Dear Parents and Families
A very warm welcome to the start of the 2019 academic year. A special greeting to those who are new to the College. Eleven new teachers have joined our staff along with the whole Year 7 group (the Class of 2024) and 18 new students from Years 8 to 11. I hope 2019 will be a year of great opportunity and achievement for all within the Mazenod community.
The theme of welcome was strongest at the beginning of the week when our new Year 7 students entered the College for the first time in their Mazenod colours. There was much excitement as they met old friends, new friends, their teachers, the Year 12s and the Year 11 Peer Mentors. The Peer Mentors and Year 12s showed their care and time for our youngest students in sessions where they helped the Year 7 boys with practical things and answered many questions. More than a symbol, this relationship between our youngest and oldest students is so important in developing and sustaining our school as a place of welcome and inclusion. Just as our Class of 2019 will strive to leave the best possible legacy, the Class of 2024 will construct their own distinctive chapter in the proud history of our College. We also had the opportunity on Monday to welcome new parents for morning coffee and, again, at the Boarding Welcome in the evening. As I have mentioned before, the relationship between parents as the primary educators of their sons and the school in its capacity as formal educators is so critical in supporting the full development of our young men.
Opening College Assembly
On Wednesday we hosted the first of our assemblies and we were delighted to have as our guests Mr Ken Collard, Noongar Elder, the Class of 2018 and the parents of the recipients of the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ and ‘Leave Nothing Undared’ scholarships for 2019. Prior to the assembly, we celebrated Mass with the Class of 2018 and the Mazenod Old Boys Association hosted a breakfast for them. The invitation to the previous year’s cohort is a new initiative to assist with maintaining the bond and link to the College as an Old Boy. Our thanks to the Mazenod Old Boys Association for their hosting of the event. During assembly, Mr Collard welcomed us to the land of the Whadjuk Noongar people and spoke of the importance of Kalamunda and Lesmurdie to the Noongar life. The High Achievers from the Class of 2018 were recognised and we celebrated the second highest number of recipients in our history.
In my address to our students I urged them to own three messages for 2019. Firstly, to gauge their overall progress against the statement ‘My best is always good enough’. Secondly, I asked of us as a community to embrace this year’s College Values’ focus ‘Compassion and Charity’. The final message was to live the Mazenod Spirit and show pride in all that we say and do.
Student attendance every day of the school week and every week of the school year is crucial to consolidating the learning of our boys. Please make every effort to protect precious learning time by ensuring very practical strategies are in place at home:
- Schedule appointments outside school hours where possible
- Plan family holidays to coincide with school holiday breaks
- Look at outside activities during the week to ensure the boys are well rested and physically ready for school. ‘ Down time’ is important as not every hour should be scripted with an organised activity or use of technology.
The 2018 College Annual has been distributed to students from 2018. It is a great publication following in the footsteps of previous year books and I congratulate Mr Chris Richards-Scully, Head of Community Relations and his editorial team. Many students from the Class of 2018 picked up their copy on Wednesday but there is still the opportunity for the remainder of the class to do so over the coming weeks.
Upcoming Parent Events
This evening we have the Friends of Performing Arts gathering at the Performing Arts Centre. On Saturday 23 February the P&F will host their Welcome BBQ for new families. The annual Parent Sundowner will take place on Friday 8 March. Please make a note of these events in your diary and further information will be available closer to the times of the events.
Enjoy the week ahead.
“How vast the field that lies before us!” – St Eugene de Mazenod
Mr Andrew Watson