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Celebrating the Australian Spirit

ANZAC Day, a celebration of a unique Australian spirit.

As a nation it is always great to be able to celebrate ANZAC Day. It is important that the story of ANZAC Day is kept alive in the hearts of all Australians in particular the hearts of young Australians. The heroic deeds of our Service men and women are stories that inspire and uplift us and our hope is that their efforts will always be remembered. ANZAC Day is not about the glorification of war. It is about the celebration of a unique Australian spirit that is realised in some wonderful values; values of courage, of valour, of mateship, of decency, of a willingness as a nation to do the right thing, whatever the cost.

We mourn the loss of so many young people and we reflect upon their lives cut short, we give thanks to them and to all of those who came back, for what they did for us. On Anzac Day it is important that we remember our young men and women on duty for the Australian Defence Forces in other parts of the world carrying on this great tradition of helping out those in need.

For Christian, and in particular Catholic communities I would hope it is also a time to pray for world peace and a hope that the world will not have to endure the devastation that war inevitably brings. For our community we can be challenged to take the first steps to looking for peace in our world by ensuring that hatred does not play a part in our lives and that forgiveness is a skill we practice on a daily and weekly basis.

“Lord we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding onto what we believe to be right. May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others. Help us to devote our whole life, thoughts and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfil the destiny for which all people were created.”

Enrolments

Next week we will be conducting our Year 4 2017 interviews. While this is always a busy time for the College Leadership Team, it is also a time that energises us as the raw enthusiasm of our prospective students infectiously grabs us. For all schools balancing the excitement of families offered a place at the College against the disappointment of families we can’t offer places to, is a difficult and an awkward position. There are many reasons that families are placed in a position that they decide to change schools for their children and we understand this and we will always want to support families in this often difficult situation. To assist all involved can I please ask any family that finds themselves in a position that may see them deciding to change schools for their sons to contact us as early as possible – quite often one family’s disappointment can be another family’s opportunity.

Open Classrooms

On Wednesday morning and afternoon we held a simple open classrooms session for our community to take the opportunity to look around our new middle school precinct and explore our new facilities. I was overwhelmed by the large number of families who came and I would like to thank them for their feedback on the new classrooms. To say that the many families were pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The outside view of the facilities has been quite deceptive for most families, and Wednesday’s open classrooms revealed for our visitors a whole new section of our campus to them. What is one of the real striking aspect of our campus is the wonderful natural environment that we are blessed with, and our architects have really achieved a great outcome for our community in the way that they have nestled our new facilities into the existing environment. If you missed the opportunity to meet us on Wednesday, I would encourage you to take a wander, either during the school week or on a weekend, around the new facilities. I am confident that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Last week as a part of our regional EREA Principals’ gathering we received an update from Chris Rider the Chief Executive Officer and some of his team from the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCCA) on their wok to develop the new Queensland senior education framework. 2019 will see a major change to the senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems, starting with students entering Year 11 in 2018. The new systems will include:
• a model that uses school-based assessment and common external assessment
• processes that strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
• a move away from the Overall Position (OP) rank to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
The new Queensland Certificate of Education will not only see changes in how we assess and how we report on this assessment but it will also realise changes in how we teach. While this is a significant change I am really looking forward to the opportunities that this change will realise. With change often comes anxiety and last week’s briefing with Chris and his team filled me with real confidence that this change will be ready despite the magnitude of the task and the new system will be good and that it will benefit students across the State. For more information I would encourage you to go to the QCCA website and in particular the FAQ sheet for more information by clicking here

EREA School Renewal survey

During the week we wrote to all families to advise them of our upcoming EREA School Renewal and a visit from an EREA School Renewal Team. The result of this Renewal process is to validate the school as an authentic Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. In essence it looks to commend aspects of the College community life that demonstrates our commitment to the EREA charter and also to challenge us to reflect on ways we can grow and improve in the way we address some matters. I would invite you to assist us as a community in getting the most out of this Renewal process by completing the online School Renewal survey by clicking here

Road Safety

I would like to take the opportunity to remind all parents that road safety is an important aspect of life around school zones. In all an all boys’ school like Ambrose Treacy College there is the potential for an added dimension of safety. The sign on the drive in from Kate Street captures much of what is intended in this – Caution boys being boys. The reality of life that I know is that children and in particular boys can at times be unpredictable and we cannot guarantee that they are always attentive to the goings on around them. In the context of road safety it is important that we have all drivers being attentive to the potential of this unpredictability or inattentiveness. Extra care needs to be taken to adhere to our speed limits through the College, the observance of signs and in particular pedestrian crossings. Please be careful as you drive through the College, be attentive and look out for the unexpected.

Congratulations

It was wonderful to hear the news this week on the birth of Jonathon Bolt’s second child. Ella Anne was welcomed into the world at a healthy 7lb 11oz. Mother and daughter are both well and as a community we congratulate Jono, Cass and big brother Harrison on this great news.