Term 4 Week 4: From the Dean of Wellbeing

Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. Divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, “non-linear” manner, so that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion. Many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn.

Our College provided many opportunities to engage this style of thinking and problem solving this year. Since the beginning of this term, students at the Marcellin Campus have had a number of diverse learning experiences where divergent thinking has been at the forefront of their learning experience.

Currently the Year 7 students are exploring the Lake Monger environment and have work sheets that explore the diverse flora and fauna of that area. The Senior Humanities students visited the Holocaust Museum, Year 11 Biology observed the chicken hatching process and then kept measurement of the chicken’s weight and made other observations of their behaviours. Mathematics students in Years 7 – 10 have been given Maths problems that they need to solve in order to free themselves from an Escape Room. Year 10 students had an excursion which focused on Driver Education. Personal experiences from accident victims, Police and St John’s Ambulance personnel challenged students to consider the importance of safe driving and good vehicle maintenance.
All these activities require the students to engage in “diverse thinking.”

SolveIt Program

During the final two weeks of Term 4, students in Years 7 – 9 will be challenged to solve problems based around real world issues and concerns. The program will see groups formed across year levels and be mentored by a teacher through a design thinking process culminating in a Shark Tank style pitch-off to win prizes in different categories. A rigorous sequence of structured sessions will introduce students to design thinking and collaborative processes. Teams will then be guided through a problem-solving process and attempt to design and prototype solutions. Parent and community involvement will be sought to become members of the different judging panels and evaluation process. SolveIt will run approximately twice a day around regular timetabled classes, along with assessments occurring throughout the final two weeks of term.

Just Start It Initiative

Just Start IT is an entrepreneurial competition that puts Year 10 students in the driving seat to create and launch a mobile app that solves a problem facing our world today. Our two teams are currently hard at work preparing for the finals coming up later this month. Our first team, Crowd, is building an app that enables High School students from different schools to attend events based on common interests. These events are designed to be safe and affordable to give parents peace of mind and solves the problem that teens have in Perth. Our second team, Health Choice, is building an app that allows people to compare medical service options in the event of an emergency. Currently, too many people go straight to hospital emergency rooms in a perceived emergency and may wait for hours before they can be seen. Health Choice believes that if people are given different options (such as after-hours GP), people can save time and money to be treated. We wish our teams all the best!

Gratitude Project

The students on the Secondary Campus have been involved in what we have labelled a ‘Gratitude Project’. The College has developed a language around resilience through Gratitude. The Years 7 and 8 students spent one PCG period a week journaling about things they are grateful for, people they are grateful for and what they are most excited about for the week ahead. This has been an individual activity that allowed students to reflect on some of the important things in their life. At the end of journaling, students were given an opportunity to share with each other some of their responses. It is through the habit of seeking moments or acts of gratitude that we may offer our students the possibility of improving their own resilience.

Similarly, the Year 9 and 10 students had opportunities to write out some ‘affirmations’ to the students in their PCG. We called them “Warm and Fuzzies” and they were encouraged to write either an ‘affirmation’ to a friend or some attribute or act of kindness they were ‘grateful’ for from a friend or peer.

Linked to this we have been looking at the resilience of people in the community, who have gone through difficult times and come out with a very positive outlook on life despite the hardships they have experienced. Some of these examples were people disfigured by the bushfires and a young man who became a paraplegic when he dived into shallow waters of a pool. These examples of resilience helped us to be thankful and grateful for our own lives. It also encouraged us to focus on the importance of having an optimistic mind set when times are tough, and we may be feeling down.

Our Wellbeing program encourages each of us to be grateful for the small mercies we receive in our daily lives with family and friends at the centre. It helps us to focus on the ‘positive’ and for us to see the wonderful opportunities we have in life and the loving families and friends we have who love us and nurture us each day.

Year 7 2019 Transition Workshops

On Tuesday 30 October the first of the Transition Workshops was held at the Marcellin Campus. Specifically targeting the orientation and transition of current Year 6 students from many different schools as they come together for Year 7 2019, the College sees this as a vital opportunity to ensure the successful transition to High School for its 200+ students. The afternoon was supported by various staff including Pastoral Care Teachers, Guild Coordinators, Leaders of Wellbeing and Senior Leadership, but the stars of the show were the current Year 10 Mentors who have played an invaluable role in supporting and guiding our new students in getting to grips with High School. The afternoon was titled ‘Getting to Know Each Other’ and comprised of a series of activities designed to do just that. The success of the afternoon could be measured by the significant excitement generated by the incoming students.

The Transition Workshops culminates in one more session titled ‘Getting to Know the School’ and again will be supported by Year 10 Mentors. This session will run on Tuesday 13 November from 3.30pm – 5.00pm.

2019 Parent Funded BYODD

Next year Newman College will continue the parent funded, designated device model that commenced in 2016.

  • All students in Years 7 – 11 will require a Microsoft Surface Pro. A summary can be found here BYODD 2019 7-11 Summary

Parents will be required to purchase a device for students entering Year 7, current Year 8 and current Year 9 cohorts. 2019 will be the last year for the College funded MacBook program for students in Year 12.

Hat Policy

A reminder that in Term 4 students not wearing a hat will be redirected to a shady area. Students without hats are not permitted on the oval at recess or lunch time.

Philippines Free Dress Day – Gold Coin Donation 

On Friday 2 November, all students at the Marcellin Campus wore Free Dress to raise both funds and awareness for the Kuya Centre in the Philippines which will be visited by the Year 11 Philippines Immersion group. Every dollar raised on this day has been directed to young people supported by the Kuya Centre. This money does not support the costs of Year 11 students travelling on the immersion. The Kuya Centre is a project of Australian Marist Solidarity. You can read more about the Kuya Centre and the work of Australian Marist Solidarity by clicking here. Congratulations to Years’ 7-11 who raised $1100.

Year 8 Immunisations

Those students who received their first vaccination on Wednesday 4 April this year will receive their second injection on Tuesday 6 November. Commencing at 8.45am students will be called up in PCG groups. Students should wear sport uniform to school on this day if they are receiving the immunisation. After receiving the immunisation students will be able to relax in a supervised environment before returning to class.
Period 1 (8.45-9.40) – Brigid – Camara
Period 2 (9.40-10.35) – Catherine – Chisholm
PCG (10.35 – 10.50) – Marcellin
Period 3 (11.15-12.05) – MacKillop – Romero
Period 4 (12.05-12.55pm) – Thomas More

If you have any queries please email Simon Martin, Leader of Wellbeing Year 8 simon.martino@newman.wa.edu.au