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From the Director of Digital Resources

Shillitoe TonyNine years on from when Concordia started the one-to-one learning device program, we are reviewing our digital resources and what they can bring to enhance future learning. In the process, we reflect on what has already changed for the better in education, an interesting list in the light of regular criticism of technology and the modern world. Current enhancements include:

  • Access for students to greater and richer resources than ever possible in a pre-digital world constrained by what a teacher knew and what a library could afford to stock
  • Greater capacity for students to collate, curate, analyse and evaluate information and ideas from global sources
  • Unparalleled opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate with experts and peers
  • Multiple creative ways for students to use combinations of text, audio, video, animation, presentation tools and graphics to demonstrate understanding beyond what was ever possible with pen and paper
  • Capacity for students to continue and extend learning beyond the classroom or school hours; access to learning almost 24/7/365

“With great power comes great responsibility.” To whomever you wish to attribute the origin of the advice, there is a parallel implication for schools given the rapid availability of digital resources, because digital resources place great power for inquiry and creation of understanding in the hands of students and teachers. The implications of great responsibility that follow include:

  • Teachers having significant understanding of and competence with using digital resources
  • Teachers planning and delivering learning activities that introduce students to what is possible when accessing and creating digital resources, while simultaneously supporting them to develop ethical practices
  • Teachers empowering students with abilities to critically inquire, investigate and evaluate what is now available online as ‘truth’
  • Teachers encouraging and growing creativity, confidence and competence in students using digital resources

Fundamentally, the advent of digital learning has not changed the role of a teacher, but it has utterly transformed and refocused the variety of skills teachers employ to grow young people who will flourish and lead the future – a future where digital resources and data will play an inevitable and crucial part. At Concordia, we accept the challenge.

Tony Shillitoe
Director of Digital Resources

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IB and the Arts

“The arts are not simply another fish in the curricular sea. They are the water we swim in.” - Arnold Aprill

One of the benefits recognised of the IB Diploma is the space it provides for students to continue their Arts education. Increasingly, History teacher Neanderthals like yours truly are appreciating the value of the Arts in education. I have put together a few ‘copy / pastes’ and some notes from longer reports that hopefully highlight the value of continuing to choose Arts subjects throughout schooling (and beyond!).

In an information age dependent on innovation, creativity and a constantly changing body of knowledge, there is much at stake. We live in a world of radical shifts in populations, identities, and cultures; of massive amounts of ever evolving, hyperlinked information; and of distributed means of cultural production. Learners are not only consumers of culture, they are producers of culture. The arts are one of the few places where a wide range of learners can make meaningful choices about their own learning. … We live in an image-based world where the ability to shoot and edit video is as powerful a force in global communication as the ability to write and edit text. (Aprill) Knowledge of the arts is a necessary part of cultural literacy in a media-driven society (Ewing).

It is not too dramatic to suggest that not offering students the opportunity to experience a broad array of thinking, social and emotional dispositions through the Arts – to reorder their ‘habits of mind’ – is to deny them the full experience of learning. The Arts serve as an essential bridge across language and cultural differences and build linkage, both within and between communities (Ewing).

Robyn Ewing, for the Australian Council on Educational Research, found that students who studied arts subjects displayed:

  • higher scores on standardised testing, Maths and reading – regardless of socioeconomic status
  • evidence of increased higher order thinking
  • increased motivation to learn
  • improvement in social behaviours
  • cognitive growth, through making sense of art
  • improved self-discipline and self-efficacy
  • increased ability to work in teams, and to offer and receive criticism
  • improved mental and physical health
  • positive risk taking, resilience and perseverence

And I will finish with my (music teacher) wife’s ‘patron saint’, Richard Gill:

Music doesn’t describe, narrate, or tell stories. Music evokes, suggests, implies and opens up the mind of a child in an extraordinary way.

As many students begin to look at subject selections for next year, which has ramifications into the future, I urge you to keep your learning options as broad as possible, and consider the benefits from an Arts subject.

Brendan Toohey
IB Diploma Coordinator

Useful links:

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Class of 2019 Year 12 Formal

On Friday, 17 May the Year 12s celebrated one of the highlights of their year with the annual Formal, which was once again held at the Stamford Grand at Glenelg. It was great to see how much effort the students had gone to in dressing up for the occasion and making the most of the evening. The students had a great time with plenty of dancing and innumerable photos to remember the night. Special thanks must go to the Action Leaders for all their efforts in organising the event, to all the teachers who gave up their time to support the night, and to all the students for the manner in which they embraced what was a fantastic school event.

Clark Roberts-Thomson
Assistant Head of Senior School

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Accessing and Navigating ManageBac

ManageBac is a proactive web tool that allows parents opportunities to view online course learning expectations and progress their children are making.

Every parent receives an email inviting them to set up access to the College ManageBac site using the email address shared with the College and a personal password. If you never received an invitation email, or have lost the original email, by all means contact us and we will generate a new invitation for you.

A quick way to access our ManageBac site if you haven’t bookmarked it on your search browser, is to search for ‘ManageBac concordiastjohns’. The search link will open the College’s ManageBac page where you can enter your login details and also set up a new password if you do forget or haven’t logged in before.

Units, tasks and submitted work, and teacher responses to the work are all live in real time. When a teacher is providing marks and feedback to students, as the information is added it’s possible to view it, meaning the past methods of no one knows what’s going on until every student gets their work back simultaneously sometimes no longer applies. However, when teachers are ready to ‘officially’ publish final results for a task, they press a button that generates email messages to students and parents to alert them to the official result. This is the point at which the task or unit is completed by the class and results completed.

On the ManageBac site, the dark blue left hand menu is your key navigation tool. If you have more than one child at the College, select which child you are wanting to view from the choice in the top left corner. The six icons open views as follow:

Overview: lists all the most recent tasks and messages involving your child
Calendar: shows a month (or week – you can change this) view of the tasks and activities your child has
Messages: shows messages to your child from individual classes
Progress: allows you to open each class to see what units and tasks are specifically set in that class and the level of progress made
Portfolio: stores submitted work from your child
Reports: stores all official term and semester reports of your child’s progress

Wherever there is light blue text in the system, there is usually a hyperlink to more information or an email address in the case of staff members listed on the site. Clicking on the light blue hyperlinks often opens additional information for you.

ManageBac is part of our initial steps to utilise technology to make interaction with the College and understanding of your child’s learning more accessible.

Tony Shillitoe
Director of Digital Resources

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Inter-school Chess

On Friday, 10 May, Concordia's inter-school chess team competed against Pulteney Grammar School and St Paul's College in the first rounds of the 2019 inter-school competition. The team comprises five players ranging from Years 7 – 11.  The round against Pulteney was challenging, as our students were playing against a team that usually plays in a higher division. Although the Pulteney players emerged victorious, all games were hard-fought, and the subsequent round against St Paul's (who have traditionally been a strong team) resulted in three victories and a draw. These results represent a great effort on the part of all team members, and we wish the team well for the remaining rounds, including our next games on Friday, 24 May.

Concordia’s Chess Club meets on Tuesday lunchtimes in the Year 7 breakout space in Murtoa. It is a good opportunity for social players and competition players alike to engage in friendly competition and get to know students from other year levels.  All aspiring players are welcome!

Judy Harris

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Legal Studies Update

Once again the Year 11 Legal Studies classes have had the privilege of hearing from a number of guest speakers that bring their expertise into the classroom and enhance the students' learning to analyse the Australian Legal System. In particular I want to thank Anthony Mennillo and Stewart Kleidon.

The Year 12 class was fortunate to have the following members from the school community come in to be interviewed in relation to the students' Inquiry Task, which is a major piece of summative work for the year: Melissa Yule - Adelta Legal, Solicitor; Mark Minarelli - Fox Tucker Lawyers, Solicitor; Rick Sarre - Professor of Law at the University of South Australia; Tammy Sava - Fox Tucker Lawyers, Solicitor; Anni Danby - Fox Tucker Lawyers, Solicitor; Ruth Beach - Lawyer & Mediator; Dr Ben Authers - Lecturer in Law, Flinders University; and Margaret Barron - Australian Institute of Conveyancers.

Students who study Legal Studies thrive on the myriad of contemporary legal issues they get to discuss every day in class. Studying the course at Year 12 progressively means that students more and more lead directly into a profession that incorporates the law in the future, as each year more students commence Law Studies at Flinders University, University of South Australia and Adelaide University, and some also go on to study Justice Studies. The knowledge gained about how our Australian Parliament functions, the workings of the law courts and knowing your rights as an individual in our Australian society are excellent general knowledge for any young member of society who is soon to be eligible to vote for a better future.

While studying Legal Studies, students get to analyse the ways in which legal issues shape and are shaped by society today. They also consider the ongoing effects of these issues which may have a direct impact on their lives as they enter the democracy of voting with their feet.

Every day in class they critically reflect on how a changing global community influences the Australian legal system and spend time reflecting on values inherent in the Australian legal system.

Rick Sommariva
Legal Studies Teacher

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Year 12 Drama Presents - Boss of the Pool

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.

Book online

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!

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Year 10 & 11 Meningococcal B Immunisations

1st Visit Reminder For Parents of Year 10 & 11 Students

School Immunisation Program

Year 10 – 1st Visit for Meningococcal B
Year 11 – 1st Visit for Meningococcal B

Eastern Health Authority (EHA -, will be visiting the College on Tuesday 11 June to commence the above vaccinations (Dose 1) for those students with parent/guardian consent.

If you did not receive an immunisation consent form from your child, please ask at SSO for one, if unavailable contact EHA on 8132 3600.

If any information you gave on the original consent form has changed, please inform EHA immunisation staff before the date of vaccination on 8132 3600.

Please notify us if:

  • Your child has already started the above program with another provider.
  • You wish to withdraw your consent.
  • Your child’s medical condition has changed.
Remember: It is your responsibility to advise EHA on the day of immunisation of any change in the information on the consent form, in particular, your child’s medical condition. A signed and dated note presented on the day of immunisation from a parent or guardian in your child’s diary is acceptable. 
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Gala Ball tickets on sale now!

We are really looking forward to the Concordia Gala Ball 'The Greatest Show’, a black tie evening of fine dining and entertainment on Saturday, 2 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre. This is our first whole school Gala Ball and it promises to be our ‘greatest show’ yet!

Early bird tickets are available at the discounted price of $160 until Friday 30 June; $175 from 1 July onwards. Click the link below to either book onto your nominated table, or join one of our shared community tables.

Click to book your tickets online:

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Mother's Day Breakfast

Our Mothers’ Day Breakfast, hosted bright and early on Friday 10 May, saw over 130 mothers, grandmothers and special friends come together in The Suaviter to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with their children and hear from guest speaker Naomi McCann, a current parent, P&F Committee member and artist. Naomi spoke about her journey as a mother, and in particular how she has found ways to balance the busyness of work and family life. Guests were also treated to music provided by the Concordia College Jazz Ensemble. 

Thank you to the Parent volunteers and P&F members who helped to make this event such a special one!

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Harmony in the Chapel and Old Concordians' Association 70+ Reunion

Guests at the Harmony in the Chapel concert on Friday, 10 May were treated to highlights from Generations in Jazz which included performances by the College Big Bands and Jazz Choirs. Among the audience members were around 40 Old Concordians, partners and special guests who also attended the 70+ Reunion for those who commenced at Concordia 70 or more years ago. What a wonderful milestone! Thanks to all who came along - we look forward to seeing you again at our next lunchtime concert at 1.30pm on Friday, 9 August, and to seeing these Old Concordians again at the 60+ lunch on Thursday, 12 September.

Sue Spry
Alumni Manager

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Student Achievement

Congratulations to Emma 11JGER whose watercolour painting based on the Unley Swimming Centre mural has been announced as a finalist in the Unley Art Prize competition. The competition will be judged in early June and we wish Emma all the very best! 

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From the Archives: Practical Changes

This week we take a look back at the expansion of the curriculum in the late 1960s to include more opportunities for students to develop practical skills in areas such as 'Home Science' and 'Needlework', with a view to also adding courses in woodwork, sheet-metal work and related skills.


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LLL Update: Budgeting and saving for the future

The LLL has recently published a blog post for teenagers who are starting their first job. The article provides information about budgeting and saving for the future which students may find useful.

For more information about the LLL, watch the video below.

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