Principal’s Blog

I recently read an article that challenged readers about ‘doing Lent differently this year’. It sparked my interest given Lent begins next week on Ash Wednesday. Many of us will have experiences of lent as a time of going without, doing for others, giving money to Project Compassion and having meat free Fridays.

This article asked us to think about Lent as a time to focus on our experience of God, by creating space for God to ‘woo us’. The author, Christian Bergmann, writes:

‘What if we saw Lent not primarily as a time of personal sacrifice, but as a time in which God is trying to court us, to win our hearts? As a time where he (God) is trying to get us to know him (God), in the most intimate way possible? As a time that is about God and not about us? How would that change our approach? How would that change how we pray, or what we choose to sacrifice, or what we choose to give?’  

But how would we know if God was trying to get to know us?

This requires an openness and awareness to the traces of God, or traces of transcendence. Perhaps it might be in a particular encounter or relationship with another that touches our hearts, maybe through a moment in nature, perhaps through a time of stillness and contemplation where we sense there is more, or a ritual like the signing of ashes on our foreheads. In allowing ourselves to be open to the invitation and love of God we must believe we are worthy and that begins with self compassion.

So as we approach Lent in this year of connecting with compassion, maybe we consider how to do Lent a little differently and carve out time just to notice how God is trying to give ‘new life and fresh hope’ to us in love. The full article can be found at The key to starting Lent right | The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (

The excitement and anticipation of swimming sports has been palpable around the College this week as final preparations and House meetings have been underway ready for today’s event. We congratulate and acknowledge the work of our House Leaders lead by the Year 12 leaders for their work in generating house spirit despite not being able to gather at school in large groups. Whilst we had some different arrangements at the pool to previous years, to implement a COVID safe carnival we were grateful for the opportunity to kick off our year with this celebration of community.

In relation to the recent announcements about changes to COVID-19 restrictions, from Monday 28 February students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks at school. Masks will still be required on public transport. We also recognise that some students may wish to still wear masks and are free to do so. We thank families for their support in conducting the twice weekly Rapid Antigen Testing. We understand this is to continue into the term and we will distribute these kits as soon as the next delivery arrives. We are still awaiting the updated Operating Guidelines which will help us understand the assessments we will need to make in relation to other school based activities.

Last week some of our student leaders engaged online with educators and students from the New Metrics Project Partnership. They listened to and shared their responses in a workshop facilitated by Professor Yong Zhao. Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. He is a critical friend to the New Metrics project. Yong Zhao is just one of a number of international thinkers and educators who are part of a rising chorus calling for the reimagining of learning ambitions, learning design and assessment and recognition. Our partnership with the New Metrics for Success Project is putting us into the mix of this conversation. Our Leadership Team and staff are exploring what this might look like for us in light of our Learning Charter and the following considerations:

  • Deepening and Personalising learning
  • Student Wellbeing
  • Building student agency and independence
  • Increasing a focus on pathways planning and knowing self
  • Learning for justice
  • Micro credentialling and capturing the fullest experience of education beyond subject based learning
  • Expressing our faith identity as a recontextualising dialogue school

We invite our community to save the date for the evening of Thursday 19 May when Sandra Milligan, Director and Enterprise Professor at the Assessment Research Centre at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne and key lead of the New Metrics for Success Partnership will be at Clonard to lead a conversation with our community. This day will be a student free day so Sandra can also spend time with staff. Further details to follow.