Thank you to Liam Doherty and Catholic Identity Team for a wonderfully meaningful Eucharistic celebration last Friday afternoon. The Mass focussed on the role significant women play in our lives. These women are sometimes our mothers, grandmothers, coaches and teachers. A big thanks to Damien Bennett, not just for the time and effort that he puts into our Music Ministry team, but for the passion and dedication that he puts in. I can only imagine what our Masses would lack without the music and joy that they bring to our liturgies.
A big thanks to our Liturgy Captains as Eucharistic Ministers. It is great to see the growing confidence and leadership of our Liturgy and Justice Captains, as well as the participation of our students who are keen to participate as readers, with prayers, as servers and in the procession and in Music Ministry.
As Janeesha Digo said, The Icon proclaims the message that Mary, able to comfort Christ in His sufferings, is able to comfort us in ours. Mary is the Mother whose help is perpetually present to us. So, thank you to the staff who take on the role of mother for our students. Thank you to the staff who are a significant person in the lives of our students.
There are times when we will need to contact you, including on the day your child is absent and you haven’t informed the College. Do we have your most up to date contact details? If you are unsure, please contact the College on 5943 3600 so we can check and update our records if needed. Please remember to contact the College if any of these details change; include parent/carer’s name, address, phone number, email address and emergency contact details here.
Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children through the reporting and monitoring of absenteeism is the responsibility of both parents/carers and schools. Please remember to call the College on 5943 3600 in the morning if your child is going to be away or late for school so your child’s absence can be recorded correctly.
Attempting to understand school refusal is no mean feat. Many people still consider it in a similar vein to “wagging” or parent-condoned absenteeism. However, school refusal is an often misunderstood and serious difficulty for many students. To find out more, click here.
Did you know that 90% of adults surveyed believed that the community needs to be better informed about the problem of child abuse in Australia but unless they come face to face with the issue, collectively Australians rate petrol prices, public transport and roads as issues of greater concern than child abuse? When I was young, it was all about stranger danger. A lot of the current research suggests that perpetrators of these crimes are known to young people. We know that school is a protective factor for many young people and that’s why our teachers are so important in the lives of our students.
It was wonderful to attend the Mass and Assembly commemorating the 10th Anniversary to St Brigid’s Primary School. St Brigid of Kildare who was a compassionate woman who demonstrated a strong will but also charitable nature. St Brigid wanted to help those in need and often handed out bread, butter, eggs and chickens from her father’s dairy farm. I saw the same spirit of generosity in the St Brigid’s community today.
Congratulations to Ms Cassandra Maldonado and Ms Gemma Della Bosca, who graduated on Tuesday. Cassandra graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Secondary Health and Physical Education, and Gemma with a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Secondary Education, and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Human Geography.
Lisa Harkin – Deputy Principal – Head of Campus – Officer
On Thursday 23 May, Year 8 students participated in an information session run by Metro Trains in preparation for the upcoming city experience program. Students were given advice on train safety and etiquette, as well as a guide to using their myki pass. Throughout the year, students will hear from a variety of speakers to ensure that students are well versed in all things Melbourne before we launch this exciting initiative in Term 4.
We are currently in the process of creating student groups based on their theme selections. It was clear that A Creative City was the most popular choice, and students that selected this theme will now be given the opportunity to select a sub theme from one of the following:
Students can expect to receive an email detailing the process of selecting their sub-theme shortly.
Megan Ball – Learning Culture Leader
On Monday 27 May, the Performing Arts Academy had the wonderful experience of a guided backstage tour of Bunjil Place. They were given access to all areas and got the chance to pick the brains of industry professionals on how a performance venue is run, different vocational avenues within the arts and how to become involved in performing arts outside of school.
Students enjoyed the chance to explore the stage, orchestra pit, bio box, backstage and dressing rooms. Many of them came away with a greater desire to follow a performing arts pathway, and with a greater appreciation for the many and varied jobs available in performing arts. Many thanks to Joel Evans, Senior Arts Programming Officer at Bunjil Place, for organising the tour for us.
Erin Lalor – Arts Performance Coordinator
On Friday the Junior Girls SIS Football team went head to head with rivals, Padua College. It was fantastic to see all the girls so enthusiastic about giving it a go and trying their best. The Padua team were tough opponents due to their pressure and ability to move the ball down the field. The St Francis Xavier girls continually kept tackling, kept on their players and didn’t allow them to score many points. The girls came away with their first win for the season, 32 – 15. Hopefully we can keep the streak going and get a win next week.
Shiona Dickson – Head of House – Synan
The annual Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN tests have been completed for the Officer Campus. This year, along with approximately half of the schools in Australia, the Officer Campus students undertook their NAPLAN tests online. The benefits of being online are numerous with the two most significant benefits being the quicker release of results to schools and families and the adaptive nature of the tests, that being, as students answer questions, the online test is being generated based on their previous answers, which ultimately will give more accurate results to a child’s understanding.
NAPLAN is just one tool in the College’s toolkit of resources to assess and support student learning. In addition to NAPLAN, evidence of student learning and growth also comes from twice annual Progressive Achievement Tests in Numeracy and Reading, student achievement levels (grades) and Semester Reports (Progression Points). The College also collects information on student absenteeism and work completion as these are factors in student achievement too.
Despite concerns raised in the media over recent weeks regarding NAPLAN and its implementation, the students of St Francis Xavier College had a positive experience undertaking NAPLAN Online. While the formal results are still to be released, the anecdotal evidence suggests that our students were more engaged in the online format of the assessments with higher completion rates of assessments (over 98%) compared to previous years and greater engagement in the completion of the tests.
Tim O’Meara – Director of Learning Culture – Officer
Reconciliation is ultimately about relationships and like all effective relationships the one between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians must be grounded in truth. There can be no trust without an honest, open conversation about our history. Reconciliation Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Karen Mundine
I commend the poem below to you. It was written by one of our staff, Genelle Jones.
Byamee awoke from a dream and my mother, the land, came alive with light and colour. There are no fences, only the gnowk, the spirits, to guide us on this great, wide country.
Our identity is tied to our culture, our country and our kin, alive with symbols painted on bodies and our surroundings, our ancestors still breathing throughout our landscape, our heritage, living through dreaming and totems to tie me to my mob.
The dreaming fills us with song and dance, stories and painting, hunting and gathering, kinship, campfires and smiles and an unbreakable link to all that came before. The traditional owners are always to be remembered and respected.
A time of peace and love to honour the beauty of our ancestors who form the trees, the rocks, the waterholes, the rivers, the mountains, the stars, the animals and the plants which keep us alive.
We are the proud custodians of this land and have kept it as it was on the very first day. We don’t own the land; the land owns us.
Along came the wundas, the ghosts, to steal away the dreaming and return us to Ilbalintja, the dark land. The ghosts steal our children and our ancestors, our kinship, our land and our livelihood. The ghosts steal our culture and our identity, our beliefs and our ceremonies, all that is sacred and dear.
The ghosts stole our history and our future but cannot steal our hope and our humanity.
We hope for a day when Byamee wakes from a dream where all men are respected as equals.
Genelle Jones – Laboratory Technician