Reflection through the eyes of our young men

As the academic year concludes it is important to acknowledge the growth and achievement of our students. Whilst challenges were evident in 2020, I have been uplifted by the hope and optimism of our students upon their return to school.

In discussions with the boys they have experienced highlights and have learnt new skills and mindset through the adversity. Upon reflecting on this year through the eyes of our young men here at Whitefriars they conveyed their highlights, challenges and successes that they have experienced during the year. I hope you experience the same sense of pride and optimism that I felt after speaking with these students.

Zander Downie, Year 7, Edith Stein

Highlights: Writing. I have enjoyed writing in class and I have had pieces published.

Challenges: Surviving the Home Learning Program (HLP). I overcame this by hoping for the best and counting down the days to return to school.

Successes: Achieving good grades. Participating in extension learning has meant I was able to complete harder work.

It was a really good year, even with HLP. I am glad I chose Whitefriars as my school.

Stanley Toklis, Year 7, Lisieux

Highlights: Building relationships with my teachers – they made learning enjoyable and fun.

Challenges: Coping with HLP, not being able to participate in opportunities at a school. I feel I showed grit and determination and I thought of what school would be like after HLP.

Successes: I feel I had success in my learning through the Shared Stories competition piece – Thank you, Pappou!

It has been an incredible first year at Whitefriars.

Julian Pruscino, Year 7, Trinity

Highlights: Shared Stories, Book Club and Read a Million Words competition.

Challenges: Start of home learning took some time to adjust. It became easier and I was able to work at my own pace.

Successes: Read a Million Words Competition – 7 million words, RE, Mathematics, English enrichment. I was able to achieve excellent grades.

I really enjoyed the way Whitefriars handled isolation and my learning. I couldn’t have picked a better school.

Phillip Deane, Year 8, Brandsma

Highlights: Being able to work independently at my own pace during HLP, developing technology skills, being able to take opportunities that I would not usually participate in.

Challenges: Not having peer help so I had to rely on myself and the teacher to gain the understanding. I did have my twin brother to turn to for help and I emailed my friends for tips.

Successes: Improvement in my Mathematics. Participation in competitions. There was also an opportunity for HRC and SRC leadership roles.

I am grateful for being able to access Whitefriars Learn for the online learning.

Pasindu Ganegoda, Year 8, Brandsma

Highlights: How easy it was to learn and understand the criteria in classroom activities and assessments.

Challenges: Trying to do new things e.g.: learn APA bibliography referencing, Science – sedimentary metamorphic and igneous rocks

Successes: Home learning allowed me to work independently. I asked questions through emails and the Whitefriars Learn forum to clarify my learning

Thank you to my teachers during the HLP classroom.

Lukas Mallios, Year 8, Corsini

Highlights: Effective Speaking Competition and Shared Stories – I really enjoyed these competitions. I also learnt a lot in Mathematics and Wellbeing.

Challenges: Home learning – communicating with teachers, motivation towards the end made it harder as I had to push myself and find new things and new ways to do the work.

Successes: Writing competition; improvement in all subjects.

Anthony Moule, Year 9, Avila

Highlights: HLP independence. I gave me an idea of what learning would be like at Uni with self-study.

Challenges: HLP – lack of motivation as it went longer and longer. I started to do things one step at a time and managed the workload. I missed the ACC team sports.

Successes: Keeping up my grades in home learning. Getting better and improving in some subjects during HLP, such as Mathematics.

Kaspar Nickel, Year 9, Avila

Highlights: Returning to school to see friends.

Challenges: Staying motivated at home during HLP. I learnt to communicate with friends using Zoom.

Successes: My organisation became a lot better working on my own. I think I have worked harder independently to achieve my results.

Luke Verhoeven, Year 10, Lisieux

Highlights: Returning back to school and being part of the Whitefriars community

Challenges: Learning from home was difficult. I had to stay motivated, however I was eventually able to overcome that through hard work.

Successes: Academic achievement during HLP across all subjects resulting in being acknowledged with an acceleration offer in Religion and Society for next year.

The commitment from teachers, particularly during the Home Learning Program, helped me achieve success. Thank you.

Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning & Teaching