The Mainsail Issue 1 | Term 1 - Friday 1 March 2024


The future possibilities of AI in education and how St James' is adapting to these new technologies

As we embrace the advancements of the digital age, it is imperative for us as educators and parents to contemplate the future possibilities that Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds in shaping the landscape of education. St James’ is committed to exploring the potential of AI to enhance learning experiences and prepare our students for the challenges of tomorrow.

AI has now become an integral part of our daily lives. From virtual assistants to personalised recommendation systems, AI technologies are revolutionising various aspects of society, including education. As we navigate through this technological revolution, it is essential for us to recognise the transformative power that AI brings to the field of education.

Programs such as ChatGPT have been open to use by our staff since the start of last year, allowing teachers to learn more about this technology, including its benefits and limitations.

After careful consideration, we also decided to provide an introduction to ChatGPT to help students prepare for a rapidly changing future. Students in Year 9 and above are learning how to safely, responsibly and effectively use ChatGPT as an educational tool.

One of the most promising aspects of AI in education is its ability to personalise learning experiences. Through the analysis of vast amounts of data, AI systems can identify each student's strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles, allowing teachers to tailor their instruction to meet the diverse needs of individual learners. This personalised approach not only enhances student engagement but also fosters a deeper understanding of the material being taught.

St James’ is currently exploring how we can harness the power of AI to create personalised learning environments for our students. Through the integration of AI-driven educational platforms and tools, there is the potential to provide our students with customised learning experiences that cater to their unique abilities and interests. Whether it be adaptive learning programs that adjust content based on student performance or intelligent tutoring systems that provide real-time feedback, our goal is to empower our students to reach their full potential academically.

Furthermore, AI technologies offer exciting opportunities for innovation and creativity in the classroom. From virtual reality simulations to interactive educational games, AI-driven tools can transform traditional teaching methods and make learning more engaging and interactive for students. By embracing these innovative technologies, we can inspire our students to think critically, problem-solve creatively, and adapt to the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

However, as we embrace the benefits of AI in education, it is essential for us to remain mindful of the ethical and social implications associated with its implementation. As stewards of our children's education, we must ensure that AI technologies are used responsibly and ethically, prioritising the well-being and privacy of our students above all else. St James’ is committed to building a culture of responsibility, resilience, and digital citizenship, empowering our students to harness the benefits of technology while staying safe online.

As we look towards the future, the possibilities of AI in education are both exciting and limitless. We are committed to staying at the forefront of educational innovation and leveraging AI technologies to provide our students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Together, let us embrace the transformative power of AI in education and work towards creating a brighter future for our children.

Mr Adrian Pree | Principal


Welcome back to another school year. From little things, big things grow as Paul Kelly sang. When you think of the reason behind the song, it may seem a strange thing to say for a school. Yet I think it is even more important for a school.

The reason being is it was a protest song about how Aboriginal stockmen and their families were being treated in 1966. They wanted the same rights and treatment as everyone else. This is what we try to teach and instil in all our students. Nobody is better than anyone else. We are all equal in our own way. What we include is that each student must think for themselves, along with learning to do and understand what they are taught.

This could be seen in the Christian seasons we are in this term. We ended the season of Epiphany which means the manifestation, perception or meaning of something. It was when the Magi – wise men – come to Jesus bearing gifts. This is the revelation of God to the Gentiles. Gentile is a word that means "someone who is not a Jew". As teachers we try to bring meaning to the subjects, along with the perception students need to learn for themselves. This is manifest in how they understand and grow in their own knowledge of a subject.

We then move into the season of Lent, which starts with Ash Wednesday. It is about observing a time of fasting and remembrance, which lasts for 40 days. One thing that I was taught is that fasting does not always mean to give something up. You can take things on, which you would then do on a regular basis. I talked about this in the Chapel services, to take something on. What I asked was for all the students to take on being kind, helpful and respectful to each other. That may seem a bit of an obvious thing, that not only the students but the teachers should do. As with most things, being asked or reminded to do it can reinforce what is already there.

At the end of Lent, we have what is called the Passion of Christ. No, not the film by Mel Gibson, although this is what it is based on. The word passion comes from the Latin 'patior' which means to suffer, bear and endure. That is what Jesus did when he returned to Jerusalem with the joyful entry, which was condemned by the Jewish Chief Priests. Jesus is then betrayed, condemned, tortured and finally crucified. Which is when He died on the cross. After being taken down He is laid in a tomb, where He lay for three days. On the third day He rose back to life. In case you are saying Jesus did not really die on the cross, it is known historically that nobody survived a crucifixion. The Romans were good at what they did.

Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by not only His disciples, but lots of other people. This is what Christians believe as a major part of their faith. In case you are wondering what eggs have to do with Easter. An egg is a symbol of new life and rebirth. As Jesus had to leave the tomb with the stone being moved, so a chick must break out of the shell to be born. I hope this answers some of the questions you may have wanted to ask about the Christian faith.

Going right back to the beginning, from little things big things grow. It is when we ask questions, share our knowledge, faith and hope for the future we will become the best person we can be. That little question grows until it becomes a mighty tree, or one filled with knowledge and understanding.

With every blessing for the Easter season.

Reverend John Taylor | School Chaplain


A wise scholar once said, “start as you aim to finish”.

This is particularly important in our school environment. Have a plan, organise your resources and map out where the key weigh points will be during the year. Think through who the key individuals will be to help you achieve your targets. This may be a specific teacher, a study partner or perhaps even a family member who helps you to manage your study time and personal interests at home.

Consider approaching a mentor who can help guide you through the year ahead. This person may have experienced a similar journey to the one you are embarking on. They may be able to offer some suggestions when the going gets tough. They become invested in your journey, and importantly in your success. An older student or a recent graduate could be a good starting point.

Develop a routine that is positive, purposeful, and productive. The routine will soon turn into a habit and then into a lifestyle. Commitment and consistency are the cornerstones to progress.

So, my challenge to you for 2024 is to have lofty goals, aim high and strive for excellence!

Mr Chris Hall | Head of Senior School


The start of the school year could be described by two words – busy and hot. The students have been busy getting to know their new teachers and new year level expectations, whilst the weather has clearly given us some extreme heat to work with. In both cases the students and staff have coped well and are set up for a successful year ahead.

There are some building developments taking place in the Junior School which will aim to focus on enhancing the learning environment and fostering sustainability initiatives. One of the more obvious developments is the construction of new facilities, including an Art room, a Japanese room, a learning support space, and a Music room – the cordoned off area for the builders gives us all a good view of developments as the slab gets laid and other ground works are completed. These spaces will provide our students with dedicated areas to explore their creativity, language skills, and musical talents.

In addition to these new spaces, we are excited to announce plans for the rejuvenation of our Junior School play areas. Beginning with the lunch space and orchard, we aim to create vibrant and inviting spaces that encourage outdoor play and exploration, along with a pleasant environment in which to enjoy eating recess and lunch. This development aligns with our commitment to holistic education, recognising the importance of physical activity and outdoor experiences in children's development.

Furthermore, the construction project will allow us to revitalise garden areas surrounding the Year 4 classrooms. In line with our sustainability focus, we are thrilled to introduce a bush classroom space, providing students with opportunities for immersive outdoor learning experiences. This initiative reflects our dedication to environmental stewardship and outdoor education, promoting a deeper connection with nature among our students.

Central to our sustainability efforts is our commitment to reducing waste and promoting eco-friendly practices. We are pleased to share that our school community has continued to actively embrace recycling initiatives, including the recycling of paper and 10c cans. Additionally, we will be implementing composting practices to enrich the soil in our vegetable garden, which is lovingly cared for by our Year 5 students. These activities not only instil important values of environmental responsibility but also offer hands-on learning experiences that empower students to make a positive impact on their surroundings.

We look forward to the continued growth and success of our school community. Together, we are creating a learning environment that nurtures creativity, sustainability, and a lifelong love for learning. Here's to a fantastic year ahead filled with growth, exploration, and endless possibilities!

Mr Dan Mornement | Head of Junior School


I am filled with excitement about the promising future that lies ahead for the Parents and Friends (P & F) Committee at St James'. The P & F Committee is dedicated to developing a sense of community and enhancing the overall St James’ experience for our students and families. It was fantastic to catch up with our families at the recent P & F Sundowner, a great event which sets the tone for an exciting year in 2024.

I am proud that funds raised by the P & F Committee are being directed towards sustainability projects at St James' such as our Solar Classroom and Bush Learning Program. We believe in investing not only in the present but also in a sustainable future for our school and our planet. These initiatives underscore our commitment to instilling values of environmental responsibility in our students, creating a lasting impact on the community and the world beyond.

I’m also delighted to announce that the P & F are sponsoring a coffee catchup for parents at Deja Brew every Wednesday until the end of Term 1. The first 20 parents to visit and order coffee at Deja Brew each Wednesday morning will receive a free regular cup of coffee. I encourage you all to attend and share the opportunity to engage with one another.

You will have recently received a notification from St James’ regarding nominations for the role of P & F President. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage members of our community to consider taking on the role of President of the P & F Committee. This is a unique chance to contribute to the growth and development of our school, forging connections that will last a lifetime. Your commitment and fresh perspectives will undoubtedly shape the future of St James', ensuring that our community remains vibrant and supportive.

I am excited to witness the continued success and growth of the Parents and Friends Committee at St James' throughout 2024. Here's to a bright and promising future for our school community!

Please don't hesitate to contact us at

Mr Robin Trotter | President of the P&F


On a beautifully warm summer evening at Mindarie Pavilion, the Year 11 and 12 students came together for a night full of laughter, dancing and life-long memories.
At noon on the day of the ball, the ball committee headed down to the Pavilion to set up, ensuring that everything was ready for a night of celebration.
The 2024 St James’ School Ball began at 6.30 when students arrived dressed in their finest. All of the Year 11 and 12 students looked absolutely amazing, and the roaming photographer snapped some wonderful pictures as we made our way into the venue.
Ryder Kereopa and I were lucky enough to be nominated for best dressed, but each student pulled out all the stops with their outfits.
The dinner served was delicious, and we were so happy to have the entire venue opened up, so we had an even bigger dance floor than the year before.
Ella Cowling and Liam Reid bust out some amazing moves, earning the awards for Best Dancers, while Ruby Aitken and Rohan Toomer took home the prizes for Social Butterflies of the evening.
The night was filled with memories that will stick with us forever as we began our final year of schooling. Thank you to all the staff and the venue team that made the evening possible. We’re excited to see what the Ball Committee comes up with for 2025!

Hannah B - Class of 2024


The Year 12 cohort set off for an overnight retreat to Yanchep National Park. Despite the heat, we were all excited to spend the days doing activities and building even stronger bonds with our peers as we started our final year of school.
We began the afternoon with some team-building games, facilitated by firefighter Jordie from Armed For Life, where we worked together in teams to compete in different challenges. After the girls won the tug of war, we hit the beach for a few hours to enjoy a cooling swim.
In the evening, we heard from our SJAS Alumni before finishing the day off with a quiz night. Each team won points by dressing in our team colours, answering questions and impressing the group with our singing voices and dance moves.
The next day, we headed to Optus Stadium Park to take part in a Rapid Teams amazing race. In our teams, we completed different challenges, exploring the area along the river before having a well-earned break on the bank to hear the results of the challenge.
The retreat was an amazing experience for us all to bond, share stories and make the first of many memories for our final year of school. We all enjoyed spending quality time together to begin our Year 12 journey.

Freya O - Class of 2024


St James’ has kicked off its second year of the ‘Cub Sandwiches’ program, with a record-breaking 930 sandwiches made for primary schools in our local community. Students, parents, staff and parishioners came together for the session, which marked the largest quantity of sandwiches prepared for this service initiative.

Each term the sandwiches are delivered and distributed to students who do not have breakfast or bring lunch to school. The Cub Sandwiches program aims to provide nutritious meals to local school students, helping to alleviate food insecurity in the local community. In 2023 we made and delivered over 2000 sandwiches to local schools. The schools we will support this year include:

Clarkson Primary School – 300 sandwiches

Merriwa Primary School – 140 sandwiches

Somerly Primary School – 240 sandwiches

Alkimos Primary School – 90 sandwiches

Alkimos Beach Primary School – 90 sandwiches

Yanchep Rise Primary School – 100 sandwiches

We will deliver to these schools four times in the year.

St James’ service initiative of Cub Sandwiches is in partnership with Eat Up Australia, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to support students wellbeing. Alarmingly, one in five Australian children attend school without breakfast or lunch.

Stacey Syme, Service Learning Coordinator at St James’, expressed her excitement and pride in the community’s efforts.

“As the Cub Sandwiches program continues throughout the year, the ripple effect of this initial event will be felt in the wider community. It serves as a reminder of the power of collective action and the difference that can be made when individuals come together for a common cause. St James’ can be proud of its students, parents, church parishoners and staff for their efforts in making a positive impact in the lives of young people in our community. This program is not just about sandwiches, but about fostering a culture of caring and compassion that extends beyond the school walls,” Mrs Syme said.

“We’re thrilled our students get to enjoy these delicious cheese sandwiches as part of our weekly Breakfast Club. We thank the St James’ community for their dedication of time to make and deliver these sandwiches for our school,” Kristie Williams, Breakfast Club Coordinator at Yanchep Rise Primary School said.


We're thrilled to offer a diverse range of activities and experiences for students to immerse themselves in the rich culture and language of Japan.

Our Year 7 students were recently treated to a show by Takashi Wakasug, a Japanese comedian who travels Australia performing comedy and educational culture and languages shows for Japanese students. His show “Games Boy JP” engages students in Japanese language and culture way beyond the cliches of sushi and samurai, giving them an exhilarating taste of childhood in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Meanwhile, Year 10 students participated in a traditional game called 'Fukuwarai', which dates back to the 17th century. Similar to pin the tail on the donkey, a blindfolded player has an outline of a feature-less face and with the direction of their classmates, attempts to place the correct features on the face. Students were using Japanese throughout to give directions but the results were not always perfect!

Our Year 5 students have also been busy immersing themselves in Japanese culture with classes in our beautiful Japanese garden.


Our Junior School students travelled to HBF Stadium for our 2024 Junior School Interhouse Swimming Carnival.

The outdoor setup at HBF Stadium proved to be popular as we saw 50m, 25m and Novelty events run all day with outstanding participation from our students.

Special mention to Imogen B as our only record breaker for 2024 with a new mark set for the Year 6 Female Breaststroke with a time of 46.60.

We saw extremely close finishes for the Champions and Runner Up awards with several decided by count back and some simply too close to split and being awarded joint honours.

Congratulations to our award winners.

Finally the overall House points provided an incredible finish to the day with the results as follows:

Sydney 3,966

Cervantes 3,844

Twilight 3,725

Eglinton 3,034

A final, massive thank you to the students, parents and staff who assisted in making the day a smooth operation and an enjoyable carnival.


St James’ recently held its annual Senior School Swimming Carnival at HBF Stadium.

With some modifications to ensure the student’s health and safety in the hot weather, our students were still able to display competitiveness and class. Personal bests, new records and excellent participation in novelty events were the hallmarks of the day.

An incredible 16 records were broken with some a genuine chance to stand the test of time. Congratulations to our record holders for setting elite standards and giving the future students of St James’ some lofty targets to aspire to.

We saw extremely close finishes for the Champions and Runner Up awards.

Congratulations to our award winners.

The overall House points provided an incredible finish to the day with the results as follows:

Eglinton 6,812

Sydney 6,198

Cervantes 5,848

Twilight 5,154

Congratulations to Eglinton, a brilliant performance and level of participation. A true team effort.

Thank you to the students and staff who assisted in making the day an enjoyable carnival.

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