St John Paul II Catholic College Newsletter

Term 1 - 2021


Dear Parents/Carers and students,

The students, both old and new, arrived with enthusiasm for the year and have been engaged in their learning during this term. I welcome the Year 7 students to St John Paul II, all 210 of them, as well as the new students in Years 8 -12. We have seen all the new students settling in well and being supported by their peers and teachers who care for them. As we progressed through Term 1, you will have noticed that school activities returning to normal within changed COVID-19 guidelines.

Through 2021, we will continue to emphasise to all students the need to do their best, care for one another and concentrate on their learning, making the college a place which has a unique and dynamic learning experience. The students have been working hard this term to ensure they are achieving their best, the result of their work is visible in what they produce and in the extent of their participation in school activities. 

2022 Enrolment Update

The Open Evening which was held recently, highlighted everything that we do here as a community with staff  displaying our school to the wider community with genuine warmth and enthusiasm. The teaching and support staff are to be congratulated on their professionalism and dedication to the school during the event. Unfortunately, due to COVID – 19 requirements, our students were not able to attend and assist at this event. Please refer to our Facebook page for information recorded from the open enrolment evening. We are currently also organising tours at different times during Term 2 for the families that could not attend the evening. 

Our Open Evening attendance numbers should also serve to remind parents and carers that it is important to submit enrolment applications promptly to ensure a place at St John Paul II Catholic College in 2022. If you know of a family that wishes to enrol their son/daughter in Year 7 at the college in 2022, please advise them to contact the college to obtain an enrolment information pack.  Enrolments are also available for any other students who are not currently at St John Paul II Catholic College, especially Year 11 for 2022. Offers of enrolment letters are currently being sent to families for 2022.

Staff Update

We welcome the following staff to St John Paul II Catholic College in 2021: Brittany Azzopardi (English/HSIE/RE), Ellen Celima (English/HSIE/RE), Olivia Cochrane (TAS/Science), Daniel Conway (Assistant Leader of English), Jessica Gibbs (English), Rebecca Johnson (Teacher Librarian/English), Terri Lennard (Dance/VET Entertainment/Music), Siobhan McCarthy (English/HSIE/RE), Natasha Prudnicki (English), Caitlin Refalo (Mathematics) and Kirsten Webster (TAS).

We also have staff returning from leave, Jessica Idone, Lisa-Maree Madigan and Amanda Saunders who will be working Part Time in 2021. 

Parents Representative Council – Diocese of Parramatta (PRC)

Thank you to Mrs Priscilla Pickering for representing the college at the Parents Representative Council – Diocese of Parramatta (PRC) in 2019 & 2020. Please contact me at the college if you wish to be the representative for St JP II CC for the PRC in 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 a week before each Staff Learning-Pupil Free Day if you require supervision for your children on these days at school.

Winter Uniform 

The changeover from summer to winter uniform for Term 2 is always difficult to determine with our changing weather patterns. However, we have decided that Week 1 and 2 being the changeover period when students can choose to wear winter or summer uniforms –– not a mixture of them – depending on the weather, with the beginning of Week 3 Monday 3 May being the time all students should be in their Winter Uniform.


As we move closer to Easter our students are continuing their Lenten practice of working for Project Compassion and each Home Room is completing a daily donation. Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal is an extraordinary, ongoing demonstration of the faith, love and generosity of the Catholic community and caring supporters throughout Australia to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

Finally, I am always happy to speak to you about your child’s education or issues that affect their education. If I cannot help you directly, I will ensure you are put in contact with the person/s that can assist you. If I am not available when you call, it is only because someone else ‘got in’ before you, but I will always endeavor to get back to you if someone else cannot assist you. I look forward to engaging with you all in 2021, knowing that our faith in God will strengthen all of us as we work to ensure the very best Catholic Education possible for those in our care.


Joseph we honour you; In your unconditional love and protection of Mary… In your courageous trust in God’s provident care… In your silent listening to the whisperings of God in your heart… In your acceptance of the mysterious action of God in your life In your nurturing love for Mary and Jesus… In your fatherly instruction of Jesus in the ways of wisdom, love, mercy and forgiveness.



Vaping / eCigarettes

As many would be aware, the use of electronic cigarettes, or vapes, among young people is on the rise. The ease of availability, the affordability and discrete nature of these devices

have all contributed to the increase in use, particularly in recent months. Of particular concern among some young people, is the perception that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. The indisputable facts, however, remind us that: Read more...


Religious Education

Celebrating the Year of St Joseph

Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde called the Church to set aside 2021 as a year to focus our attention on St Joseph as patron of the Universal Church. Saint Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founders of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, chose St Joseph to be patron of the Congregation and so we rejoice in this opportunity to pray with and for the people of God with St Joseph

History of St. Joseph's Day

Saint Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus. All we know about Joseph comes from the accounts of the nativity in the New Testament.

He was a tradesman, commonly he is said to have been a carpenter, but it's possible he may have been a stone worker. He was said to have been a direct descendent of David, the great king of Israel.

Since Joseph is not mentioned in any accounts of Jesus' public life, his crucifixion, or resurrection, it is thought that Joseph died before Jesus started preaching.

St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Catholic Church, unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Despite knowing so little about Joseph, he still has two feast days in the Western church. In his capacity as the patron saint of Workers, 1st May was established as the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker" in 1955.

Stage 4 Reconciliation

Stage 4 students had opportunity to go for individual reconciliation in preparation for Easter. Students did their reconciliation at Mary Immaculate Church with Fr Oliver.

Sports Report

Success has been evident within our sporting sector at St John Paul II. We have recognized the incredible sportsmanship that we have at the college and congratulate all students who have participated and represented our school. Read more... 

Public Speaking 2021

Like last year’s competition, Public Speaking occurred via Zoom. 

Out of the 12 students who were representing the school, 6 of them were able to progress to the Zone finals. 

This has been our most successful first round result!

For many of the students, speaking via an online platform presented some challenge but they all adapted to the circumstances and performed brilliantly.

Though unfortunately, our students were not able to progress to the Grand Finals. 

Despite this, we want to congratulate all students for their efforts and representing the school in an exceptional manner.  


Students who represented the college:

  • Tyarrah Jimenez
  • Dishita Kothari
  • Isabella Marks
  • Nika Rezaeian
  • Sanika Kulkarni
  • Parina Johor 
  • Stephanie Attard 
  • Brayden Cauchi 
  • Lauren Pendlebury 
  • Maddison Cauchi 
  • Louisa Mercieca 
  • Zak Hockenhull-Glisson

Creative & Performing Arts

These are some of Year 9 PDM photos using their camera phones around the school grounds (Schofields). Their aim was to demonstrate their understanding of line, shape and texture. They were able to edit their photos to their liking in order to develop their own photographic style as new emerging photographers. 

Year 9 PDM Photos

Career's Advisors Report

During Learning Enrichment students from Yrs 10, 11 and 12, met with Mrs Fitzsimons to create an account with Job Jump.

Job Jump is a website that assists students with their pathway. It allows students to watch videos of their future chosen career, look for institutions that might have the course they would like to, find the career that suits them, identify HSC subjects that would assist them in completing the HSC successfully, create resumes, find apprenticeships, interview skills,  and much more. 

Under each of the categories, the students can find a lot of information to help them make the right decisions about their future career. 

The students will continue to have access to the site a year after leaving the school which will allow them to keep up to date with any vacancies and courses that are on offer.

What's to come!

Currently, Yr 11 students who are receiving an ATAR have been asked to sign up for the WSU Access Program. 

Interested students need to put an application together and if chosen will be completing a unit at WSU. After the completion of the unit, students are eligible for an early offer and up to a $20 000 scholarship. To be eligible students need to receive a distinction and high distinction to gain the scholarship and early offer. However, if students receive a credit or pass, they will be given an early offer to WSU. 

This is a unique opportunity for our students and it is only offered to our school as being part of the precinct.

School Leaders 2021

A message from our School Leaders - SRC

The SRC team would like to thank everyone in our School community for participating and being involved in our SRC events. 

We started the Term off with spreading the love on Valentine's by selling roses and cards. The proceeds were donated to St Vincent de Paul Society. It was great to see so many students in our college getting involved to make someone else's day while supporting Vinnies.

Year 10 SRC participated in the Project Compassion Launch. The focus was on aspiring not to have more, but to be more and how we as a School community can make this a reality. SRC have been working hard to make this a reality through advertising for the Jesuit Refugee Service Foodbank and by encouraging others to participate in LIDS4KIDS. Additionally, we have raised money for Project Compassion with Jersey Day and through the Pre Orders for Donut Day. 

SRC can not wait to share what we have planned for Term 2. Thanks again for all who have contributed and participated in our SRC events.

Valentines Day 2021


Key Dates


Uniform at StJPII

 Non-College items are not permissible and will be confiscated if worn. The changeover from summer to winter uniform for Term 2 is always difficult to determine with our changing weather patterns. However, we have decided that Week 1 and 2 being the changeover period when students can choose to wear winter or summer uniforms –– not a mixture of them – depending on the weather, with the beginning of Week 3 Monday 3 May being the time all students should be in their Winter Uniform.

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. 


Respect for women and girls

From the parliament to the schoolyard and everywhere in between, questions around respectful relationships have come to the fore: specifically, about the mistreatment of women and girls.

Whether this does turn out to be a turning point, an inflection, a change of mindset, a breakthrough, a reckoning – none of that is clear. Whether the momentum will last is unknown. But the importance of cultivating respectful relationships, and challenging disrespect, remains. Read more...

School Fees for 2021

School Fee Statements were posted to parents and cares by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta from 15 February 2021. 

Term 1 fees were due by Wednesday 17 March 2021. Enclosed with your statement is a Flexible Payment Plan and should you wish to take this offer up please follow the instructions on the payment information sheet.

If you have not received your fee statement or would like to make a payment arrangement other than the Flexible Payment Plan or if you require any financial assistance, please contact Mrs Jean Webb, School Fees Secretary on Phone 9208 7239 during school hours.  


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