12 February 2021 - Newsletter (Vol 38 No 2)
Before Michelangelo began a sculpture he said he could see the angel in the rock. The seeds of genius reside in all of us and, if we are lucky, someone will see our angel within, or we can discover it ourselves. This is the true joy of learning – finding what fills us with wonder, curiosity and creativity.
A great musician Pablo Casals said, ‘You are a marvel!... In the millions of years that have passed, there has never been another person like you. You could become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.’
Great genius has often begun with a simple experience. For Albert Einstein it was when his father showed him a magnetic compass when he was five years old. He was filled with wonder and started on his quest to discover the mysteries of the universe. The blind and deaf Helen Keller first understood words from feeling water run over her hand. Martina Hingis was given a sawn off wooden tennis racquet at the age of two.
Goethe wrote, ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’
Look for your joy and wonder in your learning and you will find the angel in the rock, the genius that is uniquely yours.
(Acknowledgement: Awakening the genius in the classroom by Thomas Armstrong, ASCD, 1998)
Here at SJPC we are called to look for the God given gifts and talents in each student entrusted in our care. As teachers and parents we begin chipping away at the stone to reveal the beauty of our children.
Thank you to all staff, students and parents for the great start to the year and I look forward to welcoming you back on the campus in the very near future.
Our Catholic community will begin a very important part of our calendar next Wednesday. We will begin the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. Each year we take time to think about our Lenten promises. Perhaps you have chosen to give up chocolate or junk TV viewing. Teach your child the reason why we ‘give up’ things during Lent. It helps us to be other-centred, to not take life for granted, to be disposed to helping people in need. Like exercise, Lenten practices strengthen our spiritual muscle; we master our desires for a loving purpose. Lent covers the six weeks leading up to Easter, the most important celebration in the Catholic Church. Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates God raising his son Jesus from the dead as well as the destruction of the power of sin and death forever. It symbolises the opening of Heaven with the gift of eternal life to everyone.
As we get older we give up less and make more goals for ourselves to help others. To help motivate you to give something up or make a goal for yourself, here are just a few examples.
- Give something up.
You should always try and give up something you don't need or something you always do, but isn't necessary.
- Attend Mass and pray.
It is so easy to send a prayer to God asking him to watch over you and your family, to bless those in need, and to just keep you healthy. Praying isn't hard. This Lent let’s try and make it a goal to pray and attend Mass more.
- Set goals for yourself to help those in need.
Although you should always give and help those in need, the Lenten season is always a good time to get you started on it. Volunteer at soup kitchens, donate things you no longer use, and drive around and pass out food to the homeless.
During this season let’s put our full self into Lent. Let’s stop saying "next year" and make it this year. It is never too late to pray or go to church, God is always there.
(Information taken from “3 things to do during Lent” - Jovanni Santiago)
Each of these practices will help us build our relationship with Jesus and go a long way towards continuing the Mission he set for us all over two thousand years ago.
Until next week:
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Assistant Principal - Mission
Staff and Student Wellbeing
Using Class Time Effectively
In this week’s newsletter I want to draw attention to using classes and perhaps provide a checklist for students, so as to maximise their learning. The following has been adapted from our College subscription to the ‘studyskillshandbook’ with access details printed below.
The following may be of interest to students:
Ways improve your listening skills:
- Sit up straight and look at the person speaking.
- Avoid distractions. Are there certain people it is better not to sit with?
- Try and guess or think about what the person speaking will say next.
- Think about the main points that are being made.
- Take notes, jot down the main things you want to remember.
- Concentrate on the discussion and think of what questions you could ask.
- Look for links or connections to earlier work.
- Ask yourself questions about what is being said.
- Tune in to what is being said, make a decision to think about it, not daydream.
Ways to fully participate you need to:
- Take the correct textbooks, exercise books and equipment to class.
- Arrive on time
- Open your books as soon as you arrive and be ready to work.
- Contribute to discussions.
- Listen to and respect other people's opinions.
- Be fully involved in all activities in the lesson.
- Ask questions about things you have trouble understanding.
- Do the homework that is set so you are prepared for the next lesson.
Using concentration skills in the classroom means you are:
- Not talking when the teacher (or another student in a discussion) is talking.
- Listening for the instructions of what you need to do and then starting work immediately.
- Focusing on the work you are supposed to be doing and completing as much as possible in class time.
- Not getting distracted by other people in the classroom.
- Copying things down from the board and thinking about what you are writing instead of being on auto-pilot.
Not only does inappropriate behaviour affect your performance at school but it is one of the most selfish things you can do as it affects everyone else in the classroom.
If you have any of these behaviours, you need to work on eliminating them as quickly as possible. Habits are hard to break so to improve your results you need to change some of the bad habits you have developed.
Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on the Study Skills Handbook.
Our College access details are:
School’s Username – stjohnpaul
School’s password – 89success
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
Our 2021 Youth Ministry Officers (Rachael, Josiah and Paddy) will be offering the following opportunities for students to explore their faith and contribute to the faith life of the college. We hope to see lots of students come along - if there are any questions please come and see the YMOs in the B Block Ministry Office.
Arise - Monday Lunchtime
Arise allows for weekly lunchtime activities for students in year 7 to 10 who want to have fun and have the freedom to learn about the Catholic faith in exciting ways.
SMT - Tuesday Lunchtime
The Senior Ministry Team (SMT) is an opportunity for senior students who want a chance to explore school discipleship and their own faith mission by working with each other as well as younger years.
Awaken - Thursday morning before school
Awaken is a weekly morning event, from 8:15am, where students from all years have the opportunity to share cookies and milo with each other, create connections, listen to music, and participate in faith-based activities.
Jesus, Jams and Juice - Friday Morning
End the week on a high by sharing some juice and listening to upbeat worship music.
Our 2021 Youth Ministry Officers (Rachael, Josiah and Paddy)
Welcome to 2021, especially to those who are new to our College community.
Throughout the year we will keep you abreast of Curriculum issues across the College, along with links to current Educational research and advice.
As you know, on Tuesday 9 Feb, we hosted 2 parent seminars, presented by Elevate Education. We thank those parents who attended for participating, and hope they gained some insight into how they can best support their children in developing effective study habits. If you could not attend you can access the link for the Elevate portal provided on this page
On Wednesday 10 February, Year 11 and 12 students participated in workshops run by Elevate representatives Aaron Smith and Jacqui Stephens. These workshops provided opportunities for our students to further develop their understanding of what constitutes effective study and which strategies have been proven to work.
We continue to have access to the Elevate Education Student Portal which 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 outlined. The password for this site is rondo. This password can also be found on the Curriculum Corner Noticeboard.
The College also subscribes to Edrolo, which is an online video lesson and exam practice resource for Year 11 and HSC students that covers all key content and knowledge areas in specific subjects. We have extensively assessed the resource and chosen it as the leading online tool for our Stage 6 students. All Stage 6 students now have access to this platform.
We use Edrolo as a teaching, consolidation, revision, and assessment tool to further enhance what our teachers are doing day-to-day.
Our Assistant Principal for Learning and Teaching, Mr James Furey, along with myself and our Curriculum Officer Mrs Reeves, have met with Year 10 and Year 11 students to outline the College’s Assessment Policy and Protocols, as well as the NESA (New South Wales Education Standards Authority) requirements for obtaining RoSA and HSC qualifications.
We were impressed by their positive attitude and respectful behaviour at these meetings. It can be a challenging time for Years 10 and 11 students as they develop the improved study habits needed to cope with the increased rigour required by the courses they are studying. The College offers many support structures and resources, all of which the students can access with ease.
As always Years 10, 11 and 12 have access to their own Curriculum Matters Google Classroom in which all matters regarding Curriculum can be easily accessed.
It is timely for us to recall the advantages of approaching our lives with a growth mindset. This 1 min video on growth mindset gives some insights into what we mean by a growth mindset and how it assists all students in their approach to learning and life in general.
I encourage all parents to speak with their children about how they can make the most of their time at SJPC, and in particular, to encourage your children to access the support structures and resources available through the College.
Leader of Curriculum
At time of writing, Year 7 are looking forward to their first full College swimming carnival this Friday. It should be a great day of swimming competition and friendly house rivalry - Go Hargraves!
I spoke to the group last Monday about the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ and how we respond under pressure in different situations in our lives. The message was about our beliefs and ideals and how these things affect our lives and I encouraged Year 7 to stay true to themselves as they begin their high school journey, meeting new friends and adapting to their new settings i.e. being under pressure. Be yourself, be a good friend, and stand up for others. These things are important to each individual and so lets also do them when we are at school as well. Matthew 16 says: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
It’s been fantastic to see the endeavour and enthusiasm from Year 7 in all of their classes. They have settled in well and are adjusting to the different learning environments each day. However, as parents and guardians, it’s still very important to speak to your kids to ensure they are organised and on top of all their classwork and responsibilities, and thus, feeling less anxious about school.
Next week see one of the highlights of Year 7, Belonging Day. It will take place on Friday and is followed up by our Belonging Night for students and their families. More information will be sent out next week. Belonging Day typically involves travel to Boambee Reserve and a day filled with games and activities plus a BBQ lunch. This is always a fun day out where our Year 7 students are able to mix and feel more apart of the College family.
Maya Hallawell, Yr 12 2020, Visual Arts body of work Un(CLAIMED) was selected for ArtExpress and is currently on display at the AGNSW.
About the artwork, Maya stated, "Family photos are overwhelmingly similar across decades, countries and cultures. My body of work started with a box of photos discarded by its original owners, bought online for a few dollars. This box held tiny fragments of a life that was not mine – a life unclaimed. To fill in the gaps of this life, and to claim their story, I fabricated elements of their journey to Australia, adding intuitive and gestural markings and scratchings of dates and years, street names and landmarks. Un(CLAIMED)
We have welcomed a new cohort of Year 8s to Japanese in 2021. These students have already been learning about Japan, its language and culture and have made a positive start to the year. Staff have been very impressed with their motivation and willingness to step outside of their comfort zone.
One key element of Year 8 language learning is the use of the Accelerated Integrated Methodology (AIM) where high frequency language is taught kinaesthetically and visually through gesture, and contextualised through a dramatised story. AIM also focuses on the auditory skills with the emphasis on speaking and listening.
Students have also started to learn one of the Japanese writing scripts - Hiragana – and will be able to make the most of the school’s Education Perfect membership to practice to read and write them.
The Year 9 elective class was visited by Bishop Greg Homeming last week and were surprised but pleased to learn that the Bishop speaks Japanese. He spoke to the class about his experiences in Japan and emphasised the importance of learning another language. The students were able to ask him questions and try speaking some Japanese with him. It was a great way to start the term.
The Year 10 class has been learning to communicate about what they want by using the taidesu and hoshii desu structures. They have been focusing on correct word order when writing sentences. We are building up to producing short videos based on a birthday party scenario.
Students in the Senior class have hit the ground running in their first few lessons this term. Senior Japanese sees the students build on what they learnt in Years 9 and 10 and continue to expand their vocabulary and grammar knowledge. This year we are hoping to have more interactions with our sister schools in Japan through online conversations which will be fantastic practice for our Senior students.
Leader of Learning - Languages
We are very excited to announce the addition of a third music teacher for our department. We would like to welcome Mr Jon Baldwin who joins us again, this time as a permanent music teacher.
This Term, the SJPC drumline will commence rehearsals in week 4. If you are interested in joining please inquire at the music staff room.
Our choir will be led by Mr Baldwin, who is happy for any interested students from years 7-12 to attend. Please inquire at the music staffroom or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our instrumental tuition program is up and running for any student who is interested in lessons for either Drums, Guitar, Bass, Voice or Piano. Our tutors are highly trained and experienced with great reputations in the local community.
2021 sees the introduction of a Literacy Coach at SJPC. We are one of only four secondary schools in the Lismore Diocese to have this wonderful resource. The Literacy Coach is a high performing teacher who works in-class coaching and mentoring teachers in evidence-based practice to improve their impact on student learning. Maree McKelvie is very excited to be undertaking this role.
This exciting new position aligns with our whole school goal to ‘Increase students' achievement in literacy with a focus on writing’ and presents a targeted approach to literacy in Stage 4 (Years 7 & 8). It commits SJPC to a relentless focus on explicit teaching and high expectations for all students.
This initiative will see a whole-school approach to the implementation of actions to improve student literacy outcomes. Professional learning and further building the capacity of classroom teachers to improve their practice in literacy will be embedded across the College.
I have introduced my role to students this week through the administration of a ‘COLD WRITE’ for all Year 7 and Year 8. This will form part of the data used to indicate students’ current skills and literacy needs and guide teacher professional learning to ensure progress for all students.
This year we are really excited to be launching our HPL program which is designed to enrich and extend our most academically able students. Over the last two weeks it has been such a joy to welcome small groups of amazing students from our feeder schools Mary Help of Christians and Saint Francis Xavier as well as students from our Year 7 and 8 cohort from here at SJPC.
We began our workshops by getting to know one another and learning about metacognition (developing a greater awareness of the processes involved in thinking). Our first challenge had the students constructing and launching different types of rockets - from simple film canister pop rockets to solid fuel rockets on the oval. We developed methods of measuring the maximum height of the rockets which required us to make inclinometers as well as timing the flight to calculate the height.
Other challenges included building working motors from scratch based on Faraday’s principle of electromagnetic induction and competing to see which design could pull the largest load.
All of the challenges have a focus on developing explicit strategies for solving unfamiliar problems by working in teams. I’m so excited to be working with these students and am looking forward to learning alongside them in the year ahead.
At the time of writing this the College Swimming carnival has not yet begun. The results from the day will be posted in our next newsletter.
Students qualifying for the Diocesan Carnival on Thursday 4 March at Lismore Pool will be advised by Mrs Furey and Mrs Kimber and given a permission note. The fastest two students in each event qualify for the Diocesan. Students wanting to attend the Diocesan Carnival must return their note and payment to the front office on FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY. If a student has qualified but decides not to attend they must advise Mrs Kimber in N Block Staffroom or Mrs Furey in the PDHPE staffroom by the end of lunch on Wednesday 17 February.
Students who wish to be considered for the following events at Diocesan must nominate separately to Mrs McAra with ratified times by lunch on Friday 19 February:
- All Multi-disability events
- 100m Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly
- 200m Freestyle
Those students wishing to compete in 400m Freestyle must nominate online through the Lismore sport website as explained below:
On line registration for Freestyle 400m
- Click on- 2021 Lismore Diocesan Swimming - 400 metres Freestyle Application, 4th March Lismore
- Submit Application
Diocesan Individual Trials
Students wanting to be considered for the following sports must sign up on the Diocesan web site:
- U15 and Open Touch football
- Open Male Football
- Open Female Football
- 15 and Open League
CSNSW Representative Sports
Any student who would like to trial for a CSNSW team must access the new CSNSW website. Only students of a very high level will be accepted to trial. Most trials occur in Sydney. Please access the CSNSW calendar to locate closing and trial dates. A copy of the calendar is located on the Sport Notice board for students to view during the school day.
Year 7 and 8 Sport
The past two weeks have seen our Year 8’s enjoy the experience of AFL, Beach games and Fishing. Some of their catch and release successes are displayed.
Coming up Term 1 2021
|School and Diocese Sport 2021|
|Mon 1 Feb 2021||Sign up opens for SJPC Tennis||Palace|
|Sign up opens for SJPC Basketball||Palace|
Sign up opens for Dio Individual Touch Trials
|Dio Sport Website|
|Fri 12 Feb 2021||SJPC Swimming Carnival||Coffs Harbour Memorial Pool|
|NSW CCC Sport 2021|
|Mon 22 Feb 2021||CCC Softball Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 12 Feb 2021|
|Mon 1 Mar 2021||CCC Cricket Boys U16 selections||Online closes 18 Feb 2021|
|CCC Tennis (Individual) selections||Online closes 22 Feb 2021|
|Wed 3 Mar 2021||CCC Baseball Boys selections||Online closes 26 February|
|Mon 8 Mar 2021||CCC Golf Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 25 February|
|Wed 10 Mar 2021||CCC Volleyball Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 5 March|
|Mon 15 Mar 2021||CCC Water Polo Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 11 March|
|Mon 22 Mar 2021||CCC Hockey Open Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 15 March|
|Mon 29 Mar 2021||CCC Diving Boys & Girls selections||Online closes 19 March|
Thank you for your continued support of Catholic Schools NSW Sport.
Leader of Sport
In 2021 St John Paul College will be offering the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program to students of Year 9.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a flexible, interesting and fun-packed program for all young people between the ages of 14 and 24. One of the great things about the Award is that it allows students to piggy-back onto activities they are already doing, such as surf lifesaving, Scouts, Girl Guides, playing sport, dancing or playing a musical instrument. Alternatively, they can start something they have always dreamed of doing but haven’t had the reason to begin!
There are three different levels for students to work towards. These include Bronze, Silver and Gold and within these levels are four sections to work through.
- Physical Recreation: Break a sweat and improve physical fitness. This could be through a team sport, individual pursuit or simply getting out there and working up a sweat.
- Skill: Unleash talent and broaden abilities. Anything from refereeing, to dancing, to learning a musical instrument, to jewellery making. The world is their oyster.
- Volunteering: Connect with the community and realise passions. Any area of interest in the community, such as youth work, the environment or charity work.
- Adventurous Journey: Discover a sense of adventure and bond with mates. A journey into an unfamiliar environment with a group – bushwalking, canoeing, cycling – staying overnight and testing resilience.
Over the coming weeks, we will be promoting the award program to our Year 9 students and holding an information session for parents. So keep an eye out and get ready for a good time.
Immunisation for all year 7 students scheduled for Friday 5 March.
Forms will be given out in homeroom on Monday 15 February, please sign and returned to the College office by Friday 19 February.
If you do not want your child immunised at school please arrange an appointment with your family Dr and do not return the immunisation form.
ALL YEAR 7 STUDENTS
1) Gardasil (HPV) Dose 1
2) Boostrix (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis-whooping cough) 1 dose only
3) Catch up Year 8 Gardasil (HPV) if required
(only if commenced in Year 7, 2020)