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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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The Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) Literacy Team provided services in 2014 that were strategically designed to build the capacity of schools to continuously improve the literacy outcomes of all students P–12. The services included diverse professional learning opportunities, differentiated to best meet the needs of leaders and teachers in schools.
Year 2 Literacy Assessment and Teaching
The key focus of the project was
to identify the assessment capabilities necessary to lead, promote and support
continuous improvement in student learning. Schools worked through an inquiry
process to develop shared practice reflective of a sophisticated understanding
of student-centred assessment.
Teachers in the project:
The F–2 Literacy Assessment and Teaching project outcomes included 10
Guiding Principles for F–2 assessment and a ‘Telling Insight’ that captured the
essence of the assessment learning from each school in the project.
F–2 teachers from St Anthony's School, Melton South.
Participation in the mentoring service enables leaders to be
active in the professional learning of their peers, within and beyond the
individual school context. All involved,
both mentor and mentees, are supported to build their capacity to implement
leadership practices, identified as having a significant impact on learning. The
aim is for leaders to develop the confidence to contextualise their leadership
through learning opportunities involving:
In 2014, participants were from a range of areas including:
Reflection from a mentor:
Some of the most significant learning has
been the notion of empowerment, through reflection and effective questioning, by
receiving feedback through trust not assessment, by fostering a non-judgmental
and relationship-orientated partnership, and by having the coaching
conversations supported by evidence. (2014 Literacy Mentor)
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