- Principal's Message April 2022
- Last Day of Term
- First Day of Term 2
- Don College Association AGM
- IMPORTANT: TASC Information for Parents
- Marcus Wynwood's New Single Released
- Tasmanian Hospitality Association School's Cooking Challenge
- Finding Happy Little Accidents in Art: Residency with Penny Burnett
- Art Exhibition
- Discovering Poetry: English Writing
- Clay Throwing: Art Department
- 2022 Theatre Performance: Mid Year Show Announcement
- The Australian Ballet is coming to Don College!
- Leading Youth Voices: Lions Youth of the Year Finalist, Gigi O'Rourke on local decisions having a global impact
- Snorkelling and Seahorses: Outdoor Education
- Vigilance with Mask Wearing
Term 1 has passed. We have had some challenges with unavoidable interruptions to student attendance and participation and also some teacher absences. In this current climate of change, resilience, or the capacity to bounce back, is essential. Thank you to all the students who have committed to their learning and pushed on to the best of their ability. Thank you also to our staff for your flexibility and adaptability to daily uncertainty.
Student perception of themselves as a learner influences achievement. Positive expectations increase achievement, and negative expectations decrease performance. For example, a student who has a pervading thought, “I suck at maths” or, “I can’t write an essay” will most likely not do well at these tasks.
Teachers, parents and carers have a role to state positive expectations that will positively enhance student self-perception and learning. This builds rapport too.Using a range of strategies such as breaking a task down to small steps, providing clear instruction and ensuring students understand skills required and have the background knowledge will build confidence and self-perception will grow. Removal of distractions and encouraging focussed time is key. As a parent or carer, a key strategy you can employ is to talk with students about what they are learning. Listen to their responses and ask questions. Take the challenge to learn alongside our students and maybe delve deeper with questions. The challenge for us is to listen, restate what we have been told to check our own understandings and ask questions. A student will know they understand a concept when they can teach this to someone else.
The culture at Don is defined by respectful relationships. I celebrate the diversity of our college community and the harmonious co-existence of young people with vastly different cultural backgrounds and life experiences. For me personally, working and learning at Don College is a great experience with daily reward.
These pages inform and celebrate the achievements of our community members. This is only a snapshot acknowledging the achievements of our staff and students in Term 1, 2022. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday break and look forward to resuming work in Term 2 on Monday, May 2.
14 Apr 2022
Last day of Term 1 for students and staff
02 May 2022
Term 2 commences for staff and students.
The Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC) is an independent statutory office responsible to the Tasmanian Minister for Education, Children and Youth.
TASC is responsible for the development of appropriate standards, the accreditation of courses, and the assessment and certification of student achievement in senior secondary schooling across all educational sectors in Tasmania.
If your student is studying a TASC accredited course at Don College, they will be able to find a lot of information on their website including study hints and tips, syllabus documents for specific subjects, past examination papers, etc.
The TASC website can be located at: https://www.tasc.tas.gov.au/
REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS IN END OF YEAR EXAMS – Pre-Tertiary students with an end of year examination ONLY.
TASC recognises that some Tasmanian senior secondary students may not be able to access or participate in TASC accredited courses on the same basis as other students without access to reasonable adjustments. These reasonable adjustments will be factored into your students learning program during tests and exams throughout the year by their class teacher but more importantly in the end of year exam. For this to occur, an application to TASC needs to be made.
It is expected that students are able to demonstrate, with the support of their reasonable adjustment/s, the required knowledge, skills and standards of the course in the end of year examination setting.
Students are eligible for reasonable adjustments on the following grounds:
- Condition, impairment or disability (for example a physical disability, vision impairment, hearing impairment, medical condition, specific learning disorder or psychological disorder)
- Personal circumstances (for example death of a close family member, religious or cultural practices / obligations)
- Misadventure (for example an accident, broken arm)
All information relating to reasonable adjustment policy decisions and process can be found at: https://www.tasc.tas.gov.au/students/years-11-and-12/preparing-for-exams/reasonable-adjustments/?highlight=reasonable%20adjustments
If your student feels they are eligible to apply for Reasonable Adjustments – in particular if they have a condition, impairment or disability, please ask them to discuss with their class teacher in the first instance. It is vital that the class teacher be informed in the first instance as they will need to have this knowledge to make adjustments in class. Dayna Dennison and Dominique Emmett are both TASC Liaison Officers at Don and can help your student to complete their application.
Passionate musician and Don College teacher Marcus Wynwood has released a new single.
You can check out the full article here:
“It’s layered vocal delivery, absolutely epic guitar work and fast paced vibe showcase Wynwood’s talent as a top shelf songwriter.” – AAA Backstage (https://aaabackstage.com/premiere-marcus-wynwood-turns-it-up-to-eleven-with-his-new-single-little-space/)
And watch his music video here: (https://scenestr.com.au/music/premiere-watch-marcus-wynwood-s-new-music-video-little-space-20220412)
Congratulations Marcus, our students are lucky to have a practising musician to assist them in their own development in music!
The Food, Hospitality and Enterprise class has been working towards entering the Tasmanian Hospitality Association Tasmanian School’s Cooking Challenge.
The competition requires students to use local produce in a recipe and the recipe must use a Tasmanian berry. Students will upload their photos and the winner will be chosen. The winner will receive a $250 voucher to spend at a local restaurant or to purchase hospitality equipment.
Above are some of the Don College entries.
(Above, images of student artworks and the Masterclass led by Penny Burnett)
When a professional artist comes into a college environment, vulnerability and uncertainty may not be what you would expect but that is exactly what Penny Burnett, Arts Tasmania artist in residence, felt coming in to the Don College art department.
These are not feelings that hindered Penny’s art production, but rather fed them over the six week immersion within the school. Penny said she likes to place herself in uncomfortable positions.
“It brings something out in my work… I normally work in a solitary studio environment at home so coming into the school space pushed me out of that.”
Penny, who lives at Dodges Ferry in the south of the state, said she noticed her own emotions in a new environment reflected some of the experiences that the students themselves were having, transitioning from high school into the college education, trying to find their feet.
“I could feel their uncertainty and so at first, I took a back seat while they were still building relationships with each other and with their teachers.”
Penny set up a space within the college studio to paint, and brought an artwork she had already commenced to work on. Gradually, students became used to her presence and became more inquisitive about her practice.
“We were able to work together more collaboratively and explore painting and the process of creating an artwork, which is vital.”
“The students I saw wanted things to be perfect, but that uncertainty within the process is incredibly important.”
To demonstrate the potential of this uncertainty and searching, Penny created two iPad drawings of the same subject. The first was created by using a photograph as the source material and in the second, was drawn in situ, in a natural landscape setting where the the light constantly shifted, and it was a more immersive and immediate, trying to capture what you see as quickly as possible.
“The thing with trying to create a perfect copy of an image is that it cuts out the emotional response. Students agreed that the second iPad drawing although it was of the same subject, was more dynamic, powerful and interesting.”
“It’s about finding happy little accidents within the process”
"This is when you find that sweet spot, to find something you can work with and develop," she said.
It was not only Penny and students new to the art department who found themselves in a challenging situation during her residency. The Don College Art Department staff were treated to a workshop with Penny in which they were able to explore the medium of painting. For teachers Lisa, Courtney and Sonia, painting is not their specialised discipline within art.
“I gave the staff a masterclass experience and we looked at using paint in different kinds of ways. They found themselves again being a little uncomfortable and finding that vulnerability and challenge within their own practise, the same things their students feel.”
“It was an excellent team building activity and there was a lot of laughter in there too, and the staff will be able to modify their process to take back to their own students”
While Penny was able to share and give a lot through her presence within the department over the six weeks, she said the residency had been of benefit to her too on a professional level.
“I really enjoyed that peer to peer conversation and I really respect [the teachers’] practises.”
I came into the residency with the attitude of curiosity and an attitude to serve too, and I’d like to be mentored by them, especially Lisa who is such a talented photographer.”
Penny has also completed residencies at Cradle Mountain, Poimena Art Gallery and was the 2018 inaugural Tasmanian Artist in Residency at Jeju Island, South Korea.
Penny is currently curating the Paint 2022- Relationships and Limitations, an exhibition which will come to Devonport in December this year.
You can check out her blog here: https://www.pennyburnett.com/new-blog
English Writing students in Shane and Eisten's classes have been challenged at length to examine their ideas around writing. As well as exploring, evaluating poetry by 20th Century poets, students were required to write their own two pieces this term as part of their assessment.
The first piece of poetry explored was an "atmosphere" piece in which students were to observe an environment close to them and write a poem. The second piece was "ekphrastic" poetry for which students chose an artwork upon which they would base their poem, which could be entirely imaginative.
Students have been exploring the use of creative language and poetic devices to enhance their work as well as focusing on finer elements like punctuation and cadence to add depth and meaning to their pieces.
Here are student, Charlotte Woods', reflections about the course:
Personally, I hadn’t read or studied much poetry before starting this course, so I found that looking at others' work was a huge help in shaping my own work. I tried to read a variety of different poets with different styles to expand my knowledge, and I found it really interesting how different people’s minds work around their use of language in poetry.
This course has pushed me to think outside the square through the subject matter in which we have been required to write our poems. Personally, I would not choose a painting or space I like to write a poem on, but I have surprisingly enjoyed doing it.
I have particularly enjoyed the feedback I have received from Shane and Eisten throughout this term as it has given me a better view on the style of my work. I also really enjoyed writing the reading journals on different poets as I was able to express my own opinion, rather than studying someone else’s.
The most challenging part of this course was pushing myself to modify my thinking around the criticism I have received on my work, as well as the ideas I have acquired from reading other poems. I think the most confronting part of the course was sharing my poem with the class for feedback, but I did find it very beneficial.
Weaving through archways,
my eyes devour everything they see.
Wooden frames flaunt
colours and textures.
Inscribed steel plaques
guide me along the hall.
a single glance;
I cannot seem to move by.
A fine lined,
sweet chestnut yacht,
surrounded by lapping water.
Chimneys mark the sky,
peeking above homes.
A delicate woman
with porcelain skin
High in her home,
she admires this world.
The slight of her gaze,
It fills me with desire,
looking upon them;
these fortunate people,
their blissful existence
A wilted breeze
strokes my face,
the faint scent of chimney smoke swirling
details in the sky,
time begins to slow.
Ink bleeds from the paper,
staining the walls.
clouds my vision.
I dive in,
and glide amongst my fantasy:
heavy velvet curtains
decorate the bay,
and market holders sing out
to those who saunter by.
I cannot be drawn from
this untarnished scene before me.
How has this artist’s mind
precisely read mine?
I find my place,
above the graceful woman:
savouring this life below
from my shaded corner…
A scaffold of shelving
lined with soiled clay pots
on grey concrete,
paving a lush city.
The sun rises:
an endless atom bomb.
Trowels and gloves
hang waiting for tasks,
and empty pots
cup the warmth of soupy air.
Each neat-potted sapling grasps
at waves of mottled light
racing one another
for a front row seat
of the sun's parade.
In sweet ignorance,
and weeping pines flourish
like silent fireworks.
Together they rise
in their smothering sanctuary,
as a neglectful sun
leaves with its light.
Outside the Morning Routine
Dew on the grass,
caught in slanting light.
Above, the old gum towers,
its trunk overalled in shade.
A breeze rustles by,
leaves bristling at the air;
they glint boldly, bathed
in trickling light.
Below, that branch sways,
a deformed arm
grasping at dead space.
Its shadow looms over leaf-litter,
flayed bark piles
teeming with beetles.
From the house, now squat and ordinary,
a sharp rattling whirl
startles the nearby lapwings,
the din of grinding coffee.
The pottery wheels are out and the kiln is being fired up in the Art Department.
Students have had the opportunity to working with a very tactile medium as they complete their unit on clay.
If you would like a go, come on down to the art room!
The 2022 Theatre Performance Graduating Class of 2022 is proud to announce this year's show will be ‘ANIMAL FARM’. This will be performed late Term 2.
Keep your ears and eyes open for our announcement of dates and times. This will be open to the public and performed in the Don Theatrette.
Students have been very excited to begin rehearsal and for one student, Emiliya, even isolation at home was not enough to keep her from rehearsals as she joined via Zoom with the class.
Dayna and the performing arts students are excited to announce The Australian Ballet are coming to Don to host choreography, dance and creative performance workshops on Friday May 6.
Dance, drama and theatre students will be participating, along with an open invitation to any interested student who would like to join in. There will also be an opportunity to view a half hour duet performance of their Regional Touring Show, choreographed by an indigenous choreographer, titled, The Story of Pomi and Gobba.
This opportunity came about as the result of several big touring companies having to reassess how they share their work with audiences. As a result of Covid isolation, The Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet both conducted zoom workshops with regional communities to overcome barriers for accessing quality professional performance experiences. As a result of Don’s participation in these over the past two years, we have now worked up a positive working relationship which has lead to us being offered to host this experience, and it’s all totally FREE! We feel very lucky!
Any students wishing to participate can email Dayna or leave a note for her in her office to express interest in the workshop.
Lions Youth of the Year representative, Gigi O’Rourke will travel to Melbourne next month to compete in the nationals after becoming the Tasmanian Finalist.
Her speech asks people to examine their own actions on a local level and consider how they have a greater impact globally.
Gigi’s speech impressed judges as she tackled issues of consumerism through fast fashion and the idea of feminism being a bigger movement that can impact further than our own personal circumstance. Through these relatable examples, she was said she was able to engage and challenge thinking around these topics.
“I don’t think people, especially my age, often think about the wider consequences of their own actions. Fashion for example is a massive industry and through our demand and desires, negatively impacts people around the world, including 250 million workers under the age of 15 working in sweat shop conditions around the world.”
Not only did Gigi confront the issue, but also suggested solutions.
“A way of moving away from this is by thrift shopping for our age group, using things that are otherwise unwanted. Ethical clothing is an option but is often very expensive and therefore not accessible to people of my age.”
She also looked at feminism and promoting women’s rights not for personal gain necessarily, but for the good of people who cannot advocate for themselves.
“Women’s education for example around the world is a good argument for feminism: In Niger the literacy rate is only 17% and in South Sudan 73% of girls are not attending school.
She said that these issues are very much a reality for people around the world, but our own privilege, and often deliberate choice to overlook these realities stop us from seeing them clearly and acting to change it.
“Often times, we see these things on a media platform, and we sometimes share awareness of an issue, but we need to translate that into an active change.”
Gigi believes that collective action is necessary to challenge the governments and to make these issues seen and heard.
Gigi will be taking her message with her to the national competition and preparing two impromptu speeches as well as responding to questions before a panel.
We wish her luck!
Hannah East, also a student at the college, participated in the Lions Youth of the Year competition. She presented a speech on inclusive pronouns which was well received. She also gave a presentation to Don College staff members during their staff meeting to help explain the importance of asking the simple question, which pronouns you prefer? Staff have adopted this into their ice-breakers and activities getting to know their students to ensure Don College is a safe space that promotes an environment of inclusivity for all.
Well done to both participants, we are pround to have students using their voice to raise important issues for youth within out community.
Seahorses have been spotted by Outdoor Education students on their visits to local beaches.
In March, as part of their course, students improved on their swimming skills and for many, learnt how to snorkel for the first time. Ordinarily there is a wide variety of fish to spot off the shores of Devonport but the seahorses have been a highlight for students.
The seahorses they spotted were most likely the Big Bellied Seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) which are found in waters between New South Wales to South Australia and Tasmania and New Zealand.