15 October 2021 - Newsletter (Vol 38 No 16)
Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
Welcome back to the final term of the year and a very special welcome to Year 12 who are heading toward the final HSC exams. During Term 1 this year I published to the College community our yearly goals, the one around Learning and Teaching focuses on increasing the literacy skills of students with a focus on writing.
In term three, staff spent professional development time building skills around Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, tools which assist students take more responsibility for their own learning and importantly, develop an understanding of where the ‘gaps’ are in their learning.
Learning Intentions flow from conversations with the students around the big ideas and essential questions and are derived from the curriculum and answer the question, ‘Why are we learning this?’ They work best for the students when they can make sense about the learning in the classroom – it also challenges teachers to select appropriate content.
Success Criteria allow for students and teachers to check in against the essential learnings that will be assessed in the learning intention. Typically, the success criteria will start with I can……. examples include;
I can write a broad statement using observations and experiences.
I can locate, label and find examples of a steam engine and its parts
These success criteria are established at the start of the unit or module and are co constructed by the teacher and the students, in this way the students have an understanding as they progress as to whether they are hitting the criteria and what they need to do in order to experience that success.
Learning Intentions and Success Criteria should be visible to students at all times so they can reflect not only on the why of the material being delivered but also the how in order to check for understanding and improvement.
Learning Walks and Talks (LWT’s) are a way for staff to visit classrooms (currently Year 7) and ask students picked at random the following questions;
- What are you learning and why? – this relates directly to the Learning Intention
- How are you doing? – this engages the students understanding and use of the success criteria
At this early stage of the LWT’s the intent is to promote growth in teacher capacity and student learning outcomes. It is a way for the leadership team to gain feedback around students’ understanding of what they are learning and how they can be successful in their learning. Stay tuned for more on this as the weeks go by.
Stay safe and God bless
What is prayer? Why do we pray? How do we pray?
If you are Catholic, particularly if you had a Catholic education, these may be questions that you have never really given much thought. That is largely because from a very young age it has just been a part of our lives. Many people may say, “I don’t really ‘pray’", but in fact we do without even always realising it.
The Webster dictionary defines ‘prayer’ as an address (such as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought. Although many of us have grown up reciting formal prayers such as the Our Father or Hail Mary this is certainly not the only way to pray. Prayer could also be in the form of singing, meditation or simply having a chat with God. It can be in the form of speech, song or thought.
Prayer is a way of relating: to God, to ourselves, to those around us. In opening our hearts and minds and souls to God we are challenged to grow, change, and to love.
The tradition of the Catholic Church highlights four basic elements of Christian prayer:
- Prayer of Adoration/Blessing
- Prayer of Contrition/Repentance
- Prayer of Thanksgiving/Gratitude
- Prayer of Petition/Intercession
Prayer is giving our attention to God in a relationship where we talk to God and also listen to Him. Prayer is like a child’s conversation with their parents. It is natural for a child to ask their parents for the things they need, or to ask for advice or guidance. As it is also a time to be grateful for all they have.
There are many references in the Bible as to the importance of prayer together with many times that Jesus himself prayed to his Father.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Take time out to pray. It can be early in the morning, in the middle of the day, or an hour before you go to bed. Anytime, anywhere. Whatever works for you and brings the best results. It’s worth the effort.
This week the College began Daily Prayer over the loud speaker just prior to the lunch break. Each day one of the 2022 College Leaders or staff members will lead the school in a prayer selected by themselves. We finish each prayer with “John Paul II pray for us”.
If you haven't recently taken the opportunity to be still and with God in prayer, why not give it a try. You might just be surprised how it just works out.
Until next time:
Stay safe and God Bless
Assistant Principal - Mission
Staff and Student Wellbeing
Face to Face Learning & Teaching
After a disjointed Term 3 with a mix of Blended and Face to Face learning, the College returned to ‘regular’ lessons last week. We still remain under Level 3 COVID restrictions, but have transitioned back to normalised learning for this term. One key restriction for our community is that we still can not have parents onsite or meet in large groups which limits our connection as a community. Therefore it is important for all students and families to be alert to our other communications of the Newsletter, College social media Google Classroom, and emailed letters informing our community of upcoming events and the associated COVID restrictions.
Year 12 T4 2021
Year 12 students have returned this week to a unique scenario of delayed HSC written exams and the requirement to still attend school this term. As a result the College instituted and communicated to families the following process for Year 12 students until their HSC exams:
- T4 Wk 2-4: Yr 12 students attend a mix of workshops, lessons or supervised study
- T4 Wk 4: From Wednesday, celebrations, pastoral events and Graduation
- T4 Wk 5: is devoted to ‘study vacation’ to prepare for HSC written exams
- T4 Wk 6: begins the NESA written examination timetable over 4 weeks
I have been impressed with the level of ‘academic maturity’ Year 12 have displayed so far in this process and in realising the advantage they have. Continuing to have high attendance rates, our students are benefitting from having access to their teachers (who continue with their Year 12 class schedules), from engaging in organised study programmes and participating in group study opportunities. This will be great preparation for our Year 12s as they prepare for their final assessments from T4 W6.
HSC Written Examinations 2021
Currently our Administrative Staff and Executive are preparing for a COVID-safe process for our Year 12s to sit their HSC examinations. More information will be sent to students and parents to inform them of the exact processes that need to be followed but I wish to share some initial information to prepare all students.
Our HSC Examination “hub” will be centered around the College Theatre where students will arrive and check in following level 3 restrictions. Nearby buildings will also house Disability Provisions, NESA Invigilators and the large examinations in adjacent classrooms. This change to accommodate COVID-safe practices will be communicated further to students and parents when the CSO information is confirmed and our processes finalised.
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
Catholic Mission Australia is raising awareness and funds for children in the slums of Bangkok.
To raise funds, SJPC will hold a Crazy Sock Day on Thursday 28 October. Staff and students are encouraged to wear their craziest socks and make a gold coin donation.
To raise awareness, each Catholic Studies class in Years 7-10 will devote some class time to learning what life is like for our fellow humans in the slum environments of Thailand.
Year 9 has started the term with a unit titled ‘Not so Social’. As part of this unit we have asked Year 9 students to review and reflect on their screen time and most used apps. Some students were surprised with how much of their lives they are spending on their devices, most were quite unphased despite significant screen time. We are challenging our students to try and reduce their screen time over the next few weeks and we will check back in again in week 5. We will be watching and analysing the documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ as part of this unit and I highly recommend you discuss your child’s response to this text. This unit is about developing critical literacy skills especially in the contemporary world. Hopefully, there will be some interesting conversations both at home and school over the coming weeks from the work the students do in this unit.
I also want to acknowledge our amazing year 12’s who have shown great resilience and determination with the delayed start to the HSC. Keep working hard, work collaboratively with your peers and your teachers and keep submitting practice responses.
Empowering Parents To Reinforce Study Skills
Elevate Education webinars continue into October and November. The webinars run live online from 7pm – 8pm. The presenter will share key research and skills and will conduct a live Q and A so that you can ask questions directly.
Time Management techniques
Stress & Wellbeing management skills
Exam Preparation tips to deepen revision
|24 November||Exam Room skills|
|Register for free: Elevate seminar registration link|
It has been a strong start for the Year 11 students as they begin their HSC studies across all courses. We met with them in Week 1 to discuss many of the intricacies of Year 12 and HSC preparation. The students have all been invited to join the 2022 HSC Curriculum Matters Classroom through which all communications regarding their final year of schooling will be disseminated.
A reminder for students to either pick up a Term 4 planner from the Curriculum Office or download a copy from their Curriculum Matters Classroom.
As you are aware all Year 10 students returning to SJPC have received their Stage 6 Confirmation packs this week.
Please check the documentation carefully and return the signed checklist to the Curriculum Office by Monday 18 October.
Once again thank you to all those families who have informed us of changes in regard to 2022 enrolment. We appreciate you understanding how important that information is to our 2022 planning.
Year 7 – 9
In line with our understanding that learning is a continuous process, Term 4 is a vital term for students and staff alike. It is definitely NOT a ‘wind down’ term! Rather it is a ‘winding up’ term as teachers design activities that are continuing to develop the skills needed by students as they prepare for a more challenging year in 2022.
Students will continue to be assessed on their knowledge, understanding and skills and be given opportunities to reflect on their learning, strengths and areas requiring growth.
Working together in an effort to continually improve requires clear communication and an understanding of what is expected. Students are beginning to see the importance of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria in not only communicating and guiding their learning, but in gauging their own success and knowing how to demonstrate their learning effectively.
It is wonderful to witness students engaging with this process!
Leader of Curriculum
The Homework Centre will operate again this term in D10 and the outside study area. Students are reminded to arrive promptly. Students must be picked up by 5 p.m. at the latest.
We have moved to a temporary location while we await the completion of our new library. Students are encouraged to come and borrow any books they may need. Fiction is located in D7/8, non-fiction in D10 and textbooks are in D9.
Trolleys are outside D7 and D9 for returns.
Year 12 Return of Textbooks
If you do not need your textbooks to study please return them to the library Textbook Room located in D9.
Otherwise please return them on the day of your HSC exam for that subject so they can be reallocated to our 2022 HSC students as soon as possible. Thanks for your consideration in this matter.
Year 11 Return of Textbooks
Year 11 students are reminded that they need to return any Preliminary textbooks before they can borrow a HSC title. Overdue notices have been emailed to you.
From time to time parents are emailed about overdue resources. If you receive this email please ask your child to return the resource asap. If you believe there is an error please reply to the email and library staff will investigate.
Here at SJPC we recognise the value of having a rich VOCABULARY, whether it be listening, speaking, reading or writing vocabulary.
Vocabulary is key to reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most of the words mean. As children learn to read more advanced texts, they must learn the meaning of new words that are not part of their oral vocabulary.
SJPC Teachers have been satisfying their thirst for new words through the introduction of WORD OF THE DAY. We will also be introducing WORD OF THE WEEK to share with students beginning Week 3 and we wish to share this with parents so that we can all enjoy, consolidate and make a big deal out of learning new words. The learning of new vocabulary is something to be praised and celebrated.
Vocabulary is classified into three tiers. (see image) Most of our focus words will be Tier 2 words. There are approximately 7,000 words in Tier 2. These words include words that are used frequently over multiple contexts, words that contain multiple meanings (e.g. spring) and an increased number of descriptive vocabulary.
WORD OF THE WEEK
WEEK 3: ARDUOUS adjective
DEFINITION: Involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.
SENTENCE: They began the arduous trek up the mountain.
ORIGIN: from Latin arduus ‘steep, difficult’
Week 4: AMICABLE adjective
DEFINITION: characterized by friendliness and absence of discord; peaceable; friendliness or benevolence between two or more people or groups.
SENTENCE: The two nations reached an amicable agreement.
Their relationship hasn’t always been amicable.
ORIGIN: Latin amicus ‘friend’.
Out of the box thinking, team work and a healthy sense of humour have been the winning ingredients of the St John Paul College Tournament of Minds (TOM) team who have been named NSW Runner-Up in the recent state championships.
The team of Samara Satyanand, Lilly Gleeson, Alexandra Nealand, Kai Davidson, Kai Robinsen and Connor Gleeson impressed the judges when they competed in a modified Zoom competition held during the school holidays. Unfortunately, the TOM team had to enter with six members, instead of the usual seven, when key team member Angus Harris was unable to attend during the holiday period.
The revised State competition was held in a new format to cope with the demands of COVID restrictions and the team were lucky to be able to have the chance to compete at this level after winning the regional competition. The six members of the team went into training overload in the final weeks of Term 3 where they learnt to address the new online format and revised their team strategies to develop an interesting response to an impromptu question within a 15 minute time frame.
The team were marked on eight different criteria and the judges awarded them in the excellent range for their team work, team strategies and creative response and they received highly commended in the other categories.
While they have now bowed out of the national competition they can be proud of their efforts as they competed against several selective high schools and elite private schools to receive Honours in their Literary division.
Interview with Rachael McConnell - Youth Ministry Officer
What is your coolest secret talent?
My secret talent which isn’t so secret, is that I can shake my eyeballs.
What is your favourite colour and why?
My favourite colour is definitely pink!! I have always loved the colour pink, no matter the shade. I just think it is a really pretty colour and it can never not be pretty.
Why did you choose to apply for YMO this year?
I remember so clearly in Year 10 making the decision that I was going to be a YMO. It was such an easy decision for me. So, as my senior years came to an end, and the applications came out, I submitted it as soon as I possibly could. I’ve loved every minute of it so far, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities the school have given me that have led me to where I am today.
When was a time you felt closest to God?
As a faith is, it is very up and down, however, after my first experience with God back in Year 9, Year 10 Retreat was definitely the closest I had ever felt to God. We were in Prayer teams and I remember feeling this wave of comfort flow over me. It is something I will never forget.
Kawalazi Wrap Up
This week the Office has been busily counting the money donated by the SJPC students to the SRC organised sponsorship of students to attend our sister schools in Kawalazi. We can proudly report that $2430.00 has been donated. Special mention to 10G (Mr Marle) who raised over $600. Considering the difficult times, this is outstanding. If you or others have individually sponsored these students, thankyou so much. You really have made a difference in the lives of these young people.
Each Homeroom who raised $50 will go into a draw to win a sausage sizzle next week. Good luck to all and thanks again for supporting this really worthwhile cause.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” Malcolm X
Families are welcome to sponsor Kawalazi students anytime throughout the year. Please fill out the below sponsorship form and return to the College office. Thank you for your continued support.
Pam Bibby, Joseph Nolan and Maggie O'Brien
Kawalazi Development Project Committee
Mask wearing for Secondary Students
CSNSW has provided updated directions regarding mask wearing requirements in schools operating at Level 3 restrictions.
Masks are required to be worn by students in indoors and are recommended in outdoors settings (unless exercising or eating).
Students are required to bring their own masks to school.
Planning is underway for the 2022 Ski Trip to Perisher Smiggins which will take place in the winter school holidays next year from Saturday 2 July to Saturday 9 July 2022. It is available to students who will be in Year 11 and 12. The cost of the Ski Trip is still being determined but will be approximately $2200. All transport is via long distance coach, and the accommodation will be on snow at Smiggins.
The cost will include:
- Lift passes and daily lessons for 5days for beginners and experienced skiers and snow-boarders.
- On snow Chalet accommodation for 5 nights – Sunday to Friday
- 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners
- All transport
- Ski/ snow-board equipment hire including helmets, ski pants and ski jacket
- Six days entry pass to the National Park
Once the planning has been finalised, an expression of interest meeting will be held in Term 4 to provide itineraries and permission notes.
If you have any questions regarding the Ski Trip please contact Mr Paul Corsalini at the College.