The Mainsail Newsletter - Issue 3 2019

From the Principal

This edition of The Mainsail we are focusing on 'Going Beyond the Classroom'.

The purpose of school is to prepare students for life beyond. Learning outside the classroom can help enrich a student's educational experience by showing them real-life applications of theories they are learning at school.

Education, as some of our parent group would know may include explicit ’chalk and talk’ learning and test-taking. With the demand from society for greater self-awareness and more specialised skills, it’s time to expand learning outside of the classroom and make it more ingrained in the education process to help advance our students.

Schools aim to produce well-rounded students, but a young person who excels at standardised tests isn’t necessarily ready for the working world. Most students will not spend their careers inside a classroom. The skills they need to master, like communication and collaboration, must be put to work outside of the classroom. A common question students ask is “does what I’m learning in this class really matter in the outside world?”. Most students don’t want to memorise facts for the sake of just passing a test, so it is important to show students the real-world applications for their knowledge.

An added bonus of making learning outside of the classroom a priority is that students get an early taste of what they enjoy doing. The earlier career exploration occurs, the sooner students are able to discover what they like and don’t like. After all, we don’t want students to excel in the classroom but experience anxiety in years later when they are expected to find a job that suits their skills and interests.

Evidence suggests learning outside the classroom can help raise achievement and improve classroom behaviour and engagement of students. Often referred to as experiential learning, this can lead to life-long skills being acquired rather than just shallow learning.

At St James’, we are firmly focussed on giving our students the opportunity to learn skills that will follow them for life, rather than just to pass the next test. There is more to life than NAPLAN and ATAR….

Mr Adrian Pree

From the Head of Junior School

‘The walls of the classroom and the home have been expanded by social media, the cloud, wikis, podcasts, video-conferencing etc. These are new learning environments and they are local, national and global and populated by whole communities in addition to family, teachers and friends.’ - Digital Education Advisory Group

In the past when we talked about going beyond the classroom we might have been referring to going outside or going on an excursion or camp. In the 21st century this often means using the computer to access a world far from the classroom and sometimes far from reality.

In the Junior School we try to get a balance between the two. Some of our Year 6s have set up e-Pals (modern version of penpals) with students overseas. This creates the chance to email and chat about different cultures and to learn what happens in other parts of the world with similar aged students. At the start of Term 3 we will welcome three Chinese students who will spend a few weeks with our Year 4 classes. This will also enable us to learn about their culture and for us to share the ‘Aussie’ culture with them.

Towards the end of Term 2 we will have a couple of significant days to acknowledge different cultures and history in our School and community. On 3 July we have our NAIDOC Day celebrations. On this day we will have guest speakers and a range of activities designed to help our students go beyond their environment, with the aim of expanding their awareness of local cultures and communities. Then on 5 July we will end the term with our annual St James’ Day. We will endeavour to learn from the story of St James’ (our patron saint). There will be activities set up to help us know of St James’ life and how this might relate to our own journey.

Mr Dan Mornement

From the Head of Senior School

The traditional classroom with four walls and a door simply does not sustain the modern student. Today’s student is more connected and has more access to the world around them than ever before. As such, we must embrace this in education. This means that we not only need to bring the world into our classroom, but also take our students to the world.

To achieve this we can begin by delivering content outside of a formal classroom setting. However we need to do more than just this. We need to engage with our community, develop partnerships with workplaces and expose our students to not only what can be experienced today but what the possibilities are for tomorrow.

At St James’ we have a mantra of beyond the classroom, beyond the gates and beyond the shores. Most often we apply this to our Service Learning, however the same philosophy can be applied to all aspects of education. We have long acknowledged that there are many different learning styles – visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, social, verbal and so on. Logically, it would follow that individuals also learn best in a variety of different contexts too. Excursions, camps, clubs, competitions, performances, parades, carnivals and a variety of different lessons where students are engaged beyond the traditional classroom all play a role in a child’s learning journey. The notion of a ‘lifelong learner’ implies a continuance of learning beyond formal schooling and beyond the classroom setting.

As a community, we should also reflect on our contribution to learning outside of the classroom. Families are the birthplace of learning. As parents and guardians, we are the first teachers. We provide the environment for growth and discovery in our children well before we put a uniform on them, pack their lunch box and march them off to school. As a community, we are a vital connection between home and school – it takes a village to raise a child. So when next we ask our children ‘what did you learn today’ we may well ask them ‘and where did you learn that’?

Mr Chris Hall

Lest We Forget

With Anzac Day falling during the school holidays this year, St James' held a special service to commemorate the day on Tuesday 30 April. Students, staff, parents and special guests Mayor Tracey Roberts and Jack le Cras OAM attended the afternoon service at the flagpoles to remember those who have, and continue to, serve our country. All staff and students wore handmade clay poppy badges, and some students presented wreaths on behalf of their class. We are very proud of how the students conducted themselves at this important event, showing great respect and maturity. Lest we forget.

Happy Campers!

Since the last edition of The Mainsail there have been three year groups spend time away on camp.

Year Year 9s were the first to depart, spending three days at the Swan Valley Adventure Centre. And what an adventure it was! The students did not stop, as was evident by the quiet tents on Friday morning. The students had a wonderful time, creating new memories and pushing themselves to reach challenging goals with the support of their peers. This camp also prepares students for the Year 10 Outdoor Education Camp they will attend next year.

The Year 5 group was up next, also spending three days at the Adventure Centre. The brave, adventurous and enthusiastic students made their way through obstacle courses, flew high and fast on the flying fox, worked as a team through the ‘blackout zone’, canoed and swam in the Swan River, rock climbed, built creative cubbies and learnt the skills to make an effective fire. The camp was an energy filled few days, focusing on the one main element of teamwork. Well done to all students for giving everything a go.

Parents picking up Year 6 students from their camp last Friday found some tired but very happy children! What an amazing week they had at Rottnest - swimming, riding, learning about the history of the Island, beach sports, an impromptu Marine Science class with Mr Hall, quokka selfies and nightly games made for a full week of fun and friends.

A huge thank you goes to all the staff and parent helpers who gave up their time to attend these camps. Thank you also to the Year 5, 6 and 9 students - you made the School very proud with your wonderful behaviour. Full articles and more photos of these camps will be featured in 'The Alkimos' yearbook at the end of the year.

Official Opening and Dedication of Senior School

On Friday 3 May St James’ held the Official Opening and Dedication of the Senior School (Stage 3) Building. The event was a wonderful success and celebration of the School's new facilities. It was also a brilliant showcase of student talent. With student guest speakers and musical performances, the SJAS Orange Army was certainly well represented!

The dedication was performed by The Right Reverend Kate Wilmot, Assistant Bishop of Perth, and Honourable Christian Porter MP (Member for Pearce, Minister for Social Services and Federal Attorney-General) who officially declared the building open. After the service, guests were treated to a magnificent morning tea grazing table, prepared by the Year 10 Food Technology students, and a tour of the campus.

We thank the special guests who attended: The Right Reverend Kate Wilmot, The Honourable Christian Porter MP, The Honourable John Quigley MLA (Member for Butler, State Attorney-General and Minister for Commerce), Mayor Tracey Roberts (Mayor of Wanneroo), Mrs Barbara Godwin OAM (Chair of the ASC), the Reverend Peter Laurence OAM (CEO of the ASC), Mrs Keva Crouch (Chair of St James’ Anglican School Council), members of the Anglican Schools Commission and St James’ Anglican School boards, local ASC principals, architects, project managers, builders, parents, staff and of course our amazing students. It was a great day to be part of the Orange Army!

Interhouse Cross Country

Friday 10 May was a great showcase of House spirit, as students competed in the Interhouse Cross Country. It was a fantastic afternoon, with students giving their best and cheering on their peers. It was also wonderful to see older students running with younger students, and even parents taking part with their children. Congratulations to students who were awarded first, second and third place medals, and to Sydney (Junior School) and Twilight (Senior School) for taking out the House titles.

Career Choices

Year 10 students travelled to the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 17 May to attend the Perth Career Expo. This is one of Perth’s largest Career events where universities, training providers and support services come together under the one roof to showcase their courses and qualifications. This opportunity is a valuable step in students Career Education, and students enjoyed exploring the displays and talking with the experts about post school pathways.

Over the coming months universities and training providers will hold Open Days inviting prospective students and families to visit and explore their facilities. Students are encouraged to attend these days and visit any places of interest to them. Posters for the events will be displayed on the Career noticeboard and in the daily notices.

Scribblers Festival

The Year 4 visit to the 2019 Scribblers Festival was enjoyed by students, teachers and parent volunteers alike. Scribblers is an annual festival celebrating literature, arts and storytelling.

A favourite author with the students was Jacqueline Harvey. She enthralled the students and had them crying with laughter with stories from her childhood and teaching days. The students greatly enjoyed learning useful tips for making a character's voice heard from authors Kate and Jol Temple, and were inspired by Megan McDonald to use stories from their own lives in their writing.

Thank you to Mr Monger and Mrs Mortimore for being our parent helpers on the day. It has been wonderful to hear from many of the students that they have been busy writing and reading their own stories since the excursion.

Miss Mikayla Quartermaine

Academic Extension

This year selected students at St James’ have participated in our Academic Extension program. Students in Years 3 to 6 have been working on Literacy, Numeracy and Science STEM challenges. Writing epilogues for picture books, researching animal habitats, planning national and international holidays, investigating Earth’s resources in relation to global warming and climate change and becoming Forensic Scientists in solving crime scenes are all activities that students have been involved in.

In the Senior School, students have online access to tasks, problems and puzzles that cover different learning areas via SEQTA. On Friday 3 May, Year 7 students worked on two challenges – identifying famous landmarks, capitals and countries and designing and creating a free-standing building that reflected the character of their nature and cultural location. The winning designers were Alana and Claire who constructed a model of an underwater aquarium with a scuba diving training centre. Their building was created in the shape of a turtle to blend in with the location of the Great Barrier Reef.

Mrs Stacey Syme


On Thursday afternoons the Art room is a buzz with the Ceramics and Glass Club. 12 very excited students turn up each week, eager to get their hands dirty! The clay monsters the students created recently were so imaginative and colour will be added soon to complete these creations. The kiln will be running hot as we fire them in the coming weeks, before we start experimenting with glass.

This term we were lucky to have four Year 2 parents volunteer their time with us in the Art room. They helped students make beautiful textured papers for our jungle artworks, using gelli printing plates and various textured tools.

The Year 10 Visual Art students enjoyed an excursion to the Art Gallery of Western Australia this term. There were many internationally recognised artworks on display, but the highlight was having a chance to view the Pulse Perspectives exhibit which featured work by graduating Year 12 2018 students. The Year 10s were able to examine how fellow art students explored topics such as international, national and personal political issues; our impact on and neglect of the environment; connections to family; gender politics and cultural hybridity. A deep and meaningful conversation followed as students were guided through a visual literacy and interpretation workshop, where students generously shared their thoughts and personal interpretation of each artwork. We all left the gallery feeling fulfilled, challenged about our relationship with the people and places around us and in awe of the artworks we had experienced.

The Visual Art extension students are examining sustainability in our area with a particular focus on the local flora. Along with Mrs Burtnyk, students are painting a mural across one of the old sea containers. Shhhh its all a secret for now, but the final design will be revealed for Schools Tree day. You may just get a glimpse of the progress next time you drive along Marmion Avenue.

Mrs Tanisha Burtnyk and Ms Jo Walden

Food Technology in Term 2

Cookbook author, Gesine Lemcke said “Eating is a Necessity, But Cooking is an Art” in the 1890s. This still resonates today.

The Year 10 Food Technology class was outstanding in their dedication to preparing an array of delicious foods and presenting a grazing table that looked more like art, than mere food, for the Official Opening of the Senior School. Thanks to the students for their hard work and to Mrs Kuiper for her creative vision and dedication from start to finish.

Mrs Angela Robertson

What's Happening in Health and PE

St James’ will be holding a School Colour Run on the afternoon of St James’ Day (Friday 5 July). Students in Kindergarten to Year 10 will take part and family members are all welcome to be involved. It will be held on the Senior School oval from 2:15pm. A letter has be emailed home to all families with more details, including information on how students can order pizza for lunch that day. This year, we are fundraising money for ‘Make a Difference WA’. Their focus is to reach thousands of young West Australians to ensure they have the skills and strategies necessary for good mental health and well-being. For more information on this very worthwhile charity, visit makeadifferencewa.com.

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Champion Boy or Girl at the recent Interhouse Cross Country.

To view all results, please click on the button below.

Get Social!

A reminder that St James' has accounts on both Facebook and Instagram.

These pages are great for families to see what has is going on at our wonderful school.

Click on the buttons below to follow the St James' accounts.

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