Principal's Report

16 April 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Term 2 matters

It was lovely to see so many parents and guardians at the parent-student-teacher interviews this week. It seems that many of our families had a lovely Easter holiday and that quite a few got away at least for a few days…happy times! 

As you’re probably aware, we’ve allowed students a two week "change-over" period between the summer and winter uniform. Please ensure that your child isn’t wearing a "hybrid" version during this fortnight – they must be fully attired in either one or other uniform.  Equally as important, as we get closer to  winter, and the sneezes and coughs begin, we appreciate your diligence in ensuring that your child does not come to school while sick or contagious. As our place of work, the OH&S of our staff and the other students is important. It is costly and disruptive to have our staff away, so your assistance in limiting their exposure to bugs is greatly appreciated. Now that so much of our students’ work is on SIMON, taking a day off to work from home is less of a concern when there is illness or contagion. Worksheets and activities can be accessed and completed online as we look forward to your child’s return.

Use of infirmary

I would like to reiterate some of our practices around the use of the school nurses and the infirmary and to ask for your cooperation.  As you would be aware, we operate a full-time infirmary with a nurse in attendance. This resource is provided to support the boarding houses (this is where the funding comes from) although, as in other schools, it is also used for first aid if there are emergencies with day students. Recently day students, with their parents' endorsement, have been using the infirmary as a primary place of care for illness or injury. This is a misuse of our school resources and places an unjust financial and pastoral burden on the school.

For day students, the infirmary is a place of first aid only – and only in cases of emergency. As such, while we will continue to offer a high level of care to those in significant need, please be advised of the following:

  • Day students are not to attend the infirmary before 10.30am, and only if there is an emergency or acute illness.
  • Students who present with pre-existing injuries are not "first aid" cases, and will not be seen (eg. injuries or illnesses that should have been attended to by your family doctor, physiotherapist etc).
  • Recently, we have had a few parents refuse to collect their sick child. If the nurse rings to ask you to collect your child, you must do so with the upmost urgency.  It is not our responsibility to act as day carers for parents or guardians. As part of the enrolment contract, you agreed to have an emergency contact in place. If this is not the case, we reserve the right to ask your child to stay at home until this is amended. 
  • Please ensure that your daughter always has a supply of sanitary items in her bag. 
  • The normal rules of the school such as polite behaviour and restricted use of mobile phones apply in the infirmary area.
  • Teenagers can find many inventive ways for avoiding classes, tests, assignments or interactions that they find difficult. Sometimes they will ring a parent, so as to circumnavigate anyone doing a proper assessment of whether or not they are sick or merely avoiding their work. We are old hands at managing this!  We would appreciate it if you could please minimise your phone contact with your child during the school day. If there is a matter of illness or injury which is beyond first aid the school will ring you.  

Open Day

Don’t forget that this Sunday is our annual Open Day. If you have family friends or relatives that should be encouraged to come along, please help us out and ring or message them to ensure that they are aware.  There is information on the school Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as on the website. We give thanks in advance for all the staff and students who help make this such a fantastic day.  Our livelihood and ability to attract the appropriate student numbers directly affects our capacity to continue to offer a quality education, and whilst at this time things are very healthy, we should never take our good name and family demand for granted.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day is just over a week away, and in this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, we thought it worthwhile to go back to the Archives and see what we could find.  In the 1915 Annual, the College reported on the news of past students who had been to the front line at Gallipoli, including on landing day. There are excerpts from letters to families and I include a few here:

Jack K’s mother wrote to the Brothers:

We received a wire to say he was wounded in the thigh by shrapnel, but not seriously. He is in the Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis. I dearly wish I could go to help the poor lad.’

Ray’s S’s father passed on a letter from his son:

At last I am on the road to recovery and hope to be back soon in the trenches with the boys. Our battalion, in fact the whole brigade, has suffered terribly, and very few of the originals are left. We have had some horrible experiences…our brigade was the second one ashore…as we neared the shore, they turned the machine guns on us from the hills, while their field guns fired from the flanks. We had to jump into the water, which was four feet deep, and rush for the cover of the cliffs. It was there we saw the slaughter that the landing party suffered. Boats were smashed to pieces by shells, ghastly-looking corpses lying and sitting in drifting boats, and others had been shot as they set foot on dry land. The first days and nights were awful – I thought I was a goner a hundred times during that week’.

Captain M.B. Ryan is mentioned as having surgery to remove a bullet from his right forearm. After its removal septic poisoning set in, and for a time, the doctors thought his case hopeless, but at the time the annual was written, was believed to be slowly improving.

It was reported that immediate past student Bob M "is now in Egypt, whither his three brothers had gone earlier in the year. One of them was invalided home in August, and though deprived of the use of an arm, has been reinstated at his place of work. Four from one family might be considered more than a fair share of patriotic self-sacrifice, but we learn that a fifth son is joining the ranks of war in January, while the youngest is entering Assumption to maintain the high standard of loyalty established by Bob for his alma mater’.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

we will remember them.

rememberance day

 Lest we forget.

Loving God, in this centenary year of the Gallipoli battle, we pray that our young people might never be placed in a position of having to physically harm another. May our families never experience the loss of war and may our leaders always have the courage and tenacity to seek peace and safety for us all. Amen.

Peace and blessings,

Kate Fogarty