Welcome to the new school year! There is much to look forward to at our College in 2019 as we pursue our vision of a “Faith Community committed to Excellence in Learning”. I hope your summer has been restful and enjoyable, and that you are ready for the challenges and excitement the year will hold for each of us.
A special welcome is extended to those students anxiously waiting for their first day at Salesian College. As well as each of our new Year 7s making the transition from primary school, we also welcome 32 new students in Years 8-12 who have transferred to us from other schools. We are thrilled to have so many choosing a Salesian Education, and on behalf of all the staff, we thank all our families for your confidence and trust in us.
A reminder that the 2019 start dates for each year level are as follows:
New beginnings are always exciting; they are a time to begin and renew relationships, and to discover the challenges and opportunities the year ahead may hold. Above all, new beginnings offer a sign of hope! I encourage all students to look with hope and a positive attitude as they plan to set their goals high for the year ahead, especially in the area of academic achievement. Establishing a good study routine at home should be a priority right from the start.
Congratulations are extended to the 2018 Year 12 graduates and to those young men and women who achieved their personal best. Our College Dux was Jack Drever with an ATAR score of 99.25, which was just reward for his hard work and dedication. It was also wonderful to see two students receive perfect scores of 50 in their subject results; congratulations to Edith Spiers (Biology) and Jack Drever (Mathematical Methods). Of the students receiving tertiary entrance offers last week, close to 82% received either their first or second preference which is an amazing result. At our first assembly for the year, on Friday 8 February at 12:00pm, we will formally acknowledge all high achieving students in both VCE and VCAL. Parents are certainly welcome to attend.
The Salesian Strenna (or ‘theme’) for 2019 is “Holiness for you, too”.
The Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has chosen the gospel passage from John (15:11); “So that my joy may be in you”, as the inspiration for this year’s Strenna. In describing himself as the vine, and we the branches, Jesus is inviting us into the gift of holiness, a call to live our lives to the full using Jesus as our guide. The call to holiness isn’t just for some (those we deem to be ‘saints’), but a call to live our lives to the full as ‘everyday saints’ according to God’s plan for us. Sounds challenging doesn’t it? St Francis de Sales (from whom Don Bosco drew his inspiration) challenged everyone to be holy through the practice of eight little virtues; each of which I’m sure are familiar and accessible to every one of us. The eight virtues are:
Who amongst us could not cultivate these ‘little virtues’ in our everyday living and so be on the path to holiness? Holiness is participation in the life of God, it is a journey to be walked, not an endpoint. The path to holiness can be beautiful, but at the same time demanding. Together, it is easier; this is what community is all about. Let this be our goal for 2019!
This is celebrated annually on January 31, and is a special day for all Salesians who make their profession to holy orders on this day. Here in our Rupertswood community we have seven Salesians:
Please keep these, and all Salesians, in our prayers.
As 2019 commences, we welcome the following new staff to the College:
There have been several changes to the staff at St Mary’s School for the Deaf also:
I especially wish to acknowledge those staff members listed at the end of this newsletter who are taking on, or continuing, in important Positions of Leadership in the College this year. Their commitment to these vital roles is greatly appreciated.
Much work has been done at the College during the December-January period by our Maintenance Team and external contractors. This has included:
I commend the Maintenance Team for their tireless work over the Summer months.
With only days left before school commences, it’s vital that all students (and their parents) have a good look at the uniform to make sure it fully complies with the College Uniform. The Salesian College uniform is very attractive and, when worn well, sends a clear message about the standards set and adhered to by all. As with any uniform though, when not worn well it can create a very poor image.
Prior to the first day back (Friday 1 February for Years 7, 10, and 12 and Monday 4 February for Years 8, 9, and 11), please ensure your child has regulation hairstyle and colour, a clean and presentable College uniform, and has removed any piercing apart from one plain stud allowed in each ear. Particular issues that some students need to address with regard to the summer uniform include boys having the correct school socks, girls’ dresses being an appropriate length (on or below the knee) and ALL students wearing the blazer to and from school every day. Students presenting to school in 2019 out of uniform can expect to be sent home until such time as the uniform is worn correctly. It should also be noted that Monday 18 February is School Photo Day and students out of uniform will not have their photo taken.
As we do each year, a calendar showing the key school dates for 2019 will make its way home to you via your son or daughter in the first few days of school, along with a copy of the 2018 Yearbook. Both showcase the talents of our wonderful students and I recommend these publications to you for reading and display.
As a workplace, the College takes seriously its commitment to be fully compliant with all matters to do with everyone’s safety. This includes behaviours related to the Occupational Health & Safety Act (2004) as well as the Child Safe Standards (2016). One area which can be of concern for students and parents is bullying, be it online or face to face. The College is committed to providing and maintaining, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to health. To that end, it is committed to providing for all employees, students, and other people who, for whatever reason, are in an area under the control of the College, a working environment where bullying will not be tolerated and where people can be productive without interference from bullying in all areas under its control.
For students, this means:
In addition to our strong commitment to identify and address bullying and harassment on school grounds, I ask for parents to monitor, provide guidance, and have frequent conversations about expectations for their child(ren)'s use of technology. Text messaging via mobile phones and photo sharing apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are used legitimately by students to share events from their daily lives. However, they can also be dangerous weapons for bullying and intimidation when not used appropriately. Great care and consideration should be given prior to allowing accounts to be created on all social media sites. Not only may children be in breach of each site’s terms and conditions, they may indeed be involved in criminal activity which can result in charges being laid by the Police. For these reasons, students are not permitted to use mobile phones at school (to be kept in lockers at ALL times) and must not use BYO devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) during recess/lunch (unless in the Ciantar Learning Commons).
For further information, please click here, or contact Elaine Dugdale-Walker, Deputy Principal – Students.
Parent engagement is a vitally important body in the life of our school. I would encourage those who may be interested in contributing to good learning at Salesian College through another avenue to join the Parent Engagement Group (PEG). This group provides vital feedback to the College via the Principal as well as supporting important new initiatives such as the St Vinnies Winter Sleepout. I would welcome lots of new faces, especially from among our new Year 7 cohort, as your input would be most valuable. The first meeting for the year has been set aside for Wednesday 27 February, 6:00pm, in the Mansion Dining Room. Please consider coming along!
Salesian College Sunbury is a large community of students, staff and parents, both past and present. Please keep the following in your prayers: