From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
Things are moving quickly and we are trying to stay ahead of the curve. Thank you for your patience and support as we grapple with the issues surrounding COVID19 and respond in alignment with Brisbane Catholic Education expectations.
We had our first School Incident Management Team (SIMT) meeting on Friday afternoon to run through how to best implement the BCE protocols, how to apply them to our local circumstances and to discuss various contingency plans.
If you have questions about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) I encourage you to visit the Queensland Health website: www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus . There is also another site organised by G.P.’s https://www.gps-can.com.au/covid19-blog/a-guide-school that was passed onto me by a parent that is very useful.
We have provided some key directives for staff, including taking their devices home in the event that school was to shutdown and we have to deliver education over the Internet. Likewise, we have asked staff to ensure they make digital copies of all resources in order to send work to students who may be self-isolating.
We cancelled our Secondary Parent-Teacher Night on Tuesday night as a precautionary measure. While we did have mitigations in place, the risks involved did not justify the benefits. With hundreds of people moving each 10 minutes and touching surfaces, there was an element of risk that we could not have completely removed. Teachers contacted parents by phone.
Key information and directives that Parents should note:
Please continue to promote good hygiene practices with your children. This is being done at school, but the message may sink in better if it is reinforced at home. The key here is: 1) No unnecessary contact (hugging, kissing, handshakes, high-fives etc.) and maintain an appropriate distance when interacting with others; 2) Wash hands regularly and for around 20 seconds; 3) Cough into the inside elbow; 4) Avoid touching the face; and 5) No sharing of food or drinks.
If your child is sick with a communicable disease DO NOT send them to school. I am not just talking about possible symptoms of COVID19. I am talking about any virus or illness that can be spread to others. We have a number of staff and students with weakened immune systems. For them, and for anyone in our community, if they were to catch a ‘bug’ it would lower the immune system’s ability to fight infection and disease. This would potentially make the effects of contracting COVID19 much more severe and place them into the high-risk category.
Please ensure that the you have updated your contact details. In the event of an emergency we will be relying on these to make speedy contact with you.
Please report as a matter of urgency if you have contracted COVID19 or you or any member of your family has been asked to self-isolate.
We will not be holding large gatherings for the foreseeable future. This includes assemblies for students in both the Primary and Secondary sections of the School.
The current circumstances have led to our School Incident Management Team reviewing upcoming events and either cancelling or postponing them. In some cases, depending on how the situation develops, we may be able to create alternative experiences later in the year.
Year 11/12 Drama Camp - (13–16th March) Cancelled
Student Assemblies/liturgies – Cancelled until further notice
Year 5 Camp (18-20th March) – Postponed
Year 12 Lady Elliot Island (19-21st March) – Postponed
Primary X-Cite (25th March) – Postponed
Year 5/6 Gala Day (27th March) – Cancelled
P-12 Cross Country (3rd April) – Postponed/ Alternate arrangements to be made.
13 - 19yrs Hervey Bay District Cluster 3 Trials - Cancelled
QSS 10 - 12yrs and 13 - 19yrs Swimming Championships - Cancelled
Xavier Day – Modified Program
Cluster Trials – To be advised
Secondary Open Evening
Year 12 Hospitality – Eat Street Excursion – Event cancelled
Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Camps – Postponed
Major Sporting competitions – Rugby 7s and Rugby League due to the contact nature of the sport.
All representative school sport has been cancelled by the Queensland Government, including district, regional, state, national, interstate and international competitions and any Queensland School Sport team participation in any national, interstate or international events organised across Australia or internationally. (Details communicated via email).
I found this article from by Angela Dewan from CNN published last Sunday to be very pertinent to the times we are facing. Below is an extract of the article entitled: “This pandemic risks bringing out the worst in humanity”
A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.
The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.
Never mind that Australia's toilet paper supply is plentiful, that the Singaporean has no links to the virus and that not a single passenger on the Princess cruise ship that docked in Reunion was infected.
Irrational and selfish incidents like these are likely the exception, not the rule, but an everyone-for-themselves mentality -- or each family, even each country -- appears to be growing, putting into question the world's ability to unite and slow the coronavirus' spread.
Leaders of affected nations are scrambling to seize some control of the situation. They impose restrictive measures in their countries, inject money into their economies, and promise their health systems will somehow find the extra beds, doctors and nurses they will inevitably need.
Yet there seems to be little coordination between countries to address what is by nature a global challenge.
Much of this each-for-their-own behaviour comes from humans' tendency to trust their feelings over facts, a way of thinking that is "evolutionarily ancient," according to Paul Slovic, a University of Oregon psychologist, who studies risk perception.
There are two main modes of thinking, he explains: one an intuitive sense based on feelings, the other a more rational sense based on scientific reasoning, evidence and reason. It is the intuitive mode that dominates, according to Slovic.
"In the earliest days when we were evolving, there were plenty of dangers around, and those dangers were directly experienced, they were threats that we faced directly from threatening creatures or other tribes, it was all very direct and concrete. So these reactions based on feelings were very beneficial in helping us act quickly and to recognize friend from foe, it was us against them," Slovic told CNN.
"Like if you heard a sound in the bush that might be a dangerous animal, you didn't stop to reason about what was causing the sound -- was it really a dangerous animal? -- you just accepted the fact that it sounded scary and you got out of there. You moved fast. So our survival depended on testing your emotions and behaving quickly, and acting according to those feelings."
Feelings, he said, are usually a useful guide that helps us make good decisions every day.
"It's easy, it's natural, fast -- it's a remarkable capability in our modern brain, except there are a few things it doesn't do well, and one of those things is it doesn't relate to statistics, or numbers, very well."
This is playing out in the current pandemic, he said, as most of the information received through the media and officials are of the worst cases and fatalities. We aren't computing well that the vast majority of cases are mild, even asymptomatic.
It's unsurprising that some people might feel threatened by someone who comes from Wuhan, where the virus originated, or China, or another country that is prevalent, he said, because of the way the mind works.
"It's a natural, protective response, which can be exaggerated and harmful to people who pose really a very low risk," he said.
"But it's an emotion that should be tempered by reason -- we should say, what do we know about the probability that this group of people is really going to harm us in some way? What's the severity of it? What does the data show? What does it say about the level of risk? What we see is that stigma can occur even when the risk is very low and the stigma is not warranted."
The world is not doomed quite yet. For all the examples of anti-social behaviour, there has been pro-social action.
We can feel heartened by the doctors, nurses and other medical staff who are still showing up to work, often on the front lines, risking their own health for the greater good.
Cleaners are still working at offices, on trains and in schools and nurseries, doing their part in keeping people safe.
People are taking hand washing and sanitizing seriously -- the sell out of hand gels around the world is testament to that -- to prevent communal spread of the virus.
I can only thank you for your calmness, community-mindedness and ongoing support as we grapple with so many unexpected and complex issues.
Principal Performance Review
All those in Senior Management positions in Brisbane Catholic Education, participate in regular performance appraisal processes to assist in their professional development planning.
Simon Dash is undertaking such a review in Term 2, 2020.
As a component of this process, a confidential on-line survey is being conducted by Voice Project.
On Monday 20 April 2020, a sample of families selected across various year levels will receive an invitation to participate in this survey. The invitation will be emailed directly to families. This survey will be conducted over a two-week period.
Community consultation is highly valued, and I thank you for your participation.
Senior Leader - School Operations
Catholic Education Archdiocese of Brisbane
Calendar of Events
Student Voice Meeting
10-12 Yrs HBD Cluster Trials Hockey Netball Soccer Tennis (TBA)
Naplan Practice Year 7 & 9
CATCH-UP PHOTO DAY
Principal's Afternoon Tea 2.00pm
P&F AGM 2020 Frankies
Y11 Road Safety Presentation
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
Excellence at XCC Award recipients
These awards are for students who have demonstrated one or more of the following SAIL Expectations.
We are Safe
We Act Responsibly
We Interact Respectfully
We Love to Learn
Award recipient’s Week 6
Tiago Di Petro
Award recipient’s Week 7
From the Head of School – Secondary: Ms Tameika Grist
Thank you so much to parents of our Secondary students who joined with us in conversing about your son and/or daughter’s learning with our Parent Teacher Interviews. Although we managed this, in what could be described as a bit of a phone relay, I can say that the conversations about learning were incredibly valuable and appreciated, as parents and care-givers partner with us in the journey of education. If you missed out, or didn’t get around to making a time, please know that you are always welcome to make contact with your child(ren)’s teachers to find out more about how you can support them as learners
Last week our Student Leaders ran our first Year 7 – 12 Assembly for the year. (Sadly, not knowing at the time, it could be a while until our next one may be held).
I have always thought that Assemblies are a great measure of the culture of a school, and I must say the content of this student led assembly led me to reflect on the following points in relation to Xavier’s Secondary students.
1) We should be hopeful for the future:
The opening prayer set the scene for the sharing that was to follow:
Do you want to change the world? Make a difference? Change things for the better?
Don’t know where to begin? God has already shown us. He sent his only son, for all of us.
Not because he has to, but because he loves us.
Do you want to change the world? Then love without hesitation. Love with all your heart.
Love when it is difficult. Love when it’s painful. Love unconditionally. Love fiercely.
Love God’s way!
2) Our students are leading the way with their actions of kindness and service .Whilst it is sometimes hard to connect our prayers with actions, the segments that followed provided great evidence of how many students, teachers and classes are finding ways to live out this ‘love’ for others through their actions and through the curriculum.
The many Mission week activities planned by Narwari House students to raise money for Caritas this week.
The students involved in creating a video on Refugees for a Jesuit run competition, receiving highly commended praise for their informative, engaging and professionally made awareness campaign video (some teachers didn’t realise until the end that our students made it, and that it wasn’t material given to us).
The Year 11 students who went on a local immersion trip, seeing and supporting the work in a variety of charities and support groups across Brisbane that provide for the underprivileged, needy, and homeless.
Also, the Year 12 Health class studying homelessness, deciding to raise awareness, funds and practical items like hygiene packs to help support the homeless in Hervey Bay with their Colour Run Activity aptly titled, ‘Run for Home’. It was a great success, and we thank all families for their contributions, and commitment to the event.
3) It is hard not to come away from such an Assembly with a sense of heightened awareness of our ‘plenty’.
4) There was also hope, hope in the caring and generosity of spirit that is genuine and sincere, and hope that we are a part of a community that wants to make a difference, and wants to be the difference. Hope that reaches out, like God does for us, through his Son.
It is a privilege to work in a space that creates opportunities for witness and practical action outside our own walls. Sharing these things is an important way in which a school community creates a spirit that carries across the community.
As we enter into this phase of needing to avoid gathering large groups, I expect our students will find creative ways to continue to share their positive actions through a genuine spirit of raising awareness, supporting each other and sharing God’s love.
Term 2: Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Camps – Postponed
Due to updated information around curtailing the spread of COVID19, including the heightened need for personal hygiene, concerns around shared spaces and equipment, and student proximity to each other, our camping program for Years 7 to 11 will be postponed at this stage.
We recognise this will be disappointing for many students, however, our responsibilities in mitigating potential risk for all students remains our highest priority.
Where possible, future dates will be considered for an alternative camp experience for these year groups. Alternatively, pastoral-type day activities may be planned. Any camp levies not utilised towards alternative events, will be reimbursed back to families.
We thank families for their support and understanding in these matters.
Uniform Shop News
In response to the Uniform Shop survey the Uniform Shop Opening hours will changed for a trial period of five weeks (term time) from 23 March to the 8 May 2020.
Opening hours during this time will be as follows:
7:30 to 10:00am
7:30 to 10:00am
3:00 to 6:00pm
A reminder that online orders can be placed via the Xavier Catholic College - Wearitto Online Shop.
Orders placed on this site will be available from the Uniform Shop for collection or can be collected from Student Reception. Order not collected from Student Reception within 3 days will be returned to the Uniform Shop.
The Wizard of Oz
Congratulations to the newly selected cast for our College production of “The Wizard of Oz”. Thank you to everyone who auditioned, it is going to be a great show!
Dorothy : Rachel Damms Scarecrow : Kelly-Mae Mee TinMan : Jacob Tietz Lion : Isaac Jensen Glinda : Poppy McIver Wicked Witch : TJ Smith Aunt Em : Mercedes Durston Uncle Henry : Jacob Tietz Hunk : TBA Hickory : TBA Zeke : Isaac Jensen Miss Almira Gulch : TJ Smith Prof. Chester Marvel : Isabella Jensen Crow 1 : Ruby Lund Crow 2 : Georgia McGovern Crow 3 : Poppy Block Tree 1 : Zara Taylor Tree 2 : Ashleigh Relf Tree 3 : Chloe Mee Munchkin Mayor : Georgia Cassidy Munchkin Coroner : Lily Moses Munchkin Fiddler : Hannah Bould Munchkin Tot 1 : Lily Spencer Munchkin Tot 2 : Zara Royal Munchkin Tot 3 : Sakina Baziani Munchkin Tough Kid 1 : Louise Drake Munchkin Tough Kid 2 : Emily Powers Munchkin Tough Kid 3 : Isabelle Brittain Emerald City Guard : Larissa Wilson The Wizard of Oz : Isabella Jensen Ensemble : Samantha Betteridge, Tania Collins, Natalie Fulcher, Zara Kampman, Rosie Koia, Molly Maher-Lofts, Chiara di Pietro, Maeve Riley, Carina Robb, Ellie Stewart, Destiny Scott, Tia Thornton, Antoinette Thomas, Haylee Trembath and Anabel Wilson.
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
Avonlea Mcgeady Demaid
Maths Tutoring Timetable
Be sure to take advantage of our free Mathematics tutoring, staffed by our expert teachers. This is available to all students at no cost and bookings are not required.
Year 7-12 Maths Tutoring Roster 2020
(8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.)
Week B Rm 10
(3:05 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)
Science Tutoring Timetable
Be sure to take advantage of our free Science tutoring, staffed by our expert teachers. This is available to all students at no cost and bookings are not required.
Year 7-12 Science Tutoring Roster 2020
Narwari Mission Week
This week Xavier is running Narwari Mission Week, raising funds and awareness of the Catholic charity organisation Caritas. The week started with icy cups, face painting and a bake sale.
Congratulations to all our Xavier debating teams for their amazing efforts in Round 1 of the Apex Debating Competition held at Xavier Catholic College. The adjudicators were unanimous in their praise of the students’ research, organisation and team spirit. It’s certainly not easy to stand in front of an audience and speak yet this experience provides valuable skills and confidence which will remain with our debaters well beyond school. Topics included:
That we should all have a brother or sister
That NASA faked the 1969 moon landing and
That refugees should be returned to their country of origin.
Three of our seven teams won on the evening which is outstanding. It was also great to see many of our families there to offer their encouragement and support. A special thank you to our team of committed teachers coaching this year as well as past student Sara Faraj and current student, Sarah Garty who assisted with coaching our newest ‘Cubs’ debating teams.
World of Prayer
On the 6th of March, the World Day of Prayer was celebrated at the Hervey Bay Parish which was focused on the country of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has had many economic and political struggles throughout the whole era of the country’s existence. This land-locked country in Africa has had most of their mining and exporting industries forced to shut down due to political upheaval. The people’s health is considered on average, one of the worst in the world. For example, more than 1.4 million people in the country are living with AIDS. In addition, many families cannot afford the fees for school. Instead, they have been forced to spend their salaries for the basic necessities we take for granted. The Australia-wide project for this year is called: Empowering Mothers of Children with a Disability. The Bible Society of Zimbabwe will work with local partners to assist mothers and their children who have a disability. Zimbabwe is a country standing strong on their Christian beliefs, praying that change will come, hoping a light will shine towards them from the people of the world. And that light came. All around the world, people in over 150 countries came together to pray for the Zimbabweans who need our prayers the most. The motto of this day was: Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action. Let’s be informed, pray and act today and in the days ahead on behalf of Zimbabwe and Australia.
Healthy Eating in Food Tech
Year 7 Food Tech students cooked an assortment of healthy burger and wrap options. The planning and preparation was to demonstrate their understanding of nutrition, and the best part, they get to eat it at the end.
History Student Museum
Year 8 students have been researching about the Black Plague and this week presented a Medieval Museum of their findings. Students created dioramas, period specific costume pieces, traditional naturopath remedies and informative posters. Well done Year 8 students.
Run for Home
On Friday 13th March, 191 people from the Xavier community (students, staff and parents) participated in Xavier’s first ever Colour Run in support of youth homelessness in Hervey Bay. Participants were able to see first-hand the significant number of donations that the Xavier community has made to this cause over the last fortnight. Well over 100 hygiene packs and 18 laundry baskets filled to the brim with non-perishable food items were on display. These donated resources were accepted by members of the Hervey Bay Red Cross who are in a position to distribute these either directly to youth in need or through other service providers in Hervey Bay and Maryborough. The Colour Run itself was completed over a fun obstacle course with staff, parents and Red Cross employees throwing handfuls of coloured powder at the white t-shirts of running participants. The positive vibe of the afternoon is a great reminder of the empathy, compassion and sense of giving that the Xavier community possesses. The Year 12 Health Class would like to thank all members of the Xavier community who were able to support their campaign.
Xavier Cross Country
The P-12 Xavier Cross-Country was scheduled for Friday 3rd April. This has been postponed and alternative ways of managing a run in a modified environment are being considered for Term 2 or 3.