This week, as we commenced the Lenten period in the Church’s liturgical calendar, the College community gathered for an Ash Wednesday Liturgy led by Bishop Brian Mascord. This moving Liturgy marks the period when we are each called to reflect on our journey and to challenge ourselves to revitalise our spirits as we prepare for the joy that is Easter. Our theme for this school year is one of our Touchstones: ‘Gospel Spirituality’ and it is precisely the messages within each of the Gospels that remind us of God’s love for us all.
Wednesday’s Liturgy also included my official commissioning as the new Principal of ERC. I am very conscious of the honour and responsibility conferred upon me in being commissioned to lead this community. I acknowledge the rich legacy I am inheriting from those who have gone before me. To be commissioned as Principal on Ash Wednesday is significant, as Lent is when we are each called to give of ourselves to others. I would like to thank Bishop Brian Mascord for leading our Liturgy, along with Mr Ray Paxton, National Director Liberating Education for EREA, for also taking part in the ceremony, on behalf of the Executive Director, Dr Craig Wattam.
We recently had the opportunity to celebrate our high achievers’ academic successes from the graduating class of 2020. A number of our former students proudly returned to the College to receive awards, to offer advice to our current students, and to express messages of gratitude for their teachers and friends. Here you will find the 2020 Dux speech from David Chicharo and Cormac Carolan’s address, the John Joseph Pollock Science Scholarship Award recipient.
We also acknowledged students’ many achievements in Years 8-11 from Semester 2, 2020. Students who achieved first place in a course and those who earned Academic Honours for their placement in the top 5% of a course, were rightly acknowledged for their outstanding performance. We also congratulated the students who demonstrated a consistent application of effort in being recognised as a Br. Bell Award recipient. We also took this opportunity to present the student leaders with their SRC badges across Years 8-11. The names of award recipients and student leaders are included here.
It is community moments such as these outlined, without the customary shaking of hands and the presence of large numbers of parents, that also remind each of us of the need to remain vigilant and up to date with the latest health advice. While CSNSW approved exemptions for Year 7 parents to attend in support of students on their first day, currently the official recommendation is for restrictions that include only 30 parents to gather indoors and 50 parents outdoors while on school grounds. Due to this current advice, unfortunately, the College is not in a position to host the previously advertised ‘Year 7 Welcome BBQ’ on Saturday 6th March, which traditionally has involved a considerably large close gathering. Please be assured that the intention is to postpone in the hope that such a community event can be held later in the year. Despite this, schools are permitted to continue planning for Open Days with several precautions and detailed safety plans. With this in mind, please note that the ERC ‘Try Year 7 for a Day’ on Tuesday 2nd March is a pupil-free day for students who are not involved as tour group leaders for the visiting Years 5 and 6 students or for those actively involved in supporting individual subject areas. This includes those students who are leading the parent/carers tours later on that afternoon. Tour groups will be restricted in size and require online registration. Please note that students who participate in this way will receive a parent permission note to confirm their involvement.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we work in partnership for the education of your sons.
From The Deputy
The students have had a great start to the year, coping with the daily routines and disruptions to schedules as we begin a new academic year.
Throughout the first few weeks, all students have been reminded of the College’s individual behavioural and procedural expectations. This has been by way of focusing on two areas: punctuality and presentation. Consistent reminders of these important traits have seen an improvement in recognising their responsibilities in these areas, ensuring boys are mindful of their own choices and meeting College expectations. It is imperative that all students meet these expectations in order for the continual development of a positive College learning community. A learning focus has already begun by way of establishing goals for the semester, which coincided with students witnessing the presentation of academic achievements from Semester 2, 2020 Academic Awards Ceremonies.
PARENTS AND COMMUNITY AWARENESS
Travelling to and from school each day requires added responsibilities. Many of our commuters within the community often email and phone in positive comments regarding students from the College and their respectful behaviour shown towards the general public. This is always very pleasing to hear as the Wollongong community does hold Edmund Rice College in high regard and, as a community, we endeavour to maintain this reputation. Of course, this reputation also extends to students who travel to and from school on trains and buses. There have been so many positive comments made about how well dressed the students, whilst waiting at bus stops around the local streets as they are going to and from work and I encourage all students to continue this high level of community awareness and their role in it. There are those however, at times who make poor choices and decisions whilst travelling to and from school. These students are reminded, they too, must behave appropriately on buses and trains, especially with regards to their presentation as well as following our Code of Conduct (outlined on Page 22 of 2021 College Student Diary). Appropriate behaviour and being respectful to all commuters including the drivers, must be at the forefront of our choices, decision making and positive behaviours.