From the Principal

I would like to begin with mentioning some significant community events as we near the end of a successful but very busy Term 2.

Join us for Community Mass this Sunday

After launching the initiative in October last year the College is organising a series of De La Salle Community Masses. I am looking for opportunities to increase our community involvement, connect with Old Collegian and current families in their local parishes and create opportunities for staff, students, Old Collegians and parents to come together more often outside the formal setting of the school environment.

Our second De La Salle Community Mass for the year on will be held this week — Sunday 21 June 2015, 9:00am at St Mary’s, 91 Manning Road, East Malvern.

After the success of our inaugural Community Mass in October 2014 and our Term 1 Mass at St Cecilia’s I was thrilled to receive an invitation from Father Bill Edebohls to hold our next Mass in his parish.

St Mary’s continues to be one of our key feeder parishes so we were delighted to accept the invitation and proceed with an event to further cement this tremendous relationship. Many current and past De La Salle students are joining us to celebrate Mass and enjoy morning tea afterwards with other families, past and present.

The 2015 College Leaders and various students who came to us from St Mary’s will be actively participating in the Mass in the form of readings, offertory and other prayers throughout. We are hoping families will be able to come along to what we see as an excellent opportunity to celebrate Mass as a College community in conjunction with St Mary’s parishioners.

I look forward to seeing as many families as possible on the day and I sincerely hope you will be able to attend.

Parent Network — Winter Luncheon and Race Day

This Friday the Parent Network is holding their inaugural Winter Luncheon at the Racecourse Hotel in Caulfield. Co-President and lunch organiser Cate Robertson continues to drive enthusiasm for such events, which serve to further enhance our community.

Keep Saturday 15 August free for the Parent Network De La Salle — A Day’s Racing which was a tremendous event last year. More details are available in the Parent Network section of this newsletter.

Letters to Gallipoli Production

On Tuesday this week we were treated to a matinee and evening performance of Letters to Gallipoli, the Year 4 – 8 Junior Production. Created from scratch by our performing arts genius Mrs Mary Finn, Letters to Gallipoli was an extraordinary example of contemporary theatre; encompassing music, singing, dancing, acting, reciting of letters and poetry and even a little rapping. Complementing this was the brilliant artwork and creation of costumes and sets. The show provided opportunities for dozens of De La Salle boys and Sacre Coeur girls from Years 4 — 8 to be involved on stage and in the crew. Most importantly it provided access to be part of a quality performing arts event and be involved in a very real and very creative manner.

Students from Years 4 – 8 composed letters from the home front — 1915 Melbourne — to soldiers posted overseas, many of which were translated into German, French and Turkish to represent other nations in action at Gallipoli. The various messages, themes and sentiments in these many letters were represented via music, dance and recitals including correspondence to and from world leaders, anguished mothers and wives left behind and portrayal of wartime life both in Malvern and Turkey.

Mrs Finn was warmly thanked by crew members after the show, as was her daughter Tilly, who took responsibility for the vast majority of the choreography and dance instruction, training and rehearsals.

The skills, confidence, self-esteem, discipline, commitment and sheer enjoyment all the students gained from their work on Letters to Gallipoli is another example of the value of performing arts in our school. I am very keen to see many of these young men involved in future arts activities.

Semester 1 Reports

The Semester 1 assessments and examinations have concluded and reports are nearing completion and will be mailed home soon. I would ask all parents to peruse the reports carefully, acknowledge your son’s 2015 achievements and discuss with him any areas his teachers and/or grades indicate could be areas for potential improvement. An analysis and discussion of the report provides direction, strategy and clarity for students to help develop their skills further during Semester 2 and to prepare for a successful transition into 2016. It is crucial students of all levels act on this advice. The level to which they act on this counsel will be reflected in Semester 2 learning and assessment and in discussions at Parent – Teacher Interviews next term.

The data contained in the reports is particularly critical for students and parents in their planning for improvement and in preparing for 2016 subject selection next term. A consistent pattern of good results is required to guarantee promotion to the next year level in general, but of more concern to most students is the need to qualify for the subjects of their choice next year. This is especially so in VCE Unit 1 & 2, where progression to Unit 3 & 4 in each study is earned by diligence and results, not guaranteed as a matter of course. Discernment of which subjects may best suit your son’s goals, motivations, interests and ability is necessary.

Annual Report

I’m sure many of you will have already taken a look at our recently released 2014 Annual Report but if not I would encourage you to read through this publication as it provides a professional analysis and summary of all aspects of 2014 performance. In addition to analytical comments from key personnel and major areas of the College the Annual Report covers Learning & Teaching, Education in Faith, Student Wellbeing, Leadership & Management and Community. A range of information, data and statistics provides a breakdown of value-adding activities, financial performance, academic results and attendance. Click here to read the Annual Report.

Staff Movements

As is always the case at the end of a term, we have some staff movement:

  • Anette Philipps, Director of Primary School — commences 13 July 2015
  • James Feather, Year 6 Teacher, will be replacing Terry Atkins for Term 3, whilst Terry is on long service leave
  • Maria Hawley returns for Term 3 replacing several staff on long service leave
  • Lynette McLennan will replace Courtney Walton whilst she is on maternity leave for the remainder of 2015
  • Rishika Pace returns for several weeks replacing staff on long service leave.

Staff farewells

We will be sad to farewell Mrs Anne Lawler, who has been with us for 10 years. Somewhat of a fixture in the Kinnoull Office, Anne has been a friendly face, a supportive hand and very well known to so many of our senior school students over her tenure at De La Salle.

Anne’s final day at the College will be Friday 26 June (end of Term 2), but her actual retirement date is 11 September. We thank Anne for all her contributions to the College over 10 years, in her formal role in the Kinnoull Office but also in her contribution to the wider life of the College and all in our community. We wish Anne all the very best as she departs for some well-earned long service leave before retiring.

Courtney Walton will be going on maternity leave for the remainder of the year at the end of this term. We look forward to hearing the good news shortly.

Brenda McCullagh is leaving after a short term replacement position.

Staff on Long Service Leave at the beginning of Term 3

  • Tim Brodrick
  • Terry Atkins
  • Carmel Dwyer.

Staff Returning from Long Service Leave

  • Adrian Matarazzo (has had Semester 1 off)
  • Jill Edwards
  • Maree Keel.

Weddings over the holiday break

Congratulations to the following staff who will be married over the forthcoming break:

  • Adam Jacobs (and Simone)
  • Rebecca Egan (and Michael)
  • Amanda Tehan (and Rod).

As this is the final edition of The Duce for Term 2 can I take this opportunity to thank all our staff and students for their ongoing commitment to De La Salle and their contribution to the myriad events, programs and activities which continue to enable us to improve.

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2015 09 - 18 June 2015