Reflections on the 2018 Academic Year

28 November 2018

With this being the final newsletter of the year, I would like to take the opportunity to encourage the Moreton Bay Colleges’ community to reflect on the 2018 academic year. We have farewelled outstanding senior students, welcomed many new children into our Colleges and continued to honour our pledge to provide them with what we know is an outstanding student experience. With exceptional pastoral care programmes being refined further and academic improvement efforts yielding significant results, our teachers, students and parents should be encouraged by what we have achieved. There have been numerous programmes put in place this year to give students additional opportunities beyond the class — these range from robotics, e-sports and coding to enterprise, sea kayaking and credentialing opportunities such as the Diploma in Business. Many more are planned for next year including woodwork for our girls at MBBC. The above highlights that every effort is being made to create an experience for our children that is truly outstanding.

As a community, we have unearthed what is important for us and our future through the Strategic Plan, and what it is that we believe is important for our children in preparing them for tomorrow’s world. The Strategic Plan 2019-2022 sets out a future that embeds values, skills, attitudes and attributes in our children that seeks to make them ready for their future.

I am genuinely grateful for all the work from the staff who demonstrate every day what it means to be part of our community. They continue to work hard and endeavour to do the very best they can for the children in their care. I wish my colleagues the very best for their Christmas break. To all staff going on various types of leave, especially maternity leave, I wish you well. To my colleagues who are retiring, have successfully been promoted to higher positions or are exploring work in alternative industries, you go with our blessings and best wishes.

Over the holiday period, I encourage the entire community to connect with the true meaning of Christmas and use the opportunity to connect with family and loved ones. We all have people in our lives that mean so much to us and the relationships we have with them enrich us and give our lives purpose. Take the opportunity to invest in yourself, your health and your wellbeing. Use the downtime to reflect on your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and that of your loved ones. Take control of your families and make every determined effort to place boundaries around digital and social media use. This has become a significant disruption in families and relationships. So much so, that pastoral staff at both Colleges invest more time dealing with conflict stemming from social media misuse than all other issues combined. To be frank, it is unreasonable to expect pastoral staff to deal with online conflict when the conflict happened outside of school hours. Every parent should have firm controls over their children’s social media use and expectations of their children’s digital behaviour. The holiday period is a perfect opportunity to sit down as a family and talk through the negative impact of social media and put in place rules regarding the use of devices and social media use.

At no time in history have we been so affluent, so prosperous and so fortunate. We live longer, our health is better, and we have opportunities than our forebearers could only have dreamed about, yet much research indicates that we are less happy and less content. With divisive politics and nasty diatribe surrounding social justice issues, we are living in a time of extreme conflict and intolerance. Instead of looking for the best in people we are more likely to criticise. There is too much judgement, where no one measures up, or nothing is good enough in our world. When the word ‘toxic’ is put forward as the word of the year, it highlights our need to reflect on what unites us rather than what divides us. Christmas is a time where we can reaffirm the Christian values of our community, suspend judgement and temper what we text, type and say. The Commandment about loving our neighbour is more relevant today than ever.

Take the time to slow down, spend time with loved ones, recharge, and encourage others to do the same.

James Sloman
Executive Principal




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