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True North

One day last week, my mind was a bit consumed with pandemic news and ramifications and I went for a walk down to the Junior School. This is always a good idea as our youngest ATC boys never fail to lift your spirits and on this occasion, a Year 5 lad called Henry did not disappoint.

I had been there for about 30 seconds and had said 100 hellos to our junior enthusiasts when Henry reported for duty and asked me to accompany him to the College Chapel immediately as he had something important to share. Off we marched and upon arrival, we went to the very back window and he pointed out to me the vista across to the Edmund Rice Building where he had spotted the crest of the Christian Brothers with Latin writing on it. He wanted to know what it was and what the writing meant. I was happy to be able to explain to him that the motto of the Christian Brothers is ‘Facere et Docere‘ which translates to ‘To Do and Teach’. Henry was suitably impressed with my news and advised me that I should show boys that at every opportunity and explain what it means. What a wise young man thought I.

Henry made my day as his natural curiosity, initiative and intellect drove the whole conversation. From a spiritual perspective, his invitation gave me pause to reflect on my ‘true north’ in leading a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition. Like Hamilton did last week when he led the way by making beanies, Henry inspired me to re-energise my commitment to our mission and vision. And the child shall teach them!

Interhouse Chess

On the same day, I visited the Senior School section of the Interhouse Chess Competition in Nudgee Junior Hall. 2020 is a year of ATC firsts for me and I am not sure what I expected at this event; possibly something stereotypical with hushed tones and a smattering of intensely focussed individuals battling it out on the boards. I was wrong. The hall was crowded (in a COVID safe kind of way!) and groups stood around multiple tables cheering on their chess gladiators. Staff were battling students; student grudge matches were fought and whoops and yelps of house loyalty filled the air. It was magnificent. Something that I really value and admire at ATC is the naturalness of our place. These young men were joyful with each other, sledging playfully and laughing amongst themselves and with staff. I spotted a young man who is new to our community this year and has had a bit of a journey to get here. He was very much a part of things, included, relaxed, participating and enjoying himself – not many of us know of the details of his journey but I rejoiced in seeing him there and how he was engaged. For me, this speaks volumes about our school, the ATCommunity and our boys.

Year 5 Gold Fields Incursion

Another highlight of last week was the Year 5 incursion for their unit on the history of Australian Gold Fields. This is usually an exciting excursion to Belivah, but Mr Brett Cashmere and the Year 5 team turned the bad news of not being able to proceed due to COVID restrictions, into learning gold for our Year 5 boys. The excitement, engagement and interest were palpable as our second youngest boys enjoyed the day of fossicking, orienteering, cooking and setting up camp. Well done to our intrepid staff and the boys on a great day.

Volleyball Queensland Schools Cup

Warm congratulations to the Year 10 and 11 young men who are a part of our Firsts Volleyball team who participated at the Queensland Schools championships over the weekend. We are delighted that they took out the bronze medal. Mr Tim Walker and the coaching staff, players and parents have developed a strong program in this sport as our school has developed and this achievement is indicative of this process. Well done and congratulations to all.

Week 5 Term 3

In this most unusual year, many truths remain and one of those is that the second half of Term 3 can be a challenging time in schools. As we reach the half-way point of the term, it is timely to take stock of goals set after Parent Teacher feedback meetings and as the new semester got underway. Please check in with your son about his progress and routine as we build towards assessment time to ensure that the basics are in place around organisation, planning, effort and communication. Please raise questions or concerns with staff proactively to support the boys to be in the best possible position going into assessment and exams.

Staffing 2021

The College advertised a range of positions over the weekend. Of particular note is the position of Assistant Dean of Learning: Inclusive Practices. This key role is presently held by Mrs Sally Flynn who has decided to stand down and return to a teaching position at the College next year. We thank Sally for her service in this position and look forward to the appointment of this role for next year in this vital aspect of our school life. We are also advertising for the position of Head of Sport which was made vacant by the departure of Mr Nathan Burgess as the pandemic broke out earlier in the year. This is also a vital role for our consolidation as a new school. Finally, an inaugural role entitled Head of VET is recognition of this growing pathway which supports students and families to embrace opportunities that lead to work, training and further study. This role will oversee our current offerings and work in partnership with other stakeholders in our College community to network with local businesses, consolidate the various qualifications on offer and look to grow our options for the future. Feel free to share these roles with your friends and peers.

God bless

Chris Ryan