Term 1 Week 8

From our Head of Secondary, Mr Steve Tidey

My guess is you’ve heard enough about COVID-19 and the alerts that seem to be part and parcel of our new normal these days. However, one aspect I want to address is the term ‘social distancing’. As we know, in this new context it generally means implementing strategies such as avoiding handshakes and person to person contact, etc.. But the fact is, many of our students experience social distancing of another kind, one that is ongoing, obvious and/or hidden. This is one of the key areas the College has sought to intentionally address by implementing a survey about student to student, and teacher/student relationship. While we scored well in the teacher/student relationship aspects, we noticed that the student to student deep connection was lacking. The results indicated a strong and striking correlation between the relational health and the wellbeing of our students. Students who have healthy relationships with their peers, are far more likely to be thriving as individuals. Research consistently demonstrates a strong link between relationships and wellbeing which “is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections” (Helliwell and Putnam, 2004). 

As a consequence of the surveys and subsequent planning and restructuring, we have put in place an exciting new initiative called CONNECT which has been conceived for Secondary School by our Stage Leaders and College Chaplain. For one hour, twice a week (Wednesdays and Fridays) Secondary School students are immersed in an intentionally designed integrated Pastoral Care, Christian Studies and Relational wellbeing project.

The goal of CONNECT is to grow a more caring community, which is a foundational aspect of the College’s Strategic Plan, and which arises from sections of our Mission statement. We desire our students to “… belong to a caring community that celebrates their individual gifts and abilities, where they develop into secure, resilient lifelong learners who are encouraged to follow Jesus and are prepared to shape culture by serving their community and beyond.”

CONNECT has a long-term scope and plan with sessions deliberately focused on a range of areas to nurture our students including:

1.     Developing a stronger culture of care:
~ Emphasising relational teaching and strengthening peer to peer relationships
~ Developing a safe, supportive learning community
~ Strengthening pastoral care initiatives
~ Supporting student-led groups

2.     Developing secure, resilient lifelong learners encouraged to follow Jesus:
~ Increasing the pastoral responsibility of Stage Leaders who lead teams of Connect teachers
~ Enhancing wellbeing initiatives and pastoral care opportunities
~ Intentionally integrating faith formation to include Chapel, Connect group discussion and Q&A’s, missions, community involvement, and so on.

3.     Celebrating the uniqueness of each student and respecting diversity:
~ Acknowledging student differences, contribution, progress and achievement
~ In respectful and authentic ways, understanding Aboriginal and other cultures in the College

4.     Preparing students to shape culture by serving their community and beyond:
~ Increasing opportunities to serve in the College
~ Increasing the scope and frequency of mission/service trips
~ Strengthening connections with church and community groups

Will you pray with me for the ongoing success of CONNECT as we look forward together to see this new initiative develop and deepen meaningful relationships as we create opportunities for our students to “grow up into Christ”.


Prayer and Praise Points

Praise Points

~ If we look at the College grounds we simply wonder at how our Heavenly Father has taken drought and fire-ravaged land and given it back to us as lush green grassed ovals and flourishing jacaranda mini trees and blossoming crepe myrtles. Simply beautiful. 

~ We are blessed to do life together in community. We were made for relationship – with God, and with each other. Thank you Jesus for our Community!

~ Praise God for our Primary School CRU group that started in Week 6. CRU group, run by Year 6 leaders, is a place for students to explore Christianity and learn how to live out their faith at school. Twenty three little munchkins turned up – most of them were our super-keen Kindy’s! It is a wonderful opportunity to help our younger students grow in their knowledge and faith in Jesus.

Prayer Points

~ Those who are grieving, for those who continue to experience significant health issues and for those who need our deep care and kindness. Please pray that we will be prompted by God’s Holy Spirit to minister to them in Spirit-led ways that convey the Love and Grace of Christ. 

~ Uphold our leaders – our Principal, Executive and the College Board in your prayers as they lead our College forward – wisdom and confidence as they make decisions to honour Jesus through the ministry of BCC.

~ Prayer coverage during this unsettling time is like helping the community to put on its spiritual armour. Our children and our families need wisdom, resilience and protection. We have vulnerable people in our College family – both young and old who need our prayer.

~ Our Government, and especially our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, as he leads our nation forward. 

It is for a time such as this that we acknowledge and are deeply grateful for the fabric of prayer that has been bound around our community for many years by the faithful prayers of dedicated parents. Thank you for upholding our community before God’s throne of grace. 

Praying Parents

Parents are invited to join our prayer group on Mondays at 8:15am and Fridays at 2:15pm at the flagpole near the front gate. If it rains, we will meet in the library. For more information please contact Ang Proctor mailit2us@gmail.com or phone 0409 288 000. Everyone is welcome to join in.

COVID-19 Update

Talking to Children about COVID-19

It is impossible to escape media discussion about the fast-spreading Coronavirus, and if your children haven’t yet begun to ask about it, it is only a matter of time before they do. Many of the stories and rumours that circulate around schoolyards have little to do with the facts. For this reason, it is important to talk to your children, so that you are the source who they trust to understand how to be safe and to alleviate anxiety. Ensure that you are well-informed from government sources and be careful not to spread misinformation (https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov). Be truthful, but recognise that at different ages, a child’s capacity to understand varies. What you say must be age-appropriate. Be reassuring. Even if the virus spreads widely within the community (and we need to be realistic that it may), for most young people, the symptoms are usually relatively mild. Encourage your children to pray for those who are sick. Prayer is not an alternative to healthcare, rather it is a reminder that this is God’s world and He is in control, even at difficult times.

At this stage, the Prime Minister has indicated that schools remain open and continue to follow the guidelines outlined by NSW Health. The College is in a preparedness phase and is indeed undertaking immediate and targeted action to contain COVID-19.  We have increased the frequency of good hygiene practice and continue to ask any staff or student who has cold or flu-like symptoms to stay home. Similarly, if anyone in your immediate home is being tested, please keep the children at home until the test results give the all clear. We have undertaken social distancing strategies and have set about reducing the size of meeting groups and cancelled certain excursions. The College is already planning for continuity of learning in the event of school closure and has established digital delivery plan. Details to follow when needed. 

These are uncertain times and I would like to reassure you that we will keep you informed as we continue to receive advice and support from the NSW Education Standards Authority and NSW Health. 

Our message to children is simple. We need to care for one another by looking after ourselves and having good hygiene. We have no control over whether the virus will enter the mainstream community, and therefore worrying about it just makes people sad and anxious. We need to pray that God would be gracious, but remember that grace takes many forms. I do not know what the course of the virus will be, but I am confident in a God who is Lord over all.

Ms Sharon Sopher
Principal

Receive COVID-19 updates via Skoolbag App

We will continue to update our BCC community via the Skoolbag App. Please check-in to your Skoolbag App on a regular basis for any announcements from our BCC Leadership Team.

Canteen Payments in response to COVID-19

Commencing on Friday, 20th March the Canteen will not be taking cash payments in order to minimise the risks associated with transferring and handling cash. Please utilise our online ordering system or the contactless payment system at the Canteen.

Primary School

Vegie Crunch

Last week, Primary students from Belmont Christian College joined with thousands of students across NSW participating in the ‘Big Vegie Crunch!’, an initiative of NSW Health.

Students were asked to bring in a vegetable instead of a piece of fruit for their Crunch ‘n’ Sip break, and at precisely 10am munched and crunched on those vegies, attempting to beat the record of children eating vegies simultaneously.

We were also a part of the current record, set back in 2018. Whilst it looks like the record will stand for another 12 months at least, it was great to see students eating fresh vegies during this time.

Vegetable platters (and perhaps some sneaky stowaway fruit) were provided and sent around to all Primary classes for those who forgot, or were feeling adventurous enough to try something new.

School buses

School bus travel advice regarding COVID-19

With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve in NSW, it is important to keep up to date with the latest information and advice. School and route bus services are currently operating as normal, however, should this change unexpectedly, our school bus operators will post updates to school and route bus services to their websites. Parents are encouraged to regularly check the websites for updates and announcements regarding bus services for the College in case changes happen unexpectedly outside of school hours. Regular checks to the website will ensure you have the most up-to-date information. 

Busways – www.busways.com.au
Newcastle Transport – https://transportnsw.info/alerts#/bus

Being safe around buses – a message from our bus provider

In order to ensure student safety around school buses please take note of some important safety tips for students when travelling on and around buses. We encourage you to share these safety tips with your children. When catching the bus, students should remember to:

~ Always use your Opal card
~ Plan ahead and don’t rush for the bus
~ Avoid being distracted by mobile devices when waiting for your service or when crossing roads
~ Stand away from the roadside until the bus comes to a complete stop
~ Listen to your driver and always follow instructions given, they are trained to keep you safe
~ Stay seated and don’t move around the bus unnecessarily
~ If there are no seats, make sure you hold onto handrails or straps at all times
~ Press the button well before your stop to give the driver plenty time to stop safely
~ When the bus is arriving at your stop, stay seated or hold on until the bus has come to a complete stop
~ Watch your step and mind the gutter when getting on and off the bus
~ Most importantly, wait until the bus has gone then use a safe place to cross the road. Don’t walk in front of a bus to cross the road – you can’t see what traffic might be coming up beside the bus

Bus numbers on Opal Cards

To assist us and your child to ensure that your child catches the correct bus home, could we please request you write your child’s bus number in texta on the front of your child’s Opal Card. As well, the best contact parent mobile number would help too, in the case of parents needing to be phoned (this is optional, however). A separate see-through wallet type attachment could be used if preferred. It is most important for your child to be aware and refer to this information when catching the bus.

This information will provide your child, teacher or bus buddy the correct information should your child need assistance quickly, particularly for Kindergarten and Stage One Primary students who may sometimes forget their bus number.

Partner with your local library

A great range of FREE resources are accessible when you join your local library! Not only books!
~ eCollections (books, music, magazines, comics, audiobooks, etc.)
~ eResources (enclopedia Britannica. newspapers, HSC resources, journals, databases, etc.)
~ And more, available anytime, anywhere!

We would like to encourage all students and families to join Lake Mac Library by filling out the on-line application at https://library.lakemac.com.au/join

This will enable students to borrow ebooks and audio books. Many of the most popular books are available including those with Accelerated Reader quizzes (for Stage 3 students). Students are able to access The Storybox library, a resource whereby popular children’s books are read and presented to students, through their membership number. Local libraries are great on-line resources for families, particularly if students are required to stay home in light of the COVID-19 virus.

Note that a parent/caregiver will be required to visit the library, to collect and sign for the membership card. If you are not able to collect the card from the local libray please email library@bcc.nsw.edu.au with your child’s name and ‘temporary patron ID number’. We will arrange for the membership card to be delivered to the College for your collection where a signature by a parent/caregiver is required.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Library staff should you require any further information.

Home Tutor Subscriptions

Mathletics

Mathletics is a web-based learning program, which integrates home and school learning via the internet. It covers Kindergarten to Year 12 Australian Maths Curriculum and is currently used in over 1300 Australian schools, with more than 40,000 students accessing the site every day. Mathletics is a resource which can cater for your child’s individual ability and progress.

The benefits of Mathletics include:

~ Students are engaged and motivated to learn.
~ Mathletics can be used both at school and at home.
~ Mathletics is perfect for students seeking further extension in Mathematics, as well as those students who would benefit from extra practice to consolidate their skills.
~ Mathletics is adaptive, it responds to your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
~ Students instantly know if they are on the right track and can work through the curriculum at their own pace.
~ Animated support guides students through concepts. It is like having a Maths tutor 24 hours a day.
~ Teachers can view your child’s progress and adapt their work accordingly.

If you would like extra information, or assistance in how to use Mathletics at home with your child, please refer to the website at http://au.mathletics.com/ or contact our Maths Coordinator, Mr Ian Brown at ian.brown@bcc.nsw.edu.au.

Registration and payments can be made by contacting Mrs Deborah Paardekooper at the College Office on 4922 8311 or deb.paardekooper@bcc.nsw.edu.au. A yearly subscription is available at a discounted price of $40. 

Mathseeds

Mathseeds is a comprehensive online Mathematics program for children aged 3-9. It offers a huge range of carefully structured lessons and activities that build mathematical skills over a broad range of number, shape and measurement topics. The Mathseeds program is packed full of enjoyable child-focused activities that makes learning a rewarding and meaningful experience. It teaches fundamental concepts in a fun, motivating and engaging way, whilst rewarding children for their efforts.

The benefits of Mathseeds include:

~ A wide variety of lessons and activities that have been created by educational experts. Each lesson is carefully structured to build early mathematical skills.
~ Once a lesson is complete, it can be repeated as many times as needed.
~ Mathseeds provides parents with a simple “dashboard” to show each child’s mathematical progress.
~ Children can progress at their own level.
~ Each child can create their own avatar/online character.
~ Golden Acorns rewards can be used to add items to the child’s online treehouse or avatar.
~ Children love collecting the Pets – a new pet hatches at the end of every lesson.
~ Children receive a certificate after successfully completing the quiz at the end of every map.

If you would like extra information please refer to the website at https://mathseeds.com.au/?_ga=2.131044809.739665369.1583202549-294607997.1583202549.

Registration and payments can be made by contacting Mrs Deborah Paardekooper at the College Office. A yearly subscription is available at a discounted price of $25.

Reading Eggs

Learning to read is one of the most important skills children can learn. ABC Reading Eggs makes the learning to read journey fun, interactive, and highly rewarding for ages 2-13. ABC Reading Eggs was created by a highly experienced team of Australian Primary School teachers, writers and developers to help children become fluent and proficient readers. The multi-award winning early learning resource supports your child’s learning to read journey with carefully designed online reading games and activities that are easy to follow, self-paced, and highly engaging for young learners.

~ The lessons use colourful animation, fun characters, songs, and rewards to keep children motivated.
~ The program is completely interactive to keep children on task.
~ When children start the program, they can complete a placement quiz to ensure they are starting at the correct reading level.
~ Parents can access detailed progress reports as well as hundreds of full-colour downloadable activity sheets that correspond with the lessons in the program.
~ The program includes over 2000 online books for kids – each ending with a comprehension quiz that assesses your child’s understanding.

If you would like extra information please refer to the website at https://readingeggs.com.au/.

Registration and payments can be made by contacting Mrs Deborah Paardekooper at the College Office on 4922 8311 or deb.paardekooper@bcc.nsw.edu.au. A yearly subscription is available at a discounted price of $25.

Fundraising with Entertainment Book

Entertainment Books Available Now

Entertainment Memberships are now 100% digital. Saying goodbye to the iconic Book wasn’t easy but the new Entertainment Memberships start anytime and are valid for 12 months from activation. Packed with thousands of substantial savings to delight and inspire, an Entertainment Membership is your pass to exclusive offers and quality experiences, activities and benefits. The digital membership is easy to download to start using instantly. New offers are added weekly for ongoing value all year round.

Benefits of the App include:

  • User-friendly: Instantly search and redeem offers or check out the Near Me tab to find offers, wherever you are.
  • Memberships start anytime: Flexible start date, Memberships are valid for 12 months from when you activate (16 months if you take advantage of the Early Bird offer now).
  • New offers automatically added: As soon as a new offer is available, you get access to it. No more waiting for the next print run!
  • Multiple devices: You can still share your Membership with your family. Encourage your partner and kids to download the App so they can access valuable savings when out.
  • Convenient: The App means that as long as you have your phone, you have your Membership too (no more lugging around the book).
  • Easy gifting: We’ve made it simpler than ever to gift an Entertainment Membership – simply purchase from your chosen fundraiser and the gift Membership will be delivered instantly to your inbox.

For the first time ever you can choose from 3 NEW digital Memberships.

Office News

Parent Drop off/Pick Up Zone

Please remember the Pick up/Drop off zone in the main College carpark is there for you to pick up and drop off, NOT park and get out of car/chat. It is imperative for us to keep the vehicles coming in and out of that zone moving in order to maintain proper traffic flow inside and outside the College gates.

Parents and Visitor access on site

Please note some changes to expectations around visitors to the College.

All parents and visitors to the College during school hours (from 8.50am – 2.50pm) will need to sign in at the College Office before visiting classrooms, Common Grounds Community Garden, or other areas.

If you are collecting students at the end of the day from a classroom, please wait in your car or at the signposted area until the final College bell rings. Entry before 8.50am and after 2.50pm will not require signing in to collect students.

Parents visiting the Alinta Uniform Shop can proceed directly to and from the shop without signing in. Please consider using online ordering for uniforms.

Notice from CommBank School Banking

The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people is our first priority. Due to the rapidly developing situation with Coronavirus, School Banking has been temporarily paused from 20 March 2020 until the start of Term 2. Please don’t bring your deposit book with your weekly banking into school, and we will notify you when banking will recommence.

Please visit our Student Reception

At the rear of the College Administration Building, under the weathershed, near the Canteen you will find our Student Reception. Our Primary and Secondary Administration Assistants attend this desk for all student and parent enquiries. For swift processing, we would appreciate if parents collecting children from the College early or signing their child in late use this Student Reception. Students awaiting early collection wait in this Office area. The College Sick Bay is also located near this office if you need to collect an unwell child.

If you are aware ahead of time that you will be collecting your child early, please email your Primary child’s classroom teacher, write a note in your Secondary child’s diary and email kathy.evans@bcc.nsw.edu.au stating the time and reason for collection.

If you have last minute messages for your children or other student enquiries please contact:
Primary students: Mrs Debbie Paardekooper on 4922 8311 or deb.paardekooper@bcc.nsw.edu.au
Secondary students: Mrs Kathy Evans on 4922 8312 or kathy.evans@bcc.nsw.edu.au

Have you registered with FACTS for school fee payments?

FACTS payment plans are now officially available at Belmont Christian College. This is your chance to make managing your tuition payments easier with a variety of payment methods and the flexibility to break up your payments into smaller increments. We have recently sent you an email asking you to register for FACTS. This is the College’s preferred payment option, and is where you will find your invoice for the year.

FACTS will replace BPAY and Direct Debit payment options, as it offers families enhanced flexibility and control over their payment plans. Payment at the Office or over the phone will still be available should you wish to make payment that way. If you have any further queries regarding FACTS, please contact our Assistant Business Manager, Michelle Mazzantini on 4922 8314.

Creative Arts News

Peter Pan Rehearsals Cancelled

With the rapid changes being caused by our current health alerts, the decision has been made to place Musical rehearsals on hold till further notice. The physicality and movement now needed in rehearsals makes the social distancing requirements impractical.

Whilst we still hope to hold the Musical this year, we are currently looking at the best timing, and have not yet made the decision to change the dates. As we face the need to make choices for the safety of others, further decisions will be carefully considered before making any changes to our plans.

Thank you for your understanding.

Photography and Digital Media field trips

Year 9 Photography have had the opportunity to venture to a variety of places this term to practice using their cameras and advance their skills in manual settings on their DSL cameras. 

A few weeks ago we went to Somersby waterfalls and took a range of photos using slow shutter settings, and last week we experimented with depth of field at Merewether baths. Year 9 Marine study students were also at the baths getting more familiar with their snorkel gear, and were happy to get their photo taken.

Sport News

Years 2 – 12 Cross Country Carnival

The College Cross Country Carnival will now be held on-site at the College on Friday, 27th March for students in Years 2 -12.

Due to recent developments, new government measures and AIS recommendations regarding the Coronavirus, the College Cross Country event will now be held on-site at the College and will now be closed to parents/caregivers/spectators. We appreciate the disappointment this information about the closed College Cross Country may cause, but it is a necessary measure we must take at this time to protect the safety and wellbeing of all involved.

Attendance at this carnival is compulsory for all students. If your child is absent they must provide a valid reason in writing to deb.paardekooper@bcc.nsw.edu.au for Primary students and kathy.evans@bcc.nsw.edu.au for Secondary students.

The Sausage Sizzle has unfortunately been cancelled.

Secondary Zone Swimming Carnival

Last week thirty one students represented the College at the annual Taree, Hunter and Central Coast Christian School (THACCCSA) Zone Swimming Carnival. All students valiantly battled in the pool against the others schools, coming an impressive second to the larger Green Point Christian College team.

Twenty six of the thirty one students qualified through to CSSA State Swimming. Well done all.

Special mention to the following students for placing in Age Champion results:
17 Years Boys 3rd Place – Flynn Mills
16 Years Boys 2nd Place – Lachlan Rae
15 Years Boys 3rd Place – Luke Hall
14 Years Boys Age Champion – Daniel Culjack
13 Years Boys – 2nd Place Aidan Rae, 13 Years Boys 3rd Place – Zac Williams

17 Years Girls 2nd Place – Sarabi Sponza
15 Years Girls 2nd Place – Charlotte Robinson
13 Years Girls 3rd Place – Ellie-Sue Lusis

Primary CSSA State Swimming Carnival

Thirteen Primary students travelled to Blacktown last week as a part of the Hunter Zone team, swimming at the NSW CSSA Swimming Carnival.

Five of those students swam in individual events, and four of those finished in the top three of their event, booking a spot on the CSSA team to compete at NSW CIS in the coming weeks should those carnivals proceed.

Hamish Rae (11yr 50m Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke), Appin Paterson (10yr 50m Freestyle, Backstroke), Isabella Maiden (9yr 50m Freestyle), and Kristian Hallin (11yr 50m Breaststroke) will swim at Homebush in the NSW CSSA team should that carnival proceed.

Whilst he didn’t qualify, finishing 6th, Harvey Lusis took an amazing 4 seconds off his Personal Best (PB) time in 50m Butterfly after beating his PB at Zone by 12 seconds!

Our relay teams (Junior & Senior Boys, and Junior Girls) were awfully close to qualifying. The Girls and Junior Boys finished in in 4th position, although the boys were later disqualified for an early break, and the Senior Boys, whilst finishing 5th, were only 0.34 seconds outside of 3rd in a thrilling finish.

A special congratulations to Hamish Rae who dominated the competition to win the 11yr Boys Age Champion award.

THACCCSA Zone Touch Football Gala Day

What a magnificent effort by students who represented BCC at the annual Zone Touch Football Gala Day. All teams competed valiantly with the Open Girls and Open Boys both just missing a semi final spot based on a for and against ruling by 1 try. The Under 15 Girls and Boys Teams were undefeated all day winning through to their respective Grand Finals. Both teams lost their Grand Finals, despite playing exceptionally well, and were proud runners up.

Congratulations to following students for being selected in the Hunter Team to represent Hunter at the CSSA State Touch Gala Day at Port Macquarie should that carnival proceed: Open Girls: Kate Langejans, Under 15 Boys: Toby Maddison and Luke Hall, Under 15 Girls: Jorja Simolin, Natalie Benn, Amalie Ford, Rosie Neat, Tarryn Ellam and Sophia Hart.

Our Details

65 John Fisher Rd,
Belmont North, NSW 2280

(02) 4922 8300

college@bcc.nsw.edu.au

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