communicate confidence. It’s a fine line that many parents walk between being flippant (‘you’ll be right’) and showing confidence (‘you’ll do okay’) when kids struggle to adjust to change. My research into childhood anxiety reveals that children and young people want parents and teachers to understand their fears and anxieties, and to coach them to negotiate difficulties including adjusting to change. You can support your child through sharing stories of resilience, focusing on the positives and letting them know that will eventually adjust.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up many difficulties requiring us all to quickly adapt to new situations. Flexibility is a prime characteristic of resilient people, so if nothing else, getting through these challenging times will make us all more resilient.
By Michael Grose
For Parenting Ideas Webinars, check out the flyer below for dates and times as well as how to log in using our College membership voucher so all sessions are free.
Please note also that Flexischools will now cut off at 8.30am in the morning for ordering. All orders must be placed prior to 8.30am each day.
A reminder from the Tuckshop ladies, please disregard any previous menus and refer only to the one currently on the College Website. The menu has been extensively updated and there are some items no longer available on certain days. Refer to the link below for the Tuckshop page on our website.
Any students who access busses to travel to and from school may be eligible to apply for a subsidy during May via the School Transport Assistance Scheme. Please read the attached PDF for more details.