StJPII invites all students and families to join us at the Riverstone-Schofields ANZAC Day March and Dawn Service! Each year the College takes part in this very special community event in memory of the ANZACS. We encourage everyone to take the time to attend the event with some of our staff, SRC and other students. Read more for the details!
As we reach the end of the term we are getting closer and closer to the start of NAPLAN (Term 2, Week 3). To prepare for NAPLAN the year 7 and year 9 students have been completing several different activities. To get students engaged in the preparation for NAPLAN Miss Idone has been running a NAPLAN question of the day. The students are emailed one NAPLAN based numeracy question per day and have the chance to earn themselves merits. We would like to congratulate all the students who have been attempting the questions every day. Some students have earned themselves 5 merits already!
In Year 8 Textiles, students have been using a technique called felting. The students use their hands, along with hot water and detergent to manipulate the fibres so they fuse together. Students are also learning a number of different techniques including tie dye, quilting, printing and how to hand appliqué using a blanket stitch to then sew pieces together using a sewing machine and create an ipad cover! Year 8 are really enjoying the creative and hands on opportunities in Textiles and will have the opportunity to select it as an elective when they move onto Year 9.
Last week we had three students represent the College in the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Swimming Carnival! Students Jayden Weymark, Emily Plummer and Patrick Cusack each left the event with 1st, 2nd or 3rd achievements and medals! It is great to see we have so many students talented in a range of different sports and other areas. (Results included in article)
StJPII would like to congratulate the following students on their great sporting achievements. We definitely have some sports stars at the College! Ariane Swift (Obstacle Racing Championships), Patrick Bayliss (Special Olympics for swimming), Riley Watson (NSWCCC Baseball team), Clayton Campbell (NSWCCC Softball team), Cody Brewczynski (Go Karting Championships), Temorshah Zikria (Australian Boxing Championships)
Year 11 have quickly settled into life at Nirimba. In their first term they have participated in liturgies, attended excursions and have undertaken a six week program on developing their study skills and understanding how their preliminary and HSC years will work. It has been a frantic term for the year 12 cohort. Amazingly, the year 12 students are half way through their final year of school. Term 1 has included significant events, such as receiving their jerseys, a special BBQ breakfast and half yearly examinations.
Last week, one special tree at our Nirimba Campus was decorated with fairy lights and many paper cranes for one very romantic proposal between two ex students! Ex Terra Sancta student, Aaron Felizardo met his (now) fiance and ex Wyndham student, Emma back in 2008. Aaron met Emma one recess with Terra Sancta and Wyndham shared the same recess times. Later that year, Terra Sancta and Wyndham no longer shared the same break times, so Aaron left a paper crane in a tree for Emma to pick up as a sign that he was thinking of her. Nine years later, Aaron met Emma at the same tree, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him!
Over the last two weeks, the College's Police Liaison Officer, Senior Constable Amanda Jones has visited the College to speak with students about cyber safety. The presentation called 'Think U Know,' educates young people on how to use the internet and communication technologies in both a positive and safe way. It was pleasing to see the students be respectful and engage in the presentation as they understand the importance of keeping themselves and others safe online.
On Friday, February 24, staff, students and parents/caregivers of StJPII gathered at St Patrick's Church, Blacktown, for the 2017 College Opening Mass. The Mass was a time for the College to reflect on the big year ahead, be thankful for the strong and special College community that we have as well as welcome the new students and staff that have joined us this year.
In Term 1, Year 11 students spent the day with "Iron & Clay", a ministry/motivational band that travels 10 months of the year impacting young lives all over Australia, sharing messages around issues such as bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, drink driving and self esteem through music and testimony. The students enjoyed a day full of song, activities, reflections and dance.
This year's Easter Liturgy focuses on the 'Washing of the Feet', signifying the act of service through drama and dance to look at how we are all called by Jesus to wash the feet of our neighbours. The liturgy and performance is centred around a boat that symbolises journey and hope, representing all those people in our world that are marganilsed, challenging us to love our neighbours and calls us to look to ways we can serve others.
On Sunday we process into the Church accompanied by shouts of ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’, only to hear, in the second Gospel of the day: ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ What do we do with this? How can we go forward and not be manipulated by the crowd that shouts ‘Hosanna’ one moment, and a week later calls for Jesus’ death? Perhaps the best way to travel this last week — the only week in the Church’s year that we call Holy — is to do so in the company of the poor and the broken, the marginalised, the innocent, the abused.
In 2017, St John Paul II Catholic College are lending our support to a campaign called ‘Every Learner, Every Day’, an initiative designed to all remind students and parents why regular school attendance is so important. As part of this campaign, a range of resources and strategies will be made available to help parents, if help is needed. We encourage you to think about the ideas suggested on the poster and to speak to your child about these messages.
On Monday, 6 March, over 170 Year 6 students from our local Catholic primary schools visited StJPII for the ultimate high school experience in celebration of Catholic Schools Week! Students got a taste of all the exciting and new opportunities ahead of them in Year 7, 2018 with a range of activities throughout the day, including sporting activities, exploring science experiments, taste testing in Food Technology, playing with technology in the Library and meeting Shaun the sheep and all his friends in the Agriculture plot. StJPII were delighted to have the Year 6 students on campus and are very excited to welcome them to the College community in 2018!
Thank you for your efforts in ensuring your sons and daughters have the correct school uniform. The college uniform unites us as a community and makes us visible and identifiable in public. When it is worn well, it demonstrates the pride students have in their school. Here are some reminders regarding school uniform...
St John Paul II is committed to the provision of a safe and caring learning environment. Effective learning cannot occur unless this is the case. Students who tend to bully should be aware that the school will act strongly in response to reported cases of bullying. Students who do not feel comfortable with the actions of other students should report to their Leader of learning or Student Liaison Officer, either in person or via email. The “No Way” site has a range of resources for students, parents and teachers. “It starts and stops with you” is a great motto to use with online issues. Everything can stop when you do not post or add comments to an issue.
On Friday, February 24, staff, students and parents/caregivers of StJPII gathered at St Patrick's Church, Blacktown, for the 2017 College Opening Mass. The Mass was a time for the College to reflect on the big year ahead, be thankful for the strong and special College community that we have as well as welcome the new students and staff that have joined us this year.
The Public Speaking season has begun with a great show from the students at St. John Paul II. On Friday the 3 Match 2017 our 10 strong team headed to St Andrews College, Marayong to represent our school in the opening round of the CSDA Public Speaking competition. Whilst some of our team were pipped at the post we congratulate Annointed Erhunmwunse (Year 10) who has progressed through to the FINALS after getting through the zone finals on March 10. We wish Annointed the best of luck!
Every day for the remainder of the term students will have a chance to increase the number of merits they receive and therefore fast track their way to our merit awards, merit pizza lunches and Wet 'n' Wild. NAPLAN is fast approaching and one of the ways that you need to prepare is to complete some practice questions. Each morning, a numeracy practice question will be emailed for students to complete if they choose to. Students who complete 5 practice questions receive a merit and go in the running for other prizes!
Our Year 9’s have commenced their chosen electives, took part in Learning Enrichment workshops that focused on the skills and support needed for their learning and wellbeing, including ‘Survival in a Digital Age’ and ‘Surviving being a Teenager’ and also visited our local nursing home where they spend time with the elderly residents. The Year 10 student body, have hit the ground running with the start of the 2017 school year. Blink and it is Thursday Learning Enrichment and Year 10 are all over the school grounds, participating in sports, leading the junior campus peer support program or completing a road safety program in recognition of their growing maturity.
On Thursday the 9th of March, the Year 10 Peer Support Leaders and the Year 7 cohort spent their final Peer Support rotation enjoying group trivia and a BBQ. Over the last six weeks the Year 10 Peer Support Leaders have used time in Learning Enrichment to build upon their relationships with Year 7 students that began last year at Transition Day. It has been excellent to see the rapport between the Leaders and Year 7 students continue to grow through the Peer Support Program.
In Year 7 EHR, students have been learning about the causes and effects of the atomic bomb on Japan. To show their understanding of the topic, students were asked to write a diary entry from the perspective of a Japanese person at the time. After completing this task, students were asked to provide constructive feedback to their peers using the STAR/WISH/WISH model and marking criteria.
After selling pancakes on Pancake Tuesday, StJPII held Ash Wednesday liturgies for each Stage, marking the beginning of Lent! Students received the ashes and were called to repent, turn away from selfishness to the love of God and the love of one’s neighbour, which is at the heart of this year’s Caritas Australia Project Compassion appeal.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. This sea- son prepares us to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter. For people aged 18–59, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting (only one complete meal and two smaller ones with no food in between). For people aged 14 and over, it is also a day of abstinence from meat (which is a symbol of abundance and wealth). On Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of what we are when no longer sustained by God: dust. The message of Ash Wednesday is not morbid—it is a joyful reminder that, with God’s life within us, we are so much more than dust and ashes! In Old Testament times, people expressed grief and sorrow by covering themselves in ashes.
This week our Year 11 Biology and Senior Science students had the opportunity to explore Penrith Lakes as part of their Local Ecosystem and Local Environment units. Students were asked to test the health of the Lake's ecosystem using a variety of Biological tests. This was a great way for the students to put practical experience to the theory they have been working on throughout this unit and enjoy a different kind of "classroom" for the day!
This week Year 10 Food Technology students got creative with cupcakes as part of their Celebrations unit! This unit focuses on food presentation and service, where students learn how to present and garnish foods appropriate to a special occasion. Students had a great time baking and decorating their own cupcakes whilst they also continue their assessment task of designing their dream 21st birthday party!
Year 7 have been introduced to a whole new world of science in their first few weeks of high school, learning about science labs and all the special equipment. Miss Morgan's science class had fun creating big, colourful posters reading the all the rules for their science lab and have now received their bunsen burner license.
The Learning Continuum focuses on implementing stage based ways of learning that allow students to develop learning skills and knowledge that can be utilised and extended as they continue through their stages of high school. The skills and knowledge students learn in Stage 4 Cooperative Learning is necessary for the students to continue to Stage 5 Active Learning, where they further develop skills and knowledge. In Stage 6, students use the skills developed in earlier stages, supported by online learning, to allow for time in class to be skills focused.
It was quite an educational Valentine's Day for our Year 8 Italian classes. To celebrate the occasion students researched the origins of Saint Valentine's Day before learning how to write a love letter in Italian! Students also had the opportunity to try a famous Italian chocolate called "Baci" that has a little love note inside each piece as well as make use of the Valentine's Day photo-booth set up in the Schofields library.
On Thursday, 9 February, over 1000 students, staff and parents/caregivers gathered at the Schofields Campus to celebrate our HSC High Achievers of 2016! This year 65 students were recognised at the assembly for their astonishing achievements in the HSC, all receiving bands 5 and 6 in a range of subjects. The awardees continued their celebrations with a morning tea before heading to the HSC Question/Answer session with our current Year 11 and 12 students.
This article includes a message to each Stage 4, 5 and 6 from their Assistant Principals. - “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in society, in every family.” Kofi Anan This famous quote from the former Secretary-General of the United Nations epitomises why we are passionate about education; why we have dedicated our lives to the vocation of teaching. It is passion we work to emulate in our daily interactions with the students and staff with whom we are blessed to work. Thank you to the students and staff of St John Paul II for their warm welcome.
Student academic and social achievement and attendance at school are key priorities for us at St John Paul II Catholic College. With this in mind, we would like to assert the connection between the two. We know that students who attend almost every day of school do well in all aspects of their education. Research tells us that students who do not attend school regularly do not achieve academically or socially as well as their peers whose attendance at school is regular.
Each year Blacktown City Council provide two free plants per household to be collected. If you have not yet collected your free plants and don't think you will use them, why not consider donating the plants to the College? To donate your two plants to the College, please complete the brief form and return it to the College Office. We thank you for your generosity and appreciate your contribution to the College environment!
On Monday, 6 February, the StJPII community welcomed all Year 7 families to the College at the annual Year 7 Welcome BBQ. This event was an opportunity for parents/caregivers to meet their children's teachers, check out their classroom and learn all about the many new ways of high school life. Following the formalities was a sausage sizzle BBQ and ice blocks to end a very hot, but great day for the students and their families!
It has been a very busy and exciting first few weeks for our Stage 4 students! Year 7 have learnt the ropes of high school, placed their starfish in the prayer room, attending their Welcome BBQ and much more. Year 8 recently had the opportunity to experience the "Sticks and Stones" Brainstorm production during Learning Enrichment.
A large number of Year 10 - 12 StJPII students have begun TAFE courses over at the Nirimba Campus! Year 10 students made their way over to the Nirimba Campus and joined other Year 11 - 12 students to begin their TAFE courses in either Early Childhood Education and Care, Beauty Therapy, Primary Industries - Horticulture, Animal Studies, Design Fundamentals or Events.
On Monday, Year 11 students began senior high school at the Nirimba Campus with a special liturgy. Each student received a special shell that is a metaphor for life and their HSC journey, the different curves in the shell representing all the different paths during the students' HSC journey, that all come together at the end at their Graduation Mass.
Each year our school identifies a goal that will inspire our prayer and commitment to the evangelising mission of our church. This year our Mission Goal is to increase the understanding of the charism of St John Paul II focusing on our Catholic values around the common good and reconciliation. Catholic Church teaches clearly that all people have a right to participate in society and all people have the right to things, which allow them ‘human decency’, which can be named as the ‘common good’.
High school is just around the corner for those students in Years 5 and 6! Join us on Monday, 13 March, between 4pm and 8pm to explore all the great educational opportunities at St John Paul II. The evening will include enrolment information for Year 7 2018/2019, Years 7 & 11 subject stalls, showcases, a BBQ and more!
This week, in an integrated learning class of English, History and Religion, 7.01 and 7.03 came together to take a fun, new spin on what can be seen as boring comprehension questions!! The novel was read, the rules were given and it was time for Year Seven EHR to get their amazing race on!! The teachers posted comprehension questions all around the school grounds and in mixed, co-teaching groups the students raced one and other not only physically, but academically. The students had to answer all questions correctly and be the first to do so in order to take the title of Year Seven Amazing Race Champions! This learning strategy caters to all learner needs as students are able to be up and active and have a fun, competitive attitude towards learning their text so they can be the first to correctly answer all the comprehension questions. Teamwork and comprehending texts were the real winners of the day as the students all got involved and gave it their best!
This week, 16 students from Years 10-11 took part in an induction to become Student Religious Educators! Next year, these students will be going to Schofields Public School to assist in 30 minute Religion Lessons for the Catholic students at the school. Well done to these students who have taken this opportunity as a form of community service!
On Thursday, 17 November, Year 8 gathered for their annual Pirate Day. During Learning Enrichment in Term 4, year 8 students have been learning about the media and segments used in TV news reports. We have decided to learn about this in a fun way by making our own media segments with a Pirate spin! Students filmed their Pirate Segments during Learning Enrichment where the news report will be watched on Pirate Day. On Pirate Day the Year 8 students took part in community building activities such as inter class competitions and also try to raise money for charity through the "Weigh you Booty" competition. The homeroom that collects the heaviest amount of coins or booty (food donations) wins points for their class. The final aspect of the day is watching the Pirate Sunrise Video.
Year 10 Student, Bailey Hughes, recently returned from New Zealand with the Australian Indigenous oztag team after winning the Oceania Cup tournament against the Mouri team! Bailey has been playing oztag since the age of 9, played locally and state for Nepean, nationals for the Western Sydney Tigers, as well as for NSW Oztag and the under 20's for Penrith. We would like to congratulate Bailey on such great achievements and wish him all the luck in his future in oztag!
On Monday, 5 December, over 40 students had the privilege of spending the day at Wet n Wild in recognition of their merit achievements in 2016! During the year there are merit events to celebrate those students who were recognised for displaying RISE UP qualities such as Respect, Integrity, Safety, Effort, Uniform/Equipment and/or Punctuality. At the end of the year, those who achieved the most merits all round celebrate at Wet n Wild. The students had a blast on the day! They're hard work and efforts definitely paid off.
Adolescents are dealing with change every day. They are changing physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, psychologically and spiritually. They make decisions and adjustments based on their family, their peers and what they see in the media. To this we add challenges to normal behaviours such as the effects of genetics, rapid technological and social changes and sometimes, trauma. When you throw in the erosion of neighbourhood networks & other traditional support networks, problems are exacerbated. Our children go from predictable in Year 6 to complex & unpredictable in Year 7-8. They seek adult like roles & status. In doing so they try out new behaviours and if they don’t work, they may return to earlier (more predictable) childish behaviours. Still they are mostly compliant. As they reach Year 9 and Year 10 they may become more non compliant.
The StJPII College Council is offering parents/caregivers the opportunity join us in bringing new ideas to the StJPII community! The College Council meets four times throughout the year, and consists of representatives from the College leadership, teaching staff, local parish, College SRC and parent/caregiver community. We currently have three available positions for parents/caregivers to join and would love for those interested to complete a nomination form!
The last two weeks of Term 3 were a mix of emotions for both students and staff of the graduating class of 2016. It was wonderful to see the students process into their graduation mass proudly wearing their sash’ over impeccable uniforms. Year 12 then had their graduation ceremony and formal where once again they were beautifully dressed and presented with maturity. It has been our absolute pleasure to work with such a wonderful group of young people and we are filled with hope that our world is in good hands. Goodluck Year 12, may your future be bright and your successes many. Miss Powles
On Wednesday, 23 November, after weeks of preparation, transforming classrooms to clans, learning Japanese ways, writing haikus and chants and dressing in their colours, the seven Year 7 Ninja Clans gathered today for their annual Ninja Day! Throughout the day the Ninja Clans battled it out in the Japanese themed "amazing race", capture-the-flag tournament haiku readings and martial arts presentations based on their Japanese unit they have been learning in class this Term.
The StJPII Student Representative Council are currently attending the Halogen Youth Leadership Day at Homebush. The inspired theme of the day is empowering young people to lead both themselves and others well. Throughout the day students will hear from guest speakers on how they can have a positive influence on the world and others around them!
Advent is a time for us to stop and reflect on the year, to understand what are the important things in our lives and to let go of the things that hold us back- it is a season that offers us time for hope. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, tells us that “God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind! He is never far from us, and if we return to him, he is ready to embrace us.” During Advent, we hear the Prophets calling us to return to God and experience his mercy. We hear John the Baptist call us to repent and experience God’s mercy. And we anticipate the celebration of God’s greatest act of mercy, the sending of his only Son, Jesus, to be with us.
The 2017 Diocesan and College school fees information is now available. The 2017 schedule includes a modest 3.0% increase on the fees from 2016. Every effort has been made to keep the fee increase to a minimum. School-based fees are also limited to a 3.0% increase to ensure we have consistency across the Diocese.
Last Friday, 18 November, Year 11 students, staff and parents/caregivers celebrated the great achievements of many students at the Year 11 Semester Two Awards. The certificates awarded to students were based on their academic achievements as well as overall effort and extra-curricular achievements including Sports Man and Woman of the year, the Eugene Stockton award, Western Sydney University pathways program awards, Victor Chang Science awards and more!
Year 9 students have recently participated in two days of Peer Support Training in preparation for the Year 7 students of 2017. Although all students demonstrated great leadership qualities only 66 students were selected to be Peer Support Leaders. They put their leadership skills into action on Year 7 Transition Day, where they met their peer support students for the first time! Year 10 students recently participated in reflection day. The focus of the day was ‘service’ and students were involved in many activities where they learnt the importance of serving others. Year 10 students for the last 3 weeks in learning enrichment will be undertaking Community Service training for Vinnies Van.
Parents and carers have long enjoyed photographing their children’s progress at school. Today this often includes sharing the images on social media. When other students in the background are identifiable, there can be concerns if their parents/carers have not given permission and the images become public. Some parents and carers may have general privacy concerns about images of their children being posted without their consent, or in some cases, there can be real legal or safety concerns for the child or family concerned. This information letter is intended to set out best practice in this evolving policy area.
Our Year 11 Construction students recently installed a slat display wall in our Schofields Library! Students learnt to measure up the job required, ordered the materials needed, cut materials to size and then installed the wall with all the finishing touches. This project not only gave the students practical experience but also taught them valuable site skills for the industry.
During Week 5, Year 9 had the opportunity to take part in one of two very inspiring Reflection Days with Chris Doyle. Students experienced music, dance, group workshops, testimonies that challenged them to live their lives with a strong value system based around the teachings of Jesus. Our Year 9 students did not only enjoy themselves during all the dancing, singing and discussions, but they left the events with a new outlook on their lives, their actions and their values.
Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) are tests designed to asses the students learning achievements throughout the year. Earlier in the year students took part in PAT R (Reading) and over the last two weeks have been undertaking testing in Mathematics (PAT M). The results obtained from these tests are used by the College to target teaching and learning activities to areas of weaknesses in the College to maximise the students learning in the future.
Last week, students were recognised for their fantastic efforts throughout last Term at the RISE UP Merit Pizza Lunch! Each Stage held a small presentation and pizza lunch for those students who have achieved the most RISE UP merits in their year groups, recognising students who continue to exercise Respect, Integrity, Safety, Effort, Uniform and Equipment and/or Punctuality. The students had a great time celebrating their achievements with the other awardees and could agree that the hard work pays off when you're having pizza for lunch! Well done to all those students who were recognised at the presentations.
Our World Youth Day pilgrims recently spent their mornings sharing their experiences with StJPII students and feeder schools after attending World Youth Day 2016 earlier in the year. The pilgrims shared their various experiences of mission work, catechesis classes and experiencing their faith with different cultures, with the central message being ‘acts of mercy brings hope to all’. Students were able to understand the importance of mercy through the experiences of the pilgrims and consider their opportunities of attending a World Youth Day in the years to come.
Parents/Caregivers would have heard in the media about a change in the rules around the requirements for the award of the HSC. These changes will apply to students enrolled for the HSC in 2020 who are currently in Year 8. In order to try to improve literacy and numeracy standards, candidates for the HSC will have to meet a minimum standard in these areas. Over the next few years, BOSTES (Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards) will be developing resources and publishing information to assist with the transition to this new standard.
On Monday, 31 October, St John Paul II welcomed the new Year 7 2017 students to their Transition Day! The Transition Day gave the students an opportunity to meet staff and future peers they will be spending their high school journey with. The day included a range of activities with their Peer Support Leaders for 2017 including a scavenger hunt around the school, a presentation on RISE UP, capture-the-flag and a sausage sizzle lunch!
Last week, Year 9 students and staff gathered to celebrate Mass for All Saints' Day. All Saints’ Day is a solemn Holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1, dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. Year 9 were challenged by Mr Fanning to go out and do saintly things, where they use their gifts for the common good of others.
Last week, Miss Morgan's Year 10 Science class used a range of materials and techniques to design their own earthquake resistant buildings that would have minimal movement during an earthquake. Each group had the opportunity to test their buildings by shaking it in a box of mulch to simulate a real life situation. Afterwards the students evaluated the results and determined the most appropriate techniques in building a structure that would survive an earthquake. This was a great way for students to put theory into practice and use their creativity!
St Vincent de Paul – Christmas Hamper Drive Every year at this time the St John Paul II community comes together to support St Vincent de Paul by donating food products and Christmas items to make Christmas Food Hampers. Our goal every year is to make as many hampers as possible, hoping that we have at least one per homeroom. Your child/ren have been advised of the specific item/s that they need to supply to their class hamper. If you are able to donate more you are more than welcome to do so.
This week, Year 9 students took part in a two day Peer Support Training program in preparation for Year 10 next year. Students learnt skills of leadership, team work and responsibility through a range of activities and reflections throughout the days. One of the most enjoyable and anticipated activities in the program would be the Newspaper Fashion Show where students, in groups, design their best outfit with newspaper with the opportunity to parade their masterpieces to their peers down the catwalk at the end of the day. Check out what they came up with!
‘Jigsaw’ is the name given to a task that requires students looking at the smaller pieces of a task, topic or idea and then collating to put together the whole picture. In Year 7 MSP co-teaching, we completed a jigsaw about communicable diseases. Each group was given a different communicable disease to research, and each person was given a different component to research about the disease. Diseases included measles, lyme disease, tuberculosis and influenza, just to name a few. Students worked on their own piece of information and then put it all together on a Google Slides presentation which enabled them to all access and write on it at the same time!
On Wednesday, 19 October, over 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from a range of schools in the local area attended the 2016 "Go For Gold" Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Conference. The conference celebrated the success of ATSI students and inspired current students to achieve their own successes through a range of workshops and presentations throughout the day.
On Wednesday, 26 October, Year 10 gathered at the Mary Immaculate Parish Church to celebrate the Feast Day of St John Paul II with our parish priest, Fr Ruben. The theme of the mass was around -“You are the hope of the Church, and of the world. You are my hope”. Both Fr Ruben and Mr Fanning challenged Year 10 to live their lives with love for each other. It is through love that we show the face of Jesus Christ to the world.
On Wednesday, 19 October, over 500 students, parents and staff gathered at the Schofields Campus for the annual Representative Sports Presentation BBQ! The Presentation acknowledged the efforts and achievements of all our great sports stars in the College, celebrating the strong sports culture that we have had here for many years.
On 18-19 October, Year 10 students experienced a very special Reflection Day with the inspirational group, "Endless Praise". The two days included a range of special activities, songs and reflections around the theme of "Service to Others". Through these activities the students bonded, shared stories, sang and reflected on the importance of offering service to others in our lives, no matter how big or small the action is.
Year 7 are currently preparing for Ninja Day 2016 coming up in Week 7! During class and Learning Enrichment, students are taking part in activities such as origami, learning History of Japan and history of Ninja's, Haiku poetry, making class flags, practising ninja games and more. Year 8 are also preparing for their big Pirate Day in Week 6!
We know that good relationships are the basis for learning and that anything that affects relationships [such as inappropriate behaviour] impacts on learning. However, we also need to challenge inappropriate behaviour in a way that can be experienced as an opportunity for learning. A major question we ask ourselves is, “How do you challenge students in a way that helps them think about their behaviour, yet still allow them to feel okay about themselves and you?” We believe that one of the answers to this question lies in Restorative Justice, a program that we have been using for many years now.
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roch, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penances because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy. Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others.
On Friday, 23 September, staff and students of St John Paul II Catholic College gathered to watch the annual staff/students soccer match - StJPII Strikers vs Student FC. It was an extremely close game, where the lead continuously bounced between the two teams. With a draw in last year's game and the staff team "StJPII Strikers" winning in the last few years, the Student FC team were definitely out for victory. The staff were leading 2-1 after College Groundsman, Ashley Watts, made his first goal in 13 years of playing in the staff team. A very proud moment! Yet this was definitely motivation for the Student FC, as they then smashed out 3 more goals to take victory over the teachers!
Year 11 WYD Pilgrims and Vinnies Van students attended the Diocesan Mission Mass at St Patricks Cathedral Parramatta! This occasion precedes and highlights World Mission Sunday, the day traditionally set aside for Catholics to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity throughout the world.
On Wednesday, 12 October, our Year 11 Science students got a taste of university, participating in workshops at Western Sydney University - The College! Students experienced university-focused classes in a range of sciences offered at the University, including Biology, Senior Science, Physics and Chemistry.
Over the next 6 weeks, Years 7 - 9 students will be taking part in the Water Safety Program as part of their Integrated Sports. BOYS - Weeks 3, 4 & 5 GIRLS - Weeks 6, 7 & 8 The program focuses on teaching students skills that will enable them to recognise dangerous situations, how to rescue others safely and other water safety skills. Students will work in groups based on their swimming ability and will only be able to attend if they have returned the Integrated Sports Note from Term 1. The program is run from Nirimba, therefore students will be transported by bus to and from the pools by bus and returned to the Schofields Campus for normal finish time. Students are to bring their swimmers, towel and sunscreen to participate in the program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the College Office on 9208 7200.
During the school holidays, Miss Vella and our talented Year 9 - 12 music students were busy in the studios recording for the annual "Kool Skools" Recording Project! Each year, our music students have the opportunity to write and produce original songs and record their own album for the big competition with other schools in the Diocese. We can't wait to hear what they have come up with!
Last Friday, 16 September, the whole StJPII College and community gathered for our biggest day of the year - St John Paul II/Terra Sancta Day! St John Paul II/Terra Sancta Day is a College tradition that has continued for many years, celebrating the Year 12 students who have made their way to the end of their high school life as well as celebrating the amazing community that we share at St John Paul II Catholic College.
Last week both the St John Paul II Intermediate and Junior Girls soccer teams ventured out to Everely Park to compete in the semi-finals for their respective age groups. Unfortunately, the Intermediate Girls team lost a tough semi-final game to St Pat’s 2-0. The Junior Girls won their semi-final 1-0 in the last minute of extra time against Catherine McAuley with an excellent goal by Kahlani Johnston. As a result, the Junior Girls then proceeded to the Grand Final against a strong Woolwich team. After the fulltime whistle, the teams could not be separated with neither team scoring. This was the same after extra time was played and as a result, both teams were named joint MCCS Junior Girls Soccer Champions. Both teams made us really proud as coaches for their effort this season and were excellent representatives of the College.
On Tuesday the 13th of September year 11 Visual Design went on an excursion to Reverse Garbage at Marrickville. Students were excited to visit a warehouse full of random yet quirky items that were often forgotten or thrown out. The theme of the day was focused on the importance of Recycling but more so the value of Re-using items for new purposes and providing throwaway items with a new life (up-cycling). Students participated in a design challenge with a budget of $20 students were asked to find multiple items in the Reverse Garbage Warehouse and re-purpose these items focused on "face and functionality" which coincided with what students were learning in class. Overall the day was energetic, fun and educational. Students were inspired and innovative.
We all salute the Senior Girls Basketball Team, winning the MCCS Title for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, two titles under the Terra Sancta College banner and two in St JPII colours. Our St JPII team, never letting Trinity into the game, winning 48-28, dominated the grand final. Also congratulations to our Intermediate and Junior girls teams for their amazing effort this season!
Last week,Year 8 students took part in a special Reflection Day around the theme, 'Mercy Through Love'. 'Endless Praise' were the fantastic group of presenters who took the students through the theme with a variety of activities, reflections, testimonies and music. Students were challenged to see mercy as an act of love and how they could apply this with each other and the wider community. The last session also looked at the charism of St John Paul II and his examples of mercy through compassion and forgiveness. The students had a great time!
Year 11 Standard and Advanced English classes in Term 3 are focusing on articulating and representing ideas about belonging in and through imaginative texts. Miss Sultana’s class have been working on developing their own imaginative compositions demonstrating an effective understanding of belonging through using a stimulus as a significant element. To achieve this, students viewed mentor texts in the form of top responses from the 2013 HSC Exam Workbook and broke down how the mentor texts successfully use a stimulus as an extended metaphor for the main conflict in the story. After this, students imitated this skill in their own compositions and shared their writing with each other.
On August 20-21, students joined others to help the less fortunate in our local community by door-knocking for donations in the Quakers Hill area at this year's Vinnies Doorknock Appeal. Well done to the StJPII students Alisha Anderson, Mitchell Brooks, Francinne Buenaagua, Georgina Davies, Rachel Gatt, Keshav Malik, Kyle Park, Ben Schembri, Sheridan Jackson and Joshua Straw who helped raise over $6,000!
As we near the end of the term it is with mixed feelings that we farewell Year 12. There are a lot of ‘last times’ occurring for the students, their last lessons, their last Mass, their last time in homeroom. On Friday we celebrated Mass together at Terra Sancta Day and it was such a proud moment for the students and their families, years of hard work and commitment were mentioned by Father Rueben during the Mass and there were so many wonderful conversations happening at the morning tea afterwards that signified the sense of community and care for each other that is present within the Year 12 cohort.
Last week at the Year 12 Graduation Mass the College community and its guests inducted the St John Paul II Student Representative Council (SRC) members for 2017. The SRC aims to serve students at St John Paul II Catholic College in the provision of quality Catholic leadership, through a range of positive relationships based on Gospel values. SRC members are are involved in College assemblies, community events, liturgies, Mass, daily College life and initiating, leading and supporting programs within the school. The SRC plays an important role in nurturing and developing the leadership skills of College representatives.
By this time of the year each class has developed their own unique rhythm. Teachers know their students and students have by now adjusted to their teachers. how can you tell if your son or daughter is on track with their studies at the moment? Well, you could always ask them, but often a question that begins with, “How is school going?” ends with something like, “ok.” You will have a few clues to work with. To be successful a student does not have to be an Albert Einstein, organisation and working consistently are the real keys to success at school (and life in general) so the following may assist...
Last week we celebrated the Eucharist with our Year 12 for the last time together. The gospel reading was around the parable of The Lost Sheep. So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’...
On Friday, September 2, students and staff at StJPII were invited to wear a jersey during school to begin the conversation around organ donation in memory of Nathan Gremmo and to raise money for the Nathan Gremmo Community Fund. It was great to see so many students supporting a great cause and beginning the conversation!
The Diocese of Parramatta is required to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Case Study 44. This public hearing is expected to begin on Monday 12 September 2016. For more information please refer to the Royal Commission website www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/public-hearings/case-studies
In Term 3 Year 7 EHR classes are focusing on understanding film and how meaning is portrayed through different film techniques. Miss Turner’s and Mrs Madigan’s Year 7 classes work together each week in Co Teaching and have been working on developing their own iMovie, demonstrating their knowledge of all the different film techniques. Students took on roles in acting, directing and filming and were required to demonstrate the difference between high angle shot, panning, low angle shot, close up, extreme close up and many more technique in the iMovie. At the end of filming students enjoyed watching each other’s presentations and learnt a lot from the experience.
Term 3 Fees were due and payable by 22 August 2016. A reminder to those Parents/Caregivers who have not paid Term 3 fees and may require an extension of time please contact either Mrs Webb on 9208-7239 or Mr Andrew Noney on 9208-7238, urgently to make arrangements and therefore prevent receiving further reminder letters in the mail. Thank you to those Parents/Caregivers who have paid or who have made arrangements with us and are paying off their Term 3 school fees.
Year 9 and 10 students have recently concluded their formal exam block, Year 11 are about to start and of course the HSC begins after the next holidays. Exams are often a huge source of stress. The following excerpt from ReachOut.com may be helpful. “Tackling exams: There are a whole bunch of things you can do to help you get through exams the best way you can.
Year 12 Studies of Religion students have been studying about Christianity and in particular about the significant person of Paul of Tarsus. One of the main parts of Paul’s life was the four journeys that Paul made to spread the Christian faith. For the students to understand this they were provided with a map of the Nirimba campus and given directions around the school to find information about the journeys of Paul. At the various stations the students read important information about the particular journey and the impact that it made on the faith. Students then used this information to form responses in preparation for their HSC exams.
An evacuation drill was carried out at the Schofields campus on Tuesday, 2 August. The evacuation drill tested the new evacuation alarm system. The alarm system and its sirens is the same system as the evacuation system we have at our Nirimba campus. The system is a wireless system powered by batteries and solar power and represents state of the art technology, with no wiring of speakers required.
It’s been 2 weeks since returning to school after the life changing experience that was World Youth Day 2016. The dust has seemingly settled and I’m back to the daily ritual of life. It’s hard to put 3 weeks of great experiences into a few short words. From our home Diocese of Parramatta to the provinces devastated by the 2013 earthquakes in Bohol, Philippines, to the buzzing hub of WYD that was Krakow, Poland - the theme of mercy was well and truly alive. But what is mercy? It’s a word that I myself often find hard to define. Perhaps I can share my understanding of mercy through sharing my experiences and reflections...
It has been announced 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. We are sure that you will feel a great sense of loss as Kathy has been an exceptional leader and staff member. She is an inspiration to all of us. We will make sure we farewell her properly prior to the end of the year.
For us Catholics, during this Year of Mercy, there are important questions that we should be asking ourselves. How do we as Catholics respond to God’s mercy and love? Are we open to Mercy in our lives? Is our relationship with God visible in the way we treat those around us, in particular the most vulnerable? This encounter with the Merciful Father must also be an encounter with others- those who are the least among us and live at the peripheries and margins of our society. In a special way, to encounter migrants and refugees both within our communities but also those abroad.
The St John Paul II SRC has been working hard in everyday College life. Recently the newly elected Year 7 SRC students have experienced leading the College in the daily Angelus prayer, having been guided through this process by existing SRC students. It has been excellent to see the SRC working together and helping one another in their roles. In recent weeks Year 8 students were able to nominate themselves to be part of the SRC for 2017 and 2018. It was excellent to hear students express their desire to join the SRC in the hope of being a positive voice for their peers.
Year 9 and 10 students have hit the ground running this term with many great things happening. Students have just completed their exams and the Leader of Learning, Stage 5, Miss Cairns and Student Learning Liaisons Miss Jessica Idone and Mr Brendan Ford congratulate Year 9 and 10 students on their great efforts and hard work in the recent weeks in completing their exams. Year 9 have been busy with Multicultural Day and their recent Marian Expo. Year 10 students have just submitted their first round of subject selections for year 11, 2017. Exciting times lie ahead for these students as we work to finalise their subject choices for next year.
Privacy Notice for Parents/Caregivers From the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) collects data from schools to determine the Index of Community Socio-educational Advantage (ICSEA). CEDP is currently working to provide relevant details to the Catholic Education Commission of NSW (CEC). The notice explains what kind of data ACARA requests from non-government schools directly and how the data are managed.
After 8 months of hard work and preparation we finally were able to showcase the talents of our students in the musical "Back to the 80's". We would like to thank the school community for their constant support. Not by only attending but by bringing your family and friends along as well! We saw new friendships being made and stars born. We hope we have given those students involved, a high school memory that they will never forget.
The Broken Bay Diocese recently announced significant increases to their school fees in some schools which were widely broadcast in the media recently. Please note that these increases do not affect our Diocese or school. Term 3 fees were posted out on Monday, 25 July 2016 and fall due/payable by Monday, 22 August 2016. Please contact Jean Webb on 9208-7239 if you have not received your statement.
From 2020, in order to be eligible for the HSC, students will be required to reach a minimum literacy and numeracy standard. The standard is set at the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) Level 3, which is a nationally agreed standard of functional literacy and numeracy. Students can demonstrate that they meet the standard by achieving either...
Last Sunday in my parish we celebrated Marriage and Family Sunday, where we remember, honour and pray for all marriages and families. In this year of Mercy, we reflect upon Pope Francis’ teaching in Amoris Laetita [The Joy of Love] on forgiveness in marriage. He tells us that we need to not focus on what the rules are, but rather focus on how to live, how to cultivate virtues and how to love one another.
Today our Year 12 Chemistry students became investigators at the Australian National Maritime Museum! The students had a very informative tour of the museum, the Royal Australian Navy gun ship "HMAS Vampire" and submarine "Onslow", learning about the various metals and chemical/physical techniques used in construction, before investigating the conservation and restoration of the anchor from "Sirius" that sank in 1790.
Six Year 12 St John Paul II students have been guaranteed a spot in Western Sydney University and granted a study scholarship after completing university courses with flying colours during their preliminary studies last year! The WSU Celebration Ceremony held on Wednesday, 22 June, invited family, friends, students and staff to celebrate the achievements of the students as they received their certificates and scholarship offers.
On Wednesday, 22nd June, St John Paul II Catholic College took an under 16’s girls Futsal team to compete in the Dural Regional Futsal Championships. From the start of the competition our team showed a great desire to work together, win the ball and compete fairly. The students had a great day and really enjoyed their first experience of Futsal!
Last Thursday, 16 June, our Year 12 students had a field day exploring the many opportunities, organisations and available resources for their future at the Western Sydney Careers Expo! The Careers Expo held over 140 exhibitions including universities, TAFE colleges and training providers, employers and employment services, careers counsellors, apprenticeship information and opportunities, HSC resources and more.
On Thursday 9th of June Year 11 had their first Semester Awards, held in the Nirimba hall. This award ceremony acknowledges students who have demonstrated the qualities of citizenship, excellent attendance and consistently giving of their personal best across all their classes. Year 12 have had a busy Term 2. The highlight of the term has been the retreat at Collaroy. Students spent three days together discovering the “Treasure Within” as this was the theme of the retreat. Students are busy preparing for their fast approaching HSC Trial Exams which commence in Term 3, Week 3. Students have holiday tutorials to attend during their study break. It is with great pride that we look at the wonderful things that are occurring within the cohort, we have such an amazing group of young people.
The St John Paul II Catholic College SRC has had a busy end to the term. Over the last few weeks hopeful future Year 7 SRC nominees have been involved in presenting speeches to their peers and 4 peers have been selected! SRC members Isabella Williams, Omosa Erhunmwunse, Cormac Lamb, Alisha Anderson, Francinne Buenaagua and Ryan Baker all volunteered their time to join in this community service during the Staff Evangelisation Retreat Day and On Thursday the 16th of June, at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta, our College Leaders Francinne Buenaagua and Cormac Lamb with Mr Smith and Mr Fanning represented the College at the Liturgical Reception and Solemn Mass of Installation of Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta!
The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Jesus. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical colour green. This symbol of hope is the colour of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.
In Week 7, Miss Vella's Year 11 Music students were working hard in the studios recording the 2017 school song! Each year, our talented Year 11 music students write and produce a new school song to represent their grade in their final year as HSC students at St John Paul II. We can't wait to hear it!
Parents/Caregivers are strongly encouraged to attend the Parent/Caregiver/Student/Teacher interviews that will be held from 8 am to 8 pm on Monday July 25. These interviews are an opportunity to discuss the progress of the student and any matters arising from the Semester 1 report. It is also an opportunity for affirmation of students who are really achieving well and discussions on how they can enhance their learning. As Year 10 students are in the process of selecting their subjects for 2017 this is also an opportune time to be discussing choices with subject teachers or key staff.
On Tuesday, 14 June, the staff of St John Paul II Catholic College gathered at the Benedict XVI RetreatCentre in Grose Wold for their annual Staff Evangelisation Retreat Day. The activities of the day was based around the Face of Mercy through Service. Staff members went out into the local community for part of the day to do some volunteer work with local organisations and concluded the day with a special mass with Fr Oliver!
Stage 5 have had a very exciting start to Term 2 and have a lot ahead of them to look forward too! Year 9 have so far taken part in ANZAC Day ceremonies, the Athletics Carnival and NAPLAN tests as well as now beginning their Multicultural Day projects. Year 10 are looking ahead to the next step of their education as they look into subject selections for 2017! Students have been taking part in "Tastes of Nirimba" to get a feel of new subject opportunities before they attend the big Subject Selection Evening on 28 June.
As we continue to grow and learn in this Year of Mercy, students were asked to write a persuasive text about someone inspiring in the Australian community who exemplifies God's Mercy and shows it to others. In this competition students were challenged to persuade a panel of teachers as to why they're specific person should be awarded the 2016 Year of Mercy Award. We had a large number of students who entered the competition who all received a certificate of participation for their fantastic pieces of writing.
The Nirimba Education Precinct now has it's own Facebook page! Our Year 11-12 students are located within the Precinct, where they have the opportunity to undertake pathway programs into TAFE and university. Like the Facebook page for updates, news and opportunities! Search Nirimba Education Precinct on Facebook, or go to www.facebook.com/nirimbaedp.
‘Building Child Safe Communities’ is a new initiative developed by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta that enhances our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all students in our care. It is now a requirement that all volunteers and contractors complete an online undertaking form that confirms expectations in relation to behaviour whilst volunteering or contracting at schools, Catholic Out of Schools Hours Care and Catholic Early Learning Centres.
Learning & snowball fights in one sentence? Here's how it's done... Students were given the sentence "There are different forms of energy..." and had to write a response. They then scrunched up their paper and on the teachers’ count threw the ball into the air. They then picked up a ball which was closest to them and responded to the other responses by adding their own. Read more about this and other great teaching and learning strategies!
During Term 1 and 2 we have had many teams competing in the MCS and MCCS every Thursday, including our soccer teams, netball teams, water polo and many others. All teams have represented the school with pride and we are proud of all their efforts. The most notable result so far this season is the Junior Girl Volleyball team reaching the semi finals and our Netball teams' victorious day against Bethlehem Catholic College. We have also had a number of Individual Sport Representatives over the last 5 School Weeks. Also check out the house points results from our swimming carnival, cross country and athletics carnival!
After many months of waiting we have a new Bishop for the diocese. His Holiness Pope Francis recently appointed the Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen O.F.M. Conv. DD, as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta. Bishop Long Van Nguyen comes to the Diocese with a rich understanding of the challenges and opportunities of multiculturalism in western Sydney.
The assessment and reporting period is well upon us and you may have noticed your child completing assignments and studying for tests. Please continue to encourage your child to dedicate time and effort to this important home study that complements their learning in class. Year 10 will be completing their subject selections for Year 11, 2017, early term 3 so this report will be a useful guide and one of the many tools we provide to help them make these important subject choices. Finally, the transition to full winter uniform has now occurred and it is expected that all students are appropriately groomed in full winter uniform each day.
Last month, Year 12 Biology students went to the Museum of Human Disease at The University of NSW (UNSW) as a part of the unit 'Search for Better Health'. Students were introduced to the topic by learning about different classifications of disease, causes of disease and viewing specimens of different conditions in the body.
On 25 May, staff, students and community members of the Nirimba Education Precinct gathered for the annual Reconciliation Ceremony in celebration of Reconciliation Week. Everyone placed a coloured, wooden hand into the grass where a turtle had been drawn. The colours of the hands represented the Aboriginal colours, red, yellow and black, and the Torres Strait Islander colours, blue, green and white. Each member of the ceremony symbolically added a hand into the "Sea of Hands" that had come together by the end of the ceremony. The "Sea of Hands" represented the coming together of the community and a sign of amendments.
Divine Mercy has been called "the greatest grassroots movement in the history of the Catholic Church" and has changed millions of lives. But what is Divine Mercy? What is this thing that gets to the heart of Sacred Scripture and to the very centre of our faith? To begin, mercy is "love's second name," as John Paul II said. It's a particular kind of love, a particular mode of love when it encounters suffering, poverty, brokenness, and sin. Divine Mercy is when God's love meets us and helps us in the midst of our suffering and sin.
Our school has been lucky enough to have been chosen to take part in the 2016 Kool Skools Music Program! Kool Skools is an exciting Recording and Multimedia Project for secondary level students. It promotes, develops and supports a diverse range of talent and all genres of contemporary music writings and performance. Kools Skools is a heap of fun but it is also highly educational and great workplace training experience for young people too. It's not just about making 'Pop Stars' - the project offers the added benefits of schooling students in the recording, promotion and marketing of music and working as a team, an education that assists them with any future business or project based activity. Would you like to be involved?
Students of StJPII turned into sports stars and athletes on Tuesday, 3 May, as they hit the tracks and sporting fields at Blacktown International Sports Park for their annual Athletics Sports Carnival! Each year, all students from Years 7 - 12 gather for a day full of sports, fun and team spirit. Students have the opportunity to compete in sprinting, relays, long jump, triple jump, shot put and more! For those who aren’t competing for a place in the championships, students participate in aim of earning the most house points for participation for their house. The crowd stands are coloured in blue, red, green and white as students dress to support their house and cheer on their peers. Brady came first place on the points board at 1051, followed by Locke at 861, Therry at 826 and Cross at 644!
Our Year 12 Visual Arts students have been working very hard towards their HSC major body of work with great enthusiasm and pride! Mrs Brooks says that the students understand that "great art takes time." This year we have 17 students that have been working on their pieces since Term 4, 2015, and are now heading towards the finish line where they will submit their final work in August.
To learn or to have a tea party - why not both? A tea party is when students create both an inner and outer circle, facing each other. Each student is armed with an interesting fact about the current topic which they share with the person standing in front of them. The students partake in educational discussions about their new found information using accountable talk and are then asked to move around the circle and share their information and discuss with someone new.
Each year St John Paul II Catholic College comes together during the time of Lent to support Caritas Australia with Project Compassion. This year the StJPII community were challenged to raise $7000 in support of the "Learning More, Creating Change" campaign for Project Compassion 2016. The College has raised $7,971.40 to be exact!
Last Thursday, 28 April, the College reflected on the time of the ANZACs at three very intimate ANZAC ceremonies held with the three Stages. Students respectfully attended their Stage ceremonies and listened to some inspiring history and stories from the time. Each Stage ceremony was lucky to have a special presenter from the Nirimba Naval Association of Australia to share their thoughts and experiences in honour of the ANZACs.
Last Thursday, 5 May, Stage 6 gathered at the Nirimba hall with family and friends for the Year 12 Semester One Awards. Semester Awards recognise students for their academic achievements as well as overall effort with Stage Awards since they began Year 12 in Term 4 last year. This is the last award ceremony for Year 12 before they attend their Graduation Ceremony at the end of Term 3. We congratulate Year 12 on their efforts so far this year and wish them luck as they head into the last two terms of their high school years!
Year 7 2016 have now completed their very first term of high school at St John Paul II Catholic College! Year 7 students Nicole Azzi and Faith Estrada tell us all about their experiences within their first time of high school, including their first swimming carnival, Year 7 Camp and project compassion fund raising.
As the year progresses, students in Year 11 and 12 are beginning to receive feedback about how they are achieving in their subjects. In some cases students may be considering subject changes. Many students have chosen courses that qualify for ATAR and they are not coping. Students are always advised to study subjects they are interested in and for many, an ATAR is not needed. Only students who intend to attend University straight from school need an ATAR. Read more for frequently asked questions about ATARs!
Put your phone away when I’m talking to you. Don’t text while you’re driving—not even at red lights. Stop posting photos of me without my permission. Think these are rules parents have for their children? Think again. They’re some of the rules for internet and phone use that, given the chance, children would set for their parents. For a new study researchers surveyed 249 families with children between the ages of 10 and 17 and asked about their household’s most important technology rules and expectations, as well as what made those rules easier or harder to follow. The researchers say the study is among the first to explore children’s expectations for parents’ technology use.
You are about to go on a journey... A journey back to a time when Michael Jackson and Rick Astley were the Kings of Pop... A journey back to a time when bubble skirts and blue eye shadow were cool... A journey back to a time when the Atari was cutting edge technology... That's right dudes... you are about to go on a journey... St John Paul II Catholic College is pleased to announce that rehearsals have started for this year’s musical “ Back to the 80’s”.
St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first is March 19—Joseph, the Husband of Mary. The second is May 1—Joseph, the Worker. There is very little about the life of Joseph in Scripture but still, we know that he was the chaste husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter and a man who was not wealthy. We also know that he came from the royal lineage of King David. We can see from his actions in scripture that Joseph was a compassionate man, and obedient to the will of God. He also loved Mary and Jesus and wanted to protect and provide for them.
Five St John Paul II students from Year 12 have recently received their results after completing a university course at the Australian Catholic University called "Step Up Into Teaching"! After being accepted through the application process of the program, Danielle Gatt, Rachel Gatt, Emma-Jane Missio, Caitlin Williams and Sarah-Jane Murray all spent one week at the university during school holidays, completing university level study and assignments with other students selected in the program from around NSW.
On Sunday hundreds of staff, students, pilgrims, families and parishioners gathered at Parramatta for the annual Palm Sunday procession! Our 6 pilgrims Johanna, Jeremiah, Amanda, Clinton, Mariel and Jesse were joined by Ms Johnstone, Mr Wijesekera and Mr Lara as they made their way down Church Street bearing our schools banner whilst joining the many future pilgrims in song. The waving flags and seemingly large crowd was just a taste of what the pilgrims could expect in Krakow, Poland!
Check out all the action that took place at the StJPII 2016 Open Afternoon/Evening. Hundreds of families and students from our local community gathered at the College to explore the fantastic opportunities and facilities they could be a part of as they look forward to their high school years. Did you miss out? Call us today to book a campus tour!
Last Wednesday, 9 March, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Wyndham College and St John Paul II Catholic College gathered at the NEP Green Skills Hub for the annual Koori Welcome Lunch! Each year, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Committee organises a lunch to welcome new ATSI high school students within the Nirimba Education Precinct into the program.
In the Gospel reading we hear at the blessing of the palms, Mark tells us that Jesus rode on a borrowed donkey. Kings and conquerors made grand entrances into cities on well-bred horses or in horse-drawn chariots. But what kind of king makes his triumphal entrance on a borrowed donkey? Borrowed things are a feature of Jesus’ whole life. He was born in a borrowed stable, wrapped up and placed in a borrowed manger. Having “nowhere to lay his head”, he slept in borrowed accommodation. He celebrated his farewell meal in a borrowed room, died on a borrowed cross and was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.
The QCS survey provides information about our school’s cultural behaviour, relationships and learning community, and assists us in our focus on continuous improvement. Between 21 March and 1 April 2016 all staff and all Year 7 to 12 students, and 60 randomly-selected parents/caregivers will be asked to complete an online survey.
Kahoot is a great way to review work done previously in class. The Kahoot is made before class by the teacher and is then used in the first 1o minutes of class to review the work. A question is posed to students on the board and they select a multiple choice answer on their iPad. Students love to get involved and compete against each other in this game!
Stage 5 are off to a great start in 2016. Year 9 have a entered the world of Google Apps for education. Year 10 have been continuing their work with Peer Support, helping year 7 in their transition to high school. During Learning Enrichment on the 3/3 students will be having guest speakers from Caritas Australia and The Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation.
Last week Mrs Crawford's Year 9 Child Studies had some very LITTLE visitors. As part of their unit around caring for newborns, the students had the opportunity to experience bathing and dressing the little visitors, Aiden (1 year old) with Melissa Peroni, Lucia (1 year old) with Belinda Cavallaro and Charli (6 months old) with her sister Melissa Dunn from the class.
The office staff advises parents to please send a note to school with their children if they plan to pick them up early so they can have permission to leave class at the time indicated by their parents. There is a large amount of lost property that has been collected and kept in the Schofields Office, please have your children check the office for their belongings.
As students progress throughout their education new technologies and ways of learning are introduced. This week Year 7 and Year 9 participated in two very important days, Year 7 My iPad Day and Year 9 My Mac Day, in order to learn how to make the most of technology throughout the next stages of their education.
Mr Lara, Mr Wijesekeera and a few of Year 12 students prepared the food at Merrylands and headed out to Mount Druitt and Parramatta last Wednesday for the first Vinnies Van of the year. Helping with the Vinnies Van is a very rewarding and humbling experience. There will be opportunities for staff and students (of a certain age) to train for Vinnies Van throughout the year.
Starting off the year is always an exciting time at the College. The Stage 4 team aims to help students feel safe, happy and stimulated at St John Paul II Catholic College by giving them the best start for their exciting journey through secondary school. Take a look at what they have been up to so far!
Last Friday, the Year 9 students took part in a very special tradition at the College called the Butterfly Ceremony. The students gathered for a liturgy, where stories and readings were shared around the idea of taking the next step in their lives and created their own unique butterfly that they placed in their learning area.
As Year 11 2015 now become the HSC students of 2016, they have been adapting and preparing for what's ahead of them in these last few weeks! Students also attended the Ryda Driver Safety Day. We also congratulate Year 12 2015 on completing their HSC and look forward to seeing them at the pizza lunch on Wedneday Week 11.
Our HSC Visual Arts (Year 11 of 2015) are currently studying a new unit titled "Site-specific." Students have been learning about the value of "meaning and interpretations over material practice". For the past week site-specific works have been on display around the school grounds, allowing our staff and students to observe and interpret the works themselves.
Biennially, Worldskills Australia provides an opportunity for VET in schools (VETiS) students to participate in the WorldSkills Competition. We had students compete in both the Hospitality Commercial Cookery Competition and the Entertainment Competition as nominated by their teachers, with each awarded participation certificates for their outstanding performance.
Attendance at school provides children with opportunities to develop the basic skills for learning, and assists in the development of social skills including communication, self-esteem, teamwork and friendship building. The Australian Government recently conducted a detailed study of the relationship between attendance at school and student achievement.
Co Teaching (Co-operative Teaching) is a technique used throughout all levels of education, and also used at the College. The technique includes two classes joining together for a lesson to share their knowledge with the other class in group activities. Year 8 students told us what they think about the teaching technique after one of their Co Teaching lessons!
Earlier this year the College Intranet was introduced to the College. The Parents section of the intranet provides parents and caregivers with essential information about students' learning and well being, including information on your children's lessons, homework, assessments and more! http://stjp2.parra.catholic.edu.au/
In the last few weeks, StJPII Year 8 students have had the opportunity to visit our feeder primary schools for the Leading Learning Program. This program allows students to make valuable learning connections with Year 5 students as they meet in small groups, chat, make friends and participate in fun activities.
On Monday, 26 October, St John Paul II Catholic College welcomed over 200 new students to the Schofields Campus for their Year 7 2016 Transition Day. Before entering the world of high school in 2016, students were invited to attend a day at the College where they had the opportunity to meet their new teachers and their new peers.
St Francis has recently spoken to us about refugees, family, religious tolerance and respect for our environment. These three issues enter our lives everyday. "God did not want to come into the world other than through a family," pope Francis said, referring to Jesus' birth to Mary. "That is why the family is the living symbol of the loving plan of which the Father once dreamed," he said.
On Friday, 23 October, Year 11 students and parents gathered in the Nirimba Hall for the Stage 6 Year 11 Semester Two Awards! Here students were recognised for their academic achievements in the second semester as well as special awards for Stage 6, university achievements, creative arts, debating/public speaking, sports excellence and more.
On Tuesday, 15 October, Year 12 students gathered with staff, family and friends at the Nirimba Hall for their Graduation Ceremony. The ceremony began with each student receiving their graduating certificate from the College, followed by meaningful speeches and presentation of awards from the College Leaders, Co-operating Principals and special visitors.
On Friday, 16 October, students and parents/caregivers gathered at the Nirimba Campus for the first RISE UP Merit Morning Tea for 2016. During the year students have been recognised and awarded merits for qualities such as hard work and effort, improvements, personal bests, giving a helping hand and portraying good values at school.
Last week, Year 10 students took part in two Reflection Days that contribute significantly to students' faith and pastoral experience within the College, as well as providing time for students to step out of the classroom environment, learn more about themselves, their lives, faith and friendships as bond with their peers and teachers.
This is a time of the year where many choices become available to our students. Year 11 are finalising their pattern of study for the HSC, Year 10 and 8 are still finalising their subject choices for 2016... Every day we are faced with choices. What to wear? What to watch on TV? What to eat? Do we understand choices and what motivates us?
At St John Paul II/Terra Sancta Day our Year 12 members of our indigenous community greeted graduates. Claire Lynch spoke the acknowledgement of Country in language before the usual English translation. As the graduates processed in they were greeted by a subtle smoking ceremony while the aboriginal dancers, who revealed their totem animal, led them to a greeting circle to sing the school song.
A beautiful Friday afternoon greeted a small group who completed some painting and cleaning tasks for our upcoming Year 12 Graduation Mass. Our next working bee will be held on Friday, 6 November at our Schofields campus from 3pm to 6pm. Thank you also to the Williams family for their very generous donation.
Year 11 have been very busy this term. During Weeks 8 and 9 they sat their yearly examinations. Mr Green and Miss Powles were so proud of the way in which the students conducted themselves during this period. It goes without saying that Term 3 has been a whirlwind of activity for Year 12. The reality of the HSC and leaving St John Paul II is mixed up with celebrations and excitement.
On Wednesday, 19 August, the Year 12 HSC Music students put on a showcase of their final music major works for their HSC to their families and friends at the Nirimba Campus Hall. They put on a fantastic show to a very supportive crowd that gathered on the night. The great quality of work was evident throughout each of the stand-out performances.
Our Year 12 students have just finished a big block of exams and are now in the final stages of preparing for their HSC exams. Year 11 students are about to go into an exam block and these events can lead to stress. Here is an excerpt from a page of the University of NSW website and even though it refers to university students much of the information is applicable in the school setting.
The solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary falls on a Saturday this year. The Assumption is a holy day of obligation in Australia. The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Blessed Virgin Mary was “assumed” body and soul into heavenly glory when she died. St John Paul II reminds us of Mary’s place in the life of the Church and in our lives …
Leader of Learning, Stage 5, Miss Cairns, congratulates Year 9 and 10 students on their great efforts and hard work in the recent weeks in completing their exams. Year 9 have been busy with Multicultural Day and their Marian Expo while Year 10 have been busy making big decisions about their subjects for Year 11 next year!
In Term 3 Year 7 students are learning about the body in their Maths, Science and PDHPE classes. All Year 7 students this week have learnt about the circulatory system and about Cardiovascular Disease.The students have each been given the opportunity to dissect a pig's heart this week as part of their learning!
On the first Tuesday & Wednesday of Term 3, two groups of Year 8 students participated in a reflection day in the new learning centre on the Schofields campus. This was an opportunity for the students and staff to stop, take a moment and reflect on their journey so far in their time at St John Paul II Catholic College, while also gaining an insight into what the future may hold.
On Wednesday 17 June, five students from St John Paul II Catholic College, Nirimba received awards and scholarship offers from the University of Western Sydney (UWS). The students attended the UWS Awards ceremony after successfully completing university courses during their Year 11 preliminary study in 2014.
As a student in our school is currently receiving treatment which results in a lowered immune system, which means the student is more prone to getting ill from infection, a major concern is that if the student develops measles, chickenpox or influenza, he/she could become seriously ill. Letter attached.
On Tuesday June 23 from 6.30 pm in the Nirimba Hall there will be the Subject Selection Market for Year 11 2016 students and their families. The other event is the Parent/Caregiver/Teacher/Student interviews on Monday July 20 at Schofields. This is for all students in Years 7-12 and all are strongly encouraged to attend.
St John Paul II Catholic College has held their first ever Virtual Exhibition! The Virtual art Exhibition is an online display of all the best visual art works produced by our students from Years 7-11. The display gives viewers the option to choose their favourite artwork for the very First People's Choice Award in 2015!
Students who are ill and feel they need to go home should report to their teacher in the first instance so that correct procedures can be followed. If they become ill at a break then they should report to the office. Parents are advised that students should not be calling them directly to pick them up.
Term 2 fees were due and payable by 25 May 2015. A reminder to those Parents/Caregivers who have not paid Term 2 fees and may require an extension of time please contact either Mrs Webb on 9208-7239 or myself on 9208-7238, urgently to make arrangements and therefore prevent receiving further reminder letters in the mail.
Year 12 is a year in which there are many competing pressures on our students. We have just completed a process of interviewing all Year 12 students with the intention of assessing their individual needs and to try to implement strategies to assist them. Also learn about the RISE UP Behaviour Matrix created to help explain the idea behind the implementation.
n 1999 St John Paul II wrote a letter to the elderly, where shares the story of the elderly in the scriptures and their faith-filled lives and encourages the families of the elderly to re-think their perceptions and some cases misconceptions. Early in March 2015 Pope Francis reflected on the need to respect the elderly.
At St. John Paul II Catholic College staff have been learning about the Charism, the giftedness, of this great man of faith. His fives loves include young people, human love, the Most Blessed Sacrament, our Lady, and the Cross. How do we become more knowledgeable and intentional regarding our action for each of the 5 loves?