Dear Parents, Students and Friends
Welcome to Term 4! It is quite unbelievable that we are nearing the end of 2020. We have endured a year of ongoing challenges that have shaped a new way of living and envisaging how we go about our daily lives. So what learning can we take from this year? How has it made us stronger? Why does it matter? …All big questions that will undoubtedly continue in our conversations for many months, possibly years to come. Despite the catastrophic nature of 2020, the key is to stay positive and be optimistic for the future.
2021 National Youth Science Forum – Inspiring Australia’s Young Scientists
Congratulations to Declan Holmes who has been selected by Rotary to attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in 2021.
The NYSF Year 12 Program is a 10-day residential program designed to give students a broader understanding of the diverse study and career options available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to encourage continued studies in these fields. The NYSF Year 12 Program runs in January each year and participants will:
- visit science and technology related laboratories and facilities
- go on site tours
- listen to lectures
- take part in workshops
- go to social events, and
- participate in group activities that improve communication and presentation skills.
Declan’s commitment and passion for Science has been celebrated in his selection into this program. An outstanding achievement!
The Little Sellers Art Prize 2020
The Little sellers Art Prize 2020 recently concluded and I am pleased to report that Raphaella Herford, Courtni Whittaker, Caleb Sparks, Amelie Murphy, Kody Jeffery, Catalina Gomez, Madeline Mitchell and Makadde Ethell are all finalists. All works will be exhibited in an online gallery in the Bas exhibition centre website at www.thebas.com.au from 29 October at 10am. The announcement of the winners will also be available on the website at this time. Congratulations to all our finalists on their creative works!
Open Community Council Meeting – Via Zoom!
On Monday 2 November, the College will hold a virtual information session for parents at 5.00pm. The focus will be on Student Data and the Maths Pathways program introduced in Year 7 this year. Sandra Harris, Stacey Donoghue and Jeni McCarthy will lead discussions and provide insight into our approach to analysing student data, its importance, and how this translates to student learning.
Have you ever wondered… Why schools collect data? What type of student data is collected? How is it used? What has data got to do with Maths Pathways? What is this program all about?
Join us for the zoom and learn more! A Zoom link will be sent out to all parents via email next week.
Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn Learning Agenda – known as CATALYST
In Term 2, CE presented the Learning Agenda for 2021. Since then, it has been developed further to provide more detail on system directions. There are four focus areas:
- High Impact Teaching Practice
- Instructional Leadership
- K-2 Literacy
- Curriculum – Mathematics K-6
All schools across the Archdiocese will be asked to focus on two areas that align with their 2021 Annual Improvement Plan (AIP). We are fortunate to be already working in the area of Instructional Leadership. Our second area will focus on High Impact Teaching Practices.
School assessment data and satisfaction survey results will also assist in forming goals for our AIP. Details will be shared with the community as the term progresses.
Meet Mr Michael Nicoletti
Xavier Pastoral Coordinator
Growing up in the inner west of Sydney and going to Catholic Schools, I spent my youth playing a range of sports both inside and outside of school including rugby, cricket, touch football, basketball, swimming, and tennis. Ongoing training and being selected for representative teams was a tricky balance trying to keep up with sport and academics at school. After school, I went to University where I completed a Bachelor of Industrial Design whilst working casually in 3 jobs in a sports store, the local butcher and a technician on dental equipment.
After completing my bachelor’s degree, I worked in the Finance Industry where I worked my way into projects as a Process Analyst and Quality Conformance Coach. As a nominated “Change Champion” lead, I used my skills to help build a positive culture amongst the staff, improving processes, analysing data and making changes to streamline responsibilities across the product area with staff. I also used this time to create a staff newsletter that was light reading, generating interest and helping staff to get to know one another through articles. To continue my own professional development, I completed studies in a Masters of Engineering (Project) Management at night time. Between work, the extra studies and playing social sport it was a very busy time. In 2009, I thought my passion for design and project management could be best spent elsewhere, so I decided to take a different direction in life and took time off Finance to complete a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education and a Certificate in Religious Education.
In 2010, I was lucky enough to secure a full time teaching role at a large boy’s school at St Patrick’s College Strathfield in Sydney, where I was a former student, straight out of university. I engrained myself in school life, volunteering many extra hours in coaching, camps, mentoring, masses and providing service to the wider community. I started teaching Timber, D&T, Religious Studies, VET Construction and coaching a range of sports such as rugby, touch football, basketball and cricket.
Moving to St Ignatius College Riverview in 2014, another large boy’s school, I was given plenty of opportunities to spread my wings. I taught Timber, D&T, Engineering and Religious Education, was on the Work Health and Safety Committee, was a Duty Master in boarding, and coached Cross Country, touch football and was the head coach of 2nd XV rugby team.
In 2017, I moved down to the South Coast for a change, as I grew up and lived most of my life around Sydney and thought it would be something different, where I have been since. I continued teaching similar subjects as stated above and have enjoyed my time on the coast, joining Carroll College as the Head of Xavier House this year. I’ve been able to continue to volunteer my time in the community through coaching rugby at the Broulee Dolphins, Batemans Bay Boars and helping reinstate the South Coast Monaro Junior representative program. With my coaching, I was also selected to coach a range of representative teams at ACT Brumbies including Monaro/South Coast Seniors, Brumbies Schoolgirls and more recently the Brumbies Provincial team.
Looking back at what I have achieved in my career thus far, it hasn’t always been an easy journey. It always brings me back to a quote from my Year 12 English class by Robert Frost that sums up what I’ve achieved, “Two roads diverged in a wood… I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” I have valued every experience, good and bad, and learnt many things along my journey.
I feel that meeting and working with a large network of people, making new friends and building relationships has been the most important thing out of my career.
Year Completed Carroll College: 2007
Occupation: Classroom Support Assistant, Musician, Audio Engineer, Student
What are you currently doing?
I am currently working at St Bernard’s whilst I am studying to become a Primary Teacher. I also tutor reading and writing at In2ition in Batemans Bay. I am studying at Swinburne Online, which allows me to fit in study in between working, leisure and spending time with family and friends.
What is a typical day like in your role?
A typical day in my role includes supporting students in class to the best of my ability with the challenges they face in their learning journeys. Together we work out ways to overcome and push through these learning hurdles so that they can learn as much as they can to the best of their abilities. I finish at 2.45pm of an afternoon at St Bernard’s and then race over to In2ition to start work at 3pm with students who require extra support with their reading and writing. A typical day in my role is never the same, which makes it exciting and always challenges me to work harder and learn more about this profession.
What’s the best advice you can give someone who just started their career?
Stay focused. Stay motivated. If you can’t stay motivated then be kind to yourself, your motivation will surely return. Set lots of small, achievable goals and allocate yourself plenty of time to just be you. Make lots of mistakes, ask lots of questions and laugh as much as you can. Climbing the mountain is all a part of the process/journey, it is going to be hard so don’t kid yourself and think it’ll be easy. Back yourself and work hard, manifest what it is you want. I promise when you reach the top it will have all been worth it. “And just remember folks, that life is not a rehearsal, so you’d better get on with it!” Tommy Emmanuel.
What energises you at work?
Watching the little people smile when they get it right, observing their academic growth and knowing you had a positive impact on their learning journey. My interests outside of work can be quite expensive – this also drives me to work hard!
What interests do you have outside of work?
It is and will always be anything music related - practising/performing music, 4x4/camping/outdoors, fishing, dirt bike/trail riding, water skiing, family, catching up with friends, catching sunrises/sunsets.
What is your fondest memory of Carroll College?
Friends, teachers, excursions, concerts/musicals. It’s hard to pick my fondest memory – Carroll College was always a fun and supportive environment. I was happy being a part of it!
We continue to keep our Year 12 students in our thoughts and prayers as they undertake their HSC exams.
Next week, I will be attending the Principals' System days in Canberra. Mr Nathan Mansfield will be Principal (Acting) from Wednesday - Friday.
Mental health support and exams
With Year 12 currently undertaking their HSC exams, and exams rapidly approaching for other year levels, students should already be preparing and studying.
If students are stressed they should know that they are not alone. The exam period can be quite daunting for many students. Some may be stressed even though they are fully prepared and ready for the exams.
An exhausted and worried brain cannot perform at its best. Students need to be well-rested and prepared before they sit their first exam. This means clearing all outstanding assignments in advance and reducing possible triggers.
Below are seven tips from the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association that will help students strengthen their mental health going into exams.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Before getting into an exam room, students should have had enough time to rest and rejuvenate. They will have an easier time remembering answers to the exam questions if they had enough sleep the previous night.
They need at least eight hours of sleep every night, to let the brain function at its best.
2. Take Time to Study
The main reason why people worry when exams are close is that they didn’t study enough. It’s hard not to be stressed when students know they are not ready to sit exams.
For better success at studying, students should surround themselves with success-oriented students. Joining discussion groups will help them understand complex concepts in a shorter time.
3. Consult Teachers
Teachers are there to help students with any help they need; academic or otherwise. Always seek help instead of struggling to solve a problem.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Did you know that the foods you eat determine how productive you can be? Eat a balanced diet to ensure the body has all the nutrients needed to boost brain activity.
When going into an exam room, the brain needs to be as active as possible.
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
The truth is there will always be that one question whose answer students cannot remember. Students need to understand they are only human, and perfection is only an illusion.
Exercising is a great way to ensure that their mental state is stable before and during exams.
If students have studied to the best of their ability and have tried their best they have no reason to be worried.
Exams are hard, but it does not mean students should overload themselves with stress. These tips are here to help support and strengthen mental health before and during exams.
Remember the Pastoral Office and all your teachers are here to help and support students with their exams. Parents and students are always welcome to seek further support when required.
Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care
Our Year 12 students have begun the final chapter of 13 years of schooling with the start of their HSC exams. Those students I have spoken with after their exams have said that they have been challenging but fair. We wish them all the best as they complete the remainder of the exams. The last exam is not until the 11th November.
Year 11 students have now begun their study of the HSC course. It is vitally important that students start with the end in mind- acing their HSC. Setting up regular study/homework times and touching base with their teachers whenever they do not understand something is crucial. Doing their best possible work on all assessment tasks is also very important. Assuming that the COVID virus will still be an issue in 12 months if a student cannot attend their final exam, it is their accumulated school-based assessment mark that is used to ascertain their final HSC mark.
Students in Years 7-10 will be sitting their End of Year exams in Week 4/5/6 followed by their annual Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) in Reading and Maths. These tests enable the school to check on the cohort’s growth over the past 12 months as well as highlighting areas of strength and weakness. Teachers then use this information to fine-tune teaching programs and address any areas needing additional support. Please encourage your child to do their best in these very important tests.
Curriculum and Achievement
Year 7 – 10 Exam Timetable
Year 7 to 10 students will be completing their exams in Term 4. A copy of the exam schedule for each year group is available below. Following the exams the students will be completing their online Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) for Reading and Mathematics.
PAT assessments provide objective, norm-referenced information to teachers about their students’ skills and understandings in a range of key areas. Each PAT has its own proficiency scale with descriptors outlining the content and skills students are consolidating at any given point on that scale. Each PAT assessment provides data on student performance, making PAT ideal for understanding students’ current strengths and weaknesses, informing teaching and learning, and monitoring progress over the year. The tests are online, multiple choice and each test will take approximately 40 minutes. I encourage all students to do their best during these tests as the data will be used by their class teachers.
On Monday 12 October, the first day of Term 4, staff from the three Catholic schools in the region took part in our annual Staff Spirituality Day. As with all things this year, the day was not as it usually is and was shortened to a half, rather than full, day event. Over 100 of us logged on to Zoom to hear the wisdom and insight of Fr Richard Leonard SJ.
This was our second Spirituality Day with Fr Richard and we were once again blessed with engaging content that reminded us of our mission and role as educators in a Catholic school. One of our greatest challenges in the modern Catholic school is making our position relevant and clearly communicating the place of formal Religious Education as something of value. Fr Richard articulated the need in the current context to stand true and firm to who we are as a Catholic community, despite the pressure we may feel to become more secular in terms of our traditions and practices.
The day was most thought provoking and helped to reaffirm the beauty and wealth of Catholic Education. We were encouraged to see the important role we play in educating our students in Gospel values of faith, hope and love – guiding principles of this school and Catholic schools everywhere.
Richard was ordained a priest in 1993. He directs the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting, is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Catholic University; has been a visiting scholar within the School of Theatre, Film & Television at UCLA and a Visiting Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Fr Richard has served on juries at the Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Warsaw, Hong Kong, Montreal, Brisbane and Melbourne International Film Festivals and he has lectured on faith and culture all over the world. He has been published in America Magazine, Eureka Street, US Catholics, is a regular columnist with The London Tablet and is a regular guest on ABC Radio. He is the author of ten books. Jesuit College of Spirituality 2020
Religious Education Coordinator
How reading can make you a better person
“There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away…” wrote the American poet Emily Dickinson.
Anyone who has curled up with a novel in order to shut out the world knows what she meant. Fiction has an extraordinary ability to enable us to escape the present and travel to different times and places.
Leaving the stresses of the real world behind provides a welcome and healthy respite, so it’s little wonder that sales of novels surged as the world locked down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Of course, reading is not our only form of escapism. Since Dickinson wrote in the mid-19th Century, we have developed radio and audio books, film and television, computer games and virtual reality.
But reading fiction can still provide many benefits that differ from the experience of other media. There is an increasing body of evidence that shows it offers cognitive, social, psychological and even moral benefits to the reader.
Readers of fiction develop their empathy because they are able to 'get inside the head' of the characters and understand the world from a different perspective, sometimes from multiple perspectives within the same work. A 2013 study that measured empathy scores after just one week of assigned fiction reading found readers self-reported significant changes in empathic skills. Significantly the more readers reported being transported into the world of the fiction, the more empathic they became.
A neurological study showed reading fiction improves brain connectivity in regions associated with perspective-taking and story comprehension, setting readers up to have a better understanding of narratives of others’ lives.
Fiction plays a vital role in improving reality
Professor Margot Hillel OAM believes this empathy is essential to producing well-rounded and deep-thinking citizens. Professor Hillel, who is Chair of Academic Board at ACU and National Chair of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, wants all university students to read fiction so that they graduate with an understanding of the human context of their work, not just technical skills.
In 2020, ACU introduced a Book of the Year, given free to all students across every faculty, to encourage students to read and discuss fiction.
“It’s important that all students, whatever they are studying, have a grounding in, and an understanding of, the liberal arts because it engages them with the humanity of people,” said Professor Hillel.
“If you are a health sciences student, for example, you are engaged with humanity on a physical level but reading fiction gives you an idea of the way other people think. It broadens your horizons and makes you aware of the individual worth of every person.”
A shared experience
Professor Hillel also points to the power of shared reading to create social connections – one reason she prefers paper books over the electronic variety. Seeing someone reading a book you have read provides an immediate pathway to conversation and a shared subject that moves the discussion to a higher plane.
“With e-books, you lose that serendipity, which is a shame,” said Hillel.
Shared reading experiences are specifically associated with improved psychological wellbeing, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, which pointed to the utility of reading groups as a practical intervention in diverse settings, from prisons to hospitals with patients living with depression, dementia, chronic pain and neurological conditions.
Even for those without these vulnerabilities there are many studies that show reading fiction improves pro-social behaviour and is beneficial for mental health.
For young people, in particular, reading provides an opportunity to expand their sense of possibilities, explore alternative and aspirational identities, and practice confronting life’s challenges and dilemmas.
ACU literature researcher Dr Maggie Nolan has identified book clubs as a space where ordinary readers navigate complex ethical quandaries in how we approach the act of reading and how we talk about books.
She says the popularity of book clubs, despite increasing demands on people’s leisure time, shows reading matters in people’s lives. It also means it’s important to understand the nature of the conversations people have about books and how they affect our attitudes to one another.
“Book clubs are ethical spaces that promote dialogue and negotiated understandings. Book talk is used to discuss ethical issues of both personal and public significance. In the Australian context, this may mean, among other things, thinking through what it means to be part of a settler colonial culture and its devastating legacies,” said Dr Nolan.
Key issues for reading ethically include how we identify with characters, how we deal with uncertainty, and how we confront issues of privilege, gender, class and history.
Reading a book from the perspective of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander character, for example, may increase your empathy for Indigenous people but it may also give you the delusion that you “understand” experiences that are much more complex, diverse and nuanced.
“Book club readers bring a high degree of openness and engagement to their understanding of others, even in cross-cultural contexts. Readers tend to judge the success of books on how easily they can identify with characters, and there is a danger, perhaps, that in seeking a shared emotional response, real differences can be erased,” said Dr Nolan.
“The dialogue is frequently about morality, about empathy and identification, and it often intersects with both the personal and the imaginative realms. For book club readers, reading is less about interpreting a book and coming up with a definitive sense of its meaning, or even necessarily judging the book, than about participating in a communal activity that generates discussion about contemporary desires, experiences and ideas, including ideas about what it means to be an Australian.”
Reading fiction is overwhelmingly a positive for individual mental health and for our society – but that doesn’t mean it is without pitfalls.
Dr Nolan says those who embrace the experience of empathy and understanding through reading novels need to be careful they don’t let themselves believe they have actually walked in another’s shoes. She points out book clubs are overwhelmingly dominated by middle-class women who may discount their own privilege in perspective-making and have unrealistic ideas about the power of reading to make them sensitive and socially-aware.
“How Reading can make you a better person” by Deborah Stone in IMPACT, Australian Catholic University (2020)
A Silent Night
by Skye Wildman
As the swing set creaked
The monster did speak
In his misty tune
His voice a deep lagoon.
Listen to his song …
“Children come today,
Come to my lair don’t delay,
Children follow my song,
Time to come along.”
Out of their beds the children climb
Down the stairs hearing the chime
Walking outside to the eerie street
Their deadly fate is what they meet.
In the lair small bodies fly
Bloody skulls glinting in the moonlit sky
Brains, guts, fingers and more!
A child buffet of food galore.
Crunching and cracking of bones fill the air
Leaving the children with traumatic despair
The monster has had a feast tonight
But tomorrow, Halloween, is when he’ll BITE!
Year 7 Humanities - History Extension Projects
Some students from each class were chosen to do an extension activity for HSIE, we were given the task to act as historians and discover more about Ancient Egypt and King Tut. We split up into small groups and all took a few subjects to complete each. My group chose belief in the afterlife and death rituals, the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb, and sarcophagi. We completed our research tasks and put the key information onto a poster, while we had a fact file for the teachers. My group constructed a sarcophagus and gold coins for our artefact out of clay, and we then painted them with metallics. Thank you to all of the teachers who helped us throughout the process of this, we couldn't have done it without you guys. - Savannah McGann
In Term 3 during Weeks 9 and 10, a few other kids and I were chosen to be in the HSIE Extension Program for Humanities. From our small group, we broke into smaller groups and each took 2-3 parts of the task. The task was about Ancient Egypt. My group (Me, Izzy and Bella) did Ancient Egyptian lifestyle and Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs. Over the two weeks, we worked on gathering information and making ancient artifacts out of clay. When we were finished we proudly presented them into the hub. - Erin Drewsen
For my extension task, Pypar and I studied Ancient Egyptian beliefs and rituals. The process of our task began with study and finding all our information we needed to know, giving each other certain topics to study. We then started looking at ideas for our artifact. We decided to use clay to make artwork of Osiris’ face. We molded it and then painted it. - Kira Pendlebury
In Humanities during Term 3 in Weeks 9 and 10, a small group of students were selected to be part of a HSIE extension group studying the lives and customs of the Ancient Egyptians. From that small group, we broke up into smaller groups containing 2 or 3 people, and those groups worked on 2 to 3 different subjects about the Ancient Egyptian custom. Our group ( Lincoln, Stephanie, and Ivy ) had the subjects Ancient Egyptian class, Ancient Egyptian belief in the afterlife and Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. We then made artefacts that related to our subjects out of clay; then we painted them in the colours provided. We presented them in the hub on the second last day of term. - Ivy Prior
In the HSIE extension, we were learning about Ancient Egypt. Erin, Bella an I chose the daily life of an eqyptian citizen and eqyptian pharaohs. We made a slideshow on each subject. Then we made artifacts out of clay that was relevant to our subjects. Bella made bread and beer, I made garlic, spices, olives, a carrot and a bowl, Erin made an organ holder (canopic jar) which had an organ in it. Overall it was a fun task and we learnt a lot about Ancient Egypt. - Isabella Syne
Hospitality coffee window
Year 11 Hospitality students will be running the coffee window at AM break each Tuesday and Thursday until the end of term. Coffee window is available to all staff and senior students. We have phased out all single use items so please BYO clean cups. We will be taking orders for reusable cups for students to purchase at $10 each. Orders can be placed during Cafe times.
Baked goods may be available to purchase on various days.
Cash and EFTPOS facilities will be available.
Your support is greatly appreciated!
Congratulations to Oliver Dyason (Yr 7), who was selected to compete in 'Hoopfest' run by Basketball NSW. What is 'Hoopfest'? The Basketball NSW Hoopfest is a development tournament that will be run by Basketball NSW. The Hoopfest will give elite junior players the opportuninty to compete against the best athletes from NSW Country, NSW Metro and ACT. The tournament also allows coaches and athletes to gain experience in high-level tournament play, preparing for potential involvement in future state teams. This event will also serve as an integral part of the selection process for the U18 State team programs.
Term 4 fee statements will be emailed on Friday 23rd October with a due date of Friday 20th November. Thank you to families who have made payments. Any recent payments will be receipted shortly.
If you have been impacted by COVID-19, please contact Rhonda Forner, Business Manager by email at Rhonda.Forner@cg.catholic.edu.au to request a COVID-19 Fee Assistance Request Form.
If you require financial assistance due to any other hardship not related to COVID-19, please contact Rhonda Forner, Business Manager by email at Rhonda.Forner@cg.catholic.edu.au
All information is treated and maintained confidentially.
Given the challenges that 2020 has presented, there are many avenues for support. These are listed below to provide some assistance.
Bendigo Bank & The Salvation Army Education and Workplace Pathways Grant assists young people looking to continue their education, or to support those looking for work. Examples include funding to assist paying education fees; accessing technology to support work/education needs; transport to get to and from work or school; work related attire such as safety gear. Requirements include:
For further information, contact email@example.com or contact 1300 662 217.
National Bushfire Recovery Agency
The National Bushfire Recovery Agency is able to provide assistance to individuals and families, businesses, not for profits, primary producers – everyone in our community. Their website address is: https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/
Information for individuals and families:
For support – relating to Bushfires, drought, flood and/or Covid-19 for individuals and families:
For small business and not for profits support relating to Bushfires, drought, flood and/or Covid-19:
For well-being and mental health support:
Bushfire Specific Assistance
Recovery Support Officer
COVID 19 Financial Survival Guide
Please be aware that you are not alone and there are resources available to assist you and your family at this time. Listed below are some of those resources for information.
Recent changes to Jobkeeper can be found at:
Information on Jobseeker can be found at:
Changes to Government Assistance:
Financial Institution Support during Covid19
Financial Institutions are also offering a range of assistance to account holders, homeowners and businesses. Please enquire with your financial institution to access financial support such as:
- Suspending payments on credit cards and personal loans
- Reduce interest rates on home loans/suspending or deferring home loan repayments/loan variations/reducing loan interest rates
- Loans and support for small business
- Loan extensions/deferrals.
Teachers Mutual Bank
Scams during Coronavirus
Please be aware that there are some financial scams relating to Coronavirus. These may be in the form of text messages, emails or phone calls. The best approach is to not provide any of your financial information. If you suspect you have been contacted as part of a scam, you can report it to scamwatch – scamwatch.com.au/report-a-scam and the police.
For additional support, other services available include: