Prioritising Student Voice
Welcome to Term 2! As we move into a relatively short but action-packed term, we celebrate recent diverse successes of our students in Generations in Jazz, Pedal Prix, Sailing Regattas and the Art Tour, an eclectic mix indeed. I highlight these events not only because some involve success at a competitive level but more importantly because of the commendations I receive about the way the students conduct themselves and support one another during these activities. These commendations often come from bystanders who have no connection with the College but comment on the sense of unity and camaraderie that is evident. This type of success is at the core of what we aim to achieve at Concordia and is worthy of celebration.
Our Focus on Student Agency
Going forward, Concordia has prioritised student agency as a key pillar of its vision for learning. Student agency can be broadly defined as giving students greater say over the conditions which optimise their learning. Students who find their own voice in supportive school environments are more likely to develop a confident voice, a capacity to act in the world, and a willingness to lead others. By empowering students we enhance student engagement and enrich their participation in the classroom, school and community. We help students to ‘own’ their learning and development, and create a positive climate for learning.
To begin incorporating student voice, the College leadership is thinking beyond the traditional student leadership forums, welcoming a range of student opinions in decisions about academic content, discipline, school culture, the physical space of the school, and family partnerships.
In exploring how to best engage students to be active in creating an optimum learning environment, we will be focusing on several key aspects of student voice;
- Regularly solicit student feedback. Concordia will begin to utilise surveys and other research methods to routinely gather data or ask students what’s happening ‘on the ground’, focusing on how they feel about the content and structure of classes, and for suggestions on school policies, culture, and climate.
- Engage students in studying and assessing their school. Beyond asking for feedback on questions created by staff, we will begin to train students in collecting and analysing data. These student researchers can then create their own research questions and use observations and feedback from peers to draw conclusions about what’s going right, what could be improved, and how to help.
- Include authentic student representation on leadership teams. The College leadership will explore creative ways for students to contribute to College leadership teams, improvement teams, or equity and diversity teams. In meetings, students will be seen as full members of teams, not just observers.
- Invite students to any discussion related to their own learning. Students need to be included in parent-teacher conferences, student support meetings, behaviour management meetings — any discussion in which they are the main topic.
- More broadly, consider young people as stakeholders and partners in their schools. When College leaders set new goals or make a major decision, they should expect students to contribute. At the same time, educators should be willing to help students as they shape and achieve their own aspirations for their learning.
- Strengthening the International Baccalaureate Program. The College has recently undergone an extensive evaluation of all three of its IB programs, and will now look to strengthen an already robust and rigorous curriculum. Student agency through the inquiry method is at the centre of the IB approaches to learning. Through an increased focus on inquiry learning the students will have far more control over their learning pathways.
Through these initiatives there will be enormous benefits for the strategic future of the College. Reforms initiated with student input are likely to improve the learning environment for all students, not just those involved in the reforms. And students who feel appreciated and supported typically feel more connected to their school community. The evidence is pretty clear that when schools give students agency and voice, and integrate their perspectives into decision-making processes, those schools are exponentially more effective in creating dynamic learning environments that best equip students for the uncertainty of the future.
Principal - Concordia Campus
- From the Concordia Campus Principal
- Europe Art Trip 2019
- Generations in Jazz 2019 in Review
- Year 12 Drama Presents - Boss of the Pool
- Adolescent Wellbeing Project Update
- Music Notes
- Zaidi Ya Dreams Fundraiser
- Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra (ECWO) Concert
- Year 11 Drama Workshop
- Jazz Choir 1 Holiday Workshop with Sally Cameron
- ALWS Walk My Way
- Scott Darlow Visit
- Active Learners in Year 8
- Year 3 Interviews
- Rotary South Australian Youth Parliament
- Debating Results
- Friends of Music Raffle 2019
- Student Achievement
- From the Archives: Boarders and their Bikes
In early April a group of 16 students left Adelaide for three weeks of touring some of the major art sites of Italy, France and Spain.
With eyes wide open they were astonished by the scale and richness of Rome through both its ancient architecture and the vastness of the Vatican. Florence was a step through to the Renaissance and provided inspiration for our drawing classes which everyone loved. Journeying on to France there were many highlights with the famous galleries of the Louvre, Musee D’orsay, L’Orangerie, Musee Rodin and a tour to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was a sad time for us and the rest of the world when we arrived to find Notre Dame on fire and the realisation of the impact for the locals was also sombre. A day visit to Monet’s garden and house in Giverny was beautiful on a perfect spring day and this was followed by a trip to Versailles. Heading down to the south of France we loved our time in the quieter Avignon, visiting the Palais des Papes and then touring through the countryside to the asylum where Van Gogh stayed and painted. It was a time of reflection for everyone and this was followed by a visit to Carrieres de Lumieres for a sound and light show featuring the works of Van Gogh. Arles, where Van Gogh also painted, was full of life for the beginning of Feria and we were fortunate to experience this. Madrid was the next destination with highlights being the Prado and Reina Sofia where works of the great Spanish artists from Velasquez, Goya and Picasso were viewed. The final city of the tour, Barcelona, provided a vibrant and rich cultural experience with interaction with Gaudi’s great architectural wonders and Picasso’s extensive collection of works.
The group worked so well together, formed new friendships and were constantly in awe of each place we explored even though they came back with tired feet each day from the many kilometres walked. Chris Finch was not only the master map reader and transport planner but was a great support to everyone on this trip. All in all, this was a wonderful experience and Anthony Bourdain’s quote is a most appropriate summary of this time.
The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
Head of Art
Following months of musical preparation involving 65 eager Big Band and Jazz Choir students and eight very proud staff, Concordia College was again represented strongly at this year’s Generations in Jazz event in Mt Gambier.
Departing Concordia at 9am last Thursday, and returning on Sunday night, the touring group displayed all the attributes of team and relationship building that we’ve come to expect from the talented students involved in the four bands and two choirs which attended this international Jazz Festival.
In addition to performing at the festival, the students performed a short concert for the students of Nangwarry and Kalangadoo Primary Schools on Friday afternoon as a warm-up gig. Seeing the joy on these young people’s faces as our own students shared their music was a joy to witness, and their sincere appreciation for our visit touched each of us.
Special thanks to the dedicated and supportive staff who cared for the students during our time away – Mat Noble, Jenni Watkins, Martin Cheney, Adam Page, Robin Finlay, Tom Voss, Kathie Renner and Fiona McAuliffe. This team of wonderful educators gifted their time and significant talents over the four days of the event to ensure the students were well taken care of at all times, giving them the opportunity to perform at their best, whether on stage or off.
At this time, it’s appropriate to mention the significant contribution Ms Jill Scott made to Concordia’s participation at Generations in Jazz over the last 18 years. Although not in attendance this year, Jill has been deeply passionate about her part in the students' musical experience over a very long period, and I’m sure many Concordia participants have felt the impact of Jill’s penchant for quality performance at this national competition.
Concordia’s results are as follows:
- 1st place – Small Jazz Combo section
- 2nd place – Big Band 1 (Div. 2 section)
- 4th place – Jazz Choir 1 (Div. 1 large choir section)
- 9th place – Jazz Choir 2 (Div. 3)
- 11th place – Big Band 2 (Div. 3)
- 12th place – Big Band 3 (Div. 4)
Big Band 2’s Saxophone Section was recognised as Most Outstanding Sax section in Div. 2, winning the Morrie LeDoueff award (this is the 3rd time Concordia has won this!)
Finn 12RSOM received the accolade of Most Promising Vocalist (an outstanding achievement).
Lewis 11MHAR and Sam Homburg 11JHAR, were recognised for their outstanding musicianship by gaining entry into the Div. 2 “Superband”. This meant they also got to play in front of 8000 people on Sunday morning as part of the farewell concert.
Ethan 11RGOG was also recognised for his outstanding performance, gaining entry into the Div. 3 “Superband”.
Overall, this was a highly successful weekend from that point of view, but more importantly, I am immensely pleased by how well this cohort conducted themselves as responsible, receptive and warm-hearted people who publicly demonstrated Concordia’s motto - Firm in principle, gentle in manner – on the national stage.
Director of Music
Parents, students and members of the College community are warmly invited to the Year 12 Drama Production 'Boss of the Pool', showing in the Concordia College Drama Centre (Concordia Campus) at the following times:
- Tuesday 28 May at 5pm
- Wednesday 29 May at 7pm
All tickets are $10.00.
We'd love to have a full house at both performances, so come along and support our students while enjoying a beautiful piece of theatre. We hope to see you there!
Together with Flinders University, this 12-month project is investigating mental health risk factors and wellbeing topics of interest by year level. A very busy first term has seen us complete Year 7-12 student surveys and focus groups together with staff interviews. In the final phase of data collection, we will be inviting parents and carers to take part in a short survey to add their voice to this project. Look out for an email with the survey link if you are interested in taking part.
Flinders University Researcher in Residence
Thanks go to the Year 9 Special Interest Music class who performed for guests at the final Principal’s Tour for Term 1. After playing for the regular Chapel service, students stayed on to provide musical entertainment for a large group of families eager to see the opportunities open to their children, should they attend Concordia College.
The Chapel Sessions
In preparation for our tour to Mount Gambier for Generations in Jazz 2019, each ensemble performed at The Chapel Sessions. This gave the students an opportunity to play for their family and friends, allowing these guests to hear the music prepared for this year’s Jazz Festival.
Director of Music
On Tuesday, 14 May, there will be a Forum-run sausage sizzle at Concordia Campus. Profits will be donated to Zaidi Ya Dreams, who are located in Kenya. Zaidi Ya Dreams have created a nurturing home full of love and understanding so that the vulnerable children in their care can flourish and thrive. In the past, Concordia has provided funds for Zaidi Ya Dreams. Forum is eager to support the charity. So we invite all to get involved and buy a sausage and bread for $2, a soft drink for $2, a ‘combo-deal’ of sausage and bread plus a drink for $3, and a ‘Zooper Dooper’ for 50c.
By Bella 12RSOM, Teliah 10JLEY and Emma 10JLEYBack to top
Concordia’s Concert Band and Wind Ensemble were fortunate to be an audience for Adelaide University’s outstanding ECWO in Week 11 of last term. Performing top level Wind Orchestra music in our own Chapel, this ensemble provided an excellent example of what we at Concordia can aim for musically if we work hard. A huge thank you to the Music Faculty at Adelaide University for allowing us to host this outstanding ensemble.
Director of Music
On Monday, 6 May, we were fortunate enough to have Jo Stone from State Theatre Company come and run a workshop with our Year 11 Drama students. The workshop explored the theatrical style of Absurdism. Students had the opportunity to improvise and create very physical, illogical and unusual performance pieces. This was a perfect introduction to our next unit of work and the students are now excited about creating their own 'Theatre of the Absurd' pieces that they will perform later this term.
Head of Drama
During the first week of the recent holidays, Concordia’s Jazz Choir 1 was fortunate to spend two hours working with Melbourne-based singer and former The Idea of North member, Sally Cameron. Sally shared her vast musical knowledge and experience with this group of eager vocalists, instilling a great deal of positive energy in the group whilst offering important positive criticism to assist with preparation for their performance at this year’s Generations in Jazz event, in which they performed in Division 1 (Large Choir) section. It was a very constructive session, and one the choir will long remember.
Director of Music
Walk My Way, an event organised by Australian Lutheran World Service, was held on Saturday, 13 April. A total of 17 Concordia Campus students participated in this 26-kilometre walk and contributed to the almost $5,000 raised by Concordia to help children attend school in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Many staff members from both campuses also participated in the walk; while a few Year 12 Media students helped film the event.
“This experience was eye-opening and moving as we walked from Hahndorf to Beaumont on the Pioneer Women’s Trail. On this journey, we were able to witness a small glimpse of what refugees face on a daily basis in the attempt to find safety. I think that this small journey has given me a better and wider understanding of the struggle that those who have no choice but to flee their home face and how significant that action is. I hope that by my actions, I have been able to help a child, who has taken a longer and more difficult journey, to have a brighter and better future” – Asha 10JLEY.
“What do you think when you hear that we completed half a marathon of walking in one day? Well we managed to! Doing Walk my Way was an incredible experience. As soon as we arrived, we got a fantastic welcome and a cool hand-made bag filled with medical supplies along with a vibrant blue t-shirt! A huge crowd gathered for breakfast which was generously supplied by local businesses and the local church. We then went to a formal service where the Mayor of Mt Barker spoke as well as other distinguished guests. Once we began walking, we found out that this was a very long walk, but as it turns out we got used to it. Our friendship group ended up coping by singing karaoke songs the whole time. When we saw the bright orange cones at the end, we were overjoyed. This was such a fun challenge and for such a brilliant cause. We had just walked 26km!” – Tahlia 8MRID and Alicia 8MRID.
Late last term, the Music Department was blessed to host Indigenous musician and World Vision ambassador Scott Darlow. Not only were the Music students from Years 8 to 11 blessed to hear Scott perform some of his wonderful music, they were also privileged to have the opportunity to listen to Scott speak candidly and honestly about his own personal journey as an Indigenous man living in Australia as well as touring the world as a musician. His message was powerful, at times confronting, but most importantly it was inspirational.
We sincerely hope to have Scott back in the near future.
Director of Music
An exciting part of our Pastoral Care program in Term 1 was the Year 8 Camp at Adare Campsite, Victor Harbor. We were very fortunate to be able to take GoPros with us on the camp experience so that we could film some of the treasured moments and challenges conquered, not to mention some of the hilarity and camaraderie among the Year 8 ‘tribe’ groups.
On return to the College we held a competition in Year 8 to determine the favourite tribe video, as judged by Mr Weinert and the Year 8 Home Class teachers. Sophie and Lian from 8AMAR were the esteemed winners of the tribe video competition. Congratulations Sophie and Lian!
Year 8 students also cemented their learning by creating posters for Murtoa which included camp photos and the IB Learner Profile aspects that were most enhanced by their Year 8 Camp experience. Again, Mr Weinert was our guest judge to determine the most successful IB Learner Profile posters.
Our winners were:
Congratulations Year 8s! Thank you to Mr Weinert for his involvement and support of our learning in Year 8.
Year 8 Pastoral Leader
In week 11 last term, 8VNAR interviewed the Year 3 cohort as part of our ‘Telling our Stories’ English unit. We asked thought-provoking questions about our buddies and their experience with the learner profile. The answers we collected helped us find out more about our buddy’s story. We had fun learning about our buddies and listening to them answer our questions.
After interviewing the Year 3s, we wrote a biography about our buddy to conclude our unit.
Our visit to the Year 3s was an exciting and interesting experience for both 8VNAR and the Year 3s, and we hope to see our buddies again soon.
By Tansy 8VNAR and Jasmine 8VNAR
Year 12 student Tiawana 12CFIN was invited at the start of the year to attend the Rotary South Australian Youth Parliament; an initiative that aims to develop leadership in senior students across the state. She will be attending several sittings in Parliament and will be invited to provide feedback to our politicians about issues and concerns of youth. We congratulate Tiawana and thank Rick Sommariva for his offer of teacher mentorship in the program.
Well done to our Year 11 debating team who won their first debate last night, Wednesday 8 May, here at the College.
With Eva as chairperson, speakers Kaelah, Anne and Ella successfully argued that we should ban unpaid internships. A fantastic effort!Back to top
The Friends of Music raffle was drawn at The Chapel Sessions, held on Thursday 11 April. Congratulations to the following winners:
- Sandra Hein
- Helen Peet
- Mike Lumsden
We hope that they enjoy their prizes and we thank the College community for supporting the Friends of Music raffle.
The next Friends of Music meeting will take place on Thursday, 16 May, in M24 at 7.30pm and new members are welcome. Please contact the Music Office should you have any questions about the fundraising group, or if you wish to attend (for catering purposes).
Director of Music
Congratulations to Year 7 students Issy and Eliza who played in the School Sport State Softball carnival at the end of last term. The team was undefeated, winning the State Title for Adelaide South East District. Well done on your gold medal results girls!
This week we look back at the fun and freedom that bikes provided for boy boarders at the College in the 1930s and 1940s.Back to top