Issue 38, 19 February 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

2019 Non-Government Schools Census Post Enumeration Exercise

Basically, this is a long title to explain the fact that we are scheduled to be involved in an NCCD audit in 2020. It is a normal part of the process and it will primarily involve those who work closely with the program and the related financial matters. All teaching staff however are required to upload the relevant support documentation that relates directly to identified NCCD funded students in your classroom. Libby and Darren will manage this process, with Leadership and Heads of Department in the first instance, but your recording of evidence underpins and validates what is being done to support students at Concordia. Watch this space over the coming weeks - as we are scheduled to engage with the process ‘between February and April’ this year.

Staged learning – not age learning

Many thanks to Carissa Jaworska for sharing this article with some staff members this past week (Staged learning - levels of learning). Interesting reading, and the subject is very topical as we begin to investigate aspects of the Strategic Plan such as the Year 9 structure and program. How will we best make a difference to the learning for our students across all year levels? What do we know about the learning styles of our students and what can we do in the classroom to accommodate student learning needs? All questions that should be on the front burner as we plan lessons and reflect on our pedagogy in general terms.

The public face of Concordia

Many thanks to staff members who have volunteered to be a presence at the various shows, Open Day and Academic and General Scholarship Days that are coming up over the next few months. These are important events in the annual cycle at all schools and your support makes them far more manageable. Thank you one and all for your willingness to be a part of these activities.

Every blessing and kind regards,

Adrian

Need to know!

All College community members, including staff and parents are reminded that the College has established procedures for handling grievances and complaints, both by staff and parents/community members. Allison Busiko (HSC Teacher), Marie Smith (WSC Teacher) and Karen Rohde (SSC Teacher) are the College’s trained Contact Officers and can support you with these processes as well. 

____________________________________________________

The following College policy has been updated. Please read and familiarise yourself with the requirements, as they relate to your role at the College.

Purchasing Policy


Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Wednesday, 26 February Ash Wednesday Chapel Services
Wednesday, 11 March Inter-House Cross Country All campuses
Thursday, 19 March Student Learning Showcase K-12 From 5.00pm at SSC
Saturday, 21 March College Open Day

Visible Learning in Action 


Escape for a moment...

Toowoomba has recorded over 183 millimetres of rain since the start of February. Watch the extraordinary power, beauty and life giving properties of water in this clip from 2018 which captured one of Australia’s great natural events – floodwaters that travelled over 1,000 kilometres down the Diamantina-Warburton river system to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary and entering Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre. 

TASS hints & tips

The order of Teacher Kiosk menu options on the left hand side can be changed (except for ‘My Timetable’ and ‘My Saved Lists’). To change the order on your Teacher Kiosk home page, click on the menu name and drag it up or down.

_________________________________________

Do you have oversight over a cost centre or budget? You can review how you are tracking, including transactions each month through Teacher > Budgets.

If you can’t see your cost centre or accounts, please email accounts@concordia.qld.edu.au

________________________________________

Students can change the order and size of the boxes on their Student Cafe home page to suit their preferences. It is as simple as clicking and dragging to move the location of boxes or change the size. 


Employee Benefits 

As employees of Lutheran Education Queensland, we are able to access an increased employer superannuation contribution beyond the government mandated 9.5%. If we make a co-payment as per the schedule below, the College will increase their contribution, which in turn, can deliver a substantial benefit to superannuation savings.

Employee Contribution  Employer Contribution
1%   9.75%
2%  10.75%
4%  11.75%
5%  12.75%


Please email Payroll if you wish to initiate or increase your personal contribution to super.

_____________________________________________


Katie Lightfoot from Lutheran Super will be visiting the Stephen Street Campus on Monday, 2nd March 2020. You can book an individual appointment between 10.00am and 12.30pm by calling her 0439 020 770.

You don’t have to be a Lutheran Super member to make an appointment, you simply need to be Lutheran employed. Some questions you might like to consider:

  • Am I making the most of my super by contributing extra and saving tax through Salary Sacrifice?  What are my Insurance needs and am I adequately covered?
  • Gaining online access to your Lutheran Super?
  • How to make changes to your account, including rolling in funds online!
  • Are my beneficiaries correctly nominated and do I need to make Binding Nominations?
  • Establishing Lutheran Super for Your Spouse!
  • Establishing Lutheran Super Pensions & Transition to Retirement Income Streams?

Whether you are just starting out, establishing a spouse account or looking to retire in the next 10 years, at Lutheran Super you are valued and we look forward to assisting you with the opportunity of individual appointments. 

Your views matter - Staff Pulse

Thank you to the large number of people who completed the first Staff Pulse last week. As aptly named, this survey is short and sharp - 10 questions chosen at random; and gives you a further platform to provide feedback. Here is a snippet of results from the first survey. 

What we are currently doing well


What are our priority areas for improvement


The survey platform has a feature to initiate conversations about a comment or suggestion, and we intend to utilise this feature where we feel further information can support the College's improvement in a particular area. Just like the survey, these conversations are facilitated through the Staff Pulse program and don't identify the person who provided the feedback. 

The College's access to this platform is for a fixed term period of 6 months, and we intend to continue these pulses each fortnight. Your ongoing engagement and support of this process is genuinely appreciated and valued and will inform key priorities. 

There are still several staff who are yet to register for the survey. Please follow the instructions in the email from TES. If you haven't received this email, please contact Mel.  

Who was I?

Who grew up watching Rainbow Brite; has met Prince William, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh; memorised "A Bush Christening" by AB Banjo Paterson; lived in Ballina, Augathella, Cunnamulla, Dulacca, Roma, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Brisbane, Isis River, Hervey Bay; has travelled to Thailand, England, France, United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Germany, Italy, Vienna; and finally, may have shared her favourite joke with you... What do you call a donkey with three legs? A wonkey! It is...

Bianca Coleborn, Director of Marketing & Enrolments

Who am I? 

Plan to…become a teacher

Am related to…a former staff member

Went to school at…Churchie

Netflix favourite…The Ozarks

Embarrassed by…public speaking

Inspired by…my dad

Obsessed with…sport of any kind

Endured…working on building sites

Lived with…many different people

Most favourite TV show as a child…Biker Mice from Mars

Teaching & Learning

Classroom layout - what does the research say?

What effect do different classroom seating arrangements have on student participation? What does your learning space reveal about your teaching philosophy? Should teachers or students decide who sits where?

Learning spaces come in all shapes and sizes, from rectangular rooms built for 30 students where you can close the door on the world but still peer through the window, to flexible, open-plan environments with folding walls where scores of students come together. Outdoors, indoors, subject-specific spaces with specialist equipment and multipurpose rooms for whole school use.

As a teacher, you don’t often get the chance to choose your classroom. However, the many fixtures and fittings means there’s a lot you can do to change the layout. 

Read the full article from Teacher Magazine here

Concordia in the News

It’s generally considered inappropriate to share what a colleague may be doing on Valentine’s Day, however we can confirm that Hayley Sugars, Junior College Music Teacher was performing an intimate recital of songs in the Opera Queensland Studio. Congratulations Hayley! 

_____________________________________________

Bianca Coleborn, Director of Marketing and Enrolments, was recently featured in a video by Digistorm about our Funnel CRM system. Thank you Bianca, for you and your team’s hard work to streamline and enhance the enrolment experience for prospective parents. 

Education in the News

Independent sector surging with 14,000 new enrolments, Education HQ

Team Updates - BeYou


Term 1’s Staff Wellbeing Forum yesterday afternoon included completion of the BeYou Educator Survey.

BeYou is a national initiative for educators aimed at promoting and protecting positive mental health in children and young people and replaces both KidsMatters and MindMatters.

The College’s commitment to the BeYou program is aligned with our strategic commitment to “investigate and implement mental health programs that are age appropriate for all students from K-12”.

If you do engage with students as part of your role, please complete the survey as it will inform the College’s BeYou Action Groups in developing a plan aligned with current needs within each campus. 



Feedback

With Concordia’s 75th anniversary taking place next year, we would like to re-engage with our Old Scholars network by sharing brief profiles of our past students through our Old Scholars Facebook page.

Please find below a link to a quick questionnaire that we would like Old Scholars to complete. Before we issue it externally, I ask that all Old Scholars who are currently staff members at the College complete the questionnaire and send me any feedback/recommendations you may have regarding the form.

Old Scholars Questionnaire

Once we have gathered this feedback, we will be asking all staff to share the questionnaire with all Old Scholars that you know – friends, family, children. We are looking forward to sharing the wonderful stories of our Old Scholars, whether they finished at Concordia in recent history or decades ago.

Bianca Coleborn, Director of Marketing and Enrolments

Health and Wellness 

Did you know we have 60,000 thoughts a day, and these are usually the same 60,000 thoughts we had the day before and the same before that. You see, our thoughts are not passive words that just roll through our head, they are powerful waves that direct our focus and our attention. For example, go outside and make a mental note of all the things you see that are green, now close your eyes and try to remember all the things in your environment that were brown. Typically, we don’t see the brown things because we are focussed on looking for the green. This concept is crucial in understanding our own mindset. Want to know more about Cognitive Reframing? Checkout this article "4 Steps to shift everything"

We have choices every moment to think about what is working well or what isn’t. In a teaching or work day there is so much that happens and if we do not become more conscious of our thoughts, they become unconscious habits. So, my question to you is this? Are you someone who is always focused on what is going wrong in a school day eg. students misbehaving, staff under performing and parents demanding? Or are you someone who focuses on the small achievements you make each day, the support you receive from staff and the partnerships you have with parents? 


Don’t brush over this concept too quickly. It is important to sit with this and deeply reflect on the types of conversations you have in the staffroom. Are you the person whinging all the time? Or the person celebrating success and achievements? Are you the person dampening others enthusiasm with comments like “we’ve tried that before and it didn’t do anything”, or are the you the person who encourages growth and new ideas? Of course, the reality is we are usually a bit of both of these people, but if you had to put a percentage of your positive to negative comments in the staffroom, what would your ratio be?

Daniela Falecki, Teacher Wellbeing

Thank you!

Thank you to the many staff who helped facilitate the temporary isolation of 3 boarding students following their arrival in Australia at the start of term. The College still has one student in China who is yet to arrive in Australia. While scientists around the world are working on a vaccination for Coronavirus, another cohort of scientists are preparing the southern hemisphere flu vaccination.

The College will be facilitating flu vaccination clinics again this year, most likely in May, depending on advice from the Darling Downs Public Health Department. Please note that flu vaccinations only last for 3-4 months, so if you do intend on obtaining a flu vaccination earlier, it may not provide sufficient protection for the full winter period. More information will be provided once the dates are set and if you have any questions, please consult with your GP. 

In the Community

The Queensland Government’s Healthier Happier website has a multitude of resources to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

One of the relatively unknown resources available for us all is the free Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service. You get up to 10 free coaching calls with a qualified health professional for up to six months. No catches. As well as physical activity help, you can get healthy eating advice, plus access to other great tools. Visit the website or call 13 HEALTH (13 432584) to find out more.

There is also a dedicated ‘Families’ area and the most popular resource accessed since launch has been this short video on screen time for children.

‘Whatever’ Days

It is international Tug of War Day today!

One of the simplest of sports, dating back to ownership disputes over food and clothing, the history disappears into legend with the Sun and Moon wrestling over light and darkness. Most cultures have references to competitions of strength that involve pulling in opposite directions which can be found on stone carvings, in ancient texts and legends. 

Dropped from the Olympic Games in 1920, Tug of War still remains a Worldwide sport and you can join the Australian arm of the Tug of War Association on facebook. 

The Bunya Pine

Recommendations:

World Science Festival Brisbane, March 2020

                Toowoomba Events

________________________________________________

Learn to paint your pet, UQ Gatton, Friday 28 February 6.30pm



To attempt to reduce emails, if you have non-urgent messages or communications to staff groups, please email them to newsletter@concordia.qld.edu.au for inclusion in Heads Up.