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29 January 2020

Welcome to 2020

A welcome message to the Blackfriars Community from Principal, Mr Simon Cobiac. Welcome to…

A welcome message to the Blackfriars Community from Principal, Mr Simon Cobiac.

Welcome to the 2020 School Year. I hope the extended summer holiday break has given all students and staff the opportunity to renew their energy and refresh their mind, body and spirit in preparation for the year ahead.

We warmly welcome our new students, including International students; we extend our hospitality and friendship to you as you make this important transition in your lives. In welcoming new students, I am conscious of also welcoming new families to Blackfriars and I encourage you to become fully participating members of our community. I know our dedicated staff will go the extra step for every student and family to provide a safe, secure and challenging learning environment that is conducive to bringing out the best in each person.

The Mission of Blackfriars is to be a ‘Catholic School community in the Dominican tradition with the Four Pillars of Prayer, Study, Community and Service central to our education and way of life’. I invite families, staff and students to wholeheartedly embrace the Mission of Blackfriars throughout the year. Our essential purpose as a Catholic School is to educate the whole person and to invite young people into a relationship with Jesus and to encourage that relationship to be a cornerstone and foundation for life’s journey. At the same time, we respect the religious faith and cultural traditions of each member within our diverse Dominican community as we work together to make a positive difference in our world. I invite you to visit the Catholic Education South Australia website and review the Our Living Learning Leading Framework to gain a deeper appreciation of the purpose and value of an authentic Catholic education, such as we offer at Blackfriars.  Together as educators, parents and students we have the capacity to develop a community of: Thriving People, Capable Learners, Leaders for the World God Desires.

Novel coronavirus

As you are no doubt aware, there have been recent reports regarding an outbreak of Novel coronavirus in the Wuhan district of China.

Late Tuesday, the Federal Department of Education alerted Schools of Australia to a series of government fact sheets on the Novel coronavirus outbreak. Fact sheets for parents, schools and early childhood care providers, tertiary providers and overseas students can now be accessed on the Department of Education website. The Department of Health website also hosts these and similar resources for all education sectors.

I encourage our community to be well informed and to apply the information to ensure the safety and well-being your family and all members of the community.

R-12 Parent Welcome Evening

Wednesday 5 February, 7 to 8.15 pm

The purpose of the evening is a welcome to Blackfriars, with a pastoral focus and an opportunity for parents to meet Heads of Houses, Home-group teachers (7-12), Class teachers (R-6), key subject teachers (7‑12) and members of the School Executive Team. The invitation is extended to all parents, including parents and caregivers of new students in 2020. Students are not required to attend.

Early Learning Centre Community BBQ

Wednesday 5 February, 6 to 7.30 pm

Please note that the Early Learning Centre has a community BBQ beginning at 6pm. A letter of invitation will be sent via SEQTA to all parents with the agenda and venues for the evening.

Student Leadership

Congratulations to the following students who received the endorsement of their peer leaders at the December 2019 Leadership Training Camp and my full support of their appointment:

We are very fortunate to have such wonderful young men who are willing and most capable of leading the student body and serving our broader Blackfriars community.

I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Student Leadership group of Prefects, YCS Captains, House Captains, and House Vice Captains throughout 2020; with the confidence of witnessing and rejoicing in their achievements and the positive impact they will have on our Blackfriars community.

Staffing

I would like to introduce to you the School Executive Team and the following staff members who we welcome to Blackfriars for 2020:

School Executive Team

New Staff

Ensuring Our School Is A Safe Place For All

As the school year commences, I want to assure all parents and guardians of our absolute commitment to ensuring that Blackfriars is a safe place for all. 

Additional information about the broader child protection policies of Catholic Education SA can be found on their website >

The website also includes links to online resources for parents and students on a range of topics including anxiety, depression, bullying and how to support your child.

I encourage all parents / caregivers to visit the Catholic Education website as a valuable source of information.  If you have any questions or concerns about child safety, please contact any member of the School Executive Team in the first instance.

Volunteering at Blackfriars

Volunteers (including sports coaches and managers) at Blackfriars are required to undertake Responding to Abuse and Neglect online training and to comply with the Working With Children Check (WWCC) requirements. 

If you would like to volunteer or participate in student activities (including LAP and excursions) at Blackfriars, please contact staff in the school administration to register your interest.  Our Work Health Safety Coordinator, Ms Caterina Latassa, will then contact you and step you through the required process to ensure both you and our students remain safe at all times.

Phone: 8169 3900 or email

School Opening Hours

Parents should be aware that supervision is provided in the mornings from 8.15 am onward and in the afternoons until 3.35 pm. Parents who send their children to school outside these hours should recognise that they are unsupervised and are therefore required to take steps to ensure their safety and well-being.

The only occasions when students should be on the premises beyond these times would be for attendance at sport or for scheduled school events, if they are attending the Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) facility or other special purposes, during which time they will be provided with appropriate / reasonable care.

Students of Primary School age who are found at school outside of normal school hours and not participating in any school-based activity will be taken to the OSHC facility until the parent / caregiver collects them.  Attendance at the OSHC program will be at the expense of the parent /caregiver.

Uniform Standards and Expectations

I ask all parents to ensure that your son is in the correct school uniform according to the uniform expectations in the Student Handbook and available elsewhere on this website. To date I have been very impressed with the cooperation of students in presenting themselves with pride as students of Blackfriars. Our uniform expectations extend to grooming (length of hair, facial hair) and personal presentation which must be of a high standard in compliance with our uniform code.

Conclusion

I am excited and looking forward to working in partnership with you and your children / young men during 2020.  I sense a renewed energy and anticipation of what can be achieved through our mutual dedication and unified mission and vision for our Blackfriars students throughout 2020.

Simon Cobiac

Principal