Closed: Monday 2 July until Monday 7 July.
Open: Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Saturday 14 July.
We have a vibrant community at the Officer Campus, and our staff are continually working towards providing opportunities for our students to engage them in and enhance their learning. In this fortnight’s news you will read about some of the recent happenings.
Congratulations to the Year 9 students on the way they entered into their examinations last week. Staff were impressed to hear about and see evidence of students utilising some of the study techniques shared by their teachers. The habits formed at Year 9 will support students as they move into the senior years. We also remind students that it is important to take the time to reflect on feedback from their examinations and look at ways to improve moving forward. They are invited to seek clarification or strategies from their subject teachers.
Next week we enter into Semester 2. All students will experience a change of electives, which does often result in some teacher changes for core subjects. We invite all our students to enter into Semester 2 with positivity and an attitude to exceed their potential.
On 4 June, 24 students from Years 7 & 8 undertook a Kindness Walk at Arena Shopping Centre. This kindness walk involved our students undertaking random acts of kindness for others including sharing kindness cards, carrying shopping bags, pushing trolleys, and wishing all they interacted with a wonderful day. These acts of kindness were well received by shopkeepers and shoppers, many offering positive feedback and gratitude to our students. In particular, Arena Café were so impressed by the acts of kindness that they insisted on providing gratitude treats for our students. As one student noted on our walk back to school, Kindness is Contagious! We have since received many affirming comments via email and phone from members of the wider community expressing gratitude.
Our first Kindness Walk was a success and we hope to make Kindness Walks a regular event each term. Thank you to all the staff who supported this opportunity.
At our recent campus staff meeting we revisited Restorative Practice. Staff were invited to consider a variety of teaching styles and provide commentary around the student experience of these styles. As a campus staff we then unpacked a restorative teaching style and recognised that our Positive Learning Partnership expectations fully embrace and support restorative practice principles.
Our College community is called to enter into interactions with respect, in a calm and just manner, and with optimism. The use of restorative practice is featured across many of our processes and is instrumental in our discipline approach. The aim of restorative practice in school communities is to manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm and strengthening relationships as a way of building community. Relationships being central to our work, we aim to repair, forgive, and utilise student strengths to grow our young people.
On 28 May, the Berwick and Officer Liturgy captains travelled to St Brigid’s for the Mini Vinnie’s festival gathering. Multiple schools arrived at the venue and played some games to start off the day. Throughout the day we discussed what the St Vincent de Paul Society is and what they do to help others that are need. The primary school students were able to have a new perspective and understanding of how they can help St Vincent de Paul reach their goal. We also participated in a mass with Father Jeff and it was fun to see St Brigid students taking initiative in reading passages for the mass. The highlight of the day was bonding with the Berwick Liturgy captains. Every time we meet we become closer and closer and it’s fun to know that we are working as one team. Overall, the day was very fun and successful.
Over the last couple of weeks, our drama class has been working on creating performances based on well-known fairy tales. On 4 June, we were given an exciting opportunity to present our performances to the Grade 2’s from St Clare’s Primary School. Our group worked exceptionally well together in class, making good use of our time, and striving to make our performance the best it could be. We used each member’s individual skills to enhance our performance – creating a show that incorporated dance, clubs and expressive skills that engaged the audience’s imagination.
Prior to acting out our scene my group felt nervous, but well prepared. We were excited to finally see our performance come to life, and to see our audience’s reaction. Our audience was very enthusiastic and were keen to participate when encouraged to do so. At the end of the performance I felt proud that we had achieved what we wanted to do: perform well and make the kids happy.
Today I learnt that not everything goes to plan but thinking outside the box and using some improvisation goes a long way. In other words, not everything has to be perfect for something to go well. I also learnt that something as small as a gift (fairy dust bottles we made and stickers at the end of the performance for the kids) doesn’t mean much to us, but can mean so much more to others and can make their day.
The first Interschool Equestrian event for the year was a great success, with Sarah Laukart placing 6th and Kiara Grindrod placing 5th overall at the first round of the Interschool Show Jumping series.
Sarah went on to represent the college at the Interschool State Championships where she placed 7th.
Sarah and Kiara both competed at the second round of the Interschool Show Jumping series, where Kiara placed 4th and Sarah placed 1st overall.
Sarah then competed at the Boneo Park Dressage, placing 5th overall at the first round and 7th overall at the second round.
Sarah also placed 2nd overall at the St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar Interschool competition.
We are extremely proud of the girls and we look forward to hearing about their further successes in the future!
‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except though me.’ (John 14:6)
Many of our staff and students have been deeply affected by the passing of Nathan Forsyth. Prayers were offered across the College in various contexts following his passing. It was moving to witness the high esteem in which he was held, and the sincere prayers that were offered for the repose of his soul and for his family and friends. The motto of our College is often used at funeral rituals. In this narrative, the writer of John shows Jesus preparing his friends for his death. ‘In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.’ Jesus was looking at his friends in front of him as he said these words – in other words, belief in Jesus means God dwells in the here and now within believers. The indwelling of God in the here and now brings comfort and hope. It is this comfort of God’s presence that was witnessed this week in groups of students and staff who gathered to honour Nathan and pray for his family and friends in various contexts. We continue to offer our prayers and thoughts at this challenging time.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace, Amen.
Next Friday our Houses will celebrate Mass in six of our local Parishes. The Houses come together from across the three Campuses to recognise the role of parishes in school life. We would not be here without our parishes and celebrating Mass in our ‘local parish’ – our House, enables students and staff to touch base with our purpose as a Catholic school.