Earlier this week, our student leaders in Year 6 attended a Youth UN consultation where the theme for the day was, “What would Australia look like if young people were the key driver of decision making?” This is such a great theme to consider, as every day I am amazed at the brilliant talent and thoughts our students can offer. I shared this with students at one of our morning gatherings this week, discussing their futures. I let them know that even though they may only be in Years 3-6 now, I often look at our group of students and imagine them as our Years 9-12 leaders which they will become in just a few short years.
The young leaders that students become in the future is all to do with the young people they seek to become now. I spoke with students this week about the importance of setting positive habits – that the actions and behaviours we commit to today will be reflected in our future selves. At a previous school, I once met with a parent at the beginning of Term 4 when I was teaching in Year 6. She wanted to know how to bring her child to a ‘C’ grade standard in one of his subjects before he commenced high school; dismissing the advice we gave earlier in the year. Unfortunately, learning doesn’t work like this. We can’t always just ‘flick a switch’ at a certain point in time and expect everything to work perfectly. It takes years of positive habits and behaviours to build success and this is the message I had for students this week.
At home, I would encourage all families to chat with their child about their future – what sort of person do they hope to be? What type of student do they want to be? Do they already have a career in mind? As part of that discussion speak with them about the behaviours and attitudes that they will need to arrive at their goal. The earlier they can adopt these, the better their chances of success are in the long term.
Highlights from Past Two Weeks
Last week we celebrated our assembly with Year 6 Blue presenting an original piece about both bullying and Maths! Students presented a story through a poem, which highlighted the dangers of bullying and the importance of supporting one another. This is such an important message as there really is nothing more important than the way we treat others! We are very grateful to Mrs Horn and the Year 6 Blue class for being able to share with us such a positive message.
This morning we celebrated assembly with an item prepared by Year 5 Green and Miss Sankar. They presented a fantastic assembly based around the importance of having a growth mindset, with a very futuristic theme. I even got to meet another version of myself – thanks Niamh! A growth mindset is all about having the belief that your skills and talents can be developed through hard work, grit, and perseverance – a terrific message for all our students to hear. Well done to Miss Sankar, Mr Howard, Mrs Biancuzzo, and of the course the Year 5 Green class for an excellent performance!
Last week we were very proud to present Declan Robinson in Year 6 the Marcellin Award. Declan was nominated by his teachers for all the small but very meaningful things he does for his class and classmates. He is the first to help others, includes other students in play and will hold the door open for the next student passing through. His respectful and good-mannered nature makes him a delight to be around and his actions perfectly model the Marist values of Newman College. He can be very proud of his efforts and the impact he is having in his class. Great job Declan!
This morning we also presented a Marcellin Award to William Nyirongo in Year 5. William has taken it upon himself over these past few weeks to rid our school of excess rubbish and has often been spotted picking up rubbish in his own time in order to improve the look and feel of our grounds. I hope that his selfless act is an inspiration to other students, as this is a fine example of student leadership – making the choice to do something positive that benefits others. Congratulations Will on your outstanding efforts!
This week I wrote to all families in Year 6 to share some discussions we have been having in school about the standards and expectations of our students, particularly in relation to behaviour. It is important that families of students across all year levels understand that there is a level of expectation students, families and staff have for our community, and that it is the responsibility of everyone within that community to meet those standards. We frequently use our morning meeting time to set a positive tone or thought for the day, or sometimes to remind students about one of these expectations. We will continue this practice into the second half of our year, with teachers meeting in their classes to reiterate and support these points also.
UN Youth Conference
Earlier this week, our Year 6 students, along with Mrs Horn and Mrs Biancuzzo, took the opportunity to travel to Loreto Nedlands with other schools to take part in a Youth UN consultation. The theme of the day was, “What would Australia look like if young people were the key driver of decision making?” Students listened to a presentation and took part in some activities and discussions around the theme. Students enjoyed the experience and certainly came back with lots to think about!
Culture of Excellence
I was so pleased to come across some fine examples of excellence in our classrooms this week.
In Year 3 Red, Joel Costley and Leo Goggin combined to achieve more than 50,000 points last week in Mathletics. This means that together, they answered more than 5000 Maths questions correctly. Amazing! I love seeing students setting a goal for themselves and working to achieve it and then inspiring others to do the same. Great efforts from Joel and especially Leo, who has been leading the charge in Year 3 Red for some weeks!
In Year 5 Blue, Kaydee Van Deventer recently took part in the School Sport WA State selection Cross Country race. Racing against girls from all over the state, Kaydee ran an amazing race to finish 2nd overall. This is an outstanding result and one that Kaydee can be really proud of. Kaydee was busy smashing swimming records in Term 1 and is now excelling in the world of athletics too! Well done Kaydee!
In Year 3 Green, Charlotte Nolan has been instrumental in a great example of student leadership. Along with some of her classmates, Charlotte has started a ‘study club’ where students from Year 3 Green go to the library each Monday and Thursday at lunch. Students use this time to finish off some work from class or complete some activities together with a goal of everyone helping others to succeed. Mr Finneran even proposed that Charlotte come and speak to our Year 12 students about it! Well done to her, and the rest of the Year 3 Green team for their dedication to improvement and excellence!
Years 5 and 6 Art Extension Program
Last week our Art Extension students in Years 5 and 6 took part in a workshop with West Australian textile artist, Tanya Cain Abbs. Tanya worked with students, along with Mrs Grayden and Mrs Farrell, to create a traditional Japanese textile art called ‘Shibori’. Students will use their fabric design as part of a cushion they are designing and will display these artworks in the PK-12 Art exhibition later in the year. Students really enjoyed the opportunity to take part and expand their horizons with something new.
Year 3 Welcomes Mr Bailey
Last week our Year 3 students were very glad to welcome Mr Bailey who came and spoke to them about his time in the armed services and the importance of ANZAC Day. Mr Bailey brought in some photos and medals (both real and replica) that he was able to share with students. He spoke about his journey through the armed services and some of the different jobs and tasks he undertook during this time, reflecting on some important qualities he was able to share with students such as determination, perseverance and friendship. We are very grateful to Mr Bailey for his time and the wonderful experience he was able to give our students.
Important Information For The Next Two Weeks
There are several upcoming events over the next two weeks at school that we look forward to sharing in with our students and the community. These include:
- Monday 31 May – Year 6 excursion to Parliament House
- Tuesday 1 June – Opening of the Saint John Henry Newman Learning Hub
- Wednesday 2 June – LifeLink launch day for primary schools
- Thursday 3 June – Year 6 Interschool sport (hosted here at Newman)
- Friday 11 June – Champagnat Feast Day celebrations (including buddy day!)