The Mainsail Issue 2 | Term 1 - thursday 28 march 2024


Embracing Resilience

Resilience is the key to navigating life's challenges with grace and courage. When faced with daunting tasks, whether it is exams, camps, public speaking, starting a new school, trying a new sport, or joining a new team, the initial nervousness is a natural response. However, the secret to overcoming these apprehensions lies in preparation and a willingness to accept that every challenging experience is an opportunity to learn.

Being as prepared as possible for upcoming challenges allows our students to face them head-on, transforming nervous energy into focused determination. Exams become opportunities to showcase knowledge, camps turn into adventures of self-discovery, and public speaking evolves into a platform for personal growth. These moments, initially anxiety-inducing, ultimately, become the opportunities where resilience is shaped. Lifelong learning is so important, and this means being able to learn from every experience.

Reflecting on Term One, students can think about the challenges overcome, the lessons learned, and the personal growth experienced during the first part of the school year. These experiences lay the foundation for the opportunities that lie ahead. The journey toward resilience is ongoing and each hurdle is a chance to embrace the unknown, learning not to fear challenges but to view them as stepping stones toward becoming stronger, more capable individuals.

Encourage your children to take pride in their accomplishments during Term One and let the holidays be a period for thoughtful reflection and proactive preparation. Use this time to celebrate their progress and consider the valuable lessons learned. Embrace the chance to refine goals, build on successes and approach the upcoming challenges with enthusiasm and confidence.

Mrs Laura Briggs | Vice Principal


For most people Easter means holidays, feasting and gorging ourselves on seafood and chocolate. Being such a consumer driven society, Holy Week/Easter symbols such as hot cross buns and easter eggs appear in our shops on a massive scale, with no reference to the significance of them or when ideally they perhaps should be consumed in keeping with seasonal meaning.

Good Friday has also become more of a feast than a day of fast as fish shops operate ‘round the clock selling their seafood in ever increasing amounts just for one meal for one day in the calendar year. Then there is the day between Good Friday and Easter day that is ever increasingly and incorrectly referred to as Easter Saturday.

For Christians worldwide, the importance of Easter is praising and acknowledging Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, and His glorious assurances of eternal life for all who believe in Him. It is a holy and sacred time of the year for Christians.

We don’t get to Easter without first walking through Lent, the six weeks prior to Holy Week.

During Lent, Christians typically give up things we like such as chocolate or special drinks or buying that luxury item we don’t really need, but more than that, it is also a time of amending one’s ways, to check our behaviour towards ourselves and others, to take up good habits and be of service to others.

This year during Lent, there was a uniform free day where everyone at the school brought in non-perishable food to assist Food4All and Salvation Army in providing for people in need.

This was a wonderful act of service from all students and families from St James’ Anglican School, to the extent we now have a room full of food ready to go. The act of collective generosity has been simply overwhelming.

Holy Week leads us into the arrest, trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is to be a time of quiet reflection and fasting. Good Friday is a significant day in Holy Week, as it is the day Jesus dies. On this day Christians fast and don’t eat meat. Instead, Christians will eat a modest meal of fish, just enough to stave off hunger but not enough to turn it into a massive day of feasting.

Good Friday is a day of mourning where we reflect upon the sacrifice Jesus made for all humankind. It is a day of waiting, waiting in the darkness until the new day dawns. This time of waiting and prayerfully reflecting continues into Holy Saturday (or Black Saturday) until the Easter Vigil, which signifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Holy Saturday is also a day of sombre meditation as we consider the world of darkness that would exist without the hope and redemption of Christ’s resurrection.

And if Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:17

Easter typically starts on the Sunday at dawn with the rising of the sun. The rising of the sun is the start of a new day, a new beginning, new opportunities, new life.

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ 8So they went out and fled from the tomb... Mark 16:1-8

We celebrate Easter because this holiday recognises that we can die to our old way of living and resurrect into our new life with Christ. Christianity does require a death to self. But the resurrection we experience in a spiritual sense and the resurrection of the body we have yet to experience give us ample cause for celebration.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though they die, will live" John 11:25

The Reverend Marie Aitken | School Chaplain


In this edition of the Mainsail, I am choosing to focus on how we at St James’ represent ourselves in the community. This is a very broad topic to address, so I have broken it into a few familiar experiences.

Let’s starts with the everyday; how we present as we leave home. Some catch a bus, ride, or walk and others are dropped off at school; however, most of us will interact with somebody from the public before arriving at school. How are you perceived – smartly dressed, well-mannered, engaging, respectful?

When you arrive on campus we engage with many people, our peers, regular teachers, relief teachers, music tutors, coaches, visitors to the school etc. How are you perceived – positive, punctual, enthusiastic, purposeful?

On occasion, we are off campus representing the School on an excursion, playing sport, completing a service initiative, at a carnival or if you are lucky enough you may have the privilege of break time access to Finch Café or IGA. How are you perceived – caring, considerate, fair-minded, proud?

Each of these small interactions you have with other people whilst wearing the orange, blue and white, conveys an impression of St James’. YOU create that impression; YOU have a responsibility for how WE are perceived.

TOGETHER, we benefit from the outstanding reputation of St James’. May we be mindful of the important role we have as the current custodians of the reputation of St James’ Anglican School. Please take a moment to appreciate those who have come before you in establishing this reputation, and trust that those who follow, will uphold our legacy.

Mr Chris Hall | Head of Senior School


Innovative approaches to education are continually evolving, and one such evolution can be seen in the redesign of Christian and Values Education (CAVE) lessons for students in Years 3-6. This year, these lessons have seen the integration of Information Technology (IT) to CAVE lessons.

Year 3 students have embarked on their journey by familiarising themselves with the keyboard. Their lessons began with typing positive affirmations on Microsoft Word. Recently, they typed a simple Easter recipe for Chocolate Nests, blending creativity with practical application.

Year 4 students designed posters on integrity, honing their graphic design skills by manipulating text boxes and images. Year 5s used WordArt to create acrostic poems on the school values. Year 6 students revisited the Ten Commandments, sparking meaningful discussions and prompting them to craft their own set, encouraging critical thinking.

Next term students will delve deeper into Biblical stories, employing their IT skills to design comics that bring these narratives to life. Different religions around the world will also be explored. Students will create graphs and charts to visually represent their findings, fostering a deeper appreciation for diversity.

In Semester Two, Year 2 students will begin using iPads regularly in CAVE lessons. Already this term they have been learning to touch type and have been gaining their confidence logging in and out.

Students will complete the term with a review on the Easter story. Easter is a time of new beginnings which is why we have eggs. We remember that Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of others.

Mr Nicholas Townsend | Deputy Head of Junior School


During week 6 we had the pleasure of accompanying our Year 6 students on their camp at Rottnest Island. It was a positive experience for both the students and staff.

Watching the students participate in activities such as bike riding, snorkelling, and team challenges has been rewarding as we get to see them step out of their comfort zones, push themselves to try new things, and support one another in their successes and failures. They have developed their resilience and teamwork skills.

One of the bigger learning opportunities of the camp has been the focus on building confidence and interpersonal skills. Through team challenges and group activities, the students have had the chance to work together, communicate effectively, and problem solve as a team. These are skills that will serve them well in their future endeavours and it has been great to witness their growth in these areas.

We were blessed with near perfect weather which allowed the students to experience snorkelling off the pristine coastline around Rottnest. When discussing with the students about what they saw, it was clear that they had been amazed at the variety of life under the water.

The camp provided opportunities for the students to learn about the history and sustainability of Rottnest Island. They learnt about the role Rottnest played during World War II by exploring the Oliver Hill Tunnels and also walking along the Bickley Battery. The students also saw first hand how Rottnest tries to create its own power by using solar panels and a wind turbine.

Overall, this camp at Rottnest Island has been a positive experience for our Year 6 students. It has provided them with the chance to learn, grow, and bond with their classmates in a beautiful and unique setting. We are grateful and privileged to have been a part of the students’ journey and we are excited to see how the lessons learned on this camp will impact them in the years to come.

Rebecca Hogan/Ross Williams - Year 6 Teachers

Dan Mornement - Head of Junior School

Year 6 Rottnest Camp Photo Gallery

Please click this link to view the full photo gallery.


The Service Learning team and both the Junior School and Senior School Sydney House Captains organised the first House Charity Day that St James’ has held.

The captains decided that they would like to support both Food4All, a local non-for-profit organisation in Yanchep and The Salvation Army in Merriwa.

The captains along with Mrs Burbridge, Mrs Carpenter and Mrs Syme asked all students to bring in a non-perishable food item for these charities.

For each item a student donated, they received a raffle ticket for the draw to win an Easter Hamper. Staff, students and families united in supporting our House Charity Day, ensuring that those facing food insecurity receive the assistance they need.

In an extraordinary response from our school community, a total of 3810 non-perishable food items were received.

Speaking about the success of the event, two of St James’ Service Learning Coordinators, Mrs Colleen Carpenter and Mrs Sacha Burbridge, expressed their gratitude.

“It’s heartwarming to see our students come together to support people less fortunate in our community. The generosity shown on House Charity Day is truly inspiring and makes a real difference in the lives of others,” Mrs Carpenter said.

“The event not only highlighted the importance of giving back but also brought our school community closer together through a shared goal of helping people in need. Our students demonstrated their compassion and empathy, embodying our school’s values of kindness and service to others,” Mrs Burbridge added.

The success of the House Charity Day follows a record breaking start to the second year of the ‘Cub Sandwiches’ initiative, which saw an incredible 940 sandwiches made for local school students in our first sandwich making session. St James’ will continue to run these sessions each term to allow us to serve our local community.

The spirit of giving is truly alive at St James’ and the legacy of generosity and compassion will undoubtedly continue to inspire others in the future. Thank you to our families for strengthening the bonds of our community and making a difference in the lives of others.


St James’ recently hosted an Alumni Assembly, drawing together eight distinguished former students for a panel discussion aimed at shedding light on life after graduation.

The event, attended by the entire Senior School, offered valuable insights and guidance from those who have navigated the path from student life to the workforce.

The panel, comprised of accomplished alumni spanning various professions and life paths, engaged in a broad discussion with Principal Adrian Pree and Vice Principal Laura Briggs.

They shared their diverse experiences, reflecting on the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned since leaving the familiar halls of St James’.

Each panellist brought a unique perspective to the discussion, offering anecdotes and advice that resonated with the current student body.

Among the highlights of the assembly were the practical tips and words of wisdom imparted by the alumni to the eager audience of students. They emphasised the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity, the value of networking and building meaningful connections, and the significance of staying true to one's passions and principles.

They spoke passionately about seizing opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally, and emphasised the role of continuous learning in today's fast-paced world.

The Alumni Assembly served not only as a platform for reflection and inspiration but also served as a reminder for our Senior School students that the journey of learning and growth extends far beyond the confines of the classroom.

With the wisdom imparted by their predecessors guiding their way, the Senior School students are poised to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to shape their own destinies.


Pre-Primary classes had an unforgettable visit from WestOz Wildlife. They delved into the fascinating world of Australia's native animals. From cuddly marsupials to slithering reptiles, the young adventurers were treated to an up-close encounter with some of nature's most incredible creatures.

Under the guidance of the passionate team at WestOz Wildlife, the Pre-Primary students had the chance to not only see these animals but also learn about their habitats, diets and unique characteristics. It was a hands-on experience that sparked curiosity and wonder.

The students learned about how these creatures move, hunt and survive in the wild, gaining a newfound respect for all the animals. What an exciting opportunity for the Pre-Primary students!


Congratulations to all our brilliant students who participated in the ultimate test of memory and math skills by reciting as many digits of Pi as they could!

A huge round of applause goes to Tyson B for his incredible feat, reciting an impressive 117 decimal places of Pi! Let's not forget our fantastic runners-up: Bailey-Rae C, Seth K, Harrison C, Flynn T, Joe S and Kaeto H.

As a token of appreciation for their hard work, every participant received a delicious party pie!

Thank you to all the students who participated in the Pi Challenge, your dedication and enthusiasm made this event truly memorable!

Mark your calendars, because it is never too early to start practicing for next year's competition!


Our onsite Occupational Therapist, Mrs Hayes, has been diligently conducting Kindy screening tests, assessing each child's speech sounds, receptive and expressive language abilities, foundational skills for reading and writing, social interaction skills and identifying any voice or stuttering difficulties.

With Mrs Hayes presence as an Occupational Therapist within the School, she can accurately identify individual goals, strengths and learning barriers. She then recommends tailored strategies or environmental adjustments to enhance participation and learning experiences from Kindy through to Year 12.

Mrs Hayes' expertise and commitment play a vital role in supporting holistic student development and ensuring an inclusive learning environment for all.


Eighteen St James' students from Year 10 to 12 have embarked on the practical component of their Open Water SCUBA certification. These snapshots capture the first day of their course, where the eager divers tackled the theory exam and honed their skills in the pool.

Now, they are gearing up to explore the open ocean and take their first dives into the mesmerising blue depths. It is not just about mastering a new skill. It is about embracing adventure, discovering the wonders beneath the waves and creating unforgettable memories.

We wish our budding marine explorers safe and exhilarating dives! Stay tuned for more underwater adventures!


Presenting your 2024 ACC F Division Carnival Champions! 🏊‍♀️ 🏊


Congratulations to our extraordinary athletes and support staff!

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