Term 3 Week 8
'And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. 'He has done all things well,' they said 'he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'
MARK 7: 31-37
We are now at the end of Week 8, and I cannot believe all that has happened across this term! We are at the end of our third week of 'Stay at Home Orders', and I hope you are managing the opportunities of a 'different' home and school vibe. I applaud our staff, who continue to develop engaging lessons and regularly meet with students over ZOOM. I remind all families that the College is available for assistance if required. We work in partnership, and if support is needed, I would encourage a phone call to the College.
We continue to manage the many College activities that are of importance for our whole school community. These include:
- STAGE 1 BUILD - Our new hall and refurbishment of our existing hall have now commenced.
- Year 12 – Trials have concluded, and they are receiving feedback on these results (currently via ZOOM). We are considering the return to school (next term) and the HSC examination period (we will keep Year 12 families posted).
- Year 12 - The end of formal class celebrations are being considered, and we hope to get input from our students over the next few days.
- Year 11 - Students have received information that outlines their end of Preliminary HSC assessments that will be taking place across Week 9 and Week 10. This has also involved looking at the Year 11 –'Learning Pulse' and considering changes to academic packages into Year 12, 2022.
- The Year 11 Leadership process continues with gatherings over the next few days with executive staff members and students interested in formal Student Leadership - most exciting.
- Year 10 into Year 11 subject lines have been finalised, and there is much discussion around academic programs – which is tremendous!
- Year 7-9 continue engaging in lessons and working through assessment items leading into their reporting period. I cannot emphasise enough that our students have been provided high-quality work from their teachers. This will be of great assistance as they complete a variety of assessment activities.
Blended Learning Continues
As we enter another week of 'Stay at Home Orders', please be aware of how your child is tracking during this period. STILE is the platform where most work can be found, and there could be value in asking your child to show you what is being done in this space.
We have noted that some students are not comfortable working on the ZOOM platform (video chat) and can respond in a way that may negatively impact other students' lessons. I have communicated to staff that if students are distracted or distract others when on ZOOM, they are to be omitted from the lesson and are required to continue their work within STILE.
Finally, we continue to prepare for the 2022 academic year. Our Year 7, 2022 students are very excited about joining us, and we are already preparing for their Orientation that will hopefully take place next term. The College continues to interview staff for next year, and I am very excited about the excellent teachers joining us. It is a great time to be at St Paul's Catholic College, Kempsey, and there are many things to look forward to.
Mr David JOHNS B.Ed., Cert. Gifted Ed., Grad. Cert. Adol. Health and Welfare, M.Ed. (Ed Lead), M.Ed. (Theol)
A New Perspective
For the last eighteen months, the media has been awash with negativity and fear. It has been impossible not to get caught up in the hype. One of the most challenging elements of the pandemic has been our inability to see an exit as a fear of new outbreaks has been as debilitating as an outbreak itself. In our interactions with the students, we refer to this as mindset. We will always see what we look for, and if we are aware of this, we can change the way the world appears to us. For the first time, we have an endpoint in sight.
This week brings the first days of spring. The wattles and grevilleas are flowering, and COVID has kindly made us stay home and enjoy them. By the beginning of November, vaccination rates will be at a level where we can enjoy greater freedom, and we are looking toward a reasonably normal Christmas. Compared to other world populations, we can consider ourselves blessed as our community should emerge relatively unscathed.
How Can You Share this Positive Message with Others?
We would love for your children to flood us with their and your Spring photos. Your children have access to the STILE page (Spring Photo Competition) to upload these photos. We will post these to our Facebook page and have the best in next fortnight’s newsletter. I am sure Mr Johns will have some prizes for the best in each year group. Let us spread the sunshine to all.
Here are some from my garden.
Mrs Bronwyn Shipton - Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
During this time of stay at home orders our attention now turns again to alternative ways to keep the Lord’s day sacred while focussing on the value and importance of prayer in our lives.
Bishop Greg’s Mass on Sunday morning can be watched live or in our own time. In the first edition of the Soul in March 2020, we noted that the first of Bishop Greg’s Masses during lockdown had attracted 2000 views. These Masses have continued to be made available ever since and in the last three weeks have seen 24000 viewers each week! We are blessed to have Bishop Greg as our Shepherd.
Fr James Foster is also offering Mass online through Macleay Valley Catholic Parish Facebook site each Sunday of lockdown at 9.30 am.
The Great Work at St Paul’s with On-Line Senior Assessment
The recent lockdown within the Kempsey LGA, due to COVID-19, has meant agility in various areas at St Paul’s. The lockdown began on Saturday 14 August, falling within the Trial HSC. The ability of the College to replicate the Week 6 tasks only one week later, allowing the HSC assessment process to be completed, was outstanding. The leadership of Leon Robinson and Tom Salter was expert, with the students' welfare at the forefront, while objective protocols were agreed upon and resolved. St Paul’s can now send accurate assessment marks to NESA, guaranteeing fairness and legitimacy to the moderation process. The College is now waiting for further advice on the HSC examination process, allowing our great Year 12 cohort the opportunity to complete their thirteen years of schooling.
The College has now begun the process towards completing the Preliminary HSC assessment requirements by the end of this term. The College is concerned that Year 11 students may be anxious around a formalised examination period during this period of lockdown and our staff well-being in setting, invigilating and marking across a formalised examination week perhaps still in lockdown. The College has decided that the final tasks will run online for ONE period per task following the schedule outlined below, from Wednesday, 8 September to Tuesday, 14 September; no other Year 11 classes will be taught during this time. Mr Robinson has written to Year 11 students and their families regarding the protocols required to complete the final tasks online during Weeks 9 and 10. The College is committed to completing the Year 11 Preliminary courses allowing the HSC courses to begin at the start of Term 4.
PRELIMINARY HSC FINAL ASSESSMENT WINDOW
WEEK 9/10 TERM 3
Studies of Religion 1
Studies of Religion 2
Textiles and Design
English Ext 1
Maths Ext 1
Mathematics Std 2
If you have any questions regarding these matters, do not hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Geoffrey Melville - Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching
Across August, to celebrate Poetry Month, one hundred and thirteen poems were written by the students and staff of St Paul's. Congratulations to all of the students and staff who participated.
Here is a selection of the best poems from the final two weeks of the month:
Unnatural Salt – Zara Lee (Year 7)
As bizarre as it sounds I have never hated salt until now,
the texture is off, the flavour is off,
what despicable wizardry is this unnatural salt?
Untitled - Eva Gately (Year 8)
The soft rays of the sun burst through the darkness of the leftover clouds,
cherry blossoms and roses bloom along the soft green grass, alerting the serene land of the time of anew,
the furry animals rejoice in the new light after a lifetime of cold darkness they are finally greeted with the beginning of Spring.
Winter's End – Ava Ryan (Year 9)
During this ceaseless season, I have put on the same songs to get out of bed
But this morning, I pulled up my blinds instead
And basked in the warmth once again, the Sun that signifies Winter's End.
The 100m of Eden – Corey Storm (Year 12)
An unwelcoming heat devastates the Willawarrin track;
a whistle harkens the wrath of sweltering athletes
as I suffer the sidelines, devouring grass.
A love letter from a girl called Hades – Lily Rafton (Year 10)
Has anyone ever told you that you're a spitting image of Persephone?
All smiles and springtime, melting away the snow inside me
to find something blossoming underneath.
Aunty Shirley's Salad – Ms Helen Bush
As green as the lettuce that was its disguise, velvet surprise.
I smell dismay as my teeth bite into the bitter, raw flesh and chew.
Commiserations cabbage moth caterpillar, my gut is now your garden.
Beijing Hawker – Mr Angus Crowley
Curled to strike or curled to delight,
Curiosity pulls me to take a bite,
Are these scorpion tails delicious? Quite.
Monument Hill in Spring – Ms Maria Littlejohn
Giants of the sea move southward, cold water bound
Headland heathland, sprinkled with jewels of many colours
Scent fills the air, harbinger of hot days to come.
Ms Catriona Martin - Leader of Learning - English
More than 28,000 species of plants and animals worldwide are threatened with extinction, and unfortunately, Australia leads the world in the extinction of mammals. In response to this and hope of improving these statistics, the Year 7 Science students have been writing their information book on an Australian Threatened species of their choosing.
The students have chosen a wide range of species. More well-known choices include marine mammals namely the Australian sea lion, sea turtles such as the Leatherback sea turtle, marsupials such as the squirrel glider, numbat and bilby, and monotremes, including the platypus and the Kangaroo Island echidna. Some students have also chosen lesser-known species, including the rare Spider Orchard, the Woma python, a tiny fish called the Red-finned Blue-eye, and the extremely rare and unique Eared worm lizard. The quality of these books are outstanding, and the students should be very proud of their hard work and achievement. Some of their work is included below.
Miss Maria Littlejohn – Leader of Science
Life on the farm continues to go on despite the ongoing lockdown. Our winter pastures are persisting despite the warmer than average weather and lack of heavy rains. We have had the cows and calves grazing on the front of the farm since the floods back in April without having to send them out to the back paddocks, where the feed is of lesser quality. This is the first time since the farm began that we have held the entire herd on the front portion of the farm without a break. The ryegrass, oats, chicory and clover have produced a significant volume of nutritious feed, which shows in the cows' and calves' condition. See the pictures below as evidence.
Year 8 and 9 Ag have raised a batch of twenty pasture-raised broiler chickens. This has been a great learning opportunity for the students who have been weighing the birds regularly and keeping track of the feed consumed. Thanks to the team at Burrawong Gaian Poultry at Stuarts Point, who processed the birds for us. These birds will be on sale very soon. Being raised on pasture, these birds will taste slightly different to routine confinement raised birds. Their enclosure has been moved daily to fresh grass, supplementing the bird’s diet of grains and fertilizing the pasture.
We are in the process of bringing more poultry to Francis Farm in 2021. Our construction classes have built a mobile chicken house (caravan), which we hope to move there soon. The chicken caravan has been coined the Eggorator 3000 by Mr Mascord.
Mr Bramley and Mr Summers are in the process of building a broiler house that is a new and improved version of our old cumbersome model, that we made many years ago. The new construction will allow us to walk into the enclosure, and its lighter structure will enable us to move it around more easily.
We are now preparing our show steers for the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza, due to be held in October, in Scone. They are growing well using pellets that are a by-product of an ethanol-producing process. The steers are gaining 1.7 to 2.0 kg per day.
Enjoy the photos.
Mr Graham Bramley - Leader of VET