From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
This week we entered the first stage towards a full resumption of business with the return of our Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 students. If all goes well, Monday 25th May will see all students back on campus. Health and hygiene remains a top priority which means that our classrooms are getting a deeper clean each day, we won’t be having assemblies, apart from virtual assemblies, until we get the green light from the health authorities and certain activities, particularly relating to sport will be put on hold.
Again, I thank you for your support, patience and understanding throughout this challenging time. I am also conscious that so many families have been financially affected, including losing jobs and shutting down businesses. This is a time that calls for our values as a Catholic community to shine. No child will ever be refused entry because of a family’s inability to pay fees as a result of their circumstances. If you have taken a hit, please contact our College Finance Department by phone or email and they will walk you through the process.
Brisbane Catholic Education have asked all schools to provide a 10% reduction in fees for Term 2 and our Finance Team are working through these calculations. As a separate matter, we are also recalculating levies in order to provide a credit to accounts for events that were cancelled. This is a very complex process and will take some time. However, please be assured that we are working diligently on this task as well. Our aim is to complete both these tasks by the end of this Term.
Recently, the famous educational theorist, Andy Hargreaves, put together a set of 17 questions that schools should reflect upon as a result of this disruption. One question jumped out at me: ‘From this experience, what have you learned that you would you not want to throw away?’
It is a great question. For all the disruption, in the hurly burly of getting this up and running, there have been some positives and things that we have learned. This came through in the Parent and Student Surveys that I asked you to complete at the end of week one. The reason for the timing was to gauge what was going well and what required an immediate course correction. We did our best to respond to the challenges that emerged. But, on the positive side, it did shine a light on things that we do not normally do but were appreciated by parents and students.
Between this feedback and my own reflections, there was one thing that clearly stood out. Parents appreciated the increased level of communication. Yes, we have to learn to do it better so people are not bombarded with an avalanche of emails. But, by the same token, it brought parents inside the virtual classroom and helped them understand what the learning intentions and the success criteria for each class was set out to be.
Also coming through the survey was an increased respect for the teaching profession. Teachers are not perfect by any means, but they have training and a skill set that is unique. I know quite a few parents had a look over their children’s shoulders and were quite surprised by the knowledge, demeanour and skills of our teaching staff.
If there is one thing I hope we learn from this experience and that we do not lose is the communication with parents as to what their children are learning and what tasks need to be completed. It does not have to be as detailed as it has over these past few weeks, but a weekly or fortnightly short rundown of what is coming up would seem to be one thing that would be appreciated by all parents.
If there are other things that you hope we maintain please let me know.
There is a second topic I wish to cover this week and this relates to special and commemorative days and weeks.
Throughout the year there are many days which are designated to bring awareness to a particular cause. Some are profound in their importance and some are strange and somewhat comical.
For example, yesterday in the United Kingdom was their National Limerick Day. I am not sure why Limericks get their own day, but it did bring back memories of my Primary School days. I recalled such pearls as:
There was an old man named Bill
Who swallowed a nuclear pill
The doctor said cough
And that darn thing went off
And they found his head in Brazil
There once was a farmer from Leeds,
Who swallowed a packet of seeds.
It soon came to pass,
He was covered with grass,
But has all the tomatoes he needs.
There once was a young man from Nantucket,
Who kept all his cash in a bucket….
I think I forgot how that one ends….
Of course, believe it or not, we are also in International Donkey Week.
This is just as bizarre as Limerick Day, but, after my recent Donkey Leadership Story that I recorded for our virtual assemblies, I hope you keep a thought out for all Donkeys and Jackasses like me. We stay calm, face challenges with steady determination, protect the weak, listen to the quiet voices and keep lifting those heavy loads. And of course, I am still signing up members into my extremely classy ‘Donkey Leaders Club.’
But what I wanted to focus on today is the World Health Organisation’s International Nurses Day, which was held yesterday, Tuesday, 12th May.
At this time, all around the world, nurses are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
It is one of the toughest jobs in the world. It generally means doing long and varying shifts, being the subject of angry abuse particularly in Accident and Emergency and they are not paid a great deal for the incredible and selfless work they perform.
Facing all that, it is no wonder 1 in 5 Registered Nurses drop out of the profession in their first year. Too many people treat them as unimportant and second class.
Nothing could be further from the truth. They are heroes who work with care, empathy and attentiveness in the most difficult circumstances. They tend to the sick with diligence, compassion and determination. They bring comfort, love and peace to the dying.
We have to turn this around and give them the respect that they truly deserve.
At this very moment they are on the frontline around the world and risking their lives to save lives. Over 260 nurses from around the world have already died as a result of contracting COVID-19.
When we complain about social distancing or not being able to go to a restaurant or staying at home during this crisis, think of the nurses who head into work each day in hospitals around the world knowing that they are risking their lives to help others. All most of us have to do is sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix. They have to put their health and their lives on the line.
I encourage you to do something to say thank you. It could be a simple gesture like sending a thank you card to a hospital. Let them know you appreciate them and that you do really care for these unsung heroes.
The following ‘Nurses Prayer’ gives a beautiful insight into the challenges they face each day:
Dear Lord, please give me strength, To face the day ahead. Dear Lord, please give me courage, As I approach each hurting bed. Dear Lord, please give me wisdom With every word I speak. Dear Lord, please give me patience, As I comfort the sick and weak. Dear Lord, Please give me assurance, As the day slips into night. That I have done the best I can, That I have done what’s right.
May God be with every nurse and provide them the strength to keep going, in spite of the struggles they will face in the days and weeks ahead.
Simon Dash, Principal.
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
Return of Prep & Year 1
On Monday the College welcomed the return of our Prep and Year One students. The Kindy also welcomed many of their students as restrictions were lifted for students in these age groups. It was wonderful to seem many bright and happy faces returning to the College. We look forward to hopefully welcoming back our Year 2 – 6 students who are scheduled to return on Monday 25th May. A very big thankyou to all parents for your support of the College and the restrictions we have had to put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also appreciate the understanding shown by parents reading the adaption to our normal routine that have been required. I look forward to catching up with all parents in the coming weeks.
We have many students still learning at home and I just wanted to congratulate all of these students on their amazing efforts over the past 4 weeks. It has been wonderful to hear so many of the success stories that are occurring online and to know that you are reaching out to your teachers when you are finding the work difficult. I have included some photos below of students working at their learning stations at home. Keep up the great work everyone.
We held our very first Virtual Assemblies last week and I am pleased to report that other than the a few operator errors (good one Mr Davey) these events went very well. It was wonderful to hear about the learning that has been happening at home and to see many familiar faces. My thanks to Mrs Love, the P-6 staff and the many parents who assisted to ensure each Assembly was a success. We will once again hold short virtual assemblies this week. P-3 will be at 9.05 am on Wednesday 13th May and Yr 4-6 will be at 9.05 am on Thursday 14th May. Access is via Teams on the P-3 Assembly and Yr 4-6 Assembly sites.
Uniform Guidelines - Hair
As school returns to some level of normality I would ask that all parents be mindful of our uniform expectations and the guidelines relating to hair. Following a prolonged absence from school we have and many students returning with hair that does not meet the guidelines set by the College board. Obviously, we want all our returning students to have a positive start following COVID-19 and we ask parents for their support in this area. The uniform guidelines are located at the front of each student’s planner.
Enrolments Prep 2021
Despite the impact of COVID-19 the 2020 year moves on and we are fast moving into our peak enrolment period. I would advise any of our current parents to proceed with their online enrolment if they have a student intending to enter our 2021 Prep cohort. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you any questions you may have regarding Prep in 2021 and would also advise that parents can contact the College at any time should they require support with their application.
From the Head of School – Secondary: Ms Tameika Grist
School is always a partnership, one where parents, teachers and students work together to bring about the best learning outcomes possible for the student.
In Secondary School, as students become more independent, we can often think the role of the parent isn’t as obvious as it might have been in the Primary years. While that is true to some degree, research still supports the notion, that one of the biggest influences on student learning are the parents. Your involvement, support, interest and connection with your child over their learning, is extremely valuable and plays a vital part in their achievement.
Yesterday we welcomed back our Year 11 and 12 and also some more of their siblings to the Secondary School. From all accounts, from our Year 11 and 12 students and their teachers, it was great to be back to classes in person, it is starting to feel more like our ‘normal’; we are all looking forward to when the remainder of our Secondary students return, and all classes resume in this manner. Regardless of when your son or daughter reattend school in person, please know that your input, interest and connection to their learning makes a positive difference; and we look forward to continuing to strengthen this partnership.
Will you take a quick minute to leave us a review?
It is incredibly heartening to have some of our students and families returning to our Xavier campus. We would firstly like to personally thank you for assisting our teachers in recent months to deliver content and maintain or high education standards. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve such highly successful outcomes for our students. Another clear positive to come from the experience, and one that we hope to build upon further, are the strong relationships and bonds that have been fostered between teachers at school and you at home. We greatly value and acknowledge the impact you have on learning and would like you to always feel welcome in our classrooms, to witness the growth your child makes, whether they are in Prep, Middle-School or their Senior years of schooling. We trust that if you are ever uncertain about an aspect of your child’s learning that you reach out to us through Pastoral Care, Teachers, House Deans or Heads of School.
The second reason I write to you is to ask for a favour. The way you speak about us with your friends, family and in the wider community caries great weight and lifts us up even higher as a community. Our staff thrive from the positive feedback you give verbally on a day to day basis. Online reviews from our Xavier family can also help others feel confident about choosing, Xavier, and will really help us to grow our school. Could you please take 60 seconds to leave us a review on either our Facebook or Google+. The direct links are below. We would really appreciate it and thank you in advance for helping us out.
We are also seeking parents, alumni and students to feature as testimonials on our college website. If you are willing to make validate us in this way please make contact with our Matthew Ninnes firstname.lastname@example.org who manages our college promotions.
Primary School - 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 recipients 29th April
Award recipients 6th May
Tori Stowers, Cooper Small
Fraser Muir, Harry Carpenter
Callum Haidley, Zave Roberts
Charlotte Hodder, Charlee Lowe
Zane Stowers, Toby Ridgley
NCCD - Nationally Consistent Collection of Data – School Students with Disability
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a process that all schools must do every year. It counts the number of students who receive extra adjustments or ‘help’ at school because of a disability, as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).
To count a student in the NCCD, schools must think through some key questions:
Is the student getting help at school so that they can take part in education on the same basis as other students?
Is the help given because of a disability? The word ‘disability’ comes from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and it can include many students.
Has the school talked to you or your child about the help that they provide?
Has the school kept records about the help they provide, the student needs and the reasons that the student needs this help? The school will need to keep copies of tests, student work, assessments, records of meetings, medical reports or other paperwork and information about how the student’s learning is moving along over time.
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on school students with a disability (NCCD) provides all Australian schools, education authorities and the community with a clear picture of the number of students receiving adjustments because of disability (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992) in schools, and the adjustments they are provided which enable them to access the curriculum and participate in education on the same basis as other students.
The Australian Education Regulation 2013, requires that all schools provide information to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training for the purposes of NCCD.
The information that schools must provide to the Department includes, in relation to each student with a disability at a school:
The student’s level of education (ie. primary or secondary)
The student’s category of disability, aligned with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (ie. physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional)
The student’s level of adjustment (ie. support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary, substantial or extensive adjustments)
Please note, any information collected, will not identify any individual student, in any way.
For further information regarding the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for students with a disability, please visit: https://www.nccd.edu.au/sites/default/files/fact%20sheet%20for%20parents%20guardians%20and%20carers.pdf
If you have any questions regarding NCCD, please contact:
Dean of Inclusive Education – Xavier Catholic College
Catholic Charities – Jesuit Social Services (JSS) & Jesuit Refugee Services
Our world is currently in the grip of a global disruption, COVID-19. It is very difficult for many to think beyond the needs of our own families and communities as we come to grips with loss of income, social restrictions and other impacts that may appear to make our world seem unfair, disadvantaged and at times inconvenient. However, now at this great time of need, more than ever we ask you to look beyond the world directly in front of you. Traditionally, Term 2 at Xavier Catholic College is when we raise much needed funds and awareness for two Australian Jesuit charities, Jesuit Social Services (JSS) and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Both of these organisations continue to work with those who are marginalised in our society. Now with the extreme consequences of COVID 19, their commitment and support to the Australian community more than ever needs our financial support and prayers. Both social services are seeing devastating effects in the community on a daily basis. People are facing destitution, limbo and homelessness.
At this time many of our students and families are not here on campus and are working from home so we would like to encourage you to help support our two charities through prayer or financial assistance. In light of this, I offer you a challenge inspired by the British war veteran, Captain Tom Moore. Captain Moore, who turned 100 on the last day of April, gave himself a challenge to walk as many laps of his home as possible to help raise much needed funds for the National Health Service. Tom was spending much of his day self-isolating with his daughter and decided that he would like to do something to help others. So like Captain Moore, we here at Xavier would like to do something for our Dirum house charities. To keep up your physical fitness you may like to challenge yourself to complete a particular number of laps of your family home, or make sure you include a daily exercise as you walk with others in need. Donations are tax deductable and can be made directly via their website. Remember to send in your pictures of how you are taking up the challenge of exercise and fitness for others and we can place them on our facebook page so that others may be Inspired to join and make a difference in the lives of others.
I can’t wait to see you moving for justice….
Thank you for your consideration towards being able to help others at this difficult time. God bless.
Laudato Si’ Week 2020
On the 24th of May 2015, Pope Francis wrote a letter to all of us about “Caring for our Common Home”, Laudato Si’. This letter teachers us that nothing in the world is indifferent to us, that “everything is connected.” During this extraordinary moment, Catholics everywhere are uniting to reflect, pray, and prepare for a better future together as we celebrate Laudato Si week from the 16th May – 24th May 2020. Pope Francis wrote that “interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan” (Laudato Si, 164). Laudato Si’ Week honours the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home. The theme of the week is “everything is connected.” This week launches a year-long journey of transformation, as we grow through the crisis of the current moment by praying, reflecting, and preparing together for a better world to come tomorrow.
During this week we encourage you to visit the website to find out ways that you can participate in events, learn more about the ways you can live more simply and for moments of prayer and reflection. https://laudatosiweek.org/activities/
Another way you may like to celebrate this week is by watching a recent episode of Compass on ABC IVEW ““Material Gain” https://iview.abc.net.au/show/compass. It is a very interesting look at recycling in the fashion world and the collaboration of op shops.
You are invited to also join us in prayer for a better world by praying the prayer below. You may like to pray this prayer each day as a family during this week, as well as adding this prayer to your collection of family prayers. Also, to bring solidarity to our world in a shared moment of prayer all are invited to join us for a global prayer at noon our local time on Sunday the 24th of May by praying this prayer as a community. Catholics from all across the globe will be united in spirit because “everything is connected.”
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.
Online Arts Lessons with Mrs Jensen
I have been so impressed with the videos, photos and emails that I have been receiving over the past three weeks from students completing their online lessons for ‘The Arts’. Every grade has a different focus in keeping with their usual Arts work and it has been wonderful to see so many parents and students getting involved in the lessons!
Thank you for supporting your children to complete their lessons for ‘The Arts’. It has been inspiring as a teacher to see the level of engagement and it is also evidence that ‘The Arts’ are a vital and much loved part of primary education!
Senior Design Sketches
Pictured is a sample of the Senior Design Studies students perspective sketches completed while in isolation.
Primary School Lunchtime challenge
Last week was the first week of our lunchtime challenges. The theme was footy and fun was had by all.
Tuesday - Prep and Year 1 students played footy toss, bean bag toss, parachute and catching a highball.
Wednesday - Year 2 and 3 played footy toss, bean bag tic tac toe and obstacle course ending in catching a highball.
Friday - Year 4, 5 and 6 played footy toss, kicking and catching bombs.
Next week the theme is basketball.
The COVID-19 restrictions have obviously had a significant impact on school sports participation thus far in 2020. A Hervey Bay District School Sport meeting is happening this Thursday where some information may be communicated with regards to potential representative sport pathways resuming or re-starting. There is nothing official at this stage.
We have had many students who were able to gain selection into representative teams prior to COVID-19 restrictions coming into effect, despite most of these state titles being cancelled. Congratulations to all students who were selected into representative teams earlier in the year. In addition, to those students where the Cluster 3 Trials for their preferred sport (hockey and touch football) have been postponed or possibly cancelled, keep your heads up and spirits high.
Wide Bay ISO Cross-Country Challenge
Wide Bay School Sport has started a competition for all students (and staff) in Wide Bay who are learning from home. During Week 4 or 5, students can complete a run and record their time using a smart watch or app. Students can then nominate their time by uploading their result to the Wide Bay School Sport website.
There are certificates for winners in age groups as well as for schools with the most participants. All Year 7-10 HPE students should try this as one of their fitness sessions they are required to complete each week.
All the details have been emailed to students including nomination form and how to nominate as well as instructions and guidelines for your run.
This is an optional activity but all students (and staff) who love to run are encouraged to time yourself over your set distance and nominate your time. We have so many great runners at Xavier and many other athletes who can run very well if they give it a shot.