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Secondary News – Term 1, Week 10

30 Mar 2022
Parents

Term 1, Week 10

LENT:

Last Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Lent. The Gospel recounts the parable of the prodigal son. Luke tells us of a family of two brothers and their father. The younger brother decides he wants to spread his wings and move away from the family. He asks his father for his share of what would, in time, be his inheritance to fund the life he wishes to live. He travels and, through questionable life choices, squanders his inheritance and becomes destitute. He looks back with remorse on the life he left with his father and older brother and thinks how much better off he would be if he returned to them. Without hesitation or question, his father welcomes him home with open arms. The older son has difficulty in accepting how his father takes his brother back without question and honours him with a celebration. The father in this story is like God, our Father. He is merciful, and his love knows no end. He shows to both of his sons that his love is enduring and remains present for them, particularly in times of repentance. Thus is a lesson to us all that our loving God is always there to support us and love us.

 

Wednesday Morning Mass:

During Lent we invite all our students and their families to join us on Wednesday mornings at the 7.30am Mass in our Church. All Student Parliament members and Youth Ministry students are asked to attend this Mass as part of their service, but all students are encouraged to attend. Following Mass at 8am we provide breakfast for all the students who attend, both primary and Secondary. We invite you all to next week’s Mass.

 

Learning:

At present our students are all submitting assessments for a number of subjects. All assessment information is available to all parents and students in the resource section of COMPASS. Many of our students are independent learners and have successfully completed all their assessment tasks and submitted them on time having worked diligently to hand in their best possible work. Others have not been able to accomplish this. Many of our students need assistance to be organised and to set aside time each night to complete their Learning Preparation. It is always a shame to witness students not reaching their personal best because they fail to complete or submit work on time.

Teachers are presently contacting parents about assessments, and we ask that you support your children by making them take responsibility for their work. I most cases they have been given time in class to work on their assessments and as all work is on COMPASS and usually also on sites such as Google Classroom they have had access to this work even if in isolation.

Of course, any student who has been ill should simply supply a note from their parents if in Yrs 7-9 and a medical certificate in Yrs 10-12. Once these are received decisions will then be made on what is to occur from there.

Learning to be organised, to take ownership and to be self-directed learners are important skills that we all need as adults and need to be developed whilst still at school.

 

Frozen Weeks:

This week is Frozen Week for Year 12. Continued for Monday and Tuesday and then they commenced their Practice Exams on Wednesday. These exams allow students to experience what will occur during their Trials and HSC exams and for them to develop the skills they need to complete these exams. It will also allow them to test their understanding of their subject knowledge up to now.

 

Minimum Standards:

All students in NSW must have passed Minimum Standard exams in Numeracy and Literacy to be able to gain their HSC credentials. Students may attempt to gain a passing grade in these a number of times before their HSC exams. In Week 11, next week, all students who have not gained these in Yrs 11 and 12 will need to sit these exams and all the information for this is on COMPASS. 

 

NAPLAN Practice Tests:

All Yr 7 and 9 student in NSW this year will complete their NAPLAN exams online. To be able to do this well all our students will be able to do practice tests this week to ensure they have the correct APP n their devices and to also be able to practise how to complete these tests well. All the information for these was also on COMPASS and we thank Mr Jones for allowing our students to have this experience.

 

COVID and Schools:

This term has become more and more difficult for all as numbers of teachers and students away due to COVID or being close contacts has increased. On most days we have had over 200 students absent but we have been impressed with the number who have kept up with their studies by completing their work which has been available for each lesson on COMPASS.

We are concerned with the number of Casuals or replacement teachers that some students have had but it is like this across NSW at present and we have been very fortunate that we have been able to supply lessons and teachers for each class and to keep the school open and running in a fairly “normal’ way. 

We did stop communicating each day about cases as we arrived at time where we had cases in every form every day. Most cases were being transferred from home, sport and workplaces, rather than from school. With the infectious nature of this new variant, we expect this to continue for this Term.

Our students are coping and responding so well. We really appreciate the cooperation of parents to keep children home when not well and for using the RATs. We particularly appreciate your understanding of how difficult all this is for 900 teenagers to always follow COVID rules and/or recommendations but we are so impressed with how cooperative our students have been. 

We continue to follow the advice of NSW Health and we assess constantly what we are doing and what is planned for the future.

If you have any concerns as parents, please contact us.

 

Attendance:

Due to COVID it is difficult for some students to keep their attendance above 92% which is what is recommended for all students. We thank parents for continuing to encourage their children to be at school and working hard. All students need to learn the importance of routine, turning up and being reliable. Please ensure that all students who are able to attend school do so every day. Presently letters will be sent to parents about students’ attendance which is low and have not provided us with sufficient evidence of why this is so. We have to also give our attendance data to Catholic Schools Broken Bay for follow up.

 

Evacuation Drills:

This has been now timetabled for Tuesday in Week 11 after being cancelled previously due to the wet weather. 

 

Uniform:

Just a reminder that Winter uniform will commence on Monday, May 9th. All students will need to be in full Winter uniform which includes a blazer for all. Please have these dry-cleaned ready to start on the first day. It is wise to order these now if your child needs a new one.

 

Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns always, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and, our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.

 

Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal

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