It is my pleasure to present my first Principal’s report for St Norbert College and whilst it has only been a short time since my commencement, I have had it reaffirmed this week what an honour and privilege it is to share in the Ministry of leadership here at this terrific school.
Our beloved Pope Francis, in addressing the young people at World Youth Day last year in Krakow, Poland, encouraged the youth throughout the world to focus less on technology and “to download the best link of all… a heart which sees and transmits goodness without growing weary”.
It is a wonderful reminder from Pope Francis of our innate ability as human beings to seek and transmit goodness in all that we do and poignant given the world in which we currently live.
Our students have this ability too. The Catholic Performing Arts Festival is one such way and a most endearing and joyful event on the Catholic school calendar. From very modest origins back in 1989, the Festival this year has grown to include 19,586 Catholic school students performing in a range of artistic disciplines at over 12 venues within the metropolitan area. This year’s Festival commenced with an Opening Mass held on Friday 21 July at Infant Jesus Parish in Morley and culminates some 52 days later with the amazing Festival Concert at the Perth Concert Hall on Monday 11 September.
The Chair of Catholic Arts, Mr John Aldous, suggests: “The underlying goal of the Festival is to provide students with unique ‘performance platforms’ through which they can strive for excellence and perform to a public audience in a spirit of competitive, affirmative participation”.
The Festival has 14 sections of varied and diverse forms, the focus for our own students being the areas of instrumental, band and ensemble music, solo, duet and choral singing, dance and drama.
Congratulations to our team of Year 10 students who came first, out of 18 schools, in the State Final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge held recently at the University of Western Australia. The calibre of entrants in this year’s competition and the prestige of this event cannot be understated and so for our team of Dawn Saji, Millenium Paneru, Yajnah Juggessur and Mika Bautista to come away in first place was an amazing achievement. Well done also to Dawn, who came third, out of 72 competitors, in the individual challenge. Many thanks to Mrs Colette Miranda (Academic Excellence Coordinator) for her work with this team.
Magdeburg Day was celebrated last Friday followed by Tongerlo Day today, with the significance of these towns in Norbertine history, remembered clearly on these special occasions. The House days were both celebrated with a liturgy, luncheon and tug-of-war competition, organised by the Heads of House, Mr Ah Fong (Magdeburg) and Mr Gherardi (Tongerlo), and their respective student leaders.
The College held our Parent/Student/Teacher interviews on Wednesday this week, an event that gives an opportunity to reiterate the message that school and home must work in partnership if we aim to help our students maximise their potential. I thank the staff for their efforts on Wednesday and those parents who made the time to meet with their children’s teachers.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Fr Peter’s announcement this week of Mr John Rose as the new Principal of St Joseph’s School from 2018. Mr Rose is presently the Principal of St Lawrence’s School, Balcatta, with experience of Principalship at Sacred Heart, Beagle Bay. We look forward to welcoming Mr Rose into our community.
Over this past week I have enjoyed many wonderful conversations with staff, students and parents, who all come together for the betterment of the young people in our care. I am very thankful to all those who have made an effort to greet and welcome me this week. My connection with the College has been well documented recently, to be welcomed back to the community has been very special and I look forward to working closely with all, for the benefit of our students.
At a time of the year where seasons and climate often dictate our physical and mental state of well-being, we must remind ourselves of the joy and goodness that lies in all our hearts and how truly blessed we are to share it with those around us. I thank you all for transmitting goodness in our community.
Mr S Harvey (Principal)
The Year 12 retreat was held in the final week of Term 2 and was, by all measures, a great success. The retreat was hosted by the Youth Mission Team and focused on the theme of ‘Preparation’ – something particularly appropriate given that the Year 12 students are heading into the final months of their school life. The retreat gave students the opportunity to reflect on their lives and the impact that God and their studies of religion over their years of school has had on them. Additionally, it gave students the chance to consider the impact that they could have on their friends, family and future colleagues as they head off into their adult life. The retreat was challenging, funny, inspiring, enjoyable and most of all memorable. In the words of our students:
I liked the great sense of community and I enjoyed deepening my faith with the people around me. (Jordan)
Something I enjoyed at the retreat was the drama events. They showed us how we push God away from our lives, but when we need him most, we invite him back in. I think that we should appreciate the presence of God no matter what situation we are in. (Alvin)
The retreat was a memorable experience. It was a great way to end our retreat journey as a whole Year 12 group. (Riya)
The Year 12 retreat will be remembered as one of the many special events that made the final year for the Class of 2017 so memorable.
As the Year 12 students begin to ponder their post-school life, the remaining students at St Norbert College are beginning to select some of the courses that they will study at school next year.
Currently the Year 10 and Year 11 students are in the midst of planning their senior courses for 2018. For many of the Year 11s, this involves building on the great success that they have had so far in Year 11 and tailoring their pathway into Year 12.
For the Year 10 students, their subject selection process for Year 11 is drawing to a close. This Tuesday, students and their parents will participate in the Year 10 Subject Selection Interviews with a nominated Head of Learning Area or Head of House. This represents the final stage in a process that began with Year 10 Semester One exams and will conclude with the creation of ATAR and Vocational Pathways designed to suit the ambitions and interests of the students.
For the remaining students across Years 7 to 9, they will soon begin the procedure of selecting their elective subjects for next year to complement their compulsory courses. For these students, Subject Selection Online opens in Week 3 and will give them the chance to select their preferred electives. For next year’s Year 9 and 10 students, they will be studying four year-long electives whilst students in Year 8 2018 will be able to select four electives each semester which includes both a language and compulsory Arts and Technologies units.
Subject selection is always an exciting time for students at St Norbert College as different pathways are discussed, new electives are considered and important decisions about future directions are made. I wish all of the students the best of luck in selecting the best possible combination of subjects for the year ahead.
Mr P Hawke (Deputy Principal)
Two special College awards were introduced in 2008 to recognise student ACHIEVEMENT AND EFFORT from Semester Reports. At the College Assembly on Wednesday 19 July, Academic Distinctions and Ad Omnia Paratus Awards were presented.
The Ad Omnia Paratus Award-“Prepared for all Good Works” recognises the LEARNING BEHAVIOURS of students. It is awarded to students who have achieved 85% of EXCELLENT ratings in attributes such as Application, Behaviour, Completion of Assigned Tasks and Organisation. None of the attributes were rated at satisfactory or below.
Academic Distinctions are awarded to students in Years 7, 11 and 12 for a majority of A grades with no grades less than a B (e.g. minimum of As and 2 Bs).
A points system was introduced in Semester 2, 2016 to calculate Academic Distinctions in Years 8 to 10. It takes into consideration the stream that a student is studying. Points are calculated using:
Extension Mainstream Enrichment Unstreamed
A: 10 7 4 10
B: 9 6 3 9
C: 8 5 2 8
The cut-off to achieve an Academic Distinction using this new points system is 100 points.
Congratulations to the winners of AD OMNIA PARATUS AWARDS and ACADEMIC DISTINCTIONS from Semester 1 (list of recipients at the end of the newsletter).
Year assemblies were also held on Monday to present students with Certificates of Excellence (Top A student in each subject) and Outstanding Application (Teacher nominations). Congratulations to all students.
Presentation Night will be held on Tuesday 31 October at 7.00pm at the Perth Concert Hall. The night is one of our three compulsory events that parents and students agree to attend at enrolment.
Mr S Hodgen (Dean of Studies)
Mission Australia is calling on Australia’s youth to share their thoughts, concerns and dreams in its largest annual nationwide poll of young people. The 2017 Youth Survey is now open to all Australians aged 15-19, giving young people a platform to have their say and create a better future for all Australians.
Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans encourages all young people to make their voice heard in this year’s Youth Survey.
“The more people that get involved, the more inclusive, insightful and
representative of the broader youth community the results will be.”
Yeomans says the results provide a valuable snapshot of young Australians and offers important insights that inform both Mission Australia’s work and government decision making. The survey is now open, and closes on 11 August 2017. Results will be analysed and released before the end of the year.
Here’s how you can get involved:
About the Mission Australia Youth Survey
Each year we encourage Australians aged 15-19 to ‘speak up’ about the issues that really concern them through Australia’s largest online youth survey. In 2016 we had nearly 22,000 respondents.
We strive for an accurate representation of our nation’s youth. Among those who take part are young people who are in detention, and teenagers who are homeless or are at risk of being so. Since its inception 16 years ago, the Youth Survey has become a critical piece of research and is used to inform the agendas of governments, policy makers and community organisations. The results can also be reported for specific locations or schools where there are enough respondents.
Highlights from the 2016 Youth Survey
In 2016, young people identified alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination as the most important issues in Australia today. Tellingly, mental health entered the top three for the first time in the survey’s 15-year history, with concerns about mental health doubling since 2011. Young people continue to nominate coping with stress, school or study problems and body image as their top three issues of personal concern. Mental health issues were also increasingly identified as personal concerns for young people.
Discrimination also stood out as a growing area of concern that needs to be combated through political leadership, education, media interventions and programs at organisational and community levels:
Read the report
More information on this article can be viewed at: http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/what-we-do/research-evaluation/youth-survey
The Pastoral Care Team
The St Norbert College Mathematics Department are very happy to announce that St Norbert College is officially considered a “Maths Active School” by the Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA) and we have been assessed at the Silver Level.
The Maths Active School program allows schools to demonstrate that the school is actively extending their students and teachers beyond the normal mathematics classroom. Schools who have achieved this are given recognition through this scheme which is recognised by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and is in operation in three different States at the moment.
In order to acquire such recognition, St Norbert College had to tick many boxes which we are proud to say is a culmination of the fantastic teamwork of all of our Mathematics teachers over the past few years. A huge thank you to each and every one - Mrs Miranda, Ms Teo, Mrs Walker, Mr O’Gradaigh, Mr Nuske, Mr Lyons-Nash, Mrs Tersigni, Mrs Mark, Ms Lim and myself Mrs Murphy. What have we been up to?
I have to thank Mrs Miranda for all of her work in putting the “Maths Active” application together. It was a tumultuous task gathering all the evidence and data for the process. Her hard work and persistence paid off. Our College website will display the following well-earned logo:
Mrs B Murphy (Head of Learning Area - Mathematics)
On the last Thursday of Term 2, the Year 12 Chemistry class had the opportunity to attend a STEM Excursion at Murdoch University. The students not only learnt about the importance of metallurgy to them as an applied science, but also the value it may contribute to Australia. During the day the students were involved in common processes in extractive metallurgy including hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, mineral processing, the chemistry of metals and the mathematics and statistics involved in the minerals industry.
At the lunch time break Rio Tinto provided an opportunity for the students to have a look at their recent developments in Virtual Reality which proved to be very insightful. The students came away from the excursion with a better understanding of the interrelated nature of the STEM subjects and their importance in Australia’s mining industry. Thanks must go to Murdoch University and Rio Tinto who provided the STEM Excursion free of charge and to Ms Spinks for driving us to and from the venue.
Miss S Fairhead (Head of Learning Area - Science)
The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is the country’s only neuroscience competition for high school students. It is designed to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience and associated conditions/diseases of the brain as well as engage with students who may be interested in pursuing neuroscience as a career.
Students from 18 schools participated in the State final, which was held on Monday 24 July, selected from a starting field of more than 400 teenagers.
St Norbert College was the winning school for the team competition and Dawn Saji came third in the individual challenge.
Congratulations to our Year 10 students: Dawn Saji, Millenium Paneru, Yajnah Juggessur and Mika Bautista who competed in the team challenge and special mention to Dawn for taking the third place in individual challenge.
Mrs C Miranda (Academic Excellence Coordinator)
In the last week of Term 2 the Year 10 Specialised Basketball students were involved in an incursion held by Rebound WA, where students were actively involved in a disability awareness program. Students were taught basic skills of wheelchair basketball by Australian Paralympic athlete, Amber Merritt. Amber introduced the students to what it was like living with a disability along with her success in wheelchair basketball.
The students were greatly appreciative of Amber’s knowledge and experience that she passed onto the group.
Mr L Ford (Specialised Basketball Coordinator)
Four days of games, adventure activities, inspirational talks, prayer and making new friends! Teens (Years 7 to 12) are invited to attend. Cost is $200 for your first child and $170 for siblings. Includes all accommodation, food, transport and adventure activities.
Are you a former student or staff of St Joachim’s, Xavier College, Our Lady Help of Christians, Our Lady of Mercy or Ursula Frayne Catholic College? We are looking for you to join the newly formed Alumni. Let us help you reconnect with your old school and friends. Go to our website www.ursulafrayne.wa.edu.au and complete the registration form (under Community) or contact Mary McGonigle on 9470 0925 or [email protected] to have a form sent to you. In 2019, we celebrate 120 years since our foundation school was opened and we would like to have as many former students and staff join us in celebration.