Junior School Newsletter

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents

Each Friday of term the Eucharist is celebrated in the Chapel of St Kevin at Heyington.  A House group from Senior School and some Middle School boys are specifically invited to attend Mass.  All staff and any parents are also welcome.  Mass commences promptly at 8.10am with the aim that boys make it on time to Tutor Group  Most weeks, with Mrs Ryan’s calendar manipulation, Mass is how I begin my Friday.  Last Friday there were 115 of us in the congregation, 20 colleagues and 95 boys.

I find the Eucharist a sacrament which brings many blessings.  It is in and of itself a celebration of God’s gift to us of his son; a time to be a community gathered around the table to share the bread.  It is a time of reflection to give thanks for all that is in my life, a time to seek forgiveness for my faults and to pray for strength and resolve to be ‘the better me’.  It is time to pray for those who need God’s grace to deal with the challenges they face, be they known to us personally or we are aware of their struggles empathetically.  I leave the Chapel at 8.40am, enriched and better prepared for the day ahead.  Your pew awaits.

Those who have been part of the St Kevin’s community prior to 2009, will remember our Outdoor Education campsite, Silver Creek.  On that catastrophic Saturday in February 2009, our camp near Flowerdale was destroyed.  Mr Simon Williams and his family lost their home and all the memories that are stored within one’s home.  This was a challenge that the Williams family confronted and overcame.

More broadly, we were fortunate that no one was on site that Saturday and our losses were property and possessions.  In the aftermath, we fundraised for the wider bushfire appeal and created a commemorative garden to recognise the people of Flowerdale and all their support of Silver Creek across the decades.  I spent some time in 2009 at Silver Creek, visited some years back and only recently travelled there with the Bursar and Mr Anthony Johnson to check on the state of the property, security and access.  The bush has reclaimed the site and although I had visited dozens of times prior to 2009, it was difficult to place exactly some of the buildings.  Silver Creek is ‘land-banked’ with a final decision regarding its future many years away, I think.  On the drive home and across the last few weeks with the RICE Presentations, Year 10 OAP Leaders Camp and Year 8 Camps all in full swing, I reflected how fortunate we are that all those years ago in the seventies when Cadets was abandoned, SKC moved into Outdoor Education so swiftly.  Our Outdoor Education Program is well-led, expertly administered and, as in so many aspects of a St Kevin’s education, develops our boys so well due to the generous and at times exhausted colleagues of mine who walk, ride and paddle alongside the Outdoor Education experts and our boys.

Headmaster’s Study Awards

Year 12

Biology

Ethan Erikson

 

Geography

Luke Shepherd

 

 

William Thomas

 

 

Charlie Williams

Year 11

Biology

Luca Massimino

 

 

Patrick Rosengren

 

Geography

Samuel Kerr

Year 10

English

Hugo Postregna

 

Mathematics

Kieran Murphy

Year 8

English

Daniel Deguara

 

Japanese

Ian Liu

 

 

Hugo Muller

 

 

Brodie O’Connell

 

Spanish

Michael Wheelahan

 

Co-Curricular Appointments

Athletics  

Captain

Massimo Acquaro

 

Deputy Captain

Saxon Bachli

 

 

Jack Lunn

Kind regards
Stephen F Russell

From the Director of Glendalough

Dear Community Members,

Sixty-three years of experience. And I felt it, or not, as it turned out! A regular once a year check-up. The kind of blood test you do once a year as insurance against having to do it more than that. Once the initial pleasantries were exchanged, I told the nurse that it was in both our interests that I lie down for this test. It’s not the fear of pain, nor the sight of blood that makes me wobble. Strangely it’s just the thought of a needle puncturing skin. It seems counter to the natural order. A bit like jumping out of an aeroplane. Sure there might be modern technology to assist but it still seems unnatural to me. In any event her response was neither dismissive nor effusive. She simply pointed to the bed as she went about completing paperwork. Her manner was businesslike and focused, which is exactly how I like medical staff to be when they’re about to stick a needle through my skin. As she prepared the tourniquet she told me to relax, that I was in the hands of the hospital’s resident granny. I laughed out loud and asked how many grandchildren she had. She told me the number but emphasized that she was a granny to all at the hospital and that she was well looked after by her work colleagues. The next thing I knew she had re-applied the tourniquet but this time to hold pressure on the little cotton ball that marked the point of injection. The whole thing was over and I hadn’t even noticed. I told her so with great admiration. That’s when she said, ‘Well you’re the beneficiary of sixty-three years of nursing experience’. I told her that it just goes to prove there is no substitute for experience. It was her turn to laugh out loud as she saw me out of the consulting room. I resisted the urge to ask if she had a business card so I could book her for all future blood tests.

As I left, I heard her remonstrating with the man waiting next. It was right on closing time and she had spied him earlier in the corridor speaking on his mobile phone. She took him to task for that. He meekly explained that he was on a work call and she less meekly told him that her work day was now extended as a result of his actions. I wanted to tell him not to argue with her. She has the runs on the board mate. Don’t argue with someone who’s been practising and perfecting their art for longer than you’ve been alive! I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was wise enough to know this without my interference.

This experience got me thinking about all those people in our immediate lives who have vast experience in their chosen fields. It got me wondering if we appreciate or even acknowledge just how expert they are. Naturally my thoughts go first to me colleagues. A combined 760 years of teaching experience with some individuals doing a bit more heavy lifting of the years! There are some teachers here who have been teaching for nearly as long as some of the parents have been living. They’ve got the runs well and truly on the board.

It also got me thinking about grandparents. Those people who have been parenting for decades. Practising first on their own children, then perfecting their art on their grandchildren. It’s a pleasure to welcome them to Glendalough each year for the Grandparents Day visit and morning tea, and we look forward to doing so next Tuesday. Further detailed information about the organisation and schedule for this day will be emailed to parents tomorrow (Friday 13th September). Please ensure that you make yourself familiar with all aspects of this letter and that you convey the same to grandparents who will be visiting us.

James Daly
Director of Glendalough

From the Ministry Team

RUOK?

The sun was out on Tuesday, the morning dew settling on the red, tartan athletics track as the men of St Kevin’s arrived in their house colours for a fun filled day of opportunity and physical challenge at the House Athletics Carnival.

Friendships and camaraderie were strong as the boys contested the tug-of-war as well as the egg and spoon race alongside the usual collection of running, jumping and throwing events. Teamwork was evident and a passion for friendly competition allowed many boys an opportunity to express their physical talent and determination.

Alongside the fun and games, several boys were actively cleaning up their surrounds and promoting the importance of looking after our environment, whilst the annual St Vincent de Paul Society’s BBQ to support our friends in Africa through Zimele was a fundraising success.

Whilst the salivating scent of St Vinnies snags wafted across the track, a fierce battle was taking place between mates, pushing their physical limits to cross the 100m line first. Some may say there can only be one winner, though as sport can be an unforgiving teacher at times, pain and injuries are all too common and someone must round out the field. In the 100m race in question, the boys were neck and neck coming down the straight, pumping their arms and gritting their teeth with every ounce of their energy. It was a sight to see and an effort worthy of applause, but far from the accolades deserved of the events that followed.

With only 30m left in their race, a boy wearing his Cusack colours appeared to have torn his hamstring as his opponents finished the race. As he began to hobble in pain, a member of staff rushed to his aid and asked ‘are you ok’? Then another came up to the boy and asked the same, ‘are you ok’?

The grimace on his face, the clutching of his leg and the abruptness of his deceleration were clear signs that he was not ‘ok’.

How do we know when someone is ‘OK’? We are surrounded by industries designed to diagnose and treat our physical wellbeing but often the nuances of mental and emotional wellbeing are more subtle in their presentation. Hence the importance of asking those around us, R U OK?

Are we able to look beyond the physical and nurture ones social, spiritual, psychological and emotional wellbeing?

This week we are encouraged to ask “R U OK” as we are reminded by World Suicide Prevention Day of the importance of our mental health. More people die in Australia each year by suicide than in road accidents. Each suicide is estimated to affect around 135 people and for each suicide there are 25 more people that try.

RUOK.org.au is a reference for all of us to take action and support thy neighbour:

Have you got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it.

By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.

At St Kevins we have an unquestionable belief in the value of fullness of life, nurtured by our support and care for our peers, colleagues, friends and family. Join us this week and start the conversation by simply asking your friend, brother, sister, team-mate, teacher, student, cousin or a complete stranger…… R U OK?

Mr Stephen Cain


Fullness of Life

  • Kenny students with Ms McCarthy assisted with the preparation and serving of breakfast at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
  • The Student Voice Committee met.
  • Ullathorne House at Glendalough held a football fundraiser.
  • McCarthy students with Mr Mitchell assisted with the serving of dinner at St Peter and Paul’s in South Melbourne.
  • Year 10 students enjoyed the Dancing Class Social with Loreto Mandeville Hall and Sacre Coeur.
  • The Fathers Association met.
  • A very successful Senior House Athletics Carnival was conducted at Box Hill Athletics Track.
  • The SKC/Korowa Year 8 Play Robin Hood was enjoyed over three nights.
  • Year 9 students enjoyed the Kilkenny Collaborative Program with Loreto Mandeville Hall and Sacre Coeur.
  • Ms Canny, Mr Jones and Mr McGirr attended the EREA Teaching and Learning Conference in Sydney.
  • Year 11 Legal Studies students visited the County Court.
  • A Year 10 Vitae Group promoted Health Week.
  • The Senior House Singing Competition was held.
  • Year 10 students continued Community Service.
  • RUOK Day was celebrated at Glendalough, Waterford and Heyington.
  • An Information Evening was held for the UK Cricket Tour.
  • Cusack students and Mr Bylsma assisted with the Breakfast and Sports Program at Trinity Primary School in Richmond.
  • The Generations and Siblings photographs were taken.
  • A UCAT preparation Session was held for Year 10 and 11 students.
  • Year 3 and 4 students had swimming lessons in the Wilding Centre Pool.
  • Year 9 and 10 students from St Kevin’s and a number of other schools enjoyed a Literary Afternoon with author Will Kostakis.
  • A First Eucharist Information Evening was held for Year 4 parents.
  • Year 11 students enjoyed their Social in the Smith Hall.
  • Friday Morning Mass was held in the Chapel of St Kevin.
  • The Spring Carnival Ladies Luncheon was held at Carousel.
  • The Concert Soloists performed at MLC.
  • Year 11 Mandarin students enjoyed an excursion to the Lido Theatre.
  • Kearney students and Mr Parris assisted at the Kids Kaboom Club in Richmond.
  • Purton students and Mr Windle assisted at the Police and Community Recreation Program in Richmond.
  • Rahill students and Mr Wilson and Mr Odachowski assisted with the Fitzroy Reading Program.
  • St Vincent de Paul students and Mr Quinton assisted with Tutoring in Richmond.
  • The Past Mothers gathered for Mass in the Chapel of St Kevin and Afternoon Tea.
  • Year 12 Mothers enjoyed a High Tea.
  • Staff attended Professional Development at VCAA, the Design Summit at the Bairstow Institute, the Understanding Disability Presentation, the Deakin University Careers Teachers Presentation and the Economics Conference.

Mr Ted Guinane
Director of Administration

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