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Empowering Students to Reflect and Plan for Success

Thank you for engaging in the Parent Student Teacher meetings today, as the partnership between home and school is so vital. Please be in contact with staff with any matters of follow up as we commence a new semester. I take this opportunity to thank our staff for the big commitment to these interviews. Some staff have in the vicinity of 50 conversations on these days and their efforts are appreciated.

A simple set of questions for each student and each subject may be empowered by honest insight and reflection:
1. What am I going to keep doing? (What is working for me)
2. What am I going to stop doing? (What isn’t working for me)
3. What am I going to start doing? (What works for others that may work for me)

Managing the Pandemic

It seems possible that at some point in the coming weeks or months that we may spend some further time in lockdown and transition to ATCLearns@Home. The College Spot Closure Plan and Student Guidelines will be emailed to families tomorrow so that our community is aware of our procedures in the situation where school (or part of it) needs to be closed during the day if a positive case has been identified amongst students or staff.

A reminder please that if this situation does arise, please remain as calm as possible so that we can focus on looking after the boys and helping them to communicate with you to arrange their pickup to go home. I need to stress that conjecture on social media is not at all helpful and that our communication with parents and caregivers via text and email will have all of the relevant and timely information for you to follow. Telephone calls to College Reception can be made but wherever possible, I would appreciate if this is kept to a minimum and I ask you to follow the advice in the Spot Closure Plan.

As per our lockdown just prior to Easter, our plan is to pivot as quickly as possible to online learning via TEAMs following the period by period timetable. This will be our approach in the event of a brief lockdown. Should a lockdown be extended, we may review this approach, especially for our younger students, but I would be in contact with all parents and caregivers regarding this.

As we have been doing, we will update upcoming event information via the College App as the situation regarding restrictions becomes clear.

NAIDOC Week

Last week, as a part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations, students who are a part of our Clontarf Academy led Year 4, 5 and 6 in a range of activities learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture and identity. For the record, the deer sausage was my favourite over crocodile, kangaroo and buffalo. I was absolutely delighted with the leadership of our Clontarf students and the way in which our youngest students engaged in the activities. I was very proud to be a part of the ATC community as I watched and enjoyed the authentic way in which everyone participated.

Year 11 Leadership Camp

Congratulations to all of these young men on a fine effort on this signpost program. One of the things highlighted is that all Senior students are people of influence and leadership. This week, we move forward with the process of selecting the 2022 College Captain and Vice Captains and I wish the candidates all the very best. It was a privilege to listen to them speak to the peers on the camp and all are outstanding young men. I look forward to sharing the news of their selection with the community.

Child Safeguarding

New legislation was introduced on July 5 that has potential ramifications for students at school who are 18 years of age. This legislation also obviously applies to young Old Boys who may be coaching or tutoring at the College. We will include this in our Child Safeguarding training for employees and also have processes at school where we help Year 12 students to be aware of their responsibilities in particular scenarios.

The most important thing to always remember is “if in doubt, REPORT”. If you think a young person is not safe, has been harmed or has the potential to be harmed, speak confidentially to one of our Counselling staff, Mr Conor Finn, or myself so that we can help to make a mandatory report.

Under the legislation, two new offences under the Queensland Criminal Code which came into effect on 5 July 2021.

  • a Failure to Report offence will be committed if an adult (18 years or over) fails to report to police any information that causes the adult to believe on reasonable grounds, or ought reasonably to cause the adult to believe, that a child sexual offence is being or has been committed against a child by another adult.
  • the Failure to Protect offence will be committed if an adult in the school:
    a) knows there is a significant risk that another adult associated with the school will commit a child sex offence against a child; and
    b) they have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk; and
    c) they wilfully or negligently fail to reduce or remove the risk.

Prayers

I ask the community to please keep Charlie Stewart-Koster (9 Treacy) and his family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his Grandmother. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of her passing. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace. Amen.

We are mindful of our students, caregivers and staff with family throughout the world during these challenging times and particularly in South Africa during the recent unrest. Our prayers are with you.

God bless,

Chris Ryan