The 2021 School Year Finally Begins
Welcome to the 2021 academic year which has finally begun after a slight delay due to COVID and what a week we have had to start the year! New beginnings are always exciting, full of promise and hope, particularly for those who are new to our College. I welcome all students, staff, and families who are new to our community and hope we are able to offer some of our Santa hospitality in the coming weeks.
Some of the highlights from our week include:
Our new boarders from all over Western Australia were welcomed into boarding. They showed great courage saying goodbye to mum and dad and spending their first night as a boarder. Our wonderful Head of Boarding and House Supervisors made sure all were feeling settled, however many told me they didn’t sleep much because of the anticipation of their first day at school. I am sure many others were also up at 6.00 am.
Many new students joined our community for the first time on Monday. Our leaders played a key role on this day, as mentors, helping to settle the nerves and ensuring new students felt welcomed. Not only did our new students have nerves to deal with but also wearing a mask!
Our 96 new Year 5s came in very timid and quiet at the beginning of the day yet by the end of the day they assured me they had all made a new friend and left with big smiles and stories to share.
Our Year 7s began their transition week, helping them to settle in, find their way, unlock their locker and form new friendships. They enjoyed exploring the College and finding their way while the school was a little quieter.
Our Year 12s returned after two days of remote learning and immediately began classes to make up for a few lost days. They were very keen to get started now that they had officially commenced their final year. They were thrilled with the cool weather as it meant they could wear their leaver’s jackets and not suffer from heatstroke!
There was much joy and laughter on the grounds as all students returned, friends reconnected and our school came alive again. Students met many of their teachers for the first time and settled back into learning after the extended summer break. Most were very pleased to be back and looking forward to beginning new courses.
Our Opening Mass was scheduled to occur on Wednesday evening but was cancelled due to COVID. Many may ask why we commence the year with Mass when our world is such a secular world? Celebrating the Eucharist is an important part of being a Catholic school. Jesus is at the heart of everything we do and this time enables us to gather as a community to ask for God’s blessing and to give thanks for how privileged we are. The Eucharist enables us to feel and understand the presence of God, through song, through our beautiful environment, especially the river, and through the words of the Gospel. We ask God to journey with us through the year and be with us through our challenges and our joys. We pray that Jesus will watch over our community, our girls and their families, and all our staff through the year.
Our Achiever’s Assembly was cancelled but I wish to recognise all those students who would have been acknowledged on this day for their commitment and hard work throughout 2021.
While we have shared the whole school results we would like to acknowledge all the award winners which we would normally do at this Assembly. Many of our Year 12 students received certificates of recognition and are to be congratulated for their achievements.
Our first liturgy for the year was held with Byrne House this morning. They joined together as House in prayer and reflection with the key message being that God walks beside us as our guardian angel helping, guiding, and supporting us each and every day. The girls were also challenged to reach out to others, include others, and show great kindness to all in our community
A wonderful quote from Catherine McAuley offers us wisdom as we commence the new year.
The simplest and most practical lesson I know…is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow. Let us take one day only in hands, at a time, merely making a resolve for tomorrow, thus we may hope to get on taking short, careful steps, not great strides.
I hope all students will strive to be the best they can be in 2021, prepared to work hard, to believe in themselves, and to make the most of all opportunities that are on offer.