St Benedict's Catholic College
Newsletter - Friday 10 March 2023
Parents and Friends' Meeting
It was a great opportunity to meet with parents on Tuesday 28 February for our first Parents and Friends’ Meeting. As this was also the AGM, a new P&F executive was elected for 2023. I would like to thank each of these parents for their commitment to our College community and willingness to undertake these significant roles:
- President - Bernadette Di Filippo
- Vice President - Julie Saena
- Treasurer - Nichole Pace
- Secretary - Linda Barr
A number of grants were approved by the P&F:
- Financial support for Year 12 Breakfast Program
- Financial support for School Breakfast Club - proposed by Youth Ministry Team
- Financial support for Duke of Edinburgh Equipment
- Financial support for an additional three shelters on the Village Green
Open Evening Year 7 2024
Our 2024 Year 7 Information Afternoon and Evening held on Wednesday 1 March was a wonderful opportunity for the Community to see first-hand the innovative learning programs and breadth of opportunities on offer at St Benedict’s Catholic College. Our students tour guides were fantastic and led many of the sessions with staff.
A big thank you also to our staff on their hard work and commitment. Enrolment packages for Year 7 2024 are available from the school office. The closing date for Year 7 2024 enrolment is Friday 31 March.
School Improvement 2023
Our leadership team and staff draw upon Catholic Education’s Dockerize of Wollongong’s Strategic Plan Lighting The Way 2023+ and school data to identify strategic intents and a clear direction for our College. Our College Annual Improvement Plan sets goals that are designed to promote excellence in learning and teaching, strengthen the Benedictine Catholic Identity of our College, build professional capacity within staff, embed sustainable practices, and strengthen partnerships with parents and carers, and the broader community.
2023 College Priorities
1. Strengthen student and staff knowledge and understanding of Catholic Social Teaching.
2. Strengthen data literacy and assessment knowledge of staff to grow student learning outcomes.
3. Strengthen the engagement and participation of students in their learning.
Lent is one of the five seasons of the Catholic liturgical calendar, along with Advent, Christmas, Easter, and Ordinary Time. It precedes Easter and is a solemn period centred on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. While Lent is often associated with the Catholic faith, many Christians including Protestant and Orthodox observe Lent. Lent is a time where we ask our Benedict community to reconnect with or deepen one’s faith and draw closer to God as we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.
Almighty and ever living God,
you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent.
May this time be one of outward focus;
seeking you in those we often ignore.
Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and encounter.
Give us hearts hungry to serve you
and those who need what we have to give.
Information in this calendar list is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change without notice.
- Monday 13 March - Year 11 D & T Macarthur Tourism, Travel and Events College Excursion
- Monday 13 March Year 7 - 2024 Information Evening with Student Q & A Session
- Wednesday 15 March - NAPLAN Year 7 & 9
- Thursday 16 March - Year 10 Cronulla Beach Excursion
- Friday 17 March - National Day of Action Against Bullying & Violence
- Monday 20 March - NAPLAN Year 7 & 9
- Tuesday 21 March - Harmony Day
- Tuesday 21 March - MISA Debating Round 3
- Friday 24 March - Flourish Day
Third Week of Lent
We are now in the third week of Lent with the Project Compassion story of Priscilla, who lives in the Hwange district in Zimbabwe with her husband, Charles, and two of their grandchildren. Climate change continues to bring unprecedented challenges for people living in the most vulnerable and remote communities in Zimbabwe.
During times of intense drought and food shortages, Priscilla had to commute to the town centre and wait in long queues to collect food.
With the support of Caritas Hwange, Priscilla learnt conservation farming skills to grow drought-resistant crops and started poultry farming to support her family during the current food crisis. Priscilla was able to produce a bumper harvest in her first year of practising in conservation farming. Priscilla also used the funds from her harvest to start poultry farming, which enabled her to sell eggs to pay for her grandchildren’s school fees, books and stationery. The poultry farming provides a safety net for Priscilla and her family during times of hardship, like the current drought.
While the situation in Zimbabwe and across eastern Africa remains dire, the work of Caritas Hwange means that Priscilla can learn the techniques, tools and resources she needs to build resilience and support her family during this current food crisis.
Watch a short film about Priscilla’s story here.
Please support Project Compassion: www.caritas.org.au/project-compassion
International Women’s Day Camden Council Dinner
International Women's Day, 8 March 2023, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Celebrated annually on 8 March, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
The broad objectives of International Women's Day are to:
celebrate women's achievements
raise awareness about women's equality
lobby for accelerated gender parity
fundraise for female-focussed charities
The College booked a table at the IWD Dinner held by Camden Council. It was wonderful to have female staff and students attend this evening.
A beautiful prayer to reflect on for International Women's Day.
Lord, make me an instrument of peace:
Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into ploughshares.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love:
We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us to see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.
Where there is injury, pardon:
Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.
Where there is division, unity:
Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.
Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:
Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.
Where there is doubt, true faith:
We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.
Where there is despair, hope:
We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.
Where there is sadness, new joy:
Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men. Transform our hearts to celebrate the love and grace of all people.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a point in time assessment of literacy and numeracy skills. Each year students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in tests for writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
From 2023, NAPLAN is moving to Term 1 and will take place from Wednesday 15 March to Monday 27 March. The reason for this change is so that results can be returned to schools earlier in the year which will support teachers to understand the learning needs of their students and plan accordingly.
NAPLAN tests are just one part of our school learning assessment program and questions are primarily based on knowledge, understanding and skills gained from the prior year of schooling.
In preparation for NAPLAN 2023, our school will undertake activities to help students to become familiar with the format and functionality of the online tests.
Students and parents can access the public demonstration site to familiarise themselves with NAPLAN and the types of questions and tools available. Excessive preparation for NAPLAN is not required nor recommended.
Please click on this link for further information. If you have any questions about NAPLAN, please contact your child's Strive Teacher.
NAPLAN Schedule 2023
Wednesday 15 March
Period / Year Group / Exam - In the Hall
Period 1 / Year 9 / Writing (42 min)
Period 2 / Year 7 / Writing (42 min)
Period 3 and 4 / Year 9 / Reading (65 min)
Thursday 16 March
Period / Year Group / Location of exam - In the Hall
Period 1 and 2 / Year 7 / Reading (65 min)
Period 3 / Year 9 / Conventions of Language (45 min)
Period 4 / Year 7 / Conventions of Language (45 min)
Friday 17 March
Period / Year Group / Location of exam - In the Hall
Period 1 and 2 / Year 9 / Numeracy (65 min)
Period 3 and 4 / Year 7 / Numeracy (65 min)
International Women's Day 2023
On Wednesday the 8 March, students Katelynne T, Rose N, Hannah D and Grace C along with 8 staff members, Mrs Castelli, Mrs Hempenstall, Mrs Wardley, Mrs Fawbert, Mrs Ghignone, Ms Pepper, Mrs Settineri and Mrs Holland, attended Camden Council’s International Women’s Day Gala that invited a diverse range of women to communicate and express themselves in a safe and empowering environment.
The night began with an introduction by Sarah Ryan OAM, a former Olympic swimmer, accompanied by the Mayor of Camden, Cr Therese Fedeli who introduced the theme for the night, ‘Embrace Equity’. This theme explored the importance of equity over equality in society and the importance of belonging. Following this, a few introductory presentations from Camden MP, Peter Sidgreaves, Camden Woman of the Year, Davina Smith, from Turning Point Camden and Chief Operations Manager, Kim Landouw, were delivered encouraging us to be the change we wish to see in society.
The dinner was served as the keynote speaker, Naomi Simson, began her talk, the true highlight of the night. Simson is an optimistic entrepreneur who has had a corporate career with Apple, KPMG, IMB and Ansett Australia, leading her to become the “Red Shark” in the reality TV show, Shark Tank Australia. She has become an influential figure with her extremely positive outlook and openness to new experiences and wonderfully presented her inspirational ideas. Naomi presented her perspective as a powerful, strong woman in society, who has worked predominantly in a male-dominated field throughout her life. She discussed the importance of breaking societal expectations, being challenged and challenging others, the power of positive words and curiosity, the importance of being a positive role model and aiming to shift the way others experience life. She concluded her inspirational presentation with the quote, “there are those in life who watch what others do, there are those who ask about what others do, and there are those that do”, encouraging us to all be a person who acts in society.
The night was wrapped up with dessert and final speeches, concluding the excellent evening. This opportunity was an insightful experience for both students and staff and has allowed us to deeply connect with each other and ourselves. A special thank you to all staff who attended on the night as well as Mrs Logue and Mrs Piatek who allowed us this fantastic opportunity.
Grace C, Year 11
Social Justice President
Project Compassion Update
The Social Justice are currently working hard with Norcia House to raise much needed funds for Caritas Australia. This week, students learnt about Tereesa, a proud Gamilaroi woman who grew up in Western Sydney. Being a young mother of 4 children, Tereesa has had to frequently move around. She then discovered a Mums and Bubs group ran by Baabayn Aboriginal Group and supported by Caritas who have now helped her to become a successful artist with her work being displayed at the 2022 Vivid Light Festival in Sydney. Tereesa is now part of the Mums and Bubs team working as an assistant to the group. It is with the help of your support that Caritas are able to support a people like Tereesa.
Project Compassion boxes are available in all STRIVE classrooms for students, staff and families to donate to. In addition to this, Norcia have been selling Zooper Doopers at break times. The annual Easter Raffle has made its return again this year after many years of success. Grace C in Year 11 is asking for families to donate Easter eggs of any shape and size to this initiative. Tickets for this fundraiser will go on sale soon so please keep an eye out on Compass and our Socials for an update.
Thank you for all your ongoing support.
Social Justice Coordinator
2023 Premier’s Reading Challenge
The PRC is a NSW Government initiative to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure and to enable students to experience quality reading. It is not a competition but a challenge to read and to read more widely.
The Challenge is open to students from Kindergarten to Year 10 and students can include any books read from the end of the 2022 challenge (September 2022) on their 2023 reading record.
The Challenge is to read 20 books before Friday 18th August 2023. Students can include 10 personal choice books and can count 5 books from an approved series as PRC Books. The College Library has identified PRC books with a big red sticker on the spine.
Students who complete the challenge will receive an award issued by the NSW Premier’s Office presented at the College Assembly, a prize pack from the Library and will also earn House points for each book read.
Please come to the Library to register or for any further information.
In other news ….
Blind Date with a Book
The Library ran a very successful ‘Blind Date with a Book’ promotion encouraging our students not to judge a book by its cover. The books were covered with brown paper and represented a cross section of genres. Students then completed a Survey ‘rating their date’.
Thank you to all our students who took a chance on a new book and congratulations to Amity A from year 12 who was selected as our lucky participant. Amity can collect her prize from the Library.
Year 9 Elective Local History and Heritage Excursion In Review
Year 9 History Elective students have been learning about the local history of the Camden area in class over the past few weeks and on Monday 6 March, the class went on an excursion to the birthplace of the nation's wealth. We took an insightful tour of the Camden Museum as well as a Heritage Walking Tour around the streets of Camden, considering the change and continuity of the area.
The class learnt many new things on Monday, including how the Macaria building on John St is believed to be haunted. Being built over 150 years ago, the Macaria has had many uses over the years including being a grammar school and the old Camden offices. We were able to see how people in Camden lived over the years and how the area has changed over time! Did you know that there was once a rail line that connected Camden with Campbelltown? This was vital for exporting goods produced in the area, including wool and milk. The old steam train, which closed down in the 1960s was not powerful enough to make it up some of the hills along Narellan Road and passengers would often have to get out and walk alongside the train! We visited remnants of the old rail line in Kirkham and finished with lunch at Camden McDonalds, the site of the old railway station.
We thank the Camden Museum volunteers for teaching us about the local history as well as Mr Ghignone and Ms Hawkins for accompanying us on this excursion.
Cailin J. and Bailey D. (Year 9 students)
Year 10 Design & Technology - Feedback Lesson
Year 10 Design & Technology have been busy working in teams to design and manufacture their Aussie Made products for next terms Aussie Made Week market stalls.
Australian Made Week is a time to celebrate and support Australia's local makers and growers all around the country. When we buy Australian, we support Australia – we create jobs and economic activity while enjoying products made to some of the highest standards in the world.
Students brief is to work in pairs to design and manufacture a product that demonstrates Australian enterprising activity. Further information on Australia Made Week can be found here:
This week in class students were asked to quickly pitch where they are at with their projects to the class. The presenting teams gave their audience (their peers) post it notes. On the post it notes students had to provide feedback on what they liked about the presenters project and what they wonder about it. Completed post it notes were then given back to the presenting team to read over and take on board what was suggested and stated.
This activity worked very well and students gained many more insights on their project and what they are doing well now and what will need to be considered or developed further. Thank you to Mrs Lane for her inspiration with this class activity!
Keep up the good work on this project Year 10. Looking forward to seeing you all manufacturing your products next week!
VET Coordinator, TAS/VET Teacher
On Monday 27 February the annual College Swimming Carnival was held at Camden Memorial Pools. It was great to see our students so eager to represent their House at their first opportunity for the year. It was a day of great House Spirit and participation by our students with many hotly contested races throughout the day.
We look forward to presenting our major awards to the Age Champions and Winning House at Assembly. It was great to see all the parents, carers and grandparents in attendance at the Carnival.
On Thursday 2 March the annual College Cross Country Carnival was held at the Lakeside Lawn at the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan. This was another opportunity for our students to represent their House at one of our major College events.
It was a day of great House Spirit but more importantly a great College day as students cheered each other on in the many races throughout the day. Once again the Age Champions and House Champion will be announced and presented with their medals at Assembly.
Ranier School Wear - Winter Uniform Update
The School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) moratorium free travel period for 2023 has now expired. The moratorium period was provided to allow eligible students who have not yet received a student bus pass to receive one.
All students will be required to present to the driver their physical 2023 Picton Buslines School Bus Pass, for every trip. We will not accept photos of bus passes taken on students’ phones. Please have the pass ready to show to the driver as you board the bus.
If a bus pass is not presented, the students must pay the required cash fare.
- Students who have not yet applied for a 2023 Bus Pass, can still do so via the link here https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/ticket-eligibility-concessions/school-student-travel.
- Students who are not eligible for free school travel via SSTS can pay for a Term Pass by contacting Picton Buslines https://pictonbuslines.com.au/contact-us/.
- Students who have applied, received the approval email but have not received a 2023 Bus Pass should contact Picton Buslines.
Further information and terms and conditions of School Bus Passes can be found via TNSW, https://transportnsw.info/school-pass-terms.
For any questions or concerns that cannot be resolved via the TNSW link above, please contact Picton Buslines directly.