Last Sunday’s Gospel was a reading from St Mark. The theme of the Gospel reading centred around placing your trust in Jesus. Trust is a word that we often use, but it can sometimes be hard to define in some contexts. In the light of Mark’s writing, trust was about having absolute faith in Jesus. It is about believing in what Jesus says and making sure that we practice this belief in all that we do. During the opening Mass last Friday, I mentioned in my address that if we are to be a loving
Last Sunday’s Gospel was a reading from St Mark. The theme of the Gospel reading centred around placing your trust in Jesus. Trust is a word that we often use, but it can sometimes be hard to define in some contexts. In the light of Mark’s writing, trust was about having absolute faith in Jesus. It is about believing in what Jesus says and making sure that we practice this belief in all that we do. During the opening Mass last Friday, I mentioned in my address that if we are to be a loving Catholic community, then Jesus Christ must be the heart of what we do. Mark also reminds us that to ensure that this trust is prolonged, we must constantly pray. This prayer is a reminder to us to stay on task to Jesus’ teachings. In daily terms, prayer can be used as a short reflection to remind ourselves about what is really important in our day and lives. It is a time to talk to Christ – to be in relationship with him. This means passing over the more superficial daily work tasks and looking into our relationships with those that we love and those that surround us in our daily lives. I am sure that everyone would agree, our community and the wider community would be a better place if everyone was to do this.
There has been a lot of energy within our College over the course of this week. On Monday afternoon, our Year 12 cohort undertook their first whole group Leadership Program since their leadership camp last year. This program is organised by Darren Kearney and facilitated by and external person: Mr Bernie Kelly. We have used him for many years at the College, and Bernie has developed a great synergy between his Leadership Program and our own College expectations. Bernie also had a son pass through the College some years ago. Once again, the cohort were impressive in their cooperation, collegiality and outcomes from the afternoon. This was followed up with a Year 12 Parent/Son Information Evening. I would like to thank the many families who were able to attend this evening and I hope that it was a relevant and worthwhile experience for each of you.
On Tuesday morning, we held our first Academic Assembly for the year. This assembly recognised and celebrated the efforts and resulting achievements of the students from their second semester work from last year. It was also a time to congratulate and celebrate the efforts of last year’s senior students who received an OP score of OP 1-5. This was 27% of the cohort. This year we also recognised the students who made significant learning gains from their efforts over the year. Ms Elizabeth Gaber and Mr Troy Schultz select these students using a formula that was devised by our College Data Team. It recognises the gains of all students across their full range of subjects. Once again, this year we had record numbers of students receiving awards. The teaching staff are very proud of this, and it is my continual aim to make this assembly the longest that we have each year due to the number of award winners.
During the assembly, we were very fortunate to have Mr Michael Crutcher as our guest presenter. Michael continues our tradition of using past students to present the awards and addressing the assembly. Michael completed his studies at St Patrick’s in the mid 1980’s and was rated within the top 5% of the State with his academic results. He has since gone on to enjoy a celebrated career in journalism and more recently, has started his own communications company. During his address, Michael gave some great advice to the students. There was a very clear message that good achievement will not come without hard work and effort. I would like to think that each of our young men listened to Michael and took away some learnings for their own future.
On Wednesday evening, our Year 10 parents and students met with the College Leadership Team for their Parent/Student Information session. This group will be the first to participate in the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) program to be implemented by the Queensland Government starting next year, including the first ATAR scores (replacing OP scores) being given to the students when they finish their Year 12 studies in 2020. Once again, I hope that this evening was relevant and useful to the families who attended.
During the last three days of this week, our Year 5 students have undertaken the Australian Educational Council of Research (ACER) tests in the areas of numeracy, reading and general abilities. These tests give us further data to use along with the Year 3 NAPLAN tests to ascertain an early idea of the cohort strengths and challenges within these areas. This information will also allow us to plan our resourcing around some of our intervention programs and class programs in these areas as well. These students will sit the test again in October along with the Year 6-10 cohorts. The other cohorts sat the tests in October last year and we will have their year to year data from that time. The young men in Year 5 were very cooperative and completed the tests on-line.
You may have read an article in today’s Courier-Mail regarding violence in school grounds. It would appear that students are videoing such things at their schools and sending them to certain social media sites to be distributed. I was contacted by a reporter from the Courier-Mail yesterday as our school crest and some of our students were posted on one such site. The students were not doing anything wrong as they were a part of a basketball competition and the video was showing some of their dunks, shots etc. However, one of our students must have taken the shots and sent them to the site. It is very unfair to the young men in the video as the images were cut and pasted into another one showing students from elsewhere fighting and our crest was also posted on the Instagram account. The reporter appeared to be trying to make some connection with these young men and our College regarding violence in schools. I would urge all parents to speak with their sons about the danger of posting any short recordings to such sites as they have been used to accompany other bad and dangerous incidents of student behaviour. Through no fault of their own, they may be implicated in such behaviours. I will speak to our student body about this during next week’s assembly and I would ask all parents to discuss this matter also with their son.
Next week’s assembly we will be launching our Men of Action Week and, as a part of this, we also outline our own actions to address bullying and the positive actions that we can all take to stop it from occurring.
Tonight, our Swimming team will host the other AIC schools in a carnival at the Centenary Pool in Spring Hill. On Saturday, our teams in Years 5-9 will host home games of Cricket and Volleyball against St Peter’s Lutheran College (SPLC) and our teams in Year 10-12 will travel to Indooroopilly in their away fixtures. I hope that all students and their families enjoy their sport.
Live Jesus in our hearts!