St Benedict's Catholic College
Newsletter - Friday, 25 February 2022
Year 7, 2023 Enrolment Information
College Tours departing from the Library
Wednesday, 9 March 2022
Tours at 3.30pm, 4.30pm, & 5.30pm.
Registrations essential at https://www.trybooking.com/BXNUH
Information Evening in the College Hall
Wednesday, 16 March 2022
Love of Learning, Love of God and Love of Neighbour.
Over the past two weeks we had the opportunity to congratulate our Academic Leadership recipients for 2021. Over 581 awards were given to 315 students across the 7 to 11 year groups in 2021 in these awards ceremonies which is a testament to the commitment, dedication and academic achievement of our students.
Our Academic Leadership award recognise students who have demonstrated diligence and commitment through working authentically to achieve their learning goals. In classes they consistently model the College value of a “Love of Learning" by demonstrating outstanding behaviours for learning, engaging respectfully at all times with teachers and their peers. These students also demonstrate Leadership qualities in the way they support other students in their learning and model for others the behaviours for ongoing personal improvement. In addition students received awards for living out our College Vision through their Love of Learning, Love of God and Love of Neighbour.
Year 12 Retreat
I am certain after visiting students at their retreats last week they will remember their retreat experience for many years to come. Our students attended two different venues, one on the Shoalhaven River and the other venue in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Year 12 engaged enthusiastically and respectfully in all the activities, and built on the already strong relationships they have with each other as well as the teaching staff. It was a privilege for me to spend some time with each of the group, sharing this special time with them.
A special thank you to Mrs Kimberley Logue, Mrs Tarnya Grana, Mr Matthew Limbrey, Mr Steve Bulfon, Mr Josh Agoo, Ms Alex Wojcik, Mrs Tammy Isbister, Mrs Adriana Hermis, Mrs Jodie Hatton, Mr Chris Shelton, Mrs Sara-Jane Castelli, Mr Gareth Reavell and Mrs Lisa Scott for the support of Year 12 at the retreat.
Year 7, 2023 - Enrolment Information
Our College is hosting a Tour Night and an Information Night for parents/carers and their primary school children who are considering enrolling in Year 7 2023.
The College Tour Afternoon will take place on Wednesday, 9 March from 3.30pm, and is an important way that we showcase the unique learning, wellbeing model and the various activities that occur on a daily basis at St Benedict’s.
Registration for College Tours is essential at https://www.trybooking.com/BXNUH
Our students will act as host on the night guiding our visitors to the various displays and talks in our contemporary classrooms and facilities. Parents and carers will have the opportunity to speak with staff about our learning programs, STRIVE programs and co-curricular opportunities.
A Year 7, 2023 Enrolment Information Evening will also be held in the College Hall on Wednesday, 16 March at 6.30pm.
The support provided by our students, along with their respectful manner and their insightful experience as a St Benedict’s student, and the valuable educational information provided by our staff will ensure that this evening once again will be a wonderful success.
At our AGM Meeting earlier this week Fiona Place, the P&F President for the past three years, advised that she would no longer be continuing in this role. On behalf of the College community I would like to acknowledge Fiona’s outstanding leadership of the P&F.
St Benedict, in his Rule, calls the leader of his communities to integrity, where words and actions are in harmony. This is true of Fiona’s leadership, she has represented the voice of the parents and families and worked to ensure that our students experience at St Benedict’s is of the highest quality.
COVID Update - Major easing of restrictions for schools from Monday 28 February 2022
We have just been informed that COVID-smart measures in schools will change from Monday 28 February 2022, with many existing restrictions significantly eased.
Summary of the changes to COVID-smart measures
Core COVID-smart measures will remain in place, including enhanced cleaning and maximising natural and mechanical ventilation in line with health advice.
From Monday 28 February:
- An end to cohorting: schools can reduce or remove cohorting.
- Visitors on school sites: schools can invite visitors to school sites regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone working on a school site (including volunteers) is still covered by the PHO and must meet double vaccination requirements.
- Masks no longer mandatory in high schools: masks will no longer be mandatory for staff or students in high schools.
Staff and students will continue to be supported to wear a mask should they choose to do so. In line with community settings, workers who support our students with disability in specialist centres, support units and some mainstream classrooms will be required to wear masks while working with students.
Data supporting the easing of restrictions
Research conducted by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) showed that in Term 4, 2021, three to four per cent of people exposed to a positive case in school settings contracted COVID-19 compared to around 70 per cent in residential settings.
No NSW school has closed since school returned for Term 1, 2022, despite the levels of community transmission.
Stage 6 - Assessment Support
Assessment support for Students in Year 11 & 12 will commence this week,
Week A: Thursday - period 4
Week B: Thursday - period 5
Kind Regards, Mrs Downes
Senior Retreat - Blue Gum
This is our final week of ordinary week and we shortly begin the season of Lent.
A most wonderful time was had at the Senior Retreat last week.
Our Year 12 were across two sites - Blue Gum at Springwood and Waterslea in the Shoalhaven.
The Theme of the retreat was: “‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (MATTHEW 6:12)’.
Painting an individual treasure chest and the writing of affirmations to one another was a definite highlight. The messages will be very useful through this year and ongoing.
We also got to experience some of the most beautiful sunrises early in the morning..
I have included a couple of reflections by students from Blue Gum. Our next newsletter will include photos and images from Waterslea.
The retreat was a very positive experience and was extremely eye-opening. It was a balanced experience of fun and freedom with our friends and teachers, with opportunities for discussion and review about the Benedictine faith, some down-time and self-reflection about our goals and future, as well as allowing us to learn more about our peers and our unique experiences and lives. It was very helpful and I, among others, am very grateful for having experienced it as it opened our eyes to the things we need to work on in our own lives in order to capitalise on our own potential in our HSC year, and in our lives in general.
There were two events on the retreat that stood out the most for me. The first was our collective discussion about the concept of balance, as I learned that balance is the constant and controlled changing of attention between multiple things, as opposed to attempting to split one attention between two or more things simultaneously. This lesson stood out to me as it is a strong and relevant lesson to our HSC year, having to learn to balance a multitude of important things well in order to be successful. The second event that stood out to me was our reconciliation and prayer liturgy at the fire pit, as it allowed us to unite and connect through faith, and reflect on the retreat and the lessons we had learnt as a whole.”
On Wednesday last week, Year 12 was split up into two groups with 47 of us attending retreat at Springwood and the other 70 students going to Shoalhaven. The experience was valuable in creating bonds with students we don’t regularly talk to and insightful in discovering more about ourselves along with the potential we all hold, in our talents and differences.
We were split into smaller groups with people we weren’t as close with which allowed us to learn more about those in our grade who didn’t interact with our friendship groups. In these groups we learnt about the importance of reflection as well as letting go of the baggage we may emotionally hold. These concepts highlighted the success that comes from the growth we find in learning about ourselves. Retreat also taught the significance in turning to others for help. Before we left we were asked to write positive affirmations to each other. This activity was important in strengthening friendship bonds and connections but also encouraging us to look at the unique qualities within ourselves that we should embrace. We also enjoyed the opportunity to pray with each other around the campfire.
Thank you to all the teachers who came: Ms Hatton, Mrs Scott, Mrs Castelli, Mr Reavell and Mr Shelton, for taking time out of their teaching and home lives, and a special thanks to Mrs Logue for organising the retreat with dedication and care for all of us. All these teachers added so much to this memorable experience. Thank you also to Mr Wheeler and Mrs Piatek for taking time out to come visit us.
Online enrolments for 1st Reconciliation / 1st Holy Communion
ONLINE ENROLMENTS FOR 1st RECONCILIATION/1st HOLY COMMUNION AT ST MARY MACKILLOP PARISH OPEN THIS MONDAY
Those families who wish to present their children for the Sacraments of 1st Reconciliation/1st Holy Communion in 2022 at St Mary MacKillop Parish, Oran Park are asked to complete the online enrolment form that will be available from this Monday 28 February through the 'Youth Sacraments' page on the St Mary MacKillop parish website:
- Online enrolments will close on Monday 14 March. (Those children who are baptised Catholic and are in Yr3 and above are able to enrol)
One key change to the 2022 parish preparation for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion at St Mary MacKillop Parish will now be a combined program of 6 weeks. So rather than families committing to one program for 1st Reconciliation and then another program for 1st Holy Communion, candidates will prepare for both Sacraments at the same time. The focus of this combined program is “From Mass to Mission” that draws upon the purpose statement of St Mary MacKillop parish “to form disciples who joyfully live out the mission of Jesus Christ”. (If a child has already made their 1st Reconciliation, and was just wanting to receive their 1st Holy Communion, they are still required to complete the 6-week program)
Thank you to the St Mary MacKillop Parish Craft Group
Congratulations Student Leaders
Lucia P & Lachlan C
Katelyn L, Bianca L, Mary-Rose E, Ava M
Connor P, Torens H, Annalysse S, Charlotte M
Charlotte G, Emily K, Darcy C, Emily F
Mission and Ministry
Gwen U, Jared S, Olivia F, Courtney G
It is with great pleasure that I announce our undefeated champions remain undefeated, this week against St Francis Catholic College.
With a new opening speaker of Rhiannon V, the team was strong in their negative stance on the notion that cigarettes should be banned. She proved herself a confident, articulate speaker who clearly defined the topic and crushed the affirmative team's first speaker.
Jada H. was as strong as ever in both presenting her arguments and her rebuttals. Her vocabulary is beyond her years.
Samantha was astounding in her rebuttals and her our world, their world hypothesis.
Jenna was fantastic in making sure all our speakers missed nothing with ready made rebuttals that were well thought through.
Western Sydney University Winners - Blue Print Competition
In Term 4, 2021, St Benedict’s Year 10 students were successful in being awarded 3rd place in the Blueprint Business Idea Competition. The competition is an initiative by Western Sydney University to engage with high school students from Sydney and Greater Western Sydney Region.
The competition was designed to help students pursue new business ideas. It also empowers students through business education and enrichment opportunities and provides a first-hand experience in entrepreneurship. The aim of the business idea is to solve a customer problem and students are required to conceptualise, build and market a business. The competition involved the creation, submission and presentation of original content that highlights the business idea.
Western Sydney University presented our Year 10 students Jessica G, Lavinia H, Azariah B, Grace B and Ronan C with the prize gift certificate, trophies, and a WSU goody bag.
Don't forget to wear your House Colours!
The College Swimming Carnival will be held on Tuesday 1 March (next week). All of Year 7 and Year 12 will be attending along with competing students from Year 8 - 11. Year 7 and 12 will not be in classes on Tuesday.
Year 7 and Year 12 STRIVE coaches will meet Year 7 and 12 in the COLA in the morning of Tuesday to mark the STRIVE rolls before students board the buses to Camden Memorial Swimming Pool.
Weeks 5 - 10 to be confirmed
Year 12 Australian Institute of Music excursion
Earlier this week the Year 12 Music class took a trip to the city to explore the opportunities there and prepare for the year ahead and beyond. Upon arrival, we made our way to the new AIM (Australian Institute of Music) building. We were given a tour of the facilities they offered, and although still under construction, the resources they provide for their courses are state of the art and the open plan of the campus gives students a comfortable and supportive environment to study in.
We also went to see ENCORE, a showcase of some of the outstanding performances from last year's Music 1, Music 2 and Music Extension HSC examinations. All of the performances were incredible, all varying in genre and instrumentation. It was really motivating and a good indication of what we're working towards for our own examinations.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable experience, one that brought us together as a class as we met some of Sydney's colourful characters and looked towards our future as musicians. Special thanks to Mr O’Donnell for organising this experience for us.
Music Tuition is up and running (face to face) for 2022. A reminder for all students that they must contact their tutor if they are unable to attend a lesson. If 24 hours notice is not given then parents will be charged for the missed lesson. Any rescheduled lessons will be over zoom after school hours.
If you wish to join the program please contact Mrs Jenny Koryzma firstname.lastname@example.org
Our busy Visual Arts team is asking for newspapers to be donated to the department. Please send in with your child and give to any of the Visual Arts teachers. Much appreciated.
A permission note was posted on Compass about the responsible use of Cameras/Phone cameras in the classroom. As the due date has passed for the return of this note, please have your child ask their photography teacher for a hard copy of this information.
Year 8 Music
On June 8 2022, our Year 8 students will be involved in an interactive African Drumming Incursion. A permission note was posted on the parent compass for consent. Please check under ‘events’ for this information
Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator
Music and Visual Arts Teacher
RAT Test update
Dear Parents and Carers
In line with recent announcements from the NSW Government, the rapid antigen test (RAT) program will end on Friday 25 February 2022. This means that the twice weekly testing using RAT kits is no longer in place. Thank you for your patience and cooperation over the last four weeks. While it has been a—sometimes unwelcome—addition to the already busy morning routine, proactive testing was a critical tool to keep our school community safe, especially while case numbers remained high in the broader community.
For the remainder of Term 1, families are asked to use RATs at your discretion when you consider it necessary (e.g. if a child develops symptoms or a family member is unwell). In the coming weeks, each student will be provided with a further eight RATs to be used for this purpose. We are currently awaiting the delivery of the additional RATs from the NSW Government and we will advise you of collection details as soon as we receive the delivery.
Thank you for your cooperation..
Celebrating 200 Years of Catholic Education in Australia – Commemorative Book
This beautiful resource is now available for purchase from the National Catholic Education Commission.
From Humble Beginnings: Commemorating 200 years of Catholic education in Australia features a history of the oldest existing Catholic school in each Australian diocese.
The commemorative book is full colour and includes historical and contemporary images of the schools. It is available in paperback and hardcover versions and would make a great addition to school libraries or as a bicentenary moment.
Click here to pre-order the Commemorative Book.
P & F Clothing Pool
The P & F Clothing Pool has reopened, please contact the P & F via email@example.com 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/.