Honouring our Mothers

On Sunday, 13 May 2018 we honour our Mothers and any significant women in our lives.

On the morning of Wednesday, 9 May 2018 the College came together in the Parish Church to celebrate our Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunties and the many women who care for us and shape our lives. Mr Shelton, Director of Faith, began by highlighting the place of Mary, the Mother of our Church, our Mother, and the inspiration we can draw from her life as Mothers, sons and daughters.

In the Gospel reading of Luke 1:39-56, we heard of the happiness of two expectant Mothers as they meet, and the way Elizabeth’s baby “leaps for joy” in the presence of Mary who is bearing Jesus in her womb. What a joy it is to share in the events associated with having a baby. What a joy it is to bring new life into the world.

Mr Gooch prepared a wonderful video of students giving homage to their Mothers, with students describing the things they most valued about their Mothers. Particularly moving and inspiring was the refection on motherhood by the Pindolia family. We are grateful to Mrs Manisha Pindolia, Ashni and Dhirian, and Nana K for their courage in sharing their story of the love and respect they have for each other. There was a great buzz in the air when all students and their Mothers had the opportunity to share their own personal reflections on motherhood.

The angelic voice of Ms Emilie Reynolds accompanied on the piano by Ms Laura Goodwin created a reverent ambience for reflection.

Mothers and families were invited to make their way to the College Café to share in a light breakfast with their children. Each Mother received the gift of a chocolate heart as a symbol of love and respect and the high esteem in which they are held.

Thank you to Mrs Lewis and Mrs Vagg for providing a wonderful breakfast.

We wish our Mothers and all significant women in our lives a very happy Mothers’ Day and pray:

Heavenly Father, hold my mother close to your Heart
As we hold her close to mine. Let her know today and every day
How much we love her. Lord, comfort her mind and reassure her
that her motherly care was everything we needed and wanted
And that we love her dearly.

The magic of Mothers
How Explaining Something To Mum Helps Children Learn

Does asking children explain something to their others make a difference to how well they learned it and whether they could apply their learning to a new situation? Children were divided into three groups: those in the first group were asked to explain the problem and its solution to their Mothers, who were instructed to listen and not prompt or correct; those in the second group were asked to explain the solution to themselves, (speaking into a tape recorder); and those in the third were asked to repeat the correct answer without explaining it.

What did the researchers find? Children who explained the problem to their mothers performed better than the other two groups when they were asked to solve another problem similar to the initial problems. And mum-explainers were significantly better able to transfer what they had learned to new and more challenging problems. By the way, children in the second group did better than those who weren't asked to explain to anyone.

What does this prove? Explaining their thinking helps even very young child think through and absorb their learning. Explaining to another person enhances this effect, as long as the other person is listening, and we know that mums are good listeners.

Explaining to their mums may prompt children to be more explicit and to generate more generalisable rules. The presence of a listener may provide a natural context for helping children to stay motivated and to integrate knowledge across multiple dimensions of a problem.

The general lesson for children might be that if they are having difficulty in understanding something, they should try explaining it to their mum (or dad or sibling or grandparent).

Explaining to someone who is truly interested in listening to you is the key.

Ask your child to explain the lessons they are learning in school each day. Your listening may be the best way for them to understand and retain their new knowledge.

Acknowledgement: "Learning from Explaining: Does It Matter if Mum Is Listening?" by Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Megan Saylor, and Kathryn Swygert in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 2007 .

 Peter Collins
Acting Principal

Learning from dogs

When I was young, my family always had dogs. Some were working dogs, as my father had a sheep trucking business, and others were pets, mongrels and pure breeds alike. I loved them - when I was young. Now, I am not really a dog person and I am always astounded how so many people have dogs and love them so much.

We often say that dog-owners look like their dog. Whether this is true or not, I think we influence the character of our dogs and, in turn, they can influence us.

We can learn some important lessons from our dogs. Watch them in the morning. The first thing they do is have a good stretch. Then they walk, and breathe deeply. They sniff the air. They pick up on a scent.

A good walk makes dogs happy. Rolling in the grass makes them happy. Rolling over in the grass after a good walk and having a drink of water-that's the ultimate happiness.

Shakespeare said there were “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones".

We are animals too. So ease yourself into your day the way dogs do. Take the time to enjoy getting the day started, the walk to school, seeing the world coming awake around you, inhaling the scents and sounds of the new day.

Work like a dog. Not straining and forcing yourself to do things you hate but by learning to enjoy your work and looking forward to each new day. Once you have decided on your goals, practise every day and make the most of simple things to help you.

For instance, like dogs use the support of your pack - your family and your friends Listen to what they can teach you. Dogs listen a lot. "Many dogs can understand almost every word humans say, while humans seldom learn to recognise more than half a dozen barks, if that". (101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith)

Take the help of your pack. And help them in return.

Relax. Look at dogs when they are most involved in an activity. They are also at their most relaxed, their muscles loose, their movements fluid. Humans tense up. Dogs relax.

"He could tell by the way animals walked that they were keeping time to some kind of music. Maybe it was the song in their own heart that they walked to. (Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer)

If you don't accomplish your goal - or if you do - just keep going. Dogs, whether they win or lose, still celebrate. "Wise dogs smile you know “(The Wizard's Tears by Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton) And enjoy a roll in the grass.

So, when you get out of bed tomorrow morning, have a good stretch, go for a walk, breathe deeply and sniff the air. It’s going to be a wonderful day!
Acknowledgement: Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer; Martha Beck.

Peter Collins
Acting Principal

Invitation to provide input into the Catholic Education Commission of WA (CECWA) Strategic Directions 2019-2021

The Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA) has a strategic purpose to ensure that Catholic education is delivered and managed through the system of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) in a responsible and effective manner, working within the Catholic Mission, appropriate standards and regulations.

The CECWA has commenced the process of developing the strategic direction for Catholic education in Western Australia from 2019 to 2021. This fundamental work will enable the CECWA to consolidate and communicate our key objectives for coming years.

The first phase of this consultation involves gathering feedback from our Catholic education community that will inform the draft Strategic Directions 2019 - 2021.

We would like to invite you to complete a survey to provide your valued input. Visit  https://connect.cewa.edu.au to complete the survey, open for participation until Friday, 11 May. There are hard copies available at reception should you wish to complete one.

The CECWA is eager to listen to our community through this important process and I thank you in anticipation for your participation in helping to shape the future direction of Catholic education throughout Western Australia. 

Type A Children’s Crossing – Strathmore Parkway

Many parents will have noticed that the City of Swan has commenced preparations for a Type A Children’s Crossing along Strathmore Parkway between Cardowin Drive and Badalia Lane. At this stage the College has not been advised of the date the crossing will be operational. Some additional work remains to be completed.

The crossing will be operated by a WA Police Traffic Warden, as is the case in similar crossings around schools. The placement of the crossing was made after extensive consultation and investigation by many people and authorities including the Education Department of WA, Catholic Education WA, Mainroads WA, WA Police and the City of Swan. The initiative began a number of years ago by Ms Chantal Wilson, P&C President, Ellen Stirling Primary School and more recently by Mr Rob Howes. We are grateful to these people, as well as Dr Dean Goldspink, Principal, Ellen Stirling Primary, and the parents of the Friends of Holy Cross who assisted at various stages.

Warrants for Type A Children’s Crossing are made for 5 Years. Usage will be audited towards the end of this period at which time the warrant will be reviewed by the Children’s Crossing & Road Safety Committee (CC&RSC).

Once operational, parents and students are encouraged to use the facility to ensure the safety of students crossing the road, especially at busy times.

The placement of the crossing will require some change in habits when driving along Strathmore Parkway. Clearly traffic flow will be different and parents must be patient. The location of the crossing will mean that students can now be dropped off in neighbouring streets such as Cardowin Drive, Caldervale Avenue and Carwell Avenue with the knowledge that they can safely traverse Strathmore Parkway. This should help to further alleviate congestion on Strathmore Parkway during busy times.

Parents are reminded that additional parking is available on Westgrove Drive and Coolamon Drive.

Peter Collins

Acting Principal

Celebrating the Term

Yesterday we gathered for our final assembly for the term.  We congratulations award winners and  presented badges to Year 7 LIFE Leaders.  We also presented medals to champions and runners-up in the Middle and Senior School cross-country competition.  Last week all students in the College participated in cross-country events.  Thanks to Mr Parsons and the Physical Education staff for their work in organising out College Cross-country Carnival and to all staff who assisted.  At the end of the assembly we had a preview of this year’s College production, ‘Villain School’, with the performance of one of the dances from the show.  The production cast and crew are working hard to prepare for the College production and on the weekend they participated in a drama camp which provided them with an intense period of presentation.  Thanks to Mr Chris McRae.  Miss Sophie Lester, Mr Guy Jackson and Miss Georgina Pratt for their work with the students in preparing for this significant event. I am looking forward to seeing the performance in June.

Congratulations to Ms Kelly Bond who has been selected to take part in a China Study Program through the Asia Education Foundation and University of Melbourne.  Ms Bond will travel to China later this week for what should be a wonderful educational and cultural learning experience.

One of our staff members, Mrs Karen Dennett, will be leaving at the end of this term to pursue new opportunities.  Mrs Dennett has played a significant role in establishing Business Education at Holy Cross.  She has been a keen supporter of extra-curricular activities at Holy Cross College and an enthusiastic member of Ozanam House.  I thank her for her contribution to Holy Cross and wish her all the best for the journey ahead.

The following staff members will commence work at Holy Cross College at the beginning of next term :
Mr Mark Potts – Middle and Senior School Teacher
Mrs Charisse Hay – School Psychologist
With the addition of Mrs Hay to the staff we will expand our student support services.

This term Ms O’Donohue has been on leave and during this time Ms Bond has taken on the role of Assistant Deputy Principal, Miss Reynolds as Innovation Coordinator and Miss O’Neil as Ozanam House Coordinator.  I thank them for the wonderful work they have done during this time. Thanks also to Mr Murphy who did a role swap and took on the position of Deputy Principal-Learning for the term.  Ms O’Donahue will return at the beginning of next term, but as I will be on leave for the first two weeks and Mr Collins will be Acting Principal Ms Bond and Mis O’Neill will continue in their roles for the first two weeks of term.

Learning Conversations will take place this week.  They are an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on their learning with their parents and teachers.  We are coming to the end of a busy term.  Classes finish this Friday, 13 April, and commence on Monday 30 April.  

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