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

Officer 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.

Rebecca Cetrola



Campus Learning Culture Leaders Report

This week, the Campus Learning Culture Leaders (LCLs) have taken the opportunity to work with their year levels to support them in their learning, organisational skills and exam preparation.

Mrs Laura Overdyk, Year 7 LCL, met with the Year 7s and discussed the importance of home study and what home study can look like. The key message given to the Year 7s was that home study was about reinforcement, reflection and revision.

Home study activities could include:

  • Complete any set homework that your teachers have given that will help reinforce concepts through drill activities.
  • Reading of books, including year level novel
  • Revising over work that was completed during previous lessons
  • Continue with assignments
  • Complete any unfinished work

Students were also encouraged to record their work using either their Outlook calendars or some other reliable method that works for them.

The theme of the Year 8 gathering was embracing a work ethic and commitment that sees students achieve academic success. Our Positive Learning Partnerships encourages students to participate fully in the learning opportunities and by never giving up. It was also highlighted to the students the importance of attendance as this is an area of concern for some students.

Parents are able to monitor their child’s attendance, effort and persistence by accessing their PAM accounts on a regular basis and remaining informed about their child’s academic progress as it happens.

Next week the Year 9s will be undertaking exams in English, Maths and Science. Assessment has a multitude of benefits including:

  • assessment as learning (to encourage students to reflect on their learning and monitor their progress)
  • assessment of learning (to measure student achievement against standards)

The students of Year 9 gathered in small groups, guided by care group teachers, and shared their experiences and practises so far in exam preparation for next week. While many have embraced the new experience, we did discover that some are still to fully immerse themselves in the preparation for exams.

Year 9 Exams will be as follows:

  • Year 9 English – Wednesday June 6 (9:30 – 12:00)
  • Year 9 Maths – Thursday June 7 (10:45 – 12:30)
  • Year 9 Science – Thursday June 7 (1:30 – 3:15)

Other year levels will undertake some semester assessment, which will be reported on the final cycle of reports later this term.

Finally, over the past two weeks, the Officer Campus as completed NAPLAN (only Years 7 and 9) and Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) across all year levels. These assessments are used in a variety of ways, but one of the most important uses of these assessments is for providing direction in the learning of individual students and more broadly cohorts of students moving forward. The PAT tests are completed twice annually (May and November). We anticipate that NAPLAN results will be available to the College and consequently families, during the latter stages of Term Three.



SFX Officer House Athletics

After much anticipation, the Officer campus house athletics carnival was held at the Casey Fields athletics track on Tuesday 1 May. In perfect conditions, students competed across the full complement of athletics events with a view to securing the overall championship shield. Most notably, Mrs Alex McDermott and her McKenna squad were looking to go back to back after a breakout win in 2017, while Gallagher team captain Mr Clint Broadhurst was hoping to lead his squad to a 2018 clean sweep having won both the House Swimming and House Cross Country events.

From the very first events of the day, the competition was fierce. Students were giving their all and as a result recording some impressive results. For those not competing but putting their efforts into supporting the team, it was clear the levels of support had been turned up to ‘11’, such was the noise from the grandstands.

At the completion of the track and field events, just prior to the relays, 26 points separated first and fifth placings – such was the closeness of the days competition.

In the end, it was Thomas house securing their first ever athletics carnival overall champions trophy. A huge congratulations must go to Miss Shauna Furlong for her leadership of her House and the efforts of all students in the Thomas House team. 

White House secured back to back spirit awards after another special performance with their team chants, dancing and overall participation. 


Final results were as follows:

Thomas – 1548

McDonagh – 1538

Schneider – 1499

Burgess – 1454

McKenna – 1434

Synan – 1419

Gallagher – 1399

White – 1378


There were also some standout individual performances across the event. The following students were awarded year level champions for their respective divisions.



Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


Kade De La Rue (McD)

Franco Osuru (Sch)

James Adams (McK)

Nicholas Pastras (Tho)

Deng Kiir (Bur)

Ethan Pandy (McD)

Mawien Nielo (Tho)

Jamie Hill (Bur)

Justin Ochaya (McD)


Ella Crawford-Hall (Tho)

Molly McLeod (Syn)

Mia Reeves (McD)

Aweng Atem (Bur)

Tylah Burn (Tho)

Allanah Auld (Sch)

Jemima Sheedy (Sch)

Karly Meinecke (Whi)

Elizabeth Lawless (McD)



Richmond Football Club – Leadership workshop

24 Officer campus Year 8 student were fortunate to be given an opportunity by the Richmond Football Club to attend a leadership session at their Punt Road headquarters.

After watching part of a Richmond training session, students were given a brief tour of the facility including the change rooms, their relaxation area and the team meeting room. Whilst in the meeting room, students were given an insight into how leadership is viewed within the Richmond Football Club. The presentation spoke about the importance of communication, trust, respect, honesty and ultimately the view that everyone has leadership traits and qualities which are encouraged to be showcased.   

Also, as part of the day, students were given an opportunity to explore the Australian Sports Museum. The aim here was to identify how leadership practices are evident within other sports or settings and how these skills could be transferred into school life.

All in all, a fantastic opportunity for our students to explore, understand and develop their leadership skills.   


SIS Theatresports

On 15 May, the SIS theatresports workshop was held at Saint John’s College in Dandenong. A group of six year 8 students from the Officer Campus attended this event, along with the theatersports teams from both Beaconsfield and Berwick. When the teams got there, the air was filled with excitement as we were waiting to see what was going to happen. Two men ran the day whose names were Patrick and Tim. Throughout the day, they acted out various scenes, which made everyone laugh. They taught us lots of techniques and skills to do with acting. Everyone ended up having a ball and really enjoyed the experience, with it being something to remember.

Kayla Jaremczuk


Lead Your Life Personal Development and Leadership program

For the past few months, 21 year 8 and 9 students have been participating in the Lead Your Life Personal Development and Leadership program. The program ran for eight sessions during care group time and a small part of period 1.

The main goals of the program were to improve students sense of self-worth and to really teach them what an enormous effect self-belief can have on your success, and also to develop skills in communication and leadership.

The program was based on the idea that it’s important to be the best person you can be, not only to benefit yourself but also for the benefit of the wider community. This is what we call benefit mindset.

The students engaged in activities about gratitude and learned how being grateful really helps you to be an optimistic thinker and a positive person. They learned about listening to that positive voice in their head and about how actively doing so actually changes the brain’s neural pathways. They also identified what qualities of a leader they already have and which ones they would like to develop. Non-verbal and verbal communication, and self-confidence were also skills we worked on. 

At the conclusion of the program each student prepared a speech and presented to parents and staff in a Celebration and Graduation Evening. The students were awarded graduation certificates by Mr Feeney.

Now that the Lead Your Life program has concluded, the students will be practising the skills they have learned by being Kindness Ambassadors for the College. This involves giving out cards with inspirational quotes on them to shoppers at Arena Shopping Centre and helping customers carry their groceries to their cars.

Congratulations to all of the Lead Your Life students of 2018!


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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