By Mrs Liisa Hammond, Principal
In the Gospel this week, Mark tells the story of a man with leprosy approaching Jesus, asking to be healed. Jesus, moved by compassion, touches the man and heals him. The healed man is overcome with gratitude; however, Jesus clearly tells him to go and show himself to the priest but not to speak to anyone about how Jesus healed him. Unfortunately, the man disobeys Jesus and spreads the news of his healing. This leads to Jesus having to seclude himself from the crowds of people who flock to see him.
This Gospel holds great relevance to our Assumption College community. The Healed Man was someone on the margins of society; whilst Jesus asked him not to say anything about his experience, he was so overjoyed he spread the story far and wide – so much so that it had a negative impact on Jesus.
There are so many times when we see breakdowns in peer relationships resulting from breaking trust due to the spreading of gossip or rumours. Often, unintentionally, these actions cause harm to individuals and disrupt our core business of learning. By reflecting on this Gospel, our community members have the opportunity to learn the importance of being cautious and respectful with their words. Often, our young people do not intend to cause harm or are overwhelmed by the negative impact of their actions. This is an important learning curve, and there is no evidence that the Healed Man intended to cause harm to Jesus; however, he is still responsible for the impact that his words caused. We speak to our young people about taking responsibility for their words and actions, taking responsibility for spreading generosity, compassion, wisdom, and justice.
Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday – the start of our Lenten Journey
In Week 4, we had the opportunity to come together twice as a College. First was the inaugural Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race. It was a celebration and a moment of merriment that saw our Houses compete against each other in a relay of mixed-year levels, flipping pancakes, tying on aprons, running, cheering, and laughing. Congratulations to Donovan House, whose champion team demonstrated the power of grit, support, and determination.
The joy and merriment of Tuesday was juxtaposed against the earnestness and solemnity of Ash Wednesday. With reverence and respect, we had our Pastoral Care teachers place the sign of the cross on the foreheads of their students, symbolising the repentance and reflection of the start of the Lenten time.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Jo Winlaw for her inspiring and reflective guidance of these gatherings. Jo has encouraged us to make a ruckus – to find opportunities to dance and find joy in the simple act of celebrating time together. It is with sadness that I have accepted Mrs Winlaw’s resignation. Whilst Mrs Winlaw was meant to be with us for the entire year, she will be leaving us before the end of this term due to unexpected family circumstances. We have advertised for another Acting Assistant Principal – Mission and Identity, and I will keep you informed of our efforts in this area.
School Student Protection Contacts
Every staff member at Assumption College is committed to safeguarding every one of our students. School Student Protection Contacts are designated senior College staff who have received specialist training annually, so they are best placed to respond to queries from students, parents/guardians, staff or volunteers about concerns for a student’s safety or wellbeing.
Assumption College’s School Student Protection Contacts are:
Mrs Liisa Hammond – Principal
Mrs Anna Hardy – Deputy Principal
Mrs Julie Collins – Assistant Principal – Pastoral and Wellbeing
Mrs Julie Gillespie – College Counsellor
Mr Brett Armstrong – College Counsellor
Mr Matt Bruton – Curriculum Leader PE and ITD.
At the beginning of every year, it is important to remind our community of our expectations, policies, and our procedures. One of the core policies we have, is our Behaviour Sanctions Policy – this can be found on our College website. As this document is quite lengthy, I have decided to provide the extract regarding our anti-bullying policy.
If you have any questions, concerns or insights into any or all of our policies and procedures, I invite you to join our Parents and Friends Committee, or please be empowered to make time to come and discuss your views with me.
Bullying (inclusive of cyberbullying)
Bullying in any of its forms has no place at Assumption College. All members of our school community should be able to enjoy a safe and supportive environment free from fear or harassment. Bullying in any form is totally unacceptable. Research shows that bullying occurs in all schools; however, this can be reduced with a whole-school approach, including an active anti-bullying procedure.
Bullying is defined at Assumption College as the misuse of power, position and privilege. It is done to intimidate, coerce, engender fear or control There are three main parameters of bullying:
- It is repeated (prolonged over time).
- It involves an imbalance of power.
- It may be verbal, physical, social or psychological.
It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious or hidden.
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Some conflicts between adolescents are a normal part of growing up and are to be expected. Single incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not considered bullying, even though they may be upsetting and need to be resolved.
There is no place for bullying in any school. Those who are bullied and those who bully are at risk for behavioural, emotional and academic problems. These outcomes directly contradict our school community’s goals and efforts to support all students.
Bullying behaviours that will not be tolerated include name-calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments, kicking, hitting, pushing, taking belongings, inappropriate text messaging, sending offensive or degrading images by phone or internet, producing offensive graffiti, gossiping, excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.
Bullying behaviour includes:
Physical: hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, tripping, spitting or throwing objects. Hiding, damaging or destroying property belonging to someone else. Making someone give money, food or other property against their will.
Non-Physical: threatening any of the above. Name-calling, using offensive language, making comments the other person finds offensive. Ridiculing or teasing in a nasty way. Putting others down, spreading rumours (via internet, chat rooms or word of mouth). Making faces or rude gestures and sending offensive SMS messages. Ignoring or Excluding (this is not a definitive list).
Bullying may be related to:
- Race, religion or culture
- Appearance or health conditions
- Sexual orientation
- Sexist or sexual language
- Children acting as carers, or
- Children in care
Cyberbullying is defined as ‘the aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of conduct, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.
Our school is committed to promoting responsible and proactive use of social media sites.
No student will face disciplinary action for simply having an account on a social media site.
It is unacceptable for students to bully, harass or victimise another person, whether within the College’s grounds or while online.
Cyber – Bullying
Online bullying is bullying carried out through the internet or mobile devices. Online bullying is also sometimes called cyberbullying.
It can happen to anyone, anytime and can leave you feeling unsafe and distressed. Online bullying can be offensive and upsetting.
Online bullying can include:
- Sending insulting or threatening messages
- Posting unkind messages or inappropriate images on social networking sites
- Excluding others from online chats or other communication
- Inappropriate image tagging/editing
- Sharing someone’s personal or embarrassing information online
- Creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns or social networking sites
- Sharing unflattering or private messages, including naked or sexual images
- Assuming the identity of another person online and representing them in a negative manner or manner that may damage their relationship with others
- Repeatedly, and for no strategic reason, attacking players in online gaming
For it to be called bullying, inappropriate actions online must be between people who have ongoing contact and be part of a pattern of repeated behaviours (online or offline). Single incidents or random inappropriate actions are not bullying.
The best response to cyberbullying is to be proactive and preventative. To be proactive, students can:
- Guard contact information
- Take a stand against cyberbullying.
- Speak out whenever they see someone being mean to another person online.
Cyber-Bullying action for students
If you are being harassed online, take the following actions immediately:
- Tell a teacher, your parents or someone you trust/ report the issue.
- Leave the area or stop the activity
- Block the sender’s messages
- Never reply to harassing messages
- Keep a record. Save any harassing messages and record the time and date that you received them
The processes involved in formal procedures intend to achieve the following:
- To protect the rights of the students, staff and learning community.
- To help find ways to negotiate with the student a plan for change to acceptable patterns of behaviour.
- To keep the parents/caregivers of the student informed and, if possible, engage them in the negotiations to secure a change to acceptable patterns of behaviour by the student.
May our Mother Mary grant her blessings upon our College Community.
By Mrs Anna Hardy, Assistant Principal Curriculum
As we stride further into the academic year, it's essential to keep everyone informed and engaged with the curriculum at our College.
Assessment Calendars: We are pleased to announce that the assessment calendars for the term will be released to students this week. These calendars will be easily accessible on our College website under the School Calendar – Assessment Calendars section.
Term 1 Interim Reports: In Week 10 of this term, we will release interim reports designed to provide a comprehensive insight into the progress of your child. Furthermore, we will host Parent-Teacher-Student conferences in early Term 2 to facilitate discussions on how we can collectively support students in their academic journey.
NAPLAN: NAPLAN testing is scheduled to occur from March 13 2024 to March 18 2024. Families of Year 7 and 9 students can expect to receive detailed schedules via email in the coming weeks.
Year 11 Parent Information Night: All Year 11 students and their families are invited to attend a curriculum information session on Wednesday 28 February 2024 at 6pm. Topics of discussion will include the Queensland Certificate of Education, ATAR, academic coaching, and various pathways available to our students.
Assessments and Extensions: It's crucial for students, requiring extra time for assessments, to apply for extensions by meeting with their classroom teacher before the due date. Proper documentation, such as medical certificates for senior students or notes for junior students, is required for consideration.
Tutorials: We're thrilled to see students utilising our tutorial sessions every Thursday from 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm in rooms 311/312. These sessions provide valuable opportunities for students to seek additional support with assessments and homework. We encourage all students to take advantage of this service.
By staying informed and actively participating in the various opportunities provided by the College, we can collectively contribute to the success and growth of our students. Should you have any questions or require further clarification on any curriculum matters, please do not hesitate to contact us via the College office.
By Mrs Julie Collins, Assistant Principal Pastoral and Wellbeing
Currently, some students are wearing the old style ‘sloppy joe’/pullover. This is no longer part of the College uniform; students are to wear the woolen College jumper.
Should a student have a reason for wearing anything contrary to the uniform policy, an exemption must be sought. The process for applying for an exemption is through the Pastoral Leader. Students will be required to fill out the application form, attach relevant medical certificates, have a guardian sign the form, and submit it to their Pastoral Leader who will take it to APPW for appraisal.
PPP - Positive Parenting Program
We have had great feedback from the last two sessions of the PPP program. Wednesday 21 February is the last session and will be looking at ‘Getting Teenagers Connected’. You are most welcome to attend, it is free, and refreshments will be available.
By Mrs Jo Winlaw, Acting Assistant Principal Mission and Identity
Year 7 and 8 Retreat Activities
Both Year 7 and 8 students had the wonderful opportunity to work with the team from Unleashing Personal Potential [UPP] this week, to discover how to work together in teams and build grit and resilience. One of the catchphrases of UPP is ‘we rise by lifting others’, an aspirational maxim that fits well with our Lenten call to ensure that we work towards making our world a better place, where all can live life to the full.
By Mrs Alison Porter, Career Development Practitioner
Coming Soon: RSA and RGS Course
The College is offering Year 11 and 12 students the opportunity to participate in the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Course and Responsible Gambling Services (RGS) Course. The RSA course is the required course for Queensland (QLD) hospitality workers serving alcohol in a hospitality venue. This course provides nationally recognised SITHFAB002 Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol Statement of Attainment and allows successful participants to work in licensed venues. The RGS course provides nationally recognised SITHGAM001 Provide Responsible Gambling Services Statement of Attainment and to provide responsible gambling services and information to customers who require assistance with their problem gambling. Successful participants can work in venues that host licensed gambling.
The course will be delivered through Aurora Training Institute.
Details are as follows:
Delivery: Tuesday March 26, 2024 (9:00am – 3:00pm for two courses)
Cost: $40 for each course, or $80 for both
Where: Assumption College (Room TBA)
Any students interested in completing either or both courses can find more information in the letter that will be supplied and should return the permission slip attached to the letter before 4 March 2024.
Students can get a ‘head start’ at University
For high achieving Year 11 and 12 students, many universities will be taking applications in March for the next round of ‘head start’ programs. These programs provide school students with the opportunity to study one or more university subjects while at school. The benefits of completing a university subject whilst at school include:
• Studying the subject can be one less subject to study and pay for during later studies at university
• Some university programs offer a QCE point for successful completion
• Students can experience what university study may involve
• Successful completion of subjects at some universities can improve chances of entry to the relevant course or university after Year 12.
Please see below for links and information about the various university programs on offer.
University of Queensland - Enhanced Studies Program (ESP) https://esp.uq.edu.au/
University of Southern Queensland - Head Start https://www.unisq.edu.au/study/information-for/high-school-students/head-start
Griffith University - GUESTS Program https://www.griffith.edu.au/apply/undergraduate-study/high-school-students/guests-headstart
Australian Catholic University - Uni Step Up https://www.acu.edu.au/about-acu/widening-participation/uni-step-up
Central Queensland University -Start Uni Now (SUN) https://www.cqu.edu.au/study/entry-pathways/start-uni-now
James Cook University - JCU NOW https://www.jcu.edu.au/jcunow
Queensland University of Technology - START QUT https://www.qut.edu.au/study/options/start-qut
Southern Cross University- Southern Cross Scholars Program https://www.scu.edu.au/engage/southern-cross-advance/scholars-program/
University of the Sunshine Coast – Headstart https://www.usc.edu.au/study/courses-and-programs/headstart
Date Claimer: Year 10 Work Experience Block
Our College runs a Careers program that aims to prepare students for their senior phase of learning and assist students in making decisions around career and education pathways. As part of the Careers program, we suspend classes and offer Year 10 students the opportunity to participate in a week of work experience. This year the work experience block program will run in Term 2, Week 9, Monday 10 June to Friday 14 June 2024. More information will be provided to Year 10 students and sent home to Year 10 parents closer to the end of Term 1.
Congratulations to Alana Burton for her recent sign up into a school-based traineeship in hospitality with Katie’s Cocktail Café.
By Mr Thomas Duggan, Sports Coordinator
It has been a very busy time at the College for all of our aspiring young athletes as we have had many District and Regional trials take place over the past 4 weeks.
The College was well represented in Week 3 at the Border District Swimming Carnival with many of our swimmers making great times and qualifying for Darling Downs trials. As a College, our swimmers earnt us Runners Up Boys School, Runners Up overall Champion school, and overall Champion Girls school. Well done to all of our swimmers and best of luck for Regional trials.
The College also had over 30 of our students attend the BD Winter trials in Week 3. Oddly enough, our Winter trials were held on one of the hottest days we have had this year, which made it challenging for our students; however, our resilient athletes persisted and many of our students were selected to progress to regional trials. Best of luck to these students.
We have also since had a number of our students attend regional trials and be selected to represent the Darling Downs at the State titles for their chosen Sport. Well done to the following students for their selection:
- Ziggy Gibson (Water Polo)
- Jett White (Water Polo)
- Jazmine Cruda (Basketball)
Pink Stumps Day
On February 14 2024 ACW held the annual Pink Stumps Day. It was great to see everyone get involved and turn out dressed head to toe in pink. This day is always so important in the Assumption College calendar as it helps raise awareness about the struggles faced everyday by many people in Australia and around the world suffering from Breast Cancer. The McGrath Foundation tirelessly helps to provide breast care nurses to individuals and families around Australia. As a College we have made our contribution to this charity, by donating every year on our annual Pink Stumps Day.
Pink Stumps Day also saw our Year 12s and Staff compete in a game of cricket at Queens Park in the afternoon. This game was full of fun and held some amazing partnerships and catches. The Staff came away with the win, with a strong score of 68. Unfortunately, for the students, 2024 was not their year and came out with a score of -19, the first ever negative score in an ACW pink stumps match. The students were no match for the staff in not only the batting but the fielding as well. Mr. Duggan and Mrs. Gardner put up an amazing partnership in the last two overs, coming away with 38 runs. While in the next innings Mr. Coe and Mr. Baker really put their bodies on the line and made some amazing catches that I’m sure will never be forgotten. Both teams played a great game and the spirits were high at the end of the afternoon. Congratulations to all involved.
Bring on Pink Stumps 2025!
By Mrs Amanda McCosker, College Chaplain
What a busy couple of weeks it’s been! There have been so many activities happening around the College, between sporting events, liturgies and even a pancake flipping race! It’s been so nice to see everyone getting involved and making the most of all the opportunities on offer.
Breakfast Club is back in full swing, and I have met so many new students in the past week. Some of the Grade 7s have been checking out the breakfast spread and stopping by for a chat, which has been great. They seem to be settling in nicely, making new friends and getting used to their new routines.
I read something recently that I wanted to share with you. It’s just a nice reminder for us to think about when we see someone struggling…
“When a torch grows dim or quits working, you don’t throw it away – you charge the batteries.
When a person messes up and finds themselves in a dark place, do you cast them aside? Of course not – you help them charge their batteries.
Some need AA…attention and affection; some need AAA…attention, affection, and acceptance; some need C…compassion; some need D…direction. And if they still don’t seem to shine…simply sit with them quietly and share your light.” (Unknown)
Have a great week everyone and remember to be kind to each other.
By Ms Taylor Quinn, Teacher Librarian
We have been having a great time doing all sorts of activities in the library. We loved seeing students getting into chess, craft, Lego creation and library jobs among other things! Aiden’s magnificent Lego tower is getting taller at a rapid pace, and we can’t wait to see what it will look like when it is finished! Our library helpers do wonderful things behind the scenes to assist us in ensuring our books have all the right stickers and can be found by other students!
As our new cohort of Year 7s settle into ACW life, they will have two sessions in the library. One is all about their new devices and how to print, access our library ap, (AccessIt) and details about borrowing ebooks and audio books. The other session is all about our physical space, where to find a book, how to borrow, how to request a book and our other library services (homework help, a space to chill, be with friends). This is the springboard to positive use of books, and online skills needed for research as they progress through their years of learning.
Term 1 Week 4
Enhanced Learning News
The Enhanced Learning Team warmly welcomes all students and their families to connect with us regarding any teaching, learning and extension support. Our primary aim is to empower your child to reach their full potential through engaging educational experiences at our College. We have kicked off the year with a wealth of information being disseminated to students and their families. Here are some key highlights to anticipate in the weeks ahead:
- NAPLAN – Commencing in Week 8, on Wednesday 13th March 2024. Parents and carers of Year 7 and 9 students have received detailed information via email regarding NAPLAN.
- Enrichment Opportunities: Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming competitions and enrichment activities.
- Classroom Support: This year, our school officer support team has expanded, allowing us to provide enhanced classroom support tailored to each student’s individual learning needs.
- Intervention: We offer intervention support for students who may require additional time to address any learning gaps. This presents a valuable opportunity to bolster confidence and acquire new skills.
We look forward to partnering with you in supporting your child’s academic journey. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any assistance or guidance.
ASSUMPTION COLLEGE LONG LUNCH
The P&F Association are proud to announce the first-ever Assumption College Long Lunch!
Tickets are now on sale via TryBooking: https://www.trybooking.com/COZRK .
Limited tickets are available so get in quick, we don't want you to miss out!
Enjoy a unique social experience within our College grounds.