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From the Principal

Fri , 27/04/2018

Last week in the Week 1 Secondary Assembly I commented on the ways that time moves quickly and made the point that in fact, it seemed to me only 5 minutes ago that I was stood in exactly the same spot at the start of Term 1, welcoming students back for the 2018 school year. It seems impossible that 12 weeks have elapsed since that time, but indeed they have.

The point of this commentary was to remind students of the need to be reflective, to learn from the experiences of Term 1 and use that knowledge to establish plans and set goals for Term 2. For those students who have not started the year as well as they might have liked, the chance now exists to dig in and do better. For those students with high aspirations, to achieve academic awards for example, they have about 8 weeks of assessment remaining until reports and academic awards begin to be written and allocated. And for our Year 12s of course, now one third of the way through their structured curriculum and learning time, the opportunity exists for them to step it up a gear.

These messages were designed as motivators and not stressors, and I reminded students that the support and encouragement structures that surround them are abundant. I have not worked in a school where the staff are so available to students and keen to help, and students should avail themselves of it.

I finished assembly with a comment on the well known poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. In that poem, the narrator, walking in the woods, is faced with a fork in the road – one path facing him is well beaten, and clearly a path trodden by many before. The second is as a less beaten track, a less popular choice, and one which the narrator imagines might offer him more adventure. The poem, which is often cited as an encouragement for people to try something new and take chances, ends with the words:

‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by.
And that has made all of the difference.’

It is a beautiful poem, and an important message about being true to oneself. However in this context I asked the students to consider the ways in which the well beaten more popular road is the more sensible choice. Yes, the road ’less travelled by’ can lead to adventure and make a difference, but in some situations it can also lead to getting lost, being thirsty and hungry, and having to be rescued.

As our students prepare for Term 2, and especially so our Year 12s, I asked them to not take any less travelled paths. The well trodden paths to success are right in front of them – hard work, planning and goal setting, supported by an expert staff who are eager to help, are the steps on a journey that has proven to be highly successful in the past. My encouragement to them is to follow that path. There certainly is a time for risk taking and exploration, but this is not one of them.

For the commencement of Term 2, we welcome the following individuals to the College staff:

Samantha Hutton, Primary Teacher
Samantha is an experienced and high quality Upper Primary Teacher and will be the Classroom Teacher for 5H for the remainder of the year.

Lennon Tetro, Secondary Campus ICT Helpdesk Officer
Lennon has previous experience as a Technical Advisor in a similar role and will join the College ICT team having the primary responsibility of operating the ICT Helpdesk in the Rosewood Resource Centre. His primary role will be ensuring that students and staff receive help with their devices, and as part of the new customer service in IT we encourage your children to seek help by visiting the ICT Helpdesk when needed.

Rita Stuart, Rosewood Library Aide
Rita holds a Diploma in Library and Information Services and has gained significant experience working as a Library Technician. In joining the Rosewood staff, we are now able to extend the opening hours of the building for the benefit of the students. Therefore, from Monday 23 April (Week 2) the Rosewood Resource Centre will be open for student use from 7:30am, and will be open during Morning Tea.

I am also happy to report on the following matters concerning our facilities:

Secondary Campus Tuckshop
The Secondary Campus Tuckshop renovations are complete and the Tuckshop has now reopened.  I am also pleased to announce that we have updated the menu to provide healthier options for students.  The menu is available from the Flexi Schools website.

Primary Campus Tuckshop
The Primary Campus Tuckshop renovations are still ongoing and until further notice the College will continue to utilise the services of a third party provider who will prepare and deliver lunch orders to the College each Tuesday to Friday.  I also look forward to providing a new healthier menu for our Primary Campus students once the Primary Campus Tuckshop reopens.

Leadership Blazers
This week the College Captains were presented with their Leadership Blazers, these blazers have been gifted to the Captains as a symbol of the trust and responsibility we have entrusted them with. We believe that all students at the College are capable of being leaders, some of them are however given more formal roles, for example our College Captains. Leadership as a notion is extremely difficult to define, it has little to do with hierarchy or position title at the College, it has nothing to do with imposing views, but with listening and learning from those with knowledge and experience. Leadership is the attitude assumed by those who are seeking to make a difference, who are committed to achieving a goal and whose conviction can be transmitted to others through enthusiasm and optimism to reach a common goal.

We try to establish good leadership traits in our student leaders, so they will hopefully reap the benefits beyond their school career. We get our leaders to stay “authentic” as leaders who are authentic are trusted because they are unwavering, especially when faced with the challenges of popular opinion. All teams of people are at their best when they are well led, be that in sport or business and we are committed to providing our student leaders with varying opportunities to demonstrate their leadership traits. Morgan Newble, Robertson Clan Captain, was especially pleased with the blazer presentation as she had been involved in the design process and was excited by the fact that this ceremony would long outlast her time at the College. Leila Rough, College Captain, was astounded by the profound feeling of responsibility the simple act of putting on a Leadership Blazer had on her and commented that felt like the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle of becoming College Captain was now in place.

Cross Country Carnival
Last Thursday, the annual Inter-Clan Cross Country Carnival took place at the Secondary Campus. The carnival is always such a wonderful day, with students in Years 3 to 6 from the Primary Campus coming across to compete alongside the Secondary students. The carnival provides such a wonderful opportunity for the two campuses to come together on the same day and participate as one College. It also illustrates the College’s commitment to the value of holistic education of providing powerful learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

With a mixture of cross country races and novelty events taking place for students to earn points for their clans, the carnival provides a delightful opportunity for all students to contribute to their Clan’s performance on the day, something that all students can take great pride in. The carnival also saw all students on the Secondary Campus be presented with new Clan bucket hats, with the sea of navy blue, red, green and sky blue down the oval such a great site to see.

The carnival provides the first stepping stone for our talented runners in their pursuit to compete at a State or National level, an achievement that Jade Hennessy, Dakota Farrell-Thomas and Grace Burow have all experience in recent years. It is, therefore, wonderful to see such talented students take their first steps towards higher running honours at our Cross-Country Carnival.

Congratulations to all students who participated in the Carnival, with particular congratulations to Clan McDuff, who were this year’s Clan Champions, as well to our respective Age Champions on the day.

Secondary Clan Bucket Hats
As part of the continued growth of Clan culture at TSAC the College has this week provided all students on the Secondary Campus with a new reversible yard hat. These hats were given out just before the Inter Clan cross country and it was great to see the students displaying their Clan colours with pride. Building Clan identity enables all students to increase their sense of connectedness and community which in turn builds social and emotional resilience.

As well as the hats ensuring the students remain sun safe will participating in sporting activities, they will also provide some additional value for parents. The hats have been designed to be fully reversible, the inside of the hat being navy blue and will therefore offer a spare yard hat that all students can wear at MT and lunch. Students have been advised to leave these hats in their school lockers, so they will always available in case they forget or lose their existing yard hat. Of course during Clan activities, the hats can be worn colours out so all students can identify with their Clan.

Darren Pitt

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