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Pelican : June 2010
Welcome Principal’s Welcome For those of us who have worked in schools for many years these are indeed exciting times to be in education. Having been in schools since the 1980s it is my recollection that I have never seen education so sharply in focus in the minds of the wider public. Terms such as ‘My School’ and ‘NAPLAN’ have entered the common lexicon and there has been much debate about their impact upon education. At another level national initiatives such as the introduction of the Australian Curriculum and the building program in all Primary schools will have wide-ranging and long lasting effects in our schools. This edition of Pelican features articles that share with you some of the changes that are occurring here at St Edmund’s in 2010: • The opening of our library extension, funded courtesy of the Federal Government. • Our involvement in the trial of the Australian Curriculum as well as curriculum initiatives in Middle School. • The publication of our Strategic Directions document which will chart future programs and projects for the College. In addition there are the highlights of many other events that have taken place so far throughout Semester 1. All are indicators of a school that is dynamically embracing change and the challenges that go with it. I commend to you also the article on Br Matt McKeon. Like his fellow Christian Brothers, Matt is a very special member of St Edmund’s. His story shares the tale of the famous walk-out from Catholic schools in Goulburn in the early 1960s. Just like today, this event brought education, and Catholic education in particular, sharply into focus. Ever since that time generations of students, parents and staff in Catholic schools have been the benefciaries of the brave and bold action of those involved. I trust that you enjoy this edition of The Pelican. Peter Fullagar Principal An ‘education revolution’? All of you will have read of the ‘education revolution’ that has started in Australia. In mid May over one million children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat the NAPLAN tests, which aim to standardise assessment of literacy and numeracy countrywide. The results will provide a snapshot of where Australian children are up to in these core-learning areas, with the aim of identifying and solving any problems. And as a parent, you will be able to compare school results when they are published on the My School website. There has been much public debate about the testing, but as the chair of the St Edmund’s Board, and as a parent, I believe this new testing is important to creating transparency and accountability. As parents, we all need to be confdent that we know how our child is fairing, and feel we can critically assess the education our children are receiving. We don’t want to over interpret the data that will come from such testing, or see it as the sole criteria for judging the education our children are receiving, but it is a valuable component. Academic performance has always been at the heart of an education at St Edmund’s. As a school founded on the Edmund Rice Ethos, education is the key to freedom, liberation and the promotion of dignity. These concepts and an education based in the Edmund Rice tradition, focus on developing the person as a whole. Guided by the Edmund Rice Ethos and the Holy Spirit, St Edmund’s is teaching our young men broader concepts such as being inclusive, valuing diversity and actively seeking equality and justice. These are central tenets of our curriculum, and they always will be. There may be a lot of new things happening in Australian education, but at St Edmund’s, there is a lot that will remain the same. We will remain true to our core values and beliefs, promoting our values in handfuls. The new Australian Curriculum aims to “make it imperative that all young Australians are provided with an education that enables them to become successful learners, confdent and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.” Sounds like the ‘education revolution’ visited St Edmund’s a while ago. Eddie Senatore Board Chair 2