As this is the newsletter before the Easter break, it is worth looking back and reflecting on what has been a very busy ten-week period. It is so pleasing to see the continual growth in the large majority of our students and the significant commitment by our staff, who, together with the vital support and encouragement from our parents and carers, make up the vibrant community that is Edmund Rice College. I wish to express how grateful I am to all who have worked towards further enhancing ERC throughout what has been a very rewarding Term.
Last week Bishop Brian Mascord and Fr Loubnan Tarabay concelebrated the farewell mass for long-serving Deputy Principal, Mr Sam Tadros. EREA Regional Director, Mr Peter Leuenberger, joined with many current and former staff members, past and present parents and students, and former College Principals Br Paul Oakley, Mr David Lear and Mr Peter McGovern paying tribute to Mr Tadros’ incredible career of service. Mr Tadros has been a loyal and dedicated teacher and leader at Edmund Rice College who has educated students for forty-two years. In that time, he has been an outstanding teacher, Year Coordinator, REC, Deputy Principal, and Acting College Principal. During last Tuesday’s Assembly, the College farewelled Mr Tadros, who addressed the student body for the final time. On behalf of the College, we congratulate Mr Tadros, and we sincerely thank him for his care and his consistent example of sustained hard work and diligence.
Throughout Lent and indeed during this Holy Week, we prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday – the ultimate high point on the Christian calendar. The Easter story is about the hope that we can begin to see the world as God intended. The hope that the Easter story gives to people, especially those struggling, is what Easter is all about. The risen Christ’s story is just as relevant today as it was to the first women and men who found the empty tomb.
I wish the entire Edmund Rice community a Happy Easter where the message of Jesus and His suffering and eventual rising is central to our thoughts and actions as we enjoy some time for reflection on what is truly important in our busy lives.
ENROLMENT APPLICATIONS ARE NOW DUE
UPCOMING EVENTS AND/OR DATES
1 April – Final Day of classes for Term 1
2 April – Good Friday
19 April – Staff Spirituality Day –Pupil Free
20 April – All Students Return for Term 2
27 April – Parent/Teacher Afternoon/Evening (Years 8/10/12)
Saturday 24th April – Year 7 Welcome BBQ on ERC grounds
From the Deputy
Holidays: End of Term 1
As mentioned at the beginning of term, I cannot thank the entire Edmund Rice College (ERC)
community enough for their welcome and willingness to assist in my transition to another learning community within Edmund Rice Education Australia’s network of schools. The ERC community has truly enlivened the inclusive community touchstone through their welcome, patience and support during Term 1. I truly cannot believe Term 1 is over, albeit within a blink of an eye. As many other members of our community will attest to – a well deserved break is timely and a positive way to recharge batteries, reassess some individual learning goals for Term 2 and set some targets to conclude Semester 1.
Term 2 – Winter Uniform (as per College diary)
At all times the College uniform is to be worn properly by students, this includes travelling to and from school. The ERC uniform procedure not only includes various parts of the uniform by how the uniform is worn. Shirts should be completely tucked in at all times, top buttons and ties done up properly, wearing a black belt with shoes being polished and clean. Students are reminded that they are to be clean shaven, long hair must be tied back with hair not exceeding the collar and should be off the face.
Moving towards the beginning of Term 2, I encourage parents and carers to locate your son’s College winter uniform early in the holidays to ensure he is prepared for the beginning of Term 2. As indicated in the student diary, the College winter uniform guidelines are as follows:
Years 11 & 12 (All year round)
● College grey trousers (worn with College grey/stripe socks)
● Plain black belt (to be worn at all times)
● Ice blue shirt with College logo
● College black blazer with senior tie (compulsory in Terms 2 & 3)
● Plain, black, polishable leather school shoes
● ERC red jumper/vest (worn under the blazer in cold weather)
Years 7 – 10 Winter Uniform (Terms 2 & 3)
● College grey trousers (worn with College grey/stripe socks)
● Plain black belt (to be worn at all times)
● Ice blue shirt with College logo AND TIE
● Plain, black, polishable leather school shoes
● ERC red jumper with junior tie and/or ERC jacket (black, red and white) with junior tie
Year 12 – Bomber Jackets
Throughout the final weeks of Term the Year 12 cohort were informed they would be permitted to wear their senior bomber jackets for an extra day due to their cooperation and diligence around wearing the appropriate uniform on respective days. So for Term 2 they will be permitted to wear them for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. As long as this privilege is respected by the students and they are seen to be working with the college to meet the uniform expectations, I would imagine this pattern to continue for Term 3 to include another day in the week.
Enjoy a safe and restful break, may the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear. May Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your living guide.
College Deputy Principal
A message from Mr Tadros to the College Community
I am privileged to write to the Edmund Rice College Community, as I conclude my time at the College, after 40 years.
My association starts back with the Christian Brothers, specifically, Br Frank Pelin, who employed me in December 1981 for 1982, as an English/History/Religion Teacher.
Along the way I have been blessed to work with outstanding Headmasters and Principals: Br Nick Lennox, Br Paul Oakley, Br Michael Walsh, Mr David Lear, Mr Peter McGovern and this year, Mr Stephen Gough. Under their unique style of leadership, the teaching of young men in the Illawarra has evolved and prospered at the College and become a distinctive point of difference for families looking for an all-boys education for their sons, in the Catholic tradition.
Within that legacy of work with distinguished leaders, one invariably comes into contact with professional leaders and colleagues who ‘subconsciously’ impact on you and from which your professional identity inadvertently emerges which defines you in and out of your work place.
Together with other educators at the College, I have witnessed many accomplishments and celebrations of success for boys who came through the College gates. However, it was not always without challenges. Edmund Rice College today is testimony to the fact that an enduring and thriving school is one that celebrates its successes and survives its challenges, by drawing on the collective good of Christian Brothers and lay staff working together with students, parents/carers and members of the community, to not waiver from delivering an authentic education, irrespective of the distractions and the unexpected.
And from 2007, the drive and energy for this reputable education has been continued with Edmund Rice Education Australia, initially led by Dr Wayne Tinsey and supported by Mr Peter Leuenberger, and from this year, Dr Craig Wattam. The vision that these inspirational leaders have set, across religious and lay domains, is what we see in Edmund Rice College where we provide an education permeated by a practical expression of Christianity that resonates with what parents are searching for their sons- an education based on Gospel values.
In working with Mr David Lear, as the first lay Headmaster, it was reassuring to realise and be able to demonstrate, that the authentic work of the Christian Brothers since 1926 would continue, prosper and remain alive in Wollongong, under lay leadership, aided by the presence of significant Brothers like, Br Bell, Br Gartland, Br Peel and Br Curtin, to mention a few. This growing confidence and presence continued under the leadership of Mr Peter McGovern in sustaining a genuinely liberating education, in a contemporary classroom environment with a supportive physical footprint.
Within that crossover of senior leadership over many years, one cannot discount the lively encounters that nurture your character, before you can be an authentic leader. I have been a beneficiary of the wisdom of many who traversed the corridors of learning within Edmund Rice College. I regard myself as fortunate for having been on this journey for consecutive years and I take with me memories of the interactions with many people from varied backgrounds whom I believe, over time, have contributed to who I am today. For this, I express gratitude for the numerous people I have worked with across the range of teachers, staff, boys, parents and carers and members of the community. That richness of reciprocal learning continues now under the leadership of Mr Stephen Gough and Mr Barry Walsh.
In concluding my work as a teacher, I thank the parents and carers who entrusted their sons to our care and the students themselves, for their enthusiasm to be at the College. I enjoyed teaching the boys from my earlier years on a full teaching load to an incrementally reduced load, every time I was placed in a position of responsibility, to not much teaching in the last 13 years. I always enjoyed the craft of teaching boys and would get self-satisfaction from seeing the boys’ results grow. I thank the parents/carers /boys for listening to me and trusting in my advice, in and out of the classroom. I, too, do not discount learnings on me from my interactions with the boys, in my growth as an educator and professional. I hope I will be remembered as an educator of integrity with a special interest in educating boys, in a Catholic environment, inspired by the Gospel Touchstones of justice, respect and fairness. And remembered, not only for what was done, but, for how it was done: consistently calm, compassionate with a deliberate willingness to listen and able to act decisively, if needed, without diminishing the dignity of the person; but, promoting it.
And to the teachers and the many professional groups that make up the staff, covering 40 years of my employment, at the same place – the wisdom you bring into school from outside your place of employment has been centre-piece to our discussions and a point of growth for me. I extend my appreciation to the many groups of Heads of Department, College Leadership Teams and Year Coordinators with whom I have worked, listened to, brokered a deal or two and ensured win – win situations. The daily 7.15 am discussions were always enlightening and calibrated the real meaning of what a table of knowledge should be. The acquaintances and friendships do not stop today but grow in different ways. I do not recall a time that I did not wish to come to work nor a time where I did not enjoy the discussions, all pointing to the collective interest for improving the learning environment, student management and the work culture of the College. Likewise, I thank staff for trusting in my leadership and accepting me as a supportive constant face in the busyness of a school day.
I express my thanks to the College’s Parents and Friends Association which I have seen grow due to parent leaders with a focussed vision and open willingness to work with the College’s Leaders in order to provide the best possible resources and environment for their sons’ learning. Congratulations on your most respectable vision and energy and thank you for allowing me, as the Deputy of the College, to join you on that journey to complement our roles.
Likewise, I extend my appreciation to all members of the College Advisory Council, previously known as the College Board, for your wisdom, professional and corporate knowledge which you have shared with us freely, in order to protect and best support the growth of the school.
Last Thursday, I was humbled by the attendance of Bishop Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong and Fr Loubnan Tarabay, our Maronite Parish Priest in Wollongong, for concelebrating my Farewell Mass. Starting the night with the celebration of the Eucharist reminded us about the spiritual purpose to our work as educators, in a Catholic school. Our Mass was followed by a farewell dinner at Villa D’Oro which featured Bishop Brian, representatives of Christian Brothers and EREA, my brothers and sisters and their spouses, current and former, Headmasters and Principals, teachers and staff, parents/carers and old boys. I cannot thank enough those who attended and the many wishes that I have received from those who were unable to attend.
We heard reflections from 5 esteemed educators who have been significant in my journey: Br Oakley, Mr David Lear, Mr Brian Ireland, Mrs Sofia Masters and Mr Peter McGovern. I thank them for their flattering thoughts and I acknowledge all of the other staff with whom I have worked. Each one has been special in their way and each one would have a story about the many discussions we have had from which I would have taken my learnings and bearings
Recognising my 4 decades with Edmund Rice College began some weeks back with a function in Gosford which was organised by the Eastern Region Deputy Principals, under the guidance of Mr Peter Leuenberger, our EREA Eastern Region Coordinator. This event was followed by a gathering organised by our P and F, a school assembly on Tuesday and yesterday, a morning tea organised by our Office Staff. Along the way, I have been excited by my opportunities to talk to journalists from the Illawarra Mercury, WIN News and i98FM, about the wonderful memories I take with me and the dignified young men I have taught. Collectively, these events stress to me the strength of Community at ERC. Hopefully, as a proud retiree of this prominent educational institution, I can now add to that Community which has its origins in 1926 and stretches far beyond the gates of the school footprint.
I enter my retirement with a sense of anticipation and excitement Thank you to Covid, many plans have been put on hold! However, apart from that, I believe good health is crucial and on the back of that will come encounters with family and friends, here and abroad, which will grow new memories. Doing things at a slow pace and doing nothing might also be okay and not carrying a blue and red pen in the top pocket might also be a treat. I will always be interested in Edmund Rice College and its success stories. I do not finish because I am tired of the mundane aspects and grind of school management. In fact, I thrive on that, will miss the day to day contact and can gladly continue; but, I finish at a ripe time where I can enjoy life beyond employment. And that time for me is now.
I owe thanks to my family for being by my side all of the time. My brother John has been in retirement for 2 years and I have never seen him look back. Maybe I can be like that too. At the age of 96 and 87, I am blessed to have my parents in my life. They were unable to attend my Farewell Mass and Dinner; however, I know they visualised what was happening and were celebrating it in their way.
All in all, I sincerely thank everybody who comes under the banner of Edmund Rice College for being in my working life. I proudly take away many memories of service and loyalty from my association with amazing people over 40 years at Edmund Rice College. And for that, I thank each and every person.
I now look forward to positive retirement experiences.
I take this opportunity to wish the Edmund Rice Community a joyous and Holy Easter.
Blessed Edmund Rice: Pray for Us
Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever
Term 1 Wrap-up
Term 1 2021 has been an exceptionally busy start to the year. With a number of events from last year flowing into the calendar from the previous year due to COVID. I would like to thank all of our teachers for the continued dedication that they show to the students by providing them not only with classroom learning but also by going the extra mile.
We conclude the term with a parent evening for Years 7, 9 and 11. Thank you to all parents and carers for taking the time out to discuss the progress of their son. These Interim Reports are a crucial step in starting the year well providing an early indication to the application for each student. Formal assessment tasks have now taken place in most subjects, these results will be published through our Edumate portal as marks are finalised.
Year 10 into 11 Subject selections 2022
In week 4 of Term 2 students will receive information regarding the subjects that are available in year 11 2022. This is an opportunity for students to start to think about their post school career. Students will be presented information about the content of each of the courses along with the structures that must be followed. An information night for parents will take place on the 12/05/2020 this is an essential night for all parents and will provide an important opportunity to ask questions. A number of our courses will have academic requirements for entry, it is important that each student select a pathway that will provide their best chance for success. The term 1 interim reports indicate the level of application at the start of year 10, academic considerations will be compiled from both the semester 1 and final year 10 reports.
Term 2 continues to be a busy term and will add a number of important dates to the calendar
Year 12 mid-course reports 22/04 Week 1
Parent Teacher Year 8,10,12 27/04 Week 2
Year 10 into 11 2022 Subject selection evening 12/05 Week 4
Year 7 – 10 Exam Period Week 6 – Week 8
Year 7 – 11 Parent teacher interview day Week 10
Semester exams for 7 – 10 are only just around the corner and by week 2 students should start to receive notifications for each of their exams. While all efforts are made to make this period as seamless as possible it can be a stressful time for students. Mr Sozio, our Director of teaching and learning, will be holding study sessions with students in order to increase effectiveness during this period.
We end the Term on Holy Thursday, the time that we recall the Last Supper that Jesus shared when he washed the disciples’ feet and told them how to break the bread and share the cup, essentially to ‘Do this in memory of me.’ Our liturgy this week focussed on the Stations of the Cross, literally the last steps of Jesus on his ‘death march’ and we considered how each decision we make is like those who helped or persecuted Jesus. We are called to be light for the world and the coming of Easter, like our liturgy reminded us, tells the world that the cross is not the end, that resurrection awaits and that we are all called to follow the example of Jesus. Perhaps we ask this week what has to die in us for Jesus to be born in us?
CSL – Senior Project
Year 10: Mr Pulella has sent all Year 10 students who have registered the final details of their placements beginning in Term 2.
We are grateful to our community partners such as the Disability Trust, Lighthouse Community Kitchen, West Wollongong Primary School, Wollongong City Bushcare and Wollongong PCYC for giving our students the opportunity to serve. If you belong to a not-for-profit organisation, we would love to hear from you if you need volunteers.
Thanks to Mr Sirianni for working to create a new database for recording CSL. Students in Years 7 – 12 have been sent their user names and passwords for the links on LERA which can be found HERE
If you do any service supervised my a member of staff at ERC, you will enter the details on the link for College activities. If you do any service for organisations outside of the College (such as Surf Life-Saving, Rural Fire Service, Church Youth Group Leader, etc) you must supply the name of the person who is your supervisor and their email so that they can verify your hours. A reminder that all students in Year 7 – 9 must complete at least 10 hours over the year and those in Years 10 – 12 must complete their Senior project at ONE placement during their Senior years. All extra hours recorded go towards the Service Medal in year 12.
If you have any questions, please email Mrs Hurley: firstname.lastname@example.org
We congratulate all of the students who participated in the Easter Liturgy depicting the Stations of the Cross this week. They enabled us to enter into a time of reflection.
Mass Times in the Diocese
We hope that you can take some time to spend with Jesus this weekend, the most important time in the Church’s year. There is an interactive map for mass times HERE that includes all of the churches in the area. We would love to see you there!