Dr Tony Buti MLA visits Southern Hills Christian College to celebrate all-time high in enrolments
Southern Hills Christian College is delighted to announce a significant milestone as our student enrolments surpassed the remarkable threshold of 500 on 28 June 2023. The esteemed presence of Dr Tony Buti, MLA and Minister of Education and Aboriginal Affairs, added to the joyous occasion as he graced the campus to engage with the College leaders.
Mr Paul Beacham warmly welcomed the young daughter of former student Jamie Mellor, as the 500th enrolled student. Additionally, the distinguished group comprising Dr Darnelle Pretorius (College Principal – Swan Christian College), Mrs Laurelle Coto (Head of Primary – Southern Hills Christian College), Dr Gregg Weaver (Chief Education Officer – SCEA) and Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer – SCEA) extended their greetings to Education Minister Dr Tony Buti MLA as he visited the College.
Dr Tony Buti MLA, the Member for Armadale, holds the notable portfolios of Education and Aboriginal Affairs. His presence at Southern Hills Christian College offered a valuable opportunity to engage in discussions with educational leaders regarding the requirements of students and the effective structuring of learning spaces to foster enhanced educational experiences for all young individuals in Western Australia.
Pictured in the photograph from left to right: Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer – SCEA), Mrs Laurelle Coto (Head of Primary – Southern Hills Christian College), Dr Darnelle Pretorius (College Principal – Swan Christian College), Dr Tony Buti MLA, Mr Jamie Mellor and children, Mr Paul Beacham (College Principal – Southern Hills Christian College), and Dr Gregg Weaver (Chief Education Officer – SCEA).
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Personal Growth
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award offers young individuals a transformative and enriching experience that opens doors to endless possibilities. This renowned program, recognised globally, empowers participants with invaluable skills and life-changing experiences, fostering resilience, confidence, and an indomitable spirit of adventure that will leave an incredible mark on their lives.
Undertaking the Award is no easy feat; it demands unwavering commitment and dedication over a significant period of time. To attain the Bronze Award, students are required to engage in activities across four key Sections, ensuring a well-rounded development:
On Tuesday 6 June 2023, during the Secondary Assembly, we celebrated the remarkable achievements of two outstanding students: Ethan Simmons (Year 10) and Ky Morrison (Year 11). Both Ethan and Ky demonstrated extraordinary commitment, perseverance and dedication, leading them to be awarded the prestigious Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ethan and Ky for their exceptional hard work and unwavering dedication, setting an inspiring example for their peers and future participants.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award serves as a testament to the incredible potential within each young individual, igniting a lifelong journey of personal growth, self-discovery and a boundless spirit of adventure.
We applaud Ethan and Ky, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing their continued growth and accomplishments as they venture forth, equipped with the invaluable experiences and skills gained through this extraordinary program.
On Tuesday 21 March 2023, Primary School students showcased their support for Harmony Week by coming to school dressed in traditional clothes from their cultural background or dressed in the colour orange to represent ‘harmony’.
This year’s theme for Harmony Week was “Everyone Belongs”, which aims to bring people together and foster a sense of community.
Harmony Week was first introduced in 1999 and has been a significant celebration in Australia, emphasising the importance of acceptance and inclusivity.
The Harmony Week celebrations, while a joyful occasion, also serves to raise awareness about the harms of discrimination and the need for inclusivity. By promoting a sense of togetherness and mutual respect, Harmony Week helps foster a more inclusive and welcoming community.
The College recently received a congratulatory letter from the Armadale District of the Department of Communities, thanking the College for its help in aiding the fundraising drive and providing gift cards for the Christmas 2022 season.
The Department of Communities supports those in our community who experience:
mental health challenges,
Centrelink issues, and
Thanks to the efforts of a number of staff and students at the College, 49 gifts were presented to these young people in need!
Special thanks to Jacob Sciarrone (Year 10) for his contribution to this work. A number of the young recipients acknowledged their heartfelt thanks and gratitude, with some mentioning that this gift was their ‘first or only Christmas present they had received.’
Please convey a HUGE THANK YOU to Jacob Sciarrone, his mother Lisa, staff and students for their acts of kindness, providing hope and love to the 49 young people who received their gifts.
One of our SPIRIT values at the College is ‘Relational’, and we believe that this sort of outpouring is all part of the Southern Hills character-building process.
After months of planning from architects and consultation with key stakeholders, Southern Hills Christian College (SHCC) is preparing to welcome six new classrooms to its Middle School Learning Centre on our Bedfordale campus. We have now obtained approval for our Commonwealth Grants Application (CGA) this week.
The total build cost of the project is expected to be more than $3 million dollars however, the CGA contribution of $1.425 million and another government contribution (yet to be confirmed) promise to offset the building costs considerably for our College, which has hit record enrolment numbers this year.
Southern Hills student leaders Zachary and Hannah stood on the new site for the buildings this week with Principal Mr Paul Beacham, who has waited a long time for this project to become a reality.
“We have not had any substantial building works on our campus since the gymnasium was built in 2008 with the Building Education Revolution (BER) funds supplied by the Rudd government,” said Mr Beacham.
“It has been a considerable process to reach this point, and I am very grateful to the SCEA team and the excellent consultants who have worked tirelessly on this submission for our students and future generations of Southern Hills families.”
The buzz around the Southern Hills campus was lively this week, with staff donning Christmas attire to celebrate the growth and success of their efforts in Christian education in 2022.
We look forward to sharing the progress of the new building project with our College community in 2023!
The new classroom block will allow for six new learning areas, staff offices and a common area.
On Wednesday 7 December, the Crescendo Choir (Year 5 and 6 singers) ventured out to Armadale Shopping City again this year to bless the local community with their beautiful voices. Accompanied by Mr Mills, Mrs Coto and Year 6 student leaders, the choir blessed shoppers with their beautiful voices and some Christmas cheer. The sounds of their chorus could be heard reverberating through the centre, and many stopped to enjoy the sounds, and even join in a couple of favourites!
Students then enjoyed lunch and some relaxing play in nearby Memorial Park, celebrating all their hard work, before heading back to the College.
Thank you to all the parents who were able to come and watch the choir sing!
We wish you all a very happy, safe and blessed Christmas.
Scitech bought an amazing show about chemistry to our Early Years Department. The students watched ‘science in the kitchen’ with much excitement. They learnt about QPE, which are the key skills for early scientists. QPE stands for Questioning, Predicting and Experimenting. The students then observed and explained the changes they witnessed.
Following the show, each class was able to take part in their own experiments. During these experiments, the students looked for changes to the ingredients. They used their language skills to describe the changes and they made predictions about what they thought would happen.
It was a fun and rather messy experience, but most importantly, the students learnt so much about everyday science.
On Wednesday 16 November, our Year 3 students had a special visit from the Armadale Fire Brigade to learn about fire safety in the home. The Fire Officers discussed with the class the importance of a Fire Emergency Plan. Our students had many interesting questions to ask the Fire Officers. The students then had an opportunity to see all the different parts of the fire truck, and even partook in a special spray from the water hose to end the incursion!
3 top fire safety tips which our Year 3 Students learnt:
Keep toys and plastic objects away from heaters about 1 metre.
Check smoke alarm batteries and replace them regularly
If you hear smoke alarms or smell smoke ‘Get low and go, go, go…outside to the letterbox, then call 000.
Thank you to the fire officers from Armadale Fire Brigade for taking the time to educate our Year 3 class about fire safety.
Not even a public holiday could throw off the Year 6s heading down to Camp Cooloongup. Despite the minor changes to the camp itinerary, students came to school on Monday morning, raring to go!
We packed the bus, and off we went to Rockingham Foreshore for morning tea. Children are children after all, and loved having the playground to themselves! From here, we went to the campsite and set up our dorms. In the afternoon, we travelled into the city where we visited the WA Museum. Our night was capped off with a delicious butter chicken dinner and apple crumble and custard dessert.
Day 2 was spent at the campgrounds where we participated in team building games, the flying fox and archery. We also enjoyed our free time on the bouncy pillow, picking and making daisy chains and playing mini golf. The highlight of the day for most was being introduced to a Tim Tam Slam, in which there was much discussion between whether Ms Vallance’s or Mrs Loader’s technique was correct; bite the corners or bite the top and bottom.
Our third and final day was spent in Fremantle. We visited the Maritime and Shipwreck Museums, the Roundhouse and played at the Esplanade playground. In the evening, we were joined by Mr Vallance and Mr Beacham for dinner at Cicerellos, followed by a wonderful night tour at the prison. Certain children were scared by not only the tour guides, but members of staff also!
We had a wonderful camp, and students begged for another day, but staff were well and truly ready for that public holiday!
Each year, at the start of November, the sheep-to-human ratio of Tambellup is altered dramatically as our Year 9 cohort descend on this tiny Great Southern town. At the outset, the students are given strict instructions to be on their absolute best behaviour because, as is the case in all regional towns, “Everyone knows who you are!” And as always, our students didn’t let us down, but represented our College with the maturity we aim to develop through the Rite Journey program.
We threw a wide range of challenges at them, starting with their basic living conditions: no cute bunk beds or spacious ablution facilities for our students; but rather a bare shearing shed floor for sleeping and dining quarters, and the allocation of just one shower for the week at the town’s recreation centre. For many of our city-slickers, this alone was an enormous challenge!
We then put them through their paces with a series of physical challenges including yabbying at the dam; climbing Bluff Knoll on a cold and rainy day; shearing, drenching and sorting sheep under the guidance of Mr Craig Beacham and his team; and completing the ‘solo’ in a paddock, during which the students spent an afternoon and night on their own in a tent. During the solo, the students wrote a letter to their Year 12 selves, which will be safely stored at the College and given back to them on their graduation night. The letter details their future hopes, dreams and goals and is intended to help the students live intentionally, rather than simply allowing life to happen to them.
The final big test for the week was a service challenge at Tambellup Primary School. This year, Mr Pleysier ran a woodwork activity in which our students paired up with younger students to make a toy car together. We also did rock painting with the younger children, and helped with classroom activities such as reading, making posters about the seasons, and sport. Some of our students assisted with various chores around the school campus, like cleaning up the shed, covering library books and pumping up inflatable cushions. Being a small country school, the staff often do not have much DOTT (duties other than teaching) time to do such tasks, so it was wonderful to be able to help them in these ways and hopefully ease a bit of pressure off them. On the final morning of camp, we returned to Tambellup Primary to cook breakfast for the school community before our return trip to Perth.
Now, if you’re having any concerns about how hard the students had to work on this camp, please be assured that there was plenty of fun to be had throughout the week! Special mention must be made of our inaugural Bush Dance held on the first night in the shearing shed. There is unfortunately very little photo evidence of the evening because Mr Vallance, our Caller for the event, refused to speak in his hilarious American accent unless EVERYONE participated, leaving no room for anyone use the ‘photography’ excuse. Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback afterwards, the Bush Dance looks set to become a new tradition on this camp. Another highlight was the stop-over at the Katanning All-Ages Playground. If you’re ever passing through Katanning, be sure to visit this legendary playground. It is always a hit, no matter your age!
Year 9 class of 2022 – WELL DONE on embracing everything we threw at you on this epic adventure. You have demonstrated and hopefully proved to yourselves that you can do hard things, and this is invaluable as your draw ever closer to adulthood.
Finally, a huge ‘thank you’ to the staff who spent the week away from their own families and worked tirelessly to make the camp the success that it was: Mr Pleysier, Mrs Hasluck, Mrs Loader, Mr Vallance and Mrs Groom.
On Friday 11 November, our College held a Remembrance Day service, in honour and remembrance of those who made a sacrifice for the freedoms we now enjoy.
The service opened with an introduction by Year 5 Teacher, Ms Vallance, recounting the events which took place on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of November 1918.
Jackson (Y9) presented us with an Acknowledgement of Country, which was followed by prayer for the service from our College Chaplian, Mrs Hasluck.
James (Y5) shared the following Bible reading:
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:10-13
Our Year 11 Student Leader, Zachary read ‘The Ode’, as follows:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”
Ky (Y10) played The Last Post on trumpet, followed by one minute of silence, which was completed with his playing of ‘The Rouse’.
The service was concluded with the National Anthem, and the laying of wreaths at our flag poles by Mr Beacham.
For the past ten years, Southern Hills Christian College has run a Father & Son Overnight Camp and a Mother & Daughter Overnight Camp, as part of our Year 7 Outdoor Education Program with great success. This year the Father and Son camp was held at the end of Term 3, and the Mother & Daughter Camp was held at the start of Term 4.
On two different Tuesday afternoons, parents joined their children in setting up their tents or swags together, and cooking dinner on Trangia camp stoves. This was an interesting shared culinary experience. Students were able to teach their parents how to set up and prepare a camp meal on a lightweight portable stove.
After dinner David Walker, from the Fathering Project came and talked to the fathers and sons about the value of parenting and spending quality time with their children. The mothers and daughters heard from Bonnie Walker also about the value of parenting and spending quality time with their children. Their messages were well received, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.
After the talks, we headed over to the firepit and cooked S’mores over the campfire and enjoyed some hot Milo. Mr Chapman finished off both nights with a game of spotlight.
The following morning, we woke up early packed up the camping gear and headed over to the firepit to cook toasties using the jaffle irons on the hot coals. After breakfast, most of the parents headed off to work. The students then prepared their lunch and packed their hiking backpacks with all their provisions for the day hike.
Some brave parents joined us for the hike through Bungendore Park and Wungong Gorge. The students did an excellent job of navigating the group and not getting lost. They completed the nine-kilometre hike down to South West Highway in about 4 hours.
Thanks to our staff, Mrs Rachael Hasluck, Mr Chapman, and Mr Vallance for helping on these fantastic camps. Thanks also to the Year 7 parents who came along and supported their children in this important activity.
Lincoln (Y3), was inspired by his rich family history to create his very own symbolic flag design, which he sent with a letter to the Prime Minister, and a few weeks ago received a letter of commendation in return from Mr Anthony Albanese.
The flag design is described as incorporating a Union Jack in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, the stars of America as an ode to his Great Grandparents, and Aboriginal designs as a proud person of the ‘Yamatji’ people.
“My Great Grandad (Lieutenant Colin Joseph McCarthy) was shot twice on the Kokoda track during WWII and was honoured with two mentions of dispatch for bravery on the battlefield. One of the shots led to him being told he would never walk again, however, this was unacceptable to Grandad who set out to teach himself to beat the odds and not only walked again but served as a training officer until he was cleared to return to his men again on the Kokoda track. My Great Nanna enlisted for overseas duty (Sgt Minna (Bobbie) Louisa May O’Berg), and the very next day was stationed in the Solomon Islands as a nurse and was almost taken captive. Both would never speak of their time in service but would only say “Thank the Good Lord for both God and the American’s” as it was the Americans who came to both their aide and fought side by side with them.”
Lincoln has been taught to take pride in Jesus and his family, and have gratitude for our allied nation, along with his heritage and pride of being an Aboriginal person of Australia. He combined all these things into one incredible drawing and included a note to the Prime Minister, which he composed, explaining the raw truth of his design.
Last term on Monday 12 September, over 150 students and their families came together in celebration of cadence and song for our annual SHCC Music Night, 2022.
Students from Pre-Primary all the way through to upper Secondary performed in solos, duets, trios and ensembles to a supportive and eager crowd of parents, parent figures, grandparents, siblings, and staff.
It was wonderful to see the courage and talent of our students shine as they took to the stage in 1s, 2s, 3s and 30s!
Of particular ‘note’ during the evening was our very own Jacob S. who entertained us all with his musical banter while generously playing the role of MC.
Special thanks also to Ethan S. who helped out on the sound desk.
We would like to thank all the parents and parent figures who so tirelessly support their children’s music education through lessons, practising at home, and of course coming to events such as these.
A HUGE thank you to all the staff who volunteered their time towards the success of the event – it could not have happened without you. Thank you to Mrs Prinsloo and the Year 11-12s who prepared our platters, and those who helped set up and pack down.
Thank you also to Larissa’s Lattes, who kept us well caffeinated and energised for the evening.
Congratulations to all the students who performed – we are looking forward to hearing you play next year!
Last week Friday 14 October marked an incredibly special occasion. The 2022 Year 12 Ball and Celebration Dinner took place at Optus Stadium. This venue provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate 12 years of education, with family members, peers, and staff.
The Cygnet room was decorated to the theme of “Starry Night”, and everyone was pleasantly surprised as they walked through the doors to be greeted with mocktails and the giant super screen on the oval displaying our school logo and theme. The evening included delicious antipasto platters on the tables and a 5-star buffet dinner. Whilst our families were still present, students were called to the stage and honoured and encouraged by staff. They also received a letter which they wrote to themselves in Year 9 as part of the Rite Journey Program. The stunning setting allowed students to reflect on their journey over the past few years leading up to this momentous occasion. Mr Beacham’s address left everyone entertained and in deep thought about the successes of High School. Mia H, our Head Girl, did a wonderful job in reminiscing on key moments of everyone’s school life, humorous moments of staff and many fond memories from camps and excursions.
Once the dinner and formalities were completed, the Ball officially kicked off. Lights were dimmed, parents and family members were escorted to the doors and the DJ turned up the music – ready for some dance moves. Some staff were also keen to let their hair down as they proved to the Year 12’s, they still have some rhythm in their ‘old bodies’. The attendees also played a few enjoyable games on the dance floor – a highlight every year is the limbo dance. The ball came to completion with the announcement of the Belle and Beau of the ball just before 11pm.
Students’ behaviours were exemplary, and we are so proud of everyone for participating in this memorable evening, and the tremendous efforts which led to this celebration of their educational journeys. Thank you to all the staff who made the evening possible.
We are excited to announce the launch of our new Southern Hills Christian College (SHCC) Website.
The goal was to develop a more user-friendly website which is easy for users to navigate. An update to the appearance was also required to visually reflect the quality of education our College provides.
The new website was designed by Mrs Kirsten Page, Marketing & Design Specialist for SHCC, who spent significant time with website providers to ensure that the website meets our community and College needs.
“The research into websites for independent schools points to more than 75% of users accessing our website from a mobile device – so there was a need to ensure that site navigation is as intuitive as possible” said Mrs Page.
The new website features a navigation bar which is intuitive, and a footer with ‘quick links’ to easily find popular links such as ‘Parent Lounge’, ‘Calendar’, and ‘Student Cafe’.
Another great feature is the Calendar page, which now integrates with TASS (including Parent Lounge and Student Café), in order to update calendar events on the site instantly.
Looking back, the first website for SHCC was built in 2012 (ten years ago) and was very limited – there was no capacity for video content or parent and student interactions. Ten years on, technology allows all of that to happen, and Mr Beacham feels that the College is now seeking to offer even more options and opportunities to its students, with an additional announcement to be made in the coming weeks.
Our original website
was created in 2012
“Yes, we have something special to announce – but we will wait for the correct protocols to be in place first. For now, we celebrate the hard work that has been done by Kirsten and the team. I really enjoy the visual imagery of our College, and the website outlines the educational experiences that students and families can access here at Southern Hills” said Mr Beacham.
It is marvelous to have a tool like this which showcases our beautiful College and better connects with our College community. We welcome you to have a look for yourself and let us know what you think.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Laurelle Coto, as the new Head of Primary for our College.
Mrs Laurelle Coto started her teaching journey in 1994 in Geelong, Victoria and moved to WA in 2002. Mrs. Coto is married with 2 teenage daughters, and lives in the sunny coast of Secret Harbour, where they attend Cavalry Chapel Church.
Mrs Coto has a Masters of Education (Special Education) as well as a Post-Graduate in Gifted Education. She believes that educators must be positive contributors to a dedicated team within the school and wider community. “By working together, we can meet the shared responsibility of ensuring effective care and high-quality education of every student, through provision of a safe, effective and holistic learning environment. This way every student can fulfil their potential by becoming lifelong learners, realising that their goals and aspirations can be attained through their own efforts and determination, in collaboration with others, so they can flourish at school and beyond”.
She is also passionate about partnering with families and ensuring that every students’ needs are met through personalised learning that provides both scaffolded educational opportunities, whilst also developing servant-hearted students, who flourish with the characteristics of integrity, resilience and courage and demonstrate essential personal skills including social interaction, intrinsic motivation, self-responsibility, critical thinking, teamwork, communication and a love of learning.
During her career she has enjoyed establishing new programs in independent Christian schools in Gifted Education, Inclusive Education, Early Childhood outdoor play, and the Western Australian Curriculum K-6.
“ELC and Primary school provides key learning for students wherein they develop foundational educational building blocks as well as character growth and essential skills. It facilities opportunities for them to develop a life-long love of learning, and empowers students with agency, voice, well-being and personal growth”.
With over 23 years’ teaching experience, including 10 years in leadership roles across both Primary and Secondary schools, Mrs Coto has held roles including Regional Principal, Head of Curriculum and Deputy Head of Primary. This experience combined with her passion and commitment to shape the lives of students through excellent Christ-centered holistic education, gives us confidence that that Mrs Coto is an excellent fit for our College.
What you might not know is in her spare time, Mrs Coto enjoys traveling with her family, editing books for aspiring authors and horse riding.
Mrs Coto is looking forward to joining our school, and supporting the students, staff and families at Southern Hills Christian College.
On Wednesday 12 October, our Year 11 and 12 Art students visited the WA Art Gallery, where they attended a range of contemporary art exhibits.
Balancing Act and Common Ground featured Aboriginal artists presenting contemporary issues such as poverty, racism and identity. Students found these works particularly interesting and engaging. They were invited to write responses to prompt questions regarding one artwork that perked their interest.
Speech Pattern was another interesting exhibit that was both a critique and celebration of everyday life that students chose to respond to.
A walk into the city for some lunch and back to the art gallery for a quick tour upstairs and onto the rooftop space. It was a great day and the students will be able to use their experience to further their art skills.
Thank you to ALL the students who got involved with Jump Rope for Heart!
A huge thank you for the effort in skipping and fundraising for the Jump Rope for Heart program this term. Together we raised an incredible $4,573.17 – this money will all go towards vital heart research and education programs.
We’ve loved seeing so many smiling faces skipping on the playground and in sports lessons. Our Jump Off Day was a huge success, you can see a few action photos from the day below.
Here’s our school leaderboard, congratulations to our top fundraisers!
As part of our Year 10 Christian Living program, students continue their development through the implementation of the Rite Journey program. Part of the program focuses on serving others and challenging yourself. This is the perfect opportunity for students to participate in a week-long service trip in the Kalgoorlie Goldfields area.
Southern Hills Christian College has been doing this service trip for the last 8 years and it is always a memorable experience to serve others. Students travel to Kalgoorlie via the Prospector train, stay at the Kalgoorlie Camp School and then do day trips to Kurrawang Aboriginal community. Whilst they spend the day in Kurrawang students are involved in feeding programs, small construction and maintenance programs and they also help out with literacy and numeracy in the local CAPS (Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed School) primary school.
We have seen a significant shift in our school culture, where students leave for Kalgoorlie being self-absorbed and introverted, and returning home more mature and empathetic towards others.
Student Leaders Charnae and Micah have prepared the following summary of the 2022 Kurrawang Service Trip, on behalf of the Year 10 students.
Day 1 On Monday morning, exceedingly early, we began our trip to East Perth train station and from there began our journey. We were given our seats and excitedly boarded on the train. After about 8 hours of eating, sleeping, and watching movies we finally arrived in Kalgoorlie. We collected the hire buses and we drove to the campsite where we unpacked briefly. Then we went to the look out of the C.Y. O’Connor and made friendship bracelets to signify our commitment to each other and the kids we were serving. We drove back to the camp and had dinner, then from there we went to Lake Douglas for a bonfire. After the hectic day we all had, we crashed as soon as we got into our dorms.
Day 2 On the first day of the camp, we woke up early and made our way to CAPS Kurrawang Primary School. CAPS referring to (Christian Aboriginal Parent Directed)… To wake us all up we went for a bush walk along the C.Y. O’Connor pipeline. The bush walk served as an ice breaker between the children and the students. Before we knew it, we were all coupled up with a friend. That day we also helped the children with their schoolwork, we did arts and crafts and did jobs around the school. We finished school and made our way back to the camp where we then had some free time and later a delightful dinner. Afterwards we made our way to the pools to enjoy some leisure time on the inflatables. To finish off the night we had devotions and went to sleep.
Day 3 Day 3 started with peaceful worship music for the boys and a nice calm wake-up for the girls. We began our day with a nutritious breakfast of cereal and toast. Then we made our way to the school where we helped with school activities and enjoyed some morning tea with the children. After recess we made our way into the bush where we spent the rest of the day, playing, building cubbies with sticks and enjoying sausages cooked on an open fire. We were all exhausted after the fun day we had and were given the opportunity to rest before dinner. After dinner, we played The Game of Life and enjoyed devotions with some chocolate treats. Then it was time to prepare for bed before the lights went out.
Day 4 This day was the last day at Kurrawang primary school, and we were all feeling various emotions. Some felt sadness because they were not ready to say goodbye to the children and some were feeling a sense of fulfilment for the impact and love we had on the children at the school. After saying goodbye, we went back to camp and got ready to go to the movies. We enjoyed popcorn and a soft drink whilst watching Top Gun. We came back and packed our bags and went to sleep.
Day 5 We got up at 5:00 am, got dressed and had breakfast prepared by the family that owned the campsite. We loaded the luggage onto the buses and made our way down to Kalgoorlie train station where we were assigned our seats. 7:00 am came and we boarded the train. Once again, we ate, slept, and watched some more movies. After another 8 hours on the train, we finally arrived at east Perth train station where we unloaded our bags. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
We would like to thank the teachers that came to the camp, Mr. Prinsloo, Mr. Pleysier, Mrs. Hasluck, and Mrs. Hill. Thank you for putting up with us for the week and for showing us that there is more to life than what is on our phones. Thank you for helping us to be selfless and teaching us how to care for others. We would also like to thank Mrs. Edwards and Mrs Groom for organizing and planning the camp and for the administration that went into the camp. Thank you!”
We always knew our Year 9 students were tough but now we have proof! Last week, we put them through their paces in Tambellup, near the Stirling Ranges. As part of our Rite Journey program, the students had to complete a number of challenges, which included sleeping on the floor of a shearing shed, pushing their physical limitations by summiting Bluff Knoll, learning how to shear, muster and dose sheep, interacting with young students at the local primary school, and completing an 18-hour solo experience in a tent. During the solo, students were asked to compose a letter to themselves detailing their hopes and goals for their future selves. This letter is now safely stored away and will be returned to the students on their Year 12 graduation night.
The camp was a significant time for the students to see that they are capable of far more than they realise. They did exceptionally well at giving everything a go and not backing down from experiences that may have been way out of their comfort zones. Every student got to the top of Bluff Knoll and every student got through the solo. We are so proud of them! Our hope is that their accomplishments on camp will give them greater confidence in themselves as they transition out of childhood and into adulthood.
Excitement was evident with the Year 7 class as they prepared for what would be an exciting Year 7 Offsite Team Building Excursion which was held at Point Peron Campsite in Rockingham. During the excursion, students were encouraged to work together as a team, showing thoughtfulness and patience with one another while building their confidence and trust. The students partook in various activities such as Stand up Paddle Boarding, snorkeling, team games, swimming and helping people in need in the community.
Here’s what some of our students had to say:
“What I experienced on my year 7 excusion was amazing. I learnt how to be more social, how to work together with others, and to just have fun all the time. On the year 7 excursion My group’s first activity was how to be a team, we had to work together as a team to get the tallest tower in the crate climb even though we didn’t make the goal that we wanted it was still great fun. It was the second day, and I was feeling good, it was rafting day!!! We got five pipes, a bunch of rope and four tires, my group and I made an epic raft and had lots of fun. We played beach games after lunch, we had to fill a bucket of water, but the bucket had holes in it, and we had to dig a hole for the bucket to go in, in the end we had won. The last day made me the happiest of them all. We got our snorkeling gear and our life jackets on. We were ready, we waddled down to the beach and were playfully diving down to the bottom of the sea floor, we saw red and spotted fish. My friend and I saw beautiful blue, yellow and black sea slugs. There were so many different types of pretty seashells, too bad I had to put it back though but it was the most fun experience I had ever had on a camp.”
“When we got off the bus we walked under some shade and ate recess. We were given strips of cloth to wrap around our arms, so that we knew what group we were in. My first activity was team building games. The first game we played was on a log on one side of the oval. We split into two groups and my group got on the log first. We had to get into alphabetical order without getting off the log. You had three lives and if you fell off you lose one. I got into my spot quickly and everyone else took a bit longer than me. Once we were done the instructors checked our names and we got off the log. The second group took longer than us and they did not finish, because we had to go to the next game.
The second game was a piranha pit game. There were 2 wires connected to two logs. On the two wires were 4 planks and we had to get everybody over to the other side of the logs. My team came up with a strategy to get everyone over to the other side and we were doing very well. The other team was transporting one person at a time but was a bit quicker than us. We were transporting 2 people but were a bit slower. When we only had to people left the other team had 3 people and I thought we were going to win but my friend Cooper fell off and hit his head. We tried to get back into the game, but we were so far behind, and the other team won.
After that we had lunch and we played a game of octopus. The third game we played was crate climbing. Two people are strapped into some ropes and things, while all the others stack up crates so the people with ropes tied around them can touch the penguin that was about 5 metres off the ground. Me and one girl from the other team had to climb the crates and touch the penguin. The first, second and third game we lost but then we made a huge comeback and won 5 rounds. At the end of it we all worked together and made the biggest tower we could. We did three rounds of this. The first round we got 12, the second round we got 12 again and then me and my friend Ethan went up and we got 14. The highest anybody has ever gotten was 18 though and we were close but not high enough.
The second day when we got off the bus, we had recess again and we started very quickly. The activity I did was this day was rafting and beach games. In rafting we split up into lots of teams. My group consisted of Ethan, Cooper, Tyson, Lachlan and me. We learnt how to tie knots and started making rafts. We were told that it was a race to see who could get to the lady on the kayak, get out of the water, run back to the shade, destroy our raft and put it back neatly. My team won this game and we carried on to the next one. The next game we played was like a shuttle relay in school carnivals. We had to go through a ring in the water swim back to shore and hi-five the next person and then they start swimming to the ring. My team lost that game, and I was sad, but then we played a fun game.
One person is the shark, and they are told a number. Everyone else gets a number and they must get in random order and if the shark gets the same number, you get a bucket of water splashed on you. I didn’t get splashed but someone next to me did.
The last game we played was a ball rolling game. We had 6 half pipes and we had to use them to get a tennis ball as far as possible. We were allowed to dig in the sand and use that a road for the ball as well, so it wasn’t too hard. My team won that game very easily. The other teams ball got stuck in a part they didn’t test or make big enough for the ball to get through and ours went down very far but not to the water.
The third day we did snorkelling, and it was great. First, we went to the beach and did some snorkelling around the reef. I saw lots of fish and they were all so small. Next, we went to a beach further away from camp and it was rocky. I went out into the ocean with a group of boys which consisted of Javen, Lachlan (who left after 10 seconds), Ethan, Tyson and me. Javen and Tyson were partners and me and Ethan were partners. Javen was a bit scared of the water after our instructor told us that the only sharks that would be in the water would be hammerhead sharks. After Javen heard that he was horrified and wanted to leave. I convinced him to stay and look at more fish and seaweed. I heard Javen scream, so I swam over to him, and he said that it was just seaweed and thought it was something else. After that our group decided to get out of the water and play a survival game on the beach. Everyone was saying ooga booga and then we had to go back to the camp. We got dressed got onto our busses and went back to school.”
Overall the excusion was a huge success jam packed with adventure, fun and fellowship for all who were involved.
Earlier this year we completed our shade sail project. The final two shade sails were installed. These shade sails provide some much-needed shade for the college students. The funds for the shade sails installed this year were generously given to the school by the Department of Education. The students will no doubt enjoy the respite from the sun when the summer months return.
Excitement was evident with the 2021 graduating class as they prepared for a big night out at Optus Stadium. Celebration Evening is an opportunity for Year 12 students to reflect over their school years and celebrate their achievements with parents and teachers while also considering all that is ahead of them.
Our Keynote Speaker for the evening was Dr Jill Wyatt. Dr Wyatt who attended schools in Busselton and Albany before training in medicine at UWA, gaining the highest mark in her practical course and practicing as a General Practitioner before undertaking missionary training at Sydney Mission Bible College. She now works in the country of Jordan as a field doctor, primarily with refugees and displaced people groups. Dr Wyatt spoke about finding a purpose and a passion for our lives after leaving school. It was amazing to have someone who is such a gifted and intelligent spokesperson for Christianity present to inspire our graduating class about life and the potential for the years to come.
The traditional “Then and Now” photos, including hilarious predictions on what each student would achieve in the future, was a lot of fun for all. Head boy, Jordyn Heylen and Head girl, Claire Percy broke from the tradition of giving a speech, instead organising a class video presentation with highlights of their final year of schooling. Given the time and equipment constraints they presented a professional clip that resonated with all present.
Congratulations to all those who recieved subject awards on the night. A special mention goes to both Jordyn Heylen and Rebekah Tolossa who won 5 Academic awards respectively and James Wheeler and Claire Percy who each achieved a number of both Endeavor and Adacemic awards.
Finally, thanks go to our amazing Year 12 teachers and Year 11/12 Coordinator Mr Morris Prinsloo who organised the evening.
Thanks also to the fantastic team at Optus. The Black Swan Room made a great venue, and the food was fantastic….and yes, that’s our logo up on the big screen!