When we produce or engage with something of quality there is the moment where we pause and allow its full depth to flow over us. Quality opens minds and doors to greater possibility. Having a habit of always striving for quality in what we do, enables us to continuously use our God given talents to build our capacity and have a strong sense of personal efficacy. Quality speaks gently and stands strongly.
Compass No. 569 May 2020
From the Principal
I have been continually impressed by the way parents, students and staff have engaged with learning and supported wellbeing, whether at home or at school. There has been a lot of creativity and commitment as people have worked together to provide the best possible experiences for our young people in this online learning environment. The appreciation expressed by students and parents to our teachers has been greatly appreciated and our senior students have led our community well through this time. I imagine that everyone enjoyed having a long weekend where we all could relax for that extra day. Thank you to you all for the extraordinary role each of you are playing.
We look forward to the return of our Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 students to the College campus on Monday. Families and senior students are encouraged to revisit the information sent earlier this week via email to ensure that they understand and meet the requirements that have been put into place to protect the health and safety of staff, students and parents on campus during this transition time. Parents are asked to take careful note of requirements to support social distancing between the adults in our community during drop off and pick up and where they need to enter the school grounds. Further detail regarding the day to day arrangements for senior students will be sent to them tomorrow afternoon via email.
Parents, students and staff across Prep to Year 12 also took the opportunity to connect for parent, teacher and student conferences this week via phone and for the Middle and Senior College a new videoconferencing app. Thank you to our teachers and families for using this opportunity to connect with each other to refine the learning that is occurring and for many, bravely trying another first for the College.
Mr Jim Tamvakis submitted his resignation at the end of last week. We appreciate the role that Mr Tamvakis has played in the short time he has been at the College and we wish him and his family every blessing for the future. Mr Tamvakis’ classes are currently being taught by a number of our Mathematics and Science staff. Continuity for students with teachers who are known to them has been important in this online environment and we thank these teachers for taking on these extra classes at this time. We have advertised this position this week and will keep families informed of decisions as we move forward.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mums on Sunday. Hopefully it is a day where you can slow down and enjoy your family sharing their love and appreciation for all you have been and are to them. We appreciate all that you do in making this a great community in which children can grow.
We thank God for all the blessings that He has given us through our mothers and pray that they know how much they are valued within their families and this community. May God equip us all to strive for quality in all that we do and are.
Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal
From the College Pastor
Quality is the thread we are looking at across the College these next two weeks and it is an interesting one to contemplate at the moment. When we hear that word ‘quality’, we might think of quality of life. How good or bad we may perceive our lifestyles to be. At the moment some of us might perceive our quality of life as diminished with no mass public gatherings or eating out at restaurants; many of the usual ways we interact with others are highly regulated and ruled out.
However, quality, as a value of our community at Pacific, takes on a different meaning. As you walk into the Main Reception at the College, behind the front desk is the list of values of our College and of Lutheran education. Quality is there close to the middle of the wooden panel, a value that is set in the context of forgiveness, love, service, appreciation and Christ. When viewed that way, quality has to do with doing our best, using the gifts and talents God has given us so that we can serve, help, bless and forgive others.
Being people of quality means valuing the gifts God has given us, no matter how big or small, so that we can serve and love others, especially those in need.
Pastor Tim Jarick, College Pastor
From the Director of Students
There are three reasons why I love being a teacher and neither has hierarchy over the other. In fact, each sustains and compliments the other. I love the fact no two days are ever the same, the passionate colleagues I get to work with and the vibrant, curious, creative and innovative students I get to connect with on a daily basis. It would be fair to say that the sudden change to our lives, and particularly for school communities, has been dramatic. Yet, in amongst all the chaos, there has been a calmness from the entire Pacific community to ensure a smooth transition to online learning. As a community we have collectively tapped into our innovative selves. In 2005, Steve Jobs suggested innovation could be summed up like this; “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. Fundamentally, focusing on the Pacific culture has enabled our community to transition into what has been described by many journalists as the ‘new normal’. Whilst much has changed, crucially it is the maintenance of connections which has not, and this will continue to see us flourish into the future.
Unequivocally, research informs us that human connection and having a sense of belonging is what most supports our mental health and wellbeing. Consequently, whilst we have not been able to connect face to face, there has been an incredible range of activities to maintain relationships, support wellbeing and engage students in rigorous learning. This has included PCG ‘bake-offs’, joke sharing, inspirational videos and images, interactive lessons, collaborative, small group discussions online, brain breaks, bush breaks, scavenger hunts and creative Science experiments to name a few.
I look forward to the day when all students are back on campus and trust the dots we have connected during this time are reminders of why we are so lucky.
Mr Ben Ryan, Director of Students
From the Head of Staff and Students P-5
Thank you again for your continued support as we move into the next phase of schooling. As per the advice provided by the government last weekend, we look forward to welcoming back our Prep and Year 1 students on Monday. It will be fantastic to have you back and we look forward to the return of further students in the upcoming weeks.
In these unusual circumstances, we have been continually examining ways in which we can connect as community. In addition to the use of online learning platforms and emails, Year 4 and 5 classes have begun to experiment with the use of Microsoft Teams as a way to boost connection and communication. Microsoft Teams will not replace Nav, instead it will foster stronger connections between teachers and students through video and audio.
We thank students, parents and staff for their engagement in parent teacher conferences this week. I have heard many positive messages from staff and we thank you again for the way in which you have supported and continue to support the College by guiding your child’s learning during this phase.
Our Year 3 classes have enhanced connections with students contributing to a blog and providing information regarding where they have been learning, what they have enjoyed, what they have been challenged by and also messages of support. I was lucky to be the first to contribute to this blog and have thoroughly enjoyed watching the interaction and contributions from our Year 3 students.
Our wonderful Prep students have also been busy constructing a Mother’s Day chapel for the Junior College on Friday. We thank them for their organisation and we wish all the mothers in and connected to our community a wonderful day on Sunday.
Mr Damian Davis, Head of Staff and Students P-5
Food for Thought
COVID-19 has resulted in new opportunities and challenges for those supporting and caring for young people in our community.
Remember, nobody is going to get this perfectly right. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time, if we can model self-compassion talking about our experiences and looking after ourselves to young people, they are more likely to practice this themselves.
Mrs Annie Williams, College Counsellor
'Geronimo Stilton' by Geronimo Stilton
‘Geronimo Stilton’ is a fantastic series about a mouse who is a journalist. He would prefer to live a quiet life, but he keeps getting involved in adventures that take him around the world with his sister Thea, cousin Trap and nephew Ben. Our eBook collection has more than 25 of these wonderful titles.
Activity idea – Check out the online world of Geronimo Stilton. There are games and lots of fun activities to try (you will need to select English as your chosen language): https://geronimostilton.com/WW-en/guarda/.
Fun fact – The ‘Geronimo Stilton’ books are written in Italian and translated to English
'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson
Escape to the Amazon jungle with Maia. Maia is sent to live with her awful aunt, uncle and twin cousin girls when her parents die. She is surprised that this family live in such as amazing place, on a house along the Amazon River, but she doesn’t want to explore it or connect with the people who live there. Maia is soon caught up in the mystery of a missing boy and helps uncover an amazing scientific discovery.
Activity idea – Check out the Amazon Aerobotany project on Zooniverse: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/rainforestexpeditions/amazon-aerobotany. You can help scientists’ study both the Amazon rainforest trees and the living populations in them. Help the scientist by categorising and tagging the drone-captured images of the Amazon canopy.
'Day Zero' by Kelly deVos
‘Day Zero’ has all the destruction, terror and political unrest you would expect from a book about the end of civilisation as we know it. Jinx doesn’t much care for politics, history or who won the recent election. She’d rather focus on her upcoming campaign in her favourite computer game. But then she, her younger brother and her step-sister are caught up in one of five building explosions that sends the population into a terror-driven run on the banks. When her step-father is arrested for the explosions and her mother is taken as part of the investigation, Jinx knows their only chance of survival is finding her father, a doomsday survivalist expert, a computer genius and best friend of the man who is currently trying to hunt her down.
Activity idea – Learn more about the author on her website at: https://www.kellydevos.us/ and check out the YA Scavenger Hunt she is currently running.
Ms Madison Dearnaley, Teacher Librarian
Our College Captains and some of their fellow classmates have put together a video to share how their online learning experience has been so far!
The Uniform Shop will be open Wednesday – Friday mornings from 8.00am to 9.30am for all returning students in Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 as well as students in other grades of essential workers. As per the government guidelines regarding social distancing, only one family will be allowed in the shop at any one time. Please be mindful of this and allow extra time to make purchases. EFTPOS is also preferred.
Flexischool uniform orders are still open: www.flexischools.com.au.
Orders placed online can be collected from the Wellbeing Centre (for Year 6-12) and the Prep – Year 5 class pigeon holes. An email will be sent to the contact on the Flexischool order when it is ready for collection.
Year 11 and 12 students will require blazers and trousers (for male winter uniform) upon their return to school. The female winter uniform (trousers and blouses) is also available for purchase. When wearing trousers, navy or black trouser socks are required to be worn.
Sports and formal jumpers are available for purchase in store and online.
Mrs Peta King, Uniform Shop Convenor