As the term concludes and we enter the Easter period, it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that we have achieved and all that we hope to gain through our relationships with one another and the Holy Spirit. As people of faith, the Easter story reminds us that we can work together to promote the reign of the Kingdom of God. I encourage families to seek the time to reconnect and rebuild relationships as a family. Life presents us with many wonderful experiences and opportunities to seek time outside our family, however, this sometimes can lead to disconnection. Families play a pivotal role in developing resilience and strength. In fact, families are considered a protective factor for young people to grow as successful and happy people. The holidays are a perfect time to take stock and to sit and be still with one another. Holy Week provides the time to listen and just ‘be’, with our families.

Term 1 has been a successful term and our students have successfully transitioned into the challenges of a new academic year. I have been so impressed to see our learners take on the adventure of learning, relationships and study. The rhythm of a new year allows us to form new habits and to start afresh. Our young women continue to embrace the richness of MSJ life. We need to remember that a person can only grow when we work with our challenges and face the day with energy and optimism.

This term, we have had many students participate in Outdoor Education, Duke of Edinburgh and our Year 7 camps or adventures. The opportunity to participate in learning outside the classroom celebrates a new set of skills and fosters team and collaborative skills, and important life attributes. As our society continually changes, our ability to think flexibly and work with others is so needed. Camps are not an optional extra, but rather core for who we are at MSJ. What l value about camp experiences is that l get see our learners and peers in a different context and l can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the person.

During the holidays, 30 students with Mr Hayashi, Ms Mizoguchi, Ms Commadeur and Ms Thompson are travelling to our sister school, Holy Spirit High School (Seirei) in Japan. This is a fabulous learning opportunity for our students and instills a cultural awareness and sensitivity in our young people. We wish our students and teachers well, as they embark on this eye-opening experience.

We continue to thank the many students who wear our uniform with pride. The new uniform has certainly given our students much choice and options. A reminder that in Term 2, the College blazer is compulsory and must be worn to school and from school as the outer garment. I encourage families to check the length of the skirt or kilt. A reminder that students are permitted to wear two small sleepers or studs in the lobe.

Mount St. Joseph Girls' College implements the principles of Restorative Justice as a framework for dealing with conflict. The restorative approach attempts to work with students by teaching what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and by supporting young people when they get it wrong, offering another chance to ‘get it right.’ It accepts that all of us err, but forgiveness, compassion and co-operation can rebuild relationships which have been affected. In a College community, behaviour which transgresses school policies and expectations is an understandable part of maturing for a variety of reasons. Children and adolescents (and sometimes adults) will test the boundaries and act in ways that are contrary to the stated or implied expectations. This is where we begin to implement restorative conversations.

With every blessing for Easter

Steven Mifsud - Deputy Principal Wellbeing