Issue 42, 1 May 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Heads Up’ for Term 2. Two weeks have passed under the new teaching and learning arrangements. It has been a time full of new challenges, problem solving at a heightened level and strengthened collegial friendships across all sectors of our community. The community recognises all that you are doing, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you!


I am sure that you are aware of the discussions and decisions that have been made around working conditions in weeks three to five – and in some cases beyond. More than forty staff members have been involved in these discussions and a diverse range of outcomes will allow the College, in the business sense, to move through these difficult times with confidence to operate under normal conditions in the future. I pass on my thanks to Mel Foreman and all members of Leadership for their work with staff across all three campuses – it is never easy; however, we live in unusual times and the understanding of all colleagues is greatly appreciated.

In terms of the much lauded JobKeeper program (30 March), details are emerging daily regarding the application of the program to non-government schools. All schools in our sector are uncertain about the detail of this initiative and the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) continues to seek clarity from the Commonwealth Government. For your information, Concordia has been registered with the ATO from the outset and we have prepared the case for submission. As of last night, we now understand that we should be treated by the ATO as a separate entity under the umbrella of the one legal entity i.e. Lutheran Church of Australia Queensland District. I will continue to let you know of any significant updates in the days ahead.

General matters

Earlier this week, I wrote to you about the Commonwealth announcement offering to bring forward scheduled July payments for non-government schools. This offer has been widely rejected (nationwide), as it flies in the face of advice from the various state and territory governments. Sadly, partisan politics has crept back into the debate – oh well, it was appreciated while it lasted.

I note with excitement that our boarding community is now connected virtually - with our first social catch up occurring last night. Thanks to Maureen and Ross for setting this up and I am sure those who are isolated away from Toowoomba have appreciated the connection. While on this topic, thank you to Daniel and Mitch who have been superb in keeping us all connected to the wider world. I have heard of some school based technical disasters during this unusual period of time – thanks must go to these two quiet achievers as they operate on a 24-hour basis across three campuses.

God’s blessing to you all. May you and your family stay safe in the week’s ahead, and I have no doubt that I will be back in contact with you as soon as we become aware of government decisions relating to Term 2/2020.

Kindest regards, 


Need to know!

The Bookshop/Uniform shop will only be taking online orders for the remainder of Term 2. Please email with your requirements and your order will be filled as time permits. There is often a surplus of basic stationery items in staff rooms (or squirreled away by colleagues in secret drawers) so please consider asking around if you have an urgent need.


From Tuesday, the hot drinks machine (coffee, mochas, hot chocolate) will be freely available for staff use from 8am – 11am each weekday in the SSC Function Centre. BYO mug (and biscuits!). Thank you Tyrone for your support in making this available. 

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Sunday, 10 May Mother's Day

Resources for online learning

The library catalogue homepage has been redesigned to support online learning with sections for each curriculum area. More importantly it has the links to our Britannica subscription and other databases.

ClickView is perfect for remote teaching. They have ready-made lessons from teachers who have already flipped their lessons and you can make your own interactive videos (embed questions into a clickview video so that students aren't passively watching).

The College also has a temporary subscription to Story Box Library. Content is aimed at Prep to Year 6 students and resources are available for each story, including teaching ideas, activity time and student tasks sheets. Username is CLC   Password is HeartRead

Just a reminder, it is my job as your Librarian to help you find and provide access to resources. I can help find clickview videos, articles, websites, apps, books... whatever you need.

Heidi Edwards, Teacher Librarian 

Escape for a moment...

Whilst we have been contained to our homes and travel limited to either work or essential needs, it has been a form of isolation or some would say, imprisonment. Just before the first restrictions are lifted this weekend, put your experience to the test and see if you break out of TED-Eds jail...

Health Update

As all good Game of Thrones fans will know……winter is coming!

Thank you to the eighty (80) staff members who participated in our free Staff Flu Vax Clinic during the last week of Term 1.  Not only was this a record number of staff participating in the Flu Vax Clinic, many staff members also brought their loved ones to get vaccinated at the same time.  Our seven returned boarding students received their flu vaccinations last week and we will be encouraging all other boarders to have their flu vaccination prior to returning to our boarding community.

As a School Nurse, I am often asked what measures we are taking at Concordia to keep our College as free from illness as possible during the upcoming winter months.  I love this question as I can say with honesty and pride that I suspect that this year, we will have lower rates of influenza and other viruses within our community.  Not just because of our Influenza Vaccination program but from all of the other measures that you have supported including daily temperature checks for any person entering our College, staying home when we are unwell, adhering to the new social distancing rules, practicing good cough etiquette and increased hand hygiene and routine cleaning around the College.

I would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of us within our Concordia family for playing your part in keeping our community as healthy as possible.

Libby Chapman, RN

Development Opportunities

Remote Learning Sessions hosted by Apple for educators across Australia and New Zealand. View and register for any or all of the three virtual conferences:

Improving Reading Fluency - every iPad includes built-in assistive features that complement your vision, hearing, motor skills, learning and literacy. In this session, you’ll learn how features such as Speak Screen, Safari Reader, and Speech Controller support reading fluency, comprehension, and composition for every learner.

Create Engaging Videos with Clips - Clips is a free app that lets educators and students easily create and share fun and engaging videos. We’ll show you how educators can use Clips to create instructional videos for exploring new skills and ideas - and how students can make videos to share what they’ve learned.

Create and Share Presentations and Demos - Presenting information in compelling ways is even more important when you’re not able to be face-to-face with your students. In this session we’ll show you how to use iPad built-in features to create demos and instructional videos and share them with your colleagues and students. Using keynote, or any presentation tool, you’ll learn how to record content and create demos on iPad for use with your students. 


MOQdigital invites you to their Microsoft Teams for Education Q&A Session held every Wednesday 3:30 – 4:00 pm AEST. 

  • This session is run by Megan Moore (the Consultant who ran the session in the January PD days) and Andrew Higgs, their Teams technical expert.  It is an opportunity for you to ask any questions concerning your use of Teams and online learning.
  • Microsoft Teams Live link 

Judy Burgis and Sonya Holden shared several learnings from their attendance at the first session this week with the SSC Faculty. By all accounts, Microsoft is working hard to enhance the features, and are addressing key needs including visibility of up to 9 participant faces; raised hand functionality; and attendance reports.

Who am I? 

Went to school…Pakuranga College

Favourite T.V show as a child… The Beverly Hillbillies

Obsessed with…. Parkrun

Worked as…. “Clean-up spot fire crew” in Canadian Rockies, Dental nurse, Baker and a Beauty Therapist

Scariest thing I’ve done…Skydiving solo

Travelled too… Fiji, Rarotonga, P.N.G, Thailand, New Zealand, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Japan

Achieved…First female Foreman at Ford Capri Plant, Melbourne

Netflix favourite…Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Travelled to work one day in…a helicopter 

Sharing Learning

In this article, Teaching Through a Pandemic: A Mindset for This Moment teachers weigh in on the mental approach you need to stay grounded in this difficult time.

In addition to reflecting on some the suggestions in this article, I encourage you to take time to smell the roses, take a walk in the sunshine before it disappears and sit and relax with a cup of tea or coffee or find a quiet space and just breathe. You are all undertaking a monumental challenge and I sincerely thank you all.

Wendy Bowen, Director of Learning & Innovation 


When considering our teaching and our students learning, clarity is key. The goal of any classroom, whether digital or brick and mortar, should be that teachers and students are able to communicate what they are learning, why this particular content, skill, or understanding is important, and what success looks like.

Teaching and Learning in the New Normal, Corwin

What Works in Online Teaching and Learning, AITSL 


SSC Week 1 Online Learning Bulletin, developed by Gabe Robbie, HOD-HASS 

Gabe welcomes contributions from all teachers and publishes this consolidated collaboration of hints and tips every Friday. 


If you are using smartphones or IPADs to create videos, here is a not so subtle message on avoiding 'vertical videos'.

Education in the News


Team Updates - what's happening in Careers?

The Careers Team is full steam ahead with both Tafe and USQ Head Start students resuming their learning online this term. The majority of our school based apprentice/traineeship students have been lucky enough not to have their contracts suspended and are still working with their employers and completing their theory online. The GenR8, AllevE8 and AccelR8 programs have been temporarily suspended, but their respective coordinators are hard at work trying to get them back up and running ASAP. And it’s just business as usual for our students who are already studying online certificates.

This morning all parents and students in year 10 -12 were emailed the Senior Students What Now worksheet which has been designed for students to reach out to the Careers Team if they are feeling stressed or confused about their career paths. This worksheet is also available on the Careers page of the LOVE CLC website along with the latest updates from Universities and other providers in relation to changes to entry requirements and ATAR.

We are also working on hosting a Virtual Futures Expo later in the term so watch this space for more information!

Despite having to postpone Work Experience for Term 2, the Year 10s are moving forward with the completion of the Short Course in Career Development. Their assignment has been adjusted to align with social distancing protocol and they have been asked to interview an experience worker about workplace expectations, enterprise skills and what employers are looking for in recruitment. They have also been reflecting on how COVID19 has affected workplaces and the importance of displaying a Growth Mindset in these changing times. For the remainder of online learning, the Year 10s will be exploring the world of work - completing modules in workplace health and safety, resume and cover letter writing, interview skills and personal presentation." 

As usual, the Careers website is being updated with other important and interesting careers information as well as any upcoming workshops and open days (virtual, of course) or online training available. Finally, the Careers Newsletter continues to go out fortnightly to parents and students in years 9 – 12. If you would like to receive the Careers Newsletter please send an email to Jo-Ann.Tessmer@concordia,

Leah Bowes, Senior Careers Advisor & Jo Tessmer, Future Pathways Coordinator 

Health and wellness support 

it is easy to push self-care to the side when we find ourselves super busy. This is especially true during times of great change. This is the time that we need to incorporate self-care even more. We are likely to be able to cope much better with the stress that stems from long hours and adjustments to change.

You are all working long and hard and doing an amazing job. Be kind to yourself and make sure to include self-care in your busy day.                  

Sonia Siebenhausen, Counsellor

‘Whatever’ Days

Welcome to World Tuba Day! 

Did you know we have a day for celebrating one of the least appreciated but integral members of the brass band or wind orchestra? The tuba, along with many of its lower brass brethren are often overlooked by young musicians as being ‘not exciting enough’ or ‘how will I carry that massive thing’? The truth is that the tuba and the whole lower brass family constitute the warmth and depth that we love in music. In fact, a wind ensemble's tuning is usually based on the tuba.

So, in the spirit of all things lower brass, I encourage all you closet tuba or lower brass players to dust off the old instrument and share the glory of its supreme sound with the world.

Please take a minute (1.48 minutes to be exact) and enjoy this performance that shows that the tuba is an ever growing and developing musical instrument with a unique voice of its own.

Paul Edwards, Coordinator of Music Performance

The Bunya Pine


Toowoomba Regional Council Boredom Busters Booklet

And now, some light relief (and reflection) on the events of the past several weeks contributed by several staff, including Karen Watson and Jana Anderson.

Heads Up is a key tool to engage with colleagues, particularly the 30 currently working from home. Please contribute by emailing