The Mainsail Issue 7 | Term 4 - THURSDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2023


Improving Our School Grounds: A Vision for the Future

I am proud to keep you updated about our plans for grounds improvements at our school, aimed at providing additional seating, shade areas and creating a more vibrant and inviting outdoor space for our students. These improvements will not only enhance the aesthetics of our school but also contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience for all.

As we continuously strive to enhance the learning environment at St James', we are reaching out to our wonderful parent community for assistance with some exciting projects that will benefit our students for years to come.

Seating Areas: We aim to create comfortable seating spaces around the School grounds where students can gather, socialise and study outdoors. These seating areas will encourage a sense of community and provide an alternative learning environment. We are also exploring the use of solar panels and inverters to harness free power for sustainable energy solutions.

Shade Areas: We recognise the importance of providing shaded spaces for our students to stay protected from the sun during outdoor activities and break times. These shaded areas will serve as a haven on hot and sunny days.

Planting Trees: Trees not only beautify our campus but also offer countless benefits, including cleaner air, a cooler environment and opportunities for environmental education. We plan to plant trees strategically to enhance the greenery of our school.

Garden Beds: Garden beds will introduce more greenery and colour to our school. Students will be involved in planting and caring for these garden beds, promoting a sense of ownership and environmental stewardship. These will include vegetable/fruit and herb gardens in our central courtyard.

As we look forward to an exciting milestone, the 10th anniversary of St James' next year, I am thrilled to introduce an excellent opportunity to celebrate this special occasion with the entire Orange Army community. We invite you to participate in our commemorative brick engraving project, where, for a $30.00 donation, you can have your family name etched onto a brick that will become a part of a beautiful pathway in our new outdoor area. This pathway will serve as a lasting tribute to our remarkable journey over the past decade. Additionally, we are pleased to continue our tradition of tree donations, inspired by our foundation families who sponsored a tree in 2015, which now stands proudly at the School's entrance.

We invite families to consider purchasing a 10th anniversary tree with a commemorative plaque proudly displaying your family's name. More information on how you can contribute to or support these initiatives can be found here. Let's come together to make our 10th anniversary a memorable and meaningful celebration of our Orange Army's spirit and unity.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the success and well-being of our students. We look forward to working together to make these ground improvements a reality. There are many ways you could become involved, so please consider if this is something you can give back to our community and leave a legacy for your children and others to enjoy.

Mr Adrian Pree | Principal


Endings and New Beginnings - Life Consists of Rites of Passage

As we are well into the final term for the school year, we find ourselves on the cusp of entering Advent, that time of expectant waiting before the Christ child is born which signals the great festival that is Christmas. It is a time of endings and preparation for new beginnings.

In our school we waved a fond farewell to the graduating class of 2023, as they completed their schooling and embark on that next stage in their lives. Other endings which lead to new beginnings have included, The Year 2s preparing to end their time as students in the ELC and will become Junior School students in the new year. The Year 5s recently delivered speeches so that they be considered for leadership roles in the Junior School as they head into Year 6 next year. The Year 6s this year are preparing to say goodbye to the Junior School and commence a new learning journey in the Senior School as Year 7s. The Year 11s held elections for the School Captains as they take on leadership roles as Senior School students in their final year of school in 2024.

May they be blessed as they continue to journey through childhood into teenagers and young adults, growing in wisdom and understanding.

“A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." Isaiah 11:1-2

Reverend Marie Aitken | School Chaplain



Congratulations to our Year 12 students who have recently completed their Valedictory celebrations. This is somewhat of a festival week, where they share special times and fond memories with the younger students at the Valedictory Assembly, with their teachers at the Valedictory Breakfast and then with their families at the Valedictory Ceremony and Dinner.

Each of these micro-events further strengthen the bonds these students have with their ‘cheer squad’. Collectively, we have all played an important part in their journey and they were clearly grateful for this.

Importantly, these students have played an important part in the School journey. They have not only been part of the evolution of St James’, moreover, they have helped shape and define our school culture, our customs and our practices. Their gift to the School represented this perfectly, part ship, part anchor, part pick-axe and all situated on a solid foundation.

Legacy is far more than its simplest definition of ‘what you leave behind’. It is really what you create along the journey, where you place value and how impactful this is on others. So, to our Year 12s you have been both the architects and the custodians of the culture at St James’. You are the Orange Army!

Mr Chris Hall | Head of Senior School


Leadership in the Junior School

At St James’, we believe in nurturing leadership skills from a young age. Our Junior School is dedicated to empowering our students to become responsible, confident and engaged leaders. In this Mainsail, we will highlight some of the fantastic ways in which our students are taking on leadership roles and making a positive impact on our school community.

Year 6 Captains and Year 5 Captain Speeches

The Year 6 students this year have performed their leadership role beautifully, leading House activities such as team sports and speaking at assemblies.

Recently, the Year 5 students delivered heartfelt captain speeches in preparation for the Year 6 Captain election. The speeches showcased their passion, creativity and commitment to our school.

Student Council

Our Student Council is an essential platform for young leaders. Comprising one student representative from each class, they meet twice a term to discuss ideas, plan events and address school-related matters. These student leaders actively engage with their peers to gather input, ensuring that our school's student body has a voice in decision-making processes.

Buddy Class System

Collaboration is key to our approach to leadership development. Each class in the Junior School is paired with a buddy class from a different year group. This system encourages friendships and teamwork, allowing older students to mentor and support younger ones.

Year 6 Peer Support

Year 6 students are vital role models and mentors. They take on the responsibility of being peer supporters during lunchtime. This means that they actively engage with their younger peers, ensuring a friendly and inclusive atmosphere during break times. These acts of kindness and support go a long way in making the School environment is safe and welcoming.

Thank you for entrusting us with your child's education and character development. We are especially excited to see our Year 5 students embark on their leadership journey.

Mr Nicholas Townsend | Deputy Head of Junior School


As the President of the Parent and Friends (P&F), I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update on our recent activities and upcoming plans, as well as to share some exciting news.

Firstly, I'm pleased to inform you that our P&F recently had the privilege of attending the Valedictory Dinner for our graduating Year 12 students. It was a wonderful evening filled with emotions and pride, marking an important milestone in the lives of our students. In a spirit of support and celebration, the P&F presented a gift on behalf of the entire school community to our graduating students. This gift was a token of our appreciation for their dedication and hard work throughout their time at our school. We believe in recognising and celebrating the achievements of our students, and the Valedictory Dinner provided the perfect opportunity to convey our best wishes as they embark on new journeys. We extend our warmest congratulations to the Year 12 students and their families. It was an honour to share in this special occasion with you and we wish our graduates every success and happiness in their future endeavours.

I am thrilled to share that over the school holidays, a brand-new cubby house was delivered to our Kindergarten playground. What makes this project even more special is that it was lovingly varnished by a team of dedicated volunteers. The cubby house promises to be a source of joy and imaginative play for our youngest students and we can't wait to see the smiles it brings. I would like to personally thanks the incredible individuals who contributed their time and effort to make this project a reality. Jessica Zalmstra, David Makinson, Ruben B (Year 8), Flynn T (Year 7), Laura Pritchard, Campbell Robertson, the P&F team and whole St James' Maintenance team, as well as Mr Mornement and Mrs Roberston, your support and dedication to this important project for the ELC are greatly appreciated. Your hard work and generosity have made a significant difference in the lives of our students in the ELC and we are truly grateful for your commitment to our school community.

We have some exciting plans for the future, including introducing the St James' Family Business Directory. We are actively exploring opportunities to engage with our local community through a family business directory. We are also excited to be working on several school enhancement projects, including updating the playground and enhancing the School's outdoor spaces. These projects will help create a more dynamic and enjoyable learning environment for our children.

As we move forward, we continue to welcome your ideas, feedback and participation. If you have any suggestions for projects, events, or activities that would enhance the educational experience at our school or provide some fun downtime as we head to Christmas, we invite your input. Please don't hesitate to contact us at pandf@stjames.wa.edu.au.

Mr Robin Trotter | President of the P&F


The Pre-Primary students have been busy learning new skills with ‘Joe Bolton and the Suitcase Circus’ this term.

Juggling, plate spinning, flower sticks and rings as well as walking on stilts and hula hoops are just some of the exciting new skills the Pre-Primary's will have learnt after their five-week circus lessons.

While learning these amazing new skills, the students further develop their ability to play cooperatively, improving their perseverance and resilience. Students also work to improve their hand-eye coordination, midline cross-over movements and balance, in a fun and engaging way.

The most exciting part is the Pre-Primary students will be putting on a 'Big Show' performance for parents and friends to show off all the amazing new skills they have learnt.

Pre-Primary families, be sure to mark the calendar, Friday 24 November!

Mrs Denise Stone and Mrs Renae Vuleta | Pre-Primary Teachers


Each of the Year 8 Food Technology classes were challenged with an exciting assessment that asked them to plan and prepare a variety of both sweet and savoury foods to share with invited guests in our annual morning and afternoon teas.

The students were given the opportunity to demonstrate how far their practical skills have developed when the Trade Centre hallway came alive with the wonderful chatter of the guests being looked after with hot drinks and the sharing of delicious morsels of food such as, brownies, lemon slice, meatballs and sausage rolls to name just a few.

Invited guests included grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters as well as a few wonderful teachers who popped in to be served by the Year 8 students. A successful and fun time was had by all.

Mrs Ange Robertson | Head of Department Home Economics


The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Gold Ceremony held on 21 September became a night to remember. Hosted at the magnificent Government House, the esteemed presence of His Excellency The Honourable Chris Dawson APM, Governor of Western Australia, added a touch of regal splendour to the occasion.

This event included two performances by our Senior School Choir, directed by Ms Tracey Cooke. Their participation marked a milestone as the sole school choir from the Perth metro area invited to grace this prestigious event. Awards WA had been captivated by the choir's prowess when they witnessed a memorable performance at a school assembly. This admiration led to their distinguished invitation, setting the stage for a night of musical excellence.

The choir's incredible performance resonated through the grand halls, leaving all attendees, including dignitaries from the government, prominent WA organisations, and esteemed school principals, inspired. His Excellency himself was moved to offer a special mention, acknowledging the choir's exceptional talent.

The evening showcased the dedication and commitment of our Duke of Edinburgh Youth Award Leaders, Katie and Keeley. They served as ushers, warmly welcoming all the guests and ensuring the smooth commencement of the event, volunteering their time and effort to seat over 300 attendees promptly.

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Gold Ceremony at Government House was an evening of talent, inspiration and community spirit, a testament to the remarkable achievements of our school and its outstanding individuals.

Mrs Stacey Syme | Service Learning Coordinator


In Week 2 of Term 4, our Year 12 students reached the end of their schooling journey with two days of Valedictory celebrations. The 43 students started Wednesday morning with a final breakfast together, enjoying one another's company and preparing for the exciting day ahead. They then lead the School in the Valedictory Assembly, with a slideshow of photos commemorating their time at St James’. Mr Townsend paid tribute to our ‘Anchor’ foundation students with some photos of St James’ early years.

The Year 12s then participated in the Passing Out Parade, with the younger students waving streamers and cheering our graduates on. To conclude this emotional experience, the Year 12s shared a cupcake with the Pre-Primary students, showing them how far they’ve come since commencing school. Before leaving the gates for the day, the students each placed their handprint in the Leavers Hub, signing their name for the future Year 12s to see.

On Thursday 19 October, the Year 12s, with their families, returned for one final event, an evening of celebration and reflection. Commencing the evening with a Chapel Service and the presentation of graduate sashes, the Year 12s then moved to the Chapel hill to take the classic cap toss photo. The students, families and staff then moved to the Djinda Sports Centre for the presentation portion of the evening. After each student crossed the stage, we were treated to musical performances from Brady and Georgia Jansen, as well as Isaac Faithfull and his band.

Memories and laughs were shared, alongside a wonderful dinner. It was a tremendous night to celebrate the 43 young people now embarking on their next steps, with which we wish them all the best.

Ms Sian Yates | Head of Year 11 & 12


The Djinda Sports Centre was filled with smiles, laughter and the loving presence of grandparents and proud parents as we recently hosted a Grandparent's Day event for our ELC students. This cherished tradition is a highlight on our school's calendar and this year's celebration was no exception.

The morning commenced with a traditional morning tea, prepared by our Hospitality students and teachers. Grandparents and parents enjoyed the treats and each other's company and gathered to watch performances by our ELC students who showcased their musical talents and expressed the love they have for their families. The fun continued with games of Bingo, where students joined their families to participate in teams and lucky winners collected prizes from the stage. Thank you to our teachers and EAs who worked together to make this event a success.

Grandparent's Day brings generations together in celebration of the connections that unite our school community. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to participate in these unique events, as they not only bring happiness and joy but also fortify the ties that transform our school community into a warm and welcoming family.

Gemma Andrews | Marketing & Communications

Emerging Authors

This year we have continued the creative tradition of involving our eager young authors in The Talented Young Writers Collective at the Literature Centre in Fremantle. This wonderful program involves students participating in creative writing workshops with notable Australian Young Adult authors. Every term this year, students have boarded the bus down to The Literature Centre in Fremantle to make the most of the interactive workshops on offer, letting their creative talents shine. Students have enjoyed working side by side with other talented writers from a range of Perth schools and have found a collective where a genuine love from reading and writing is shared by all.

This year students learned from Barry Jonsberg, Kirsty Murray, Sarah Winifred Searle and Sue Whiting, learning the tricks of the trade and penning some wonderful creative pieces which they shared with the authors and their peers. They have dabbled in the genres of realism, fantasy and science fiction, even experimenting within the realm of graphic novels.

We congratulate the students involved for their enthusiasm, their literary prowess and for the stories they have forged through this wonderful program.

Mrs Jodie Bastow | Head of English


During Term 4, St James’ hosted an interactive cooking event for Year 6 students and their families to enjoy. This delightful event took place in the Trade Centre Food Technology rooms and was designed to introduce our future Year 7s to the Trade Centre and the subject of Food Technology. The School was transformed into a hub of creativity and togetherness.

Guided by the Food Technology teaching team, parents and students came together to bake delicious lemonade scones. The families worked together at their stations to carefully measure the ingredients and mix them together before placing them into the oven to bake. The kitchen buzzed with excitement and laughter as they immersed themselves in the art of baking. This remarkable opportunity not only promoted family bonding but also provided an invaluable insight into the exciting academic pathways that lie ahead for students entering Senior School.

As a tasty memento of the baking experience, our proud bakers got to take their freshly baked treats home to enjoy. The event not only celebrated the joys of cooking but also provided an opportunity for our students to learn alongside their families, further emphasising the strong community spirit of the Orange Army.

Gemma Andrews | Marketing & Communications

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