Weekly Reflection

Appreciating what we have in common with others

Lord, we ask you to open our eyes that we may value and appreciate all people,

recognising what we have in common rather than focusing on what our differences might be.

Inspire us to distinguish between what is important and what is not,

and open our minds and hearts that we may always be people of good will who bring life and joy to others.

Amen.

Shaun Coates

Religious Education and Faith Development Coordinator

From the Principal

How wonderful it has been to have all year levels return to the College. As I greeted students at the gate each morning, the smiles on faces and joy in students’ steps were amazing. The energy and enthusiasm in the school are palpable as staff and students rekindle the respectful and significant relationships that are required for deep learning to occur.

Attendance rates for last week were above 90 per cent, indicating the strong desire for students to return to face-to-face teaching. While students and staff were incredibly resilient during Distance Learning Mode, the ability to laugh, talk and learn face-to-face is a welcome relief.

The experience did, however, teach us new ways of learning and teaching. Our challenge as we return on site will be to harness the very best of what we have learnt.

I encourage students to talk with their teachers about the way they learnt while at home. What would you like to see in the classroom? What can you bring from the Distance Learning experience that will enhance your future learning?

Refugee Week

This week the College acknowledges Refugee Week. Our enthusiastic Social Justice Leaders have arranged a moving display to promote empathy for the experience of being a refugee. In prayer on Monday I spoke with a Year 10 Homeroom about the example of Jesus. 

I explained that he tended to associate with the outcasts of his time - the lepers, the prostitutes, and the tax collectors. The Samaritans were the heroes in the parables of Jesus even though they were loathed by the Jews of the time. I congratulate our students who are passionate about social justice and are living witness to the call of Jesus to be inclusive of all.

COVID-19 Update

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not been eradicated from our community just yet. The College continues to maintain heightened cleaning routines, limit outside contractors and encourage students to practice exemplary hygiene practices.

Parents are asked to remain vigilant and ensure students do not attend the College if they are unwell or have any symptoms. Students are reminded to bring their water bottles to school and to order lunches online rather than lining up at the canteen.

Annual Report

Our 2019 Annual Report to the Community is now available on the College website. To view the report, follow this link.

Marlene Jorgensen

Principal

From the Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching

All year levels have now returned to face-to-face learning and many classes have taken the opportunity to complete practical tasks.

Our teachers are marking assessment tasks and completing the Semester One reports. These will be available electronically by the end of the day on Wednesday 24 June.

The report will include work practices and assessment results. For students in Year 7 to 10 it will include an indication of where your child is placed on the learning continuum for the Victorian Curriculum Standards. VCE and VCAL, students are reported against the Learning Outcomes.

The VCE Unit 3 and 4 and Year 12 VCAL Parent, Student and Teacher Interviews (PSTIs) will be held on 21 July from 4 to 7pm.

The Year 7- 11 Parent, Student and Teacher Interviews (PSTIs) will be held on 15 and 17 September from 4 to 7pm. Parents are welcome to contact teachers before then if there are concerns.

Due to the impact of distance learning and adjustments to the Victorian Curriculum And Assessment Authority, VCE and VCAL dates, we have made some changes to the College Calendar to accommodate these adjustments.

The Unit 3 students have now completed their SAC week, which provided an opportunity to run SACs within a formal structured setting. There will be further SACs throughout this term and during Term 3.

As in previous years, our Unit 3 and 4 students will undertake practice examinations to familiarise and improve their exam techniques. This will occur in Week 1 of Term 4, with supervision by our exam invigilators.

As we near the end of the term, it is important to celebrate the achievements of students and staff in navigating a complicated situation.

It has been a steep learning curve for everyone but one that has provided much reflection for learning and teaching.

May the positives from distance learning continue into Term 3 as we build resilience, innovation, initiative and ownership of learning in the students at CRC Melton.

Joanne Holmes

Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching

From the Deputy Principal - Staff

Semester 2 subject and elective changes

All Year 9 and 10 students received confirmation of their Semester 2 electives on Monday. Students who would like to request a change should email their request to me, jchristie@crcmelton.com.au, by this Friday 19 June. Students should nominate the electives they wish to change and provide a reason for the request. Please note that all changes are subject to blocking clashes, class sizes and selection requirements.

Year 11 students who would like to make a Unit 2 subject change should speak to their subject teacher first and then book an appointment with Pathways Coordinator Mrs Sasha Dickson. Once an altered pathway plan has been approved, students can complete a Change of Subject Form.  All changes must be applied for and processed by Friday 26 June.

Last day of Term 2 and bus arrangements

Our College will finish Term 2 classes on Friday 26 June at 2.30pm. All Bacchus Marsh Coaches will arrive an hour earlier to accommodate the 2.30pm finish. However, this will not apply to the Sita town bus services.

Staff professional learning day

The College will hold a professional learning day for staff on Monday 22 June. This is a student-free day.

John Christie

Deputy Principal Staff

Refugee Week - Student Stories

We have some motivating and courageous stories of students at Catholic Regional College Melton who came to Australia as refugees. Despite all the difficulties, trauma, multiple dislocations, interrupted schooling and language and cultural issues these students and their families kept alive their hopes and dreams of being able to succeed and find peace in a new country.

Coming to Australia- Elizabeth Riak’s story (Year 10)

I came to Australia on 27 September 2007 when I was almost two years old. I was born in Kenya, but I am South Sudanese.

When we came to Australia I travelled with my mum, dad, older sister and older brother. We came to Australia to get away from the war and to have a better life. I don’t remember much from when I first arrived, but here is what my family said. My family was excited to move but sad to leave family. The plane trip was scary because it was our first time on a plane. When we arrived at Sydney Airport, this lovely woman Sonia picked us up, took us to see her church, and then we met her family. Our family would go to Sonia’s church every week and we became very close. The main things that were different about Australia were the roads, the shops, the people and the language.

Our Journey- Emanuelle Sui Hiawan (Year 10)

I came to Australia on 28 November 2018. I was 15 years old and was born in Tayagone, Myanmar. I do not remember much about Myanmar because we moved to India in New Delhi when I was only five or six years old.

Staying in India was hard. My parents and siblings had to work hard to keep happy. It was a bit sad because we could not spend time together as a family as everyone had to work long hours.

After many years of waiting, something unexpected happened. Our family received news that we were going to go and live in Australia. I was really happy. It was our relatives in Australia who called us to come. We came to Australia as refugees.

The first night in Australia was a bit strange. I could not get used to it at all. I struggled for about a week. The night was silent, and that was the scariest part. Compared to India, it is completely different. In India, you hear the noises of cars, bikes and neighbour’s music or noises all the time.

The other thing that I was not used to was having a bedroom of my own because in India, we all lived in a one-room apartment. Therefore, having my own bedroom was scary, although I liked it. My family struggled at first adjusting to living in Australia. We had to get used to the different food, using a washing machine and microwave, as well as other devices that were new to us. The thing I like most about Australia now is the environment, people and peaceful days.

Maria Krajina

EAL Coordinator

The Hunger Experience

A group of staff and students took part in The Hunger Experience last weekend to raise much-needed funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Footscray.

Some gave up food for 24 hours while others gave up technology or their bed. The idea was to experience what was like to go without a basic necessity for a day and to experience, to a small degree, what it might be like to be a refugee or asylum seeker struggling to source the basics.

During a check-in call eight hours into the event, students and staff described the experience as exhausting, painful, eye-opening and difficult. Year 9 student Ophelia Fernando gave her account below.

So far, the group has raised $680 for the ASRC through its GoFundMe page. Donations are still being accepted via this link https://www.gofundme.com/the-hunger-experience

The Hunger Experience initiative was timely given this week is Refugee Week. The theme for 2020 is the Year of Welcome. Welcome is about generosity, opening our arms and our houses to friends and strangers, feeding the hungry and avoiding the temptation to shut the door.

As part of Refugee Week activities, members of the Social Justice Team will set up a refugee detention display in the courtyard outside the canteen at lunchtime on Thursday (18 June). Students will stand behind a fenced-off area with signs that display information about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. They will also collect money for the ASRC on the day.

The team would like to thank everyone for their support.

An uncomfortable night for a good cause

The ASRC is facing challenging times, with COVID-19 stretching its frontline services to the limit. Right now, it is a lifeline for thousands of people who need help. Each day, caseworkers are seeing increasing numbers of people who need the basics, including people who had lived independently in the community

before the pandemic.

Year 9 student Ophelia Fernando gives her account of an uncomfortable night sleeping on the floor during The Hunger Experience – something many refugees and asylum seekers do every night.

“I somehow fell asleep in my sleeping bag on the floor from around 10.40pm to 5.30am. I woke up and because my family turns off the heating system when we are all asleep … my wooden floor was freezing! I tried so hard to stay in one position in my sleeping bag, otherwise all the warmth would be gone, and I would no longer be warm. I then fell asleep from around 5.50am to 8am (when) I was awoken by my alarm. I turned it off immediately - it was morning.


Social Justice Team

Take the Challenge

Rejuvenate in June has begun with a range of daily activities to keep students fit and on the move.

The cold weather is no excuse to stop exercising and almost all of this week’s daily challenges can be done indoors.

As always, your efforts can earn you house points and bonus challenges are another easy way to add to the tally.

If you would like to get involved, please email Ms Pandi.

Maddi Hodge

Sport Captain

Parents and Friends Meeting

Our Parents and Friends Association meeting held at the end of May covered a wide range of topics, providing parents with the opportunity to hear about the latest developments at the College.

Principal Marlene Jorgensen spoke about the return to school for students and the work staff were doing to transition back to the classroom. She also shared results from student and parent surveys on Distance Learning and provided an update on the direction of the College Master Plan, which will identify and shape future building works at our Bulman’s Road site.

Following this, our Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching Joanne Holmes outlined the learning and teaching vision for the College as detailed in our Strategic Improvement Plan 2020 - 2023.

The key focus areas across the four-year Strategic Plan are Writing, Literacy and Numeracy. As part of this, Joanne spoke about the need to challenge each student in a holistic way and to an appropriate level. She said the first year of the plan would focus on knowledge and understanding.

The next Parents and Friends meeting will be held on Wednesday 24 June at 7pm. Our Student Leadership Coordinator Nirasha Pandi will discuss the opportunities available to students, the growing student voice in our school community and some of the achievements this year.

Due to COVID-19, meetings are currently being held remotely through the Microsoft Teams platform. If you did not attend the last meeting but would like to be part of the next one, please email kmatthews@crcmelton.com.au to receive the information required to join the meeting. All families are welcome to attend.

Kerrie-Ann Matthews

Director of Community Relations

Online Learning Outcomes


During distance learning, staff worked tirelessly to adapt their lessons to ensure they were accessible for students learning from home. This meant trialling and experimenting with different online tools and platforms.

Introducing these new techniques and innovative ways of teaching was both exciting and challenging. The best measure of our efforts was evident in the engagement and positive reactions we got from our students each lesson. Staff took part in webinars and online courses to better understand how our students were learning remotely.

Using our platform of Microsoft Teams, staff catered for all learners by creating channels and break out groups that allowed students to chat with their teacher either by voice or by typing their questions.

Teachers used many different methods to engage and motivate their students during distance learning - from YouTube clips and voice recordings over Powerpoint slides to online quizzes and instructional videos.

Distance Learning was an experience like no other, and the return to school last week has been exciting for staff and students alike.

The buzz in our classrooms is welcomed, and the positive interaction, albeit at a safe distance, between the teachers and students is noticeable. Students seem happy to be back to face-to-face learning, and their teachers are pleased to see them again.

Since returning to school, our students have been very positive about their experiences during distance learning. Below are some comments students made about what they found helpful during that time.

“Online chats, one-on-one with teachers meant we didn’t have to put our hands up and wait. Online learning really worked for me.” Madeleine - Year 12

“The best thing my teacher did to engage me and help me cope during distance learning was giving me extensions to complete unfinished work in certain circumstances.” Latia – Year 8

“The best thing my teacher did was to make things fun during digital learning.” Connor - Year 8

“The best thing my teacher did to engage me and help me cope during distance learning was (tell me) that we needed to do the work, but we could do it in our own time and not to be stressed about it.“ Declan – Year 8

“They took extra time to thoroughly explain the work.” Montana - Year 8

“Even though we had multiple assessments, we were given a lot more time to work on them.” Molly – Year 12

“The fact that we had all our work and tasks on the one platform and one device helped a lot.” Aleisha - Year 12

“I coped well during distance learning because my teachers understood that we might need longer to complete work tasks.” Kaitlyn – Year 8

Loretta Kalms

Pedagogy Professional Learning Leader

Data Collection on Students with a Disability

Every year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD).

For more information please view the letter below.

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