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Principal's Message Week 4

Our group of Year 12 fellows are underway with their exams with the Music and Economics students leading the way last Friday and a large contingent gathering for breakfast before the General English exam this morning. We continue to pray and hope for their safe passage during this time.

World Teachers’ Day

ATC boy Juann L features in this year's WTD graphic

World Teachers’ Day in Queensland will be celebrated officially on Friday 29 October. Due to the re-scheduling of the public holiday, we will acknowledge and celebrate the dedication, care and professionalism of our staff on Thursday 28 October. Again, this year has been a challenging and changing landscape due to COVID and our staff have shown their commitment to providing quality education, care and support to ATC students. World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity to publicly thank our teachers for the contribution they make to the future of our students. The theme this year is Say Thank You on World Teachers’ Day. I share a podcast featuring 2019 ATC School Captain, Patrick Robinson and Mrs Sara Condon, Senior Religion teacher, affirming the influence, impact and guidance Sara had over Patrick which has helped shape him into the young man he is today. CLICK HERE to listen.

Capital Works

The project for the Middle School precinct below the Westcourt iCentre will commence in early December when the students finish school and be completed in the early weeks of Term 1, 2022. This will provide further structured space for eating and play areas, a gathering space for year level and class meetings and improve the pontoon facility for HPE and clubs and activities.

A review of the College Master Plan and anticipated student population growth over the next 3 to 5 years has identified the need for a change in priorities. A new classroom building is being planned for the Waterford Senior School precinct as the first priority as growth in numbers and speciality subjects is placing demand on our current teaching and learning facilities. This large new building will be similar in scale to the current Senior School building and will be built during 2023 for opening in the 2024 school year.

Initial thoughts had been to expand the current SFXC but review of the master plan has informed a decision to strive to enhance a sense of a ‘centre’ or ‘middle’ of ATC over the next 10 years. Due to the nature of the site along the ridge of the property that runs parallel with the river, ATC as a school is necessarily a curved line. This has advantages in that the boys are spread out and it enhances a strong sense of nature and calmness but organisationally, it has some challenges. Hence, conceptual discussions are currently taking place about a multi-purpose centre for assembly, sport, gym, and related facilities at the northern rather than southern end of the campus. Our present hope is to build this facility in 2024 for a 2025 opening. From a master planning perspective, the College would then aim to develop a Cultural precinct some years later, when affordable, where the current Nudgee Junior Hall and demountables are located. This would centralise community gathering areas within connected spaces between the Edmund Rice Building, sport and training facilities and performing arts spaces. This gradual bringing together of College administration and governance connecting an Assembly hall and Sport facilities with Performing Arts facilities will enhance a sense centralisation at ATC while still maintaining our three learning precincts of Junior, Middle and Senior.

2022 will see a growth in overall student population of towards 50 students with strong numbers from Years 4 to 12. By 2024, we will exceed our projected student population numbers that were developed in planning the College. Next year will see us possibly hit the 1350 number for the first time but we are yet to be evenly spread as the Senior numbers continue to grow and we are ‘bottom heavy’ in the Middle School.

In the interim, prior to the new classroom building being completed for 2024, two new demountable classrooms will be brought into campus in January for the next two years. They will be located in the top gravel car park opposite the Edmund Rice Building near other middle school classrooms and will be used as Year 8 homerooms and general learning areas for these two years. For 2022 and 2023, the College will operate at approximately 95% room occupancy until 2024, when the new building will lower this rate pleasingly.

During this time, we will also budget to carry out smaller capital works projects to continue to improve our facilities. The cricket nets on Jack Bowers Oval will soon be demolished and replaced with a contemporary facility which will improve training and safety. We are aiming to complete this project for the 2022 season. Also, we are expanding cold storage facilities in the Bakehouse (Senior School Tuckshop) to enhance our service capacity in this highly used facility.

Year 11 Sociable

Congratulations to our Year 11 cohort who had a great time at their Sociable (Semi-Formal) on Friday night at the Greek Club. It was a joy to see this group and their partners being able to have fun. A whole group Macarena dance was a highlight for me and was indicative of the positive nature of the group. Thank you to Ms Liza Peapell for her co-ordination of the event with Mr Conor Finn and all staff in attendance. An enjoyable night was had by all which was great after the evening was postponed due to a lockdown. We look forward to the Year 10 St Vincent de Formal this Thursday night from 4pm in NJ Hall.

Conversations on Consent

We look forward to welcoming our guest, Mr Adair Donaldson, a lawyer who specialises in working with young people on this vital topic to speak with our Year 9, 10 and 11 students on Tuesday this week in year level groups. Mr Donaldson speaks at numerous schools across Queensland and is respected for his clear, practical, and sound advice about consent and the law, using real life scenarios to help young people understand this issue more deeply. This event was postponed due to lockdown and we are very pleased that Mr Donaldson was able to re-schedule.

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Lighting it Red for Dyslexia Awareness

As October draws to a close, I hope a few families have connected with Dyslexia Awareness Month. We have sourced some red lights to light up the tower of the Edmund Rice Building and we are proud to have turned them on tonight. We share the photos in support of our students who identify as dyslexic. Former Bronco, Origin player and Kangaroo, Sam Thaiday is another well known person who identifies as dyslexic. In a four part podcast made in 2020, he bravely shares his story with mental health challenges. A part of this was finding school challenging. Please CLICK HERE for these podcasts if you would like to explore them.

New Additions

Congratulations to Christina Xavier and her husband Yugi on the safe arrival of a baby boy, Edgar, baby brother to Reginald. Both mother and baby are doing well.

Prayers

I ask the community to please keep Tristen Meekin (Year 11 Munster 3) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his Grandfather. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of his passing. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace. Amen.

God bless

Chris Ryan
College Principal

Year 5s farewell their Year 12 friends today.