Dear Parents, Guardians, Friends and Students
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday. It was wonderful to welcome back to school all of our staff and students. A particular welcome to all those new families that have joined the Edmund Rice College family. Together we are on an exciting journey. Many of the staff have been in over the last few weeks of holiday time preparing for the arrival of all the students, day and boarding. We are all ready for the 2021 academic year!
We were all hoping to have a normal start to the new year after the impact of Covid on us last year. I’m not sure the staff or students know what normal is any more. We started with the boarding students arriving before the weekend of week 1, with the hope of getting them all settled and ready for school week 1, and during those few days Perth went into lockdown, which meant our Perth students didn’t come in for week 1. Then there was rain and a cyclone that meant the planes weren’t flying. We finally have the majority of our students back this week. I am looking forward to getting to know all of our new young people during the next few weeks. It has been wonderful to see a number of our families come in and stay at the College also. You are always welcome, just let us know when you will be in Perth and we can arrange for a stay in one of our flats.
During the first three weeks there have been opportunities to engage with the new students as well as the whole College to talk about our expectations for our community during this year, including a whole school induction assembly this morning. They will continue to hear us refer to four key words throughout the year. They are our values: respect, honesty, excellence and tolerance. If each of us keeps these in mind then all of our interactions throughout the College will be positive. Our aim is to build on the positive aspects of our College community and reinforce these values at all times. I will be challenging those students who are consistently unable to adhere to these values and follow the instructions given to them by the staff.
Please remember if there is anything that is concerning you contact the College staff as they will follow up any issue that is brought to their attention. We can work miracles when we work together to support the ongoing learning journey of our young people.
Prayer for the New School Year
God of wisdom and might, we praise you for the wonder
of our being, for mind, body and spirit.
Be with our children as they begin a new school year.
Bless them and their teachers and staff.
Give them strength and grace as their bodies grow;
Give wisdom and knowledge to
their minds as they search for understanding; and peace and
zeal to their hearts.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Deputy Principal Report
It is with pleasure and a real sense of anticipation that I welcome both returning and new students, families and staff to Edmund Rice College for 2021 and I sincerely hope that the holiday period was a memorable time of relaxation, family and friends for you.
It has been an odd start to the school year with a snap lockdown, the Wooroloo Bushfire and flooding in our Gascoyne areas. I know that for some of our families and staff it was a challenging time; however as we begin our learning journey for 2021 together, that you take comfort that we are a positive and supportive College community as we support your young people to reach their full potential.
There is something special about the promise a new year brings – a new beginning, a sense of hope and new possibilities. It is our hope that students enrolled at the College make the most of every opportunity provided even when challenged. Challenges are an important part of life and have many benefits. Challenges in adolescence prepare a young person for the adult world. They foster a belief that obstacles are a normal part of life and that one can manage and come through them, often being better for having had the experience. Therefore, I encourage our young people to embrace the learning opportunities, academic and social challenges that 2021 brings, as our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength of character. Staff at Edmund Rice College will continue to challenge and support our young people’s growth and development so that they may continue to experience successes well beyond the confines of the learning environment we provide.
Punctuality to Classes
It is very important that all students be on time to all classes. Being punctual shows respect for others and their time; and it is a character trait that is important for students to demonstrate and undoubtedly plays an important role in future success.
Be an Active Learner
It is very important that all students strive to become active learners in the classroom. Sitting passively is not going to assist in developing new skills nor retain new information. The following ideas are encouraged by College staff to challenge our students to make a positive mindset change so that they become active participants in their learning and which will play an important role in future success:
- Asking questions as students read
- Writing notes in their own words
- Summarising what they have read
- Talking about the new information to family and friends that they are learning and thinking how it fits in with the things they already know
- Considering how they can use this new information in their studies and in their everyday life
Homework and Co-curricular Program
Staff will be providing student’s homework on a weekly basis. Homework provided to students will support the consolidation of learning material covered in classes. Homework will be given to students on a Thursday afternoon and will need to be returned to class teachers the following Tuesday.
Scheduled activities that occur after school or at lunchtime will be advertised from week 4 for students to access in the coming weeks on a voluntary basis. These activities may include cattle club, bike maintenance and riding, sporting groups or homework support and are dependent upon staff availability.
Ash Wednesday is an important day for Catholics across the world because it marks the start of the Lenten period. This is a time when Catholics practice fasting, almsgiving and pray for 40 days, which represents the time Jesus spent in the desert prior to his death and resurrection. The College celebrated Ash Wednesday by holding a small liturgy in the Chapel. Students and staff all received ashes sprinkled over their heads as a sign of death and repentance (turning away from our sins and returning to the Gospel). Thank you to the select students who helped prepare and clean afterwards.
Project Compassion Launch
On Tuesday 16 February 2021 a select few students were invited to Corpus Christi College to participate in the 2021 Launch of Project Compassion. The launch included a Mass, celebrated with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and numerous Catholic Colleges from across Western Australia and a pancake morning tea. Students were also involved in a session discussing supporting Caritas Australia’s mission to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. It was a fantastic day where the students were able to discuss new ideas and opinions with other Colleges from WA. The students and the staff look forward to hearing and learning more from the stories Project Compassion shares. Thank you to Corpus Christi for holding the event.
To learn more about Project Compassion please visit:
Head of Religious Education
Australian Defence Force Recruits
Over the course of 2020, four students attended meetings, medical checks, psych testing and fitness testing with the Australian Defence Force, with 3 of them passing and moving on this year to training. Year 12 Graduates Nazah and Kaunell officially Enlisted into the Australian Army in January. The boys left straight after the Enlistment Ceremony and flew to Melbourne, before travelling to Kapooka where they will attend training and educational activities and graduate as Soldiers. I recently spoke to Nazah and he said that he found it hard but really enjoyed it. He said that being at Boarding school has helped him to understand how to follow rules and routines, but the Army is more strict. He has to start each day with a quick shower, get dressed into his ironed uniform and make his bed all in under a designated time. He said that making the bed has to be perfect, hospital corners and measuring the distance between the edge of the bed and the pillow all around. Kaunell has said that he found the first 2 weeks of isolation hard but is enjoying it now they are out and learning what it means to be a Soldier. The boys were going to the live range this week focusing on weapons and they are extremely excited. The boys are in an Indigenous recruit program and have made some friends already. We wish the boys luck and will continue to get updates throughout their journey.
We began the school year with Boarding students flying into Perth Friday 29th January. Some Boarding students weren’t able to arrive as there had been a cyclone up North at around the same time and a lot of rain which damaged roads and airstrips. We took the students we did have to do some shopping over the weekend and arranged uniforms. Sunday we went to Kings Park so the kids could see the city and have a picnic. Shortly after we got word that someone in Perth had Coronavirus, which meant that we were not able to travel back South to Perth for 2 weeks. We had to change our weekend plans and go to Northam for essential shopping. At the moment we are getting organised for the Senior School Ball, dress & shoe shopping and trying on suits with the boys.
The College bank account for student pocket money is Bendigo Bank, Edmund Rice College, BSB 633000 Account 163022866 with reference student name.
Head of Boarding