To garden is to care deeply, inclusively, and audaciously for the world outside our homes and our heads. It’s a way of being that’s intimately interwoven with the real truths of existence – not the things we’re told to value (money, status, ownership), but the things that actually matter ( sustenance, perspective, beauty, connection, growth). To be a gardener is to be invested in a place – to know it, to protect it and to be present. Georgina Reid, The Planthunter
2020 has been a year of consolidation for Inclusive Education at Merici College. With the increase of professionals to our team we have seen The Hub, our central location, become a consistent hive of activity for students from across all year groups needing additional support. This space houses many varying aspects of improving learning for students.
There have been many changes this year in Creative and Performing Arts. This year we had three new staff join the team, Mrs. Nicola Bartasek as the Music Teacher, Ms. Carly Johnson as the Drama Teacher and Ms. Justine MacCormick as a Visual Arts, Photography teacher and as the Coordinator. Mrs. Laura Pearce continued teaching Dance, Mrs. Liz Igoe-Taylor Visual Arts and Mr. Matthew Reynolds Media.
What a year we have had, one like no other! In response to the challenges that arose in our community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers rallied together and developed interesting and engaging activities which were delivered remotely during the lockdown period. Their professional approach to caring for the students was impressive. The Global Studies Department includes the subjects of Legal Studies, Business Studies, Graphic Design, Senior Ancient and Modern History, Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, Business and Economics, Integrated Humanities, Food Technology and Textiles.
Being an English teacher at Merici College is fantastic because we see the passion and empathy of our students as they explore great literature and other forms of communication.
And we thought 2019 was a year of change! Just as things were settling in towards the end of Term 1, remote learning was upon us. Rather than seeing this as a huge imposition, the Religious Education staff jumped in to the challenge and managed to engage the students with some new ways of doing things – many of which have remained as we returned to the “new normal” once back at school. The variety of new software being used in classes is amazing!
The Languages Department has an activity-filled year. We are raising the cultural awareness in the school community by celebrating national days and festivals from Italy, China and France. An important but simple way to attain inter-cultural understanding is through food and celebrations.
For this task, I created a choral piece entitled, ‘A Prayer During Change’, praying to Saint Angela Merici, as ‘…a woman of foresight and courage who enjoined her successors to make changes according to the needs of the time.’ (The Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020), for guidance and strength during ‘… times of change’. The piece explores the theme of transitioning, reflecting on challenges faced by the Merici Community during 2020, and highlighting how, whilst confronting, periods of transition facilitate growth and flourishing.
Wow, what a year. Bushfires, smoke, hail, COVID-19, remote learning and the constant feeling of not really knowing what was going to happen next, has made this a highly unusual year for everyone. It is definitely a year we would like to not repeat, but it has also shown how amazing and resilient the Merici community really is, including the Science Department.
THE YEAR IN MATHEMATICS
Throughout this year, students across Year 7-12 have shown resilience and creative ways to engage in Mathematics, both online and in the classroom.
We have welcomed to the Department Mr. Damien Nemeth and Miss Emma Bishop at the start of the year and Mr. Ed Mickleburgh and Mr. Damien Woods in Semester 2. All come with a wealth of experience and a passion for teaching and learning.