Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstone
Justice and Solidarity
A Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition adopts prophetic
stances in the light of Gospel practices and is involved in advocacy for just causes
Our world is changing rapidly and being able to equip young people to not only deal with these changes, but be co-creators of a better world, is at the very heart of our vision as an Edmund Rice School. Providing a liberating education that engages students in teaching and learning experiences that are authentic, relevant and rigorous, that challenge and support the development of skills such as creative and critical thinking, collaboration, communication and problem solving is vital in the development of young people as global citizens.
These skills must be developed in a manner which allows students to explore their own sense of justice on a range of contemporary world issues such as racism, global poverty and the widening economic gap, ecological sustainability, equality of the sexes and right relationships. As an Edmund Rice school, we are challenged to empower our boys to be counter-cultural in their thinking and passionate about life, love and the creation of a better world for all.
I have absolute faith in young people today. They have unlimited potential to undo many of the wrongs of the past. In my experience, young people demonstrate compassion and empathy in their understanding of world and local issues. They have great capacity to learn and to develop a passion to challenge injustice. I do believe as a generation of young people, they are often underestimated by society. We must continue to work with them in developing a social conscience to become confident and willing to champion the values of inclusivity, solidarity and justice for those in our society that have no voice. We must be their advisors, their protectors and their challengers if we truly wish to see them become co-creators of a world which is better than the world they have inherited.
Our boys never cease to amaze me in how they respond to global issues in a thoughtful and reflective manner. This has been exemplified once again throughout the last two weeks while working with our student leaders of the Social Justice Portfolio in the development of the next episode of SECTV, to be broadcast live on Friday June 20. These students have developed an exposé on the issue of racism in our Australian context, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. These fine young men have reflected deeply on the issue of racism and will put the challenge to the rest of the school community to also reflect deeply on the human rights violations experienced by many as a result of racist actions and beliefs. This edition of SECTV will include interviews, music, video recordings and a live survey of our student body to develop a sense of understanding of how racism is viewed by young people today. We have every reason to be very proud of these young men and I look forward to sharing this week’s episode of SECTV with families in our next edition of Touchstones.
Year 10 Subject Selection Evening
In the coming weeks, all Year 10 students will participate in a guided subject selection process for their Preliminary and HSC years. It is important that we provide parents and students with accurate information to assist their son in making choices which best suit his learning and post school aspirations. As the current restrictions placed on schools prevent us from conducting our normal information night, we have planned an Online Information Session to be held on Tuesday 23 June at 7pm.
In 2020 we commenced a joint program with St Joseph’s College to offer subjects to students in Years 11 and 12 across campuses to provide students from both schools with access to a greater range of subjects. The program has been very successful and we would like to continue to offer joint classes again for Year 11 students in 2021.
All students will be provided with access to written information whilst Leaders of Learning have prepared information videos providing information on each subject being offered to assist in making decisions. These videos are available on the College Website via the link below.
All students will be provided with ongoing advice throughout the selection process and I encourage all parents and caregivers to join the online information session next week.
Parking on Frederick Street – Morning and Afternoon
It is understandable that some parents are concerned about their sons travelling to and from school on buses each day. This has resulted in quite an increase in the number of students who are currently being driven to and from school. The increase in numbers of parents dropping off and picking up their son from the Frederick Street entrance (top end) of the College is causing major traffic congestion at these times. I ask that parents who do meet their sons on Frederick Street, be mindful of our neighbours and other drivers at all times. We ask that you do not double park or block driveways and avoid completing a three-point turn using a neighbouring driveway, but drive to the cul-de-sac at the end of Frederick Street to turn around. Even more preferably we encourage you to organise for your son to walk to meet you further away from the College at a neighbouring street or at the Gosford Sailing Club Parking Area. We have increased supervision in the afternoon to ensure the safety of students crossing Frederick Street and this will continue while the congestion remains. I thank you for your patience and cooperation with this matter.
Staff Development Day Monday July 20
As advertised on our College Calendar the staff at St Edward’s will be participating in a Staff Development Day on the first day of Term 3, Monday July 20. We were initially scheduled to participate in network meetings with teachers from other Edmund Rice Schools in our region however current restrictions prevent us from following this plan. The day will now focus on consolidating the many learnings that we have gained from an organisational and educational point of view particularly in the use of technology in our classrooms. We plan to draw on the experience to reimagine what teaching and learning might look like in the future. The front office will be closed for short periods on this day so all staff can participate in the sessions.