From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 16

Great News!
First and foremost, for the first time since late July we have had Year 12 students return to face-to-face learning. To say that we are happy to have them back is a massive understatement! The thing that I am particularly proud of is the way that our community has risen to the challenges that they have had to face this year. All students have shown themselves to be resilient, technologically proficient and above all else, connected to one another, despite the challenges of long periods of isolation and not being onsite for large periods of the year. With most of our Year 12 students finishing formal classes next week, we wish them well for the future.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to you for your continued support and encouragement of all that we are doing at Penola in support of your daughters and sons. I have been overwhelmed by your generosity and the positive and resilient attitude you have displayed throughout this extraordinary period. I think that a positive attitude is the greatest gift we can give our children during difficult times. However, it is also often the most draining and difficult of endeavors. I often ask myself in these moments; who is caring for the carer? Each of you has shouldered a heavy burden, from juggling working from home and supporting children with their home learning, to dealing with the future uncertainties inherent in our current situation, among a million other things.

There is no doubt that this year has been very difficult for all of us. However, for our Year 12 students, it has been particularly disappointing and sad. They have missed out on so many milestones and celebrations that are very much a part of Year 12. I know as a community we all really feel for them and are extremely proud of how they have shown so much maturity and resilience throughout the year. We are looking forward to spending time reconnecting with them. We have also been working hard to plan celebratory activities that can take place at the conclusion of the VCE exams.

On behalf of the whole college community, I thank our graduating students, for their contributions to the life of the school and for the way that they have shared your talents and gifts with us. I thank you also for the leadership that you have exercised, and I particularly wish to recognize the contribution of those who accepted leadership roles this year, especially our captains, Grace G (12E) and Monica A (12C), and our portfolio captains, Jordan G (11B), Jayan D (12G), Jackson G (12F), Hans A (12D), Benjamin P (12A) and Liana O (12G). Each one of our graduates leaves us with our best wishes for the future and our prayers that God will bless them abundantly.

Confirmed COVID case onsite on Wednesday 6 October
As you would all be aware, a confirmed positive case was onsite on Wednesday 6 October. Fortunately, they weren’t onsite for the entire day only the afternoon. As a result, staff and students who have been in direct contact with the case have been sent home to get tested and isolate. A deep clean has occurred in the areas where the student has been including reception and the campus office. We made the decision to conduct a deep clean of the McCormack building as well as Reception, Campus Office and LKE classroom. The new procedures from DHS do not require a complete shutdown of the school. The Department of Health confirmed that the student was not infectious whilst onsite and all staff and students can come out of isolation and resume at school.

2021 Calendar Changes

The following decisions have been made in an attempt to clarify our calendar for the remainder of the year.

  • Final College Assembly – The final College Assembly which will involve the Transfer of Leadership as well as the farewell to our Year 12 students will now take place on Friday 22 October not Monday 18 October.
  • SWOTVAC – We have made the decision to reduce SWOTVAC for our Year 12 students so as to maximise their time onsite. We are conscious that this increases the exposure and risk for our Year 12 students in terms of potentially being exposed to COVID and we will continue to monitor in the weeks ahead. SWOTVAC will commence after the final College Assembly on Friday 22 October.
  • Graduation Dinner – Obviously our Year 12 Graduation Dinner originally scheduled for Friday 19 November will not go ahead as only 150 people are allowed to gather indoors. We will survey our year 12 families to see whether they would like to have the Dinner in late February/early March 2022.
  • Exams – Years 7 – 10 Exams will not take place to enable more time for teaching and learning in 2021. Year 11 Exams will take place on Wednesday 17 November, Thursday 18 November, Friday 19 November, Tuesday 23 November, Wednesday 24 November and Thursday 25 November.
  • Professional Practice Days - Professional Practice Days will take place on Monday 1 November, Monday 22 November and Friday 26 November for both campuses.
  • Headstart – Headstart has been reduced to 4 days and will take place on Monday 29 November – Thursday 2 December for our current Years 8-11 students. Our current Year 7 students will only have a Headstart program on Thursday 2 December 2021.

Return to School for Years 7-11
All Dates below are subject to health advice as they are linked to double vaccination rates

From Tuesday 26 October all students will return at least part-time.

  • Years 7 and 11 students will resume 5 days a week.
  • Year 10 students will attend on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Years 8 & 9 students will attend on Wednesdays and Thursdays

Vulnerable children and children of parents or guardians who are on the authorized provider and authorized worker list can continue attending onsite.

Remote and flexible learning will be delivered to students on the days they are not onsite.

All Years 7-11 students will resume full time on Friday 6 November 2021.

COVID Testing
I encourage all staff and students to be tested in the lead up to their return to school to ensure that they are not spreading COVID-19 unknowingly. Can I recommend that this testing takes place no later than Friday October 22 as the results from testing are taking up to 72 hours to come through.

Staff Vaccinations
As most are aware, the Victorian Government have mandated all education workers to be vaccinated.

  • By 18 October 2021 all school staff are to have had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or produce evidence of a booking to receive a vaccine by 25 October 2021, unless a medical exemption applies.
  • By 29 November 2021 all school staff are to be fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and to show evidence of their vaccination status, unless a medical exemption applies.

Student Free Days this Term
Monday 1 November is a Student Free Day to allow staff time for planning, preparation, assessment of student learning, collaboration, curriculum planning and professional learning. This day will be student free for both campuses. I recognise that this creates an imposition on families and thank you in advance for your ongoing support as we strive to improve student outcomes.

Monday 22 November is a Student Free Day to allow staff time for planning, preparation, assessment of student learning, collaboration, curriculum planning and professional learning. This day will be student free for both campuses.

Friday 26 November is another Student Free Day. This will allow our Senior students (Year 11) a small break between finishing exams and commencing their Headstart program and allow our staff to have a correction Day to finalise grades. For our Junior campus staff, time for correction and report writing of the end of year reports

Our current Year 8-11 students will commence their 2022 Headstart program from Monday 29 November to Thursday 2 December. Our current Year 7 students will have a one-day Headstart program on Thursday 2 December.

Year 7 Enrolments 2023
A reminder to all our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 closed on Friday 23 August. A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year and it makes it very difficult to accurately plan for the following year, so I ask that you submit your enrolment as soon as possible. Often families assume that we know that there is a younger sibling, and I would be very disappointed if one of our existing families missed out on an enrolment due to not submitting their enrolment in a timely manner.

Glenroy Bell Times from Monday, 25 October

Year 7

Year 8

8.40am – 9.30am

Period 1

Period 1

9.30am – 10.20am

Period 2

Period 2

10.20am – 10.40am

Recess

Homeroom includes locker

access

10.40am – 11.00am

Homeroom includes locker

access

Recess

11.00am – 11.50am

Period 3

Period 3

11.50am – 12.40pm

Period 4

Period 4

12.40pm – 1.30pm

Lunch

Period 5

1.30pm – 2.20pm

Period 5

Lunch Locker Access

2.20pm – 3.10pm

Period 6

Dismissal 3.05pm

Period 6

Dismissal 3.10pm


Reflection
For me Term 4 is the beginning of something wonderful: Spring, new journeys and for all those who love Christmas it is the beginning of the countdown to Advent. As the end of the year approaches for the students, it is important to savour the experiences of these final few weeks at school. Taking the time to laugh with friends, enjoy the warmth of the approaching summer sun, the fragrance of the blooming blossoms and to remember how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city. This term we will be focusing on offering thanks and goodwill to not just God within prayer, but amongst the teachers and the students as a focus within religion classes. We hope that you have the opportunity to stop in a beautiful park or on a sandy beach, and to lie down and look up at the wonderful sky that encompasses us. To take in its grandeur and simply say, ‘Thank you God for this wonderful gift of life and nature, I am eternally grateful.

Spring Awakening by Lily Baker

Spring is the magical time

When the rainbow lorikeets hum and the honey suckles Blossom,

When I actively bounce down the sand dunes

And onto the pea green grass,

The waratahs and the wattles bloom,

And my heart opens to the riot of spring.

I love this time when everything comes to life,

Nature triumphs in the trees, swaying freely in the wind,

Stealing my train of thought

And making my imagination run wild.

I am inspired by this heavenly kingdom,

The tranquility of dew droplets falling,

Slowly

The mastery of the rain.

I feel connected.

Tree sap trickles down the bark of native gum trees

I examine this, calmly, curiously.

Sometimes the wind whispers to me at dusk

Giving me confidence within my body

I promise

I will always make the most of springtime.

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 16

Despite the issues caused by the pandemic and the current lockdown, I am pleased to be back having spent the bulk of Term 3 on Long Service Leave. In that time, Ms Liviana Daniele, was Acting Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus. I wish to thank her for stepping into the role and doing a great job in trying circumstances.

Return of Year 12 Students
The start of the term has seen the welcome return of our Year 12 students. There was a great excitement on their return from the lockdown as they came prepared to finalise their learning program for the year. Together with their teachers, VCE students have feverishly tried to cram last minute lessons and final SACs in preparation for upcoming exams. Congratulations to staff and students who, despite the lockdown and the limitations of remote learning, have tried to finish the academic year with purpose and resolve.

Students studying the VCAL program have also concentrated on completing their work modules and hours to satisfy the requirements of the program. Again, staff and students have worked diligently in this program

As the Year 12 students studying the VCE program prepare for their final stages of their formal education, we wish them every success. These students will be farewelled in a series of appreciation activities that start next week with a final College Assembly honouring their involvement in the life of the school over the past six years. The annual dress up morning is also planned prior to the assembly followed by a special breakfast after the assembly. They will formally graduate on Thursday 18 November. More details regarding the Graduation will be made available to parents in the coming weeks.

After Friday 22 November, Year 12 students are not required at school until their first examination, unless there are special classes organised by their teachers. It is essential that their time at home is spent preparing for the upcoming exams. We wish students all Year 12 students safe travels in the journey ahead with special best wishes for those undertaking exams.

College Scholarships
Applications for College Scholarships for students in Years 7 - 11 are now closed. There are four scholarships on offer for 2022: Academic Excellence, Personal Endeavour, Co-curricular Involvement and Community Spirit. The criteria for each of these scholarships highlight attributes that the College seeks to instil in students.

Applicants are currently being interviewed, because there are a large number of candidates, the announcement of the successful students will not be made until November. The scholarships will then be presented to them at Awards Night later in the year. I wish each applicant every success.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 16

Welcome to Term 4 to all our students and their families. After a very busy Term 3, I hope all the students had an opportunity to have some downtime.

Parent Teacher Partnership Meetings
Thank you to all the parents that engaged with the teaching staff in our final PTSPM for the 2021 school year. It was encouraging to hear from the teachers that the parents were making appointments to hear about their child’s progress and what areas they can assist in developing their child’s skills and knowledge.

Return to Onsite Learning
As outlined by the Victorian State Government, all our Year 7 students will return to onsite learning from Monday 25 October and our Year 8 students two days a week for that week and the following week. In an effort to minimise the contact between the year levels there will an alternative bell times with the Year 7 students still finishing at 3:06 and our Year 8 students at 3:10. All students will continue to start the day at 8:40 but will go straight to their Period 1 class rather than homeroom. A list of period times can be seen below:

Year 7

Year 8

8.40am – 9.30am

Period 1

Period 1

9.30am – 10.20am

Period 2

Period 2

10.20am – 10.40am

Recess

Homeroom includes locker

access

10.40am – 11.00am

Homeroom includes locker

access

Recess

11.00am – 11.50am

Period 3

Period 3

11.50am – 12.40pm

Period 4

Period 4

12.40pm – 1.30pm

Lunch

Period 5

1.30pm – 2.20pm

Period 5

Lunch Locker Access

2.20pm – 3.10pm

Period 6

Dismissal 3.05pm

Period 6

Dismissal 3.10pm


Furthermore, all masks are mandatory both in and out of the classroom and students are asked to bring a small backpack with their books for the day, to avoid going to their lockers.

Year 7 2022 Vodcast
A vodcast was distributed last night for all our 2022 Year 7s and their families, which was a replacement for our normal onsite presentation. There will also be a subsequent Question and Answer Session starting at 6:00pm on the following dates:

  • 22 November: 7A & 7B
  • 23 November: 7B & 7C
  • 24 November: 7D & 7E
  • 25 November 7F & 7G
  • 26 November 7H & 7I

Please note that a Microsoft Teams link will be distributed and students will be notified of their 2022 homerooms in the week prior to these dates.

We look forward to welcoming the students back in just over a week.

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 16

As we continually battle through one of the toughest periods in our lifetimes, we know many of our extended Penola Catholic College community are quite ill at present. As such Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplain has put together a short reflection that you might find consoling in this difficult time.

The Healing Hand

To our brothers and sisters who have contracted and are suffering due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, we pray that God’s healing hand may rest upon you.

To the medical doctors, nurses, supporting staff and the many volunteers who are in the front line of the fight against COVID-19, may the Lord sustain you and inspire you to render your life-saving services with due care, love and compassion.

To all those who have lost their loved ones, we convey our deepest sympathies.

We pray that their souls, through God’s mercy, may rest in eternal peace.

We pray that God may grant all bereaved families his consolation and strengthen their faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

Amen.



“A light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.” (John 1.5.)

Loving, ever living and compassionate God, you understand the pain of loss, the heartache of bereavement,

May we hold in our heart all those whose families or friends have died.

You are a light that shines in the darkest times,

Guide us and heal us in our sickness and sorrow.

You comfort us in times of fear,

May we comfort each other, even as we keep apart.

You console and lead us in times of doubt and confusion,

May we follow the light of your love and spread hope.

You move our hearts to acts of generosity,

May we be led to share what we have with those in need.

God of life,

We thank you for the signs of your light in the midst of our darkness,

May we be signs of your compassion in the heart of your world.

Amen.

IN THE NOW

Lord,

At this time of Pandemic,

Let us foster respect and solidarity with others, especially those who are weak or poor.

Let us remain calm and ignore unsubstantiated rumours.

Let us take advantage of living together as a family.

Let us attend to moments of prayer.

Let us cultivate responsibility, patience and hope.

Amen (Prayer adapted: Bishop of La Verapaz, Guatemala, Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez.)

Learning at Penola

It was a pleasure to see our Year 12 students return to campus recently to sit the General Achievement Test and resume VCE, VET and VCAL classes. The students were glad to see their peers and teachers again in person after a lengthy stint of remote and flexible learning. We wish the Year 12s all the best as they complete their final assessment tasks in either their VCE or VCAL pathway.

I am constantly impressed and amazed by the achievements of our wonderful staff and students at Penola Catholic College. Despite the current circumstances our teachers are going above and beyond to deliver an innovative curriculum and our students have managed to continue with their learning at home; and for the Year 12s back on campus. Penola students are resilient and I share with you some examples of student work created by our talented Textiles students. Supported by our dedicated staff the students have produced outstanding masks and garments.

Debating Awards

Congratulations to the following Penola students who were awarded the ‘Swannie Award’ for their respective grade in the Epping Region Debate Competition:

  • Jackson G 12F
  • Larissa K 11E
  • Isla R 9J

The Swannie Awards are named after Alan Swanwick, a long-time member of the Debating Association of Victoria and a pioneer of debating in Victoria. “Swannies” are awarded to the speaker in each region and grade who has the highest average speaker score after completing at least three debates during the year. The average is calculated solely on speaker scores, and is not affected by the best speaker awards that are announced at the end of each debate.

Penola’s debate teams are to be commended for their commitment to the competition and the way they represented the College Community.

We will participate in the DAV competition again next year and our team is always looking for new members. If your child may be interested, please ask them to contact the Debate Coordinator, Maria Alberto.

Library at Penola

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 16 - 14 Oct. 2021

Community News

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