Sometimes I am asked, what is different about a Catholic school education? I think the various topics covered in this copy of the e-News highlight some of these characteristics.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – what does it mean for all of us? Please read on….
The feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated in our Catholic parish communities a few weekends ago. This year, for various reasons, we commemorated this day at the College later in the term.
We are fortunate to have our College named after the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, a celebration of us all as Christians in community, together as one body of Christ. We always commence our own Feast Day celebrations with a mass for the entire school community. To explain the significance of this day, I quote from Pope Francis’ homily recently. These are beautiful words that are in keeping with the message of this copy of the e-News this week, of thankfulness and celebration in community:
‘Jesus prepares a place for us here below, because the Eucharist is the beating heart of the Church…It gives her birth and rebirth; it gathers her together and gives her strength…
In the consecrated host, together with a place, Jesus prepares for us a meal, food for our nourishment. In life, we constantly need to be fed: nourished not only with food, but also with plans and affection, hopes and desires. We hunger to be loved. But the most pleasing compliments, the finest gifts and the most advanced technologies are not enough; they never completely satisfy us. The Eucharist is simple food, like bread, yet it is the only food that satisfies, for there is no greater love. There we encounter Jesus really; we share his life and we feel his love. There you can realize that his death and resurrection are for you. And when you worship Jesus in the Eucharist, you receive from him the Holy Spirit and you find peace and joy. Dear brothers and sisters, let us choose this food of life! Let us make Mass our priority! Let us rediscover Eucharistic adoration in our communities! Let us implore the grace to hunger for God, with an insatiable desire to receive what he has prepared for us.’
We have included weekly mass at Corpus Christi to provide our community with another opportunity for nourishment. Mass is celebrated as part of our senior school Retreats, and as a staff, we commence and conclude the academic year by celebrating mass together. We also celebrate mass with Grandparents in Year 7, and on the Feast of the Assumption. This shows our College commitment to be the ‘beating heart of the Church’ in our own community.
This year, we have had a group of teachers developing our Vision for Learning, which along with our pedagogical principles, or methods and approaches used to reflect learning in the College, will be released to the community at the end of the year. This working party has been so much stronger because we are ‘being nourished with the plans and affection, hopes and desires’ of all teachers, who have used the data provided by parents and students to redefine and refresh our purpose. Again, the process adopted has shown we are together as one body of Christ.
Raising Funds for Sacred Heart School, Beagle Bay
A group of staff and Year 11 students are attending the Annual Corpus Christi College Immersion, which is being held at Sacred Heart School, in Beagle Bay on the Dampier Peninsula, approximately a 3-hour 4WD journey north of Broome, next term.
Extracurricular experiences are an essential part of the Catholic school culture and community. The College continues to pursue opportunities for students to experience living their faith by implementing a long-term vision of immersion experiences. Pursuing this vision develops local and wider links with struggling and /or isolated communities where purposeful interaction and sharing can occur that enables faith in action.
Whilst on leave for a short period this term, I was fortunate to be able to visit Sacred Heart School in Beagle Bay. I saw first-hand the work Scott Connery is undertaking, working to improve the learning outcomes of his students with the support of his Principal Lyla Forte and Assistant Principal (and former teacher at Corpus Christi) Amy Christophers. As you would recall, Scott was granted a 6-month secondment to work in this Kimberley school. Despite the lack of timber available in a fairly newly constructed D&T workshop, Scott is using readily available wooden pallets to teach students to make items which they could use. One of the projects is making a wooden cross, which I have pictured below. Although a challenging role, Scott was as energised as I have seen any teacher passionate about making a difference with students.
In returning to Corpus Christi, I see this same passionate approach amongst teachers everywhere, and the generous manner in which staff are supporting each other through personal trials. The second last week of term typifies this, with the Winter Sleep Out, Year Ten Retreat Days, and Corpus Christi Day all in the one week. I know many of our staff and students would be looking fondly towards a restful holiday period.
So, the funds raised on Corpus Christi Day will provide our Aboriginal brothers and sisters at Beagle Bay with enhanced learning opportunities and materials. Just as importantly, I know all involved learn from each other, deepen their understanding of ‘culture’, knowing their experiences invite a ‘two-way learning’ approach for all involved. Students and staff always come back transformed in some way!
So, we ask for God’s grace as we open our eyes to the great joys surrounding us every day, wherever our students are.
Veritas – what is this all about?
At World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis called young people and the Church to ‘Open new horizons for spreading joy’. Late in 2017, the Bishops of Australia responded to the call by inviting Catholics in Australia to celebrate a Year of Youth from the beginning of Advent in 2017 until the end of Ordinary Time in November, 2018. This was to be part of the time of discernment as we move towards the Plenary Council of 2020, which will be held in Perth, when the Bishops are ‘expecting to chart a course into the future, with young people a crucial part of that journey’ (Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference).
Veritas is one of the main events for Catholic youth in the Perth Archdiocese. Open to teens and young adults aged 12 to 35, we are proud the festival will take place over three action packed days on the weekend of Friday 6 – Sunday 8 July at Corpus Christi College. As Catholic Youth Ministry’s key event in celebration of 2018 being the Year of Youth, there will be incredible music, speakers, workshops, discussion forums, prayer and much more!
Also, a highlight at this year’s festival will be the Christian Service Learning workshop – a great opportunity for direct dialogue between students and the agencies about what they wish to do as a volunteer.
Details are available at www.veritasperth.com for the largest Catholic Youth Festival in Western Australia.
Term Three Pupil Free Day
We commence Term Three with a pupil free day - Monday 16 July, which is a faith-formation professional development day for all staff at the College.
In the past we have utilised a number of religious order-run faith formation programs for staff, including those associated with the Jesuit and Domenican orders. Next term, we have been able to connect with a component of the Marist Faith Formation Staff Spirituality Program called ‘An Audacious Hope!’ This is closely aligned to one of the goals in our current Strategic Plan.
The goals of the ‘Audacious Hope!’ program next term are as follows:
As communities of faith, living in an increasingly individualised society, we are called to reflect on our young people’s understanding of themselves, their world and their future. If we are to remain true to our Christian mandate we need to continue to form our youth to be people of faith and hope. This program addresses the possibilities audacious hope offers in enabling us to respond to the challenges life presents.
This program aims to:
· investigate how Australians view Christian faith in our contemporary culture;
· explore how hope plays an integral part in our own lives and in the future lives of young people;
· identify that, as Christians, our hope is grounded in the Resurrection of Jesus and is one which reflects Mary’s audacity and courage.
The location will be Tompkins on Swan in Alfred Cove, which means the College Office will be closed for the day.
Apple Distinguished School
We received news this week, that Corpus has been selected as an Apple Distinguished School for 2018-2020, now a three-year designation. We have been congratulated on being recognised for continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment. This is a point of difference at Corpus, the technology serves teachers and students, and decisions made are only implemented if we are planning to make a positive difference to student learning, whether engagement or achievement.
This is a whole school award, and the large number of teachers who have achieved Apple Teacher Certification is indicative of our commitment towards achieving the best learning outcomes for our students. No mean feat, I acknowledge the work of Director of Learning Technologies Daniel Budd and his team for the work they have done to assist staff and students, every single working day. In speaking with an Executive representing Apple, he stated that at a world gathering of Apple Executives, the Corpus Christi story was cited as an exemplar in secondary schooling for the Australasian region.
After three and a half years, Director of Music David Harries is leaving us to join All Saints College. He has had an enormous impact on the development of the Music department at Corpus, particularly in the development of our choirs, the formation of a Band program and the inclusion of a Music tour to the Rotorua Festival in New Zealand, wonderful opportunities for our students. Students under his leadership have embraced challenges and performed at a high standard, which has included five students being awarded places at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), the College Celtic band winning the shield for Contemporary bands at the Catholic Performing Arts Festival and the achievement of many top awards for College ensembles at this festival and the Fremantle Eisteddfod. Ably supported by Music Assistants Abigail Radford and Lydia Gardiner in the past and present, Arts Administrator Michelle Hunt, and working with Music teacher Selena Barrett (nee Meegan), David has positioned the College well for the next stage of our development in our Arts program.
We will also be farewelling Mathematics teacher Dusan Vojvodic, who has decided to pursue further studies at university and will be leaving the College after being with us for two and a half years. We are also grateful to Jenny Cullen, who has been covering Marie Drygan’s Home Economics classes whilst on she has been on leave this term.
One of our most loved teachers, Elaine Liew, has been diagnosed with a serious illness earlier in the term. As she commenced chemotherapy last week, I invite the community to please keep her in your prayers as Elaine continues treatment into Term 3. Lorraine Carpenter returns from leave next term, and along with Andrew Ward, Elaine’s English classes have been, and will be, well looked after.
We wish teachers who are on Long Service leave next term, all the best too: Filipa Carvalho, Joy Kinners and Katrina Thomas.
New staff to the College will be introduced in the first copy of the e-News next term.
The Final Word
High achieving students will be acknowledged and presented to the community at the Whole School Assembly on the Tuesday of the last week of term. Please note all parents are invited to attend this assembly. A complete list of those who received Academic Awards and Colours Awards will be acknowledged on the website. I congratulate these students for their dedication and commitment to their studies, which has contributed to their high achievement.
Students will commence Term Three on Tuesday 17 July, after staff participate in the Professional Learning ‘Catholic Identity’ Day already mentioned, on Monday 16 July.
For all parents, students and staff, please have a wonderful winter holiday break and return refreshed and ready for the challenges and opportunities that will form part of Term Three.
Best wishes and God bless
Mrs Caroline Payne