Newsletter - Term 1, Week 8, 2019

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Dear Parents and Carers
Schools always work best when there is a strong partnership between the school and the home and we work together to provide the best education possible. Behind the scenes we do so much work in ensuring that teachers are constantly developing and updating their skills which have significant impact on the academic performance of students. I regularly walk around to see what is happening in the classrooms. I can say with confidence that we have an excellent teaching staff who are willing to seek feedback and have a strong desire to do their very best.

The other part of the partnership is the impact that the home can have on academic outcomes. As a parent myself with my 4 children ranging from 17 to 25 years of age, I can fully appreciate that it is not always easy to find the time to help them with their work. Our increasingly busy lifestyles seem to put the squeeze on quarantining those crucial minutes or hours that help our children grow to their full potential.

I recently came across a very interesting article in the APC Review, the national publication of the Australian Parents Council, which made me stop and think both as a Principal and as a parent of teenage children. It has certainly challenged me to ensure that I set aside that crucial, quality time with my own children.

An analysis of data collected by PISA (the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment) shows that parents don’t need a PhD to help their children succeed at school. The data shows that many parent-child activities that are associated with better reading performance among students involve relatively little time and no specialized knowledge. They do require genuine interest and active engagement.

The PISA assessment asked parents about the kind of activities they did with their children when the children were in their first year of primary school. Other questions concentrated on activities parents were engaged in with their children at the time of the PISA test, that is, when their children were 15 years old.

The findings were that:
  • Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.
  • The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background.
  • Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds strongly associated with better performance in PISA.
Students are never too old to benefit from their parents’ interest in them, the data found. Results show a strong association between some parent-child activities, when children are 15, and students’ reading performance in PISA. For example, students whose parents discuss political or social issues with them either weekly or daily score 28 points higher, on average, than those whose parents discuss these issues less often or not at all.
PISA findings also show that other parent-child activities, such as discussing books, films or television programmes, discussing how well children are doing at school, eating main meals together around the table and spending time just talking with one’s children are also associated with better student reading performance in school.

God Bless
Simon Dash


Primary Parent Teacher Interviews
Thank you to all parents who attended a Parent Teacher Interview over the past two weeks. These meetings are an important part of the relationship between home and school and allow each teacher the opportunity to discuss with parents the needs of individual children.  If you were unable to attend the scheduled meetings and would like to touch base with your child’s teachers, please contact your teacher directly for a parent appointment.

Secondary Parent Teacher Interviews
It was great to see many parents taking the opportunity to come to the College to meet with teachers to check-in with their child’s progress in class and in general. It is important that parents build a connection to the teachers so that they can be informed of successes as well as what could be done at home to support student learning. If you missed the opportunity to meet with staff, please feel free to email any questions to your child’s teachers.


P-6 Camps
Last week our Year 6 cohort spent 3 days in the Brisbane area on camp.  This was the first time a Year 6 group had travelled to Brisbane and it was a wonderful experience for all students and staff.  I am happy to report that this group received many positive comments from the public and were praised at the campsite for their positive attitude and behaviour. 

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We wish Our Year 5 students all the best for their camp this week at Maranatha on the Sunshine Coast.  This camp is adventure based and challenges the students to achieve their best.  It is a wonderful location and I’m sure they will have a fantastic time. 


St Patrick’s Feast Day and St Joseph’s Feast Day

As student leaders of the P-6 community our Year 6 students attend Mass at Howard and the local parish on behalf of the College.  This allows our students to connect with local parishioners and it is also an opportunity to join with Star of the Sea Year 6 students in celebration of feast days of St Patrick and St Joseph. 

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Ash Wednesday Liturgy
Last week the P-6 and 7-12 students took some time to recognise Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.  Our students contributed Lenten promises which were displayed for the entire community.  My thanks to all staff and students and the parents who attended this important occasion in the Church’s calendar. 

Years 8 to 11 Camping Program
Next students in years 8 to 11 will receive information about their camps that will be held early next term. Medical forms and what to bring sheets will be sent home, however, permission forms will be sent through the ‘Parent Slips’ app. Please look out for this and complete it for your child’s Camp. They will be held as follows under the leadership of the House Deans:

Year 11 - Wed 1st May to Friday 3rd May - Alex Park in Alexandra Heads - Mrs Wright
Year 9 - Wed 8th May to Friday 10th May - Noosa North Shore - Miss Hogan
Year 8 - Wed 15th May to Friday 17th May - Maroochy Waterfront CC - Ms Mills
Year 10 - Wed 15th May to Friday 17th May - Glastonbury - Mr McQuaid

“AuRevoir” to our staff and students travelling on the French Study Tour
At our Assembly we took the opportunity to bless and farewell the staff and students who are travelling to France. We thank the work Mrs Loretta Swann has done with Mrs Pritchard in planning and organising the trip and we are sure that it will be a great experience for all involved.


On March 29, thirteen of our Senior French students will be embarking upon an adventure of a lifetime, a tour of France. The group will land in Nice, visit Monte Carlo and Cannes. They will then take the bus north to Avignon, to re-connect with their homestay brothers and sisters whom they met during the three week visit from the students of Lycée Saint Joseph last October.  Whilst in Avignon, our students will attend classes and be immersed in the real life of Provence. Each day there will be an excursion to a nearby area to allow them to experience the wonders of this region – a day in Nimes to visit the ancient Roman aqueducts, a day in Arles to see gladiators in action at the arenas, a day in Avignon to see the walled city and visit the Palace of the Popes. Next, it is off to Paris to enjoy all that the City of Lights has to offer- the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysées, the Palace of Versailles and on our very last day, a visit to Paris Disneyland.

How have we been able to afford all of this?  To prepare the students have been madly fundraising. There have been raffles, sausage sizzle and many, many icy cup and hot chocolate sales. 

One of the highlights of our trip, as always will be the visit to the Somme battlefields, including the Australian memorial, the Franco-Australian in Villers-Bretonneux, Thiepval, La Boiselle, Beaumont Hamel and the Victoria school. We have been fortunate enough to be able to support our visit to this area due to the generous donation of $2,5oo made by the RSL through their Community Grants programme.  We are extremely grateful for their support and know that this will be one of the most memorable days on our itinerary. Not long now!!!

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Last week of Term One
As always it has been a busy term and our last week this term will finish with a ‘bang’.
On Thursday the 4th April we will celebrate Xavier Day with a range of activities all morning and the Parlauf Relay in the afternoon. On Friday 5th April we will start the day with our Holy Week Liturgy and end the day with the College Cross-Country. As always parents and family are welcome to join us for these great community days

  • A reminder to all parents to please remain in your vehicle if you are parked in the pick-up drive through.  This zone does will not operate effectively if a parked car is left unattended. 
  • Thank you to all parents who are waiting patiently in the afternoon outside the pods.  This has ensured students have been able to maximise their learning time.


Please note the following events:

As Catholics, Christians and all people of good will, we stand in Solidarity

In the wake of the horrific events in Christchurch, New Zealand, we join with Pope Francis - and all Christians and people of good will around the world - in prayer for the healing of the wounded, the consoling of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. 

We stand as one against all who would seek to destroy the freedom to pray, no matter which religion; the freedom to live, no matter which country; the freedom to flourish, no matter which people.    

As we live within this time of grief and remember lives lost, hearts broken, hopes torn asunder, let us turn to our God of love and compassion in prayer.  

We remember each one whose life is lost to us – the children, the fathers, the mothers, the sisters, the brothers… and pray that they are now in the deep and loving embrace of God. 

We pray for all those who grieve the loss of these precious lives …. parents and family, friends and neighbours: that they will find the courage, strength and hope to hold each other with tender care and rebuild their lives while cherishing their memory always.  

We pray especially for the Christchurch communities: that the great circle of angels and saints will gather close during these next days and weeks and be a circle of gentle strength and protection. 

And let us pray for ourselves, that we will always remember that we stand in solidarity with all those who suffer, all those who find themselves on the margins and all those who seek what is true and good and beautiful. 

God of Love we pray as One. 

As we continue our Lenten Journey, let us read and reflect upon another story of hope from Project Compassion, Tati’s Story.


Tati is a Dayak woman, living in a remote forest of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, with her husband and two of her three children. Her two youngest children go to school nearby while her 19-year-old son lives in a rented room close to his school 60 kilometres away. The family pays for his living-away-from-home expenses, in addition to providing for school expenses. Tati’s Dayak culture is deeply linked to the rainforest and her family has relied on it for sustenance for generations.

Over the last few years, communities which depend on the native forests have seen them shrink, along with vital habitats for endangered orangutans, rhinos and tigers. Caritas Australia, with its partners Caritas Indonesia – KARINA and the Diocesan Caritas are working with local communities to develop alternative sustainable livelihoods, by training them in ecotourism activities. Before Tati joined the Caritas program, she and her husband mainly earned their income from rubber tapping and raising chickens. Now, Tati has increased her family income ten times over by cooking for tourists and making souvenirs. Her community is also developing a strong financial base so that it can manage its own land. Around 600 people have directly benefited from the program so far – with hopes it can be expanded to other districts

Please click on the following link to view a video of Tati’s story or to donate to Project Compassion:


Pastoral Ministry Co-ordinator
St Joseph’s Catholic Parish invites applications for the part-time position of Pastoral Ministry Co-ordinator 3 days per week for 15 hours per week.
The successful applicant will:
  • Participate in the community and liturgical life of the Parish, Eucharist, as well as attend parish events as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with parish groups in providing care and service to the community.
  • Participate in parish meetings as required.
  • Work collaboratively with the Parish Office on all parish matters.
  • Carry out other duties as required by the Parish Priest.
Specific responsibilities include:
The successful applicant will be responsible for coordinating a range of pastoral activities and programs and will assist in developing and implementing parish activities such as Sacramental Programs, Liturgical Ministry, Pastoral Care and Visitation and Adult Faith Education.  This position will report to the Parish Priest.
To apply for this position, please email your current resume and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the position to
For more information, contact the Parish Office on 4124 3334.
Applications should include the name of two (2) professional referees with one being from a Parish Priest.
Applications close 12th April 2019


On Monday 11 March, 27 students represented Xavier at the Hervey Bay District Swimming Carnival. Students competed across four 50m events plus two relays. Xavier finished Overall Champions for the day, claiming the trophy by 45 points (a very close 3-way battle with USHS and FCAC). Xavier were also champions in the Senior Trophy (15-18yr old’s) and third in the Junior Trophy (12-14yr old’s). Xavier won 5 out of the 8 relays which ended up being the difference in points at the end of the day. All students are to be commended on their efforts throughout the day. A big thank you also to Mr Michael Tyrrell and Mrs Gerry Glass for their work on the day.

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The QLD School Triathlon and Aquathon titles were held recently in Hervey Bay. Xavier had 7 students represent the Wide Bay team at these trials including: Charlotte Davies, Piper Hinton, Harry King, Chantelle McCarthy, Jordan McCarthy, Nathan Munson and Toby Powers. Toby and Harry both competed in the Intermediate division with Toby storming home in the run to win the event and Harry finishing not far behind in third place. Both boys have now been selected in the QLD team to compete at the national titles held in Kawana. This is a fantastic achievement! Chantelle McCarthy also had a very strong race finishing ninth.  Congratulations to all students.

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On Saturday 16 March, Xavier competed in the Open Boys division of the FCAC Rugby 7’s and also in both the Year 7-9 and Year 10-12 Fast-5 Netball competition held at Fraser Coast Anglican College. In often very wet and windy conditions, the Open Boys Rugby team lost just the one pool game before going on to qualify for the grand final against St Luke’s. This final was played in pouring rain and Xavier ended up Champions in this Open Boys division. Both netball teams played with great spirit throughout the day. The Year 7 to 9 team had three wins and a loss with the last game being cancelled due to weather.  The Year 10-12 team was undefeated all the way to the grand final and also finishing Champions. This is a great result for Xavier. Congratulations to all students involved and a big thank you to coaches Mr Reagen Collier and Mrs Laura Green and all parents who supported throughout the day.

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The final set of trials for the Hervey Bay District will be occurring on Tuesday 26 March for Touch Football and Hockey. All students have been sent information on how to sign up for these trials. These students will be given paperwork this week.


A reminder that this K-12 event will be held on Friday 5 April. This is a COMPULSORY school event and all students are expected to attend and participate in this important College event. A schedule of the races for the Primary School is included below. 

​9:30am11 Yr (2008) Boys Championship​3km
​9:35am11 Yr (2008) Girls Championship​3km
​9:50am10 Yr (2009) Boys Championship​2km
​9:55am10 Yr (2009) Girls Championship​2km
​10:10am9 Yr (2010) Boys Championship​2km
​10:15am9 Yr (2010) Girls Championship​2km
​10:35-11:00am​FIRST BREAK
Year 6 to remain on oval
​11:00am​Participation - 2007 Boys
​11:05am​Participation - 2007 Girls​1km
​11:10amParticipation - 2008 Boys​1km
​11:15amParticipation - 2008 Girls​1km
​11:20amParticipation - 2009 Boys​1km
​11:25amParticipation - 2009 Girls1km
​11:30amParticipation - 2010 Boys1km
​11:35amParticipation - 2010 Girls1km
​11:40am​Year Three (2011 only) - Boys
​11:45amYear Three (2011 only) - Girls1km​
​12:00noon​Year Two Boys
​12:05pmYear Two Girls​750m
​12:10pm​Year One Boys
​12:20pm​Year One Girls
​12:25pm​Preps - Boys/Girls
​12:30pm​Kindy kids
​12:50pm​12 Yr (2007) Girls Championship
​12:55pm​12 Yr (2007) Boys Championship

A schedule of races for 12yr olds to Open students is included below.

​12:50pm​12 Girls (2007)
​12:55pm​12 Boys (2007)
​1:05pm​16 Boys (2003)
​1:10pm​Open Boys (≤2002)
​1:20pm​13 Girls (2006)
​1:25pm​13 Boys (2006)
​1:30pm​15 Boys (2004)
​1:35pm​14 Boys (2005)
​1:40pm​15 Girls (2004)
​1:45pm​14 Girls (2005)
​1:50pm​16 Girls (2003)
​1:55pm​Open Girls (≤2002)

Last week our Year 7/8 and Junior Debating teams took on Fraser Coast Anglican College teams in the first round of the Apex Debating Competition of the year. Our Year 7/8 team consisting of Lilly, Isabelle, Abby and Ellie argued well about why it is better to live in the city rather than the country. They did an outstanding job, presenting a well-constructed case and speaking with confidence. It was a close result however Fraser Coast Anglican College walked away with the win.

The Year 9/10 Junior team consisting of Lachlan, Sarah, Chelsea and Stella presented convincing, well-researched arguments on the topic that we should ban fast fashion to protect the environment. Despite having to debate the negative side of this argument, our Xavier Juniors were awarded the win. The judges agreed it was a very close decision and that the standard was extremely high. Both teams look forward to preparing for their next debate on Tuesday 19th March. The 7/8 team will argue That the Android operating system is not better than Apple while the Year 9/10 team will argue That the minimum age for social media should be 14 years old. We wish both teams success in their preparations.

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STEM @ Xavier

Senior Chemistry students started their training for the RACI Titration Competition. The regional competition will be held at in Brisbane at UQ on 11 May. This year Xavier is hoping to enter four teams of three students into the competition. The Xavier Team is known as the XCATs- Xavier Chemical Analysis Teams. The students will be given 2 hours to chemically analyse solutions using a technique called titration. Their goal is to measure the concentration of a solution as accurately as possible. During X-cite students will be competing against each other for the X-cite Titration Trophy

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Year 10 STEM
Investigating and analysing trace evidence from hypothetical crime scenes has kept the Year 10 STEM class busy this term. Students have been using forensic science concepts and methods to collect and process evidence to assist them in making deductions. 
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Brain Bee
Brain Bee is a competition between students throughout Australia. Year 10 STEM students are currently preparing for this competition. Participants are required to complete an in-depth study of the brain and the nervous system using online resources. At the end of March, students will complete an online Quiz to test themselves against other students. This will be Round One of the competition. We wish them well and hope they can achieve high enough in this quiz to be selected for the next round.


Sunflower competition
STEM students have also started growing their Sunflowers for the UQ sunflower growing competition. The competition requires them to use their science knowledge and research to grow the heaviest flower they can before the end of May.

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2018 Sunflower growing competition


Xavier UQ Science Ambassadors 2019

Four students have been selected as UQ Science Ambassadors for 2019. We congratulation Lydia White, Brianna Skyring, Caitlin Brennan and Ella McMahon on their nomination. Their role is to promote enjoyment and participation in science related opportunities and study. 
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Year 11 UQ Science Ambassadors for 2019



School Based Trainees and Apprentices!
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) are perfect for Year 11 and 12 students who want to get a head start on their career. SATs allow students to combine school and training with working in a real job, with a real boss, for a real wage.

Students who pursue a SAT can withdraw from an elective subject (or two subjects for Electrical Apprenticeships).

To have success in a SAT, students should be succeeding in their current schooling. If students have a genuine desire to pursue a SAT, but are not able to secure an employer, we encourage them to organise a work experience placement that might lead to a possible SAT.

Currently we have several students completing various qualifications as a School Based Trainee or Apprentice. All locally based students attend on-site placement for 1 or 2 days a week depending on their qualification and employer.
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Madi McGovern is currently studying a Certificate III in Retail with McDonalds while completing Year 12 here at Xavier. Madi is in her second year of her Traineeship and has progressed well through her qualification which she is on task to complete this year. This Certificate will allow Madi the ability to perform roles such as shop assistant, customer service representative, team leader and retail supervisor in a diverse range of retail settings including quick serve restaurants, supermarkets, specialty retailer and department store. Madi has been a committed student throughout her Traineeship and has excelled herself in her performance at school and work. She is a highly valued employee and represents herself and the school well.
Loanda Moy   |   VET Links Officer/ Acting Youth Support Coordinator​

Thursday 21 March
Prep to Year 2 Carnival Games in Goa - 1st Break

Icy Cups and Easter Raffle on Sale all week.
Friday 22 March
Easter Raffle Drawn - Outside stage
Jelly Eating Competition - Outside stage



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