From the PrincipalAugust 16, 2018
Term 3 – our Mercy Term, has so far been a very busy one for both staff and students. We began back in July with our Spirit of Mercy Assembly which allowed us to acknowledge the efforts of a number of girls and boys whose actions emulate the mercy values. One very worthy recipient was Eimhir Kennedy, a Year 2 student who collected and delivered nearly 300 jackets for the homeless to Shop Front, a Perth agency catering for many of Perth’s poor and destitute. Eimhir met with Shop Front’s Manager, Damien and explained very clearly why she wanted to collect jackets for others. This selfless programme, initiated earlier in the year, was brilliantly supported by our College community.
The annual Catholic Performing Arts Festival has seen our girls and boys take part very successfully in the various music, dance and drama categories of this very popular event for WA Catholic schools. I hope to share with you our many successes at the conclusion of the Festival. Many of these performers also took to the stage for our very own Arts Showcase Night which certainly highlighted the wealth of talent at the College. Behind the scenes, fundraising to assist local mercy works, included students and staff selling sumptuous interval suppers. Neither of these events would be possible without the continued support of both staff and parents, for this I thank you all.
The House system at the College continues to grow from strength to strength allowing the students the opportunity of gaining house points and building camaraderie. The Senior and Junior Sub Schools have recently been involved in a variety of activities including a recyclable art event for the younger girls and boys and a paper plane making competition which was indeed competitive!
Belated NAIDOC celebrations on campus recently celebrated and acknowledged the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Our Girls Academy staff and students hosted a luncheon, choreographed and performed a contemporary dance and organised a range of activities for all students to take part in.
To ease the Year 6 girls concerns about entering the Middle School and dispel a myriad of “Middle School myths” an afternoon in Year 7 and a panel discussion put together by our “Year 7 experts” was successfully held in the purpose built Year 7 Global Learning Village. We will be hosting Year 5 students and their parents at a similar event in the coming weeks.
On the Sports front, our winter teams are all performing very well with some excellent wins, but more so, an increased understanding of the importance of team work and the benefits, both personal and emotional, of being actively engaged. In addition to the football, soccer, hockey and football that has been taking place, we have held our Secondary Athletics Carnival and our Juniors athletes have excelled at the recent Interschool Cross Country Carnival.
St Brigid’s has once again partnered with the “Share the Dignity” organisation to support the collection of personal hygiene items for homeless women, victims of domestic violence and those in emergency crisis situations. Representatives from “Share the Dignity” visited the college this week to address the girls at assembly and set up collection points for donations. It’s so pleasing to see these already almost full, indicating again, just how focussed our community is on helping those in need.
Our College community extends its congratulations to Year 11 student, Phoebe Thomasson, who was one of the two Hasluck Leadership Awards sponsored by The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP for 2018. This highly contested award amongst Year 11 students in the Hasluck electorate, has seen a number of St Brigid’s winners since its inception in its current format in 2011. Established to allow young leaders the opportunity to achieve their full potential and further develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, the selection criteria are both rigorous and challenging culminating in a series of speeches, both prepared and impromptu. The judges were very impressed with Phoebe’s quietly confident manner and believable delivery of her speech and we are indeed proud of Phoebe’s brilliant effort. Phoebe will next month visit Canberra, including Parliament House as a guest of Mr Wyatt. The visit will include meetings with politicians and time to see the workings of government first hand.
This week, our Year 11 cohort undertook 2019 leadership speeches and the staff and students then had the difficult task of voting for their preferred candidate. I congratulate all the girls who were brave enough to take up the leadership challenge. I was impressed by all their speeches and wish them well.
As a boarding school, we see often, the difficulty some students experience transitioning to boarding life. A new CEWA initative is currently being piloted by St Brigid’s. Transit Us is a virtual programme enabling both parents and prospective boarders to connect with boarding schools in an effort to making the process of starting life as a boarder far more relaxed and pleasant. There are also a number of face to face sessions, including community meetings in the student’s home towns with boarding staff and a weekend in Perth to orientate themselves with both their school and life in the city. Head of Boarding, Annamaria Cream, along with other staff travelled to Williams and Jurien Bay respectively as part of the programme to meet with girls commencing boarding school in 2019 and their families. In addition to this, the College was represented in Karratha at the FeNacl Festival last weekend and this week, we have staff at the Mingenew Field Days. Later in the month, we will also be visiting Dowerin and for the first time, Newdegate for the Machinery Field Days. It is always very enjoyable to touch base with past boarders and their families, current families and new families interested din the College at events such as these.
We were fortunate last week to be invited to morning tea with the Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Ken Wyatt, AM MP, as part of the Hasluck Community Morning. Our Head Girls, Julia Casella and Erin Ford, along with Gertie O’Meara a member of our Boarding Council, joined other students and community members at the gathering which heard the PMs views and comments on topics ranging from national security to the characteristics of a good leader.
This week saw the start of our new Science initiative for students in local Primary Schools. The new established Curie Club, run by Mr Darren McGoran, Science Curriculum Team Leader, allows students with a love of science to further explore the wonders of the this fascinating field. Mr McGoran is assisted by some of our Year 11 students who mentor the young people through the various hands-on on activities. The response to the initiative was overwhelming with applicants far surpassing the number of places available.
It was a relief this week for the Year 10 girls to finally submit their yearlong Personal Project. It appears that once again, there are some very impressive final products which I’m sure we will all enjoy seeing at the Forthcoming Personal Project Exhibition. Please do take the time to pop in and see for yourself what is possible when our young women dare to be probative, creative independent learners.
With the Boarders’ Long Weekend upon us, I remind you all that there will be no classes on Friday 17th, Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st August. I hope that families have been able to take advantage of our new Out of School Care and Holiday Programme for these days.
Do enjoy a short but certainly very well deserved break.
Dr Amelia Toffoli