Our staff feel very privileged to work with the young adult students at Don College. We recently had a school review conducted by an external school review panel who commented on the obvious respectful relationships, orderly learning environment, enthusiasm and professionalism of staff and the commitment of students to their learning at Don College. Of note to the panel was the growth in excellence of student achievement data. We thank all who participated in the school review.
Every Lesson Counts
Well over half of our students at Don College have an attendance rate above 90% and 10% of our students have an attendance rate of 99% or above. Analysis of historical Don College data clearly demonstrates that students who attend classes and complete tasks achieve the best outcomes. Success in Years 11 and 12 provides students with a broader range of choices for their futures. We encourage all students to develop good habits and attend all their lessons.
Our assessment period from 20 June to 27 June is an opportunity for all students to demonstrate their learning of skills and knowledge. Assessment provides valuable feedback to staff and students that can inform planning for future learning opportunities and experiences. We understand that this can be a stressful time for many, however we remind students that it is relatively early in the school year and there is still time to improve their results. All students will be provided with a modified timetable that clearly outlines expectations for assessment week. Please note that normal classes will resume on Friday 28 June.
We look forward to the opening of Legally Blonde The Musical, with the official opening on Friday 14 June. This production will be a celebration of excellence and demonstrate the diversity of skills within our college community.
Our featured subject this month is English Writing.
English Writing is one of the pre-tertiary English subjects offered at Don College. The focus of this course is providing students with the skills to creatively express themselves in a range of genres.
Students publish their work throughout the year in "Butterscotch Rhino". Copies are available in the College Library and we are looking at publishing it online in the future.
For your enjoyment we present a number of works of poetry written by students this year. The students are expressing their feelings about familiar places.
At Milking Time
I unlatch the spring gate in the earliest of light.
Cattle waddle to the yards,
Old Johnny’s motor grunts to life, lights beaming.
His dogs, barking, chase him into the distance.
The smell of silage like wet tea leaves.
Lights illuminate the dairy.
Milk pumps cough with a burst of air,
the messy grumbling of motors.
The rotary creaks.
I put cups on to clean teats;
the sound of suction stops and starts like a shallow breath.
Pellets topple into metal bins.
the cattle shamble to fresh pastures.
Day comes to life from dark and stillness.
Edge of Shale’s River
The road is gravel,
the dance of the trees.
Closer, the grit falls away.
An edge of shale
forces its way through.
A cackle of a kooka
breaks the river’s roar.
Tarnished and thrown together,
a barbeque on the bank
in mosaics of stone,
carefully placed by the flow.
Tilly breaks my daze,
growling at logs
that crawl out of the silver depths.
Living near Simplot
Pushed against the wall,
invisible in one darkness.
Heavy curtains block the light of a streetlamp.
Beneath the window,
the silhouette of a cluttered bookshelf.
It starts as a distant drone.
The driver grinds a gear,
the truck chugs and clambers to the factory.
Its headlamps push through the thick curtains.
Streaks of light scrape across the pale, bare walls
and move to the corners and gaps,
The full length mirror flashes,
a body of light.
During Term 1, a group of Transition Education students have had the opportunity to participate in Lego Robotics sessions facilitated by Electronics teacher, Nigel Baptist.
The students have taken to the task like ducks to water and have moved on from creating robots following set instructions to creating robots of their own devising.
The students involved were Ethan, Caleb, Hayden and Josh, have very quickly assumed control over the activity and now have the accompanying staff running around seeking the required pieces for them – so as not to interrupt their creative flow!
Many thanks to Nigel for giving up his time and providing this great opportunity for these students.
Artist in Residence
We have been incredibly fortunate to have an Artist in Residence in the Art Department at Don College. Sam Dennis is a Launceston based artist who specializes in sculpture. Her work ranges from wearable art pieces, to vessels thrown on a pottery wheel. Sam has demonstrated the throwing technique to all Art classes and has discussed the concept underlying her practice. All Art Production and Studio Practice students are continuously brainstorming ideas and the concept underpinning their work, hence listening to Sam and watching her practice evolve has been amazing. During this time students had individual critique sessions. A big thank you to Arts Tasmania for making this opportunity happen.
Sam currently has work exhibited in the Top Space on Salamanca.
T-Shirt Silk Screening Workshop
Don College Fashion Design students had a great time show-casing their Agwear designs on Saturday 4th May at Agfest. The designs were all made featuring materials from the farm. It is a true test of character to publically display your own designs and the students conquered nervous fear to catwalk their work in the central arena. Congratulations to Josie who won open division and Claire who came second. ALL students did fabulous work!!!
It is a feature of many classes that visitors are invited to share their knowledge and perspectives. This is very valuable as it broadens the perspective of students.
In Legal Studies, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at UTas, Professor Tim McCormack, and fourth year Arts/Law students , Hollie Jackson and Grace Williams answered many questions about studying Law, as well as what it takes to be a north-west student who moves away from home to study. Hollie, an ex-student of Don, and Grace engaged the Legal students with their passion and enthusiasm for law, and for life in general. Each of them, as part of their study, is about to do a six month exchange overseas, Hollie in Sweden and Grace in Indonesia. Tim, who grew up in Burnie is an internationally renowned practitioner and expert in Humanitarian International Law. He engaged the class by being interested in their hopes for the future, by giving examples of his role as Dean and talking about the legal scene in Tasmania. The visit broadened the outlook of the Legal students and led them to think that they might be able to follow in the footsteps of these north-west coasters who have gone before them.
Congratulations to Perrun Harding, recipient of the Continuing Schools Scholarship from Engineering Aid Australia (EAA). Perrun was selected based on his interest and ability in engineer-related subjects, after attending the Indigenous Engineering Australia School (IAES) in Sydney earlier this year. This was a great opportunity for Perrun to connect with engineers and other like-minded students and gain insight into the industry. Well done Perrun!
From the 19th to the 21st of March, Mason Wright attended the annual National Schools Constitutional Convention in Canberra. The convention brings 120 delegates from across Australia together to discuss key constitutional matters that are affecting Australians. This year the topic was ‘A new preamble to the Australian Constitution’. On the last day the topic was put to a referendum for all students to vote. The verdict returned majority, “Yes, we do need a new preamble to the Australian Constitution.” The findings of the convention were then presented to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Sue Lines, to be tabled in parliament and recorded in Hansard.
Mason summarised, “The opportunity to be involved in the convention gave me invaluable experiences and an insight into the government policy and decision making. I urge anyone who has a passion for politics, a thirst for knowledge and the drive to step out of your comfort zone, to apply to be involved in this once in a lifetime experience.“
Well done, Mason.
We need Don College families to host a Japanese student for 1 week (Monday 29thJuly to Monday 5th August 2019)
The visiting students from Ozu Senior High School in Kochi Prefecture will participate in various classes including Japanese, Business and Tourism, Hairdressing, Sport and Retail, as well as day tours of our beautiful local region.
Being a host family is a great learning experience for students and their families especially for students studying Japanese at Don College. Please be aware that all members of the household over the age of 18 must have current Registration to Work with Vulnerable People (Volunteer status).
If you can host a student, please contact Leanne Rands (Library) at Don College as soon as possible.
Whilst technology is amazing and connecting students to so many opportunities for learning we want to strive for BALANCE. We know students get a huge dopamine hit every time they are winning on computer games and this makes it hard for them to put the computer aside and communicate with family.
Balance might be:
• 1 hour of outside time a day
• Make meal time a technology free zone
• Phone / computer off by 10:00 at night (teenagers need 8-9 hours of sleep a night)
Try balancing time spent on technology and see if you feel better and more connected to friends and family!
For more information on managing screen time for kids of all ages take a look at the ESafety Commissioner's web site at https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues/time-online
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Right now there are many young people being cyberbullied. By reporting it, talking about it and supporting each other we can stop it.
What does cyberbullying look like?
Cyberbullying can occur in many ways, including:
For information and support refer to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner web site: https://www.esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/esafety-issues/cyberbullying
Department of Education Initiative
During March this year The Tasmanian Department of Education launched the "Bullying stops here!" web site. You will find parent and community resources on all forms of bullying at https://respectfulrelationships.education.tas.gov.au/bullyingstopshere/parents-and-community/