Newman News Term 2 Week 4: From the Vice Principal

Key Dates

Updated COVID restrictions have seen events and camps re-instated into the College Calendar. We remind parents to please check the College Calendar on a regular basis.

Marist Focus  

This week at assembly our Year 12 Captains and leaders spoke to students about the impact of communication on our relationships, and the necessity of our Marist characteristic of presence, when listening and interacting with all community members. The Year 12 captains specifically referred to being present through listening to understand, rather than listening to respond.  As we move further into the term, it is timely for us all to be present to each other and to recognise that we are all at different points. Responding to people from where they are, and accepting and understanding this point, is at the heart of our Marist culture.   

Newman Parents Consultative Committee 

The NPCC met last Monday 16 May.  Unfortunately, we had trouble with our online meeting link.  It was decided to reschedule this meeting to another date in the term.  Families will be advised of the date shortly.    

Agenda items were to include the reframing of the NPCC, the call for formal expressions of interest Expression of Interest NPC and Executive for the parent representative group across PK to Year 12, and the Homework Club Revitalisation.   

RAT Distribution  

Family distribution of RAT tests provided by the Western Australian Government commenced Monday 16 May.   The eldest child in the family were allocated tests for each sibling.   

Families who have not yet received/collected the RATs can collect them from the applicable campus administration office where the eldest child attends. Parents are required to collect them for Primary students, however students in Years 7 – 12 can collect them on your behalf at the end of lunchtime or afterschool. 


The College will run the Diagnostic Inventory for School Alignment (DISA) online tool again this year to measure our success against key criteria. The DISA consists of three surveys (teacher, parent, student) that together report the changing successes and challenges of our community.  

The diagnosis is based on the Research-based Framework for Enhancing School Outcomes. This framework provides insight into how well our key organisational elements are aligned. The College ran the DISA in 2016 and again in 2019. We will be seeking input from teachers, parents and students early next term. For more information, please visit the DISA website

Technology Committee 

Our Technology Committee at the College is comprised of key personnel across primary and secondary. The major functions of the committee are to research technology initiatives and solutions and allocate sufficient resources to strategically achieve the intents within each Priority Area of our Strategic Plan, moving the College towards the forefront of innovative practices.  

We are currently reviewing our Primary school device strategy for student use. We hope to transition to a new strategy for 2023 and more will be brought to the community shortly. If you have any questions or feedback to that end, please email me on  

Alignment Review 

Over the next two years, we will be coming together as one PK- 12 community on one site. Prior to this occurring, the College will be conducting a robust audit of policies, practices, resourcing, uniform, and operating norms. This audit will enhance alignment and ensure a smooth transition in the consolidation. More information will be provided, and parent consultation will be called for at an appropriate time. 

New Staff 

We said farewell to Regan Dyer last week, Leader of Wellbeing Year 10.  Simon Martino will look after the cohort until Sarah Ellam begins later this term. Sarah has significant leadership experience over ten years and is looking forward to joining the community. Scott Smith stepped into Leader of Wellbeing for Year 8 as Kelly Fitzpatrick left to be a first-time mother. Scott has significant pastoral leadership experience and is looking forward to getting to know the Year 8s. Fiona Hassle started as Leader of Learning Science as Hannah Parker departed to take up her role as first-time mother. 

Maria Famiano will join us later this term as an experienced Italian teacher and will replace Anj Duncan in Semester Two, as she enjoys her long service leave. Joanne Smith will be starting later this term and comes from Iona to teach English and Humanities. Joel Kaldiah is coming to us from Scotch and will start Term 3 teaching Economics, Humanities and has an Innovation leadership role. These new teachers are replacing Leila Chandler and Miranda Whitley who will leave our community to take up opportunities in other Catholic schools.  


Examinations begin next week, starting with Year 12 and then Year 11 the following week. Communications have been sent home via email from the Leaders of Wellbeing.   

Year 11 examinations commence in week 5 – Monday 23 May. 

Year 12 examinations commence in Week 6 – Monday 30 May. 

Study Techniques 

For students to be best prepared for their exams, it is a timely reminder they are utilising the best study techniques and routines.  Regular reviewing and revising are extremely important parts of the process of knowledge consolidation. See the below post from Edutopia for study tips. 

Questions students should consider: 

  1. Have you got a study routine in place that includes breaks and down time? 
  1. Have you asked someone to keep you accountable to your study routine? 
  1. Are you studying effectively? 
  1. Is your learning space conducive to study? 
  1. What does the research say about studying? Read the below except from the article written in Edutopia ‘5 Research Backed Studying Techniques’ 


Homework Club

Researchers have found that the following techniques increase sustainable learning and retention when incorporated in students’ daily study habits. These techniques are difficult and require effort, and they slow down learning. Initially the learning gains seem to be smaller than with some ineffective practices. However, these techniques lead to long-term mastery. 

The book Make It Stick identifies several research-proven studying techniques. 

  1. Pre-test: When students practice answering questions, even incorrectly, before learning the content, their future learning is enhanced. Research has shown that pre-testing improves post-test results more than spending the same amount of time studying. 
  1. Spaced practice: Spacing out study sessions—focusing on a topic for a short period on different days—has been shown to improve retention and recall more than massed practice. The book How We Learn explains that spaced practice can feel difficult due to an initial forgetting of knowledge—reacquiring that knowledge takes effort. 
  1. Creating flash cards that can be used for spaced practice and self-quizzing is effective. Students should create different piles when reviewing the flash cards. The cards they’re able to answer immediately should be placed in a pile to review three days later; those answered with some difficulty should be reviewed two days later; and those that they answered incorrectly should be reviewed the next day. 
  1. Self-quizzing: Testing has a negative connotation in this era of standardized testing, but it is a form of active retrieval practice. Encourage students to make test questions for themselves as they learn a new concept, thinking about the types of questions you might ask on a quiz or test. They should incorporate these quizzes into their study sessions, answering every question, even those they believe they know well. 
  1. Interleaving practice: Students may rely on blocked practice, studying a set of problems—such as multiplication problems—as a group until they feel mastery. A more effective method of studying is to work on a set of problems that are related but not all of the same kind—for example, a set of math word problems that call for addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. The consecutive problems cannot be solved with the same strategy. This is more effective than doing one multiplication problem after another. 
  1. Paraphrasing and reflecting: Many of us have read a few paragraphs in a textbook only to realize that we didn’t retain a single concept or key point presented in those paragraphs. To show your students how to combat this, have them utilize intentional learning strategies. These include relating what is being learned to prior knowledge, thinking about how they would explain the content to a 5-year-old, and reflecting on and asking questions about the content. 

Code of Conduct

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