More than at any other time in history seem to be living in a society preoccupied with “popularity”. We are bombarded with information from polls taken on all manner of topics that purport to tell us about what and who is “popular” - from politicians to pop stars to fashions and opinions. Social media is driven by the number of Friends, Connections, Likes, or Shares we get. Even our highest rating TV shows are based on the premise of contestants being “voted” out or in. The focus of our attention and often our conversation is constantly shifting; tracking what is “trending” or the short lived “viral” post.
At a simple level this preoccupation can be annoying. At a deeper level, however, it can be a factor in the serious problems of cyber-bullying and online trolling.
For many this may simply be an indication of the shallowness and superficiality of today’s “popular culture”. To others it will be symptomatic of the techno-bureaucracy and hyperconnectivity of modern life.
While each of these viewpoints hold a measure of truth they do not necessarily allow for what the situation reveals more deeply about the nature of humanity and of community - both the power and the fickleness of popular opinion.
A quote attributed to Winston Churchill says that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all other options”. Regardless of our own political inclinations we can recognise in this quote the truth that “what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right”.
As we approach the Easter season we can see that this is not a problem isolated to our modern world. It is, rather, endemic to our natures and enduring in our cultures.
The account of the Easter week begins with Jesus Triumphal entry to the city of Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday Jesus was celebrated - heralded and acclaimed. “Hosannah” sang the crowds of people that paved his way with cloaks and palm fronds as he rode a donkey into Jerusalem. At this point his popularity was unmatched.
How quickly opinion changed.
Within the course of a few days the same city changed its cry from “Hosannah, hosannah” to “Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ To the popular viewpoint Jesus changed from being a King to a Criminal; from being worthy of coronation to crucifixion.
Popularity was not then and is not now a measure of truth or of being right.
Some of us have lived through a similar change in the public’s view about Christianity. In the period of a generation our Nation has shifted from the popular opinion being aligned with Christian values and principles to it now often being condemning of Christian belief.
As Peter found when he confessed his own comprehension that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God, the opinion of others and what they say about Jesus is no substitute for personal conviction about who He is and the truth He reveals.
May we always and in all things rely more on the truth of God revealed in Christ than we ever do on what is popular with the crowds.
Whole School Information
Meet the Teacher
It was wonderful to see so many parents and carers able to come out, despite the challenges of the drizzling rain, to meet with their child’s class or home room teacher. The afternoon and evening was a great success with teachers of our more than 20 homeroom classes completing a over 250 interviews during the period.
Events such as these are practical ways in which both the staff and parents can inform and support each other in their shared commitment to best cater for the individual needs of students. The most recent interviews were focussed on helping students make the best possible start to the year and on the early signs of their engagement with school, with learning, and with our community.
We continue to prioritise improving the effectiveness of our communication within the community. Part of this commitment has been undertaking the recent audit of information, including contact information, held by the school for each family. We have had notice from some families that emails coming from the school have at times been auto filtered into the recipient mailboxes “trash” or “spam” folder. We are investigating what we might be able to change to avoid this but do ask that you check your email settings to ensure that mail from our ACC server address is approved.
In addition, can we remind you that we always post important information about coming events on the Australian Christian College Marsden Park Facebook page.
Find us on Facebook here, check us out, and give us a “Like”
Audit of Information - return of updates
It is vital that we have accurate information held for each student and family, especially medical and emergency contact information.
Thank you for all those families who have been able to return updates to the information in the schools database. We are currently processing those returned forms to ensure our records are current.
If you are yet to return a completed update of information form can we ask that you help us keep our records up-to-date by getting that back to your child’s teacher or to reception as soon as you can.
Expressions of Interest - we need your help!
In an exciting development we are planning to establish an approved examination centre for the HSC on site this year. This will be a great advantage for our Year 12 students as they face this important step in finalising their secondary education.
To do this we must nominate a “Presiding Officer” - a person temporarily employed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to supervise the examination centre and the operation of the HSC exams. The person must not be related to anyone doing the HSC this year and must be fully available during the week leading up to and over the course of the HSC exams in October and November.
If you know if anyone who you think would be suitable for and interested in this role, please let us know by contacting Mr Corr through reception.
Cybersafety - Parent Connect
We are delighted to invite you to the Parent Connect scheduled for Wednesday evening 28th March.
This Special Topic Parent Connect follows the presentation recently made by Snr Const. Bollard to our Year 7 and 8 students and offers information to parents essential in them better understanding the virtual world that young people occupy through their technology. Snr Const Bollard’s presentation is real and raw and strictly suitable for adults only.
For further information please contact reception.
How AWEsome - Assessment of Student Wellbeing
This year we have adopted a strong focus on programs intended to support the wellbeing of all students. These have included our PERRKS attributes framework and our THRIVE program.
To better understand how our community of students is managing their thoughts, feelings, and relationships, we are asking all students in Years 3-12 to undertake over the next 2 weeks a very brief survey that asks about the students sense of wellbeing, purposefulness, and connectedness. The survey questions are differentiated to be accessible to the varying age groups and will be completed individually by students during Wellbeing lessons.
Each student will receive an individual report summarising their wellbeing and the school will receive a summary overview report with the students’ results collated into group results. The information will be used by our class and home room teachers to better plan the programs of pastoral care and the elements of THRIVE.
We plan to repeat the AWE assessment later in the year so that we can measure any change as a result of our support programs.
If you would like further information about this, please feel free to contact any one of the Senior Staff of the school.
Opportunity: change your life by changing someone else’s!
Mission and service are essential elements to the educational philosophy of the school. Since 2013 the group of ACC schools nationwide have, in cooperation with YWAM, participated in regular Mission and Service trips to remote Indigenous communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The purpose of these trips is to make a difference in the lives of those we visit and to share the love of God and the good news of Jesus.
Opportunity exists this year for students in Years 9 and 10 to participate in this year’s Mission trip. The trip will run during the last week of the mid year holidays and the first week of term 3. The total cost will be $1500 including travel and accommodation.
If you are interested and would like any further information, please contact Mr Bromhead.
It is with great happiness that we share with the ACC MP community the happy news that during her recent period of Leave, Ms Kate Buchannan, teacher of Year 5, became Mrs Kate Burrett. We know you will join us as we wish Kate and her new husband Sam, every happiness and God’s richest blessings as they begin married life together.
This week we have had the pleasure of hosting a visit from the JTL Beukes Primary school in Namibia, Africa.
Click here to see the JTL Beukes Primary school on Google Maps
10 students and 4 members of the staff and governing body spent time with our Year 5 & 6 classes, experiencing an Australian education, sharing their own experiences of school, and making new friends. After experimenting with our high tech 3D printers and our Virtual Reality IT the students entertained us with a performance of a song and traditional dance during the Primary Assembly.
Primary Take 2
Secondary Take 2
- Year 12 Mid-Course Exams: 23-29 March
- Parent Connect Evening Session:
- 28th March Evening Session 7-8:30pm
Later this term:
- Next Parent Connect Session 6th April
- CSSA Secondary State Swimming: 26th March
- Easter Long Weekend: 30th March - 2nd April
- Distance Education Residential Week - 9th - 13th April
- Year 11 & 12 Leadership Camp - 9-11 April
- Last day of Term 1: 13th April