August 26, 2022

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Principal's Message

Biotechnology Course University of Melbourne

Victorian Music Festival

Promoting Girls in Maths

Sports News

Kane Construction

Maths Bee Hives

Principal's Message

Connecting with Your Children

Mental health and wellbeing are a high priority at this time, as schools and families deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and lockdowns. Relationships are key to supporting our young people to understand how they are feeling and encourage them to seek us out to work with them through uncertain times. Building relationships can happen in many different ways. The article below is a summary of some of the actions you can take as a parent to connect with your child.

Connecting with Your Children

We all worry from time to time that we are not connecting with our children as well as we could. Do I know my kids well? Do they know I love them and care? We all have those doubts from time to time. You are already showing you care by worrying about it, so let’s look at some suggestions for improving connections.

  1. Talk (and Listen) to Them

This is the most basic way to connect with your children. Tell them about your day and ask them about theirs. Ask them questions. It’s imperative for people to feel like the person they’re talking to cares.  Asking questions about your child proves you are listening and want to know more.

  1. Take an Interest in their Interests

Sometimes talking doesn’t work so you can try to get involved in some way in anything they like to do. Try not to be judgmental; they are more likely to respond if they feel you want to appreciate what they love.

  1. Invite Them into Your World

If you’re willing to show your children who you are they may open up and do the same. Invite them to one of your favourite shows or sporting events.

  1. Find a new Hobby

If you find you have no interests in common, you can talk with them about finding something new for the two of you to do together. You could try and find an activity neither of you has tried before and start together.

  1. Guilt is not a Weapon

Make it clear that you want to spend time with them and get to know them, but don’t try to make your kids feel bad if it doesn’t work out right away.

  1. There is a Time for Friendship and a Time for Parenting

It’s necessary to find a balance between parenting and friendship. As a parent, you’re there primarily to ensure your child is safe and grows up well.

  1. Don’t get Discouraged

Being a parent is challenging. It may seem that no matter what you try, you still feel just as distant as when you started.  Don’t give up.  Your children will appreciate that you are trying – even if they don’t always show it.

 Acknowledgment: Parenting Today, Child Development Institute. 2022

Addressing the Rumour Mill

There is a pervasive rumour circulating around the local community at the moment that we are becoming a co-educational school. Prospective parents, as well as current parents, have questioned me about this. While we are in conversation with St Bernard’s about exploring the possibility of shared programs and subjects, for the mutual benefit of both schools, I can categorically state there is no plan for St Columba’s College to become co-educational. Research continues to support the benefits of an all-girls environment for the learning, confidence and wellbeing of female students. Shared programs and partnerships are pursued with many organisations (not just other schools) to enhance the work we do with our students, they are not a replacement for the education that we provide.

 College Uniform

I continue to ask for your support as we work to ensure that all students are adhering to the College Uniform and Grooming Requirements. Staff members do their best to follow students up when this becomes an issue. This requires the partnership of the student, their family and staff members to ensure that each student is representing the College as best as they can through how the uniform is worn. I appreciate your support with this matter, and in working with the College when consequences are issued when a student finds it difficult to follow through on fair and well communicated College expectations.

Biotechnology Course University of Melbourne

Beginning on the 13th of May this year, we (Jemma and Zara, Year 9 STC students) began a BioTech Futures Challenge that would run for the extent of 10 weeks. We went through various application processes and the University of Melbourne accepted us, it was an opportunity that we could not turn down! This challenge was recommended by our science teachers and over the course of the challenge opened our eyes into the field of Biotechnology which we had absolutely zero prior knowledge of. Our group received the topic of “3D printing of a stent-antenna” and each week we met either in person at Melbourne University or over zoom to discuss our ideas and share our research. Our group consisted of two other girls from different schools over Melbourne, and we were able to create new friendships as well as learn something new. We were both the youngest there and the only ones who had no idea what biotechnology was! Over the 10 week period our group managed to create a new idea for a stent antenna, prototypes and a presentation which we would present to 3 judges at the end of the competition. We were competing against year twelves so we both knew it was going to be a challenge. Jemma took on the role of 3D printing prototypes of the stent whilst Zara did additional research to support. It was a good experience and really showed us what a professional team environment looks like. 

On the 30th of July we travelled to Melbourne University for the last time to compete against 10 other groups and learn about what they had created. As well as the presentations, we also got to tour science facilities at the University and hear from guest speakers about their experience in various science fields. It was good to get advice from people who had been through various occupations and hear how their journey led them to biotechnology. 

We would like to thank Ms D’Amico, Jen and Nathan for helping us out along the way, and Ms Krajcer and Ms Caccamo, for encouraging and teaching us all we know about science. 

Victorian Music Festival

On Tuesday, 16 August, the Senior Concert Band and Intermediate Concert Band participated in the Victorian School Music Festival at Hawthorn Arts Centre.
For most of our students, it is their first time performing at this festival.
Both ensembles entered in the Intermediate and Junior Band sections respectively. Under the direction of Mr Liam Werrett, the Senior Concert Band performed three pieces “Skyfall” (performed by Adele), “Hop!” and “Escape from Thunder Mountain”.
The Intermediate Band, conducted by Mr Evan Clements, performed ‘March of the Arachnids’ and ‘Just Dance’ (performed by Lady Gaga).
Both ensembles performed their repertoire at a high standard and received a Silver award for their respective sections.
Congratulations to all Intermediate and Senior Concert Band students for their achievements.
A big thank you to Mr Werrett, Mr Clements and Miss Ferguson for all the preparation work in the lead up to this festival.

Promoting Girls in Maths

St Columba’s College has recently offered year 8 students who are seeking a greater challenge in mathematics an opportunity to be a part of the Mathematics Accelerated Pathway (MAPs) Program beginning in 2023. This enhanced curriculum will see our most talented mathematicians work on more complex tasks and learn topics to a greater depth and breadth. Our MAPs Program is intended to inspire students to make more connections between their studies and the world beyond the classroom. We hope that this will help to foster a life-long interest in mathematics that will extend far beyond the VCE.

To qualify for this course, students must demonstrate outstanding knowledge in mathematics. Part of this involves a testing process to ensure that students undertaking the subject are capable to meet the high demands of this enhancement course.

This year, we had a total of 62 students applying for the program. Thank you to those who have applied, you will hear from the Mathematics Department shortly.

Sports News

SCSA Netball

On Monday the 15th of August I was honoured to be able to participate and represent my school at this year’s SCSA Netball Competition. It was a great opportunity to meet, engage and play alongside new peers, to come together to create three powerful junior netball teams.

The day was fun-filled, jam packed with excitement and felt refreshing being able to share my skills with new peers and them share theirs.

We played against alternate catholic girls schools, which tested our skills and resilience. As new teams we dominated, with most teams being able to reach top two in the grand finals, which was an amazing achievement.

I’m sure all the girls had a great day, because I know I did and I would happily love to experience it all over again. On behalf of all of the girls we loved being able to represent our incredible school!

Thank you to Ms Murton, Ms Hicks and Ms Hale, for all your love, support and encouragement towards making this all possible.

Lara Swinden, Year 7

SCSA Soccer

On the 8th August we took 2 teams, a Junior and an Intermediate, to compete in the Soccer competition held at Darebin International Sports Centre.  All teams put in an amazing effort for the round robin matches but unfortunately we didn’t take out any awards this year.
Congratulations to Poppy Gallaughar for recently taking out the Best On Ground award in the Moonee Valley Football Club’s U16’s Girls Grand Final – as well as being part of the overall winning team!!!

Kane Construction

On Thursday the 18th of August, St Columba’s College Alumni, Lindsey Rattray from Kane Construction presented to students about the career opportunities within the Construction Industry. 

Students were given an insight into the three sectors of construction (residential, commercial and infrastructure) and prospective job opportunities in areas such as Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Sustainability, Property and Real Estate, Commerce, Business, Occupational Therapy and Project Management.  

The presentation included information about the many pathways that lead into such careers including apprenticeship and TAFE, tertiary education and work based learning. 

Specific mention was made on projects Kane Construction are currently involved in including the Docklands Studios Melbourne Sound Stage 6 and most recently the redevelopment of Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Center. 

All students are encouraged to attend the next Careers Event which will be held on Tuesday the 13th of September at lunchtime in the Theatrette. 

Representatives from Qantas will be visiting the College to discuss careers in the Tourism and Aviation Industries.


Maths Bee Hives

This term in Year 10 Maths, classes looked at finding different ways of how we can push ourselves to “go to the margins”. In the current climate, we decided to explore ways to help the environment. We started by researching bees and why they are an important part of the ecosystem. We found out that communities need to protect the bees as their homes are being destroyed and their colonies plagued with disease. They do so many things such as pollinate our plants, which help to create our wonderful natural surroundings and also to produce food. Bee’s honey is also very important for the food chain and medicinal products.

After researching, we proceeded to build bee hotels with help of the skills we learnt in our measurement topic. A bee hotel is a place where bees are able to find shelter from dangerous weather and protect themselves. We brought in recycled materials and used the STEM lab and to put together our bee hotels. We were required to research the measurements of the bees to make the tubes a comfortable size for the bees to seek shelter in. Most of the hotels are fully functional and are able to shelter bees and keep them safe.