We wish the entire community of Newman College health and happiness over the Christmas season. What a year is has been!
The significance of the historical event of the birth of Jesus Christ defined the world in which we now live as a Catholic community. During this Advent season, we await the coming of Christ and with it the expectations of new life and a new beginning. In an increasingly secular time, our Christmas liturgy was a timely reminder of the importance of what it means to be part of a family. The love and care within each family is critical in the lives of our children and our greatest illustration of this is the story of a young couple from rural Israel searching for a place, a room at an inn for the birth of their child. I encourage all families to take the time to visit their local parish to celebrate Christmas Mass. This is a special time of year for all Christians and for all families. Enjoy the time together!
ADVOCACY, SOCIAL JUSTICE & SERVICE-LEARNING PARTNERSHIPS
Developing relationships and learning to engage in the world is fundamental to the growth of any person. At Newman College, our Marist characteristic of Presence calls us to actively engage with each other and grow our sense of community. This is exemplified through our Ministry Plan which is designed to provide our College Community with a framework through which to engage and live-out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its outcome may not be measured during the student’s College life. It is our aim that the values of faith, love, hope and service will manifest themselves during the student’s lifetime, and that their Catholic, Marist school experience will be one that transforms and animates them to be people of the Gospel.
Key priorities within our Ministry Plan are advocacy, social justice and service learning partnerships. The aim is to provide a framework for social action that is inspired by Gospel values, which seeks to provide the Newman College community with local opportunities to collaborate in ministries of outreach of the Catholic Church. In late November I accompanied sixteen Year 11 students and four staff from our College and St Joseph’s College Northam to the Philippines. This immersion has become an integral component of our College life because it stimulates our students’ sense of social justice and heightens their awareness of the opportunities for service in the community, both now and post school. Pope Francis contends that “the measure of the greatness of society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty.”
The immersion has three components:
- Pre-Immersion – Understanding why: Students and staff complete a program prior to the experience that focuses on learning about the structural injustices that cause poverty and oppression in the Philippines. We learn about the issues that affect young people that include abuse, human trafficking, homelessness and substance abuse. To this end we investigate and learn about the projects undertaken by Catholic Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) such as PREDA, the KUYA Centre, and ERDA Foundation. These projects specifically aim to support communities and develop the dignity of the individual to allow them to live and be afforded the rights that we all should enjoy. To support this understanding, we also focus on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) Principles with particular reference to the Church’s preferential option for the poor and the common good.
- Immersion – On ground experience: The students spend time with our partners (NGOs) to witness their work and walk in solidarity with the young people and communities. Being directly involved in activities encourages them to critically reflect on their experiences, enabling them to integrate the meaning of these experiences into their ongoing journey of faith and life.
- Post Immersion – Growing our Culture: The impact of the individual may not be measured in the short term. However, in an endeavour to raise awareness across PK-12, the immersion participants are called to action through developing a digital reflection of their experience. This is used to support our fundraising for Caritas Australia, Marist Solidarity and these agencies. Students also present to all staff and in classroom visits.
The impact and effect of this advocacy and immersion experience to the Philippines for our community has been extraordinary. Four years of this experience has grown the culture of engagement and service within and outside our school. We have established a partnership with St Joseph’s College Northam that engages students and staff from both Marist schools in this project. Our fundraising efforts have doubled and the awareness raising is now part of our pastoral program. Students have used the experience to develop their skills and capacity for critical reflection. This has enabled many students, post-school, in their application for tertiary study and for securing work in human rights and ministry. The most pleasing aspect is our community recognising the work and mission of the Catholic Church. Our students see how good works, with advocacy and service being a fundamental part of this mission.
Year 12 Graduation
This is a very special occasion on the College Calendar and marks the end of a journey from Kindy to Year 12.
In farewelling our Class of 2019, I stressed the importance of living out our dreams and that those dreams are the sum of many opportunities, challenges, experiences and of course people who support and walk with us – with their own gifts and talents.
I spoke of the recent canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman, our College namesake, whose pursuit was to inspire people to search for truth and freedom of conscience, in a time of great division and inequality between social classes, men and women, countries and more specifically between Catholics and Protestants. Saint John Henry Newman’s invitation to us is to live our life to be one of humble service and affection to each other. If this can underpin our intent and be the foundation for lives, our future, no matter what challenges we face, will be assured.
Our Year 12 students have been a magnificent exemplar to our College of this inspiration ….they have stood up for what they believed to be right and just. Their efforts, demonstrated by application, resilience, discipline, shared values, friendships and self-belief have enhanced our Newman culture. They have exemplified the Marist notion of presence by the way they have valued relationships in myriad ways. They have demonstrated a willingness to get involved, ‘to have a go’, and have the flexibility to try new things.
Please click here to access the Principal’s Graduation Speech.
In the words of Saint John Henry Newman:
Let us grow in wisdom and love
and act with courage to choose what is right.
May we always be open to change
and have the strength to accept
what is new and valuable.
Give us peace and happiness in what we do.
We ask this through Jesus, Your Son,
and Mary, our Mother.
This term, the College underwent a School Cyclic Review conducted by Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA). A School Cyclic Review focuses on the effectiveness of a school’s engagement with self-review, the impact of self-review on school improvement and the future directions for the improvement of student outcomes that the school has identified. The data sources for this review included parents, College Advisory Council, staff, and students coupled with the College’s own self review statement, Strategic Improvement Plan, Annual School Improvement Plans and Annual Reports.
The feedback from the review across the domains of Catholic Identity, Education, Community and Stewardship were very affirming for the College. The review report specifically identified the College’s Vision for Learning Shine Through Discovery – Let Your Light Shine as a clearly defined strategic and operational direction of the College. It notes Teaching and Learning are student driven and data informed and a learning culture that encourages growth in all students is clearly visible. Underpinning this strategic priority is our renewed focus on Catholic Identity through the implementation of our Ministry Plan and commitment to the formation of the spiritual life of students and staff.
The play-based learning that we foster in our classrooms at the Marian Campus provides opportunities for our students to actively and imaginatively engage with people, objects and the environment. When playing, children may be organising, constructing, manipulating, pretending, exploring, investigating, creating, interacting, imagining, negotiating and making sense of their worlds. Play-based learning looks different across the various year levels, but an observer of play-based learning is likely to see students actively engaged in experiences where choice, wonder and delight are evident in their interactions.
Newman College Early Childhood Statement of Philosophy
This Term, the Marian Campus staff embarked on a project of documenting their collective philosophies around Early Childhood education. Through much collaboration, we have finalised the Newman College Early Childhood Statement of Philosophy. I encourage you to engage with the statements made within this document, as it is an accurate reflection of the teaching and learning commitments that are delivered at the College to our youngest students.
Newman College Playgroup Semester 1 2020
There are still a few places left for the following playgroup session:
- Wednesday’s 10.30am to 11.30am
We welcome both new and existing families to our Playgroup and look forward to providing a further opportunity for families to be involved in our College’s dynamic and child-centred community.
This program is available by application and based on availability, NO FEES are charged. Click here to complete the online booking form.
Pre Primary Christmas Nativity
Last week, the Pre Primary students led the Campus in a beautiful Christmas liturgy at St Cecilia’s Parish. The students retold the Christmas story through their beautiful song and performance. With the story of the birth of Christ at the centre of our Christmas story, the children were very eager to engage in the true meaning of Christmas.
Count Us In
In Week 4, the Year 1 and 2 students participated in a nationwide simultaneous song-singing event. The ‘Count Us In’ program sees students from all around Australia sing the same song titled ‘We are’, on the same day, at the same time. It was a fun-filled activity that promotes the value of music education in the lives of children.
It was a busy and celebratory Term 4 at the Lavalla Campus! One of the many highlights was the announcement of the 2020 Student Council to the community. It is important for students to experience leadership opportunities throughout their schooling in order to support them in developing skills in relationship building and collaboration, as well as helping them form identities as individuals and leaders. This year, we have further developed the Year 5 program to offer Leadership Workshops to students in preparation for their final year of Primary schooling. The workshops took place over three weeks, focusing on themes of leading for learning, leading through teamwork, and leading as people of faith. Over 70 Year 5 students took up this opportunity and participated with enthusiasm.
Years 3-6 Awards Ceremony
Last week we celebrated the Years 3-6 Awards for the Academic, Cultural and Sporting pursuits of students and the Year 6 Graduating Class of 2019. This annual event is a wonderful way for our Years 3-6 students, staff and families to come together and celebrate another successful year of learning. Click here to see more photos from the day and the full list of award winners.
Primary Girls Dockers Cup
On Wednesday 6 November, approximately 30 students from Years 5 and 6 represented Newman College in the Primary Girls Dockers Cup AFL competition. The competition focuses on player development, with all teams participating in a skills development session run by the AFLW Dockers players. The girls played four rounds demonstrating a high level of skill, sportsmanship and enthusiasm.
Participant, Rio Angus (Year 6) described the day:
“The girls had four rounds to play not including the bye. The girls did really well throughout the day, with Newman White getting into the Grand Final and Newman Blues giving the competition their best shot too. Good job girls!”
Values for Life: Operation Empathy
The Year 4 Unit took part in a day of team building and empathy workshops presented by the Year 4 Teachers and Tim Powell from Values for Life. The first phase of the morning involved an ‘Amazing Race’ style challenge where students had to follow clues and problem solve in order to achieve a common goal.
They were then led in an interactive workshop on empathy and celebrating differences led by Tim. The College also held a Year 4 parents workshop led by Tim, reflecting on strategies and approaches to resilience and self control following-on from the learning experiences of the children from the day.
“Christmas is about the mystery of the divine found within the human ~ GOD entering our everyday life! Because Jesus Christ was born into our world in a normal human way, all our ordinary human activities are made holy.” Our 2019 Marist theme of Holy Today! has been an invitation to tune-in more to the presence of God in everyday life. That is, to recognise the ‘sacred’ or presence of God in the beautiful ordinariness of life.. During Advent and Christmas, we are once again invited to take up this challenge.
On Sunday 1 December, we celebrated the beginning of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.” Jesus is coming, and Advent is intended to be a season of preparation for His arrival. It is the season when we intentionally practise hope, when we consciously act for justice, when we joyfully live in expectation of promises fulfilled.
We see this ‘hope’ exemplified in our Mother Mary. Mary is the model of a Church who looks towards Jesus and works to create the kind of world that Jesus proclaimed in the Gospels. This Term has seen the students at Newman College work to create a world proclaimed by Jesus through supporting the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. These simple acts of generosity and kindness demonstrate that we are a people of hope; a people who walk in the light because at Christmas “Jesus Christ has entered our story and saved us from the darkness! Imagine if we were to live always as if walking in the light!” 
 Brisbane Catholic Education. (n.d.) Advent / Christmas. Retrieved from: https://www.bne.catholic.edu.au/formationandleadership/prayer/Pages/Advent-prayer.aspx
 Marist Mission and Life Formation. (2019). 2019 Theme Resource. Retrieved from: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51240d5fe4b03a5603cfea56/t/5c5255ca4d7a9c391e43d880/1548899817693/2019+Theme+Resources+%28Page%29.pdf
Year 11 Philippines Immersion
The 2019 Philippines Immersion was once again a memorable experience for Year 11 students from Newman College and St Joseph’s School, Northam. It challenged the group to develop a better understanding of our privilege and to be grateful for the things we have. Click here to read more and see more photos from the trip.
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
The annual St Vincent de Paul Society Christmas Appeal provides hope, comfort and dignity to over 3000 families in Western Australia who will be struggling during the Christmas season. As a Catholic school educating in the Marist Tradition, Newman College sought to reach out and serve those in our community following the example set by Jesus in the Scriptures:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me.”
Matthew 25: 35;40
All three campuses were inundated with donations towards the appeal, meaning that many families will be assisted this year. The donations from Marian and Lavalla Campuses have been donated to the Floreat Conference of St Vincent de Paul. Whilst the donations from Marcellin Campus have been donated to the Doubleview conference.
On Thursday 17 October, the 2020 Social Justice Captains, Faith and Liturgy Captains and four Year 6 leaders, joined other students across the Diocese for the annual Anti-Poverty Mass. The Anti-Poverty Mass aims to inspire, encourage and affirm the actions and efforts of young leaders to “Be the Light” in the world as we strive towards ending the suffering caused by poverty at home and abroad. Year 11 students Georgia Whitely and Tegan Connelly lead the procession to the altar carrying the Anti-Poverty cross.
Year 5 Leadership Retreat
The Year 5 Leadership Retreat, run by the 24:7 School Ministry team, was a fun day of games, activities and faith formation.
With the help of some Superheroes, there were examples of good leaders that display important characteristics that we can learn from. Students looked at what qualities they show and also looked at the greatest superhero of all, Jesus, who showed us all the great leadership qualities in his life.
It was a fantastic day overall and the Year 5 cohort gained a lot from their experience, ready to take on leadership opportunities in 2020!
Primary Christmas Concert – Miracle on Bethlehem Street
Our Kindy – Year 6 community joined together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Our celebrations started with traditional Christmas Carols followed by a Noongar Christmas Carol ‘Djinda Djinda’ sung by our Kindy & Year 6 students. The performance of Miracle of Bethlehem Street opened on the streets of Bethlehem, and the little town had never been busier! Ceasar’s Census had the town in a frenzy, and the Innkeeper Benjamin had a brilliant plan to capitalise on the business, that is until he was reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Click here to see more photos from the night.
Newman College Arts Festival
The annual College Arts Festival featured works (both Visual Art and Design and Technology) from across our Kindy – Year 12 student community. One of the many highlights was the unveiling of the collaborative piece which was created by students in Years 9-12 and this year’s Artists in Residence; Andy Quilty, Bradley Kickett and Rohin Kickett. Both the Opening Showcase and Parent Soiree were also wonderful celebrations. Click here to see more photos from the event.
Developing New Learning Experiences
Singapore Learning Immersion
This inaugural immersion saw twenty-five Years 9 and 10 students embark on an exciting and challenging learning immersion at Republic Polytechnic (RP) in Singapore. RP is a post school educational institution that seeks to nurture innovative, entrepreneurial and cultured professionals. Our partnership and this learning immersion aims to foster and challenge our students and staff to be resilient, global thinkers; students who are agile, collaborative and embracing of the demands of the 21st Century. The program for the week was centered on collaborating with RP students on problem-based learning activities. The program aims to develop the following skills:
- Effective self-directed learning and critical problem inquiry
- Effective collaboration and problem-solving
- Effective reasoning, argumentation and presentation
Working and collaborating with students in this industry-based learning environment fostering creativity and entrepreneurial skills has been life changing for many of our students. The benefits of this experience will be in shaping our learning programs into the future. Staff will become more adept in creating learning experiences that foster the aforementioned skills. Supporting these programs will be learning spaces that reflect our strategic intent as exemplified in the development of our new Learning Hub (due for completion December 2020). To this end our students across our College will benefit as we continue to develop our teachers and students to be agile and flexible learners in our ever-changing world.
As in previous years, students in Years 7-9 took part in Solve it; a Newman College project-based learning (PBL) initiative where students collaborate across year groups in small teams to solve real world problems (this is a project-based learning task that students complete outside of their normal classroom routine). The students were presented with a real-life problem and had to work as a group to put forward a solution. This process involved defining it, discussing it, creating a solution, tweaking the solution and finally pitching it to their peers & staff.
Problems for the 2019 groups included topics such as wellbeing challenges for FIFO workers, better ways to assess students other than exams, the College relocating our Marian Campus to the Churchlands site and ways the College can make better use of its space.
On the final day of Term, a shark tank style pitch off took place which was the culmination where guest judges from MACA Mining and Student Edge were impressed with the level of critical and creative thinking displayed by our students. Congratulations to the winning team ‘Staymine’, who designed an algorithmic approach for creating mine-site work rosters that prioritised opportunities for families to connect with loved-ones working away from home.
Changes to Mobile Phones Policy
In early November, the WA Education Minister, Sue Ellery announced that a ban on mobile phones will be implemented for all State Schools from 2020 onwards. Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce, has reaffirmed that CEWA Principals and leadership teams are responsible for setting policy on mobile phones at their schools, in consultation with their communities.
At Newman College, we are constantly monitoring the use of the technology at the school and how we can best support, educate and protect our students. As of 2020, students will not be allowed to have their mobile devices on them during the school day. Students may choose to leave their devices at home or place them in their bag/locker throughout the school day.
Throughout Semester Two, the College has been investing in the resourcing, training and delivery of the Macqlit program. This initiative involves one-to-one and small group sessions with students from Years 7 and 8, with the aim of improving reading fluency and comprehension. To highlight growth, the students involved in the program are regularly monitored with reading assessments. Although this approach is resource-intensive, it has made a marked difference in the reading fluency of students involved. Over the last two months, participants have demonstrated an average growth of 32% in their reading fluency, measured in the amounts of correct words per minute read aloud. These are very pleasing results, reflecting a significant amount of work from the students participating in the program, and both the staff and parents supporting its implementation. Throughout 2020, the MacqLit program will continue to run, supporting low-progress readers and students with literacy difficulties. As reading ability is crucial to future success for all students in both school and life, the MacqLit program is just one example highlighting the College’s commitment to improving the literacy outcomes for all students.
In their study of Geography in Term 1 this year, Year 7 Humanities students investigated the features that make a place livable. They discovered that some areas of the world are not as fortunate as we are in Australia, but that there is something that we can do to help; becoming part of the SolarBuddy project to provide renewable energy-powered lights for communities in need.
This year’s lights were delivered to Papua New Guinea, one of the most remote places on the planet, with the steep slopes of its majestic mountains making access to its people difficult. Here a diverse population lives in isolated pockets and speaks over 850 different languages. 400 lights, some of them made by Newman College students, were distributed by helicopter along the Kokoda Track to children attending Alola, Isurava and Hoi Elementary Schools. The children are able to use these solar lights rather than the expensive batteries or dangerous kerosene lamps that they had to use before.
SolarBuddy lights were also used to assist those who had to flee to care centers as a result of the volcanic eruption in Manam Island, Madang. The lights helped to inspire students to return to class. We are very proud of Year 7 2019’s role in helping to illuminate the future of those children living in energy poverty. The impact of their donation is clear in the beaming smiles of the children who received their gift.
Year 10 Camp
The Year 10 students had a wonderful first week back of Term 4 by completing a week of camping during their Adventure Camp. The aim of the program was to heighten awareness and respect for self and others as well as promote increased self-esteem and foster independence whilst increasing group cohesion. Click here to read more and see more photos from the camp.
Your Move Conference
At the beginning of November, three of the Newman Nature team attended a conference about sustainability and transport. The conference “Your Move” was facilitated by Millennium Kids and hosted by the City of Stirling. The students were lucky enough to work with local primary schools to discuss and create solutions to reduce the environmental impact of transportation to and from school.
Did you know that transportation accounted for 14% of our carbon footprint? Unfortunately, in Australia this figure is increasing at a rate of 2.5% per year. What can we do to help minimise our carbon footprint?
The two-day conference was informative, interesting and has helped the team to come up with many new ideas that they plan to implement throughout the College in 2020.
Year 9 Girls Workshops
This Term, the College held a series of four workshops for Year 9 girls which focused on leadership, resilience and relationships.
The aim of these workshops was to develop strong female voices for the future. Some of the topics were;
- Managing mistrust and dealing with conflict resolution
- Social media and personal branding
- When to say NO and how to do it effectively. “No is a complete sentence”
- Being confident with who I am.
Music Showcases Highlights
Both the Sunset Vibes vocal showcase and Year 7 Music Collective were held in the Marist Auditorium this term. The Sunset Vibes concert featured vocal students from Years 8-11 who performed solos and duets drawn from a range of contemporary styles with a relaxed, summertime mood. The Year 7 Music Collective entertained the audience with solos and small group performances by students from the Special Instrumental Program, as well as the SIP singers accompanied by the Years 6 and 7 choir, the ‘Jazz Crackers’ Jazz Combo and Concert Winds.
Those children enrolled at Newman College for 2020 are invited to attend an Orientation Session. Children will spend time with their Kindergarten teachers to familiarise themselves with their classroom learning environment while parents will be provided with an Information Session with all the relevant information to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the children into the College.
A light morning tea will also be provided for parents by our Primary Social Committee.
We invite Pre Kindergarten parents to join us for a Parent Information Session.
Please contact the Marian Campus on 9387 9900 should you require any further information or assistance. We look forward to seeing you then.
Humanities Tour / Arts Tour
Over the Term 2 break, we saw two College tours take place; the Humanities Tour visited Sydney & Canberra while the Arts Tour visited New York. Reports from staff and students have been hugely positive and I know our students have taken away some great memories from their time away. I was also very pleased to receive feedback from members of the public about our students on these tours. Our students were complimented on the way they conducted themselves in public areas and the manner in which they carried themselves. While it is always nice to receive such positive feedback as a school, these comments really compliment the families in our community and the children they are raising.
Year 12 Human Biology Excursion
This term, the Year 12 Human Biology class visited the Harry Perkins Institute. Students worked in the lab, where they set up and ran biotechnological processes to better understand how mutations can be identified. Click here to read more and see more photos from the day.
In Weeks 3 and 4, Newman College was proud to be involved in celebrating National Science Week! Kicking off with a literal bang, all students from Kindy – Year 12 were treated to a spectacular rockets and explosions Science Show put on by Science Teachers Mr Spriggins and Mr Shuckstes.
The festivities continued, with students participating in a giant bubble-making challenge, a paper plane throwing challenge, a science-themed Kahoot competition and a wildlife show from WestOz Wildlife. Newman College was also fortunate enough to feature on Perth’s Channel 9’s Today Show, showcasing what’s on offer in Science in our Secondary School. Click here to see the Channel 9 live cross.
R U OK? Day Activities
Thursday 12 September was R U OK? Day – a day when we’re reminded to ask, “Are you OK?” and to remember every day of the year to support people who may be struggling with life’s ups and downs. At Newman College, we know that regular meaningful conversations can make a difference. You do not have to be an expert to ask how someone is going. This year in the build-up to R U OK? day we were shining a light on the times we should be asking our friends and loved ones this important question. We want everyone in our school community to know that if something is up with someone you know, if something is going on in their life or you notice a change in what they’re doing or saying, it’s time to trust that gut instinct and ask them “Are you OK?”
To spread this message, students on the Marcellin Campus were invited to wear yellow accessories on the day to show their support. They also enjoyed yellow cupcakes, a sausage sizzle and a variety of games at lunchtime.
Girls in STEM Day
On Friday 6 September, a group of Year 9 girls were selected to attend the annual Girls in STEM event at North Metropolitan TAFE which promotes and encourages opportunities for girls in STEM. Click here to read more and see more photos from the day.