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Newman News Term 2 Week 4: From the Principal

23 May 2019

This week at our Marcellin Campus Assembly, I spoke about the importance to the world of having a “big idea”. As children, we all dream about what we want to be when we grow up. As we grow, we start to conjure up ideas that we are keen to develop, lead and share with the world. This Term, I have had multiple students come to me with ideas that they want to share with our College and with the wider community. One was from a student in Year 5 who succinctly argued with evidence why the College needed to create more opportunities for recycling so to improve the impact on our environment. Two sisters from Year 2 and Year 6 want to set up a textiles group that would donate proceeds to Caritas from money raised from the sale of what they produce. For each of these proposals I witnessed passionate, engaged and determined young people.

On the weekend we as Australians voted in the Federal Election which gives us as citizens the opportunity to contribute and participate in defining the country we are and the one we want to become. Elections are touchstones in a democratic country in the consideration of these ‘big ideas” known in political-speak as policies. At Newman College I want our students to believe that they can contribute their big ideas to the world. Ideas are not just for politicians or interest groups to take forward but for all of us. Ideas matter! Having passion for something matters; having a voice matters! Over 200 hundred years ago St Marcellin Champagnat had a “big idea” to educate young marginalised rural children. Today this idea is alive and well in 80 countries across the world.

In 2019 it is incumbent upon all of us to participate and make a contribution here at school in our learning and in the wider community. You don’t have to leave school to participate, to engage and seek to be transformative.

In Term 3, there are two ways we can have our voice heard:

  1. At a school level, we are developing our Strategic Plan for the next three years and we will have a series of meetings with students, staff and parents to hear your ideas.
  2. I have written to our newly elected local Federal Member, Celia Hammond to visit our community to meet with our students and hear what is important in the lives of young people in the western and northern suburbs of Perth and therefore Australia.

St Marcellin contended that he wanted our students to be good Christians and good citizens. Let’s give our students every opportunity to do so.

Parent Engagement

One of the characteristics that is valued enormously at our College is parent engagement. The contributions, volunteering and presence of parents at Newman College is highly valued. Using just one example, this was never more evident than at our recent NPCC Meeting. Thank you to the twenty parents who came along to discuss and give input to the strategic direction of the College. We discussed early childhood engagement, the upcoming Capital Development Project and student wellbeing.

Download NPCC Meeting Minutes Term 2

We have another opportunity for parents to attend our Community Forum where the Capital Development Project will be presented by our Architect. This will take place on Monday 27 May, 7.00pm, in the Marist Auditorium. Click here for further information and to RSVP.

What is Parent Engagement?

Parent engagement in schools is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development and health of children and adolescents. Parent engagement in schools is a shared responsibility in which schools are committed to reaching out to engage parents in meaningful ways, and parents are committed to actively supporting the learning and development of their children and adolescents.

Studies have shown that parent engagement in schools can promote positive education and health behaviours. Research shows a strong relationship between parent engagement and educational outcomes, including school attendance and higher grades. Parent engagement in schools has also been identified as promising protective factors for adolescent risk behaviours and outcomes.

An example of the importance we place on this is our next Newman Parent evening which is facilitated by Susan McLean from CyberSafety Solutions. This event is to be held on Wednesday 12 June, 7.00pm in the Marist Auditorium.

It is not just within the school gates that this partnership and parent involvement is bound. Outside of the classroom and when at home, finding practical ideas for parents to engage in learning in a way that is meaningful and purposeful takes time. Ongoing parental involvement reaps benefits in many ways, including shaping positive attitudes. We value your participation!

Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges 2019 Awards

The resounding success of Masquerade, the 2019 College Production, has been further recognised by the Catholic Performing Arts Adjudicators. The production received Outstanding Award recognition, the highest level of success that can be attributed in this section of the Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges. Congratulations to all of those who collaborated to make this exceptional production come to life on the stage last Term.

National Simultaneous Storytime

On Wednesday 22 May, students on the Marian Campus participated in the National Simultaneous Storytime, an annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. I had the great privilege of reading Alpacas with Maracas by Australian author and illustrator Matt Cosgrove. We had a lot of fun and the event highlighted the value of story-telling.