From the Acting Co-Principal

Relationships and Community

We have come to a very important juncture in the term and the academic year. For many of us there has been a tough slog through the winter months and we look forward to the seasons of light and warmth ahead. Similarly for our senior boys, they have been working hard through a steady stream of SACs and other assessments and are ready to brace themselves for the downhill slope to their examinations. For many boys this final effort will be tough and they may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet. It is at those moments when the support of parents and teachers and the encouragement to keep going despite the obstacles makes the most difference. Several experienced senior teachers commented at a recent meeting that this moment in time is critical for Year 12 boys and that small improvements and special efforts now can make a significant difference to the final outcomes. In the midst of those preparations and focus will come the sunshine moments as they finish their time at the College in celebration together with their parents and staff who have supported them through their journey. We wish the Year 12s well as they start this final push towards the November exam period.

I would like to thank the large number of parents who took up the opportunity to meet with staff at the Report Nights and to receive feedback on their son’s progress. These are very important occasions in the continued process of improvement and learning. A partnership of staff, students and parents together can make significant differences in a student’s learning when there is common agreement on goals, strategies and honest evaluation of the current status. I hope the feedback you received will be useful in making further improvements in your son’s education. I encourage all parents to make full use of the ongoing, real-time access to student results and information on SIMON via the Parent Access Module (PAM). Parents do not have to wait until a scheduled night such as the Report Night to contact teachers, a continuous dialogue and open communication with information shared is our desire for all boys and their families.

There have been wonderful opportunities for Salesian boys to be involved in all manner of activities in recent weeks. One of the highlights for me was a joy filled evening I had at the College Production of “You Can’t Take It With You” (written by Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman). Salesian staff and students, in association with Sacred Heart Girls College Oakleigh, put on a wonderfully entertaining show which gave our boys the opportunity to show their talents and to take a risk in performing in front of an audience at the Clayton Community Centre Theatrette. As the show went on, all of the performers grew in confidence and they were rightly heartily acclaimed by the audience on the night I attended. A big thank you to the large number of Salesian College staff who took on extra responsibilities in getting the show up during the last couple of weeks in the absence of Mr Croft.

The Year 9 boys are currently undertaking community service placements as a part of the Friday Bosco Program at various places around the city. We know that our boys display great community spirit and are fantastic ambassadors for our College. We have received some feedback this week from people who have seen them at work on these placements. The following was received from a member of the extended community…

“I just wanted to write to commend the four Salesian boys that worked with me last Friday. They were fantastic, we worked in the garden moving 2 metres of soil into 3 new community garden beds. They were extremely polite and worked well together “throwing” in the occasional joke.”

And from another person…

“I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I chatted to a couple of the Salesian yr 9 boys today who were working at the Salvation Army in Oakleigh as part of their elective.  We were curious what subject they were doing to be working at the Salvos as we have our son going to your school in 2016.  The boys were very helpful and through in explaining the electives and very polite.  It was a pleasure to talk to them.”

Congratulations to all our boys who exemplify the Salesian spirit of selflessness and maintain such high standards even when teachers or parents are not present. They are a credit to their families and their school.

On Friday of this week the College will celebrate Fathers’ Day with Mass and a breakfast. The Parents’ Association is again assisting with the catering for this event and it has become a wonderful addition to our Calendar of events in recent years. We are hoping as many fathers, grandfathers and other significant males in the lives of our boys are able to join us for this wonderful gathering.

Like many of our significant days and celebrations, Father’s Day risks being hijacked by commercial interests and for many it is about what we buy that is important. I would argue that the greatest gift that anyone can give their father, and indeed that any father can give his son or daughter, is the gift of time. The opportunity to take even a very short time to spend with their sons is a valuable one for fathers and sometimes we do not know the difference that time can make in terms of our relationship with our sons.

During Week 9 of the term we also look forward to Community Week where our boys and staff celebrate a fun week of games, liturgy and togetherness. This week will culminate in Community Day on Friday 11 September with our annual Walkathon, Community Day Cup and Community Day Mass.

John Visentin
Acting Co-Principal