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From the Concordia Campus Principal

A Partnership for Life

I would  like to thank parents for the detailed and thoughtful feedback provided in the 2019 Parent Survey responses. With an excellent response rate to date of 450 families, the data provided is invaluable. The aim of the survey is to gain parent feedback about strategic and operational issues which will inform school improvement plans going forward. The key areas of student learning experiences and general communication are central areas to be addressed through our future strategic plan initiatives which are currently under development. The Concordia College Leadership Team has an intense focus on continual process improvement of which authentic parent feedback is essential.

In reframing our survey questions and the way we collate and action common themes from parent responses, the intent is to strengthen our partnership with parents with the ultimate aim of improving learning outcomes for students.

In ensuring common survey feedback themes become embedded in our school improvement initiatives we acknowledge that families are the first educators of their children and they continue to influence their children’s learning and development during the College years and long afterwards.

The College has an important responsibility in helping to prepare students for an uncertain future, and families trust the College to provide educational foundations for future success. At the same time, the College needs to recognise the primary role of the family in education. This is why it is important for families and the College to work together in partnership.

Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour. Family involvement can have a major impact on student learning, regardless of the social or cultural background of the family. Family involvement in the College is therefore a central goal in our Strategic Plan which is nearing completion, with key initiatives focused on creative ways of involving parents in their child’s education.

Hallmarks of an effective College-parent partnership include:

  • viewing each partner as making equally valuable contributions, while respecting different contributions;
  • respecting student needs and preferences;
  • addressing barriers to involvement in schools by families, and actively helping previously uninvolved families to become involved;
  • creating better programs, opportunities and learning for students;
  • giving families appropriate opportunities to contribute to College decision making and governance; 
  • contributing to professional learning opportunities for teachers by networking with parents;
  • providing opportunities to strengthen parent community involvement through social activities. 

Developing family-school partnerships is not always easy. It requires two-way commitment, significant time and high levels of trust, particularly in instances of behaviour-related issues or complaint resolution. Due to pressures within these types of circumstances, families require consistency of approach and sensitive communication. This approach is at the heart of our gospel-inspired ‘Firm in Principle, Gentle in Manner’ motto, to which our College ethos is anchored.

As we move forward into new and exciting strategic directions (which will be announced early next term), please be assured of our unswerving commitment to work in close partnership with parents to provide a deeply pastoral educational environment in which students can feel supported to make the most of every learning opportunity.

Paul Weinert
Principal - Concordia Campus

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Concordia in Concert

Concordia in Concert was once again a sell-out event on the evening of 13 September, with 220 students, predominantly from Years 7 to 12 but also including a few from our St John's Campus, entertaining an enthusiastic audience. Ensembles and Choirs performed almost three hours of music ranging in style from classical to contemporary and were introduced by student ensemble leaders who compered the evening. The evening showcased repertoire that gave young students an opportunity to develop their performance skills and allowed the senior students to demonstrate the extent and depth of their talent, teamwork and musicianship. Thanks to the Ensemble Directors, Music staff and the students for an enjoyable evening that will long be remembered. Thanks also to the Media staff, staff supervisors and Friends of Music for their support.

Bronwyn Elsegood
Acting Director of Music

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Grandfriends' Day

On Friday, 20 September, our Year 7 students hosted their grandfriends who visited the school during the morning, with students sharing about their learning experiences and the wonderful facilities we are so fortunate to have at Concordia College. The program consisted of a presentation in the Chapel where the highlights included the Year 7/8 Choir, in which Matilda 7LTHO was a standout performer as a soloist, the Year 7 String Quartet and the hilarious ‘Clowning’ performances presented by Year 7 Drama students. Grandfriends participated in a guided tour where students talked in depth of the learning that takes place across the College. Feedback from our guests reflected how impressed they are with not only the facilities, but also the rich learning and opportunities our students have at Concordia College.

Mark Gaskin
Year 7 Pastoral Leader

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Music Notes

2020 Ensemble Auditions

Students are now invited to register to audition for 2020 ensembles. The following ensembles require an audition:

  • Big Bands
  • Wind Ensemble/Concert Band
  • Chamber Strings/String Ensemble

All students wishing to audition for membership in a 2020 ensemble must complete a registration form online by Monday, 14 October.

Students must complete the form for each instrument on which they would like to audition. If you play clarinet and saxophone, you will need to fill in the form twice. If you play trumpet and want to audition for both a concert band and a big band, please complete the form once.

Band Audition Excerpts

Band students will receive instrument-specific excerpts via email in Week 1 of Term 4, but only if they have completed the online form linked above. Students will be presented with sight-reading material in their audition. A schedule of audition times will be distributed via email at the end of Week 2 next term.

Strings Auditions

String students should prepare one page of a piece of music which they are currently working on and which demonstrates their true ability, to present at their audition. If students are playing from memory, they must bring their music with them for the audition panel. Sight-reading and scales will be required, based on the demonstrated level of proficiency. Therefore if you have just completed AMEB Grade 2, please do not present with a Grade 5 piece, as you will be asked to play scales and undertake sight-reading at Grade 5 level.

Audition Days

The following afternoons have been set aside for auditions so please note them in your diary now so that you are available.

Week 3, Term 4 (includes any Year 7 students going to Canberra in Week 4)

Monday 28 October Years 9/10/11 Brass – Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium
Tuesday 29 October Years 9/10/11 Saxophone – Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones 
Wednesday 30 October Years 9/10/11 Wind Instruments – Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon 
Thursday 31 October Years 9/10/11 Rhythm – Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard, Drums, Snare, Tuned Percussion  

Week 4, Term 4

Monday 4 November Years 6/7/8 Brass – Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium 
Tuesday 5 November Years 6/7/8 Saxophone – Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones 
Wednesday 6 November Years 6/7/8 Wind Instruments – Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon 
Thursday 7 November Years 6/7/8 Rhythm – Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard, Drums, Snare, Tuned Percussion 

Week 5, Term 4

Monday 11 November Years 9/10/11 Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Week 6, Term 4

Monday 18 November Years 6/7/8 Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass 

Term 4 Instrumental Workshops

Please use the online Instrumental Workshops registration form to sign up for specialist music workshops in Term 4, 2019.

Students, please complete this form by Monday, 14 October. The schedule of workshops appears below – there will be one session for each instrumental section; students will not break off into smaller groups. Students who are having instrumental lessons on the instrument being presented are welcome to register. All students who attend will be required to participate, while students may nominate to be called on to perform should the leader require volunteers. The sessions are closed to outside observers. Each session will run from 3.30pm until 5pm and there is no cost. Registration is essential.

Tuesday 15 October Saxophones Alto, Tenor, Baritone
Thursday 17 October Brass Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, French Horn
Tuesday 22 October Rhythm Keyboard, drums, bass, guitar, vibraphone
Thursday 24 October Wind Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon
Monday 4 November Upper Strings Violin, Viola
Monday 4 November Lower Strings Cello, Double Bass

Bronwyn Elsegood
Acting Director of Music

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2019 NAPLAN Results (Concordia Campus)

Please note that we have recently received the 2019 NAPLAN results for students in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 from ACARA. These results are normally received in schools much earlier than this, but due to some delays ACARA’s distribution has been later this year and they were posted to parents on Wednesday.

NAPLAN results provide us with helpful information about student achievement levels that we use in conjunction with a range of other assessment data to help us determine student progress and more importantly how we can best support students in their learning going forward.

Please feel free to contact Clay Watkins, Assistant Head of Middle School, or Cheryl Jercic, Inclusive Learning Coordinator, should you wish to discuss these results further.

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Personal Project Exhibition

Tuesday 17 September (Week 9 of Term 3) saw the culmination of all of the hard work put in by Year 10 students with their Personal Projects. Once again, we saw an amazing array of varying ideas that have been generated over almost three full terms of work. Projects ranged from skateboards and beeswax products, to go-carts, fire pits, cookbooks, travel guides and even comics that sold out at a recent event, and so many more!

Special mention to our three award recipients:

  • ‘Achieve’ award: Eva 10CROB for an outstanding project around handmade jams using Indigenous ingredients
  • ‘Serve’ award: Shae 10SKLE for a project that provided a commitment to helping women through access to hygiene products in developing countries
  • ‘Engage’ award: Jack 10CROB for focus and diligent work for the entirety of the project on his travel guide to India & Nepal.

The Exhibition evening was well attended and I thank those who were able to attend.

Thank you also to all involved with the Personal Project, it is truly amazing to see the work that our students can do!

Emily Johnson
MYP and Personal Project Coordinator

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Year 8 and 9 Reading Programme

In Year 8 and 9 English classes, we have been trialling a reading programme, after an inspiring professional development session we attended last year with Professor Rosie Kerin. It focused on the re-engagement of reluctant readers in the Middle Years. Essentially, students tend to read recreationally in the Primary Years as it is built in to their daily curriculum and routine, but this is compromised with the demands of curriculum in high school. In their first lesson of the week, the classes engage in a screen-free lesson. They are given ten minutes and a writing prompt, to which they must respond in a handwritten manner. There is not a focus on spelling or grammar, they are just encouraged to write. The intent of this is two-fold; to encourage students to ‘just start’ writing without over-thinking, and to increase the reflection and growth process that they don’t get to see when working from a screen. It encourages a growth mindset of ‘look how far I have come’. The students are then invited (but not compelled) to share their work. They then commence reading and are permitted to have a cup of tea or Milo. Additionally, this has involved classes visiting and reading with Reception students at our Primary School campus. The ‘reading buddies’ have developed strong relationships and it is a highlight of the term for both year levels. The students have thoroughly loved the experience and we’ve had such positive feedback from parents who have commented that their teenagers are reading at home again… for pleasure! A wonderful initiative for all involved!

Vanessa Narino-Terry
English and Humanities Teacher

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Year 11 Pastoral Care Reflection Day

On Friday, 20 September, the Year 11s braved the weather for our inaugural Reflection Day walk. After a couple of months of planning where we envisaged a day of sunshine, we were presented with a day forecasting 100% chance of rain. But the weather was kind, remaining dry, overcast and cool long enough for us to complete the 8 kilometre Mount Lofty Heysen Trail Loop hike in perfect conditions.

The purpose of the day was to give the students time to reflect on their learning journey thus far, and to think a little more deeply about what lies ahead for them in Year 12. Throughout the walk students participated in a number of activities, including creating accessories for next year’s formal, reflecting on their time in nature, and an epic game of ‘Capture the Flag’. A massive thanks must go to Pastor Dale and Mrs Crouch who organised the reflection activities and the team building games respectively.

Here’s what some of the students had to say about the day:

'The Year 11 Reflection Day allowed us to get away from the busy lives we live and out into the calm and beautiful nature seen around the Mount Lofty area. It was a great opportunity for us to form new relationships, build up existing ones and all together strengthen our bond as a year level. But most of all, the walk allowed us to think about the journey we are about to take together (that being our final year of school), and made us consider how we want the year to go. It was a day I will definitely remember and reflect on over the next year. Chelsea – 11JWEG

'In a world, where we are constantly bombarded by information, it's important to take time to reflect on our identity, faith, aspirations and our relationships with each other. That's why it was particularly fulfilling that we were able to to take time to contemplate in the tranquility of Mt Lofty. Perhaps the best part of the day was when we broke the silence of the walk by sharing positive affirmations, messages and Kit-Kats with each other.' Benny – 11BTOO

'Everyone really seemed to enjoy the day, and it was good fun spending some time together climbing Mt Lofty. Given the 100% chance of rain forecast for the day, we were pretty lucky that the rain held off!! A big thanks to Mrs Crouch for the fun activities she organised, and to Pastor Dale and Ms Wegener for making the day possible!' Sarah – 11JHAR

'I felt that the day was a perfect opportunity for our year level to connect and be refreshed, and it was nothing short of amazing. I particularly loved the silent reflection part of the walk. I felt challenged throughout the day and it was so wonderful to see friends and classmates getting behind one another during the tougher parts of the walk. It was also very funny playing the hilarious games; it was a great throwback to our childhoods playing capture the flag!' Charlotte – 11BTOO

'Last week the year 11 cohort went off to Mount Lofty to have a day of reflection on the schooling years that have passed, and looking ahead to the last big one to come. We participated in fun activities like capture the flag and making formal accessories out of random objects we found along our walk. The hardest part of the day was the climbs that Mount Lofty presents, which were challenging, but made us a appreciate aspects of nature and the support and care our friends can give us in tough times.' Sam – 11JHAR 

Joanne Wegener
Year 11 Pastoral Leader

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Brown and Gold 60+ Lunch

Our annual Old Concordians' 60+ Brown and Gold 60+ Reunion is always a highlight for those who attend, with many making their annual visit to Concordia from interstate, as well as regional areas including Ceduna, Jamestown, Maitland and Cleve. There was a wide range of peer years represented, from the Class of 1936 to the Class of 1959 – our newest 60+ group – which had over 30 members in attendance. It was wonderful to experience the joy as old friends reconnected and relived shared memories. We thank the Year 9 Ambassadors who welcomed and looked after our guests, and the St John’s Campus string group for a most enjoyable performance.

Sue Spry
Alumni Manager

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2019 School Immunisation Program - Second Visit for Year 8s

Second Visit Reminder for Parents of Year 8 Students 


Eastern Health Authority (EHA – ) will be visiting Concordia College on Tuesday 22 October to administer the 2nd dose of the HPV vaccine for Year 8 students where consent has been provided.

If for some reason you did not receive a consent form, and you wish your child to be vaccinated, please ask for one at SSO, or contact EHA on 8132 3600.

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

Please notify us if:

  • Your child has already had the 2nd HPV 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.

Sue Bates
Medical Support Officer

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Student Mobile Phones at Concordia

The media is rife with the debate over students having mobile phones while at school and people are scrambling to produce studies to support banning student mobile phones. However, Concordia College has had a very clear policy and practice in place for several years, contained in the College Digital Charter and the Responsible Users Agreement parents and students co-sign, and we believe it is a responsible approach based on teaching young people appropriate and contextual behaviours.

As phones, smartphones are useful for:

  • Family communication
  • Safety and emergency.

and we know these are the primary reasons many students are given phones by their parents.

Smartphones can also be powerful mobile tools that allow students to:

  • Copy notes (photographs)
  • Create photographs
  • Create videos
  • Capture audio and audiovisual performances
  • Use creative apps not available on the College devices

and, used appropriately, they can enhance learning.

At Concordia Campus, students may have a smartphone for contacting family before entering the school grounds and after leaving at the end of the school day. At all other times during the school day, the phone must be on silent or preferably off. The only exception is if/when teachers ask or allow students to use their phones for a learning activity. 

Our students have clear protocols to follow as they learn to be responsible digital citizens. Our teachers also have clear protocols to follow, including the authority to temporarily confiscate phones in cases where students do not adhere to school expectations. This is to ensure that students who are doing the right thing every day do not have their privileges removed because of the actions of students who have not yet learned how to manage their phones. 

We also ask parents to avoid communicating with their children during the school day by phone. Apart from the obvious disruption to learning that might occur, there is every chance the students do not have the phone on or available. We encourage parents to direct communication through the College Student Services Office to staff who will know where the students are and how to best contact them to pass on the message.

Teaching our young people responsible use of mobile phones is an important and necessary partnership between the College and parents and we thank parents for their ongoing support in this matter. 

Tony Shillitoe
Director of Digital Resources

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Save the Date: Year 11 Drama Production

Please save the date for our upcoming Year 11 Drama Production, which will be taking place in Term 4 on Tuesday 29 October at 5pm and 6.30pm. Further information will follow in the coming weeks. We hope to see you there!

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