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From the Principal

08.05.19

I hope that you all enjoyed the break and were able to find time for yourself, for family and for friends. It was a busy time with both Easter celebrations and ANZAC Day in the middle of term break.

We welcome back Jeanene Corbo, Julia Marciano and Miescha Archibald who have been on leave. Mikaela Pearce joins us in the Art department for eight weeks while Linda Di Blasio is on leave.

We have been delighted to see the progress of the new Mary MacKillop Museum. The project is well on track and is to be finished by the end of the year. If you are interested in donating to this project please contact Sister Mary Ryan.

A reminder that our theme for the year is, “We must teach more by example than by word” – Mary MacKillop 1867. During the Year 12 Retreat that was held at the end of last term, our students were reminded of this theme and of our call to action as people of faith. It is a good time to check in on those personal goals that were set at the beginning of the year.

Our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan has been published and I encourage you to read it. The process of strategic planning pushes you to think ahead and plan for the future. During the term break I came across an article by Thomas Frey. Thomas Frey is known as a futurist. This made me wonder, do you need a degree for this I wondered? How do you become a futurist? Thomas is in demand as a speaker at conferences and he certainly provides educators, parents and grandparents with lots of provocation. In his article titled '11 skills for the future that aren’t taught in schools' he discusses a range of skills – too many to discuss in a newsletter article. The one that caught my attention was distraction management.

We live in the most distracted society in all history. In a recent Pew study, 45% of the teens surveyed said they use the internet “almost constantly.” Another 44% said they go online several times every day.

70% of today’s workers keep their smartphone “within eye contact” at work, and over 50% of people check their phone if they wake up during the night.

As a secondary school, we are in the business of developing young minds. Hopefully when they leave they are somewhat on their way to becoming responsible adults. We have a policy in this school that for all year levels mobile phones are kept in lockers unless required in the classroom for learning purposes. We do this for the reasons outlined by Thomas Frey, smartphones are a distraction. They are very useful but cause us to get pulled in all directions by the notifications and the information they provide. Two of the skills that all of us need to learn is being truly present by listening to others and managing the distractions that impinge our ability to be present.

To conclude, I would like to reiterate our theme for the year, “We must teach more by example than by word” – Mary MacKillop 1867. Try turning off those mobiles when you come home at night. Find a box and put them away from the dinner table. Adults need to model this behaviour. When we manage our distractions, we manage our behaviour and we manage our time.

I wish everyone the best for an excellent Term 2.

 

Kath McGuigan
Principal