22 May 2020 - Newsletter (Vol 37 No 8)
Next week the College will have all staff and students back on campus with the view of returning to ‘business as usual’. BUT I am of the opinion that there will be a new normal here at SJPC, new ways of interacting and communicating, new ways of learning and teaching, new ways of engaging with one another.
Regardless of what this ‘new normal’ looks like we must never forget the importance of human connection and the need to interact with others. I have spoken to many students over the last week and almost all of them said that the best thing about being back at school was seeing and talking to their friends and many also acknowledged how good it was to see their teachers.
I know there are students and families who are anxious about not only next week but the following weeks as well. Whether you are concerned about financial assistance, your child’s wellbeing, or just have questions about what we are doing here at SJPC, please ask for help!
We will get through this as a community focused on the wellbeing and pastoral care of all our kids.
Girls tailored shorts have arrived!
Finally, after many months of waiting and delays due to the pandemic, families can now purchase the tailored shorts from the uniform shop.
You will remember as a result of feedback from the students and P&F, it has been decided girls can wear shorts as an alternative to the skirt, if they wish.
1. Skirts must be worn at all formal occasions and at additional days when instructed. In other words skirts must still be purchased.
2. Girls may not purchase the boys short, they must opt for the girls short.
Girls tailored shorts - $44.00
Opening Hours - Tuesday and Thursday - 7.30am - 9.00am
Modelled by Year 7 students Dani and Maisie.
There are designated Visitor Parking zones adjacent to the office in the top carpark now available for visitors. Also, the new car park as you enter the College will be open from Week 5.
It is a shame that it takes major devastation and tragedy to see the good side of humanity. Time and time again we witness this practice. It may be the bushfires over the Christmas break and the willingness of complete strangers to go out of their way to give to others who have lost so much. Or similarly, the alacrity of neighbours to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 outbreak by picking up groceries and showing genuine care to our most vulnerable. Clearly our Mission as part of the Catholic Church is to act in this way at all times, not just in times of catastrophic misfortune.
The present situation with COVID-19 and the many news reports around us are creating anxiety and worry for the future and our wellbeing. In times like these, it is especially important to remember God’s promise of remaining with us at all times. He who made us and gave His own Son for the salvation of the world, will not leave His children in this time of need.
Currently under the guidance of Mr. Brendan Goswell and other staff, the students are involved in the following areas of evangelisation:
- Year 10 Youth Ministry students were meant to be making their first primary school visit next week. Disappointed, but not defeated, our students have decided to put together a short video for each local primary school so they can connect with the students, share the Good News, and invite them into prayer.
- The College’s Sunday youth group has continued to meet via zoom on a Wednesday lunchtime. This has allowed students, staff and the College Chaplain to discuss life’s big questions.
- The Youth Ministry Officers and some senior student musicians have been playing praise and worship music to a live social media audience on a weekly basis. Search ‘SJPC Youth Ministry’ on Facebook or Instagram to find these offerings.
- Each student has been receiving a prayer offering via email every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from a member of the Youth Ministry team.
- The YMOs will restart their lunchtime and before-school Ministry groups from Monday of Week 5.
We look forward to students and staff of the College being more able to contribute to the Mission of Jesus that asks all to play their role in His name. Along with the current practices in place, examples of this work may involve feeding the marginalised via public kitchens and BBQs and visiting the elderly. Should any parents or friends of the College know of other areas of Catholic Mission that could be explored, we would love to hear from you.
Monday will see the first use of the newly constructed car park at the southern end of the College. Exit from this car park will be LEFT turn only. Students planning to leave the College after 3:30pm are encouraged to use this area for parking. While on car movement around the College, it is a suggestion to parents who need to collect their children from school should do so after 3:30pm. The extra ten minutes will allow students to close off business for the day (books, lockers etc.) and it would greatly assist in the movement of buses into and out of the College. Parents are also asked not to leave a large gap in front of them when queuing to collect students from the pick-up zone.
As a result of the new carpark, there are now designated Visitor Parking zones adjacent to the office in the top carpark.
Until next time
Assistant Principal - Mission
Staff and Student Wellbeing
Year 12 Parent-Teacher-Student Conference:
In this edition of the Newsletter we continue with some more COVID-19 changes to the way in which the College delivers its learning and teaching.
Beginning this week, the College has made changes to the traditional “Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences” where parents would normally attend a night session in the College Hall and discuss the latest Semester Report.
For the Year 12 Reports and PTS Conferences, the College has encouraged parents to engage directly with Classroom Teachers through a variety of media, including ZOOMS, Q&A emails and the more traditional - scheduled telephone call.
At this point in the academic year, students will have a variety of assessments and in particular for this year - ongoing assessments to determine their grades.
As we move from Remote Learning back to Onsite Learning from Week 5, there will no doubt be a heightened level of anxiety and increased levels of stress around assessment.
The following is from our online Study Skills Handbook subscription and may be a useful conversational tool for parents to engage with their child regarding managing stress:
The signs of stress can be grouped into either physical or non-physical. Students can tick which of these they experience when feeling stressed.
PHYSICAL SIGNS OF STRESS:
- sweaty palms or increased sweating
- shallow breathing
- dry throat
- getting lots of colds
- your skin breaks out in pimples etc
- feeling physically ill in the pit of your stomach
- fluttery feeling in your stomach
- racing heart, increased heart rate
- muscle aches and pains
- feeling tired but not being able to sleep
- clenching your jaw or fists or muscles
- sleeping too much
- difficulty getting to sleep
- interrupted sleep
NON-PHYSICAL SIGNS OF STRESS:
- feeling worried or tense
- becoming cranky, irritable at friends and family
- becoming moody and easily upset
- feeling like you could cry at any moment
- difficulty concentrating in class and at home
- not being able to sit still
- not being able to work
- feeling unhappy or depressed for no obvious reason
- feeling less confident about yourself
- feeling indecisive and not able to make decisions
- getting upset or anxious over trivial things
- not feeling hungry
- experiencing bad dreams and nightmares
- eating much more junk food than usual
- stopping talking to people about how you are feeling
- doing silly/self-destructive things (alcohol, drugs etc)
- feeling negative about yourself and your abilities
- losing pleasure in the things you normally do
- lots of negative thoughts
- becoming forgetful
- not being able to relax
- feeling no enthusiasm for anything, listlessness, lack of motivation
- feeling greater levels of aggression for no reason at all!
Further information on how to ‘manage’ stressful times can be found via our subscription. Year 12 Students will workshop this notion during this week’s Super Wednesday and the above may be of parental support post PTS Conferences and in preparation for continued HSC assessments.
Visit Study Skills Handbook to learn more about how you can make your life easier by being a more effective and efficient learner:
In addition, our subscription to Elevate Education may assist in this area:
This online platform contains resources and useful study tips that all SJPC students will find effective. We encourage them to access this Student Portal and try some of the strategies. Students have the password to this site. The password can also be found on the Curriculum Noticeboard.
Learning and Teaching
Week 5 will be an exciting time for our community as face to face teaching resumes at the College across all Stages. The Blended Learning that has occurred over the last 2 weeks has been another step forward in regards to student and teacher skill development. The need to adapt to an ever changing environment has allowed all of us to reflect on areas of strength and areas needing further development. We have all learned more about each other in this process.
Students and staff are working together and giving each other feedback regarding what has worked and what can be improved, with plans to take what we have all learned and include these skills in our ‘learning toolbox’.
Elevate will be running another webinar on Thursday, 28 May outlining valuable tips your children may utilise to improve their approach to learning!
Event Title: How to help your child study effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic (Yr 7-12 Parents)
Sign-Up Link: Elevate Webinar Signup
Next Webinar Date: Thursday, 28 May 2020
The tips presented will aid students in their transition back to face to face schooling and assist them in developing the strategies needed for effective learning throughout their lives.
During the last webinar, the value in using weekly planners was discussed. With another change in student routine next week, this weekly planner may be of benefit.
The last webinar focused on Motivation and Goal Setting.
The types of goals teenagers set are critical because the wrong goal can wipe motivation and lower performance. Students need to set a combination of performance goals and mastery goals to ensure that they stay motivated, and able to cope with the performance element of school, university and the workplace.
Tip 1: Focus on the process not the outcome
Tip 2: Remove fear of failure by focusing on effort not results
By implementing Tip1, student’s self-efficacy will increase, and we can increase the likelihood of them picking an achievement goal. However, this isn’t assured. If a student has higher self-efficacy, the fear of failure may still be so great that they fall back on an avoidance goal. To combat this parents are encouraged to praise effort not results.
When students understand that putting forth effort and using the right strategies can make them smarter, they try harder and achieve at higher levels. When they know their brains are capable of growing, amazing things can happen!
Year 12 Parents and Students
All Year 12 students have received their personalised HSC written exam timetable via their NESA Students Online account. The complete HSC written exam timetable has also been posted to their Curriculum Matters Google Classroom.
Students are informed of all curriculum issues related to their HSC study, along with scholarship offers, University roadshow and career information, free webinars etc via this Google Classroom. The majority of students are accessing this information frequently and taking advantage of the opportunities offered.
A reminder that the College Homework Centre will be open as usual from Week 5.
Leader of Curriculum
Over the last few weeks, Year 11 Catholic Studies students have been looking at the topic of Christian leadership, mission and ministry. This goes to the very heart of what Christ commanded when he told his followers to go and make disciples of all nations by bringing forth the Good News of the risen Christ (Matthew 28:18). The mission that was entrusted to those earliest of followers is the mission we are still tasked with today. But what is this Good News, what is its relevance to us, and how do we share it when we have it?
The Good News is the person of Jesus Christ who is God with us. It is the hope that is brought to us through the saving words and actions of Jesus as he suffered on the Cross for all of us and of God’s unconditional love for us all. “The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the whole life of those who encounter Jesus. Those who allow themselves to be saved by him are freed from sin, from sadness, from inner emptiness, from isolation.” (Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium, I). In short the Good News, when we truly hear it, is to experience the love of God and once we experience it then we cannot help but share it with everyone we encounter.
The relevance of this ancient message of love and hope goes to the very core of our human nature. It holds the answers to our deepest questions in life and it connects us to the ultimate power source that is God. We don’t have to look too far to recognise how lost and unfulfilled we become when we lose that connection. By recognising and responding to God in others it is difficult not to hear this message of love or to recognise the relevance of it to our individual and communal life.
How do we experience this hope and God’s unconditional love? Quite simply by choosing to connect ourselves to Christ, by accepting him into our life and following the example for living that he gave us. When we choose to connect to him, to live out the Way, the Truth and the Life, then we ourselves become part of the Holy Trinity. If we understand the Trinity as God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of God’s love for his Son Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit envelops us, and pours from us and this is when we as individuals start to truly evangelise, to share the gift of eternal life, to live a truly fulfilled life.
When we elect to become Christian, we are choosing to respond to God’s demonstration of unrestrained love and hope by exhibiting that same love and hope to all we meet; it is evident in the way we think, talk and act. The Good News then is not something that is forced on us. It has been offered freely and without agenda which is why it is left to us as individuals to either respond to it or ignore it.
By considering the gifts, skills and talents that we have all been blessed with, we all have a unique evangelising role that strengthens the whole community. Year 11 has been looking at ways of building up and strengthening the community that they live, work and socialise in by engaging in concrete actions that focus on love for others. Some of our students have engaged in volunteering roles, others have put their personal skills, gifts and talents to the service of others by providing goods, sharing time, and assisting those in need.
One simple and creative initiative undertaken recently has been to make and gift to others a message of love, hope and compassion through the simple act of creating some small hand sewn hearts with an accompanying scripture reference. It has been wonderful to see the joy evident as the students went about the business of making and distributing them, and to see the impact of these gifts on those who have received them.
What can you do with your skills, gifts and talents to remind others of the love God has for all of us?
Leader of Learning – Catechesis
The students studying History have been able to produce some remarkable pieces of work this semester, so the faculty would like to showcase some of them here. Year 10’s have produced some interesting digital displays on World War 2 sites of commemoration.
Dunkirk - Ariella
Pearl Harbor - Will
Australian War Memorial - Caitlin
Shoes on the Danube - Centaine
Peace Memorial Park - Kiahni
Year 7 chose an ancient historical site, researched it to find answers to the question of what primary sources can tell us about the people who built the site and then created presentations to convey their understanding.
The Roman Forum - Eliana
Pompeii - Hudson
Ancient Greece - Riley
The Jerusalem Temple - Alice
Year 7 students have also learned about Ancient Egypt, and while they were learning from home, filmed the process of mummification.
Mummification - Jacob
How to make a mummy - Jesse
Year 10 Canberra
Just a reminder that the postponed Canberra excursion has found a new date! The trip has been rescheduled for Term 4 Week 9, leaving on the evening of Sunday, 6 December and returning on Friday, 11 December at about 11 pm.
We appreciate that this plan may not suit everyone so:
- Could you please let us know whether your son/daughter plans to attend the trip or not by completing the google form below. If you have already completed the Google form, there is no need to do it again.
Click Here to let us know whether your son/daughter will attend or not.
- Further, if you wish to withdraw from the trip, please return the Request for refund form attached to email@example.com for processing. This needs to be completed by Wednesday, 27 May 2020 in order to obtain a full refund.
As per previous arrangements, students who do not go to Canberra will do Work Experience. This includes students who withdraw from Canberra.
The payment of the last instalment of $125 was due on April 4. This date is now extended to a date to be advised.
Leader of Learning - History
Macquarie University Early Entry Schemes
For those of you who are thinking of going to Macquarie Uni in Sydney, they have 2 early entry schemes available. For both of these schemes, due to current circumstances, they will use your Year 11 results which they can obtain from NESA to determine offers. Details of Macquarie's two early entry schemes can be found at this link:
Sydney University E12 scheme
The University of Sydney E12 scheme is open to Australian school students who have attended a rural or regional school during Year 11 and 12. The E12 Early Offer Scheme gives successful applicants an early conditional offer to an eligible University of Sydney course with a lower minimum ATAR, a $5950 first-year scholarship and eligibility to apply for additional accommodation scholarships. If you would like to learn more about the University of Sydney and E12 visit this link:
Just Follow Your Passion They Say
Well....... for those of you who are still unsure of where you would like to aim your 2021 compass, perhaps this IS FOR YOU!
Skills Road is a government developed website dedicated to assisting your career exploration. Simply register for free and take the SkillsRoad Test.
It will generate a report that provides you with feedback on your strengths and the area's that you need to improve AND it generates a list of jobs that may be suited to you (based upon how you responded to the quiz).
I strongly encourage all students to take the Skills Road careers quiz and, perhaps after you have taken the quiz you may wish to come and have a chat about it.
For Lovers of Science Only
The University of QLD has put together this great resource called 'Careers That Started In Science'. It is a series of short biographies of a variety of science graduates. It really does show you that with a science degree under your belt, the world really is your oyster. Click on the link and scroll down to view any of the bio's and get inspired.
School Sport - Term 2
The restrictions not to leave the College grounds for sport are still in place meaning that both Year 7/8 and 9/10 sport has had to be altered. Attached to this week's Newsletter are the new timetables for each group. All groups will participate in a range of sports and challenge activities in a House Point based system.
Should restrictions be lifted for Term 3, Year 7 and 8 will complete the Term 2 sport roster during Term 3 and Term 4, ensuring all Year 7’s have the chance to participate in Aquatics, Golf, Tennis and Beach Games. Year 8 girls and boys will still complete their OSSA in Term 4 should restrictions be lifted by then.
Year 9 and 10 sport selections made in Term 1 for Term 2 sport will roll over to Term 3. Payments for these sports have not yet been processed and will not happen until the end of this term. If you have any issues with payment for Term 3 sport, please contact the Business Manager, Traci Jones directly. Those students who have not yet handed in their sport notes need to do so immediately or go to the Palace to collect a new one.
College Cross Country
Due to the circumstances that presented at the end of Term 1, we were unable to run the College Cross Country. However, we have now been granted permission to hold the Cross Country for Year 7 - 10 as our track does not come into contact with the general public. This means Year 7 and 8 students will participate in the Cross Country on Wednesday 27 May (Week 5) during period 5 and 6 sport. Year 9 and 10 will participate the following day on Thursday 28 May, also in period 5 and 6.
Students will need to bring their hat and a drink bottle on the day. Sunscreen will be available in the hall and around the track. Students are encouraged to bring their plain house T-shirt to school to change into at lunch time to run in. Anyone who wears their house t-shirt will receive an extra 5 points for their house. As this is a modified event, students will be running in year and gender groups, not age groups.
Year 7 and 8 are to complete the 3km track while 9 and 10 will run the 4km track. Students will be running for House points. Students who finish top 10 in their Year group will receive significant bonus points, while those that finish within 22min for year 7/8 and 33min for 9/10 will receive 2 house points. A map of the course is attached to the Newsletter and has been placed around the school so students have plenty of time to familiarise themselves with their track.
At the conclusion of the event on each day, students will be offered a water icy pole. If you do not want your child to receive an icy pole, please email Hunter Flanders with your child’s name, homeroom and house to Hunter Flanders by close of business Tuesday 26 May.
As restrictions are still in place for adults, parents are kindly asked not to attend.
In years gone by, the whole school competed in the Cross Country, so having the Year 9 and 10’s participate this year is a positive community move.
At this stage all Term 2 sports, Diocesan and CCC, have been cancelled. This, in turn, impacts Term 3 sports such as Athletics. Currently, there has been no judgement made on whether the Diocesan and CCC Athletics carnival will proceed but a ruling is expected over the next couple of weeks. Please regularly check the Diocese of Lismore Sport website as well as the CSNSW website for all CCC sport updates.
Leader of Learning - Sport
English - Literacy Intervention Teacher
We have commenced using the Schoolzine app to send messages to parents and students. We will still be using email and Facebook to communicate to our community. However, the Schoolzine app allows easy access to all messages and provides links to our newsletter, college website, documents and calendar in the one place.
If you haven't already done so, please download the Schoolzine app onto your smartphone.