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Principal’s End of Term Message

As the final hours of Term 2 draw to a close I’d like to acknowledge the work done by so very many of our students, staff and parents in our College community and wish everybody a safe, happy and restful holiday break.

Firstly, I must once again thank all of you who have supported my transition into the principal’s role at De La Salle. It has been wonderful to meet more and more parents at the various events as the year unfolds. A great deal has happened since I officially arrived in January and I am incredibly positive and optimistic about the future of our College and the potential of our students.

Congratulations to all students and teachers for the extraordinary amount of work which has gone into the examination and reporting period. Please refer to my letter which will be in your reports package when it arrives next week for some advice on putting to good use the information presented in the Semester Reports. Self‐reflection and setting goals for improvement are intrinsic to our student’s meeting their potential this semester. There are also reminders in the letter regarding subject selection parent evenings coming up next term.

A significant aspect on this front is a new and innovative Year 10 Program for 2015 which provides genuine choice, breadth, rigour and challenge. In concert with our ICT Strategic Plan, this represents the first stage of some significant growth and innovation in teaching and learning at De La Salle.

Thank you and well done to all those young men who represented the College in ACC football, soccer and golf this term. While the degree of success varied among year levels I was thrilled with the level of participation and the overwhelmingly positive attitude displayed by players and coaches. I enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to assist with Year 8 footy and it was great to get to know 30 – 40 Year 8 students via training and game days, plus several parents. I believe our sports program overall and the students’ attitude and approach is improving steadily. The enjoyment, camaraderie and school spirit generated therein is an invaluable feature of our co‐curricular offerings.

Of equal significance in the co‐curricular agenda is our vibrant performing arts program. An outstanding production of the musical Footloose in May, the Primary Concert last Tuesday, and the Year 7 Band Concert last Wednesday were highlights and great indicators of exciting opportunities available in the arts at De La Salle.

Various debating teams have had superb success this term too. I wonder how many of you know we have two Year 8 teams in the Year 9 competition, with the boys sitting eighth on a ladder of 26 school teams? The Year 10 team have won all four of their debates and the Year 12 team have won three and lost one. This is a great record and I’d like to ensure this receives the recognition it deserves. Students keen on public speaking opportunities should see Ms McIlroy, as there are more events next term.

We held a whole school assembly yesterday morning to acknowledge all those who were involved in and contributed to the Semester 1 co‐curricular program. Largely student‐led, this was an excellent event in which awards were presented and all participants acknowledged, rounded off by a performance by our award‐winning Flute Ensemble.

Last Friday we had the annual Blue & Gold Ball at Springvale Town Hall and last night was the Year 12 Formal. Both events were superbly organised and the young men of De La Salle were an absolute credit to themselves, their families and the College. It was a genuinely enjoyable and gratifying experience to see such fine young men arriving at the Lincoln of Toorak last night, looking so sharp in their suits and tuxedos, then formally greeting my wife and I and politely and proudly introducing their partners. This is indeed a great group of senior students who last night made us proud.

I was fortunate to spend 24 hours with the Year 9s at Camp Howqua last week. Despite almost succumbing to hypothermia after the thrilling but ultimately freezing experience of the waterslide and tubing in the Howqua River, it was great to be able to interact with the boys on an informal level. Horse riding, high ropes, orienteering, the survivor challenge course and an impromptu staff‐student footy match were enjoyed by all. The Year 9s threw themselves in and were excellent participants in all activities, especially the more challenging ones which took a little courage. The Camp Howqua staff were glowing in their praise for our students’ behaviour, cooperation and manners.

Another highlight to report in relation to our students’ achievement is Year 12 student Tom McCausland’s success in the VACC Automotive Design Awards. The VACC Automotive Design Awards is an annual vehicle design competition for secondary and tertiary students in Victoria and is an opportunity to socialise, network and support automotive designers and promote automotive design careers. Tom’s entry of a car which can vary its size to accommodate differing numbers of passengers came second in the Secondary School Division, with a prize of $1,000. Supported by his dad, Tom was presented with his award at Federation Square last night — he missed out on most of the Year 12 Formal but was able to bring the trophy in to show it off later in the evening!

I’d like to draw your attention to a number of upcoming community events and opportunities in Term 3:

  • For all the dads, please keep Wednesday 27 August free for our inaugural Father‐Son Breakfast from 7:15 – 8:30am in the gym. Our very first Mother’s Day Breakfast in May was a huge success, with in excess of 330 in attendance, and we hope to get just as many dads.
  • All parents: A Day at the Races on Saturday 16 August at Caulfield Racecourse.

The Parent Network will forward more details regarding the above events early next term.

 

  • Time & Space Mother & Son Evening: Tuesday 12 August 7:30pm
  • Time & Space Father & Son Evening: Wednesday 20 August 7:30pm

Popular school programs run by Bill Jennings. Details to follow from Ms Kate McIlroy, Personal Development Coordinator and see http://www.time-space.com.au/.

Enjoy the holidays and I look forward to seeing you all next term.

Mr Peter Houlihan
Principal