From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
As the final curtain is closing on the 2020 academic year, students and staff are beginning to look forward to enjoying a well-earned rest. There have been times this year when the busyness of life at the College has reached a frenetic pace and the challenges of COVID-19 have seemed omnipresent. Despite these challenges, great things have happened, and many initiatives have been introduced to improve the provision of a quality education. Now that the dust is settling on the year, we have an opportunity to reflect on the many wonderful achievements that have happened at the College. With all its challenges, it has still been an excellent year.\
We wish the following staff who are finishing up at the conclusion of 2020 all the very best for the future. They have all made a great contribution to the College and will be dearly missed.
Jenny Gilshenan (Retirement)
Lisa Hopgood (Retirement)
Yvette Murtagh (On leave for 2021 – Returning 2022)
Contract Reappointments (Primary)
I am pleased to inform you the following staff have all been reappointed for 2021. My congratulations to each of these current staff members and I look forward to their ongoing and valued contribution to the P-6 teaching team in 2021.
We also celebrate that Mel Beety has been successful in being appointed to the position of Primary Learning Leader (PLL) from 2021. This will be a three year tenure as per all PLL positions and I congratulate Mel on this recognition of her work in this role over the past two years as Acting PLL.
Contract Reappointments (Secondary)
It is my pleasure to announce the reappointment of the following Secondary staff to contract positions:
We welcome the following teachers who will be replacing those who are retiring, moving on or going on extended leave:
Bronwyn McArthur (Art/RE)
Tom Riggs (Maths/Science/PE)
Nivedita (Roshni) Woochit (Science/Languages)
We will also be welcoming back to the College Laura Green and Alex Forbes.
Middle Leader Appointments
Every three years the College has an opportunity to reshape its Secondary Middle Leadership to reflect the changing priorities as well as meeting our obligations in being good financial stewards.
The process involved establishing a School Consultative Committee comprised of two Principal representatives, a Staff representative and a Union Representative. This committee consulted widely before presenting their recommendations to me. With some minor adjustments, I adopted the new model.
There were five positions which remain unchanged in terms of both Role Descriptions and Tier allocation. These five automatically had their Middle Leader positions roll over into the next triennium (2021 to 2023). Each accepted the offer to continue in their positions.
Congratulations and thanks to:
ICLT Service Coordinator - Mike Ritter
Marketing and Promotions Coordinator - Matt Ninnes
Career and VET Coordinator - John Donnelly
Dean of HPE and College Sport Coordinator - Nathan Milne
Curricular and Co-curricular Appointments
I am pleased to announce the following Middle Leadership appointments have been finalised:
Dean of Learning Enhancement (Mathematics) - Janine Ritter
Dean of Learning Enhancement (English) - Colin Wright
Dean of Learning Enhancement (Humanities/LOTE) - Jo Kleindienst
Dean of Learning Enhancement (Science) - Gary Turner
eLearning and Digital Services Coordinator - Drew McLean
Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator - Jonathan Dunn
Unfortunately we did not receive any Expressions of Interest for the position of Dean of Learning Enhancement (Technology) so we are assessing our options as to how best to fill this position.
While still responsible for coordinating the various subject areas, as the title suggests, our newly appointed Deans of Learning Enhancement will take on a greater responsibility for promoting excellent pedagogical practices and mentoring staff members in their professional growth.
Pastoral Middle Leader Appointments
Following the process of receiving and reviewing Expressions of Interest, conducting interviews and a period of discernment, the following staff have been appointed to the Pastoral Welfare Team 2021 to 2023:
Year 11 & 12 Coordinator and Dean of Pastoral Care: Tony McQuaid
Year 10 Coordinator and Dean of Dirum House: Margaret Robertson
Year 9 Coordinator and Dean of Narwari House: Angela Hogan
Year 8 Coordinator and Dean of Buthu House: Tom Riley
Year 7 Coordinator and Dean of Kondari House: Stacy Mills
Some key aspects of the Pastoral Care Model for 2021 to 2023:
The Dean of Pastoral Care will be the first port of call for the House Deans prior to taking matters to the A.P. – Student Wellbeing and the Head of School (Secondary). The Dean of Pastoral Care will offer advice as to how matters should be handled and whether an issue needs to be elevated to these more senior positions.
The Dean of Pastoral Care will coordinate disciplinary matters, both individually and collectively, related to the Year 11 and 12 cohorts. They will also take the leadership role in coordinating events associated with these cohorts.
Pastoral Care will remain vertical in structure as it pertains to Pastoral Care groups comprised of students from particular Houses.
In this context each House Dean will support the proactive aspects of House identity which will include developing and sharing activities that promote wellbeing and a sense of belonging that can be used during P.C. time.
Each House Dean will coordinate House activities and House assemblies, again to promote wellbeing and a sense of belonging, as well as to build House spirit and culture.
Each House Dean will be assigned to coordinate a Year Level from Years 7 to 10. This work will entail following up on disciplinary matters and any necessary parent communication. It will also involve the organisation of any events and activities such as camps associated with the Year Level.
Each House Dean will be responsible for promoting Cohort Development. This entails proactive, age-specific developmental issues, as well as reactive situations where widespread behavioural issues within a cohort may need to be addressed.
Each House Dean will stay with the assigned Year level rather than rotate with a cohort. This enables House Deans to be selected based on their strengths in working with particular age groups as well as to continually develop and enhance the programs for a particular Year Level.
As happens now, there would be an expectation that House Deans would be flexible and support each other in their work. Examples include occasions when a House Dean is absent or otherwise preoccupied and may require another House Dean to step in and offer assistance. Likewise, when planning for Cohort specific events, it would be expected that the Pastoral Team would assist others to ensure successful outcomes.
We are very excited about all our new appointments and have great confidence that we will further fulfil our dream that every member of our community will 'reach higher, see further and shine brighter' as a result of their efforts.
In conclusion, the Christmas holiday break is a great opportunity to enjoy time with family, to celebrate, and to rest and rejuvenate. I hope that your family enjoys the time. I also hope that the true spirit of Christmas will be a central part of your family's celebrations. Christmas is a time to remember the birth of our saviour and the profound love that God has for us.
At Christmas we are reminded that God is in the ordinary. The Christmas story reminds us that God has embraced our humanity fully and completely. If being fully human was good enough for God, living my human life to the fullest is good enough for me.
Christmas is a celebration of human life. When I encounter another human, I encounter the God who became human at Bethlehem. Jesus comes to us and is truly present among us every day. He comes to us in those who need love, hope, comfort, and joy in their lives. He comes in those who bring these same gifts to us when we a feeling weighed down by life's challenges. He is born in every circumstance of our lives. He is the promise of a new day.
May we all be filled with joy and hope and share God's love by the way we care for each other.
Peace and good will to you all.
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
Dear Parents & Carers,
As we approach the end of term I would like to give you some general reminders regarding the end of the school year in P-6. Please see below:
On Friday 27th November we will hold a Transition Morning in P-6 for all students. This will allow students to be exposed to the year level/pod they will be moving into in 2021. Students will return to their regular classes in Session 2 following a morning of fun and engaging activities in their new year level.
The Year 6 Final Assembly will be held in GOA at 9.00 am on Wednesday 2nd December. This will be followed by a morning tea for our Year 6 students and their parents/carers at Frankie's restaurant.
Parents are reminded that Thursday 3rd December is our last official day of classes with no regular classes occurring on Friday 4th December. Students will officially end the term with their respective class and end of year activities on Thursday 3rd December.
Please note that we will come together as a community for Carols on the Green from 5.30 pm on Wednesday 2nd December on the GOA oval.
Student reports will be available for all parents to download on the school portal at 3.00 pm on Friday 4th December. Please contact the College on 4197 1177 should you have any difficulty in downloading your child's report.
As has been the practice for the last two years all students will be advised before the College office closes for the Christmas break regarding their class allocation for 2020. A letter will be sent to all students advising them of their 2020 class allocation.
On a personal I would like to thank you all for your support and individual contributions across the 2020 school year. It has been a very challenging year, however with the ongoing support of families and the ongoing efforts of our staff , we have seen many positive results.
I wish you and your families a very Merry Xmas and May the Blessings of Christmas be with you, May the Christ Child light your way, May God's holy angels guide you and keep you safe each day."
From the Head of School – Secondary: Ms Tameika Grist
The end of a school year always seems to come and go in a rush, as we race towards the finish line, with a blur of Awards, final events and farewells. This year is no exception, and while we may all be a little more depleted in energy than normal, due to the extra challenges we have all come through, we do start to look ahead. For everyone, staff and students alike, a transition lays ahead of us. For some of our staff there are farewells, and moving on, for others, changes in roles coming up, or subjects they teach. For our students there is the excitement of new challenges ahead, new teachers and subjects, and potentially new friends.
We are also looking forward to welcoming new families to our Xavier community in the new year, with many of our 2021 Year 7 families having already come in for an information evening this week.
We do look forward to beginning a new year with our community, and are hopeful that there may be opportunity for welcome and connection between parents and staff early in the new year.
I wish you all a safe and restful break and a very blessed Christmas.
End of Year:
Students will be clearing out their lockers this week. Year 10 and 11 students must be cleared by Friday. Year 7-9s will have theirs clear by Monday. Please encourage recycling of stationary items.
LAST WEEK ACTIVITIES - YEAR 7-9: as is a tradition at Xavier, Years 7-9 will be participating in a fun and enriching alternative program for Monday to Thursday next week.
Friday Supervision available until 12 pm. If you require supervision for your son or daughter please contact the College Office.
Year 7 – 10 student reports will be available for all parents to download on the parent portal at 3.00 pm on Thursday 3 December. Please contact the College on 4197 1177 should you have any difficulty in downloading your child's report.
Year 7 & 8 will have normal classes
Year 9 will do 3 activities including: beach (+ pizza lunch), JPAC Games, Community Service (in air-con room)
Year 7 & 8 will begin alternative program including (inflatable-mania, beach, dodgeball, games/activities, community service and movie)
Year 9 will be completing 'Coaching Young People for Success in Campion + Inflatable-mania in afternoon session
Year 7 & 8 will continue alternative program including (inflatable-mania, beach, dodgeball, games/activities, community service and movie)
Year 9 will continue 'Coaching Young People for Success in Campion
All Year Levels will have extended PC, end of year liturgy, activities session and XAVIER COLOUR RUN to finish the school year
Students must bring a shirt to change in to for the colour run. They will need to change back in to school uniform for transport home.
Start of Year Information:
Student elective choices will be emailed out to Year 9 and Year 10 students by the end of this week.
2021 Stationery lists will made available on the School Website next week
Please take note of the school uniform shop availability including online ordering. Opening hours and contact information below.
First Day of School 2021:
Wednesday 27 January: All Year 7 students and new Year 8 – 11 Students
Thursday 28 January: All Students
'Taking pictures with my eyes'
My family often laugh when they recall the first time, I shared this statement. Now it is a commonly used phrase around our family and one that they often acknowledge before I am even asked. It all began in 2013 when I travelled with Caritas Australia to Nepal to learn about the projects that Caritas Nepal had been undertaking and to see first hand where our donations and fundraising during project compassion had been invested. Our team underwent many hours of training and understanding Nepal's cultural history, its landscape, customs and the extreme difficulties that the Nepalese people were facing each day and for many years. One of the things that we discussed amongst many was that we were not to take photos but allow only our designated photographer to do this as it could be perceived as tourism rather than our purpose, to immerse ourselves into the lives and hearts of the Nepalese people. Theology of presence, being truly present with those who are welcoming you, sharing their lives, opening their hearts to you, right here, right now. Being in the moment, a God moment. During those weeks there was no contact with my family so upon my return, my children asked me, “So mum what was it like". It was then that I shared, “I was just taking pictures with my eyes and they were the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen." Every moment that my eyes captured, every person, story, landscape and meal shared, I took in through my eyes into my heart and soul. These moments will never leave me nor will the feelings, emotions and gratitude that I experienced in those short few weeks of my life. So appreciative of their life and all that they had worked for, so generous and proud of what they had achieved and what they could give to their world. I had never been big on taking photos during my everyday experiences. It was during this time in Nepal that I realised that I loved being in the moment, not wanting to miss an emotion, an expression, the person or experience I was engaging in.
In today's world, we constantly are using images to help convey meaning and thoughts to others. Today as I go about my every day, I am constantly taking pictures with my eyes as my heart skips a beat at the joy and beauty that God shares with me in my life. From the wonderings of a family as they walk into school together, to the sun shining through the clouds, to the simplest of flowers on the path just growing there, minding its own business, not knowing that its beauty is so profound. My eyes have also seen the passing of my father, the birth of grandchildren, families in great distress and tears of joys as students graduate after many years of hard work. My eyes have seen the gratefulness of my life and this is what we teach our children. Never take anyone or anything for granted, value all as life, a life worthy of your love and never forget to say thank you, through your words and actions. My photo album is never full, my gallery never needs to be culled and my heart will never be the same.
Carmel Donnelly, Campus Minister
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
This November, the school is running the annual St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal for families in Hervey Bay and the surrounding area. All you have to do is to bring in a gift that is:
Wrapped in Christmas paper and clearly labelled with boy/girl and age appropriate
Handed in from the 2/11/20 until 30/11/20.
All gifts to be brought in by Monday the 30th November.
The present is not supposed to be big or expensive, however easily affordable. All donations are received with great love and appreciation. Only donate if you can and check with your family first. The gifts are to be handed into the student reception or to your classroom teacher any morning until Monday 30th November. So happy shopping and gift giving. If you would like to make a monetary donation please go to the website: https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-qld/christmas-appeal-qld
Lego, Balls (eg. Soccer, Tennis, AFL, rugby,)
Toy cars (eg. Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Super Blast, Robo Wheels, car packs, remote control). Hats, T shirts, deodorant,
Bags, Dolls, Hair Stuff, Picnic sets, Makeup sets, Jewellery, lip gloss
Books, Dress Ups, Puzzles and Board games, Art and craft packs (eg. stationery, art pencils and paints, sketch books, coloured paper). Card Games, beach toys, cricket sets, ball games.
*Don't forget to label with appropriate Age and Gender*
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
Curious Minds Program
Congratulations Lily-May Mackinnon and Ashleigh Relf on being two of the 140 girls selected from regional QLD and NSW to participate in the Curious Minds Program. Now in its sixth year, Curious Minds is a brilliant program designed to encourage girls to continue STEM studies in their senior secondary school years and at tertiary level.
Ashleigh was selected from her Australian Mathematics Competition result last year and Lily- May was selected from her outstanding STEM and Mathematics results this year. Both girls will participate in two Virtual Camps one in December and the other mid next year where they will work with a female STEM mentor and the other girls selected.
Congratulations girls, what an awesome achievement!
From the Guidance Counsellor
10 Top Tips for Surviving the School Holidays
School holidays can be a difficult time for parents, especially working parents. Balancing work with childcare is hard and often expensive. Even if you are at home, keeping children entertained can be tricky. Here are some ideas;
INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE Your friends, particularly those with children or the parents of children's friends, will also be trying to find ways to entertain their children during the school holidays. Having reciprocal play dates and/or doing things together will provide ready-made entertainment for the children, and adult conversation for you. In the warmer weather, you can meet up somewhere outside, including the park, beach, or go to a café with some outdoor play space.
USE COMMUNITY RESOURCES Community resources, such as churches, libraries and galleries often have kids' activity sessions or days during school holidays, and better still, are likely to be inexpensive. Even if you have to stay, it will still keep your children occupied and busy, which may give you the chance to grab a cup of tea or coffee. To find out more, look at “What's On" websites, or noticeboards at local community centres, libraries and churches. Check out: visitfrasercoast.comLibraries are a good place to spend time because they're a source of free books. You can go there and read to your children if you like, or they can read books to decide if they wish to borrow them over the break.
LOOK OUT FOR SPORTS AND OTHER 'CAMPS' Schools and sports centres are well aware that parents work, and that children need entertaining. Some schools will run some kind of holiday club, many of which are open to the wider community and not just to children at the school. Some run very specific sports clubs, or coaching sessions, which can be good if your child is into sports. Many camps offer either daily or weekly rates, so you can either send the children for a few days, or just a day as a taster if you really need to get something done. If your child is worried about attending a club or session by themselves, try arranging for a friend to attend with them. You can even arrange to meet up outside first so neither has to go in alone.
USE THE REST OF THE FAMILY School holidays are a good time to draw on family resources. Look on it as giving your children a chance to spend time with cousins/grandparents/other relatives. You may be able to do this on a day or overnight basis, depending on distances and also your children's ages. Alternatively, consider a 'child share' with other family members, where you take their children for a few days and they then reciprocate.
USE FREE AND SUBSIDISED RESOURCES Many museums, particularly in bigger cities, are free and heavily subsidised, making them cheap options for entertainment. It also makes them busy so, if you can plan your visit for days at either end of the holidays when other people may be travelling to and from destinations, it may be more quiet. Use the venue's website to plan your visit, and save having to look at maps and guide books when you're there.
PLAN AHEAD Try to arrange to do at least one or two 'organised' things each week, such as days out with friends, beach/park outings so that the expectation on you for spontaneous entertainment is less. Space out your spending, especially if your budget is limited, so that expensive things do not all happen in the first week of the holidays leaving the rest as a bit of a let-down.
GO 'OUT OF SEASON' ON ACTIVITIES 'In season' activities can be very busy. The best option is to do things at the 'wrong' time of year. For example, in summer go to soft play and indoor activities, or to the local swimming pool. In winter, wrap up warm and go and explore your local park. The idea is to avoid the crowds, but still give your children a chance to experience these activities.
CHECK FOR SPECIAL OFFERS AND EVENTS AT LOCAL VENUES Because so many people go away in the summer holidays, local venues like leisure centres and swimming pools often have special offers, especially midweek. You can therefore do more with your children's holiday budget.
STOCK UP ON CRAFT ACTIVITIES/GAMES/KITS Make sure that you have plenty of indoor activities in hand, planned and ready to go, especially for wet days, or if you unexpectedly have to do some work for a few hours. Card games (eg. Uno), board games, lego, construction kits, craft activities are a few activities children can do either unassisted or regularly monitored, depending on the child's age.
PLAN A TREAT FOR THE END OF THE HOLIDAYS For example, plan to take your children out somewhere special, perhaps a theme park, or somewhere that they have wanted to go for a while. This has two main purposes; First, it acts as a milestone that the holidays are over and that everyone will be going back to school or work. Secondly, it acts as a reward for good behaviour during the holidays (or a gentle threat in the event of poor behaviour). Furthermore, it gives everyone, including you, something to look forward to, especially if you have any period of time without much planned. Finally … … remind yourself that boredom is educational for children. You really do not need to entertain your children all the time. Some boredom is good for children because it teaches them self-reliance and to entertain themselves. This is a good concept to embrace wholeheartedly during the school holidays as it may save your sanity more than once.
Tanya Gripske, Guidance Counsellor