Week 4 of Term 2 is complete and the winds of winter are blowing. We are facing our first mid-year break that will be three weeks in duration. In early 2016, we surveyed parents in response to many Western Australian Schools and our Eastern States colleagues rearranging the school year to accommodate the winter exodus to warmer climes. With such a large UK parent group, combined with the Australian annual iconic trip to Bali, the response was strong in accepting the change.
We have changed the arrangements at the end of each term and reduced the number of student-free days to keep the actual number of school days the same. In the future, this extended break will also be used for International Cultural Tours, providing great opportunities for our students to visit distant places and engage with the world and not gouge unnecessarily into the school term. We have already commenced our Interstate Tours with the 2016 Mt Hotham Ski Trip and the 2017 Year 8 Canberra Tour in September.
As a school, we value the engagement with the outside world to promote understanding of other religious beliefs and cultural differences. We talk about ‘Beyond the gates’ and ‘Beyond the shore’ as fundamental concepts at St James’.
As the end of term draws near, it is important to help our students understand that reports are simply a measure of current progress and effort. They do not define the person; they simply show a snapshot of any point in time. The potential after a reporting cycle for effective change will be a collaboration between the student and the teacher, with the support of the parents. Now is the time to help your child be an independent learner so they have the necessary tools to survive beyond the curriculum. We need to create life-long learners who can find a way to succeed even when the problem seems insurmountable. This remains our joint challenge as a community and I look forward to your engagement in this process. Please come in and volunteer for your parent hours and see first-hand what we do to try and make St James’ the best school community in the region.
“Go the Orange Army from the North”