Last week, I was privileged to attend the International Positive Psychology Association 6th Positive Psychology World Congress. During the first keynote address, Martin Seligman spoke about how the quality of our relationships are critical. This belief is critical to the success of our work here at Officer Campus.
Listening to Martin Seligman made me reflect on the capacity for one person to turn around the life of another person. All of us can probably think of the support a family member has given, or the influence of a trusted colleague and mentor at some point in our past. Studies have found that noticing positive emotions can amplify the impact of positive events. Moreover, expressing gratitude can help you become a better person because it acts as a buffer to life’s challenges and even changes the gene expression of individuals. These concepts are all a part of our approach to Wellbeing for Learning. Similarly, our Positive Learning Partnerships are practical ways to help our learners to engage respectfully with their learning and build trust with teachers and peers.
Earlier in the week, a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog by Paul Dillon, 5 things parents should discuss with their teen before they leave home for a sleepover, party or gathering. Dillon argues every parent’s mantra as their child leaves home on a Saturday night should be as follows: You can call me anytime, anywhere – if something goes wrong and you need me – I’ll be there!
Darren Thomas, our Sport and Recreation Coordinator, put forward a proposal to develop a free men’s health and fitness program earlier this year. The program, open to male members of the St Francis Xavier College community ages 18 years and above will launch in early August and is open to all abilities and fitness levels. It will include Gym sessions, spin classes, boxing sessions, a cooking class, strength and conditioning training, tennis, yoga and guest speakers (mental health, nutrition, exercise physiology). Proudly, all 45 places in the program filled within a week. Darren’s visionary work in this area exemplifies so much of the strength and ambition of our parent and community partnerships.
All current Year 9 students are required to attend a Year 10 2020 Subject Selection Meeting. Students meet with their Head of House, or a Senior Curriculum Leader, to discuss their pathway, ideas for their 2020 learning program and then enter final preferences for their 2020 subjects online. We look forward to meeting with our Year 9 parents and carers during these sessions. Interviews are 15 minutes in length and bookings for the Year 10 2020 Subject Selection Meetings are made on PAM.
Some weeks ago, Jenna Dore outlined a Numeracy Intervention Trial that was commencing in Term 2. I am pleased to report the 100% of the students who participated in the intervention improved their previous growth rate average. 83% of students reached their growth goal, 44% of which exceeded it, and 3 students (17%) are working towards their growth goal. All students have self-reported:
Well done to the students participating in this trial – your effort is exemplary.
All students have shown improvements through the Literacy Intervention Trial, some quite significant. The remainder of assessments will be re-evaluated at the end of Semester 2 once the program has been fully implemented. I am very pleased to report that the average percentage of improvement across both classes at Officer Campus is 26%. Incredibly, one Year 7 student from McDonagh House has shown a 106% improvement on his previous testing. We look forward to seeing the overall growth in the cohort of students at the completion of this year’s program. Congratulation to Deborah Lynch and Stephanie Rogan for their work with these classes. It is this sort of targeted teaching that is supporting students to achieve excellent outcomes.
We grow together!
Lisa Harkin – Head of Campus – Officer
Please click here to view the updated College Uniform Policy. Please note that no uniform items have been added/subtracted, this is just an update of the guidelines in place, as well as an explanation of the rational and expectations of the College.
Please be reminded that it is the responsibility of all parents/guardians to provide detailed medical information for their child via PAM, in order for the College to fulfil its duty of care:
An ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (red plan) should be completed by the student’s medical practitioner and a colour copy provided to the school.
The ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (red plan) must outline the student’s known severe allergies and the emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction.
Parents must also provide the school with an Adrenaline Auto Injector (eg Epipen) and College approved Medbag as soon as their child has been diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis. These will be kept in a secure location on campus and will be taken to excursions and camps as required.
An ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (green plan) should be completed by the student’s medical practitioner and a colour copy provided to the school.
The ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (green plan) must outline the student’s known mild to moderate food, insect or medication allergies and the emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction.
Parents must provide the school with an Asthma Action Plan completed by the student’s medical practitioner. The plan must outline the student’s known triggers and the emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an asthma flare-up or attack.
In addition to the asthma action plan, parents must ensure that their child has access to their personal supply of asthma medication and a spacer during school hours.
The House System at St Francis Xavier College allows students to develop deep connections with staff and their peers. This occurs regularly through House Meetings and through student involvement in various House events. House Time is one of those, it provides our students with the opportunity to foster relationships and strengthen bonds. The focus of our House Times was to provide interactive and engaging activities that would provide students with the opportunity to interact positively and develop connections with their peers and the staff in their House.
At the end of last term four Houses (Burgess, McDonagh, McKenna, Gallagher) headed out to two of our local community Bowling Alleys and four Houses stayed back to engage in Care Group based Minute to Win it style activities. This was then switched this term and the remaining four Houses (Schneider, Synan, Thomas and White) went Bowling and the other four Houses stayed back and participated in House Activities at the College.
The images below illustrate that House Time was filled with plenty of positive interactions. According to research by Barbara Frederickson and Marcial Losada these interactions can have a profound impact on a person’s cognitive and emotional wellbeing. It was great to see so many students exhibiting enthusiasm, enjoying themselves and interacting with various members of our community.
Vicki Thompson – Director of Students – Officer
What is it like to be a Campus Captain? Being a Campus Captain doesn’t mean you write speeches, present the speeches and represent your Campus. Campus Captains endorse various projects, discuss various topics and try to work on challenges as they present themselves across the Campus. We try to focus on the strengths of the students and staff. I feel passionate about amplifying the strengths of our community. Everyone at Officer Campus is amazing. Each person has different skills, personalities and backgrounds. For me, it is a privilege to represent Officer Campus.
This year, my main goal is to be a good role model and to follow in the previous Captains’ footsteps. Mary and I have accomplished many tasks, whether it be acting as an Ambassador for the Campus at the Campus Tours or welcoming someone new to the College. The relationships I have developed with the student leaders and the staff at Officer Campus bring me joy. I enjoy my role and work that I do, especially when you see the smiling faces of the students. I know that they appreciate the time, care and effort I have put into to making activities more enjoyable.
Santoro Kep – Year 9 – Officer
There has been a lot going on in the Arts Department so far this year. There was the Junior Play launch, the Officer Performing Arts Evening, the College Production, and the African Drumming Session. Coming up in Term 3 we have the Junior Play, the Music Evening, and the Officer Talent Show. I hope you can join us in the Performing Arts Department this semester. Keep a look out on SIMON for more upcoming events.
The Officer Performing Arts Evening turned out to be a night full of fun, laughter and enjoyment. It was an amazing idea to show off all our teachers’ hard work as well as ours. It was spectacular and important to show what St Francis Xavier College can do in the Performing Arts. This night was a huge success as we all got to share our talents.
Olivia Kruger – Year 9 – Officer
Recently, students and staff from all three Campuses gathered together in their House groups to participate in House Masses. This was a great way to spend time with our House and there was something for everyone to enjoy. The House Captains delivered a speech highlighting achievements, best moments and experiences within the House. The Cantabile students performed wonderfully, singing meaningful hymns which created a lovely atmosphere in the room. The Homily provided valuable insight into the meaning of Scripture and how it relates to our world today. There were many opportunities for students to participate in the Mass through reading scripture, singing along with Cantabile and responding to the readings.
My experience as Liturgy Captain so far has been very valuable and I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Through this leadership role I feel I have learned so much about being a leader, starting new projects and encompassing faith into my daily life. I really enjoy being a Eucharistic Minister as part of my role, giving future students a tour of our College and speaking at Campus Assemblies and Masses. Each week the Student Executive Team meet as a group to talk about new projects and events. It is great to collaborate with the other leaders and share ideas with one another. Through working as a team, you can strengthen your leadership skills and make a bigger difference in the community. I look forward to the rest of the year ahead working alongside my hardworking partner Osanda and hope to keep learning more through my leadership journey.
Tahlia Simmons – Year 9 – Officer
Over the past two years, staff from the Officer campus have trialled Virtual Reality with small groups of students. Officer Campus now has its own dedicated Virtual Reality Kit. Over the course of Term 3, Officer staff will be given an opportunity to train to use the equipment. Staff will then be able to utilise the Virtual Reality Kit with students in the classroom to create new learning opportunities as well as increase achievement and engagement.
Virtual Reality is a massive area in education and can be used for many different outcomes. For the remainder of the year we hope that students will be able to benefit from being able to explore places across the world from the safety of the classroom, travel back in time to key events in history, and create original artistic content in a virtual space. The Officer pilot group previously explored the depths of the ocean, the vastness of space, and even fought off a zombie plague! We are looking forward to seeing how students utilise this valuable set of technology across the rest of 2019.
Luke Mayberry – eLearning Leader – Officer
To support building a positive school community that recognises the importance of achieving together, the Humanities learning area ran a week of fun lunchtime activities. The theme We are the children of the world was selected to celebrate the diversity of cultures at the college. Students took part in a range of activities including a daily quiz, treasure hunt and trivia, break out challenges and even a historical costumes photo booth.
Thank you to Year 8 students; Michaela Hoppner, Hailie Pastras and Charity Aloyo for all your hard work creating the We are the children of the world display in the Learning Resource Centre, and congratulations to Year 7 student Claire Peterson for winning the daily trivia quiz!
Nicole O’Brien – Officer
On Thursday July 18, several staff members from across the three campuses of St Francis Xavier College were privileged enough to attend a day in discussion with the renowned theologian Dr Carmody Grey. Over three sessions we explored and discussed three major topics. The first was God as Communion: The meaning of Personhood. In this session we explored the concept of a Triune God as a singularity while also being a communion of three. God’s very nature is relational and therefore people, who are made in God’s image are by their very nature relational as well. In fact, we explored the understanding that the trinitarian relationship was open to each of us, that through the shared experience of the incarnation all people are invited into communion with each other and within the communion that is God.
In the second session, God’s Dream: the Gospel of Mercy, we explored the desire of God that all people are welcomed into communion with himself. This is achieved through love, and more specifically through mercy. Mercy is the expression of God’s love for us and it is the way that we are expected to meet one another as individuals. We explored the concepts of meeting one another, walking with one another and more importantly, staying with one another. The Papacy of Pope Francis has been modelled on this Mercy, and he provides true leadership on the importance, the primacy of Mercy in any relationship we have with each other and with God. In our final session we explored Christianity, Humans and Other Living Beings. In this session we explored the founding principles of Catholic Cosmology. Dr Carmody lead us through an exploration of how the created world is an essential part of our created reality and that all of creation, the earth, the environment and all living things are entitled to the dignity and respect due to something that the Gospel of John tells us was created through Christ. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si leads us to an understanding of the centricity of the cosmos, the created reality and all life within it to the salvific work of Christ, and therefore to our deep responsibilities to our world and the life within it. It was a profound and enlightening day that allowed us as educators to reflect upon our work, mission and understandings within a Catholic School.
Liam Doherty – Religious Education Coordinator