From the Principal

Welcome to the final newsletter of the term, believe it or not. A short Term has the habit of catching us out and before we know it’s over! It has been an extraordinarily busy term as we endeavoured to pack everything that usually happens in ten weeks down into eight. I hope everyone in the community has enjoyed the term as much as we have and that they have enough energy in store for the remaining two weeks as we look forward to finishing the term positively. I have no doubt that these two weeks will remain very busy as there is still much to achieve before we take a break.

During the past week there has been a number of activities taking place adding to the breadth of education our students are offered here at Salesian College Chadstone – activities that have included a bus load of musicians heading off on their annual Music Camp. Once again it was reported that the camp was very successful with all the boys having a great time. We thank all involved for the continued support for the music program. These activities take staff and students away from their classes and in some cases away from their families. We wish to thank them all for their commitment in undertaking these activities and ensuring the educational experience our students receive is diverse and of the highest quality. In particular I would like to thank the staff who give of their own time to accompany the boys on the camp and provide them with the tuition and support needed to improve their music.

Over the past week a number of staff have had the pleasure of interviewing the boys and their families who will join us next year. This job is always a positive undertaking as we get to meet some wonderful young men who will bring their own gifts and talents to continue the story of Salesian College Chadstone. The number of applications are up for this time last year; which is great news for the College. I would like to thank Mrs Mary Menz for all the work she does in welcoming the boys and families into our community especially at this time where it can be quite stressful for them. Also to all the staff who have given up their time either on Saturday morning or one of the evenings to undertake this vital task, it is very much appreciated.

Parent teacher interviews
I wish to thank in advance all the parents who will take time out of their busy schedules to join our teachers to celebrate the work of their sons and to look at ways of improving their learning either on Thursday or Tuesday evening. I would also like to thank our staff who make themselves available outside their normal working times to provide valuable feedback for their students. I hope all boys are able to take something from the feedback they receive to improve on their results.

For most of us the upcoming break provides a chance for a well-earned rest and a much needed change of pace. We hope that you are able to join us in reflecting on what has been a very busy, but purposeful beginning to the school year. I hope we can all look back on the term with a sense of satisfaction and pride. We thank God for all the joys, hopes and struggles that the new year has presented and we pray that as a community we will continue to celebrate our individual and collective successes, whilst working together through the tough times that come our way.

Within the holidays we celebrate Easter, the most significant week in the Christian calendar. Easter is a time we recall and celebrate the Easter Mystery, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The events of Easter are central to our Christian faith and the basis for our mission as a Catholic College of bringing our students to a deeper understanding and faith in Jesus as our God and Saviour. We hope all in the community have a reflective and Holy Easter, and that we all enjoy the break from our normal routine. We hope our students and their families take the time to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate Holy Week as it should be celebrated.

As we prepare for the break I ask that we reflect on how we can improve our performance and prepare ourselves for Term 2 and the remainder of the year. I would like to share a short story with the community for reflection. I was reading an article last week which was forwarded to me by a former student of mine who is currently working as a life coach. The article had a number of interesting points to make which I think are worth sharing with the community. The article was entitled ‘If you’re a nurse, don’t try to be a surgeon’. There is no intention on the author’s part to denigrate nurses who Ryan goes out his way to sing their praises rather the point is to focus solely on the task at hand. The author, Ryan, begins his piece reminding us of the pitfalls of getting ahead of ourselves and the possibility of crashing to the ground if and when we do. A sound reminder in an educational setting if you ask me. We witness this sort of behaviour all around us as a common occurrence, whether it be on a sporting field or more recently in political circles we regularly see people come crashing down to earth when they get ahead of themselves and stop doing the things that got them to where they are in the first place. This can also be true of students who allow a false sense of security to envelop them with one or two good outcomes under their belts who then choose to ease off their work ethic and effort. Soon they too, fall back to the pack.

Ryan follows with the advice that we need focus on our personal performance and working towards being content with our skill set and current behaviour and effort. There are times when for a variety of reasons we falter, make mistakes and perhaps take our eye off the ball. For some of us this can be the time we can feel sorry for ourselves and ask ourselves what’s the use? Falling back into bad habits. The feeling that comes after we have an ordinary day, get a poor SAC result or make a mistake. Ryan argues that we all need to develop the will and the capabilities to find a solution the next day.  He uses the often quoted saying we associate with sport ‘he/she is a champion, they won’t have two bad games/days in a row’. These people obviously pride themselves on their personal performance, on finding a way of getting to the bottom of the problem and fixing it immediately. They don’t point the finger or find excuses; they take full ownership for their own outcomes. He argues that success is something we strive for but personal performance is something we can implement daily. Ryan goes on to say that we should always look to improve and always look for ways we can expand our horizons, and I agree that the only way to do that is to operate outside our comfort zone.

Whether we’re a Year 7 student or a Year 12, whether we are a teacher or the Principal, it always pays to look at where you can have the most impact or influence. Or ask ourselves what do I want to achieve or what is the legacy I want to leave? We must remember that personal performance always comes before success, so if you’re in Year 7 get the best results you can in Year 7. If you’re in Year 12 get the best study score you can. Focus on what is at hand and avoid losing focus and drifting through year to year. Success is the combination of ingredients; if you start with performance, process and patience you are well on your way.

Have a great break and I look forward to bigger and better things next term.

God Bless.

Rob Brennan