From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Carers
Last week we celebrated the awards ceremony for students from Years 7 to 10. It was a terrific assembly and my thanks to Chris Relf and Kim Heckels who bore the brunt of the organisation.
Towards the end of the ceremony I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with the students and staff. Since parents were unable to attend I would like to share my reflections with you in this newsletter:
Dear students and staff
I wish to begin by offering my personal congratulations to all who strived to do their best throughout this Academic Year.
Earlier this year we launched a new Values, Vision and Mission Statement which sets out our highest ambitions and aspirations. At the centre point of our new vision for the school is a straightforward concept. Simply put, the key theme, our touchstone and our deepest desire is for all to aim for their “Personal Best."
Our Vision Statement is very succinct:
To provide an exceptional
Catholic education in the Ignatian tradition
which encourages all to strive for their personal best
and aspire to make a difference to the world.
I want each of you to strive to be the best that you can be and put in the hard work that will be required to achieve this. I want you to throw off the shackles that limit you, be they internal or external, and set your hearts on exceeding expectations in all aspects of your schooling life. I want you to finish this year, and every year, with the satisfaction of knowing you gave your personal best in everything you attempted.
The term “Personal Best" was chosen quite deliberately. It sets no benchmarks to define success like the number of A's, or your NAPLAN results, or the number of wins on the sporting field. Of course, I would like those things to be extraordinarily good, but a benchmark is a limit and an unfair measure of success. Such an approach compares individuals without taking into account the diversity of abilities and talents. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and if we use external benchmarks it can cause some to throw in the towel while allowing others to rest on their laurels.
You see, if you live life with a philosophy of striving to achieve your personal best then you can never say 'I've done enough'. You might be sitting on an A+ in English, but unless you are Pulitzer Prize or Booker Prize winner, there is always room to strive that little bit more. Likewise, for the battlers among you striving to move from a C to a B might take an almighty effort but it is a success to be celebrated because if reflects the reality that you've given it your all. For others, just passing has taken a huge commitment and I am just as proud of you as anyone in this school community.
But it takes more than wishful thinking to get there. It takes perseverance, sacrifice, dedication and hard work. You all have these qualities inside you. Put them to good use and we will celebrate all your successes, regardless of your report card or the score at the end of the game.
There are famous examples in history of people who pursued their personal best despite early difficulties and setbacks. For example, Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four and couldn't read until he was seven, which caused his teachers and parents to think he had an intellectual impairment and to be anti-social. However, he went on to achieve extraordinary things.
You may not go on to be the next Einstein, but the point of the story is that if you keep believing in yourself, keep striving you never know what difference you can make. Our contribution to the world may not be as earth-shattering as Einstein's but it could make the difference to your life and the lives of others.
God has given each of us a unique set of gifts and abilities. They vary vastly and some require great effort in order to maximize their potential. Equally important to remember is that God doesn't make junk. God has made each of us in God's own image.
By striving to reach your potential, whether you realise it or not, you are saying thank you to God and, whether you realise it or not, you are making a positive difference to the world.
While a few people are lauded and hailed publicly for what they do - the big names who do spectacular things – most of God's work happens in the quiet, simple activities of everyday life. While it sometimes may go unnoticed by others, God sees it and smiles with delight.
Whether your aspiration is to be a surgeon, a lawyer, or an engineer or perhaps an electrician, a carpenter or a chef makes no difference in God's eyes. As long as you are using every gift and talent to their full potential, you can make a positive difference to our world and change lives for the better.
So, let this be a day of celebration of achievements and also a day when we commit ourselves to strive to be the very best that we can be. Let us not judge ourselves against the performances of others but rather judge ourselves against our own capabilities. Let us persevere, with diligence and dedication, and put in the hard work that is required to achieve our personal best. Let us one day look back on our lives and be able to say with satisfaction and pride “I gave it my best; thus I am a success."
Key Events – Term 4 2021
There are a number of key events occurring in Term 4 and it is often difficult to stay up to date with all that is occurring. I would remind parents that on most occasions we will advertise major events via the parent portal (accessible via BCE connect app on your mobile), Facebook, the College Newsletter, and the display board at the front of the school. As always please do not hesitate to contact the school should you require any clarification regarding an upcoming event. Some of the key events which will occur in the weeks are shown below. Please add these to your calendar at home.
8th – 12th November – Christmas Book Fair Library
Friday 19th November – Year 12 Last Day - JPAC
Thursday 25th November – P-3 Swimming Carnival - Elders Swim Centre
Preparations are again well underway for this event. Parents will be asked to adhere to the COVID restrictions in place at Elders. This is always a wonderful occasion for our younger students and opportunity to show off the skills they have developed across the term.
Friday 26th November – 2022 Prep Orientation Morning/Yr 1-6 Transition Day
We will host our new cohort of Prep students at the College on Friday 26th November from 8.50 am – 10 .30 am. This will also be the day that current students spend the morning in the year level they will be moving to in 2022.
Wednesday 1st December – Year 6 Final Assembly – GOA
We will acknowledge and celebrate our current Year 06 cohort on the 1st December with a special assembly and morning tea. This is a special moment for our Year 6 students as they move in to their secondary years at Xavier. Details regarding this event will be provided to all Year 6 parents closer to the date. Some restrictions will be in place regarding attendance due to COVID.
Wednesday 1st December - P-6 Carols on the Green – 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm - GOA Oval
Thursday 2nd December – End of Year Mass/End of Year Activities/Final day of classes/P-6 Reports Published
Before School Duty – GOA
We have seen in recent times a gradual increase in the number of students being dropped to GOA before 8.00 am. Parents are reminded that no supervision is provided on site prior to 8.00 am and that no student should be onsite before this time unless they are being dropped by one of regularly scheduled buses or attending the before school care program provided by OSHC.
Historically the before school duty at Xavier has started at 8.15 am. The move to the 8.00 am start to this duty was to assist families who needed to drop off their children prior to the start of their working day. The additional 15 mins is not included in the hours of duty for our teachers and is provided as a service to our community. It is therefore very important that families respect the 8.00 am drop off and utilise before school care if they need to have their children on site before this time. This practice will also avoid any unnecessary accidents or situations where students are left unsupervised. My thanks to all parents who have continued to support the school by ensuring their students do not arrive on site until the designated time.
School Shoes P-6
With the end of the year approaching, we have seen an increase in the number of shoes appearing with alternative colours displayed. I would remind all parents that students are required to wear plain black joggers. This can be difficult to achieve at times (depending on what is available locally), however I would ask that parents ensure that shoes are predominantly black when making new purchases. This avoids any unnecessary issues or the need to purchase a replacement pair of shoes.
As always I would like to thank all parents & carers for their continued support of the Xavier school community and I look forward to celebrating the achievements of your children as we move towards the end of the 2021 school year.
Here we are heading towards a big finish in the Arts for this year at Xavier. Still to come we have an outdoor, twilight music showcase of Mr Ryan White's Guitar and Drums students on the 25th of November from 5.00 – 6.00pm. Bring a picnic blanket to sit on the lawn surrounding the outdoor stage in the Senior School area and enjoy the dynamic sounds of our enthusiastic instrumental music students. I look forward to seeing you there.
Also drawing to a close next week is the series of Visual Art Workshops with artist Jo Williams which has unfolded over 10 weeks. This has been a tremendous success for the students involved, each young artist having produced some amazing works while gaining new skills. Some of the works were chosen to be exhibited at the Marina Gallery Hervey Bay. Parents and friends of the young artists in this workshop are invited to attend a mini exhibition of the students work next Thursday the 12th of November at 4.45pm. Many thanks to artist Jo Williams for facilitating these workshops.
On another note, unfortunately, due to illness, Ms Sherrie Royal will not be available for the rest of the year to teach instrumental piano. But never fear, Ms Royal will be back on deck next year for the beginning of Term One as will our amazing Vocal Teacher Ms Vibeke Voller, our 'next level' stings teacher Ms Jenny Conlan and our ever-popular guitar and drums teacher Mr Ryan White.
Unfortunately, our highly qualified Choir teacher, Ms Anita-Rose Vella will not be continuing the journey with us into 2022. We thank Ms Vella for all her fantastic work with the students, often in difficult circumstances, and wish her all the very best with all her musical pursuits.
More information about choir for 2022 in the coming weeks.
Student Artwork in a Professional Gallery
As a follow up to our Senior Visual Art Exhibition, Divergent Views a number of student artworks were on display from Monday 25 – Friday 29 October at Art at the Marina.
The Gallery was a buzz of activity Friday night as acclaimed winners and invited artists talked, socialised and celebrated the creative processes with the experienced artists that are members of this gallery.
This included artwork by Kellymae Mee, Calista Esposito, Jorja Hore, Grace Waning, Arushi Naidu, Georgia McGovern, Lily Hare, April Lunn, Ebony Trembath, Jenna Casey and Mackenzie Riedy.
Many parents, students and family members were there to support our artists as did Xavier leadership Mrs Amy Brennan and Mr Simon Dash. It was wonderful to see people turning out to support the Arts at Xavier and new exciting opportunities with networking and partnerships emerging.
An authentic experience resulted heightening individual and collective exposure through inter-generational discussion.
Thank you to Art at the Marina manager, Lyn Montgomery for offering this opportunity to our students.
Students not continuing at Xavier next year
As our academic year draws to a close, we will be finalizing our enrolment numbers for 2022. If your family is moving out of Hervey Bay or if your children are not returning to Xavier in 2022, could you please contact our Enrolments Officer, Michelle Dougherty on 4197 1177 (select Option 3) or email email@example.com.
Biology Field Trip
Year 11 Biology recently spent the day at Burrum beach investigating the large dieback area of the forest on the shoreline. It was part of their mandatory fieldwork for Year 12 Ecology, Changing Ecosystems.
Saint Vincent de Paul Christmas Present Appeal
Please bring in new, wrapped presents labelled with the age and the gender by November 26.
Make Christmas special for every child in our community!
Year 10 Retreat Day
Last Tuesday our year 10's spent the day working with Dave Jorna from Project Hatch, breaking open “You are good enough". The students spent time developing relationships with their cohort whilst discussing choices and making responsible choices as well as taking responsibility for their choices. They were able to identify strengths in their cohort and named and thank others for their gifts.
Maths Pathway Semester 2
This semester students have been focusing on achieving 100% accuracy. For a student to achieve 100% accuracy they have mastered all the modules that had been assigned to them. We will still be acknowledging the students that achieve 200% + Growth Rate as this is also an excellent achievement each cycle. Year 7 students have completed two cycles this term and Year 8-10 have only completed one, so in the Growth Rate rocket there are quite a few Year 7 students that have achieved 200% + Growth in the two cycles. Well done.
Next Step Survey
Vacation Care Program
Summer Camp 2022: Big House
Are you ready for an unforgettable summer? Ignite Summer Camp is back in 2022, with four days of huge outdoor games, amazing rallies, 200 new mates and connecting with Jesus.
Summer Camp is for those who will be in Grades 7-12 in 2022. Run by a team of experienced and emerging Catholic youth leaders, who will accompany the young people through a journey where they discover more about themselves, more about Jesus and His hope for their lives.
Registration is now open! For more information and to buy tickets head to www.igniteyouth.com/summercamp
When: 13-16 January 2021
Where: QCCC Mapleton
Cost: Earlybird (ends Dec 1) $295, Regular $320. Family discounts for two or more siblings apply, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.