Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstones
As an Edmund Rice Community, we are committed to providing formation experiences that nurture and encourage the spiritual growth of each person, through critical reflection, prayer, symbols, sacred stories, rituals and sacraments.
Year 12 students participated in their annual Retreat throughout Week 3. In some ways, this thought-provoking experience is the culmination of the formation opportunities offered to the young men of St Edward’s. Students spend three days at the Edmund Rice Retreat Centre at Mulgoa and are provided with time to reflect on their values in relation to themselves, their relationships with others and on their sense of spirituality and relationship with God. The timing of the Retreat at this point of the year is intentional. Students are at the stage of their schooling when they are beginning to think and plan the remainder of the HSC year and their life beyond school. The workshops presented challenge the boys to think deeply about their time at St Edward’s and the type of young man that they hope to be when they leave St Edward’s. The experience also provides students with time to relax and recharge their batteries as they enter the final stages of the school life and the pressures of the HSC. A highlight of the retreat is the healing ceremony on the last night, in which students are asked to reflect on the theme ‘forgiveness is the virtue of the brave”, which is followed by a wonderful liturgy which is prepared by students. These meaningful celebrations bring together the themes of the retreat. The engagement of students in all the activities and their level of discussion regarding what they value to be important in their lives, reaffirms in me that they are becoming exactly the type of young men that we are proud to say are Eddies’ men. The depth of their discussions on topics such as relationships, gender equality, the values and qualities that are important to them clearly affirms the great faith that I have in young people to deal with the challenges that we face in society today to create a better world for all. I have included below the opening prayer that was developed by two of the boys to commence the Liturgy on the final evening, which sums up their thoughts on the retreat experience. I would like to thank Mrs Palmer-Brown, Ms Connor, Mrs Abbott-Atchison, Mr Beacroft, Mr McCauley, Mr Dell, Mr Beattie, Mr English and Mr Powell for giving up their time away from their families to lead this retreat.
We are gathered here at Mulgoa near Penrith to embark on our spiritual journey and get away from the stresses of our daily lives. We escape our haven of the Central Coast to use this time to reflect and gain a better understanding of ourselves, who we are, where we have come from and where we are headed.
This will be the last time we gather as a year group outside of school. We have been challenged in sessions today to be the best we can be, as a man, as a person and as a member of our College community.
This evening we need to use this time to think of the people we need to thank. Our parents, extended family, peers and the teachers we have experienced over the 13 years of schooling. Use this precious time to acknowledge the experiences, the highs, the lows, of our schooling years and prepare for life after school.
Year 12 Mid-Course Reports
The HSC Mid-Course reports were made available on the Parent Portal this week. The information provided on this report includes an accumulative assessment mark and rank to date in each course. Further feedback provided includes student level of achievement of outcomes and importantly a comment by each teacher on progress made at this stage of the HSC year. This report provides the most accurate indication of how each student is performing in relation to the requirements of each course to date.
It was pleasing on reading each student’s report to identify the many students who have performed at a very high standard either in an individual course or across the full breadth of subjects. It is important that all students take the time to read this report carefully and reflect on their effort so far. They are encouraged to seek further feedback from their teachers on how best to prepare for examinations and improve their understanding of the content and skills developed. Students wishing to continue to improve must make a true commitment to the establishment of a sustained program of revision.
Importantly all students must realise that in most of their courses, the majority of their assessment marks are still to be determined. Their performance in the remaining assessment tasks and the Trial HSC Examinations will greatly influence their result.
I wish all students the best of luck for the remainder of the year.
The National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy commenced this week for students in Years 7 and 9. Information obtained from these assessments provide feedback on how students are performing in the areas of literacy and numeracy and are used by teachers at St Edward’s to inform teaching and support student learning. The results of student performance support internal assessment conducted by teachers and are used to inform our whole school plan to bring about improvement in these learning domains. We look forward to analysing the results later in the year, with a particular focus on student learning improvement from the previous assessment.
Staff Development Day Friday June 11
A Staff Development Day has been scheduled for Friday June 11 to provide St Edward’s staff with the opportunity to participate in professional learning opportunities in two key areas associated with the College’s Strategic Improvement Plan. The major focus of the day are the topics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reconciliation and Student Learning Growth.
St Edward’s staff have been working with members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan, which is an important strategic priority. At this staff day, teachers will be devoting time to their own professional learning about reconciliation with a view to developing rich and engaging learning opportunities for our boys to raise their awareness about the important role that we all play in walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our country’s journey towards reconciliation. A copy of the Reconciliation Action Plan will be made available to all members of our community on the College website.
The St Edward’s staff maintain a strong commitment to ensuring that we provide our boys with innovative, technologically rich learning opportunities that are based on best practice. One of our key focus areas of the College’s Aspiration Statement is aligned with learning growth for each student. Part of this day will be devoted to the different ways in which we challenge boys to achieve their personal best in relation to their learning.
Learning Hub and Classroom
I am pleased to inform families that the second stage of our building master plan has been completed with the development of the Learning Hub and adjacent classroom. The Learning Hub has been designed as a contemporary, flexible learning space to support quality teaching and learning in a variety of contexts. It is increasingly evident that we need to continue to explore a range of teaching strategies that best cater for the specific learning needs of students, in a safe and supportive environment. These strategies will be evidence-based and implemented into practice that suits the St Edward’s context – an environment in which students are guided and encouraged to take responsibility for their learning. The Learning Hub provides a facility which allows the Diverse Learning Team to support teachers with the provision of a differentiated approach to teaching, learning and assessment in whole class settings, small groups and on an individual basis. The adjoining classroom has been designed as a prototype of what St Edward’s classrooms will look like in the future. A great deal of research was conducted in the development of this room, which included consultation with staff and students and includes state of the art wireless technology, to improve the functionality of the learning space. The College Building Master Plan maintains a commitment to explore building materials which are sustainable and environmentally friendly. With this principle in mind, the Learning Hub and classroom have been built with wall linings and floor coverings with sound proofing building capabilities, that have made from one hundred percent recycled plastic.