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Principal's Notes, 30th September 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the Newsletter! I recently wrote to all families about the need to remain vigilant in relation to Covid-19. While restrictions have eased somewhat in the second half of 2020, there are still some implications for our end of year events. For example, adequate social distancing and food serving protocols will be key considerations as we plan a series of Valedictory events for our Year 12 students. In line with other Anglican Schools Commission Schools, we will continue to closely monitor State and Federal Government announcements and will be taking a cautious approach to all our end of year events. With our facilities, I am confident that we are well placed to host our events in a Covid-safe manner and I thank all parents and guests in advance for their understanding of any modifications that we are required to make. 

Despite the adjustments that have been required due to Covid-19, Term 3 has seen a return to an almost normal mode of operation at our school. Carnivals, camps, Chapel, tours, incursions, excursions, and assemblies are all happening again, and I have been delighted to welcome parents back onto campus at various events. This edition of the Newsletter highlights some of the key events of the past month, including the best result in our sporting history at the recent ACC Athletics A Division Carnival for secondary students and winning the Primary NIPPSA Carnival! Well done to all students involved and the leadership of Mr Streeter and Mr Senior in coordinating the teams for the respective carnivals.

School Uniform
Over the past few months, the Executive Team has been conducting a review of our School Uniform. Led by the Associate Principal Primary School, Mr Roderick Wood, and the Dean of Students (7-12) Ms Alison Grey, the aim of the review is to ensure that the uniform meets the needs of all students, while being made from quality materials and at affordable price points. Student Council representatives have been heavily involved in the review, with consideration given to the addition of new items such as shorts for female students, darker colour socks, a more tailored shirt cut and a softer material for the jumpers. Further consultation with key stakeholders will occur in the coming months and I hope to make some further announcements before the end of the School year.

New Initiatives
At the recent Parents and Friends (P & F) meeting, the P & F Committee has agreed to fund the redevelopment of the Upper Primary Nature Play area. In comparison to the Early Years’ Nature Play area, the facility on the south western corner of the School is looking dated. Designs for the new facility have now been completed, with a large pirate ship the centrepiece of the plan which includes several zones for students to play and explore. In addition, the new play area will have greater connectivity to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden and will include a bush tucker section. Site works on this project are scheduled to commence in early December, with the area set to be ready for students to enjoy on the first day of school in 2021.

Following a review of Year 9 Elective Programme, the School has made several significant changes to the structure and courses available to students. The key drivers for this change are to provide Year 9 students with greater flexibility in their subject selection and enhance the articulation between Middle and Senior School subjects. Students will now study three electives per semester with a double and single period per week.  A significant outcome of the review is the addition of new elective subjects including Outdoor Education, STEM, and Enterprise and Innovation. These new subjects have proven popular with students and combined with a new process for choosing elective courses, will ensure mores students have access to their preferred subjects.

Male and Female Role Models
During the final week of Term 3, Year 9 students participated in two special events to recognise the importance that role models can play in supporting young people to achieve their goals. Year 9 girls attended a special Afternoon Tea along with a significant woman in their lives. While enjoying some tasty treats, the girls were motivated by guest speaker, Natasha Lester. Natasha is the author of several books, including ‘The Paris Orphan’ and spoke to Year 9 female students about following their dreams and the need to be resilient. Natasha recounted how she had been rejected by 19 publishers before having her work published, highlighting the importance of persistence. Not to be left out, the Year 9 boys had the opportunity to attend a ‘Gen Z Men’ Breakfast with a significant male in their lives. Year 9 boys listened to a speech from Kevin Campbell, the former Managing Director of Channel 7 Perth, who has over 35 years of experience in the broadcasting industry. After leaving school in Year 10, Kevin has led a very diverse life and spoke to the Year 9 male students about the importance of grasping every opportunity and setting clearly defined goals. 

Exams and Holidays
At the time of writing, Year 12’s mock exams were nearing completion. In speaking with the Associate Principal Senior School, Mrs Natalie Shaw, the focus and behaviour of our Year 12’s during the exam period has been exceptional. I encourage all year 12’s to maintain this focus; the finishing line is fast approaching and I want you to achieve to your potential during your last weeks at our school.

To all other students, I could not be any prouder of the way that you have handled what has been an unprecedented year. Your resilience has been second to none and I hope that you enjoy a well-earned break.

In concluding, I would like to wish all families a restful school holiday break and I look forward to an enjoyable Term 4 as we celebrate the Graduation of our Year 12’s and the outstanding achievements of our students at various end of year events.

Every Blessing.

Benjamin Lomas
PRINCIPAL