- PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
- ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
- PASTORAL CARE
- FROM THE CURRICULUM OFFICE
- UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER
- NEWS FROM THE OFFICE
- YEAR 7 NEWS
- YEAR 8 NEWS
- NEWS FROM THE HSIE DEPARTMENT
- RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
- CAREERS NEWS
- ASSORTED NEWS
- NEWS FROM THE LIBRARY
- REPRESENTATIVE SPORT
- CANTEEN NEWS
- SHOALHAVEN COMMUNITY OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
- COMMUNITY NOTICES
This Sunday is Ascension Sunday and commemorates the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
During His time on earth Jesus was the ultimate teacher. He had so much to teach in such a short time. He taught us and showed us how to truly be in one with our God. He shared with us the stories of the parables to help develop our understanding and then offered us the support of the Beatitudes and the Commandments to give us direction.
After His death, Jesus rose and continued that teaching. However, with the Ascension, the earthly mission and ministry of Jesus are now over and he is now returning to sit at the right hand of God. Jesus trusts his friends and followers to carry on his work and to bring about the Kingdom of God.
Our call as Christians is to not only live His teachings but to share that story with others. This is a challenging task however it is what happened after the Ascension to which we turn for our support. Jesus told us that he would send the Holy Spirit to be present for us. And the next Sunday is the feast of Pentecost, the celebration of the Holy Spirit coming to be here with us on earth. This feast, the feast of Pentecost, is the feast day that we celebrate at St John’s as our Feast Day: Foundation Day. And whilst this year, our 30th year, our celebrations will be delayed we will still celebrate the day in our own special way.
‘And know that I am with you always; yes,
to the end of time.’
MR DAVID COMENSOLI SPECIAL PRESENTATION
How honoured I was when Mr David Comensoli came to see me a little while ago with a special gift that he had bought for our school. The beautiful tapestries that Mr Comensoli purchased are the most amazing works of art.
In the Christmas holiday Mr Comensoli travelled to Rome to further his studies and prepare for the Studies in Catholic Thought course for our Stage 6 students. He visited the Vatican and that is where he purchased these beautiful tapestries. It is so special that we were foremost in his thoughts during this special time, so much so that he wanted to purchase this gift for us.
He selected two very special representations for our school:
The first is our very own saint: St John the Evangelist, so we will display it in the school foyer to welcome everyone to our school.
The second is a representation of St Francis, for whom our peace prayer is written. St Francis is very close to our hearts and souls so this tapestry will be placed in K Block , the centre of learning for our catholic faith and the place where we learn to embed our values into our lives.
Thank you Mr Comensoli for your beautiful and so very personal gift. We truly do treasure it.
RETURN TO SCHOOL
How excited we all are to be returning to school as one community again. I have been overwhelmed by how well all members of our school community responded to the challenge of the last few months. From our teachers who worked so very hard to ensure that our young people continued not only their learning but maintained their wellbeing through their connection to our school to our students who took on the challenge of remote learning and were so successful at applying our learning disposition to a whole new setting.
They took on the challenge and had developed an ownership of their learning. They learnt to inquire in a new environment and we saw how imaginative they were with the wonderful works that we showcased on our social media. They took up so many opportunities to connect to the school and our teachers looked forward to ‘seeing’ them each morning in PALS and then in each lesson of the day. They were also very reflective and used so many new tools to give feedback to their teachers and seek support. They were wonderful and I am sure that by taking on this challenge they have grown so very much in their learning.
Finally I would once again like to acknowledge our parents and carers. It is not easy managing a learning environment at home and we are sure that there were many challenges but your role has been integral in the success of your children and you have done an amazing job.
So now as we move back to face-to-face teaching, this will not be the same as before. We will always be mindful of our safety and wellbeing in a COVID19 environment.
We are well prepared and all students are expected to return to school.
There is no option for remote learning.
Some details are given below and if you have any questions please contact the year coordinator or KLA coordinator or class teacher for learning matters. There may be some anxiety around another change but we are very mindful of this and ready to support your child.
Mrs Sandra Hogan
We are so excited that our students are returning in Week 5 but this needs to be done safely. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is paramount as we return. I wish to reassure and inform our parents and carers of the arrangements we have put in place for a safe and smooth return.
ENSURING EACH PERSON'S SAFETY AT ST JOHN'S AS WE RETURN TO SCHOOL
Social distancing for students in schools has not been mandated by the Government and NSW Health Department however we will continue to encourage all students to maintain safe social distancing whilst on grounds wherever possible.
- There will be a continuation of enhanced cleaning and hygiene supply arrangements at St John’s. Cleaners are on site moving around the school cleaning hard surfaces (door knobs, benches etc) Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own personal hygiene. Regular washing of hands, disposing of tissues immediately etc. All will have access to hand sanitizer in the classrooms.
- There are clear guidelines for the students moving around the school reducing bottlenecks and ensuring social distancing is maintained. Signage will be displayed to assist with this.
- Desks have been arranged in classrooms again ensuring social distancing which will enable students to continue with their classroom learning as well as enabling the teacher to move around safely and effectively.
- Students will, I am sure, be very happy to be back with their friends enjoying active and quiet recreation. Students will be encouraged to maintain social distancing and no contact activities are allowed.
- Students are allowed to play with sporting equipment supplied by the school which will be cleaned after each break time. Students are NOT to bring their own equipment.
We have organised a system of distributing lunches enabling social distancing. Students have been informed of this in the daily notices. Parents and students are asked to update personal information regarding their year level on the online lunch order site if this has not already been done this year.
Whilst the school was engaged in remote learning, staff were emailing parents in addition to phoning home. We hoped that during that unusual time, it would provide information in a timely manner. Now we have returned to regular face to face teaching, we will resume our regular policy of parent communication which is predominantly by phone contact. Parents are encouraged to phone the school to request a conversation and the relevant staff member will return your call within 24 hours. Teachers will also phone parents if they feel a conversation is required. Our teachers will not respond via email to parents as we do believe a conversation is a more effective way of communicating.
WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES
Our live-streamed whole school assemblies have been very popular during our remote learning time. We will continue these into the near future as we see these as an important opportunity for our community to connect.
SAFE DROP OFF AND PICK UP
We are aware that there may be additional traffic when students return to school in Week 5. Please read the following new arrangements to ensure the safety of all students is assured.
- The drop off area is available in the morning with the bollard being removed to allow access.
- Drivers are reminded that there can be pedestrians walking through this area so please proceed with caution.
- Year 11 and 12 student drivers are asked to access street parking to enable easier access to the netball courts for the parents in the afternoon. Reminders will be in the daily notices.
- There is no pick up from the morning drop off area in the staff car park. In fact no parent car is to come into the staff car park for a pick up. The exception to this is the assisted transport vehicles.
- Parents are asked to collect students from the netball courts.
- We are allowing our Year 12 drivers to leave the school grounds 5 minutes earlier which should enable a freeing up of traffic in the area.
- I encourage you to hold back and not arrive expecting to pick up students on the bell. It may be better to collect 5 - 15 minutes later. It may also be easier to arrange to collect students in the side streets nearby.
- Bus bay: we have spaced out our bus lines to ensure social distancing. This has been in place since last term pre-remote so students are aware of this approach.
Most importantly, I ask that all drivers consider the safety of others. If there is a larger volume of traffic, there will be longer waiting times to leave the grounds. Our staff will assist the students to exit the grounds safely and with care. Please exercise patience and courtesy for all you encounter.
School photos have been postponed until Term 3. Date to be advised.
We have postponed the celebration of Foundation Day. We will resume planning in the current weeks for an alternate experience.
Mrs Leonie Pearce
NATIONALLY CONSISTENT COLLECTION OF DATA
I have attached a letter for parents and carers that outlines the details and processes of this year’s Nationally Consistent Collection of Data. The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) takes place every year. The NCCD is a collection that counts:
- the number of school students receiving an adjustment or ‘help’ due to disability
- the level of adjustment they are receiving to access education on the same basis as other students.
Students are counted in the NCCD if they receive ongoing adjustments at school due to disability. This ‘help’ allows them to access education on the same basis as a child without disability. The NCCD uses the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
Click here to access further details.
If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via the school number.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL FROM WEEK 5
As we return to school on a full-time basis from Week 5, it is understandable that some families and students might feel a level of stress or anxiousness. Please know that we are here to support you at this time. When returning to school, it is important to reassure your young person that school is a place where they can return to routine and familiarity and access support at any time. I have also attached some resources from ReachOut Australia around managing stress and looking after yourself during times of change. Some of the tips may come in handy in supporting your son, daughter or person in your care as they return to SJE.
Please also remember that our usual support network still exists. They can speak with their PALS teacher, Year Coordinators, classroom teachers or myself if support or advice is needed.
As we start to see more students here at school I would encourage students to take the time to reflect on the positives of their remote learning experience. During Year 9 Numeracy we have been discussing the maths used when cooking. It was great to hear from the many students who are baking and cooking meals for their families. They could also identify the numeracy used in the process of cooking from buying the ingredients to measuring and timing the baking.
All students have had to take ownership of their learning. Students have used remote learning to improve and adopt new study habits. They have had the opportunity to find out what does and doesn't work for them. As students return to school we look forward to further developing their skills in order for them to continue to become more independent learners.
Year 12 2020 attended a remote information evening 'HSC & Beyond' last week. The evening covered a number of areas including careers and futures. This information is relevant for many in our school community - not just Year 12. The presentation is available on our school webpage and a summary of the information presented by our Careers Adviser Mrs Carla Hill is available on the following link.
YEAR 12 HSC 2020 - WHAT HAS CHANGED?
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic NESA have advised of several changes to the HSC for Year 12 2020 students. Click here for details.
Mon 25 May: Students return to school full time
Tues 26 May: National Sorry Day
Mon 8 June: Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Thurs 2 July: Parent/Teacher Interviews 3:30pm - 8pm
Fri 3 July: Pupil Free Day. Parent/Teacher Interviews
Mon 3 Aug: Year 10 Immunisations
Week 5 Year 12 HSC Trial examinations
Week 2- Week 5
Tues 20 October - Wed 11 November: Year 12 HSC
Mon 2 Nov: Year 7 Immunisations (1st dose).
CHANGE OVER FROM DIRECT DEBITS TO BPAY FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE A CURRENT DIRECT DEBIT AND FOR FUTURE FEES PAYMENTS WILL NOW BE BY BPAY
All families that have a Direct Debit established will be contacted shortly to advise that the school is transferring to a new Finance System at the end of this term and the only method of online payment will be by BPay. We will be posting out your fee statement along with a Direct Debit form for you to please authorise the cancellation immediately. This then must be sent back to School for processing prior to Friday 19 June 2020.
Your BPay information is on the top right hand side of your fee statement and you can set up your BPay to run just like a Direct Debit.
Going forward fees will be paid BPay and not by Direct Debit.
Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.
Mrs Connie Crawford
YEAR 7 & YEAR 10 IMMUNISATIONS
NSW Health have confirmed new dates for the Year 7 and Year 10 Immunisations to be held at school.
Year 7 students will receive their first dose HPV and single dose Boostrix (dtpa) on Monday 2 November 2020 (Term 4, Week 4). The second dose of HPV will be administered in 2021.
Year 10 students will receive a single dose of Nimenrix (Meningococcal ACWY) on Monday 3 August 2020 (Term 3, Week 3)
If you are able to help out on either of these days, please contact our Parent Liaison Officer, Mrs Jacinta Davis on 0455 173 924 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lowes Store Stocklands Nowra have advised they now have St John's socks available in the store. Sock orders are also now available for collection in store.
Last Thursday, Year 7 returned to St John’s after an extended break of both holidays and remote teaching.
It was an exciting day for students to reconnect with friends and teachers with many of them remarking that they actually missed school!
During the day students eagerly engaged in hands-on practical tasks and appreciated being able to communicate with each other beyond a computer screen. Teachers were delighted to have them back into the classroom for face to face teaching. We really missed having students in the classroom.
While students got the hang of Zoom conferencing pretty quickly, there were a few interesting moments that students shared:
YEAR 7 IMMUNISATIONS
Following the postponement of the scheduled Year 7 Immunisations due to Covid-19, NSW Health have now confirmed the Year 7 Immunisations will take place at school on Monday 2 November 2020. Students will receive a dose of HPV and a single dose of dTpa (diptheria/tetanus/pertussis).
The second course of HPV will be given to these students in 2021.
Mr Joshua Watson
Year 7 Coordinator
What a different and unusual start it has been to Term 2 for Year 8 and the whole school community. I would like to congratulate the students in Year 8 for the amazing way they have embraced online learning and the challenges that this has faced for them. Year 8 came to school for the first time last Tuesday. It was so great to see them all again. Students settled straight back into the school learning environment and appreciated catching up with their friends and their teachers.
Open lines of communication with teachers by students has been vital during the period of online learning. This is also a practice students should continue when they are back at school for face to face teaching. Asking teachers questions when you don’t understand something, seeking clarification on work you are completing and ensuring that students stay up to date with all work assigned is vital in ensuring that students are improving with their learning and participating in a growth mindset.
It has been great to see the level of work that students have been submitting to their teachers during online learning. I was especially impressed with the Indonesian classes recent assessment tasks.
YEAR 8 INDONESIAN
It has been important to continue to participate in activities together as a year group during our LONG PALS time. Students were asked to complete a number of different activities including meditation, physical activities and brain training tasks.
One activity that really showed compassion and the idea of living out our Year Group motto ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me and loved me as yourself’, was when students wrote letters to residents in our local aged care facilities. These letters I know will touch the heart of these members of the community who have been isolated from the world during this time.
Students were also asked to reflect on their Year Group motto by nominating their peers for our Year Group Award. The ARK Award (Acts of Random Kindness) is given to students who show the true meaning of our year group motto by going out of their way to help others. Students who receive this award are normally nominated by their teachers and other staff members. I asked students this time to nominate someone in the year Group who had helped them in online learning. Below are some of the responses from students on why they nominated their peers. This award will be given out at our next Year Group meeting.
Students have also submitted entries for our at home learning ‘Talent Time Showcase’. Mrs Castles and I are currently putting these entries together for students to view. They will be released in the next couple of weeks. Make sure you look to our school facebook page to view these entries. I look forward to seeing Year 8 at school as the term unfolds. I encourage students to use the skills they have learnt during online learning and apply these to their classroom learning.
'I was a stranger and you welcomed me and loved me as yourself'
Mrs Sophie Daley
Year 8 Coordinator
At present we are in the season of Easter. When I was in Year 7 I was asked to play keyboard at an Easter Mass.
Every year since then – except for a few – I have been involved with music ministry at Easter. This year however, for the first time in my life, I was unable to attend Mass at Easter.
Coronavirus has meant all religions in virtually every country have not been able to hold community rituals. Christian churches are empty; Sabbath prayer in synagogues has not taken place; Muslims have been unable to visit the Ka’ba in Mecca where the Hajj is held every year.
But in recent years in Australian society, many have been saying that religion should be private and not impact on the community. But religion is not about a person and God… it is about God and people. And it is for this reason that gathering as a community is essential for people of faith.
Community is also important for sport. I think only horse racing has continued in Australia in recent weeks. Even with rugby league starting back up soon – it just won’t be the same without the crowds attending. I have tried to think of a sport that does not involve other people – I thought maybe weightlifting – but even weightlifters during competition rely on the encouragement of a crowd.
And education… if online learning was the best way to educate, we would do it forever – but education and schools need community – education is not just about the individual – while we are starting to come back – education will not be at its best until we can have sports carnivals – musicals – excursions – camps – reflection days – Foundation Day.
Jesus knew that community was important. He spoke about agape – a special type of love which is about service to others – he knew this is what brings fulfilment to the individual and also builds up the community - which he referred to as the kingdom of God here on earth. Jesus recognised the dignity of each person and the rights they had - each one of us has rights – but these rights are only possible when others take on the responsibility to ensure they are being met – even our basic rights as individuals need community.
I believe coronavirus has reminded humanity that we need each other – we need community – and that we need to do more to build up our communities. Here at St Johns we can do this by actively living the school values – all of the values directly or indirectly lead to a stronger and more cohesive community… which benefits each one of us as individuals. If we want a better school community we need to actively love, show compassion, promote justice through our actions, be hospitable, be compassionate when interacting with others, and develop our own spirituality while respecting the spirituality of others.
Under the latest advice it appears that the churches in the parish will be open on and after May 30.
There will however be strict guidelines on attendance numbers, social distancing and hygiene practices.
When details are determined they will be available on the parish website and facebook page.
Mr David Comensoli
Religious Education Coordinator
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME- SCHOOL VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
On Thursday 14 May the University of Notre Dame gave a virtual presentation to our students and they had the opportunity to find out about what the university has to offer and ask specific questions.
If you missed the session please ask questions at the virtual careers expos.
YEAR 13 CAREER EXPO
All Year 10 students signed up for this career expo and Year 11 and 12 students were encouraged to do so. The expo provided an opportunity for students to create their own personalised Skills Forecast, build a career plan using Year13’s Career Explorer tool, and access all the content related to the Digital Careers Expo. They also had access to the incredible webinars from Influencers and Experts, which would give them information they need for their post-school plan.
HSC & BEYOND CAREER EXPO
All Year 10, 11 and 12 students have been registered with the HSC and Beyond careers expo to be held May 27 - 31.
- Over 35 subject-specific HSC strategy sessions for Years 10-12
- Daily LIVE UAC and NESA sessions to help students navigate the application process
- Live chat, video chat and schedule meetings with advisors from every major university and education provider and ALL universities in NSW & TAFE
- Daily keynotes from inspirational TEDx speakers, and wellness experts.
ACADEMY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
A Virtual Open Day will be held on Wednesday 10 June from 5-7pm. This is an ideal opportunity for students to explore their study options and career paths - whether that may be in Film, Animation, Games, Digital Design or Mobile App Development. Click here for further information.
ADF GAP YEAR
The valuable work and life lessons gained during an ADF Gap Year are transferable and will give students confidence in their future career paths. The closing dates for different roles are listed below.
There’s still time to apply for some roles. For more information call 13 19 01 or visit defencejobs.gov.au
YEAR 10 SUBJECT SELECTION INFORMATION SESSIONS- PRESENTED BY UNIVERSITIES
UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is hosting a Year 10 Subject Selection Evening on Thursday, 21 May from 6:00pm - 7:30pm. The session includes a presentation from UAC explaining the ATAR and the importance of choosing the right subject for enjoyment and skill.
This is an easy opportunity for parents and students to gain information in the comfort of their own home. If you register and can't attend at the scheduled time there will be a link to watch the recorded session later. Register for the evening via Eventbrite .
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
The University of Sydney Year 10 Information Sessions will be held as webinars on Tuesday 2 & Thursday 4 June from 6pm – 7pm. Subject selection, scaling and making the right choice for you and your future can be daunting. Register for a session and hear from representatives from UAC and the University of Sydney. Learn more. sydney.edu.au/undergraduate-events.
LITERACY AND NUMERACY SKILLS FOR AUSTRALIAN APPRENTICESHIPS & TRAINEESHIPS
When starting an apprenticeship or traineeship, you won’t be expected to have specific skills and experience in the industry – you learn this on the job and through your training. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need any skills at all before starting!
Literacy and numeracy skills are important for everyone, but they are sometimes underrated by people looking at apprenticeships and traineeships. The training for Australian Apprenticeships requires both literacy and numeracy, but in ways that are specific to your job.
For example, someone starting a traineeship in retail will need to be able to deal with money, but in carpentry you will need to understand lengths and angles. Different occupations might require different types of literacy numeracy skills. Across all areas, reading, writing and verbal communication will be important as you learn your job.
The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service have developed short online quizzes to help you self-assess your literacy and numeracy skills. The questions are related to an industry you might be looking to do an apprenticeship or traineeship in. For example, you will get different questions depending on whether you do the Animal Care and Management quiz, compared to the Electrotechnology quiz.
These quizzes will help you understand the types of literacy and numeracy skills you might need when starting an apprenticeship or traineeship in the industry you choose. Once you finish the quiz you will see what questions you got right and wrong, and your score. You will also get information about what your next steps might be. This could include focusing on your literacy and numeracy skills or starting job hunting.
To explore these different tests and quizzes go to: aapathways.com.au/lnq or to SJECareers Website > Post School Options > Apprenticeships & Traineeships.
Mrs Carla Hill
Transition and Pathways Specialist
If you are considering buying a laptop click here to download some helpful information put together by our I.T Department.
TIMOR-LESTE COMMUNITY UPDATE
Each year a group of St John’s Year 11 students and teachers travel to the poverty striken region of Timor Leste for an immersion tour. Many families in these communities are poverty striken and the impact of Covid-19 has increased the challenges for most.
A significant problem for this community is that most people rely on their daily wage to survive the very next day, selling vegetables at the market to buy rice to feed the family dinner. Social distancing and lock-downs are being enforced meaning many families are unable to sell their crops and earn an income. Timor does not have the safety net of Centrelink or JobKeeper subsidies like we have here in Australia.
The ongoing support of Catholic Mission continues to assist these families. Click here to read more about the Timor Leste situation.
KEIRA BUCKPITT CONTINUES HER SURFING DOMINANCE
TERM 2 REPRESENTATIVE SPORT
Please be advised that all representative sport events originally on the calendar for Term 2 have been cancelled. An update on events planned for Term 3 and beyond will be made later this term. Further details can be found by clicking here.
CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE
Close off for orders is 8.30am daily, a 25c transaction fee applies.
We have also now received approval for volunteers to assist in the canteen. Volunteers have been identified as essential workers. Vicki is in the process of contacting volunteers to prepare a roster for the remainder of this term. If you are able to assist in our canteen, please contact Vicki on 4423 1666 or e-mail email@example.com.
THE NEXTWAVE YOUTH FILM COMPETITION RETURNS FOR 2020!
The search is now on for the next wave of young regional filmmakers, with short film entries open from 1 May to 21 September, 2020.
Nextwave, presented by the Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF), now in its sixth year is host to Australia’s largest regional youth short film competition and is free to enter for young people aged between 10 - 25 years, living outside a metro area.
Short films can range from a variety of genres, including comedies, dramas, thrillers, sci-fi, animation, documentary and personal essays.
All that is needed to enter is to make a short film under five minutes (including all credits) and to creatively include the phrase, ‘What’s Next?”
Along with an array of awards and prizes across a variety of age categories, short film finalists will have their films premiere at the 2021 Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF) in Coffs Harbour in January. Lucky creatives will also have the opportunity for their films to screen at venues across Australia for Youth Week in April 2021.
The SWIFF team are also working on broadening access to their Nextwave filmmaking workshop program by offering a series of online workshops for teachers and students across Australia. Nextwave’s redesigned workshop program is launching as an online learning experience to be delivered to regional, rural, and remote students across Australia, with the learning program supported by teachers and home-schooling parents available from June.
For more information, visit www.nextwavefilmfest.com.au.