From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
As we draw to a close on a tumultuous Term of schooling, which has seen us all challenged to adapt to shifting circumstances, I think we can all look back and be proud of our resilience. While alternative provisions for education, mainly through a digital platform, was a new experience for many, the way staff managed this shift and students adjusted throughout this period was quite inspirational.
While our part of the world has been relatively unscathed by the pandemic, it has been hard to watch its devasting impact in other parts of the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffer and grieve at this difficult time.
But, good can come out of tragedy. I watched the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, on the weekend give a profound reflection on the challenges that his state faced as the epicentre of the virus in the United States and his elation that the infection rate, hospitalisations and deaths had dropped to their lowest levels in months. His message was simple and heartfelt: 'we did this together, we did it for each other, we are New York tough and, in the end, Love wins - always.'
That expression 'Love wins - always' is such a hopeful expression. When things are at their darkest, hope can sustain us despite the hurt, pain and sense of despondency. It also reminded me of the sense of hope I felt when the picture of the Black Lives Matter protester, Patrick Hutchinson, saving the life of a far right protester during a London protest went viral around the world. When Hutchinson was interviewed it was clear that the value of any human life far outweighed any anger, bitterness or division. It was truly a representation of the hope our world needs right now and the necessity for all of us to listen to the better angels of our nature.
It is too easy to be cynical about the world around us and look for ulterior motives and hypocrisy. In the end, such an approach to life leads to hopelessness and despair. So too can feeling that the problems that confront us are so great that our meagre efforts are useless and ineffectual. What possible difference can I make in the face of such gigantic issues?
But, that kind of thinking leaves faith, hope and love out of the equations. Or, in another way of expressing it, it leaves God out. Yes, it is right to have the humility to know our limitations, as expressed so perfectly in the fisherman's prayer 'O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.' But never underestimate the power of God, that power of faith, hope and love, to use our contribution, however humble, to change the world.
The following story was shared with me many years ago and I have kept it with me. When things seem bleak and foreboding I read it for the inspiration to keep going. It is titled 'The Piano Lesson.'
Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.
Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit." "Keep playing."
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.
Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit" "Keep playing." Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the concerto of your life.
Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things.
I hope you enjoy the school holidays and are blessed with the spirit of hope in your life that will enable you to persevere and, when necessary, move mountains.
Stay safe, be well, God bless.
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
Due to the significant period that students have spent working in an alternative learning environment student reports for Semester 1 will not be published until Week 3 of Term 3. This will allow time for teachers to make a considered assessment of student achievement and effort within each subject area. The following will also apply as part of this adjustment to our regular reporting structure:
All students will receive an indication of effort in all subject areas
Students will also receive an indication of achievement in each subject area against the expected standard for their respective stage of learning.
We will not apply an A-E scale for any students reports in Semester 1 due to the interrupted period of study experienced during COVID-19.
Comments will not be included to allow teachers to concentrate on making an accurate assessment of student achievement and effort in all subject areas.
Parent Teacher interviews will be extended to 25 min and brought forward to Week 5 and 6 in Term 3. This change is made to allow parents to the opportunity to reconnect with their child’s teacher and discuss any factors that may be impacting on their learning.
Hygiene / Sickness
Current additional hygiene practices (regular handwashing and use of hand sanitiser) and cleaning within the College will continue for the foreseeable future. My thanks also to those parents who have kept their children at home whenever any signs of illness have presented. The government recommendation in this area remains consistent with any student or staff member required to stay at home if feeling unwell or exhibiting signs of illness.
Enrolments Prep 2021
Despite the impact of COVID-19 the 2020 year moves on and we are fast moving into our peak enrolment period. I would advise any of our current parents to proceed with their online enrolment if they have a student intending to enter our 2021 Prep cohort. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you any questions you may have regarding Prep in 2021 and would also advise that parents can contact the College at any time should they require support with their application.
School Banking Volunteers
Xavier Primary is searching for a few parent volunteers to assist with Friday collection and banking. Unfortunately, we are currently short in helpers to successfully operate school banking so we need your help. If you think you can assist on Friday morning, please contact Mr Davey.
From the Head of School – Secondary: Ms Tameika Grist
You do not need me to tell you it has been a long term, and really a long year so far. For our families and staff alike, the challenges of this year have meant we are probably all experiencing something quite different to our normal patterns of living. As we head to this break, I know our staff are very ready for a semblance of the normal again. I expect many families are also looking forward to a chance to relax from the school routines and enjoy some other activities for a change; perhaps even a chance to do a little bit of travel, and connect with more distant friends and family. I do hope you are able to enjoy relaxing a bit more these holidays and that you will stay safe in all you do.
We are proud of the way our Xavier students have managed during these times, and we thank you for your support for their learning, attendance, behaviour and correct uniform. A small reminder as we head into holidays, to resist the urge to allow any extra piercings, as we do not allow students to wear spacers or 'clear' earrings at school. A note for the boys' uniform, is that the formal trousers require a plain black belt to be worn with the uniform. The uniform shop no longer supply a school belt. A plain black belt with a suitable buckle will need to be sourced by families, if you don't already have one.
We were excited today to hear that with some of the continued easing of restrictions around COVID 19, BCE are adopting the Education Department's guidelines for Schools. One of the changes this will mean for us next Term, is that we can gather for an Assembly, Year Group or House Group as necessary. It also means excursions can be reconsidered if the venue meets the regulatory guidelines. We are certainly looking forward to coming together in one space, rather than the online assemblies and gatherings we have been having. Although one positive from all this, is finding just how much talent we have amongst our students with making films and videos. I look forward to seeing how this creativity can continue to be encouraged.
We are making a small adjustment to the release of our Secondary reports to support our staff with a bit of extra time for the marking and collating of results. This is a result of allowing later assessments this Term, to compensate for the reduced face to face teaching time.
Year 11 and 12 Unit 1 and 3 results will be available on the Parent Portal on Friday 26th 3.00 pm
The Years 7-10 Reports were due to be released at the end of Week 1 Term 3. We will now release them in the Week 2 of Term 3
Parent Teacher Interviews are scheduled for 29th July. Details regarding the organisation of the interviews so that they comply with Queensland Health recommendations will be forthcoming at the start of Term 3.
Do you know of any families thinking about where to send their children to school in 2021? Perhaps they are curious about what Xavier might be like for their children. We are inviting you to spread the word, that we will be having an Open Morning on Friday 26th June.
Xavier College are inviting interested families to come along and see us as we are. Regular tours will be departing from outside the Administration building between 9.00 - 11.00 am. It will be a relaxed and informal opportunity to meet with the Principal and Heads of School and have a guided tour of our facilities. Further information and assistance around the enrolment process will also be available during the morning.
Download the BCE Connect App today
BCE Connect provides a platform to securely access school information, making it easier to keep track of all things school related.
All Brisbane Catholic Education schools are available in BCE Connect and the app integrates with the school’s Parent Portal. The app is Free from Google play or App Store.
Log in to BCE Connect using your Parent Portal login credentials and “favourite” your chosen schools to receive notifications direct from the school (including emergency announcements – such as school closures).
What is new?
A great way to notify the school of a student absence.
Click on My Details to update your address or contact details.
Click on School Shops to find information about the Tuckshop, Uniform Shop or Stationery Lists.
Click on School Payments to make a School Fee payment. You will require your BPAY Customer Reference Number from your Family Statement.
Click on School TV – a new online resource designed to empower parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies.
There is more to choir than meets the ear. Don't get me wrong – making beautiful music is definitely the main focus in choir rehearsals, but it is certainly not the only thing that happens when students participate. There are a sleuth of silent benefits working inconspicuously in the background, providing exceptional character development to each member.
Singing in a choir builds socials skills, increases confidence, improves self-awareness and encourages students to collaborate and interact as a team. The physical act of singing is proven to increase cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, release endorphins and decrease stress levels. There are also strong ties between musical understanding and the development of language and literacy - not to mention the wealth of research showing the positive impact music education has on academic learning and healthy brain development.
For most students, school will be the only time in their lives where they will have ready access to quality music programs and activities. At Xavier, we are actively building a strong arts culture and I am proud to say our Junior and Senior choirs are a big part of this. We are always happy to welcome new members – there is truly nothing I love more than seeing students smiling, singing and full of joy in our morning rehearsals!
Joining a choir is a lot of fun, and regular attendance ensures that students receive the maximum benefit from their singing. Choir members are expected to attend weekly rehearsals; except in the case of illness. Attendance is important for individual learning as well as the development of the whole group. It is also a necessity in preparing for the numerous performance opportunities offered throughout the year. Choirs currently rehearse at the following times:
Senior Choir: Tuesday 7:45am – 8:30am Junior Choir: Wednesday 7:45am – 8:30am.
If you or your child are interested in learning more about our choir program, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Choir sign-up forms are available in rehearsals, or from the office.
Miss Anita-Rose Vella
Primary School - Excellence at XCC Award recipients
These awards are for students who have demonstrated one or more of the following SAIL Expectations.
We are Safe
We Act Responsibly
We Interact Respectfully
We Love to Learn
Uniform shop now open one afternoon per week. New opening times are below.
Opening hours during this time will be as follows:
7:30 to 10:30am
2:30 to 5:00pm
Ladies Formal Pant in smaller sizes have arrived. We now have in stock Size 6, Size 8 and Size 10 in addition to our range.
Cost $40.00. This an alternative to the Formal Skirt.
Xavier Kindergarten Enrolments
Holiday Xavier Office Opening Hours
During the holiday period our office will remain open Monday to Friday 9am-3pm for both weeks.
From the Junior School Guidance Counsellor - Reading to young children: A head start in life
Words are powerful, and a rich vocabulary can provide young people with significant advantages. Successful vocabulary development is associated with better vocational, academic and health outcomes.
In the very early years, spoken vocabularies have been associated with higher achievement in reading and maths, and better ability to regulate behaviour.
Reading aloud offers numerous additional benefits for children. Reading aloud may support students to develop sustained attention, strong listening skills, and enhanced cognitive development.
Recent research also suggests children who are read to from an early age may be less likely to experience hyperactivity. Children who are at risk of reading difficulties may particularly benefit from being read to. Children who are learning English as an additional language may experience better reading comprehension when they are read to in English.
Research also suggests that children who don't have the opportunity for shared reading are comparatively disadvantaged. If we want our children to be able to draw on a rich vocabulary to express themselves clearly, we need to read to them. Developing a child's vocabulary is a valuable investment in their future.
Key Findings from research between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research found:
The frequency of reading to children at a young age has a direct causal effect on their schooling outcomes regardless of their family background and home environment.
Reading to them 6-7 days per week has the same effect as being almost 12 months older.
Reading to children 3-5 days per week (compared to 2 or less) has the same effect on the child's reading skills at 4-5 as being six months older.
Reading to them 6-7 days per week has the same effect as being almost 12 months older.
Children read to more frequently at age 4-5 achieve higher scores on the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests for both Reading and Numeracy in Year 3 (age 8 to 9).
These differences in reading and cognitive skills are not related to the child's family background or home environment but are the direct result of how frequently they have been read to prior to starting school.
The results indicate a direct causal effect from reading to children at a young age and their future schooling outcomes regardless of parental income, education level or cultural background.
By far, the biggest barrier raised by parents to reading aloud to their children was the formidable barrier of time. If reading aloud becomes a routine part of family life, which is scheduled into the daily routine, like dinner and bedtime, this barrier may be overcome as the practice becomes becomes an everyday event.
Tanya Gripske, Guidance Counsellor
Care and Concern Committee
Our Care and Concern committee is made up of parent volunteers which work closely with out Campus Minister, to help families in need. We have a food bank freezer with meals that have been made by parents for distributions to our families in need, as well as from time to time we are often given second hand uniforms, track pants, jackets, day uniforms and formal uniforms that we try to distribute to families who express need for assistance during financial hardship. If you know of someone who would benefit from a little love and compassion please encourage them make contact with Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister) or one of our parent contacts from the committee listed below. Remember if you need a little help, please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Donelly directly. All conversations are private and confidential.
House Parent Contacts
Narwari House Parents
Anna Anderson (Jack Anderson) email@example.com
Claire Sinclair (Alex Sinclair) 41295730
Jo O'Neill (Kate O'Neil) 0422942289
Ellen Geldard (Lachlan & Matthew) 41286910/ 0400499508
Mary Arnold (Riley/Corey/Joey) 0418729967
Karen Grumley (Stewart) 41243034 / 0413306540.
Cassie Wilson (Max/Anabele Wilson/Imogen) 0409761207.
Malina Blakely ( Ryan Blakely) firstname.lastname@example.org (0478 410 180)
Rachael Trevillion (Luke/Sadie/Abbie Trevillion) email@example.com
Nikita Falconer (Lilly & Mia Falconer) firstname.lastname@example.org (0432 265 632)
Buthu House Parents
Michelle Wiegmink (Reece Wiegmink) 41287941/0409890188
Deanna Wyvill (Amy Wyvill) 41282176
Karen Goffinet (Patrick 4128 7375) 0421 322 121.
Allison McGovern (Georgia McGovern) 0411 416 943
Shelly Hislop (Jordan/Lincoln Hislop) 0423 506 675.
Dirum House Parents
Rachel Loague (Oscar Loague) 0417792179
Melissa Lynch (Mya) email@example.com
Helen Hatchett (Charli/Summer/Sam Wilson) 0438347153
Kellie Robinson (Alysha Robinson) 0448623963
Kondari House Parents
Michelle Begaud (Blake/Kyle Begaud) 0438242252
Carole Dewhurst (Patrick/Freya Golik) 41206240/0400793188
Alison Keal (Archie/Angus/Seth) 0466250799
Emma Ilka (Shayli) 0403599406
Carmel Donnelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maths Pathway – Year 7 & 8 Growth Gurus
Each fortnight we will be recognising the students who have mastered six or more new mathematical concepts for the cycle. These students have achieved rocket status for their growth rate.
Chiara Di Pietro
Year 11 Film Workshop with Noosa Film Academy
Thank you to Greg and Andrea Huglin from Noosa Film Academy for running today's workshop with our Year 11 Film, Television and New Media students. Students worked collaboratively to create a short film titled 'The Kindness Umbrella' which will be exhibited at a later date at the Mary Poppins Story Bank.
International Word Mania Competition
Year 4 have come 12th in the Competition round for Word Mania. This is open to all schools around the world, so this is an amazing achievement. They are now in the finals occurring this week.
Secondary Athletic Carnival
Despite restrictions easing again from July 10, we will not be able to hold our Secondary Athletics Carnival at the scheduled date of Week 2, Term 3 (Thursday 23rd July and Friday 24th July). Please consider this for your planning for Term 3. Despite there being no QLD School Athletics this year; from a Xavier perspective, it is still very much our intention to run an interhouse athletics carnival when restrictions ease further on outdoor gatherings. I am hopeful this will occur sometime later in Term 3.
Term 3 will see the reboot of some school rep-based sporting opportunities in Queensland. These 'rebooting' events are subject to change based on restrictions and safe procedures outlined by health authorities and governing sport bodies.
In terms of non-rep interschool sport, touch football is going ahead and Xavier will field teams in both the Wide Bay All Schools (August) and QLD All Schools (October) competitions. Trials and training for these teams will commence in term 3. There is also possibilities for the following sports to run or reboot (depending on convenors' decisions) later in Semester 2:
Oz-Tag (regional and state all-schools)
HB District Interschool Soccer
Rugby League Broncos Challenge (possible reboot)
HB District interschool Basketball
HB District interschool Netball