Newsletter - Term 4, Week 6, 2023

 


Dear Parents and Carers


On Monday evening we held our Information Night for the parents of students entering Year 7 next year. While a fair bit of proceedings dealt with ‘nuts and bolts’ issues, we began the night with a presentation about our vision, mission and values.

In outlining these, I spoke about the importance of understanding our ‘Why’ and how this underpins and informs the ‘What’ of life at the College. I shared the example of our teaching staff: they know the ‘who’ – the students in our care; they know the ‘what’ – to teach them and help them learn; but, most importantly, they know the ‘why’ – to help young people grow to maturity so that they can walk with purpose and make a contribution to the world. While a successful life is wonderful, a significant life is our highest calling.

We all can fall into the trap of focusing on the 'what' and forgetting or minimising the 'why.' I once chatted with a parent who was a mechanic. I asked what kind of mechanic. He responded, ‘I fix cars.’ With a disarming smile I said, ‘No. You enable people to get to the important places they need to be whether that is their work, picking up their kids or getting to a hospital.’ I wasn’t meaning to change the world, but this parent looked at me stunned and said, ‘I’ve never thought of it like that before – thank you.’

When you know your ‘why’ you will never hit the snooze button again.

It is somewhat reminiscent to the mop-wielding janitor at NASA who, when asked what he did, replied ‘I help build spaceships that can take people to the moon and back.’

In leading our teaching and non-teaching staff, my focus is always on the ‘why’ of what we do. We know the ‘who’ and we know the ‘what’, but that must be animated by a deep understanding of the ‘why’. 

To illustrate my point, I share with you the story of Dr Bill Thomas, a graduate of the Harvard Medical School, who did much to transform aged care. The changes he put in place were animated by two fundamental insights: 1) he identified the ‘plagues’ of aged care – boredom, loneliness and helplessness; and 2) he realised that they were making the clients fit the institution, rather than making the institution fit the clients.

By introducing fun, excitement, choice, and the stimulus of animals, a playground for local children and vegetable gardens, Dr Thomas saw the attitude of the clients change, along with the attitude of the carers. It is now a worldwide movement called the ‘Eden Way’.
They had found the ‘why’ of their work and it made a powerful difference. 

This approach has a deep heritage within our Christian tradition. For example, there is the Rule of Saint Benedict, founder of the Benedictine Order in the early 6th Century. The Rule governed the running of their Monasteries and centred on hospitality, especially for the poor. They knew the ‘who’ – all guests, with special attention to the poor and to pilgrims. They knew the ‘what’ – to be fully present to them, praying with them and feeding them. But, most importantly, they knew the ‘why’ which was captured by the Latin maxim ‘Hospes Venit, Christus Venit’ – ‘When the Guest Comes, Christ Comes’.

When we think of Xavier Catholic College from this perspective, the questions that emerged for our staff to reflect upon include:
  • What are the real human needs of our community?
  • What plagues our students, our staff, our parents?
  • Do we make our students fit the institution or do we make the institution fit our students? 
  • When we think of our students, are we thinking ‘When the Student Comes, Christ Comes?’
  • What kinds of practices, activities, and spaces contribute to a culture that forms people towards being present to others and living for others? 
  • What do we need to do to make the culture unequivocally embedded in the who and the why?

It is always good to take a look at the culture of a school and how it may need to change to better express our mission and how we can become more aligned to our core values that aminate our actions.

These are the critical questions that we all must consider if we are to continue to shape our community towards being more authentic, lifegiving and liberating for all.

Blessings and Peace,
Simon Dash
Principal



Acting Head of School – Primary: Sarah Love


We always talk about community being important to us, but what does it mean to be a part of a community?  I like to believe that community is a group of people that share common attitudes and interests, that have a sense of togetherness, identity and belonging.  At Xavier our community members are our students, teachers, parents, friends and extended family.  We all have the common goal for our students - to reach their potential and be the best versions of themselves. Students are the reason our teachers go above and beyond to create the best learning environment and outcomes and our parents support by attending our special events, carnivals, and assemblies on Wednesdaya.  But last week we saw the impact of our more experienced members of our community, our grandparents. 

On Friday, 27 October we held our Grandparents Day Liturgy and morning tea, an annual event that is always one of the most popular events on our school calendar with over 500 attending.  Teachers prepared displays and activities for the classroom visits and the Prep rooms even had a photo-wall to capture those special memories.  The mini singers had been practicing for weeks and their song was delightful.  Mrs. Laura Oliver prepared a special liturgy which highlighted what our grandparents mean to our students.  Finally, we had our team of helpers setting up the morning tea for all our wonderful guests.  It was a splendid morning, well received by all members of our community and the excitement of our students when they saw their grandparents and or extended family walk into their classrooms was priceless.  Thank you to all the staff that made this morning special for our grandparents and thank you to our grandparents for making the day special for our students. Find the full Grandparents Day gallery on our Facebook page.​

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(PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)



Head of School – Secondary: Ursula Witham-Young


Mobile phones and Smart watches changes for 2024 
As per the Queensland Government mandate, student mobile phones are not to be used at school from 2024. Students’ mobile phones are to be placed in their locker when the first bell rings at 8:40am for the duration of the school day. As a parent, if you need to contact your child, we ask you either email them or, if urgent, ring through to the office so a message can be relayed. No smart watches are to be worn to the College. 

It might be a great idea to organise bank debit cards for your son or daughter to prepare them for our upcoming changes. Students will still be able to use Qkr! and of course cash. 

Collaborative Planning Days 2024
In 2024 our Secondary Collaborative Planning days will be Friday, 26 April and Monday, 8 July. These days are student free and allow staff to plan for the upcoming semester units. No supervision is provided for students on these days. 

MOVEMBER
Our current Year 11 Student Leaders are raising money for Movember by growing their ‘Mo’ and having valuable conversations. Thank you to Jackson, Harry and Mya for bringing this to the College community’s attention. The Mo is calling. Movember is our time to discuss male mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. It is our aim that we will be raising money by spreading awareness and growing our own Mo’s. All students from year levels 7-11 and our male staff are encouraged to grow a Mo and donate to a massive cause. If students or staff would like to take part, they must donate a minimum of $5. This donation can come via Qkr! or your PC teach​ers – which you will receive an Email about later this week. The challenge is on. In 2003, there was a movement for men’s mental health, a movement that has since funded over 1300 men’s mental health projects around the world, which continues to challenge the status quo and shake up men’s mental health research by transforming the way health services reach and support men. By even improving the life of one male, the difference is enormous. Whether you are capable of growing a Mo or not, raising funds for men’s mental health is a positive cause and can be done in so many different ways, and it all starts with you. The Movember movement focuses on giving males the facts to change common behaviours for the better and to address the men’s mental health crisis on a global scale. We ask that you see the good in the Mo and help promote and support males not only just in our Xavier community, but on a much larger scale. The world loses a man to suicide every minute of every day. Men’s mental health is in crisis, let’s all do something about it. 


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(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)



News


School Uniforms
Formal school hats are back in stock at the uniform shop and are available to purchase. You can also make a booking for new school uniforms for next year using the information below.

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(IMAGE: ©️ wearitto, 2023)​


Maths Pathway Growth Rate and Accuracy Stars
Students who 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:

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Maths Tutoring Timetable

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Summer Camp
Summer Camp offers four unforgettable days away with your new best friends, filled with fun and getting closer to Jesus. Huge outdoor games, swimming, amazing rallies, dance parties and 300 new friends to make. Summer Camp is for those who will be in Grades 7-12 in 2024. Run by a team of experienced and emerging Catholic youth leaders who will accompany the young people through a journey where they discover more about themselves, more about Jesus and His hope for their lives. 

When:  Thursday, 11 January 2024 10.00 am- Sunday, 14 January 2024 1.00pm
Location: QCCC Mapleton, 70 Obi Obi Rd, Mapleton QLD 4560

To find out more please go to 
Summer Camp 2024 — Ignite Youth ​

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(IMAGE: ©️ ​​​Ignite Youth, 2023)​​



Cultural


Book Fair
The 2023 Scholastic Book Fair at Xavier Catholic College wraps up on Friday afternoon. New books and other exciting items will be available to purchase at the library until 3pm on 10 November. Book prices start at $5.

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(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)


Carols on the Green
Please join us for the Xavier Catholic College K-6 Carols on the Green. Bring a blanket/chair and picnic or buy dinner from the many food vans available. Food vans: Binney's Tornado Potatoes, Smokin' Pizza, Hot Baked Potatoes - Fraser Coast, Maltdb and Billy Beans Coffee. Prizes will be awarded to the best Christmas dressed boy and girl as well as the best dressed parent! More information on the event has been posted on the College Facebook page.

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(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)


Art News
A number of our Year 10 Visual Art students have entered artworks into the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s ‘Waste to Art’ exhibition. This is where artists recycle, repurpose and upcycle products that would otherwise result in landfill. This annual event fosters strong creative thinking and problem solving, creating new and innovative pieces that have limitless outcomes. The exhibition opens at 6pm on Friday, 17 November at Gataker’s Art Space in Maryborough and runs until January 2024. Well done to the following artists for submitting artworks: Thanin Singsuk, Aylah Peterson, Emily McGrath (2 entries), Sarah McGrath, Aysha Hodges (2 entries), Isabella Plumb and Jade Hirst. Best of luck!

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(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)​


2023 St Vinnies Christmas Drive
Everyone deserves Christmas, but not everyone experiences it. Students are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped presents (preferably with their tags still attached) in support of the St Vincent de Paul annual Christmas Drive. All gifts must be handed in at Student Reception by Friday, 24 November 2023. Any donations will be greatly appreciated by the SVDP.

If you’re stuck for ideas on what to donate, have a look at some of the suggestions below:
  • Sports equipment
  • Books
  • Dolls
  • Outdoor games
  • Board games
  • Toy cars or trains
  • Stationery
  • Colouring-in books and textas
  • Dress-up costumes
  • Christmas stockings
  • Movie vouchers
  • Caps
  • Deodorant/perfume packs
  • Jewellery
  • Shopping and gift cards
  • Beach towels and bags
  • Back packs​



Sport


Prep to Year 3 Swimming Carnival
The Xavier Catholic College Prep to Year 3 Swimming Carnival will be held at Kick Swim Centre on Thursday, 23 November 2023. Prep and Year 2 students will attend between 9:30am and 11:00am. Year 1 and Year 3 will attend between 11:30am and 1:00pm. Parents and caregivers are welcome to come and watch. The focus of the carnival is on participation and fun. 

When: Thursday, 23 November 2023.
Where: Kick Swim Centre (44 Islander Road, Pialba)

Don’t forget the SVDP Christmas Appeal Sausage Sizzle. If you wish to order a sausage and popper for your child, this can be ordered on Qkr! under the fundraising tab. Orders will close on Friday, 17 November. Students will receive their sausage and popper when they return to school after their carnival.

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(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)​


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