Ask not how good is your child, but how is your child good.

Interestingly this was the take home message that resonated with many of the students who attended our family forum on our New Metrics for Success Partnership with the University of Melbourne. With over 70 people in attendance, Jayne Johnston outlined the growing movement internationally and here in Australia in education, tertiary and industry sectors exploring how to capture, assess and measure complex competencies that are valued and essential for people to thrive both within and beyond school. There was a broad range of interest expressed with many attendees sharing what they are noticing in their workplaces that aligned to this thinking. We are excited by the number of parents who signed up to continue to be involved in conversation around this shift in thinking as we move to introduce this with our Year 7 cohort in 2023.

Like many other parts of our community, we are experiencing increased absences as students and staff are impacted by colds, flu, COVID 19 and other illnesses. As we have done for the last 2 years, we have responded by being adaptable and flexible and I wish to acknowledge the efforts of staff, and our casual replacement teachers who have pulled together to ensure we have been able to maintain learning continuity for the students. We continue to monitor the situation on a weekly and at times daily basis. We ask that families continue to monitor the health of their young people. Where you’re your daughter is presenting with cold or flu like symptoms we ask that they stay home until they are well. RAT testing recommendations change from Monday to testing only if a household contact or symptomatic. Whilst the mask mandate is no longer in place, we are fully supportive of students or staff who wish to wear masks.

Our NAPLAN roll out for Years 7 and 9 using the online platform has proceeded relatively smoothly over the past 10 days and we thank the IT team for their support of this major change. We note today that the period for undertaking catch up tests has been extended for another week due to the number of student absences.

Yesterday, staff commenced our professional learning day with small group goal setting conversations informed by student feedback through the PIVOT surveys and our annual action plan goals including our work around assessment and feedback. On a rating scale of 1-6 all the scores across the three domains were between 4.63 and 5.39. The top three areas for celebration were:

– This teacher knows a lot about the topics in this class
– I know how I am supposed to behave in this class
– This teacher respects me for who I am

As well as individual students, the various teams in the College will also consider this feedback as they work on various improvement goals across the year. A second survey will be conducted later in Semester 2 to measure growth across the year.

Final preparations are underway today as we look towards Monday for our Mass of Celebration and Thanksgiving as we farewell the Brigidine Sisters from Geelong. Last year Sr Geraldine who had been a member of staff until 2020 and Sr Margaret, moved back to Melbourne which marked the end of an era. We are both privileged and humbled that we are able to celebrate this occasion for the sisters and our community and we trust that it will be a memorable and joyous occasion for all.

Even though Monday will be a celebration of endings, it also is a reminder of what is entrusted to us as a community to steward into the future. And so I finish, looking forward to Monday, inspired by this prayer attributed to St Teresa of Avila and St Therese of Lisieux:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow our soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.