As we edge closer to the end of term, we look back with some relief that this phase of remote learning is coming to an end. Whilst we can be grateful that remote learning has provided a viable link for learning, it is a much more challenging option for many students and staff as well. Nonetheless the level of resilience shown by students and staff has been remarkable. A massive thank you to the staff for their diligence and energy for providing education from a learning platform that was somewhat foreign to them a few months ago. And now, a final push is required that will take us to the end of the term.
Decisions will be made in the next few days (by government and school agencies) about how Term 4 may shape up. Parents will be advised in due course about the mode of learning for the start of that term. Should students be allowed to return to on-site learning, the college will apply strict conditions to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
The year has thrown curve balls Year 12 students and the Year 12 program. As much as has been possible we have provided students with educational opportunities to hold them in good stead. Exams are an important feature for those students studying VCE in Year 12 and wishing to go on to further tertiary studies. To give these students as much preparation as we can for the end of year exams, they will be given the opportunity to complete practice exams over the course of the Term 3 break. At this stage a decision has been taken that students will complete their exams at home. Details about how students will acquire the exams and of how they are to return the exams will be advised.
Penola Catholic College endeavours to support students through the implementation of a Scholarship Program. The Scholarship Program acknowledges students that take responsibility for, and are proactive in, the development of their own learning. We are happy to announce the provision of a number of scholarships for 2021. The scholarships are of $400 each and are categorised as Academic, Co-curricular Involvement, Community Spirit and Personal Endeavour.
Students interested in applying for a scholarship are invited to complete an application form which will be available online during the last week of term. Details about the application and return of these forms will be supplied on the application form itself. The Scholarship Selection Committee will short list and interview suitable applicants. Recipients of these scholarships will be acknowledged on Awards Night later in the year. Recipients of 2020 Scholarships are not eligible to apply for next year’s scholarships.
Mental Health Week
Next week we celebrate Mental Health Week. In what can be considered for many the most difficult times of our lives we need to ensure that there are mechanisms to help us through this pandemic. The college has put in place many supporting structures to ensure that students are well cared for. Through the Pastoral Program, the general curriculum and activities in the pages of MyPenola (Your Wellbeing and Mental Health page) we have given students advice and information about self-care. The Homeroom lesson has also allowed students to re-engage with their friends.
The resilience that students have shown has been remarkable, but we are conscious that the loss of the structure that school provides has derailed some students. Sometimes, trying to identify students at risk is difficult because of the remote aspect of learning. However, if parents are concerned about a child, please make contact with the respective Year Level Coordinator so that we can offer the best caring service that we can.
On Thursday we acknowledge R U OK Day and some activities will be going out to students to make them, and their friends and family, conscious of the need to ask Are We Ok … and know that there are support mechanisms in place to help us through any crisis. For some advice on how to check in on your child go to https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
With best wishes
Head of Senior Campus