Term 1 Week 4 - 23 February 2024
We continue to remind our students of the importance of attendance, each and every day. We also ask that students regularly look over the work located in their Google Classroom and that they take the time to conclude classes with summary sentences which all teachers are requesting from their students.
One of our focus areas for 2024 is improving our Literacy across the College. We intend to do this through consistent summary sentence work at the end of all classes, increased opportunities for silent reading and literacy outcomes within ALL assessment activities. These initiatives will support strong Literacy growth across the College.
Our Year 7 students experienced BELONGING DAY this week and I thank Mr Matthew Mitchell, Mr Mitchell Robins, Ms Olivia Eberhaut (Youth Minister) and the Pastoral Care team in putting together such an excellent experience for our students. Fr James provided excellent input across the day, together with our Assistant Principal - Mission, Mr Geoff Melville. The day was an introduction to St Paul’s College and what is meant by a Catholic Community. Students engaged in a variety of activities that focussed on values and a strong understanding that we are all responsible for the creation of a College community that cares for all including the marginalised and disadvantaged.
Finally, we need to thank our incredible College staff. Our administration team, grounds team, canteen staff, co-educators and teachers who work together to care for all our students. I am conscious that many staff at the College are dealing with personal challenges, yet they continue to deliver what is required, each and every day, to ensure that our students are well supported. I thank them for all they do!
Happy weekend to you all.
Mr David JOHNS B.Ed., Cert. Gifted Ed., Grad. Cert. Adol. Health and Welfare, M.Ed. (Ed Lead), M.Ed. (Theol)
If you’re having difficulty getting your child to school on time every day, contact the College so we can work together to find a solution. Through collaboration, we may identify any underlying issues contributing to the difficulty in getting your child to school on time. This could involve academic challenges, social issues, or other factors impacting your child's motivation and wellbeing.
Term 1 is now in full flight and the students are engaged in their learning. Teachers have been undertaking learning walk and talks and some fantastic discussions have been taking place in the staff room about the sharing of good practice among staff.
Years 7 and 9 will be undertaking their NAPLAN testing during Week 7. This testing provides the College with rich data regarding the progress of students and areas we need to continue to work on. We appreciate parental support to ensure students attend school each day during this period. Please reinforce to your children that Naplan is nothing to worry about and not something we need them to ‘study’ for. It is a measure of a group's progress and information for us to support the students.
Drop Everything and Read!
The College will be launching a reading initiative in Week 6 where every student will be asked to read during one lesson per week. The lesson will change each week to reduce the impact on learning on any one subject. The students will be notified of the timetable with plenty of notice.
Please ensure your child has a book in their bags each day coming to school. This could be their reading book for class, something they are reading for leisure, a book from the library or a magazine they enjoy. Please make sure the content is appropriate for school. Students can see Mrs Patrice Martin in the library for some advice on books that may interest them if they are struggling.
I continue to remind students and parents that the whole of Year 11 and 12 have access to Atomi. Not all subjects are on the platform as it is mainly for exam based subjects, however all students have access to the Study Skills lessons. Your children are encouraged to be using this platform to support their learning throughout their HSC period.
Year 7-10 Assessments
The Year 7-10 students will be issued with assessment tasks in the coming weeks that they can be working on both at home and in class. We encourage parents to check in with their children regarding any assessments and encourage them to spend time at home working on them.
Reviewing Lessons in a Sentence
In class your children will have been writing a sentence at the end of most lessons to review their learning progress. I encourage you to speak to your children about their learning and this is a great way to do it. Instead of saying “How was school?”, you could ask “What was your learning sentence at the end of class?”
Year 11 and 12 Assessment Blocks - A Reminder
This Term the Year 12 students will have their Assessment Block in Week 8 and the Year 11 students will have their Assessment Block in Weeks 9 and 10. Please encourage your children to be preparing for these assessment periods and seeking support from their teachers when they need it.
Please reach out if you have any questions about the learning for your students.
Ms Kate Fullbrook - Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching
One of the positive defining aspects of the beginning of our school year is the leadership of Year 12 2024. There has been an active spirit of participation and school involvement from this year group since they took over as the HSC class in October 2023. At the centre of this leadership is their active involvement and support of important College activities.
The tremendous attendance numbers of our Year 12 cohort at the Senior Retreat, Christmas Mass, Opening Mass, Ash Wednesday Mass and College Swimming Carnival have been outstanding, and set a standard which is inspiring for our community. The College benefits significantly when our senior cohort is attending in such high numbers with great participation and is a wonderful model for the rest of our community to follow.
Within this group I would particularly acknowledge the efforts of our College Captains, Evie and Jorja, and our College Leaders Ashley, Blake, Ryley and Taylah. These wonderful students represent their cohort with respect and student voice to senior staff each Monday as well as coordinating and completing a range of student leadership roles within the College.
Attendance and Upcoming Co-Curricular Events
There are a number of upcoming events outside of the College providing our students with wonderful opportunities across the next few weeks of Term 1. The expectation of our school is that all students represent our community at the highest standard, with impeccable uniform and respectful behaviour to others. I have written to the College community previously outlining that some students will not be allowed to undertake these events if they have failed to meet agreed standards within our school. These are founded on appropriate attendance and behaviour. If students have failed to meet these expectations, the College reserves the right to decline their availability. If families have any questions with these matters, please contact me at the College.
Mr Geoffrey Melville - Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
The Diocesan Parent Assembly have put together a document for families of secondary students who are new to Catholic schools. This document may be of use to those families, or anyone looking for a refresher on some of the key aspects of being part of a Catholic community.
In coming weeks, all Year 7 students will be offered a copy of the New Testament by Gideon Bibles. Students don’t have to take a copy, but if they do, we encourage students to treat the Bible with due respect and reverence.
Please see the below Mass times for the coming week in the Macleay and Nambucca valleys.
Thank you and God Bless.
Mr Brendan Goswell - Leader of Catechesis
What is a Learning Walk and Talk?
Your child may have noticed that teachers are occasionally coming into the classroom and asking 5 questions. These are called Learning Walks and Talks and are done to see if students are taking responsibility for their learning. We want students to be critical thinkers, to be aspirational and to take ownership of their learning across their classes.
What are these 5 questions and what do they mean?
1. What are you learning and why?
This question is trying to determine if the teacher has provided the students with a Learning Intention for the lesson. This tells the student what they are learning about and why they are learning about it.
2. How are you going in that learning?
This question is trying to determine if the students know the Success Criteria that will allow them to achieve the Learning Intention. The Success Criteria are usually provided by the teacher and tell the student exactly what they need to do. Sometimes the teacher may work with their students to co-construct the Success Criteria.
3. How do you know how you are doing in your learning?
This question is trying to determine if the teachers are using the Success Criteria to determine whether the student has achieved the Learning Intention.
4. How do you improve?
This question is trying to determine whether the student has been given feedback on their learning and if they know how to use that feedback to improve their learning.
5. Where do you go for help if you’re stuck?
This question is trying to determine if the students have strategies to help them if they don’t know what to do or how to get better in their learning.
Ms Maria Littlejohn - Leader of Pedagogy
Stage 6 Assessment Schedules
Year 12 Assessments
The Year 12 students will have their assessment block in week 8. The assessment schedule can be found here.
Year 11 Assessments
The Year 11 students will have their assessment block in week 9 and 10. The assessment schedule can be found here.
Mrs Amy Tovey - Leader of Curriculum
Welcome to 2024!
As in previous years, the Library has been very, VERY busy with textbook borrowings, but with this slowing down it is nice to finish February with some reading for fun as the annual Premier’s Reading Challenge begins on 28 February.
This year to increase participation, our in-house Challenge will allow students to register just 5 books to be eligible for the Major prize draw in August when the challenge ends. We will also have smaller monthly prizes to keep students involved over the 6 months. If you think your child may be interested there are more details available on the PRC website or students can call into the library and talk to staff.
One great feature of the Challenge is that students can include books they have read since the end of the 2023 Challenge. If keen, students only need to fill in the digital form sent out last week. If they have any queries they are more than welcome to visit the library and we can manually enter them here as well. More details to follow in the coming weeks.
If parents are keen to encourage their children to read and be part of the PRC they can help them select reading material via our Chisholm Library Website. Here they can search not only our physical collection but also our e-book library, SORA. If they log into the site with their school username and password, they can also reserve their book selection as well.
Book Chat has started up again on Thursdays in the Library during lunch time thanks to Ms Vermunt and Ms Martin. We are very lucky to have such enthusiastic readers who have been fantastic reading role models for our Book Chat participants. All students are welcome to attend whether it is to be involved in discussions or just listen to the thoughts of fellow book lovers. There is no pressure to attend weekly, just drop in when are keen to have a ‘Book Chat’.
Our Retro Games is also happening once again on Tuesdays. With Tuesday lunch now device free, many students are enjoying traditional games particularly cards and UNO that are simple, quick and fun. Thank you to Ms Dakin for supervising and encouraging students to participate in our Tuesday games by joining in herself and demonstrating how much fun these games can be.
Overdue textbooks from last year
Parents and students with 2023 overdue library books will be emailed in the coming week a list of their outstanding books from last year. In particular, there is a large number of Year 7 and 8 Mathematics textbooks outstanding, which is a concern.
These need to be returned urgently so this year’s students can borrow them. Accounts will be debited by the end of this Term if they are not returned so replacement textbooks can be purchased. So please, if you receive an email regarding an overdue 2023 item, make an effort to have it returned as soon as possible and before accounts are issued. If there are any issues with a borrowed item, we are more than welcome to discuss this. Please email or contact the library via the College Office.
Looking forward to your support in this matter.
Mrs Patrice Martin, Mrs Cathy Whalen & Ms Karen Irvine- Library Assistants
Thank you to all the parents and carers who came to show their support, your presence at these events is greatly appreciated.
Congratulations to Edmund House, once again for taking out the 2024 Swimming Carnival.
- Cleo Schubert – Records in 400m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, 50m Backstroke, 50m Freestyle.
- Keeley Smith – Records in 200m Individual Medley, 100m Breaststroke, 50m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly
- Chelsea Stringer – Records in 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke.
If your child is unable to swim on the day for any reason, please ensure that you either email your child’s sports teacher or provide a note from home explaining why they cannot swim for that day.
Other key events
Mr Heath Needs - Teacher and Sports Coordinator
Thank you to the students and parents who are ordering food, drinks and snacks on the Flexischools app. Thank you also to the students who are presenting to the canteen before 9am to order their ice creams, orchy cups and drinks. This is already reducing the lines and waiting times. Keep up the good work!
Flexischools is the preferred method to purchase food, drink and snacks within the College. All breakfast, recess and lunch orders including snacks and drinks can and should be ordered online to lessen wait times and long lines at lunch time.
Please register with Flexischools HERE
- Order on the Flexischools app - anywhere, any time.
- Please create an account with Flexischools where you can find the latest daily menu available, prices and any specials for the day.
- When searching for our school we are listed under St Paul's West Kempsey.
- If you have any issues with setting up Flexischools or ordering please contact Flexischools Support: 1300 361 769 or email@example.com
- You can cancel your order at any time before 9am the day of the order by contacting the Flexischools helpline 1300 361 769 or call the College on 6562 7200 to cancel if your child is sick or absent.
Breakfast - available Tuesday-Friday
Flexischools orders are preferred. Orders through Flexischools cut off at 8.30am. Collection at the canteen before school. Limited items may be purchased over the counter before school.
Recess - available Monday-Friday
Flexischools orders are preferred. Orders through Flexischools cut off at 9am. Collection at the canteen during recess. Orders can also be placed over the Canteen counter before school. Please note - over the counter sales are NOT available during recess.
Lunch - available Monday-Friday
Flexischools orders are preferred. Orders through Flexischools cut off at 9am. Collection at the canteen during lunch. Orders can also be placed over the Canteen counter before school. Please note - there will be limited items for sale over the counter during lunchtime from 1.55-2.20pm. However Frozen Orchy cups will only be available 1.55-2.05pm.
To limit the line wait time and to avoid disappointment it is recommended ordering all items on Flexischools.
Payment at the Canteen - over the counter
Cash and EFTPOS are available. Please note - students may NOT use their phones for EFTPOS, they must use a physical card.
Late orders - over the phone by parents/carers
Please call the College office on 6562 7200. Please note this method of ordering is not preferred. Late orders will be offered limited food choices only. All late phone orders must be paid by card over the phone at time of order.
CAN I VOLUNTEER? – YES PLEASE!!
Volunteers are needed and play an essential role in the daily planning of the canteen. If you can chop a lettuce, slice a tomato and make a sandwich, wrap or roll …. WE WANT YOU!
Whether you are a parent, carer, grandparent or other family member, or a community member who may enjoy a morning out, a cuppa and fill a few orders, then please contact our Canteen Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can spare any morning from 9.00-11.30am or a whole day once a week, fortnight or month it would be much appreciated and the kids love to see you here involved in their school. Many long lasting friendships have been made by canteen volunteering. We understand that life is busy, but most enjoy the experience, so why not give it a try?
Ricki Saunders - Canteen Manager
St Paul's Year 12 students from all Science disciplines attended an intensive three days of immersive science experiences last week. On the first day of the excursion, students travelled to Sydney with their teachers Miss Jade Tildsley, Mrs Amy Tovey and Mr Doug Gately and spent the afternoon at the Australian Museum.
Day 2 was spent at the world class Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisations (ANSTO) nuclear research facility at Lucas Heights. Here the students were involved in subject specific workshops and toured the facility, which included a nuclear reactor for the production of medical isotopes and a variety of other research tools in nuclear physics, medical and environmental research. Mr Johns (College Principal) was able to join the excursion for the tour of ANSTO and a shared evening dining experience at the Palace Restaurant in the CBD.
On the final day of the excursion, students and staff had the opportunity to attend the Ash Wednesday early morning service at St Mary’s Cathedral near Hyde Park. This was a lovely way to start the busy day ahead with an opportunity for reflection leading into the period of Lent. The students then spent time at the University of Sydney where they participated in a kickstart Science workshop in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics tailored to each HSC course. Before they left the university, our students were taken on a tour of the university's main facilities. These tours provided students with a general orientation of university life and study and often help students in making decisions about their future career paths and whether or not they may wish to consider a pathway through tertiary education.
The students had a great time over the three days and for many, the sights and sounds of the city were a welcome and exciting break from their school routine.
St Paul's Year 11 and 12 Art and Drama students travelled to Sydney last week for three days of inspirational experiences.
The Art students started off by attending the Art Gallery of NSW where the Art express exhibition was held. This exhibition displays the best of the 2023 HSC Art Majors. In the evening students attended the Onstage performances at the Seymour centre, showcasing the best of the HSC Drama Group and Monologue performances.
The second day was very busy with many opportunities presented to the students to further engage and inspire. The Art students were taken to two art galleries starting with The Museum of Contemporary Art followed by The White Rabbit Studio. Meanwhile, the Drama students attended The Sydney Theatre Company followed by an engaging professional theatre workshop with the Australian Theatre for Young People.
These experiences are extremely valuable for the students' senior studies in Art and Drama - we look forward to seeing their creative flair this year!
We have reached our maximum numbers for the Day in the Life event on Tuesday 5 March. Registrations will remain open via this link, however students will be placed on a waitlist.
Please contact the College Office on email@example.com for any queries.
Enrolments for Year 7 2025 open on 1 March 2024. For more information about enrolments, please visit the link here.
St Paul's College warmly invites prospective and current students and families to our Open Afternoon on Tuesday 5 March from 4pm to 6:30pm. No registration required.
Come join us for a tour of the College from 4:15pm, followed by an address from Mr David Johns, College Principal. If your child is registered to attend the Day in the Life event, supervision from 3:30pm to 4pm may be arranged by contacting the College office on firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch up photos will be taken on Friday 8 March.
2024 College photos are now ready to order through the Compass Portal. Emails from MSP were sent out to families on 14 February and contain important information regarding ordering your photos online. Please check your spam/junk folder. All photo orders MUST be placed before midnight on Sunday 3 March.
Please click HERE for the MSP ordering guide.
To place your order, make sure you have your Compass login details. If you're unsure of your login details, please contact email@example.com
For all other enquiries regarding the photography service or packages available, please contact MSP on 02 6583 1968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All are warmly invited to attend the World Day of Prayer to join with Christians throughout the Macleay Valley and unite in faith for Palestine and all of the Holy Land. Further information is in the flyer below.
Please note - there is no need for attendees to RSVP for the St Paul's event on 1 March. There will be limited visitor parking available in the North Street car park. Visitors are asked to sign in at the Edmund Rice Centre (not the College Office). All are welcome!
NSW Health has advised of very high rates of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrhoeal disease, in the community.
To prevent cryptosporidiosis transmission among swimmers, NSW Health recommends:
- Students are advised to refrain from swimming if they are experiencing, or have experienced in the two weeks prior, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea.
- Parents emphasise to their children the importance of regular handwashing with soap and water.
- Parents remind students to avoid swallowing pool water.
Cryptosporidium is present in the faeces of infected people. Outbreaks have been linked to water sources contaminated by infectious people, including swimming pools.
For more information on cryptosporidiosis, see the media release below or visit the link here.
This week is Bus Safety Week (19-25 February), which raises awareness among all road users on how to stay safe on and around buses, helping to reduce injuries and fatalities. It also raises awareness among students about safe bus travel.
Parents/carers are invited to 'Have A Say' about travel to and from school in NSW. Please follow the link HERE to have a say on walking and bike riding to school by completing a survey, taking a quick poll or sharing your ideas.
Online consent for school vaccinations
If your child is in Year 7 or Year 10 this year, you can now provide online consent for their routine school vaccinations.
⦁ Year 7 students are offered free vaccines for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa) and human papillomavirus (HPV).
⦁ Year 10 students are offered a free vaccine for meningococcal ACWY.
Please note - Year 8 and Year 11 students who have an online consent/signed consent form from 2023, will be offered catch up vaccinations in 2024.
If parents/guardians consent online they will receive a reminder text 3 days prior to the clinic date.
Vaccination will only be provided at school if consent has been received.
Term 1 - Wednesday 27 March
⦁ Year 10 Nimenrix (Meningococcal ACWY)
⦁ Year 11 Nimenrix (Meningococcal ACWY) - (Catch up)
⦁ Year 8 HPV (Human papillomavirus) and Boostrx (Catch up)
Term 2 - Tuesday 4 June
⦁ Year 7 dTpa (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) and HPV (Human papillomavirus)
⦁ Catch up clinic if required
- Visit the online consent portal here.
- Follow the steps to log in to your existing ServiceNSW account. This is the same account you may already use to renew your driver's licence. If you don't have a ServiceNSW account, refer to ServiceNSW to create one.
- Enter Medicare details for yourself and your child and provide consent.
- If you consent online, you will receive a reminder text 3 days prior to the clinic date
Read a step-by-step guide on how to provide consent online. Translated guides are available online.
If you or your child do not have a Medicare card or you cannot provide consent online, please email the College Office email@example.com to request a paper consent form to be sent home.
The benefits of providing consent online:
⦁ easily update your child's details
⦁ receive SMS and/or email notifications when vaccinations are given
⦁ faster upload of vaccination records to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
For more information on routine school vaccinations, please visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/
A reminder to parents/carers to inform the College if your child suffers a concussion outside of school hours e.g. while participating in community sport. Please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important for all St Paul's students, staff and families to keep road safety in mind. Please take the time to talk with your child about travelling to and from school safely.
Some safety tips:
- Be alert and aware by travelling distraction-free. Ensure students take off their headphones when walking, exiting or entering the bus and crossing the road.
- Choose a safe place to cross. The fastest way, may not be the safest way. Walk the extra distance to use a pedestrian crossing or traffic island.
- Keep safe getting in and out of the car. Always use the door closest to the kerb.
- Keep safe getting on and off the bus. Wait at the bus stop and stand at least one step back from the edge of the road. Wait until the bus has gone, before you cross the road.
- Bus Stops/Bus Interchange Areas. Model safe behaviour while waiting for the bus. Remember that younger students look up to you, so please lead by example, so they learn to behave safely while waiting for the bus and travelling on the bus.
- Student driver reminder: If your child will be driving to and from school, remind them that they are required to adhere to all road rules and drive in a safe and responsible manner. Inexperienced drivers commonly underestimate the risks associated with particular driving behaviours or situations and overestimate their capacity to deal with them. Have a caring conversation about road speeds on the route that they travel, where they will park and the importance of wearing a seatbelt. According to recent research 1 in 5 teens has been found to consistently not wear a seat belt.
Restricted licence holders including learner, P1 and P2 drivers are not permitted to use their phone at all while driving or riding. This includes the use of hands-free and Bluetooth functions. Ask them to keep their phone in their bag or glovebox.
The following video highlights the risks of casual speeding:
Be a positive role model when you are a pedestrian, passenger and driver. Children learn from what they see, as well as what we say.
Please note that the College has a Traffic Management Plan which can be viewed on the College website here.
Hi, my name is Ashleigh. I am the Family Connect in Schools Worker based within St Paul's College.
My Professional background is in the Family support, Specialist Domestic and Family violence and Mental health spaces, I have also worked within and supported this community for the last 10+ years.
I will be based within St Paul's College to support with ANY issues your children or family unit may be experiencing and will assist to link you into the appropriate specialist services all while providing a confidential and safe space to work with you to advocate for your needs.
If you feel you would like to talk or need some advice or support, you can self-refer by texting or calling myself on 0448 526 777 or speak to your pastoral care team who can also link you in with the Family Connect in Schools program.
Please see below a series of advice tipsheets from the Catholic Schools Office for families regarding your child starting high school.
All parents can now access a comprehensive online resource created by RealTalk Australia that provides access to a collection of resources to support parents and caregivers in exploring a diverse range of topics including:
- Puberty and personal development and identity
- Online Safety
- Consent and respectful relationships
- Impacts of Pornography.
The online portal provides a range of resources suitable for parents of both primary and secondary school students. Please see this flyer, which provides information about the resource and instructions for accessing the online portal.
The Macleay Youth laneway festival will be back in 2024 to celebrate Youth Week in our shire!
When: Saturday 13 April 2024, 2-6pm
Where: Clyde Street Mall, Kempsey
There are currently paid opportunities for youth aged 12 - 25 to be involved in the Laneway Festival. To find out more, please visit the website HERE.
Save the Date - The Yuwa Nyinda Dream Academy will be held on Wednesday 1 May and Thursday 2 May. The Yuwa Nyinda is a two day festival that aims to engage and inspire the local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community to foster partnerships by celebrating youth, education, employment and training through a Dunghutti cultural lens.
St Paul's College will be arranging for students to attend and students/families who wish for more information can contact Mrs Linda Pogson at the College via email@example.com