We made it…
Our 2020 school year has come to an end. At the Celebration Assembly on Thursday 10 December, I asked students to reflect on what they have achieved throughout the year. The skills of agility and resilience are high on the list after this very challenging year.
Our ability to adapt to Zoom shows through in the statistics. There have been over 10,500 meetings resulting in around 6.25 years of Zoom recordings. There have been 15 webinars with nearly 900 participants. This engagement is in addition to SEQTA, My Ed Online, and the additional platforms that staff used throughout the year to engage and educate during Remote 1.0 and 2.0.
I also asked the students to take a moment to reflect on the efforts of their teachers. It has been lovely to receive, on behalf of our staff, many positive comments about the efforts of teachers and College support staff during the year. Our staff have worked very hard to continue delivering high-quality educational outcomes throughout the year. Speaking to students at all year levels they felt that the staff had achieved this. There have been challenges, whether connection, engagement, or motivation, and online learning suited some and not others.
The home support was on the shoulders of our parents. You have relearned fractions, quadratic equations, and science through online learning. You have baked muffins with the staff, participated in workouts directed by our PE staff, and perhaps enjoyed wellbeing activities on a Wednesday. I wish to acknowledge your hard work and the efforts collectively; we have made it through 2020 with a smile and in good health.
It is now time to rest. By the end of year, school communities are often tired. In 2020, a more apt description is exhaustion. Please take the time over Summer to recharge. 2021 is around the corner, and we need to be ready to face what the new year brings.
I hope you have a holy, happy, and (COVID-) safe Christmas.
See our College Calendar for the latest information regarding upcoming dates.
Our annual Tower Magazine is a reflection of the life of the College during each year. I wish to acknowledge and thank Ms Kelly Smith, who supported by the Tower Magazine Captains, Grace Jenky and Emily Boyd, in capturing our College’s 2020 journey. Students received their copies last week, and I encourage you to flick through and enjoy the 2020 Tower Magazine.
Usually, an event at the Woodend Campus, especially when Mr Deer is involved, is accompanied by apocalyptic weather. Every attempt to hold a social function in 2020 was either rained or blown out, and that was before we were impacted upon by a pandemic. It was, therefore, with breath tightly held that we attempted to run the CelVal event on Friday 4 December. This event, a combination of the traditional Celebration Night and Valedictory Evening, was conducted in a COVID-safe manner. This was achieved by physically spacing the valedictorians on chairs and inviting parents to be in a ‘car bubble’. A section of our 320 acres at the Woodend Campus, centred around the oval, was turned into a makeshift drive-in theatre, complete with a 12-square-metre screen, a large stage, and sound being beamed into cars on 100.0 FM. Thanks to the ingenuity of Graham Glasson and his team from Pro Electronics, the sound and images were perfect, and the graduating class of 2020 were fittingly farewelled. The usual applause was substituted by honking horns and flashing headlights, which was appreciated by the award recipients and the valedictorians. Our musical item “Fly Me to the Moon”, played by Alex Prust on trombone and accompanied by Jem Sherwill on piano, attracted the graduating class of black Angus cattle in the adjacent paddock, which was also a great crowd-pleaser.
We have appreciated the feedback from parents and students about the event, and we are grateful that the weather assisted in making the evening a fittingly unique end to the journey of our 2020 graduating class.
I hope that you enjoy a range of images captured our photographer, Ken (Hikari Photography).
The final assemblies for the year were conducted on Thursday afternoon. These assemblies were designed to present and celebrate a range of awards that would have traditionally been awarded at the Celebration Night in October. The Celebration Assembly was conducted in Heyward Hall and broadcast by webinar to the College (students and staff across both campuses) and parents. The Middle School and Senior School then conducted their own individual assemblies before concluding for the day.
We also took the time to present the 2021 House Captains, Prefects, and College Captains. Again, we would typically have acknowledged these young people on the stage at Celebration Night. In 2020, while we published the names of the students, we wanted to introduce them to the College community and took the opportunity at the assembly to do this.
A summary of the students acknowledged at the assembly is available here. Congratulations to each of them on their achievements and leadership positions.
The Stan Payne Cup is presented each year to the House that wins the aggregate Inter-House competition. This year is clearly different, and in 2020, rather than the Stan Payne Cup, a limited edition once-off option of the ISO Cup was presented. The decision to not award the Stan Payne Cup and substitute an alternate Cup included staff and student’s voice; the events differed this year from our traditional ones, so it was only fitting that we treat this year, and the award, a little differently.
The events in this year’s competition included:
We’re excited to share (though the students have probably already excitedly reported at home), that the results for 2020 saw Clyde House place third, Darling and Harry Houses tied in second place, and the winning house for the 2020 Iso Cup was…
Our 2020 Farley House Captains, Harry Rowland and Shannon Kelly, accepted the Cup on behalf of their House at the CelVal, and the incoming house captains for 2021, Zoe Dillon and Daphne Piper, received the cup at the Celebration Assembly on Thursday.
Congratulations Farley House.
We look forward to being able to once again hold our more traditional house events and competitions in 2021.
The Woodend Campus – Stage 2a is nearing lockup. Melbcon, our builders, are on track for handing over the building in Term 1 2021. The build will allow music and drama classes conducted on the Woodend Campus to move into two larger purpose-built spaces. An additional classroom, staff room, meeting room, and sports store area round out the remaining built space. The undercover deck expands the shaded area for students to access at lunchtime, and the decking and undercover area leads to the bus turning circle for inclement weather days. Senior School classes using the Woodend Campus for excursion departure and other activities will also appreciate the undercover areas.
The aerial images below show off the imposing roofline and external features that match the current buildings.
We look forward to revealing the works in the new year as Stage 2a nears completion.
Each year as we reach December, we naturally have a number of farewells for members of Staff who are leaving us. This year is no different. We wish all our departing staff the very best, with some heading off for new adventures in exciting roles, others relocating with their families, and some starting a whole new chapter with retirement.
We had an opportunity today for our entire staff to gather at the Woodend Campus and celebrate the end of the year and recognise the contributions of the departing staff. We’re so grateful that we were able to have this opportunity – though, a modified, COVID-safe, outdoor gathering – to bring everyone together after what has been a truly unique and challenging year in all aspects, but certainly significant in the context of education.
We are so proud – and so incredibly grateful – to share that this week we donated eight boxes of Christmas goodies for families within our community this Christmas. With four boxes delivered to the Kyneton Caring Community and four boxes to the Gisborne Food Bank, these treats will be used to create hampers, which will be shared among families in need.
Thank you for the wonderful, generous donations; they were so warmly received and very much appreciated.
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Braemar College acknowledges the Woi Wurrung people as the traditional owners of the land on which the College stands, and we pay our respects to their elders past, present, and future.