Today Years 7 - 10 attended a special Vinnies Christmas Hamper Liturgy where students reflected on the importance of giving at this time of year as they begin their Christmas Hamper Collection for 2017. Over the next five weeks, students are asked to donate a range of different items that would complete a family Christmas for those less fortunate in our community, from gifts and decorations to dinner items and everyday necessities. Week One donations are gifts for families! Attached is the five week campaign where we hope to each bring in an item for each week's theme, creating the biggest Vinnies hamper collection in StJPII history!
Last week, Year 7 became detectives in a mock crime scene as part of their "What's Up Sherlock" forensic science unit! Classes 7.06 and 7.07 observed the clues of the crime scene in attempt to solve the mystery, before creating a newspaper article that describes their interpretation of the event. It was definitely an exciting lesson for our new found detectives!
Welcome back to term 4! We finished last term off with leading staff and students in Friday Morning Prayer. We reflected on the journey the year 12 class of 2017 had taken, and the importance of Terra Sancta/St JPII Day for them and we prayed for their success in the HSC and future after school. This term we are focused on fundraising for St Vincent De Paul. We have so far raised $100 for St Vincent De Paul with a lolly jar guessing fundraiser. We will put this money toward the Christmas Hamper appeal which is beginning in Week 5. We will be coming around to classrooms soon to give you a chance to guess, so stay tuned!
On Monday, 30 October, StJPII welcomed the new Year 7 2018 students for their Transition Day! This was an opportunity for the new StJPII members to meet each other, make new friends, explore the College and learn about high school before they begin here next year. All of us at StJPII are very excited to see you all next year!
On Wednesday, 25 October, to celebrate a saint so influential to who we are as the StJPII community, St John Paul II, our Year 10 students joined others from Mary Immaculate Primary School for the Feast Day Mass, before enjoying a special lunch-time concert for all students at the Schofields Campus. From the words ‘the Way passes through this land’ shown on every uniform, College crest and campus infrastructure to the values we show as members of the StJPII community, we continue to celebrate the great person we know as St John Paul II.
On Saturday, 28th of October, a number of students from our college attended "Lifted Live!" at St Patrick's Cathedral in Parramatta. The event was a celebration of the fest of St John Paul II's feast, as well as the launch of a number of exciting events including World Youth Day 2019 in Panama and the Australian Catholic Youth Festival this December. The night was filled with fun games, guest speakers, dancers, food stalls and lots of live music.
On Thursday, October 26, our Year 11 students, staff and parents/caregivers gathered to celebrate the great achievements and hard work of all students during their preliminary year at the Year 11 Semester Two Award Ceremony! Students were recognised for their consistent effort, academic achievements and special skills in sporting, early tertiary achievements and more. Awardees and their guests also shared a special morning tea following the ceremony! It was great to see so many students reaching new personal bests and many preparing for their best year yet as they now begin their final HSC year at StJPII.
All Saints Day, the day on which Catholics celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, is a surprisingly old feast. It arose out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their martyrdom. When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs, known and unknown, were properly honoured. All Souls’ Day, also known as the Feast of All Souls, follows All Saints’ Day (November 1). Both days mark a period for some churches, including the Catholic Church, to remember the saints in Christian history and to pray for people. All Souls’ Day is traditionally a time for the Christian community to remember deceased family members and friends.
On Wednesday, 18 October, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from local schools including St John Paul II Catholic College, Wyndham College and Riverstone High School gathered at the Nirimba TAFE Greenskills Hub for the annual ATSI Student Conference. Guest speaker, Clark Webb, shared an important message around keeping the Aboriginal language and culture alive before the students began a series of workshops focusing on future pathways. The Conference welcomed presenters from Defence Forces, Police, TAFE and Western Sydney University who shared their success stories and the opportunities available with the students.
Last week our Year 12 2018 PHDPE, Sports Lifestyle & Recreation, Entertainment, Fitness and Construction students all took part in the Reviva First Aid Course and attained their First Aid Certificate, including CPR! This also included an online module they completed before the face-to-face session on the Friday. Well done to our newly certified students!
On Wednesday, 18 October, motivational Christian youth group, Endless Praise share messages around relationships and the common good with our Year 10 students for their annual Reflection Day! Through song, dance, reflections and team work activities students better understood what it means to contribute to the common good and the importance of relationships around us.
On Monday, 16 October, our Year 11 Society & Culture students visited the NSW State Library to begin working on their HSC Personal Interest Projects (PIP)! After attending a VERY valuable lecture on academic research and referencing, students were able to check out the top 10 award winning PIPs in the state from the last few years. Not only did the students gain some fantastic researching skills, but they left with great inspiration and goals to achieve in 2018!
Congratulations to all the students recognised at the 2017 Sports Presentation & BBQ today! This annual event is an opportunity to acknowledge the hundreds of students who proudly represent the College in a range sports throughout the year. We are so lucky to have such a great group of determined and talented students that contribute to the fantastic sporting culture at the College!
As Year 9 prepare to become the leaders of the Schofields Campus next year, many also prepare to take on the responsibility of Peer Support Leaders for the new Year 7 students. The 2017 Year 9 Peer Support Day was a great opportunity for students to learn new leadership and teamwork skills while having a bit of fun - including the newspaper fashion show!
Year 11 gathered at Mary Immaculate Parish to celebrate Mass as they come to the end of their Preliminary year and prepare for the HSC year ahead! As they reflected on their time so far at StJPII, Fr Ever challenged students to do their best and be the best person they can be in this final year of their high school journey.
Yesterday our Year 8 textiles class created a contemporary dot art fabric painting, tie-dyed fabric as well as felted and created a printed piece of fabric using stencils. They will use all of the pieces of fabric in their practical assessment task where they get to create their own iPad cover! We can't wait to see the final masterpieces.
Introducing the new eLibrary for StJPII students! With the ever growing world wide web, finding exactly what you need online can become difficult and confusing. Often, Google will give us 49852 difference answers and we're not sure which websites are reliable sources. The new eLibrary interface is a one-stop shop for a range of FREE databases, trusted websites, ebooks and resources for students to use for all of their research and reading!
Friday, 15 September, was a day full of fun, food, farewells and reflections as our graduating class of 2017 returned to the Schofields Campus one last time for their StJPII Terra Sancta Day! Watch and relieve the emotions and memories created on what was a very special day for our StJPII community.
For over 20 years, the College has valued the words of Pope John Paul II, "The Way passes through this land". It is represented in the College crest and motto, the curved path that is paved throughout the Schofields Campus and the values that we all follow. When Pope John Paul II was canonised in 2014, the College was renamed St John Paul II Catholic College to honour the man who we have always valued as an important figure in our College community. On StJPII Terra Sancta Day, the graduating class of 2017 took part in the blessing of the new handmade, sculptured statue of St John Paul II.
Congratulations to the five StJPII Year 12 students awarded at the School's Industry Partnership Work Placement Awards 2017 last Tuesday for their outstanding efforts during their work placement for VET courses! Students taking part in VET Courses are required to complete a week of work placement in both Year 11 and Year 12. The students were nominated by their teachers and received Student Excellence Awards at the evening. Well done!
Our Year 11 Geography students recently completed some fieldwork at Long Reef and Collaroy Beaches where they studied the biophysical interactions of coastal environments. Students measured sand dunes, looked at the coastal processes and examined how humans have interacted with the coast. Although the sun was shining, it was a VERY windy day for Year 11!
As part of the Year 7 Medieval Madness unit, Year 7 students have created their realms, empires or kingdoms and participated in a range of learning activities in preparation for the annual Medieval Day, where they will put their medieval skills and knowledge to the test. Congratulations to class 7.07 who were overall champions of Medieval Day 2017!
Many Year 12 students in our Creative and Performing Arts subjects have spent the last 12 months creating and perfecting masterpieces and performances for their major works. Over the last few weeks staff have put together Showcase Evenings where friends and family have gathered to acknowledge and enjoy the talents of these students. Congratulations to all of these students on all of their hard work, dedication and creativity put into such amazing pieces of work!
Year 11 are fast approaching the end of their preliminary year. They are currently sitting their yearly exams and have worked hard in their preparations. Throughout term 3 the students have had a guest speaker, Johnny Shannon address them on two occasions about managing their mental health and working on ways to respond to stress and mental health issues. The second session was on communication, the issues of social media and respectful behaviour for both themselves and their peers.
Year 9 English students are currently exploring the nature of conflict and how it is represented in Romeo and Juliet. Focus listing is one key strategy utilised to successfully build students knowledge around specific types of conflict. Students were required to choose a type of conflict to think more critically about and move to the space which was dedicated to their chosen type of conflict. Students identified texts and composers which have represented the type of conflict and provided reasons why the composer would chose to represent this type of conflict in his or her text.
Last Sunday the Gospel challenged us to answer the question that Jesus put to his disciples ‘Who do you say I am? Peter answers with confidence and gusto ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ Matthew 16:13-20 If we spin the question around and use the same question about ourselves ‘Who do you say I am?’ We are challenged to think, what do I believe? What do I stand for? What are people saying about me?
A great highlight each year is the Traditional Staff versus Year 10 soccer match. Added interest this year was firstly the fact that the boys team made the Grand Final of the Thursday afternoon MCS competition and secondly, if history was to repeat itself, the students would win. Therefore, the staff were very keen to show their wares in this year’s match, especially because of their earlier victory in the Ladies volleyball match. Not surprisingly the Year 10 players felt the need to seek revenge on their teachers on the sporting field!
Year 9 have been involved in a range of Learning Enrichment activities. Term 3 ended on a high with their involvement in the Multicultural Day for Learning Enrichment. At the start of Term 3 completed a Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) Program. This week Year 9 were lucky to have seen the Theatrical Brainstorm Production of “Cheap Thrills”. This production was designed to look at issues that teenagers face and in particular the nature of risk taking behaviour and consequences. It has been so great to see so many academic and extra-curricular student achievements in Year 9. This has been reflected in the large number of students who received awards in the Stage 5 Awards Ceremony and Rise Up Awards Assembly.
On Tuesday, August 22, over 40 StJPII students spent 12 hours in the Schofields Library writing books for the annual "Write a Book in a Day" Competition! It was a long but exciting day as the students worked to a deadline, using their skills and creativity to write and illustrate an entire book. Five books were created by the teams of students and are now all submitted to the competition - the winning book will be published!
The SRC program here at STJPII is a wonderful leadership opportunity that allows us to give a voice to our peers. This year we have fortnightly meetings with the SRC members and our Stage Team; including Mr Regan, Mr Fanning and the Stage 5 coordinator. During these meetings we acknowledge the things we can improve that we have noticed in the classroom and during breaks so that we can work together to fix any issues that have arisen. It is also an opportunity for us to discuss upcoming events and charity fundraisers. This week the SRC ran a father's day store where students were able to purchase a gift for their fathers for father's day. This stall raised $320 for St Vincent De Paul. Coming up this term the SRC will be running a cake store on Terra Sancta day where students can purchase a cake, all of the proceeds go to St Vincent De Paul.
Year 8 student, Lia Ison, tells us about the Assumption Masses last week - 'On Wednesday the 15th of August our school, St John Paul II Catholic College, held three Masses in honour of The Blessed Virgin Mary whose assumption is commemorated on the day. Mass at Schofields was celebrated by Fr Ruben and Fr Ever, and by Fr Gayed at Nirimba...
Her passion for music and entertainment began at Terra Sancta College in 1998, during Year 9 Learning Enrichment “Jam Time” with Mr Rizzardo and all the other music-heads. NOW ex-student, Kimberley Galceran, has gone on to DJ, produce her own events and record label, lead FBi Radio to winning the 2012 TimeOut award for Best Entertainment as their Venue Manager and create/host her own radio show before landing her dream job as Touring Manager for Bluefest! Kimberley is now organising and promoting around 30 tours of 80 events per year for some of the biggest names in music (Patti Smith, Booker T, Mary J Blige, Rickie Lee Jones, Roy Ayers, UB40) and recently accepted the award for Best International Contemporary Concert on behalf of Bluesfest Touring and Patti Smith & Her Band!
Our talented Year 12 HSC Visual Arts students have spent months creating and perfecting their special major works and we are inviting everyone in the StJPII community to join us in viewing and celebrating their masterpieces! Join us at the StJPII Schofields Campus Art Block Gallery on Wednesday, 23 August, from 5.30pm - 6.30pm.
On Wednesday, staff from the four partners of the Nirimba Education Precinct gathered at the NEP Greenskills Hub for a bit of fun and healthy competition at a cupcake decorating class! Members from WSU The College, TAFE Western Sydney, St John Paul II and Wyndham College put their creative hats on and designed constructed cupcakes, colouring icing, moulding shapes and decorating many cupcakes to make one big dessert. Not only did staff get a little messy and enjoy a good laugh in their aprons and chef hats, but this was also a great opportunity for staff to meet others within the Nirimba Education Precinct partnership!
On Tuesday, Year 7 students and their teachers celebrated the Feast of St Mary Mackillop at Mary Immaculate Parish Church with Fr Ruben. This is a feast day close to the hearts of our Year 7 cohort as they have been learning about and participating in activities centred on "Australia's Saint" since their first moments at St John Paul II! The theme of the mass was "Never see a need without doing something about it" and this is what Fr Ruben challenged Year 7 to do throughout their lives.
Congratulations to all of our students recognised at the Years 7-10 RISE UP assembly last Friday! Students were announced for their recognised qualities within RISE UP including Respect, Integrity, Safety, Effort, Uniform/Equipment and Punctuality as well as achievements in sporting and debating. At StJPII we challenge all students to RISE UP, work hard and do their very best in all that they do. Well done to all!
On August 3, four of our teachers are attending a 'Project Based Learning' (PBL) workshop as part of their professional development. PBL is a mode of instruction in which students learn, and experience the content and skills - beginning with a question/challenge and ending with a product to present that shows understanding and mastery of the content and skills. We are very excited to see what new knowledge and ideas they will bring back to the College!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. Dr Seuss Teaching is not so much about filling a child’s head with facts, but about teaching them skills that enable them to make decisions and choices that will sustain them in adult life. We hear a lot about 21st Century skills or soft skills and we know that the many of jobs and careers our students will pursue do not yet exist. Thus, developing our students to be confident critical thinkers and decision makers, and lifelong learners is of the utmost importance... Read important messages to each of the stages from their Assistant Principals and more!
Term 3 is a time of growth and rejuvenation for the SRC. As some year groups will be moving to a new stage in 2018, we go through the process of nominations, speeches and elections in order to elect/reelect a group of student representatives who will serve as the voice of that year group for 2018/19. Many students have put their hand up to serve their peers and school community and in the coming weeks will be performing speeches to their year group. We wish all of these students the best of luck!
Last week Miss Saad and 10.08 played "Pick Up Sticks" as a religion revision activity! Each group of students were given four question sheets, a set of sticks (each colour coded to represent different topics) and a confidential answer envelope. As students checked their answers at the end of the game, they had to return a stick for each incorrect answer. Students then counted their remaining sticks to determine a winner.
Tuesday, 15 August the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Assumption of Our Lady when according to our faith, the Holy Mother, "having completed her course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory". Although defined as an article of faith by Pope Pius XII just over half a century ago, the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven has been accepted from back to the earliest of Christian times.
Year 9 are currently engaged in STEM learning. This involves learning to work effectively in teams to solve real-world problems using the skills of engineering, Science, computer coding and maths! Students have been facing challenges such as solving a chemical puzzle, building a machine which will move independently and solve a real-world need. Students are also learning the fundamentals of computer programming by learning computer code.
Congratulations to all those students recognised at the Stage 4 & Stage 5 Semester One Award Ceremonies held at the Schofields campus last Wednesday! Students were awarded for academic achievement, overall effort and perfect attendance before celebrating their achievements with their families at morning and afternoon tea. Well done to all those students who have worked hard and gave their very best in the first semester of the year!
Last Tuesday our Year 11 Studies of Religion students engaged in a stations activity as an introduction to their Judaism unit. Students participated in the traditional Hanukkah dreidel game, viewed a clip on Passover, put together a puzzle on terminology and definitions as well as completed a 'brainstorm' task. The afternoon's activities culminated in a team trivia quiz to cement the knowledge they learnt!
On Friday, 21 July, the staff and Year 10 students of StJPII gathered their best soccer players for the annual StJPII Strikers vs Student FC soccer match! Staff thought they had it in the bag at half time, score 1 - 0, but the students came through at the end, winning the match, 2 -1. Well done to all those who played!
In the last week of school, students in Year 8 Italian participated in a productive role play activity as part of their 'Ordering at a Restaurant' unit! The learning environment was set up like an Italian restaurant and students experienced the roles of both the waiter and customer, which enabled them to practise their Italian speaking skills and build confidence in a safe and fun environment.
On Monday, 26 June, hundreds of students, friends and family of the StJPII community gathered at the Nirimba Hall for the big StJPII Creative Arts Night! The evening presented a range of performances and displays from our very talented students in visual arts, drama, dance, music and photography. It was fantastic to see such great support and celebration of the creativity and talent we have here at the College.alents
We invite students to bring nominated food items listed in the Food Drive poster to fill our trailers on each campus or donate a gold coin and wear mufti clothes for the day. The trailers of food will then be donated to Ignite Food Stores. Ignite Food Stores provide low cost, healthy fresh food to low income families while The Op Shop provides quality recycled clothing and other affordable household items. We look forward to a day full of charity, colour and trailers full of food!
Over the past weeks the teachers have been and are completed the student’s reports in the school. One thing that stood out was the incredible number of students with outstanding effort in all areas of their learning. This demonstrates the hard work of our students regardless of their ranks, marks and A-E grades. This shows that they are doing their best.So, how can we support our children to do their best? Well, most children become what adults tell them they can become. Children take words to heart, especially words from the adults they love; they want and need to believe what their parents say about them. Through our speech and behaviour towards our children, we communicate to them the boundaries of their potential.
On Tuesday, 6 June, five very dedicated StJPII students were recognised at a special celebration ceremony for successfully completing university units at Western Sydney University in 2016! These students were given the unique opportunity to get a head start in tertiary education and complete university courses in a range of subject areas during their Year 11 preliminary study. Each student who completed their courses successfully have now been guaranteed a place at Western Sydney University after completing their HSC, and those who achieved a distinction or above have also been granted a study scholarship of $20,000 over a 4 year university course at WSU!
During Term 1 and 2 Learning Enrichment, students from Years 9 and 11 have been knitting beanies with residents from Quakers Hill Nursing Home to send over to the troops in Afghanistan! Not only do our students have new skills after learning how to knit from the residents, but they now also have new friendships.
The annual StJPII Creative and Performing Arts Night is just around the corner and YOU'RE INVITED! We invite all friends and family in the StJPII community to join us in celebrating all the amazing creative and performing arts talent we have here in the College. The evening will include a showcase of visual arts, dance, music, drama and photography by students from ALL years! Tickets can be bought at the door with a gold coin donation on the evening. Head to Nirimba Hall on Monday, 26 June at 7pm for a night of great entertainment.
Last week Year 12 students and staff retreated to Elanora Christian Centre for three days of fun, reflection and lessons around "The Treasure Within". Check out this awesome video by Jared Abbott (Year 12), including a wrap up of the whole adventure and a special message from their Student Learning Liaison, Mr Cowan!
Miss Morgan and Mr Morgan's Year 7 classes came together to save the eggs! In groups, students were asked to co-construct a helmet that would minimise the impact of forces on an egg when dropped. All recyclable resources were brought from home and used, together with the students' creativity, to protect the eggs. It was very entertaining and nerve-wrecking as each group dropped their eggs in 'helmets', and although 4 eggs unfortunately didn't make it through the experiment, we can say that Year 7 are now much closer to being 'eggperts' in safety!
The debating season 2017 has just wrapped up for St. John Paul II. For the last six week one team from each year in 7-10 have competed in the Catholic Schools Debating Association competition against schools from around the Western Sydney area. We would like to congratulate all teams for gaining a win this season. The students would also like to thank the tireless efforts and support of Staff in assisting in preparing and encouraging the teams to strive to excel.
Last week, Ms Swift's Year 10 Food Technology students made homemade ice cream and VERY messy chocolate bowls! Students made ice cream using ice, rock salt and zip lock bags - turning out delicious, creamy and the consistency of soft-serve. Using balloons to create chocolate bowls didn't turn out as planned as there were a few chocolate explosions with the balloons from the heat! The class had a lot of fun with this activity, however there was quite a big mess to clean up afterwards.
Year 10 have been studying the play "Macbeth" by Shakespeare. Last Wednesday, students watched a performance called "The Rehearsal of Macbeth", where Bell Shakespeare performed a play that revealed how an actor prepares to play characters from Macbeth. Students found the performance extremely insightful and entertaining. Students were called up on stage to help perform, the audience were participating as sound effects and even Miss Johnstone was called up to play a dying King Duncan!
The TEAM GAME TOURNAMENT is underway! This is a new homeroom based competition for Stages 4 and 5 that we will be running each term. Every Monday and Wednesday the students are sent a 3 question quiz. This includes one literacy question, one numeracy question and one general knowledge/trivia question. Check out the rules to the competition here!
Pentecost marks the birth of the Christian Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means fiftieth day and is celebrated fifty days after Easter. Red is the liturgical colour for this time and recalls the tongues of fire in which the Holy Spirit descended on the first Pentecost. Pentecost celebrates the fullness of the Spirit and the great gathering of nations. It brings the Easter season to its conclusion.
ear 11 Studies of Religion are currently completing work on their Islamic Religious Tradition study and recently completed a 'stations' activity that required them to participate in a series of challenges designed to engage them in learning about the 5 Pillars of Islam. Among the range of activities students were able to experience Hajj (Pilgrimage) through the use of a virtual reality app, and planned a day for a Muslim observing Ramadan.
Year 12 have passed half way! Last week, Year 12 students, staff and parents/caregivers gathered at Nirimba for the Year 12 Semester 1 Award Ceremony. Here students who have achieved great overall effort or academically in one or more of their subjects were recognised with an award and medallion at the ceremony before sharing an afternoon tea with other awardees and their families.
Congratulations to our Year 11 students who have recently become university students! At St John Paul II Catholic College, the Year 11 students have a unique opportunity to undertake university study with sponsored enrolment at Western Sydney University at the same time as they study the Preliminary Year 11 course as a result of the partnership between StJPII and the University. Students who successfully complete a unit are able to gain an early offer of enrolment into most WSU courses on the completion of their HSC and may also become eligible for the award of a substantial scholarship (up to the amount of $20000 for the duration of a four year degree) as a result of successful completion of these units.
Stories about the new funding model being proposed by the Federal Government continue to have prominence in the media. We would like to reassure our school community that there is no current plan to increase fees on outside of the normal cost of living range. Please see this letter from the Executive Director explaining the current situation with school funding.
Year 8 Geography are learning about Global Environments this term. The world is made up of global environments such as rainforests, deserts, oceans, coral reefs, mountains and rivers just to name a few. One of the activities the students completed in class was a poster on different places located throughout the world. “I’ve enjoyed learning about Rainforests, especially the Amazon rainforest, its overall size and how it has changed in recent times”. (Bethany and Olivia-) “Creating an I-movie in which I was able to explain how humans impact rainforests was an enjoyable activity which I completed with my friends”. (Bethany and Olivia-)
On Monday, 15 May, both Stage 4 and Stage 5 held a celebratory Merit Pizza Lunch for those students who have achieved the highest amount of RISE UP Merits so far this year! Students receive merits for a range of RISE UP qualities throughout the year, both in and out of the classroom. Whilst this special lunch acknowledges those who have been putting in a lot of effort, it is also encouragement for others to work towards being at the next Merit Pizza Lunch.
Last week, Year 9 began their day with NAPLAN and are now spending the rest of the day being scientists in the field! As part of their ecology studies, students are taking part in a range of scientific activities such as analysing the creek water quality and identifying plant species found at the school.
Stage 4 (Years 7 - 8) involves a great amount of new experiences and adventures for students as they progress through their high school journey. Year 8 students have put together a reflection of their new experiences in Year 8, including new learning, activities and community service at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home!
In Week 2, our Year 10 Food Technology class finished off their "Celebrations" unit with a friendly profiterole and creme puff competition! Students learnt to make these desserts from scratch, paying very special attention to their techniques and presentations for the final judging. Assistant Principal, Mr Regan and Leader of Learning, Mr Green, put on their aprons and joined their teams - only later realising they were the ones needing cooking lessons!
The debating season is upon us with St John Paul II competing in the Catholic Schools Debating Association Debating competition. The first two rounds have seen the students face some tough opposition at St Andews College, Marayong and St Agnes High School, Rooty Hill. Tackling topics such as education and technology the students created have worked together in their teams to reflect their own understanding and thoughts on the topic and persuade the audience to their views on the topic. They have challenged, educated and argued to have some impressive results, highlighting their skills in presentation and reasoning.
Last week, Year 12 Biology students visited the Museum of Disease at the University of New South Wales! As part of their current unit of study, "Search for a Better Health", students used an app on their devices made by the University to discover the effects of diseases on different organs within the museum. This was a very interesting and exciting way to help them understand the disease and the causes!
On Sunday, 30 April, Gabriella, Christian and Daniel Cipri and Claire Lynch took part in the MS Walk & Fun Run at Metacalfe Park, Pyrmont! These dedicated StJPII students have been fundraising for the last few months in preparation for the main event, and finished in the top 5 fundraisers in NSW after raising $9027.50 with their team of 40 and Claire making it on the Honour Roll for Junior Fundraisers.
The origin of Mother’s Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Roman times. In the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated it to the maternal goddesses. Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honour of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Read more for a special blessing and prayer for our mothers.
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.