St Benedict's Catholic College
Newsletter - Friday, 11 February 2022
Welcome back to all our students and families and all those new to our college communities. The positive way in which our students have returned to school demonstrates the strength and resilience of our community. In particular, I would like to congratulate our Year 7 students who have made a very successful transition to St Benedict’s, impressing all with their maturity, engagement in learning and the kindness they have extended to each other.
I am confident that with the support of our highly skilled and dedicated staff and wonderful parents and families our students will continue to thrive and flourish this year.
Notwithstanding this positive start we are aware of the ongoing impact COVID is having on
- For the past two years the students who have returned, have been subjected to much disruption stress and anxiety in families, holidays cancelled, Christmas and family events interrupted;
- Students in Year 8 and 9 have not experienced a full high school year, or the culture of a full school year and all that entails at St Benedict’s, including the extended support of our STRIVE program, their classroom teacher face to face for two years;
- Face to face peer and friendship groups have been disjointed for many of our students;
- Students have had different COVID-related experiences and where one student takes disruption in their stride, we are aware that another might need more support and time to adjust.
- Sporting and extracurricular activities in the many communities have been restricted or cancelled; and,
- Contact with their Church has been interrupted, and the cultural spiritual experiences aligned to student’s relationship with God, regular prayer, visits to the church, liturgies of the word school assemblies etc, particularly face to face have been minimal.
In supporting our students we are blessed to have firstly, our rich Benedictine Catholic Ethos, and STRIVE program on which we base our approach to supporting students wellbeing and identify those students who may require additional support and intervention. Please contact your child’s STRIVE Coach or Year Coordinator at the College if we can provide further support to your child or your family.
Welcome to our new staff for 2022
Ms Alent Vargas, Leader of Mathematics, Mrs Amanda Newcombe Office Administration, Mrs Melissa Loudoun, Leader of PDHPE, Ms Sarina Trimarchi Leader of English, Mr Thomas Kasunic and Mr Vince Ripepi HSIE teachers, Mr Anthomy Massa Mathematics teacher, Ms Tamara Mora PDHPE and Religion teacher, Mrs Kate Smith and Mrs Ashima Sharma, Science teachers, Mr Demitrius Aravena English teacher, Mr Jayden Vella Classroom Support, Ms Erin Lockhart Science Support and Mr John Wheeler Director of Wellbeing
St Benedict’s students should be very proud of their HSC results given the challenges that they faced throughout their HSC studies. Year 12 , 2021, with the support of their teachers and support staff, worked together to bring out the very best in each other Congratulations to all students on their achievements and special acknowledgement to those students who made the Distinguished Achievers List. Our College was also excited to receive our very first "top of the state" honour in a HSC subject, since opening in 2011.
Lucrecia Carter was awarded first in the state for Design and Technology. This is an outstanding achievement. As part of her HSC study in Design and Technology, Lucrecia designed an innovative social housing concept for those authentically struggling in the Australian, Northern Territory town of Elliott. The architectural concept also aims to inspire a wave of change within the Australian housing market, creating a new perspective on sustainable homes in the future.
Well done to Lucrecia and also her teacher Mrs Lorena Ghigone. St Benedict's Catholic College is very proud of you and of your achievement.
Welcome back to the new school year. It has been great to see the return of students and staff and I especially welcome our Year 7 and new students to St Benedict’s.
I would like to congratulate all students for the way that they have embraced the return to school and thank all parents and carers for their support of the College. There has been a consistent message throughout all year meetings that we must maintain high standards and expectations in everything that we do.
Belong, Challenge, Engage
Our College theme for the year centres around Belong, Challenge, Engage. Throughout this year we are placing a great emphasis on how we are able to do this through our College Motto of “Be My Light”. This core theme will encourage and support students to ensure they are feeling a sense of belonging to the College, are appropriately challenged in all aspects of schooling and are engaged in their learning. This is an excellent opportunity for parents to talk to their children about how they are participating in their learning and wellbeing goals.
The college has moved the STRIVE lesson from the start of the day until after recess. This means that school starts at 8:10 with Period 1.
The uniform expectations are stated clearly on our College website. Please ensure you have familiarised yourself with these expectations.
Mobile phones are not allowed to be used during school hours. We have seen an increase in the use of phones, especially at recess and lunch. Any student who is found to be using their mobile phone will have it confiscated and the phone placed in the front office. Repeat offenders will need a parent to collect the phone.
Staff Development Days
We continue to operate under COVID SMART restrictions. We are hopeful that these will be eased in the coming weeks and we will be able to provide further events to our students and wider community. In the meantime please be aware of the following Staff Development Days this year:
Tuesday 26th April –Term 2 Week 1
Friday 10th June – Term 2 Week 7Monday 29th August – Term 3 Week 7.
A warm welcome back to everyone for this new school year and a special welcome to the many new staff, students and our Year 7's joining our College. It is so wonderful to hear the chatter and laughter in the playground as school returned.
We are called to BE MY LIGHT - where We Belong, We Engage, We Challenge. St Benedict asks us to be peacemakers in our relationships and in our communities (Prologue 17), To do this, we begin with prayers, asking for the ability to become Christ’s presence in our communities, home, Church, friendships, classroom, and workplace.
There is excitement and a buzz in the air amongst our Year 12 students as they prepare to go on their Senior Retreat next week. An opportunity to build and strengthen faith and relationships with each other and time to reflect and think about goals for the upcoming year. Watch this space the next newsletter will contain a summary and photos from the experience.
National Apology Day is commemorated annually on 13th February and encourages remembrance of - and apology to – the Stolen Generations and those whose lives have been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation.
This commemoration differs from Sorry Day which is held annually on 26th May, to mark the original tabling of the Bringing them Home report.
On 13th February 2008, the first sitting of the new parliamentary year, then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally acknowledged the immense suffering experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people due to past government policies of forced child removal and decades of mistreatment of Indigenous Australians.
The National Apology to the Stolen Generations remains a momentous turning point that demonstrates the importance of historical acceptance in paving the road to reconciliation.
On February 13th 2022, it is 14 years since this apology was offered.
National Apology Day is a day to remember and pray for the children who were taken away from their families and homes. It is a step on the path to reconciliation. It is a commitment to right the wrongs of past injustices and is about building a bridge of respect between all people.
Loving God, Creator Spirit, God of the Dreaming, You who created all people in your image and likeness,
May we listen with care to all people of this land and treat all with respect.
Source of all creation and unity, bless us in our endeavours to live as one in Christ.
May you, our God of justice, give us the strength and courage to transform the world according to the vision of Jesus.
May you, our God, model of community and equality, inspire us to bring harmony and a new vision of peace and reconciliation to all.
If we look about us, LOVE is all around.
It is the love of parents for children, the love of husband and wife, the love for siblings and friends and those with whom we are affiliated by faith or interest or hobby or passion.
It may be first love, only love, sometimes lost love, love imagined or love regained.
It might be a love of music or art or words or the love of life and gifts it offers each one of us.
It is the LOVE of God for all his children - US.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day let us give thanks for all the loves in our lives and for those whose daily, constant and enduring love makes our hearts beat with happiness and hope.
SBCC HSC High Achievers 2021
Their commitment and resilience during difficult times is to be congratulated.
Brother Clarence Foundation for Education
Since November 1991 the Foundation has distributed $120,320 to 316 families in need.
Weeks 1 - 4
Weeks 5 - 10 to be confirmed
The Marshmallow Challenge
Year 9 and 10 Design and Technology
Design and Technology students in Year 9 and 10 this year were given a fun design challenge to do in their first lesson.
The challenge is called the "Marshmallow Challenge" and requires students in teams of four to design and build the tallest, freestanding tower made from 20 strands of spaghetti, 1 metre of tape, 1 metre of string and 1 marshmallow.
Students had to collaborate to design the freestanding structure and only had 18 minutes to do it!
Whether the team's solution passed or failed, students learnt about problem solving, evaluating and collaborating.
Well done to the teams that answered the brief. It was a fun exercise to be a part of.
Ms. Lorena Ghignone
Design and Technology teacher
Another busy start to the year for the Creative and Performing Arts Department.
Our Year 7 Visual Arts have all received the materials necessary for this year. There are several Visual Art teachers at St Benedict's so please make sure students listen to their teachers instructions on what equipment to bring as each class may cover aspects at a slightly different pace. We are asking students to bring in an old shirt/jumper or paint shirt for practical lessons. The Visual Arts teacher will let students know when to bring them in.
Our Year 8 Music classes will find all of the classwork either in a printed booklet or workbook with extra instructions/lessons given on Google Classroom. Students have been asked to provide a pair of inexpensive earphones for keyboard use over the next few weeks.
Our Elective Drama, Music, Photography and Visual Arts classes have already begun working and great progress is already evident. Our year 9 and 11 Music students have already experienced performing to a small audience. A few nervous jitters from some but overall a positive experience. Year 9 Art have started to explore their landscape unit by going outside to draw the Drama or J-Block using a one-point perspective. Year 10 Art have begun exploring Street Art this term where they will eventually create their own design exploring social issues onto skateboard decks.
Our Stage 6 Drama, Music, Photography and Visual Arts students are already preparing for busy times ahead. Please email your classroom teacher if you have any questions about the Preliminary or HSC Course, we are always happy to help.
The Music Tuition Program has finally returned to face to face tuition. All students involved in the program have been notified of their times and covid rules. Any year 7 students interested in learning an instrument in a private lesson setting are to contact Mrs Koryzma via email for further details. email@example.com
Dance troupe and Choir are yet to return however we look forward to these events in the near future. I will be collecting names of interested students over the next few weeks.
Hello, My name is Mrs Ashleigh Durrant and I am the Year 7 Coordinator for 2022.
I would first like to start by welcoming our Year 7 Students and their parents to our college community. It was fantastic to see so many happy faces walk through our gates in the new St Benedict’s uniform.
Year 7 have had an eventful start to the school year and have managed these new challenges with so much resilience. A trait in which we hope to flourish as the year unfolds. By now students have met their teachers and have started to fully engage and challenge themselves academically speaking in an array of subject areas. For some students they will be experiencing more time in subject areas than they have ever before. This is exciting as we are able to watch their talents and gifts unfold.
Year 7 have participated in our whole school sport afternoons and have been placed into house groups. We are looking forward to seeing our Year 7 students shine in our Carnivals this term.
We have developed a Year statement which aligns with our School values and School direction for 2022. For me, I place importance on the following:
Being kind to one another, challenging yourself academically to improve YOUR personal best and connecting with your faith are all important aspects for students to STRIVE for.
We have so many exciting opportunities happening this term and I can't wait to share the success with you. I encourage you to chat with your child and ask them about High school life.
Check out below what Year 7 had to say about their start to this new chapter.
Until next time… remember
“Everyone is capable of AMAZING things”
Mrs Ashleigh Durrant
Year 7 Coordinator | PDHPE/RE Teacher
Blind date with a book
To coincide with Valentine's Day the Library has a Blind Date with a Book promotion. No judging a book by it's cover here! Our books are wrapped so the only clues are the genre and a few words on the outside tag. Love it or hate it - we encourage our readers to borrow and take a chance on falling in love with a new book.
Bennie's Cafe is open for online Flexischools orders only.
Click and Collect purchases only - there will be no items purchased with a card, all orders must be online. (no exceptions)
All collections will be staggered:
Students in Years 7-9
Collect from the Cafe
Year 7 - Recess: 10.27; Lunch 12.57pm
Year 8 - Recess: 10.37; 1.07pm
Year 9 - Recess: 10.32; 1.02pm
Students in Years 10 - 12
Staff members on the supervision roster will collect the lunch orders and take them to the students allocated area.
Year 10 - G-Block, Village Green (E-Block and Library Quad if it is raining)
Year 11 - B/D Block TAS Quad
Year 12 - S block Senior Area
Students should present their Compass Card to collect their order from the teacher.
Thank you for your understanding and patience while we implement COVID safe protocols.
2022 School Transport
2022 school travel applications are now open
Students who need a School Opal card or travel pass for 2022 can apply now. A new
application will need to be submitted if they are applying for a school travel pass for
the first time, or if they are requesting an additional travel entitlement as a result of a
new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody).
Students who change address, school, campus location, or who have repeated a year
or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel
entitlement should renew or update their details before the end of term 4. This will
ensure that schools can endorse applications and current entitlements are updated
and remain valid. School Opal card holders will have the changes applied to their
If a student’s distance eligibility has changed based on their grade the system will
automatically update their entitlement if they meet the new criteria. If they do not
meet the new eligibility criteria, they will receive an expiry notification via email.
Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition that is due to
expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.
Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply.
Students in the Opal network applying for an Opal card (including a Term Bus Pass)
for the first time will receive their Student Opal card at their nominated postal
address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2022.
Students living in rural and regional (R&R) areas should receive their travel pass at
the start of the new school year from their nominated transport operator. It may
come via the school or be sent directly to them at home. Note: some R&R operators
do not issue travel passes. Students/parents should confirm with their nominated
operator if they do not receive a pass.
School Student Transport Scheme site change
On 1 October 2021 the School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) information
and application portal was moved to transportnsw.info. This will assist families
to find all their travel information in the one place.
Travel from Term 1 2022
We ask that parents plan ahead and make sure their child knows which service/s to use
and has a valid ticket to travel; either a School Opal card or Child/Youth Opal card
(within Greater Sydney) or a School Travel Pass (outside Greater Sydney), from the start
of the school year.
Applications for the School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) open at the start of Term
4 2021 for travel in 2022, so parents/students can apply or update details early and be
ready for the start of the new school year.
Most students using the Opal network will not need a new Opal card and can continue
travelling on their existing card each year.
The start of the year is a difficult period for local bus operators, and students travelling
without a valid ticket make service planning and operations increasingly difficult.
We recognise that for some families last minute changes to school enrolments mean
they may not have a School Opal card or Travel Pass for the start of term. In the Opal
network, we strongly encourage these families to have their children travel on a
Child/Youth Opal card until they receive their valid School Opal card. If outside Greater
Sydney, parents should contact their local bus operator to discuss their travel needs.
Bus operators are flexible and understanding, particularly at the start of the school
year, and will ensure students can travel safely to and from school. But to best support
our operators we encourage all students to have a valid ticket, as early as possible, from
the start of the school year.
Please also remember that students using Opal cards must tap on and tap off in line
Further information can be found at transportnsw.info/travel-info/using-public-transport/school-travel
Enquiries can be submitted at transportnsw.info/contact-us/feedback/passes-concessions-feedback
P & F Clothing Pool
The P & F Clothing Pool has reopened, please contact the P & F via firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of your requirements and a contact telephone number and Tracey will contact you. Items can be paid for and collected from the SBCC College Office.
MY FIT REWARDS - ATHLETE'S FOOT STORES
A message from St Mary MacKillop Catholic Parish, Oran Park
Just a reminder that the Camden/Oran Park Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society remain available to provide emergency assistance by telephone, and drop off resources as required.
Any person requiring assistance should telephone the Conference on (02) 8250 1484 and a Conference Member will retrieve details and follow-up requests for assistance.
Information for affordable food hampers is available through Our Community Pantry (a community food rescue initiative) or copy and paste the URL into your browser: https://www.ourcommunitypantry.com.au/.