From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 7

Student Free Day- Friday, 14 May (Remote Learning Day Years 7-12)
We have organised a staff professional development day on Friday 14 May to look at the Australian curriculum and rigorous forms of assessment. The facilitator for the day will be Bronwyn Ryrie-Jones who is familiar to most of the teaching staff with her work with us in the past on developmental rubrics. We intend on setting the day as a Remote Learning day for our students so that they are left work to complete on MyPenola at home rather than missing the whole day’s learning. Teaching staff will obviously not be available on the day as they will be involved with professional development. The set work will be available under the News section on the relevant class pages on MyPenola.

Management of Parent Complaints
Penola Catholic College works in an educational partnership with parents for the benefit of all students. On entering into this partnership, families assume a number of important responsibilities which include: Loyalty to the College community, a commitment to the College Mission statement and support of all College policies and expectations.

It is acknowledged that there may be occasions when parents wish to express concerns / make complaints regarding College matters. Parents are always encouraged to communicate with the relevant College personnel to discuss their concerns.

The College is always available to assist parents through discussion in developing a clearer understanding of College expectations in all areas.

Parents are required to express their concerns in a calm and respectful manner towards all staff who may be involved. On presenting the concern the family must be able to be identified. Any anonymous concerns or complaints cannot be satisfactorily investigated as the College would be unable to confirm them as genuine.

In having specific concerns / complaints addressed we recommend that initial contact be made with the relevant College personnel in the order below:

Curriculum MattersSubject Teacher, Head of Learning, Deputy Principal of Teaching & Learning
Student’s AcademicSubject Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
Student Wellbeing MattersHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Head of Student Services, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
General Student BehaviorHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
Transport MattersTransport Co-Ordinator, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
College PoliciesDeputy Principal Head of Campus
StaffDeputy Principal Head of Campus
Off Campus IncidentsDeputy Principal Head of Campus
UniformHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
FinancialBusiness Manager

In all cases where the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved, parents are encouraged to contact the College Principal.

Mother’s Day Breakfast
The Mother’s Day Breakfast was held on Friday 7 May. It is a great community event which enables mothers and grandmothers to spend time with their sons and daughters or grandchildren. My thanks to Garry Cottom and other staff who assisted with the preparation and serving of the breakfast, our fantastic Maintenance Team for their efforts in setting up and packing up the Assembly and Sports Hall and to Mrs. Xidias for her overall organisation of the various aspects of the event.

This week our students in Years 7 and 9 sat the annual NAPLAN tests in literacy and numeracy. This is a major event organisationally and requires much preplanning so that the testing process can run smoothly. The student data generated by these tests will assist the College in continuing to improve student learning outcomes in the future and will provide valuable information about the level of improvement in student literacy and numeracy skills in the College.

My thanks to staff involved with this organisation particularly Mrs. Sandra Warren, Mr. Keven Zavadlal, Mr. Simon Greatwood, Mrs. Vera Treloar and Ms. Clare Moore.

Student Photographs
A reminder to all parents that you need to notify the College if you do not give permission for your son or daughter’s photograph to be published in newsletters or promotional materials. We would like to begin to place more photographs and videos on our website and so I take this opportunity to remind you of the student permission form for photographs. If we have not received your permission form back at the College, we have assumed that your consent has been provided. It is the responsibility of each family to make this decision and notify the College if you decide to exclude your son or daughter from having their photograph published. In practical terms, this will mean that your son or daughter will need to be excluded from most group shots such as class photographs as these are published in our Yearbook each year.

Enhancing Catholic School Identity Parent surveys
Parents should have received a letter from Mr. Robert Dullard, Deputy Principal-Faith and Mission over the past fortnight explaining how to access this survey where we ask for your own personal views on faith and what you would like to see in your ideal school. We are keen to hear the views of parents with regards to how you currently see the school in terms of our Catholic identity and what your ideal school would look like with regards to Catholic identity. To encourage parents to complete this survey we are providing all parents who complete the survey with the opportunity to go into a draw for $250 to be removed from your family fee account.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews
Our next round of Parent/Teacher/Student interviews take place on Thursday 27 May from 3.00pm to 8.30pm with a dinner break in this time as well. This will take place via Teams which enables both staff and families to enjoy the interviews within the comfort of their own homes as the winter weather kicks in. I have been heartened by the numbers of parents who have been attending our interviews and taking an active role in the learning of their children. Research indicates that parents who take an active role in their child’s education results in significantly better outcomes for these students. Your son or daughter notices whether you attend these interviews, whether you are taking an interest in what they are doing and whether you think learning is important. Parents act as role models in so many areas of a child’s life and their beliefs about education and the importance of learning are vital.

National Reconciliation Week (next fortnight)
National Reconciliation Week celebrates the rich culture and history of Indigenous Australians. It is the perfect time for all Australians to think about how to help turn around the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is also a time where we can reflect about what we are doing to advance the process of reconciliation.

Reconciliation involves achieving an understanding of the facts of Indigenous Australia, including history and its continuing effects, the importance of culture, the contribution of Indigenous people to the Australia that we live in today, and the diverse situations of Indigenous people living in our communities. This understanding is fundamental for respectful engagements and mutual acceptance between people.

The week coincides with two important dates in Indigenous Australia’s recent history. 27 May marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum in which more than 90 per cent of Australians voted to remove clauses from the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians. It enabled Indigenous people to be included in the Census, and Federal Parliament the power to make laws in relation to Indigenous people.

3 June marks the anniversary of the High Court’s judgment in the 1992 Mabo case. The decision recognised the Native Title rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original inhabitants of the continent and overturned the myth of terra nullius – the belief that the continent was an empty, un-owned land before the arrival of Europeans in 1788.

Prayer for the Journey of Healing

Almighty and loving God, you who created ALL people in your image,
lead us to seek your compassion as we listen to the stories of our past.

You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven.

We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced.

We live in faith that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have endured the pain and loss of loved ones, through the separation of children from their families.

We are sorry and ask Your forgiveness.

Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless, and inflicted and heal their spirits.

In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is just and equitable.

Lord, you are our hope. Amen.