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We are approaching the end of the third week of our Lenten season. Last Sunday’s Gospel reading was from John and gave the story of Jesus entering the temple. When he entered the temple, he was taken aback because it was more of a market place than a temple. The Gospel tells of Jesus driving the merchants from the temple with great anger. When challenged about his position by the Jews, Jesus answered … “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it.”

As mentioned previously, the Gospel stories throughout Lent are about relationship with God. The message of this relationship is reinforced with different settings and circumstances but always comes back to the main message – to live life to the fullest we must put our faith and trust in God. The story of the temple has a greater meaning than what simply was happening. The temple was meant to be a place where people could go to meet God and pray. However, over time other distractions and temptations had taken over and could creep into this place of reflection and prayer. Also, when Jesus spoke of raising the temple in three days, he did not speak of a material build, but rather the temple being himself. If we were to use this same metaphor with our own lives, we could question the health of our own relationship with God. What are the distractions and temptations that have crept into distracting from our relationship with God. In saying that the temple was his body, Jesus was saying that all that his place of prayer and reflection is through himself as person and all that he does is a part of that relationship. If we think of this in personal terms, if our body is our temple, how do we enhance our own relationship with God and have other distractions and temptations changed our own thoughts and actions for the worst.

Yesterday, we celebrated International Women’s Day. In an all boys’ school, it is especially important that we take some time to celebrate the support and work of the many great women within our lives. I would like to make special mention of our ERA for Change group who spoke to the full school assembly about the significance of this day. They also arranged for our young men to write messages of support and thanks to key women in their lives and they were posted on the entrance wall to the College. The ERA for Change students also wore purple shirts around the school all day with some key messages and facts about some of the disadvantages that women currently face in society. As a College staff we held with a special morning tea to celebrate the wonderful work, expertise and collegiality that our many women staff members bring to our College community on a daily basis.

We are now approaching a time when many assignments are becoming due. This would have meant that your son(s) have submitted assessment items through our new Realm system. The drafts and final pieces would have been, or will be, marked on-line and parents will also have the opportunity to see the assessment piece and the teacher comments and marking criteria. We believe that this will be far more useful to parents than an end of term report that gives general overall comments. During next week, I will forward a detailed communication as to our future direction for giving feedback and reporting student work. This position is a result of the community feedback to our reporting system during the first semester last year and the new capabilities of our new student learning management system (Realm).

Last night, the Mr Paul Chesher from Business Improvement Australia (BIA) presented to our Year 10 students and their parents regarding the work that his company does with our young men. This is the fourth year that we have worked with BIA. They assist our young men in considering what careers might be available to them when they leave school and what considerations they could make in terms of subjects to select in Years 11 and 12 to meet these career possibilities. The reports that are given to the parents and students are very thorough, but only one further piece of information available to the students and families when considering their senior study pathways. The presentation was aimed at explaining the program to our students and parents. Our young men in Year 10 will start the program in the second week of next term. There were many attendees at the presentation and I hope that it was useful and relevant to all who could attend.

We are also rapidly approaching our exam period in the various year levels. It is important that each of the students, particularly, the older ones are in a study pattern that includes good revision time as well as completing written homework. It is during this time that schoolwork and study needs to be more of a priority to the young men. Likewise, the Years 11 and 12 students have their exam timetables and should be preparing a study timetable for the days during the block exam week to ensure that they have given sufficient time to each subject in their preparations.

On Monday, our Swimming team competed in the AIC Swimming Championships. Our team finished sixth overall and many personal bests (PBs) were set within the races. I would like to congratulate Ms Kelsey Duke and the coaching staff for all their time and efforts over the Term 4 last year and during this year. I would also like to thank the swimmers for their great spirit ad efforts over the course of their training and during the championship. I might be biased, but I thought that our supporters were outstanding. The Year 10 cohort were very well led by the senior students and they certainly showed great spirit and support.

Last Friday morning I received a letter from Mr Andrew Laming MP. He is the member for Bowman and on the Federal Government Education Standing Committee. In his letter, Mr Laming congratulated our senior cohort of 2017 who undertook an Overall Position (OP) pathway for their outstanding efforts. He had undertaken some analytical work with the OP results for all 370 secondary schools across the state and placed our young men’s results within the top quarter of the overall state results. I believe that this is testimony to the dedicated work done by our all our staff. As a staff, we constantly remind ourselves that each of us has input into the learning roadmap of all the students. Teaching and learning is not done in isolation of year levels or subjects.

This weekend we compete against Iona College in cricket and volleyball. Our junior teams are at Iona and we host them here in the older year levels (9-12). I wish all the players the best of luck and I hope that each enjoys his game.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal