CEO Conference

On 29 and 30th of March I attended a conference on Gifted Education run by the Catholic Education Office. Over 100 leaders from Catholic schools attended. On the Thursday Professor Gagné, a world leader in gifted education, presented papers on his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. It was an extremely useful day. On the second day of the conference I gave a presentation on our Magis program. Dr McCarthy from Notre Dame explained the course we developed for gifted students entering year 12. This course, Cultural Decoding, ran for the first time in January at the university. There will be a follow-up seminar for gifted year 12 students in July this year. Cultural Decoding will run again in January next year. Leaders from secondary and primary schools are very interested in our Magis policy and also some of the unique programs we have initiated through Magis. I am hoping that over the coming year we can develop these relationships with other Catholic schools for the benefit of our Magis students.

Philosophy in Year 8

As first term draws to a close it is interesting to reflect on our Year 8 Philosophy and Critical Thinking Course. Two classes of year 8 students completed a course that introduced them to the discipline of philosophy, encouraged them to ask questions, consider Plato's Cave and Aristotle's Virtue Ethics and finished with an exercise on how to organise a good society. Material, including the course outline and assessment tasks, are on Simon. By the end of 2012 all year 8 students will have done this course. This week students were asked to give feedback on the course. There was no negative and a typical response was: "I enjoyed Philosophy this term because it made me think about things I hadn't taken onto mind before. It showed me I shouldn't be shy about asking questions or expressing my thoughts. The only thing I didn't like was the homework."

Students in Miss Persse's class working on their final task.

Valuing Our Heritage 2012 Competition

Students from Years 1 to 10 are invited to tell about their local heritage - built or natural - and encouraged to recognise its value for the future. Students have the choice of submitting:

  • A narrative Illustrated with their own photos (individual entry) and/or
  • A multimedia entry (individually or as a small group)

The Trust defines heritage as:

"something we have inherited from the past and something we value enough today to leave for future generations."

Entries must be received by the last day of third term. Entry forms can be downloaded from

John XXlll College Astronomy Club News

In Term One 2011 the International Space Station orbited over John XXlll College. On Monday 11th April, coordinated by Science Learning Area coordinator Gerard McCann, we had a direct link up with the station and 20 students were invited to ask the astronauts questions. Months of preparation by the staff and students culminated in the live conversation with Cady as she passed overhead at a speed of over 27,000 kilometres per hour. This interest in space has continued in the development of the College Astronomy Club coordinated by Peter Mazur. Students attend lunchtime meetings and viewings are held for students, staff and parents regularly throughout the year. The College purchased a telescope in 2011 to facilitate this growing interest in Space.

Given the active interest at John XXlll College in Space, the College Mathematics and Science Learning Areas have planned an excursion to Carnarvon to provide a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for a small group of students to hear Buzz Aldrin speak about his experience and the Western Australian Space program. The trip includes a visit to the Observatory in Gingin as well as extensive time in Carnarvon devoted to lectures and museum visits. Four students, Alasdair Cowie, Jacob Donovan, Pat Liddle and William Paparo, have been selected by Science and Mathematics staff as students who would not only gain a lot from the experience, but also will be prepared to share that experience with the College community on their return to Perth.

The staff accompanying the students have a keen interest in Space and are organising lectures and guest speakers before the June trip. Ron Logan, who will be driving the group, was involved in the official opening in 1989, driving the Minister, William Tuckey, to Carnarvon.

Star Gazing Term Two

All members of the John XXlll College community are invited to attend these evenings.

Thursday 10th May 6pm on the oval.

Friday 25th May - Movie, pizza, star gazing. Start around 5 pm with a movie or a presentation, 7 pm on the oval.

Friday 8th June - Movie, pizza, star gazing. Starting around 5 pm with a movie or a presentation, 7 pm on the oval.

Thursday 14th June 6 pm on the oval.

Annette Pedersen
Magis Coordinator

Save the Date - Cultural Decoding - 20 July 2012

A program for gifted and talented students in the Humanities - flyer attached