This week I have had the privilege of sharing at the Christian Schools Australia Business Managers Conference. I was asked to share on Norwest's marketing and brand strategy and how it supports our mission. Sounds a little superficial I know but our brand identity actually goes to the heart of who we are as a community.
As I prepared the presentation I was again overwhelmed by thankfulness to God for the way in which He has worked in our community over the last few years in particular. Through rich feedback sessions involving parents and staff, surveys, and a willingness to ask some challenging questions we have together discovered what is really important in our community and we have a plan in place that will assist us in delivering on those outcomes.
What I re-discovered or embraced all over again as I prepared the presentation was our four graduate outcomes which are beautifully linked to our four central values of Faith, Virtue, Wisdom, and Service. These four graduate outcomes describe the young person that we are growing at Norwest and they read as follows;
We are growing young people who...
Engage authentically with faith
Manage life with virtue and excellence
Relate through service in community
Create from wisdom and confidence
These are really powerful and beautifully, hope-filled statements and in order for this to be a reality in young people's lives, we need to continue to work together, side by side in partnership. To that end, I want to thank each of you for the contribution you make to our community. Your partnering with us makes Norwest a wonderful place to grow wonderful young people. Your partnership facilitates the right kind of relationships where God can be powerfully at work in each individual, parent, staff, and student.
Jude 24-25 "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen".
Felicity Marlow Principal
Upcoming Parent Workshop - Passengers to Pilots, 1 November
I have a lot of respect for parents who have already supported sons and daughters to clock up 120 hours behind the wheel. I can only imagine that first moment when roles are reversed. The passenger now a driver. The driver now a passenger, trying to look calm and confident while also hunting around for something firm to cling onto as the car pulls out, your life literally in their hands.
We all know that there are times when we need to let go as parents for our children to grow and flourish. When we must take off the training wheels, so they fully experience the freedom of riding a bike, even though we know there are going to be some wobbles and bumps along the way. To prepare them for the path rather than prepare the path for them. To shift students from being passengers to progressively becoming pilots of their own learning through lots of small little steps over a long period of time.
This shift, from students being passengers to pilots of their own learning is something that is important at Norwest Christian College. For this reason it is also something which we want to partner with parents to develop as students move through the College and grow their capacity and something which we would love to explore further with families at the upcoming parent workshop on Tuesday, 1 November.
Passengers to Pilots was also the theme for this year’s Norwest Christian College Conference on Monday, 10 October 2022. All Norwest educators together with teachers from 14 schools from NSW and interstate spent the day exploring how we view learning and learners and how to cultivate classroom experiences and environments where students are curious and seek out challenge. College Principal, Mrs Marlow started the day with a presentation of 4 key beliefs which underpin the concept of Passengers to Pilots focuses.
These are that:
Learners are made in the image of God, so learning experiences should foster agency and grow more than content memorisation
Learners are uniquely made, so we need to use a range of approaches to learning
Learners are each made for a purpose, so we need to help each student explore their passions and interests and ultimately uncover their purpose
Learners are made to live in community, so we need to learn with others and to serve others
The educator conference also featured an international educational leader, James Nottingham, who has pioneered the concept of the Learning Pit. This metaphor of the process of learning normalises challenge and reframes mistakes. Errors are learning opportunities not a threat to self-confidence.
As mentioned above, we are very aware of the need to be learning in community and for this reason all families are strongly encouraged to attend an upcoming Community Workshop on Tuesday, 1 November starting at 7pm in the College Atrium. This evening will provide an opportunity to learn about some of the upcoming opportunities planned for students to increasingly become pilots of their own learning, including providing more opportunities for students to engage in Project Based Learning in coming years.
New Tech Network, a leader in Project Based Learning who Norwest is collaborating with, explain this approach to learning this way:
Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant, students see a purpose to developing dispositions and understanding concepts and content. Through this process, project-based learning gives students the opportunity to develop the real-life skills required for success in today’s world.
Families who come to the evening will learn about some of the very successful projects which have already been completed at Norwest and will also have a chance to have your questions about Project Based Learning answered.
Please note that this does not mean that Norwest Christian College is considering shifting from its current calm and purposeful approach to learning. The type of Project Based Learning we are committed to does not mean students having complete autonomy to do what they want and that teachers can sit back and relax as students descend into chaos! Rather, students will be able to engage in purposeful Project Based Learning when this suits the curriculum with expert coaching from their teacher. This is just one of a range of different approaches to learning the College is committed to which also include Explicit Direct Instruction, or in non-teacher speak, ‘I do’, ‘We do’, ‘You do’, where the teacher shows students how to do something or what a concept means, everyone gets to practice the concept of skill together and then students can individually practice or review the concept or skill.
The evening will be interactive, with an opportunity to get to know other families and will also include some practical ways to strengthen the partnership between the College and families by providing a chance to use some common hacks to help students value mistakes and see challenge as a normal part of learning.
Please join us for a Community Workshop on Tuesday, 1 November starting at 7:00pm and finishing at 8:00pm.
For more information about the concept of the Learning Pit click here.
For more information about Project Based Learning click here.
Andrew Beitsch Director of Professional Learning and Accreditation
Community Workshop – Passengers to Pilots
Tuesday, 1 November from 7:00pm
The College is committed to partnering with parents to see students grow their capacity and grow into their God-given purpose. We want to see students shift from being passengers to pilots of their own learning. To learn more about what this involves, including some more information about Project Based Learning, practical hacks to help young people to see mistakes and challenge as a healthy part of learning and also to get to know other College families, please join us for the upcoming community workshop 'Passengers to Pilots' on 1 November from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in the College Atrium.
Living Between Two Worlds
Statistically 33% of marriages in Australia end with divorce but many more couples separate and don’t divorce because of various reasons. When a couple decides to get married their hopes, dreams and expectations are that this relationship will be for the rest of their natural lives. Couples don’t go into marriage thinking that perhaps this relationship is not going to work out and we may end the relationship either by separation or divorce. When children are a product of a marriage they can be affected by the consequences of the marriage breakdown and they can have strong feelings about what is happening in their family.
Many couples navigate separation and divorce without consistent conflict and parents work together in a collaborative and cooperative way to support their children. These children now live in two worlds – mum’s world and dad’s world which may have different rules, discipline and consequences for behaviour.
What children and teenagers need are a:
· Secure base for exploring, growing and developing · Help to solve their own problems · Encouragement to learn – sometimes from their own mistakes · Routines that help them to feel in control · Firm and loving limits to be safely independent · A trusted parent when they need to be dependent on an adult · Protection form trauma
When children and teenagers have a secure base and a safe haven (Circle of Security see image below) to grow and develop:
· They trust their parents and others · They do better at school and with their learning · They make strong attachment relationships with their parents · They believe in themselves and make sound decisions · They can manage strong feelings and are not overwhelmed by them · They display resilience and when distressed their behaviour is appropriate because they can bounce back · They can make and keep friendships · They are confident because they feel loved, accepted and secure · They make healthy adult relationships.
Professor Jennifer McIntosh PHD is a clinical child psychologist, family therapist and researcher. Her research and clinical work has been vast. Here on Children Beyond Dispute, we house Jennifer’s work on interventions for families in high conflict. In 2019, she was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal in recognition for this work.
Jennifer is highly regarded for her ability to make developmental theories “user friendly” and to articulate and advocate for the psychological wellbeing of children. She has helped thousands of parents, carers and professionals as well as policy makers and legislators to consider the emotional and developmental needs of children, and to act on these wisely. Jennifer has a high profile in international training and conference forums in the mental health, welfare and legal sectors. Jennifer has directed several research projects for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, the Family Court of Australia, amongst others.
Jennifer outlines in her book ‘Because its for the Kids’ the effects of ongoing conflict with parents. Research shows the sad truth that conflict between parents that goes on and doesn’t get resolved is very hard on children.
Poem from the book.
Inside of me
My Mum and my Dad are inside who I am
They are a part of me, Wherever I go.
When they divorced,
they hated each other,
and that was like they
When they hurt each other, they hurt me.
When Mum didn’t want me to see Dad, she
wasn’t seeing me.
When Dad didn’t want me
to love Mum,
he wasn’t loving me.
Now that’s stopped, and
they get on OK,
So I can be who I am, with my Mum and my Dad inside of me.
Year 7, 2023 Information Evening for Year 6 Students and their Parents Tuesday, 8 November at 7:00pm
Year 7, 2023 Information Evening for students and their parents will be held on Tuesday, 8 November 2022 at 7:00pm – 8:30pm. The evening aims to equip parents and students for the Secondary Years. College staff will present sessions including the value of communication, Secondary learning experiences, the role of the Mentor and Wellbeing Program, the Norwest Challenge, uniform, timetables, and an introduction to the College’s online systems.
Year 7, 2023 Orientation Days Wednesday, 9 & 16 November at 8:35am – 3:00pm
Year 7, 2023 Orientation Days for students will be held on Wednesday 9 & 16 November at 8:35am – 3:00pm. The Orientation Days will be spent getting to know the Secondary areas of the College and offers students a chance to meet their future classmates. This is always an enjoyable introduction to life in the Secondary Years. Students should dress in appropriate casual clothes eg. T-Shirt (no singlets) and shorts and enclosed sports shoes. Students are also required to bring their lunch, a water bottle and a hat, as some activities will take place outdoors. These days also include assessments that are intended to inform the College of each student’s academic strengths and, along with information from our Stage 3 teachers, will assist with class placement. They are not intended to be exams for which students study and will be held over a short period during the day.
Seed Academy Thrive Showcase – Saturday, 19 November 2022
After two years of restrictions, we warmly welcome our Seed Academy parents and friends to come together and celebrate the creative gains made over the year.
We will have 3 sessions across the day:
Session 1 – Music and Art
Commence at 9:45am
Approximate conclusion by 11:45am
Session 2 – Music and Art
Commence at 12:45pm
Approximate conclusion by 2:45pm
Session 3 – Dance and Art
2:30pm – Park in the McCulloch St, ELC carpark and head to the Performance Space
Commence at 3:30pm
Approximate conclusion by 4:30pm
Dress code: Dress to impress!
Parents and students must RSVP through the link or QR code provided in the emailed invitation.
Music students will be involved in a Thrive rehearsal on Thursday, 17 November or Friday, 18 November to familiarise them with the stage. Adjusting many instruments can be tricky and time consuming so we hope that our preparation will help each showcase to flow smoothly. Students are asked to bring their instrument and music to school on those days.
Dance students will be involved in a rehearsal Friday, 18 November from 3:00pm-6:00pm where each student will need one parent/guardian to be present.
If you have any queries about the plans for our Thrive Showcase or if your child is unable to participate at their scheduled time, please email [email protected].
We are very excited to present our showcase to you and look forward to seeing you there.
2023 Kindergarten Orientation
2023 Kindergarten Orientation, Wednesday, 16 November at 9:30am
We are looking forward to hosting the Kindergarten Orientation on Wednesday, 16 November from 9:30am and concluding at 11:00am. Children will come and experience a little of what life is like at ‘big school’. On this morning, our 2023 Kindergarten cohort will be involved in stories, songs, games and activities in a classroom with one of the current Kindergarten teachers. During this time, parents will enjoy a morning tea and receive important information regarding the beginning of their child’s school journey. To assist with planning for the morning, we request parents RSVP by clicking here.
2023 School Travel Applications are now open
Applications for student travel in 2023 are now open. Students who need a new Opal card or travel pass for 2023 can apply now. A new application will need to be submitted if you are applying at a new school, or requesting any changes to your details. You will have received notification from Transport NSW if your current entitlement has changed or expired.
Most students continuing on in the College will not require a new Opal card and can continue to use their current card for travel in 2023.
Students are reminded to always tap on and off using their School Opal cards.
Applications are now open for our 2024 Scholarships and will close on Monday, 6 February 2023.
The College will consider applicants for scholarships in the categories of Music, Academic and our Principal's Scholarship for 2024 Year 7 and 2024 Year 11. Click here for more information.
To apply for a 2024 Scholarship or to purchase practice materials please visit the ACER website.
If you have any further questions, please contact our Student Enrolment Manager, Michelle de Rooy, on 02 8889 4600 or [email protected]
Primary Communication Notes
Click here to read the Primary Communication Notes.