Newman News Term 3 Week 8: From the Principal

Dear Newman Families

A New Season

Spring has arrived and heralded many other wonderful events and milestones. I hope all fathers, grandfathers and father figures enjoyed a wonderful Father’s Day with families last Sunday. We certainly enjoyed celebrating Fathers at the Lavalla-Marcellin Thursday Mass and Marian Liturgy last week. The presence of so many fathers and grandfathers attending these celebrations spoke strongly to our Marist characteristic of Family Spirit. September 1 also marked the Church ‘Season of Creation’. Pope Francis committed the Church to the recognition of the season in 2015 following the publication of Laudato Si. Starting with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1, the Pope’s hope for the season is to “offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” Creation concludes on October 4, which is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology and Animals.

Pope Francis writes that our heartbeats are not in harmony with the heartbeats of our mothers and grandmothers, the heartbeat of our mother earth, and with the heartbeat of God. The climate and environmental injustice against creation needs our devoted attention. The Marist Messenger, the publication of the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat, summarises Pope Francis’ call for our consideration with Creation to commit ourselves to an all-embracing transformation – a transformation of our hearts, a transformation of our personal lifestyles, and a transformation in public policy.

Catholic Performing and Visual Arts Festival

The beginning of September also marks the end of the Catholic Performing and Visual Arts Festival. As I wrote earlier in the term, many Newman students have been involved in performance and creative works which have been celebrated throughout the festival. Thank you to our Arts students, the Arts team and Newman families for joyfully expressing such an important part of College life.

Senior Production

The Senior Production, Fame JR, was a wonderful performance last weekend. Alongside Lion King JR from Term 2, Fame showcased the talents of our students on stage and backstage. Once again, the support of the Creative Team comprised of staff and the work of the parent volunteers was so professional and dedicated. Congratulations to all involved!

Staff Achievements

We are blessed with a dedicated staff member who supports our Vision for Learning- Shine Through Discovery and focus on school improvement through their professional practice. We were thrilled to be advised of the outstanding achievement of Mrs Catherine Young, Leader of Learning PK-6, who was this week announced as the recipient of the inaugural National Teacher Awards 2023 in the category “Improving Student Learning and Progress”. The Teacher Awards have been established by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to recognise and commend the exceptional contributions of educators, school leaders, and support staff in K-12 school settings across Australia. Catherine has made numerous contributions and taken various initiatives in the field of education, with a particular focus on data literacy and enhancing student progress.

This week we also joined with Mr Mike Diamond in celebrating his recognition for Meritorious Service awarded through the Australian Association for Religious Education.

Congratulations, Catherine and Mike!

Parent Code of Conduct

We all operate in a school with the best interests of students at the centre of our decision-making and care. Three key documents assist us all in undertaking that support with respect and dignity. The Codes of Conduct for Parents, Staff and Students help us identify how we want to interact and engage in this most important of partnerships. We regularly revisit the Codes with students and staff, and, at times, it is important to surface the Parent Code of Conduct to support positive and productive interactions between home and the school. Thank you for engaging in the relationship in a way that supports student development and the work undertaken by the staff. HERE is our Parent Code of Conduct, provided as a refresher for parents and guardians to read.

Term 3 Holiday Break

The term is moving quickly, and the holiday break is in sight, providing a time for our students to recharge and refresh.  As always, I seek families’ support in endeavouring to make holiday arrangements in line with the gazetted breaks. This certainly allows staff to maximise the time for teaching and learning and has a positive impact on the students as they manage the cycle of learning and assessment.

Andrew Watson