Newsletter - Term 1, Week 2, 2018

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Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to the 2018 academic year! I extend a very special welcome to those who are new to our community. Thank you for choosing to join our Xavier family.

Despite the warm weather, the first week went very smoothly and it appears that our new and our returning students are settling quickly into their schoolwork. The beginning of a new school year is a time to dream big and set firm goals that, with resolute commitment, we can all strive to achieve.

During staff week I spoke to our teachers about our commitment to inclusivity and excellence. We are proudly inclusive at Xavier Catholic College, with students from diverse backgrounds and a variety of starting points on the academic spectrum. But, being inclusive should never prevent us from striving for excellence in all that we do. In the words of the great basketball coach, John Wooden: 'We are all absolutely equal in having the opportunity to make the most of what we have.'

John Wooden is one of my heroes. He was a teacher and a legendary coach of the UCLA basketball team. He took UCLA to 11 National Championships and set the record for the most consecutive wins. But, he was always a teacher first. He taught his players that success comes from within when one strives to be the best of which one is capable. He instructed his players to ignore the scoreboard and that, after a game, no one should know by their demeanour whether they had won or lost.

Later in life he coined his own definition of success: 'Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.' But, he stressed that the necessary ingredients to do this were faith and patience.

It is my hope that every student has a successful year, in that they strive to become the best of which they are capable. With the support of their teachers and parents, I know this is possible. But, it will require commitment, patience and faith along the way.

Many of our initiatives that we are putting in place this year are designed to support students in their studies. Next week our Year 10, 11 and 12 students will be trained in how to use the 'Studiosity' online tutoring service. This is a significant investment to support students to go that step further in producing their best work.

Our new Curriculum Accountabilities Framework will help teachers plan and deliver lessons in a comprehensive and consistent manner. It will also ensure consistency in the way we design and deliver assessment.

Research indicates the significant impact of positive psychology and wellbeing programs on students' academic performance. To that end we have enlisted the resources of 'The Learning Curve' to deliver this program through our Pastoral Care system, Personal Development education and linking it into our Religious Education curriculum.

In the next few weeks our Secondary students will receive specialist study skills training through 'Elevate Education' with access to resources to assist them throughout the year.

The implementation of our new Responsible Behaviour Policy is designed to ensure good routines and consistency in our approach to behaviour education. It is also designed to protect the integrity of the teaching and learning environment by removing disruptive students and working with them on strategies to avoid disrupting in the future.

There are many other changes we are putting into place which I will outline in the coming weeks as they progress. Rest assured, our desire for continuous improvement is laying the groundwork for improved academic results for all students.

We start the year with some new faces on staff who have joined our community. We welcome: Sarah Love (Dean of Pastoral Care & Administration), Tracy Grambower (Dean of Inclusive Education), Paul Burke (Primary Learning Leader), Bryon Bailey (English & Humanities), Robert Bortolanza (Year 3), Simone Collins (HPE), Melanie Beety (Year 2), Ashley Crowley (Year 3), Geena White (English, History & Religious Education), Sarah Young (Year 5) and Rebecca Woolcock (Indigenous Student Support Coordinator). We also welcome back Stella O'Gorman (Year 5) who has been on leave.

The energy and enthusiasm of our new staff has been infectious and I am confident that they will make a mighty contribution to our teaching and learning culture.

We look forward with great optimism to what should be an outstanding year.


God bless

Simon Dash



1/2     Year 9 Leaders Retreat afternoon

2/2    13-19 Years Swimming Carnival

6/2     Opening Mass

7/2     13-19 Years Hervey Bay Cluster 1 Sports Trials

7/2     Year 7 Camp


OPENING MASS – Tuesday 6th February 9.30 am

All parents and carers are invited to join us for our Opening Mass on Tuesday 6th February beginning at 9.30 am in the JPAC centre.

New students in Year 7 and Year 8-12 numbers

This year the College has had a significant increase in the numbers of students enrolling in Year 7, so much so that we have added another core class to the year level - we now have five Core Classes. We also welcomed 30 students into the College across years 8 to 12. We know that they will receive a warm Xavier welcome from all our students and staff.


All P-6 parents are invited to attend an open classroom session from 3.30 pm onwards on Monday 12th February.  This is an opportunity to meet your child's teacher and start the process of developing the essential parent teacher relationship.  Each class will also be holding a parent information session during this time and an informal welcome BBQ/Picnic will be held on the GOA oval from 4.30 pm onwards.  You are invited to join us with you picnic blanket for an early dinner.  Sausages and drinks will be available on the day.  You are also very welcome to bring you own picnic meal if you would prefer this option. A flyer with details about this event will be sent home in the coming days.


As part of their introduction to their leadership responsibilities our Year 6 students have engaged this week in a leadership incursion focusing in unleashing their personal potential.  "Aspire Higher" is an engaging leadership and resilience training program specially designed for Year 6 students. Run over three high impact sessions the day consisted of many dynamic activities including whole cohort team builders, servant leadership initiatives and problem-solving activities.  We wish our Year 6 students the very best for the year ahead. 


It was my privilege to escort the College Captains and Vice -Captains to the annual Ignatian Student Leaders' Conference that was held at St. Ignatius College in Geelong, Victoria. The Conference is held a different school each year with representatives from the 10 Jesuit and Companion schools across Australia. The students share stories of their schools and also their experiences of leadership. They were fortunate to hear from the College's past leaders who shared how their experience as a leader at school had helped them as they moved through studies and into work. They also enjoyed some bonding time learning how to surf in the chilly Victorian water. I'm sure that they have connected via social media and will continue to share their journeys.


This year sees a new time slot in the year for both our Year 7 Camp and Year 12 Retreat. Year 7 are off to Garapine, near Gympie from Wednesday 7th to Friday 9th Feb and Year 12 to Yandina from Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th Feb. This move is to ensure that the purposes of these activities can be fully realised and have an on-going benefit.

With more than 40 new Year 7 students it is important to have the Camp early to provide the time for the students to get to know each other and work together as a team. Mrs. Sarah Love is leading the Camp with Mr. Reagen Collier the Leadership representative.

Likewise, for our Year 12 Retreat, where a difficult and busy year can be made more manageable through the support of classmates. The Retreat will assist the students to not only work together but also recognise their own and each other's strengths to be able to draw on them when things get tough. We thank Mrs Donnelly and Mr. McDonald and the rest of the team that have put together a challenging program.



A particularly busy time this week with Year 9 laptop deployment, the rollout of the Responsible Behaviour Policy as well as our House Liturgies. Buthu and Dirum were held on Tuesday evening and Kondari and Narwari on Wednesday evening. It was a great opportunity for parents to see their child's Pastoral Care teacher, share an afternoon tea and then come together to pray.


LEAP (Learning Extension and Acceleration Program)

One of the many initiatives that we are implementing at Xavier this year is LEAP (Learning Extension and Acceleration Program). The overall goal of this program is to assist all students to reach their academic potential. The program aims to:

  • Provide a stimulating education in a supportive environment;
  • Create opportunities which promote knowledge, concept and skill acquisition;
  • Encourage independent student enquiry and learning;
  • Encourage students to develop and/or realise their potential;
  • Encourage students to respect the successes of others; and
  • Ensure that students take pride in their achievements.

There are many aspects of this program, some of which are listed below.

  • Extension class groups in Core Classes across Year 7-10
  • Elevate Education- Study Skills and Organisation Program across Year 7-12.
  • Studiosity – External Online Tutoring Program for students in Year 10-12.
  • Year 12 Academic Support group
  • Year 12 Senior Pathways Interviews
  • Literacy Support Initiative across P-10
  • Reading Intervention and Extension Program Year P-2
  • Writing Intervention and Extension Program Year 3-6
  • Optiminds – Creative Sustainability Challenge
  • Readers Cup


Some of these initiatives are new in 2018 and many have been a part of what we offer here at Xavier for some time. We are confident that all students will benefit from opportunities such as these to extend and enrich their own learning and experiences.


Dear Parents
Late last year the Absentee phone line was taken offline and is no longer available.
To ensure the safety of students and to provide accurate records, student absences and late arrivals should now be lodged via the Parent Portal, BCE Connect or by email to 
This can be made easier by ensuring you download the BCE Connect App which can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Androids.
Alternatively, a written note is acceptable.


Xavier Catholic College has a group of parents who volunteer their time to welcome and help other members of the school community. They do this by: -

  • Holding first day morning tea (Meet and Greet opportunity)
  • Providing meals for school families experiencing a crisis
  • Providing information about the school to families
  • Assisting the College Board in planning and reviewing the Pastoral Care Policy of the College
  • Working closely with the Campus Minister

At all times we encourage you to explore the parent portal or to talk to your child's classroom teacher or Pastoral Care teacher about any questions that you may have as your first point of contact. Each House has parent contacts and they range from P-12.  If you wish to contact anyone of our parent contacts their details will be published each term in the College Newsletter.  We are in need of parent contacts in our P-6 area so if you would like to nominate yourself or to ask further information of what is involved please do not hesitate to contact myself, Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister).  Confidentiality is utmost for our committee and any information shared with our parent contacts will not be passed on unless you so desire it. 
Carmel Donnelly

Secondary Maths tutoring will commence in Week 3 Term 1. This is not one-on-one tutoring, it is group tutoring. Students are required to have work with them and ask the teacher for help with the questions that they are struggling with. Students may wish to attend to work on their homework/Maths Online or just to get into a good study habit. They can attend as many tutoring sessions as they like in a week.

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XCC/SOS Shuttle Bus Travellers
Students who travel on the shuttle bus between Xavier and Star of the Sea are reminded that the bus now departs Xavier at the end of the day from the primary pick up area between GOA and the Kindy. Primary students will be accompanied there by staff at the end of the day.


We are very excited to announce that Xavier Catholic College has secured the performing rights for the timeless classic, Grease - School Edition.

 Grease-logo.jpgThe School Edition is shorter and more suitable in content for students, but retains the fun-loving spirit and immortal songs that make Grease a favourite amongst rock and roll fans of all ages. .  Many of the songs have undergone changes as well; the numbers are all shortened and edited for content/language. The School Edition as considered to be G-rated. 

Performances will be on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th August ,7.00pm – 9.30pm

We have developed a timeline to get this Production underway:

  •  Meeting with students - Tuesday Feb 6 (second break).
  • Show Viewing - Thursday Feb 15  (3:15pm Campion).
  • Auditions from Feb 19
  • Rehearsals from March 1

Those selected to be part of the cast will need to commit to rehearsal on Thursday afternoons, from 3.15 – 4.45pm as well as some weekends and evenings particularly as we move closer to performances in late July and early August.  In a large venture such as this it is important that the cast makes every effort to attend rehearsals as required, so we can work together to create a fun and fantastic spectacle.

Cast members may be required to provide some costume items, however we will ensure that these are commonplace and easily accessed.  More individualised or 'exotic' costume items will be provided.  All cast members will be asked to pay a Production fee of $100 fee. This will cover a Production shirt and refreshments during rehearsals.

Cast members will be asked to sing a Production Agreement that will outline College expectations with regards to participation as well as behaviour.

If you have any questions or specific queries that are not addressed here, please feel free to contact Mr. Damms at school or  via email at

GREASE! - Book, Music and Lyrics By JIM JACOBS and WARREN CASEY


Welcome back from the canteen, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who helped last year.  A reminder to update your QKR app and also check our new menus also accessible from the parent portal as there have been a few changes. We are always looking for volunteers to help out in the canteen, and we would love you to come in for coffee and a chat. The amount of time you are willing to offer is entirely up to you, but any time is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Liz Mee

Mary Ryan Book Club
Calling all book-loving junior schoolers.... we have TWO NEW BOOK CLUBS starting in March!!

  1. BOOK MUNCHERS for readers in Year 3 and 4.
  2. PAGE TURNERS for readers in Year 5 and 6.

Each group will meet once a month on a Wednesday afternoon here at Mary Ryan's.
Membership for the whole year is $100 and includes:

  • Each month's book club book for you to keep (that's 9 books from March to November);
  • A Book Journal for you to track your reading and record your literary thoughts;

  • Afternoon tea at each meeting (a drink, a cookie and fruit);
  • Discussion led by one of our enthusiastic staff members.

If you're interested, come in and speak to our bookshop staff. Pre-payment is required as places are limited.

Welcome to the 2018 school year and what is hoped to be another memorable year of sport for Xavier.

Years 7-12 Xavier Swimming Carnival
This will be held on Friday 2nd February at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. Students are required to be at the pool by 8:40am for roll marking. Limited buses will run from Xavier to the pool (and return in afternoon) for those students who require this service. Students are required to wear sun-safe clothing within their House's chosen theme and to remember hydration on the day. There will be extra tents on the hill this year to provide extra shade for students. Students will have restricted and periodical access to the canteen facilities at the pool and so it is encouraged that students bring their own lunch. Our 12 year olds in Year 7 will attend the day and will compete in championship, novelty and relay events. However, there will be no age champion for 12 year olds, as this will be determined at the Primary Swimming carnival held in Term 4 where 12 year old Year 6 students are in attendance. Parents and Family are very welcome to attend this Friday.

PLEASE NOTE: this is a COMPULSORY school day and students are NOT PERMITTED to depart the pool early unless arranged prior to the day with their PC teacher and House Dean through a note of explanation from parent/caregiver.

Below is an estimated schedule of events for the day:

8:40 – 9:00amRoll marking
9:00 – 9:15amBriefing and War Cries
9:15 – 9:40am12 & 13yrs Backstroke
9:40 – 10:05am14 & 15yrs Backstroke
10:05 – 10:30am16 & Open Backstroke
10:30 – 10:55am12 & 13yrs Freestyle
10:55 – 11:20am14 & 15yrs Freestyle
11:20 – 11:45am16 & Open Freestyle
11:45 - 12:10pm 12 & 13yrs Breastroke
12:10 – 12:35pm14 & 15yrs Breastroke
12:35 – 1:00pm16 & Open Breastroke
1:00 – 1:10pmThe Big Splash & College War Cry
1:10 – 1:40pm13 – Open Butterfly
2:30 – 3:00pmBus students return to College at 2:35pm Clean and Pack-up


Hervey Bay District Cluster Trials 1:

Trials for the Hervey Bay School Teams for the following sports: Cricket, Softball, Touch, Squash, Surfing, Tennis and Volleyball will be occurring Wednesday the 7th February. Students have received an email with details of how to nominate through moodle.


Friday Afternoon Sport

As has been communicated to students and parents (through email and College Facebook), Year 7 & 8's have an opportunity to participate in a Dance or Soccer program on Friday afternoons for the whole school year. As well as receiving hard copies, students were emailed the information and application form. These applications were due on Monday 29th January. Students who will not participate in either Dance or Soccer will select their sports for this term's Friday Afternoon Sport in coming days. Friday afternoon Sport will begin on Friday February 9 for Year 8's (Year 7's are on camp and will begin the following Friday February 16).

I sincerely wish all students at Xavier the very best in their school sporting pursuits in 2018.

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Round 11 of Get Started Vouchers opens on Wednesday 24 January 2018.

The program provides eligible children and young people aged 5 to 17 (inclusive) who can least afford to join a sport or recreation club with a voucher valued up to $150 for membership and/or registration fees. It should be noted that vouchers are issued on a first come, first served basis; therefore there is no guarantee that an eligible child or young/person will obtain a voucher.

Parents of students can apply for registration for Get Started Vouchers at any time. Registration is valid for the entire program period so there is no need to register for each round. 

More information about the program is available at

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