Welcome to my ‘Principal Reflection’ for Term 2. I trust you are all keeping warm and cosy as we head into the cooler winter months.
As we move towards the end of the first academic semester for 2023, I would like to congratulate all our students who have tried their very best, regardless of the marks and grades they may have achieved. When you receive your child’s report via SEQTA, I encourage you to sit down together as a family to reflect on the successes and recognise the areas where improvements could be made, based upon the feedback you receive from their teachers. It is through constructive feedback and evaluation that we all improve. Early in Term 3, parents/guardians of students in all Year groups will have an opportunity to meet with their child’s teachers to discuss their progress. Please do avail yourself of this opportunity, even if an interview has not been requested by the teacher.
Recently, our Year 7 and Year 9 students sat the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), and some of our Years 10, 11 and 12 students sat the Online Numeracy and Literacy Assessment (OLNA). Whilst it is important for students to try their very best on these assessments, they are not the ‘be all and end all’ of school. These tests are merely a snapshot in time to see how students and the College are progressing in the areas of literacy and numeracy. As a Catholic college we have a holistic approach to a child’s education that focuses on the development of the whole child and not just academics. It is important to remind our students that there is far more to our school than just quantitative testing and assessment. These tests do not measure a person’s value or recognise their many talents, skills, and attributes. The NAPLAN and OLNA tests are just one small part of a much bigger picture in the life of the College.
Year 12 Retreat
Our Year 12 students attended a three-day retreat at Nukara Farm immediately after the exam break earlier this term. This is one of the last opportunities they have to come together as a group, before they graduate in a few months. The retreat was a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect on their time at the College, their relationship with God and their future pathways away from the busyness of school and home. Feedback from our students and staff who attended was very positive. Such events are only possibly because of the commitment of our staff who give up their time to facilitate sessions and stay overnight with our students and I offer my sincere thanks to Mr Murray Gardiner, Director of Catholic Identity and Mission, and Mr Damian Ramos, Deputy Principal – Faith and Life, who organised the retreat. I also take this opportunity to thank our Heads of House who facilitated sessions and the many other staff who spent a significant amount of time supporting and engaging with our students to make this retreat so successful.
For (M)Others’ Day
Earlier this term, the College celebrated For (M)Others’ Day. For many years, the College has held separate special days to recognise the contribution of fathers (Fathers’ Day Breakfast) and grandparents (Grandparents’ Morning Tea) in the lives of our students, however, no event was held to acknowledge the essential roles that mothers play. In 2021, to resolve this oversight and recognise the mothers and mother figures in our community, the College invited the mothers of our Year 10 students to a Mass and morning tea at the College. This celebration is now embedded into our College calendar and it was wonderful to see so many mums taking time from their busy schedules to spend the morning with us. My thanks to Mr Damian Ramos, Deputy Principal – Faith and Life, and Mr Murray Gardiner, Director of Catholic Identity and Mission, along with Ms Jacky Patience who were the main organisers of this event. My thanks also to the many staff who were involved and helped to ensure the morning was a great success.
Interhouse Cross Country
Early this term, the Interhouse Cross Country event was held in good conditions. For many, distance running can be tough, and it requires a committed effort over a sustained period. I could see on the faces of many of our students the physical demands that accompanies any endurance-based activity. What I also saw was determination to not only meet the challenge, but to embrace it. To those students who gave their best, whether they came first or last, I offer my congratulations on your fantastic effort. Such resilience needs continual nurturing. In partnership with our families, the College seeks to continue this growth of our students through a mix of challenging opportunities, together with encouragement in the context of a supportive community. To all staff involved, especially our Sports Coordinator, Mr Joe Italiano, well done on another fantastic event for our students to enjoy. My congratulations also extends to Bishop House on winning the overall shield.
Futures Day - Careers Expo
The College recently held its annual Careers Expo in the Bishop Justin Bianchini Gymnasium. This day provided an opportunity for our students to talk with different organisations, tertiary educational institutions, and employers about the world of work, various avenues for employment and possible options for the future. Feedback from the vendors, students and staff has been very positive. A lot of students were also able to acquire new pencils, eraser, rulers, lollies and showbags as part of the experience! My sincere thanks to the many vendors who made themselves available to our students for the day. It was only through their support that we were able to make this day such a success. My thanks also extends to Ms Kaylla Broad, our Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator, Mrs Vanessa Els, one of our Directors of Teaching and Learning, our VET Staff, and Mrs Tegan Boyd’s Year 11/12 Certificate III in Business class, who organised the event for our students. You all did an amazing job.
Year 7 2024
It was my great pleasure to interview some of our prospective Year 7 2024 students earlier this term. So many of these young people spoke with confidence, gave informed responses, and asked considered questions about the College and the opportunities being a Nagle student can provide. I can certainly appreciate that, for a young person, being interviewed by a senior member of staff as a prospective student could be quite intimidating. I look forward to welcoming many of these students to the College next year when they commence their high school journey.
Mr Michael Williams