Back Into Lockdown
The main consolation in going into another Lockdown is that we have been here before and we know that we can do this well. You will find in this Newsletter a Webex timetable for classes which was also given to students on Thursday.
If you require your child to be at school due to one of the outlined categories, please call or email the College. Students coming to school, or travelling on buses will be required to wear a face mask at all times.
Welcome Mr Calvert
This week we welcomed Mr. Calvert as a full member of staff for the remainder of the year. This teaching position will allow us to provide our students with extra support in science and maths which is fantastic. I am sure everyone will make Mr. Calvert feel very welcome.
$10 Million Budget Announcement
Since the phone call last Thursday notifying us of the 10 million dollar budget announcement by the State Government, things have been a bit of a whirlwind. Mrs. McCormick, Mrs. Swanton and I attended a compulsory briefing for 2-hours on Tuesday morning, outlining the very strict processes that we must follow to ensure that works are well-planned and underway in very specific time frames.
The first stage requires us putting together an educational philosophy in the form of an Asset Management Plan which is due in less than 3 weeks. This will require input from students, parents, staff and School Council and is used to help guide the architects’ work. We will be making contact with families through our staff family mentors over the next week or two to get your feedback. We will also be providing forums for student and staff input.
As we have said previously, this is an unexpected and unbelievable opportunity for our school and community and one that we need to ensure we get the very best value out of. It is unlikely that a spend of this size will happen again in the foreseeable future. On Wednesday of this week, the Leadership Team went to visit Hopetoun P-12 College through our educational partnership, and we were able to have a look at the masterplan for their works which were announced in November of last year. Very clearly, we have some exciting times ahead.
Year 11 and 12 Outdoor Ed Camp - Anglesea
On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, our Year 11 and 12 Outdoor Education students travelled and camped in Anglesea. This camp is designed to allow the students to see and put their theory into action, and the students were able to participate in some mountain bike riding and surfing. Thanks to Mr. Knight and Miss. Griffith, who took the students on the camp, and to former teacher, Mr. Colin Macgowan, who was able to provide his local knowledge and experience to the students.
Staff Professional Development - Monday
On Monday, all teaching staff and some ES staff travelled to Horsham to participate in the West Grampian Network Conference. Ryan Dunn was the keynote speaker, with the focus for the day on how can we look at an ongoing method of improving teacher capability in the classroom. We all talk about a constant improvement cycle, and Ryan was able to break this down into simple and achievable steps that can be used, without creating ‘extra’ work.
Term Break Day
Over the past few weeks the Student Representative Council, in consultation with the staff, have been looking into a mid-term break to recognise that we are still coming out of the effects of last year’s lock down, and to celebrate the end of a semester’s work. Unfortunately, due to the current lock down, this activity will have to be put on the back burner until our situation becomes clearer.
Keith Brown was a student at St Arnaud High School from 1939 to 1946, and recently returned to visit the school and the town that he grew up in. Keith has travelled widely upon leaving St. Arnaud and he has an amazing story to share.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
I was six years of age when I entered Primary School and twelve when I entered High School in 1939. The class then totalled 23. High School was much more organised and there were two ‘houses’ and students were allocated to one or the other to provide sporting teams to play each other or visiting teams from other schools. Behind the main school building was the Sloyd Centre where boys were introduced to wood working tools while girls attended Domestic Science classes at another site.
But times were difficult. England was at war with Germany and Australia was increasing its military strength. Older students were volunteering for military service and those remain were learning how to make camouflage nets, collect metal scraps for recycling, learn first aid and help collect donations for charities. In December 1941, Japan entered the war by attacking Pearl Harbour in the Hawaiian Islands. At the end of 1941, the class numbers had dropped to 7.
Compulsory military service was introduced for defence of Australia and its territories such as Papua New Guinea. As a result several privately owned businesses closed and students were needed to staff family businesses and to work on family farms. Students were encouraged to work on fruit farms at Shepparton during the long vacation. Food and clothing was rationed as was petrol, and some vehicles were fitted with a charcoal fuelled gas cylinder in lieu of petrol.
At the end of second term in 1942 I applied for and was appointed to a position as a Telegraph Messenger at the Post Office in Donald, but transferred to St. Arnaud Post Office in 1943. The position required the occupant to work seven nights one week operating the local telephone exchange, and the following week delivering mail and telegrams. Telegrams were received in morse code and converted to script. Those from the Department of Defence required the recipient to sign for receipt since the text advised the recipient that his son was missing in action, wounded or had been killed.
However, the Telegraph Messenger had one day off for having worked seven nights, and a half day off as he worked Saturday morning. With the approval of the Headmaster, and the teachers, I recommenced High School attending each day when working night shift and a day and a half the alternate week. Thanks to the patience of the staff I received my Intermediate Certificate in 1943. In mid 1944 I left the Post Office, resumed full time study, and received my Leaving Certificate. In 1945 I failed Matriculation (Year 12) so returned in 1946 to attain this qualification.
Thanks to the teachers at both the Primary School and High School, I was fortunate to experience a wonderful career, initially as a Minister in the Anglican Diocese of St. Arnaud, later in the Department of External Affairs (now DFAT), and finally in Government House in Canberra.
Technology, none of which existed in the 1940’s, has changed the world. Computers, mobile phones, ball-point pens, i-pads, e-mails, ensure that current students have access to knowledge nor readily available in the 1940’s.
Whatever the future, I can only suggest to students that they do the best they can, with what they have, in the place they find themselves, in the time they have. Remember, we only pass this way once.
On May 23th we left St. Arnaud at 3 o’clock and later arrived at Anglesea a little after 6 o’clock. Once we got there we began to unpack the bus and set up camp.