Religious Freedom Review
On the 22nd November 2017 the Prime Minister appointed an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion. The terms of reference and the Panel members can be viewed at: https://www.pmc.gov.au/domestic-policy/religious-freedom-review
Submissions to the Panel closed on 14 February and will be published by 31 March 2018, if those submitting approve. The Panel received 16,000 submissions.
Consultation Committee Meetings are being held around the country with key stakeholders and small groups to give people the chance to share their views openly and honestly with the panel in a respectful and safe environment.
I encourage all our parents to keep abreast of this review, and wherever possible to ensure your voice is being heard. The college is a member of Christian Schools Australia (CSA) who released their submission to the public. I have included their key points below.
“We have finalised our joint submission with Adventist Schools Australia to the Expert Panel on Religious Freedom chaired by the Hon Phillip Ruddock.
The submission calls for a number of changes including:
- the appointment of a dedicated ‘Freedoms Commissioner’ to publicly champion and advocate for religious and other freedoms;
- an immediate redefinition of ‘discrimination’ in Commonwealth law to recognise that not all differentiation is discrimination and to ensure a balancing of rights;
- legislating for a range of positive protections for religious freedom. These are along the lines proposed during the discussion of changes to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) and effectively referred to this Panel for consideration.
The positive protections sought have been identified during the extensive discussion and consideration of religious freedom issues during the recent ‘marriage debate’. They include protections and provisions:
- relating to the use of the facilities of a Christian school for marriage ceremonies;
- to guide the determination of the beliefs of a religious body by a judicial body;
- that clearly state the Commonwealth’s intention to ‘cover the field’;
- guaranteeing free speech where it does not threaten or harass another person or group;
- securing the charitable status of religious bodies and schools;
- shielding continued education funding for Christian schools; and that
- ensure ‘believers’ can continue to act on their beliefs”
Our college is committed to our vision of ‘Growing in Christ’ and ensuring all our students grow up with strong Christian values and knowledge. All the staff members we employ are practicing Christians and committed to our Christian faith. If you would like to discuss this further and how we operate in our school, then please email me on [email protected] or ring me at the college.
Bullying in Schools
Last week the Prime Minister raised the issue of bullying in schools and strongly supports the National Day against Bullying and Violence (NDA). “We believe all students have the right to be safe at school. Bullying and violence have no place in Australia,” Prime Minister Turnbull wrote. At ACCM we are strongly believe that bullying should not exist in schools at all, just as it should not be part of your workplace.
This morning, the front page of the Courier Mail spoke of the number of students doubling who undertake Home Schooling in Queensland. I am not sure they even bothered to look at or consider the large number of students in Queensland DE schools.
Many of our parents starting DE talk about their children having an unhappy time in Day Schools. Many are bullied. Many have their learning needs unmet. Others want to be part of their children’s education and others want a distinctive Christian curriculum and Christian environment for their children to thrive in. I do not believe, like the newspaper, that DE is an escape out of a difficult situation, nor that we hide our children away from learning how to handle these situations. DE allows our students to mature at their own pace, to develop social skills at their own pace and in a positive supportive environment at home. One thing is certain; there is almost no bullying of DE students. When these students come together on Activity Days, functions or camps (as the seniors recently enjoyed on Moreton Island Senior Camp), bullying does not suddenly start again. DE enables our children to learn relationships closely from adults and siblings they love. As social confidences grow then our students possibility of being bullied diminishes.
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL UPDATE
We are now into the second half of first term and autumn is here. We have all been very thankful to have air-conditioned offices during the weeks so far while we all battle the heat. We are of course, extremely grateful for the rain that has been falling in places that have desperately needed it for so long.
Students are well into their classwork and working on various assessment tasks and it won’t be long until exams will be looming. It is important to see students going about their academic business: studying, organising their time, revising their work and looking further ahead to what is coming up in future classes. One of the most important skills students working in online courses must acquire and develop in this contemporary age is the ability to self-manage and be responsible for their learning. This means learning for learning’s sake rather than just to pass a test or complete a task. Independence in the learning environment will set students up very well for life after school, whether that be in tertiary study or in the workforce. It is extremely important for students to make good use of their time each day, not leaving lessons and assessments to be done at the last minute. I am heartened to see students working enthusiastically and diligently. Teachers are always on hand to help students and I encourage all students to make use of that resource while continually challenging themselves as well.
Early in February, we had a wonderful turnout for the inter-house swimming carnival. Thank you to those students and parents who supported the carnival and thanks to the three Senior School students who volunteered to be DE’s sports captains for the day. They worked hard in fostering team spirit and encouraging students to swim. A special thank you to Mr Nathan Sheumack, our new Sports Coordinator and his team of staff for their work to ensure a smoothly run day. Congratulations to all students who participated and placed in races. Congratulations also to those students who were successful in making it to districts and even regionals. Participation is the key to having a fun day; a few excellent swimmers cannot make up for large numbers who want to just have a go. House carnivals are not just for the talented swimmers to make their way into district or regional teams; they are about building spirit and identity amongst students and making new friends. I encourage DE students to get involved in all the carnivals this year. Cross Country is next coming up early in Term 2. Take the chance to get involved!
Schools are very quickly becoming data rich environments, enabling teachers and schools in general to make informed decisions to improve quality teaching and learning to benefit student engagement and outcomes. One of the data methods used at ACC is NAPLAN. NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills which are developed over time through the school curriculum. It is important to keep in mind that NAPLAN captures a single moment in time in a student’s performance. The NAPLAN tests are scheduled for 15, 16 and 17 May. Information has been emailed to parents. I encourage as many Yr 3, 5, 7 and 9 student's to participate in these tests. Contact the college if you have questions about how this will work for your child.
In addition to NAPLAN the College uses PAT (Progressive Achievement Test) testing. With so much data and information available to schools, it is important we never lose sight of what our goal is - Is your child progressing forward and working to their potential?
Finally, Year 10, 11 and 12 students returned from Moreton Island last Friday. I’ve heard that the camp was a great success and lifelong memories were made as well as friendships. Past students constantly remember camps as one of their best memories. Our Year 5-7 and Year 8-9 camps are coming up next term. Don’t let your children miss these wonderful experiences. Registered numbers are currently quite low. We would hate to have to cancel these valuable events.
CALENDAR REMINDERS & IMPORTANT DATES
Please remember to visit our website calendar to find up-to-date information about events and other school happenings.
Click 'Google Calendar' to have our events display in your own calendar.
TERM ONE 2018
(10 Weeks) Wednesday 24th January - Thursday 29th March
- Students Return: 24th January
- Australia Day (Office closed): 26th January
- Swimming Carnival: 8th February
- Senior Camp (Year 10, 11 & 12): 27th February - 2nd March
- Science - Under the Sea Virtual Excursion - 14th March
TERM TWO 2018
(10 Weeks) Monday 16th April - Friday 22nd June
- Students Return: Monday 16th April
- Cross Country: 20th April
- ANZAC Day (Office closed): 25th April
- Junior Camp (Yr 5-7): 30th April - 2nd May
- Middle School Camp (Yr 8-9): 30th April - 2nd May
- Labour Day (Office closed): 7th May
- NAPLAN Testing: 15th - 17th May
- 4-12 Athletics Carnival: 21st June
- P-3 Athletics Carnival: 22nd June
TERM THREE 2018
(10 Weeks) Monday 16th July - Friday 21st September
- Students Return: Monday 16th July
- EKKA Holiday: 13th August
- QLD Core Skills Test (Year 12s): 4th and 5th September
TERM FOUR 2018
(9 Weeks) Monday 8th October - Thursday 6th December
- Students Return: Monday 9th October
- Student Free Dates: 15th October & 7th December
- Brisbane Awards and Graduation Ceremony: TBA
- Senior Formal: TBA
- Last day for Year 12 students: TBA
- Cambodia Discovery Tour (Yr 11 students): Dates TBA
A daily, aloud reading of the passage usually ensures that the student knows the passage by the end of the month. Please adjust the size of the passage to meet your child’s age and abilities. Most secondary students usually complete the whole passage.
Below is a listing of all the Scripture verses for the 2018 year.
1 Chronicles 16:8-15
STUDENT WITHDRAWAL NOTICE
Six-weeks term notice (this does not include school holidays) is required for withdrawal of students. For students in Years 11 and 12, a semester’s notice must be given. Insufficient notice will result in additional fees being charged. Families must complete the Student Exit Form to initiate the withdrawal process.
STUDENT ID CARDS
If you wish to receive a Student ID card for 2018, please fill out this form. You will need to have passport quality photos ready to attach for each student. The photo must be well lighted, and have a plain background (no trees, or snazzy wallpapers).
2018 CAMP DATES
The College camp program provides a wonderful opportunity for students in Junior, Middle and Senior College to commence the new school year in a positive and fun-filled manner.
For any enquires regarding camps, please contact our camps coordinator, Paul Gandini ([email protected])
Term 2 - Year 8-9 Camp: PGL Kindilan
In Term 2, the Year 8-9 camp will be held at PGL Adventures. Just 45 minutes from Brisbane, PGL Kindilan occupies a beautiful, 220 acre bushland site in Redland Bay, zoned a Conservation Area in South East Queensland. A range of options provide accommodation for up to 300, from Kindilan House itself, to our unique roundhouses and lodges. There is a wide range of exciting adventure activities to keep guests busy, plus plenty of facilities to enjoy.
This is a 3 day camp and runs from the 30th April to the 2nd May 2018 and the cost of the camp is just $241. All other information will be finalised and announced soon.
Term 2 - Year 5-7 Camp: Apex Mudjimba
In Term 2 the Year 5-7 camp will be held at Apex Mudjimba. Apex is a fantastic destination for any school camp. It is located on the breathtaking Sunshine Coast and nestled between the pristine beach and the spectacular Maroochy River and Conservation Park. Apex provides an array of amazing activities that are designed to be fun, challenge students, and build leadership and teamwork skills. Their facilities are all at a high standard to insure all students are safe and having a great time!
This camp runs for 3 days from the 30th April to the 2nd May 2018 and the cost of the camp will be somewhere between $240-$280.
CAMBODIA DISCOVERY TOUR 2018
Complete this expression of interest form: https://accmoreton.wufoo.eu/forms/cambodia-discovery-tour-expression-of-interest/
Year 5 Science
In Week 2 the students were asked to create their own 3D model showing how the sun, the earth and the moon move in relation to one another. They were also asked to include information about how long it takes to complete any revolutions (e.g. the earth circling the sun) and rotations (e.g. the earth turning on its axis). Here are some creative ways they approached this task.
SENIOR SCHOOL UPDATE
This week our Year 10, 11 and 12 students, and eleven staff, will set out on an adventure to Moreton Island. This camp is our yearly opportunity to get to know each other outside of the usual school environment. Students gain valuable insight into both others and themselves during these types of activities and as our leaders, learn things that only experience can teach.
Our aim this camp is for each student to learn something new about themselves and each other. It is also the perfect opportunity for students to create lifelong memories and build relationships that often extend beyond school. It is important that we always see our students as more than just learners of academic knowledge, but also life long learners. Camps teach us that the classroom is only one place where we can learn and life is full of learning opportunities – everywhere!
As I am preparing for camp tonight, I am reminded of so many Senior Celebrations where I have heard student after student give speeches that include “...one of my favourite memories was our camp....”. I pray that as we head to Moreton Island this week that each of the students we take with us will be blessed by the experience and take back with them life-long memories and friendships that will bless them for far longer than the four days we are gone.
So here I would like to say thank you to all the parents and care-givers for sending your Senior students to camp with us. This has been the biggest camp we’ve ever put together and it would not be possible without your commitment and sacrifice to send them. We acknowledge the importance of your support and thank you for all that you do!
Head of Senior School
Recently a video was shared with me that I found encouraging and I hope and pray you find it helpful too. Here is the transcript:
Parenting Teens summed up in 90 seconds (by John Shipp)
“Imagine you are on a rollercoaster. You sit down in the seat and the first thing that happens is that some guy comes around and sort of pushes down on the lap safety bar, securing it in place. If you’re like me, the first thing you do is you grab that bar, you push it, you prod it, you wiggle it, you test it. Now think about it…. Do you push and prod and test and wiggle that bar hoping that it will give, hoping that it will fail, leading to your inevitable death as you splat on the pavement? Of course not! You push it and you prod it and you test it hoping, confirming, that it will hold.
Listen to me! That teen in your life is doing the exact same thing. They are pushing and prodding you and testing you, hoping and confirming you will hold. At a time in their life when so many things are uncertain, they need to know that you are certain. At a time in their life when there are so many things that are unstable, they need to know you are stable. At a time when many things are erratic, they need to know that you are consistent. So good news! If the teen in your life pushes you, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person, or an imbecile, or doing it all wrong or messing things up or saying the wrong things. It simply means you are dealing with a teenager.”
Teens need their parents to encourage, guide and put boundaries in place for them. This is a time when they are looking to you for security and safety as they navigate this new time in their lives. As parents, our children are gifts from God and we should be so grateful for the opportunity to mould and shape them into adulthood. However, it’s not an easy road and there will be many tears and tantrums along the way. Prayer, patience, support and endurance are needed. As the bible puts it
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us"
VET in Schools
In 2017, we had 66 students who undertook Vocational Education and Training courses as part of their senior studies. It was so encouraging seeing our students succeed and the maturity it has given them as they prepare for the world of work. Here is one of our Year 12 on campus students, Zoe Clements, celebrating her graduation from a dual qualification, Cert II Events/Cert III Tourism through TAFE Qld. She is now volunteering one day a week in the College Office helping with administration and events.
Head of Student Services
SOCIAL FIELD PROGRAM
ACC understands that DE involves more than just academics, which is why we encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities that are offered by our school, as well as other activities around your region.
Wide Bay Activity Day
ACC Distance Education students in the Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast regions travelled to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre not far from Bargara, to witness turtle hatchlings emerge from their nests and make their way to the ocean. At first we saw eleven then more appeared as they got closer and closer to the water. It was incredible to hold these little creatures and marvel at God’s amazing creation.
Toowoomba Activity Day
Many thanks to Sue Fraser and Marion Dore for another great activity day in Toowoomba on the 12th of February. Mrs Sue Fraser took the secondary students through crucial study skills such as reading rubrics and task sheets, as well as practical advice for getting and keeping a part time jobs. Mrs Marion Dore returned to run short drama classes, and the whole day culminated in a showcase of a series of excellent short dramas created by the students themselves. Thanks goes to our wonderful regional coordinator Ruth Shepherd for the hard work that went into organising this day, and to the many parents and students who supported the event!
Townsville Activity Day
Annikka and I would like to thank our Townsville families, and Nicole and Thomas from Bricks 4 Kids, for attending the Activity Day on Friday the 16th of February.
We had a brilliant day filled with fun, fellowship and Frisbee :O)
Here are some photos from our day…
Gold Coast Activity Day
Monday 5th March
Information and registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/upper-coomera-centre-activity-day-5th-march-tickets-42709008795
Sunshine Coast Excursion - Bli Bli Castle
Tuesday 8th March
Information and registration link: https://bli-bli-castle.eventbrite.com.au
Science - Under The Sea Virtual Excursion
14th March 2018 (9:00am – 10:00am)
Runtime: approx. 60 minutes
Ages: 6 - 14 years
Students will explore life in our ocean, how physical aspects of the deep sea makes it hard to explore and the innovations and endeavours humans have taken to travel to our deepest ocean trenches.
Students will investigate how humans have tried to answer the big question of what is down in the deep. They will explore the concepts of pressure, light, and human innovations through the use of visual graphics, hands-on activities, demonstrations, film clips and games to experience why we know less about our deep ocean than we do about space.
Click on the link below to register for the Virtual Excursion
Wednesday 23rd March
Information and registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/qut-the-cubeparliament-housebotanic-gardens-excursion-tickets-43122664049