Arts Showcase 2017

The Arts Showcase is an opportunity for our students to present their work and perform in front of an audience. The performances and work are the culmination of many months’ work and demonstrate the talent and commitment of our students and teachers. We are blessed to present our endeavours in the fantastic New Norcia Performing Arts Centre.

The building is so named in recognition of the musician in our House Patron Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Benedictine Monk from Spain who travelled to Australia in 1846 to establish a Mission in a place he named New Norcia. The place was named New Norcia, after Norcia in Italy, the birthplace of St Benedict. The priests soon established relations with the Aborigines, but conditions at the Mission proved so harsh that soon only Salvado and his companion priest, Joseph Serra, remained. Salvado was an accomplished pianist and in the first year of the mission he travelled back to Perth and on 21 May 1846 he gave a well received piano recital in tattered robes in the hall of the Courthouse. The recital raised much needed funds for the purchase of provisions for the new mission. It is, therefore, fitting that we present the 2017 Arts Showcase in the building named in honour or our Patron, Dom Salvado.

Throughout the week the College will showcase many items across the full spectrum of the discipline that is the Arts, from dance and drama performances, music recitals, digital photography, visual arts and crafts, as well as items from Design and Technology.

The Learning Area of ‘The Arts’ is as important as any other subject discipline, maybe even more important in some respects. The Arts, in all its forms, provides the mediums in which we communicate our stories and our culture. It defines who we are and what we value; it chronicles our history through instruments that can be transmitted from one generation to the next. Its beauty is that it is not static, but fluid, and draws on the power of the imagination, innovation and creativity of its participants.

The Arts has an intellect and literacy that needs to be explicitly taught if we are to fully understand, engage and experience its majesty.

A woman from Brazil was explaining how she taught her children to dance as soon as they could walk.  Every movement of the hands and feet had a purpose, every gesture had a meaning and the combination of those gestures and movements told a story.

The students playing instruments are using a combination of notes that they know to play because they read them on their music sheets.  But they are reading more than the notes. There are words, signs and symbols telling them how loudly or softly or quickly to play. Often, there’s a conductor who does much more than wave his arms about.  And there’s the sound, the relationships between the sounds, and the ways each of the sounds blends together.

When we are literate about photography we know about lighting, textures, colours, angles, focal points, rule of thirds, and a growing list of special effects.

When we are literate about visual art we know about symbols, art elements and art expression, whether it be abstract, impressionist, realist, graffiti, or Aboriginal rock painting, or the thousands of other genres.

When we are literate about music we know about the notes, symbols, signs, harmony and discord whether it be composed by Mozart or Metallica.

When we are literate about dance we can interpret the gestures and movements to understand what the dance is about, whether it be ballet or Spanish dance.

Throughout the week, if you are watching a dance or drama performance, listening to a music recital, viewing photographs, artworks or pieces of jewellery – think deeply. What is the story behind the work? What is the context of the artist or performer? What is the significance of the medium? What does this work mean to me? Parents, students and staff are invited to open your mind and your heart to a new appreciation of the different forms of the Arts. See and feel each piece of work and performance and appreciate the talents and efforts of the artists

As our College grows, we are fortunate to have many artworks around our College that, over time, will tell our story, your story, as students, families and staff of Holy Cross College. When the opportunity arises, I encourage parents, students and staff to take some time and look at the artworks on the fence around the Fitzroy building, the statue of Oscar Romero, images of our College Patrons, wood carvings in the playground, the Crosses and crucifixes in each room, and the symbols in the Olive Grove. We are truly fortunate to have an environment rich in quality artworks.

A showcase of this exceptional quality and magnitude could not have happened without the vision and energy of a number of people. We are eternally grateful to Ms Sara O’Neill for her foresight and oversight of the Showcase. We also congratulate Mr Chris McRae, Mrs Fiona de Courcier, Mr Chris Gooch, Mr Matthew Smyth, Mrs Susan Wilson and Mr Guy Jackson for their contribution and leadership in staging such a magnificent showcase of students’ work. We are also thankful to Mrs Kristina Croxford and the Senior Catering Team for the delectable hors d'oeuvres. Finally, we are blessed to have such talented and enthusiastic students and we congratulate them on their outstanding work, commitment and enthusiasm for the Arts.

Mr Peter Collins - Acting Principal

Feast Day 2017

Holy Cross College Feast Day is an annual celebration held on the Friday closest to the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The feast celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre now stands on the site and was built by the crusaders in 1149.

Feast Day is also a celebration of our unique school identity, founded on the Cross. We come together to share in the Eucharist and remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us, so that through him we can ‘Live Life to the Full’. More than anything else, “the feast is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened”.

On a warm Spring day, the celebrations commenced with Mass in the Undercroft. The Sanctuary and Altar were beautifully decorated with satin fabrics in the College colours, which were draped over the black theatre curtains, clearly defining the sacred space. Ribbons in the schools’ colours looped wave like under the roof of the space adding further to the significance of the occasion. The Junior School Choir, accompanied by the College Senior Band, fostered a spirit of participation. The liturgical dance enhanced the theatre of the Mass and further elucidated the story of the Holy Cross.

Mass was followed by a Staff-Student soccer match which, while fiercely fought, I’m sure was a draw. This gave an opportunity for the Classes and House Tutor Groups (HTG) to set up their stall. The fair encouraged a Royal Show like atmosphere with numerous activities including the Mega Wipe-Out, Bouncy Castles, Zorb Soccer, Sumo Wrestling, Sponge the Teacher, Face Painting, Coloured Hairspray, Side Show Alley and many more. The favourite activity of the day had to be the Haunted House, which had some students shaking in their boots, if not in stitches of laughter. At one point, the queue was more than twelve metres long and four people wide. There were ample food stalls ranging from, Sausage Sizzles, Cheeseburgers, Nachos, Pizzas, Fairy Floss, Krispy Kremes and Ice-creams. Tadi Chikwama was again the master auctioneer at the end of the day selling off the services of teachers to the highest bidders, raising considerable funds for the various House charities.

While the event was a valuable community building success, the focus of the activities was to raise much needed funds for each of the House charities. Funds raised were in excess of $10,000 and will be divided evenly among the four House charities:

Frayne                          MercyWorks
Ozanam                        Passages – St Vincent de Paul
McCormack                  Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart Peru Project
Salvado                         Benedictine Missions

Thank you to everyone for making Feast Day 2017 such an enjoyable celebration. Special thank you to the House Coordinators, Teachers, Support Staff and the Friends of Holy Cross for making the day truly awesome.

Mr Peter Collins - Acting Principal

Uniform Changeover for the Spring Term

Winter Term concludes Friday, 22 September 2017. All parents are invited to attend the College Assembly, which will commence at 9.00am in the Undercroft; LIFE certificates will be awarded at this assembly.

Spring Term will commence on Monday, 9 October 2017.

Students will return in their Summer Uniform as follows:

Junior School (Kindergarten to Year 4) 
  • College Grey Sports Polo Shirt
  • Navy College Shorts
  • Navy College Cap or Bucket Hat
  • White College Sports Socks
  • Predominantly white sports shoes & white shoelaces
  • Students are required to wear their designated House shirt on days when participating in Physical Education lessons and for specified College events.
  • Students in Kindergarten to Year 1 may wear predominantly white sports shoes with Velcro straps, but from Year 2 students are expected to wear predominantly white lace-up sports shoes.

Junior School (Year 5 & 6), Middle and Senior Schools

Girls Academic Uniform
  • College dress and white College socks with the blue stripes
  • Shoes Low-heeled (no higher than 3cm) black lace-up school shoes (not boots) 

Boys Academic Uniform
  • College grey shorts, blue College shirt and grey College socks
  • Shoes Low-heeled (no higher than 3cm) black lace-up school shoes (not boots)
Sports Uniform
  • Blue College sports shorts, College sports shirt, College sports socks and College cap.
  • Sport shoes are predominantly white with white laces

Note that the College cap is compulsory for all outdoor activities.

Please refer to the College Uniform and Grooming Policy for more details, especially in regard to hair styles when getting a haircut over the holidays

The Uniform Shop will be open on Friday, 6 October 2017 from 9.00am to 12.00pm and Monday, 9 October 2017, 9.00am to 3.00pm, if you need to replace any items.

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Mr Peter Collins - Acting Principal

Catholic Schools’ Performing Arts Festival 2017

The Catholic Schools’ Performing Arts Festival concluded with a spectacular final concert at the Perth Concert Hall on Monday, 11 September 2017, which presented some of the most outstanding performances of the Festival. The Festival began in July with more than 20,000 students participating in a variety of disciplines including dance, solo singing and individual instrumental performances, choir, orchestra, band, Christian drama.

Holy Cross College can be very proud of our students who represented the College with distinction. We congratulate our teachers, support staff and parents who, along with the students, have put in many hours of practice and work to achieve such a wonderful standard. We are especially grateful to Mr Chris McRae for his enthusiasm and tireless work in organisation our participation in the Festival.

Over the course of the Festival the following results were achieved.

The Story of Oscar Romero(Christian Drama)
  • Ron Dullard Perpetual Shield Winner for Christian Drama
  • Outstanding Performance Award
Zophia Paluszak (Secondary Solo Drama)
  • Outstanding Performance Award
Senior Band (Contemporary Band)
  • Outstanding Performance Award
An Unspeakable Triumph Of Supreme Brilliance (Drama Production)
  • Excellence Award
Tiara D'Lima (Secondary Piano Solo)
  • Excellence Award
Junior Choir (Primary Sacred Choral)
  • Merit Award

 Mr Peter Collins - Acting Principal

Year 12 Final Weeks

Year 12 Final Weeks
Our Year 12 students are fast approaching the business end of 14 years of schooling with the mock Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) examinations in the coming holidays followed by a short period back at school with seminars and then study time for the final WACE examinations. This is an exciting time for them but also a challenging time as they prepare for exams and to move into the world beyond the security of school. Graduation is a very special time and a significant milestone in a student’s life.

Details of the programme for Year 12 students as they prepare to graduate from the College are listed below:

House Farewells: Monday, 18 September 2017
Year 12 students will be farewelled by their Houses during House Tutor Group on Monday, 18 September 2017 followed by lunch on this day. Students will be required to complete a Clearance Form before this day to ensure that all administration requirements have been met; this includes approved notifications of all absences.

Finish Of Classes And College Exams
Year 12 students have their final day of classes on Monday, 18 September 2017. The following day is a home study day after which students move into their final timetable of College exams. Providing students have been cleared from the College as having satisfactorily completed all assessments, they do not need to attend school except for exam times during the examination period; however, students may wish to study in the San Salvador Building and staff will be available to assist them if required. Students still requiring to complete assessments will be required to attend school as normal until all assessments have been completed. When sitting exams, students need to wear their College Winter Academic Uniform and may wear their Leavers Jackets; this also includes exams during the holiday period.

WACE Written Exams (1 – 21 November 2017)
Students will receive a personalised timetable detailing their examination times and locations. They must bring this timetable to all written examinations.  Most written examinations will be at the College with external supervisors undertaking the supervision.  Student must wear their College Summer Uniform for all written examinations.   

ATAR Tutorials
Between Tuesday, 10 October 2017 and Wednesday 18 October 2017 revision seminars will be run for all ATAR subjects.  Students sitting ATAR exams must attend these tutorials.

Students Not Sitting Atar Exams
Students not sitting ATAR examinations need to attend school for their examinations and return to school for their final day on Thursday, 19 October 2017.

Final Day Of School: Thursday, 19 October 2017
The final day of school for Year 12 students will be Thursday, 19 October 2017.  Students must arrive at the College promptly at 7.15am ready to depart via the College bus to travel to the Novotel Vines Resort where students will enjoy breakfast with College staff. Students must not drive directly to the breakfast and will need to leave their cars at the College.

There will be a rehearsal for the Graduation Mass at the Parish Church. Students will return to the San Salvador Building for a College Farewell Assembly commencing at 10.00am, which parents/guardians are invited to attend. Students will be honoured in a farewell fanfare and procession as they leave the College at approximately 11.00am.

Dress for the day is the College summer academic uniform. Students will receive their transcript of results on this day.  

Graduation Mass: Thursday, 19 October 2017
The Graduation Mass will be held in the evening of Thursday, 19 October 2017 commencing at 6.30pm in the Parish Church.  Students will need to arrive by 6:15pm wearing their formal academic College uniform. Families are invited to join us for the Graduation Mass which will be followed by a light supper in the College Café.  This is a very significant ritual in the life of the Year 12 students and all Year 12 students are required to attend.

Annual Celebration Evening: Thursday, 26 October 2017
Year 12 students are required to attend the Annual Celebration Evening where they will be presented with their College Graduation certificates. This will take place at the College on Thursday, 26 October 2017 commencing at 6.30pm; students need to arrive by 6.00pm. Students need to wear the College Winter Academic uniform including the College jumper, ties for the boys and tights for the girls. There will be a rehearsal in the morning at 10.00am which all students are required to attend.

We pray that our students find the inner strength to “knuckle down” and work to the best of the ability as they study and prepare for their exams.

Some people wish their children and students the “best of luck” when sitting exams, but success in exams is not about luck; it is a result of sound preparation and study prior to the examinations.

Inadequate preparation for exams simply creates unnecessary anxiety and worry. The Dalai Lama has been quoted to say; “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.” – Solve it!

There is a solution to improving your exam results, and that is sound preparation and study. By now students should have already developed good study habits. However, I have included a few tips below to remind students of the most important strategies.

Ten Tips - Studying
Make studying a part of your everyday routine and don't be limited to 'cramming' for exams and tests.
1.          Establish a routine
Set aside a particular time each day for study and revision and stick to it.
2.          Create a study environment
This should be away from interruptions and household noise, such as the television. Ensure there is adequate lighting and ventilation, a comfortable chair and appropriate desk.
3.          Set a timetable
With a timetable you can plan to cover all your subjects in an organised way, allotting the appropriate time for each without becoming overwhelmed.
4.          Look after yourself
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and eat healthy foods. Keep sugary foods to a minimum. Make sure you get enough sleep each night. Regular physical exercise makes you feel great, boosts your energy and helps you relax. So try to keep up regular sporting activities or at least fit in some regular exercise as often as you can.
5.          Reward yourself for studying
Watch your favourite television program, spend time with your friends, walk to the park and play sport throughout the week.
6.          Have variety in your study program
Study different subjects each day and do different types of work and revision in each study session.
7.          Avoid interrupting your concentration
Have all the appropriate materials with you before you start a session of study to minimise distractions.
8.          Test yourself on what you have studied
Ask your parents or family members to quiz you on what you have learnt, use draft questions from books, past assessments or major exam papers.
9.          Don't panic at exam time
If you have followed a study routine and have been revising your class work, there should be no need to worry. Try to keep yourself calm, positive and confident.
10.       Ask your teachers for guidance
Especially if you're having trouble - whether it's grasping a new concept or understanding something you learnt earlier in the year. They will be happy to help.

Tips for Families During the Examination Period
Families too, can assist greatly by their love and support during this critical time in a student’s life. This is a time when the family needs to fit in with the student’s routine. A few tips on how families can help their child through their exams are listed below:

a)    Be caring and affectionate, but don't make the student uncomfortable with over-attention.
b)    Spend some light moments with your child. It could be sitting at the dinner table and sharing some jokes with the family.
c)    Forget about an exam as soon as your child has completed it, ruminating over it is not going to help you or your child with the next exam. Inculcate the same in your child.
d)    Reward your child every day for good effort by doing something that they enjoy.
e)    Do not set onerous or unachievable rules or goals for your child; let the child follow his or her routine while studying. Nevertheless, you can always assist your child in coming up with a routine.
f)      Ensure good nutrition for your child.
g)    Provide guidance when it comes to your child's social interactions during the examination.
h)    Be a good listener.
i)      Help your child with positive thoughts.
j)      Keep the atmosphere at home stable and congenial.
k)    Encourage discipline in your child. Guide him or her in maintaining a timetable.
l)    Remember to reinforce your child's confidence if he or she is going to face or has faced a tough paper.
m)   One of the most important facts to reinforce to your child is that the exam is not the end to everything.

While hard work is the key to success we do wish our students the best of luck too, as a little bit of luck can be a blessing.

Mr Peter Collins - Acting Principal
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