- Term 3 Educational Initiatives
- Learning Program in the Spotlight – Ave Maria College and Liverpool Football Club International Academy
From the Principal
- Year 7 2025 Enrolments
- Ave Maria Day
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to our first newsletter for Term 3.
Year 7 2025 Enrolments
A reminder to all families that enrolment applications for Year 7 2025 close this weekend. Any families who have yet to lodge an application, are asked to do so within the next week. Please contact Maria De Fazio, College Registrar on 9331 9308 or by emailing Registrar.AveMariaCollege@avemaria.vic.edu.au for more information. Please note, there is no guarantee that the College will be able to offer your child a place at Ave Maria College if you do not submit you application by the deadline.
Ave Maria Day 2023
On Friday 11 August the College community celebrated Ave Maria Day. This year’s celebration was additionally special, as we celebrated not only our feast day, but also our 60th Anniversary. Whether it be Ave’s Got Talent, the Eucharist Celebration or Spec Spec, Ave Maria Day was a wonderful celebration as a faith community but also as a community who shares their gifts and talents. Well done to all, including Ms Natalie Meddis, Acting Assistant Principal (Wellbeing and Community) who oversaw preparations and planning on the day.
As part of both Ave Maria Day and our 60th Anniversary celebrations we have acknowledged throughout this year that it is truly a great honour for our college to be named after Mary, the mother of Jesus. This year through our college theme, ‘May we treasure God’s word like Mary’, we have explored with students who Mary was as a person, her calling, her values and her strengths. There is often a perception that Mary was meek and mild rather than a woman of strength, resilience, commitment, dedication, perseverance, and a powerful witness to her faith in God.
We have been challenging our students to reflect on the following questions.
What can you learn from Mary? How can these values and strengths help guide you through the rest of this year? How will you model the values of Mary as have been outlined to you today?
As we reflect on Ave Maria Day and the Feast of the Assumption, I would like to share the following prayer with you, the Magnificat.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him,
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
God bless and may we continue to treasure God’s word like Mary as we continue to strive for truth through love.
Executive Deputy Principal
- Term 3 Educational Initiatives
- Learning Program in the Spotlight – Ave Maria College and Liverpool Football Club International Academy
Term 3 Educational Initiatives
Ave Maria College continues to provide opportunities for student learning, that aim to maximise student growth and engagement, whilst providing each individual with an opportunity to pursue their pathway of choice.
In the first few weeks of Term 3, students have been exposed to a range of bespoke learning opportunities that aim to complement the acquisition of knowledge, skill and understanding within their core learning schedules.
Listed below is a snapshot of some of the many opportunities that students across Years 7-12 have had access to over the past few weeks:
Staff Curriculum Professional Learning Day – Monday 14 August 2023
Staff at the College engaged in a Curriculum Professional Learning Day on Monday 14 August 2023. This event focused on the Art of Differentiation and aimed to build expertise in the creation of learning experiences, that maximise student growth and engagement whilst catering for the needs and interests of each individual.
Staff engaged in a series of workshops led by expert, Glen Pearsall, and worked collaboratively to explore best practice research and evidence based high impact teaching strategies. Joining the staff were representatives from some of our Feeder Primary Schools.
This program forms part of the College Professional Learning and Growth Framework and the College Strategic Plan, aiming to ensure that we continue to provide personalised high quality learning experiences across all subject areas in every lesson of every day.
Year 7-10 Parent Teacher Student Conferences – Thursday 17 August 2023
All students and families are thanked for their participation in the Year 7-10 Parent Teacher Student Conferences that were held online on Thursday 17 August 2023. These conferences provided the opportunity for staff, students and families to work in partnership to celebrate current achievements and plan for the next stages of learning.
Families are encouraged to continue to make contact with their child’s Mentor Teacher or Subject Teacher throughout Semester 2 so that discussions around learning, growth and engagement can continue.
The Parent Teacher Student Conferences will be complemented by the release of the Term 3 Progress Report prior to the September Break.
2024 Subject Selection
All students and families are thanked for their participation in the 2024 Subject Selection Process. The process executed this year was further enhanced from previous years, maximising the opportunities for current subject teachers, students and families to be engaged in the selection and planning process.
Students and families attended information seminars, 1:1 mentoring sessions, the 2024 Subject Selection Evening and Subject Expo and completed the subject sign off process. They also had the opportunity to engage with a range of tools inclusive of careers testing, handbooks, websites etc. All of these mechanisms were put in place to support students with their choices and to ensure continued success in learning throughout 2024.
The next stage of the process will be activated in Term 4 2023 when students and families receive their 2024 Learning Schedule and Booklist.
2024 Academic Scholarship Testing – Saturday 26 August 2024
Families are thanked for their registration for the 2024 Academic Scholarship Testing that will be hosted at the College on Saturday 26 August 2023.
Further details associated with the logistics and process for testing will be circulated to the families of students who have registered for this event.
Learning Program in the Spotlight – Ave Maria College and Liverpool Football Club International Academy
As part of our celebration of student learning, each Newsletter will feature a different learning program. This aims to educate the community in relation to our wide range of offerings as well as celebrate the different pathways that students have the opportunity to engage in. This edition of the Newsletter will focus on the Ave Maria College and Liverpool Football Club International Academy.
The partnership between Ave Maria College and the Liverpool Football Club International Academy aims to further enhance the learning opportunities available for students. With a focus on belonging, growth and engagement, the program will provide another dimension to the College Health and Physical Education Curriculum, exposing students to the Liverpool methodology for the acquisition of soccer knowledge, skill and understanding. The inclusive nature of the program will provide all students with the opportunity to be involved.
Complementing the Health and Physical Education Curriculum Units will also be the opportunity for students to pursue pathways in coaching and various other micro credentials. Linked with the Australian College of Physical Education, the partnership will provide students with the opportunity to explore study in sports management, physical education, sports business, health and much more.
Elements of the program will also be available to the wider Ave Maria College community, with skill development workshops and clinics operating at various stages throughout the year.
Acting Assistant Principal (Student Wellbeing and Community)
- Ave Day
- ACE Awards
- Father's Day Breakfast
- National Child Protection Week
Ave Maria Day
On Friday 11 August we celebrated Ave Maria Day and continued the celebrations for our 60th Anniversary. Starting the day with the Talent Quest, we celebrated our students’ talents as they sang, drummed, played the guitar, danced and tapped! We celebrated mass together and our 60th Anniversary pins were blessed before being distributed to students. Apart from the food trucks at lunchtime, which was a highlight, every student received a cupcake as the day was really a birthday party celebration. SPEC SPEC is our traditional finish for the day and this year was the best one yet. Every student was able to participate and join in the fun. We ended with a whole school dance for all staff and students. Most impactful was being part of a community that is joyful, connected and engaged. Our students were amazing in their encouragement of each other, their reverence during mass and their gratitude for the event.
National Child Protection Week
The important issue of Child Safeguarding is highlighted nationally from 3 September to 9 September. This year’s theme is “Where we start matters”. This fits under a broader theme of “Every child in every community needs a fair go”. This year we focus on where we start in our lives in terms of where we live, our resources, and the opportunities available to us. We will have a range of activities and communications that highlight this theme throughout the week focusing on both our local community and also other communities where there are different needs.
Father’s Day Breakfast
On Thursday 24 August we will be holding our annual Father’s Day breakfast for our students and the fathers or father figures in their lives. We honour these very special roles in our students’ lives and we look forward to seeing our students with their fathers or father figures.
We are very pleased to have Dr David Collins speaking about the relationship between girls and their fathers. David is a very well-known psychologist in Melbourne with an expertise in the wellbeing of young people. He is a research fellow at the University of Melbourne and regularly gives presentations on the development of young people’s brains.
Further details, including ticket information, will be released shortly.
We recently acknowledge the growth, achievements and contributions of our students in Semester 1 in the inaugural ACE Awards. These awards are named after our Ave Charter for Education that highlights the attributes that provide the best foundations for students. More than 350 students were acknowledged for their work in Semester 1. The Engage Award was given to the highest achievement in each class. The Thrive Award was given to the student who had demonstrated the most growth and the Belong Award was provided to a student from each Mentor Group who had demonstrated the values of the College.
We encourage all of our students to take note of the diverse range of students who received an award. All students can demonstrate the skills of curiosity, compassion, respect, resilience, independence and critical thinking that are essential to their continued academic and personal development.
Mentor Period this term has been largely focused on preparing for SPEC SPEC. In the final two Mentor Periods we will be doing a range of activities. On 23 August Year 7 and 8 will engage in some activities around cyber safety and online activities. Year 10 students will be visited by Elephant Education to participate in workshops about the laws regarding consent. As always, students are taught this important information in the Catholic context with a focus on the dignity and sacredness of the individual. Year 9 students will participate in a workshop on managing conflict and friendships. Our Year 11 and 12 students will be introduced to tapping – a contemporary emotional regulation technique that will help them manage exam stress and anxiety.
In the second last week of term Year 9 students will participate in a workshop from Toolbox Education. ‘Mental Movies’ will help students understand the role of mindset in more depth. Our Year 12 students will participate in a workshop from Felstead Education called ‘Study Calm’. This will support their emotional regulation as they prepare for their VCE exams.
Families and students should expect to receive a link to the School Improvement survey from Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools. This survey supports our ongoing engagement with our community and our continual improvement as a College. The link will be sent out from 23 August and we encourage all students and families to complete the survey. This will provide us with valuable information as we continue to focus on improvement and providing the best environment and experience for our students.
Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)
- Connection grows belonging, resilience and allows students to thrive
- Student Leadership Seminar
- Talent Quest and Spec Spec
Connection grows belonging, resilience and allows students to thrive
Ave Maria offers a wonderful environment for students to connect and grow emotionally, spiritually and physically. Through connection, students strengthen their confidence of who they are, and how they can relate to their peers and the communities in which they move. Allowing students to experience ‘failing well’ in a psychologically safe space at school, provides them with an opportunity for growth. This in turn provides the opportunity for students to recognise their inner confidence, empathy and resilience.
A number of events have shown much evidence of students confidently growing in who they want to be, aligned with the values we hold dear at Ave of inclusion, compassion, truth and love. These are outlined below:
The Student Leadership Seminar
The Year 7-12 Leadership Seminar focussed on the Leaders leading their teams with compassion and using the diversity of the team’s strengths to accomplish a goal. The Principal, Ms Hutton, presented to the students, the woman who inspired her as she was growing up. This was her grandmother, and the informal leadership she demonstrated within the communities she supported, was incredibly strong. This demonstrated to the leaders that the diversity of voices within their teams need to be listened to.
Students were then walked through the Gallery of Inspirational Women, where they selected two individuals that would help inform their leadership. Sophie Smith of Year 11 chose Katherine Johnson whose work in aeronautics was inspiring. Sophie learnt from Katherine’s journey, that sometimes the work of leaders goes under the radar. Sophie indicated that it is important to recognise all quiet achievers in the teams she leads. Sophie also investigated the Chairwoman of Sports Australia, Josephine Sukkar, and gained further insights into how to fund projects and increase community involvement through greater collaboration.
All teams were then set the goal of achieving a warm crochet blanket that could be given to Vinnies to support warmth for a person in need. The problem was that whilst all leaders were given the resources of hook, wool, and a video on how to crochet, most struggled to accomplish the skill to create one square. As leaders this was then unpacked that not all people they lead, may have the same knowledge base, skill or inclination to achieve the end result. As leaders they had to work out how was this to be overcome as they complete Term 3 and Term 4. Some created very long chains whilst others did manage to begin forming their square. In ‘failing well’ students were called to show resilience and determination to support others in their teams that might also “fail well”. Growth occurs through ‘failing well’ and as such students were keen to learn the skill of crochet to achieve the end goal. As the time ran out, the leaders decided to continue this initiative in the Community week being proposed or as a co-curricular activity next year.
Talent Quest on Ave Day:
The talent quest on Ave Day was a wonderful example of students showcasing their musical, singing and dancing talents. We are very proud of the confidence shown of each performer. Confidence is one of the attributes from the Ave Charter of Education that we promote for student’s growth. Students and staff admired the acts and applauded loudly.
The Spec Spec Lip Sync Competition
The whole school connection between the Houses was strengthened in the performances of each House Spec Spec Lip sync performance. The joy of students was evident as they practiced in the lead up to the big finale. On the day of the final performance, the excitement was palpable as students in House groups moved to their song choice. Each House was able to articulate the relevance of their journey to their House patron and for the first time relate their routines also to the attributes from the Ave Charter of Education.
Clare House showed great resilience from the attributes of the Ave Charter and from St Clare in being able to bring the whole house to learn the choreography and to have the group in sync. They had to overcome some hurdles on the way but did this through communication and teamwork. Congratulations to Ava Carrick and Alessia Torcaso for leading Clare House.
Francis House showed critical thinking from the Ave Charter and inclusion from St Francis. They had to work out how they were going to use the space resources to have the whole house practise. They also had to ensure that everyone was able to be included through the routines chosen as not everyone is naturally into dancing. Congratulations to Piper Mollica and Amy Marazita for leading Francis House to win the Spec Spec Lip Sync Shield for 2023.
Helene House used Helene’s love of learning to teach their House the steps to their song. Through this they showed that from shaky beginnings the House was able to learn the routine and grow in confidence which is an attribute from the Ave Charter. Congratulations to Katie Crocock and Elizabeth Curtolo for leading Helene House.
Mary House demonstrated Mary’s strength of character and the attribute of curiosity from the Ave Charter of Education to bring their House routine together. Mary would have been curious and concerned when God asked her to be the mother of our Lord. However, she accepted this calling. Mary House showed much curiosity in a song that many may not have been familiar with, however they showed strength in working together to produce a great routine. Congratulations to Ella Colomer and Abinaya Arunan for leading Mary House.
The many opportunities to lead informally and formally at Ave work towards student’s strengths. Strengths grow confidence and resilience and enable students to thrive.
May all our students belong, engage, and thrive.
Director of Learning and Pathways
- Unit 3 & 4 Trial Exams
- Subject Selection
- Interdisciplinary Days
Unit 3 & 4 Trial Exams
Trial examinations will take place at the College in the second week of the Term 3 break. The examination timetable has been published for students and a copy of this information is attached for your reference. Students are expected to arrive at the College 30 minutes prior to the start of each exam and they are not required to wear their school uniform.
Students may bring into the Examinations:
If students are required to remain onsite between exams, they may use Helene Library for private study. The canteen will not be open.
All students have now completed their 2024 subject selection. The subject selection process is an important step in a student's academic journey, as it determines the courses and subjects they will study. All students were able to seek advice from teachers who provide insights into the various subject offerings and allowed students make choices aligned with their interests, strengths, and future career goals.
Our inaugural Interdisciplinary Day with St Bernard's College provided 360 students educational activities that integrate knowledge, concepts, and approaches from multiple academic disciplines. The goal of Interdisciplinary Days is to break down the traditional barriers between subjects and foster a more holistic and interconnected understanding of various topics.
The first day focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields providing an excellent foundation for designing solutions that can make a positive difference in the world. By leveraging the knowledge and skills from these disciplines, it helped foster innovators that can address various global challenges and contribute to improving people's lives.
During our first Interdisciplinary Day, students collaborated to address complex real-world problems or explore multifaceted themes. This approach encouraged critical thinking, creativity, and the development of a broader perspective by fostering a comprehensive understanding of complex issues and encouraging creative problem-solving and prepares students for the dynamic and interconnected world they will face in their careers. It also reflects the reality that many real-world challenges cannot be adequately addressed by a single discipline but require a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approach.
Director of Catholic Identity and Mission
- Faith Formation Days
- Feast of St. Clare of Assisi
Faith Formation Days
Term 3 has seen the continuation of our Faith Formation days, with the year 9’s gathering on 24 June at the Moonee Ponds Bowling Club. For the first time the College engaged the services of the Passionist Youth Retreat Team. Jo McDade led the day titled: Connection with Myself, Others and God. This included a range of engaging and thought-provoking activities that encouraged our students to reflect on where they are at with their faith and to think more deeply about how their actions can influence others. The day ended with a liturgy that involved students choosing to quietly acknowledge other students, in a prayerful and simple action.
The Staff Faith Formation Day was held on Friday 4 August, centred around providing an opportunity to reflect on Catholic Social Teaching. All staff member worked in small groups focus was the concept of solidarity Ave Day is fast approaching and preparations are underway for the Mass to be celebrated as part of the celebrations.
Feast of St. Clare of Assisi
The College recently celebrated each of our house patrons will activities held each day in the lead up to Ave Maria Day. This also coincides with the feast day of one of these patrons, St Clare of Assisi. It is helpful for us to be reminded of the remarkable women she was both for her time and as an example for us today. Below is a reflection by Murray Bodo OFM on St. Clare that includes the image of Clare being a mirror of Jesus Christ for others in the world and challenges us to consider how we might try to do the same.
A Reflection on St Clare: Chosen by Christ
One of the truths that is becoming more evident to me the more I study and think about the mystics is that they are not ordinary but chosen souls whom God came to when they were not expecting such a visitation. That they are chosen and special is God’s choice, not something they somehow merit. The rest of us try daily to go to God in our ordinary lives by living in faith, while the mystics spend their lives responding to the great gift of God’s extraordinary entrance into their lives. They show us what it is like to be taken over by God while at the same time cautioning us that we cannot merit God’s tangible presence. But given those distinctions, even we in our ordinary lives can embrace Christ on the cross.
We can place ourselves physically and spiritually in a space or place that makes it at least a compatible space for “hearing” God’s voice and “seeing” God’s manifestations, should God decide to show us the divine presence in a way that is beyond the faith we have from our baptism. And whether we actually hear or see anything of God or not, we are there at the foot of the cross letting him embrace us in any way he wills to embrace us. It could be as simple as an increase of the faith we already have; it could be an inspiration to do something further with our lives in order to praise and give thanks to God, or we could be inspired to follow Christ’s way of the cross more faithfully in our own lives.
Saint Clare is, I believe, one of God’s chosen ones who shows us. Someone we can love who is daily revealing his presence in images—like the cross, like the eucharistic bread and wine. As for Clare herself, God came to her as a bridegroom in search of his bride, and took her into the wine cellar where by responding to his love, she became his mirror, a mirror others could look at, and “see” God.
(Mystics: Twelve Who Reveal God’s Love by Murray Bodo, OFM)
22 August: Year 10 Faith Formation Day
30 August: Year 8 Faith Formation Day
Careers Education Leader
- Open Days and Tertiary Applications
- St John Ambulance Youth Volunteers
- Casual Work
All Year 10 to 12 students are encouraged to attend these in August every year. These are an opportunity to check out campuses and courses of interest. Year 10 is a great time to being these visits.
The final Open Days are on this Sunday at University of Melbourne and Victoria University, click here.
Year 10 ‘I Plan’ Session
During the subject selection process, students were able to research all Victorian university and vocational education courses and their VCE subject prerequisites. This ensures their choices reflect their interests and covers their future study aspirations. Students continue to use their Morrisby Careers Planner to focus their research.
Year 12 Tertiary Applications
Tertiary applications are open for 2024. A VTAC Registration session occurred in the week of 31 July, where Year 12 students registered and began their tertiary applications. All students will have a meeting with a careers advisor this term, to assist with the application process. Parents are welcome to attend these appointments.
Early Entry Programs
There are many early entry programs now being offered by universities. Successful applicants can gain entry into their preferred, or pathway course with a lower, or no ATAR (minimum study scores required).
Universities use a range of criteria for selecting successful applicants. These differ according to each tertiary program. Criteria can include:
A clear message to all students is to do their best at school and to get involved in their school or local community. See here for further specific early entry information
St John Ambulance Youth Volunteers
This is a great volunteering opportunity in Moonee Valley for students interested in health care and paramedicine. Students receive training and attend several community events each year providing first aid services with St John. It is a recognised program for university early entry and looks great on your Resume. To express you interest, click here
To develop work skills, students are encouraged to find casual work. Students can find casual work on SEEK and many other employment websites. Going into local businesses with an updated Resume is another good way to find work. Positions are advertised on Ave Learning student notices as they arise, such as Royal Melbourne Show currently and local businesses.
Newsletter articles available here. Topics this week include:
Year 10 students Natasha Castello and Olivia Pappas reflect on Ave Maria College in 2023
Ave Maria College, a place of learning, growth, opportunity, and belonging. Starting year 7 in 2020, the year of COVID, proved to be a struggle beyond what we expected. The obstacles we faced during COVID challenged all the Ave Students. When a worldwide pandemic broke out, online school became the only way of communication, education, and friendships. Let’s just say that Microsoft Teams became our best friend. An environment of learning and belonging was achieved, and the whole student cohort was extremely lucky for all the work and effort that each teacher put into ensuring that we could continue our learning.
One amazing school opportunity that we have had was the survival camp in Year 9. This was a highlight for all year 9s as it was a way to strengthen our friendships. The outdoor camping was a first for many students, and as the camp went on, we started to appreciate the light of our homes, as well as the heat and comfort of our beds. During the camp we went on hikes, surfed, did rock climbing. A highlight for the camp was when one of the groups got lost for 2 hours on a 3-hour hike. While this was likely not their best experience, it was something that the whole grade share in laughs and fond memories.
Ave Maria College may not be the strongest school in inter-school sports events, but are hoping to get stronger in the future, averaging Division 3 in most events. However, the Intermediate and Junior school teams won the Football grand final this year. This was a very significant moment for the college and brought hope and drive to continue in our sporting events. The main sports pursued by the school are swimming and athletics, and a School Carnival is held every year, full of snacks, competition, events, announcements, and crazy outfits. In these events there are 4 houses that the school is split into, Helene, Mary, Clare, which I, Olivia, am in, and Frances, which I, Tash, am in. These houses are also prominent in other school events, such as Spec Spec, a schoolwide dance competition.
Currently the Year 10s are selecting their year 11 and 12 subjects. This is a very important time for the Year 10’s as these subjects can determine our future pathways. There are currently 7 very different pathways offered for Year 11 and 12, which makes us wonder how many there will be 100 years from now!
We wrote this letter to you all not really knowing how to start…or what to say. To think what the future would even look like is scary. But as we began to write we were able to recognize the small things that Ave have shared with us and the memories that they have given us. Ave is a second home to not only us but to every student of the Ave Army. Ave Maria uses the power of Frances house to enlighten our strengths. They used the power Helene to ensure that we speak from the heart. The house of Mary allowed us to nurture each other. The house of Clare teaches us to reach for our dreams. Because of this school we are who we are to this day. We are kind. We are funny. Some are sporty. Some are academic. One can dance. Another can draw. But together we are students at Ave Maria College. This what we love about Ave Maria!
Natasha Castello and Olivia Pappas, Year 10