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Welcome to Term 3

Welcome to semester two, and I hope for parents it is not a case of feeling ‘thank God they are back at school’. Rather, I hope the holidays afforded families good quality time together and that this latest break saw your sons taking the opportunity to make your life a little easier rather than a lot harder.

I know that at this stage a few parents might be smiling and thinking that I am a dreamer; and you are probably right, I am a dreamer. I am a big believer that we can only control what we can control and boys are capable of doing more than we give them credit for. Often the limiting factor is what we expect of children or at times allow them to do. It has been great to see the boys return and almost without exception, they look energised and ready to go. Throughout my time at the College the one thing I have always noticed at the start of term, any term, is that boys seem genuinely keen to be back at school with their friends and ready to go.

With reports arriving over the holidays I would hope that your household either had time to celebrate a well-received report card for your son or perhaps use the disappointment of aspects of the report card to reset goals for the second semester. This Friday 14 July we will take time to congratulate a number of boys who have achieved outstanding results on their semester 1 report and on Friday 4 August we will congratulate students who have shown excellent application to and improvement in their studies.

One of the words I hope students would hear us talk about at ATC is excellence and in particular we talk about academic excellence. When using the phrase excellence, we refer to the notion of a personal excellence whereby all students are encouraged to achieve the best that they possibly can. For many boys excellence might translate into an A or a B, for others an excellent result might be a well-earned C-. Regardless of the actual level achieved the aim is that each individual student achieves their own personal best and one indicator of this is the attitude to learning rating that they receive for each subject. In this way, I believe that all students should aspire to receiving as many A’s in the Approach to Learning mark on their reports. I would encourage parents to help their sons set realistic goals around their academic performance and one safer way to set these goals is around their application to their studies and this is assigned on their reports as Approach to Learning.

The beginning of a term will often realise changes for students and this term we welcome four new students to ATC. I would like to welcome Maximus Giunta 4 Bodkin, Moses Alcock 5 Nolan, Benjamin Deeth 7 Wynne and Max Woollons 8 Wynne as they begin their journey with us. I am confident that they will be made to feel very welcome in our community and I look forward to their contributions over the coming months.

Staff News
I would also like to warmly welcome a number of new staff who have joined us this term. I would extend a warm welcome to Ryan Baines who joins us to take on the role of Acting Head of RE in Sara Condon’s upcoming absence on maternity leave. Ryan joins us from St Mary’s Toowoomba, and he will lead our RE department until Sara’s return next year. On Sara’s return next year, Ryan will take up the new role of RE Coordinator of Years 4 to 8. Sara will continue working for the first few weeks of the semester concentrating on developing our work programmes in Study of Religion and Religion and Ethics for our Year 11 program next year. Sammy Leone joins us as our A & TSI Coordinator, working with and supporting our A & TSI students in pastoral and academic areas as well as supporting our broader community in developing a deeper understanding of the journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. With the busyness of College life increasing we welcome Mary-Ann Gurney to our College Reception/Administration staff. Mary-Ann’s arrival will ensure that we will be able to increase the operation hours of College Reception. From today the front office will operate from 7.30am to 4.45pm from Monday to Friday. I would like to welcome back Melissa Trowell who re-joins the teaching staff after maternity leave; Melissa will be team teaching with Julia Palaszczuk across a number of Year 8 Humanities classes as well as homeroom teacher for 8 Campbell.

Holiday Tours
Over the July holidays the College conducted two tours, a cultural immersion in Japan and a ski trip to New Zealand. I would like to thank Paul Ramsey once again for his energy to take a number of our students to Japan for a cultural immersion. The tour was a great experience with the home stay a highlight for many of the boys. I would like to thank Tanya Oghanna and Michael Bannon for their willingness to give up part of their holidays and family time to make this tour a possibility for the students. Towards the end of the holidays a number of our Middle school students hit the ski slopes on the south island of New Zealand. The trip was a great success with plenty of snow and plenty of excited novice and experienced skiers displaying their skills on the slopes. I would like to thank Patrick Howell, Matt Ribeiro and Sharni Webb who unselfishly sacrificed their own holiday time to make this trip a reality for the students. One of the great strengths of the ATC community is the quality of our staff. We are very fortunate that many of our staff are willing to go above and beyond the easily defined expectations of their role to offer extended opportunities to our students.

I would ask our community to please keep Tom (9 Wynne) and Sam (5 Lynch) Kearney and their family in your thoughts and prayers following the passing of their maternal grandfather (Fiona’s father) recently. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, May perpetual light shine upon him, May he rest in peace Amen.

With best wishes,
Michael Senior