Start of the 2020 Academic Year begins in Term 4.
There has been much research and debate in the past few years in WA about starting the Academic Year in Term 4. With the planning for our new strategic directions in the forefront of our thinking we have gathered feedback from staff, students and community to help guide us into our future. As a College, we are very proud of the new teaching and learning structure we have implemented. This was not done lightly and a lot of research around best practice and dialogue with other Colleges who have implemented similar structures took place. While we were in our research phase, we also investigated the benefits of starting the Academic Year in Term 4. We all agreed that this change was best for our Graduating Class as this change would gain a whole extra term in which rich learning could take place before Graduation. A change in timetable means that our students now have a more opportunity to reach their Year 12 graduation learning goals and achieve their VET Certificates.
Term 4 now becomes the start of our new Academic Year for all year levels, meaning for the first time our Year 12 students will now have four full terms of learning experiences. The college looks forward to embracing this new shift and are confident that our senior students will enjoy the benefits on the extra academic time afforded to them that comes with this new change.
Reporting Timeline changes
In light of this new change, the Students Semester 2 reports will be collated at the end of Term 3. The original Term 4 will now be referred to as Term 1. This means that at the end of this year all students will receive an Interim Report not a Semester Report. The 2020 Semester Report will now be sent out at the end of Term 1 2020.
INFORMATION ABOUT UNDERSTANDING GRADING AND ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS
It is a good time to go over a few points about how student grades are determined. It is important to understand that to achieve a C standard means your child is achieving at standard. To achieve a B or A means a student is achieving outcomes that are one or two years advanced of their expected level. Not many students achieve this level and it is quite difficult to achieve. It is also important to note that each student has a whole year to work towards a C standard. Therefore, if a student has not met the criteria for a C standard by the end of Semester 1 this does not mean they are not on track to reach the standard by the end of the year. Their learning, hence their achievement is progressive and builds from Semester to Semester over the year.
It is vital to understand that grades do not necessarily equate to an achievement standard. The teachers use the students completed whole portfolio of work to make a judgement about the final achievement standard for each subject. Our teachers refer to the SCSA judging standing and compare their students work to graded examples of work provided by SCSA before making the final decisions about a student’s final grade. Moderation of student’s work is also an important part of the grading process, therefore we enhance and strengthen our moderation procedures by comparing our student’s work to other graded examples from other EREA Colleges.
The African Proverb “It takes a Village to raise a child” is wonderful and at the College we truly believe in the value of working in partnership with our parents. Therefore, if you are ever concerned about your child’s progress you are urged to contact your child’s teacher as they are best placed to give you explicit feedback about their progress. We encourage parents and guardians to stay in contact to keep communication flowing about their child’s academic performance, engagement in class and wellbeing.
The new structure that the College has put in place is based on a Co-teaching model for Year 7 to Year 10 classes. This new model has provided an environment that enhances Pastoral Care for each students and delivers wrap around care for each student. Furthermore, the teachers are better able to track and map each student’s progress in learning and drill down to each child’s specific learning needs to support each child their academic, social, and emotional growth.
Below is included a summary from SCSA which helps further explain this.
Judging standards is a tool to support teachers when reporting against the achievement standards for each year of schooling; when giving assessment feedback; and when explaining the differences between one student’s achievement and another’s. The achievement standard describes an expected level that the majority of students are achieving or working towards by the end of that year of schooling. Some students will have progressed beyond the achievement standard; others will need additional support. The expected standard for each year is described as ‘C’ or Satisfactory. Many students will be given the same grade in semester 1 and semester 2, even though their teachers will have observed growth in learning. Bearing in mind that work in Semester 2 builds on Semester 1, maintaining a grade indicates students have held their own in the face of more advanced material and in this way have grown in their learning’ (Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline, Assessment Principle 5-Assessment should lead to informative reporting).
Deputy Principal Report
At the end of last term I took three weeks of my Long Service Leave so I could attend a Edmund Rice Education Beyond Boarders International Symposium in Lima Peru. I was lucky while I was there to rekindle friendships from Ireland, South Africa and India I had made in India a few years ago. We all share a common passion and belief in the philosophy of Edmund Rice Education.
DIALOGUE WITH THE CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
Br Hugh and Br Julian from the Congregational Leadership Team (CLT) joined us for the final three days of the symposium and shared generously with us around their understanding of education in the Edmund Rice tradition and discernment about being brother in the world. They stated that the Charism of Edmund Rice does not belong to the Christian Brothers but is there for everyone and encouraged EREBB to interpret the Charism and bring it forward as we feel inspired. They spoke about the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice and encouraged us to continue renewing the Charism in our educational institutions.
They spoke about some of the challenges of the Church on reconnecting back to the people especially the youth.
Fe y Alegría – Christian Brother School
We spent a day at Fe y Alegria 26 – Christian Brothers, an amazing Edmund Rice school educating over 1400 young people from some of the poorest areas of Peru. The school has been beautifully led and supported by the Christian Brothers since 1993. We were privileged to be warmly welcomed with traditional dancing, prayer and a pre-Inca ritual of offering to Mother Earth. Participants had the opportunity to spend time in classes and hear from students. These amazing young people are both the present and future of Peru. You could feel the Charism fully alive through these interactions. Fe y Alegría School is located in San Juan de Lurigancho, the most populated neighbourhood of Lima with over a million population.
Celebrating the Diversity of Peru
We celebrated the diversity of Peruvian culture through dance and music. We joined with the Lima community to support the National football team (which won in a penalty shootout against Uruguay!) and showed our support for the LGBTI community who were participating in the Pride March.
Visions of Leadership in the Edmund Rice Movement
Brian Garrone, Executive Officer of EREBB, shared the story of EREBB and the successes and challenges that have been experienced over the last five years. Participants actively explored future priorities and actions of this innovative global network. The Edmund Rice International Leadership Symposium has come to its end and Wayne Tinsey, Chair of EREBB, urged participants to continue building the Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders global community grounded on the Gospel and teachings of Edmund Rice, advocating for the marginalised and the poor. Thanks to all who made the Symposium possible, especially the Christian Brothers and Edmund Rice Family of the Latin American Region.
Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation – Sr Katty Huanuco
Sr Katty took us through engaging experiential learning around the following topics: 1. Compassion and how we share God’s love. 2. The struggles of refugees and those humans who are trafficked, but also their great gift to communities that they join. 3. Caring for our common home – the challenge and opportunities that Laudato Si presents. Sr Katty shared the stories of the Amazon and the great gift that Indigenous communities offer in helping us understand that everything is connected.
Towards a Church of the Poor
Wayne Tinsey explored the Theology of Liberation, particularly the contribution of Gustavo Guttierez and echoed Pope Francis’ call for a church of and for the poor. Wayne argued that it is impossible to imagine mission in the traditions of Jesus and Edmund Rice without a strong option for the poor and those at the margins.
Fr Gustavo Guttierez, the father of Liberation Theology and a living treasure of our church, graced the gathering with his teachings on the primacy of a preferential option for the poor in Christian ministry, a generous vision of who is our neighbour and service to others as authentic worship of God. He spoke of the poor and excluded; the nonpersons of our world. For an hour and a half, the group was thrilled and challenged by this humble 92 year old legend of the church and champion of the poor.
The reign of God is about making this life a better life – rather than the after life – as opposed to the traditional theology.
CBC Fremantle Visit
On June 28th a number of students from years 10-12 participated in a mentoring program with students from CBC Fremantle. After a tour of the CBC grounds, students participated in a range of learning activities supported by their peer mentors, across several different learning areas which ranged from ATAR English & Physics classes to an Outdoor Education lesson held at the beach. All students were engaged in the learning activities despite being challenged by the learning content and many CBC staff congratulated the students on their positive attitudes. The day concluded with a shared BBQ lunch with staff and students and students playing a game of basketball with their CBC mentors. I was impressed with the way in which ERC students interacted with staff and students from CBC and their friendly and engaging manner. The following are some reflections gathered from Edmund Rice College students:
“It was nerve-racking but it was exciting and good to experience another EREA College” – Chloe Stone, Year 11
“ We went around to meet the school and it was good. I had fun with my mentor” – Danielson Baumgarten, Year 10
“ We were all a bit nervous to meet the CBC kids but they were really cool and it was really fun” – Riley Keating, Year 11
“CBC Fremantle and Edmund Rice College have shared a strong connection for many years now, with CBC visiting the agricultural college’s spacious grounds each year for a range of activities during Rite Journey Week, including the programme’s turning point, the Abyss.
The visit was designed to help students from both schools better recognise the range of experiences contained within the Edmund Rice community and appreciate the scale of the global family they are part of.”
This term we had a number of new students commence their learning journey at Edmund Rice College. Wednesday, 24 July saw the day begin with a whole school assembly in the Chapel where Miss Marie and myself unpacked the College values, learning and behavioural expectations to all students in our community. After the assembly new students participated in an orientation program which saw them supported by our current Year eleven students. Students were talked through the Student Undertaking of the College, which students agreed and signed after the following points were discussed in detail with all new students:
- Rights and Responsibilities of learning at Edmund Rice College
- Mobile Phone and ICT policies
- Behavioural Expectations and consequences
Year eleven students then escorted small groups of students around the College grounds orientating them with each learning area block and introducing them to teaching and support staff. After their tour, students were then taken to the classes , introduced to their class teachers who then welcomed them into the class and assisted in providing them with a class buddy and the running of the classroom.
Pastoral Care Coordinator
Junior School Camp
On 1 to the 3 July, the Year 7-9 staff and students attended school camp at Dare Adventures in Dwellingup. With a full 12 acres to explore, Dare Adventures was definitely the place to be if you love having fun outdoors. It was a beautiful location for a camp; amongst the kangaroos, jarrah forests and Murray River.
We had such fun developing new skills, friendships and interests over the three days. Enhancing skills such as: team building, confidence building, trust activating, leadership, decision making, team interactions and communication.
The students were all so well behaved, receiving many compliments from camp staff along the way. It was very clear to both staff and students that there is nothing like participating in group activities to help your team bond. The activities that we participated in, included: raft building, archery and archery tag, rock climbing, crate climbing, abseiling, flying fox, bush walks and night walk, and team building games.
Thank you to staff and students who attended and made the camp a truly special experience. It was certainly a great opportunity for us all to learn and grow as a team. As well as have lots of fun!
Northam Cultural Centre Excursion
On Tuesday 25 June Miss Karen and Miss Jennine took a group of Yr 10, 11 and 12 students into Northam for a Tour of the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre. The Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge is located on the foreshore of the Avon River in Northam. The name of the Centre is significant, derived from Bilya which means River, Koort means Hearts and Boodja meaning Country all coming together in one place.
This regional tourist attraction offers an interactive educational experience that recognises the rich Aboriginal and environmental presence in the Nyoongar Ballardong region. The Centre aims to protect, celebrate and share the culture of the Nyoongar people and highlight land management practices that draws upon the knowledge of the land’s traditional custodians.
Students listened to storytelling and really enjoyed using the interactive display cabinet in the museum and the interpretative space before finishing the day with a short stroll along the Avon river.
Year 8 Mosaics
Year 8 students were treated to an exciting opportunity to work with local mosaic artist, Ms Julie Conway on Friday 26 July. Ms Julie quickly outlined the process for creating works of art and students readily recognised many of her installations in Bindoon and surrounds. Nearly a dozen students persevered for two lessons designing and beginning their own mosaics with resources and tools all supplied by Ms Julie. Indeed, Ms Julie had invested extra time into preparation by ‘biting’ out numerous dot shapes for students to use directly on their designs. They hope to continue this artistic expression in a few Fridays time when Ms Julie is next available. For her part, Ms Julie reported that she thoroughly enjoyed working with the students so we are very appreciative of her time, expertise, use of tools and gift of free resources including timber, tiles, glue and grout.
Zone Bowling Excursion
At the end of the term 3, the Year Ten to Twelves as part of the end to their alternative work experience program attended Zone Bowling – Joondalup. The students played two games in two teams with Miss Jennine, Miss Karen, Miss Anna and Mr John. Students really enjoyed the day and were pleased with the friendly competition. For many of the students this was the first time they had ever bowled, so it was a fantastic ‘first-time’ experience. Miss Anna mastered the first round but Aston, a year ten student, was champion of the second round. Students also were provided with a classic Americana style lunch – pop (fizzy drink), hot dog and fries (hot chips). The execution was a fantastic day out and many students asked to attend again.
One of the most exciting things we do each year is our own Boarding Students Social. This will be our 5th Social, being held at the end of week 8, and offered to year 9 and 10 students. This year we are going to do something a bit different, the Social is themed ‘the Monster Mash’, with a ghastly twist of vampires, zombies and vampires. We are also going to hold it on the revamped ‘tank’ area near the basketball court. We are hoping for around 200 students to attend, from a range of boarding schools in Perth. Keep your eye out at the end of term for the photos.
We will closely follow that event with a very busy day, Saturday 21st September, Open Day, Awards and Presentations, and year 12 graduation. We would like to offer an invitation to any parents and family who would like to come and participate and to see their young people and the boarding houses they live in, on display. Please contact myself to arrange flights, airport pickups, make a booking in one of the visitor flats, or nearby accommodation.
The students are continuing football games, playing for Toodyay Junior football league in the under 13 and under 16 teams. There are only a few more games before Finals start. Good luck guys. The girls team, playing in the Avon League had their first games against York last Sunday. This week they play in Toodyay against York and are hoping to come away with the perpetual trophy. We also had some exciting news, that 5 of our girls have been picked up from the Kirby Bentley Cup back in Term 1, and have been offered the chance to train in Perth for the remainder of the term. 2019 will be the 7th Female Diversity Championships; this is a fantastic opportunity for young indigenous girls to show off their talents. The interest and focus on Female Football has expanded enormously due to the introduction of the 2017 AFL Women’s League, for the first time the State Female Academy Talent Manager and Female Talent programs officer will be heavily involved in the program.
Our Rec Calendar is looking very full and fun. This weekend a number of our senior students will go to St Mary’s Social. In a few weeks La Salle holds their Social and later in the term our school is holding our own. We will also be going to Ice Skating in Mirrabooka, and for the first time to ‘Chillisaurus.
Head of Boarding