You will have seen media reports of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell. The
Archbishop of Brisbane and President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference,
the Most Rev. Mark Coleridge has released a statement to the Catholic community. A
copy is below for your information. There is no doubt that news of this verdict of Cardinal Pell will bring with it a range of emotions. The legal process will now run its course.
If you or your child requires support, please contact me.
We should never forget, that in any matter of this nature, our concern and prayers are
with victims and their families. Please be assured that our school system works
tirelessly to ensure the safety of every child in our schools, and will continue to do so
as together we share the responsibility for the wellbeing of your children.
Over the last week, I have been a delegate at two conferences. Firstly I attended the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN) ‘Talking Spaces 9 - The decade Ahead’. This conference brought together educationalists, architects and project managers to look at how space and buildings can affect learning and how we use spaces to ‘amplify’ the learning. This is especially relevant to us as we embark on our building works with the funding announced last year.
As part of this conference, I went on a number of school visits. I visited the following
The school visits allowed me to see spaces that are working and spaces that are not and look at ways we could take the good and use it at O’Connor. The visits also affirmed our learning agenda and the path we have taken over the last few years to know and grow every student. From what I saw, it makes me proud of how our community has adopted the dispositions of collaboration and problem solving in buildings that are designed for a more industrialised approach to education. Our teachers have taken on the challenge of adapting our learning environments to our 21st century learners with focus and vision. Our teachers use of the learning spaces and agile furniture to move from direct instruction to collaboration to problem solving and everything in between is outstanding. We are building a community who can articulate what we do and why we do it.
On Monday, the College leadership team attended the Schools Summit in Sydney. This was organised by Sydney Morning Herald and consisted of lectures and panels of teachers, principals, system leaders and politicians. As part of this Summit, we heard from the Hon Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Education, Mr Jihad Dib, NSW Shadow Minister for Education, Hon Dan Tehan Federal Minister for Education and Hon Tanya Plibersek, Federal Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Education. Education reform will play a major role in the upcoming elections both at a state level and a federal level. It was interesting to hear the passion from our politicians to help and encourage all students to be their best. It was reiterated by every one of the speakers that a student who studies in a rural or remote location should have the same chance to succeed as a student from the city. This will play out in the next few months as each party releases and explains their education funding policies.
As part of this summit, representatives from NSW Education Standards Authority discussed the curriculum review, the HSC and ATAR, as one panel member stated ‘there is a lot of heat around this at the moment’. There have been calls to change the ATAR and the way it is calculated to reduce stress and increase depth of learning. From the speakers at the Summit, this will be a long process and not one that will happen overnight. I look forward to seeing the results of the curriculum review.
Leadership Team with Chris Smyth, Director Catholic Schools, Diocese of Armidale.
Left to Right - Chris Smyth, Damian Roff (Religious Education Coordinator) Mellissa Bell (Leader of Learning Pastoral Academic Care and Wellbeing), Eli Simpson (Leader of Pedagogy), Simon Fleming (Assistant Principal) and Regina Menz (Principal).
Compass is Coming for Parents and Students -
Compass is an internet communication link for teachers, parents and students. Teachers have been trialling the use of Compass for roll marking, excursions and student information.
All parents and carers will soon be able to log on to Compass with their unique username and password.
Compass allows parents and carers to view their students profile including:
- Student’s timetable
- School notices
- Chronicle reports (Chronicle reports will cover both positive and negative reports on the students including issues the students may have with uniform, attendance, work due and behaviour).
The parent/carer Compass portal also allows parents and/or Carers to:
- Update their contact details
- Approve absences and indicate future absences
- Email the student’s teacher
- View a student’s report as an electronic PDF file
We will be running some parent workshops and sending information home over the rest of this term on how to use Compass.
What new learning will you undertake this week?