From the PrincipalMarch 13, 2020
The recent busy weeks full of a myriad of teaching and learning experiences highlight the wealth of opportunities afforded to our boys and girl by the diligent and supportive staff we have here at the College.
In recent weeks, two swimming carnivals have seen both Junior and Secondary students achieve some excellent results with a number of swimmers now training intently for forthcoming ACC swimming events. I thank all the staff for their organisation of the carnivals where they were well supported by the student leaders and many parents who took time out from their busy schedules to lend a hand. A big thank you to the Parent Forum too for organising baskets of fruit for the children and our visitors to enjoy during the day
It was wonderful to meet both new families to the College and returning families at the recent combined Parent Forum/Community Relations afternoon to welcome in the new school year. A balmy early evening BBQ was the ideal setting for the event which was enjoyed by parents and children alike.
A number of College Ministry Leaders, accompanied by our Head of Faith and Mission, Mr Adrian Martino, attended the Caritas Australia Project Compassion Launch at Sacred Heart College Sorrento earlier this term. The launch was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist and give thanks for the fundraising and awareness raising activities that the Catholic schools in our Archdiocese undertake in support of our respective welfare agencies. The day’s activities also allowed students to reflect on the collective ongoing response to enormous issues of poverty and increasing inequality in the world today.
As a College community, we gathered together to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. We had the opportunity to think about how we could implement Mercy values in our lives, so that our Lenten journey becomes more meaningful as we prayer, give alms and fast over the next 40 days.
We placed stones at the foot of the cross, as a sign of the support we show for the cross of Christ during this Lenten period. The ashes we received during the Liturgy were a reminder of the simpleness of life and to remind us that we are not perfect.
Staff all took part in a Professional Development Day just prior to the recent long weekend focussed on our students having the right to be safe and feel safe to be able to flourish in their learning and development. Through an interesting and informative session led by CEWA staff, we were reminded of the Church’s commitment to the dignity of the individual. The day’s content centred around protecting children from all forms of abuse and neglect and developing a child safe culture in our classrooms and around the campus. Staff were reintroduced to the Keeping Safe curriculum and had the opportunity to take part in a series of practical and engaging ways to engage with their students when delivering the sensitivities of such a programme.
We were very fortunate last week to have Megan Ansell join us as guest speaker for our International Women’s Day Breakfast. Megan graduated in 2010 as Head Girl of the College. She has since gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations and a Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology. She is currently studying for a PhD and Masters in Clinical Psychology at UWA, with a particular focus on child and adolescent mental health.
Since travelling to East-Timor as a school leaver, Megan has been passionate about community development and foreign aid. After volunteering as a committee member and team leader for Kalamunda Leavers Timor-Leste for 8 years, she co-founded the Kolega Foundation in 2018, an organisation that provides financial and practical support to community identified and managed development projects in Timor-Leste.
The Kolega foundation currently focuses on two key projects. Firstly, the provision of professional and vocational education centres that increase the employability and opportunities for higher education of young people in rural areas. And secondly, the provision of reusable cloth pads to young women in rural areas of Timor where menstruation remains a significant barrier to attending school and participating in the community.
Outstanding leaders from all walks of life allowed our College leaders the opportunity to participate in workshops and hear some amazing stories of success and hard work at the Recent National Young Leader’s Day. Our students had a fantastic time listening to John Coutis, Eamon Sullivan, Dana Hooker and Lachlan Smart, who all shared their views on what they thought good leadership meant to them and how they demonstrated this through their everyday living.
Our College Open Day will be held on Friday 20th March. Please encourage friends and family who may wish to find out more about our college to attend one of the two tour sessions at either 930am or 1pm. Booking are essential and can be made online at www.trybooking.com/BGXRG
By now you will have all received my correspondence (emailed 12/3/2020) regarding the COVID-19 virus. From the frequent amendments to health and travel advice, our Federal and State authorities are focussed on minimising and preventing transmission of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
While we are reminded that the risk of transmission in Australia remains low, the escalation in confirmed cases around the world, combined with the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus, is rightly creating concern for many in our communities.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop, we are taking precautions and preparing a response plan should schools need to close and staff are working to have a strategy in place to assist with continuity of our teaching and learning programmes.
In an effort to safeguard our community, we are asking all students and staff who are travelling during term to seek advice from the relevant agencies and a medical clearance before they return to school. Our Boarding House similarly, has contingencies in place to manage the emerging situation. I must stress that we have no confirmed cases of the virus and are erring on the side of caution in our decision making.
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by practicing good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough etiquette. Staff have discussed, and will continue to emphasise with the girls, the importance of maintaining good hygiene, including:
- Frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand gel;
- Refraining from touching either the mouth or nose;
- If coughing or sneezing, covering the nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow, disposing of the tissue immediately after use, and performing hand hygiene.
- Refraining from attending school if unwell or experiencing flu like symptoms
Please don’t hesitate to contact the College if you have any concerns and be reassured that we will ensure we respond via the best source. Thank you to all of our families for your patient co-operation and calm response to this matter. We will of course continue to keep you updated as more information comes to light.
Being part of a supportive and responsive community is what we all need so that through careful planning and proactive action, we can all work and support each other through this time.