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The Final Countdown

The final weeks of term are always busy with assessment and I encourage all boys to be focused on their revision and completion of tasks. Please support your son to stick to routines and to focus on his school work until the end of term. It is a time when some boys begin to feel very tired and it can be a period where mistakes are made. It is important that we work together to finish the term positively and then enjoy a break.

Teaching staff are preparing progress reports for Term 1. These reports are not academic transcripts as we engage in continuous reporting of assessment through SEQTA but, they will give parents and caregivers feedback on Term 1 progress in core behaviours and skills for success across all subjects.

We look forward to our first Parent, Student, Teacher Feedback Meetings that will be held on Monday 19 April from 9am to 7.30pm via the online Microsoft TEAMs application. This was an effective and successful process last year and further information about how to do this will be forthcoming in a letter to you this Friday and bookings will open next Monday 29 March at 5pm.

This week, we have our Year 5, 7 and 9 students completing a practice experience in preparation for NAPLAN testing in Term 2. In 2021, we are transitioning to students completing this national testing online for the first time at ATC. Our practice sessions will be vital in preparing our boys, staff and systems for this key activity which provides us with point in time learning progress data.

This afternoon, our teaching staff are engaging with a professional development exercise that is focused on our whole school literacy project. In reviewing the early years of ATC, one key area of learning across all subjects on which we are focused is literacy skills for our boys. We have established a professional learning team across all year levels and learning areas that is engaging with best practice in this area and data analysis to identify areas for growth in our teaching and assessment that supports growth in literacy skills for our boys. Key leaders are facilitating this throughout the year, collecting insights from staff, coaching and implementing our findings. I thank Ms Lara Morgan, Dean of Learning, Ms Lisa Holohan, Assistant Dean of Learning: Teacher Growth and Development and our Literacy Team of staff who are leading this important initiative.

Greater Brisbane Conference and Saturday Sport

Warm congratulations to our Swimming team who were named the boys’ champions at the Greater Brisbane Conference Swimming Championships last Friday. The team, in combination with Brigidine College, came second overall and it was a great effort across all year levels and from individual swimmers. Congratulations to everyone involved, from coaching staff, led by Mr Paul Jones, to mums, dads and all our swimmers.

On Saturday, we hosted Nudgee College for a round of Volleyball and our Seniors made a great effort to build some support for the team. Congratulations to all of the boys across the year levels who came along and were so effectively led by the Year 12 students. It was great to see boys of all ages there and are we building our culture of support beautifully. Well done to Mr Tim Walker and Captain, Finn Bell who led the boys on the court with a narrow loss after a hard fought 5 set match. It was a great atmosphere and we look forward to the GBC Volleyball finals at Sheldon College.

Health Concern

In speaking with colleagues across other schools, it is apparent that the issue of ‘vaping’ is a trend impacting on young people’s behaviour and health. We are certainly not immune to this trend at ATC with a minority of boys making poor choices in this area. Our sense is that vaping is becoming a concern for a growing number of young people.

Our primary concern is for the health of the boys. Ultimately, nicotine use is addictive and very unhealthy. Our secondary concern is for the temptation some boys fall prey to around being seen to be a risk taker. The ‘efficiency’ of e-devices and the relative lack of smoke/vapour makes it tempting for some individuals to experiment with what can be gotten away with either in concealed spaces or in the open playground.

Our response to this issue has been and will be two-fold: firstly, we will be very firm around the non-negotiable that these vaping implements and the act of vaping are not welcome on campus. Secondly, we will have a low tolerance for this behaviour and look to educate, address and support the health and safety of boys who choose to be involved and to protect the common good of those who don’t.

Click here to see a SchoolTV episode with some information about vaping for your understanding and awareness. While only a minority of boys in the Middle and Senior Schools may choose to engage with the trend of vaping, it is worth being aware of this emerging issue and we thank you for your support of your son and the College. Please contact Mr Conor Finn, Dean of Formation or your son’s Formation Leader if you have any questions or concerns.

Final Day of Term

Our Final Day of Term 1 is Thursday 1 April. In the Catholic Calendar, this day is Holy Thursday which commemorates and remembers the day Jesus gathered his disciples for the last supper when he knew that he was to face his own death. It is an important day in our community. Our staff and student community will gather for an Easter Liturgy on that day and I would hope that all students are in attendance. Further, the ATC tradition of a Lenten Fayre will return in 2021 and home room teachers and students are presently preparing for this community event which is a fun and friend raising as well as fund raising for people, communities and organisations which support people in need. Your son’s attendance and participation in this important event is valued and valuable and we thank you for your support.

Prayers

I would ask the community to please keep Conor Morley (6 Lynch) 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