Term 2 Week 7 2020

From the Deputy Principal

Our entire College is excited to welcome back all our students.  Over the past couple of months we certainly have realised the importance of face-to-face teaching and recognised the valuable work our teachers do with your children each and every day.  On behalf of all of us here at the College, I would like to sincerely thank our College community for supporting your children and our staff during this unprecedented time. It has been challenging in many ways, and in our minds, nothing can replace the rich educational environment that is created by your child’s teacher and the relationships that grow between them in the classroom. 

Thank you also for your patience and incredible support you showed for us as we navigated new technology and worked together through the events of the past couple of months to implement online learning. We would also like to thank you and congratulate you all on the great work that you have done to support your children with their learning at home and hope you enjoyed the Certificate of Appreciation from us here at the College, as a small token of thanks for all the hard work you have put in to making the transition to online learning as smooth as possible. There is no doubt that this has been a steep learning curve for all of our students, staff, and families in our College community. The past couple of months have been a true demonstration of the value of the strong partnerships between staff, students and families that we enjoy here at St. Michael’s College. We have been heartened by the level of staff collaboration and the way our staff embraced new ways to ensure our students’ learning journey would continue as seamlessly as possible.  Just as importantly, we would like to thank our students for taking ownership of their learning, showing resilience and ensuring that class tasks were completed. 

Please remember that although we have not gone back to normal, we are still available to communicate with you via email. Please let your class teacher know if there is anything that you need or are worried about.  

Remember, we are all in this together. 

Take care,

Chrissy Wellwood (Deputy Principal) 

Online Learning during Coronavirus

A very big pat on the back to all of our St. Michael's students and staff for their effort and achievements while participating in the online learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was challenging but it was also a great learning experience. From the music departments “Lean on Me” Community Choir to the Pastoral Care initiative of project Sunflower...we missed all of our students and we are very happy to see you back at school.

Here are some pics of how we embraced online learning during covid-19.

Pastoral Care

In Pastoral Care lessons recently, Years 5 and 6 students revisited the character strength of ‘Gratitude’, reflecting on what they are grateful for at present to help them create a ‘Gratitude Mandala’. 

Project St. Michael’s College Sunflowers

As a gesture to every family who are part of the St. Michael’s College Community, during the covid-19 online learning period, staff planted and delivered a potted sunflower to each family home with a honk and a wave from a familiar face to remind our community that we too can ‘turn to each other’ during these unusual times.

Sunflowers are both beautiful and inspirational.

It is thought that sunflowers face towards the sun to get their energy. But did you also know that on cloudy days, sunflowers are said to turn to each other to share their energy?

Sunflowers not only represent sunshine and happiness, they are also known to help each other below the surface. The roots of a sunflower are aware of each other and have been shown to work together!

We can learn a lot from sunflowers!

Pictured are our Pastoral Care Team - Susan Chalmers and Jaime Allom, and College Principal, Chris Allom.

From Sister Veronica

From my heart to yours... Becoming a teacher was my dream for as long as I can remember. Actually, I wanted to become three things – a hair dresser, a social worker and a teacher.  Although when I look back to 1983 when I first started teaching in the farmhouse at St. Michael’s I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I think I had the best teaching career ever! Schools were very different places to our spacious modern classrooms, ovals and playground equipment that children enjoy today.  We spent a fair bit of time out in the bush for playtime and, because we didn’t have air-con we would spend really hot days sitting under trees reading.   We walked around a nature trail for science lessons and all our art lessons were outside as based on the environment. I played guitar a lot and we sang in an outdoor Chapel and even at the start of our pet parades!  I can’t even remember being bugged by that many mosquitoes in those days!

I loved teaching because of my students, families and the teachers I worked with.  But there were days…and nights, that I wondered if my teaching was making a difference, if my students were learning, if it was all worth the effort. And then I would see a student’s face light up when they finally understood and started to read. I would get flowers and I would find a thank you note on my desk. I would receive a wedding invitation, a random visit, and now I baptise my past students’ children! And I know – yes, it is well worth it. During this strange and unpredictable time in which we find ourselves, I think about the teachers in our College who have made a huge difference in our community, and I would think that there is no doubt that you as parents would also want to thank the teachers of your children or your grandchildren.  I’m sure you have realised that they make a difference in the life of children every single day.

I know from my personal experience that at times teachers may feel overworked, unappreciated, and feel that all that they do is not making a difference. But I’m sure that all our parents do understand the difference teachers make.

In my times past, I know that all those children I have come in contact with, live in my heart for their lifetimes and I’m pleasantly surprised when I hear of the difference I made.  A lesson in a story that I read, that meant something to them, and that they recall when they are finding things hard.  Little suggestions and helpful things that I have said and can’t even remember saying now. A myriad of experiences that they remember from their time here.  They like to come back and talk about it!

This would be true for all our teachers and staff here at St. Michael’s.  I know that I have appreciated all they have done during this time of on-line learning.  They have worked passionately with dedication and creativity through the challenge of a new way of being a teacher. They have been so very busy and possibly even stressed. The world is a better place because of them. I’m sure you appreciate them more!

My thanks to all those employed in our College.

Sr Veronica (Dean of Pastoral Care)

Samantha Gallagher is a supply teacher at St. Michael’s College and a Literacy Consultant.  Sam is available for tutoring on most subjects.  Sam lives at Beachmere and can be contacted on 0412138151.