From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
National Refugee Week
Next week is National Refugee Week and an opportunity to promote the work of the Jesuit Social Services (JSS) and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Both of these organisations continue to work with those who are marginalised in our society.
National Refugee Week is a time to acknowledge the great contributions that have been made by people from all around the world that have fled from danger and violence to make Australia their home. Australia's values of tolerance, justice and fairness are often at the heart of the reason they wish to settle in our Great Southern Land.
For generations Australians have shown the sense hospitality and welcome that has created one of the most diverse, multi-cultural countries on the earth.
But, in recent years, that sense of hospitality has been challenged and attitudes towards Refugees and Asylum Seekers have become a topic of debate and contention. Perhaps we are not as welcoming as we used to be? Perhaps we no longer see the presence of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers as something that makes us stronger? Perhaps fear of the stranger has overtaken our gospel calling to welcome the stranger?
I am one of those optimists that choose to believe that, while the generosity of Australians has been challenged, it has not been diminished. That, deep down, it is in our DNA to welcome the 'battler' who just wants to have a fresh start in a peaceful country, free from persecution, and ultimately will pay us back tenfold for our kindness. I may be a fool, but I still believe that Australians take pride in the words of our unofficial national anthem “we are one, but we are many and from all the lands on earth we come." I can never lose my hope that, at the very heart of our identity, is a spirit of welcome that makes us who we are as a people.
A Resilient Community
Last week I put a short slide show together because I just wanted the entire community to know how wonderful it is to have everyone back together as our Xavier Family. If you missed it, you click this link to view it:
2020 is going to be a year that will live in our memories for generations.
We have all been challenged – students, staff and parents. And in terms of those challenges I can truly say that I am in awe of what has been accomplished. The teachers and School Officers were incredible in the way they had to adjust to delivering education remotely and students met this challenge and adapted. Everyone showed so much resilience and fortitude.
Our community's reaction to the circumstances has formed another tradition within our young College – the determination to succeed despite the circumstances. This will be our legacy to the generations of Xavier students who follow: “We keep our eyes on the prize and keep moving forward."
I know we are not out of the woods just yet. Restrictions are in place and will be lifted gradually and we can only pray that a second wave does not come. In addition, we may have to get use to the idea that we will not ever be able to go back to exactly how things were. There may indeed be a new normal that we will have to get used to.
I am also conscious that the economy has taken a hit and many families are struggling. Hervey Bay already had an unemployment rate over 10% before this crisis and I fear what the number will be when the cost of shutdowns is calculated.
We have reached out, and will continue to reach out, to families to offer every assistance we can. In tough times families stick together. This is one of those times.
I also want to congratulate the students on how they have supported each other. In times like we have just been through, we have a newfound appreciation of the positive value that social media can have to keep everyone connected. I have heard so many stories of students really looking out for each other.
This is probably another legacy our students leave for future generations of Xavier students. To be genuinely looking out for others and sensitive to how they are going and understanding that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.
So, to all students, staff and families of Xavier Catholic College, I thank you, I congratulate you and I promise our support will be there when you need it most.
Stay safe, be well, God bless.
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
I hope the return to face to face schooling has been a smooth one for both yourself and your respective families. As a College we are gradually returning to all of our regular day to day operations however there are still some restrictions in place preventing particular activities from occurring in P-6.
Please see the information below relating to these changes and do not hesitate to contact the College should you require further clarification.
P-6 Sporting Carnivals / P-6 Assembly
Both the P-2 and Yr 3-6 Athletics Carnivals will be rescheduled to Term 3. This is obviously dependent on the continued relaxation of restrictions due to COVID-19.
Advice will be forthcoming regarding the P-12 Cross Country. The running of this carnival is also dependent on the continued relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
P-6 Assembly will continue to be conducted virtually within the school whenever possible. Parents will be advised when the College is given permission to conduct school assemblies for our wider school community.
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.
P-6 Drop Off / Pick up
Changes to our drop off and pick up routines will continue until the end of Term 2. My thanks to all parents for continuing to respect the request I made earlier in the term regarding only entering pods when absolutely necessary. I appreciate the extra effort all parents have made to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. A reminder of current drop off and pick up locations is shown below:
Prep Drop off and Pick up at the Prep playground Gate (Pick Up at 2.50 pm)
Year 1 Drop off and Pick up at the Entrance to Early Years Pod - Library Side (Pick Up at 2.50 pm)
Year 2 Drop off and Pick up at Early Years Playground (Pick Up at 2.50 pm)
Year 3 Drop off and Pick up at the Entrance to Early Years Pod - Lake Side
Year 4 Drop off and Pick up at front of GOA or back gate of the College
Year 5 Drop off and Pick up at the front of GOA or back gate of the College
Year 6 Drop off and Pick up at the front of GOA or back gate of the College
My thanks to all parents for their continued support throughout the term. I have truly appreciated being part of the Xavier school community during this time.
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
Student Leadership 2021
Year 12 Leaders.
Last week, our Year 11s were invited by the Principal to start the process of thinking about how they would like to contribute as Leaders in their final year of schooling. He discussed with them how we consider all students to be leaders in Year 12.
We expect all our Year 12s to be responsible leaders as Seniors in the College; where they can positively impact the lives of other students through their example and interactions across the College, including in Pastoral Care Classes, House Groups, Competitions and Carnivals.
In addition to being our Senior students, Year 12s who are willing to take on a portfolio of leadership responsibilities are invited to apply for a formal Leadership role. The process for applying for these positions was clearly outlined by Mr Dash to the cohort of Year 11s and we look forward to that process playing out in the coming weeks, with the next cohort of Student Leaders to be announced in August.
Year 9 Leaders.
You may or may not be aware that Xavier has for the past few years had a Year 9 Student leadership team. We are in the process of gathering feedback about how that model is working. If you would like to contribute your thoughts, please follow this link.
The Reporting schedule in the Secondary school has not been impacted by our weeks of Alternative Education Provision in the earlier part of this Term. All student reports are made available electronically through the Parent Portal. Reminders about how to retrieve the reports will be sent out closer to their release.
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 are due to be released at the end of Week 1 Term 3 (17th July).
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.
Good news, the photographers have just confirmed that they are now able to come and take the remaining individual and family photographs on Wednesday 17th June. Once these photos have been taken, printing will be able to commence. Delivery of ordered photographs is expected Week 1, Term 3.
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.
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
From the Guidance Counsellor - The importance of a good night's sleep
Sleep is a key ingredient to wellbeing in adults and children alike. The recent disruption offered by Covid-19 may have impacted schedules and routines, pushing bed times later or introducing inconsistency. Research indicates that good quality sleep supports children to concentrate, remember things and choose helpful behaviour. On the contrary, a child who is sleeping poorly or is not getting enough sleep may be cranky and irritable, tired, have difficulties with concentration, day dreaming and struggle to get back into school routines. It has been found that consistency around bed times and bedtime routines are an important factor in achieving quality sleep and the wellbeing outcomes associated with it.
There are a few tips that can support children to sleep well. These include:
Implement a consistent and age appropriate bedtime routine.
Ensure some wind-down or relaxation time before bed.
Implement good sleep habits by turning off screens at least 2 hours before bed, make the bedroom a calm and dimly lit place to sleep, ensure children are getting lots of natural light during the day, avoid caffeinated food and beverages including cola, tea, coffee, sports drinks and chocolate during the later part of the day.
Tanya Gripske, Guidance Counsellor
National Refugee week will be held around the world from Sunday 14th June through until Saturday the 20th June. Saturday the 20th of June is National Refugee day… During this week our school community would like to celebrate and acknowledge the gifts refugees bring to our community and to ensure that we offer a sense of welcome to all. This year's theme is “celebrating the year of welcome". Throughout the primary school there will be opportunities for our students to share their messages of welcome through chalk art. Prep – year 3 will be given this opportunity on Tuesday the 16th of June at first break and year 4 – 6 students will be given the opportunity to write messages of welcome and hope on Thursday 18th June during first break. Our secondary students will be encouraged to stand in silence during second break on Wednesday 17th June as a stand in solidarity for those who continue to wait to be welcomed in by Australia and many other safe countries.
Some of our year three students have also created a Guess the number of Red Jelly Beans in the jar as a way of raising much needed funds for JRS (Jesuit Refugee Services). If you would like to take a guess, then head to QKR for this exciting chance. The correct number guessed will receive all the jelly beans.
Our secondary students have been given the challenge of designing a digital poster for our circle of silence action, with the winning entry receiving a box of chocolates. So Pastoral Care classes join in and learn more about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers and share it with our community.
Myth: Refugees are a threat to national security. FACT: Refugees are the survivors of violence an terror.
Myth: It is illegal to be an asylum seeker. FACT: Everyone has the right to seek asylum if your life or freedom is threatened.. www.refugeecouncil.org.au.
A big thank you to our year nine leaders for their great work in organising these awareness raising events for the week.
JRS Fundraiser – Guess the jellybeans – QKR!
Kondari House Assembly
Kondari students gathered today for a virtual House Assembly led by the Yr 9 & 12 Student Leaders. Highlights included a prayer about kindness, the theme established by Dirum Mission Week, and the presentation of Kondari Spirit Awards. These awards are presented to students who have upheld the values of Kondari House:
K1- Kaysie Greensill & Lily Ryan
K2- Ethan Campbell & Matthew Cramer
K3- Dakotah Johnson & Abby Henderson
K4- Erykah Nelson, Emily-Jane Hill & Alex Pacifique
K5- Alora Hill, Ella Hare, Mikayla Matheson & Lachlan Relf
K6- Ryan Byrne & Bryony Shang
K7- Jaden Carpenter, TJ Smith & Libby Muir
K9- Xavier Dennis, Zara Kampman, Jenah Cocker & Brad Goodluck
K11- Larissa Wilson & Eden Fitzgerald
Students were also congratulated on the pride they are showing in the College, displayed by their impressive uniform standards. Well done Kondari students!
Visit by Registered Nurse for Free Prep Vision Screening
Good vision is important for a child's educational, physical and social development. Vision screening checks for common eye conditions that may impact your child's ability to see and therefore impact their learning and development.
A Registered Nurse will be visiting the school on/between *4 - 6 August* to conduct vision screening for children in their prep year. If you wish to have your prep child participate in this free vision screening program, please complete and sign the consent form that has been sent home with your child and return this to your child's class teacher by *Wednesday 24th June*. Parents do not need to be present for screening, however if you would like to be, please contact the school to arrange this.
If your child's vision is screened, you will be advised of the results in writing. If a vision concern is found, you will receive a phone call from the nurse to discuss referral to an eye health professional for further assessment. If a vision concern is identified and your child requires glasses, eligible health care card holders may be assisted with free basic glasses through the Spectacle Supply Scheme.
Participation in vision screening is not compulsory. If you do not wish for your child to participate in screening, please complete the consent form and indicate that you wish to decline screening.
If you have any questions, please contact the Primary School Nurse Health Readiness Program on 1800 687 372.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org
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) email@example.com (0478 410 180)
Rachael Trevillion (Luke/Sadie/Abbie Trevillion) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikita Falconer (Lilly & Mia Falconer) email@example.com (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) firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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.
Lawson Hickey- McNulty
Emily Glock – Lewis
Chiara Di Pietro
Prep visiting Senior Early Childhood classroom
On Tuesday, Prep students were lucky enough to go up to the big kids area and be involved in some wonderful hands on numeracy activities. We are so lucky at Xavier to be able to have our Early Childhood students organise these fun activities for us.
National Simultaneous Storytime
On Wednesday the 27th of May a number of primary students joined together with the Xavier Kindy for the National Simultaneous Storytime. This year's book was Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas written and illustrated by Lucinda Gifford The teachers' enthusiasm was definitely contagious! In order to keep group sizes low, we utilized Teams for a combined virtual reading. It was fantastic to be able to include our Kindy friends in the fun. This is an example of new and exciting opportunities coming from the digital learning experience we all found ourselves in at the start of the term. Well done to all our students who participated along with over 1.2 million children from around Australia and New Zealand.
Congratulations to the 11 Xavier students who recently participated in the Wide Bay School Sport ISO Cross-Country Challenge. Xavier had some impressive results with 7 students finishing in the top 5!! A special congratulations to Toby Powers and Charlotte Davies who finished 1st in their age groups; to Mr Ninnes who finished 2nd in Male Staff 5km and also to Ellie Stewart (12yrs) and Madison Fletcher (13yrs) who finished 3rd in their age groups. This was not an event for representative selection but rather an opportunity for students across the Wide Bay region to show their long-distance running skills whilst in an isolated learning environment. Congratulations to all participants.