St Benedict's Catholic College
Newsletter - Friday 25 August 2023
I am writing to advise the community that I will be taking a leave of absence for the remainder of Term 3. While I am on leave Mr Michael Turner will assume the Acting Principal role.
While I will miss being present with the students and the school community during this time, I know that Mr Turner and our dedicated teaching staff, and support teams will continue the smooth running of the College and ensure a great finish for all our students especially Year 12 as we approach the end of term.
P & F SUPPORT
I would like to pass on my thanks to the Parents and Friends’ Association for the ongoing support of our College. Following the recent P&F Meeting the P&F Executive have approved the following grants;
- Financial Support for the installation of additional whiteboards in Mathematics classrooms
- Financial support for new battery powered hand tools which will be located in the new TAS workshop.
- Financial support for new furniture to teach the Business Services VET Course to Certificate III level.
- Financial support to provide additional shelving space for our growing library catalogue.
LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE
In a tradition reaching back to 1940, each year the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference releases a major social justice statement in time for Social Justice. Through this tradition they contribute to the development of local Catholic Social Teaching. The statements encourage the Catholic community to reflect and act on social, economic and ecological issues. They remind us of the social dimension of the mission of the Church.
This year, Social Justice Sunday is 27 August and the theme of the Statement is:
LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE
A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples . At the heart of this Statement is a call for all the People of God to embrace a new engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, an engagement which involves a commitment to listen to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers and to learn from them. This listening and learning and the actions which flow from them must be grounded in a spirit of love if there is to be a change for the better.
The statement can be found here.
Parents and Carers it is a timely reminder to review your child's attendance on Compass.
After seven days, absences will automatically be recorded as Absent - unexplained/unjustified if the school is not provided with an acceptable explanation from parents/carers. Parents wishing to provide the school with an acceptable explanation after the seven day period will need to contact the school and the school will adjust the attendance register. Parents will no longer be able to enter the absence through the parental portal in Compass after the seven day period.
It is very important that all absences are explained within seven days, preferably on the day of the absence. I am concerned that many families may not be aware of how damaging unexplained/unjustified absences can be to students' prospects when they meet with prospective employers/training providers and/or Universities. If an employer were to see a high number of unexplained absences, they would have every right to be concerned that the applicant would be someone who would not turn up for a scheduled shift without providing advanced notice/justification, and would likely prefer other applicants.
One issue highlighted by our 2023 school attendance data is that families may not be aware of just how much time their child is missing from school. We are aware that absences due to COVID and Influenza cannot be avoided. Our concern is with those students who are regularly absent from school without any real justification. If your child falls into that category, you may be surprised by the statistics below:
CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ENTER THE FINAL WEEK OF WINTER - WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?
I am very excited about SPRING - my favourite season of the year.
Social Justice Sunday is an annual event observed on the last Sunday of August in Australia. It serves as a platform to raise awareness and promote discussions about social justice issues within the country. The Catholic Church in Australia has a long tradition of commemorating Social Justice Sunday. The Catholic Bishops have issued an annual Social Justice Statement practically every year since 1940. The social justice remarks are made on behalf of the entire bishops’ conference in time for Social Justice Sunday. These declarations are issued with the hopes of provoking thought and action throughout the year. On 27 August 2023, the theme for Social Justice Sunday is "Listen, Learn, Love: A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples."
This theme highlights the importance of actively listening to the voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, learning from their rich cultural heritage and history, and fostering a genuine love and respect for their communities. It aims to encourage individuals and communities to engage in meaningful dialogue, education, and action to address the ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples in Australia.
The theme emphasises the need for reconciliation, understanding, and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It calls for a renewed commitment to truth-telling, acknowledging past wrongs, and working towards a more equitable future for all Australians.
Study – Getting Yourself Organised
A Place to Study
Many people study at home - often home is not conducive to effective study for a number of reasons. Take some time to understand your personal requirements in terms of location and conditions that enable you to study effectively; try to maintain a flexible and adaptable approach as your situation or circumstances may change during the course of your study.
Different people vary considerably in their circumstances and in the way in which they study most effectively.
When starting a programme of study, or when reviewing your current circumstances, it may be useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you be studying mainly from home or ‘on location’ at school, a library or somewhere else?
- Do you have a choice in your study location or will your personal circumstances dictate this?
- Do you study better in a peaceful setting, one which is free from interruptions, or do you prefer to have others around you, perhaps being able to interact with family or friends?
Considering your Study Environment
When choosing a study location it is important that you make the best use of your time.
To do this you will need to find a place where you can have all your materials: notes, books, timetable, writing materials and laptop to hand.
There are other practical things to take into account when thinking about where to study.
- A good source of light, such as an adjustable lamp is important, especially if you intend studying into the evening or in an environment without much natural light.
- You should also think about distractions and annoyances that may be present and try to eliminate them as much as possible. Mobile phones and Social Media are class distractions.
- When you first start to study you may well overlook important environmental factors or tools that you need – the more you study the clearer you’ll become about what you need and where you need to be for optimum concentration.
Organising Your Materials
While thinking about your place of study, some thought should also be given to organising.
Together with digital material, there will, inevitably, be large amounts of printed material such as notes and books.
- Try to keep your materials organised, making use of a system of labelling that is clear, bold and easy to read at a glance.
- A simple filing system is often overlooked but it can help you to save a lot of time. We see plenty of worksheets falling out of lockers that students have failed to paste into books or file appropriately. An appropriate filing system also needs to be applied to digital resources.
- Be organised and file your materials - instead of sifting through piles of papers or trying to locate that one document on your laptop!
When to Study
Deciding where to study is an important first step, equally important is determining the best times to study. The following questions will help you to think about when to study:
- On a weekly basis, how many time slots will be available for you to use?
- What after school commitments will impact my time?
- Could more time be made available if necessary?
- How will you achieve a positive work/study/life balance?
- How will you manage your workload to meet the required deadlines?
- Is there a set pattern to when you study each week?
- What time of day will you study? What time of day do you find it easiest to concentrate?
- What is the optimum period of time in which you are able to maintain concentration?
- What will you do to avoid or minimise interruptions when you are studying?
- How will you deal with interruptions if (and when) they occur?
- If you are unable to study as planned, how will you ‘catch up’?
Our STRIVE Coaches are available for our students each day if they would like to discuss Study Skills.
WELLBEING WEEK IN REVIEW
Last week the College celebrated Wellbeing Week. This was a time to reflect on what it means to be part of the Bennies community, as well as how we can further develop our character strengths. During the week, year groups engaged in a series of talks from their relevant year coordinator and Mr Bulfon, our Leader of Positive Education. In this, he celebrated their friendships and challenged students to build upon what they have learned in STRIVE over the years.
Further, a range of activities were organised during recess and lunch, such as meditation and mindful colouring which gave students time to be still and take a moment to focus on something different. The week also included the Year 12 High Tea, run by Mrs Castelli and the Social Justice team, in conjunction with Mrs Brown, Mrs Wardley and the hospitality and library teams. Thank you must also go to all staff who assisted in this Wellbeing Week.
Finally, and to finish off the week on a high, the College ran oodie day and gave a free bbq to all students. The atmosphere for these events was the best yet and the hope was that students were given the chance to re-calibrate their wellbeing, focus on themselves and their friends, and further develop the spirit of the College.
Information in this calendar list is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change without notice.
- Tuesday 29 August - 2023 HSC Major Works Showcase
4pm - 5pm -DT, Timber & Visual Arts in the Hall
5pm - 6.30pm - Music Performances in the Hall Foyer
- Thursday 31 August - Bangawarra (Junior) Excursion
- Friday 1 September - P & F Fathers Day Breakfast 7.30am - 8.15am
- Monday 4 - 14 September - Year 11 Final Exams
- 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 and last day for Year 12 ONLY
- 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
BENNIE'S MOUNTAIN BIKE CLUB
Last Friday, 18 August the Bennie's MTB Club represented the college in the Illawarra Fox Academy Mountain Bike Enduro Competition in Cringila Hills Wollongong. Schools everywhere, from Wollongong to the Blue Mountains, competed in this gruelling race event with over 400 riders entered on the day. Our seven club representatives fought hard and made our college proud demonstrating teamwork, persistence, perseverance and some incredible riding skills.
Abbey O'Donnell placed 4th in her division, missing out on Bronze by 5 seconds. Cameron McCarthy placed 9th with close to 150 riders in his division and the time difference between 1st place and 10th was a mere 30 seconds, an outstanding achievement. Congratulations to all our competitors.
A massive thank you to the parents of our riders who transported them to the venue in Wollongong, your support is very much appreciated. Our college MTB club would also like to extend a huge thank you to the P&F for their ongoing support. We are truly grateful.
10.1 FOOD TECHNOLOGY
10.1 Food Technology had a Food Ration Challenge where they had selected ingredients from which they had to cook. This was part of the unit they are studying "Food Equity". The students were very creative and all produced foods that were very different with the same ingredients. Well done Year 10.
NUMERACY ZONE - WEEK 6
Decimals and Fractions - two essential mathematical concepts that are adopted in History, Religion, Science, Geography, Technology and Maths itself! We use fractions and decimals in our everyday lives without even potentially realising we are! Grocery shopping, shopping sprees for deals or even cooking! All relative and all used daily.
But what happens when a student doesn’t actually understand decimals or fractions? We go back to basics… we use fraction bars to decipher questions!
Have you as a parent ever considered using a fraction bar to decipher the following question?
Can you decipher this question using the same method?
EXPLORING EARLY CHILDHOOD COURSE
As part of their Exploring Early Childhood course, students in Year 11 have been learning about the importance of engaging children in activities that allow them to develop and learn. Recently, the students participated in a 'Promoting Positive Behaviour' unit where they were tasked with creating an engaging activity that is aimed at promoting a key learning area.
On August 22nd our students attended the Exploring Tree Daycare Centre. During their visit students tested their activities with various aged children. Our students were separated into three groups and had a designated time with different rooms and age groups in the daycare centre. The Year 11 students thoroughly enjoyed the process and the challenges presented when interacting with the children. Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious and the daycare students loved their presence and genuine interest.
We are extremely grateful to Exploring Tree Daycare for allowing our students to receive hands-on experience after learning the theory component in class. I would personally like to thank the staff of Exploring Tree for being so accommodating and Mr McAteer for taking time out of his day to drive the bus and engage in the excursion. We are hoping to make this a permanent fixture and part of our course in the future.
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS FOR STAGE 5 - YEAR 9 & 10
For this week’s Year Assembly we offered students an opportunity to listen to the advice and experience of Luke Kennedy, a highly sought after motivational speaker who shares his story to inspire deep, lasting change and self-awareness.
We also invited Sarah Alderton, founder of MindFit Edu, who encourages our young women to question who they are and how they wish to ‘show up’ in the world to share her knowledge and experience. Here are some student testimonials on their experience, with some pictures of the day.
‘Luke S Kennedy came to St Benedict’s and shared his inspiring story about his life to year 9 and 10 boys. He told us how he went from being in a gang and doing some pretty bad stuff and finally changed his life when he was at his lowest point. He then shared how he started a business, began writing books and motivating boys to give it their all. He told us how he always had highs and lows - but realising your own potential was the most important lesson.'
What I learnt from this is that no matter how low I am, I have to become resilient and learn from mistakes even if they’re small. My favourite part of the talk was when he talked about running his business, it really showed us how you can start from nothing to then gain a lot of money and win a couple of awards.’ Year 9
‘I learnt how easy it is to self-bully yourself. We need to make time to relax, take a breath and realise we are amazing’ Year 10
Year 12 were invited to be part of a breakfast catered by the College Principal Mrs Piatek. This was an opportunity for her to farewell Year 12 and wish them all the best for their graduation ceremonies at the end of the term. Year 12 were most grateful for this kind gesture.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS
The Optical Shop in Queen St. in Campbelltown has a career opportunity within their practice for the successful applicant to acquire an internationally recognised qualification in Optical Dispensing. Fundamentally, Optical Dispensing is the interpretation of a prescription written by either an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist and applying these details to assist a patient in acquiring a complete pair of glasses suited to their needs.
A little about the practice, established in 1985 I have worked here for 34 years and owned it along with the optometrist Scott Williams for 28 years. They pride themselves on patient-focused optometry ensuring an understanding of needs drives the optimal outcome.
- The Traineeship is for 2 years and involves instore mentorship by 2 qualified opticians and 2 optometrists, participation in HLT47815 – Cert IV in Optical Dispensing which has both online component and face-to-face ACOD workshop attendance requirement.
- The position is 38 hours per week with 3 hours of study time to be provided and included all govt mandated entitlements.
- The successful applicant should have a good understanding of basic Math and English, a willingness to learn and function in a supportive, collaborative work environment, and an eye for fashion.
Please contact Michael Christensen at (02) 4626 1468
TAFE NSW - VIRTUAL SUBJECT SELECTION EVENINGS
Join us at the Virtual Subject Selection Evenings to receive all the information you require to guide your student’s ambition. What’s on offer for TVET 2024 courses?
INTERESTED IN REAL ESTATE, NURSING OR EARLY CHILDHOOD COURSES
TRAVELLING SAFELY TO AND FROM SCHOOL ON A BIKE
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.
SCHOOL CLOTHING POOL
College P & F Uniform Pool orders
The P & F preloved Uniform Pool has reopened, please complete the order form and send to the P & F by email at: email@example.com 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.