Goodbye on-line learning?

This will be my final message of the partial shutdown of Queensland schools. We have now returned to everyday classroom interactions, and although we still cannot have assemblies and the junior pick up resembles the end of a music festival we can be assured I think that our College is slowly returning to normal.

So, although instruction will be face to face, we now have a student body and workforce who are more attuned to the possibilities of e-learning. This represents a really great opportunity and one that I am not very keen on letting pass by.

Fore example, a number of our teachers have started using lightboards as a means to deliver homework tasks. Mrs Wolff in secondary Maths and Mrs Carter in Prep have led the way with this rather simple strategy and the feedback has been really positive.

The picture above is from a survey sent today to parents of Prep Bilbies. Whilst there will always be a need to balance our traditional modes with innovation, it shows that this (currently small) sample of parents feel that this innovation is successful. In the same survey, three quarters of respondents felt the use of the lightboard increased engagement with home learning. This is of course not a gap between an abacus and a calculator or handwriting and the printing press. Our classrooms are exciting, positive and inclusive places of learning with the current levels of tech. A balance between the two can only bring advantages though.

It is the Covid crisis that has led to this development, and I want to maintain that positive momentum.

So, whilst this is indeed goodbye to on-line learning – I am hoping that the strategies we have developed will in many ways be maintained.

Finally – thank you very much for your ongoing patience and understanding during what has been a challenging and overwhelming time. It has been greatly appreciated.

Take care

Mr Chris Gabbett

College Principal

Traffic Management (P-6)

To limit congestion at Junior pickup, can parents please be aware;

From Friday, 22 May, P-2 children can be collected from Uluru from 2:45pm. If you are waiting on older year levels please delay your entry to the College to allow the collection of younger years. 

In the afternoon from 2:45 – 3:20 cars exiting onto Highfields Road need to turn left only. 

Staff will hand out more Look Out! Cards at pick up today.  I encourage you to write your family surname on these and display them at pick up to expedite the process.

From Monday, 25 May, years five and six children (and younger siblings if collected by older siblings) can be collected from the Senior carpark, the front gate on Highfields Road or the AFL oval on Highgrove Drive from 3:00pm. 

We would prefer parents stay in their cars at pick up and drop off and while we realise this makes some processes slower we appreciate your patience and understanding.

These variations will remain in place until social distancing requirements are eased by the State Chief Medical Officer.

Many thanks

Mr Chris Gabbett


Where to from here..?

Following on from my last post about what really matters and as restrictions gradually lift and we slowly return to pre-COVID life, I encourage you to pause.

Down tools and sit with your family. Talk about what you have learned about yourself and each other. Discuss how you can incorporate these learnings into your day to day life to enhance your ability to live your values.

KEEP. Acknowledge all the things you are doing which are working well – those things you want to KEEP doing;

STOP. Identify any unhelpful behaviours and patterns which are getting in the way of your effectiveness – those things you want to STOP doing;

START. Consider the things you aren’t doing now, but that would improve your wellbeing – those things you want to START doing.

Our KEEP, STOP, START template may also support this reflective process for you individually or as a family.

Dr Jasmin Slack-Smith

Guidance Counsellor

Announcement from the Education Minister

As expected, the Minister for Education has confirmed this morning that Queensland schools will re-open for all students for face-to-face learning from 25 May 2020.

The Department of Education will revise the Term 2 Operating Guidelines – these will be passed on as they become available.   

As a College, we will begin the process of re-aligning the standard timetable.  We have sent the attendance letter to all families for next week – please do complete it by Sunday so we can ensure a spread of resources. Please remember that next week remains on-site supervision only for years 2-10, with the maintenance of online learning.

Thank you all very much for your patience during the pick up and drop off on the Junior side of the College. As more students return and social distancing needs to be maintained, the pressures will increase. Please do keep supporting us in keeping the site safe.

I hope you all have a really lovely weekend.

Mr Chris Gabbett


Virtual Mother’s Day Liturgy

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day with a liturgy themed “In God’s likeness”. We celebrate all the mums, grandmothers, aunties and all those who are like mothers to us.

Thank you to all those families who contributed photos for the Mother’s Day tribute, featured in this liturgy. We hope you all have a wonderful day on Sunday, celebrating all the mums, grandmas, and mother-figures in your lives.

Winter is coming…

Regular school functions return next week for four of our year groups, and the numbers of other year groups are gradually creeping up as businesses re-open. We are slowly returning to normal.

It is timely to remind the community that terms 2 and 3 at Mary MacKillop are when winter uniform is worn. Can the transition please be made to the winter uniform as outlined in the college expectations here. Please note that in the Senior college, blazers are now a standard element of the winter uniform.

You will recall that we are looking to institute a winter formal uniform for girls in the Junior college, who do not have that option at present. A P and F committee have come up with some recommendations and I will be going through a process of consultation very soon. The plan is for these to be available for purchase for this year, once approved, but to NOT be compulsory for at least one full year. Many thanks to that committee.

Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe.

Mr Chris Gabbett


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