Welcome to the 2019 school year.
This promises to be a very positive year with the introduction of so many new learning options for our students. I am very hopeful about the impact of the elective choices that Year 8 students are now able to make, and of the personal projects that Year 9 and 10 will undertake. Both respect the student as an independent learner and seek to enable them to really pursue areas of interest, just like our academies.
In the senior school we have opened for use a new flexible learning facility. Students and teachers are still learning how to best make use of its freedoms, but again we should soon see more independent and collaborative learning taking place there.
It has been designed more along the lines of tertiary education principles and also treats the student as a mature person and learner. Although it was a challenge to have it available for use from Day 1, there is still work going on outside the building to complete the project so we will all need to be a bit flexible until then.
At Officer, the Music Drama Dance building will be available before the end of this month (the only building project I have seen in a school that is being finished ahead of the contract date). It will really make the new instrumental music program more possible given the squeeze for space at that campus.
We are keeping LRC open after school at each campus so that students can study, complete homework all in the comfort of familiar surroundings. LRC open times can be found in the Vice Principal’s news article.
And this year we have another year level with a school provided device. This makes learning and teaching easier and more functional for the College and so I am grateful for the community support this program has received.
As I move around the Beaconsfield Campus, it is easy to spot the Year 12 class as they are the last of the BYOD cohort. And, in my travels I am constantly seeing students engaged in their learning, focused on their tasks and teachers actively working with students; guiding, instructing and monitoring.
Our College goal of Positive Learning Partnerships is clearly visible in these moments.
That goal was also apparent in the Berwick and Officer Commencement Assemblies this week. Students, staff and families came together with such a spirit of mutual respect and shared optimism for the year ahead. Of particular note was the opportunity to hear from the student leaders as they presented their vision, their goals for 2019. I have never seen student leadership done as well as it is here at St Francis Xavier College. Everyone should be very proud not only of the calibre of our leaders but also of the support and regard they receive from all students.
It is impressive how well they support their leaders.
Finally, yesterday I attended Mass with the Year 12 students at their retreat as they were led in prayer by Fr Rob Galea. I was so impressed by the spirit of joy and togetherness that this cohort possesses. I look forward to seeing their growth in this their final year with us.