EP6 | Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Anthony Elmore, Principal
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Students Talk About Their Learning

Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development and Students
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Message from the Pastoral Care Team

Daniel Hughes, Pastoral Care Team
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Newsletter Video Transcripts

Anthony Elmore, Principal TRANSCRIPT:

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Good morning. It’s Anthony from the college, and welcome to our final newsletter for this term, and what an interesting term we have had, but thank you so much to our families, to our students, and to our staff for the wonderful way in which you have all come together to support each other, and most importantly, support our students across term two here at St Michael’s.

Today, I would like to talk to you about a couple of things for our newsletter. I’ve had quite a reflective time over the past couple of weeks, looking at the term that we have experienced, and some encounters I’ve had with students and families, particularly in these last weeks since we’ve been back here at the college.

I’ve had the wonderful, wonderful opportunity of conducting interviews with those outstanding young people who have been shortlisted for our 2021 bursaries. And I just want to spend a moment just reflecting with you a conversation I had with such a wonderful, delightful young lady. And our conversation has still stuck with me. I know that night when I went home, I shared it with Rebecca, I’ve shared it with our leadership team. I’ve shared it with a few people.

This wonderful young person, grade six student, when I talked to her about her outstanding results, straight A’s in all of her academic areas. I talked to her about the application and effort to her study, excellent written across every subject. And I talked to her, and I’d asked her about what it was, what passion was driving her, what it was for her to drive her to these results. And in such an innocent, but beautiful and reflective way, she talked about opportunity.

She has been given this opportunity for education and in her mind, that means if she’s been given this opportunity, she needs to take advantage of that and needs to use it. It was such a beautiful conversation. For me, a reminder of why I became a teacher, a reminder of why I’ve become a leader in Catholic education.

That opportunity is what I want to talk today about. Each of us, as we head towards the end of this semester, faced still with the many, many challenges in society. We just need to turn on the news, and we are confronted by really troubling times, not just here in Australia, but globally.

We really need to have that opportunity to sit, to pause, and to reflect, what are we doing with those wonderful opportunities that are available to us? I call to mind our college motto, Scientia et Caritas, scientia meaning knowledge and caritas, meaning love and compassion. What does that mean for us? Particularly if we talk about caritas, what does love and compassion in action mean for us?

Our staff and our students will be very familiar with this particular book that I quote from regularly. I reflect on this book daily here. And if I have a look, the 16th of June, actually, this really jumped out at me, “To love is to think, speak and act according to the spiritual knowledge that we are infinitely loved by God and called to make that love visible in this world.” How powerful and meaningful?

My wondering is as a St Michael’s community, what are we doing to bring that love of God into action? What are we doing with the knowledge that we have, the opportunity that we have as a St Michael’s community to bring love and compassion to our world? I know as I head towards the June-July holidays with Rebecca and my family, we will take time to rest and reflect and pause. What can we do in our lives? What could I do as a father, as a husband to bring love and compassion into action in my life? And it’s certainly not easy, and it’s something that I need to work on every day, but it’s a challenge and an encouragement I have for each member of our college community.

I thank our families who have provided wonderful feedback to us over the past couple of weeks. We really have been so overwhelmed by the number of families who have provided feedback to us, and I look forward to being able to announce this week, the winner of the thousand dollars off your semester two school fees, and we look forward to many more opportunities of having parent feedback provided directly to us here at the college, because continuous improvement will benefit our students, your daughters and sons. So thank you very, very much.

Last week, we were able to provide our term three and four scheduling update to our community. And I joined with you in being quite challenged by some of those events that we have had to postpone or even cancel. We all know that these scheduled cancellations are out of our control, and we will continue to work tirelessly to bring opportunities to our students, to ensure that they still can experience the wonderful experiences that are available to them here as students at St Michael’s College.

So I thank you again for the time you’ve taken and to support our students, to support our staff, and I assure you that we are continued to be on this journey together, supporting our families as we progress through 2020 together here at St Michael’s, because together we will be able to make the dreams and possibilities of our students possible. Thank you.

Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development and Students TRANSCRIPT:

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Good morning, I’m Emma Bailey and I’m the Assistant Principal for Learning & Development here at St. Michael’s College. It’s been so fantastic to have all of our students back at the college with us, and we’re back into our usual learning routines. I took the opportunity today to walk around the college and to ask our students what they were learning and how they knew that they were on track to achieve success in their subject areas. And here’s what they had to say.

Right now in 11 Engineering, we’re developing a prototype solution to an assisted technology for the elderly. We are currently in the process of creating that prototype and developing the prototype. I’m going pretty good with it the moment, and I know I’m on track because I’m sort of in the finishing up stages of my prototype and starting to test results and mechanical elements of the prototype to make sure it’s suitable. The design process is there’re a range of steps starting from researching potential solutions through to designing and drawing up what I wanted to create, then just pretty much went through building it.

We’re learning about the engineering design process and how we can apply that to assisted technology at the moment. I’m halfway through completing my prototype, but as soon as I finished that, I can do testing and stuff. The whole point of it is to help the elderly in something and I chose to help them put their pants on. So how it works is you put your pants on in these clips here and then this will attach onto a chair and then they can lift it up and down instead of having to bend over something like that, and then it can fold up.

Just in the last term, we’ve been learning about political theatre, which is theatre and acting, which basically it expresses to an audience usually a social issue, like some issue in the world and it urges into take action and change whatever that is. So it’s good like that. That’s what we’ve been doing past term.

The learning’s going good. It’s always going good. I know I’m on track because all this stuff we learn about dramatic conventions of epic theatre, the elements of drama. If you can learn to incorporate those into your work and you can express them in both the acting, put them in your theory work, then you can definitely be sure that you’re on the right track and you know you’re doing well in drama.

We just finished our last unit, which was focused on epic theatre, a completely unique type of theatre where elements, such as alienation are used, and it was really interesting to explore. I think I went pretty well. I did get stuck at times and that got resolved by looking back in my book or researching the elements. There is a success criteria with almost every lesson, and there were checkpoints with the assignment where we got feedback to understand the elements of drama using epic theatre.

We’re learning about how authors use different types of text features and text structures in the novels.

To impact on the reader and make them feel emotions and make them feel like different while reading it.

If I was stuck, I could ask my teacher research anything and look in my OneNote where I have information from past week.

It might say, “At the end of the lesson, have you finished the chapter that we’ve been reading or have you answered the questions to that, and do you understand what the author is trying to say?” And all just stuff like that. But yeah, if you don’t get it, just ask the teacher and she’ll explain it to you.

Also, one could be, “Did you use this type of text feature when writing, for example, a paragraph or a short story?”

Daniel Hughes, Pastoral Care Team TRANSCRIPT:

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Hello, St Michael’s community. Just a quick message from the Pastoral Team here at school. Just a reminder for your preparation for exams and assignments, so obviously thinking about what your independent study looks like at home, but also making sure that you have some time to rest and some downtime as well. So think about what your study plan looks like, obviously mindful of the things that you’re eating, obviously trying to eat healthy, going out and exercising, and it’s all about managing your stress as well.

I think one of the most important things to remember is communication, communication with your teachers at school, communication with your pastoral teachers, your pastoral leaders, and obviously communication with the guidance counsellors as well if you need to speak to any of those in school.

Also wanted to update you as to what was going on in our PEP Program, our Personal Enrichment Program. So for Year 7, they are looking at effective communication skills at the end of this term and going into next term. Year 8 are looking at personal wellbeing. Year 9 are looking at meaning, purpose, and mental fitness. Year 10 are obviously preparing for their senior studies, so they’re set planning, looking at what that’s going to look like for the next two years for them. Year 11, we’re going to be looking at teen mental health first aid, and Year 12, you are focusing on life skills.

Have an amazing end of the term, have a restful break, and we’ll see you in semester two, term three.