Principal’s Message: Week 1, Term 3, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 1, Term 3, 2019

To the friends and families of the St Edmund’s Community,

Vibrant Spirit.  Strong Character.  Tailored Learning.

Next week we have our annual Walkathon coming up (Wednesday 31 July).  Every year we consult with students on what they would like to do with the money raised.  Last year the consensus was that we commence refurbishment of the College hall, and with the money raised by students we were able to paint the Hall and give it a fresh look, so it now has become an appropriate meeting place for the College community.  This year the consensus from students is to raise funds to spend on items for our classrooms.  I would encourage all parents to support their sons in raising as much money as possible so we can continue to make a positive difference in their learning environment.  I announced on the last day of school last term that any student who raises $250 or more will have a day off school to attend an excursion event with me as a reward.  The nature of the excursion has not yet been decided as we need to wait to determine how many students will be attending (I’m hoping it will be quite a few!).

During the holiday we break we had several students undertaking some interesting exciting experiences.  We had students on a cultural trip to Japan led by Ms. Yuko Lefers and Mr. Oliver Burke; we had students on an immersion experience to the Solomon Islands, visiting our partner school, Mercy Christian School, in Honiara led by Ms. Leigh Southwell, Ms. Rebecca Lee, Ms. MJ McLeod and Mr. Jason Moore.  Next week we have some of our indigenous students travelling to Goodooga with Ms. Ashleigh Kerin and Mr. Adam Buck to participate in the Goodooga Indigenous Games and engage in some service experiences in surrounding schools.  I thank all of our students who participated in these events on the wonderful manner in which they represented the College and in the way they left a lasting impression on those they visited.  I also sincerely thank our teachers who gave up a great deal of their own time to ensure that our students continue to have meaningful and engaging experiences.

Student academic reports for Semester One were made available a few weeks ago.  I hope all parents have sat down with their son and reviewed this report carefully; taking the time to highlight the strengths and weaknesses and having a clear, healthy dialogue with your son about ways in which the strengths can be consolidated and the weaknesses can be developed. Academic reports are a time for invaluable feedback, rich and deep reflection and setting new directions. Hopefully a good process of reflection on the academic report will provide a platform for a new and successful start for this second semester.  Our Year 12 tertiary students in particular should be focusing on refining their AST skills and continuing to do the very best in their upcoming assessment tasks in order to maximise their ATAR and provide as many opportunities as possible for their future tertiary pathways.  Likewise, our accredited students should already have in mind what their future pathway looks like and should be looking at optimising their transition from school, ensuring that they finish their schooling in the best way possible.

 Our annual NAIDOC Week Assembly is scheduled for Wednesday of this week (at the same time as the distribution of Vortex).  As this is such a significant event, I wish to do it proper justice by writing about the vent next week rather than describe the Assembly and its message briefly and superficially this week.  I very much look forward to what Ms Ashleigh Kerin, her students and special speakers have put together to celebrate and acknowledge this year’s NAIDOIC Week theme, Voice, Treaty, Truth.

I would like to clarify some matters around the supply of College uniforms. As you know, the College is in the process of transitioning from one supplier to another.  I can assure you that the College will have a supply of new uniforms available which can be purchased from the uniform shop and I will inform you of the time from which new uniforms can be purchased as soon as this is finalised. The uniform shop will be set up in the same location at the front of the College.  Leading up to this, the College will also communicate to you the process of on-line orders for new uniforms for the 2020 school year.  If you have any immediate uniform needs, please contact Mr David Kelly (Assistant Principal, Junior School) for junior school needs or your Head of House for high school needs.  As always, please also feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss more general uniform questions.  I thank you for your patience and continued support in this matter.

Some of you may have already come across the following reflection, created by Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, Anglican Diocese of Oxford.  This reflection positions aspects of social media in the context of the Beatitudes, provided by Jesus as part of the Sermon on the Mount. I had all intentions of sharing this with you this week, but this has become even more relevant in the past few days as some actions of the College have been misrepresented in social media and in a local news publication. I hope you enjoy and appreciate the depth and richness of the following reflection and have time to share these ideas with your son.

The Beatitudes and Social Media
At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commends eight beautiful qualities. But what do the Beatitudes mean for social media and life online?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
I will remember that my identity comes from being made and loved by God, not from my online profile.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
This world is full of grief and suffering. I will tread softly and post with gentleness and compassion.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
I will not boast or brag online, nor will I pull others down.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied
There are many wrongs to be righted. I will not be afraid to name them and look for justice in the world.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
I will not judge others but be generous online. I will be conscious of my own failings.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God
I will be truthful and honest, and I will not pretend to be what I am not.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God
I will seek to reconcile those of different views with imagination and good humour.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
I will not add to the store of hate in the world, but I will try to be courageous in standing up for what is right and true

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

Christus Lux Mea
Joe Zavone (College Principal)