Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you all managed to enjoy opportunities together over the holidays, and had a good and restorative time. Enjoyable as holidays are it is always good to welcome the students back, this time – appropriately, given the recent weather – smartly dressed in their winter uniforms. It has been an active first week, not least for several of my colleagues who have been going through professional development and mentoring associated with the Big Picture programme.
I do sense a real momentum building with this, which has been added to by the two days of mentoring those teachers running the programme this year received from the Big Picture organisation. This was complemented by the two days of professional development training received by ten of our staff, which will continue in July and December. This training is not just helpful with the Big Picture design but will also assist my colleagues in developing a range of approaches to the whole teaching and learning process.
Sport and the Outdoors
It was heartening to hear of the success of Ben Murgatroyd in a national swimming event held in the holidays – he gained a personal best and is now ranked 18th in his age group, nationally. Equally positive is his humility in the recognition of his achievements.
It has also been good to see how the informal soccer sessions that started this year have grown into the formation of a team for Country Week. The team received a session of coaching from Soccer West to help their preparations, which was both valuable and appreciated.
So, too, was the experience of the Metricup Camp for Years 7 and 8, which provided real challenge in all sorts of ways. I was delighted to learn that the team of specialists, who have run the programme for us since we started, actually make a point of being available for our camp as they enjoy the company and attitude of our students.
The Year 11 outdoor education students recognised that bad weather can bring benefits: they were unable to take the boat to Woody Island because of high seas but Eco Tours laid on a helicopter instead!
A new magazine – Young Scandal – dropped on my desk this week, which I read with interest and mounting pleasure at the recognition that several of our students were involved in its production. Darby Smith and Josh Van Staden were on the editorial team and supplied, respectively, an article and photographs; Georgie Beasley wrote an article and Demi-Lee Barker had her photos published.
Their attendance at the launch of this literary and comment-on-current-affairs magazine was supported by Ellen Timmins and Tylah Kennedy. I am greatly encouraged by yet another example of the initiative and energy shown by our young people.
As you will know an important part of the whole ‘Good Standing’ process is the award of commendations. Within this we continue to have our Aussie of the Month Award which recognises the significant traits of personal endeavour, achievement and contribution to the community, and reflects some of the values we share as Australians, such as fair go, mateship, respect and inclusion.
Awards, for the month of March, were made to:
Year 7 William Wildberger
Year 8 Ella Purchase
Year 9 Maddilyn McGrinder
Year 10 Imogen Stone
Years 11/12 Shaj Varea
Australian Defence Force
We welcomed members of the ADF to the School this week who spoke to students in Years 10 to 12 about career opportunities, which was inspiring. So, too, was the participation of Head Boy, Harrison Tobin, and Head Girl, Darby Smith, in the ANZAC Day parade.
The momentum is also building with our service learning programme, aided by the appointment of Mrs Natalie Shipp as the co-ordinator; she has, again, taken students off to Nulsen Primary School for the breakfast club this morning. It is good to hear, too, of initiatives outside of the School which, of course, can be recognised as part of the commitment to service learning. We are developing a form to allow this to be ‘accredited’ but, in the meantime, a signed letter from someone supervising the service activity, detailing the nature of the activity and time involved, will suffice. This should be given to the Advisory Tutor.
Most of this was collected at the end of last term but some still remains for collection (mainly towels it would seem); also, a reminder to make sure that items of clothing and personal equipment are named to aid in the process of repatriation.
Although most students are now dressed in winter rig there will be, as usual, a changeover ‘grace’ period until the start of Week 4, on Monday 21st May, when all students will be expected to be properly attired in winter uniform. School hats will be compulsory for all students in all terms, when outside.
A flier has been sent and distributed highlighting this initiative from the Parents and Friends which is designed to commemorate our Tenth Anniversary. It is intended that they will be laid as flooring in a gazebo to be erected in our new garden area. I commend the idea to you all: further details are available from Reception.
We welcomed Mrs Catherine McLernon as temporary laboratory technician to act for Ms Linda Bosworth during her time on long-service leave.
Ms Tian Della Vedova also joins us for Terms 2 and 3, in the area of PE and outdoor education, on her final practicum.
Sadly, Ms Rose Weckert, our Canteen Manager has been unwell and so has not been with us for this first week. Happily Ms Sharon Spain has stepped-in most ably, coping with recess, lunch and the boarders’ supper. We hope that Rose will be back with us soon.
Although I aim to keep the calendar as up-to-date as possible the following list may be helpful in your planning.
Sunday 6th May - 0930 to 1500 Sausage sizzle at Bunnings in aid of the School Ball
Tuesday 8th - 1715 PFA Meeting in Dempster 1
Wednesday 9th 1730 Keys for Life presentation to parents in Dempster 1
Monday 14th NAPLAN starts
Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th – 1800 Country Week meetings (email invitation to follow)
Friday 18th Garden Opening (invitations to follow)
Friday 18th Pyjama Day in aid of School Ball
Tuesday 22nd to Wednesday 23rd Senior Boys AFL
Sunday 27th PFA Busy Bee
Monday 28th Exams for Years 10 to 12
Wednesday 30th Netball Tournament
Thursday 31st Year 12 Outdoor Ed Camp to be rescheduled
Monday 4th June Mid Term Holiday
Wednesday 6th Founders Day
Monday 11th Big Picture Exhibitions commence
Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th Junior Boys’ AFL
Wednesday 13th Universities’ visit
Thursday 14th Inter-House Cross Country
Saturday 16th School Production
Thursday 21st Matinee of School Production for EACS and primary schools
Friday 22nd School Production
Sunday 24th Country Week departs
Friday 29th Final Day of School
With all good wishes for the weekend ahead.
P. Kerr Fulton-Peebles