I’ve been remiss in not updating my blog this year ….. have been distracted by other issues.
I’m very excited to say that we have, once again, had Andy Galakos from Imperial Star Ceramics, design and construct a new passive garden area to enhance the 1/2 Area of our school grounds. Along with Mal Beckinsale and Mark Galakos, they finished this before the conclusion of Term 2. The end result is amazing – another beautiful area for the students, staff and parents to enjoy. Throughout the construction period the children showed much interest in the proposed work. Andy and Mal regularly had a large audience of students ‘supervising’ their labour. They tried to anticipate the final product! The large dove, the symbol of Holy Spirit School, which is made from coreten metal, provides the focal point of the design. The surrounding garden, gabion seating and red gum table, give the new garden great functionality.
The entire school and parish community will benefit from this fantastic improvement to our grounds.
The following slides show the garden area before and after.(turn on the sound under the slideshow)
I was privileged to attend the IEU National Conference at Old Parliament House in Canberra during the Term 3 school holidays from 3-4 October. I had this opportunity in my capacity as a member of the Committee of Management of IEU VicTas.
The central agenda Quality Education What We Do, Who We Are examined the current policy settings in the Australian education environment and considered the professional and industrial implications of the National Plan for School Improvement. Keynote speakers included the Australian Government Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne, ACU academic Scott Prasser and panel experts Geoff Newcombe NSW AIS and Ross Fox NCEC. On the Friday the IEU’s Quality Teaching Framework and Education International’s year of activity ‘UNITE’ for Mobilising Quality Education was launched. Special guests included NASUWT President Mick Lyons and COPE (Council of Pacific Education) Secretary General Govind Singh. Friday commenced with a performance by Sydney Conservatorium tenor Damian Arnold and ringing of the bells at the Carillon on Lake Burley Griffin to launch World Teacher’s Day, which is actually on 25 October.
The opportunity to listen to the new Education Minister and the other presenters, along with sharing time with my COM colleagues from both Victoria and throughout Australia was informative and beneficial.
Anne and the Cabaret Crew have been working tirelessly to present Cirque du Cabaret. Families will attend on their allocated night of Tuesday 30, Wednesday 31 July or Thursday 1 August. The performance beings at 7pm each night in the Community Centre.
Today our Deputy Principal, Senior Level Co-Ordinator, Student School Leaders and a number of Year 6 students, attended the Anzac Day Ceremony in Ringwood. They were lucky enough to be sitting four rows back from our Prime Minister – Julia Gillard, Education Minister – Peter Garrett and other dignitaries. An Anzac Day Memory for life!
On Thursday 14 February, staff from Government, Independent and Catholic schools took part in a day of action against the lack of an adequate response to the Agreement claim. IEU members met in the Treasury Gardens and walked to Parliament House, where we joined AEU members. Let’s hope this long standing dispute is resolved in the very near future and we can maintain our focus on children and their education.
Welcome to another busy year in the world of educational administration! Over the last several weeks office staff and many teaching staff have been busy preparing for the start of 2013 school year. All staff return on 29 January and students on 30 January. We welcome our new students, families and staff to Holy Spirit School.
2013 promises to be an exciting year for our school with a number of staff changes. A special welcome to our three Graduates, as they start their teaching careers! The school improvement cycle determines that this is a Review Year. The school community will be involved at various levels in this process of self-review, followed by an external reviewer validating our findings. This is a productive process as it determines our priorities for the next four years. This part of the Review will occur in May.
We are excited to have Anthony Holohan working with staff and students this year in developing and enhancing the use of Information Communication Technology throughout the curriculum.
We also look forward to a resolution to our ongoing fight for a payrise and a new industrial agreement, which is now more than twelve months overdue.
In the office, Julie and I have been busy preparing for the commencement of the year. The first major task will be preparing for the school audit on 28 February.
I am continuing my participation in the ICON project – an exciting time for Catholic Education.
Last Friday I spent the day at ICTEV in Carlton with Jarrod Robertson at a PD on creating web based apps. Jarrod also introduced the group to a range of other tools including QR codes. It was reassuring to know that a number of the web tools highlighted, including Diigo, Evernote and Geocaching, are familiar to us.
Despite being the only non-teaching participant, I found the professional development engaging and worthwhile. Jarrod presented in an easy and relaxed way and enabled us to explore at our own pace.
QR Codes are staring to appear in many places, including advertising, theatre tickets and to store and view a range of different information. If you have downloaded a QR Reader on your mobile device, you’ll be able to read the following:
A brilliant design by Andy – here are a couple of photos of the finished Meditation Garden, including Bunjil’s Nest. Sue will have more details on her Teaching & Learning blog after she returns from camp! A great initiative by Peter, our Principal, and Sue, our Teaching & Learning Leader and their committee.
Andy Galakos from Imperial Star Ceramics has been busy at work during the school break. The project is nearing completion – what a fantastic area for the children, staff and parents to reflect and meditate.