The sun was shining for our first Science Technology and Environment at Whitefriars Club (STEW) activity “Pot to Plate”, post home learning for the Year 7s and VCE students. Tom W (7), James D-T (7) and Roger (11) joined a few staff to learn about wicking beds and how compost is a great soil additive for planting. The boys poured the potting mix into the planter boxes and mixed in the College made compost. The compost was from the staff and food tech food scraps and left over sawdust from woodwork classes. It had settled over the six months and was ready to use. The boys noted the worms and what had broken down and what had not. Sticks, avocado seeds and synthetic tea bags had not broken down but all the other green and brown matter had become rich compost called Black Gold. Once the soil was ready, the boys planted coriander seedlings into one of the planter boxes and chives in the other planter box. About 20 litres of water was added to the planter boxes and this wicking bed has a rain level gauge to indicate water level. The plants need morning sun and afternoon shade so a great spot at the external food tech door was decided. These herbs will be easily accessed and used for food tech classes.
On Wednesday 7 October, two teams from Whitefriars joined the second online Interschool Chess event, this time it was the annual ACC Junior and Intermediate Chess Tournament. All of our matches have been online this year but for the players in our junior team, it was the first time they have been part of this kind of competition. This did not deter anyone and everyone logged in early to make sure we were ready to do the best we could.
After a short introduction and a reminder about the rules of play and the ACC motto of “Excellence, Honour and Fairness in student activities”, we were reminded that we would play seven matches against players from other schools – requiring a lot of concentration for a long period of time.
There was a positive atmosphere throughout the tournament and we all enjoyed the wins and learnt from the losses. The seven games flew, suddenly it was 2.30pm and our final interschool chess competition for 2020 was finished.
There was only one division in the Junior competition. Everyone played well and experienced some success, so we hope they all come back again next year to play for the College. Harry Little was the top ranked player in the junior team.
The intermediate competition was split into Division 1 and 2. Our intermediate team, this year consisting of only Year 9 students, was in division 2. Going into the final round, the top teams were very close but when all 5 team members won their final matches, we came out on top to win the ACC Div. 2 competition for the second year running.
The top player for our intermediate team was Alex Boscariol, who placed 3rd in the overall standings, narrowly beating Alastair Capell and Alex Rehfisch who placed 4th and 5th. After the tournament everyone felt happy but quite tired!
If anyone wants to participate in chess and develop their skills, there are still online competitions running for young players. You can go to websites such as https://www.chess.com/ and https://lichess.org/ which are available 24/7 for you to play against other people or challenge your friends to help you improve your skills. If you want to improve your strategy and tactics, you can try: http://www.ideachess.com/ or https://chesstempo.com/
Some quotes from some of our players:
“The Chess tournament was really fun, at the start it did take about 50 minutes for the tournament to start. Once the tournament started it ran smoothly, without too many mishaps. Carl, the person supervising, was really helpful and would give out tips and reviewed games for us, showing us other possible moves in the game. In the end the whole tournament was great fun and would definitely do it again and recommend it for others, it’s a great learning experience for sharpening your chess skills and would definitely do it again”. (Alex R)
“It was a tough competition with many worthy opponents but we triumphed over adversity. The competition was excellently orchestrated.” (Alex B)
“I thought that it was really well run. There weren’t that many glitches or bugs that affected the games and nothing went wrong that badly. I was able to play well and continuing the tournaments, even through Covid, is great fun and its really good to still be able to play. The tournament went really smoothly and it was really fun playing with the other boys in the club”. (Ollie B)
La Trobe University Instrumental analysis of water-soluble compounds
On Thursday 8 and Tuesday 13 October, Year 11 Chemistry students participated in an interactive workshop facilitated by La Trobe University Outreach. This workshop was focused on the Instrumental analysis of water-soluble compounds that students will learn about in more details in the coming weeks. Phebe Sabbarapu from La Trobe University interacted with our students via zoom, where they were able to watch in-laboratory videos of the use of UV-Vis, AAS and HPLC to analyse water for salts and organic compounds. Students were immersed in analysing detergents in water, calcium in the water to determine whether it was hard or soft water, analysing environmental pollution of Phenols in water. Phebe highlighted the use of these technologies in the context of environmental pollution and research at La Trobe University. Thank you to Phebe and staff at La Trobe University Outreach for taking the time to impart their knowledge and practical skills with our students.
On Friday 3 September, James Phelan, bestselling author and creator of the popular book series The Last Thirteen, held his second writer’s workshop over Zoom. This workshop was organised by the library staff and was a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy and learn.
The workshop itself consisted of an introduction by James Phelan and a journey through his life, showing the students key moments from his childhood and the events that he used as inspiration for his stories later in life. James inspired us while speaking about events – like when he decided he wanted to be an author – and everything that happened before he truly set his path to his dream career.
James talked about how he got his first book published and then went on to explain where he draws inspiration for the characters featured in his stories, such as from his real-life close friends and family. Following this, James explained how he believed “writing was the hardest part” and the many stages of editing and review a book goes through before it is published, educating everyone that it may not be as easy as it seems.
Finally, James answered questions from the students, giving them an insight into how he writes, and sharing his knowledge with the participants. He gave tips on how to do things like come up with a good ending, show true character in a tricky situation and how to add better description to your writing.
James Phelan’s writing workshop was an educating and fun experience for everyone who attended. I’m sure that nobody will forget how he inspired them that day.”
Curious Creatures, Wild Minds
In addition to the enlightening virtual author workshops focusing on suspenseful writing, Book Week 2020 at Whitefriars was celebrated with online quizzes on the CBCA theme of Curious Creatures, Wild Minds. At this time of year, we also highlight the CBCA Shortlisted titles, from which the winners will be announced in late October.
Congratulations to the following students who achieved places in the Book Week quizzes:
In times of hardship and challenge, we look for strength and support from the communities with which we belong. We are blessed to have a wonderful community at Whitefriars and the celebration of Whitefriars Day on Friday 11 September, where over 1000 people gathered virtually, was a testament to this.
The day began with a liturgy led by our Carmelite Chaplains Father Paul Sireh, Brother Sean Keefe and our Liturgy and Social Justice Captains, Zain O’Neil and Luke Harford. College Captain, Alex Dunmill spoke to the community about the supportive environment at Whitefriars, the brotherhood which exists and the strong sense of family. This was followed by a series of testimonies from the young men of Whitefriars who shared with the community what it means to them to be a Whitefriars boy. Thank you to Toby Brown, Josh Hannan, Ben Bugeja, Baxter House, Joel Savy, Landen Couper, Amin Yekta and Sourav Gary who spoke about the following qualities of our community – courage, wearing the uniform with pride, achieving the best you can, looking after your mates, a supportive community, being selfless and serving others and being a gentle man.
Mr Murphy, our College Principal, addressed the community and spoke of the Carmelite tenants of Prayer, Community and Service and how these are the essence of the Whitefriars community.
Finally, to continue to foster our connection to the people of Timor Leste and our support of the Carmelites who work closely with them, the traditional Walkathon was replaced with the ‘Walk in Their Shoes’. Students and families were encouraged to go for a 40-minute walk, symbolic of the average time it takes a Timorese student to walk to school. The accompanying photographs show the spirit and solidarity expressed by our community and the video below, put together by Mayra Walsh, Community Development Ministry Director for the Carmelites, made it real and provided us with inspiration and awareness of our friends in Timor-Leste.
The day was a wonderful celebration of Whitefriars College and showed that when under duress, the strength of a community shines through. A special thanks to Mr Joshua Vujcich, Director – Identity, Mission and Faith for steering the planning and delivery of the day.
Manningham City Council and Melbourne Water are offering citizen scientists activities for the community to engage in over the holidays. Below is a link to the App and information. Please adhere to COVID regulations, always go with an adult and be mindful of your safety around water and the bushland. Dial 000 in case of emergency.
If you hear a frog load the app, take a recording and send it in for identification. MMC are working towards accessing this data to create some Frog Identification maps for Manningham.
Platyspot Program via the Application
Similar to the Frog Census Application if you are walking along a waterway and see a Platypus, then log it in with this Platyspot App. Manningham is also working towards data sharing so we can include this data in our reporting.
Council sponsors this program and we receive the data and create important bird maps from the information citizen scientists collect. Don’t forget to record all the water and terrestrial birds found around Manningham on your walks.
To celebrate Health, PE and Environment Week from 31 August to 4 September, the PE Learning Area joined with the Sustainability and Environment Team to design an action packed engaging five-day program for the whole College community.
WFC@Home Olympics embraced the Olympic spirit of the postponed Tokyo Games to encourage everyone to get moving and be sustainable. Students and staff have enjoyed a variety of activities across the week.
Starting on Move it Monday students were encouraged to move with two awesome sessions on offer. Students, staff and their children, took part in a Live Basketball Skills Session with expert basketballer Joe Mutimer (class of 2019) and a Live Personal Training Session with Byron Koester (Immortal Fitness). A week-long competition to find the best Strava artist was also announced.
Tasty Tuesday provided students the chance to explore their sustainable food side to create a vegetarian meal, whilst Wellbeing Wednesday allowed students to take some time out and be mindful. Ben Horsnaill of Year 12 Trinity showed us how with a fantastic video on Forest Bathing.
Year 11 PE students also incorporated these activities as part of their practical work in a unit an Activity Planning.
Wednesday also offered staff an opportunity to do some Self Care with Carly from Diamond Valley Myotherapy and Exercise to work on their posture and release some tight neck muscles.
Technique Thursday allowed students to work on refining any number of sporting skills, which was also incorporated into the Jnr Sport Program. Students and staff were also able to fine tune their motivational skills with a 30 sec motivational Rev Up.
Finally Fun Friday provided excitement with Mr Murphy and School Captain Alex Dunmill attempting to beat the Guinness World record for most peas eaten with a toothpick in 30 seconds, challenging staff and students to do the same. Students also took part in the Famous Sporting faces competition.
Results of the week are as follows:
Strava Art – Weeklong Activity
1st Place ($20 Rebel voucher) by Jacob Tymms (Year 8): Fish biting a Fisherman
2nd Place ($10 Canteen Voucher) by James Cleary (Year 7): James
3rd Place ($5 Canteen Voucher) by Harry Beagley (Year 10): Radar Speed Gun
Elian Deeb (Year 7): COVID-19
Riley Jones (Year 7): A guy wearing a Russian hat
Riley Di Conza (Year 7): Elephant
Jacob Tymms (Year 8): Surfing dude, Woolly Mammoth, Karate Kid
Father’s Day will mean a great deal more for me this year.
My daughter, our first born, is in my arms as I write this article – she is just days old, being home for minutes.
Last week was filled with emotion; anticipation, fear, intrigue, overwhelming happiness, excitement and apprehension. I am sure fathers in our community can return to the moment their son entered into the world and recall these feelings. However, I suspect many would not have worn masks throughout the duration of a birth and stay in hospital (COVID-19).
Upon reflection (yes, we have had some quiet moments), I began to think about the life skills that prepared me for this key moment in becoming a dad. Fortunately, I have had wonderful parents, teachers and mentors that have guided, questioned, challenged and nurtured me so that I have a suite of skills and a positive mindset.
Learning new skills and seeking understanding on new topics has been important as I look to care for a newborn.
Many of the skills and habits our teachers are teaching and promoting to our students are similar to those skills I have used to learn new things during the past week. These transferrable life skills are important towards fostering positive relationships, along with reflecting, questioning, communicating, thinking critically and problem solving. Changing a nappy or swaddling a newborn are necessary skills but more importantly, it is being able to effectively deal with challenges in different situations using the ‘soft’ or ‘essential’ skills that can make a difference in the learning process.
So, what does this mean for our young men studying in the Home Learning Program?
It is challenging at the moment with COVID restrictions but to avoid or retreat is not an excuse.
Use available resources (parents, siblings, peers and teachers) to improve your understanding of the people around you and the circumstance you are in. Acquire new skills by looking at opportunities to further develop oneself. Ask questions when you don’t have the answers to ensure understanding. Learn from your mistakes – reflect on how you can improve.
Continue the journey to become gentle men. You will fully understand this term when you hold and care for a child.
To the Whitefriars boys, spend some time thanking your dad this weekend. Stay strong and prepare well for your studies.
In lieu of our annual Father’s Day breakfast, we would like to wish all of the fathers, stepfathers, male teachers and mentors – a wonderful Father’s Day via this video.
In this year of unequivocal change, we hope that you have been given a greater glimpse into your son (and what makes him tick!) and that what you’ve both learnt about each other, changes your lives for the better.
The College community wishes you a wonderful weekend.
There is something special about Whitefriars College. I have interviewed countless prospective students and parents over the years, and I couldn’t count the number of times these parents have commented on the incredible ‘feel’ they got when they walked around the College on a tour or during Open Day.
On Friday 11 September, the College community will be celebrating Whitefriars Day (formally known as Mount Carmel Day). The aim of the day is to celebrate the fantastic Whitefriars community we belong to, connect with our Catholic Carmelite tradition and raise awareness of our connection and support of the people of Timor-Leste, (the photos you see are the wonderful young people of Timor-Leste). This year, we will all be participating in a virtual event with a few additions to make the day more meaningful.
Instead of the traditional walkathon, we have planned a special event called ‘Walk in Their Shoes’ and this is where we need the support of the whole Whitefriars community. In line with Victorian Government restrictions permitting exercise ‘once a day for up to 1 hour within a 5km radius of a person’s home’, we ask students and extend an invitation to families to walk for 40 minutes around their local area in solidarity with young people in Timor-Leste. The 40 minutes is significant as it is the average walking time it takes a young Timorese to walk to school. When exercising with your family, be sure to take a photo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share this amazing community experience.
Mr Joshua Vujcich, Director – Identity, Mission & Service, has prepared a short video (for staff and students) to promote this significant day.