From the Principal
It was terrific to see so many De La mums in attendance with their sons at the now traditional Mother’s Day Breakfast.
As expected, the breakfast sold out in a matter of hours, with all 550 seats snapped up. I love the Mother’s Day event at De La. There is so much energy, positivity and love in the room as the mothers all enjoy the company of not only their sons but also the opportunity to meet and mix with other mothers. As is the tradition the College Captain gave an address. Panos Menidis spoke with great warmth and affection about his mother’s care and influence (prompting many tears around the room). Vice Captains, Joshua Paul and John Beaton were excellent as MCs and guest speaker Jennie Loughnan, AFL Ground Operations Manager, was informative and entertaining relaying stories and impressions of her long association with our College. No doubt the De La Salle Father’s Day Breakfast on 24 August will also sell out very quickly.
Exciting developments with the building program have dominated the landscape around the College this year. As the first stage of the Master Plan takes shape, we have a new Science and Technology Centre due for completion next week. After the builders have finished there will be work to do in cleaning the space, installing new furniture, equipment and materials, and removing the hoardings, sheds and fencing. All is on track for classes to begin in the new centre on the first day of Semester 2, Monday 18 June. I am thrilled for both students and staff that we will be able to offer these long-overdue, sparkling new facilities for all to enjoy.
A great deal of research and creative thinking has gone into the design and development of the new centre. The contemporary facilities will create spaces that inspire and draw students to further study in science – both in VCE and beyond. This facility represents the College’s commitment to a science education that requires new thinking, new approaches and is responsive to the increasing global importance of Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (STEM) education for young people. These facilities will allow teachers and laboratory technicians to prepare and run activities that will not just showcase science at its best, but also create opportunities for students to develop transferable skills such as team-work, resilience and analysis.
The core of the design is to maximise space for the variety of learning needed across the science curriculum. Highly-specialised practical activity occurs in the labs, where mobile workstations allow re-configuration of the space to suit the activity. Chemical, physical, biological and environmental science have been accommodated across the four laboratories. Adjacent theory and outdoor learning spaces are geared towards students learning in environments for theoretical work. Their proximity allows easy access in and out of labs, as the activity requires.
The central area includes a presentation space, accommodating a whole group in a tiered seating array, and surrounding spaces configured for individual student and small group collaboration. This space will allow and inspire students to present their work and will significantly aid the ever-expanding Robotics program.
The spaces encourage pedagogical approaches that acknowledge the critical role of teacher instruction in learning. They also emphasise the most important dimension of learning, that is, students’ individual engagement in a variety of activities and modes, allowing for depth, enrichment and extension. All spaces have been carefully designed to exploit the effective use of technology in learning. Student devices, presentations to classes and group video projection permeate the design of each space.
Further building plan developments will see the conversion of the Dalny Street flats site to a bus car park by 25 June, surrounded by advertising hoardings promoting the College to High Street traffic. The fence will also be pushed back about five metres to free up more space in the yard for students. In the Term 2 holidays, we will also commence a landscaping project in the front courtyard at Tiverton to add greenery, colour, decking, seating and recreation spaces.
There is a lot happening at De La Salle and I will keep you informed of further developments, but in the short term thank you for your support of the College as we continue to strive to improve all we do and all we offer for your sons’ educational experience.
Mr Peter Houlihan