I write to you on the back of our most recent Open Day, once again inspired by the courage and quiet confidence demonstrated by our students as they took part. It’s not easy to speak to adults in a convincing way but our students do this so well when they talk about the College. What this tells me is that they genuinely love being a part of the College.
A few years ago, one parent asked me at an Open Day how we measure some of the things we seek to grow in students? She noted that whilst academics are relatively easy to measure, character development, progression of learning behaviours, the ability to relate well, optimism, and hope are very difficult to measure yet we claim to be seeking to grow these in our students. My response was that a young person’s sense of belonging to the College community, engagement with the College community, and desire to give back was a great way of gauging that these qualities are being developed. Confidence comes from knowing you belong, engagement demonstrates that you are relating well with others, and giving back indicates that you are optimistic and hopeful.
I see each of these qualities being demonstrated by so many of our students each day but most recently it was evident at Subject Selection evening as Year 8 and Year 10 students confidently discussed options for the future. These qualities are also evident in high participation rates in Hills Zone Sport and College Creative and Performing Arts activities and participation service opportunities such as our buddy program at South Creek School.
With the end of the semester fast approaching and the delivery of reports, I encourage you to let reports be the start of a much bigger conversation. Talk to your child about how they are engaging with Co-Curricular activities to develop their passions. Talk to them about how they are relating to others and, talk to them about their plans for serving those around them.
Felicity Marlow Principal
Why do I need to learn this?
Recently my Year 12 Business Studies class has been learning about ways to assess the financial performance of a business. This is no easy task when you don’t have to look far to find companies ‘cooking the books’ to mislead the public. In fact, I can still remember attending a leadership summit as a high school student only to learn that one of the keynote speakers commissioned to inspire the audience was a key figure in the mismanagement of a large insurance company.
The challenge facing young people is not accessing information. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes was right. “There’s no end to the publishing of books” (Ecclesiastes 12, the message).
We have never had more information available at our fingertips. This information is growing exponentially too. According to one source, every day there are 500 million tweets sent, 294 billion emails sent, 65 billion messages sent on WhatsApp (of which I think a half are messages about whether soccer games on the weekend are on or off!), 5 billion searches made and 463 exabytes of data created globally.
The challenge is being able to distil information to understand what it means. One of the learning dispositions we intentionally grow at Norwest is distilling. This involves condensing information of various types to extract the essential meaning and enrich our understanding.
The concept of distilling is something a science teacher would be more qualified to speak about. But it involves taking the advice of Albert Einstein:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”.
The process of extracting the essential meaning of a concept is something teachers do every day so that students are not overwhelmed. But the role of educators is not just to make things easier for students but also to prepare for a data rich but wisdom poor world.
One of the best ways to distil meaning and understanding is by changing your understanding into a different form. Taking a diagram from a textbook and converting it into a human diorama. Developing a metaphor, a comic strip, a meme or a picture which gets to the heart of what something is about.
By understanding the need to distil information and growing the skills and discernment to know when this is important, students at Norwest are becoming more equipped to build purposeful lives. Lives which are curious about God’s world and who can look beyond the clickbait of a provocative headline to investigate what is really going on. By growing in this way, students grow in their capacity to prepare not only for exams but are also growing in the wisdom needed to understand themselves and their place in God’s world and to be able to respond rather than be overwhelmed by the challenges they will face with wisdom. So we can pray:
Give us discernment in the face of troubling news reports. Give us discernment to know when to pray, when to speak out, when to act, and when to simply shut off our screens and our devices, and to sit quietly in your presence, casting the burdens of this world upon the strong shoulders of the one who alone is able to bear them up. Amen.
Andrew Beitsch Director of Professional Learning and Accreditation
Please click here to view a letter from Mr Colin Wood, Deputy Principal, regarding a new process for the Afternoon Collection of students. Please note that this process will start on Monday, 27 June.
Secondary SPM's - Term 2, 2022
Secondary SPM's (Years 8 - 11) will be held on Tuesday, 28 June and Wednesday, 29 June. If you haven't booked a meeting please click here.
Child Protection Policy
The College Child Protection Policy is available on our website.
Please click here to read the Child Protection Policy.
Secondary End of Term BBQ
Secondary End of Term BBQ will be on during Lunch on the last day of Term 2 – Friday, 1 July. All proceeds will go to Carevan. Click here to purchase a sausage sizzle by Wednesday, 29 June. No purchases will be available after this date. Usual canteen options will still be available via munchmonitor.
Uniform Shop July School Holiday Opening Hours
The Uniform Shop will be open during the July school holidays on:
Thursday, 21 July 11:00am-3:30pm
The Uniform Shop will then resume normal opening hours from Monday, 25 July.
Monday & Thursdays 8:30-12:00 & 12:45-3:30
The uniform shop accepts orders by email to [email protected] or over the phone by calling the office number 8889 4600. Any purchased items will be delivered to your child’s classroom.
Seed Academy – Term 3
For parents with students enrolled in Seed Academy, please take a note of some important information for Term 3.
Your child's enrolment will roll-over automatically into Term 3. If you would like to change your child's enrolment, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.
Seed Academy Term 3 Fees will be processed Tuesday, 12 July 2022 – Please make sure your payment details are up-to-date in your Parent Portal. If you have a Creative Kids or Active Kids voucher you would like to use, you can also add this to your Parent Portal.
Week 1, Term 3: Your tutor may use this week for any make up lessons missed from Term 2. They will contact you directly to organise this lesson.
Week 2 through to Week 9: official Term 3 Seed Academy lessons begin. Seed lessons always run for 8 consecutive weeks.
As always - practice makes progress - any encouragement you can give your child to practice over the Term break will be beneficial for their progress in Term 3.
Seed Academy offers private and group lessons in the following disciplines:
Monday: Flute, Piano, Vocals, Cello, Guitar Tuesday: Piano, Guitar Wednesday: Violin, Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, Junior Jazz/Ballet, Intermediate Jazz Dance Thursday: Piano, Drums, Art Enrichment, Tiny Tots Dance (Kindergarten), Senior Jazz Dance Friday: Saxophone, Clarinet, Piano, Guitar, Tiny Tots Dance (ELC), Ballet
Primary Communication Notes
Click here to read the Primary Communication Notes.