In our society where happiness is a right and personal choice is pre-eminent, this presents a challenge. I think education is operating near peak efficiency.Whilst the teaching year has remained constant, schools pack so much more in than they once did. High performance sport, dance or music are an additional staple for most students and they are emerging with more knowledge and better higher order thinking skills than ever before. The pressure on time is enormous. Additionally we have a culture that promotes individual pathways and tailored experiences. This in turn induces a pressure for parents (and students) to want to optimise every experience – there is so little ‘slack’ in the system.
For my generation resilience opportunities were embedded in a system that permitted little choice. No choice about what class or what teacher or what camp or what classmates or even what school. No question as to what you could opt in or out of and very little choice around sport or other extracurricular offerings. Parents had little pressure from their peers to ‘optimise my experience’ – they had grown up post WW2 and ‘you just put up with stuff’. Learning wasn’t tailored or maximised but resilience training certainly was. I saw this taken to the next level with my students in Addis Ababa.
I am not sure I want to go back to my past (or import Ethiopian conditions!) – but it illustrates the tension. I think there is some level of mutual exclusivity with meaningful resilience training on the one hand and tailored choice in a crammed schedule on the other. Do we intervene more in their homework and organisation, thus promoting learning progress or do we choose not to rescue? Do we enable students to opt out of activities or particular classes or do we allow them to endure, even at the detriment of specific academic progress? Do we advocate for specific teachers or friendship groups to maximise learning or do we allow students to wrestle with things as they stand. The choices may not always be binary and the context is usually not so simple. I don’t envy parents the task of helping navigate students through and I know first-hand the challenges of trying to work out when we should intervene or support and when we should let students struggle. Sometimes, of course, we can err the other way, asking students to battle through situations which are not, in fact, fruitful. I would be the first to say that we may not always get it right.
The point for me is that we can’t just add resilience theory on as an extra element of the curriculum and feel that it is now sorted. By its nature it is challenging and it comes at some cost. And in those times I try to think of the bigger win – young men and women able to cope with faith, grace and confidence with anything life will throw at them.
Year 9 Wilderness
The Year 9 students have returned from the Bogong high plains, wet, tired and triumphant. Despite almost constant rain, low clouds and low visibility (down to less than 5m on occasion) the students persevered in challenging conditions. Morale remained high throughout and the staff were incredibly proud of the determination and effort of the students. A huge thankyou to Jonathan Goodluck and the staff who put so much work into the preparation and so much energy into the week away.
Congratulations to all students who participated in the EISM Division 2 swimming carnival at Ringwood pool on the 14 March. We had some great results throughout the competition with the team placing in an impressive 48 races and winning the competition overall. This was a fantastic achievement for all the students who competed - especially considering it was our first year in division 2! Well done to everyone involved!
Following the divisional carnival, the top swimmers from across the 21 EISM schools were invited to compete in the Champions carnival at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Monday evening. We had 35 students representing the school, again with some impressive results. A special mentioned to the two students who placed, Madison Boyd who came 3rd in both the breaststroke and butterfly and Oscar Hillman who came 2nd in the butterfly.
The students participated in the Secondary Athletics on Tuesday, with Sturt breaking a 9-year drought emerging winners on the day. The weather was perfect, the day ran smoothly and a number of records were broken. The House captains worked incredibly hard and led their teams enthusiastically. We appreciate the support we received from the athletics club and some of our parents. The PE department were again phenomenal, particularly following straight on from the EISM swimming sports the previous evening.
Rotary Arts Awards
Congratulations to two students who received Highly Commended awards at the recent Rotary Art show: Sophie Stapleton (The Story Behind Our Eyes) and Jemimah Moody (Untitled).
Our Year 10 German exchange students have arrived safely in Paderborn, Germany and met with their host families. They are spending time at the host school – the 349-year-old St. Michaels. Over the next 4 weeks, they will spend time at the school strengthening their German language, exploring the country with their host families and visiting Berlin and a number of historical sites.
We hope you all have wonderful holidays and that Easter catches you again with a surprising reminder about God’s extravagant grace.
Students return on Thursday 20 April in winter uniform.
Assistant Principal – Secondary Students
IBP TRAINING BAND SOARS INTO ACTION
On Friday March 10 at 7:30am our vibrant College 'Training Band' soared into action as they created their first notes as a full music ensemble, and discovered the power and enjoyment of creating music as a team! All fifty-three students filled the S1 band room with wonderful sounds that pulsated with energy and sheer youthful enthusiasm. The 'Training Band,' is part of the College's ever growing Instrumental Bands Program, which provides students (from Years 4 - 8) detailed group tuition on one of the numerous band instruments. This extraordinary school subsidized IBP program gives young students a chance to 'have a go,' at one of the four instrumental categories (Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion and Electric Bass) of instruments, as they explore and develop their musical talents.
Our Head of Instrumental Music, Phillip Reichman along with brass teacher David Robinson and woodwinds teacher, Peter Sheridan leads the 50 minute rehearsal. The IBP 'Training Band' will perform at the Mid-Year Annual Concert (Karralyka), several Primary Assemblies, the fantastic 'Bands Night,' as well as compete at the annual state-wide Victorian School's Music Festival held at BMW Federation Square.
The Instrumental Band Program has been growing in the number of students that are enrolling each year. With the grace of God, the program's mission statement, 'to train young students in exploring their musical gifts,' and have LOTS of fun in the process has become a reality.
Woodwind Specialist & IBP Program
ANZCA Graduation Ceremony and Concert 2017 (Australia and New Zealand Cultural Arts)
Last Saturday (25 March), Joshua van der End, Laura Paterson and Isabel Khong took part in the annual ANZCA Graduation ceremony at Flockhart Hall, MLC.
A big feather in our cap is that Joshua was invited to open the concert! He played a brilliant performance of Khatchaturian's 'Toccata', in front of a packed house which included Professor Kenneth Lampl (Director of Music, ANU), a visiting guest speaker and a group of students and teachers from Indonesia.
Joshua received his Associate Diploma of Performance, his second Diploma in two years.
Isabel and Laura received Encouragement Awards for Excellence.
All three are students of May Gavin. It is wonderful to have DCC represented by three wonderful students at this international event.
Instrumental Music Coordinator
DCC CAREERS EXPO
The Donvale Christian College Careers Expo is on Wednesday 24 May from 6:45 - 9:00pm. Over 20 tertiary institutions will be represented, including major Universities, TAFE's, Private Colleges and Christian Colleges. Students will also have the opportunity to attend 3 individual sessions presented by DCC parents and alumni, covering a wide variety of career options.
The Expo is predominantly for students in Years 9-12.
Add the date to your diary and plan to be there!
Careers and VET Coordinator