At this time, we usually celebrate the end of schooling for Year 12 students and wish them well for their HSC Exams, followed by a spectacular Year 12 Formal. It’s an important rite of passage between school, tertiary study, and the workplace. For the 2021 graduates, this rite of passage will be delayed somewhat, due to government Stay-at-home -Orders, an unpredictable and disappointing outcome for planned celebrations. However, we look forward to celebrating your achievements at our graduation ceremonies in early December.
At this time, we do sincerely thank our Year 12 students for being great role models to our students, and for their kindness and their encouragement to all young people they have met at Bishop Tyrrell. They have shown us how to Learn, Lead and Serve during their year, and showed great determination to do well with their studies, working online, leading to further opportunities in 2022.
I believe that in the future most post-school studies will be conducted online and that this generation of graduates are already well prepared to enhance their career qualifications because of the encouragement they have received from their Bishop Tyrrell teachers to learn new ways of learning. We wish them well for the extended study opportunities ahead of slightly later HSC Examinations and look forward to meeting up with them from time to time when we return to school in late October.
Some celebrations have been possible this week through the efforts of our staff and students. The virtual Netball Presentation Evening was very popular with students, coaches, and parents and made a fitting end to the Netball season. A promise of additional sporting opportunities for all students awaits students in 2022 as we expand our teams and our sports offered.
Our Guest Speaker for “Wellbeing Wednesday” celebrated by secondary school students was motivational speaker Luke Kennedy who reminded us that our own mental health, peace, and happiness are the biggest priority for our lives, and we need to work on ourselves first, by reducing fear, anxiety, stress, and negative self-talk. Luke was well received by students and teachers too!
On Friday, it’s dress-up day again in the Primary years as they celebrate the virtual Resilience that our younger students have shown during the lockdown. They have developed a new way of thinking about how to learn involving staying focused at their desks on their own until finished their work, keeping positive during the day, do things that make them happy, and looking out for others by showing kindness when people are having a tough time. If you missed the live broadcast you can locate the link on CALEB
The College has recently received NAPLAN results and has organised to have these in your mail soon. Earlier in the year students completed paper tests which have slowed the process a little, but in 2022 we will be sitting NAPLAN online at all year levels. A first look shows that our Year 3 students appear to have done very well, and we believe this validates our choice to implement the Initial Lit Program introduced in 2017. NAPLAN always generates debate across Australia and at Bishop Tyrrell we take the opportunities the tests provide, to gather feedback on literacy and numeracy teaching and learning in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. We have planned additional programs to strengthen writing skills from the beginning of 2022. At the same time, it’s a point of time test on a narrow band of skills, and our broader focus on the skills of communication, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, and teamwork are important. Our teachers are currently analysing the results across all literacy and numeracy tests and will provide further information about all year levels after the holidays.
A special thank you to all teachers who have shown a special kind of Resilience, keeping students motivated, providing engaging work to capture interest, knowing when to let it go and when to keep pushing. A wonderful effort! Your community appreciates all that you do.
I hope that you enjoy the next two weeks and take time to rest and reset for Term 4 – be sure to try a few more screen-free days!
Ms Suzanne Bain