Issue 53, 26 November 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Staffing update

It is with great sadness that I let you know that several roles across the College will not be ongoing in 2021. As a result, Ms Judy Burgis, Mrs Delmae Clanchy, and Mrs Kate August will be leaving us at the end of this school year. I wish these valued staff members’ God’s blessings over the coming weeks and into the New Year. I know that we will have opportunities to farewell them, and to pass on our thanks for their work and support throughout the coming days and in particular after our Closing Worship on Wednesday 2 December.

Year Level and Pastoral Coordinators

In line with our Strategic Plan, I look forward to the Year Level and Pastoral leaders across the Stephen Street Campus and Year 6 at both Junior College campuses bringing a new dimension and continuity to this part of our school curriculum. It is with pleasure that I let you know that Roz Cook (Yrs. 6 to 8), David Rentell (Yrs. 9 and 10) and Natalie Houston (Yrs. 11 and 12) will form the Pastoral leadership team in 2021. Thank you to the many staff who put themselves forward to be considered as team members in this critical component of the College program.

Learning in Residence – Boarding review

The scheduled review of ‘Learning in Residence’ will be carried out in the first six months of 2021. Again, the Strategic Plan notes the importance of boarding to the culture of Concordia Lutheran College and we are looking to explore several new models and structures that build on our success through the times of virtual learning. The brief is wide-ranging and calls for collaboration across all stakeholders and beyond. I am pleased to let you know that Darren Pope has agreed to take on the leadership of this project and I look forward to the final report being shared across our community in June 2021.

A note of gratitude 

As a College, we have been inundated by notes of thanks and words of encouragement. I include one from the QCAA Invigilator to Wendy Bowen and staff who prepared our students, and supervised in the first External Assessment blocks under the new QCE ATAR:

I want to thank you for making my time as a QCAA Invigilator in your school a pleasant experience. Thank you so much for the lunches. Your staff and students were extremely polite and friendly, and your handling of the technical issues was very professional. I don’t ever remember being in such a clean and tidy school and hopefully we might meet again in the future.

Excerpts from two recent parent notes – please take the time to read these:

My family has recently been through unexpected events regarding the health of our youngest son. He is a student at the Hume Street Campus, and I wanted to let you know about our experiences with the school during this time….
To say the school has been supportive is an understatement. Even before his diagnosis I felt like "they had us" but since then the support has been unexpected and overwhelming. It was like all systems go from the day I wrote the email about his diagnosis, initially Juanetta met with me and we planned what we needed to do, then Libby got involved and we did risk assessments with a physio, they changed the classroom around so my son could wheel in safely, organised a handle in the toilet so he could safely toilet using his chair and also organised a ramp for his class doorway.
I can never repay these amazing actions and the beautiful consideration that came without request and without expectation, but I can say thank you.
I thank you so much for the updates and was very sad that myself and my husband were not there to witness my daughter’s graduation and last day at the College.  It was a great pleasure to know you and we greatly appreciated your effort, support shown and given to our daughter Jadyn.  When I think about it, I am literally heart broken and while writing …we are in tears that we will be missing such a very nice and good school that our children have been with.  I am so thankful to God for such a wonderful decision we made to take our son and daughter there to attend Toowoomba Lutheran College. It has been a wonderful experience and seen my kids learning a lot from the teachers and experiencing the great environment you people created for everyone to be.

General notes

ISQ Professional Learning Prospectus – I encourage staff to check this out on the ISQ website. There are some exciting opportunities for 2021.

Intruders on site – we have had a few incidents with students from other students entering our grounds. Please contact your Campus Reception if you become aware of intruders on Concordia property.

As we move towards the end of this school year, I would like to pass on my absolute whole-hearted thanks for all that you have done. While it may sound glib, it goes without saying that the students and the families of the College are wholly indebted to you for what you have done this year. At some stage we will all look back on 2020 with a sense of awe – what has been achieved is nothing less than phenomenal. A heartfelt thank you!

May God bless you over the coming weeks and keep you safe. May you spend time with family and share a Christ-filled Christmas. May the New Year be peaceful, settled, and full of joy and hope.

In His name and with the kindest regards.

Adrian

Need to know!

The SSC Daily Structure has changed for 2021. Click here to view. This is also on Teacher Kiosk>Links>Teaching & Learning.

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The Non-State Schools Accreditation Board (NSSAB) have informed us of some changes to the Queensland Criminal Code to provide greater protection for children against sexual abuse. This is not in force yet, however further information will be provided following proclamation. It is anticipated that these changes will also form part of the mandatory ISQ Child Protection Training in January. 

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A final reminder that if you have misplaced your name badge or if it is looking a bit tired and worn out please email Mel ASAP so a replacement can be ordered ready for 2021. 

Congratulations

Congratulations to Ross McKeown, Boys Boarding Houseparent, who has been awarded ‘Accredited Boarding Practitioner’ by the Australian Boarding Schools Association.

And thank you to our cohort of Boarding Residential Tutors. This team support our students with their assessments and exam preparation in the evenings, only to return to their residences after lights out and prepare for their own exams and assessments. 

A number of College staff are studying for additional qualifications currently and we thank you for expanding your knowledge and skills in support of your roles with the College.  

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Wednesday, 2 December 2020 Closing Service & Christmas Luncheon
Wednesday, 23 December College office closes for Christmas break at 4.00pm
Monday, 4 January College office re-opens including Uniform Shop
Monday, 18 January First Aid Training (including CPR) Invited staff*
Tuesday, 19 January CPR Training Invited staff*
Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 January Staff Professional Development Days*
Monday, 25 January This is a regular work day, however, any staff that are able to work remotely, can do so
Tuesday, 26 January AUSTRALIA DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Wednesday, 27 January Pupil Free and Boarder Travel Day


*The plan for the Staff Professional Development Days in January will be emailed separately to this newsletter. 

2021 College Term Dates

Workplace Health Safety & Wellbeing Committee

An external company, the Hendry Group, has been engaged to review Emergency Planning procedures across all three campuses.  New Chief Wardens have been appointed and have been invited to a specific training session during the January PD days.

All other staff will also be participating in ‘First Response’ training in January. Please check the PD plan when it is emailed.  

Click here to view the minutes of the last Committee Meeting. There have been some concerns with Harristown SHS students entering College grounds. If you observe this, please contact your Campus Reception. 

Thank you to those staff who have served on this Committee this year. All staff are eligible to self-nominate their membership of this Committee. Please contact Sonya Herndon. 

Development Opportunities

The QCAA is presenting a series of free webinars across the PD days in January, as well as Monday, 25 January.

Before you register, please do wait for the release of the College’s plan for these PD days. Where possible, we will attempt to work around some of these key webinars.

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ACEL will present a NEW Webinar series with Lyn Sharratt - Next Steps in ‘The Work’: Focusing on ‘Precision-In-Practice’ to Increase ALL Students’ Achievement. Learn more and register here

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ACEL and the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (ICEPE) are proud to present in 2021 the lnclusive Classrooms - ICEP Online Courses. These online courses are for teachers, leaders and support staff in schools. These online self-paced courses are moderated by qualified tutors and deliver up to date, evidence-based content in key areas of student support. All the courses are online and take 20 hours across a two-month enrolment. Our specialist courses enable you to transform your classroom into a positive space where your students can learn to flourish no matter what their challenges.

Escape for a moment...

There’s no excuse to not get your groove on this Christmas…


Get to know your AccessMyEAP app

It's new and released for free download via Google Play and theApp Store. We’re making it easy for you to access your own EAP and wellbeing services with our intuitive and dynamic app.

  • Put yourself in control of your mental health and wellbeing.
  • Make a booking to speak with one of our counsellors.
  • Read tips, strategies and new ways to support your mental health and wellbeing journey.
  • Choose your own wellbeing tools and resources based on your preferences, goals and interests.
  • Take your Wellbeing Check regularly. The questions are based on the positive psychology PERMAH model. 
  • Monitor your results with your personal Wellbeing Tracker.

This free service is provided to you by your employer as part of your EAP services. 

We’re here to help you be your best at life and work. Click on the link below to view the introductory video.  


Events

Chriss Briskey, Chair of the SSC Staff Association has provided the below photos from the end of year function at the Meringandan Pub, as well as photos of just some of the gifts that the staff association have provided this year to staff who have been unwell, had a bereavement, or birth of a baby.  

If you don’t currently contribute to the Staff Association and wish to do so, please email payroll@concordia.qld.edu.au

Thank you!

International Men’s Day was recognised on Thursday, 19 November. To the men (and boys) in the College community, you are valued.


SSC Library Book Cull

You may have noticed that there are piles of books being pulled off the shelves in the SSC library. I admit, it is very distressing to see a sea of books earmarked for donation and disposal, but it is a very important aspect of maintaining our collection and keeping it relevant for our students and curriculum. 

There are many reasons that we cull books.  This cull I am focusing on:

  • books that no longer serve the curriculum
  • books that no longer interest our students (One Direction, for example, is not longer 'cool'!)
  • books that are damaged or no longer repairable
  • books containing statistics more than 5 years old

We have not carried out a serious non-fiction cull for more than 8 years at SSC, and the collection was starting to run out of room.

From here, I will start to build the collection up to meet the new curriculum areas, particularly in senior subject, with a focus on reference material. There will also be a dedicated and relevant web directory built which will be linked to the physical collection. This will contain credible information that is updated regularly such as statistics and technology. 

Our biographies will also be moved into a separate collection so they are easier for students to find for their own personal reading or for English assignments. 

Disposal: At some stage in the last weeks, please feel free to come and pick over the books as additions to your own reference library. Can I please ask that preference is given to teachers and students, then the wider community (Junior campuses as well). Books will then be offered to Jeremy's Book Exchange and Lifeline.  Any that are left will be disposed of. 

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please don't hesitate to come and talk to me.

Heidi Edwards, Teacher Librarian

Employee Benefits

Paywise has an opportunity for you to win free fuel for a year in their Christmas Competition

Following are the current salary packaged car specials:  Car specials

There are many misunderstandings about car salary packaging, here common myths are reviewed - Car myth busters

Independent school staff can salary package day-to-day Living Expenses (e.g. Mortgage, Rent, Credit Card account, etc. >$70,000 income – can save between $42 ($70K to $120K) to $133 (>$120K) per month.

Did you know you can salary package an e-Bike?

Glenn Thurbon from Paywise is available for enquiries up to 18 December, or you can make enquiries all year round via 1300 132 532.

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RemServ salary packaging also has an end of year sale and limited time offers available.

Click here to view the offers, or call RemServ direct on 1300 73 14 29

Education in the News

Student behaviour issues have dropped ‘dramatically’ at this primary school – here’s how they did it, ABC News

It’s Pick of the Crop for Bowen as part of $1.7M Healthy Kids Pilot with Schools

Finnish Way of Learning Session with Finnish Teachers and Lutheran EducatorsFinnish Way of Learning Session with Finnish Teachers and Lutheran Educators (full recording of this 1 hour session)

The Bunya Pine

Recommendations:

The USQ Summer McGregor Arts and Music Retreats have some spaces remaining if you are wanting to invest in creative pursuits over this holiday period.

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Toowoomba Regional Council, The Home Project: Shadow Puppet Stories

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Geocaching – spend time in the outdoors this holiday period and join the world’s largest treasure hunt!


Thank you for your support of this publication, and your content contributions. Best wishes for the holiday period.