Magis

Jesuit Schools Debating Carnival

During the holidays three Year 12 debating students, Anna Dolin, Paige Fairweather and William Paparo, travelled to St Ignatius' College in Sydney for the ninth annual Jesuit Schools Debating Carnival. Eight schools competed. We arrived on Saturday night and the students went to their billet. On Sunday we met at St Ignatius' College to join the other schools for a tour of the College, Mass and then a dinner. Over the next two days our students participated in four debates. This was a real test of their skills and they responded brilliantly to the challenge, only losing one round. William Paparo was named in the Australian Jesuit Schools' Debating Team. In relation to their experience, Paige Fairweather said;

"The Jesuit Schools Debating Carnival was an excellent experience as it enabled us to interact with like-minded people and engage in intellectual conversation with them. We were able to discuss topics such as whether the UN should only allow democratic countries to vote in the General Assembly and if the Federal Government should put more money into climate change provision in other countries. The Carnival was a great experience for year 12 students and I personally found it lots of fun and made heaps of new friends. There was a nerve-racking 3-way tie in our round that found us debating for fifth place. We won, successfully convincing the adjudicator that our case was much better that the opposition's. Debating is a great way to build self-confidence and learn to express ideas about government policy, human rights and other issues within Australian society."

Atticus Finch Justice Award

This semester, during Founder's Time, all Year 10 students are required to complete a cross-curricular task demonstrating their understanding of the issues of freedom and justice as they will be studied in both English and Religious Education classes. Their assessment is an individual speech in which they respond to stimulus materials and develop a response to them. Their reading and understanding of these texts is used in conjunction with the texts that they study in both English and Religious Education. The prize for the Atticus Finch Justice Award is presented on Presentation Night.

Last year the task the students worked with was:

"We're all one people now. We've got to live and learn and listen"

Michael O'Loughlin 2012

All Magis co-curricular activities will recommence next week. Philosophy Club meets on Friday at lunch time, Media Club meets on Monday at lunch time, filming after school on Friday, and the 23rd Word meets on Wednesday at lunch time. All meetings are in Xavier 10. The Hale Philosothon takes place on 23 October and our John XXlll College team will begin preparation this week. For information about the Hale Philosothon and the John XXlll College Primary Philosothon, go to: http://philosothon.org/

The Australian Children's Television Foundation is calling for entries to TROP JR. This is a short film making competition for children aged 15 years and younger. All films must be made for the Festival and feature the TROP JR signature item. Visit http://tropfest.com/tropjr/ for all the submission information. Entries open August 2013 and close October 10, 2013.

Library

Over the two week break I managed to get some reading done. For airport reading I took Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. This is a thoroughly entertaining read that occupied me enough to ignore the tedium of airports. Not such an enjoyable read was Michelle De Kretser's Questions of Travel. Initially I liked the idea of two characters explored across continents. However the last part of the novel was a struggle. The mannered writing reminded me of Patrick White's work. However, it was not Patrick White. An entirely different experience was offered through The Boat. A collection of short stories by Nam Le, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. All these books are in our Library and I look forward to seeing what other John XXlll readers make of them.

Our Library Monitors have set up a display in the Library of their book choices. Their favourite, recent reads, are displayed in the entrance to the Library. I encourage students to look at what their peers are reading.

Students with iPads are also advised that if they update Overdrive on their iPad they can now download eBooks from the Library on campus. I encourage students to look at the eBooks and eAudio books available to borrow. Listening to eAudio books while waiting for buses, travelling or just whiling away time is an excellent idea for young people. While reading is a vital skill, so is listening. Students will find when they enter university life, that many of their lectures are on-line. The ability to listen and absorb information is thus as important to education as is literacy.

Dr Annette Pedersen
Magis & Ignatius Centre Coordinator