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From the Principal Newsletter

EP8 | Newsletter

Principal’s Message


Anthony Elmore, Principal
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Welcome to Term III and Launch of Parent Wellbeing Program


Veronica Wasiak, Deputy Principal and Dr Jeff Kemp
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Learning and Teaching Update


Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development and Kylie Slatter, Head of Learning and Teaching
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Celebrating Catholic Education Week


Cassandra Massey, Assistant Principal, Catholic Identity and Mission, and Year 7 Students, Jade Engels, Taylah Matheson and Jovi Howard
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Newsletter Video Transcripts

Anthony Elmore, Principal TRANSCRIPT:

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Hello, it’s Anthony here for our next edition of our college newsletter. It’s wonderful to be back here at the college for Term III with our students and staff in full swing.

We’ve been celebrating Catholic Education Week this week, and what a wonderful occasion it has been. Of course, our face to face celebrations have not been able to be occurring with all that is taking place in society at the moment still with the health situation. However, we’ve been able to gather as a community in our spirit and in our hearts with our prayers and really focusing on the theme of Catholic Education Week, and that is A Spirited Tomorrow.

As you know, here at the college, we work in partnership with our families and our parents, our students to really work to make sure that we’re igniting the spark in each and every one of our students, to really make sure that our students have that opportunity to exceed that potential that we know that they each have, and that they can live into that spirit for that future that awaits them.

For us this week, Catholic Education Week in this very strange year, it has been a great comfort for us to come back to focus on and reflect on the meaning of our purpose and our journey and our vocation as educators in Catholic education. It’s been a wonderful week for us here.

Of course, this term, as we come back for semester two, we’ve been able to welcome a significant number of new students and families to the college. It’s been great catching up with those young women and men over the past couple of days and in week one and week two, to just make sure that they’ve settled in well and that they’re enjoying their journey, and that’s been a great conversation to have with those young people.

As well, we’ve welcomed back a number of staff that have returned from leave and a number of new staff to the college as well. It really is great to have that opportunity to welcome people into the St Michael’s family, and it reminds us on those occasions of what it is that is special to us as members of this family and really, it shows that wonderful yearning that people have to continue to belong to this great family here at St Michael’s.

This week, we see our Year 10 students and their parents involved in the beginning of the SET Planning process. And so later in the newsletter, you’ll hear from the learning and teaching team in relation to that particular activity. I wish all those young people and their families well as they continue that particular important step in their senior phase of learning.

Also in the newsletter, we are very excited that you’ll get the chance to hear from Dr Jeff Kemp in the launch of our new student wellbeing program, Going Well. I know that this is something that our team, our pastoral team, the leadership team, we’ve been working on this for some time in packaging this up and Dr Jeff Kemp has been working tirelessly in this particular area. He’s a great ambassador for young people’s mental health, as are all of our college counsellors, Natalia Clapoudis, Heather Clark, the entire team, an awesome team, and I certainly commend that program to you and your daughters and sons.

I particularly am looking forward to working with our Year 11 students as we embark on the Year 11 leadership journey, starting to go through that process of discerning our new leaders, student leaders for 2021.

I’m looking forward to hearing the speeches from those students next week, and then as we go through that process, selecting and discerning our college captains, and then those other students in other leadership areas. Please keep those young people in your prayers and thoughts over these next weeks because it is such a big thing and they are to be commended that they put themselves forward for leadership of this wonderful community.

A message for all of our families and for your friends and connections out there in the community. Enrolments for 2021 and 2022 are filling fast. We have some vacancies still for 2021 and 2022, our enrolment nights will be taking place shortly. And so I encourage you if you haven’t enrolled yet for those two year levels, or if you know family or friends that are looking to enrol for those two years, please let us know so we can complete that process. We’d hate for any of our current community members to miss out on those particular year levels.

I am absolutely looking forward to welcoming families back into the college as we see the restrictions continue to ease. We have our college board meeting that will take place in week three and another college board meeting that will take place in week seven, as we attend to matters around the college budget and other facilities details. But I’m so delighted to be able to let you know that we will be having our family and community engagement meeting on Tuesday, the 11th of August. Further details will come out through other correspondence because of course we will need to be recording details and having people register and keeping our metre and a half apart from each other. But we are so looking forward to welcoming families back into the college for that face to face engagement, because your engagement in your daughter’s and son’s learning is so important to us.

Finally, as I conclude this newsletter episode, I just wanted to remind you that coming up in mid August, we are due again for the Brisbane Catholic Education Listens survey, so that’s the BCE Listens survey. You’ll receive correspondence shortly from us in relation to that particular survey. This is a very important piece of information around how we as an organisation gather information from our parents, from our students and from our staff to help us form our improvement journey, because it’s through listening in partnership, that we can continue to shape and improve our experiences together, because we are in this together, and the only reason that we are in partnership together is because of your daughters and your sons, for their wonderful education, to make sure that they can exceed their potential, make sure that we ignite their spark, discover their strength and make sure they live into the spirit that the Holy Spirit intends for them.

Thank you, and I wish you all the best.

Welcome to Term III and Launch of Parent Wellbeing Program TRANSCRIPT:

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Hi, I’m Veronica Wasiak, Deputy Principal here at St Michael’s College. And welcome to term three.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome our seven new families who joined our community. Welcome to our St Michael’s family. And we certainly look forward to working in partnership with both yourselves and your children. As a part of the welcoming process, and this will also be helpful to our current families. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce once again, our pastoral team. And our pastoral team are here to support you and your children in whatever way they can.

So, Year 7, we have Ian Roberts, Head of Year 8, we have Jacob May, Head of Year 9, we have Michael Esdale, Head of Year 10 we have Peita Laffranchi, Year 11, Daniel Hughes and Year 12, Allan Wyper.

Also making part of our pastoral team is also our guidance counsellor team. We have Natalie Clapoudis, we have Heather Clark and we also have Dr Jeff Kemp.

This week will be a special week, and also last week was an exciting week for us here at the college where we launched our student wellbeing program to our students. And that was called the Going Well Program. This week, we’re very pleased to announce that we will also be launching the parent wellbeing program as well.

Both these programs have been six months in the making. And I have here with me this morning, Dr Jeff Kemp who has been integral in developing and leading this program. And I’ve invited Jeff here this morning to talk about the program.

Jeff Kemp: Thanks Veronica, and Hi parents. The Going Well Program aims to promote positive mental health in all members of our community, our students, our staff and parents.

Multiple research shows the importance of wellbeing to live a happy and healthier life. Our Going Well Program is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing Program developed by the Royal Melbourne Hospital. This is an evidence-based program. The key messages of the program are to stay connected, to be active, to keep learning, to be aware and to help others.

The Going Well Program for parents comprises 16 episodes. Each week, we will be emailing you an e-flyer on the program. We have a range of topics to help support your mental health and wellbeing.

Our program has been reviewed by the Royal Melbourne Hospital and St Michael’s college has been invited to partner with them to promote mental health around our country. Thank you.

Veronica Wasiak: So, parents, we value mental health and wellbeing, both for you, your children and staff, and we certainly look forward to getting that information out to you. And most importantly, we look forward to receiving that feedback from you.

Thanks so much and see you next time.

Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development and Kylie Slatter, Head of Learning and Teaching TRANSCRIPT:

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Emma Bailey: We’re already, almost halfway through this term.

Kylie Slatter: It’s gone so quickly. And I’m sure that the parents and students are feeling the same way.

Emma Bailey: Absolutely. And if we think about recently, we’ve gone through that reporting period, and so students and parents have been provided with some feedback about the student’s progress at this time.

Kylie Slatter: And it’s a really opportune time, students and families to be reflecting on those results, and thinking about ways that you can actually improve your learning.

Emma Bailey: So having conversations with your teachers about where you’re up to with your learning and then, consolidating these with conversations at home, with your families, about how you’re going and those extra steps that you can take, to move your learning forward. So, in addition to this, we had at the college, our parent teacher interviews recently as well.

Kylie Slatter: Congratulations parents, you did a great job of using the digital skills, and in using our Teams platform.

Emma Bailey: And it was great to be able to see all of our family’s faces as well in that online space, and that information again, from teachers to students and parents, that community, that connection that we have between school and home, being able to really support students to do the best that they can with their learning.

Kylie Slatter: So, the year 10 students, yes, they are currently preparing for this senior education and training plan, and recently we sent home a video. And the video provided details about their senior schooling options available here at the college.

Emma Bailey: So, and again, now’s the time to be having conversations at home about those future options. So, thinking about your post schooling pathway, and what you need to be doing in your senior years to be able to get you there.

So, our year 10 students are currently now thinking about their mentor meetings and, coming in and meeting with their set plan mentor, to make those decisions for the senior year. So, that’s the next step in that phase of their learning journey. And I suppose if we think more broadly with all of our students at the college, and we have a particular focus around making sure that our students are assessment ready.

So, assessment ready in terms of their preparation, and also in terms of having an understanding of the assessment literacy as well. So, thinking about putting those routines and habits in place at home.

Kylie Slatter: Excellent. And research has actually shown, in order to create an effective study space, it’s important that it’s in an open environment. So, we know with adolescents, they like to keep things to themselves, and perhaps they like to be hiding in their bedrooms, doing their homework. We really encourage you to have your children actually being out in open areas, completing their assignments.

Emma Bailey: As we continue to support our students while they’re learning from home, I suppose one of the main resources that they might use if they’re away from school, for whatever reason that might be, whether it’s a sick day, or maybe they’re off TAFE or or an apprenticeship, is that they can access Teams and OneNote. So, our Teams and our OneNote platform continues to be our main teaching and learning platform, that teachers utilise every day in the classroom, and that students know that’s where they go as a regular point, to get the information and the resources that they’re after.

So, from the learning and teaching team, from all of the teachers here at St Michael’s, we’d like to thank all of our parents and the wider community for their ongoing support, as they work with our students to move their learning forward each and every day.

Kylie Slatter: And students, we encourage you to keep striving, to be the best that you possibly can be, exceeding your potential and igniting your passions.

Celebrating Catholic Education Week TRANSCRIPT:

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Cassandra Massey: Hello and welcome. My name is Cassandra Massey, and I’m Assistant Principal, Catholic Identity and Mission.

This week, we’re celebrating Catholic Education Week in Queensland. It’s also 175 years of Catholic education. The theme this year is A Spirited Tomorrow. So, we look towards the future with excitement and anticipation as we embark on this journey together, trusting in God’s spirit as he walks with us and guides us on our way.

We ask God to bless St Michael’s College, and the many people who help advance our mission. Fill our minds with wisdom and understanding. Fill our hearts with gladness, and, fill our hands with the tools that we need to help serve each other.

Here at St Michael’s College, we’ve been educating young men and women for 35 years. I’d now like to introduce some of our Year 7 students who will share with you their perspective of who we are as a St Michael’s College community.

Jade Engels: St Michael’s community, a faithful, generous, compassionate community. Some actions the community shows include Rosies, we donate food, water, and warm clothing. Project Compassion, we donate money, food, and clothes to the people in need. We visit aged care communities to show respect and compassion. And last, but definitely not least, we participate in sporting events, including swimming carnivals, cross country, and athletics carnivals.

The St Michael’s community shows dedication by growing our knowledge in Jesus, and by serving each other and the community. As a school community, we show justice by being fair to all. Not only do we show dedication and justice, we also show courage by standing up for what is right and facing the world with no fear. We can see that the St Michael’s community cares, invites, and welcomes others to live out faith in their daily lives. St Michael’s has many ways of living out their faith to live in harmony and peace.

Taylah Matheson: St Michael’s community is a community of dedication, hope, and faith. Our pillars clearly demonstrate that we are a striving school with students of compassion. Each week, all students and staff gather to discuss prayer. Even with the restrictions, we gathered virtually.

All students have countless opportunities from the moment they arrive at this college. Students participate in fun events, such as swimming and athletics carnival, cross country, and the Foundation Day. Students are placed into one of the four sporting houses named after patrons. All peers in these houses support each other through cheers and songs.

Every term, a different house is chosen to support a charity. In term one, the MacKillop house donated to Project Compassion. In term two, Shannon donated to Rosies, and this term, Ox is donating to the Blind Eye Ministries. Our school community is constantly lifting each other up and filling one another with hope. St Michael’s is more than just a high school. It’s a friendly, learning community.

Jovi Howard: The St Michael’s community is a community of faith. We show this by doing practical actions such as assembly. In assembly, we pray, sing praises, read sacred scriptures, in harmony, at peace. And we also serve others. This is just one of the St Michael’s community practical actions, but we have much more.

We also give warm things to Rosies, and we have a sporting community. We focus on our patrons, MacKillop, O’Shea, Oxenham and Shannon, and look at the characteristics of them and what they did for others. Some characteristics that our patrons have are brave, teaching, caring, and helpful.

This clearly proves that St Michael’s community is a community of faith by doing what the early Christians did and would do. Our pillars are dedication, protection, courage, integrity, respect, and justice for all. We show dedication by committing to faith, self, and community. We show protection by providing a safe environment for all. St Michael’s community is a community of faith.