Assistant Principals' Update (Week 8, Term 2)

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.

- William S. Burroughs

Special Celebration Ceremony - Nirimba Precinct Access Program Graduates

On Tuesday 19 June, we celebrated the achievements of those students who, last year, successfully completed a University unit through the Nirimba Precinct, Western Sydney University Access Program, while studying a full Preliminary HSC pattern of study.

This is a program only available to Year 11 students at St John Paul II and Wyndham. Access to this program is by application only and students are chosen on the merit of their application, their commitment to senior studies and their ability to be independent learners. Students who pass their unit of choice are awarded early entry to Western Sydney University and $500 toward their current educational costs. Those who achieve a distinction or a high distinction gain a scholarship of up to $5000 per year of university study. This is a privileged opportunity for our students and positions are highly sort after. Current Year 11 students were notified of the success, or otherwise, of their application in Week 8.

NEPSpecialCeremony_53Congratulations to:

  • Charbel Azzi - Financing Enterprises (Pass)
  • Brianna Cassar - Policing, Justice & Society (Distinction)
  • Jason Eishoui - Financing Enterprises (Pass)
  • Matthew Graham - Policing, Justice & Society (Distinction)
  • Ayla Gurbuz - Policing, Justice & Society (Pass)
  • Andrew Smith - Programming Fundamentals (High Distinction)

Ignite Food Drive & Vinnies Winter Appeal

On Wednesday 20 June, students donated thousands of dry goods to the annual Ignite Food Drive. These goods will help stock the shelves of the Ignite Food Store, a service provided by Jesuit Social Services and Holy Family Parish to the poor and disadvantaged in the Mount Druitt area. These donations and the $2000+ they gave to Caritas Project Compassion attests to not only the generosity of our students, but their compassion for the less fortunate. They truly are a living testament to our formation goal of deepening understanding of the dignity of the human person.


Uniform Matters


How we dress is a reflection of our respect for ourselves, the organisation we represent and is an externalisation of our identity. Thus, uniform is a significant part of our identity as a College community. Yesterday our students received a compliment about the way they are wearing their uniform and on Tuesday as I celebrated with our Access Program graduates, we were extremely proud of the image they projected of themselves and St John Paul II Catholic College.

As the weather continues to get cooler, we remind students to dress warmly by wearing appropriate garments under their uniform and the college red jumper under the blazer. Additional clothing, such as an extra t-shirt layer, should not be visible. Jumpers with hoods are not permitted.

School Police Liaison Officer

Senior Constable Megan Williams, from Blacktown Police Station, has recently been appointed our new School Police Liaison Officer. Senior Constable Williams spent the day with Year 7 students last Thursday. The focus of her presentation was on cyber safety. Years 9 and 11 will also soon have the opportunity to attend presentations by Senior Constable Williams. We encourage you to talk to your children about these presentations and all matters related to their online safety.

IMG_1978Year 8 Programs

Year 8 students recently spent the day working on the ‘I Am Strong’ personal development program. Students were divided into gender based groups led by Ms Amanda Swift and Mr Dermott Morgan. In their groups they explored the pressures teenagers and young people are often exposed to. In addition, on Tuesday 19 June, Year 8 students had their annual retreat day. The day had a spiritual and personal focus, and the activities allowed students to connect more deeply to one another, their peers and their God. Students have benefitted from both of these programs.


Welcome to Nirimba - Year 11, 2019 Subject Information Night

It is almost that time again when Year 10 students commence the process of selecting subject preferences for Preliminary HSC. The first stage of the process, the Senior Learning Experience, has been taking place this term during Learning Enrichment. Students participated in a project in two subjects from English, Mathematics, Ancient History or Investigating Science. The aim of the projects was to provide students with an experience of senior learning and the opportunity to learn on our Nirimba campus. In the next stage, Welcome to Nirimba - Stage 6 Subject Information (Monday 2 July), students will spend the day at Nirimba where they will receive specific information about a range of courses offered for study in Year 11. This will be followed by Stage 3, Subject Preference Information Evening (Tuesday 3 July), which all Year 10 will attend with a parent or caregiver. During this evening, information about the requirements for attainment of the HSC and the various pathways available at St John Paul II will be presented, followed by an opportunity to speak to teachers of subjects of specific interest.

A note containing further information about this evening will be distributed in the coming week. Students will then submit their preferences early Term 3.

This is an exciting time for Year 10 as they move toward the next, and final phase of compulsory schooling. We look forward to working together to ensure they are afforded the most appropriate pathway.

Minimum Standards Numeracy and Literacy Examinations:

The first stage of the testing process for the minimum HSC Literacy and Numeracy standards has taken place over the past week. The examinations were held for Year 10 students who were located between the Mid to High Range Band 7 categories from the previous Naplan examinations in 2017. The students have worked hard over the past year to improve their levels.  The standard is set at level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), which means students will have the basic reading, writing and maths skills needed for everyday tasks and future learning after school. The testing proved very successful with the students achieving this standard and are eligible to receive the HSC standard. The next testing period is from 13 August to 14 September 2018 when the remaining Yr 10 students will sit these examinations.


During this term we have continually worked closely with our students to encourage and maximise their attendance at school. The target for all students is to attend as much as possible. While we recognise that children fall sick from time to time, and have unavoidable commitments, we strongly encourage parents to maximise the number of days at school. A couple of days here and there add up very quickly and are very difficult to catch up. We have been meeting with many of our students throughout this term to share with them, on an individual basis, their attendance at school so far this year. In this way we hope to highlight each student’s attendance for this year, and for him or her to understand the value of being at school every day.

The first bell for the school day starts at 7.55am. Please make sure that your son / daughter is at school on time and prepared to start the day.


The debating season has been held over the past Term and the students of St John Paul II have represented the College with great pride and commitment. They demonstrated outstanding communication skills and the ability to process information and respond in a critical and reflective manner. We hosted on a couple of occasions and each time the students were friendly and welcoming to other students, teachers and parents of visiting schools. These are characteristics of which students and their families should be proud. It demonstrated the distinguishing features of kindness that the students at St John Paul II display on a daily basis.

The Year 7 team has progressed through to the quarter finals and we wish them all the very best. A very big thank you to Miss Kaytee Johnson who has organised and facilitated the season. Also to the committed staff and students who attend each week.

Learning Enrichment (LENR)

Learning Enrichment is an important part of our broader curriculum. The projects and workshops offered during Thursday Learning Enrichment afford students the opportunity that are different to their regular classroom experience. All students, including Stage 6, have a compulsory LENR activity or representative sport.

Stage 6

Year 11 have just completed a series of Driver Education workshops, including a hands on experience of changing a tyre and general maintenance. 

Year 12 are attending subject specific tutorials presented by specialist teachers. Thursday 28 June they will attend the Careers Expo at Homebush. Tutorials will continue in Week 10. All students must attend a tutorial.

Stage 5

Year 10 have been experiencing a range of Stage 6 subjects as part of their preparation for Senior Schooling.

Year 9 are engaged in Multicultural Projects which will culminate with Multicultural Day Thursday Week 9. A fun day of multicultural activities and food.

Stage 4

Year 8 have been rotating through activities in Literacy, Numeracy, Mental Health and Growth Mindset.

Year 7 are also engaged in Multicultural Projects and will celebrate their completion with Multicultural Day.