18 November 2022 - Newsletter (Vol 39 No 18)
New Beginnings Year 7 2023
When I spoke to the students in the morning I told them that it is one of my favourite days on the calendar, a day of new beginnings; new school, new teachers, new friends and new opportunities. The excitement on their faces reminds me of the privilege we have as teachers in our vocation to educate your most precious gift, your child. It is a responsibility we accept with pride and excitement as we forge new partnerships together.
Year 7 2023 Transition Day
Dear Lord in Heaven,
Thank you for my life today
As I start a new journey in my education today
I prepare to arrive at a new school for a new challenge
I will meet new friends and new people
I will be introduced to new things and subjects
I pray that you protect me.
Help me focus on my learning
Help me avoid bad decision making and make good choices
Help me stay focused and disciplined
Let me relate well with others
Fill me with kindness for those less privileged
Walk with me and my family as together we move to new surroundings
Through Jesus Christ,
Thank you to the parents who joined us last week at the P&F meeting to discuss issues including better communication, vaping, uniform and how to engage the parent community in the College with a focus on industry and career partnerships, watch this space for more information early next year.
Have a great fortnight!
Sunday 13th November was International Kindness Day. Awareness days are a chance for us to stop and think about a cause. It makes me feel rather disappointed that we need to have an awareness day for kindness. This is something that should come naturally and be innately embedded in everything we do. Kindness allows us to connect with other people and build meaningful relationships. When someone shows us kindness, we feel connected and more willing to cooperate with them.
Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the love hormone, which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation.
I feel Brooke Jones, (Vice President, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation) certainly gives us food for thought in her blog:-
‘Humans spend so much time and energy focusing on the negatives that affect us. When a moment of kindness appears, it’s as if a fog has been lifted... just for a moment. It’s lovely. It makes us feel good. We smile. But, then the fog rolls back in and we go back to ‘the norm’ of our daily lives. We don’t put in the effort to truly appreciate and reflect on those moments.’
Brooke Jones goes on to say how we do so many things in our daily routine such as waking up, getting dressed, cleaning our teeth or our commute to work. All of these are intentional and we ensure we do them everyday… our invisible routine.
‘What if we added a moment of kindness to our invisible routine? What if we woke up and as we turn the alarm off, we immediately send an uplifting text message to a friend? Or during the morning commute, what if we let that guy merge into traffic with a wave and a smile instead of feeling upset or slighted?’
Teaching children kindness is one of the most important things we can pass on to the next generations. Promoting kindness starts by being good role models in how we show kindness to each other, ourselves, and how we interact with our environment.
Being kind can improve other people’s lives. In turn, it can increase the well-being of those who practise being kind. Promoting kindness in children will give them a skill that will bring them happiness and empower them to make the world a kinder place.
Unfortunately I am seeing an increase in the amount of unkindness that is being displayed online. Cyberbullying is the use of mobile phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites to harass, threaten or intimidate someone. Cyberbullying is often done by children, who have increasingly early access to these technologies.
Sadly the following statistics are what we as teachers and you as parents and carers are dealing with:
44% of Australian young people report having a negative online experience in the last 6 months, this includes 15% who received threats or abuse online.
Source: The digital lives of Aussie teens, eSafety Commissioner (2021).
If you are a parent or guardian you can report serious cyberbullying to eSafety yourself – if you know your child has been targeted by harmful content, and the site, game or app has not helped within 48 hours.
As ideal as it may sound, if only we could all be kind to each other and intentionally include acts of kindness into our daily routine.
Until next time:
Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care
Semester 2 Assessments
With Semester 2 assessment time approaching it is time to seriously think about making study notes – especially if you haven’t been doing them regularly throughout the year.
Find out what topics will be tested, make a quick mind map of each topic so you can see an overview of what you need to learn, then start making point form notes about what you need to learn and remember for the exam. You want to make your study notes as soon as possible so you have ample time to learn them and to do lots of practise questions.
Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Notes:
- POINTS: Avoid long sentences and condense content into key points;
- TABLES: Use tables wherever you can to create structure and make the content easier to learn;
- KEY WORDS: Pull out key words and capitalise them (as shown in this list);
- HIGHLIGHT: Make sure the main content stands out (but don’t go crazy with colour); and
- FEEDBACK: Show your notes to teachers, parents and friends so they can suggest ways to improve them.
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:
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.
Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching
"Kindness is a firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even the unfriendly." Pope John Paul II
Sunday was World Kindness Day.
"Kindness should not need a special day", someone sensibly suggested, and I agreed. If we consider the epitome of human kindness- Jesus Christ- we soon realise that a particular day dedicated to kindness feels just a little inadequate, because kindness needs to be lived every single day. Our SJPC school motto encourages us in this way to live “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6), through Jesus, through his example. Jesus continues to speak to his Apostles adding, “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing” Let’s be more like Jesus!
These "dedicated" days draw our attention back to what's important and act as timely reminders to be better:
Kind intentions. Kind words. Kind actions.
If we consider for a moment what it means to be kind and the multitude of ways that we are able to express kindness- particularly in a world that often feels harsh and unfair- then perhaps the “International Day” people are onto something: we need a reminder, not only for personal acts of kindness but to recognise kindness in others.
The kindness of strangers. Random acts of kindness. Pay it forward.
Studies show that kindness and compassion lead to better mental health. Science calls this "prosociality" -acting kindly, cooperatively and with compassion- necessary for a harmonious society. Our Catholic Social Teaching guides us to look after each other, to live the Gospel values and to make a difference- no matter how small that difference may be.
Acts of kindness can change us and change others.
What’s Happening In Our Parishes?
For further information to our associated parishes please use the links below.
Here you will find ways to join with the local community, specially planned events and times for reconciliation and Masses.
Leader of School Evangelisation
I recently came across a thoughtful reflection on the well known gospel story of Zacchaeus ... you know the one – the portly tax collector, despised by others, whose desperate desire to see Jesus as he passes through Jericho, sees him race to climb the sycamore tree. I must admit that even having heard the story hundreds of times, my understanding of the message of this well known story was still very much that of my childhood. By climbing the tree, Zacchaeus had strategically positioned himself for a life-changing encounter, an encounter that completely transformed his mission in the world. Without the sycamore, Zacchaeus wouldn't have been able to see Jesus.
The reflection however focussed not so much on the story, but on the question of why a sycamore tree? Elaborating on the properties of such a tree... it’s well known fruitfulness symbolising rejuvenation/regeneration, its imposing nature, its sturdy trunk and low-spreading branches, its resistance to pollution and salty soils, and its ability to stand up well in stormy weather... the story can in fact be seen as an invitation to consider how we can be a sycamore tree in the lives of others, calling us to be the tree for others to come and climb in order to see and discover Jesus. For us to be a sycamore tree in others’ lives our spiritual trunks need to be strong, and to be deeply rooted in faith, love and service.
As we race to the end of the year with the inevitable goodbyes and endings it is easy to forget that we are approaching a beginning... the Advent season, which marks the ushering in of the new liturgical year, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Incarnation. A time of spiritual rejuvenation and reflection, a time that represents the virtues of hope, love, joy and peace.
Peace and blessings for the coming season of Advent.
Year 8 students have had a great time at Festa Christi. They met new friends from other schools in the south of our diocese and built relationships and trust with each other in anticipation to share on a deeper level.
They played games, wrote songs, prayed and attended Mass. They were challenged to take the spark that was ignited within them out to the world and pass on Christ’s love to others.
During evening prayer around the campfire students were given a Lismore flame to remind them of this spark.
Fire is consuming, burning, bright, hot. It is used to shape, refine, purify, consume, for heat, for light. When God is asked to set a fire down in my soul, this signifies a desire for Him to light a burning flame that consumes all, from the inside out, a desire for Him to take over in a way that one can’t help but to be completely free and overflowing with it.
Students prayer on leaving Festa Christi was simple:
EMPOWERING PARENTS TO SUPPORT THEIR CHILDREN
Elevate Education webinars continue into November. There are only 2 webinars left in the series this year, focussing on;
- Setting Up for Success in 2023
The webinars run live online from 6:30 pm – 7:30pm. The presenter will share key research and skills, and will conduct a live Q and A so that you can ask questions directly, with the next webinar occurring in Week 7.
Wednesday 23 November @ 6:30pm (AEDT)
How to Help Build Your Child's Resilience
Register for free using the link below, Elevate seminar registration link
In this webinar Elevate will be showing parents:
- What resilience means, what it doesn’t mean, and why it’s important;
- How to help build your child’s resilience levels, both in and out of school
- How to help your child break their ‘fear of failure’
Week 6 signalled the beginning of school based HSC assessments. I encourage students to ensure they are well prepared, and ask questions before assessments to ensure they understand what is required. I also suggest you read your Assessment Handbook on the College website, to familiarise yourself with the Assessment procedures of the College. This can also be accessed via your Curriculum Matters Google Classroom
Year 10 - NESA
Students will be completing the online course titled “All My Own Work” in Week 8. Completion of this course and a minimum score of 80% is required in the final online test if students are to continue on to Year 11 in any NSW school.
Students will also be given an opportunity to complete Minimum Standards Online tests for Numeracy and Literacy, which is a requirement of NSW Education Standards Authority for students to be awarded an HSC.
At SJPC we are supporting students to complete these NESA mandated requirements by providing in class opportunities for students to engage in course work, practice tests and final tests.
Thank you to all those students and parents who have returned the 2023 Year 11 Course Confirmation forms. I am currently contacting those parents who requested further contact regarding this process.
What do Achievement Grades A – E mean??
NSW schools report on student achievement using a standards-referenced approach. Achievement standards are based on what students are expected to learn, as stated by the NSW syllabuses, and how well they have achieved. Stage 4 students are graded according to the Common Grade Scale, whilst Stage 5 students are graded with reference to the Course Performance Descriptors of each Board Developed Course Stage 5 syllabuses.
Teachers make professional on-balance judgements to decide which grade description best matches the standards their students have achieved at a particular point-in-time. These decisions are based on evidence of achievement and information teachers have collected during the teaching and learning, it does not just focus on a single piece of work or the results of a test.
The information is derived from learning activities, observations and other methods of assessment that are collected over time and in different situations.
NESA supports the assessment for, as and of learning approach. Information on a student's achievement is collected during the course of learning and used as part of this broader assessment strategy to allocate grades.
The College’s Semester 2 reports inform students and parents of the level of achievement of syllabus outcomes which have been attained by students in Terms 3 and 4. Feedback to students outlines areas of strength and areas which need further development. This enables students to focus their efforts in this continuous learning cycle.
Leader of Curriculum
Our Year 10 exchange students are continuing to make the most of their experience at our sister school in Japan. Last week, Reitaku Mizunami held an online International Peace Symposium in English and our students, Tobie Dugdale, Harrison White, Lana Wirth, Amy Wise and Lily Wise, helped their Japanese counterparts with their presentations.
The Symposium was an opportunity for all students to communicate and discuss with students from all over the world what they can do in their daily lives to ensure peace in the world.
Groups presented on many different topics including “Intercultural Conflicts”, “Young Leaders of the World”, “SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” and “Understanding Others and Other Cultures”.
Our SJPC students were wonderful leaders and were a great help to the Reitaku students.
Leader of Learning - Languages
Students sharpened their arguments and refined their debating skills at the inaugural SJPC Invitational Debating Day and Workshop on Tuesday, 8 November.
SJPC students joined with BDC and CHCCS students to increase and share their skills with each other in a collegiate, rather than a competitive, setting.
The students all reported enjoying the experience and they all learned something new on the day.
Thank you to Amber Baldwin from BDC and Emma-Jane Hope from CHCCS for facilitating their teams on the day.
Congratulations to our SJPC debating team and helpers for helping to create this fantastic experience.
The team were:
Student helpers were:
Year 11 Hospitality had a wonderful experience serving the staff and senior students lunch on Wednesday 9th November. In groups of 2-3, they were required to plan for the preparation and service of a simple take away dish. Students then prepared the dish in an industry realistic setting to serve it to customers (our staff and students). A variety of dishes were presented including: Chicken Pesto Zoodles, Loaded fries, BLAT, Nacho’s, Spring Rolls and a Burrito. Congratulations to these talented students and the competencies they have received for their Certificate II in Kitchen Operations.
Year 11 Stage 6 Geography students recently spent 3 days immersing themselves in the World Heritage Gondwana rainforest in Dorrigo and Cascade National Parks.
Swimming in hidden waterfalls, smelling dirt, contemplating the value of our forests, practising silence and hugging trees were standard practices and helped us all to appreciate the natural world around us.
Thank you to Cascade Environment and Education Centre, The Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and all staff who helped to create an amazing experience.
Year 12 Formal
A night of nights!
On Thursday 3rd November Year 12 enjoyed their final high school experience celebrating their Formal. The young ladies looked absolutely stunning in their beautiful and elegant formal gowns and the young men looked quite strapping in their formal suits. A great night was had by all and the food and entertainment was fantastic! Enjoy the photos of this great night!
Indigenous Voice to Parliament: Learn More and Take Action
As you may know, the Prime Minister has committed to holding a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in this term of parliament, and work is continuing in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about what will go forward to the Australian people.
A Voice to Parliament will give Indigenous communities a route to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives. Giving people a say will lead to more effective results.
Find out more
The interactive digital learning platform produced in partnership by From the Heart and the Uluru Dialogues helps you learn and understand more about the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The content covers the key points you need to know, takes about 15 minutes to go through, and includes videos and interactive questions.
More information also at reconciliation.org.au
Leader of Pedagogy/RAP Working Group Member
Congratulations to our College Representative Sporting teams
- The Open Cricket team ventured to Port Macquarie to play MacKillop in Round 2 of the CCC Downie Shield tournament. The boys had an awesome win, 186 v Mackillop 10/122. This means they go on to play a Western NSW team in Round 3.
- Our Junior waterpolo teams took home gold and silver from the recent Diocesan Waterpolo Championships at Alstonville on Thursday 10th November. Please see the article from Ms Binnie below.
- The Senior Water Polo teams were outstanding also, both taking Gold in their Grandfinals on Thursday 17th November at the Alstonville pool. Again, Ms Binnie’s article below contains the details of these brilliant wins.
SJPC Diocesam Water Polo Champions!
The boys and girls teams headed to Alstonville for the Junior Diocesan Championships. The boys team started the day with a 6-1 win over Trinity while the girls dominated St Patricks 7-0.
In their second game of the day, the girls had a close win over Woodlawn 3-2 while the boys edged out St Patricks 3-1.
In the 3rd round, the boys had a 5-2 victory over Woodlawn while the girls again dominated with a 7-0 win over Trinity.
In the final games, both teams played Xavier to decide who would be the Diocesan Champions. The boys had a hard fought game and after going goal for goal, went down in the last minutes 2-3 to finish 2nd. The girls also had a tough match in their final with the winning goal scored in the last 3 seconds to help them win 3-2 and claim the gold medal.
Both teams played excellently throughout the day and displayed great teamwork and sportsmanship. Well done!!
Player of the tournament:
Boys - Carlo Eiler
Girls - Cooper Andrews
This week it was the Senior teams turn to head to Alstonville for the Diocesan Water Polo championships.
The boys started the day with a massive 7-0 win over Woodlawn while the girls also beat Woodlawn 5-1.
In their 2nd games of the day, both teams played Xavier and both were victorious with the girls winning 5-2 and the boys 4-2.
Next up was Mt St Patrick's and although the boys dominated with an 11-0 win, the girls just got over the line with a 4-3 victory.
In the last round game, both teams played Banora Point and this time the girls had an impressive 7-0 win, while the boys won 4-2.
With both teams undefeated they headed into their respective Grand Finals as favourites. The boys played a great team game and again beat Xavier to claim the gold winning 2-1. The girls finished their day with a strong defence and a dominant attack beating Woodlawn 5-0 to take the gold.
It was a fantastic day all round and every student played their part. Well done.
Player of tournament:
Boys - Rhys Mulholland
Girls - Riley Andrews and Lily Betland
9/10 Sport Selections Term 1
Sport selections have now closed for Term 1. Parents/Carers of students who have selected a paid sport will receive a Compass contact for permission and payment. Please note the following dates as changes to sports and late payments can not be accepted after the dates listed below.
Friday 18 November 2022
Students MUST check the rolls at The Palace to ensure they are allocated to correct sport.
No Changes can be made after this date
By Friday 25 November 2022
Event Notification for payments will be issued via Compass
Monday 5 December 2022
Sport payments are due. Late payments WILL NOT be accepted unless previously organised with the Finance department.
Wednesday 7 December 2022
Sport selections are finalised and timetables for 2023 will be allocated.
Diocesan and CCC Representative sports 2023
Students who wish to trial for Diocesan and CCC Representative teams in 2023 will have the opportunity to apply through the Diocese of Lismore Sport website (Touch, Football, Rugby League) or through the NSWCCC website (all other sports). Students and families are encouraged to familiarise themselves with both websites and to make a note of closing dates. These will not be advertised other than on the Palace noticeboard. Please contact Mrs McAra if you have questions.
The first of the sports trials on offer are through the Diocese, with Touch football closing on 10 February 2023. Please see the attachment for more details.
|Tuesday 22 November||
Diocesan Golf Championships, Coffs Harbour
Term 1 2023 Sport payments due. Please note late payments will not be accepted unless previously organised through the finance department.
|Monday 5 December||
Term 1 2023 Sport payments due. No late payments will be accepted unless previously organised through the finance department.
|Friday 10 February||
Diocesan Touch Football sign up closes
|Friday 17 February||
Diocesan Winter sport sign up closes
|Thursday 23 February||
NSW All Schools Triathlon, Sydney
On Tuesday 208 Year 6 students commencing Year 7 next year came to SJPC to familiarise themselves with our surroundings and to get to know the place. They met the Year 7 homeroom team and were able to meet new students from other schools and consequently make new friends. The day was filled with activities and challenges for them to complete and culminated in a final Liturgy. The theme for Year 7 is “New Beginnings” and this was emphasised throughout the day.
After Transition Day over 500 parents and students gathered in the hall to receive some very important information. Our new School and Vice Captains spoke about their High School experiences and led us in the opening and closing prayers. However, Robbie Haig, a current Year 7 student stole the show with an amazing account of his first year in high school. Well done Robbie!!
Information Packs that were not collected on the night are available at the College office.
2023 Tuition Fee Assistance
Supporting your children to obtain a Catholic education can present financial challenges for families. The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) recognises these challenges and aims to support this important education choice by families.
It is expected that families, having chosen a Catholic education, have considered the payment of fees and payments are prioritised accordingly. However, when unexpected changes occur, short or long-term assistance may be required with the payment of tuition fees (non-compulsory fees are not covered under this scheme). The nature of support provided is determined following an assessment of the financial circumstances of parents/guardians. Whilst aiming to support as many families as possible, it is important to recognise that not all will qualify.
If you wish to apply for assistance in 2023, please download the application on the school’s website or click the link or a paper form will be available at the school office. All information is treated in the strictest confidence. As income and circumstances change from year to year, it is necessary to reapply annually if ongoing assistance is required.
2023 Applications (and supporting documents) must be returned to the email noted on the application form no later than 30 November 2022. (If you have a child at both St John Paul College and a feeder primary school, please complete and lodge the application form with St John Paul College only).
The Catholic Schools Office Fee Enquiry
Ph: 6653 1655 - Mell and Tess
Office Hours: 8:30am to 4:00pm