10 September 2015
Dear Parents and Guardians
The business end of the season
As we enter the final week of term, let’s keep our year 12s and their families in our thoughts and prayers. While the VCE is designed to be assessed throughout the year, the exams are usually worth at least 50% of the end result for each subject. This means that preparation for, and good performance in, the exams is paramount for a high ATAR score. On Tuesday at assembly, we asked our year 7-11 students to be especially aware of how they conduct themselves around the school in these coming weeks, so that the time and energy of the community is directed as effectively as possible towards the year 12 exam preparations.
The last week of third term is always difficult in any school. Everyone is tired, the weather fluctuates, and the nervous energy of the year 12 students starts to really be felt. For we at Assumption especially, after a more challenging and emotional term than normal, emotions are still sitting right at the surface, and the normal levels of resilience are somewhat frayed. It’s fortunate then, that today happens to be National RU OK? day.
R U OK?
National R U OK? day is a gift to us all. It’s an opportunity, without the stigma of feeling embarrassed or inappropriate, to ask anyone and everyone you know how they are travelling. Taking the time to hear the answer, and to respond with gentle support and acknowledgement can sometimes make all the difference. If you believe someone you know (at home, at work, your wider family, in the community) is not OK, then please be brave enough to give them a ring, or track them down (or message them online), to just check-in. You never know the difference your interest might mean. There are so many support lines and websites that can help you help someone find the support they need. Offering to go to the GP with them can be a good start, but there are plenty of other options as well. All the best.
Sooo much more than a school
This past week has been frantic. There is no doubt that Assumption is so much more than a 9am-3.30pm school. There have been events on every evening, amazing excursions and sporting opportunities, and plenty of show-casing of our students’ talents. If you’ve missed being involved, please check-in on the school calendar, so that you get to see and be involved in everything that our community has to offer: the dance concert on Saturday night was amazing, on Monday evening our senior drama students wowed us with their solo performances, on Tuesday we congratulated all those who competed in winter sport, on Wednesday night our Remar students graduated from their three-year program, (we have tonight off as the music soiree has been postponed until term 4) and tomorrow night our year 11 students and their families come together for their formal. Phew…thank goodness those holidays are just around the corner.
This Sunday our year 11 East Timor Immersion group head off to Baucau for two weeks of solidarity experiences. They will stay in a local school community and support students at the local teachers college (run by the Marist Brothers) with their English. Fortunately I'm travelling with these students to support them as they experience life in a developing country.
On Wednesday a second group of year 11 students head to Santa Teresa, an indigenous community about 80kms from Alice Springs. They will help out in the school and the community, running programs for the young children. The following week our French Immersion group fly out. They will spend over a week in a secondary school in France, practising their language and learning more about the culture. They are billeted for most of their trip and have the good fortune to visit the home country of St Marcellin Champagnat, along with some of the many other wonderful historical tourist attractions of this amazing country. We wish all three groups well.
‘Get behind me, Satan!’
In this week’s Gospel, Jesus yells at Peter. Peter is usually used as the ‘fall guy’ by the Gospel writers – he gets things wrong as often as he gets them right. Mark tells the story of Jesus asking the group: ‘who do you think I am?’. Peter gets the answer right, calling Jesus the Messiah, but then ruins his good work by trying to stop Jesus from speaking provocatively to the crowds that have gathered. Jesus tells him to ‘get behind me!’, and seemingly insults Peter by calling him Satan. Another way of interpreting this story, is that Jesus sees that the temptation Peter is offering is to take the easy route, to only tell the crowd what they want to hear. Jesus recognises this, and tells Peter to ‘get behind me', not to hide him, or punish him, but to remind him that this is the place where followers stand, behind their leader. This week, maybe there is something or someone that we need to put in its proper place, so that we can get on with doing the good (sometimes hard) work that we know God is calling us to.
Loving God, help us to be brave in recognising the things and people who call us to take the easy route. May we always know the true path to inner peace and joy. Amen.
Peace and blessings