The key to unlocking every student’s potential

The use of the word endeavour as a verb is defined as ‘trying hard to do’ or ‘achieve something’. As a noun it is defined as ‘an attempt to achieve something’. Last Friday, we acknowledged those students who had demonstrated outstanding endeavour in their subjects during Term 1. This should not be confused with academic achievement as this would be related to achieving an outstanding level against the Australian Curriculum Standards or the SACE performance standards. We acknowledged those students with a curriculum award for achieving straight ‘A’ grades in all subjects.

We highly value every student getting an ‘A’ for achievement, however this is not possible in most cases – but getting an ‘A’ for endeavour is in everyone’s reach. Our slogan at Cardijn is to ‘inspire the best’ and last Friday we celebrated over 110 students receiving a certificate for getting straight As for endeavour.

Endeavour is about giving it a go, trying your best and being persistent. It doesn’t come from doing very little or nothing at all. Remember continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking every student’s potential.

On Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day and in the Rijken household that meant a cooked breakfast, coffee and the newspaper to begin the day for my wife, followed by an outing to Glenelg and a relaxing afternoon. The husband was, of course, busy in the kitchen preparing dinner for when the rest of the family arrived. This was the first time three generations came together to celebrate Mother’s Day. Naturally, I bought a lovely present on behalf of my two-week-old granddaughter for her mother – a beautiful Peter Rabbit book titled I love you Mummy.

Unfortunately my mother passed away far too young, but I remember her vividly. I remember how much I looked forward to her reading stories to my sister and I. It was always after dinner when we were ready for bed and she would read and we would listen to her beautiful voice. I remember how patient and loving she was. As a 10 year old, there was one occasion when I’d had enough and decided to run away from home. I got on my bike and off I went, only to realise that I had no idea where to go. After a while I had no alternative but to come home, only to find that my mother had cooked my favourite meal and treated me as if nothing had happened. This is how I remember her, full of grace, always loving and gentle. To all the mums, a special thank you for who you are and what you do.

This week we focus on National Careers Education Week with the theme: Career – It’s more than just a job! At Cardijn we are interested in developing greater awareness in our community about the value and benefit of career development, raising aspirations, challenging stereotypes and broadening the horizons around careers. We are interested in highlighting the ongoing need to re-skill and up-skill to support the career journey of our young people into the future and understanding the changing nature of our work into the next decade.

Research has shown that the greatest influence on our young people and careers sits squarely with their parents and family. So begin that important conversation and encourage students to engage with their career research and questions.

This week our Year 7 and 9 students will sit for the NAPLAN test over three days. We have spoken to the students and asked them how we could best support them during this week and they provided feedback on the best scheduling and timing for the test over the next week. All NAPLAN test will be done on the students’ laptops. We wish all our students well during their tests.

At the end of this week, Australia will go to the polls to elect our next federal government. We have had much media from the major and minor parties about what they are promising into the future. We ask for God’s blessing that our next elected federal government will provide all Australians with hope for a prosperous future. If you wish to read more about the election and how it affects Catholic education, please refer to our webpage: www.cardijn.catholic.edu.au/news-events/2019-election.

In two weeks’ time Cardijn will celebrate our world-famous Athon day. Since we started this special day for charity, our mission day, Cardijn students have raised well in excess of $100,000. Over the years each House has established a relationship with a major community charity and will aim to raise money to support that charity. The student leaders have encouraged every student to raise $20 with a target of raising $20,000. We wish our students well as they prepare for this fun and purposeful day in mission.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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