Dear Parents and Friends,
Wednesday is widely known as the ‘hump’ day in the week; the hardest day in the week. Just as Wednesday is the ‘hump’ day, weeks five/six are the ‘hump’ weeks in the Term. It can be challenging because of the efforts and energy already expended during the term by teachers and students and challenging because of what is yet to be accomplished. For all students this involves the completion of assessment tasks and for our Years Ten and Eleven students in particular, this means the sitting of exams. These begin on Wednesday, June 5. Exams are a valid form of assessment, but students should remember that they are not the only form of assessment. While a degree of stress is natural and useful in helping concentration and encouraging effort, being ‘stressed out’ about exams is unhelpful and attributes a disproportionate amount of importance to them.
Although a great deal of attention at the end of semester is directed towards the academic, those events and activities that contribute to our students’ physical, spiritual, personal and social development continue unabated. Last Friday, approximately one hundred of our students participated in the SCSA Athletics at Lakeside Stadium, most as competitors and some as assistants. It was a cold and wet day and our first venture in the competition at the Division One level. At this level the competition is fierce and our students are to be commended for their competitiveness and their vocal support of one another. The staff who trained them are also to be commended for their efforts. This week the Sports Committee ran a range of activities with the aim of promoting incidental physical activity amongst the students. The timing was perfect as we have all struggled to keep warm. However, it has not been confined to this week; throughout the year the Committee has been running activities at lunchtimes to get the girls up and moving. They also sold healthy foods such as granola and yoghurt and organized a staff versus students volleyball match.
It was a promising start to National Reconciliation Week with the announcement of Ken Wyatt’s appointment as the Minister for Indigenous Affairs in the recently elected, Liberal Government. He is the first Indigenous Australian to hold this portfolio. The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is, Grounded in Truth; Walk Together in Courage. Courage is a value very familiar to us as a Brigidine and Kildare Education Ministry school. It takes courage to listen to the truth of past injustices and suffering and courage to “… heal historical wounds” (Reconciliation Australia’s CEO, Karen Mundine). Members of the Justice and Democracy Committee demonstrated such courage when they participated in a Reconciliation seminar at Clonard College, Geelong. They listened respectfully and compassionately to the stories of generational loss and returned to school inspired. Although their Reconciliation activities have had to be delayed until next week, it is hoped that all students will participate in the spirit of walking together with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Last Friday our Year Nines participated in the SCIP Forum Day. The underlying principles of the program are service and justice. The students were inspired by Urge Dinegde, a former student who established The Village School Project in Ethiopia. It is hoped that like her, our students, through the education in faith and justice, they receive at Killester, will ‘respond to the cries of the earth and the cries of the poor with love and hope… to be a sign of love and justice in our world.” Best wishes to you all for the week ahead as we brace ourselves for what, if the weather of this week is any indication, promises to be a very cold winter.
Clare Compton, Leadership Team, Student Learning Services Coordinator