19 June 2020 - Newsletter (Vol 37 No 10)
New College Website
‘It's so dated, it’s time we upgrade, have you seen how old it looks….’ These were some of the comments used to describe our website. It was certainly time for a change! The College gathered feedback about the content, look and feel and navigational aspects of our website and after a mountain of hard work by Sharon Brennan and Sharon Reeves, the new website is ready. (www.cofhslism.catholic.edu.au)
Of particular interest is the new promotional video which was produced by Daniel Saban and captures who we are as a College community. I want to thank the staff who have made this possible as we continue to develop and improve all our communication tools. This year has now seen the introduction of our new newsletter, the Schoolzine app and now the website.
After viewing our website, please provide feedback by filling out this survey.
New Courses for Year 9 2021
Many of you will have seen the newspaper article earlier this week in the Advocate highlighting the new courses on offer at the College in 2021. Discussions regarding new courses have been a topic for parents, students and staff for some time and after a period of gathering data and listening to various groups, I am excited to announce these new course offerings for Year 9 2021.
- Intercultural Studies
- Sports and Exercise
- International Cuisines
The Covid 19 experience has forced us all to look at things differently and as a College we will continue to look at ways to incorporate more online experiences and partnerships for students to explore their interests into the future.
COVID-19 AND SCHOOL FEES – HELP IS AVAILABLE!!
At last week’s College assembly via Zoom, Mr Furey and I shared our thoughts on ‘Developing and Maintaining Motivation for Learning’. It is hoped with parental encouragement, some or all of these hints may be of use. While regular school may have only been back for just over three weeks, in reality many of the College community have been working hard for almost eight weeks. With effort comes fatigue and putting in place the top ten tips, just might help students get to a well-deserved midyear break:
- Develop a positive mindset – If I think I can do it, that is the first step in getting it done.
- Drink plenty of water - healthy body, healthy mind
- Schedule short study breaks - each 30 or 50 minutes to improve concentration...try a short meditation exercise to refresh your mind
- Perhaps when you hit a ‘mental blank’ - try another task, something that has a quick result and gives an instant feeling of achievement. It works!
- Consider your triggers for procrastination….stop thinking googling everything is research, don't be tempted to ‘check in’ with friends or look at your phone to see if you have any messages. If you are smiling at any of this, then you need to consider removing the causes….and address the triggers for procrastination.
- Break your tasks down into manageable chunks… a 1000-word essay can be broken down into an introduction, four or five main body paragraphs and a conclusion.
- Set some goals in your classes to increase YOUR engagement and motivation. Goal setting such as - improving in class tests in year seven Maths, asking three questions this week in year nine Science or submitting your Legal Studies homework on Edrolo before it is due. All simple goals that could lead to better habits and motivation.
- Motivational quotes - from famous achievers allow you to maintain focus. If they can do it … so can I.
- Create a positive working environment. By this I mean making your surroundings as favourable as possible - for what works for you. Here you need to consider when you are most alert (are you a morning person), remove all the distractions from your study area and allow yourself a chance to develop some good habits.
- As a student at St John Paul College, you have an excellent resource in front you every 51 minutes …. each teacher you have today will have their own motivational techniques of how they got through school, university and postgraduate study while maintaining a career...tap into that resource when you think you may have lost all motivation.
Until next time:
Give God your weakness and he’ll give you his strength.
Assistant Principal - Mission
Staff and Student Wellbeing
As we approach another critical feedback point for Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10, I am reminded of some key readings from educational researcher, John Hattie.
Hattie contributed an article in the above text regarding his articles from 2011 on the importance of feedback in schools.
Hattie describes ways in which effective feedback is given and ways in which students and therefore families can engage with feedback. Hattie’s key suggestions in this text can be used to provoke students to consider what they actually do with feedback, such as:
- keep feedback received on the task not the learner
- seek feedback in manageable chunks to allow for improvements
- students should seek specific and clear messages in their feedback
- make the links between performance and goals
- aim for a ‘learning goal orientation’ via feedback
- continue to seek feedback after continued attempts at a solution
As we approach Semester Reports for Year 8-10 and Parent Teacher Student Conferences in Term 3, it might be a good time for students to consider what they will do with the feedback they receive.
Students may want to consider looking at Parent Teacher Student Conferences as a chance to set new goals based on feedback with the aim of taking a greater ownership of their learning.
Visit www.studyskillshandbook.com.au 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
This week I presented an information session to Year 10 that focused on getting them to start thinking about life after school. In the context of looming subject selection, I asked them to think about what qualifications would they need to get their foot in the door of their dream career. Making a connection to where they could obtain that qualification is an important aspect of subject selection. If the qualification is obtainable from university then the student must consider choosing a selection of subjects that will enable them to obtain an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). However, if the qualification is obtainable from TAFE then an ATAR is not required and the student should focus on selecting vocational courses whilst in Year 11 and 12 as these are designed to impart work ready skills.
I recently read a letter written by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, to a Year 10 student about subject selection. It’s a really good read and I share that with you now:
You lamented that you are anxious about your subject choices for Years 11 and 12. You’re not alone! These are important decisions and there’s lots of confusing advice around.
In my career I’ve been an academic researcher, a businessman, a university chancellor and now a government adviser. Based on this experience, some warm advice …
For starters, build a solid foundation to keep the doors of opportunity open. This means building your expertise in the two fundamental subjects: English and Mathematics. Neither can be picked up easily later in life. They are best learned layer upon layer, from prep school through to Year 12.
Mastery of language is crucial to succeeding in whatever you do – whether it’s writing a report to advise the government on electricity markets or a job application. Your ability to “win friends and influence people” will only be as good as your language skills. The best way to hone them is to read a lot, and read some more. Novels, histories, science-fiction – it doesn’t matter, just read!
Mathematics is the language of science and commerce. I can’t overemphasise that for many tertiary study fields you must have strong knowledge of Mathematics. These include Medicine, Science, Engineering, Economics and Commerce. If you like, you can look at it from a fundamentalist point of view: in the beginning, there was Mathematics, and Mathematics begat Physics, and Physics begat Chemistry, and Chemistry begat Biology, and Biology begat Commerce.
With the basics in place, next choose subjects that will stretch you. Why is breadth a good thing? In my case, I studied sciences and mathematics right through but I also picked up Year 12 Economics, which helped me in business and policy development. You’ll find it easier if you choose subjects you like, although my own experience is that nearly all subjects (even economics) are interesting once you knuckle down and get past the initial barriers.
What’s left? We’re not just intellectual robots. We are a complex fusion of mind, body and emotion. Besides English and Mathematics, there are two other fields that you should keep up as long as you can, even if you don’t do them as formal subjects. These are music, the language of the emotions, and sport, the language of the body. Music and sport complete us as human beings, and like English and Mathematics they are incredibly difficult to pick up later in life.
I don’t know why, but some well-meaning advisors will suggest that you pick easy subjects so that you will achieve a higher raw score. Don’t do that! You won’t be doing yourself a favour, you’ll be diminishing your long-term prospects. Instead, choose the enabling subjects, the ones that will keep the doors of opportunity open. Every time you drop an enabling subject – bang! a door of opportunity slams shut. (recommended 6921%)
You’ll hear lots of talk about “21st Century skills”, such as resilience, clear thinking and collaboration. These are important, but truth is, these were 20th Century skills, too. I learned them, a long time ago. They are important, but they are useless unless you study demanding subjects through which you can practise these skills. It’s like playing basketball – you need to know the rules and on-court behaviour – but unless you practise you won’t make the team.
There is no substitute for raw knowledge, even in the age of internet search. After all, there is no use learning to collaborate if you don’t have anything distinctive to contribute.
Another way to build these 21st Century skills is by volunteering to do some community service or taking a casual job, perhaps at McDonald’s or a local café.
To finish, two comments about careers.
First, be aware that employers look for “T-Shaped” individuals, where the vertical pole of the T represents deep discipline-specific knowledge and the horizontal bar of the T represents 21st Century skills. Restrict your focus to one or the other and you will be limiting your employment options.
Second, the era in which your tertiary studies determine your lifelong career is over. You might do science but pivot into business. You might do engineering but pivot into politics. You might do accounting but pivot into a job that hasn’t been invented yet. The critical thing is to do your initial tertiary studies really well – that’s how you hone your skills – then after that, in the workforce, it will be easy to pivot from one career to another.
There is, of course, much more to a fulfilling life than these suggestions, but I trust that they will help.
With warm regards, Alan Finkel”
Other news that may be of interest to you:
TVET Courses 2021
TAFE NSW has just released details regarding the TVET courses that they are proposing to offer in 2021. Students can obtain more details about these courses from the Careers Room.
At this stage all work experience is still on hold and not permitted due to Covid 19 restrictions and this will continue into Term 3 until we get a clearance for it to proceed.
In an upcoming project, Proclaim Lismore Wildfire will be launching a new lyric video for their latest song, Without You, and need your help. Staff and students from across the Lismore Diocese are invited to create and contribute a piece of art inspired by the song. An extensive selection of the submitted works will be used to create a background for the lyric video.
So get creative and pray with your art using the themes from Without You. Please photograph and send us your artwork using this form by Wednesday 24 June. We cannot wait to see what inspires your artworks!
Year 10 Youth Ministry
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our Year 10 Youth Ministry classes were unable to visit local primary schools this term to run faith retreats with the students. A request from SFX earlier this term has inspired us to come up with a creative solution to this situation. So, both SJPC Youth Ministry classes have been working on producing mini retreat videos for a range of primary schools in our area. The video retreats follow the framework of; Connection, Proclamation and Response. Our students have done an amazing job with this task and the videos will be distributed to school principals in the coming weeks. Mr Peter Watts at St Augustine’s Primary School recently received their video via this YouTube link.
Technology enabled opportunities for learning
Students in the Year 12 Japanese Continuers class are currently busy preparing for their HSC Speaking Examinations which will be held here at the College mid Term 3. The examination is conducted in the style of an interview with an external examiner. Students are expected to respond in Japanese to a range of questions related to their personal world, such as family, school life, work, travel and future plans.
This year our preparation has included the opportunity to take part in two practice examination workshops offered through the Japanese Teachers Association of NSW and the Japanese Tanken Centre in Kirrawee. Both sessions were made possible through the generosity of NSW Japanese teachers who gave their time and expertise to conduct these practice examinations.
In previous years, participation in these workshops required students to travel to Sydney, however due to the current health regulations associated with Covid-19, the workshops were delivered online via ZOOM video conferencing, which allowed students from across the state to participate without the need to travel.
Our students were super positive about both experiences and reported that they gained a great deal from each practice examination. The personalised feedback which they received from each examiner was particularly useful.
Leader of Pedagogy/Japanese Teacher
Year 12 Fundraising - The 2020 Pie Drive
From this week onwards Year 12 are beginning another fundraising initiative - The 2020 Pie Drive. With a strong belief that they have the opportunity to make a difference and assist their chosen charities Ozharvest, Pete’s Place and RuralAid, the students are hoping that families can help out where they can by ordering some delicious, locally made pies and pastries to raise much needed funds. This will help our charities and those particular affected in our local area with support and assistance.
Year 12 Co-ordinator
College Cross Country
The College Cross Country was held on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 May for Years 7 - 10. While adhering to physical distancing and with strict hygiene protocols, the event was a success on both days. Approximately 400 students ran the 3km or 4km track, while over 30 students acted as helpers to ensure the safety of those participating.
House Points were up for grabs and were hotly contested. The point scores for each house are as follows:
The overall winning house was KELLY on 770 points! Congratulations, Kelly House.
As there is no official Diocesan Carnival this year, this year’s Age Champions were determined on the day. Congratulations to the following students:
|12 years||Dana Loy||Ewan Baker|
|13 years||Charlize Morrison||Riley Woods|
|14 years||Claire Kelly||Cooper Marle|
|15 years||Zara Temesi||Finn Klinkers|
|16 years||Amy Marshall||Harrison Colyer|
As always, days like these can not run without the generosity and energy of staff members. Thank you to Tanya Slaviero, Hunter Flanders, Kris Kent and Rod Abbotts in particular who gave their time to ensure the days ran smoothly. Thank you also to all the A week sport staff, Trish Stocks and Mrs Furey’s Year 10 PASS class who helped in various ways to ensure all students were safe and able to participate.
College Athletics Carnival
Many of you would have noted that the College Athletics Carnival has been tentatively moved to Thursday 30 July, Week 2 of Term 3. Whilst we are waiting on the Stadium for confirmation of numbers, government requirements and Covid-19 safety plan for carnivals, we are pushing ahead with fingers crossed. As such, we will be running the High Jump at the College carnival which is different from past years. We are calling on those students who are competitive and skilled in High Jump to nominate by registering at the Palace by the end of term. Those who perform the Fosby Flop technique will need to collect a permission note and return it by the end of the term to the Palace. Due to scheduling restrictions, it is possible that not all students nominating for High Jump will be chosen to compete on the day. No late nominations will be accepted and none will occur on the day.
Should the carnival go ahead, the schedule for the day along with a list of restrictions and expectations will be published in the next newsletter.
The CCC has put an update on their website regarding the most recent cancellations. Among this new group are the pathway sports of CCC Athletics and Junior Basketball which are now cancelled. As a result, the following Term 3 Diocesan sporting events have also been cancelled:
- Diocesan Athletics
- Diocesan Touch Football
- Diocesan Junior Basketball
- Diocesan Netball
Please check the CSNSW website for more information - CSNSW Sport
Year 9 and 10 Term 3 Sport
A number of sport notes and payment are still outstanding. Those students who have not returned their notes and payment will be moved out of their selected sport.
Olympic Change-Maker Award
The well respected Pierre de Coubertin Award has been replaced by the ‘Olympic Change-Maker Award’. Due to the changed nature of the criteria of this award, students in Year 10, 11 or 12 who wish to be considered for it are required to self-nominate to Mrs McAra by the end of Term 2. You will be required to inform Mrs McAra if you would like to be considered for the award and then will be shortlisted. One student will then be put forward from our College for the Award and will be required to complete the 150 word essay or video.
Details for this are as follow:
The student must demonstrate attributes consistent with the Olympic spirit (friendship, sportsmanship and striving for excellence) both on and off the playing field. The student must be:
- actively demonstrating leadership in their sport through their school or local community;
- using sport as a vehicle to improve health and well-being and drive social change in their school or local community.
You are able to nominate for this award by either or both:
- Writing 150 words or less
- Composing a 1 minute (or less) video
Nominations will be assessed based on the students’ ability to demonstrate:
- Social Impact
The successful student will be invited to attend a Virtual Forum to be held in September 2020. The forum will provide Change-Makers the unique opportunity to connect with like-minded young people, learn from Olympians and experience the Olympic spirit first-hand.
PLEASE NOTE: due to many sports (and thus coaching and leadership opportunities) stopping this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, feel free to draw on your experiences from 2019 or 2018.
Further details are available at: Australian Olympic Change Maker
3 July Closing date for Olympic Change Maker Award
3 July nominations to College Fosby Flop permission notes due
30 July Proposed College Athletics Carnival
Leader of Learning - Sport
Top End 2021
For students who have borrowed an item from the emergency uniform supply from the College Office, please wash and return to the office before the end of Term 2. Thank you.
Maggie Dent - From Sandpit to Adulthood: Helping today's children to thrive
Free Webinar - Monday, 22 June 2020 at 7pm - 8.15pm