Loving God, may we finish the year well, also allowing for time to reflect upon all that the year has brought.
We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen
Innovation Excellence Award
Ave Maria College is proud to be selected for an Innovative Schools award for 2019. This national award, announced by The Educator, recognises those Schools at the cutting edge of change and innovation in Australia. As one of just seven schools in Victoria, Ave Maria College has been recognised for the introduction of the ‘STEP’ program (Supporting Teachers to Enhance Practice)- a pedagogical enhancement framework. We acknowledge Jo Hammer and Jess Hall for their outstanding work in developing the College Learning Framework consisting of a Learning Charter and Teaching Excellence principles. This year, teachers have been engaged in aligning their practice with these principles and gathering student feedback and other evidence in pursuit of teaching excellence. We are pleased to now see STEP and all policies, procedures and staffing allocations managed through CHALK, our employee management system. We also acknowledge the expertise of Danielle Zarafa and Leah Atkins in this regard. I am delighted to see Ave Maria College being recognised as a community committed to innovation and excellence in learning and teaching, for the benefit of our girls.
Your endurance will win you your lives (Luke 21: 19)
The Sunday readings of last week are good ones to reflect upon!
Last week we were reminded, in Luke’s Gospel, of the value of being steadfast and strong in faith, despite life’s inevitable challenges. Hope and consolation in times of turmoil might be ours when we are willing to live with justice, humility and in union with God. We are offered assurance that God works with us and through us. I know I rely on any eloquence and wisdom the Holy Spirit might send my way! Luke concludes the passage with Jesus’ teaching that perseverance in the faith and endurance in those ‘moments’ is what will win us life’s blessings.
Congratulations to all senior students involved in the successful completion of the examination period. Outgoing Year 12 students have been exemplary in their preparation for and conduct in the VCAA Exams, as have those Year 11 students who undertook a Unit 3 & 4 study this year. We commend all Year 10 and 11 students who have ensured their readiness for internal examinations this week and acknowledge those who are supporting them with encouragement and practical support. This is an important time for senior students to reflect on and express their learning, in addition to providing them with solid preparation for Year 12 studies in 2020.
Year 7-11 Examinations and End of Semester Reports
All Year 10 and 11 students have recently undertaken end of year examinations in all subjects.
Year 9 students will complete examinations from Wednesday, 27 November – Friday, 29 November 2019 in the following core subjects: English, Mathematics, Languages, Science and Religious Education.
Year 7-8 students will complete examinations from Thursday, 28 November – Friday, 29 November 2019 in the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Languages, Science, Religious Education and Humanities.
Please encourage your daughters to prepare for these examinations by revising key areas of study in each learning areas. Subject teachers will provide students with ‘Revision Guides’ for all examinations.
Examinations will be returned to all students in Years 7-11 on Wednesday, 4 December via their Mentor teacher. Examination results will be released for students and parents/carers via Ave Learning on this day and the mark received for each examination will be published on the end of Semester Two reports.
As we move into the final weeks of term it is very important that attendance is kept high. We have very important programs occurring (VCE Orientation and the Year 7-9 End of Year Program) and it is essential that all students are in attendance. We ask for your support in the last few weeks of term to avoid scheduling appointments during the school day. Our Learning and Wellbeing programs will continue until the very last day of term. Students will be dismissed at 1.30pm on this day. If you have questions regarding the programs please contact your daughter’s Mentor Teacher who will be able to provide you with some assistance.
It has come to our attention that some students are wearing makeup to school. The uniform regulations are outlined in the Student Planner and it is essential that students are clear on the expectations that the College requires. Makeup is not permitted to be worn with the school uniform and students will be asked to remove makeup if they wear it to school. Makeup wipes are held at Student Services to support students with this process.
I am happy to report that we have had a significant decline in late arrivals to the school day. Students are eagerly arriving at school well before the 8.40am commencement time in readiness for class. If your daughter is still experiencing issues with arriving at the College on time, I encourage you to make contact with her Mentor Teacher who will be able to provide some support with this matter.
2020 Subject Confirmations
All students in Years 7 – 11 have received their 2020 subject confirmations via email. There is a short window of opportunity to request a subject change. If your daughter would like to request a change of subject she must download the Change of Subject Form from Daily Messages or from the Subject Selection Knowledge Bank. This form must be submitted to me by no later than Friday, 29 November 2019. All changes are subject to the timetable and class availability.
2020 Booklists are now available via Knowledge banks on PAM, the College website and Skoolbag.
Students in Years 7-9 have a digital subscription pack that must be purchased via Campion prior to the commencement of the 2020 school year. Students will then have access to all of their digital resources via a dashboard for ease of access both at school and at home. If your daughter is completing VCE, the Edrolo subscriptions are compulsory. Please select the relevant subjects as per her subject selection confirmation email. If you have any questions about booklists please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Our 2020 Year 11 and 12 students will commence their orientation period on Monday, 25 November 2019. Students will have 5 classes for each of their subjects. Having this structured time provides students with an opportunity to begin to familiarise themselves with course expectations and they will commence learning activities related to the content and skills in the study design. Holiday home study will be set for each of your daughter’s subject and there is an expectation that all of this is completed prior to the commencement of classes next year. In addition to these classes students will attend an EDROLO workshop and VCE Seminar that will reinforce how VCE works, processes, procedures and tips for success and some wellbeing activities.
Part of the genius of the Franciscan charism is its appreciation of the Incarnation – God with us. A human failing can be to engage in ‘beating ourselves up’ for any mistake – so much that we emphasise our lack of worth. Yet, we are each created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). Whatever our failings, God loves (present continuous tense) each of us.
We are constantly surrounded by the goodness of God’s creation that can open us up to ourselves and God. This is part of the reality of the Incarnation. An aspect of that is captured in the below image. (K505/Shutterstock) taken of a sculpture by an unknown artist in the upper basilica of St Francis in Assisi.
St. Francis is inviting the Holy Spirit. Instead of looking upward as is usual, he gazes reverently and longingly downward—into the earth—where the Spirit is enmeshed with the earth. Francis understood that the Holy Spirit had in fact descended; she is forever and first of all here!’ (Richard Rohr O.F.M.)
May we revel in the gifts we are given and give thanks to the giver who loves us into life daily.
This week we welcome our 2020 Year 7 students to Ave Maria College on Orientation Day. They will be supported by the Year 7 team and the 2020 Peer Support Leaders. These leaders are currently Year 10 students who have completed the first step in their training to be a leader in the coming year.
The training day for our Peer Support Leaders involved some deep reflection on the values of our College, what it means to be part of our community and what it feels like to be a new Year 7 coming to a new school. Students reflected on feeling lonely and scared but excited and full of hope at this next step.
As a result of this work the Peer Support Leaders have planned activities for Orientation Day to begin the process of making our new students feel at home. These activities involve creating scrapbooks, bonding activities, using question boxes and playing games with the new students. Our Year 10 students showed their compassion and creativity in coming up with these ideas. As we move through the year, the Peer Support Leaders will drive the program so that they are continuing to develop activities that support our new Year 7 students. This will include running games at lunchtimes and helping their Year 7 friends with organization and becoming familiar with the events at Ave Maria College.
The leadership skills that are shown by our Peer Support Leaders include:
· the ability to collaborate with others
· the ability to support and encourage others
· the ability to empower others
· the ability to challenge others
· the ability to take a risk and make a mistake
· the ability to show compassion and kindness
· the ability to include others
The Peer Support Leaders reflected on their skills in each area and have created goals in line with these skills. Each student will work on developing and improving these skills throughout the program, using the values of the school as the basis for their leadership.
The excitement that the Peer Support Leaders have shown in the lead up to Orientation Day is a testament to their inclusivity and ability to support and encourage others. We can’t wait to meet our new students and to begin the Peer Support Program with them.