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From the College Pastor

Dale Gosden

At this point in the year, could you do with some joy? How about a sense of hope for the future? Perhaps peace is what you seek most of all.

People count down the days to Christmas and the holidays every year, but I feel like people are particularly worn down this year as they hold out for the end. We get glimmers of hope in the news about our borders, our living circumstances, our workplaces, and our health, and then things quickly take a turn for the worse. It is draining to face ongoing problems that don’t seem to have a solution and that are too big for us to fix. We don’t just need a break; we need a breakthrough.

Amidst this backdrop, we have the season of hope, love, joy and peace – the season of Advent. This is the time we anticipate Christ’s coming at Christmas, when he dispelled the darkness of his own people and brought hope to a nation that was desperate for change. Jesus’ message, however, was for all people, for he came to give us all hope, love, joy and peace – gifts that come from faith in him, as he draws us into the life he has prepared for us.

Jesus paints a different picture for what will bring us lasting hope, love, joy and peace. These things don’t come from external circumstances, which fluctuate and change all the time. Jesus calls us to look to him for everything, so that he may be our constant and unchanging source of life and contentment.

In Advent, we light a candle each week to prepare for Christmas, each one representing hope, love, joy or peace. The light of the candles reminds us that God fulfilled his promises to save the world in some of the bleakest circumstances. Our reflections in our Chapel services this term have relived these, focusing on God’s incredible power to bring hope, love, joy and peace when the situation for God’s people appeared disastrous. In Advent, we remember that God did this in the past, and he will do it again in the future, when he comes in glory at the end of time to bring the fullness of joy and dispel all darkness and despair for ever. I can’t wait.

So crank up the carols. Sing some songs of hope and joy and relish the freedom that comes from knowing you don’t have to sort out the world's problems yourself – and you can’t anyway. Hand it over to the One who came to bring hope, love, joy and peace that will last. And have a lovely break, when you get one. 

What Is Advent? Click here for more information.

Dale Gosden
College Pastor

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Christmas Tree Festival

A felt Christmas tree and a more traditional Christmas tree created by Year 4sBoth Year 4 classes took up the challenge to be part of the St John's Lutheran Church Christmas Tree Festival. Each class designed something that was unique to them and had a message to share.

4ER - Interactive nativity tree

Students designed and created elements of the nativity scene to place on the felt Christmas tree that depicted the Christmas story.

4AR - Wood and paper tree

Students in 4AR created decorations out of reclaimed toilet rolls and added them to previous students' wooden decorations that told the story of how Christ was born into a wooden stable, laid in a wooden crib, became a carpenter and worked with wood until finally dying on a wooden cross.


We hope that the community will be able to engage with our creations and the many others that are on offer there this week.

Anita Ruggiero and Elizabeth Reu
Year 4 Teachers

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English as an Additional Language/Dialect

In a Concordia Connect article earlier this term, Jane Graham (German Teacher) and Maggie Gu (Chinese Language Program Coordinator) shared details of an extensive collaborative research project that they have been leading, which has focused on how the College can strengthen key aspects of our existing Language program to support the language development of our students. A key focus of this project involved developing key recommendations for how the College could more effectively support our students who require additional ‘English’ language support, and our teachers in their curriculum delivery. This project has specific relevance for us as a College, especially as we grow in both population and cultural diversity across ELC to Year 12 over the coming years. 

Based on the recommendations from this research project, the College has made the decision that during 2022, we will commence implementing a specifically developed English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) program across ELC to Year 12, that will reflect our context and unique student strengths and diversity. The program will aim to support all students where English is not their family’s first language, especially where there is an indication that this is impacting on an individual student's engagement, learning progress and achievement.

Throughout Semester 1 next year, a dedicated ‘EAL/D Team’ will develop and refine the College’s EAL program, ELC to Year 12. A key part of this stage will be connecting with families and teachers to identify students who require additional ‘English’ language support. Professional Development for our teachers in this area will also be facilitated.

This decision also has significance and connection with our International Students program, especially with international borders now preparing to open which will result in an increased number of overseas students seeking enrolment at our College over the coming years.

We look forward to communicating with families more directly as we progressively develop and refine our EAL program to support the learning progress and achievements of our students across the College.

Paul Bannister
Director of Student Learning (Concordia Campus)

Rachel Muldoon
Director of Teaching and Learning (St John’s Campus)

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Year 3 Camp

On 25 - 26 November, the Year 3 students went on camp to Nunyara in Belair. The students participated in a range of activities focussing on encouragement, participation and communication. Students made shelters from different materials, climbed a 12m high tree, made and then trialled their own billy cart tracks, and competed in a range of water-based activities amongst other fun activities. We came back more tired than when we left but with many fond memories of a fun time together.

Daniel Keylock and Caitlin Wilk
Year 3 Teachers

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ELC Celebration of Song

The ELC children delighted their families with a wonderful performance of songs they have learnt throughout the year. The Concordia Chapel provided a beautiful setting for the children to share their gift of song. We began with an Acknowledgement of Country in the Kaurna language, sang some fun songs with actions and finished with some favourite Christmas carols.

Kate Wood
ELC Director

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Year 4s visit Monarto Safari Park

Last week the Year 4 students had a fun and adventurous day reinforcing their learning about how all animals rely on each other for their survival. Earlier in the year we had looked closely at this interdependence and were due to spend a day with the animals; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we had to postpone until now. The students engaged well with all of the activities and demonstrated some wonderful prior knowledge. The exploration was a chance to 'monkey' around and see their learning came to life before their eyes, as well as providing some extraordinary memories of their time in Year 4.

Libby Reu and Anita Ruggiero
Year 4 Teachers 

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ELC shares Christmas Wishes to our Neighbours

The children from the ELC have designed Christmas cards for Concordia’s neighbours. We enjoyed a walk in the sunshine to deliver them, taking turns to put them into letterboxes.

The children wrote messages in the cards to our neighbours:

Christiana - Have a lovely Christmas with your family.

Lilly-Rose - I hope that you give some good presents.

Neve - I’ve already put up my tree, have you?

Ryan - Thank you for Christmas, thank you for the creation of your house.

Isabel E - Merry Christmas everyone. 

Christmas blessings from the ELC children to all our community!

Kate Wood
ELC Director

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Christmas at St John's Lutheran Church Unley

Advertisement for Christmas services at St John's Lutheran Church, Unley

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MOvember: Raising Funds for a Worthy Cause

On 1 November 2021, a motley crew of freshly shaven St John’s Campus and OSHC staff embarked on the itchy journey of growing moustaches for MOvember. Notable mentions to the female OSHC staff who participated in a MOVEmber, exercising alongside their team members to help raise money and awareness for men’s health.

Both teams grew and moved to raised money, raising a combined total of just over $3,600 towards supporting men's health, both mental and physical. We thank the community for their involvement over the past 30 days.

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Pokemon Club

This year, students at the St John’s Campus have been able to participate in a range of different activities during their lunchtimes. These optional ‘Lunch Clubs’ have been a great way for students to engage with areas of passion, learn new skills or just make friends across year levels with other students who have similar interests. Lunch Clubs this year have included: Lego Club, Craft Club, Reading Club, Chess Club, Stop Motion Club, Music Club, Games Club, Knitting Club and Coding Club.

One other club that has been running in Term 4 is Pokemon Club. At Pokemon Club, children have been learning to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Even though it is a complicated game, the children have learned how to set it up as well as learning the rules of the game, how to win and have been starting to think about strategy.

With 25-35 students from Reception to Year 5 attending each week, it has been great to see so many children making friends across different year levels and challenging themselves to learn a new game. The children have been learning thinking skills, social skills and communication skills while having lots of fun playing a new game. It has also been a great opportunity for some of our Year 5 students to take on a mentor and leadership role as they supported our younger students who were playing for the first time.

Lunch Clubs have been a great opportunity for children to find new passions and to shine in lots of different, extraordinary ways this year.

Graham Buxton
Year 2 Teacher

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Frohe Weihnachten

Year 4ER Christmas tree activityOn Friday 26 November, Year 4ER had the privilege of hosting Mrs Kathy Thompson as a guest speaker, talented with all things craft and grandma to Bethany, one of the students in that class.

Students are currently completing a unit of work exploring Advent and Christmas traditions in German speaking countries, including such traditions as the German “Weihnachtsmaerkte” (Christmas Markets). Kathy’s visit connected well with our current unit. She shared the story of the nativity with students as well the origins of “Weihnachtsbriefmarken” (Christmas stamps).

A culmination of this current unit of work is a unique ‘Weihnachtsbaum” (Christmas Tree) that the students are entering into the upcoming St John’s Lutheran Church Christmas Tree Festival being held this week. Year 4ER students co-created the tree with Kathy. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of Kathy in bringing all of this together. Students are very excited to see their tree as part of the upcoming Christmas Tree Festival.

Jane Graham
German Teacher

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Year 8 and Reception to Year 2 Christmas Craft

It was great to see the Year 8 students helping our Reception, Year 1 and 2 students make Christmas crafts during our Pastoral Care time on Wednesday. Each Year 8 Home Class brainstormed craft ideas to share and guided students through the steps to produce fantastic art. Students developed Christmas cards, pipe-cleaner ornaments, Christmas wreaths and Christmas trees. Thank you to all involved!

Rachel Hogan
Year 8 Pastoral Leader

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Christmas Market Stall

A huge thank you to all who attended our recent Christmas Market Stall, and to the wonderful parent volunteers who organised and ran the stalls.

There was a fabulous festive atmosphere and a great buzz of excitement in the Courtyard, with many wonderful Christmas items on sale and some special treats available for afternoon tea.

Overall, more than $1000 was raised on the day - a fantastic effort!

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