“LEARNING IS NOT ATTAINED BY CHANCE, IT MUST BE SOUGHT FOR WITH ARDOR AND ATTENDED TO WITH DILIGENCE.” ―ABIGAIL ADAMS
Talent and luck might happen to you by chance, but learning is a skill and practice that anyone can accomplish with diligence.
Over the past 2 ½ years our focus has been on the 4 Rs - Relationship, Relevance, Rigour and Results. This year we added a 5th R - Resilience. These 5 concepts are intrinsically interconnected. Through the development of interpersonal relationships with our students we aim to build a classroom environment that is both supportive and challenging. This supportive and challenging learning environment provides a safe place for students to build resilience, attend to their learning with rigour, seek the relevance in what they do and achieve results commensurate with their ability and effort.
For your Information:
RoSH (Risk of Significant Harm) Reporting
The CEDP and it’s schools are deeply committed to safeguarding young people against harm. The RoSH Reporting process ensures that practices across the Dioceses are consistent.
NSW child protection legislation Children and Young Person (Care and Protection) Act 1998) requires any person, with direct responsibility to provide child related services, to make a report in relation to a child at ‘risk of significant harm' (RoSH) to Family and Community Services (FaCS). A child or young person is at risk of significant harm if the circumstances that are causing concern for the safety, welfare or wellbeing of the child or young person are present to a significant extent. In CEDP schools mandatory reporting of students with Risk of Significant Harm (RoSH) report is centralised through the school principal. The Principal may delegate the task of making the ROSH report to the Student Wellbeing System Counsellor. All employees, including clergy and religious working in CEDP schools, are required to report to the Principal any concerns they have that a child or young person is at risk of harm.
At St John Paul II we work to ensure that all students in our care are safe, treated with dignity and supported at all times, and particularly when vulnerable.
Reporting & Student/Teacher/Parent/Caregiver/ Interviews
By the end of this term all students will have received their Semester One report. The school report reflects a students knowledge and skill as demonstrated in formal and informal assessment. When reading your Year 7 - 10 child’s report it is important to be familiar with the Grade Descriptors which describe an average students learning at each grade level. Any concerns or questions regarding your child’s learning and report should be addressed with the classroom teacher, in the first instance. Alternative, you are encouraged to attend the Semester One Student/Teacher/Parent/Caregiver/ Interviews, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 July. Research indicates that students’ whose parents are involved in their education have a higher learning success rate. Details on how to book will be available before the end of this term.
Year 12 Holiday StuVac
Year 12 are fast approaching their final months of secondary education. During Weeks 3 and 4 next term they will sit the HSC Trials. To support students in their learning a StuVac period will run Wednesday to Friday in Week 2 of the upcoming holidays. On these days, a collaborative study space will be available, as well as opportunities for students to attend workshops, tutorials and one-on-one feedback sessions with available teachers. Students are encouraged to attend on these days. This is an awesome opportunity for them to work away from the distractions that home may present, collaborate with friends, peers and teachers to build knowledge and confidence, and to gain additional valuable feedback on how to improve prior to the examination period. Further information will be provided to students prior to the end of this term.
Elevate Education Workshops for Stage 6
During Learning Enrichment on Thursday 13 June, Elevate presented their second workshop to Year 11 and 12.
The Year 11 workshop, Student Elevation covered:
Belief: students analysed the role of belief as a means to propel them to their personal best in their final years of school and confronted their conditioned beliefs and self-limitations.
Goal Setting: Students were lead through a 4 step goal setting process, designed to help them identify their unique and compelling reasons to drive through the final years of school.
Short Term Planning: Once students had identified their compelling reasons, they were lead through a short-term planning process, which helped them break their goals into a series of achievable, short term benchmarks.
The Year 12 workshop, Time Management covered:
Study Routine: How to develop a study routine that also for socialising, sport and extra-curricular activities, but still ensure academic productivity
Working Smart: How to identify the work that is going to get the most marks and how to ensure it gets done.
Study Groups: Students were shown how to leverage their time by using study groups.
Procrastination: Students were introduced to the most common reasons for procrastination and how to get around it.
In Week 10, Year 12 will have a final workshop, Finishing Line. Skills covered in this workshop are: revisiting short term goals; maintaining work rate; making the most of the holidays and final weeks of school; stress management, mindfulness and wellness strategies; final tips to cross the finish line.
As a part of the Elevate package, students have access to online resources to support them throughout the rest of the HSC journey.
Guest Presenter Matt Caruana returns
Year 11 were moved and inspired by Matt Caruana’s presentation. Matt is a young man who has survived addiction, mental health related disorders and attempted suicide that has left him paralysed. Matt shared openly shared his story and life-lessons with the students, encouraging them to seek help if feeling depressed or anxious and to build positive connections with their family and peers.
Matt’s presentation is a part of our wellbeing program which focuses on providing our students with the tools and support they need to develop into resilient, positive adults.
Year 10 Senior Learning Experience & Year 11 2020 Subject Information Evening
In preparation for the transition to Stage 6 and the Nirimba Campus, Year 10 students have been involved in a 6 week senior learning experience during Learning Enrichment. They participated in lessons of a small selection of subjects that are offered in Stage 6. In week 10 the following events will take place:
Monday July 1: All Year 10 students will attend St John Paul II Nirimba campus where they will receive information on key subjects English, Mathematics and Religion, as well as a range of subjects of interest. Students will be able to make 4 choices from 8 subject bundles across 6 key learning areas. Year 10 are to make their own way to our Nirimba campus where they will spend the day and then make their own way home. Daily buses transport students to and from both campuses. Information for these can be found on the busways website. Full winter uniform is to be worn on the day.
Tuesday July 2: A mandatory Stage 6 information evening for all Year 10 students and their parents / caregivers. This is an opportunity to hear information about the requirements of the HSC and the variety HSC pathways available to St John Paul II students, as well as speak with teachers regarding specific subjects. This information will greatly assist when making subject preferences in Term 3. Further information regarding this evening will be provided in the coming weeks.
Year 10 Minimum Standards
The Year 10 students have been undertaking the Minimum Standard Testing process for the last 5 weeks of Term 2. All students completing the HSC from 2021 onwards need to meet these standards. The standard is set at level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), which means students will have the basic reading, writing and maths skills needed for everyday tasks and future learning after school. It includes skills for tasks such as:
following safety instructions in equipment manuals
understanding a mobile phone plan
writing a job application
creating a personal weekly budget.
Together with the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, the HSC minimum standard is part of an effort to improve the literacy and numeracy outcomes for students.
The students will complete Practice tests under exam conditions during Term 2: The Practice tests consist of the following:
15 minute Numeracy Test: 15 questions
15 minute reading / literacy Test: 15 questions
45 minute writing Test: 500 word response to a piece of stimulus.
The Minimum Standard Tests that the students will sit in Term 3 and 4 consist of the following:
45 minute Numeracy Test: 45 questions
45 minute reading / literacy Test: 45 questions
45 minute writing Test: 500 word response to a piece of stimulus.
Your son/daughter will get two opportunities to complete these tests and pass them at this level 3 standard this year.
NEP TAFE YES Program
The Year 10 students have been completing in the Youth Engagement Strategy (YES Program) at TAFE in Terms 1 and 2 this year. Under the Guidance of TAFE NSW at Nirimba they have had the opportunity to complete the following courses. It is a rewarding experience for them and more of the trade courses will be offered in Semester 2. If you are interested please make contact with Mrs Fitzsimons
Music and Entertainment (Sound, lighting, entertainment)
Building and Architecture
Year 12 Entertainment Movie Night for Stage 4
On Tuesday 13 June, the Year 12 Entertainment students hosted a Movie night for Year 7 and 8 students. The planning, bump-in, hosting and bump-out of an event is a mandatory component of the Entertainment extension unit. The completion of this unit will elevates the completion level to Certificate IV. It is always wonderful when our students can learn while serving our community. A great night was had by all who attended.
Assessments & Learning (Years 7 - 10)
As Term 2 unfolds all students at the school have deeply engaged in the Semester One assessment cycle. Students in Years 7 - 10 would have completed numerous assessments that were published in the Student Success Handbooks. The assessment and reporting cycle then continues and culminates in the Student / Parent / Teacher interviews that follow for Years 7 - 10 in Week 1 of next term.
Students in Stage 4 & 5 are reminded that an assessment must be submitted to meet the course outcomes. If a student is absent/late a misadventure application and/or medical certificate must be supplied to the College. Please consult the student Assessment Handbook for each Stage requirement.
As we approach the midpoint in the year our students should have been well and truly in the routine of learning and preparing for their assessments with an obligation to work hard. It is our hope that all students reflect on their endeavours and are open to learning from their experiences.
In appraising results in a mid-year context it can be worthwhile to reflect on this with your sons and daughters using ‘verbal prods’ like:
What grade did you expect?
What grade did you get?
Why the difference? [whether it be a positive or a negative], and crucially,
What are you going to do about it?
These questions that parents/caregivers can ask to assist in creating a positive learning environment both at school and home.
All students must remember that the HSC begins with serious study in Year 7!
Mobile phones are increasingly becoming a fundamental component of everyday life. It is at the stage where many people could not imagine even a single day without their phone.
Problematic Mobile Phone Use (PMPU) has increased as phones have transitioned from being a device to communicate between two people, to smartphones which provide a range of online activities via access to the internet.
PMPU is sometimes called “mobile phone addiction” or “smartphone addiction”.
It has the potential to become one of the biggest behavioural addiction challenges of the modern era.
The impact upon a user’s mental health is similar to other substance addictions. Adverse symptoms from overuse include: sleep disturbances, withdrawal, decreased real life social interactions, aggression, lower academic performance and a negative impact on relationships.
Here are some interesting statistics around Australians and their mobile phone habits:
91% of 14 -17 year olds, own a mobile phone
85% of adolescents exceed two hours screen use per day
45% say they cannot live without their mobile phones
42% of online time is via a mobile phone
42% report using the phone whilst driving (aged 18 and over)
On average Australians access their phone 30 times per day, which equates to 2.5 hours per day.
At St John Paul II, smartphones may be used to listen to music outside of class time or for learning tools as instructed by teachers. However, no device is to be used for photographing or sound or visual recording at school without teacher permission.
Speakers are not allowed to be used at school.
Students may use their phone during recess and lunch for essential communication. For example, contacting parents, work or confirming medical appointments. As a matter of courtesy, students are to ask a teacher prior to using their phone.
Recess and lunch is an opportunity for students to build friendships and relationships with peers and teachers, a time to eat, and for some to take part in physical activities. It is not time to spend on the phone.
Phones are not be used for communicating on snapchat or other social media sites during school hours. Students are not to use or have earphones protruding from their clothing during school hours, nor should AirPods be worn whilst walking around the school.
Thank you to all parents, carers and students, for your support and cooperation.
OPAL CARDS - Student Travel on buses
OPAL Cards are sent directly to home addresses if applications have been approved for school usage. Students who did not meet the requirements for a free pass, must purchase a student Opal Card and have sufficient balance to pay for travel. All students travelling on a school bus must TAP ON and TAP OFF, or services may be restricted. Transport NSW can cut services if numbers of students are low. Please make sure your child uses the correct entry and exit process to a bus.
Could I remind parents and students to check the College diary in regard to our published rules and regulations. Over the last few weeks we have had a need to remind students regarding hair, jewellery and uniform expectations, and our procedures in regard to Maintaining a Safe School Environment. It would be timely to remind students to check pages 21a to 23a in the Student Diary.
To meet WHS requirements students are reminded that the correct shoe on a normal school day is a black leather traditional lace up shoe with a solid heel. It should be polishable and contain no straps or buckles. These must be worn in all workshops/kitchens to meet WHS requirements.
Hoodies, sports jackets and sloppy joes are not a part of the college uniform and are not to be worn to school. Students who choose to break this rule risk the confiscation of these additional items of clothing. If the school jumper and blazer are not sufficiently warm, students may wear a plain undershirt, such as a singlet, thermal top or the like. These items are not to be visible.
Earphones / Headphones
There has been a growing trend of using earphones/earpods. These items are not part of our uniform policy and should not be worn under the uniform. The College staff will direct students in the classroom when and if they are allowed to use earphones/earpods for educational reasons. For safety considerations students should not be using them whilst travelling to and from school.
We ask that parents of students in Years 7-10 check their child’s diary on a weekly basis. Establishing good habits are essential for life long learners. It is the expectation of the College that all homework is written into the student diary.
Year 7 STEM Day - It’s a marbleous day for a ride at the Zoo
On 4 June, 210 Year 7 students were involved in a STEM Day that had them solving a problem for an up and coming theme park. The design brief was:
To design and construct a prototype of a marbleous theme park ride for the new Western Sydney Zoo, that has the slowest average speed.
There were many successful designs, and students had an outstanding opportunity working in teams in the CLS.
We would like to thank all the STJPII staff involved (including CEDP and University of Sydney staff) for creating such an outstanding learning opportunity for the students.
Mr Hulme, Mr Regan and Ms Roach