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Catherine SchefferYear 12 Siena College, Camberwell
Along with six other Siena students and two teachers, I embarked on an immersion to South Africa for two weeks last year, living with a host family while learning of the history and culture of the country.
I noticed that despite all the hardships of the women of Kopanang, they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. The children stood out in particular for me; happy over the slightest of things.
For example, the other students and I brought balloons, pencils and stickers, which had them ecstatic for days on end.
This ability to draw happiness from poverty and quite often, hunger and pain, motivated me to produce a series of drawings under the title Happy Sadness which will be featured in the 2015 Visual Arts Display during Catholic Education Week.
A young boy named Tyron, who was a member of my host family, personally inspired me as he was always happy despite the conditions he lived in. I grew very close to Tyron, as well as having a strong connection to other children I encountered.
It was after my time at Kopanang that I realised how much we take for granted; food, water, safety, education and much more.
Without knowing the children it is impossible to depict their current state of poverty. These children’s facial expressions show us that money is not the key to happiness.
It is my duty to tell my Siena school community that ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’
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Learning and Teaching
within the Curriculum & Secondary Services Unit work collaboratively to
provide services to schools in the areas of:
CEOM Learning and Teaching policy renewal
In 2014, a
renewed Learning and Teaching policy for the Archdiocese of Melbourne was
developed in draft form. The new directions in learning and teaching, Horizons of Hope, outlines an overarching narrative that
articulates our shared aspiration for learners and learning in Catholic
schools. Developed in response to research conducted into our Catholic schools
and also key findings from the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project, Horizons of Hope provides directions for
learning and teaching initiatives of the CEOM. Thirty-six schools and 14 CEOM
teams were engaged in the research, writing and consultations around the
development of Horizons of Hope.
Inaugural CECV Languages Strategy
Early in 2014,
the Languages – Finding Your Voice 2014–2016
strategy was launched, which aims to ensure that the learning of an additional
language will enable all young people to find their voice in a globally
connected world. A large number of primary and secondary schools have attended
credentialled and non-credentialled professional learning programs or been in
receipt of grants through the year, with the ‘Leading Languages Learning’
program being a particular success, supporting school leaders to take a
strategic approach to improving the quality of languages learning in their
school and resulting in significant shifts in attitudes, understanding and
New Science Strategy
In 2014, the
new CEOM Science Strategy commenced. Science
– Enabling Learning is designed to leverage the potential of Science to
enable improved student learning across multiple learning areas, including
literacy and numeracy. This CEOM Strategy builds on its own internationally
recognised professional learning programs such as the Science Teaching and
Learning (StaL) project, which seeks to foster student citizenship,
philosophical inquiry and a deep moral purpose through the development of the
Professional Learning Programs
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