From the PrincipalSeptember 21, 2018
When one looks at the calendar for Term 3, especially the final month of this term, it is easy to get a snapshot of the whirlwind of activity across the campus. Our girls and boys are engaged in a wealth of rich learning and co-curricular activities which are second to none and to discuss each one would make for a lengthy newsletter. The reports from the Junior and Secondary Schools, as well as boarding, will however, give you an overview of the wonderful term we’ve just completed.
If I were to reflect on the term, the presentation by John Coutis, an internationally renowned motivational speaker born with a severe disability that rendered him a double amputee would certainly be a highlight. John is a shining example of courage, grit and the desire to beat adversity. He spoke to the girls and boys candidly in beautifully crafted presentations about developing resilience, goal setting and living life to the fullest. Staff too, enjoyed an equally motivating and enjoyable session with John after school.
The Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival took place over much of Term 3. This year, we have been awarded a total of 25 Awards with some outstanding performances from our very talented young people. You can read a detailed summary of the awards and commendations separately in this Newsletter. Congratulation to Mrs Catherine Wade and her Junior Chorale who were awarded the “Archbishop Foley Award – Sacred Choral Music (Primary)” for the best performance in their division.
Our “Fiver for a Farmer” free dress day fundraiser was a huge success raising almost $4000 for drought stricken communities. The whole of school effort, saw students and staff wear “farmer attire “in support of this very worthy cause. It is the generosity of spirit, displayed daily by our students and their willingness to help those in need that truly defines our community. Other events including the Vinnies Sleep out and Soup Patrol have also seen staff and students commit to bettering the lives of others.
Dads were a focus this term as almost 400 dads and grandads along with their children, joined us for the popular Dads’ Big Breakfast, held annually to celebrate Fathers’ Day. The scrumptious breakfast was prepared by a group of mums who braved the chilly temperature at 5:30am to ensure our dads were well catered for. It was lovely to see dads accompany their children to classrooms at the conclusion of the event and spend some time together with many of our younger students delighting in having the opportunity to show off the term’s work and their learning areas. The Year 11 Father/Daughter Dinner similarly, allowed the girls an opportunity for special quality time with their fathers.
Innovation is always stimulating and our College continues to look for ways to enhance learning and add to the tapestry of activities and experiences we afford the students. This term has seen the commencement of the DEAR programme. DEAR stands for “Drop Everything and Read” and is aimed at increasing the love of reading and develop a lifelong reading habit. Students bring along a book of their choice and everyone reads for 15 minutes weekly at the same time. The programme has been very well received by both staff and students. It was easy to see innovation and creativity on display at the recent Year 10 International Baccalaureate Personal Project Exhibition. The official opening of the Personal Project Exhibition allowed parents, community members and staff to accolade the girls on these spectacular achievements. The girls spoke absolutely beautifully about their chosen projects, and there were so many amazingly creative exhibits including and M and M Elvis, an ingenious robot, outstanding pieces of recycled furniture, an array of specially designed books and much more. I thank all the staff and parents for the support given during this year long process.
As well as the Personal Project, the Year 10s had a busy week, concluding their programme of dance lessons with the Year 10 formal, where alongside the boys from Mazenod, our girls showed off their dancing skills .
In a Pre-K to Year 12 Campus, even our younger learners maintain an incredibly busy pace amidst Bush School adventures, Book Week activities, Athletics Carnivals, incursions, excursions and much more.
Our Year 6s are busily preparing for The PYP Exhibition, a wonderful event which will see each student demonstrate their skills and understanding to the St Brigid’s community and the PYP community.
We congratulate too, our Year 4 students, who recently received the Sacrament of the Eucharist at two very special Masses attended by their family and friends.
We have just concluded our round of winter sport commitments and as always, our students have been focused and competitive in netball, hockey, football and soccer as well as many additionally training for ACC Athletics where they performed well despite very stiff competition. Once again, I acknowledge the support of staff and parents.
Sport, despite being about competition, utilises other skills and personal attributes. Congratulations to Year 12 student Alicia James who was selected as one of only of 31 recipients from 16000 nominations, for the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin Award. This national award, recognises secondary school students who demonstrate the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship through participation in sport.
The College is delighted to be fostering strong ties with the Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce and last week, the President of the Chamber, Caroline Babbage, met with staff to see exactly how our association can be of benefit to our students. As a starting point, the girls undertaking Business Studies will be involved in producing promotional materials as part of their course, for the various businesses the Chamber represents. Work experience opportunities, Guest speakers as part of our Careers Expo and even tours of our beautiful campus for visitors to the Hills are also under discussion and consideration.
Our Year 12 Aboriginal students, ended the term with the Future Footprints Graduation Ceremony at Aquinas College. Future Footprints offers support to Aboriginal Boarders across a number of Perth boarding schools. We were delighted that one of our girls, Tian Brahim was awarded a $2000 Curtin University Scholarship and Gertie O’Meara the Future Footprints Camp Leadership Award.
It was an absolute pleasure to welcome back to the College recently our “Golden Girls” and the Class of 1978 and 1988 reunion groups. You’re a “Golden Girl” if you left SBC 50 years ago or more. How wonderful it was to listen to the sharing of memories and the laughter as these former students, many of whom were boarders, reminisce about their time together.
Mercy Week has included the annual Mercy Dinner held in boarding on Wednesday evening, where our guest speakers, Dr Robert and Mrs Teresa Isaacs, shared a little of their lives and the work they are engaged in within the local and wider Aboriginal community and our Mercy Sisters were acknowledged for their contributions to boarding at SBC. Yesterday’s Mercy Day Mass, celebrated in our beautiful grotto, concluded the term with the announcements of the College’s 2019 student leaders. I congratulate our new Head Girls, Phoebe Thomasson and Brinley Whittington and Head Boarder, Emily Doncon and each of the girls announced for the SRC and House roles for their courage in applying for leadership and successful in being awarded a role . A list of the leaders is included in the Sceondary School news.
I wish all our girls and boys a very well deserved break – it’s been a long, busy term, but what a brilliant experience they’ve all had. Thank you to our hardworking staff and dedicated parents, without whose support the many fabulous experiences offered wouldn’t be possible.
Dr Amelia Toffoli