GET TO KNOW OUR COLLEGE LEADERS AND HOUSE CAPTAINS
The St Michael’s Cadets were honoured to be invited to attend the Anzac Day Service conducted at the Seaton Park RSL, as were our College Leaders who laid a wreath. Old scholar, Nicholas Lopresti (2017) played The Last Post. Following the service, Cadets assisted in the serving of breakfast to the veterans, their families and members of the public, and stayed to assist in the ‘pack-up’. The service was deeply moving and allowed time for all present to reflect on the enormous sacrifices made by our Armed Forces throughout the last century. The Cadets were very grateful for the opportunity to show their gratitude and respect at the service, while working with the staff and volunteers of the Seaton Park RSL. This was a valuable experience for all who were able to participate.
Mr Anthony Feleppa, Teacher – Secondary
YEAR 7 VISUAL ARTS
During Term 1 Visual Arts, Year 7 students explored the artwork of Dan Withey. Dan is a local Adelaide artist who uses acrylic paint to create vibrant and colourful paintings depicting comic moments, while also investigating issues of modern-day society such as consumerism, the environment and freedom. Using Dan Withey’s bright and bizarre painting style as inspiration, students created their own character that expresses all the weird and wonderful things in their imagination. Students commented that they really enjoyed the freedom to use a wide range of colours, lines, shapes and patterns to create their characters.
Ms Tess Morcom, Design and Technology Teacher – Secondary
MISSION ACTION DAY
Mission Action Day (MAD) was held Friday 9 April, on the last day of Term 1. This year we were able to add ‘Tree Climb’ as one of our new events for Year 9 and 10 students which was a real hit! We would like to thank students and families who supported this event that is so crucial to our work at St Michael’s College. Staff reported a great atmosphere whereby students were seen to be soaking up the sun and fun of the day as they headed into a well-earned two week break. We understand that sometimes such an event can mean extra planning and some inconvenience for families and we appreciate the effort that helped make the day such a success. The result of such a community effort is that we are now able to donate an incredible $50,000 straight to people in need in projects both overseas and within our local community. This is something that our community can be very proud of.
Mr Sam Kitschke, Director of Pastoral
WELCOME TO THE NEW LIBRARY AND LIBRARY CLUBS
Our newly refurbished library opened on Tuesday and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It has been wonderful to see students and staff walk through the doors and express such surprise and excitement as they see all the changes and think about all the new possibilities and comfort our library will bring. Click here to see photos of the new library.
Term 2 and 3 sees the return of our already existing clubs as well as some new clubs where staff and students can work and grow together, developing personal interests or important study habits and skills. Please see the link below for more information about the different clubs and activities.library clubs
YEAR 7 RETREAT
The Year 7 students will have their Retreat Day on Tuesday 4 May where they will examine the College Mission and Vision statement and find connections with their own lives. The Year 10 Peer Support students and Lasallian Youth Leaders will assist in facilitating the day.
Mr Robert Dempsey, Director of Mission
YEARS 7-9 LEARNING AND WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS
Week 1: Judgement
Each character strength can be viewed as a protective trait that can manifest in our thoughts, feelings or behavior. Vast and growing research confirms that an awareness of character strengths does lead to increased life satisfaction and better mental health.
Judgement or open-mindedness is a strength which can contribute to us knowing ourselves and others better. Those who are more open-minded are more likely to make decisions that they don’t regret later, because they consider all aspects of the situation and evaluate their own attitudes carefully. Open-minded people are often good listeners and are often asked to give a balanced viewpoint. We all have friends like this, they showcase the skill of listening effectively and delivering practical advice that can be very helpful. These talents are amongst the features of friends and confidantes we truly value. As a result, judgement does help us to develop meaningful and lasting relationships, and we know how important this is to our health and wellbeing. Further to these advantages on a personal level, research also indicates that in the work place the use of judgement or open-mindedness is a strong predictor of workplace success and contributes to us feeling more engaged and satisfied in our work, because it enables us to be positioned to learn new things and step outside of our comfort zone and consider problems in a new way. Not bad!
The opposite of open-minded thinking is ‘dichotomous’ (black or white) thinking, which has been linked to some negative psychological outcomes. It’s possible to get stuck in closed-minded thinking patterns and not be able to consider all relevant information. This can hinder our decision making and our interactions with others, especially if we perceive them to be different to us. If we take some time to reflect on our beliefs and viewpoints, including what has contributed to their formation, however, it can lead to more effective decision making, problem solving and stronger interpersonal relationships. We can know, value and care for each other more effectively and celebrate the uniqueness and individual special qualities of each person.
We do know that, as a strength, open-mindedness or judgement can be developed and improved. When we are confronted with a new situation and need to make a decision or take a stance, our brains scan our memory for relevant information so that we can respond appropriately. But it’s also true that we tend to focus on the first thought or conclusion that comes to mind. While this might have helped us when we were ‘cave-dwellers’, it isn’t always the most productive approach in 2021. When we jump to conclusions, we can get stuck on one idea, or belief and fail to consider alternative information that might just be helpful.
Having said this, practising judgement or open-mindedness can be a challenge, even and perhaps especially for adults whose minds can be set. I’m fairly certain that my Dad’s mind, for example, was set in stone! Practising this strength means that we should be more open to everyone and others and allow ourselves to embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, views, suggestions and beliefs. Trying to understand alternative points of view, even if we disagree, can be liberating in ways we might not expect. We might just find new things, people and experiences celebrate!
Between ages 14-17, judgement or open-mindedness is a challenging, but key strength for our young people. Given that poor judgement and decision making is exhibited by many adolescents who often show higher risk-taking behaviour, it is important to try to develop this strength as a protective factor.
So, how can we develop this character strength of judgement? We can:
- Practice thinking outside the square – actively looking from a different perspective and trying to challenge our own beliefs. Consider things from a diverse point of view and think about the history, education and life circumstances that might contribute to that view. Consider how our child or partner sees the situation and their point of view and what informs this. See the situation from their eyes.
- Realise our fallibility – for every belief we hold, realise that there are many others who disagree with us and appreciate that many of these people are informed and intelligent. As a result, it can be possible that at least some of the beliefs we hold could be incomplete or untrue. Perhaps there is room for shift?
- Think about the middle ground. Consider the spectrum rather than just the black or white outcome in any situation.
- Be open to new information. Read different books, blogs and magazines without bias or preconceptions and learn to love new things. Base our opinion on our own thoughts, not those of others.
Wishing you an awesome Term 2 ahead!
Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Learning and Wellbeing Initiatives Leader
Image source: https://quotefancy.com/media/wallpaper/3840×2160/2068-Albert-Einstein-Quote-The-mind-that-opens-to-a-new-idea-never.jpg
Dansereau, Knight and Flynn, 2013 Improving Adolescent Judgment and Decision Making
Prof Psychol Res Pr; 44(4): 10.1037/a0032495.
Dametto and Noronha, 2019 Character strengths and subjective well-being in adolescence
Estud. psicol. (Natal) vol.24 no.4 Natal out./dez