Although the week started out so positively with the opportunity to welcome families back onsite, unfortunately, it hasn’t ended that way. Please know that our prayers are with those who have been affected by this week’s flooding which is only 12 months on from flooding experienced in 2021.
These past couple of years have revealed our collective resilience, patience, and willingness to support those among us. Thank you for always responding to the consistent changes and challenges thrown our way. It’s a blessing working in partnership with you all, as we not only grow young people of character but continuously grow and strengthen ourselves also.
With parents able to return to campus this week, even if it was for just 3 days, we have been so grateful to see your smiling faces, to have in-person conversations, and to see our community continuing to thrive. I look forward to more of this next week and for those unable to come onsite for drop-offs or pick-ups, please know that your contributions to our community are highly valued, your feedback is always welcome, and we treasure the moments that we are able to interact with you in person.
I am praying over all those impacted by the floods. Please stay safe and let us know how we can assist you in this difficult time.
Felicity Marlow Principal
Watch this Space
What can you remember from your time at school? If I close my eyes and wind back the clock I can just picture it. Four large square blocks of classrooms which, rumour had it, were built by a construction company that specialised in building ‘correctional facilities’. It worked. We all had a seat, desk and could see a board or even, on special occasions, an overhead projector. But I would be lying to say the spaces inspired me. I remember sitting still a lot, passive, as the fans helped to ease what could only be described as the ‘smell of teen spirit’ on hot summer afternoons. I felt like a captive governed by the sound of a bell which told us we could wander the yard and then ring again to repeat the process. While I struggle to remember exactly what was said in these classrooms, I could never forget how the spaces made me feel.
Physical characteristics of classrooms make a huge difference. According to Barrett et al, (2015), 16% of variation in learning outcomes over a year can be explained by the spaces students learn in. So it would be an understatement to say that we are all just a little excited about the opening of the new building at Norwest Christian College and the opportunities this brings. A real highlight this year has been seeing students and families react to this new space – the oohs and ahhhs that come from walking into a new space and new possibilities, overhearing comments like ‘it feels like a university’, ‘it is so open’ or ‘there is so much light’. A far cry from my own experience at school!
One thing I am wondering, though, is how we can make the most of these spaces for learning. This is a question I have been exploring with a group of curious Year 9 students completing the Skills Based Learning course to stretch their disposition to question, imagine, reason and make links. After walking through the new collaborative spaces, classrooms, learning walk, lecture theatre and atrium we have together spent time imagining some of the possibilities. While these students have to wait until the end of term to share some of their ideas with Mr Hinton, some of their suggestions include:
Year 7 and Year 12 Kahoot! quizzes in the atrium on a Friday afternoon
Adding a slide to go down, instead of stairs
Teaching students to know what to do in the real world
Making something all together which is helpful for this world
Developing a simulation room which can help to visualise a problem
Using Minecraft to learn more effectively, like designing a building
Each room has its own adjustments for a specific subject as it would be more interactive
Having a share and tell session for classes to tell others about your problems to guide and assist you with a situation
Learning becoming more challenging by giving us a task or project to work on over time and keep working on that because it is always hard and challenging and pushes us
Giving us more choice on what we want to do as in options and tasks
More group activities instead of individual work to share everyone’s ideas
Open ended tasks we can work on for more than one lesson with a partner
Interestingly, Year 9 students also felt a strong responsibility to make sure the building remains in great condition, asking lots of questions about how the building can remain clean and looked after.
While I am not sure about the slide, a lot of the suggestions are already happening. Educators at the College are also committed to experiment with ways to make the most of all of our learning spaces to inspire and equip students to build purposeful lives. This is a much bigger vision for learning than my experience of school! We want to use spaces in a way that celebrates the God-given dignity, value and creativity of each student as an image bearer of God made to live in relationship. To have spaces which are engaging but not overwhelming. For teachers and students to be take ownership of classrooms but remain flexible to how they are used. To have spaces that allow quiet reflection and concentration while also promoting collaboration to solving real world problems. Above all, to make the most of this new space so that it is a blessing to all students in the College. Watch this space.
Andrew Beitsch Director of Professional Learning and Accreditation
Barrett, Peter, Yufan Zhang, Fay Davies and Lucinda Barrett (2015). Clever Classrooms: Summar Report of the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design) (Manchester: University of Salford). Available at http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/e...
Community Workshop - Term 1, 2022
Tuesday, 8 March 2022 at 7pm
Our first community workshop for the year is coming in March, where we will have a presentation about study skills with a specific focus on skills useful for the high school years. Students need guidance in these skills and while the College will deliberately present opportunities to students to introduce and develop skills, this workshop is intended to allow parents to have an understanding of how they can be involved at home using the same language and tools to benefit students.
Parents with children in later Primary and right through Secondary will receive most benefit from this content.
Imago Day 2022
Our theme for Imago Day for this year is Being part of Jesus’ Tribe as we again consider what it means to be “made in the image of God”. On Thursday, 9 June the College will be participating in the Word of Life Kick Off program.
We’re all part of at least one “tribe”, in fact it’s likely that children are part of a number of tribes (family, class, College House, sports team, dance group, church, Youth Group, etc) and knowing that you fit in is really important as children develop. We want to highlight that regardless of family situation or interest group we all fit into the big tribe where we are all “made in the image of God” and we will be invited to consider being part of Jesus’ tribe.
Students will be permitted to wear their sports uniform and House shirt for the day. Teachers will give more details as we get closer.
P&F Meeting - Week 8, Term 1, 2022
Wednesday, 23 March at 7:30pm
The next P&F Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 23 March commencing at 7:30pm in the Atrium. Regular P&F items (events and reports) will be discussed. Additionally, Mr Daryl Hinton and Mrs Tara Waller will be the College representatives. They will be talking about the Norwest Challenge.
We look forward to seeing you there.
SPMs - Term 1, 2022
Student Progress Meetings (SPMs) are an essential part of the home-school learning and well-being partnership. These meetings provide opportunities for communication and feedback about achievement and improvement strategies.
Please see below for the relevant dates.
Secondary – Y7 and Y12
Tuesday, 5 April & Wednesday, 6 April
Please note that our Year 12 students also have the opportunity for longer time slots with our Careers Counsellor, Mrs Pamela Ledley.
Click here to read the letter for Secondary SPM's.
The NSW Government has recently announced BASC vouchers available to families enrolled in Primary Schools to be used in OSHC services including Vacation Care. Our OSHC service has been approved as an eligible provider accepting vouchers from families. These vouchers are available through the Service NSW App and can be used in Before and After School Care as well as Vacation Care.
Our OSHC service will start to accept vouchers from 14 March. There is no need to send the voucher details to the OSHC email as we will be scanning the QR code available on the Service NSW App. More details about the program can be found here
2023 and 2024 Enrolments
Please note places are filling fast in many of our 2023 and 2024 cohorts, some already with waiting lists, so if you are considering enrolling an additional child at the College in 2023 or 2024 in our ELC, Primary or Secondary Years, don’t delay and submit your application as soon as possible to secure your place! Click here to access the online Application for Enrolment form.
Primary Communication Notes
Click here to read the Primary Communication Notes.