A message from the Principal
Ms Nerina Pretlove
We have certainly packed a lot into the second half of this term.
For the first time, we participated with our Muslim community during Ramadan to break the daily fast (Iftar) and share a meal. Over 100 students, their families and staff joined in the evening with the call to prayer being led by Mr Khan followed by speeches from our community leaders and a wonderful feast that was finished by a dessert table provided by our families. It was a joyous event and planning is underway for next year.
During Refugee Week, Mrs Liau, Deputy Principal of the Intensive English Centre, brought her vision to provide a stage for our students from both Evans and Holryod IECs to share their journeys to fruition. We were astounded by the tenacity and resilience of our students in meeting the challenges of their life experiences. As they read and acted out these experiences, the audience was carried away to some of the most devastated parts of the world from where nearly 70.2 million people have been displaced in a single year due to war, famine, ethnic and religious troubles and political upheaval. Central to all their stories was the word SAFE – to be safe, to feel safe. We were so proud of our students’ articulateness and of the empathy of the audience.
Our Solid Ground Artist-In-Residence, Emma Donovan, led our students and audience through an uplifting performance covering the early mission days through to the radical 1970s and onwards to today to celebrate NAIDOC Week. Emma’s warm generosity in sharing her professional experience as a celebrated performing artist with our Music and Dance students was evident throughout their performances. They were joined by the dance group from Chifley College, Bidwill Campus, who lit up the stage following on from a performance visit by our school to theirs earlier in the week. Throughout the day, students were immersed in activities including Indigenous games and dedicated lessons to explore the NAIDOC theme: Voice, Treaty, Truth Let’s Work Together for a Shared Future. Under the outstanding leadership of Ms Griffiths, and the support of an amazing number of staff, our students were provided with a breadth of experiences to enrich their knowledge and understanding.
As if that were not enough, the stage was lit up for MADDfest this week. Students showcased their talents over two days and two nights of performance for their peers, the community and our local primary schools. Year 11 and 12 students had the opportunity to sing and play their HSC performance pieces to a wide and large audience and for the first time, some of our Year 7 students stepped out on the MADDFEST stage; promising much for performances in the coming years. If it were not for the huge amount of work put in by Mr Fienberg, Mr Chapman, Ms Kavanagh and their teams including the amazing backstage VET Entertainment students, this event would not be the continued success that it is.
Amongst all of this excitement, our students have continued with their studies and have been focussed on completing their assessment tasks. Year 12 are finishing up their major projects and performances and are preparing for their last term at school. This year, we have provided them with Fridays to complete their assessment tasks, move forward on their major works and performances and follow up on classwork and study. I urge them to make full use of this time and of the support that their teachers have extended to them including holiday tutorials to enhance their learning.
Due to the rising numbers of students in Year 7, we have added another class. Some students from 7B and 7H will be moved to form the new class while 7G will remain as it is. Students will receive their timetables and assigned classrooms before the end of term.
On a sad note, a number of students and staff from the school attended the funeral of Corey Vitnell following his accidental death last month. We remember how Corey’s face would light up when he talked about the race horses in his care. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very challenging time.
We wish everyone a safe holiday and look forward to the term ahead. Keep warm and safe.