Junior School Newsletter

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents

The Annual General Meeting of the St Kevin’s College Foundation was held last week.  Miss Rhona Scott stepped aside as Chair after six years of selfless and astute leadership.  Rhona has generously agreed to remain on the Board.  Our Foundation is purely philanthropic, with its aim being the funding of means-tested Bursaries, allowing families from across Melbourne the opportunity of an SKC education.  Excitingly, two recent generous actions means that, early next term, an additional four Bursaries will be offered for boys beyond our current community to enter Year 10 in 2020.  Two of these will honour the memory of Brother Rooney, a one-time Headmaster who returned in his later years as teacher.  The other two Bursaries will honour the memory of Mr Leon Landucci.

At the Foundation meeting held subsequent to the AGM, the following positions were confirmed:

St Kevin’s College Foundation Board

Chair

Mr Evan Dwyer SKC 89

Ned Year 10, Henry Year 9, George Year 6, Joseph Year 3

Deputy Chair

Mr John Murray

Peter SKC 01

Treasurer

Mr Matt Sheehan SKC 87

Gus Year 6

 

Mr Stephen Russell

James SKC 05

 

Mr Jonathan Bare SKC 86

Nicholas Year 10

 

Mr Alan Cullen

Charles Year 12

 

Mrs Margaret Hawker

Cameron 1997

 

Mr David Morgan

Timothy 1988, Anthony 1990

 

Miss Rhona Scott

SKC Staff 1986 – 2012

 

Mr John Paul Whitbread

Jack Year 7, Thomas Year 5, Charles Year 4

Secretary

Mr Kevin Culliver OAM SKC 78

William Year 7

 

Co-curricular Appointments

Cross Country

Captain

Matthew Hussey

 

Headmaster’s Study Awards

 

 

Year 11

Digital Technologies

Domenic Marulli

 

 

Thomas Mikleus

 

 

 

Tunan Shi

Year 10

Digital Technologies

Stephen Moffat

 

Mathematics

Dominic Morelli

 

Year 8

Digital Technologies

Joel Manakkil

 

 

 

William Noonan

 

 

 

Michael Wheelahan

 

Year 7

Digital Technologies

Keegan Lim

 

 

 

Myles Quick

 

 

 

Joshua Stormont

 

 

 

Harry Vreugdenburg

 

 

History

Joel Coburn

 

 

 

Thomas Earle

 

 

 

Zachary Foster

 

 

 

Curtis McCallum


Below is the text of our Director of Studies address at Heyington Assembly on Monday.

School is one of those places that only eases up when holidays arrive...and even then, for our Year 12 fellows, this is not entirely true. School never stands still. And, time can often be one of our cruellest enemies. But, one of the ways in which we can combat our enemy is through excellent preparation, strong organisation, and productive habits of mind.

In the coming weeks, each of you in Years 7 to 11 will face the prospect of Examinations and, for Year 12 boys, more SACs will be completed. Our most senior students provide for us all a wonderful example of what it means to dedicate oneself to consistent study and revision. It is obvious, too, that a number of you in Years 7 to 11 began your own study and revision some weeks ago. While there might still be homework and other tasks your teachers will give to you to complete over the next week or so, the most significant thing you can do right now is to spend your afternoons and evenings revising.

Those of you in the Middle School all have at your disposal Revision Sheets and, in many subject areas, Practice Exams you can do in your own time. Use the Revision Sheets as a way of going back over the subject matter you’ve encountered in each of your subject areas. Then, you can use the Practice Exams to show which aspects of the courses you’ve been studying during Semester One you know and which areas you don’t. Where you find weaknesses or gaps in your knowledge and understanding, revise these…and keep revising them until your understanding is stronger and more true.

Boys in Years 10 and 11, you also have Revision Sheets and Trial Examinations at your disposal. Indeed, you actually have fewer subjects for which to study than the younger boys. Your Exams are, though, longer. Take the advice of your teachers. And, where you are uncertain about something you’ve studied this semester, seek clarification from your teachers. None of them will ever say to you that they’ve not the time to help you. Your teachers want to see you succeed…to reach your potential…just as much as you do.

In relation to your own success, I want to make the point that we are not a school – that we have never been a school – that expects all of its students to achieve an A+. The only thing we have ever asked is that every boy give of his best. If your best is a C, and that C is achieved because you’ve studied hard, you’ve put in the work, and you’ve revised the material covered this semester, then you will be rewarded and applauded for your effort. If, however, your best is an A, and you achieve a C, something has gone wrong. There are sometimes very good reasons students might not reach their potential in an Exam; but, the very best safeguard against not reaching one’s potential in an Examination is to be well-prepared for it. Between now and your Examinations, use your time wisely…use your time productively…use your time to your best advantage.

It is true, too, that Examinations – as with anything unfamiliar or stressful or high-stakes – can give rise to anxiety. As someone who suffers from anxiety, and who has done so for 30 years now, it is, I think, important that we separate anxiety from adrenaline. Whenever we are put in situations that involve pressure, our body’s natural reaction is to produce adrenaline. It is a very normal physiological response to situations we might find frightening. We all react differently to these kinds of situations. Certainly, however, the level of perceived fear with which we might associate completing Examinations will lessen if we are more prepared, more organised and more confident. What is important in our Examination practices is that all students try their hardest. Our purpose in inviting you to complete Examinations at the end of Semester One, and again at the conclusion of Semester Two, is not to add to your sense of anxiety; rather, it is so you will become accustomed to a form of assessment that, in Victoria, is significant in achieving your potential in Year 12. If you are used to the structure of Exams, and everything else Exams ask of you, then sitting major Exams in Year 12 for your VCE will be far less harrowing than they might be if you were not to have experienced them in years previous.

So, in the lead-up to the Examinations, which all of you are asked to complete, do everything you can to placate your own fears surrounding them. Remind yourself that they are not physically terrifying. They’re merely an assessment instrument. And, if you have done what you can to ensure you will manage what the Exams are asking you to do, you will enter the Smith Hall or the classroom confidently and ready to take them on to the very best of your ability.

I won’t wish you good luck for the Exams…nobody ever did their best through good luck. I will, however, wish you all the best in your study and revision, knowing that it is hard work that realises individual academic success.

Mr Gary Jones
Director of Studies

Kind regards
Stephen Russell

From the Director of Glendalough

Dear Community Members, 

What looked at first like water gushing forth, was actually sand. The hand extended out between the bars and turned the shoe upside down. At first sight it did look like water and I wondered where he’d found such a puddle to have this shoe so full of liquid. As I got closer I realised that it was sand being poured over the driveway and not water. I knew exactly where he’d found a puddle of sand big enough to fill his shoe. We have several of them scattered around the yard and they certainly serve their intended purpose of developing creativity and playfulness.

This incident reminded me of a conversation I’d had with a prospective parent just that very morning. As we wandered the yard her very little boy spotted one of our sand pits and was excited at all the sand he could play with. ‘Yes’ his mother added, ‘And all the sand you’ll bring home in your shoes.’ I suggested that she should just bag up the sand and return it to school, or fill his pockets and let him tip it back into the pit the next day. She laughed and said she’d never thought of it that way. It pays to be pragmatic when dealing with sand. It pays to be pragmatic when dealing with boys.

Most parents learn an important lesson about pragmatism around the end of Term One of their son’s Prep year. It’s about then that they realise that all those creative and nutritious lunches they pack each day, straight out of the latest celebrity cookbook, are worthless if they take more than three minutes to eat. Boys want to eat heartily for a short time and play heartily for a long time. Very, very rarely does it work the other way around. And so, the 500 gram, five-centimetre-thick sandwich containing three types of lettuce, Virginia ham, beetroot, spring onions, hummus, tomato and Persian fetta on organic wholegrain soon gets replaced with a vegemite sandwich, two crackers and an apple. And no child suffers from malnutrition as a result. Or from a lack of physical exercise. The gourmet meal comes out at night when he returns to the nest famished from a busy day out in the world. Boys function well in a pragmatic environment because when it comes to pragmatism, they are kings.

How do I know this? From experience. In the past, whenever I was planning a journey on public transport I would refer to the appropriate travel App. Not anymore. These days I go straight to a boy in Year 5 or 6. I tell him where I need to go and when I need to be there. Quicker than you could even unwrap a vegemite sandwich, he’ll give me the fastest route complete with platform numbers and the approximate wait-time for connections. Usually he’ll provide at least two options. Some can be so specific as to tell me which carriage will get me closer to the escalator for connecting trains. Keeping all this knowledge in their heads might also explain why the boys sometimes forget their trumpet or fail to unpack the dishwasher. As frustrating as this can be for parents, just keep in mind that these lapses are all for a greater good.

I find a lost but labelled sports bag on the yard after the morning bell has gone. I could go to my computer, open the database and search for the owner’s Homeroom. I could, but that’s a far too cumbersome process. Instead, I wave the missing item at a passing boy and give the name of the owner. In a flash I receive the homeroom and the corresponding daily timetable. It goes something like this: ‘Fred Smith?’ ‘5E but they’re at PE.’  Or, ‘Fred Smith?’ ‘5E. I’m going past’, and I hand over the item for delivery. Problem solved, deal done, minimum effort for maximum result. There is nothing as efficient as a twelve-year-old boy’s pragmatism.

Train timetables, returning lost property, school ties that never get unknotted, best value fast-food deals, eye witness accounts of minor offences committed by others. These are just a few proofs of the pragmatic nature of boys, which in turn is just another of the reasons why it’s such a delight to work with the boys of Glendalough. So, don’t forget to return the sand, although the tanbark, grass clippings and bread crusts are yours to keep.

James Daly
Director of Glendalough

From the Ministry Team

High Fives

I’m never been a fan of high fives. In fact I think they’re overrated gestures we seem to have borrowed from American basketballers and now cannot get though a day without seeing. Teachers high-fiving students, grandparents high-fiving grandchildren. It’s something that I’ve not fully understood nor appreciated until now. Let me explain…

Meg is my niece and she recently turned 21. That may not sound special but for my family it is an extraordinary achievement for Meg to make her 21st birthday. Meg has Kabuki syndrome, a rare multisystem disorder characterized by multiple abnormalities including distinctive facial features, growth delays, varying degrees of intellectual disability, skeletal abnormalities, and short stature.

When Meg came into the world my family held our collective breath and prayed. Along with a myriad of challenges Meg was born with a swollen heart. Her heart muscle was so large it distorted her tiny body and that made close contact tricky. Besides the physical challenges Meg faced, geography added another layer. Born in country NSW, Meg had been air lifted to Melbourne with her father as her mother lay in the country hospital oblivious to the fuss. For some hours my brother and I feared Meg would not make it. Neither of us dared mention that the tiny baby was without her mother holding her hand.  We quickly learned that Meg was determined and feisty - you could say all heart!

Meg has faced many challenges head on. Early on, she denied the doctors the right to prescribe lifelong drugs and her heart settled to a regular size-it had corrected itself. Under the care of the Royal Children’s hospital Meg endured many operations to correct physical abnormalities and countless OT and physio appointments. Recently Meg graduated from the Royal Children’s Hospital and is now under the care of The Royal’s Women’s. My brother commented how blessed they were for he had seen many children not make their graduation from ‘the children’s’. 

Much of Meg’s life has been what every child expects as a rite of passage - moving through school, gaining meaningful employment and getting organised to move out of home, albeit heavily supervised by her parents. Not one to sit back, Meg grabs opportunities and participates in life to the full. Most recently Meg became the first female to play with the Wodonga Jets (Bulldogs). The team plays in the Victorian FIDA league. The FIDA (Football Integration Development Association) Football League exists to provide those with an intellectual disability the opportunity to participate in Australian Rules football at a competitive level. I love the leagues logo which includes a sun which symbolizes the dawning of a new age when people with an intellectual disability can access sporting opportunities. It also signifies that such people have their moment in the sun and show their ability if given the chance. Positioning the sun in between the point posts as opposed to the goal posts, is to emphasise the focus it isn’t all about winning but rather participation’. 

On a chilly Sunday morning quite recently I heard the coach’s pre-game address to the Wodonga Jets. He said he was looking for 5 things - have fun, no rough stuff, pick up your teammates and opposition players if they fall, no back chat to the umpires or helpers, and encourage each other with plenty of high fives. At quarter time the coach said he was happy with their game but he needed to see more high fives. The Jets certainly listened, and as the sun shone between the point posts the focus was no longer on kicking the football but making sure every attempt was acknowledged with a high five. It was quite joyous.

I didn’t hear the coach’s address after the game but I’m sure if his success was measured in high fives he was a winner. Just as Meg is.

As the great feast of Pentecost draws near, let's think of the way the Holy Spirit gives high fives too. The Spirit rejoices in the wonder we take from the endless adventure of life. Thank God for the people in our lives, such as Meg, who make the work of the Holy Spirit so obvious.

Robyn Roland
Assistant Dean of Faith & Mission
Glendalough

Fullness of Life

  • Kenny students with Mr O’Brien assisted with the preparation and serving of breakfast at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
  • Year 7G, 7H, 7I and 7J enjoyed their Outdoor Education Program with tutors, Mr Torr, Ms Squarci, Mr Williams and Mr Lewicki.
  • Year 9 students enjoyed Outprac and their Retreat.
  • Students in 7D, 7E and 7F completed the Walkathon.
  • Year 6 and 7 students participated in Forum Debating at Genazzano.
  • A group of Year 6 students attended a STEM Trip to Canberra.
  • Year 11 Art students visited visit the NGV to view TopArts and exhibitions of work by Rosslynd Piggott, David Sylvester and Julian Rosefeldt.
  • A Student Voice Committee meeting was held.
  • McCarthy students with Mr Rock assisted with the serving of dinner at St Peter and Paul’s in South Melbourne.
  • The Old Collegians Association’ met.
  • Year 10 and 11 Drama students performed at their Drama Presentation Evening.
  • Year 12 students had the opportunity to have Influenza Immunisations.
  • The Year 10, 11 and 12 House Cross Country was contested.
  • Year 10 students continued Community Service.
  • The Autumn Concert was enjoyed by parents, students and staff at MLC.
  • A Year 10 Vitae Group went to the World Vision Congress.
  • Year 2 students enjoyed their excursion to the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
  • Year 5 students visited IMAX.
  • The Korowa/St Kevin’s Production of Mary Poppins was enjoyed by large audiences.
  • Cusack students and Mr Moeller and Mr McGirr assisted with the Breakfast and Sports Program at Trinity Primary School in Richmond.
  • Friday Morning Mass was held in the Chapel of St Kevin.
  • Brother Geoff Whitefield was the Year 12 Guest Speaker.
  • Kearney students and Ms Smith assisted at the Kids Kaboom Club in Richmond.
  • Purton students and Mr McKinnon assisted at the Police and Community Recreation Program in Richmond.
  • Rahill students and Mrs Sheridan assisted with the Fitzroy Reading Program.
  • After a week of preparation, the St Kevin’s College Art Show held its Opening Night.
  • The Past Mothers enjoyed their Art Show Luncheon and attending the Art Show.
  • Staff attended Professional Development at VCAA and Deakin University.


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