From the Principal – Term 2 Week 11

Dear Parents and Guardians

End of Term

The end of Term 2 has arrived, and the first Semester is finished. Looking back on this term there have been so many highlights that reflect our vision to lead our students to ‘Shine through Discovery’. The move at Lavalla into the new Years- 3-6 building; the Year 11 Retreat and Dinner Dance; Year 7 and Outdoor Education camps; Champagnat Feast Day, Gamechangers and Marist Connect events, the Winter Music Night, Primary and Secondary carnivals and sport events; the Archbishop’s Lifelink Primary Launch at Newman, Year 13 (Class of 2023) Brunch, and the Medals of Marcellin are just a few of the opportunities where our students strove for personal best and engaged with our Marist Characteristics. My sincere thanks to our children and young adolescents, staff and parents who work together to make our Marist community.

Some Words About Success

Success looks different for all students, and is achieved in and out of the classroom, on and off the sporting arena and co-curricular pursuits. The achievements and successes of the term are the culmination of persistence, overcoming adversity, learning from failure, discipline, dedication and sacrifice. I see in so many of our students’ learning journeys the seeds of what Daniel Coyle refers to as ‘deep practice’. Coyle writes: Deep practice feels a bit like exploring a dark and unfamiliar room. You start slowly, you bump into furniture, stop, think, and start again. Slowly, and a little painfully, you explore the space over and over, attending to errors, extending your reach into the room a bit farther each time, building a mental map until you can move through it quickly and intuitively. Anyone who has played a ball sport or taken up a musical instrument can relate to deep practice. Making those next notes or next shot with the racquet is about taking in all the data, feeling or hearing the mistake of the last effort and planning to execute it better in the next kick or passage of music. I have regularly spoken with students about working just beyond the margin. Not inside it where you have already mastered learning and skill, not way beyond the margin where the gap is too big to bridge, but just at the point of stretch- stretching barely. That is the sweet spot of learning and gradual, personal success.

We have celebrated so much student achievement and commitment over the term in our Celebrate Assemblies. Congratulations to the students who have been recognised in these moments. Equally, I want to congratulate the many more students who do not appear on a stage for recognition. The real measure of success is not necessarily the accolade. Instead, it is the hard work behind it leading to deep learning through deep practice. Many students have worked exceptionally hard and have not necessarily been recognised this term. Their efforts, sometimes without affirmation, are truly admirable. The Semester report is the opportunity to look for the moments of personal progress with your child, be that coach and mentor who helps your young person recognise success behind the data and support them gently with the ‘stretch’.

Student Absentee Patterns – Pressure on Students

As we prepare for the second half of the year, I share this information with you. Today, the last day of term we have experienced a far greater number of absent students than our normal pattern would present. This pattern of large numbers of students being absent on the last day of term, the Feast Day of St Marcellin Champagnat and days associated with ACC Carnivals is concerning. I ask all parents’ support in ensuring early holidays or absence from school on special event days is avoided. The impact of absence falls on all students and staff. Assessments and new learning are squeezed into tighter and tighter timeframes in the remainder of the term, which can only add unnecessary stress and burden to the students and staff, in general. Please make sure you plan to have your children at school until the end of the term.

Best Wishes

I wish all families a restful break and hope everyone finds some time to share special moments which is the beauty of Family Spirit.

Thank you to our dedicated staff who lead and support learning in any form across the College. We look forward to seeing everyone back at the beginning of Term 3 wearing their uniforms with pride and energised for another term of learning and engagement in College Life.