Welcome to Term 2. We hope the term will be an enjoyable one for students and their families. Students have experienced a very settled start to the term and have enjoyed reconnecting with peers and the engaging learning is well underway.
I have been impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of our staff who have returned refreshed and ready for the busy term ahead. While chatting with parents waiting for their Parent Teacher Interviews last week, I could see teachers were animatedly discussing student progress with parents and I thought how committed they are to helping students achieve their potential. We are indeed blessed to be working with such a great staff!
This was a theme I touched on at our very successful Open Night on Monday: that we are a school of opportunities for all, that students at SFX are known by their teachers and that we have structures and programs in place to ensure this is the case. I shared with them reflections on our College Mission Statement, a statement of hope and transformation that drives all decisions, planning and interactions in our school community.
At St Francis Xavier College, we seek to be truthful and courageous people who nurture right relationships, value learning and celebrate Christ’s life-giving presence among us.
It was very timely that last week, the Australian Government released the ‘Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, Through Growth to Achievement’, otherwise referred to as ‘Gonski 2.0’, (access to the full report can be found here: https://www.education.gov.au/review-achieve-educational-excellence-australian-school) as I could tell prospective parents that our Mission, Vision and College Strategic Plan align beautifully with the research presented in the review’s Key Findings:
- deliver at least one years’ growth in learning for every student every year
- equip every student to be a creative, connected and engaged learner in a rapidly changing world
- cultivate an adaptive, innovation and continuously improving education (school) system.
This ‘big and challenging agenda’ for improvement will continue to inspire us in to the future.
Studies Coordinators, our Leaders of Teaching and Learning, are working with their teaching teams and the College Executive to bring this vision to fruition.
Another theme of the presentation was about the SFX sense of community as this is one of the finest qualities of our school. It is often this that people comment on when they visit us: that special feeling of SFX Spirit or as some of our student’s call it our SFX vibe!
One of our new Middle School teachers, Abbey Peterson (who comes to us from St Michael’s Primary School), expressed it beautifully in an email to me about her joy in coming to work at SFX.
The staff and students are so welcoming and supportive of new faces. My transition from Primary School to High School, couldn’t have be smoother. Every morning, every person I walk past says “Good Morning, have a great day”. When you’re in a school of 150 staff and 1200 students it’s heart-warming to be recognised and respected.
I think this ‘vibe’ was captured expertly in the SFX Video created for our College website. Teachers, Beth Doherty (also our Communications Officer) and Gerry Elias worked with Media students and local filmmaker, Daniel Sanguineti (an SFX 2002 Graduate) to produce a video that I think does a fabulous job in describing a lot of what makes SFX so special. You can watch the video here.
It is this sense of community and the wonderful support offered, that we rely on during both the good times and the challenging ones. Recently members of our school community have been touched by great sadness and loss and I ask that you please pray for them and their families.
Comfort and guide our community in times of loss and sorrow. Be our refuge and our strength, O Lord, and lift us from our sadness and grief into the peace, light and comfort of Your gentle presence.
Sending blessings for a safe and happy term
A MOTHER’S LOVE.
A Mother’s Love is something that no one can explain.
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain.
It is endless and unselfish
And enduring come what may,
For nothing can destroy it or take that
It is patient and forgiving
When all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
Even though the heart is breaking.
It believes beyond believing
When the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
Of the rarest, brightest gems.
It is far beyond defining, it defies all
And it still remains a secret like the
mysteries of creation.
A many splendour miracle man
And another wondrous evidence of
God’s tender guiding hand.
-Helen Steiner Rice