From the Principal
Speech Night was a wonderful celebration, and I congratulate our students and staff on their impressive academic achievements this year. Our core business is our academic program, and it is pleasing to see more and more students attaining academic awards each year. This improvement does not happen by accident, and I applaud our students and staff for their dedication towards their teaching and learning.
At Speech Night, I shared the plans for our new Sports Centre. The building of the sports centre will allow both our Primary and Secondary students to train and compete in a professional standard facility and allow us to host whole school events. The images I shared at Speech Night are available through the links below. The Sports Centre is currently in the approval process with Ipswich City Council, and the detailed design phase is almost complete. There will be a tender process, and it is hoped that the building will commence in May 2022 to coincide with the College’s 25th Anniversary of Founders Day.
In 2023, the College will invest in solar panels on both Primary and Secondary Campuses. The gradual increase in solar capability will decrease our electricity costs and reliance on carbon-based energy. Our Primary students will be the beneficiaries of the much-needed refurbishment of the toilet and changeroom facilities, and we will begin planning the first stage of a new Nature Play area.
There are several occasions in our last 2 weeks of the term which celebrate important rites of passage for our students. Our Year 9 students return this afternoon from their Rite Journey solo camp, and they will have their Rite Journey Graduation on Thursday, 24 November. We will also farewell our Year 6 students from the Primary Campus at their Valedictory Service on Wednesday, 30 November.
My best wishes
Over the last fortnight at Secondary Chapel, we have revived a traditional Christian custom: the lighting of four candles within a green wreath to mark the Church season of Advent. Advent occupies the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day and gives us a month to think more carefully about what Christmas means. Each Sunday in Advent, we light another candle until all four are lit, and then we light a fifth on Christmas Day to mark the arrival of the Christ Child, the baby Jesus. We are starting Advent a little early to fit the school year.
Each candle has a theme attached to it, and so in turn, we light candles to represent Hope: the hope expressed by the Old Testament prophets that a saviour would be born, who would reunite people with their Lord; Peace: that the baby to be born would be known as the Prince of Peace and bring an end to wars and conflict of all kinds; Joy: a rose-coloured candle is lit to signify the deep happiness Jesus will bring to all who choose to follow him; and Love: the undefinable sign of God’s grace which underpins everything Christians say and do. Except for the Joy candle, the candles are royal purple to represent the arrival of the King of Kings.
Although we are still finishing off the school year at the time of writing, the Advent season marks the start of the new Church year. We begin our new year by taking the time to dwell upon the arrival of the baby Jesus with hope, peace, joy and love in our hearts. Waiting for Christmas is difficult for many children as the presents begin to appear under the tree, but there is something to be said for ‘delayed gratification!’
Speaking of gifts, thank you in advance to all who can support the Anglicare Giving Tree appeal again this year. Instructions have been posted on Nexus for this ongoing annual Service activity which always assists many families in need at this time of year. Your gift cards and other gifts will make a huge difference to less fortunate families and will undoubtedly reinforce in your students’ minds how fulfilling it can be to be a giver at Christmas time. I look forward to reporting on the results of the Giving Tree appeal in the next newsletter.
Peace in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan Kemp