Newsletter - Term 2, Week 8, 2023


From the Pen of the Principal 

Dear Parents and Carers​

We are committed to building a strong partnership between school and home to nurture all students into happy and healthy young adults.

As a way of promoting this aim over the next few weeks, I wish to share with you some professional readings that I have been sharing with staff. We are part of the Positive Schools Association which focuses on practices that promote a psychology of well-being within our community.

In the most recent book from Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Tina Payne Bryson – “The Power of Showing Up” the authors focus on the four S’s; Safe, Seen, Soothed and Secure. This is a really lovely book for parents and professionals alike. Dan and Tina provide four essential ingredients for being truly present with children and young people. We can help to nurture and shape positive mental health and well-being by seeing the child for who they are and being mindful of who they see when we show up for them during difficult moments. 

Over the next few weeks, I will deal with one S at a time. This week we begin with ‘Safe’.


The first step towards healthy and stable attachment is a sense of both being and feeling safe. Every child has a built-in survival instinct, learning about themselves and the world at large with the knowledge that they can seek comfort through a sensitive and responsive relationship with a caregiver. When safety is established, less time and energy are devoted to being vigilant for threats; therefore, the child has more coping resources for interacting with the environment in a positive and rewarding manner. 

Within school, physical safety can be created by making a learning environment structured and predictable. Routines become less anxiety-provoking when they are consistent and familiar. We can use visuals to communicate what is happening now and next, where to find specific resources and who to speak to when there is a problem. Some children may need a safe space which can be accessed with a key adult when they feel stressed or overwhelmed. Our choice of words can convey relational safety – “I’m here for you”; “You can rely on me”; “We’re going to get through this together”. When we can’t be physically close with a child, a transitional object can provide safety by representing the enduring relationship when separated from parents or from a trusted member of staff. 

Dan and Tina emphasise that we need to prevent ourselves from becoming perceived as a threat. Our own style of approach and communication needs to convey safety. We are less likely to instil panic or shame when we slow down our movements, make ourselves smaller, keep our distance when necessary and lower the pitch and tone of our voice. Let’s be mindful of rigid body posture or facial expressions which may be misconstrued as anger or disappointment. ​

When we get things wrong – and this is inevitable – it’s important that we are willing to apologise and take responsibility. We can say “I’m sorry I shouted at you the way I did. I know it must have been scary” or “I realise what you were trying to tell me. It must have been upsetting when you felt that I wasn’t listening.” Repairing ruptures enables the child to return to a sense of safety, as they learn that the relationship can weather moments of disconnection.
Blessings and Peace
Simon Dash

Acting Head of School – Primary 

As we move towards the final weeks of the term, I would like to give all parents some general reminders regarding upcoming events in the Primary Years.  One of the most important aspects of our College is community and this is always evident when we hold school events. If you are available, I would encourage you to join us for one or more of the events listed.

Please see information below and do not hesitate to contact the College should you require more details.

Wide Bay Readers Cup

On Tuesday 6th June we hosted many schools in our region as they competed for the title of Year 5 and 6 Wide Bay Readers Cup champions.  This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading and is also a fantastic opportunity for our Year 6 students to connect with their peers. I am very pleased to announce that one of our teams received 2nd place on the day by half a point with a final result of 63.5.  Congratulations to St Luke’s who won with 64 points and will now move on to the State Championships.  Our second team came 7th.  These are great results with over 150 students competing, so well done to our fabulous young representatives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Bebington who once again has worked tirelessly to ensure this event could go ahead. I would also like to recognise Miss Young for her efforts towards ensuring the students were prepared for the challenge.

Athletics Carnivals

We are entering the season for Athletics Carnivals.  All parents are encouraged to attend the Year 3-6 Carnival (Friday 23rd June).  More details will be provided closer to the date. It was great to see so many supporters at the K-2 Sports Carnival on Wednesday.

Prep Come and Try Day 2

Our second Prep Come and Try Day (Wednesday 14th June 9.00 am – 10.30 am) is quickly approaching. Following a very successful outdoor event, this session will focus on the classroom. Students will be provided with the opportunity to experience classroom activities and become familiar with the Prep environment. Please register your interest at the College or via our online events registration.

School Disco

Wednesday 21st June 
Prep to Year 2 from 4pm to 5pm
Years 3 to 6 from 5:30 to 7pm.
Food, drink and glow sticks will be available to purchase on the night.  

Kind regards,
Sarah Love​

Head of School – Secondary

100 Days of School

Our Year 12 students celebrated their last 100 days of school last week. I would like to thank Charlotte Davies on behalf of the Student Leadership Team for bringing this up as a ‘new’ celebration for our Year 12s. Charlotte has been incredibly proactive in initiatives of the Student Leadership Team and on behalf of her peers. At our ‘100 days of school’, students celebrated with cupcakes and balloons, listening to music, sharing lunch and enjoying the company of each other. These celebrations cannot occur without the support of our pastoral leaders, and I would like to thank especially Mr McQuaid, Ms Mills and Ms Glass who assisted with ordering of the cakes, picking them up and organising the balloons.

Our student leaders have also come up with a proposal to raise money for our Confraternity and QISSN teams. On Thursday, 22 June we will have a Thrift Shop Thursday where students from Years 7 – 12 will have the opportunity to wear free dress. Please note that our normal non-school uniform rules still apply. 

Student Pathways

Next week, our year 10 students will go off to either work experience or GECKO. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to explore their pathway for senior schooling. It is very important we continue to use the wording around pathway as this is different for every student. The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority has lots of information on their website about subjects and senior schooling. Senior secondary: Information for parents and families | Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Keal, Mrs Donnelly, and Ms Moloney for all their work getting our students ready to go to work experience. It is a wonderful chance to try an occupation to see if you are suited to this, and whether it is everything you want.  I would also like to thank Mr Relf for his work in the conversations that are currently occurring with our Year 10 students around their Senior Pathways. Parents, it would be lovely if you could discuss with your son/daughter about their strengths in subjects, their results and their aspirations. 

Year 12 - External assessment timetable

The QCAA has released the 2023 Year 12 External Assessment Timetable. This provides Year 12 students and parents with the dates and sessions for the external exams in Term 4.The timetable can be accessed using this link:

Kind regards,
Ursula Witham-Young​


Year 7 Transition Events

Applications and Interviews for Year 7-2024 are for new students from Star of the Sea and the State primary schools in Hervey Bay.  Current Year 6 Xavier Catholic College students are automatically enrolled for Year 7 next year.  No application or interview is required for current Year 6 students.

School Jackets

A number of school jackets have been handed in to lost property recently. If your child is missing a jacket, please ask them to come to Student Reception to see if any of the items are theirs. It is really imp​ortant that all school clothing is named correctly so any misplaced items can be returned to their owners as soon as possible.​

Under 8’s Day

A big thank you to our friends at Star of the Sea Catholic School for hosting us at Under 8’s Day this year. Students had a great time making new friends, playing together and trying lots of fun activities.  A big shoutout to staff and senior students for helping make the day such a great success. This year’s theme was ‘Play – You Me & Our Communities.’ You can view the full gallery on our Facebook page.

National Reconciliation Week

Xavier Catholic College hosted a number of National Reconciliation Week Events last week, including a morning tea for staff, a special assembly hosted by Dirum and other events and activities centred around reconciliation and the importance of equality and respect. Our Primary students created a Sea of Hearts outside the library, with each heart holding a special message of reconciliation and strength in community. You can find more National Reconciliation Week photos on our social media pages.

Dirum Mission Week

Well done to Dirum for putting on a successful Mission Week – helping raise funds and awareness for Jesuit Refugee Services and Jesuit Social Services. Activities included a disco for Primary Students, Minute to Win It competition for Seniors and the always popular Jersey Day. ​

Australian Mathematics Competition

The Australian Mathematics Competition will be held at the College in Term 3 on Thursday, 3 August during Lessons 1 and 2 for students from Years 3-12.  This year we will be completing the competition online and the cost is $8.00 to enter.  A link on Qkr! has been set up for both payment and permission slips. A letter will be given to students who have shown an interest in participating in the competition. If your child has missed out on a letter and wishes to participate, they can collect one from Student Reception. 

If you have any queries please email: (Yr 3-6) or (Yr 7-12).

Students that have achieved 133% or higher Growth Rate or 100% Accuracy will be recognised each fortnight. To achieve 133% Growth Rate students need to master 4 out of the 6 modules completed each cycle. 
Why is 133% Growth Rate important?

Students achieving this consistently shows more than a years’ worth of knowledge mastered. As students are filling in gaps in Year 6-8 this is ultimately the goal of Maths Pathway. Each newsletter will acknowledge the achievements per cycle and the last newsletter for the Term will acknowledge the whole Terms achievements. Congratulations to the students listed below!!

Circle of Silence

Did you know that there are over 3000 refugees in Queensland? Australia has a long history of helping people who have had to leave their home countries because of problems like war, persecution, and disasters. Those who seek refuge are called refugees. When refugees come to Australia, they face different challenges like not knowing the language and adjusting to a new culture. It is very important to help and include refugees in Australia. This can be done by having programs that help them learn the language and share their culture with others. It is also important to give refugees opportunities for education, jobs, and healthcare. The government, organizations, and local communities all need to work together to make sure refugees feel welcome and can make a positive contribution to their new home. 

This year like every other year, Xavier Catholic College is hosting the circle of silence for our secondary students which raises awareness for refugees who are currently being ignored and are waiting on temporary visas in our community here in Australia. This event is called the circle of silence which will take place on Wednesday 21st June in Week 10. If you are interested in raising awareness for refugees and acting as the voice of the unheard, please join us on the middle school basketball courts during second break. It would be great to see the whole secondary school present.  For our Primary students who wish to also take a stand, there is an opportunity to write messages of hope on Tuesday 20th June, International Refugee Day, at first break.  Please encourage your child to join us in making a difference and being women and men for others.


Arts and Culture


Xavier Catholic College students have been competing in various activities to celebrate HASS Week. Students in Year 7 and 8 took part in French Bingo on Monday and shared in pastries and croissants. A ‘rigged’ game of French Revolution Monopoly was also played on Tuesday.

A big thank you to the Year 7 students who contributed to the Ancient Egypt Museum which is currently open to all in the Language Centre.

More fun activities and prizes have been planned, including a whole Secondary School History Kahoot in Extended PC.

Thank you to the amazing Humanities and Languages team for all of your efforts.

Meanwhile, Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour and Division 5 Councillor Jade Wellings engaged with Year 6 Hass students recently. Cllr Seymour and Cllr Wellings spoke to the students about the different tiers of Government in Australia and the responsibilities of each. Students wrapped up the class with a Question-and-Answer Session about issues affecting Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast. 

Senior Art Excursion

Year 11 and 12 Visual Art students visited the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane recently. It was a long day and quite an adventure to trek our way to these galleries – a pinnacle of contemporary art and artists across our nation. 

Students began the day with an artist-led interactive workshop by Paula Dunlop. Students created experimental sculptures and 3D drawings using material offcuts from Dunlop’s studio, in combination with commonplace objects. The periodic introduction of new prompts, such as different materials or changing the conditions of the construction, will create elements of chance and surprise.

Their participation as audience allowed them to experience artworks from personal, contemporary and cultural contexts. They viewed a number of exhibitions including A Third Language, Creative Generation 2023, Gone Fishing, Looking Out, Looking In and North by North-West. The student exhibition was extremely insightful for our Senior Visual Art students in their upcoming assessment. 

They also attended the State Library of Queensland with a tour of the Meet the Artists exhibition currently on, foregrounding many contemporary Brisbane-based artists. 

Overall, our excursion highlighted how invaluable it is for students to see and experience artworks in situ allowing not only conceptual engagement but observation and consideration of technical skills, techniques and processes.

Art is made to be shown,
Mrs McArthur
Senior Visual Art Teacher

Art Competitions and Activities

White Shirt Design

Readers Cup

Xavier Catholic College hosted the annual Year 5-6 Wide Bay Readers Cup on Tuesday. Well done to all the students who took part. This year’s visiting author was Kathryn Apel. Kathryn played the all-important role of quiz master during the Readers Cup. She also met with Primary students in the library on Monday and discussed her books and poetry. It was encouraging to see the students take a real interest in Kathryn’s work, asking thought-provoking questions and engaging in group discussions.


K-2 Sports Carnival

Well done to our youngest students for taking part in the K-2 Sports Carnival on Wednesday. Students tested their skills in a number of different activities including running, jumping, throwing and rolling challenges. With the event focusing on fun and participation, it was great to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they moved between the different rotations. Thank you to all staff for helping put on another great event and a special thank you to parents and carers for coming to support the children. We have a ‘sneak peek’ from the morning up on our Facebook page.

QISSN: Netball fundraiser

Xavier Catholic College is sending two netball teams (Open Girls and Open Boys) to the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball (QISSN) carnival in Brisbane during the first week of the June school holidays. The teams have organised a raffle to help raise funds ahead of QISSN. By supporting the students, you stand the chance of winning a State of Origin jersey of your choice – valued at $160! The winner will be drawn on Thursday, 22 June 2023. Get your tickets now via Qkr!

Netball results

Xavier Catholic College took three teams to the Wide Bay North Vicki Wilson Netball Championship in Bundaberg this week. Students played some excellent netball against some quality opposition. Our Open Boys and Year 7-9 Girls teams both finished in third place and our Year 10-12 Girls made it through the day undefeated. They will now play the winner of the Wide Bay South Carnival for a place in the State Finals in August. Well done to all the players and coaches!



Well done to the Xavier Wolves players who represented the College at the Fraser Coast AFL Schools Cup recently. While the result didn’t go our way, it was great to see you getting involved on the field and wearing the Wolves jersey with pride! All the best to Urangan State High School in the next round of competition.

Rugby League

Xavier Wolves Open and Year 9/10 boys rugby league sides secured their places in the Wide Bay Finals of the NRL Trophy with wins in Bundaberg last night. The Opens showed they are putting it together at the right time in the lead up to Confro with a clinical 30-10 win over Bundaberg State High School.  The Year 9/10 boys had to dig deep and rally from a 6-22 deficit but finished strongly to run out 26-22 winners over Kepnock State High School. Both teams will now play in the Wide Bay Final of the NRL Trophy early in Term 3. Well done also to our Year 7/8 boys team who were courageous in their loss to Shalom College in a match where both teams were evenly matched. Congratulations to all players on their spirit and sportsmanship on and off the field.

Don’t Forget

You can also stay up-to-date with Xavier Catholic College by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you to all the parents and carers who have already joined our growing online community.

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You can read our previous newsletter by clicking this link.​