St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College

Berwick News – 31 May 2018



Parent Focus Groups

Dear parents/guardians,

Our College is a faith filled learning community in which the gospel message is clearly in evidence; one which acknowledges Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Each member of our community is called to be a living witness to the Gospel where Christ is encountered. It is our desire that, through the deepening of the culture of positive learning partnerships informed by positive psychology, student achievement will be enhanced. We invite parents to work together with staff to assist students to have a productive, fruitful and enjoyable experience at St Francis Xavier College.

Parents have a particularly important role to play in the educating community, since it is to them that primary and natural responsibility for their children’s education belongs. (Congregation for Catholic Education 1997)

We recognise and respect that parents are the prime educators of their child. In an effort to enhance the open communication between parents and the school we invite interested parents to register their interest in joining Parent Focus Groups at each campus.

These groups do not replace the Advisory Board or Parents and Friends Association. The Parent Focus Groups offer an opportunity for parents to gather and share a parent perspective regarding school matters such as Catholic Identity, wellbeing, pathways and connectedness to the College. These groups will work to:

  • Assist families to understand the College’s vision, mission and curriculum objectives;
  • Assist students to succeed at school;
  • Ensure students develop skills to operate efficiently in our constantly changing society;
  • Enhance the health and wellbeing of students.

We are launching this initiative because we know that home/school partnerships provide the opportunity to develop a shared understanding of learning and the needs of adolescents. It is our intention to help parents support their children during their secondary schooling knowing that one of the most influential factors in creating success for students is you.

The Parent Focus Groups would generally meet once a term. Each group would be comprised of around 10 parents and several College staff including the Head of Campus as host.

Parents appointed to the Parent Focus Groups would be expected to;

  • Support the Catholic ethos of St Francis Xavier College;
  • Listen the opinions of others with respect, courtesy and fairness;
  • Be willing to engage in positive relationships;
  • Have the capacity to work as a team;
  • Commit to attend scheduled meetings;
  • Advocate for the College.


Should you be interested in joining a Parent Focus Group you are invited to complete the expression of interest form via this link:

In the event that we receive more parent nominations than the number of available positions the College Advisory Board will ratify the appointments with a view to ensuring a representative membership. Successful nominees will be notified of dates and venues thereafter.

We look forward to working collaboratively with you so that all students can reach their full potential.

Jason Hibberd


Berwick Campus Traffic Trial

The St. Francis Xavier College Executive along with the City of Casey, Victoria Police and St. Catherine’s Primary School have collaborated to put in place strategies to enhance the traffic flow coming in and out of the school during peak times.

The new traffic measures are part of a trial for the month of June and it is envisaged that this will be in full operation by Monday 4 June pending the completion of council signage.

In short, the traffic measures put in place can be summarised as follows:

  • Right hand turns will not be permitted into or from Ridgemont Drive during school speed time zones of 8.00am – 9.30am and 2.30pm 4.00pm.
  • Cars wishing to turn into the schools will do so via a left hand turn only. Cars will need to turn at the roundabout on the corner of Ridgemont Drive and Flowerfield Court so they are positioned to do a left hand turn back into the schools.
  • Keep Clear signs will be added outside of the St. Francis Xavier College bus bays on Ridgemont Drive to allow for the safe exit of school buses from the bus bays.
  • Coloured pedestrian crossings will be added to each driveway entrance. Please give way to all pedestrians using these crossing when turning into the schools. These pedestriancrossings will be a permanent feature at the schools.
  • The speed limit on school grounds will remain at 5 km. This speed is equivalent to walking pace.
  • During this time Police, Casey City Council and school personnel will monitor the impact of these restrictions with a view to make this permanent if the trial is successful, as is anticipated.

A more detailed letter expanding on the above has been sent out to all families in the school community earlier this week and we thank everyone for their support in following these regulations


2018 da Vinci Decathlon

On 18 May, two teams of eight Year 7 students (one team each from Officer and Berwick Campuses) represented the College in the annual da Vinci Decathlon held at Flinders Christian Community College in Carrum Downs. The teams had been practicing weekly at lunchtimes prior to the competition under the guidance of Mrs Laura Overdyk (Officer) and Mr Todd Zadow (Berwick).

The students competed against 20 teams from other schools in the region across ten categories throughout the day: Science, English, Art/Poetry, Engineering, Drama, Code-breaking, Ideation, Cartography, Mathematics and General knowledge.

The Berwick Campus worked hard all day achieving a 3rd place in the Engineering category.

Well done to the following Berwick Students; Simir Dhawan, Caleb Kraja, Hannah Jose, Blake Armour, Daniel Taylor, Lana Vidovic, Rose Gore and Elouise Ciccia.

Both teams represented the College exceptionally well, not only in their achievements and effort, but in the mature manner with which they conducted themselves. Most importantly, the students had a lot of fun with the activities and socialising with students from other schools.

We congratulate both teams for their hard work and dedication, and also thank Mr Stephen Bourke for his organisational assistance.


Religious Education News 

A name is important. We believe in a God who knows our name, and calls us to assist in the creation of a world liberated from suffering and all that stops us from being fully human and fully alive, capable and giving to others near and far. Theologians call this place the Kingdom of God, which is present now and unfolding, and is highlighted through the Catholic Social Teaching principle of human dignity. I was reminded of the type of community we are during an interaction with a student, who did not want to share his name with me in the school yard. The conversation that followed helped us to break open the type of community we want to be – open, honest, genuine, created for engagement in learning, in an atmosphere of unconditional respect and trust. On the flipside the conversation about what our community life would be like if names weren’t important was also illuminating. The student was able to articulate that respect was at the heart of human relationships, and that this was a very important aspect of ongoing school life.

Our students on the Youth Ministry Retreat last week put this all in perspective. After input on the difference between sympathy and empathy, students then made an effort not to pass the homeless as we walked the Melbourne city streets. They sat with, talked with, and on occasions bought blankets, towels and hot food for them. On the night walk we observed the contrasts of Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra river – on one side Crown Casino, on the other people setting up camp under the freeway bridge. On this retreat, students were inspiring in their responses to the invitation to practice empathy.

In the days following Pentecost let us pray that all of us can share unconditional respect in our interactions with our children as they reflect on and live out the invitation to live in God’s Spirit.


Pentecost Prayer: 

Just as no fire can burn without oxygen, our faithful commitment cannot do without prayer. 
So let us pray for the many needs in our world. 
As we pray we give oxygen to the blazing eagerness of God’s Spirit.

We pray that our community may continue to inspire others and 
speak words of encouragement and help to our fellow human beings, 
to move and witness the friendship of God who lives in our hearts.

We pray for all people who are in a period of darkness in their lives, 
so they discover the flame of hope through a listening ear, a helping hand, 
just as the apostles were no longer afraid but full of confidence in the midst of God’s spirit.

We pray for our young people and for all concerned with their upbringing and guidance
that they do not lose faith in their potential, 
even though it sometimes seems impossible to succeed, 
may they continue building their life purpose. 
Be fire for them, Father.

We pray for all who are committed  to continue to spread the Gospel, especially our priests,
that they may experience the support and appreciation of enthusiastic parishioners 
as they share their love for Christ and the witness of God’s Spirit in this world.

You are the Light in our world, God, 
You are the oil through which our lamp remains burning. 
So stay with us, even in difficult times.
Help us, and encourage us, through Your Spirit, 
today and all the days of our lives, Amen.


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