6 August 2021 - Newsletter (Vol 38 No 12)
This week staff had the opportunity to complete our modules on spirituality – an important part of our overall professional development. The two modules focused on Goodness and Beauty, and allowed us time to step back from the business of our usual days to reflect on our own faith journeys and spiritual connections.
I want to share just a few lines from the materials we used and my thoughts on how they fit into our vocations as staff in a Catholic School.
A Catholic school is always built on two things, a clear understanding of the human person, in our case, the child at the centre of all our efforts, and also the understanding of this child as a child of God and a friend of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are all made in the image of God, but when we are under stress, or things aren’t going our way or when we simply don’t see eye to eye on a particular matter our default position can be rudeness, intolerance or dismissal of other people. Right relationships are so important if we are all going to grow and work together.
I am reminded constantly that we are here for our families, but more importantly we should be and are, here for the students. In my opinion, we are given the most important role in the world – to raise young men and women to know that they are loved by God and others, that they have a sense of direction for the future and that they are invited into a relationship with Jesus Christ – no easy task.
Part of the Bishop’s message to us yesterday sat with me all afternoon, a very simple message. Look for good in people and you will find it, look for the opposite and you will find that too. Which do I choose to look for?
I invite you to reflect on the same question.
Let’s all look for goodness in people so we can appreciate their true beauty!
It’s not unusual for parents of boys to be told ‘You have your hands full’ or simply ‘Good luck!’ There’s a perception held by some parents that boys are ‘tougher’ than girls and therefore are harder to raise. Being the father of two sons and two daughters I can assure you that the gender of your child doesn’t necessarily determine how easy or difficult that child is to rear.
However, boys can be a mystery to many parents, particularly those who were raised in all-girl households or who have had minimum exposure to males in their formative years. Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, one of Australia’s leading parenting educators shared some of his thoughts in a recent article when he offered some insights into what makes boys tick:
“Boys are more likely to learn from experience than being told
Boys, more than girls, are likely to learn many of their lessons from experience rather than being told. This can make parenting them challenging, particularly if you don’t have an appetite for risk yourself. Perhaps the biggest challenge is keeping them safe so some risks need to be out-of-bounds. It can also be difficult as a parent being the support person when the lessons that boys learn bring hardship and tears.
Boys brains are designed by a different architect
In the first five years of life a girl’s brain is busy developing fine motor skills, verbal skills and social skills, which are all highly valued by parents and teachers. Meanwhile, a boy’s brain is busy developing gross motor skills, spatial skills and visual skills.
Boys mature differently to girls
The maturity gap between boys and girls of anywhere between 12 months and two years, seems to be consistent all the way to adulthood. Parents should take this into account when deciding the school starting age of their sons.
Loyalty is high driver for boys
Understand that a boy’s loyalty to his friends and family is a key driver and you’ll begin to understand the male psyche. They are incredibly influenced by their peers, which can hold many of them back.
Boys are more likely to be visual learners
Boys generally need a reason to learn. If you are having difficulty motivating your son then try linking learning to their interests.
Boys benefit greatly from silence
Boys don’t have the same innate tendency for reflection that girls are born with. Don’t get me wrong, males of all ages have the ability to reflect on their behaviours, values and their lives (when older) but they need the environment to be right for them to do so.
Quiet time and downtime give boys the chance to let their thoughts wander around inside their heads. It also helps them get to know and even like themselves. Boys will often do their best thinking on their own, so they tend to retreat to their caves (bedroom) when things go wrong at school or in their relationships. They need to go within to find their own answer.
Boys just want to blend in
Boys are group-oriented by nature. They want to fit in. They tend to play group games and form themselves into structured friendship groups. Boys generally don’t want to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t put them down in front of their friends and understand that they may make poor friendship choices rather than be in a group of one – by themselves. They prefer the ‘wrong friends’ rather than no friends at all.
Approval is at the heart of parenting boys
Approval is at the heart of working parenting boys. They will walk over broken glass or hot coals if they feel you like them. In a sense this notion holds many of them back, as most boys will only work for a teacher if they like them and close down on learning if they sense the teacher doesn’t like them. If as a mum or dad you show your love and approval of them personally, even though you may not always approve of their choice of behaviours then you’ll more than likely enjoy a strong relationship with your son.
Take the time to nurture a relationship with your sons or the boys that you interact with. Some boys like to talk; others like to share an activity; some like you as an adult to do something for them; others are very kinaesthetic and love to be touched, cuddled and hugged; while some just love gifts and mementoes. Work out the relational preferences of the males in your life and make sure you match these.”
There is really no handbook to raise children as much as there are many available. Trusting our instincts, accepting that we will make mistakes and being open to advice will certainly put us in a good position to do the very best we can.
Until next time:
“Do all you can with the means at your disposal and calmly leave the rest to God” Mary MacKillop
Assistant Principal - Mission
Staff and Student Wellbeing
Being Positive about Schoolwork
As we progress into the second half of the academic year and following Semester 1 Reports, I would think it timely for all students to consider their level of motivation and how to remain positive about school and all the academic requirements. The following advice has been adapted from the College’s subscription to Studyskillshandbook.
It can be difficult to stay positive at all times about your schoolwork, particularly if you have challenges whether they be personal or whether you are grappling with learning. When we allow pressure and stress to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result students can feel even more drained and exhausted.
The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including schoolwork and exams is to “fuel up”. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in your life. You need to boost the wellbeing factors in your BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.
BODY: Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY
- Get better sleep
Feeling good all starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good night-time routine. Stop anything that stimulates you such as caffeine or TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender oil. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help along with gentle stretching of tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep be sure to see your doctor.
- Eat in Moderation
Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.
MIND: Here are some things you can do to THINK more positive
- Change your thinking and perceptions
Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed, bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!
- Change your focus
Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.
EMOTIONS: Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive
- Acts of kindness
Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.
- 3 good things exercise
Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.
- Start ticking things off your list
Pick something small and achievable to start with that you need to do for school and get it done. You will feel much more positive when you start doing things. Do a few more easy things to get your confidence up then tackle a more challenging task.
Hopefully some of the above might be of interest to parents and students or promote a conversation at home about how to remain positive at school.
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 www.studyskillshandbook.com.au. Our College access details are:
Our school’s 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
Empowering Parents to Reinforce Study Skills
18 August - Note taking skills to help your child deepen their revision.
1 September - Exam Homestretch and how to support your child in the final weeks.
The Trial Examination period begins next week, with the timetable located on the HSC Curriculum Matters Google Classroom.
We remind students of the following;
- you are encouraged to use the College library when not in exams to continue your preparation.
- read the Trial Procedures for Students document on Google Classroom so that you understand the examination protocols and your responsibilities.
- if ill or late due to misadventure ring/email school immediately.
- keep up to date with NESA Advice via the link below.
NESA advice for Year 11 and 12
- COVID safe practices will be in place.
HSC Studies of Religion Trial examination
Year 11 students studying the compressed 1 unit Studies of Religion HSC Course will sit their Trial examination on Monday 16 August starting at 9am in the College Hall. They will be attending normal lessons, periods 3 – 6, after their examination.
All students will now have received the timetable for Yr 11 Final Examinations via their Curriculum Matters Classroom. This examination period starts on Wednesday 25 August and finishes Friday 3 September.
Students will not be attending timetabled classes during this time. Students may choose to travel home to continue their exam preparation or work in the College library or senior study centre.
Year 10 subject selections have now been finalised. We are now in the process of determining which courses will be running in 2022. As stated previously, student choice determines which courses run at SJPC. Once finalised students will receive confirmation packs with all information needed for continuing at SJPC included.
We will continue to keep you up to date and encourage any student, whose intentions have changed for 2022, to inform the Curriculum Office as soon as possible.
All Year 8 students should now have completed the online process of selecting subjects for Stage 5, with a report outlining their Stage 5 elective preferences generated, signed and submitted to the Curriculum Office.
Over the coming weeks we will finalise which electives will be running in 2022 with students receiving confirmation early in Term 4.
Again I’d like to thank Year 8 students for their responsiveness, proactive and positive approach to this process. Well Done!
Leader of Curriculum
Wednesday 4 August was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day which is celebrated nationally by events and activities in communities on Country.
Our students celebrated with dance and cultural activities including colouring a Coolamon.
The theme this year for Children’s Day is
‘Proud in culture, strong in spirit’
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities have provided love and care for their children, growing them up strong and safe in their cultural traditions, for thousands of generations. For our children, safety, wellbeing and development are closely linked to the strengths of their connections with family, community, culture, language, and Country.
The Children's Day 2021 theme highlights the importance of supporting strong family and community connections to help our children achieve strong spiritual and cultural wellbeing and to form proud cultural identities.
Classical Piano Quad Jams
Students and teachers have been treated this week to a special collection of musical performances from Year 7 and Year 8 in the theatre. A selection of young and aspiring pianists performed for friends and teachers throughout lunch from a mixed repertoire of classical piano pieces on the Grand Piano. This was a wonderful experience and another reiteration of the same message that our Quad Jams bring to our college community; “music is life giving and music is for all”.
The second semester of our HPL program at SJPC has had a great start, with our primary school students training for a Da Vinci Decathlon. Students from Mary Help of Christians, St Augustines and St Francis Xavier all gathered at SJPC for a fun-filled workshop where they competed in a range of activities including Engineering, Science, Literacy and Numeracy.
Our Year 7 & 8 HPL students have started the term with some cryptography workshops which have extended the students in applied mathematics, literacy and problem solving. They have been challenged to both encrypt and decode information using a range of strategies and learning about some of the famous codes and code breakers from history.
Our Year 8 group has raised $965 for the Kids Cancer Project through the ‘Write a Book in a Day’ competition. There is still time to donate to this worthy cause before the competition closes and judging begins at the end of August - we would really value your support!
The Year 10 Physical Activity and Sport Studies classes are currently undertaking a unit on sport coaching. The students have been learning about the various styles of coaching and have had the opportunity to put these new learned skills into practice with some of our Primary schools. Each fortnight, the Year 10’s venture to either Mary Help of Christians or St Augustine’s Primary School to ply their coaching skills on very enthusiastic and engaged learners. The calibre of coaching has been high to date and there would be no surprises if some of our students aimed for Olympic Coaching positions in the future!
Year 7/8 Sport
Students are reminded to check the Palace noticeboard prior to sport every Wednesday. The following sports will change in the coming weeks and students are expected to be prepared with the appropriate equipment:
Change for Wednesday 11 August
- 8 Casey Girls > Just Dance (drink bottle)
- 8 Hargraves Girls > Badminton (drink bottle)
- 8 Kelly and McAuley Girls > Cricket (hat, drink bottle)
Change for Wednesday 18 August
- 7 Kelly and McAuley Girls > Aquatics (mask, swimwear, goggles, towel)
- 7 Casey and Hargraves Girls > Golf (mask, hat, drink bottle)
- 7 Kelly and McAuley Boys > Tennis (mask, hat drink bottle)
- 7 Casey and Hargraves Boys > AFL (hat, drink bottle)
- 8 A, B, E, F Boys > Sport Rotation on campus (hat, drink bottle)
- 8 C, D, G, H > Martial Arts (mask, drink bottle)
Year 9/10 Sport selection Term 4
Information regarding sport selection for Term 4 has been sent via email to parents today. Families are asked to adhere to the timeline provided to ensure the process is smooth for all. If you do not receive an email, please contact the front office to have it resent.
Friday 6 August 2021
Students will receive their sport selection email.
Monday 9 August 2021
Students will receive the email with the link to select sports.
Parents will receive the email with the PIN to verify selection.
Tuesday 10 August 2021
Sport selections open online at 7am.
Wednesday 11 August 2021
Sport selections close @ 9am. Students will be advised on or before this day if a sport they have selected is not going ahead and they will need to make another selection.
Monday 16 August 2021
Invoices are emailed home if the sport has an associated cost.
Monday 30 August 2021
Sport payments are due. Late payments may not be accepted unless previously organised with the Finance department.
Wednesday 15 September 2021
Sport selections are finalised. Timetables are adjusted and no further changes can be made after this date. Students who have not paid will be placed into a fitness based sport on campus.
College Athletics carnival - correction
Due to an incorrect entry in the College Athletics carnival results, one of our Age champion points was incorrectly calculated. As a result, the 15 years Girls Age Champion is actually Olivia Gromadzki (Year 10). Congratulations to Olivia and apologies for the incorrect information being shared.
Covid impact on Sport
As many would know, the extended lockdown of Greater Sydney and surrounding areas has had a dramatic impact on the sporting calendar and has resulted in a number of sports being postponed or cancelled.
- Dio Touch Football (cancelled)
- Diocesan Athletics (cancelled)
- Diocesan Netball (cancelled)
- Diocesan Junior Basketball (postponed, date TBA)
- Netball Cup NSW (postponed until 19 October)
- Cochrane Cup Rugby League 14’s (13 October)
- Country Rugby League 13’s (postponed to 25/08 @ Cex Stadium - our involvement is unlikely)
- Katrina Fanning Girls Tackle League Gala day (postponed, date TBA)
- CCC Athletics (cancelled)
- Bill Turner Cup (postponed, to be played by end of Term/early Term 4)
Additionally, CCC sport has been postponed or cancelled. Please check the CSNSW website directly for more information. CSNSW Sport Any sport that has been rescheduled is listed below in the ‘Coming up’ section.
|11 - 12 August||Bill Turner Cup and Trophy Semi's, Cex Stadium (postponed)|
|12 August||Diocesan Athletics Carnival, Cex Stadium Coffs (cancelled)|
|25 August||CRL Northern NSW Finals, (possible withdrawal)|
|2 September||Diocesan Netball, Port Macquarie (cancelled)|
|8 October||Diocesan Volleyball, Coffs Harbour|
|19 October||NSW Netball Cup North Coast Finals, Port Macquarie (TBC)|
|20 October||Berg Shield Cricket, TBC|
|24-25 October||CCC Junior Basketball, Penrith|
|3 November||Diocesan Gymnastics, Grafton|
|4 November||Diocesan Senior Waterpolo, Alstonville|
|9 November||Diocesan Golf, Coffs Harbour|
|11 November||Diocesan Junior Waterpolo, Alstonville|
|14 - 16 November||7 - 9 Sport enrichment camp, Narrabeen|
SJPC 2021/22 Leadership Roles
Over the past two weeks the College has been discussing the importance of leadership. Nominations for the 2021/22 SRC closed today. Leaders provide the students with a voice.Thanks to those students who have nominated for these significant roles on our College. We know it will be a worthwhile experience.
Interview with Brendan Goswell - Leader of Evangelisation
Q1. What is your favourite childhood TV show ?
Round the Twist. It's a show from the 90s. It had a super catchy theme song and each episode was based on a really quirky storyline. It's currently available on Netflix!
Q2. What is your favourite place you have visited and why?
I've been lucky enough to visit a range of overseas destinations, but I think Tasmania is my favourite place. I love the way the locals value wildlife and there also seems to be lots of really nice food there. They are big on doing the simple things in life well - that suits me.
Q3. When did you find your faith?
That's a tricky one because I can pinpoint that I started referring to myself as Catholic about 7 years ago. But, if I look back on my life I can see God in various situations. So, although I have taken my faith for granted at different times in my life, I would say it has always been there.
Q4. Why did you choose to be a Religion Teacher?
I became a teacher because I wanted to offer my support to young adults going through a unique phase of their life. Despite being able to do this as a Science teacher, I love the unique types of conversations that can happen in a Catholic Studies class. Although, there is important content in a Catholic Studies class, there's an exciting amount of space for philosophical conversations.
This week witnessed the beginning of Kawalazi Month. All of our fundraising efforts for this month will be directed towards our sister schools in Kawalazi. Today we had a Malawi themed mufti day with the gold coin donation going to the infrastructure of the schools. The highlight of the month is individual sponsorship. It costs $50 a year to educate a student in Kawalazi. Homerooms are encouraged to donate in the hope that all students in the Gallery (near the canteen) will be supported by students and families at SJPC. Congratulations to 7E who were the first Homeroom to raise $50.
If you are able to support 1 or more students as a family, please don’t hesitate to contact the College and we will help you select a student to support.
Without you we will not reach our target.
Please read more from one of the founding staff members of this outreach program:
Pam Bibby, Joseph Nolan and Maggie O'Brien
Kawalazi Development Project Committee
Last week we shared a Google Form with the College and have received a great deal of feedback. Thank you so much if you went to the effort to comment on the new tracksuit. The College Executive spent time looking at this feedback today and will continue to do so over the next week. It seems that many are happy with the jacket and have concerns with the fit of the pants. We aim to make changes where possible. If you wish for a personal response to any concern please remember to contact the College.
Tracksuits are now in stock and available in the following sizes ONLY
Sizes: 10, 12, 14, 16 plus Sml & Med
Please be aware to enter the College & Uniform Shop you MUST be wearing a mask and will be required to sign in using the QR code provided.
David and Katie Kobler are regular guest speakers at St John Paul College. They have recently released an online program called 'Brave Parenting Conversations' to help parents and carers have important conversations with teenage children. Although this program would be beneficial for teenagers of any age, I encourage these conversations to occur as early as possible.
Using a code (SJPC50), St John Paul College families have access to a special discount price until Friday 20th August. Purchasing the online program gives you ongoing access to the materials. Visit www.braveparenting.com.au for further information and feel free to contact me at the college if you have any questions.
Hey girls, come and try basketball!
This 4 week FREE program is for ALL girls aged 7 to 16 who are new to basketball or haven’t had much experience playing before and would like to come along and have a try.
It's at Sportz Central Saturday 24 July for 4weeks at 10am - 11am, the theme is PINK and you'll need a water bottle, snack and a ball if you have one.
Further information please call Steph Rickards - Administration Officer Coffs Harbour Basketball Association 02 6651 1452 coffsharbourbasketball.com.au