It is sobering to consider that it has been ten years since the awful fires that ravaged Victoria and changed our view of nature forever. A timeless event has been revisited by media – not unreasonably – and the various lessons of the tragedy have been highlighted again. Those of us old enough have our memories of the days of carnage and the wake that ensued. It was a most challenging time and I know that some of our own school families were directly affected.
This week, Federal Parliament resumed with heartfelt messages from political leaders of different persuasions remembering the tragedy. For the ten or so minutes that our Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition suspended debate and spoke of the communal hurt of the Black Saturday events, we could be forgiven for sensing a new dawn. One characterised by non-combative politics and collaboration in the public interest. It barely lasted the ten minutes. Straight after the solemnity came all out enmity. Business as usual, yes, but perhaps not a convincing version of constructive business. Public access to our political leaders is cased in negativity of such regularity that it may be difficult for our system to recalibrate and offer something other. That is sort of accepted by the voting public, but imagine being eighteen, or twelve…or eight. Imagine if the strongest association you took into your first voting period was of a political sphere characterised by sheer antagonism. It is suggestive of cynicism and on face value it does not offer much of a vision of hope. And yet, there are good people in politics, doing good things for our world. Similarly, there are good people in our community who show compassion, courage and perseverance. We never have to look far to find good.
Black Saturday was horrendous, but the community response was the counterpoint. What extraordinary resilience from those in the face of the fire, those fighting it and those affected in its wake. What remarkable stories of survival and hope that swirled around in the days and weeks after the front had passed.
That resilience, that honour and that fierce grit serve to offer a better view of Australia’s last ten years. A time, perhaps, we can hope will be defined more by the indomitable spirit of a community under threat than one stained by political machination.
Here at school we actively orientate our students to the political process through classroom activity, excursion and incursion. Indeed, Cathy McGowan will visit us again soon to work with our student leaders as they gear up for the challenges of leadership over the year ahead. Also working with our Heads of School, the students will be introduced to the complexities of their role and ways to thrive in it. Leadership does not come easily for anyone, but it is hoped that we offer the opportunity for our young people to demonstrate kindness, lead by example and approach all matters with a great sense of doing good.
I am delighted to announce that Mrs Brigid Perkins and her husband, Justin, are expecting a baby later this year. We are very excited for them, and for Penny who will be welcoming a little brother or sister. In the coming months, we will appoint an Acting Head of Middle School to take over the role in Brigid’s absence. We have a few expectant parents on staff at the moment, so we look forward to some joyful news in the months ahead.
Mr Adrian Farrer
Important dates and events can be found on the School Calendar here. Please find below the major events that are occurring in the school this term:
Monday and Tuesday March 4 and 5: Junior School Parent Teacher Interviews
Parent-Teacher Interviews for all parents and guardians will be held on Monday, March 5 and Tuesday, March 6. The interviews are a valuable time for parents and teachers to exchange information. Each interview will allow for a discussion of your child’s progress and strategies appropriate for future success.
If during this interview an issue arises that requires an extended discussion your child’s teacher will make another appointment with you that will allow for such discussion to occur. If you wish for your child to attend the interview, it would be greatly appreciated if you could check with the classroom teacher. Please appreciate that it may also be necessary for you and the teacher to talk alone towards the end of the interview as it is not always appropriate for your child to be privy to the information discussed.
Please visit www.schoolinterviews.com.au to make a booking. The school event code is 2xd4g. All students will be dismissed from school at the normal time of 3.15 pm with classroom teachers available from 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Tuesday March 5: Parents and Friends Meeting
Please join us for the next Parents and Friends’ Association Meeting which will be held in the Staff Room from 7.00pm on Tuesday March 5. Minutes from February’s meeting can be found on the Forms and Notes Section on the website here.
Monday, March 11: Public Holiday
Due to the Labour Day public holiday, no students are required at school. Prep students will start their first full week of school following this long weekend
Tuesday March 12: Parent Seminar Drug Education Australia
This term, we have asked Sharon Torpey, the founder of Drug Education Australia to work with our Senior School students and staff through a series of sequential presentations developed for students in Year Nine to Twelve exploring alcohol and other drugs, and their related harms. Sharon promotes positive social norms and teaches strategies to recognise and reduce harm by presenting accurate information and practical strategies.
For drug education to be successful, it must be seen as a process, not an event, and Cathedral will continue to work with Sharon to provide best practice drug education to our students, parents and whole school community. After the presentations, there will be separate portals for students, parents and teachers to access information, ask questions and utilise resources.
A community based approach to drug education is optimal and on Tuesday March 12 we are holding a Parent Seminar which will cover a range of drug and alcohol related issues, accentuate positive norms and empower parents to keep the lines of communication open. All are invited to attend this parent session at 7.00pm in the VCE and Resource Centre.
Wednesday March 20: Parent Seminar Dr Brad Tucker ANU
We are very excited to have Dr Brad Tucker join us for a day with our students. An Astrophysicist/Cosmologist, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University, Dr Tucker will be holding sessions during school on a variety of topics including:
He will be holding a Public Seminar at Cathedral on the same day at 7.00pm and all parents are welcome to attend. To learn more about Dr Tucker and his research please visit the link here.
Friday March 22: College Fair
Please join us for the College Fair to be held on Friday March 22 from 4.00pm until 8.00pm. The Parents and Friends organise this event with a committed focus on enjoying an evening together as a school community with food, drinks, games and some fun for the students.
Wednesday April 3: Eucharist Holy Trinity Cathedral
Students will be attending the Cathedral for the Easter Eucharist and parents and guardians are invited to attend these services.
Middle and Senior School: 11.50pm
Junior School: 2.00pm. Students may be collected from the Cathedral
Friday, April 5: End of Term One
Students will be dismissed at 2.15 p.m. Buses will run in conjunction with this early dismissal.
The Junior School has enjoyed a good start to the school year. Our new students have integrated into life at Cathedral, and our students have made them feel welcome. A new year always has challenges, as children become familiar with new teachers, changes in routines, alterations to friendship groups and the fact that school life can be different to the year before. Dealing with and adapting to these changes are perfectly normal requirements on life’s journey. Our students have a range of significant adults to care and support them, including homeroom teacher, Year Level Coordinator, Head of House, School Chaplain and Head of School.
Life, they say, is busy, so the most important thing we require of our students and members of the school community is to be prepared and organised. Having your bag packed and ready to go before bed the night before, ensuring lunch is made and collected, having a dedicated area to complete homework, ensuring there is enough time to attend to jobs at homes, and extra-curricular activities are small, but important organisational steps that can be taken.
But, in my opinion, the most important element to helping a child learn at their very best level, is a good night sleep. Sleeping well and waking refreshed is integral to getting through the day in a positive, buoyant mood, able to meet the daily challenges, retain focus and maintain an even tempered mindset without extremes of emotion.
In fact, that works for all members of the human race!
Mr Greg Newbold
Head of Junior School
Middle School House Captains 2019
Our Middle School community has made a wonderful start to the year. Students have settled into their Homeroom groups with their new Homeroom teachers well, while subject folders are being set up and new lock combinations are being mastered.
We have spent the last week meeting with those Year Eight students who proudly put their hands up to apply for the coveted positions of Middle School House Captains for 2019. Pleasingly, a large number of very capable Year Eight students underwent the application process which involved composing a letter to their Head of House and Head of School outlining their reasons for applying for this role, their own personal qualities that would be beneficial in the role and their own thoughts and ideas on how to further develop the House experience for all members. All applicants also presented a short speech in front of their House and were interviewed by their Head of House and Head of School.
Although it was a very difficult task for Heads of House to narrow down the field to just two House Captains, it was wonderful to hear so many students speak so passionately about wanting to contribute to the School and influence others in a positive manner. Congratulations to all students who moved out of their comfort zones and courageously stepped forward to consider the role.
The successful applicants were announced as the official Middle School House Captains for 2019 at our Chapel service this week and were thrown straight into the deep end by leading, motivating and organising their House at the Middle School Swimming Carnival which took place this week. There will be an official House Captain Induction Assembly on Wednesday 27th February.
A further congratulations to the following students who are our Middle School House Captains for 2019:
Buffalo Cobbler Feathertop Hotham Stirling Warby
Kyan Ambrosio Campbell Timms Scarlett Simpson Ed Dowsley Austen Harper Olivia Corso
Gabby Sinclair Jolie Awad Abby Melnick Demi Johns Zara Boynton Ruby Ward
Mrs Brigid Perkins
Head of Middle School
The Library Bus
Hip Hip Hooray! Looks like the Library Bus is here to stay!…Well, at least for a little longer!
If you would like the opportunity to borrow books for your reading pleasure from the High Country Library here in Wangaratta, then all you need to do is collect and return the relevant form here or from Sharon in Student Services. This includes those students who came along last year – you’ll need to fill out the permission slip only for 2019. The first bus will be leaving Cathedral at the beginning of lunchtime on Friday February 22.
During Term One, every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:20pm-1:40pm there will be Maths Help held in MS7 for Year Six to Year Nine. Maths teacher, Danielle Townsend will assist with all queries and students are encouraged to be prompt to gain the most out of this opportunity.
Year Ten and VCE students are invited to seek assistance from 1.10pm in the VCE Centre. Students can either organise a time to see their subject teachers (this is the preferred option) or simply turn up and ask for help from any of the Maths Staff present on a given day.
Our Head of Careers, along with our Senior teaching staff works with students to identify their passions, highlight their strengths and help prepare them for the next step post schooling. Many of our students go on to complete tertiary study, whilst others choose to work in a broad range of industries, establishing business pathways and capacity in their chosen career. We take an individual approach to advising students and work with both students and their families to prepare them for life after they leave Cathedral. Please find this month’s Careers Newsletter as well as a valuable document that may be of help to parents in engaging in conversations with their children about the many choices available: Career Coaching Parents. Please contact Mr Rod Dunbar should you require information or advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd… Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil.”
In Chapel on Wednesday, the Middle School looked at the Tenth Anniversary of Black Saturday Bush Fires – 10 Years and beyond. In our lives there are always certain defining events that we clearly remember, and undoubtedly the horrific bushfires of Black Saturday in 2009 is one of them. That day was like no other: a day of extremes, following many years of drought, it was hot and dry with very low humidity, all the right elements for a bush fire.
Last week there were many remembrance services held across Victoria to mark the anniversary and many Victorians were wearing a yellow ribbon in honour of the Bushfire victims. No doubt, the anniversary every year is an extremely difficult and emotional time for many, especially those in Flowerdale, Strathewen, King Lake, Marysville and other small communities. For those who lost their life and for those who remain, this is a time for us to remember them.
Rev’d David Jones
As our first term commences for 2019, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our Wellbeing Team. We believe that learning and wellbeing go hand in hand, and students who have both a strong sense of their own character and the tools needed to be engaged, productive and focused, are happy learners.
The wellbeing of our school community is central to our academic learning and is embedded in our teaching practice from Prep through to Year Twelve. As well as a formalised Wellbeing Curriculum, there is an extensive series of support networks specifically designed to guide and encourage each individual at school. At Cathedral we have a whole school approach to our students’ pastoral care and wellbeing, with your child’s Homeroom Teacher, Year Level Coordinator, or Head of School usually being the first point of contact for support. Added to this layer is a dedicated Wellbeing Team comprising of:
June Stamp (School Counsellor) email@example.com
Reverend David Jones (Senior and Middle School Chaplain) firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathy Carden (Junior School Chaplain) email@example.com
The formal referral process to our Wellbeing Team is normally through your child’s Homeroom Teacher, Year Level Coordinator, or Head of School; however, please feel free to contact us directly for support and information, or to discuss strategies that may be of help in a variety of situations.
We are committed to a culture that supports, encourages and develops resilient, responsible and thoughtful individuals in partnership with you. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in any way this year; our doors are always open.
Smartphones in Schools – Special Report
In June 2018, the NSW Minister for Education, commissioned an independent review into the non-educational use of mobile devices in NSW schools. The review was led by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, and supported by other independent experts as well as many students, parents and guardians, teachers and principals who were consulted in the process. As a result, the use of mobile devices during school hours will now be restricted in NSW public primary schools.
Currently, school policies around the use of electronic devices during school hours vary widely. Technology does have a role to play in the classroom, but this needs to be facilitated. Personal smartphones, on the other hand, are proving to be a distraction for students in terms of their access to social media sites, as well as potentially being a source of bullying activities.
In this Special Report, parents and guardians will learn about the importance of helping their children find a balance to get the good parts out of technology. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered here and we always welcome your feedback.
Junior, Middle and Senior House Swimming this week gave our students the chance to swim in their age groups and earn points for their House. House Spirit was in full show each day with coloured tops, zinc, banners and some very enthusiastic Heads of House; full results will be announced in Assembly next week. Well done to all the students for their exceptional swimming!
Ashley Farmer, Jack Boulton and Gabriella Boulton had another successful weekend competing at the ACT Championships this weekend. Ashley won the State Title for the 100m Hurdles and claimed a Silver for the 200m Hurdles and 12th in the 100 Metre Sprint. Jack Bolton came first in the 100m, 200m and the 400m and older sister, Gabriella placed fifth in the 200m and the 400m. There is no doubt that these students continue to impress on a National scale, and the determination, perseverance and training regime cannot be underestimated. So too, the dedication of the families who travel, encourage and support at events such as these is to be admired. Well done.
Wangaratta Marathon and Fun Run: Sunday February 24
Cathedral College Wangaratta Community team will again be challenging themselves at the Wangaratta Marathon and Fun Run on Sunday February 24. This is a wonderful community event and we look forward to seeing College students and families running in the 2km, 5km, 10km or for the brave, the Half and Full Marathon. The College will provide a sport shirt for students and parents to wear on the day which can be obtained from the school on Friday, February 22. For full events details and entry, visit www.wangarattamarathon.com.au and please choose Cathedral College Wangaratta when entering into the Primary School Challenge and/or Community Team event.
CSEF Funding for Parents and Guardians
If you are an eligible concession card holder and have not submitted a CSEF claim this year, applications need to be completed and returned to Leanne Batten to receive the funding for 2019. Parents/Guardians that received CSEF funding last year do not need to complete an application form in 2019, providing there has been no change in their family circumstances. To be eligible for the fund, a parent or legal guardian of a student attending a registered Government or non-government Victorian primary or secondary school must:
• on the first day of Term one, or;
• on the first day of Term two;
a) Be an eligible beneficiary within the meaning of the State Concessions Act 2004, that is, be the holder of a Veterans Affairs Gold Card or be an eligible Centrelink Health Care Card (HCC) or Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holder, OR
b) Be a temporary foster parent, and
c) Submit an application to the school by the due date.
The allowance is paid directly to the school to be used towards camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of the student. Of course, the money paid through this system is allocated to the account of the student in question. Applications together with a copy of the relevant Concession Card need to be submitted to the school as soon as possible. Application forms can be downloaded here but they will also be available from reception.
Thank you to all the parents and students for bringing in their Photos Forms for Tuesday’s School Photos by Academy. They managed to take over 1000 Portrait, 36 Homerooms and an estimated 200 Sibling photos by 2.30pm and the students are to be thanked for their patience. Academy will be returning for Catch-Up Photos on Friday March 8, and will take any Portrait photos of those who were not in attendance on Tuesday. If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact Lucy Bett on firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Address Collection
The Australian Government Department of Education and Training (the department), has requested a statement of addresses of families in accordance with the Australian Education Regulation 2013 (Cth) (Regulation). This collection is routinely used to inform Commonwealth school education policy, and to help ensure that Commonwealth funding arrangements for non-government schools are based on need, and are fair and transparent. To read more please click on the link: 2019 Address Collection for Parents Notice
Our Parents and Friends had their first meeting for the year to start preparing for the College Fair which is to be held on Friday March 22. This is one of our main events for the year and we are looking forward to bringing the school community together for an evening of fun, for both students and parents alike.
In the past we have had parents who wish to run their own stalls at the market, selling or promoting their products. If you would like to have a stall at the market, please contact Lucy Bett at the school on 5722 2144 or by email email@example.com
We are also looking for any parents and guardians who will be able to volunteer some time on the food and ride stalls between 4.00pm and 8.00pm. More information on this will come out closer to the date, but please do not hesitate to contact the school or the President, Carolyn Sammon if you have something special you would like to contribute.
Our next Parents and Friends’ meeting will be held on Tuesday March 5 at 7.00pm in the staff room, and as always, all are welcome to attend. The Agenda and Minutes from each meeting are posted on the Forms and Notices section of the website here.
Wangaratta Basketball League
Wangaratta Basketball League are looking for players for their Autumn Season. Please click here to learn more.
Hockey: Wangaratta Dragons and Hook into Hockey
If you or your child are interested in joining a family orientated club and are looking to either learn a new skill or build on old ones, the Wangaratta Dragons Hockey Club are having a Registration Day on Sunday February 24 from 4.00pm – 6.00pm down at the club house at the Appin Street Athletics track, Wangaratta. All welcome. Please visit their website for more information about the upcoming hockey season.
Wangaratta City Football Club
Juniors aged 11 to 16 are invited to trial for Sunday League on February 19th and 21st from 5.00pm until 6.15pm. For more information on how to register please visit the website here or register here at www.playfootball.com.au