Principal's Report

8 February 2018

Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Assumption,

Quau Supra Quaere!

As we begin our 125th year of Marist education, growth, celebration and challenge in Kilmore, I welcome all of our parents, guardians and friends to our 2018 College family.  In this special, celebratory year, we are a particularly privileged community of adults, called to amplify all that is good in our school community as we honour and pay tribute to those who left us such a tremendous educational legacy. I hope you feel as inspired and motivated as I do to not only delve into the significant aspects of our heritage, but even more importantly, to ensure that Assumption College is a welcoming, respected and life-giving educational community for yet another 125 years.  With our students and their needs at the centre of our decisions, let’s join together in a new way to bring forth the best in each other and in our young.  As we ‘Quae Supra Quaere’ (Strive For The Things That Are Above) together, may each of us see the improvement of our personal character, our relationships and our positive engagement with our community, as a worthy and substantive part of the ongoing work of building our College, so that we can collectively continue to bring hope and opportunity to the young people who will observe and model themselves on us.  To our new families, welcome!  We look forward to seeing you involved in the life of the school, and partnering with you frequently and joyfully to nurture your child into the best version of themselves. 

Blue Brain v Red Brain and learning

As we come to know more about the adolescent brain we can use this knowledge to help our students to engage in their learning in a more purposeful and deliberate way.  We know that Growth Mindset is a powerful way of understanding that while certain knowledge and skills have not been developed ‘yet’ the brain can be focussed to learn in surprising ways.  This year, we are adding to our focus on Growth Mindset with an appreciation of the capacity of us all to prepare ourselves to operate in either our Blue Brain (ready for engagement and learning) or our Red Brain (the ancient ‘flight or fight’ part of our brain that can only respond with strong emotions and simplistic solutions).  We’ve included in this newsletter a copy of the poster that we’re using to teach this important metacognitive tool to your children, and you might like to support this by putting a copy of it up at home, and inviting your child to get themselves in their ‘Blue Brain’ at homework time, before any important decisions are being made, or when emotions are running high. You Learning Mentor will discuss this more at the upcoming LM meetings.

Parent Involvement

In 2017 we introduced the new Learning Mentor program throughout the school and this year we’ve seen the benefits come into effect in the genuine relationships building between students across the various year levels.  Mentoring, peer-support and cross-age tutoring have already been in evidence throughout the school.  Even more importantly, the relationships between the Learning Mentors and parents/guardians continues to deepen, and their partnership in ensuring that students have made a positive start has lead to many more students receiving the care and support they need to focus on their learning quickly and without unnecessary fuss.

Learning Mentor meeting times are now available for booking on PAM.  It can be tempting to think that ‘everything’s started well, so maybe we don’t need to go in’, but these are exactly the times when discussions can be had about how to support your child to stretch themselves to a new level of engagement.  With parents and Learning Mentors on the same page, using the same language and talking about the same goals, huge and surprising strides can be made.  I strongly encourage you to book a meeting time with your Learning Mentor as soon as possible and come in and share your successful adolescent strategies with the Learning Mentor so that they can genuinely partner with you in bringing out the best in your child.

Community Development Team

Last night the Community Development Team (previously the P&F) met to begin planning some of the major events and services that will require support this year.  You will shortly be receiving the TryBooking link to invite you to nominate how you will support the team this year.  There are lots of events at all times of the day that we require assistance for.  No previous experience necessary, and it’s a great way to meet some new people…others, like yourself who are committed to ensuring that the Assumption College community remains strong.  We look forward to seeing you at some of the upcoming events: Working Bee (Feb 17th), Athletics Day set up (March 15), Open Evening BBQ (March 27).  The Community Development Team are also hosting a free event at Kilmore Trackside for all new families on Saturday February 24th.  More information found elsewhere in the Newsletter and on Facebook.

Prayer for our community

The phrase ‘Quae Supra Quaere’ is found in an extract of St. Paul’s Letters to the Colossians:

“If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.

And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Loving God, as we begin a new school year, inspire us to seek the things that are above.  Especially, let us treasure compassion, kindness, Humility, meekness and patience.  Let us be forgivers. Teach us to be thankful for all we have blessed with, and encourage us to be joyful, so that others might know that with you in our hearts, we are committed to the ways of peace, love and selfless giving.  Amen.