From the Pen of the Principal
Over the years I have had the opportunity to hear many inspiring speakers that help shape the narrative of what the focus of Catholic Education should be. When you have these rich and challenging experiences it causes you to reflect and discern about your own school and the vision for Xavier Catholic College's future.
Two speakers have always stood out for me, because what they shared disturbed me. When I say 'disturbed' I mean this in a very positive way – they called me to think beyond my current narrow scope of the educational debate within our nation to the values to which an authentic school must hold and the possibilities that come with this.
Sister Cyril is an Irish Loreto Sister who has spent most of her life working in India who I have heard at a Conference in Australia, but also had the pleasure of meeting her in Kolkata. Some decades ago she was appointed to what could only be classed as an elite Catholic School in that city. At the same time she was acutely aware of the poverty that existed outside the walls of her school. New to the country, the poverty was obvious to her, but when she asked her Sisters to survey the area they couldn't see it. After about three months of nagging them her Sisters began to see and understand the problem. Local children were invited to attend the school at the conclusion of the school day with a particular focus on learning English.
The next breakthrough came when Sister Cyril realised the gatekeeper was keeping these children out of the school until every last fee-paying student left the grounds. She felt this was unacceptable and instructed the gatekeeper to let them enter when they arrived. While waiting for their post-school classes to commence, they used the playground equipment and mixed with the younger students. They were also given access to the toilets and showers so they could clean themselves up.
Today, the school operates very differently. Fee-paying and non-fee-paying students are educated together. 700 places are set aside for fee-paying students and 700 places for non-fee-paying students. Those who have no home are allowed to live on the campus. The children are called her 'rainbow' students, provided with their uniforms and books, and there is no form of separation within the school.
But the story goes further. One Saturday each month, each girl gives their time to a tutoring program. This means that every Saturday a quarter of the school travels to 30 outlying villages and with a teacher's assistance provides tutoring for young people in those villages.
It was an amazing story of what can be achieved when you question conventional wisdom and take the risk to live the gospel authentically. The school still achieves outstanding results and parents of fee-paying students are fully supportive of the program because they want their daughters to grow up with strong values as much as successful careers. Some, if they have the means, pay extra to support the program and help sponsor these students.
The other speaker that I have always found challenging, yet inspirational, is Robert Fitzgerald, the former Commissioner of the Productivity Commission. He challenged me as a leader of a Catholic Schools in the Ignatian Tradition to confront the educational marketplace, where education is so often treated as a commodity, and to create a school that present ssomething authentically different to the utilitarian vision that dominates the social and political dialogue about schooling. In critiquing the My Schools website as a vehicle for unhealthy, valueless competition he posed the question that if we were to create a 'My Ignatian School Website' what would the measures be? He suggested things like:
A place where the gospel comes to life every day
A place where justice is not only preached but practiced
A place where positive relationships are valued among students, staff and parents
A place where we value not just excellence in education but excellence in spirituality
A place where each member is valued and respected
A place where the gifts of least and the most are valued equally
It is a call to be counter-cultural and to never accept a system or structure that leaves people in the shadows. In addition, it is more than just accepting those at the margins and those in shadows into a Catholic community, the gospel calls us to go out and find them. It is a challenge to be daring and caring and to risk the reputation of the institution for the sake of those suffering at the margins.
I remember, after I heard these inspirational people, I wrote down three potential ways forward to enhance our identity as an authentic Catholic School in the Ignatian tradition and what risks we would take in doing so. While so much more could have been written, and will be as we vision the future of Xavier Catholic College, the three I penned were:
Ensure that we first and foremost promote (market) ourselves as an authentic Catholic School in the Ignatian Tradition and search for ways to ensure access is provided to those who would otherwise not seek enrolment.
Re-examine our curriculum and pedagogy to ensure that it meets the needs of each individual student and ensure that we create multiple pathways to success within our curriculum.
Look for opportunities to be advocates to the wider community where the school will take bold and courageous stances on social issues even if it is a cause of some controversy and ensure that such advocacy is grounded in our formation programs and informed by our faith tradition.
There is so much more I could write. But overall it is a call to remember who we are as a Catholic Schools in the Ignatian Tradition and to remember that our education program must reflect the scandalous message of the gospel.
Heads of School Address
Book Week – Junior School Door Design Competition
The doors create a visual display for the theme of Book
Week, Reading is my Secret Power. Each class is required to portray this
theme in a way that helps them to understand it meaning and how they interpret
the theme. Each class also had to choose a judge and they were then given some
criteria in order to help them to choose their favourite door.
The results were as follows.
1st Place : 3.1
2nd place : 2.1
3rd place : 6.2
Houseboats Field Trip – Marine Science and Aquatic Practices
Students in Year 11 Marine Science and Aquatic Practices had an amazing opportunity navigate and expore the Great Sandy Straits as part of a houseboats field trip. We thank the staff who gave up time with their family and friends to provide this wonderful experience. We also thank our maintenance staff, Mr Selwyn Toole and Mr Jonathan Wedemeyer who joined the trips and were able to pass on their valuable experience.
Twilight – Student & Staff Wellbeing
On Monday 2nd September staff gathered after school to take part in a professional learning activity with an outside presenter. The focus for the afternoon was Wellbeing. The first session aimed to equip staff to support students and their wellbeing by addressing concerns such as trauma, anxiety, eating disorders, and depression.
After a short break the focus of the second session was on Staff Wellbeing. The presenter talked to staff about the need to look after their own wellbeing and provided strategies to assist them in doing so.
Senior Celebration Evening
One of the major events on our College Calendar is the celebration of the successes of our students across Years 10 to 12 at the Senior Celebration Evening. This year it will be held on Wednesday 30th October beginning at 7pm.
Students in Years 10 to 12 are expected to attend in their formal uniform, however we also extend a warm invitation to all students and family members. Those who attend will be treated to an Art Show in the foyer before the night begins as well as presentations from talented performers from across the College.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all members of our school community a safe and restful holiday and we look forward to seeing you in Term Four. We return to school on Tuesday 8th October as Monday is a public holiday.
Yr 9 VET Coaching Young People for Success
Yr 7-12 WB Surf Lifesaving Championships
TERM 3 ENDS
Orchid Society Gala Show
Yr 7-12 Ignite Youth Conference
Yr 5-12 QLD Oztag State Cup
QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY
TERM 4 BEGINS – WEEK A
Year 7 & 10 Vaccinations
Ozcare is providing free vaccinations for all Year 7 and Year 10 students, in October, as part of Queensland Health's annual School Immunisation Program. All Year 7 and Year 10 students are being offered free vaccinations as recommended on the National Immunisation Program to protect against vaccine preventable diseases. Year 7 students will be offered human papillomavirus (HPV). Year 10 students will be offered meningococcal ACWY vaccination if they missed out in May. Please contact Ozcare on 07 4191 300 if you have not returned a consent form and require a new one.
Wearitto – Uniform Shop Price List
Open Monday 8:00am to 10:30am Tuesday 8:00am to 11:00am
Wednesday 8:00am to 11:00am Thursday 8:00am to 10:30am
Click to view the full uniform price listWearitto XAVIER 2020.pdf
Key upcoming dates for Xavier Kindy 2020 cohort
2020 Parent information Night at the Kindergarten Wednesday 30th October 6pm to 7pm
2020 Group A play afternoon Tuesday 26th November 3pm to 4pm
2020 Group B play afternoon Wednesday 27th November 3pm to 4pm
2020 Parent enrolment meetings Monday 2nd December to Thursday 5th December from 3pm to 6pm (book time at the Kindergarten)
2020 Parent enrolment meetings Monday 9th December to Wednesday 11th December 9.00am to 12.00pm (book at the Kindergarten)
Shrek Jr Musical Tickets
Tickets to the Shrek Jr Musical are now available for purchase. Two shows only so get in quick.
Creativity, technology, innovation and science merged in year 9 STEM during the last few lessons as students made a hologram projector and image. Using a plastic sheet, sticky tape to make a pyramid and either a phone or laptop students were able to produce the image, they filmed or created static and moving images which appeared to float above their desk. Students impressed with their perseverance and sharing of ideas and skills. A hologram is produced due to the reflection and transmission of light.
STEAM and Sustainability Symposium
On the 4th of September, 17 Xavier students joined over 600 prep to year 10 students from around the Wide Bay region for the annual STEAM and Sustainability Symposium at Tinana State School. After listening to input from young activist and entrepreneur, Holley Sommerville-Knott, the students (a Year 9-10 group and a Year 5-6 group) headed off to various workshops. Students had the opportunity to experience a variety of different activities and learn more about sustainable practices. The theme of the event was 'kids teaching kids' so almost all activities were run by students, with some help from their teachers.
The Year 5-6 group started with a workshop run by a conservation scientist. The discussions and activities were based on a concept called, “Tragedy of the Commons." This is where everybody takes too much and leaves nothing. For example, taking more than needed fish from a specific area, or over-stocking of cattle in a given area. The second workshop was run by a scientist from USC. He showed how characteristics of insect's anatomy is being used to create products. Two examples he gave were replicating the structure of wings to create self-cleaning materials and how the minute bumps on a cicada's wings have been copied to kill bacteria. He also discussed how the next big thing is creating drones the size of small insects by copying their characteristics.
The senior group first went to a workshop about how observing a variety of bugs can determine the quality of water. Next, they got to try out driving a human powered vehicle and considered how this technology might be adapted for everyday use.
After a 'litter-free lunch', students learnt about the Mary River Lungfish, an endangered species found only in Queensland, and some of the conservation efforts made to protect them. At this activity, students also got to make a miniature clay model of the real fish, to varying degrees of likeness! Finally, students got to make some 'bees wax wraps'- cotton fabric squares made water resistant with melted beeswax- an alternative to cling wrap that is reusable and doesn't contribute to landfill. The students also called in to see our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student Support Co-ordinator, Tilly Davis, who was running a workshop.
Throughout the day we were lucky enough to hear from sustainability leaders, from a primary school student who is the leader of the Tinana Environmental team, to the CEO of 'Tell Somebody Who Cares', a social enterprise of a company that helps to protect the rainforest from destruction because of palm oil. We left the day with some great ideas about how we could implement sustainable practices into both our schools and our lives, and we look forward to sharing them!
The staff who attended (Ms Sidaway, Mrs Donnelly and Mr Burke) were most impressed with the way the students represented themselves and our school.
Our year 7 and 8 Readers Cup team participated in the State Final of this competition in Brisbane recently, placing 7th. Over 740 teams from throughout Queensland were eliminated on the path to this Final, so Ashleigh, Alysha, Finlay and Lily should feel proud of their achievement. Our team won 1st place on the night for producing the best Book Trailer as judged by the judges and the other finalists. The team would like to thank Mr Ninnes for his assistance with creating this trailer.
Human Powered Vehicles (HPV) – Tech Challenge
This was Xavier's second year participating in the Fraser Coast Technology Challenge Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) 24 hr endurance challenge. This amazing event is the largest inter-school event in QLD, with 3000 students from across Australia making their way to Maryborough. The event not only involves the HPV challenge, but also includes:
• Primary School Pushcarts
• Solar Boats
• C02 Dragsters
• Scratch Coding
Both Xavier teams performed extremely well. We never challenged the top schools but … we are very young, new and inexperienced. We had to deal with broken down HPV's and yes, our hands were black and oily at 2am in the morning. But thanks to other schools, kind teachers and an event where everyone helps everyone, both our teams successfully completed the challenge. We will only get better and better in years to come. Our riders had a tremendous time and (although extremely tired and fatigued) loved every moment.
Congratulations to all strings students and Mrs Conlon on their performance to the Year 2 students today. We are excited to see our strings program growing every day! If you are interested in joining out strings team, please collect a note from the office.
Maths Pathways – 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.
Congratulations Emma Wylie
120 students from regional NSW and Queensland were asked to apply for a position in the 2020s digIT Camps held at the University of Queensland. These students were selected from their results in the 2018 Australian Maths Competition. Only 60 students were successful in attaining a position for the summer and winter camps. We are very proud to announce that Emma Wylie (year 9 student) has been successful in being offered one of these 60 positions. At these camps she will be participating in an exciting ICT program. Congratulations Emma!
Primary Swimming Term 4
Please find below the relevant information regarding the Term 4 swimming program.
Venue: Elders Swim Centre, 44 Islander Road, Pialba
Lesson Dates: Monday 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th November, 2nd December (weeks 5 - 9)
P – 3 Carnival Date: Thursday 28th November (week 8)
Lesson Dates: Thursday 24th, 31st October, 7th, 14th and 21st November (week 3 – 7)
P – 3 Carnival Date: Thursday 28th November (week 8)
Venue: Aquatic Centre, 202 Boundary Road, Torquay
Dates: Tuesday 15th, 22nd, 29th October, 5th, 12th 19th November (Weeks 2 – 7)
10 -12 year-old FRI 1st November (week 4)
Primary Schools Netball Cup
On the weekend, 10 of our Year 5 and 6 students travelled to the Sunshine Coast to compete in the Primary Schools Netball Cup. Over 160 teams from across Queensland competed. It was an extremely tough weekend with the quality of the competition being at an extremely high standard. We came away feeling very 'bruised and battered'.
Despite the stiff competition, EVERY one of our students gave EVERYTHING they had to EVERY game. They were rewarded for their efforts with their final two games being the best performances of the weekend. They left the competition with heads held high, feeling upbeat and positive about their achievements and improvements. They were extremely supportive of each other and kept fighting to the end. They showed immense strength of character, true sportsmanship, and resilience in a very tough situation.
I am extremely proud of the following students:
Tia Thornton (Captain Courageous)
Natalie Fulcher (The Defensive Dynamo)
Ben Buttigieg (The Gentle Giant)
Gemma Lassey (The Interceptor)
Zara Kampman (Miss Consistency)
Isobelle Beety (Miss Versatility)
Lily Ferguson (Miss Resilient)
Holly and Jessie Courtney (Tubthumping Twins- their motto has to be: “I get knocked down, but I get up again, You're never gonna keep me down!")
Eve Orr (The Smiling Assassin- she seriously did not stop smiling all weekend!!!)
Special mention also to Calista Esposito and Zahlia Thornton. Calista accompanied the team to Maroochydore and umpired all games for us. She also provided significant support to the team throughout the weekend, remaining positive and providing 'super tips'. Zahlia Thornton was our 'training partner'. She attended every lunchtime training session to help challenge us, learn drills and skills, she supported us throughout the entire weekend and helped keep spirits lifted, while being fully aware that she would not play at the carnival.
These students need to be congratulated as they displayed all that we stand for at Xavier!
Last Friday our Year 5 & 6 students participated in Gala Sports day.