Principal's report

30 July 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians

Strategic planning

Next Wednesday, we enter phase two of ACK's 2020 strategic planning process. Over the past six weeks, a team of writers have been busy working away on the feedback from our first day, and they are ready to present the draft version of our new vision and mission statement, and our graduate outcomes. We will be looking to those who can come in for 90 minutes on Wednesday, August 5, to make any final suggestions about this document and to ratify the parts that they (you) think are on the money.

Perhaps even more importantly though, on the 5th we will establish the priorities of our community for the next five years. Under the key areas of school life (Catholic Identity,Learning and Teaching, Pastoral Wellbeing, Leadership and Stewardship), we will try to discern three or four large goals. Essentially, we’ll be imagining the kind of college that we want to be in 2020. These goals will help us develop each year’s annual action plan and should mean that by 2020, our school has changed  in new and exciting ways to respond to our students' needs. There is so much new learning about how a school can best prepare its students for successful futures, and here is our chance to name and claim the ways that we think will give us the most ‘bang for our buck’.  I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible next Wednesday. Click here to RSVP.

Assumption-Sacred Heart Exchange

On August 14 we welcome the staff and students of Sacred Heart College, Adelaide for the annual exchange. As usual, a huge amount of preparation has gone into this event, and we are looking forward to spending a lovely time with our friends (and sometimes foes) from over the border. A special note of thanks to those families that are helping out with billeting – we appreciate your generosity in ensuring the ongoing success of the exchange. The program will be released shortly, so stay tuned, and make sure you drop in for one or two events across the weekend – you really are very welcome.

 It’s subject selection time

Around subject selection time, we often hear lots of talk about learning styles.  Parents say things like: ‘Oh, my daughter is a visual learner’ or ‘He’s a learner who needs to do things to understand them’.  While there is much popular literature (and millions of websites) devoted to learning styles, recent literature suggests that knowing one’s learning style makes absolutely no difference to learning outcomes. By learning styles, we mean preferred sensory systems or mental patterns for processing information. I’m pointing this out because some students rule out particular subjects or set of subjects because they have the notion that they won’t cater for their learning style. Evidence suggests that this is nonsense, and that strong learning and personal growth are not related to the style of teaching (and whether it matches a particular learning style), but it is related to the motivation of the learner and the clarity of the learning process.  Here’s a little more information for those who are interested.

While it can be a trying time, don’t make subject selection more complex than it needs to be – we have lots of professionals here who are happy to work with you and help you find your way through the selection minefield. just give us a call and we’ll help point you and your child in the right direction.

The feast of the Assumption

The feast of the Assumption, on August 15, is one of the more unusual events in our Catholic culture. Catholic tradition purports that Mary’s specialness was recognised by God in many ways, not the least of which is that she was ‘assumed’ into heaven, body and soul! Annually, then, we acknowledge her as the best example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. She was a courageous disciple who said yes to God, even in an embarrassing and scary circumstance, and encouraged and supported the first believers, acting as a mother to them all in the dark times following the execution of Jesus. As Marists, we hold Mary in special reverence, and work to bring about a church and a world with a 'Marian face'.  By this, we mean one where justice is proclaimed and supported, where all feel welcome and included, and where we each are generously encouraged to use our gifts in the service of others. 

Loving God, help us live as Mary did, bravely saying yes to all of the life-giving opportunities you place before us.  Let us stand with those who need our advocacy and support, and may we always find the courage to help those we meet, come to know you better. Amen.

Parents and friends, please feel welcome to join our Assumption Day Mass on August 13. Details can be found on PAM.

Peace and blessings

Kate Fogarty