From the Vice Principal – Term 1 Week 2

As we welcome students back to Newman College for another exciting year, we extend our gratitude to parents and guardians for your continued support in shaping our beloved community. Together, we share a commitment to providing a distinctly Catholic and Marist education that fosters an environment of faith, hope, and compassion.

Newman College comprises a wide variety of individuals who work together to educate our students to become confident, well-educated members of the community who are prepared to contribute as citizens, to cooperate with others and act reflectively and ethically. Our shared values and an understanding of acceptable behaviours enable the Newman College Community to work together with respect and appreciation for each other.

Over the next few weeks, as students settle back into the school environment, your assistance in reinforcing positive behaviours and supporting your child’s adherence to our uniform guidelines, is crucial. The start of the academic year is an important period for establishing routines and expectations, and your partnership plays a pivotal role in creating a conducive learning atmosphere where every student can ‘let their light shine’ (Matthew 5:16).

Please take a moment to refamiliarise yourselves with the following policies;

By working together, we can maintain the high standards that define Newman College and ensure that our students grow into confident, well-educated members of the community who embody the Marist values we hold dear.

Every school day matters!

We would like to emphasise the crucial role that regular attendance plays in your child’s academic success, aligning with the insight from AITSL (2019) that ‘every school day matters’.

Ensuring continuity of learning is of utmost importance as missing essential blocks of instruction can make the subsequent stages of the learning cycle more challenging for students. The practical consequences of missing chunks of school are found in the reduced days teachers can teach students, slowing down the progress of the class and squeezing assessments into smaller windows of completion, which can prevent students from achieving their best. Additionally, when students are absent during in-class assessments, it can present difficulties in maintaining the necessary validity and reliability required by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.

As per the Department of Education regulations, the College is obligated to categorise absences as either “Approved” or “Unapproved.” Approved absences include situations such as illness, bereavement, or attendance at College-endorsed events, while unapproved absences encompass holidays or family gatherings during term time.

We understand that there may be occasions when parents/guardians need to make decisions regarding their child’s absence for important yet unapproved reasons. We want to highlight that such decisions may negatively impact your child’s learning, and possibly result in a zero mark for assessments conducted during the absence, as per our College Assessment Policy. While we acknowledge that there may be unavoidable situations, we encourage you to consider the broader impact on your child’s learning journey.

To help minimise disruptions and support your child’s academic progress, we strongly encourage families to plan leave during the designated school holidays. By staying informed about the College calendar and actively supporting our teachers, you play an important role in providing your child with the best learning experiences and promoting continuity of learning for all our students to thrive.

Wellbeing – Secondary

Our Secondary Wellbeing Program allows our Wellbeing Team to be proactive in supporting our students’ developmental needs. Our Wellbeing Program is designed to cover aspects of the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum (KS:CPC) as we work alongside our Health and Physical Education Department, who also cover this curriculum.

There may be times in the year where we choose to vary aspects of the Wellbeing Program should the need arise, so we can respond appropriately to an emerging topic. Please be aware that if this happens, the relevant Leader of Wellbeing will communicate with their cohort’s families.

We ask that parents and guardians familiarise themselves with the topics that will be covered in the relevant year group program. If there any questions or concerns about the Wellbeing Program specific to your child’s cohort, please contact the relevant Leader of Wellbeing.

Mr Michael Chiera