- PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
- FROM THE CURRICULUM OFFICE
- RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
- UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER
- YEAR 7 NEWS
- YEAR 8 NEWS
- NEWS FROM HSIE
- NEWS FROM OUR ACTION GROUPS
- NEWS FROM REP SPORT
- NEWS FROM CAPA
- ASSORTED NEWS
- CAREERS NEWS
- CANTEEN NEWS
- P&F NEWS
- SHOALHAVEN COMMUNITY OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
- COMMUNITY NOTICES
So far this term it has been rain, rain and more rain. Despite the challenge that this presents with cancellations and limited playgrounds I commend the students for their very positive engagement and willingness to be flexible.
Our Athletics Carnival is postponed and we are hoping to hold it next term however our students took on the challenge of the Cross Country carnival and gave it 100% despite the rain and mud. A fun and worthwhile day resulted in all the races being run.
Despite the challenges posed by the inclement weather, extension and engagement opportunities do continue to be available for students. The Year 12 attended a career expo, the mock trial team have net their adversaries and trained hard for their next challenge, the musical in full practice, the dance troupes have taken out three big awards, the marine students went diving, the DaVinci challenge was taken on, the Year 9 camp was held at Bangalee, the choir competed in the eisteddfod and preparation is well underway for next week’s Year 12 retreat. And that is just a snapshot of the last few weeks.
We had a wonderful attendance at the working bee on Wednesday afternoon with about 90 students, parents and staff enhancing our environment. They worked across the school with gardens weeded and mulched, the boys toilets and garden tables painted, music practice rooms were painted and guitars were strung, science labs were cleaned and the library books were covered, the sustainable garden was cleared up and the bushcraft equipment stored.
So much was achieved in just 2 hours. We enjoyed a BBQ together at the completion of our tasks. These community events are essential in building the bonds that make St John’s such a positive place to learn and developing a connection with our environment. Thanks so very much to the parents and carers who joined us, to the students who worked so hard and the teachers who also supported this event. Thanks also to our Parents and Friends team who organise and support these events. They truly value the connection of the wider community and show this with their actions.
We are currently interviewing for the Year 7, 2023 cohort. It is so heartwarming to hear the very positive reports about the school and the fact that parents choose St John’s because of the good reputation it has in the Shoalhaven community. What is most pleasing is the fact that people are coming to understand what a great learning community is available at the school. I encourage them to follow our social media as it is authentic in its presentation of what really happens here. And it is good.
The positive conduct of our Year 12 students displayed at the Shoalhaven & Illawarra Careers expo recently caught the attention of event stall holders. With over 5,500 students across the Shoalhaven and Illawarra taking part in the event, our students were described as;
‘a standout, a credit to our community, polite, interested and asked intelligent and insightful questions’.
One stallholder was so impressed she kindly took the time to pen the following letter;
TELL THEM FROM ME PARENT SURVEY
Each year we survey our parents and carers to hear your voice and use this information to inform our decisions. We truly appreciate you taking the time to provide us with feedback.
We ask that you please complete the survey for 2022 by clicking the following link.
Mrs Sandra Hogan
MILTON PARISHClick here to access Milton Parish
Mr David Comensoli
Religious Education Coordinator
TERM 2 2022
Monday 23 May: Cross Country Selection Trials Narellan
Wednesday 25 - Friday 27 May: Year 12 Senior Retreat
Thursday 26 May: National Sorry Day Assembly. Vinnies Winter Appeal.
Wednesday 1 June: White Card Construction Course
Friday 3 June: Foundation Day
Wednesday 8 June: School Photos
Monday 13 June: Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Wed 22 June : Year 7 & 8 G'Day Mass & Morning Tea
Friday 1 July: Final Day for Term 2
St John's is all about community and providing students the opportunity to be the best person they can be. One of the ways St John's does this is by providing opportunities for students to be involved in extracurricular activities.
The benefits of involvement in extracurricular activities include:
Explore new interests
Contribute to the community
Giving students productive breaks from the monotony of studies
Boost self confidence
Learn new skills
Develops thinking skills
Improves time management
Broadens social skills
Enhance academic performance
So, at our last year meeting, I was very excited when I asked students in Year 7 to stand if they had been involved in any extracurricular activities and …….. most of the year group stood up!! And they have only been at school for one term!! Below are some of the ways they have contributed to the community and the students who have been involved:
ALL students will be able to contribute to the community at the school’s Foundation Day on Friday 3 June. Planning has started - with each PALS group preparing a stall for the fair. There was lots of energy coming from the PALS rooms during the planning meetings last week and I am looking forward to visiting the stalls on the day.
YEAR 7 GEOGRAPHY
Our Year 7 Geography class made the most of the sunshine on Fun Friday, using our outdoor learning area to produce their field sketches.
G'DAY MASS INVITATION
Our Year 7 & 8 G'Day Mass and morning tea will be held on Wednesday 22 June from 10am. We are preparing a presentation and request images of students with their grandparents, godparents and/or guardians to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 June 2022.
For seating and catering purposes, please also email the number of guests attending the mass and morning tea along with your chosen photo.
Mrs Wendy Isemonger
Year 7 Coordinator
Just a few reminders to students, parents and families as we move into Week 5.
Attendance at school is compulsory as per law. Data shows that attendance relates specifically to positive connections being made between the student, the school and their learning. As part of the process of maintaining students' satisfactory attendance at St John’s we have a school based policy that is a supportive positive process for this. This progression of support is as follows:
- PALS teachers will ring home if a student is absent for 3 or more consecutive days to enquire about the students welfare and offer support around this if required.
- If a student drops below 90% of attendance at any time during the school year, commencing from term one, a Step 1 notification will be issued to provide the students and families with an alert that they have reached this level and again any support that may be required will be offered.
- If a student is to drop below 85% attendance a Step 2 notification will be implemented again as an alert and a method of support to investigate whether the school can assist in maintaining consistent attendance. There are steps beyond this point where intervention may be required via the Catholic Education office to further support in conjunction with the family and the school.
There are both benefits and challenges around the student use of social media. Positive conduct around the use of social media is obviously encouraged and this can involve effective communication in some circumstances between friends and families. However uploading material to the internet using any variety of social media platform can be harmful and dangerous.
If confronting or negative personal statements or videos are uploaded to the internet this can be extremely damaging for those whom they target. The following issues need to be considered by all students at St John’s:
- It can be offensive to a range of people even if it was not meant to be. It can be interpreted as such and have a big negative psychological impact on people.
- All students at St John’s have signed an agreement (technology) that outlines expected appropriate use of computers and mobile phones, this includes refraining from posting inappropriate material through any social media platform.
- Individuals and families have the right to involve the police if any material proves to be offensive or harmful to anyone in any way.
In summary we are saying this to support you in making the right decisions and also to report anything that you feel is having an effect on you or someone you know. Please report any incidents of social media misuse that you know may be affecting the peaceful relationships and/or the positive learning environment at St John’s.
To support students in the correct wearing of the school uniform, all Year 8 PALS teachers have access to a document that outlines on which days throughout the A and B week cycle that students should be wearing their sports or school uniform. This is checked each morning in PALS and appropriate consequences are issued if the student is not wearing the correct uniform on a given day. St John’s students have always been encouraged to manage their own uniform correctly.
SPORT FOR YEAR 8
Later in this term Year 8 will be offered another opportunity to participate in a social lunchtime sports competition to further create positive connections and simply as a break to their normal lunchtime routine. Stay tuned for details.
YEAR 8 EMPOWERMENT DAY - Late in Term 2
The Year 8 “MPower Me!” day is a day when we aim to build the self-esteem and confidence of Year 8 students by connecting them through friendship and structured activities to create a cohesive and friendly school community. By helping students to understand their own and other people’s feelings, they will be empowered to know what kind of action they may take. Students will be divided into boys and girls groups on the day and will follow separate programs so that the activities can address the specific needs of boys and girls. Details and arrangements regarding this day will be forthcoming.
YEAR 8 VISUAL ARTS
Mr Simon Vaughan
Year 8 Coordinator
Earlier this term the Year 12 Aboriginal studies presented their Major Projects. Research and Inquiry methods are part of the Aboriginal Studies syllabus and allows students to consult with the community and to engage in a topic of their choice.
Their final presentation allows the student to best communicate their findings to the community. This year the project featured topics such as identity, health, astronomy, family connections and totems to name a few. Well done to all the students. A huge thank you to the staff at Gooroon; Aunty Chris Finney, Aunty Jo Coleman and Uncle Rory Archer for all their support of the Year 12 students.
Business studies students have engaged in a number of opportunities. Year 12 classes went to the Yakult factory tour, a virtual experience which went through the operations and marketing of the business. Students also had the opportunity to listen to the Senior Global Marketing Manager from Energizer, Marianne Arenas. She shared with the students the 4 P's, price promotion, placement and product of Energizer.
Geography students have been engaging with a variety of fieldwork across the year groups, this includes sketching, completing soil samples, using the AR Sandbox, attending the Minnamurra rainforest and Jamberoo recreation park. Later in the term, Year 10 will be attending The Ben's Walk Fieldwork Day. Year 11 Geography students have been engaged in the Senior Geography research project and there have been a number of interesting proposals have been put forward.
History students have been exploring a number of topics, Year 10 students have enjoyed hearing Eddie Jaku’s story as he passed away last year. However, his story is important historical evidence of the Holocaust. Later this term students will get the opportunity to visit the Jewish Museum in Sydney where they will have the honour of listening to a Holocaust Survivor. Year 8, last term created a medieval museum which was of an outstanding quality. Well done to all students.
A number of students from Year 10 Commerce have been engaged in mock trial and mediation. This is an excellent opportunity for students to develop communication skills, critical thinking skills and understanding of the legal system.
Students competed against Frensham on Wednesday 18 May in round three of the competition. A big thank you to Magistrate John Patterson for providing advice and assistance to our Mock Trial team.
Ms Sarah Blades
PAX APPEAL FOR SAHSSI
During our Week 3 assembly, we welcomed a guest speaker from the SAHSSI (Supported Accomodation and Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra) organisation to speak about the need for donations to assist homeless women and children to maintain their dignity and hygiene.
Students in our PAX (Peace & Advocacy Group) have respond to the need by organising an appeal, requesting the donation of various items to make care packs to donate to the organisation.
Students have been donating their lunchbreak to create cards and messages of hope to accompany the care packs. We are forever grateful and proud to have so many compassionate students at our school who are always willing to assist others.
We also received an incredibly generous package of 7 large boxes filled with baby and toddler nappies, arriving from an anonymous donor. What an incredible community we have! We thank you for your support.
COOKING FOR THE COMMUNITY
We would like to acknowledge our staff and Year 11 students who have volunteered to cook for the homeless and less fortunate in our commercial kitchen after school on Wednesday afternoons. We are really proud of the compassion and care you show for others.
YEAR 12 HOSPITALITY SUPPORT VINNIES WINTER APPEAL
Last week our Year 12 Hospitality students were busy cooking in our commercial kitchen with some students making a delicious soup to sell and raise funds for the Vinnies Winter Appeal.
This year's theme for Laudato Si week is Journeying Together. This week (Week 4) is Laudato Si Week but what is it, what does it mean and what is our school doing to honour the Laudato Si goals?
Laudato Si’ Week began as a way to celebrate the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ world-changing papal encyclical letter,
“Laudato Si’, On Care For Our Common Home.”
Since then, the annual celebration has become a way for all Catholics to unite and rejoice in the progress we’ve made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life and to commit ourselves to further prayer and action for our common home, planet earth.
This year, with the theme of 'Listening and Journeying Together' Catholics on six continents will work on 'bringing the human family together to protect our common home'. Catholics across the globe will unite their communities in action and learn more about how Laudato Si’ offers a blueprint on how to tackle the climate crisis. Globally, Catholics will come together as one family in prayer and action.
Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' was issued in May 2015. It emphasises on caring for the natural environment and all people, as well as larger questions about God, humans, and the Earth.
The earth is our common home. We should respect it and God's creations. Climate change is coming faster than we would like, but together we can make a change. We need to help those that are in need or are being affected by the ever growing impact of climate change. By respecting and protecting as well as using the gifts we were given by God we can make the earth a peaceful place.
This term, our Johnnie’s Action Group goal is to honour the goals of Laudato Si by reinvigorating our school’s sustainable garden.
Due to covid and all of the wet weather, unfortunately our garden has seen better days. So we need all the help we can get! Through the course of winter, we will be working to weed and tidy up the sustainable garden to get it ready for spring planting next term. We encourage all students to get involved, get their hands dirty and reap the benefits of being out in nature whilst contributing towards our school’s sustainability.
Ms Amy Freshwater
SUPPORTING OUR FRIENDS IN TIMOR LESTE
As our major fundraiser for the year, Foundation Day, fast approaches, it is timely to remind the community of the support given to our friends in Timor Leste.
From its inception, one of the main goals of the St John’s Immersion Program was to develop meaningful and ongoing partnerships with the people that we visited in Timor Leste. This goal has been, and continues to be, successful.
Once again, due to COVID, the 2022 Immersion is unable to travel to Timor Leste, however, our support of our friends there will continue thanks to the donation of a portion of the funds raised on Foundation Day.
The two communities that we have supported since 2013 are the Missionary Dominican Sisters of the Rosary Orphanage in Dili and the Railaco Parish Feeding Program.
DOMINICAN ORPHANAGE, DILI
We recently received correspondence from Sr Belen, the Superior at the orphanage;
RAILACO FEEDING PROGRAM
Our past Immersion trips to Timor Leste have included visits to the small town of Railaco. The parish and Jesuit secondary school, NOSSEF, have hosted many groups from St John’s.
During our stay, we participate in the medical clinic and feeding program based in Railaco parish. At the medical clinics, our students help process patients as they prepare to see Dr (Father) Bong.
Also based in the parish, the Railaco Feeding Program provides weekly meals to children in small, mountainous villages around the town. While at the feeding program, our students lead singing and games for the children prior to assisting in the distribution of food.
This program has other major supporters, but our donation goes specifically to the Railaco Feeding program, through Jesuit Mission, helping ensure the continuation of the program.
For more information, follow this link;
Mr David Muller
With the rain slowing down and fields starting to dry out we are looking forward to Representative Sport returning and students getting off the school grounds to represent St John’s.
It seems that this would be an ideal time to remind parents, carers and students of the expectations and school policy around these events.
Representing the school is a privilege and carries with it high expectations in regard to behaviour and uniform. As such, students are expected to:
- Wear the correct sports to and from the event,
- Wear a full uniform to and from the event. This applies to seniors who may not have a sports uniform or students where there is a concern with their uniform (dirty, wet or missing)
- If students choose to arrive at the school with an incorrect uniform, consequences will be issued, this could include removal from the team and or playground withdrawals. Each student acknowledges this when they nominate for a team and accept a position.
The SJE excursion policy is clear about travel to and from events; All students are to meet at school and travel to the excursion/event with their teachers and their peers. Due to strict start times of various events that are beyond SJE control, there will be no exceptions to this procedure and we thank parents for their ongoing support of this policy. Once the event has been completed, students may be collected from the event location if they have applied for permission in writing before the day of the excursion. In addition to this, if a student wishes to go home with another family, they are to follow the same process and issue the teacher in charge or the representative sport Coordinator with a note prior to the day of the event. Please note, calling parents on the day for verbal permission to leave will not be occurring.
The SJE policy regarding refund’s states “no money collected will be refunded as costs still need to be covered. Illness is unfortunate but no refunds can be made”. The only exception to this would be if the event is cancelled.
Upcoming events for Term 2 include:
- Diocesan Cross Country,
- Open Hockey,
- Open Volleyball and
- Football knockouts.
Thankyou for your support with the smooth running of Representative Sport at St John’s.
On Monday 9 May, Year 11 student Imogen Schellnegger impressed at the Wollongong Diocese Football (Soccer) trials held at Kembla Grange, earning herself selection on the Wollongong Dio Representative team.
Imogen will represent at the NSWCCC selection championships in Glenwood on Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 May. This is an outstanding achievement! Congratulations Imogen!
Mr Craig Holden
Representative Sport Coordinator
On Thursday 5 May, the SJE U13's Boys Rugby League side headed down the road to Bomaderry Sporting Complex to compete in the 2022 Shaun Timmins Shield Competition for the Shoalhaven Region.
In 2021 our amazing Visual Arts teacher Ms Castles applied for and received a government grant that enabled her to pursue some professional development with a focus on building connections with industry experts. Ms Castles liaised with Bundanon and developed a program to have an artist in residence here at St John's in Term 4 2021.
Unfortunately Covid restrictions meant that the entire program had to be moved online rather than having the artist physically here at the school. Ms Castles did an incredible job shifting the program to a virtual one and still making it a highly relevant and meaningful learning opportunity for her Stage 6 students. The students held a zoom meeting with the artist in residence Nadia Hernandez and participated in online workshops creating some amazing work.
Ms Castles’ development of this program was recognised by VADEA (Visual Arts and Design Educators) NSW as an excellent project and she was invited to present her program at their state conference which she did last week to great acclaim.
I want to congratulate Ms Castles on her outstanding achievement in gaining the grant, developing and managing the program, being recognised for her excellence and presenting her work at the state conference.
We are truly blessed to have such an outstanding artist and teacher working with us in CAPA here at St John's. Congratulations Ms Castles.
GREAT RESULT AT VOCAL EISTEDDFOD
Mr Mark Burian
NSW LAW SOCIETY MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION
COMBINED HIGH SCHOOL SAILING
The Combined High Schools Sailing Championships were held over four days during the first week of the school holidays. Bryn Robinson-Mills (Year 11) and James Winchester (Year 9) both made the trip up to Belmont to compete in the championships. Over the 4 days, wind conditions were a bit of a mixed bag with the first day being called off with not a breath of wind making its way across Lake Macquarie.
The second day of racing was a bit more eventful with a constant 15 knot breeze, which was perfect for Bryn who cleaned up the field with wins in both the races held on the day. Closely followed was James Winchester still learning the ropes of the annual regatta.
The next two days of racing provided light breezes with little to no wind at times. During these days mixed results were seen throughout the fleet of boats with paddling boats back to shore becoming necessary. After the 3 days of grueling racing, the results panned out with Bryn obtaining a third place overall and a first place in the Catamaran division. James managed to achieve a respectable result in the overall fleet for his first time sailing at the Combined High Schools Regatta while securing a 5th place in the Catamaran division.
Report & Photos supplied by Bryn Robinson-Mills
Further to this event, Bryn and James along with former St John's student Patrick Butler, competed in the Queensland State Hobie titles. Bryn placed 3rd in 14’s, behind title winner Patrick Butler, a former St John's student whilst James finished 10th in the 16’s. Another fabulous achievement!
On Tuesday 10 May, our Year 12 students joined around 5,500 students from across the Shoalhaven and Illawarra attending the Illawarra Careers Expo. Students were able to access valuable and accurate career information and ask questions to assist in deciding future study and career pathways. The conduct of our students was exemplary, with students asking a range of intelligent and insightful questions and at all times, demonstrated an interested and polite attitude. We commend Year 12 and certain these students will be successful in anything they chose to pursue.
Mrs Carla Hill
Transition and Pathways Specialist
We would like extend our gratitude to the parents/carers, grandparents, staff and students who kindly assisted in our school canteen this term.
If you or any family members, grandparents etc may be available to assist, it would be greatly appreciated. No experience is necessary. Tasks are not difficult and mainly include assisting with food preparation to ensure our lunch orders are ready for collection. Even if you're able to spare just an hour or two in the morning, this would be extremely helpful.
Please contact our school on email@example.com or phone 4423 1666.
UPGRADING OF KITCHEN EQUIPMENT - CANTEEN
A review has been undertaken of the efficiency and working of the current oven and stovetop in the canteen. Several quotes have been received for replacements and the P&F committee at this weeks meeting that was held on Monday 16 May, unanimously agreed to accept a quote from a local supplier to go ahead with the replacement.
A special mention to the following parents/carers and students who assisted with this event;
Mrs Jacinta Davis