By Mr Simon Fleming - Principal
As we come to the end of Term 1, we are acutely aware that though we might be closed for 2 weeks, many families continue to work and struggle through the current crisis. I will be checking emails regularly and should be in school most days. It is vitally important that we are informed of events that impact on our children and families so that we can take appropriate actions.
For many of us Easter has been a time to travel and visit family and friends. This will look much different this year. However, we should not lose sight of the true meaning of Easter. Easter is the most important celebration, season or festival for Christians. This is because it is the remembrance and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also, if Christ had not risen, the Christian faith would have no foundation.
We read in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church:
‘And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.’
Easter can be a time of renewal. It is easy to become caught up in the mindset that everything is doom and gloom. As teachers we are continually asking our students to have an open mind and to display a growth mindset. As adults in the face of adversity we need to demonstrate the same set of principles. Our children feed off our attitudes and responses. Easter reminds us of the power of gratitude and hope. My hope is that you can take some time to reflect on all the things that we hold as good and valuable over this Easter break.
We will update you after Easter on any further developments relating to school. Even though we have spent the week preparing for remote learning, there has not been a directive that schools will not be open from day 1 next term.
From all of us at Assumption have a happy and holy Easter.
Please note that all College events that were scheduled for the start of Term 2 have been postponed until further notice.
Term 2 will start on Monday 20th April 2020. Should any further information become available in relation to school operations we will update our families.
By Mrs Anna Hardy, Acting Deputy Principal
A Mindset for This Moment
There is no doubt that the recurring thought from parents in our community has been, “This is so overwhelming.” This uncertainty is all perfectly understandable.
Rest assured that there are plenty of teachers at our College who are skilled in the online realm of learning and are highly creative teachers providing strategies as fast as the challenges arise.
We are supporting each other in our endeavours to learn these new skills quickly to provide rich learning experiences and remain connected to our students through virtual platforms.
A shift in all of our mindsets is required—students, parents/carers and us as educators.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS/CARERS EXPECT TRIAL... AND PLENTY OF ERROR
It is important that we start by being reasonable with ourselves. It is, in fact, impossible to shift to distance learning overnight without lots of trial and error. Expect it, plan for it, and do your best to make peace with it.
Think about your baseline and reset it. We are all living and operating amid a global pandemic. Business as usual is unrealistic.
NO PERSON IS AN ISLAND
Humans are instinctively social beings. Working from home is isolating and often dispiriting for both teachers and students.
We have developed a College Pastoral Team School Shutdown Guide. This outlines that the Pastoral Team (Pastoral leaders and me) along with the help of School Officers will be making phone calls to students and parents to engage students in a conversation about their learning and wellbeing.
We encourage families to contact us if their circumstances change in any way. We would like to offer as much support to our students and their families during this unprecedented time.
By Ms Eliza Harris - Assistant Principal - Curriculum
As Term One draws to a close in unprecedented circumstances I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teaching staff for their persistent efforts in guiding each Assumption student to reach their academic potential.
As usual in the first few days of school holidays, parents and guardians will receive Term One Interim Progress Reports in the mail. These reports provide an overview of students’ attitude and approach to their learning so far in 2020.
Commencing Term Two utilising tools for online learning, it is important that students use these reports to reflect actively on their Term One progress and develop realistic, actionable goals for their learning.
Moreover, the medium of remote learning functions best when students, parents and teachers work in collaborative partnership with each other.
Parents are encouraged to contact any of their student’s subject teachers for further feedback regarding their learning progress so far, and for strategies that may assist in the seamless transition to online learning platforms.
As previous communique indicated, Grade 12 students will receive interim progress reports at a later date in Term 2 due to the timing of their assessment calendar.
In lieu of face-to-face parent-teacher interviews, your students interim progress report may also include additional feedback notifying you of commendations or concerns with your student’s progress. Please do not hesitate to contact the College to discuss any of this feedback further.
Please enjoy a restful break with your family and loved ones. Stay safe and God bless.
By Mrs Carol Sharp, APRE
A massive congratulations to our ACW school community – you raised $750 for Project Compassion 2020! Considering the challenges that many in our community are facing after a prolonged drought, an intense bushfire season, the financial pressure from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing absence of students towards the end of the term, this is truly a remarkable figure.
Thank you for your compassion and generosity.
Holy Week Resources
A group called Catholic Family Crate are providing families with free printable resources for Holy Week. Without Masses over Holy Week, they have recognised the need for families to engage in spiritual formation and develop their understanding of the significance of Holy Week for the Catholic calendar.
Details on the resource kit are below:
Who would’ve ever guessed that we would be without church services during Holy Week?!? But that’s the reality most of us are facing. And in case your days are getting blurred together like mine, I’d like to remind you that Holy Week starts this Sunday, April 5, with Palm Sunday.
The “HOLY WEEK AT HOME SUCCESS KIT” is a digital document that is:
✝️Easy to follow
✝️Clearly laid out
✝️And sets you up to guide your family through what might very well be the most memorable Holy Week of our lives!
✝️Live links where you need them
✝️Day by day guidance
✝️Printable options like colouring pages and crossword puzzles
✝️Theologically approved activities
✝️And a beautifully designed print of the suddenly-very-critical “Act of Spiritual Communion” prayer
You will be able to :
✝️Take advantage of this quarantined time together
✝️Set the tone for Holy Week in your family
✝️Express your Christian values
✝️Stand up strongly in your faith and show your kids what is important to you
✝️And make impressions on them that will likely last the rest of their lives - not kidding!
✝️Having a theological degree
✝️Running yourself ragged
✝️Spending hours trying to come up with this plan
✝️Or needing a bunch of stuff you don’t have access to
And it’s totally free. Please use it and pass the word along that you can place your order now (on our website) and then check your inbox later this week when we send it out.
Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses.
Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
By Mrs Julie Collins - Program Leader Sport
Darling Downs Selections
Unfortunately, all school trials and competitions have been cancelled until further notice.
A new sports calendar will be distributed as the need arises.
By Mrs Kirstie Andrews
Year 9 Stimulus Writing
Mrs Porter’s year 9 skills classes spent some time on a stimulus writing task. The students were given a picture and asked to write about it. The focus was about writing creatively, for pleasure and interest, having a good idea and following it to the end, rather than punctuation and spelling. She was so impressed with their writing that they are currently on display in the library. Check out the photos!
Remote Learning Assistance
Mrs Andrews is in the process of creating a special CANVAS course for students to access a range of tutorials on how to use our digital resources (including the Library Webpage and our online research tools: EBSCO, Britannica and GALE). She will also be adding a list of free resources that students can use for ‘brain breaks’ and additional learning sources, during this time of remote learning. The course will go live at the end of this week, so students are encouraged to keep an eye out for an invitation to join in their email inbox/CANVAS notifications.
Also, in Term 2, Ms Bastion and Mrs Driver will continue to build on this page for students and also email out some information to parents in regard to the resources available in the CANVAS course.
We will still be open for borrowing next term, for enjoyment and reference materials. Students can either emails us a list of books they would like or let us know what they are looking for. We will organise a day and time for the resources to be collected from the library steps. We are also planning some keep-in-touch activities, stay tuned for more details.
Given that I will be leaving Assumption College at the completion of the term, I wanted to take the opportunity to say farewell to our wonderful community. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at ACW, especially this year working in the Information and Learning Centre with all students and teachers across the College. Hearing about the wonderful books that students are reading; watching them play intense games of chess and uno; being in awe of our resident anime artists and Rubiks Cube geniuses; hearing them laugh as they socialise; and observing as they engaged with a range of activities during skills rotations and subject lessons; made my days in the ILC complete.
The thriving and dynamic environment that is the ACW Information and Learning Centre is what a Teacher Librarian’s dreams are made of and in our context, it is due to the amazing work that Mrs Driver does on a daily basis and on the work that Mrs Wooding has done during her time as our TL. I want to sincerely thank these amazing staff members on behalf of our College community.
Though I am sad to be leaving our College, I know that the ILC is in the very best of hands with Mrs Driver and Miss Bastion, who has recently accepted the role as Acting Teacher Librarian until the end of 2020, when Mrs Wooding will return.
As a parting thought I leave you with a quote from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” The library staff aim to enlarge each child’s world by helping them to find a love of reading. If you would like some ideas to help continue this at home, feel free to contact the staff for ideas, tips and resources.
By Mrs Alison Porter, Program Leader Student Pathways
There is no doubt that current circumstances with the Coronavirus have impacted all facets of our lives. For many this impact has been felt on employment with job changes and job losses in our community and beyond. Our College is doing all it can to support those facing these changes and losses and we have kept those affected in our thoughts and we pray for those facing these challenges.
God, we pray for all those who have suddenly lost employment. There are many. We ask you to first give them peace and a settled confidence. Give them your encouragement today, and do so through surprising ways, both directly from your Spirit and through other people who come across their path. Remind them of past victories and awaken new dreams for their future. Amen.
Obviously with social distancing measures in place, we are unable to offer careers events that are usually scheduled at this time of year. However, the good news is that the ‘world of careers’ has long been digital and therefore careers information and services are all still up and running online as per usual.
Therefore, for our students and school community, we offer the following support in terms of career education and services:
- Regular careers newsletters emailed to relevant students – offering up-to-date information and job spotlights
- The school careers website at acwcareers.com – links to a variety of different pathway options for students; everything from senior school options and gap year information to apprenticeships to tertiary and university options
- Term 2 should see a Careers link in Canvas for students with key links and information as well as our Year 10 course and resources designed for Year 11 and 12 students
- I will also be in regular email contact with students. Parents are welcome to email me with careers related queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With this in mind, please remember that students at home can be using this time, and the above resources, as a great opportunity to start their careers research and take up the online opportunities that are available to kick start their journey towards their career goals.
Update for our school-based apprentices and trainees and any students studying VET in Schools TAFE courses:
- TAFE Queensland is pausing training delivery from Monday 30 March 2020 until after the Easter break. TAFE will contact students to clarify what this means for individual course delivery. More information will also be provided at the start of Term 2 in regard to student TAFE courses.
- School-based apprenticeship and traineeship arrangements will continue as per normal unless students are advised otherwise by their employers or trainers. An email has also been sent home to parents of school-based trainees and apprentices with more information around the current arrangements for these programs.
Distance Education Arrangements
For students studying via schools of distance education, currently there are no changes to these arrangements. However, parents of these students should note that some changes have been made to provide fee relief for these courses of study and an email has been sent to relevant families regarding these changes.
Year 10 TAFE Trade Taster
Year 10 students have been emailed information about a ‘Trade Taster’ program being offered by TAFE Queensland, South West. The program offers Year 10 students the opportunity to spend a series of days at our local TAFE campus to ‘test’ what it is like to be a TAFE student and to try the different trades that are on offer for study. At this time, the program is scheduled for Term 3, however dates may be subject to change. More information for students and parents will be posted on the ‘Noticeboard’ at www.acwcareers.com and students will need to register online as soon as possible as numbers for the program are limited.
A great ‘Head Start’!
Congratulations to Brianna Cullen on the achievement of high results in her recent studies in the University of Southern Queensland’s Head Start program.
The USQ Head Start program is an academic extension program where students can study one university subject during a semester of Year 10,11 or 12, allowing them to get a ‘head start’ on university studies early. Successful completion of the Head Start program also offers points towards students QCE and entry into USQ after Year 12.
For more careers information, tips and news please view with careers newsletter that is regularly emailed to Year 10, 11 and 12 students or view it online at www.acwcareers.com
By Mr Scott Clegg - Business Manager
We acknowledge the difficult economic circumstances many families now find themselves in due to COVID-19 and we encourage any family facing financial hardship, to contact the College.
Special provisions may be available to families experiencing financial difficulties relating to COVID-19. To streamline this process, please contact the College via email email@example.com and request a COVID-19 Fee Concession Application form.
Once this form is completed and returned to the College, we will contact you to discuss the options that may be available (including extended payment arrangements and/or fee concessions).
We remain committed to providing an education to all students through these uncertain times and all requests for fee relief are treated as confidential.
The following prayers and resources are offered to assist the faithful during the current threat of the coronavirus.
We pray especially for those who have succumbed to the illness and for those on the frontlines – our doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including our clergy and chaplains, as they risk their own wellbeing in service to others.
Devotional sites and apps
Bread 4 Today: https://www.cssr.org.au/bread4today/
This daily reflection app is produced by the Redemptorists, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa
Three-Minute Retreat: https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer/about-3minute-retreats
These brief but thoughtful virtual ‘retreats’ are based on the lectionary and are produced by Loyola Press, a ministry of the Jesuits in the United States. They are available online or as an app on your phone.
Sacred Space: https://www.sacredspace.ie/
The Irish Jesuits have been producing the popular Sacred Space daily prayers and reflections for more than twenty years, and they are now available as a convenient phone app.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
The simple and loving act of Spiritual Communion (written by St. Alphonsus Liguori) can be made when we are unable to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. Pray these words:
My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You; never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Prayer to St Joseph
from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
St Joseph, You were receptive to God working in your life. Help us by your prayers at this time of trial. You kept Jesus and Mary under your watchful care: may your prayers assist our local Church to respond to those in need. You taught the Christ Child your trade and prayers: help us to follow his example of love. You were part of God’s plan for all humanity: assist us to be vigilant and responsible this day. You spent your life in service: may we be mindful of others, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, caring for them in these difficult days. You trusted in the clear primacy of God over all history and every situation: help us to grow in faith and pray to the Father, Thy will be done. Amen
A Prayer for Healthcare Workers during this time of the Coronavirus COVID-19
from the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin
Loving God, we place into your care all our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Give them courage of heart and strength of mind and body. Keep them safe from harm. May they know our deep gratitude for all they are doing to heal and help those affected by the coronavirus.
God of all consolation may they know your protection and peace. Bless them in these challenging days and bless their families. Amen.