The Tatler Newsletter | Thursday 22 February 2017
From the Principal, Mr Ian Gamack
From the Head of Junior School
Wonder in Year 4
News from Middle School
Year 9 Development Days
From the Head of Senior School
News from Music
News from English
United Nations Youth Australia Townsville Conference
News from Science
News from Boarding
Screen Time by Mr Ian Gamack
One of the key pillars of our school’s success is our attention to the pastoral needs of the children in our care. Our goal is to produce students who not only excel in the academic, vocational and co-curricular areas but they also have support and encouragement in the spiritual, physical, social and emotional realms that underpin our 100 year old school culture and ethos. These important contributions to each child’s life long success occur in classrooms and activities across our school on a daily basis. This care and compassion does not only occur between adults and children; in many cases it is most beneficial when our younger students learn from our older students’ behaviors and example.
While all teachers are pastorally responsible for the welfare of the children they come in contact with, the classroom teachers in the Junior School and the Tutors in the Middle and Senior school have a special role in knowing and supporting their children.
In addition to our classroom teachers and tutors we are very fortunate to have a school counsellor, Mrs Cath Muguira, and Careers officer, Ms Katrina Wilshire, who have a particular role in assisting students in their respective areas. Mrs Muguira has an office in the Student Health Centre and students and or parents can make an appointment with her through the Student Health Centre or their child’s sub school administration. Mrs Wilshire’s office is in the Senior school quadrangle and she meets regularly throughout the year with all students in the Senior School.
Through their work with our middle and senior school students over the past few years, Mrs Muguira and Ms Wilshire have noticed a significant increase in the number of students who are sharing their experiences about the adverse effects of extended screen time. In essence, they are becoming more and more concerned for our children. While much has been written about the content of the screen time and the need to navigate the dangers of cyberbullying and the issues surrounding various social media sites, what schools like ours are seeing as the new major problem is the excessive time spent on screens by children of all ages.
As a school, we accept that we can have a role in assisting our students to understand the difference between educational technologies and disruptive technologies. We also believe that we can assist in other ways by highlighting some of the dangers of excessive screen time. An example of this is our Year 11 cohort watching the YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpnSwybi2LI.
I have asked our Heads of School, Cath Muguira and Katrina Wilshire to continue to keep this important issue as an important focus for us this year. I would ask parents to keep an eye out for their articles and if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact the school.
Mr Ian Gamack
News from Junior School
Student Empowerment is Key to Junior School Success by Mr Luke Baills
Student empowerment is student-led, and will therefore look different in every school. The fresh perspective of youth coupled with imagination and enthusiasm means that there are no limits to what students can propose and achieve. Empowering students in the Junior School is a process of discovery, surprise and serendipity. When students have the right knowledge, skills, support and environment, it’s amazing what they can produce.
To enable true student empowerment, students and teachers need to be active partners. The school’s role is to facilitate and support students as active partners, rather than devising an initiative and handing it over to students to run, consulting with students then ignoring their ideas or allowing students to lead an initiative without any support. In the Junior School our soon to be launched Wonder Hub, Leaders Lunch (pictured above) and the Anti-bullying and Confidence Lunch Time Workshops (Shidoin Joshua mentoring Joshua Tomarchio and Cooper Darr at a recent workshop) are examples of highly effective partnerships that inspire student empowerment.
The Junior School has observed and tracked the benefits of student empowerment for students in many ways and we can categorically say student empowerment leads to…
- Better decision making;
- Enhanced resilience;
- A sense of being valued; and
- An improved capacity to help.
As a school we have also experienced the benefits from our focus on student empowerment by…
- Being more effective in our implementation of programs like the Anti-bullying and Confidence Workshops, Sustainable Guardians and Team Jesus;
- Improving all student learning outcomes;
- Increasing school safety; and
- Improving school culture.
We have identified the five key pillars to our success in the Junior School.
2. Knowledge and skills
4. Opportunities and responsibilities
5. Active support
Having these pillars embedded in the Junior School helps staff and students plan together. It gives all students the chance to grow and participate in a real and non-threatening manner. These elements also give staff support with how to work alongside students.
Student empowerment in the Cathedral Junior School is placed perfectly with our belief that children are successful when they are:
- Feel CONNECTION; and
- Are encouraged to WONDER.
Mr Luke Baills
Head of Junior School
Wonder in Year 4
At the beginning of the school year, Year 4 had the opportunity to observe the video, You're Wonderful, that highlighted, very powerfully, how our words can have a profound impact on others. We thought it would be a great opportunity for students to see first hand how their words could make a positive difference to their peers.
After viewing the short video, the students’ overwhelming response was to want to be that ‘difference’ maker. We were very encouraged to hear many spontaneous contributions as to how they would go about this within the school community. It was also very pleasing to see students recognise the need to let others know how they ‘see’ them because it will not always be something they recognise in themselves.
What a great way to begin the year and such a great encouragement to see the Year 4 cohort respond in this way!
News from Middle School
"Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other” a quote from JFK, which sums up the last five weeks for the Middle School. The Development Days for Year 7 and 9 delivered the messages “that you must own your actions” and “if you want to make a difference, be that difference.” This resonated well with all students as they start to steer themselves through the challenges of being a teenager. For our new staff - including myself -The Cathedral School has been an environment that has been extremely supportive from parents, students and staff. Being inducted into "The Cathedral Way" has been an exceptional learning experience. We are certainly in a great school for developing leadership!
As I have been talking to students and finding out about their interests, it is easy to be amazed at some of the opportunities they have had over the holidays or coming up. One of the students, Hamish Finlayson, has reminded me of the great change that we can make in the world. Hamish has been developing Apps to educate the world on Autism. On Tuesday, BBC filmed Hamish at school for an upcoming documentary of young entrepreneurs from around the world. It has been great recognition of the work he is doing to help others. Hamish is only one story at Cathedral and I am looking forward to hearing every Middle School story this year.
Thank you for the support and well wishes for the start of the year, the teachers and I certainly appreciate it, having parents being so supportive certainly makes a big difference to the learning environment.
Mr Chris Anderson
Head of Middle School
Year 9 Development Days
Did you know that males are pressured everyday to be the strong and heroic stereotypical man? This is one of the interesting facts that was discussed at the the Year 9 Development Day. I have got to say that the Year 9 Development Day was the best Development Day I have attended at The Cathedral School so far. The boys had loads of fun and we learnt many intriguing facts about one another, ourselves and about the journey of becoming a man. We also learnt how to treat women with respect and maturity.
The instructors, Jane and Wook, were funny and engaging and were open and honest about the subject at hand. This meant that we were also comfortable to be open and honest as well. We could trust them to help us with our personal problems and speak with no fear. Everyone got involved with the fun and challenging activities. Combining leadership for some and teamwork for others, the challenges they gave us we were able to conquer with ease. This day really demonstrated the mental and physical strength of the boys in this cohort and we bonded like a true team.
Last Friday the Year 9 cohort participated in their Development Days. The day was greatly enjoyed by everyone. The girls and the boys were split up into separate groups to partake in several fun activities. The girls were fortunate enough to have a visit from Enlighten Education, who taught us about the "Butterfly Effect". Throughout the day we participated in many activities about self-love and about how to accept everyone despite their differences. A highlight of mine was creating our own special book that people can write positive messages in. It was an enjoyable way to bond with our peers and show people how much we appreciate them. We got to learn more about ourselves and each other. It was also an opportunity to mend any broken friendships. It was also great learning about the differences between real life and what you see on social media. The day brought everyone closer together and will be a memory we will never forget.
From the Head of Senior School, Mr Simon Midson
It is a pleasure to share with you some of my early observations as Head of Senior School at The Cathedral School. Firstly, the students are remarkable and their parents as well as current and former teachers should be immensely proud of the fine young men and women they have become. Senior School students at Cathedral are friendly, polite, respectful and helpful. There is a diversity among the student population from local Townsville residents to boarders from rural and remote communities, delightful indigenous students and international students from Hong Kong, PNG and the Solomon Islands. It makes for an eclectic mix of students that is beneficial to the school community in developing mutual tolerance, friendship and understanding in a culturally diverse community.
Students embrace the broad opportunities on offer at Cathedral which leads me to another observation. Many schools claim they provide programs to develop the whole child. The Cathedral School actually does it! The faith and spiritual growth of each child is encouraged and students experience amazing Outdoor Education opportunities that build resilience, self-esteem and team cohesion. An active lifestyle is encouraged through sport with excellent programs in Rowing, Netball and Swimming. The instrumental music program provides a stimulating pastime for students and develops skills that improve their learning. There is a palpable sense that the 2018 School Production and House Musicals will be first class performance opportunities.
Teaching staff at The Cathedral School are dedicated to the pastoral care and educational well-being of every student. Professional growth is actively encouraged and facilitated through Mentor Groups that provide an opportunity for professional reflection, goal setting and support.
Based on my extensive previous experience with an external examination system in Western Australia, I look forward to supporting students and staff at The Cathedral School as we prepare our current Year 10s for the transition to a new ATAR system in Queensland in 2020. We aim for our students to become life-long learners with a spirit of enquiry who will be leaders in their community. Accordingly, a key focus for Senior School students will be developing their leadership skills and service learning opportunities.
I feel privileged to be part of The Cathedral School community and I am enjoying the process of getting to know the students and being part of a team of staff dedicated to their educational, social and emotional well-being.
Mr Simon Midson
Head of Senior School
News from Music
Contemporary Band - 2018
We are excited to introduce a new ensemble in 2018, ‘Contemporary Band’. This small ensemble has commenced rehearsals under the expert guidance of Mr Dylan Russell. Their first performance will be Friday 16 March during second break in the Senior School Quadrangle.
Amber sings her way to Los Angeles
During the Christmas break, one of our vocal and speech and drama students, Amber Meeson performed at a showcase in Los Angeles. Amber had auditioned for a Melbourne Talent agent earlier in the year and as a result was invited to the showcase. The showcase was attended by rising stars of all ages, predominately from the USA with a small contingent from Australia and South Africa.
Amber attended educational workshops run by Hollywood stars and agents, she performed both singing and acting in front of agents and made many contacts. Amber impressed the agents and as a result made the Top Talent Show for both acting and singing. Amber received call backs from 9 LA agents that met with her one on one and discussed her future in the industry.
Amber has also been in demand locally, singing the National Anthem at the recent WNBL Grand Final.
Music Rehearsal Day – 23 January 2018
Our annual Music Rehearsal Day was held on Tuesday 23 January. This was a great opportunity for all our core ensemble members from Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble 1, Guitar Ensemble 2 and String Orchestra to meet in a social setting and to work on new repertoire for the year.
New Music Staff
Welcome to Cynthia Chambers who has joined the music team to assist Mrs Rich in teaching the Reed students. Cynthia comes to us with a wealth of musical knowledge and experience and is excited to be working at Cathedral.
News from English
Last Saturday, six staff from the English Department attended a grammar workshop at JCU conducted by the Townsville branch of the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland.
The workshop was conducted by Garry Collins, a self-confessed (functional) grammar tragic. Garry is a former president of both ETAQ and the national English teachers’ body AATE (the Australian Association of the Teachers of English). After 35 years teaching English in state high schools, Garry has, for the last five years, been a part-time tutor in English curriculum courses at the University of Queensland.
Garry is an inspiring speaker and grammar expert. Through a series of workshops throughout the day, we developed an explicit understanding of how language works to assist our students in both comprehension and composition, with clear links to the Australian Curriculum in English. His main messages were:
• Different text types display different types of language
• Grammar is a system of choices and different grammatical choices construct different sorts of meanings
• Grammatical correctness and knowing the rules of grammar are necessary, but need to be teamed with the other two qualities (above) to ensure our students are powerful writers and skilful readers
Several staff from the JCU English Faculty were also present and are keen to make connections with and work in schools. Dr Claire Hansen is a lecturer in English Literature. Her passion is teaching Shakespeare and she has had several books and articles published. She is a member of the Shakespeare Reloaded project and will be conducting the next ETAQ workshop at the Cathedral School in Term 2.
Mrs Judy Salk
United Nations Youth Australia Townsville Conference
On 16 and 17 February, Year 11 and 12 students Max Bainbridge, Matthew Burrows, Christopher Butler, Benjamin Fisher, Jano Garcia Navas, Alicia Kotzee, Isabel Kotzee, Chelsea Lillecrapp and William Schwebel were fortunate enough to be a part of the two day United Nations Youth Australia Townsville Conference at JCU.
On the first day, we listened to experienced lawyers speak about what inspires them and on how the future generations of lawyers can enact change. We proceeded to break off into small groups in which we had to create our own societal structures for a made-up planet in another universe. Interestingly, our groups all synthesised systems that run very similarly to how society is structured in Australia. We had similar laws and beliefs, and we agreed on the same basic principles of morality that humanity has thrived on for years.
The second day was when the real fun began. The day that we were officially allowed to argue, negotiate and scheme. In pairs, we were each assigned a different country, from Kuwait to Equatorial Guinea. Max Bainbridge and I were assigned Russia. We were given resolutions throughout the day and were expected to make amendments, strike clauses, negotiate and vote in order to further our own country’s national interests. We were asked to discuss resolutions on issues such as targeted killings, the Security Council of the UN and the Philippines’ war on drugs.
The day included a preliminary round of Evatt, Australia’s largest secondary Model UN competition. The Evatt Trophy Competition teaches students leadership, diplomacy, communication and advocacy skills within a simulation of the United Nations Security Council. Max and I received Honourable Mention certificates while William Schwebel and Benjamin Fisher won the competition and are eligible to attend the State finals in Brisbane.
I highly recommend that all students interested in foreign affairs, justice and politics sign themselves up for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to participating in the next event and feel that we are so privileged to be at a school where we are given such life-changing opportunities.
News from Science
During the holidays Madeleine Gamack, Kathleen Cox and Leah Moncrieff attended the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Madeleine and Kathleen attended the Brisbane forum and Leah attended the Canberra forum. Kathleen said “The experience was amazing and we were provided with endless opportunities."
“Some of the experiences included visiting state of the art research institutes such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the Queensland Brain Institute, the Centre for Advanced Imaging and Translational Research Institute (TRI), and Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE). Both Madeleine and Kathleen agreed that the guest speakers were inspiring and engaging, who were all so passionate about what they do and what they are hoping to accomplish in the future. Their favourite was definitely Dr Alan McKay-Sim who was Australian of the Year in 2017.
Leah’s experience was similar. Her visits included the Australian Institute of Science (Shine Dome), Parliament House, CSIRO, The National Museum of Australia, Jerrabomberra Wetlands, a coffee shop (to learn the science of coffee grinding) and Questacon. Presentations from academic researchers and professors detailed critical thinking topics and Leah’s favourite lectures were on ‘Biomedical Engineering’ and ‘Health and Drugs’
The NYSF wasn’t all work though! There were a lot of opportunities to socialise and get to know the other people at the Forum. All three ladies agreed that the NYSF experience was inspiring and a once in a life time opportunity!
Mrs Germa Maher
Science HOD (Acting)
Our international students have enjoyed sharing their culture as they celebrated Chinese New Year last weekend. Even though they could not be with their families for this special celebration, they were able to enjoy some traditional food and educate the local students about the importance of Chinese New Year in their culture.
The Dining Hall provided a Chinese meal for all the boarders on Friday night, and many of them dressed in red to show their support for the special occasion, after two of the Hong Kong boys gave a presentation about their traditions. On Sunday night, a group of the overseas students celebrated together as they shared a meal at a local Chinese restaurant. Next weekend, they will have the opportunity to attend the Chinese New Year Carnival at The Strand Park.
Homestay Families needed
News from Boarding
Hi, my name is Sami Beil and I am a Year 7 boarder at The Cathedral School. I live at a property that is near Clermont. On our property we run cattle and crop, it is very hot and dry just like Townsville. Where we live is about five hours away from Townsville. In my family there is my mum, my dad, my older sister in Year 9, my twin in Year 7 as well and me. I went to a small state school which only had about 30 kids from Prep right through to Year 6, and there was only seven of us in Year 6. There was only two main teachers and four teacher aides. There are so many more teachers and classrooms at Cathedral but that also means more opportunities.
Boarding is a great experience for girls and boys as it allows people to have so many more friends. You can get to know everyone in boarding and they will help you to achieve your best and it can build your confidence so much. I am so grateful for all of the Boarding Supervisors as they keep us in line, make sure we get to sleep and wake up on time, they make sure we are safe and will always give you a hug when you need it. I am so thankful for the Boarding Captains because they always pick us up when we need and make sure we are organised.
The hardest thing for me is being away from mum and dad but it makes me very independent, even though I have my sisters and all the other girls around. Taking my clothes to the laundry each day, remembering to make my bed and cleaning my desk is something I am getting used to. Sharing a room with girls that were complete strangers to me when I came was something I was nervous about, but it is so much better than I thought.
The kitchen staff do an amazing job at feeding so many people at breakfast, morning tea, lunch and dinner every day. There is an amazing salad bar and a hot breakfast most mornings. They are so lovey to everyone and really appreciate it when you use your manners. You can also help out in the kitchen, cleaning some of the dishes which really helps the staff out.
There are so many opportunities at Cathedral and especially for boarders, as where they live is usually quite remote so for them to join a club or team it would be a long drive. I am super excited to play team sports like netball, hockey and rugby league this year. Sports can take you to many places and it is great when you work in a team because it teaches you a lot of life skills.
The Cathedral School is really good because being so new to all of it, I am learning something new every day. Being at such a big school it lets you experience things like something we just did the other day. We had the Year 7 Development Day. In this we did a bunch of activities relating to the word LEADERSHIP. It taught me that leadership isn’t about be at the front of the class and being the smartest, but it is about doing little things that make the world a better place. ‘Make the world I touch a better place,’ this quote has so much meaning. All of changing classrooms and changing teachers is a little hard but I like it because it changes up the routine that I am used to.
Boarding school is such a good change in my life because it has made me the person I am now which is an independent, caring, young person.
Over the weekend, 15 of our Year 10 rowers, two coaches and Ms Wilshire flew down to Sydney to compete in the Open New South Wales State Championships. This event is open to elite athletes across Australia and is often used as a trial for crews looking to compete at Nationals. Our group of athletes has been training for up to 10 sessions a week since Term 4 last year, and their hard work was rewarded with some great results.
Over two jam-packed days of racing, our crews competed in 12 events across different age groups. We had three U17 double sculls in finals; Rebekah Taylor and Ella Brereton in the schoolgirls double final, Jessie Drazic in the U16 single semi-final and Ben Horsnell in the U16 single final. The boys placed fifth in the U17 eight. The girls and boys U17 quads progressed through to their finals where one of the boys quads placed third, receiving a Bronze Medal. Bradley Graham raced extremely hard in his U17 single scull heat and placed third in the final, securing our second Bronze Medal for the regatta. Finally, Gordon Applcryn convincingly lead the pack of single sculls in the U16 heats before giving it his all and taking the Gold Medal and championship title. Thank you to Stephan, Aaron and Ms Wilshire for all the coaching, effort and time they have put into our squad. Congratulations to all our rowers on their enormous efforts!
Congratulations to the following students who have represented North Queensland or Queensland in their chosen sports or have been selected for representation for upcoming carnivals.
Georgia Cox (top left) attended a Queensland Netball selection camp last year where about 70 girls from across Queensland were invited to trial for the state team. She has been selected in the U17 QLD squad of 16 girls and is now travelling down to Brisbane every weekend for training. In another two training's they'll make another selection of who will be the 12 to go to nationals and the other four will remain training partners. Good luck, Georgia!
Good luck to Year 10 student, Gabriel Mooka (top right) who has been selected in the U16 Queensland Murri team (rugby league) who will play the NSW Koori at the South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George Dragons Charity Shield curtain raiser game this weekend. The team are currently in camp, training for the big clash this weekend.
Last year Zoe Rebgetz (middle left) was selected in the Queensland indoor netball team. They competed in a national competition, Queensland came third in the six-a-side competition and second in the 7's. Zoe was then selected in an Australian AllStarz team. Congratulations Zoe!
Richard Peachey (middle right) is a member of the Townsville Basketball U16 Boys Heat Division 1 team. During January the team competed at the State Championship on the Gold Coast. During this tournament they lost only one game to Ipswich and finished at the top of their pool. They were required to play Cairns in the pool cross overs and won this game, which set them up to meet Southern District Spartans in the grand final. The Heat Boys went on to win this game 66 – 61 and won the gold medal.
Good luck to Year 8C students Jayde Cochrane and Taylah Platz (bottom) who are both representing North Queensland in their chosen sports in the coming days - Taylah for water polo and Jayde in the triathlon competition in Harvey Bay. Matilda Gallagher and Madeleine Prizeman have also been selected in the North Queensland water polo team.
Madeleine Prizeman, Aiden Wu, Tomas Muguira and Callum Maher have all been selected in the Northern Region School Swimming team. We wish them all the best when they compete next month.
Good luck to Year 11 student Matthew Braithwaite, Year 11 who will represent the Northern Region team at the state tennis championships.