The Mainsail Issue 5 | Term 3 - Friday 25 AUGUST 2023


Dazzling Double Delight: The Spectacle of 'The Lion King Kids' and 'We Will Rock You' visits St James’ as the theatre comes to town!

In a remarkable showcase of talent, creativity and dedication, our school recently wowed audiences with not one, but two spectacular musical productions: 'The Lion King Kids' and 'We Will Rock You.' The culmination of months of hard work, passion and collaboration, these performances left attendees spellbound and provided an unforgettable experience for all.

Undoubtedly, the success of these productions owes much to the unwavering commitment of our dedicated team of volunteers and staff. Their dedication to nurturing the students' passion for the arts, and their tireless efforts in guiding them through the intricacies of rehearsals, set design, costumes and choreography, have been truly commendable. It is through their belief in the transformative power of the performing arts that these young stars were able to shine so brightly on the stage.

The students, of course, were nothing short of astounding. Their boundless energy, remarkable talent and sheer enthusiasm were evident in every note sung, every step taken and every line delivered. 'The Lion King Kids' transported the audience to the heart of the African savannah, with its vibrant costumes and infectious rhythms. On the other hand, 'We Will Rock You' resonated with the rebellious spirit of rock 'n' roll, capturing the essence of a generation through electrifying performances and iconic tunes.

Adding to the excitement, our school proudly welcomes Ms Tracey Cooke as the new Director of Performing Arts. With an impressive background in theatre and a proven track record of nurturing young talents, Ms Cooke’s appointment marks an exciting turning point for our school's performing arts program. Her passion for fostering creativity, her innovative vision and her dedication to pushing boundaries are certain to propel our school's performances to new heights, not only within our community but also throughout the region.

Under Ms Cooke’s guidance, we can anticipate a future filled with even more remarkable productions, a deeper commitment to artistic excellence and a continued celebration of the diverse talents that our students bring to the stage. As we bid adieu, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye to our recent performances of 'The Lion King Kids' and 'We Will Rock You,' we look forward with great anticipation to the curtain rising on the next chapter of our school's artistic journey.

The echoes of 'The Lion King Kids' and the rock anthems of 'We Will Rock You' will resonate for a long time, reminding us of the magic that unfolds when passion meets hard work. With the guidance of Ms Cooke, Mrs Davies, Mr Hummerston and Ms Alcock, our school is poised to shine as a beacon of artistic brilliance, not just in our community, but across the region.

Mr Adrian Pree | Principal


Term 3 has kicked off with a bang and continues to be a very busy and exciting time for students and staff alike. We commenced the term with a Eucharist from Year 3 – 12 to celebrate the Feast Day of St James. We then moved progressively into the Senior School Interhouse Athletics Carnival which saw active participation on a day that had an appropriate amount of sunshine. We moved from the sports carnival to a morning of drumming in the Djinda Sports Centre during Languages Week. This was a powerful and loud event, to say the least!

Following on from that we have had our science students from the Senior School spend time with the ELC to show them their learning and fancy magic tricks you get to do with science.

We had a group of dedicated students raise money and attend the Anglicare Sleepout to raise awareness of homelessness. Most recently we ended last week with the double musical evening. Both productions showcased students excelling beyond expectation.

We have also had a mathematics competition, volleyball competitions and now Book Week. The list of activities to take part in, and for some to shine and excel in seems never-ending at St James'.

It just shows the diversity of skills we can adapt and grow. There are many ways of developing skills and exploring things that you might like and/or be good at. Even the things we are good at or seem to be naturally gifted, take work and dedication to perfect. Teachers just love watching students shine in their hard-won achievements. They love watching lightbulbs switch on in minds as a new level of learning bears fruition.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Reverend Marie Aitken | School Chaplain


We are currently completing the election process to determine the 2024 School Captains and House Captains. Together, they will form our Senior School Student Leadership Team. They will provide the student voice in key decision making, model the values and expectations synonymous with St James’ and inspire us to be better.

In reading through their written nominations, I was immediately aware of the pride these students have for St James’. A total of 17 students nominated for leadership roles in the coming year; this is our largest number of nominees to date. Each candidate spoke of their keenness to serve others, their desire to contribute to our positive school culture and expressed their willingness to mentor younger students.

During their speeches, many of the candidates reflected on their journey through St James’, the challenges they overcame and how this had shaped the person they had become. How refreshing and inspiring it was to hear young men and women speaking with such purpose and passion. Whilst their commitment and contribution to the School, through engagement in the Arts, Sport, Music, Academia and the like was exemplary, their speeches were delivered with humility and authenticity.

I am excited to see who our students select to lead them into 2024!

Mr Chris Hall | Head of Senior School


Over the last couple of terms, the cast of 'The Lion King Kids', have been preparing for their performance. Last weekend they performed to two sell-out audiences, who thoroughly enjoyed the show. The students and staff did an amazing job and delivered an entertaining and memorable event for everyone. Well done to all involved.

The performance got me thinking about why we do productions like this. It is clear that these opportunities to perform are beneficial in so many ways.

A few things that I think our students will have gained:

  • Social skills and teamwork: School productions are a breeding ground for teamwork and collaboration. Students from various backgrounds and interests come together to create a cohesive and harmonious performance. Learning to work with others, appreciate diverse talents and rely on fellow cast members fosters important interpersonal skills that are crucial for success in the real world.
  • Self-confidence and public speaking: One of the most notable benefits of being part of a school production is the boost in self-confidence. Standing in front of an audience, delivering lines and performing dance routines or musical numbers instils a sense of accomplishment. Overcoming stage fright and public speaking anxiety empowers students to grow beyond their comfort zones and develop a strong sense of self-assurance that transcends from the stage and into their everyday lives.
  • Creativity and imagination: We are always keen to offer our students the chance to develop their public speaking via in-class or interhouse speaking competitions, which can then lead to interschool competitions. Students also get the opportunity to speak at Chapel services either saying a prayer or reading from the Bible.

The benefits of taking part in a school production are multifaceted and lasting. It builds self-confidence, nurtures teamwork and cultivates creativity. As students step onto the stage, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth that will serve them well throughout their lives. So, whether they are centre stage or working behind the scenes, the magic of a school production leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all involved. I for one, look forward to the next performance and seeing more of our students get on stage.

Mr Dan Mornement | Head of Junior School


It has been a busy start to Term 3, with the P&F becoming more involved in projects across the School. I am delighted to share these with you below.

I was honoured to celebrate and give thanks to all involved in the funding, design and construction of the phenomenal Senior School building this week. There was clearly a lot of work that went in behind the scenes to get the event itself up and running, and I think all involved should be proud of their achievements. It reminded me of how lucky we are to have children going to such an amazing, well-run school, with facilities to match. These things don't just happen by chance. The commitment to excellence (and the hard work and dedication that underpins that) was on show for everyone to see. Particularly in the excellent presentations and moving performances from the students.

Small Steps, Big Impact: The P&F has proudly contributed to enhancing the School environment through various initiatives. Among these, we extended our support by funding gifts for the ELC's Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day celebrations. Additionally, the P&F provided funding for the installation of new bike racks near the Junior School basketball courts. Looking ahead, we have allocated funds for a 9-hole mini golf set, for use at upcoming school events.

Calling for Community Collaboration: We have purchased a new cubby house for the ELC and are gearing up to safeguard it from the weather. The ELC students are excited to begin playing in their new cubby, which we would like to hand over to them in the next couple of weeks. We need help from parents/guardians who can spare some time on an upcoming Saturday to help paint the cubby house. To volunteer your time, please email pandf@stjames.wa.edu.au.

Fuelling Compassion: As part of our commitment to giving back, the P&F has joined forces with the school's dedication to Food4All. Through monthly donations earmarked for food purchases, we stand united in supporting local families in need.

Showcasing Local Excellence: We would like to create a St James' Business Directory to share local business information with our community. If you own a local business, please send your business listing information to pandf@stjames.wa.edu.au. We need your business name, phone, email, address, website address and a short description. If any parents would like to assist with compiling the Directory, please get in touch, as many hands make light work.

Together, we can build strong connections, foster friendships, and create a thriving environment for our children at St James'.

Mr Robin Trotter | President of the P&F

Learning About Creatures Big and Small

During Term 2, the curious Pre-Primary students embarked on an exploration centred around the animals at Perth Zoo.

To begin the inquiry the students chose a special animal from the Perth Zoo that they wanted to learn more about. During the inquiry, the children learned about how living things survive and what animals need to stay healthy.

The Pre-Primary class researched the different animals and visited the Perth Zoo to see the animals up close in their zoo habitat. Upon return to school, the students shared observations through thought-provoking discussions and questions.

Using this new knowledge, they then planned a habitat for their animal remembering to include the animal's needs for survival: water, food and shelter. Using a shoe box as their diorama, different materials and textures to represent the habitat elements and Model Magic clay to sculpt the animals, the students were able to showcase the knowledge learned about living things.

Ms Jodie McQueen | Pre-Primary Teacher

Combining HASS, Science and Art

Last term, two exceptional artworks emerged—a collage and a sculpture. As the Year 2 HASS lessons delved into continents and oceans, and Science lessons explored the water cycle, the Art Department embarked on a creative exploration of aquatic life.

The result was a vibrant tissue paper mache seabed adorned with carefully crafted and placed painted fish, creating the illusion of a bustling underwater world.

Simultaneously, the sculptural journey proved to be a source of immense enjoyment. The students explored the captivating forms and hues of coral reefs, leading them to conceive and construct their personalised reef habitats.

These microcosms of the underwater realm featured glistening fish, intricately drawn on clear plastic, weaving among meticulously fashioned seagrasses. The Year 2s dedication and ingenuity shine brightly through these artistic accomplishments—a testament to their collaborative spirit and imaginative endeavours.

Mrs Anna Fletcher | Art Teacher

Service Initiatives in Full Swing

With an abundance of service learning opportunities at St James' we are pleased to share just some of the recent opportunities on offer.

Cub Sandwiches

We are excited to share our collaboration with the not-for-profit organization, EatUp. At St James', we believe in fostering a caring community, and one way we are putting this into action is by providing cheese toasties for local primary schools' breakfast and lunch programs.

We understand that not all students have breakfast or bring lunch to school, and our partnership with EatUp aims to bridge that gap. This year, we are proud to facilitate four sandwich-making sessions, bringing together our staff, students and wider community as volunteers. During each session, 500 sandwiches will be made and delivered to nearby schools that we proudly support including Alkimos, Alkimos Beach, Yanchep Rise, East Butler, Merriwa and Somerly. Starting this month, keep an eye out for future session dates, as we continue to nurture a spirit of compassion and unity within our community.


St James’ has formed a partnership with Food4All, a local not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting families in Yanchep and its nearby regions. As part of our ongoing commitment to community welfare, St James' has facilitated a Food Donation Drive, collecting contributions of non-perishable food items from our students, staff and parents. In addition, our dynamic P&F group has generously donated funds to further support Food4All's noble cause. Under the guidance of our dedicated House Captains and Mrs Syme, our collaboration extends even deeper.

Working hand-in-hand with Mrs Rein from Food4All, we created shopping lists and on Friday 18 August, the Year 12 captains Samantha, Isabel and Isaac actively engaged in grocery shopping for essential food items at our local IGA. This partnership exemplifies the compassionate spirit of St James' as we come together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of families within our community.

Anglicare Sleep Out

The Anglicare Sleep Out at Optus Stadium took place on Friday August 11 and saw 22 St James' students join over 520 of their peers from 20 different schools. Enduring a cold night, they engaged in a simulation, gaining insight into the challenges faced by homeless youth aged 15 to 26.

This event fostered empathy and awareness, with students and the St James’ community raising an impressive $5,622 for Street Connect. Dedicated to aiding homeless youth, Street Connect's mobile resource, the Street Connect Bus, offers crucial outreach, counselling and support services. This collective effort of our school community showcases the power of compassion and action in tackling youth homelessness in Perth.

Mrs Stacey Syme | Service Learning Coordinator

Year 9s Learn Alongside Kindergarten Students

In an exciting cross-age learning initiative, the Year 9 Children, Family and Community students recently embarked on a weekly journey to Kindergarten classrooms as part of their investigation into the five domains of child development.

The senior school students were tasked with designing age-appropriate lesson plans and engaging activities that aligned with each developmental domain. (Physical, social, emotional, cognitive and moral). This encouraged creative thinking and tested their understanding of child development.

It provided the Year 9 students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge practically and allowed the Kindy students to engage in fun activities that promote their development whilst providing role models to look up to.

Ms Gayle Gould | Children, Family and Community Teacher

INNOVATION: Powering future industries

Science Week at St James'

The beginning of innovation is curiosity; we see this in the questions that young children ask and the ideas that they have before education begins to challenge their thoughts and perhaps inhibit them.

We have always been delighted in seeing the faces of the ELC students light up when they watch their very own Science Show hosted by our very own Ms Wilson and Mrs Edwards, and this year was bigger and better with Psychology students on hand to help.

Year 1 - Year 6 were once again treated to shows by 'The Crazy Scientist,' who demonstrated the effects of Wild Weather and explained the science targeted to the age of the audience. It was an interactive and highly engaging presentation which never fails to provide a wow factor for the students and staff alike.

Year 7 Science classes spent the week working through as many activities as they could from a box of STEM challenges provided by ANU. They then entered the competition against all other schools in Australia to see who had completed the most.

Year 8 were treated to a live-streamed performance of AI Academy which was interactive and exciting and gave them an idea of what the future might hold.

Murdoch University students visited St James' on Friday afternoon to host the 'Scintillating Science Quiz,' that all Year 9 students participated in. Students chose their own teams, with rounds of different themed questions.

The annual PCG quiz took place and was very competitive, this time allowing individuals to enter and represent their PCG. With lunchtime activities on Monday and Thursday, all participants entered a draw to win prizes at the end of the week.

Staff could celebrate Science Week too, they were invited for coffee, cake and conundrums at Deja Brew. It was great to see their problem-solving skills in action.

These extra activities could not take place without the help of our amazing science staff in particular our lab technician Allison Vickery who started preparations early in Term 3 to ensure the equipment was available in time.

Mrs Elke McKay | Head of Science

School Sport WA Golf Championship

The School Sport WA Secondary Golf Championships witnessed a remarkable display of talent and determination as two students from St James' took centre stage. Amber M, a seasoned participant in the event, showcased her prowess on the golf course for the third consecutive year, while Joshua N, a newcomer to competitive golf, made an impressive debut.

Amber's continued presence in the championships underscored her unwavering dedication to the sport. Her skilful swings and strategic plays bore testimony to the countless hours she had invested in honing her craft.

For Joshua, this competition marked his initiation into the realm of competitive golf. Josh’s ability to maintain composure, despite the pressures of his inaugural tournament, reflected a promising future in the sport. His courage to take on this challenge head-on showcased the importance of stepping out of one's comfort zone.

Both students exemplified the patience required to excel in golf. The game demands precision, focus and the willingness to embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth. Amber's years of experience and Joshua's courageous debut highlighted the multifaceted nature of golf - a blend of skill, strategy and mental resilience. As they left their mark on the School Sport WA Secondary Golf Championships, their journeys spoke volumes about the rewards of dedication and the triumph that comes from combining talent with unwavering determination.

Miss Mackenzie Huggins | Sports Coordinator

WA Enterprise Challenge

Recently, Year 9 students had the opportunity to engage in The WA Enterprise Challenge, led by Illuminate Education. This intensive program spanned an entire week, allowing them to discover firsthand the art of leading change and addressing relevant issues in their community through innovative approaches. A total of 104 St James' students were divided into 16 groups, spending three days at Murdoch University and two days back in school.

Throughout the five-day program, students delved into essential business concepts, such as the 4Ps of Marketing, profit and loss statements, and business cases. By immersing themselves in these principles, they gained a deeper understanding of how to apply them effectively to outline their solutions with clarity.

The teams embarked on their journey by identifying and exploring a community issue and subsequently defining a problem that needed to be addressed. Creatively, they brainstormed and refined potential solutions, developing business models to ensure long-term impact. Additionally, they created marketing materials and financial information to support their ventures. They confidently pitched their ideas to secure potential investment and showcased prototypes of their innovative products.

Some of the remarkable business ideas that emerged from our St James' teams included the Hover Doc, School Run Ride Share, Parking App, Lock Swipe Access, and Clothes Tracker. We commend all our students for their outstanding efforts and for sharing their impressive business concepts.

Mr Simon Brown | HASS Teacher

Senior School Athletics Carnival

The 2023 Senior School Interhouse Athletics Carnival was an exceptional day filled with fierce competition and enthusiastic support. Eglinton House emerged as the winner, with outstanding performances from all Houses.

The Athletics Carnival is not only about winning, but also about celebrating individual achievements. The event highlighted the Champion and Runner Up winners from each category, recognising their exceptional skills and dedication. These students are inspiring examples, motivating others to push their limits and excel.

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