St John Paul II Catholic College Newsletter

Term 3 - 2020


Dear Parents/Carers and Students,

As we come towards the end of Term 3, we again take the time to reflect upon the learning and limited events due to COVID-19 that have and will occur at St John Paul II Catholic College in Term 3. I would like to especially acknowledge the Year 12 HSC class of 2020.

Uncertainty has been challenging for the Year 12 HSC students to deal with and they have done this with dignity. In the last few weeks, our students completed their Trial HSC examinations. In addition, they have submitted their NESA major works, undertook performances and submitted folios of work completed over the last 12 months.

Despite the challenges of preparing for some of the most important examinations so far in their lives there have been such strong signs at St JPIICC with students supporting each other and where teachers are just doing everything within their work day to be available to these students.

Several Year 12 students have told me recently it has taught them the value of struggle, not feeling sorry for themselves and indeed checking the wellbeing of others. Admirable traits indeed, that will hold them and many others doing the same so very well when they journey beyond the learning at St JPIICC in 2021. 

Learning at StJPIICC

Our leaders of learning at the College have commenced planning for 2021. It seems difficult to plan to look over the horizon when there is uncertainty about what 2020 still holds. There are a number of learning and teaching initiatives we are exploring that aligns with the change in the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabus requirements. Plus, we are continually reviewing our literacy and numeracy strategies to improve all students learning. 

One area of review is the current Year 7-10 Physical Activity Program – PACT which is separate from the Sport Representative Program. This allocation of time next year will be allocated to an increase in PDHPE Practical lessons and Literacy/Numeracy via the students having an increase in their PDHPE, Maths, Science and English period allocation. In addition to the current Sport Representative Program there will be an increase in student opportunities to represent the College in sport via attending ‘Gala Days’ in 2021.

We continue to further develop STEM which is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills including problem solving. 

Further development of problem base and inquiry learning is also creating a higher level of engagement by the students in their subjects for Years 7-12. Plus, knowledge and skill development from creating remote learning is also being integrated into many of the learning and teaching programs.

Student Attendance

We continue with the strategies to improve student daily attendance. Regular attendance at school is essential for students to achieve quality life outcomes. Schools, in partnership with parents and carers are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students. There has been a significant improvement in student attendance at our College and this is resulting in improved learning results for most of the students.

2021 Enrolment Update

We have now accepted 210 applications for Year 7 in 2021.  Considering the increase of schools in our area this is great testimony to the trust our community places in us to provide our students with the best education possible. If you are aware of any families who have not made application for next year for Years 7-12 please advise them to contact Mrs Fay Lovett on 92087205 at the College as a matter of urgency to avoid the possibility of missing out on enrolment for their son/daughter.

Summer Uniform 

The change of student uniform from Winter to Summer will occur in the last two weeks of this term, with all students in summer uniform at the start of Term 4. 

Staff Update

I welcome back the following staff to St John Paul II from leave during Term 4: Ms Natacha Warnant, Mrs Melissa Spence (Part Time) and Mrs Shanice Vella (Part time).  Mrs Kellie Robinson will continue teaching her current science classes. Thank you to Ms Stephanie Rodriguez  who will be completing her temporay contract with us at the end of Term 3.

Staff Learning Days

Friday 25 September, the last day of Term 3 is a Staff Learning-Pupil Free day. There will be no classes for Year 7-12 students on this day. Supervision will be available at the Schofields Library between 8:00am and 2:15pm where Parents/Carers choose to send their son/daughter to school on this day. If you wish to send your child to school please advise the College in writing via email to by Wednesday 23 September.

A reminder that the students return to school on Monday 12 October – Week A of the timetable after the Term 3 vacation break. There is no staff learning-pupil free day on Monday 12 October.

To assist you with your future planning there will be Staff Learning – Pupil Free days on Wednesday 16 December and  Thursday 17 December. The College will be closed from Friday 18 December.

Term 4 Event Changes.

Due to the current COVID-19 NSW Health Guidelines for schools the following event changes will occur during Term 4.

  • Interschool representative sport is cancelled.
  • Year 12 Mass / Graduation will now be held on Thursday 12 November. This will allow for two family members to attend this event on site.
  • The Year 12 Formal will be held on Friday 13 November with only current Year 12 students and staff attending.
  • The postponed Year 7 camp from Term 1 to be held during Term 4 is now cancelled. Unfortunately, due to the unknown 2021 COVID requirements and venues having limited booking availabilities we are not able to reschedule this camp for when the students are in Year 8. We do have a booking for Year 7 – 2021 and a decision about whether this camp will proceed will be decided in Term 1 next year.
  • The current Year 11 three-day retreat is being postponed from Term 4 to dates to be finalised in 2021.

Tell Them From Me Survey

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank the many members of our community who have completed the Tell Them From Me Survey. The College looks forward to unpacking this feedback as we continue to strive towards excellence in all that we do to improve the learning for the students of St JPIICC.



(Matthew 19 : 27 – 30)

Let the fields exult and all that is in them! Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy at the presence of God, for God is coming. God is coming to rule the earth – to rule the earth with justice and its people with truth!


As the darkness of winter passes and the wattle blooms in golden glory, spring is breaking forth and we recall that we gather as the resurrection people. New life is upon us and with us. Let us celebrate the goodness of God.

The world abounds with life, life that springs from your creative energy, God. Before time began, your Spirit was at work, bringing forth life. Throughout the ages, the same Spirit has renewed life. We pray that you will create in us new life, renewed hope and restored life. Draw us to yourself, for we are your people.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.



From the Assistant Principals

Bishop’s Award

One important event on the calendar is the Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student Excellence. This year the presentation was made at the College. This prestigious award is made to one Year 12 student from each Catholic school in the Diocese of Parramatta. Each year the award recognises outstanding young men and women, at the culmination of their schooling, who witness their Catholic faith and achieve well in their academic, sporting, creative, vocational or community endeavours. In addition, the Award is also a just recognition for the recipient’s parents/carers who have nurtured their son or daughter, as well as teachers who have instilled a passion for excellence. This year's recipient of the award from St John Paul II Catholic College is Christian Cipri. Christian  is our College  school Captain. The citation for his award reads,

Christian Cipri is an active member of the College community who last year was elected as our College leader. Christian embodies the charism of St John Paul II who is the name sake of our College. Christian is a servant leader who represented the College at Australian Catholic Youth Festivals in addition to volunteering for a number of causes. Christian has participated in school liturgies, assemblies, and fundraisers and is a catchesist leader. Academically, Christian always strives to reach his full potential. He is an impressive ambassador for St John Paul II Catholic College. 

 We congratulate Christian, a worthy recipient of the Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student Excellence, 2020.

Flu-like and Other COVID-19 Symptoms

St John Paull II Catholic College continues to operate with increased vigilance around hygiene. Any staff member or student exhibiting flu like symptoms or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 must not attend school. If they exhibit symptoms while at school they are to be sent home. Once symptoms occur, any staff and students must undergo a COVID-19 test and not return to school until they are well and can provide proof of a negative test to their school. This document can be sent to

Many thanks go to our parents/carers at this time for doing what is necessary and ensuring that any students who are unwell remain at home. 

Students are reminded of the hygiene protocols around the College. Hand sanitiser is provided around the College and in classrooms. This is extremely important upon arrival at the College, and after use of public transport.

Read more ......

Wearing the correct uniform at STJPII

  1. Hoodies are not allowed under any circumstances, as per the student planner. All students are aware of this rule. Students who choose to wear a hoodie and do not remove it on request will have the item confiscated.
  2. Winter Uniform: The College red jumper is to be worn under the blazer with the winter uniform, if required.
  3. Sport Uniform: The College red jumper can be worn under the sport jacket, if required.
  4. Students may wear a scarf for additional warmth. See Student Planner page 23.
  5. The College cap is the only option.
  6. Jewellery: as per the Student Planner page 21


Religious Education

This year Stage 5 have been participating in the New Curriculum for Religion, Year 10 are currently studying the unit called “Are there conflicts that dialogue and encounter can’t resolve?” (Dialogue and Encounter). The significance for this learning is the enduring understanding of their individual potential through dialogue and encounter, to become the voice to the voiceless; looking at how dignity is at the core of each encounter with humanity. Year 10 have approached the new curriculum with an eagerness to learn and a commitment to participate in ways that allow them to connect their learning to their world. 

Students have participated in The National Week of Solidarity where they have been able put their learning into action and have been the voice for the voiceless. Our Mission Goal, God’s Truth calls each and everyone of us to action, to realise that “God lives in us, and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12. Student’s at John Paul II have been working very hard to raise awareness to the No Child Gets Left Behind Campaign.  

This action seeks to call students and educators to stand in solidarity with children and families seeking asylum at this time. This is an opportunity for students to become passionate about a very pressing issue. The children suffering are their own age and students should be encouraged to take a stand and support them.

Year 12 English Studies

Year 12 English Studies are studying their final unit, ‘English and the Experience of Travel’. One of their tasks was to select a country and create a visual diary showcasing potential experiences. This task complemented their recent writing activity focusing on the units prescribed text, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ where they needed to write a diary entry from the perspective of the protagonist, Walter and his experiences. 


Tuesday Maths Assistance has been up and running since the beginning of the term. We have been posting friendly reminders on Compass for both parents/carers and students. We have had some positive feedback about what Maths puns and ‘Knock Knock’ jokes to post on a weekly basis - please keep them coming! 

We have had a stream of students coming in of late as we have launched all Mathematics Assessment Tasks #3 to students in Weeks 5 and 6. Some students have simply used the time and space on Tuesdays to have some quiet time to complete classwork, homework, ‘Bank of Questions’ or sit in a Master Class for the day.

Read more .....

Public Speaking & Debating

For the past few weeks, teams of students have represented SJPII at the Catholic Schools Debating Association's (CSDA) Annual Debating Competition. But with the reimplementation of restrictions by the government, our students debated other schools via zoom rather than the usual face-to-face format. 

This new format was unfamiliar and presented some challenges, yet all students adapted to the circumstance and performed brilliantly, however, we did not progress to the finals.  Despite this, we want to congratulate all the students for their efforts and representing the school in an exceptional manner.

Thank you to all the debaters and coaches who represented StJPIICC this year!

Creative & Performing Arts

Our Year 12 Visual Arts students are applying the final details to their Bodies of Work. This year students selected expressive forms which included: Graphics Design, Painting, Drawing, Textiles and Collection of Works. After months of hard work with a portion spent in isolation, students are beyond excited to finally submit their Body of Work for final marking. NESA due date is Monday  September 14. 

Our Year 12 Music class completed their external HSC Practical Exams on Tuesday 8th where they presented 4 electives they have been working on over the past year to HSC markers. A big congratulations to our students who have dealt with the ever changing restrictions on performances and online learning, they performed extremely well and should be very proud of themselves! 

Year 8 student Tylar Smith has released yet another single called "Free". This is such a commendable achievement and we congratulate him on his extra curricular successes. The single is available to stream on iTunes, Spotify and Youtube platforms.

Year 12 Visual Arts - Bodies of Work

Year 12 Music

Career Advisor's Report

WSU Academic Access Program

Congratulations to eight of our Year 12 students who graduated last month from the Western Sydney University Academic Access Program, which provides motivated students with a unique opportunity to undertake early university study. Each of our amazing students was awarded a $20,000 scholarship and early university offers.

  • Niyati Mittal - Distinction

  • Hayley Ling - High Distinction

  • Harrison Bazley - High Distinction

  • Alex Belcastro - High Distinction

  • Claire Lynch - High Distinction

  • Michaela Forster - High Distinction

  • Vismay Bhadra - - High Distinction

  • Jake Gawthorne - Distinction

Early Offers

Congratulations to the following students who have received an early offer through ACU or Macquarie University or WSU. Most of these early offers are based on the student's community service and application to their work throughout their schooling years. 

Read more .....

School Leaders 2020

A final message from our School Leaders - SRC

Little did we know how fast time would pass from when we started Year 7 in 2015 until 2020, when we would be graduating high school. It feels like only yesterday that we began and here we are weeks away from graduating. If someone told us that in 2020, our graduating year, would have to face a global pandemic we would have never believed it, but here we are!

This year has been a rollercoaster of events from bushfires to floods and a pandemic which forced us into isolation. The whole world was put at a standstill and now we live our lives with restrictions on pretty much everything we do for our safety. Although we may not be able to experience the full extent of the normality of a Year 12 Graduation and exit events, we encourage our peers and their families to look on the positive side and be thankful for their health and their family and friends during this ever changing time.

On behalf of Year 12 we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers and staff at the college who have educated and guided us during our high school journey. The memories and friends we have made during our time at STJPIICC are ones that we will cherish forever. It is sad to think that our time is coming to an end at St John Paul II, but as we finish one chapter of our lives, we open up another one that is yet to be written. Although our time as college leaders has been very different to previous years due to many unforeseen changes we are both proud of our cohort and their determination, especially with all their HSC studies and their recently completed Trial examinations. 

We would also like to acknowledge all the work put into learning at home and in the classroom by the students from Year 7 to 11. We would like to thank all the parents and carers of Year 12, as you have nurtured, supported and helped to form them into great young men and women who we know will go far in their lives.

As a school, 2020 has presented many hurdles but everyone, especially the students have shown excellent motivation to their learning and all have persevered. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). Through our Catholic faith we have found strength in knowing that we will be guided into the future and God will be there wherever we go.

To Year 12 2020,  thank you for the memories and friendships we have formed over the past 6 years, we will definitely miss you all, but it will soon be time for us all to embark on our own journeys. Your way has passed through this land, and you will always be a part of the STJPIICC community.

May God bless you all

Christian Cipri & Claire Lynch (College Leaders 2020) 

See  more......

Please follow us and stay connected on instagram @STJPIICC 



Student Opal Card


A reminder that Students are required to tap on and off with their Opal card or show their School bus pass when boarding.

We have suggested that students take a photo of the reverse side of their card (Showing student/card number) on their phones for the days they may forget their card. This can then be shown to drivers/Opal Card Inspectors to show a valid card exists.

If students do not have an OPAL Card, the full fare must be paid.


A reminder to parents/carers - the drop off / pick up zone for our Schofields Campus is located next to the College at Rose Cottage and has a separate entry and exit driveway for your use.

NOTE:  As an alternative you can also park in adjacent streets - Arilla Close which runs adjacent to the school and can be accessed via Beacon Drive or Brookfield Street, The Ponds which is directly opposite the College.  We remind our community that Cottage Glade (off Arilla Close) is a private residence and should not be used for drop off/pick up. Please refrain from driving through and parking inside this private residence.

Where possible if pick up times could be staggered to assist with the congestion that has been occurring in light of an increase in parents/carerss picking up their children due to COVID-19. 

Please refrain from parking across the marked crossings.

For the SAFETY of our students and COVID-19 restrictions we ask parents/carers not to drive into main entry of the College to pick up or drop off students, we really appreciate your assistance in this matter.

Medical Action Plans & Medication

Student Medical Action Plans

Parent/Carers are reminded to send in an updated Medical Action Plan for students and these can be supplied by your GP.

Student Medication

A reminder that any PRESCRIBED MEDICATION needs to be accompanied by a letter from the prescribing doctor with dosage requirements, this will be kept in the office for our staff to administer.

If you wish our office staff to administer any NON PRESCRIBED MEDICATION, it also MUST have a label from the pharmacy stating the student’s name, dosage requirements and a letter from a parent /carer authorising our staff to administer the medication.  The exception is reliever puffers for the emergency treatment of asthma.

Laptops & Mobile Phones

Student Devices

It is the expectation that every student brings a charged laptop to school everyday. Most subject areas use Google Classroom and email communication to connect with the students and their learning. 

Mobile phones

Students are not permitted to use mobile phones during normal class time. A mobile phone must be switched off during learning time. The use of social media is not permitted at STJPII. Could we ask that if a parent/carer needs to send a message to a student that they call the school office so a message can be given to the student. At no time is a student permitted to film or take an image of another student or community member without specific permission. 

Assessment Handbooks

All  Assessment Handbooks are available online from the website OR  via the parent portal at COMPASS Community School Documentation


Vaping is the thing!

It’s been a while since young people’s use of alcohol and other drugs has been a prominent concern. For several years the focus has been on problems with excessive gaming and social media use with their attendant risks. But a recent upsurge in the use of e-cigarettes is gaining attention.

By now most people know that e-cigarettes involve the heating of a liquid and inhaling of the vapour (called vaping) which may or may not contain nicotine. In Australia, e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal (except when prescribed by a doctor), but a problem is that even ones labelled nicotine-free may actually contain nicotine anyway.

Some devices resemble conventional cigarettes, cigars or pipes, while others look like everyday items such as pens or USB memory sticks.

It’s always good to bear in mind that while many young people will try alcohol or other drugs including e-cigarettes, most will not continue their use.

What’s more, a recent national survey from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare confirms international trends we have observed for many years in Australia too that young people are using alcohol and other drugs to a lesser extent than earlier generations.

For example, two-thirds of 14 to 17-year-olds reported they had never consumed a full standard drink - more than double the proportion in 2001.

Just 22 per cent of 14-to-19-year-olds reported having used an illicit drug, down from 38 per cent in 2001. Almost 97 per cent of respondents aged under 18 reported they had never smoked tobacco. The percentage of teenage daily smokers has fallen by 80% since 2001.

Ironically, one expert speculates that socialising online over gaming and social media may be a factor in declining alcohol and drug use, so we’re back to where we started!

But what about e-cigarettes? Their use, itself a recent development, has increased as you might expect. It rose from 8.8 per cent of Australians in 2016 to 11.3 per cent in 2019, with a much greater increase among smokers.

Are e-cigarettes safe? It’s early days to answer that question with certainty due to limited research, but there are plenty of reasons to be very cautious and to discourage their use particularly among teenagers.

Many e-liquids come in flavours that are attractive to young people, such as mango, lime and mint. Is not clear yet whether vaping might encourage some young people to take up tobacco smoking who would not otherwise have done so.

Most countries have no regulations governing e-cigarette design and product approval. There have been frequent reports about nicotine poisonings, and over 200 cases have been reported in the US and UK of e-cigarettes overheating, catching fire or exploding, causing serious and in some cases life threatening injury, disability and disfigurement.

Some vaping products contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The e-cigarette heat may also produce toxic substances.

Parents/carers are already good at talking to their teens about alcohol, smoking and drugs. E-cigarettes should be included in the conversation. The earlier and more often you speak with young people about e-cigarettes, the more likely they are to listen.

On the school website there is information about school counselling and advice on finding support for a range of mental health concerns (In the loop > Counselling).




Dear Parents and Carers

We thank each and every one of you who has paid your fees and we are here to offer any assistance if you are struggling financially. Information around fee relief can be found here or contact the Fee Secretary at the College on 9208-7239


The following Busways information can be found on the website under In The Loop / School Notes / Bus Information 

  • Opal Campaign Letter To Families 
  • Guidelines For Managing School Student Behaviour On Buses
  • How To Apply For All Opal Cards  
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