Term 3 Week 2
'……. God- he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear, but with the trial will also provide the way through, so that you will be able to endure it.'
1 Corinthians 10:12-14
The events of the last few weeks across NSW and Victoria has undoubtedly challenged many of us. Just as we feel a degree of normality is returning, we are confronted with the news that makes us wonder when this will all end. We are luckier than most, and while this is our blessing, we should continue to consider the plight of the wider community and consider how they must be navigating this difficult time. May we continue to consider and pray for our 'brothers and sisters' across Australia and the world during this time of uncertainty.
We have had a great start to the term with a very successful Professional Development day for our staff. We looked at the methods we use to collect data that informs us of students' achievements and considers how we can use this information more effectively. We are looking at our assessments, our reporting methods and how we can further engage students in the classroom. As you would recall, we have a renewed focus on learning intentions and success criteria.
Students should know what they are being taught, why they are being taught it and know what it looks like when they understand!
Year 7 Enrolments
The majority of Year 7 2022 interviews concluded across the weekend, and the calibre of students interviewed (over one hundred and sixty students) was terrific. We are fortunate we have such amazing families considering St Paul's as a secondary school option.
We had a very successful Athletics carnival with a strong turnout from our students. I thank Mr Needs, the Sports faculty and our staff for their work across the day. The involvement of many of our students across all year groups was most positive.
This week we commenced Year 11, 2022 subject selection. All Year 10 families were invited to ZOOM with Leaders of Learning to discuss specific subjects and academic programs. The week then allowed for further conversations with teachers and current students around the varied subject offerings in 2022 at St Paul's. It is exciting to note that our VET program will have scope Aged Care, Fitness and potentially Tourism. Delivery of these courses will be dependent on student interest but again highlights that the College aims to cater for ALL students, as we have a responsibility to give our students every chance to succeed in their studies as they prepare for the World of Work.
Farewell to Beth Roberts
The College Community will farewell Beth Roberts, our current College counsellor. She has completed the requirements needed to enter private practice and will commence this later in the term. She has provided quality support to our students during her tenure at the College, and we wish her every success.
Our new counsellor, Carmel Muddle, has been appointed to commence at the beginning of next week. Carmel is well known to the area, with experience across various contexts in various regions across Australia. We are fortunate to have her working with us, and I look forward to her contributions to our school community's health and well-being.
Over the next few weeks, we are excited to be interviewing staff for a variety of Leadership roles. Please wish us well to bring together a strong team that will lead the College into the future.
Wishing you all a relaxing weekend.
Mr David JOHNS B.Ed., Cert. Gifted Ed., Grad. Cert. Adol. Health and Welfare, M.Ed. (Ed Lead), M.Ed. (Theol)
Coping with Stress in These Dynamic Times
Teens coping with stress in a healthy way involves building stress-reducing strategies. Strategies can mean helping your child to identify what is causing them stress and what actions are within their control to manage it. If you are not sure how to cope with teenage stress, it can help to talk with them about the following things:
What are the Things Causing Them Stress?
Is it something they can control, such as feeling unprepared for exams or outside of their control, such as world events?
If the cause of the stress is within their control, assure them that there are things they can put in place to help and that you will be there to offer them support.
Encourage them to write down the things within their control and discuss how they will manage them. For example, if your child is stressed about doing poorly at school, help them identify what they need to do to succeed. You can then make a plan together to help them achieve that result. Encouraging your child to write down the things that are causing them to feel stressed and then working through them in this structured way will help them become aware of what they can do to keep stress under control and give them confidence that they will be able to get through stressful times. You might also want to suggest that your teen consider adopting some mindfulness techniques, including deep breathing or meditation. If their anxiety seems to go beyond normal feelings of stress, you might consider encouraging them to see a medical professional such as your GP.
Find out more at: https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/things-to-try-stress/help-your-child-develop-coping-skills-for-stress
Keeping Our College Community Safe
Families will continue to receive updated correspondence in regards to COVID restrictions. The safety and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors to the College are essential to us. We always enjoy parents and families being welcomed into our College for activities and events and are deeply disappointed that these current restrictions prevent this. However, these restrictions do not prevent us from our primary purpose, delivering quality Catholic education to your children in a safe, caring, and supportive environment.
We thank you in advance for your understanding and support throughout this. To keep our College community as safe as possible, we ask that:
All Visitors Comply with the Mandatory Two-Step QR Sign In
Under the current Public Health Order, all visitors must sign in to both the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-In AND WOL (Who's on Location) and, in doing so, allows us to meet child protection and emergency management legal requirements and Public Health Order requirements. Unfortunately, no one system will meet all current legal requirements.
All Visitors Must Wear a Mask When Entering College Grounds
Unwell Students, Staff, and Visitors
If your child has cold or flu symptoms, please follow the health advice, get tested and stay at home while unwell. Students who are unwell and attend school will be sent home with the request to get tested. This also applies to staff. Visitors who have cold or flu symptoms will not be permitted to enter the school.
NSW Health and Catholic Schools NSW, although not mandatory, have recommended that all staff wear masks. All visitors must wear masks upon entering school grounds.
A gentle reminder; please support us in our efforts to keep the College uniform presentation to a high standard. We ask that families check their child's uniform, particularly, College jumpers and shoes. The uniform policy is in the College Diary.
Mrs Bronwyn Shipton - Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
The College is launching an opportunity for students who wish in confidence to connect with a support person around INCLUSION.
We have students that we journey with at St Paul's who may be working through challenges associated with culture, gender and/or social isolation.
We are a strong community when our most vulnerable feel safe and we need to ensure that this is the case.
The email below is a way for students to reach out for support in confidence from the College community which is informative and discrete.
Please consider sending an email to reach out as required.
ALL STUDENTS within our school are valued and important. Responding to the concerns of all students matters:
IN COMPLETE CONFIDENCE-
Feast Day of St Paul
On the last day of Term 2, we celebrated the Feast of our Patron Saint, Paul. The day began with a beautiful Mass celebrated by Fr James and wonderfully contributed to by our musicians – we were indeed lucky to be able to have this celebration just before all of the current restrictions came into effect.
One of the highlights of the day was an outstanding video presentation about the life of St Paul, created, edited, remastered and starred in by Year 12 student, William Butler! Will generously gave of his time during his HSC year to create an engaging and informative presentation about the life of St Paul. You can watch this short video here.
Street Retreat – Year 11
Last term, I wrote about Street Retreat in Brisbane that Maxwell Winn and Sienna Moore attended. The Catholic Schools Office has produced a video production about Street Retreat that is well worth a view. You can check it out here.
Covid-19 Impacted Events
Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions imposed on us due to Covid-19, several events scheduled for this term have to be re-jigged.
Vinnies Winter Sleepout @ Home
St Paul’s will join in with the Vinnies Winter Sleepout at Home initiative this year, as we cannot gather in person for this overnight experience. Our Year 10 Youth Ministry class promoted this at Wednesday’s College assembly, encouraging students to get involved on the evening of Friday, 30 July, from their own homes.
Some suggestions on how you can participate in the sleepout at home are:
- Make a card, write a message and attach it to a muesli bar/biscuit snack to be donated back at school, taken and shared on the streets by the Vinnies Night Patrol Van.
- Make soup together to drink to stay warm when out on your sleepout/sit out.
- Sleep/Sit outside in the cold for a while, with only cardboard to sit on. During this time, discuss how you are feeling, how the homeless must feel, and share some facts to raise awareness of homelessness.
- Pray together as a family for those people in our community who have no secure, warm housing.
- Donate what you can through this fundraising page.
We encourage people to participate in this at-home sleepout as a way to raise awareness and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are experiencing the troubles of homelessness and similar situations. Go to the Vinnies website for more information.
Year 10 Retreat
The Year 10 Retreat, scheduled for 5 – 6 August, has been postponed until later in the year. A date has not been set at this stage as we await further health advice. Many thanks to those who returned their permission notes and paid deposits on time. We will keep you updated as things become more apparent, which is hopefully sooner rather than later!
SHINE Conference – Years 9 and 10
The annual Diocesan SHINE gathering, originally scheduled for 12 – 13 August, has also had to be postponed. No new date has been set at this stage, but we will keep students in our Youth Ministry classes and Senior Ministry Team in the loop with any updates.
The IGNITE Conference has not been affected at this stage. We hope and pray that it can go ahead as planned in the school holidays, but we will have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for us this year. Again, as things progress, students and families will be kept informed of any updates/changes to this conference.
Year 12 Graduation Process
Although we are just commencing Term 3, work has already begun to prepare for the Graduation Mass of our Year 12s. This week, we asked our seniors to contribute a photo of them as:
- A baby
- At Kindergarten
- In Year 6
These can be scanned and emailed to our YMO Ebaney Cook (preferred) or brought into the office, where the ladies will scan them for you. Please write your names on the back of the photos to ensure they are returned.
Further details will be provided later regarding what our Graduation ceremonies will look like this year. Hopefully, we will not have to live stream again!
Do not hesitate to contact me at the College if you have any ideas or suggestions about Ministry and Evangelisation at St Paul’s.
Peace and blessings,
Mr Dominic MacAndrews - Leader of School Evangelisation
Meeting Year 7 2022 Prospective Students and Their Families
Term 3 has begun with a renewed sense of learning at St Paul's despite the impacts of COVID-19 on some activities planned for our students. One of the most delightful opportunities I have been involved in as a new staff member, is meeting students and families who wish to join our community. Presently, St Paul's is considering the process of enrolling a substantial cohort into Year 7 2022. Mr Johns, Mrs Shipton, and I have welcomed the chance to meet with so many families interested in joining our community next year. Their enthusiasm and great interest have brought forward several exciting discussions.
It has been so positive to meet young women and men from primary school that present goals and aspirations and clearly outline that St Paul's is the best school to realise these goals. So many prospective students have outlined their dream employment and how St Paul's can help them work towards jobs such as architects, teachers, engineers, interstate mining, fitness industry and dentistry.
What Will Learning Look Like at St Paul's in Year 7 2022
The College is currently resolving next year's timetable and classes offered. There will be a clear focus on the language of learning in Year 7 2022 and developing 21st-century skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking within our students. We wish to hit the ground running in Week 1 Term 1 by understanding each student's learning styles and attributes and building improvement. Our Literacy coach, Mr Smith, and our Numeracy Co-ordinator Mrs Kerr, will link directly with each Year 7 student to support the development of an academic profile. Our goal is to reduce the number of teachers for Year 7 2022 by allocating staff across two subjects per person to better understand the student's academic and welfare needs.
There have been some great discussions regarding class placement for 2022 at St Paul's. I have written previously about the current educational research in Years 7 and 8 focused on understanding individual student learning needs and improvement when placing students in classes, allowing access to learning for each student. The foundation of Years 7 and 8, is students developing the necessary skills to launch into their chosen study pattern in Years 9-12. We are focused on developing skills that allow learning in various subjects offered in Years 9-12. Staff working in partnership with families, especially in Maths and English, will equip students to learn within the appropriate pathway strength.
I look forward to continuing to meet new families who wish to join our community. Next year is shaping as a very exciting year in learning at the College. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding these matters.
Mr Geoffrey Melville - Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching
This year, we have changed the way students set their academic goals and the acronym we are using. In previous years, this has been in their PC group and written in their diary. Students had to write a specific goal for each subject early Term 1, and this was completed in Stile. This term, we encourage the students to go back to their goals, evaluate and readjust or write a new goal using their report and progress from Semester 1. We strongly encourage you to talk with your child/children about this process and what their learning goals for Semester 2 will be. There is a lot of evidence around the importance and success people have with having goals, writing them down and evaluating them at certain times.
Mrs Lesa Morrison - Leader of Pedagogy
Year 10 into 11 Subject Selection Interview
A sincere thanks to all parents of Year 10 students who interacted with the Subject Selection Zoom night on Monday, 19 July. Students have received their subject selection form this week, which will need to be completed and returned during the individual subject selection interviews scheduled for Monday, 2 August. If you missed the opportunity to participate in the Zoom, please discuss subject selection with your children and ask them to show you the information available on STILE.
Monday, 2 August, is not a regular school day for Year 10 students as they are not required to attend school for lessons. Year 10 students and their parents are to attend school for interviews with members of the College Executive concerning the suitability of course choice. Parents will need to ring the school office and book an interview time; these interviews will last for fifteen minutes and are available from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm. If you are unavailable on Monday, 2 August, I am happy to complete this interview on an alternate date.
HSC Trial Examinations
All Year 12 students have now received a digital copy of the draft Trial HSC Examination Timetable. Students have been asked to check this timetable for clashes and can see me if there is a problem. The final Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be released in hard copy next week.
|Important Diary Dates|
|Year 12 HSC Trial Exams||Term 3 Weeks 5/6|
|Year 11 Preliminary Final Exams||Term 3 Week 9|
|Year 12 HSC Exams||12 October - 24 November|
Mrs Leon Robinson - Leader of Curriculum
ClickView now features Educational Movies + TV for Students
ClickView, our online hub of educational content, has recently added a new feature, Movies +TV. This feature is a selection of 'ClickView TV' content and film, handpicked for students. It includes captivating films, thought-provoking theatre and world-class documentaries. Students will only see relevant and appropriate content.
The video content selection includes:
- Documentaries like David Attenborough’s Blue Planet
- Films from Disney
- Theatre including Shakespeare productions
- Other educationally and culturally relevant programs.
How do Students Access this Feature?
When students log into Clickview, via the ClickView website or app, they should now on their dashboard see a new tab called Movies +TV.
Just a quick reminder:
- to send in any good book reads you wish to pass on
- to return any outstanding books - any issues with these, please get in touch with the Library staff
- install our library app, called Library Link, so you can easily see what is available for your child and yourself
- you are more than welcome to borrow any books in our catalogue; contact us directly or have your child come to the library and borrow it for you
- keep encouraging your child to find a great read that suits their interests and ability
- do not forget if they are more comfortable with digital than a paperback, they can borrow an e-book including audio, through the app SORA, and….
- we welcome ideas and any positive feedback you may have to encourage our students to read, so feel free to email us. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And to finish on a quick but thoughtful note ….
WHY encourage your child to read? Studies have shown Literacy promotes “Life-long Learning” and builds skills.
HOW does literacy achieve this? Think about it. When was the last time you learned a new skill? Or did something new for the first time?
Chances are you learned that new skill or task because you could read instructions, books, or other resources to guide you through the process. When we have the confidence to read, we can learn, both in and out of the classroom.
Extract from https://www.concernusa.org/story/benefits-of-literacy-against-poverty/
Mrs Patrice Martin & Mrs Cathy Whalen - Library Technicians
St Paul's kicked off Term 3 with the annual Athletics Carnival. Unfortunately, we could not have parents and friends attend this day due to the new restrictions. However, this did not dampen the kid's spirits; they were competitive, and all seemed to enjoy their time at the carnival. Thank you to all of the students for their behaviour and efforts on the day.
We had one record broken, held since 2007. Natalie Van Driest smashed the U13's girls discus record, throwing a whopping 23.55m. Well done Natalie!
Runners Up Girl
Runner Up Boy
Natalie Van Driest
17 Year +
Overall House Point Tally
First – Edmund 805 points
Second – MacKillop 732 points
Third – Farrelly 728 points
Fourth – McAuley 647 points
Once again, congratulations to Edmund House for their victory on the day. Well done.
Mr Heath Needs - Sports Co-ordinator
Workers Urgently Needed
We need volunteers to help in our canteen once a week, fortnight or month. No special skills required. If you can make a salad wrap, toastie or put some drinks in the fridge, your help will be greatly appreciated. All welcome - mums, dads, nannas, pops, aunts and uncles. Should you be able to spare just a few hours, please contact me.
St Paul's Secondary Catholic College
P: (02) 6562 7200