Principal's update Term 4 Week 6

Wednesday, 15 Nov 2023
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 
— Psalm 20:4

The last fortnight has been a busy time at the college with Performing Arts Awards Night, the BDC Golf Day, The Bishop’s Cup and the Junior Primary Swimming Carnival as well as a variety of school camps and swimming carnivals. Thank you to all students, staff and parents who had contributed to these signature events. It is events such as these that make college life so enjoyable and rewarding.

Performing Arts Awards Night

Last Thursday night, the college hosted our first Performing Arts Awards Night. The intent of this production was to showcase both the strength and growth of our performing arts students within the college community and also to recognise students and staff who contribute to its success. We had wonderful feedback from the evening and we expect this event will become a proud tradition of the college. A special thank you to the event sponsors Luisa Arevalo, the Johnstone Family, RJK Optometry, Coast Life Pools and Spas, Hibbard Homes, Jetty Dental, Teepees and Events Coffs, and Picnics by the Sea.

I have included my address from the evening as it highlights our commitment to the growth and development of performing arts within the college.

Principal’s Address - Performing Arts Awards Night 2023

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed staff, cherished students, and respected parents and guests,

Ginagay and welcome to our inaugural Performing Arts Awards Nights. It is with great pleasure that I stand before you today to discuss the invaluable role of music, dance, and drama in education and their profound cultural significance, as well as to make a special announcement that will undoubtedly enhance our commitment to the performing arts at Bishop Druitt College.

Our dedication to nurturing these artistic forms underscores our commitment to the holistic development of our students, for the arts are not just extracurricular activities but vital elements that enhance our intellectual growth and enrich our lives.

The inclusion of music, dance, and drama in our educational curriculum is not merely a matter of choice; it is a reflection of our understanding of their pivotal role in brain development. These art forms stimulate critical and creative thinking, nurturing an environment where students can explore their creativity and imagination. The skills honed through music, dance, and drama are directly transferable to the broader spectrum of academic disciplines, enabling our students to approach challenges with a versatile and innovative growth mindset. They not only learn to appreciate the arts but also become better problem solvers, communicators, and critical thinkers.

Beyond their cognitive benefits, the arts bring us immeasurable joy, hope, and gratitude. They serve as powerful outlets for expression, allowing us to connect with our deepest emotions and aspirations. When we engage in artistic endeavours, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, where we can convey our thoughts, experiences, and dreams in a way that transcends the limitations of words. This pursuit of creativity, passion, and self-expression is what makes life truly meaningful and beautiful.

Furthermore, these art forms transcend boundaries and divisions, connecting people from different strata of society and our world. Music, dance, and drama are universal languages that bridge gaps, fostering understanding and empathy between individuals from diverse backgrounds, and age groups. When we come together to celebrate the performing arts, we unite in a shared appreciation for the beauty of our common humanity. The sense of community and unity that these forms of expression create cannot be overstated, for they remind us that we are all part of something much larger than ourselves.

On a personal level, music is the common language that unites my family. We attend music concerts and festivals together and they create the shared experiences that build the narrative of our lives. Just last week, I attended Paul McCartney, you know the Beatle, with my adult sons and we were connected by this experience that transcended the generations.

Now, onto our special announcement. In keeping with our commitment to excellence in the performing arts, I am pleased to announce the introduction of the Bishop Druitt College Honours Awards, which I officially launch tonight but will be in effect from the beginning of 2024. These awards will serve to recognise the outstanding achievements of our students in three categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Bronze Honours will be presented to students who actively participate in at least four school-organised activities in the final two years of Primary or Middle School or Senior School. This acknowledges their dedication and contribution to the school community.

Silver Honours in the Performing Arts category will involve meeting the criteria for Bronze Honours, and students must also demonstrate a state-level standing in the performing arts while actively engaging in that field within the Bishop Druitt College community.

For the highest level of achievement, the Gold Honours will be awarded to students who demonstrate a national standing in the performing arts while actively engaging in that field within the Bishop Druitt College community.

The policy outlining the details of these prestigious Honours Awards will be published later this year on our website, providing students with all the information they need to strive for excellence in the performing arts. The first of these Honours Awards will be presented at this event in 2024.

In conclusion, the arts are not a luxury but an essential part of the education we provide at Bishop Druitt College. They contribute to the growth of well-rounded individuals who not only grow academically but also lead enriched, fulfilling lives. They instil in our hearts the values of joy, hope, and gratitude and connect us in the grand symphony of humanity.

Finally, I wish to express my gratitude. Thank you all for being part of this wonderful journey, and I look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of our talented students in the performing arts. A special thank you to our music tutors, our performing arts staff, our Friends of Performing Arts committee, our guest presenters and of course our event coordinators: Mrs Rachel Caesar, our Performing Arts Manager, Mrs Rebecca Day, our Head of Faculty, and Mrs Holly Heather, our Marketing and Events Coordinator.

God Bless. Enjoy the Night.

Academic Scholarships for 2025 (Entry to Years 5-12)

Applications for 2025 Academic Scholarships for students entering Years 5-12 are now open and will close at midnight AEDST Sunday 4 February 2024. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of a competitive examination conducted by ACER, which will take place on Saturday 24 February 2024 at Bishop Druitt College.Full or partial scholarships are awarded by the Principal.Please see our website for further details:

Gambling & Young People

The digital era has made gambling more accessible, and certain factors are elevating the risk of problematic gambling among young people. A new grey area is emerging, with smartphones at their fingertips blurring the boundaries between gambling and entertainment, especially within the realms of video games and social media.

The current generation of young people are growing up in an unprecedented time and research highlights that a significant percentage of adolescents are involved in gambling activities.Reports of young people gambling are frequent with many experiencing adverse consequences such as diminished academic performance and strained relationships. Today’s youth are growing up in a digital age characterised by constant connectivity, and the gambling industry has evolved significantly during their formative years. Simulated gambling, such as in video games, can further increase the likelihood of teenagers transitioning to real-money gambling and developing future gambling-related problems.It's crucial to foster open discussions about positive media choices to help children navigate through responsible online gaming and gambling.

By encouraging a balanced approach to screen time and promoting alternative activities, will help set some clear boundaries to avoid potential gambling-related issues.This Special Report provides guidance on how to empower young people to make responsible choices in this digital age. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please consider seeking medical or professional help.Here is the link to your special report

Bishop Druitt College Golf Day

The 26th annual BDC Golf Day took place in stunning weather on Sunday at Bonville Golf Resort. Players are having a fantastic day as always. This is truly one of the finest golf courses in the country. A huge thank you to the staff at Bonville Golf Resort and in particular to General Manager Mr Brad Daymond for accommodating the 140 players and sponsors.

We want to extend a big thank you to our BDC Golf Day sponsors! Costa, Complete Health Centre, Westpac, McGrath Real Estate, Spanline Coffs Harbour, FXBC Mid North Coast, Newcombe Coach Lines, Mortgage Choice, Program Maintenance, Ray Ellicott Concreting and our naming rights sponsor for the last 25 years Geoff King Motors.

Thank you also to our prize sponsors: Bonville Golf Resort, Red Key Conveyancing, Earth Water Consulting, Woolgoolga Mechanical Repairs, Megrajo, Matt Smith Wall & Floor Tiling, King Tide Brewery, Matt’s Mowing and Maintenance, Prue and Sam Skelton, Get Whipped Cheesecake Cones, Woopi Brewing Co, and Copy Centre.

Presentation Day Ceremonies Invitations

Secondary Presentation Day will take place on 4 December with our Primary Presentation Ceremony taking place on 5 December.

The Year 6 Graduation Dinner will be held at Pacific Bay Resort on Tuesday 5 December.

Christmas Services and Carols

Our K-12 Christmas Service will occur on Wednesday 6 December and this will include the installation service for our new Chaplain, Reverend Lisa Williamson. Rev Lisa has been working part-time at the college prior to the last school holidays but has been on her teaching practicum during the first 5 weeks of Term 4. We welcome Rev Lisa officially to the college in this event.

Later that evening, families are invited to join us for our annual Christmas Carols celebration.

Please also donate to the Christmas Hamper Appeal - this is truly a wonderful tradition in our college and supports our motto of “Faithfulness in Service”.

Nick Johnstone