Deputy Principals’ Column
Deputy Principal — Faith and Mission
Welcome and Commissioning Mass
On the evening of Thursday 25 February we held our Welcome and Commissioning Mass, celebrated for the first time at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Welcome and Commissioning Mass is a significant event and an opportunity for all members of our community to join in the celebration of welcoming and commissioning all students who are new to De La Salle College. Thursday evening allowed us, as a community, to acknowledge and welcome all of these students and to mark their entry into the College. This included all the Year 4 and Year 7 students as well as new students to other year levels.
The Mass was a true reflection of how lucky and blessed we are to belong to a community that that is spirited in touching the hearts and minds of those in our care and the inspiration that we can find when we have faith in God. There is great love at the heart of who we are as a Lasallian family. May we always embrace the faith tradition of our College by supporting, encouraging and loving one another as family. Fired with a passion for Jesus, may He live in our hearts forever!
Finally, I’d like to thank all students, parents and staff who attended and supported this important occasion in the life of our College.
Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission
Deputy Principal — Learning and Teaching
2015 Academic Awards
We warmly welcomed back our high performing Year 12 students of 2015 for a special Academic Awards ceremony on Thursday 18 February. The whole College gathered in the gym, along with a number of special guests, to acknowledge the fine achievements of the Year 12 students who scored an ATAR of 90+ and those with the best result in each subject last year. In addition, the duces of each year level from 7–11 were celebrated.
Our College Dux, Connor Rate, addressed the gathering with an inspiring speech. He shared some of the positive forces as well as pressures that impact success at Year 12, with encouraging words about how his breadth of involvement in various facets of school life made a difference for him.
Some key messages coming from the assembly include the need to continually search for challenge and to persist in the face of difficulty, in order to grow, achieve and succeed. Importantly, it was impressed upon students that all are capable of achieving, with the right mindset.
Examinations at Year 7 & 8
Following extended consideration over the course of 2015, new arrangements have been determined for Year 7 & 8 examinations. Feedback from students, parents and teachers had been received in recent years in relation to the effectiveness of the current arrangement, which included formal examinations for Years 7 & 8, in most subjects, each semester.
A range of issues had been identified, including concerns about;
- the amount of formal assessment within the first months of Year 7, with Allwell, NAPLAN and others;
- the function of exams at these levels and whether they are effective as practise for VCE exams;
- the formative value of exams at these levels, with limited opportunity for comprehensive feedback in all areas;
- the impact exams have on the development and implementation of learning & teaching programs and activities with a stronger focus on skills.
In light of this, it has been decided that from Semester 1 of this year, formal examinations for Year 7 students will not take place as had been the case previously. From 2017, this will also be the case for Year 8. Instead, normal timetabled classes will take place during scheduled exam times.
It is expected that other forms of assessment will be conducted, as appropriate, in lieu of exams. This may include other summative assessments such as tests. Alternatively, courses may be adjusted to emphasise development of individual students’ learning journals or portfolios, which include incremental demonstrations of progress throughout a semester.
I would like to acknowledge the work of the College’s Curriculum Standing and Assessment and Reporting Committees in investigating and deliberating upon this matter.
Further advice will be provided to students in the near future.
Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations
I am sure most of you are aware of the random threatening hoax calls made to primary and secondary schools over the last month. Sadly these are continuing to occur, and are not always reported in the media.
These calls are distressing and disruptive. Should they occur the advice from emergency services, police and Catholic Education Office is to immediately invoke the school’s emergency plan. Depending on the threat this could mean evacuation from the campus or lock down.
Our work as a College in relation to emergency management over recent years means we are well placed to respond if necessary, but we need to continue to refine our procedures and train all students and staff in what to expect.
So, on Thursday 10 March the College Emergency Coordinating Team plans to hold a trail “lock down drill”. This not a surprise drill but rather a planned attempt to teach and refine our emergency procedures. We plan a simultaneous campus lockdown to commence at approximately 10:30am to minimise disruption to classes. VCE classes running SACs at this time will be exempt.
A courtesy reminder email will be sent to parents the day before the trial drill.
Mission Action Day (MAD)
Thank-you to all those boys who have already made an effort to seek sponsorship for this event. There are only three weeks to go and boys should be trying to achieve as many sponsors as possible. Every sponsor counts and will help push us as a College towards our $100,000 target. Parents have traditionally been very supportive of their sons in this endeavour, but it is hoped that boys will not only rely on their parents but seek sponsors from their wider social network or neighbourhood. As a guide we ask that each boy aims for a target of $50 in total sponsorship.
A reminder that Mission Action Day on Thursday 24 March is a compulsory school day for all students. If any student is unable to attend, the College asks parents to offer a written explanation to be addressed to the appropriate Year Level or House Coordinator.
Tickets for the College Production Hairspray, in conjunction with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College go on sale online on Monday 7 March. All tickets will be through the National Theatre website. Students and staff have been rehearsing for the musical for many months and it promises to be an outstanding event. Last year’s production sold out very quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment. See the Hairspray section of this Duce for further information.
Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal –Staff and Operations
Deputy Principal — Students
Meet our Student Leaders
Michael Canny – Austin’s House Captain
Previous leadership positions that I have held have, for the most part, been out of school. I have been captain of my football team at Mount Waverley from 2011 to 2013 and then captain with Murrumbeena Football Club in 2014. This year I have also been privileged to be elected by my peers as De La Man for 2016 as well as spiritual leader of the First Volleyball Team. My aspirations of this year are to, along with the other leaders, restart the House system with a sense of excitement and pride that will hopefully stay for many years to come. I also want to leave a legacy of brotherhood that I have felt since I started here in Year 7. I want every student from Years 4 to 12 to feel the same sense of pride and spirit I feel here.
Throughout my time at De La Salle, I have been fortunate enough to experience the many wonderful opportunities that the College has on offer to its students. From roughing it out on the soccer and hockey fields, to engaging in a different sort of competition in DAV debating, participating in various social justice campaigns and even participating in a model UN, the blue and gold spirit truly runs deep for me. I have always tried to actively participate within the De La Salle community as well as within the broader community and I feel privileged to be given this role in the first year of the reinstatement of our House system. This year I look forward to being able to witness first-hand the sense of brotherhood and bonding which the House system will instil amongst all students as well as being able to meet new students whom I previously had not known before. I aspire to make this year enjoyable for as many people as I can and hope that the leadership team and I can leave a lasting legacy into the future.
I have previously been in a leadership role at Murrumbeena Junior Football Club where I was named the captain for three years. I have also been a class captain here at De La Salle in Years 8 and 11. I hope that the competition and spirit that we’ve commenced with continues to blossom throughout 2016. I also hope that Mark’s House wins the House Shield.
In my short time at De La Salle I feel lucky that I have been able to participate in various rewarding opportunities, no more than my chance to lead the Leo’s House in 2016. In my first and only year at the College previously, I was lucky enough to play in the senior football and cricket teams. This year I am captain of the 1st XI Cricket Team, a role I take very seriously, yet thoroughly enjoy. With the help of fellow leaders, I aspire to further embed and endorse the ‘brotherhood’ I have experienced at the College, a crucial factor of the famous De La culture. I also hope that all De La Salle students, Leo’s House or not, feel comfortable enough to push themselves, utilising the limitless abilities and potential they withhold, further contributing to the legacy of this mighty College.
House Information Nights
When people walk through the gates at De La Salle, they quickly notice that there is something very special here. Tonight and early next week we will welcome the parents/guardians of all students at Kinnoull Campus to a House Information and Welcome Evening, meet and greet. The aim of the evening is to address common questions about the House system and the philosophy that underpins this approach to student wellbeing. I’m looking forward to meeting many of you over the two nights.
Please see our web calendar for time and venue details.
Sick Bay Procedures
Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked. At De La Salle, our students learn best when their wellbeing is optimised. Likewise, our young men develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning. Our approach to student wellbeing emphasises the need for early intervention and targeted support. The Health Centre, staffed by qualified First Aid Officers, is a key support mechanism for our young men at both Tiverton and Kinnoull.
If your son is clearly unwell in the morning, it is best that he remains at home. In the event that your son becomes unwell during the course of the school day, care will be administered by our First Aid Officers. Should your son be deemed unfit to attend the remainder of his classes, parents/guardians will be contacted. To this end, it is vital that student contact details are up to date.
Please note, students are not permitted to ring or text their parents/guardians themselves or to leave the school without permission. We have a duty of care to ensure all our boys are safe and accounted for at all times.
Thanks to all parents/guardians who have sent in an updated medical treatment action. This ensures we can support our young men with medical conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions. We require medical authorisation from the student’s prescribing health practitioner and written instructions from the parent/guardian to administer any medication to students (both prescription and non-prescription). For students with a long term health condition requiring medication, parents need to provide the school with a management plan.
Each student who is at risk of anaphylaxis is required to have an anaphylaxis management plan that has been developed in consultation with parents/guardians and a medical practitioner. Prevention strategies for each student at risk of anaphylaxis will be developed for both in school and out of school settings. Students at risk of anaphylaxis reactions are required to supply the College with an EpiPen. The EpiPen is stored at the Health Centre and will be signed out to accompany the student when they are off campus for classes/sports.
Please feel free to contact the Health Centre at any time.
The Importance of Sleep and Academic Performance
Sleep plays a fundamental role in the way we learn. Emerging evidence makes a compelling case for the importance of sleep for language learning, memory, executive function, problem solving and behaviour during childhood.
An optimal quantity of sleep leads to more effective learning in terms of memory consolidation and knowledge acquisition. Poor quality of sleep – caused by lots of waking up during the night – tends to be a strong predictor of lower academic performance, reduced capacity for attention, poor executive function and challenging behaviours during the day.
Many of our young men are sleep deprived and some gain less sleep than the average recommended level (around nine hours for this age group). Sometimes due to school commitments, teenagers are required to wake up early at a set time even if they have not achieved the optimal number of hours sleep. Limiting the consumption of energy drinks and coffee, and social media use half an hour before habitual bedtime, will support better sleeping habits and academic performance. Prioritising a good night’s sleep will have long-term impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of our young men and on their academic success.
Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal — Students