Term 4 Week 7
It has been great to see so many new faces in our school over the past week, with a number of new students and families being part of our orientation and step-up day activities in the Senior and Preparatory Schools, as well as our Little Explorer’s program. We look forward to the added energy and enthusiasm all of our new students will bring to the School in 2020.
The future of education and work are often discussion topics in schools and it was great to see four of our Year 9 students Michaela Houghton (9SG), Emily Nayler (9Be), Marcus Dickson (9Ha) and Milinda Dissanayake (9Be) featuring on last night’s episode of Today Tonight. The students enjoyed a ‘sneak-peak’ at the Resources Technology Showcase being held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Exhibition will provide an insight into what the future of work may look like, with a focus on WA’s mining sector. Engaging with robots, computer games and giant trucks meant it was an enjoyable and enriching day out for the students.
As the well-known song goes “…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, and it certainly did last night at the Preparatory School’s fabulous “Aussie Christmas” Carols event. Our wonderful sense of community was again on display, and it was brilliant to see the effort that the students and staff went to, in order to put on some great performances of Australian themed Christmas tunes. My favourite was the Year 6 rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – featuring some excellent rapping in the verses! I was impressed to see the efforts of our parents and staff getting into the theme of the night with some very bright and festive outfits on display. As well as being an extremely entertaining night, it was most pleasing (but not surprising) to see the generosity of our community participating in the Anglicare WA Christmas Appeal, by providing a significant number of gifts to be distributed to children in need this Christmas. All-in-all it was a wonderful evening to lead us in to the very busy conclusion of the school year.
While it is fun for us to get caught up in the songs, decorations, lights and presents we associate with Christmas, it is easy to lose a sense of orientation of what this time of the year is about. It can take a conscious effort to reflect on the true meaning and symbolism of this important time of celebration in the Christian calendar. This year I have decided my two focuses for Christmas will be ‘peace and ‘presence’ (not presents!).
‘Peace’ is one of the key messages or words we associate with Christmas. It will soon be a feature of many signs adorning the walls of shopping centres and on Christmas trees, however despite the holidays and time with family we often feel robbed of ‘peace’ when the focus is on the wrong aspects of Christmas; the need to jam in as much last minute present shopping as possible, buying the right presents and serving the right meals. The list can go on.
Christmas can be a good reminder to be at peace with ourselves and to make peace with others, by not allowing the little things to spoil Christmas. It may be the opportune time to overlook past disagreements with friends and family and may be the perfect opportunity to send a card, make a call or organise that long overdue catch up. I hope all of our families are able to find many moments of peace over the Christmas break.
We give presents as a symbolic reminder of the gifts that were provided by the three kings at the birth of Jesus. However, this also serves as a good reminder for us of the importance of gratitude over greed. Having a young child and many nephews and nieces, I am aware as a parent and adult of the need for reminders and conversations about the focus when receiving gifts being how readily we say “thank you” and not “are there any more?” In my mind the best Christmas present is presence, and we are lucky that this time of year means that all families have the luxury of a chunk of time they can spend together, without the distraction of emails, events, or fixtures, where we can truly be present in one another’s lives. It will be the conversations, games and meals shared that will be the real presents.
I want to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to all our staff, students and families for the support and encouragement they have offered me during my role as Acting Headmaster this term. It has been a highly rewarding and educative experience and has certainly enabled me to gain an even greater level of appreciation and admiration for the outstanding way Mr Webber has carried out this role over the past nine years. We are looking forward to our Prize Giving events next week, seeing all of our families, having the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our students, and also farewelling our Headmaster, Mr Stephen Webber, and thanking him for his contributions to the School.
I hope all of our families have a safe and holy Christmas break, and that you are able to find plenty of the most precious commodity; time to be able to give to one another!
Olivia Crossen (8Be), is the U15MPAWA State Champion after competing in her first Modern Pentathlon. The event consists of:
Olivia achieved the highest score of any competitor in any age group.
- running 2.4km
- laser pistol shooting
- swimming 200m
- showjumping (on an unknown horse - you have 20 mins to meet and warm up the horse, then jump)
Jeremy Choong (11Fr) sat for his AMEB Grade 7 violin on the 17 November 2019, achieving an A-. He is now working on his Certificate of Performance (CPM).
CJ Hutton (10Sc) swam in the inaugural "Swim for Life" event at Scarborough Pool on Sunday 24 November. The plan is for this event to be annual, and eventually national. Callum was the youngest member of the team, reflecting the young age of this at risk group. All funds raised went to the Black Dog Institute.