Principal's Blog

As I write to you the term is rapidly progressing and it is evident that our staff and students are engaged in exciting teaching and learning. Part of this process was the Year 7-12 parent/caregiver/teacher/student interviews which were held at Schofields where there was meaningful feedback for work completed and assisting the work for the rest of the year. To assist with your planning, our next Staff Learning - Pupil Free Day is Monday 24 April with Tuesday 25 April being ANZAC Day - Public Holiday. Thus all Year 7-12 students will return to classes for the commencement of Term 2 on Wednesday 26 April.

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Welcome to 2017. I trust everyone in the community had a refreshing and relaxing Christmas and New Year. The students, both old and new, have arrived with vigour and enthusiasm for the year and are progressing well already. In particular we welcome the Year 7 students to St John Paul II, all 205 of them, as well as the large number of new students in Years 8 -12. We have seen all the new students settling in well and being supported by their peers and teachers who care for them. As we progress through 2017 we will continue to emphasise to all students the need to do their best, care for one another and concentrate on their learning making the College a place which has a unique and dynamic learning experience.

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This is the last newsletter for 2016 and once again we have had a very exciting, challenging and rewarding school year. During the year there have been a large number of events showing what a great community we have here at St John Paul II Catholic College. Just as importantly three teachers and six students attended World Youth Day in Poland. Pope John Paul II’s home was Poland and it is a source of inspiration that these young people were able to experience his native land and bring some of that charism back to our school thereby helping to deepen our traditions which commenced under the name Terra Sancta and have continued as St John Paul II Catholic College. We also farewell staff who are taking up positions at other schools as part of their professional development or choosing to retire after a distinguished career and welcoming many new staff. Details are included in this blog article.

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When we think about our community here at our College, it has been built over the years by many people working together involving students, parents and caregivers, staff and the wider community. No individual can wait for things to go well as we need to look out and care for each other. Some examples of care at the college have been especially shown with Year 12 who have completed their Higher School Certificate examinations and are now planning the next phase in their lives. With our departing Year 12 students it was great to see their desire to come back to the Schofields campus and celebrate their graduation with the rest of the student body.

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As we commence Term 4 we keep our Year 12 students in mind as they complete their HSC examinations which commenced on Thursday 13 October. We have also recently commenced interviews with our current Year 11 students asking them a series of questions about their classes and their hopes for the upcoming time as Year 12 students. There have been several leadership changes within the college. As you are aware from previous announcements. Mr Phil Smith is now working with the Catholic Education Office - Diocese of Parramatta working with several primary and secondary schools in regards to improving their learning and teaching. It was announced earlier in Term 3 that Mrs Kathy Cairns has submitted her resignation as Assistant Principal, effective from the end of this year. Kathy is looking for some other challenges in her life and while stepping down as Assistant Principal, she may look at remaining in education in some form. After 18 years at Terra Sancta/St JPII CC Mr Ken Wolffe – Assistant Principal will be working with the St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill in the same leadership role commencing Term 1 2017. The new leadership model of the College will include Principal and 3 Assistant Principals. Mr Peter Regan has already commenced with us this term as Assistant Principal. Peter held this same leadership role at St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill for several years. The two other Assistant Principal positions have been advertised and will be finalised before the end of this term. With this change in leadership we will learn and discover further insights about how we can continue to improve the learning of all students at our college.

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Last Friday we celebrated who we are at St John Paul II/Terra Sancta Day and said farewell to these fine young men and women as a whole school through the beauty and spiritual richness of the Mass. It was an opportune time to turn our attention to the college motto “the way passes through this land” as it’s during such ceremonies when our Year 12 students are coming to the end of their journey with us that we can celebrate their time with us. As befits the dual nature of our one school, the Mass was once again celebrated at the Schofields Campus with the senior students returning to the place where they commenced their journey six years ago.

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Wonderful things have been happening this year and Term 3 is no exception at St John Paul II. Our Year 12 students have now completed their Trial HSC examinations and are moving onto the next phase of their journey as they prepare for their upcoming graduation ceremonies followed by the HSC examinations shortly afterwards. It is no time for the students and their teachers to relax and take it easy. Their classes are certainly places of energy and excitement as the students and teachers work together to achieve their goals. At the same time Bodies of Work for practical subjects are being finalised for marking as are the major performances for the creative and performing arts.

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There are many well wishes going around as we reach one of the busiest times in the year! We congratulate all those involved with the College Musical, Back to the 80s, and their amazing performances, we thank all the parents/caregivers who attended the Parent/Caregiver/Student/Teacher interviews in Week 2 and wish our Year 12 students the best of luck as they work through their HSC trials.

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Our final newsletter for Term 2 once again is a reflection of the busy and productive work that has been occurring. Our Staff Evangelisation and Retreat Day, held recently at the Benedict XVI Centre at Grose Vale, centered around the Year of Mercy. Staff participated in reflection time and celebrated Eucharist together, they also went out into the community to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We would like to congratulate the many students who achieved ‘personal bests’, and/or their own goals in the semester one reports. Year 11 & 12 Semester 1 reports were issued earlier this term and Year 7 – 10 Reports will be issued on Friday 1st July. Students have received their Parent/Caregiver/Student/Teacher Online interview information booking sheet for the interviews. You can now book interviews for the times that suit your family.

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As we rapidly progress through Term 2 we should take the time to reflect upon the vast number of events that have been happening at St John Paul II. There have been the inter school Debating, MCS and MCCS winter sport and our Athletics Carnival. Recently Year 12 students, a number of teachers and an impressive number of ex-students spent three days at Collaroy on the annual Year 12 Retreat. This Retreat is always a highlight of school life for our students beyond the classroom and it allowed them to take time out of their daily routine to refresh themselves for what lies ahead this year and beyond. We have also seen our Year 7 and 9 students engaged in NAPLAN tests and we have held the Year 7, 2017 enrolment interviews for the students from the non-feeder primary schools. We have a large number of applications for Year 7 next year and enrolment acceptances are currently being posted to families. If you know of any family wishing to enroll for 2017 please ask them to contact Mrs. Fay Lovett on 92087205 in order to avoid the disappointment of missing out on a place in 2017.

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As you are aware we have been focusing very much on school attendance this year and our efforts are having significant results with student attendance rates climbing. We know that students who attend school regularly find it easier to keep up with work and they also find it easier to form strong friendships with others. Regular attendance at school not only helps students understand and complete school work it also provides valuable social and cultural experiences. Recently ANZAC Day ceremonies were held at the Schofields and Nirimba Campuses to pay respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Finally, if you are aware of families who have not applied to attend St John Paul II Catholic College in 2017, please let them know that they need to send their application in now otherwise they may miss out on being enrolled.

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This term we have witnessed a number of exciting and energizing college events which have included our 2015 HSC High Achievers Assembly, the Year 7 Welcome BBQ, the Opening School Mass and our recent Open Afternoon /Evening. Each event has helped develop our great community at St John Paul II and each one has enhanced our community faith formation and educational endeavours.

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As we write to you the term is rapidly progressing and it is evident that our staff and students are engaged in exciting teaching and learning. Part of this process is the parent/caregiver/teacher/student interviews which were held at Schofields where there was meaningful feedback for work completed and assisting the work for the rest of the year. If any parents/ caregivers were unable to attend on the afternoon / evening you can still contact your child’s teachers for an interview. A recurring theme from the interviews and the class activities this term has been the recognition that with engaging teaching and deep student engagement that all students can learn and they can excel.

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Welcome to 2016! We trust everyone in the community had a refreshing and relaxing Christmas and New Year. The students, both old and new, have arrived with vigour and enthusiasm for the year and are progressing well already. In particular we welcome the new Year 7 students to St John Paul II, all 210 of them, as well as the large number of new students in Years 8 -12!

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This is the last newsletter for 2015 and once again we have had a very exciting, challenging and rewarding school year. During the year there have been a large number of events showing what a great community we have here at St John Paul II.

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It is nearly a year that we have existed as St John Paul II Catholic College and we have been working towards building upon the history of Terra Sancta into the future as St John Paul II. That tradition continues every day and was clearly seen in the recent transition day for Year 7 students for 2016 when we saw more than 200 eager young students and their families at our Schofields campus.

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It is clear from the Year 11 surveys and the Year 12 HSC students that there are wonderful relationships occurring at St John Paul II. We continue to help build a strong community with all students, parents/caregivers and staff.

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Mr Smith and Mr Fanning wish our Year 12 students well as they begin their HSC Trials and complete their major works. They also review the recent interviews and discuss the upcoming staff development day.

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It’s that time of year again when we turn our attention to the college motto “the way passes through this land” as it’s now when our Year 12 students are coming to the end of their journey with us.

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Mr Fanning and Mr Smith discuss the final weeks for our Year 12 students as well as their HSC Major Works, touch base on the introduction of the Learning Continuum to our teaching staff and give an update on enrolments for 2016.

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Our final newsletter for Term 2 once again is a reflection of the busy and productive work that has been occurring.

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As we rapidly progress through Term 2 we should take the time to reflect upon the vast number of events that have been happening at St John Paul II. Debating, Mock Trial and Chess Competitions, MCS and MCCS winter sport and our first St John Paul II Athletics Carnival. Year 12 students spent three days at Collaroy on the annual Year 12 Retreat.

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Hear from the College Co-operating Principals regarding the latest happenings at the College. Including the recent weather, seniors at the Schofields Campus, ANZAC Ceremonies and more!

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This term we have witnessed a number of exciting and energizing college events! Take a look at the great events of Term 1 and look into Term 2. In this newsletter you will find the Term 2 calendar of events.

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Mr Fanning and Mr Smith look over all the busy and exciting events occurring at the College so far this year. From enrolments and interviews to College Mass and upcoming ceremonies - it's all happening at StJPII.

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Welcome to 2015 which promises to be an exciting and rewarding year. In particular we welcome the new Year 7 students to St John Paul II, all 200 of them! As we progress through 2015 we will continue to emphasise to all students the need to do their best, care for one another and concentrate on their learning making the college a place which has a unique and dynamic learning experience.

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This is the last newsletter for 2014 and once again we have had a very exciting, challenging and rewarding school year. During the year there have been a large number of events showing what a great community we have here at Terra Sancta.

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As this newsletter sees us at the end of Term 3, we look back at what has been a very busy, successful and celebratory term for the College

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When we think about our community here at our college it has been built over the years by many people working together involving students, parents and caregivers, staff and the wider community.

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Mr Fanning and Mr Smith welcome you to Term 4 with some fantastic news and updates.

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We are pleased to announce that our building works at Schofields are progressing quite well. In fact last week the builders had completed the majority of the work involved in the refurbishment of the library, transforming it into a truly authentic Learning Centre!

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The transition from Terra Sancta College to St John Paul II in 2015 emphasises that the heritage of Terra Sancta College will not be lost in the name change but that its values and vision will live on and be reinforced into the future.

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