St Benedict's Catholic College

Newsletter - Friday 11 August 2023

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On Friday we welcomed Ms Mary Babirye Kabanda to our college. Mary is currently the Commissioner for Education for the Masaka Diocese of Uganda and is a former Member of Parliament in Uganda with a long career in leadership positions, as well as teaching, in the Catholic Education system in Uganda.

Mary has a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of Ugandan communities and their children. Mary met with staff and also student members of our Social Justice Committee.


It is with great pleasure that we announce our 2024 College Captains. Our College Captain and Prefect selection this year began with student applications, followed by student and staff voting. I also wish to acknowledge those students who were short listed for Leadership positions. All candidate applications were of the highest quality and it is clear from their applications that they have leadership attributes and a authentic sense of service.

College Captains 2024

Joseph Christl and Grace Clarke

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Our Term 3 P&F Meeting is on next Tuesday 15 August commencing at 6pm in the College Library. Parents and carers presence and input at these P&F meetings is important and your insights about our policies and procedures provides the road map for shaping the future of our college and building a positive and enriching environment for our students. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.


I would like to acknowledge and thank our staff that supported our Year 9 students at their camp last week. Year 9 were outstanding ambassadors for our College and every students participated and engaged with all Camp experiences. The camp was a unique opportunity to promote student leadership and for students to challenge themselves and push themselves beyond their comfort zone.


It has come to our attention from concerned members of our community that some students are using their phones in an unsafe manner within the school carpark. This behaviour not only poses risks to the students themselves but also to others accessing our car park.

It is important for us to realise that using mobile phones while walking in our school carpark can lead to distractions and accidents. When students are using their phones they are not giving full attention to the surroundings, potentially putting themselves and others at risk. In addition stopping abruptly or moving slowly while engrossed in phone activities can disrupt the flow of traffic in the carpark, leading to congestion and potential accidents.

These concerns will be addressed with the student body but we are also requesting that parents and carers speak with their child about the safe use of mobile phones.

Warm regards

Mrs Kerrie Piatek


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HSC Major Works

Congratulations to our Year 12 students who have completed their HSC Major Projects in Industrial Technology - Timber and Industrial Technology. These students have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months, including spending significant time at school during the holidays completing these works. Once again, thank you to the staff involved especially Mr Gavin for their support of their students.


A reminder that no student is to be wearing a black hoodie or black tracksuit pants as part of their College uniform. If there are any issues with uniform please direct your enquiries to the relevant STRIVE coach.

Student Parking

A reminder that no students are to park in the grounds of the school. All student parking is to be on the street. Thank you for your continued support with this.

Mr Michael Turner

Assistant Principal

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August 8 was the Feast Day of Australia's only canonised SAINT - St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

This cartoon that I have included was designed by Sr Jane Maisey.
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Mary MacKillop is one of my favourite Saints - I have included below an excerpt of a beautiful reflection about St Mary MacKillop "Mary MacKillop, An Example and Inspiration" by Sr Connie Cummings rsj.

"Many pioneer Sisters who knew Mary from living in community with her, as well as 39 who recorded their memories, declared that, from their observations, Mary’s kindness was the most outstanding quality of her life in dealing with others. She truly lived the Gospel message of love under all circumstances. One Sister stated that “she seemed to have the best interests of her Sisters at heart, never sparing herself in any way”.

Mary’s example of tenacity, courage, forgiveness, kindness and deep prayerfulness are values that should inspire us today to keep our focus on Jesus as we live within the confines of our Church with today’s many issues.

From Rome, Mary urged the Sisters “to preserve the spirit of unity, love and charity amongst us. Let it be the individual call of each one… to see to the cultivation first in your own heart, and then by your example…” Mary’s life draws from Jesus, the source of grace, and calls us to live our lives intimately with God for the enrichment of others.

Our everyday life, especially as we age, can be modelled on the patient endurance in love of our world’s Saint, Mary of the Cross, who prayed in her last letter: “That God may ever bless you and make you more and more God’s own is the fervent wish of your fond mother in JMJ [Jesus, Mary and Joseph].”

May we strive ever more intently to live into Mary’s prayer, and “let us refuse nothing to God’s love!"


Saint Mary of The Cross Litany Monica Brown

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God of the Pilgrim, Mary MacKillop trusted your

guidance in her journey of life

and deepened her confidence in your will.

May we renew our trust in the Providence

to lead us in hope.

May we relish the sacred

in the ordinariness of our lives.

May we grow in the fullness of your love

and the depth of your mystery.

We ask this through Jesus Christ,

the way, the truth and the life. Amen


In his homily at the Closing WYD Mass, Pope Francis encouraged the young people gathered to SHINE (the light & love of God), LISTEN (to God) and to BE UNAFRAID. What a great message for us all!

“This is what the church and the world expect of you: to be radiant in your youthfulness, to bring the light of the Gospel everywhere, and to be beacons of hope in these dark times… we radiate light when we welcome Jesus into our hearts and learn to love as he does. Then the light of true beauty shines forth: the radiance of a life that is willing to risk everything for the sake of love.”

A lot of great wisdom for us all from the Pope’s message.


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Since the beginning of this term, Mr Steve Bulfon has taken on the role of Youth Ministry Coordinator at the College. He has made such wonderful inroads in increasing numbers and involvement by our students.

On Monday 7 August, our Youth Ministry Leaders participated in planning for MacFest, a Macarthur Ministry project designed by the students at Magdalene College under the coordination of Peter Collins. The festival to be held in Term 4, will connect senior students from the Macarthur at Magdalene Catholic College.

The planning day was held in Studio5 at the Emmaus Centre, Campbelltown. Students were briefed on the importance of student leadership, affirming the need to lead students by strengthening the connection of students to their faith life, modelling prayer and leading pastoral care and advocacy through their actions.

The quality of the student led planning session was outstanding. Youth Ministry students set their workshop purpose, activities and content for the day and were able to report back to each of the schools on their progress. The day demonstrated, quality of student leadership in our College

Fr Duane Fernandez joined the student presentations in the afternoon. Fr Duane is engaging with secondary schools in the Macarthur region to strengthen opportunities for ministry after Year 12.

Congratulations to our youth ministry team on the spirit and quality of work completed as a team. We look forward to keeping our communities updated on the progress of the festival.

Mrs Kimberley Logue

Director of Mission and Vision,

Religious Education Coordinator

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Trial catch up exams will occur on Tuesday 15 August from 11am.

The Exam session will begin after the school assembly on this day.

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During the Trial HSC Examinations:

  • All classes will be suspended.

  • Only attend school on the day of an exam

  • Arrive at least 20 minutes before exams (exams will not be delayed for students who arrive late)

  • You may leave school if you do not have another examination.

  • Do not come to school if you are experiencing COVID or flu-like symptoms. Please see your doctor on or before the day of the exam and get a medical certificate. Follow the Illness/Misadventure process.

Attendance during exams

Please follow these instructions for exam attendance:

  • Examinations will be conducted in the Hall and D Block.

  • Congregate in the Senior Area 15 minutes before the exam and follow the instructions of the supervisors.

  • You will not need to sign in if you are arriving for a morning session.

  • If you are leaving after a morning session, sign out at the front office.

  • If you are arriving for an afternoon session, sign in at the front office.

  • You will not need to sign out if you are leaving after an afternoon session.

  • Students must stay at school if you have an exam in both morning and afternoon sessions. Students are not permitted to leave after their morning exam and then come back for their afternoon session.

  • The library will be available if you wish to remain at school and study. If you are remaining at school, you will need to stay in the library except for recess and lunchtime.

Absence from an exam

If you are absent from an exam:

  • Contact the school (ph. 4631 5300) on the morning of the exam to leave a message for your Year Coordinator.

  • Complete an Assessment Illness/Misadventure Appeal form The form can be obtained from the College website/Compass and must be completed as soon as the absence is known. Please make sure that the independent evidence section of the form is completed, such as a medical certificate.

  • If you become ill during an examination, please ensure that you notify the supervisor during the exam. You will also need to complete an Illness/Misadventure Appeal form if you believe that illness has affected your performance during the examination.

Examination Instructions

During all examinations, you will need to follow these instructions:

  • Examination materials – pens (black) and a calculator (if necessary) are to be placed in a clear plastic sleeve which will be inspected on entry into the exam room. You may bring in a clear drink bottle without labels. No pencil cases and no other material will be allowed into the room.

  • Digital equipment – the only digital equipment that will be permitted into the examination room is your calculator. Leave your mobile phone, smartwatch, laptop, and any other equipment in your locker at the beginning of the exam session.

  • Silence – you will need to be silent during all examinations. If you need assistance, raise your hand, and wait for the supervisor to help you. Do not attempt to communicate with any other students during the examination, even when papers are being collected. You will not be permitted to leave any exam early.

  • Toilet breaks – to keep disruptions to a minimum, NESA rules are that students are not permitted to go to the toilet in the first 30 minutes or the last 30 minutes of any examination.

  • Non-attempts - make your best attempt on all sections of your paper. Non-serious attempts and non-attempts may be considered for an N-Determination Warning Letter.

  • You will not be permitted to leave an examination early, even if you have finished, and you will not be permitted to sit for an exam if you are more than 30 minutes late.

Ms Wendy Fawbert
Director of Teaching and Learning
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Below is the timetable of what's happening when:
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Mr John Wheeler

Director of Wellbeing

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Information in this calendar list is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change without notice.

Term 3

  • Monday 14 to Thursday 17 August - Wellbeing Week
  • Tuesday 15 August - P & F Meeting, College Library at 6pm
  • Tuesday 15 August - Feast of Assumption
  • Thursday 17 August - MISA Youth of the Year
  • Friday 18 August - Staff Development Day - Pupil Free Day
  • Monday 21 August - Year 11 First Aid Course
  • Tuesday 22 August - Year 9 & 10 Guest Speakers, Year 12 Breakfast with Mrs Piatek
  • Monday 18 September - Year 12 Mini Carnival Day & Pastoral Day Lunch
  • Tuesday 19 September - Year 12 Farewell Assembly & 2024 Captain Commissioning
  • Wednesday 20 September - Year 12 Graduation Mass and Awards, Year 12 Reports released on Compass
  • Friday 22 September - Last day of Term 3


  • Monday 9 October - Staff Development Day - Pupil Free Day
  • Tuesday 10 October - Students commence Term 4
  • Friday 15 December - Last day of Term 4
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Year 9 Camp: Somerset Outdoor Adventure

The Year 9 Camp to Somerset Outdoor Adventure last week marked a significant milestone for many students as they embarked on their first ever experienced away from home. The camp provided a unique opportunity for students to explore the great outdoors, discover new aspects of themselves, foster teamwork, and develop valuable life skills. Over the course of the camp, students engaged in a range of exhilarating activities, facing challenges and triumphs that they would leave a lasting impact.

The camp allowed the students to step out of their comfort zone and tap into hidden reservoirs of resilience and perseverance. The days were filled with much fun and excitement doing various activities ranging from the giant ladder, archery, high ropes, the river run and the popular “wombat hole”, to setting up their own tents and sleeping in them under the cold winter sky.

The success of the camp would not have been possible without the dedication and support of the remarkable staff who attended. Their commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of every student was evident in every interaction. The staff encouragement and support in empowering students to take risks, learn from mistakes and celebrate achievements was evident through the two days. Laughter and shared moments is something the both students and staff will walk away with from this experience.

Mrs Julia Novak

Year 9 Coordinator

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10.1 Food Technology is completing a unit on Food Styling and Food Photography. They are encouraged to express their creativity in presenting foods to make food appealing for a marketing campaign. Students are having a tremendous amount of fun and realising how difficult it can be to make food look aesthetically pleasing to the consumer. Congratulations Year 10.

Mrs Brown

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In previous Benny’s Bites editions, we have discussed the use of RUTAC (Read, Underline, Think/Translate, Answer and Check). The focus for Term 3 is a cohort project where all Year 7 students will be undertaking a series of lessons which look at the use and application of RUTAC in mathematical questioning. This is an essential skill especially for students who complete the Minimum Standards testing. Reading and actually understanding what the question is asking is essential for any student and is a skill that can be applied to ANY subject area.

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By having all students use this skill for an entire term, the hope is that it becomes common practice and applicable across the board in all KLA’s. Results of the pre-test taken with the Year 7 students, have revealed that even though there are many students doing well - there is room for improvement across the board - the aim is to repeat this pre-test to see if this project has been beneficial to students.

Suzanne Seychell

Mackillop Gold / Numeracy Coach

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Currently the MacKillop House are leading Social Justice. Ms Pepper along with her team have some yummy initiatives being organised so please listen out for notices and keep an eye on Compass and around the school for details.

From Week 6, the Polding House and Mr Arcuri will take over with some very exciting plans to help raise awareness for RUOK Day and for Catholic Missions.

If any student would like to join our team, then please contact Mrs Castelli or keep a look out for Compass messages advising the next meeting.

Mrs Sara-Jane Castelli

Social Justice Coordinator

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St Benedict's Catholic College is excited to be welcoming back Luke Kennedy and Sarah Alderton. Both speakers ensure their programs cater to the specific wellbeing needs of students, helping to create a healthy and safe school environment.

Who: Luke Kennedy and Sarah Alderton

When:On the 22 August (Year 9 and 10)

Where: Boys- Hall, Girls- JBLOCK

Uniform: -Sport uniform

What: Topics to be covered:

  • Resilience​

  • Dealing with Change & Uncertainty

  • Mental Health/Self-Care

  • Motivation & Inspiration

  • Reducing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (workshops available)

  • How to Be Yourself & Stop Worrying What people think

  • Bullying (Self-Bullying & Impact of Negative Self Talk)

  • Detaching from Labels & Negative Beliefs

  • Body Image

  • Building character, resilience & a strong Sense of Self

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Please be reminded that bicycle riders must wear an approved helmet securely fitted and fastened from the moment they leave the house until they arrive inside the school grounds.

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Please come and see the friendly office staff for a box of RAT kits. Either parents can come to the office reception or students can collect via the student desk during recess, lunch or at the end of the day.

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College P & F Uniform Pool orders

P & F Uniform Pool order form - click here

The P & F preloved Uniform Pool has reopened, please complete the order form and send to the P & F by email at: Our wonderful P&F volunteer Tracey will contact you.

Items can be paid for and collected from the SBCC College Office. We do not return, exchange or refund on 2nd hand clothing as these are donated by families.

Donations of items in good condition can be left at the College Office.

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