Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstones
As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, St Edward’s continues the work of the Christian Brothers by calling its school community to play a prophetic role in the mission of the Catholic Church;
Founder’s Day Mass
Father Vince Casey from Star of the Sea Parish in Terrigal will join us on Friday April 30 to celebrate the Eucharist in commemoration of Blessed Edmund Rice Founder’s Day. At this celebration, we acknowledge that we are very fortunate to be members of a wonderfully supportive and caring community. A community that promotes the touchstones of inclusivity, justice and solidarity. These touchstones draw on the Gospel values which guided our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice, to give up all he had in the pursuit of providing a liberating education and care to serve those at the margins in Waterford, Ireland.
Founder’s Day is a special day for Christian Brothers. These men have devoted their lives to the service and education of young men and have laid the platform for the work that lay staff continue to do in Edmund Rice Schools across the country. These caring, professional and committed people have significantly contributed to the rich fabric and flourishing culture of St Edward’s and to them we are truly indebted.
Students are encouraged to continue to challenge themselves to be the best they can be, in living up to the values that we hold so deeply at St Edward’s – service, compassion, inclusivity, peace, justice and solidarity with those at the margins. For it is being strong and steadfast in the pursuit of these values that we remain true to the rich traditions of our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice and the many Christian Brothers, staff and students that have gone before us.
It has become a tradition at the College to acknowledge the wonderful work of staff who have reached certain milestones in terms of years of service to the College at this celebration. We congratulate and thank the following staff for their contribution to the culture, education and care of our boys during their time at the College.
10 and 15 Years Service to the College
20 Years Service to the College
25 Years Service to the College
35 Years Service to the College
Anzac Day Commemorations
On Monday April 26, we commemorated Anzac Day as a community through two significant events. The morning began with a moving ceremony in the Edmund Rice Centre which was attended by all staff and students. The assembly was presented by students from each group and was made even more memorable through the presence of the National Service 1951-1972 Re-Enactment Unit. Members of this unit presented in full Military Uniform and re-enacted an official entry march and performance of the last post.
Throughout the day, students in Years 7 to 11 participated in a one-hour presentation in the College theatre which honoured the service of men and women in World War I with a focus on members of the local community who served.
I would like to thank Mrs Kaitlyn Abbott-Atchison, Mr Alex Rozario and Mr Graeme Judd who were instrumental in organising these memorable events for our staff and students.
Parent Engagement through Learning Conferences
The Learning Conferences scheduled on Wednesday April 28 and Thursday May 13 provide an important opportunity for our boys, their families and teachers to engage in conversations about student learning. The Interim Report that was provided at the end of last term was one form of feedback to boys and families and is purely formed on application and effort based on the College’s Code for Learning. We are continually working with our boys to take greater responsibility with their learning and have provided opportunities for them throughout the first week of term to complete a learning reflection in each of their courses. This learning reflection will be used to guide the conversations that will take place during the conferences. The boys themselves will be asked to lead the conversation, discussing areas that they believe they are doing well in, as well as areas for ongoing improvement, or areas where they may require further assistance.
Our College Aspiration Statement clearly states that we are working to inspire our boys to be compassionate, curious, respectful and autonomous learners, who demonstrate resilience, discipline and perseverance on their learning journey. Adopting this approach is one strategy that we will employ throughout the year to encourage boys to take responsibility with their learning, committing to establishing learning goals and applying themselves to do the best they can. We encourage all parents to participate in these learning conferences, but for those who are unable to do so, we ask that you spend some time with your son discussing the goals set out in his learning reflections.
Extensive research has been completed in education over many years throughout the world on the positive impact that parent involvement can have on student learning growth. The evidence from this research is clearly indicating that students with involved parents, no matter what their income, education level, culture or ethnic background, were more likely to:
- earn higher grades and test scores and enrol in higher-level programs.
- be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits.
- attend school regularly.
- have better social skills, show improved behaviour, and adapt well to school.
- graduate and go on to post-secondary education.
Reference: A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement
We encourage all families to continue to invest time to regularly discuss with their sons, the work that he is studying at school, the activities that he has been involved in associated with his learning, the assessment tasks that he is working on, any areas of difficulty that he might be having and importantly celebrating any improvements that are made, either in marks or grades, or in application and effort. The Parent Portal can provide great assistance with this. The portal provides you access to assessment task outlines and when they are due, your son’s timetable and any activities that he has been engaged in. Never underestimate the importance of the conversations that you have with your son about his learning. In doing so, you are not only showing an interest, but you are highlighting the importance a good education in preparing him for life beyond school. We also encourage parents to maintain contact with their son’s teachers if concerns arise about his learning or if you require further ideas on how to support him with his learning.
For more information on how you can further support your son with his learning, visit the College’s Independent Learning Online Study Skills Handbook at Study Skills Handbook.