April 17, 2020

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Principal's Message


Marking Attendance in Term 2

 ‘Welcoming Each Other’ - Interfaith Dialogue Day

A message from The Counselors

Remote Teaching

 Easter Scavenger Hunt

 Academic Excellence Scholarships

Year 7 2022 Enrolment

Principal's Message

Welcome to Term Two

Welcome to a highly unusual and unprecedented start to the term.  While things are very different, we are managing to navigate the uncertainty as best we can, and I believe all members of this community have risen to the challenge in an extraordinary way. Our students have been flexible, resilient and incredibly supportive of the processes we have put in place, and our teachers have modelled what it means to be true learners – looking for ways to ensure our students continue to be engaged and connected to their learning and to the College. They too have shown an incredible amount of resiliency. The College support staff have been tremendous in their quiet support, in the background and on the fringes, but we know that much of our work would be far more difficult (if not impossible) without them. I would also like to acknowledge the support we have received from our parent community – you have been patient and understanding of our efforts, and this makes an enormous difference to our work. We should all be very proud of the way that we have pulled together as a community.

I can’t help thinking about how we will emerge from this crisis, about what we will learn about ourselves, our communities, and our nation because of our collective and individual experience through this crisis. I remain hopeful that what we are learning will be transformative, a resurrection if you will, from selfishness to generosity, from individualism to a focus on the common good, from the ongoing pursuit of having more, to a recognition of the riches we have in our lives through our families and friends. That there is hovering at the boundaries, the promise of something, that many of us recognise as the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Home Learning Expectations

Thanks again to all the families who are supporting the learning from home arrangements. I would like to remind students and parents/legal guardians of a few key expectations:

  1. Please follow the Remote Learning Guidelines. These were shared with all students again on Tuesday via email, and can be found in the COVID-19 folder on PAM.
  2. Acknowledging that each family’s living circumstances will be unique, we expect all students to be participating in home learning from a central shared space in the family home, and not from their bedrooms. We understand that this can be difficult, but we need to ensure that we follow our Professional Boundaries Policy, as one element of our Child Protection Program.
  3. We are aware that learning from home may be difficult in some family circumstances, for example, when there are young siblings at home. We strongly encourage students to access their regular lessons and complete required work as they are able to at home.
  4. We also strongly encourage students to take their regular breaks, to get up and move around.  This not only assists with physical wellbeing but also assists with maintaining strong mental health.  Building in screen free time regularly throughout the day is also very important.
  5. It is important that links to Google Meets shared by a teacher with their class are not then shared by St Columba’s College students with other students who do not attend St Columba’s College. We have had a couple of instances of this occurring this week.

We continue to be learners in this space, and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner to issues as they emerge.


Life as we’ve known it has been overturned and we do not know what lies ahead, just as was the case for Jesus’ disoriented disciples. Faith calls us neither to denial nor despair but to patient dwelling in the emptiness until it yields its secret wisdom. Dear friends, blinded by grief, Jesus’ disciples failed to believe he had risen. As we face fearful times, let us put our trust in the power of God’s love and ask for all we need.

1. We pray for the whole human race. May the world emerge from this crisis with a new commitment to justice, peace and global solidarity. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

2. We pray for Christian believers around the world. May their faith in Christ and their outreach to others foster kindness and compassion in their neighbourhoods. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

3. We pray for all affected by the global coronavirus crisis:

  • those who have died and their grieving families
  • those who are fighting for their lives
  • those whose age or health condition puts them at risk.

May the Spirit of mercy bring them comfort. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

4. We pray for:

  • national leaders and their advisers making difficult decisions
  • front-line health-care workers directly exposed to the virus
  • those maintaining essential services.

May the Spirit of service inspire them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

5. We pray for:

  • people trapped in places of armed combat or terrorism
  • prisoners, detainees and refugees in crowded camps
  • the citizens of poorly resourced countries.

May the Spirit of hope give them courage. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

6. We pray for:

  • all who have lost jobs, homes and livelihoods
  • people with serious mental health issues
  • those at increased risk of domestic violence.

May the Spirit of love give them strength. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

7. We pray for:

  • students whose education has been critically disrupted
  • family members and friends unable to visit their sick loved ones.
  • temporary residents unable to access basic services.

May the Spirit of peace sustain them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

8. We give thanks for all whose gifts are raising our spirits in this time of trial. May they lighten our hearts with joy. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

9. We pray for the recently deceased, especially those who have died from the coronavirus, and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they be raised with Christ to eternal life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

All-embracing God, you dispel the darkness of death and fill the world with love and life. Deliver us from fear and lead us to your Son, our risen Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Marking Attendance in Term 2

In the last two weeks of term 1, many parents made the decision to isolate their daughters. The College advised that these absences would not impact on the overall attendance for these students during that time.

This term, all students, whether they are working from home or at school, (as a small number are) are engaged in remote or online learning. All students are expected to log in to their classes, engage with their learning and complete the tasks assigned by their teachers.

Teachers will be noting attendance and marking the roll via SIMON. Any absences from classes that you are aware of must be communicated to the College as per the normal arrangements – preferably this will be done via PAM or parents may contact the absence line at the College. Parents will also be able to monitor their daughters’ attendance via PAM. In order to ensure continuity of learning, the engagement of students in their lessons is vital and the College requires the support of parents in monitoring this.

Author: Ms Brigitte McDonald – Deputy Principal

 Year 10 Immunisations – Cancelled

Please note that the Year 10 Immunisations scheduled for Wednesday 29 April have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a time in July.

The cancellation was prompted by Moonee Valley Council taking into account the present restrictions and protocols surrounding COVID-19.

All vaccination cards that have been returned to the College will be kept for the new date.

Parents of Year 10 students will be informed of the new Immunisation date as soon as it is confirmed.

Please contact the Front Office on 9337 5311 should you have any further queries.

 ‘Welcoming Each Other’ - Interfaith Dialogue Day

Our work in making important and enduring interfaith connections continued in early March, before the intensity of these times. 25 of our students across Years 9-11 volunteered to be part of this day – most very much keen to reunite with their Ilim College friends. We were reminded of the importance of our Catholic responsibility to encounter the richness of encounter, listening and dialogue with different faith traditions. This program has grown from a morning event to become a day of fun, listening, dialogue and action and was totally planned by students. Beyond our experience we continue to connect on virtual platforms and look forward and pray together for a time when we can reconnect later in the year. The images in the gallery tell the story. We thank Ms Linna Abdi, Mrs Asma Khan and Mrs Angelique Robinson for their support and facilitation of the students on the day.


Scarlett Wilms & Alanah Bayona (Year 10) share their reflection: 

On Tuesday the 3rd of March, 22 students from Ilim College Dallas ventured to St Columba’s to participate in an Interfaith Dialogue Day, working alongside 25 of our own St Columba’s students.  Together, we discussed a variety of faith experiences that have shaped us as individuals and collaborated through our abundance of similarities. The interfaith day was a very enlightening experience as we were able to discuss how we, as strong female members of the 21st century can make beneficial changes to our surrounding communities and the world, creating an action plan to guide us in this process.

A message from The Counselors

Parent information

For parents, Coronavirus and physical distancing measures have introduced many challenges and novel situations to deal with.  Parents of teenagers may be trying to manage increased online and social media use; dealing with resistance to adhering to physical distancing expectations; helping their children to manage various heightened emotions from stress and anxiety, to restlessness and boredom. All while balancing work commitments with family time and supervising your child’s learning – not a simple task!

For young people, Coronavirus has imposed severe restrictions on their ability to socialise with friends and peers, and has meant losing important social experiences, such as participating in sporting clubs/competitions, birthday celebrations, theatre productions or even working at their part-time job. Friends and socialising are hugely important to young people. Bonding with peers is one of the essential developmental tasks of Adolescence, so it’s little wonder that physical distancing expectations may be met with some resistance, possibly some limit-testing and much frustration by teens!

Some resources that may help you manage some of these ‘novel’ situations…

Talking to adolescents about COVID-19;

Online and social media safety;

Supporting students at home;

Self care;

Remote Teaching

School certainly looks different in Term 2, but our teachers are working harder than ever to ensure that there is continuity to each and every student’s learning.

A big thank you to the tremendous efforts of all staff who made it possible for our first week of term 2, to be such a success.

 Easter Scavenger Hunt

As term 2 is not quite what we are used to, I decided to have a religion class that too was out of the ordinary. Giving my students 5 minutes, they were tasked with finding various items as part of talks surrounding Holy Week and Easter.

My students had to find:

1. An Easter egg (to remember that Easter is about more than the chocolate)

2. An item that could be found in a first aid kit (to remember that Jesus suffered for us)

3. Something from their childhood (to remember that through Jesus’ resurrection we all become children of God)

4. A leaf (to represent the new life of the Easter resurrection)

It was wonderful to see how engaged and involved they all were. From the Year 7s through to Year 10s, it was a fun way to start our remote learning together.

 Academic Excellence Scholarships

St Columba’s College is offering Academic Excellence Scholarships for students entering Year 7 2022 as well as Year 9 and Year 11 in 2021. Details and online registration are available on the College website.

 Registration closing date is Friday 17 July 2020

Scholarship testing date is Saturday 25 July 2020

Year 7 2022 Enrolment

A reminder if your daughter is currently in Grade 5 and you wish to send her to St Columba’s College, please ensure you have submitted an application form even if you already have a daughter at the College. Applications can be downloaded from the College website or collected from Reception.

Applications for Year 7 2022 close on Friday 21 August 2020.