Deputy Principals’ Column

Faith and Mission

Br Tony Cummins – Year 12 Visit

Lasallian Volunteer programs are a significant feature of what is available to young Lasallians post school and a wonderful way of getting young people involved and engaged in ministry.

On Monday 12 September Br Tony Cummins visited the College and addressed the Year 12 students and post school opportunities to volunteer in the Volunteer Lasalle Program.

Please see details below for further information.

Charitable Donations Social Justice Mass

Thank you to all families who have generously supported and given to our charitable donation collection this term.

St John Baptist de La Salle’s dream was that social justice and a concern for the poor was our shared concern and his dream becomes realised through genuine experiences of solidarity. It is through your generosity that the community at De La Salle College can make a difference in the lives of the needy and vulnerable in our community.

All donations of non-perishable food and toiletries will be delivered in the holidays.

To celebrate and recognise the importance of giving and serving the needs of the poor in our community, the term will conclude with staff and students coming together for the Social Justice Mass.

Canonisation of Mother Teresa

In the past weeks, our church celebrated the canonisation of Mother Teresa. As an example and inspiration to all of us, Mother Teresa was an inspiration in the way she devoted her life to the poor. Much like our founder, St John Baptist de La Salle, she saw a need and acted. She was not afraid to challenge governments or the Church to advocate for the needs of those on the outer. Pope Francis described Mother Teresa’s work as “eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor”.

As Lasallians, we too are called to serve the poor and act out of a faith that is grounded in the message of the gospel.

Reflection

Sometimes it is harder for us to smile at those who live with us, our immediate family members, than it is to smile at those not so close to us. Let us never forget: love begins at home.

This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12

I wish all members of community, staff, students and families a safe and well rested two week break.

Mrs Rana Brogan Deputy Principal — Faith and Mission

Staff and Operations

2016 Camps Review

This review took a number of months and has been completed. The recommendations have been accepted for implementation by the College Executive.

The brief of the committee was to:

1. Audit and review current camp, tour and overnight stay arrangements
2. Make recommendations to the College Executive regarding the future direction of camps, tours and overnight stays at the College.
3. Make recommendations regarding the structure and function of an on-going Committee to oversee the approval processes for all camps, tours and overnight stays

After extensive research, consultation and analysis the committee identified the following as the rationale for camps and overseas trips as part of an Outdoor Education Experience Program for the next three years:

De La Salle recognises that experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom are important requirements in 21st century education. The Outdoor Education Experience Program aims to provide both an educational and recreational experience that is challenging, stimulating and engaging, building the keystones of developing strong relationships with peers and staff, fostering strong leadership skills and effective communication.

The aim of these camps is to provide opportunities for all students at the College to be able to Learn, Live and Lead in an environment that optimises student involvement, with student safety of paramount importance.”

The recommendations to the College Executive were:

The position of Camp Coordinator be retained and be offered as a two year position of responsibility within the College. Role description to be revised for 2017.

1. A Camp and Overseas Trip Committee be established for 2017 to oversee the planning and approval process for all camps and overseas tips at the College.
2. The philosophy underpinning outdoor learning be promoted across the College and embedded across the curriculum.
3. The Camps Program 4 — 9 be delivered as follows: (See findings section of full review for specific detail)

Year 4

  • Three day camp at Torquay in Term 1 (Wednesday 15 February – Friday 17 February)
  • Focus on transition, team work, water safety

Year 5

  • Three day camp at Sovereign Hill
  • Early Term 1 or 2 (Monday 6 March – Wednesday 8 March)
  • Curriculum focus with team-building skills

Year 6

  • Three day camp at Cave Hill Creek
  • Term 4 (Wednesday 18 October – Friday 20 October)
  • Focus on leadership, outdoor education, problem solving and challenge

Year 7

  • No change to current activity structure at Torquay
  • Three day camp at Torquay (dates to be confirmed)
  • One class per camp

Year 8

  • Retain Phillip Island as the preferred venue
  • Shift the focus to camp craft, sustainability and team building skills
  • To be run over four weeks in Term 3 and 4 (Dates to be confirmed)
  • Camps and Overseas Trips Committee to review Year 8 Camp for 2018

Year 9

  • New five day camp in the Snowy River National Park, East Gippsland
  • Shift the focus to outdoor education
  • Run over one week with the entire year level together (Monday 23 October – Friday 27 October)
  • To be facilitated by the Outward Bound organisation.

5. The Camps Program 4–9 be reviewed every three years.
6. The College maintain its existing funding level for camps as part of the College budget.
7. An annual camp levy to be considered by the College Finance Committee in the future for Years 4 – 9 camps, to supplement any shortfall in the annual College camps budget.
8. Identify all Year 4–9 camp staff required prior to the commencement of the school year.
9. Maximise involvement by DLS College staff and use CRTs as a “last resort” option.
10. Ensure thorough preparation and staff information is provided at the Collage prior to the commencement of each camp.
11. Camps and overseas trips for Year 10 -12 students continue to be offered on a user pays basis, pending approval from the Director of Finance and Administration.
12. Expanded camp opportunities be developed for Year 10 students in the Term 2 holiday period.
13. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Gold Level expedition component be developed as an optional Year 10 — 12 experience in a suitable holiday period.
14. The Year 11 PNG trip continue to be offered.
15. An alternative Year 11 immersion experience be developed for 2018.
16. The Year 12 “Coolies” India trip continue in its current form.
17. The Year 10 -12 camps and overseas trips program be reviewed every three years (or sooner if international conditions require).
18. That Risk Assessment for each camp and overseas trip be given the highest priority by trip organisers.
19. Risk Assessment for each camp be reviewed at the conclusion of the camp in preparation for the next cycle of that camp program.
20. That the process for undertaking Risk Assessment is reviewed annually and communicated to all staff and the wider College community.
21. Communication to parents and students of optional camp opportunities be improved to ensure all students are given adequate notice of the options available.

If you would like to see the full Camps Review document please click here. The College is now well placed to further develop this exciting aspect for student learning. Thanks and appreciation go to the staff who worked on the review: Tom Ryan (Chair), David Alexander, Andrew Clements, Anette Phillips, Michael Wilson, Heath Tregear, Luke Kenealy, Noel Patterson, Peter Larsen and Maria Hawley.

Staff News

Term 3 will see several staff changes due to a combination of illness and LSL.

In Term 4 the following staff will be returning from leave: Andrew Murrell, Shane Slavin, Graeme Lawler, Mary Kiernan, Danka Orlowski, Jane Robertson Paul Coyle and Carolyn Green.

In Term 4 the following staff will be away on leave:

Brian Coulthard will be away due to illness. Brian’s replacement for Term 4 TBC.
Ray Leetham is on LSL until 7 October will be replaced by Jacqui Chalkley and Anette Phillips.
Andrew Wozencroft is on LSL until 14 October. He will be replaced by Maria Hawley (who will also be acting Year 9 Coordinator).
David Alexander will be away until 7 October.
Lachie McKenzie will be on leave until 7 October.

Social Justice Mass and Co-curricula assembly Friday 16 September

The Social Justice Mass will occur in period 3 and the Term 3 Co-curricula Assembly will occur in period 4 on Friday 16 September. Periods 1, 2, 5 and 6 will run as timetabled.

Students will be dismissed at the normal finishing time.

Term 4 commencement

Term 4 commences for all students on Monday 3 October.

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal – Staff and Operations

Students

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” W. B. Yeats

With the Year 12 exam period only a stone’s throw away, it has made me reflect on the individual strengths and virtues all of our students have at their disposal. Researchers Seligman and Peterson have developed a systematic classification of these strengths, known as the VIA Character Strengths and Virtues. Our young men use and develop these strengths by connecting with our College community, their local community and the wider world.

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

Appreciating beauty and excellence helps us find the positives in life – it lifts us up. To increase your appreciation of beauty and excellence, mindfulness is a great activity. Enjoy a moment watching the sunset at your local park before football training. The key is to pause and notice. The more you notice, the more you will see.

Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the best known strengths and is defined as thankfulness for the good things in one’s life which flows from an appreciation of beauty and excellence. This gratitude can be directed towards yourself, another person, our loving God or simply just expressed. Many of our students have enjoyed lessons that are the fruit of much planning and thought; our recent Art Show was a terrific expression of this industry. Again, I was heartened to hear the gratitude our young men expressed towards their teachers for the conversation that had fed their creativity.

Hope

In amongst the exhaustion that consumes us at the end of term, much anticipation is felt in the days before school holidays. As a Catholic and Lasallian community, we hope for, and expect good things to come. Having a sense of hope when confronting a challenging exam or SAC can complement good preparation. It is good to remember a time when things worked out when you didn’t expect them to. Prepare for and anticipate the best possible results that could happen. Our young men should picture their exams going well — see themselves coming out smiling, knowing they have done a good job.

Humour and Playfulness

This strength is an attitude to life rather than being able to crack a joke. Delight and laughter refresh us and make life’s burdens easier. When people execute this strength they see the funny side of things and enjoy play. Humour is a powerful antidote to many of our struggles and aren’t we lucky that it is contagious too. Even philosopher and priest, St Thomas Aquinas, expressed the need to play: “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” Time should be found on the holidays to relax and unwind.

Spirituality or a Sense of Purpose

As Lasallians, our spirituality helps us to know our place within the larger scheme of things. It may include, but is not limited to, religious belief or practice. It is a sense of something beyond oneself or a higher purpose. The food and clothing donations that have been brought into the College show that our young men enjoy doing things that are significant, they care for one another as brothers and support each other in difficult times. Year 12 student Declan Martin, as winner of RMIT’s Urban Futures Award, has found his life’s purpose. With Melbourne’s population moving beyond four million, significant challenges and opportunities for planning, designing and managing our city arise. Declan is one of our College leaders who is making an active contribution in creating a vibrant, liveable and resilient Melbourne for the future.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal — Students

 

 

 

Back to The Duce Issue 2016 14 - 15 September 2016