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Beaconsfield Campus – 9 August 2018

Learning @ Beaconsfield

Mr Simon Cuckson has utilised new teaching software with his Year 11 Physical Educational class. Our staff have been working on student engagement and innovation in classroom practice. The students have shared their reflections below.

In class today, Mr. Cuckson used Triptico to test our classes knowledge on what has been taught throughout the start of the semester. To do so, he used a spin the wheel technique, which randomly targeted an individual to answer questions he has made. If the student couldn’t answer the question he encouraged others to help. This helped the class bring attention to what has been taught and what everyone needs to study.
Mark Winters, Year 11

We used triptico to test and ensure that we were all up to speed with our terminology of PE. It helped to show us areas to improve on in our learning. It was useful because we were able to work as a class to test each other and encourage answers.
Charlie Stocks, Year 11

Our class used Triptico to widen our knowledge of Unit 2 PE. It helped us to understand more of the terms and definitions of PE theory. I found it useful because it was fun and engaging.
Jack Cake, Year 11


Presentation Balls

It is a busy time for many Year 11 students as many have also elected to participate in the Presentation Balls. Our students were impeccably presented in their formal wear and demonstrated their dancing technique in front of family and friends at Merrimu Receptions last weekend. Students have spent many hours rehearsing with expert tuition from Mr Peter Head. Thank you to Mrs Butera the committee and to staff for volunteering their time. Without your generous support our students would not be able to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity. Good Luck to the students participating in the two remaining Presentation Balls.


Subject Selection 2019

The subject selection process is now well underway. Students are reminded to speak with our Careers Counsellors, Mr Apperley and Ms Thomas, and discuss their selections with their parents. Plenty of advice and support is available. Please follow the instructions outlined in your Information Pack.


Religious Education Department News

St Francis Xavier Day:

Why do we have St Francis Xavier Day on August 15th? There are a number of reasons why we celebrate St Francis Xavier’s life on the Feast of the Assumption.

Key dates in Francis’ life:

Born April 7, 1506

August 15, 1534 – Though at first hesitant, Xavier was eventually inspired by his friend’s example. On this date in the Montmartre section of Paris, Xavier, Loyola and five others pledged themselves to the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). In addition to vows of celibacy and poverty, they also promised to visit the Holy Land.

June 24, 1537 – Ordained

May 6, 1542 – Arrived in Goa

August 15, 1549  – Xavier landed at Kagoshima, Japan. As he had at his other missions, Xavier adapted to local mores and arranged for the translation of religious texts. These steps helped him reach more converts in the year and a half he spent in Japan.

Died December 3, 1552 – Feast Day

Canonised on March 12, 1622

Tucked in a corner of the party capital of India, the mostly-incorruptible body of Goencho Saib (Lord of Goa), otherwise known as St Francis Xavier, is on display in the right transept of the Bom Jesus church in the old Portuguese centre of town of Goa. The body was originally transported back to Goa in a lime-slake, from which his body miraculously emerged unchanged. He was placed on view in a raised reliquary, with annual festivals, where, up until recently, pilgrims had the opportunity to kiss the exposed, miraculously mummified feet of the saint.

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2185

In Australia, the Catholic faithful should observe as holy days of obligation:

  • Christmas Day (December 25 – the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ)
  • The Assumption (August 15 – the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
  • All Sundays of the year

The Feast of the Assumption is one of the oldest holy days in the Church, with accounts of celebrations going back to the sixth century. Christians in the East, both Catholic and Orthodox refer to it as the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, or “the falling asleep of the Mother of God.” The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.”

Celebrating St Francis Xavier Day on August 15 joins our community with our saint. It also aligns us to Mary, who is the first and best disciple, and with St Francis Xavier, is a wonderful role model for us.

My mother has shared with me a beautiful story about the relationship between her mother, Eileen Shanahan and the local Gunaikurnai people of East Gippsland. Nana’s husband Patrick, with his brothers, were earth movers and helped build the roads throughout Gippsland. In their work they developed a close connection with the Gunaikurnai people. Nana’s house, on the road out of Bairnsdale became a place where Nana and Popsa (as Patrick was known) would always welcome any indigenous person who knocked on their door and asked for a meal. With Patrick often away due to his work throughout Gippsland, Nana was often home with their ten children, working the dairy farm, and would always welcome any one who walked into the house and asked for food. Mum recalled Nana often sharing whatever was left on her own plate. As a result, the Gunaikurnai people placed a red dash on the fence outside Nana’s house, identifying to any others passing by, that they were welcome to come into this house and ask for a meal. Nana was a first-generation German matriarch, strong willed, committed to family in every way, and extended this welcome to the Gunaikurnia people.

Upon reflection, perhaps Nana is an example of the person who offered a place for Mary and Joseph on the eve of Christmas. They went to a place where they knew they would be welcome. Mary then shared these symbolic ‘red marks’ wherever she went, showing all where and how to find the hospitality of God. Through hearing and acting on God’s promise, through trusting her son, through her presence at the cross, and finally through her entry to heaven, Mary’s life brings hope to ours.

Furthermore, at a recent Leader’s camp at Rawson, Year 11 student Simranjit Singh introduced our school to other Sale Diocese schools in a wonderful way: “We are a really diverse school with people from lots of places. What makes us special is that we love everyone. Everyone is welcome at our school.”

Teacher Ben Gaze also described a scene to me at lunchtime – “Where else would you find Syrian, Philippino, South Sudanese, Chinese, Samoan,… playing basketball together”

We are an extraordinary community. This is what we come together for and celebrate on August 15. We are united, we are a light for the world because we live in peace. I wonder what St Francis Xavier would say if he walked in to our Mass. On the exact day he, along with his friends, founded the Jesuits; on the exact day he sailed into Japan, and on the day we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we stand as one and share our identity as a truly international, welcoming and vibrant community.

And hopefully those who pass us by will see the red marks on our fences.

Let us pray this week that we look to St Mary of the Cross (whose feast day was celebrated with Mass at Officer and Berwick on August 8) for inspiration to never let a chance to do good go by.

Kevin Woodhouse, Director of Catholic Identity

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