From the Pen of the Principal
Reflection on Catholic Education
Last week we celebrated Catholic Education Week with a Prep to Year 12 Mass forming the centrepiece of our celebrations. It did lead me to reflect on the key question 'What defines a Catholic School? Catholic schools have grappled with this question in recent years in their ongoing struggle to ensure they remain relevant to the needs of the modern world as well as being faithful to the Gospel. The world has changed along with the church. No longer are Catholic schools the bastions of the church-going faithful. Mass attendance no longer defines the population, be it within the school or the local community. In fact a large percentage of the population of a typical catholic school is not even catholic. What does our faith mean in such a context?
Some despair at the current situation. The glory days of the past have gone and there are those who long for a return to the halcyon days of yesteryear. For me, I am a pragmatist. Our current situation is the one we must deal with. Looking back does not always take us forward, so the situation requires new responses and approaches.
In fact our current situation may be a blessing in disguise. It may call us to question the tribalism of the past, the tendency to confuse the culture of Catholicism with the faith that underpins it. Today we must face the tougher question: what is at the core of our faith? Facing these with a sense of hope may even call us to discover new answers. So then, what defines a Catholic School?
Most people are familiar with the Government's 'My School Website' which has become a vehicle for unhealthy and valueless competition. However, if we were to create a 'My Catholic School Website' the measures would be very different and include:
A place where the gospel comes to life every day
A place where justice is not only preached but practiced
A place where positive relationships are valued among students, staff and parents
A place where we value not just excellence in education but excellence in spirituality
A place where each member is valued and respected
A place where the gifts of least and the most are valued equally
A place where reaching out to the poor and marginalised is essential to our existence
Catholic Education is built upon formation in faith with a mission to strive to liberate the full potential of every child. Grounded in sound morals, our graduates become value-driven participants and leaders in our society as well as responsible stewards of our planet. In doing so, they become agents of the 'good news' that Jesus' brings.
Over the years I have discovered many important lessons about Catholic communities. I think back to when my wife was called away to be by her dying mother's bedside, leaving me with 4 young children and a school to run. On the Friday while my wife was away, I was unable to organize childcare for Joanna, our 'possibly possessed' three year old (she has grown out of it now – I think). With a full schedule at work I decided that Joanna would just have to come with me. Joanna was energetic, powerful and loud. At three years of age, she moved in a similar whirlwind style to that of the Tasmanian Devil out of the Bugs Bunny cartoons. I had some important meetings, and, being a perfectionist, was struggling with the situation to the point where my eyeballs were aching (chaos is not good for a perfectionist). That's when the cavalry arrived. Staff around me came to the rescue. Joanna had more babysitters in one day, than in her short lifetime. Suddenly we were no longer colleagues at work; we were a family coping with an unusual situation.
At the end of that year my mother had a stroke and went downhill quickly. Our family rushed to be by her bedside. We were due to relocate house on campus over that Christmas break, but my mother's passing obviously took precedence. When we returned, the boarding staff had got together and completely relocated out furniture to our new residence on the second story of the foundation building. It was an act of generosity and kindness we will never forget.
Equally stunning was the generosity of people who supported my family after the Hogan fire at the end of 2008 that claimed our family home within the historic foundation building at St Brendan's College. We walked away with nothing but the clothes we were wearing. Once again, it was a profound experience of family that is etched into my memory forever. On that occasion the 'family' I refer to was incredibly broad as help, support and prayers rolled in from all over the place. I guess it is when times are tough that you discover the “heart" of the Catholic community.
Now, when I ask the question “What defines a Catholic School?" I think back to these days. It was wonderful to discover that, in the middle of performing a busy job, people treated me as a human being, and friend, rather than as a “boss". When the chips were down, the extended Catholic family was there.
Our God is found hidden in the midst of ordinary life. God speaks to us through everyday experiences. God was there when my family was doing it tough. God was there in those wonderful and generous people. Let's face it, the Spirit is just as busy as the Spirit has ever been in our world. If the church is doing it tough, it is not because God's spirit is any less active. It could be that we fail to recognise it as much.
So, what defines a Catholic School? While hard to describe, I see the evidence every day. I see it when staff, students and parents make God real through their compassion and generosity. I feel it when people express a commitment to each other that makes God real in this world. I know it is alive and well when 'average battlers' become the channels of God's presence through their words and actions.
That is what being a Catholic School means to me. My thanks to you, my fellow travellers for being the angels of God's grace – whether you realise it or not.
From the Head of School – Primary: Mr Russell Davey
As we celebrate Kondari Mission week and recognise the work of Mary McKillop I wanted to share with you a short reflection. In this time when there are many negative elements impacting on our day to day it is important that we take the time to recognise the challenges that inspirational figures in our nations past have faced and how a positive attitude has won the day and seen great things happen.
Mary Mackillop's did not have the resources which are so readily available to us today, she placed great faith and trust in God's Providence. She dedicated herself to promoting a sense of Christian community in all aspects of life and brought a sense of God's presence to all those she encountered. Mary belonged to many communities in her life—as a member of the MacKillop family, as a Catholic, as a Sister of St Joseph, and as an Australian. As young adults, we each walk a different journey, but what unites us is the common foundation of searching for what we really desire in life so that we can bring life to others. Mary's example leaves us asking ourselves questions such as: How do we relate to our own family, friends, colleagues, and those we meet? … How do we respond to others and bring out the positives in each of our communities?
Mary's spirit will continue to radiate in our midst if we allow ourselves to be like her, seeing the inherent goodness in all people and things, and encountering all situations with love. Her life provides a blueprint upon which to pattern our thoughts, our motivation for all our actions, and how we relate with life around us.
Mary dared to be different, and for this reason, she encourages each of us to take up the challenge!
In this time of challenge, I would ask you to remind your children that adversity and difficult times is part of life. What is important is that children have the resilience to face these challenges, to see the goodness in all situations and the strength of character to takes risks and be prepared to fail. As educators and parents, we have a responsibility to give our students/children the confidence to do so. My thanks to all parents for your ongoing support of our P-6 students and your continued support of the school. It really does make a difference!
Year 6 Retreat
Year 6 spent a day reflecting on what it means to be part of a Catholic school community with guest presenter Donna Power. There was a particular emphasis on what they can do to make a positive contribution to community both locally and globally. We look forward to seeing their work in action over the course of the next six months as they prepare for secondary school and new beginnings. My thanks to the Year 6 teaching team and Mrs Donnelly for organising and facilitating this wonderful day for our student leaders.
Parent Teacher Interviews
A reminder to all parents that Parent Teacher interviews will occur in P-6 during Week 5 and 6. All parents should have received an email with instructions on how to book an interview with their child's teacher on Parent Teacher Online. I would encourage all parents to teak advantage of this opportunity to discuss your child's learning with their classroom teacher. The partnership between school and home is a key factor in any child's learning and these interviews are invaluable towards ensuring each student is able to access the curriculum. Each session has been extended to 25 mins to allow for the impact of COIVID-19 and to give parents the opportunity to discuss each aspect of their child's learning in detail. Please contact the College if you require assistance to make a booking on Parent Teacher Online.
Semester One Student Reports
Reports for Semester One have now been completed and uploaded to the Parent Portal. All parents can access using the instructions provided to them in the email sent to all parents with instructions on how to access and details of the learning which has occurred in each year level. Please do not hesitate to contact the College should you require further assistance.
A reminder to all parent to download the most recent version of QKR and update the class details for their child. This will ensure all ordered items are sent o the correct location and will hopefully prevent any technical issues.
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
From the Head of School – Secondary: Ms Tameika Grist
I must admit as a newcomer to the community, the House 'Mission Week' focus, has been one of my favourite weeks of each Term so far. This week we are in the midst of our Kondari Mission Week celebrations.
The spirit of fun, generosity and community spirit abounded with activities in both the Junior and Secondary Schools during the lunch breaks. Highlights have included wearing read for a gold coin donation, bracelet making, hockey goals, and my favourite so far this week, was karaoke. What talented and supportive students we have, willing to have a go and make each other smile for the day. It was a lovely way to spend first break. On top of the activities, hamper collections and awareness raising for the needy, the Kondari students led a beautiful P-12 Prayer Service/Assembly sharing some of the many things we can learn and emulate from Mary Mackillop. Thank you to all families for your support with the donations, and for the teachers and students in showing great leadership and commitment to the School Community by running these events.
Increasing Awareness around COVID - 19 again
As the State is on heightened awareness with keeping COVID -19 at bay, we are remaining vigilant with our extra precautions and reminders for maintaining good hygiene practices.
Whilst the relaxing of some restrictions has allowed some activities to resume, we are receiving regular updates from BCE in alignment with Queensland Health. We do have some events coming up that can still go ahead for the students, however at this stage, we will be required to make some adjustments to previous years' experience for our guests. This will include end of Year Celebration Events and the Year 12 Formal. We are still too far away to make some decisions; this is really an advanced notice and we will keep you as informed as possible.
Year 11s 2021
For parents of current Year 10s, please set aside Tuesday 18th August 7.00 pm, for a Parent information evening.
This evening will cover subject choices, Senior Education and Training Plan (SETP), ATAR, QTAC and important information regarding Senior Secondary years.
Further details will be emailed directly to parents.
We have finally completed the process of selecting our Student Leaders for 2020 – 2021.
The selection process was a long, detailed and carefully discerned one. Along the way the following contributed to the selection process:
An initial Nomination Form signed by parents
A survey of Year 11 students and School Staff which rated each candidate on their personal qualities and leadership abilities
An initial shortlisting based on these factors
A longer Nomination Form from all Shortlisted Applicants
Interviews for the positions of Captains and Vice-Captains
The discernment and selection of our Captains and Vice-Captains
Interviews for House Leader and Ministry Leader Positions
The discernment and selection of House Leaders and Ministry Leaders
Thus, it is my great pleasure to announce the final list of new School Leaders:
College Captains: Ethan Drury & Georgia McGovern
College Vice-Captains: Jazmyn Hanily & Sarah Garty
Ministry Leaders - Arts & Culture: Abbey Clayton & Poppy McIvor
Ministry Leaders - Justice & Action: Ella Hare & Lawson Proctor
Ministry Leaders - Praise & Worship: Emily-Jane Hill & Kellymae Mee
Ministry Leaders - College Life: Libby Muir & Lily Moses
House Leaders – Buthu: Jorja Hore & Tamsyn Mewha
House Leaders – Dirum: Dylan Bennett & Lucy Railz
House Leaders – Kondari: Lakeyta Feste & Sara Marxson
House Leaders – Narwari: Calista Esposito & Seairra Scott
I congratulate all these fine young people on their selection and feel confident that they will lead our Student Body with enthusiasm and commitment.
I also wish to congratulate all students who nominated for Leadership positions. All equipped themselves extremely well and should be proud of their efforts. Remember, you don't need a badge to be a leader and I hope they will be great contributors to an excellent Senior Class.
I offer you all my blessings and my commitment to support you wholeheartedly as you strive to make Xavier Catholic College an even greater school.
Academy Photography has informed us that Student Leader photographs are now available for purchase online. To order visit ios.academyphoto.com.au and enter the shoot key.
School Captains & Leaders – R4US4W8D
Download the BCE Connect App today
BCE Connect provides a platform to securely access school information, making it easier to keep track of all things school related.
All Brisbane Catholic Education schools are available in BCE Connect and the app integrates with the school’s Parent Portal. The app is Free from Google play or App Store.
Log in to BCE Connect using your Parent Portal login credentials and “favourite” your chosen schools to receive notifications direct from the school (including emergency announcements – such as school closures).
What is new?
A great way to notify the school of a student absence.
Click on My Details to update your address or contact details.
Click on School Shops to find information about the Tuckshop, Uniform Shop or Stationery Lists.
Click on School Payments to make a School Fee payment. You will require your BPAY Customer Reference Number from your Family Statement.
Click on School TV – a new online resource designed to empower parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies.
Kondari Mission Week
The students of Xavier have enjoyed a great week celebrating KONDARI MISSION WEEK. A variety of activities have been held within the Primary and Secondary, with the emphasis of students coming together and having fun. There has been bracelet making, footy passing, carnival games, street hockey, karaoke, skipping, egg throwing, ball games, donut eating, the Mary McRun Relay and wearing red! Students have been inspired by the words of St Mary MacKillop and had the opportunity to think about how they can put them into action.
As in previous years, we are gathering food items for St Vincent de Paul hampers. These hampers make a huge difference in the lives of many people within the Fraser Coast. On Saturday we celebrate the Feast Day of St Mary MacKillop, the patron saint of Kondari House. Thank you to the Xavier students who have shown their tremendous support during the week!
Year 1 – Dioramas
Students in Year One have been exploring the features of our wonderful world this term. After exploring collages in Jeannie Baker's storybooks, the students were excited to be creating their own view from a window. They used techniques such as flange and L-brace attachments learnt in Technology, and included constructed, natural and managed landscape features that were studied in HASS. We got through the mess of our creativity and have produced artwork that we are all so proud of.
What our staff, parents and students think about our school matters. From Monday 17 August to Monday 31 August, we will engage with our community of staff, parents, and students through the Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Listens Survey.
Survey findings will be used to inform our school's future work and improvement journey, as well as the direction of Brisbane Catholic Education.
What you need to know
To ensure privacy and confidentiality are maintained, an independent survey provider — Australian Survey Research — will conduct the surveys on behalf of our school and Brisbane Catholic Education.
Parents who complete the survey will not be identified when the results are later provided to the school. The school will only receive information based on the collective answers of all parents who participated in the survey.
It is important to note that school leaders and teachers will be able access individual student survey results. Student's survey data will be linked to their learning data to improve the understanding of their educational needs. Only students in year 4 through to 12 will be surveyed, and they will complete the survey at school.
Please be assured that all survey responses are treated confidentially, and all data will be stored securely in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld). No identifying information will be published or released.
If you do not wish your child to complete the survey please fill in this short form before Friday 7 August 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact Karen Goffinet on 4197 1263 or email email@example.com
As partners in your child's education, what you think of our school matters. Thank you for supporting our school community with the BCE Listens survey.
Care and Concern Committee
Our Care and Concern committee is made up of parent volunteers which work closely with out Campus Minister, to help families in need. We have a food bank freezer with meals that have been made by parents for distributions to our families in need, as well as from time to time we are often given second hand uniforms, track pants, jackets, day uniforms and formal uniforms that we try to distribute to families who express need for assistance during financial hardship. If you know of someone who would benefit from a little love and compassion please encourage them make contact with Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister) or one of our parent contacts from the committee listed below. Remember if you need a little help, please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Donelly directly. All conversations are private and confidential.
House Parent Contacts
Narwari House Parents
Anna Anderson (Jack Anderson) firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Sinclair (Alex Sinclair) 41295730
Jo O'Neill (Kate O'Neil) 0422942289
Ellen Geldard (Lachlan & Matthew) 41286910/ 0400499508
Mary Arnold (Riley/Corey/Joey) 0418729967
Karen Grumley (Stewart) 41243034 / 0413306540.
Cassie Wilson (Max/Anabele Wilson/Imogen) 0409761207.
Malina Blakely ( Ryan Blakely) email@example.com (0478 410 180)
Rachael Trevillion (Luke/Sadie/Abbie Trevillion) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikita Falconer (Lilly & Mia Falconer) email@example.com (0432 265 632)
Buthu House Parents
Michelle Wiegmink (Reece Wiegmink) 41287941/0409890188
Deanna Wyvill (Amy Wyvill) 41282176
Karen Goffinet (Patrick 4128 7375) 0421 322 121.
Allison McGovern (Georgia McGovern) 0411 416 943
Shelly Hislop (Jordan/Lincoln Hislop) 0423 506 675.
Dirum House Parents
Rachel Loague (Oscar Loague) 0417792179
Melissa Lynch (Mya) firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Hatchett (Charli/Summer/Sam Wilson) 0438347153
Kellie Robinson (Alysha Robinson) 0448623963
Kondari House Parents
Michelle Begaud (Blake/Kyle Begaud) 0438242252
Carole Dewhurst (Patrick/Freya Golik) 41206240/0400793188
Alison Keal (Archie/Angus/Seth) 0466250799
Emma Ilka (Shayli) 0403599406
Carmel Donnelly: email@example.com 41971165 (W) 0448448488443 (M)
Maths Tutoring - Year 7-12 Semester 2
Before School8:00 - 8:30 am
First Break11:15 - 11:35 am
After School3:05 - 4:00pm
Mrs Ritter & Hourigan
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.
During the first two weeks of this term, our French students have been learning about the significance of Bastille Day, France's National Day, and the impact it had on the history of France. They were introduced to the major events leading up to the French Revolution and the key personalities who shaped the changes that took place, because of the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789.
To celebrate this occasion, our year 7 and 8 French students feasted on freshly baked croissants with lashings of jam and butter – a special treat, to mark a special day in the calendar of the French nation. Miam, miam!!!!
Lynette Pritchard – French Teacher
From the Guidance Councilor - Primary
Discipline is easy when children are easy
It can be downright tricky when children are difficult, have interesting personalities or who are at more difficult developmental stages. But it's with challenging kids that we need to get our discipline techniques right.
Here are ten common mistakes parents may make when trying to get cooperation from their children, keeping them safe or teaching them how to behave well.
Repeat yourself. If so, you are training kids to become parent-deaf. Kids learn more from respectful actions than your repeated words so talk once, twice at most, then DO something.
Shout to be heard. You are better off going below the noise baseline to get their attention rather than raising your voice.
Set limits too late. Set a limit a few weeks after new object or situation is introduced (e.g. kids get a new mobile phone, teen starts going out at night) and suddenly you are seen to be taking away a freedom. Set limits first then loosen them up later.
Set no limits. Boundaries, rules, expectations and standards teach kids what's expected. Boys love them. They also like to push against them so you need a firm backbone.
Fail to follow through. Talk! Threaten! Nag! No way! See No. 1 above.
Make consequences too harsh. 'You're grounded for a month Mr. 6 year old' is a tad harsh and will usually bring resentment not to mention confusion. Stick to the 3 R's of respectful, reasonable and related to the behaviour when setting consequences and you can't go too far wrong.
Apply consequences when you or they are angry. When anger is in the air kids will become mad at you.....if they listen at all. Calmness makes a huge difference to effectiveness at the point of discipline.
Mix discipline with counselling. Never mix the two as it sends mixed messages. If a child misbehaves manage that situation. If you suspect something negative is going on in their life, then deal with that at a separate time. Keep the two actions separate so they can both be effective.
Defer discipline to the school. This is taking the easy way out and teaches kids that you don't have real authority. Have the confidence to be the authority and take a lead.
One parent is always the bad guy. This gets wearing. Also it's hard to have fun when you are the tough cop all the time. If you are in a two parent situation take discipline in turns. If you are parenting solo bring grandparents into the act.
We've all made mistakes when disciplining kids. Tiredness, emotion and lack of skill can get in the way of effective discipline. But part of the evolution and growth of you as a parent involves eradicating some of your old ways, and replacing them with new, more effective, more sophisticated ways of managing yourself and your kids.
The first draw of the Wide Bay All Schools carnival scheduled for Saturday 22nd August has been released and communicated to students (please know this draw is subject to changes). Based on these times, the bus will depart Xavier at 6am and depart Bundaberg at approximately 5pm. A reminder that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, this is non-spectator event. We look forward to all 6 Xavier teams competing at this carnival.
As previously communicated, the Xavier Secondary athletics carnival will be held on Thursday 27th August (1/2 day) and Friday 28th August (full day). Due to the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines concerning school-based events such as these, this will be a non-spectator event. It is unknown at this stage whether a District athletics carnival will occur this year. QLD School Sport has already decided that there will not be a QLD titles for athletics this year and subsequently there will not be a Wide Bay athletics carnival either. Despite the lack of representative pathway for athletics in 2020, we are sincerely looking forward to Xavier's Athletics Day which always produces a fun-filled atmosphere that showcases Xavier's House and College spirit.
Olympic Change-Maker Award
A reminder to all Year 12 students who would like to be considered for the Olympic Change-Maker Award for 2020, nominations are due to Mr Milne by Friday 14th August. All details have been communicated though email.