Term 1 Week 4 - 24 February 2023
‘At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”’
Matthew 4: 1-11
We are a month into our 2023 Academic Year and there is a pleasing energy around the College with students appearing on task in their academic pursuits. The College community continues to expect ongoing high standards around not only engagement in class work, but also uniform, jewellery and regulations around mobile phones. I am aware that these standards would have required conversations at home and this support is very much appreciated.
I note that we have two significant anniversaries taking place at this time. Our thoughts continue to be with our families up north who experienced the devastation of the flooding in 2022. This event continues to have repercussions across our community and the many people impacted remain in our prayers. We also pray for those affected by the war in the Ukraine. A year on, and there continues to be conflict, displacement, dispossession for thousands across this region. It is hoped a resolution is found as soon as possible. Our community continues to pray for those impacted by the Earthquake in Turkiye and Syria – dealing with significant loss of life, limited infrastructure and lack of safe housing across what is currently a cold environment. Many of us cannot even imagine what this would be like.
A reminder that the College has advertised a PUPIL FREE DAY on 13 March. During this day the staff will be working with ANDREW FULLER – a leading Australian Educational Psychologist who will be running workshops on how school staff can assist students with their learning through a deeper knowledge of the adolescent brain and how they see themselves and the world around them.
The Catholic School Office has supported the College in finding a suitable applicant for the Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching position. These interviews will be taking place across the next few days. I am excited that we will secure a wonderful appointment through this process.
Our Lenten Service took place this week and I thank Matthew Mitchell and his team in presenting such an excellent experience. The involvement of College student leaders was an exceptional addition to the liturgy this year. I also thank our mighty Year 12 students for hosting a morning tea for our new Year 7 group. It was great to see the seniors interacting with Year 7, who were well fed!
Finally, I have had ongoing communication with students and some parents/carers regarding the vandalism that is taking place in our toilets. There appears to be a small group of students who are entering our toilets with the intent of damaging them to prevent their use. The College is increasing supervision across these areas and will be relying on the student community to continue to call out this behaviour when it is observed. Students found damaging school property will experience significant consequences as this behaviour is completely unacceptable.
Mr David JOHNS B.Ed., Cert. Gifted Ed., Grad. Cert. Adol. Health and Welfare, M.Ed. (Ed Lead), M.Ed. (Theol)
Ash Wednesday and Lent
On Wednesday this week, our school community gathered together to celebrate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. One of the great strengths of the St Paul’s community is being able to bring together around 800 people to worship together and consider this foundational Catholic ritual within the contemporary society in the Macleay Valley.
Presently I am teaching Year 11 Studies of Religion and we are discussing the question - why do believers in religion consider it to being dynamic and living? Our Ash Wednesday ceremony this week sheds light on the answer considering Ash Wednesday as an important Catholic ritual, the Lenten tradition serves our community with hope and inspiration to serve others through our own personal sacrifice, as so many have done in the past.
Ash Wednesday dates from the 4th Century with believers looking for forgiveness and re-entry into the community. They would sprinkle ashes to show the penance allowing readmittance into communion with the Church. It is the season of reflection and preparation before Easter, and its observance culminates in the solemn celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil which lie at the heart of the Catholic year.
In Catholic tradition, Lent is marked by fasting, reflection, giving to others and deepening our sacramental living. At St Paul’s we are reminding everyone in our community to 'give up something' or 'think of others' in building an understanding of the inner life needed by a maturing Christian.
The College began the Lenten preparation this week with beautiful pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. Our wonderful Youth Ministry Officer, Maxwell Winn, generously provided pancakes for the staff and the Reach group which was greatly appreciated. Our new Leader of Evangelisation, Mr Matthew Mitchell, superbly organised our Ash Wednesday Liturgy culminating in the launch of Project Compassion.
Lent has begun our support of Caritas through Project Compassion, where money is raised within each Pastoral Care class to support others within the Macleay Valley. Each PC class was provided with a money collection box at the conclusion of the Ash Wednesday service and are asked to use this opportunity to reflect on supporting those in need. There will be different PC challenges during Lent to raise awareness (and hopefully funds!) and we are looking forward to some healthy competition between PC groups and houses during the rest of the Term.
Mr Geoffrey Melville - Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
Ash Wednesday - The beginning of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s season of Lent. During our Ash Wednesday Liturgy, our College student leaders reminded us that the marking of the ashes on our foreheads on this day is a public expression of our faith and humility. It is a time of prayer, fasting and the act of donating money or goods to the poor or performing other acts of charity known as almsgiving. Through prayer, we come closer to God so that we are better able to realise the promises made for us at our baptism - to live justly as Jesus teaches us.
Fasting joins us in solidarity with people experiencing poverty who often have no choice but to go without the basic human needs. Sharing what we have, or ‘almsgiving’, is a sign of our commitment to justice and our thanks for all that God has given us. Lent prepares us for the season of Easter, the most important time in the Church’s calendar. By praying, fasting and giving alms, we are reminded of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Jesus brought the promise of hope to all people so that we may, “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). As we live into that fullness, may we also be challenged to act with love and hope, now and for all future generations.
Thank you to all of the senior students that led our service this year. Your energy and engagement in this important time of the year reminds us all to reflect on the meaning of lent and our obligation to others.
Project Compassion - For All Future Generations
St Paul's has begun Project Compassion 2023, which is the main annual fundraising campaign of Caritas Australia. It raises funds to help alleviate poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity in the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in the world.
The theme of Project Compassion is ‘For All Future Generations’. This phrase is a powerful affirmation that the good that we do today will create a better world for us in the future. It is also a call for all of us to play our part in making the world a better place by working together as sisters and brothers in finding long-term solutions to global issues.
Project Compassion 2023 brings us the stories of four incredibly inspiring individuals whose futures have been touched by the relentless work of Caritas. Each week during Pastoral Care, students will hear these inspiring stories and witness the living proof that your generosity can make a life-changing impact. We as a community can play our part to create better opportunities so that future generations may live to their full potential and thrive.
Each Pastoral care (PC) Class is set with the challenge of organising and running a fundraising activity to help contribute to our College collection. It could be a bake sale, money board, carnival game, etc - the choice is yours. Students are also encouraged to bring in cash donations which can be placed in the collection boxes during their PC class.
Mr Matthew Mitchell - Leader of Evangelisation
Parent Teacher Evening
Year 7-12 Parent Teacher Evening will be held on Monday 27 March from 4-6:30pm. The evening allows you the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and to inform us of any relevant information that would assist in their care and education. More details on how to book an interview time will be available soon.
Stage 6 Assessment Schedules
This year all assessment tasks will be sat in Week 8 for Year 12 students and Week 10 for Year 11 students.
The Year 11 and 12 handbook contains important information regarding NESA and College policies related to assessment.These handbooks can be found here:
During PC, students will be able to work with their PC teachers to help with the organisation, planning and feedback around these assessments. The assessment schedule can be found here:
Year 11 HSC Assessment Schedule
Year 12 HSC Assessment Schedule
This year the focus for learning and teaching is to build a strong culture for learning. Please see the below infographic on the importance of this focus for the student’s and how the staff at St Paul’s College will deliver and work towards this focus.
Mrs Amy Tovey - Director of Studies
Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) 2023
Students from Years 7 to 10 have been emailed a form to complete this week if they are interested in registering for this year’s Challenge. Once they have completed the form their username and password will be emailed to them after Monday 27 February. This may take a day or two but in the meantime, participants can start reading!
This year they can log up to 10 books of a personal choice and 10 from the PRC booklist, plus any books they have read since the end of last year’s Challenge.
To encourage more participants, St Paul’s students have a chance to go into a draw to win gift cards and canteen vouchers at the end of the Challenge. All they need to do is log just 5 books on the Challenge site to be eligible. To receive a certificate of completion at the end of the year students will still need to log at least 20 books, which this year has been expanded to 10 including personal choice books and at least 10 from the 2023 PRC booklist.
Booklists, rules, tips, important dates and more are available on the PRC website and if you would like your child to be part of the Challenge they can complete the online form via this LINK.
Most of the PRC books are available in the library as hard copies or online via SORA, our ebook library. Students can search via the library website for titles and reserve the book here as well. They also have the option to borrow a digital copy in SORA which has a designated section listing all the PRC books in its collection. To install the app, please use the following instructions:
If your child has any questions regarding the Challenge they are more than welcome to visit the library for help.
PRC readers can also request a title that we may not have in our collection by either enquiring at the library front desk or via our online Library Book Request Form.
Overdue textbooks from last year
Thank you to all those parents and students who have returned overdue textbooks from last year. I am currently preparing accounts for those still outstanding, so please if you still have 2022 books at home they need to be returned urgently.
Mrs Patrice Martin & Mrs Cathy Whalen - Library Assistants
Earlier this Term, St Paul’s hosted the Annual Swimming Carnival. It was a fantastic day, with participation at an all-time high for consecutive years. Thank you to all the students who were involved on the day, whether supporting your house, helping the staff or competing in events.
The pool was fast, with the carnival being one of the most successful in terms of records in many years. A total of 17 official records were broken across a range of ages and events. Well done to all students who competed on the day, with a special mention to the male and female age champions.
Overall House Points
Edmund – 714 points
McAuley – 689 points
Farrelly – 649 points
MacKillop – 473 points
Good luck to all students (1st and 2nd for each event) who are eligible to attend the Lismore Diocesan Swimming Carnival on 2 March.
Congratulations to Max Farrell who competed in the 2023 Australian Open Water Championships - 5km race which was held at Busselton Jetty in Western Australia last month. Max placed 18th overall in the field of U18/19’s years' age group. A seriously impressive effort at a National level - well done Max!
Ava Ryan has been selected in the 2023 NSWCCC Girls cricket team. A fantastic achievement once again Ava, good luck and well done in the upcoming games.
Hudo Swim Team – 480km swim
Mr Heath Needs - Teacher and Sports Coordinator
The Third Teacher
Teachers have a fundamental role in educating young people. They provide students with the knowledge, skills and ways of thinking and working needed for their future lives, enabling them to be leaders, run their own businesses, care for others or make important discoveries (Fishburn, 2019). Parents and community also have a crucial role in a student's education. Research shows that parental involvement increases student achievement (NSW Government, 2021).
However, there is another factor that also plays a critical role in the education of our students. This is the third teacher - the teaching and learning environment. Sharratt (2019) states that the learning space should be a strategic tool that promotes creativity, originality, perseverance, risk taking, learning from mistakes, problem solving, resolving conflict, collaboration and critical thinking. Students use the third teacher to support their learning and teachers use it to support their teaching.
In an effort to bring the third teacher to life in every classroom across the College, the Learning Collaborative Team has put together a Third Teacher Box for every classroom. This box contains resources that teachers and students can use which will enable them, together, to co-construct anchor charts, deconstruct learning intentions, co-construct success criteria, use the bump-it-up walls, and collaboratively annotate strong and weak samples of student work.
- Fishburn, D. (2019) Queensland College of Teachers: Being a teacher takes more than you might think (URL: http://stories.archive.qct.edu.au/the-importance-of-teachers.html 20/2/2022)
- NSW Government (2022) Parent Involvement (URL:https://education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing/tell-them-from-me/accessing-and-using-tell-them-from-me-data/tell-them-from-me-measures/parent-involvement 20/2/2022)
- Sharratt, L. (2019) Clarity: What matters most in learning, teaching and leading, Corwin, California.
Ms Maria Littlejohn - Leader of Pedagogy
We have received communication from our College community, parents and students, regarding the toilets at school. Unfortunately some of these facilities are not at their best due to poor choices by some students. We are constantly looking at how best to respond to this situation and to ensure the wellbeing of students and care of school facilities.
The school is responding to the matters raised by increasing supervision of toilet blocks at high activity times, restricting access to facilities when supervision is limited. Students will be able to access one of the facilities when needed.
The ongoing communication of all members in our school community is key to making informed decisions on how best to serve the needs of all.
Ms Fiona Stuart - Leader of Pastoral Care
After years of disruption and theatre closures, it was wonderful to be able to take the Year 11 Drama class on an excursion to Sydney from 8-9 February. The students were able to engage in a two hour theatre workshop held by the ATYP, Australian Theatre for Young People. Situated right beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the students were inspired to explore new ways to create improvised drama. This workshop extended their skills and allowed them to embrace their creative abilities in a fun learning environment.
That night we arrived at the Seymour Centre to watch the Onstage performances which showcased the best of the HSC Individual projects from 2022. This was a fantastic night with the students leaving feeling excited, enthusiastic and engaged for their journey into senior studies. It was a pleasure to take these students away and a wonderful opportunity to propel them into a creative 2023.
Amanda Jordan - Drama Teacher
This week St Paul's Year 12 Hospitality students have been undertaking their required work placement at local businesses. Work placement enables our Vocational Education and Training (VET) students to develop and practice the skills they have been learning in class, to achieve industry competencies and to develop additional skills and knowledge to attain the nationally recognised and accredited qualification of Certificate ll Hospitality.
Thank you to our local businesses in the Macleay and Nambucca valleys for their support in hosting our students:
- Lou's cafe (Kempsey)
- Malt & Honey (South West Rocks)
- Back Creek Cafe (South West Rocks)
- St Paul's College Canteen
- XS Food (Port Macquarie)
- Goodstart Early Learning (Kempsey)
For more information on the VET courses offered at St Paul's College, please visit the link HERE
Enrolments for Year 7 for 2024 are now open and we have begun interviewing. If you have applied you will be contacted in the coming weeks to arrange your interview time, we interview all applicants. Applications for Year 7, 2024 must be lodged before 31 May 2023. This is applicable to students from all schools including Catholic feeder primary schools.
Please follow the link HERE for further information regarding enrolments at St Paul's College.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Year 6 students from all Macleay and Nambucca Valley schools are invited to register for a Day in the Life of a St Paul’s College student on Monday 6 March. Open to all primary school students interested in a Catholic high school education commencing in 2024.
NUMBERS ARE LIMITED - registrations will close early if maximum numbers are reached before the deadline for registrations.
Register before Monday 27 February via the QR code below or follow the link HERE. Families of registered attendees have been emailed further information regarding the day - please ensure you check your spam/junk folder. If you haven't received an email, please contact the College via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and to enrol for Year 7 2024 please visit the link HERE
If your Year 6 child is attending Day in the Life (registration required) we will be offering supervision from 3.30-4pm for families who arrange this with us in advance (details have been emailed to families of registered Year 6 students, please contact the College if you have not received your email email@example.com).
Information regarding the College Uniform & Presentation Policy is available HERE.
2023 College photos are now ready to order through the Compass Portal. Emails from MSP were sent out to families on 27 February and contain important information regarding ordering your photos online. Please check your spam/junk folder. All photo orders MUST be placed by 18 March.
Please click HERE for the MSP ordering guide.
To place your order, make sure you have your Compass login details. If you're unsure of your login details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other enquiries regarding the photography service or packages available, please contact MSP on 02 6583 1968 or email email@example.com
St Paul's College invites all parents/carers and community members to attend the Parents and Friends (P & F) Association AGM on Monday 13 March at 5.30pm. This evening will be an opportunity to discuss the future concept of the P & F Association and its involvement and contribution to the College, including parent voice in the college and future Debutante Balls.
All P & F positions will be vacated to be filled for 2023. We look forward to new Association members and fresh ideas to support our students.
The My School website has been updated for 2023 with new profile information on schools and the latest school-level NAPLAN data.
From the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) CEO, David de Carvalho, “My School provides data on schooling right across Australia, helping parents, schools and governments to understand the performance of schools.”
“It’s an important resource for parents to make informed decisions about their children’s schooling. As well as providing an overview of approach and focus of the school, parents and carers can also find information on student and teacher numbers, attendance rates, financial information and NAPLAN results.
“It also provides teachers with important insights into school performance, supporting and driving improvements across the nation.”
The 2023 My School update includes the following:
2022 school profile and population data
2022 school attendance data
2022 NAPLAN results for schools
2021 school financial information, including capital expenditure and funding sources
2021 post-school destinations data.
Student progress data for 2020 – 2022 is not available following the cancellation of NAPLAN in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, parents can still view NAPLAN performance data relative to Socio-Educational Advantage by school on the NAPLAN results page.
My School’s Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) indicates the average educational advantage of the school’s students and is calculated using information about a parent’s occupation and education, school geographical location and the proportion of Indigenous students. A school’s ICSEA value is provided to encourage taking socio-educational advantage into account when comparing school achievement.
My School shows a decline in students’ attendance during Semester 1 and Term 3 2022, but this can be attributed to the impacts of the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak, high influenza outbreaks and floods experienced in some regions of Australia during that time.
To have a look at the College's profile and results, go on the My School website and enter St Paul's College in the search field.
St Paul's is blessed with exceptionally talented and high achieving students and we would love to hear about their achievements outside of the College in the following areas:
- Voluntary/Community work
- Creative Arts
- Cadets (Naval/Air force)
- Academic achievements outside the College
If you have any information regarding a student's success, we would be grateful if you could email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible and please include photos if available.
Please note: although St Paul's would like to celebrate all our student's achievements, we cannot promise that every story will be used on our social media/newsletter.
Families and students are reminded that academic uniform is required every Wednesday and on all other school days unless a practical sport or PE lesson is timetabled. For more information regarding College policy regarding uniform, shoes and presentation please see below:
Catholic Schools New South Wales (CSNSW), in line with current health advice, has advised that all Catholic schools are to continue with ‘baseline’ COVID-smart measures during Term 1 2023.
Mask-wearing is strongly encouraged when indoors for all staff and for all students, when physical distancing is not possible, and for people who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.
Staff and students should stay at home when unwell, even with mild symptoms.
It is important for all St Paul's students, staff and families to keep road safety in mind. Please take the time to talk with your child about travelling to and from school safely.
Some safety tips:
- Be alert and aware by travelling distraction-free. Ensure students take off their headphones when walking, exiting or entering the bus and crossing the road.
- Choose a safe place to cross. The fastest way, may not be the safest way. Walk the extra distance to use a pedestrian crossing or traffic island.
- Keep safe getting in and out of the car. Always use the door closest to the kerb.
- Keep safe getting on and off the bus. Wait at the bus stop and stand at least one step back from the edge of the road. Wait until the bus has gone, before you cross the road.
- Bus Stops/Bus Interchange Areas. Model safe behaviour while waiting for the bus. Remember that younger students look up to you, so please lead by example, so they learn to behave safely while waiting for the bus and travelling on the bus.
- Student driver reminder: If your child will be driving to and from school, remind them that they are required to adhere to all road rules and drive in a safe and responsible manner. Inexperienced drivers commonly underestimate the risks associated with particular driving behaviours or situations and overestimate their capacity to deal with them. Have a caring conversation about road speeds on the route that they travel, where they will park and the importance of wearing a seatbelt. According to recent research 1 in 5 teens has been found to consistently not wear a seat belt.
Restricted licence holders including learner, P1 and P2 drivers are not permitted to use their phone at all while driving or riding. This includes the use of hands-free and Bluetooth functions. Ask them to keep their phone in their bag or glovebox.
The following video highlights the risks of casual speeding:
Be a positive role model when you are a pedestrian, passenger and driver. Children learn from what they see, as well as what we say.
Please note that the College has a Traffic Management Plan which can be viewed on the College website here.