2018 From the Principal

I would like to extend a very warm welcome back to all the students and their families in the Salesian College Chadstone Community for the 2018 school year. In particular, a very special welcome to all our new students and their families. We welcome 226 Year 7 students and 18 boys from Year 8 to 12 who now begin their Salesian education. I hope all students have had a good break and are ready to take up the challenges the new school year presents.

Whilst we have generally made a good start to the year with the vast majority of the boys settling back in to the routine of the school day, I feel there is a small minority of our boys who need reminding of the expectations we have of all boys in the community. With 1060 boys commencing the year with us, it is imperative that our basic rules and values are respected to ensure we maintain a productive and joy filled learning environment. To this end there will be a number of new initiatives implemented over the year that we believe will assist us in further improving the learning culture of the College. Each of these will be introduced formally at the time of implementation, with communication to both the boys and our parents.

Reflection on the VCE results of 2017 provides a means of informing our practice to make improvements where needed. The Class of 2017 provided a mixed bag when it came to the overall results. A number of individuals performed well and are deservedly very pleased with their results. These boys will be recognised by the community next week at our upcoming Dux Assembly. There was also a group of boys whose results fell slightly short of the criteria to be recognised at the Dux Assembly, however, their efforts are also noteworthy. A number of boys will reflect on their results knowing they were capable of much more. This is the challenge for all in the community. The highlights for the Class of 2017 included 11% of the boys achieving an ATAR score of above 90. The Dux for the year was Kevin Tat with an ATAR score of 96.1. Five percent of study scores for the Class of 2017 were above 40, which is down on previous years’ performance. The vast majority of our boys received offers of university places, with close to 50% attaining their first or second choice and nearly 100% receiving a first round offer. The College would like to congratulate all boys on their results, and we wish them well as they move on to the next stage in their lives. We also extend our congratulations to all schools (in particular all Catholic schools) for their achievements and their great work with their students.

Last Friday, the College Community celebrated the Opening School Mass, where we welcomed in the new school year. Included in our celebrations was the welcoming ceremony for new staff and students. All new students were presented with a College and House badge. All new staff received a framed copy of the Salesian Charter, having received their College and House badges at our Staff Mass. We also inducted the 2017 Year 10 and 11 College Leaders. It was a wonderful gathering, full of pomp and ceremony. We will gather on a number of occasions over the next few weeks as we launch the school year and celebrate the achievements of 2017.

Next Tuesday the College will run Information Evenings for our parents to highlight our plans for the coming year. We hope to meet with all our parents at this time to ensure all families are well informed on a number of very exciting educational initiatives, and to remind all in the community of our expectations. On Thursday we will gather for the 2018 Dux Assembly, where we will recognise the outstanding achievements of the students of the Class of 2017 and the fine achievements of boys from all other year levels from last year. We extend an invitation to all in our community to join us for these celebrations.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, a group of teachers took the Year 12 cohort up to Camp Rutherford for their retreat. Most of the boys entered into the program with maturity and enthusiasm providing an environment for a very positive gathering. The boys certainly appeared to enjoy themselves and gained much from the program. I congratulate all boys for their participation in the retreat and thank all staff in attendance for giving of their time for the boys.

Year 7 boys were also on Camp, and I look forward to hearing about their experiences on their return.

The College would like to welcome the following staff, who either join us for the first time or are returning after a long break from the College.

Kat Barnett Admin/Learning Support
Bonnie Bin Hu Librarian
Samantha Carey Oratory, RE, English, Humanities
Heath Chipperfield Oratory, RE, English, Humanities
Simon Dorrat Maths and Digital Technology
Inder Gill English, Humanities and RE
Grace Hattingh Oratory, RE, English, Humanities
Stephanie Lai Itinerant Music
Christina Leamonis LSO
Abby Milesi Maths/Science
Rosa Salemme Italian
Timothy Swayn Counsellor
Bob Synadinos Technology
Molly Tilley Food Technology
Rachel Timos Media
Alvin Zhang LOTE, Maths & Humanities

Anne Garofalo also rejoins us after a year of leave, and Mr Stephen Beckham after a period of long service leave.

Making the Most of 2018

Now that the holidays have ended and all the festivities are over, we are left to face the New Year. Whilst the emotions we have will differ, I hope all of us are looking forward tot he year with a sense of hope and anticipation. Pondering a new year can be somewhat daunting and can bring a sense of anxiety as we face the unknown, however, it can also be a time of great joy and excitement as we start anew, with the chance to get things right, make changes or just look forward to the new experiences and people that we will encounter. It can be a time to set in place new things to learn and do, or it can be a time of consolidation of things you are already passionately pursuing. Another alternative might be to simply contemplate where you have reached in life so far. Whatever your preferred approach to the New Year, it is great to start feeling refreshed and focused, ready to get back into things you are working on or to get started on new things. Here are a few ideas to give you a boost. I make the following suggestions, which may help you to put the year ahead in to focus to increase your chances of making a positive start to the year.

Consciously put away holiday things: When the holidays are over, we can often leave things lying around that remind of us the holidays and the things we might rather be doing. For me, this means putting away the golf clubs and letting go of the thought of going for ‘a hit’ any day I wish. For you, it might be adjusting the alarm back to school day mode, or setting the record button on TV shows that are on too late to watch during the working week. Whatever it is, mentally we have to surround ourselves with the things that will remind us we are back to work.

Look over your New Year’s goals: Write the list out on a planner, chart or calendar where you can make notes. In order to get your goals underway, it’s probable that you’ll need to do some planning and organizing, and perhaps even some purchasing. It helps your focus to make notes and lists to direct your efforts in starting new habits. For example, is there any gear, equipment, food, clothing, etc. needed to start your new fitness/eating/exercise/sleeping regime? In some cases, breaking down the goals into short term and long term milestones is necessary to ensure you don’t flag in your willpower. Write down any milestones you think will work for you.

Focus on organization: If you’re already wonderfully organized, skip this step. But many people aren’t, and this can inhibit feeling like the new year is a fresh start.

Create a study plan so you can commit to a timeline each week.

Clean your work or study space: Are there piles of papers and books on your desk? Clean the area up so it is conducive to doing the work needed for success. Going back to work or college/school after the holiday break can leave you feeling a little out of sorts. Tidying up your desk, locker, backpack, or whatever else you have where stuff accumulates can help you to feel refreshed for the new year. Throw out last year’s junk and file away important information where it belongs.

For backpacks, laptop carriers and other bags, don’t carry around unnecessary items! Things you don’t need in your bag is clutter that increases the bulk and weight of it, and might scratch items like laptops, phones and valuables.

Relax more: If you’re not in the habit of relaxing, start the new year with a resolution to add this important activity (or lack of activity) to your life from now on. Set a little time aside for doing the things you enjoy doing, but not at the expense of your study.

Reflect over the past year: Think about things you would like to do better this year; new things you would like to try, people you would like to make amends with or start over with. Have you achieved the things you wanted to in the past year? What specific things would you like to change or redirect? Asking yourself questions about progress, change and where you want to be right now can help to keep your perspective fresh, giving you new motivation to make this year a more fulfilling one.

Now that that you have set your New Years’ goals, how do you go about fulfilling them?

Just try your best. Just think of the past, the mistakes you made, and when you think hard, they will all come to you. Think of the things you regret. Most importantly, think of how to avoid them in the future.

What if the New Year does not go well?

A year is just a human-created calendar, there is nothing that special about the year itself. Things are bound to go wrong some Januaries, and go right on others. Try not to lump everything that is happening to you into the one negative basket. Surely something nice is happening amid the bad stuff? Try to be positive, hold your head up high and make all attempts to get back on track, following the direction you wish to follow. Try a hundred percent most of the time, and learn from mistakes. Things will and do go wrong in life, the best-laid plans go astray and starting over is a standard reality for many a human being. You can start over right now, in the morning or whenever it pleases you. There’s no need to be hung up on the calendar.

What is the best way to plan out a New Year’s resolution and choose one?

Resolutions and plans are made in every year start but usually we forget our all commitments and resolutions. Strengthen your willpower enough so that you can practice your resolutions. Making difficult resolutions will do nothing but misguide you, and soon be in vain. So, choose or create your resolutions very carefully in relation to your environment and your life. Divide your resolutions into incremental stages, then it will be easier for you to follow them.

Good luck and enjoy the year.

Rob Brennan