Newman News Term 2 Week 8: From the Principal

The Value of Co-Curricular Activity and the Lion King Jr.

I’m not a parenting expert. In fact, I’m not sure that I even believe in the idea of ‘parenting experts.’ I’m an engaged, imperfect parent and a passionate researcher. I’m an experienced mapmaker and a stumbling traveller. Like many of you, parenting is by far my boldest and most daring adventure. Brene Brown.

You may think from this opening quote that my newsletter item focuses on parenting.
Raising children can bring parents and caregivers the greatest of joy despite learning ‘on the job’ and growing into the role through experience and understanding. In the mix that helps children flourish is a warm and loving environment, with clear guidance, a community that is embracing and our support for them to explore, develop talents and attempt new challenges.

As we are in the season of The Lion King Jr, our Year 3-9 Musical, I thought it timely to mention the important part our parenting plays in guiding children and adolescents into performance activities, sport and community involvement that both challenge young people and develop their talents. Firstly, how wonderful it was last night to experience the opening of the Lion King Jr. Congratulations to our students, staff and parents for their dedication. The evening showcased skill, talent and the sheer joy of performance. The audience was thoroughly entertained and engaged with the musical and couldn’t but feel uplifted by the work of our cast, crew, and helpers. If you are attending the final three shows you will be in for a great experience. Being involved in performance activities such as sports, music, dance, or theatre can teach children valuable lessons about commitment, resilience, and teamwork. Guiding our children to experience these opportunities can be one of the best parts of parenting, even if it means being the family taxi for a decade or so!  It’s all about balance.

In my last newsletter I wrote about the importance of down-time, family time and reducing the sense of busyness that can sometimes characterise our children’s lives when we strive to provide them with very opportunity.  Performance activities require a significant level of commitment. Children learn that a fulfilling involvement in their chosen activity requires regular practice, dedication, and perseverance. They understand the importance of setting goals, working consistently towards them, and following through on their commitments. This sense of commitment can translate into other areas of their lives, such as academics or personal goals.

Performance often involves facing challenges, setbacks, and failures. Children learn to cope with disappointment, learn from their mistakes, and bounce back from setbacks, especially when they have the right mix of parental and adult support to help them contextualise their experiences. They develop resilience by understanding that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process and that they can improve with persistence and effort. This resilience helps them navigate obstacles in other areas of life, fostering a growth mindset and a willingness to take on new challenges when they next present themselves.

Many performance activities involve collaboration and teamwork. Children learn the importance of working together towards a common goal, relying on and supporting their teammates, and appreciating the unique contributions of each individual. They develop skills in communication, cooperation, compromise, and conflict resolution. These teamwork skills are transferable to various social and professional settings throughout their lives.

Adaptability and Flexibility: Performance activities often involve adapting to different situations, adjusting to new roles or circumstances, and working with diverse groups of people. Children learn to be flexible, open-minded, and adaptable, enabling them to navigate changes and uncertainties with greater ease. These skills are essential in a rapidly changing world.

Co-curricular activities such as performance and sport relate well to our pillars of Challenge, Collaborate, Create and Celebrate. Parenting that guides and supports children into the right balance of these activities helps create our young people’s memories for tomorrow and the experiences that nurture their formation as unique people.

LifeLink Day Launch for Primary Schools

We were delighted once again to host the Archbishop’s LifeLink Launch for Primary Schools last week. The morning launch provided our schools with the focus and momentum to drive initiatives that will help the LifeLink agencies and those in our community who need our support. Both our Primary and Secondary students will now action their projects to raising money and awareness for LifeLink services.  

26th Marist Netball Carnival

We look forward to welcoming the thirteen Marist Schools to our Marist Netball Carnival which commences on Sunday, for the following three days.  The carnival will be held at the Matthews Netball Centre.

At this event, we gather as members of the Marist family, something which is at once a spiritual family and a human family.  From different schools in various parts of the country, we share a common heritage and a single purpose, it is as important as the competition itself.

Final Weeks of Term

We enter the final two weeks of term and there is a great deal of important class time to develop student learning ahead. I ask that families continue to support the College in prioritising student attendance until the final day of term and plan holidays in the term breaks. This coming Friday, we have the very important Champagnat Day and we look forward to celebrating the occasion and sharing with families our Marist spirit from the day.

Best wishes for the weeks ahead.