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Newman News Term 4 Week 4 2020: From the Principal

06 Nov 2020

Child Safeguarding

Catholic schools are entrusted in partnership with parents/guardians, with the total education of the child. In our College, every aspect of the child’s experience should reflect exemplary pastoral care which prioritises the best interests of the child or young person. Our staff hold this responsibility as an integral part of their vocation and overall commitment to the lives of all young people in their care.

In recent weeks, our Child Protection processes and procedures were affirmed by relevant regulatory authorities.

At Newman College this imperative underpins the faith and learning experiences that we provide for our students. Under the governance of Marist Schools Australia and working with Catholic Education WA, our College is strategically focused on ensuring that all staff and community groups have undergone specific Child Protection training. Supporting and embedding this training has included the following strategies:

  • Whole school approach to compliance, safeguarding and professional learning
  • Fortnightly communication via the College newsletter
  • Newman Parents Consultative Committee / Newman Parent information seminars
  • Delivery of the Keeping Safe Child Protection curriculum, K-12
  • Student Wellbeing Programs facilitated by Leaders of Wellbeing and College Counselling Team
  • Promotion of student wellbeing and student voice

In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) were created and reflect the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Marist Schools Australia has adopted these Standards and, as such, Newman College will launch its Child Safeguarding suite of policies at the commencement of 2021, replacing the current Child Protection Policy and associated procedures.

Newman College is committed to the effective implementation of the Child Safeguarding Program and ensuring that it is appropriately reviewed and updated. We adopt a risk management approach by identifying key risk indicators and assessing child safety risks based on a range of factors including the nature of our College’s activities, physical and online environments and the characteristics of the student body.

Our Child Safeguarding Program relates to all aspects of child safety and protecting children from abuse, grooming and other harm; and establishes work systems, practices, policies and procedures to protect children from abuse and to create and maintain a child safe environment and culture at the College.

Tuition Fees 2021

Following a detailed review of our income and expenditure, Newman College Council has made several important decisions relating to fees and charges across the PK-12 school in 2021.

Our priority is to ensure every child can enjoy a comprehensive Catholic education. I recognise that 2020 has been a difficult year for many families with the advent of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This crisis has given us the opportunity to reflect on how we are best able to support families in the ongoing enrolment of their children at Newman College. Through feedback and consultation, 2021 will see the implementation of a number of important changes that will provide security and surety for families. This includes the significant decision not to increase tuition fees in 2021. In addition, a 10% discount has been extended to the second child of each family, along with further changes to our family fee structure. Please click here to view.

Art Festival Highlights

Our annual Arts Festival has been conducted over the past two weeks. It was an amazing showcase of the creative talents and gifts of our students and staff.  The festival (danced off) with our Dance Showcase Divergence which was an outstanding success. In the week that followed, we held two open days that saw hundreds of families come through to view the exemplary visual and creative arts of our students across the College. Thank you to our Arts Festival Committee and our staff for creating a truly memorable experience.

Year 6 Camp

Year 6 students were finally able to attend their camp at Forest Edge Recreation Camp in Waroona. It was a jam-packed three days for our students in a variety of activities that challenged them to go outside their comfort zone and to work as a team. The problem-solving skills that emerged, let alone the courage and resilience, truly exemplified our Vision for Learning, Shine through Discovery.

Most pleasing was the way the cohort came together and the enjoyment that was obvious in their participation and respect they had for each other.

Leadership

Leadership development is integral to building student confidence, self-worth, resilience and the capacity to bring people together. At Newman College, our leadership is inspired by the Gospel imperatives of faith, love and hope, exemplified in the words of Christ… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

As a community we seek to serve others, to be transformative and engage in relationships that respect the dignity of each person. We ask our students to look beyond the boundaries of the school and to consider our local, national and world contexts in determining what actions we take and to an extent how we lead.

This week I was pleased to be present to our Year 5 Leadership Retreat which challenged our students to reflect on what it means to be a leader on our Lavalla Campus. The response of our students has been immense and many have risen to the challenges that leadership brings to the table.

This has also been evident at our Marcellin Campus, exemplified by our first Principal’s Assembly, led by our newly minted Student Leaders for 2021. Our first assembly for Term 4 not only reflected on the wonderful gifts and talents of our students but on the responsibility our whole community has to support people in need. Please click here to view my Assembly speech.

In our community, a group of Year 11 Remar students spent last Friday night on the streets of Perth serving meals and supporting the most vulnerable in our community. Significantly for our students, was the reality of actually being present to homeless people whose lives have been compromised by mental illness, unemployment, disability, addiction and stories very different to our own.

We are very privileged in our community to be able to have many choices. To that end, it is incumbent upon us as a Marist school to seek the opportunities that will empower us to make a difference in the world and to support people in need.

As we move towards Christmas, our school will again commit to supporting the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. I urge you to give generously. I urge you to become aware of the social issues that affect families this Christmas, as many people will go without.  It is our responsibility, with what we have to give, and serve and support others.