Magis

This week I had the pleasure of taking eight of our Year 11 Magis students to St Hilda's Anglican School for a Gifted Conference. There were more than 600 students there for a day to discuss "big ideas". We listened to lectures on "Justice, Truth Beauty and Mathematics", "Emotional Intelligence" and the "Oxbridge Question". However we also had a lecture on "Chaos and the Origins of the Universe". This had all of us on the edge of our seats. The discussion was fascinating and I have had numerous discussions with the students since our excursion, trying to think through the material and considering the arguments. What is really thought provoking is the role of mathematics in questions about the origins of the universe. The cause and effect approach we have to scientific problems has also given rise to questions. I expect to hear more arguments and questions during Philosophy Club. The "Pale Blue Dot" will keep us thinking for a long time.

The Pale Blue Dot

This week we also confirmed our Magis team for the annual Australian Jesuit Debating Carnival held at Xavier College in July. I am delighted that Magis Scholar Mariah Mwipatayi, Ethan Wren, Chanelle Smit and Jacob Diffen are representing our College this year. This will be a wonderful experience for these students, who travel to Melbourne over the first weekend of the July holidays. They will join senior students from Jesuit schools from around Australia to debate topics related to social justice.

Chess Club and Philosophy Club are attracting new students, as is Media Club, Astronomy Club and Magimation. Difficult questions were asked last week in Philosophy Club. Each week I am stunned by the quality of our students' thinking. They really challenge me. We will be selecting our team for the Hale Philosothon this term. This will give the students time to really consider their questions.

I have positive responses from a number of local Catholic schools about our Magis Carnival for gifted Year 11 and 12 students, taking place on 26 June. This is an opportunity for students to consider religious and philosophical questions. While we have insufficient numbers of our own students to run our Live Audio Engineering Workshop, I have expressions of interest from Newman College. Having discussed the workshop with their Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Aaron Richards, we hope that we may still be able to run the workshop if their students make up numbers.

We will be launching a Magis Photographic Competition soon to showcase the work of our gifted photographers. An exhibition of the work will be showcased in the Library. Works will be judged by a UWA academic and prizes awarded to winners. Entries will need to address a theme and there will be different categories to allow all members of the College to enter.

Library

This week we welcomed Lorraine Holmes back from her Long Service Leave. Her Primary classes are delighted. Unfortunately, as we are coming up to the examination period, she is unable to reconvene the hugely successful Lego Club. Lexiles are now in place and from Week 3 Mrs Holmes will be working with Lexiles in her Library classes. She will also be taking Year 8 Library classes. Lexiles are part of our focus on literacy and we expect to see very positive results from the program.

Amelia Gellard in Year 3 loses herself in a book.

Library hours will change from Week 3. To accommodate preparation for examinations we will be open until 6pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for Year 11 and 12 students. I will be here to help students with Religion and Life, English and Literature. Other teachers will also be available to help. Our focus on private study or reading on Tuesday and Thursday at lunch time is also helping provide students with space to work quietly and read. The Library has more new books and a range of new texts about Vatican 2 and Pope Saint John XXlll. Students are welcome to borrow these to help with their studies for the examinations.