St John Paul II Catholic College Newsletter

Term 2 - 2021


Dear Parents/Carers and Students,

As we come towards the end of Term 2, we should take the time to reflect upon several events that have occurred at St John Paul II Catholic College. We were not able to have these events in 2020. Just some of the events include the Year 7 and 9 NAPLAN Tests, Year 8 Mass, Subject Excursions, Nirimba Education Precinct’s ATSI Reconciliation Day, Project Compassion Collection, Year 8 Wellbeing Day, Inter-school Public Speaking and Debating, Cross Country, MCS and MCCS winter sport and our Year 11-2022 Subject Selection Evening.

National Mass for the Bicentenary of Catholic Education in Australia on the Solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians. Parramatta is known as the ‘cradle of Catholic Education’ in Australia, as the first Catholic school was founded on Hunter Street in 1820. On Monday 24th May I had the great privilege of attending a mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, to celebrate not only this bicentenary but also all those past religious and lay men and women who set the strong foundations for Catholic schooling, through their determination, spirit and faith. 

This is a story that should not be underestimated in our history because from the small beginnings of 31 students, two hundred years ago, Catholic schooling now spans 1,755 schools, 100,000 staff and 777,000 students.

During 2021 we continue to acknowledge and celebrate within the COVID-19 event restrictions the 25th Anniversary of Terra Sancta / St John Paul II catholic College (1996-2021)

2022 Enrolment Update

We have many applications for Year 7 next year and enrolment acceptances have been posted/emailed to the families. If you know of any family wishing to enrol for 2022, please ask them to contact Mrs Fay Lovett on 9208 7200 to avoid the disappointment of missing out on a place next year. There are also some current vacancies in Years 9-11. We may be increasing our Year 7 Enrolment from 210 to 240 students in 2022 as we have had an increase in many families wishing to attend St JPIICC.

Parent/Carer/Student/Teacher Semester 1 Online Interviews

Currently I am reviewing the Semester 1 Student Learning Reports and would like to congratulate the many students who achieved ‘personal bests’, and/or their own learning goals. Year 11 and 12 Semester 1 reports were issued earlier this term and Year 7 – 10 Reports will be issued before the end of this term via compass. 

Due to the unknown future COVID-19 NSW Health guidelines we will continue with the Year 7-12 Parent/Carer/Teacher/Student Interviews being held via zoom on Thursday 15 July from 3.00pm to 7pm and Friday 16 July from 8.00am to 2.15pm. Hopefully, at the end of this year we will be able to have face to face interviews on site.

There will not be any formal classes held on Friday 16 July. If your child requires supervision at school on this day, they can attend the Schofields campus for supervision in the library. All families are encouraged to take this opportunity to discuss online with their son/daughter’s teachers their learning progress. Information about how to book an interview has been sent to all families via Compass and is also available on the Website/In The Loop/School Notes.

Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Surveys

Thank you to the students and parents/carers who completed the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey about our school effectiveness. The survey provided us with valuable feedback on what our students and parents/carers think about school life, how engaged they are with school and the different ways that teachers interact with them. Information from the survey will be shared with the students and parents/caregivers at different meetings in Terms 3 and 4 this year.

Student Attendance

We have continued the focus on improving school attendance this year. In recent years across all school sectors attendance has been an issue and we will be maintaining our focus on attendance this year and in the future. We know that students who attend school regularly find it easier to keep up with work and they also find it easier to form strong friendships with others. Unless there are significant reasons for your child not to be at school on any given day (they may be ill etc.), then we urge parents and carers to continue to ensure their children attend regularly. Regular attendance at school not only helps students understand and complete their classwork it also provides valuable social and cultural experiences.

Staff Update

We welcomed the following staff to St John Paul II Catholic College in Term 2. Mr Sean Turner who has replaced Mr Brad Horder. In Term 3 we also have staff returning from leave. Mrs Nicole Debono and Mrs Jennifer Pavic who will be working Part Time for the remainder of 2021. 

Staff Learning – Pupil Free Days in 2021

To assist with your planning, our next Staff Learning - Pupil Free Day is Friday 25 June. The other Staff Learning-Pupil Free Days for this year are Friday 13 August, Thursday 16 December and Friday 17 December. Please contact the college by the end of Thursday 24 June before the Staff Learning-Pupil Free Day if you require supervision for your children on Friday 25 June. 

Finally, a reminder that Term 3 commences for all students on Monday 12 July – Week A Timetable. 


God of the oppressed, Protector of the poor, Your light guides all who search for peace and justice. Give new hope to those who have lost everything in their bid for freedom and peace.

Melt our hearts with compassion for their plight. Give us a generosity of spirit, that with open arms and willing hearts, we may welcome the stranger in your name. We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord and in the power of the Holy Spirit. 




Important information on attendance, uniform, vaping e-safety, Subject Selection and Parent Teacher Interviews Read more....


Religious Education

Refugee Week offers a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. The ultimate aim of the celebration is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.

Over the past 20 years, Refugee Week celebrations have developed in a number of other countries. While there are minor differences in the dates for Refugee Week, all include World Refugee Day (June 20). In Australia, Refugee Week is scheduled to ensure that it does not clash with public holidays in any Australian state or territory.

The aims of Refugee Week are:

  • to educate the Australian public about who refugees are and why they have come here.
  • to help people understand the many challenges refugees face coming to Australia.
  • to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community.
  • to focus on how the community can provide a safe, welcoming environment for refugees.
  • for community groups and individuals to do something positive for refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people, within Australia but also around the world.
  • for service providers to reflect on whether they are providing the best possible services to refugees.

Refugee Week is a unique opportunity for us all to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities through theatre, music, dance, film and other events which take place all over Australia and highlight the aims of the Week, as outlined above. Refugee Week is an umbrella participatory festival which allows a wide range of refugee community organisations, voluntary and statutory organisations, local councils, schools, student groups and faith-based organisations to host events during the week.

Past events have included football tournaments, public talks, exhibitions, music and dance festivals, theatre projects and film screenings. Everyone is welcome to participate in promoting the aims of Refugee Week – the more the merrier.

Through Refugee Week, we aim to provide an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued.

Soccer Stars

Year 7A & Year 7B in action as they take on Patrician Brothers Fairfield in a challenging yet exciting game. 

Unfortunately we didn't grab a team photo of our Year 7A team but check out the amazing action shots and photo of Team 7B

Do +he Math

Question: What travels faster: heat or cold?

Answer: Heat travels faster because you can catch a cold!

Do you need some help with your Maths work and homework?

Do you just need some time or quiet space to complete your Maths work?

Well ...

‘Just Do +h3 Ma+h$!’ is what you need!

Mondays and Wednesdays, Break 1

in the Year 8 Block, between Rooms 31 & 36!

Come and see one of our lovely Ma+h-angels who will come and assist you with all of your Math-needs!

Be there or b2!

Debating Superstars

We travelled to Montgrove College this week for the last round of the CSDA Debating competition. Our Years 7, 8, and 9 teams won their debate on the night!

The year 9 team won last week as well and have won 5 out of their 6 debates, potentially qualifying them for the elimination rounds representing both the college and themselves admirably.

We congratulate all the students on their outstanding efforts throughout the season

Creative & Performing Arts

A huge update in the CAPA world at StJPII!

View the following to read about our Nirimba Twilight Concert, Instrumental Program, High School Musical Rehearsals, Western Sydney & Blue Mountains Training Awards Performance, Year 12 Visual Arts Bodies of Work 2021, Updates, important dates and a variety of photos to follow:  CAPA News


Year 9 have been learning how to apply the elements and principles of design in their photographic practice. Here they have manipulated light and paper in a studio space to create abstract photographic images focusing on shapes and shadows, using just paper!

Child Studies

Year 10 Child Studies have been looking at how play helps children learn the social skills needed for being a member of a group. When children play they develop the following social skills; language, social skills, physical coordination, emotional maturity and exploration skills.  We also examined the links between how different types of play help children learn, some examples are; Parallel play, solitary play, Play with rules, Cooperative play and Spectator play. The afternoon had plenty of activities, that ranged from arts and crafts to dance and racing games. All parties involved had an amazing afternoon even though the weather wasn't the best!! Thanking all our tiny VIP toddlers that came in to make this a wonderful experience for our students. 

Year 12 Semester 1 Academic Awards Ceremony

On Thursday 27 May, during Learning Enrichment, we celebrated the  Year 12 Semester 1 Academic Awards Ceremony.  It is appropriate at this stage of the year that we stop and reflect on student achievement and acknowledge the students of our community who have excelled. It has been a semester filled with rigorous learning experiences, assessments, liturgies, more assessments and our wonderful retreat. We also acknowledged our Parents/carers who were able to attend as it was a great opportunity to welcome them back on site.

Please congratulate the following students:

Year 12 Semester 1 Award Recipients

Career's Advisors Report

View document to congratulate about students in the WSU Access Program, learn about University Entry, Unique Student Identifier, Help for Year 10 students, YES Program - Tafe and learning to discuss Career pathways that's best for your child: Career Advisors Report

School Leaders 2021

A message from our School Leaders - SRC

Anzac Day Ceremony - Written by Joshua Findlay

The Nirimba campus held their ANZAC Day service on the 22nd of April. The SRC led service reflected on the service of all who have served in the Australian Defence Force. The service featured the poem “100 years from now” by Rupert McCall as well as a personal story from Mr Fanning about his family’s service during the Second World War. A big thank you to the SRC who ran the ceremony and the special guests who spoke.

Written by Clara Naseim

During Year 12 Retreat, we were fortunate enough to hear the stories of Zaki and Malek seeking asylum in Australia; sharing their stories of hardships but also their hope for the future. We heard about the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on people seeking asylum and how both Zaki and Malek have been told they will never call Australia home but they will be permanently 'temporary' as long as they live here. After hearing their moving stories, Year 12 collectively decided we wanted to take action. With the help of Miss Muscat, we were able to write handwritten, heartfelt letters to the Members of the Parliament. By reaching out to the Jesuit Refugee Service Australia we were given the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless, to take action and to stand in solidarity as a cohort to bring about change and create a better future. 

Written by Isabella Marks

This term, the SRC team has coordinated events for the Ignite food drive, which is occuring 23 of June, next week. The year 8 SRC, has also participated in Wednesday morning prayer where there has been a focus on living out God's truth and the importance for Reconciliation. The year 12’s from the Nirimba campus, will also be doing the winter sleep out, planned by the Year 12 SRC. Stay tuned to hear more about this event.



Staff Spirituality Day - Friday 25 June

This Friday, all students will have a PUPIL FREE DAY.

To those needing supervision for their child, please contact the college on 9208 7200 by the end of Thursday 24 June.

Student Opal Card

We have been requested by Travel NSW to remind families about the use of Opal Cards. We will simply point out the following: 

• Students catching public transport to and from school must have an Opal Card, and must tap on and off each time they travel. 

• Students who do not have an Opal Card are not entitled to free public transport and can be refused entry to a bus or train. 

• If lost, Opal Cards can be replaced by ordering one online. 

• Failure of students to tap on and off will provide inaccurate data to the Government about public transport usage and may lead to a reduction in services. 

• The College has been asked to monitor Opal Card ownership and its use more closely, and we will be doing so.

Due to patronage, Transport NSW will modify a bus route if there are insufficient numbers of registered passengers. Could you please remind your child to TAP ON and TAP OFF.


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. 


School success: what do kids want to hear from their parents/carers?

“I’m really happy if I get a B, in Year 12 a B is amazing, and I’m so happy

with it, but my dad’s like ‘It could have been an A’. My mum’s like ‘good job -

yay!’ ’’ (Student, Year 12)

“In social gatherings we always have the stories of the high achieving students

who have their life perfect right now, and therefore our parents expect, ‘oh if they get the same grades my kids will be perfect in their lives as well’. It’s more the culture influencing your parents, therefore it’s influencing you in a way.” (Student, Year 11/12).

“I guess if you say that you’re not doing well [mentally] you’re kind of afraid that they’re going to be like ‘oh well when I was your age I was growing up on a farm and working 12 hours a day. You should be so happy.’ ’’  (Student, Year 12).

These quotes are from research into student perceptions of their parents/carers’ attitudes towards their children’s education.


School Fees for 2021

Term 2, 2021 school fees were due by Wednesday 26th May 2021. If you require extra time to make the payment or would like to implement a payment arrangement to pay the account by instalments, please contact Jean Webb on 9208-7239 between 7.30am – 3.30pm to discuss this further.

Alternatively, should you currently be experiencing any financial hardship at present, please call Jean Webb on 9208-7239 to discuss other options available to you. This information is kept completely confidential.


The following Busways information can be found on our website under Busways Opal Campaign Parent Article

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