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Secondary Campus

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EPIC CHALLENGE

A bit of healthy competition and lot of brain power was on display last weekend! On Saturday 13 March, 20 of our Year 10 students attended the EPIC Challenge Australia hosted by UniSA’s Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning. The team leading the project include former NASA Astronauts, Intel, MeldCX and STEM Educators.  This program fosters soft skill development alongside STEM capabilities, and students will engage with Artificial Intelligence and Vision Analytics software (MeldCX ‘Viana’).  The students have been tasked with working in teams to find solutions to a current NASA problem: Sustaining Life on Mars. We can’t wait to see what they develop throughout the program.

Ms Elli Nicola and Mr Adam Biggs, Secondary Teachers

YEAR 10 PASTORAL CARE NEWS

The Year 10 cohort have been involved in the ‘Community, Challenge, Choice Cup’. Activities have included a challenge for all students in the ‘Pastoral Tug ‘O’ War’ which saw Mr Karnas’ PC class take out the title! Many students participated and it was great to see some brainstorming going on for team tactics. The new Co-Ed classes took it upon themselves to work together to plan their approach, and many were sparking off each other.  Mr Flynn has also put together some PC ‘Get to know you’ activities where groups work to solve lateral thinking problems that are challenging and thought provoking.

This week we also have a focus on ‘Bullying – No Way’ and are working to provide students with a means to deal with bullies, should they ever encounter them in life.

We have a guest speaker this week in Chapel, Mr Kevin Woolford (VET Coordinator), who will answer any questions about students wishing to undertake a VET course. Semester 2 will have opportunities available to students who will move into our community to broaden their education in different vocations.

Year 10 Portal
The Year 10 Portal has several presentations relating to the pastoral content that we have been working through in PC classes at St Michael’s College. These topics include Decision-Making Strategies, Improving Self–Belief, “Dream Big”, The 9 Best Scientific Study Tips, Dealing with Exam Anxiety, How to Learn Faster (Study Tips), and Improved Concentration Tips.

Mr Andrew Spencer, Year 10 Director

YEAR 11 FORMAL

On 12 March, the Year 11 cohort celebrated their formal, one of the biggest and most anticipated College events for Year 11 students in 2021. The Formal gave students an opportunity to see their peers and teachers in a more relaxed environment. Students arrived in vintage classic cars, hummers, and limousines, and looked elegant in their dresses and suits. There was excitement in the air with students enjoying a three-course meal, taking photos with friends, and dancing the night away! The night provided students with a lifetime of memories and brought us closer as a year level.

Check out some photos from the night below, and to view more photos please click here.

Mr Ned Heath, Assistant Year 11 Director

YEAR 12 RETREAT

Last week the Year 12 students ventured to three locations at Mylor, Belair and Normanville for their retreat. The purpose of the experience is to offer students an opportunity to refresh their batteries and think about friends, family, relationships, faith and God. The reflections from all locations were very positive and reflect generously on the students in our care as can be seen below. Their parents should be very proud of the maturity with which they engaged with the experience and the students’ cooperation with staff. This was an opportunity to learn more about staff and students and realise life is often complicated with many twists and turns.

Students’ scores and comments reinforce why the Year 12 Retreat is regarded as a very important part of the education experiences at St Michael’s College:

 “10 – It was the best three days of my life. I feel completely different. I feel much less judgmental of people and I feel more confident.”

10 – Best experience of my life, changed me. I feel l have found a softer side to me.”

9 – In a way its proven that judging a book by its cover is the worst way to live your life.”

10 – I loved how the activities made everyone feel comfortable with each other and everyone’s stories were respected.”

10 – I have gained so much from this retreat. I cried, comforted others, laughed, sang and grew closer with my friends over only three days.”

9 – Good event to reflect on life and church and see the importance of being real.”

9 – Retreat has been a great experience allowing us to talk about our feelings and emotions.”

I would like to thank the students, parents and staff for making this important part of the St Michael’s experience a success again.

Mr Robert Dempsey, Director of Mission

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE

In Wednesday’s extended pastoral care, in recognition of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Year 11 students continued to be educated on types of bullying, and how to be an ‘upstander.’ The Year 11 students each signed their name on a banner in order to raise awareness on this topic.

Ms Anna Porcelli, Year 11 Director

YEARS 7-9 LEARNING AND WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS

Week 8: Perspective

When we think of a person who is wise, it’s likely we’ll envisage an elderly man with a long white beard, perhaps a bit like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, or Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Atticus Finch, from To Kill A Mockingbird, and Yoda from Star Wars are two of my favourites. Often these images are nurtured by what we read or view, or our personal experiences.

Interestingly, wisdom is thought to be both a positive predictor of successful aging and a product of it.

In our lives, if we are lucky, we will have strong role models of perspective. I was lucky to have a friend who embodied this strength. Anna was a lot older than me, and just had a way of making things clear. She could always see the bigger picture and had a gentle way of pausing before elaborating her thoughts which never seemed to carry judgement. She lost her battle to cancer last year, and I will always be grateful that our paths crossed so many years ago, and that I was blessed by her friendship and her wisdom.

It’s important to appreciate that perspective is different from intelligence, though they are not mutually exclusive. Perspective is about being knowledgeable and being able to give sound advice and listening to the context and being able to see multiple sides of a situation before making decisions. Sometimes it is likened to wisdom, as it allows us to address the important questions about the way we behave and the meaning of life and is used for the good of oneself, or that of others.

The Character Strengths and Virtues classification cites Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer (known as Eppie), as an icon of this character strength. She was also known as “Ann Landers”, advice columnist for an American newspaper for almost 50 years since 1955, until she passed away in 2002. She had a readership of 90 million people and was the most widely read columnist in history (significant for the times before Twitter and Instagram). Her readership ranged from teenagers to the elderly. She read widely and was passionate about world affairs. She worked for political causes and had long and meaningful friendships and devoted many columns to fighting a range of injustices in different contexts, including opposing racism and being a champion for the rights of women. Eppie frequently turned to other experts for advice using their wisdom to shape her own thinking. The daughter of Russian Jewish migrants arriving in America in 1908, she and her family had battled their own personal challenges. By 1959, “Ann Landers” had received over 1000 invitations to speak publicly and had made over 100 appearances in 30 cities and had visited China.

Eppie and the role models in our lives show us that perspective is the ability to see the bigger picture in life, without being consumed by the tiny details. While listening to others, perspective helps us to appreciate life lessons, and what’s best for the situation in question, informing stronger choices. This ability to think in broader terms helps us to be able to advise others and to recognise and reflect on multiple sides before making decisions. It helps us to flourish and leads us towards being stronger learners and leaders in the world.

Below are a few ideas for developing perspective from the work of McQuaid and Lawn:

  • Take some time to read biographies of people who inspire you or your work. Notice the important lessons they share to help guide your journey.
  • Consider “In what context, for what outcome?” Ask yourself this before deciding on which pathway to choose to serve you best.
  • Make the complex simple: Think of ways to explain complex ideas so they make sense to others.

Wishing you a great Week 8!

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Learning and Wellbeing Initiatives Leader

PROJECT COMPASSION STALL

This week, Year 11 students and Mr Ned Heath ran an icy pole stall to raise money for Project Compassion, along with the help of the Year 12 College Leaders. Due to the hot weather on the day we sold out! It was wonderful to see the students of St Michael’s continuing to support such an important cause. This hard work saw the students raise $151, bringing the Year 11 fundraising total to $340 with one stall still to go.

Watch out for the last stall in Week 10!

Ms Anna Porcelli, Year 11 Director