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Community News – 7 February 2019

We extend a warm welcome to all members of the St Francis Xavier College community joining us for the 2019 academic year. In particular, we welcome our Year 7 students and families and new students and families in Year 8 to 12. It was terrific to witness excited students arrive for classes on Monday. Let us make 2019 a wonderful year for student achievement!

Parents please ensure that you are connected to all avenues of information at St Francis Xavier College:

  1. Have you activated your PAM (Parent Access Module) account? Please email if you require assistance.
  2. Are you following our Facebook page? – St Francis Xavier College
  3. Have you downloaded the free Skoolbag app? Skoolbag is available via the App Store or Google Play.
  4. Please be sure to read our fortnightly online newsletter published on Thursdays. You will receive an email reminder.


VCE Seasons of Excellence – Class of 2018

We are pleased to congratulate a number of students from the class of 2018. The annual VCE Season of Excellence comprises twelve concerts (Top Class and Top Acts), two exhibitions (Top Designs and Top Arts), and multiple screenings of short films (Top Screen) presented in Melbourne’s major cultural venues from February – June.

I am delighted to inform you that Guy Antoine (VCE VET Creative and Digital Media student) will have his work from 2018 exhibited in this year’s Top Designs exhibition at the Melbourne Museum as part of the VCE Season of Excellence 2019.

Congratulations to Oliver Thomson will participate in the Top Acts performance on 13 March. Top Acts is an evening concert, which presents up to 40 performers from the Top Class concert series in one stunning event. VCE works across dance, drama, theatre studies, and music are blended together into a dynamic presentation.


We also congratulate Catherine Kozlovski and Amy Dennis who were selected to audition for Top Class.


Strictly Ballroom – Cardinia Performing Arts Company (CPAC)

We congratulate Oliver Thomson (Year 12 / Arts Captain 2019) has the lead role of Scott Hastings in Strictly Ballroom the Musical at the Cardinia Cultural Centre. Michael Barron (Year 12) will also feature in the ensemble. 


Australian Air Force Cadets


Are you or your child interested in joining a premier youth organisation to learn about aviation, fieldcraft and drill, or learn valuable skills like leadership, responsibility, self-confidence as well as make lifelong friends?

If so, please come along to the final Australian Airforce Cadets Recruit Information Evening for this semester, to be held at the SFX Beaconsifeld Campus this Monday 11 Feburary 2019 6.00pm-6.30pm. 

Applicants must be between 12 years (Year 7) and 16 years of age, be of good health and a person ordinarily resident in Australia.

Students from SFX who are current cadets will be sharing their experiences and guiding recruits and parents on the evening. Those who are interested in starting immediately can do so on the night, and will be required to wear their school uniform, bring a water bottle and pen and notebook.

To register your application to become a cadet and join the Australian Air Force Cadets at 403SQN Beaconsfield please click here.

For more information please visit the AAFC national website.

Angie O’Sullivan (Class of 2018) made 403 Squadron history this week by becoming the first ever home grown Cadet Under Officer, and now holds the highest rank achievable in the AAFC cadet rank structure. She started at Air Force Cadets in 2016 at the age of 14 at the Beaconsfield Campus where the 403 Squadron is located, and has recently completed her final promotional detachment at Puckapunyal Military base over the January school holidays. 

On Monday night, she was officially promoted to CUO by her Commanding Officer. 

Cadets has provided me with the opportunity to develop and grow as an individual and now as a leader I can now help others to do the same. I want to now become the kind of female leader that I looked up to, for others

CUO O’Sullivan is also now the fastest-moving cadet in the Squadron’s young history, going from Recruit to CUO in just 35 months. 


Year 7 Transition Advice

Going to secondary school is both exciting and scary for many kids. There’s excitement about new friends, teachers and ventures, but this can be overshadowed by anxiety and stress.

The sheer size of a high school building can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. The potential loss of status when moving from big fish in a small pond to tiny minnow in a large ocean can be hard to swallow for some. Add the increased number of teachers and the hormonal changes that accompany puberty and drive emotional and cognitive development and it is little wonder the first year of secondary school often sees a plateauing in learning. Most kids are flat out making new friends and getting used to how secondary school works, so learning takes a back seat for a time.

While it’s easier for those who have a brother or sister already there who can pass on some tips about how to survive secondary school, many don’t have that luxury. Fortunately, there are number of strategies parents can use to make the transition to secondary school easier.


  1. Know the school space

Familiarity helps reduce anxiety. Most secondary schools have familiarisation programs for incoming students but it helps to reinforce with your young person where the key spaces are – such as administration, toilets, the tuck shop and drinking taps. A trip to the school during the holidays, if possible, can help reassure a nervous secondary school starter.


  1. Make the leap with friends

Negotiating new friendships can be stressful so it helps to identify some friends from primary school or outside school that your child can travel with or meet up before school, at lunch breaks and during times when classes aren’t scheduled. This will give them the opportunity to share and compare experiences, which is therapeutic for kids who are experiencing change.


  1. Help with planning and organisation

Some students can be overwhelmed by the organisational demands of secondary school. If your child fits this category, be prepared to be on hand to coach your young person in the finer arts of being on time to class, organising work in folders, planning homework time, handing in multiple assignments and filling out forms.


  1. Set up a designated study space in the home

Now that your young person has hit the big time it’s important that they have a study space to call their own. Keep this outside the bedroom if possible – the bedroom is a space for sleeping and relaxing. Use any area that is reasonably quiet and well lit. Set up a desk with a computer, if possible, along with stationery items.


  1. Establish a work schedule

If your child’s primary school homework was given inconsistently then be prepared for a change. Most secondary schools try to coordinate homework between different teachers but there will be more times than not when your child will come home with multiple homework assignments to complete. Build the homework habit early and choose a regular time that allows for breaks. Encourage them to work quickly so that work does not drag on and become demotivating.


  1. Stay patient and positive

The social and academic demands of going to secondary school can be mentally draining for young people. Some will miss old friends and the relative comfort of primary school. It’s important for parents to be patient with their young person, to expect a few behaviour blowouts and to be prepared to listen and help them process their new experiences. If your young person has negative experiences, point them in the direction of the good things that may happen during the day.

Your young person’s coping mechanisms are being tested during this time. They can change on a daily basis. If stress becomes overwhelming or persistent to the point that they don’t want to go to school after the initial settling-in period, consider organising some extra assistance. A year-level coordinator, school counsellor or the local doctor can be good starting points should extra assistance be needed.

Starting secondary school is one of many transitions your young person will face in life. With planning and support, your child can make a positive start to secondary school and enjoy an amazing time at their new school.

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