From the PrincipalSeptember 09, 2019
One needs only to look at the college calendar to see just how busy a term we have had to date. I marvel that so much has happened, both inside and outside the classroom, since our last newsletter, and I’m delighted to share snippets of the rich tapestry of learning experiences that have taken place with you in this newsletter.
I would firstly however, like to thank all those parents who took the time to participate in the National School Improvement Climate Survey which was sent home at the start of the term. It is crucial that schools find out about their school environment and how it can be improved and your feedback, along with that of the staff and students, will be invaluable, allowing us to plan manageable lines of continual growth and improvement in our College. Our staff are also currently undertaking a Curriculum Review and this data, along with the survey, NAPLAN, OLNA EYLND and our student academic data, will help us to develop our 2020 goals and the Annual School Improvement Plan.
The College’s recent 90th Anniversary Arts Showcase saw over 400 parents and friends of SBC delight in the vast array of talent on display. Featured, along with our superbly talented girls and boys, were a number of past students who added to the night’s fabulous programme of entertainment and celebration. A night such as this requires endless hours of planning and rehearsal and I must acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our Arts Team in executing such a professional event. Our performers too, must be thanked for their part in each and every performance which really did highlight the wealth of talent we have here at SBC.
On top of this showcase, our Dance Troupes, Choirs and Music Ensemble, have been busy throughout the term with the Catholic Performing Arts Festival. I am thrilled that many of our performers have been rewarded with excellent results and for a small school, our students are performing exceptionally well. Congratulations to all the students involved and their dedicated teachers and tutors.
Seeing our students work towards improving aspects of our College as well as showing concern for the welfare of their peers is extremely pleasing. I would like to congratulate a group of enthusiastic girls who have undertaken the task of “beautifying” a number of the toilet blocks across the campus. The girls and staff involved have worked hard to achieve some fabulous results making a huge difference to the areas by painting the doors and adding inspirational quotes and designs.
In the last month, the college has visited a number of rural areas including Karratha, Moora and the Mingenew, Dowerin and Newdegate Field Days along with a number of other schools to touch base with our rural families, both past and current and connect with those keen to know more about our boarding programme. The boarding experience is definitely so much richer if our staff are able to familiarise themselves with where our girls come from. Strengthening connections to our Old Girls is also invaluable and we are always heartened by the warm welcome we receive from students long graduated from the College. For the majority of our new boarders each year, it is often their first time away from home and with this, comes uncertainty and at times anxiety. In conjunction with CEWA and Mazenod, the Transitus programme for incoming Year 7 boarders and their families commenced last week with visits to a Eneabba, Wongan Hills and Quairiding to meet with the students and their parents. Other components of the programme in coming weeks will include five online transition sessions, visits to the respective boarding houses and a school based series of activities, all designed to make the process a stress free one for each student
Science Week and Book Week were both extremely well supported and popular across the campus. The theme for Science Week was “Destination Moon”. Activities included a Kahoot Quiz on the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the launch of several rockets on the Secondary Oval, the always popular, Periodic Table competition and the arrival of VR headsets courtesy of Mazenod College along with some interesting interactive displays. Similarly, Book Week enthused our students to discover reading as their secret power. The ever popular Book Week Parade was outstanding as were our visiting authors A.J Betts and James Foley.
The Parent Forum has been very busy in recent weeks organising and hosting two events – dance socials for our Junior School girls and boys and a quiz night, which was extremely well supported by the Secondary School students. I thank them for their efforts in creating such wonderful opportunities which I know were very much appreciated by all involved.
We were thrilled for a number of our Indigenous students who attended their Future Footprints graduation on August 29th at a dinner held at Wesley College. An AISWA initiative commenced in 2004, Future Footprints supports Aboriginal students in boarding schools throughout WA. It was wonderful to hear past graduates share their journey since graduation and also what each of the class of 2019 hopes to pursue in the future.
Father’s Day was well celebrated across the campus with over 380 dads and students gathering for the annual Dads’ Big Breakfast. Our hard working mums were up bright and early to prepare the delicious spread so that the dads could relax with their children and the other fathers. The Year 11s also revelled in the chance to appreciate their Dads at the Father /Daughter Dinner. The theme for the night was Gen X meets Gen Y, and dads and their daughters found they had plenty of common ground in their music taste and sense of humour.
The winter sport season is nearing completion with finals taking place over the next few weeks. We have a number of netball and hockey teams almost certain to play in Finals fixtures. I wish the girls the best of luck and along with all those students who represented the college this season, thank them for their sportsmanship and dedication. The Athletics team is currently in the midst of training for the ACC Interschool Carnival and I know they have been working hard with their respective coaches to be at full strength for what will be a very competitive event.
I was very impressed last week at the calibre of our 2020 Head Girl candidates. The interview panel met with the six candidates who all demonstrated wonderful leadership qualities and a desire to serve the College community. I look forward to announcing the successful candidates for the Student Council Executive at our end of term Mercy Mass.
It has been wonderful in recent weeks watching our Year 3s receive their Sacrament of Reconciliation for the very first time and strengthening their faith journey and relationship with the Church. We have also been privileged to witness our Year 4 students and their parent’s preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist beginning with a Parent Child Workshop and a Reflection Day held at the Parish Centre. At the weekend, a number of students received the Sacrament of Holy Communion at their chosen Parish masses both on Saturday evening and Sunday morning and this will continue each Sunday for the next four weeks for the remaining students. At this time of connection with God, we pray for our young people and their families.
The remaining weeks of term will undoubtedly continue to be busy indeed, especially for our Year 12s who are close to finishing their time at the College. We wish them well for the forthcoming Trial WACE exams and keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they prepare for the next exciting chapter in their lives.