From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 11

Term 3 Welcome
The term has begun and I hope that the holiday period was relaxing and that you were able to spend some quality time together as a family. In particular, I would like to welcome a number of new students and their families: Jacob Hanna Year 7, Michelle Triulcio Year 7, Ethan Godino Year 7, Dalla Petros Year 8, Tia Nabbout Year 8, John Nabbout Year 10, Isabelle Valiamplackal Year 10, Jayden Joji Year 10 and Krista Polykandritis Year 10. We hope that your time with us is both productive and rewarding.

Lockdown Extended
As most of you are aware, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, announced an extension of the lockdown of Victoria for a further 7 days from midnight Tuesday, 20 July to midnight Tuesday, 27 July. Thank you for all your support during this past 3 days of remote and flexible learning.

He also announced that if students can learn from home, they must learn from home for the remaining days, that is from Tuesday, 20 July until Tuesday, 27 July. We will continue the process of remote learning for the remaining school days through a combination of Microsoft Teams meetings and information on class pages on MyPenola.

There are a significant number of events that were planned for these days which will largely be rescheduled. I have listed these below:

  • College Production – Rescheduled to early August (Dates to be confirmed)
  • Year 12 English Oral presentations – Friday, 23 July (Rescheduled to Friday, 20 August)
  • Senior Programs Evening – Tuesday, 27 July (Rescheduled to Tuesday, 3 August during the day)
  • VCAL Information Night – Tuesday, 27 July Rescheduled (Dates to be confirmed)
  • Year 11 Reflection Day – Wednesday, 28 July Rescheduled (Dates to be confirmed)

2021 General Achievement Test
No announcements have been made regarding the 2021 General Achievement Test (GAT) scheduled for next Thursday, 29 July 2021 but we will communicate with you as soon as possible once known.

Congratulations to Ms. Erin Bonavia – Deputy Principal Head of Broadmeadows Campus
Ms. Erin Bonavia has been appointed as the Deputy Principal – Head of the Broadmeadows Campus for the next 5 years commencing in 2022. She will replace Mr Ernie Pisani who has indicated that he will retire at the end of the 2021 school year after 20 years of fantastic service as Deputy Principal here at Penola and over 42 years in Catholic Education.

Erin is currently on maternity leave after the birth of her first child, Toby Steven Forde, on 23 June. It has certainly been a busy and productive month for Erin! Erin has held the roles of Year 12 Coordinator, Instructional Coach and Acting Head of the Glenroy Campus in Term 2 2019 as well as working the Family Centre in News South Wales as Coordinator of Relationship Education and Life Skills (2012-15) and in Community Health positions prior to this. She has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science at Deakin University, a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne and most recently a Masters of Education (leadership and Management) at the University of Melbourne. Erin is a former student of Penola Catholic College and was one of the College Captains in 2001. I am confident that Erin will be an outstanding replacement for Mr Ernie Pisani.

Josephite Exchange postponed
Our Annual Josephite Exchange with Mt Carmel College in Rosewater, Port Adelaide was due to take place on Thursday, 19 August and Friday, 20 August. Due to the uncertainty with our current COVID situation we have made the decision to postpone this event until early Term 4. We are currently liaising with Mt Carmel College to determine the rescheduled date and advise of dates once known.

Year 10 Work Experience
In more positive news we have rescheduled Year 10 Work Experience into the first week of Term 4 namely Monday, 4 October – Friday, 8 October. We are conscious of the fact that our last PTSPM for the year is scheduled on Thursday, 7 October but don’t believe that this will have a major impact upon these meetings.

Professional Practice Day Cancelled – Friday, 27 August
After looking at the 2021 Calendar we have made the decision to cancel the Professional Practice Day that was schedule for Friday, 27 August in an attempt to catch up on face to face teaching that has been lost. We will replace it with a Professional Practice Day for both campuses on Monday, 22 November to allow preparation time for Broadmeadows staff prior to the commencement of Headstart and for Glenroy staff to mark exams, finalise assessment and prepare for Headstart the following week.

Upcoming Parent Webinar
On the 4 August we would like to invite all parents and guardians to attend an evening parent webinar titled ‘Parenting in the 21st Century’. The webinar will be led by Dr Justin Coulson and will begin at 7.00pm. The major themes that will be discussed at the webinar include, what is active parenting, dealing with children and conflict, establishing positive relationships with your children and recognising and dealing with screen issues. This webinar is being provided to parents within our AJASS schools in Melbourne, Swan Hill, Leongatha, Canberra and Tasmania.

The term ahead
As ever we have our ongoing teaching and learning- our core business. Term 3 means planning for 2022: subject selection, information evenings, Year 8-10 subject selection interviews, determining staff intentions for 2022 and staff reviews. I thank you in anticipation for your support of these ventures so that once again, we may be off to a smooth start for 2022.

Term Three within secondary schools is an essential time of preparation. For Year 12 students, it is their last full school term in their lives - which can sometimes be a scary thought! It is undoubtedly a time for Year 12 students to consolidate their knowledge, continue to revise and prepare for the end of year exams. For all other students the focus of Term Three is upon subject selections for 2022 and, with this, a focus upon future career choices.

Term 3 is traditionally a very busy time of year for students, staff and parents as planning for the next year begins in earnest. As a school we are attempting to provide as much information as we can to ensure that all our students are making informed choices with regards to their subject selections. I understand the anxieties experienced by both parents and students in trying to determine which subjects to do in the subsequent years. At 14, 15 or 16 years of age it is difficult to determine a future career path or even direction. Many students are in exactly the same position of not knowing what it is that they may do in the future.

There are some broad principles in terms of subject selections that apply to all students:

Choose subjects that you enjoy.
This makes sense to me, as students will put more effort into subjects that they enjoy and where there is an increased chance of receiving good grades.

Choose subjects that are required for your future career path
Provided you know your future career path, you should choose any prerequisite subjects that may be required. Generally, this means choosing the highest level of mathematics that you are capable of, continuing with a language if possible or investigating/researching the subjects that are required for tertiary study. Where a future career path is unknown, it is best to keep your options open by choosing a broad course or researching the consequences of not choosing a subject.

Choose subjects that you are good at.
Students may not necessarily like a particular subject, but they are very talented in the area, or have always found the subject easier than most.

I ask all families to allocate time to discuss subject selections over the next few weeks. Take advantage of the information sessions available here at the school, organise interviews with relevant staff members and complete your own research regarding what is best for your child. As long as the decisions that are made are informed decisions, then we are all doing the best that we possibly can! The College will also lead students in Years 8, 9 & 10 through the process of subject selection and important information will be distributed to students and parents over the next 4 weeks. Later in the term we will go through the process of electing student leaders for the 2022 school year, another important aspect of third term.

Ten Tips for Remote Learning
As the lockdown has been extended, I have included 10 tips for parents for remote learning.

This week, almost 700,000 Victorian students learned that they will continue learning from home as of 15 July. Under the arrangements, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews last Thursday, school students from Prep to Year 12 will undergo remote and flexible learning until midnight 27 July.

This has put the spotlight back on parents who, until a week ago, were breathing a collective sigh of relief as their children returned to face-to-face teaching at school.

Dr Matthew Zbaracki, Australian Catholic University, Head of School of Education, Victoria, and Jane Plunkett, an ACU-qualified teacher turned education consultant, have two school-aged children. They say teachers did not expect parents to run their home like a classroom.

“It’s a very stressful time for everyone. But there is a misunderstanding about teaching at home,” Dr Zbaracki said. “To home school in the ‘purest’ sense means the parent takes on the role of being the educator, (teacher) and provides the actual curriculum and assignments and activities”. Dr Zbaracki said what most Victorian parents are doing now is ‘home learning’. “The tasks are provided by the school, and the parent may assist as a guide with accomplishing them,” he said. “Home learning provides more guidance and structure for families than true home schooling”.

Dr Zbaracki said the main goal of home learning was to keep children connected with their schoolwork and engaged in age-appropriate learning activities. “These are unprecedented times for all of us, and Victoria is trying to cope with dramatic changes to its day-to-day existence,” he said. “It’s important that we recognise that parents will facilitate learning in very different ways and that’s OK. When teaching children at home, parents must take the pressure off themselves.”

Below, Dr Zbaracki and Plunkett share ten ways parents can ‘home learn’ with their children:

1. Set up a negotiated learning space and routine/structure.

“One of the key things that children need in these uncertain times is structure, by setting this up in the beginning, children will be better able to focus and learn and everyone involved will know the expectations,” Dr Zbaracki said.

“Make sure the children take regular breaks depending on their age.”

Plunkett added, “During the school holidays parents can use this time to become familiar with the various learning platforms that schools may require.”

2. Understand the required learning tasks.

Speak to the school and identify priority tasks. Print out the learning tasks, highlight key words, and add the due dates to your calendar.

3. Check in with your child to see how they’re doing and what they may need help with.

Parents know their child, so a common-sense approach is best. Give both yourself and your child a break from lessons when the child is showing signs of being off-task, tired or irritable.

4. Integrate movement/active time in the day (working from home parents will need this for themselves too)

“We all need to learn how to work from home and take frequent breaks,” Dr Zbaracki said. “When you take a break, get up and move around with your child, do 50 star jumps or run in place for a minute. Just like your child has a need to move and let out some energy, adults do as well.”

5. Older children also need to take ownership of their learning.

Upper primary and secondary children, who have specific projects/assignments, should know the due dates and the expectations of their teachers,” Plunkett said. “Older children need to be aware of when and how to meet these deadlines. Parents can ask prompting questions to check the child understands what is required of them.”

6. Read every day! Read with them, to them, and have them read to you!

7. Think creatively

Cooking or baking together (or with grandma or grandpa via Facetime). Make an iMovie together for an assignment for school.

8. Maintain connections with others (family, friends, classmates) by sharing books, recommending books, sharing writing.

Do this through Zoom or FaceTime so they are still able to ‘see’ their friends and family and have social interaction.

9. Never teach under a mood of frustration (yours or theirs) wait for calm and then work together.

“When the child is calm, ‘share the pen’ or ‘share the reading’ which means work collaboratively,” Plunkett said.

10. Be flexible

With the many distractions at home, parents need to be flexible with their expectations of their child’s behaviour. Children are not working with their regular classroom teacher or with their classmates, how they work will be different at home. Assignment outcomes will look different as well, but the goal is to keep children connected and engaged through learning.

Plunkett added, “Being flexible with your children at home is very important. Home learning can be a fun way to be more involved in what your child is learning.”

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 11

Welcome back to Term 3. While the term began as normal we have unfortunately been placed into an extended lock down till next week, with the students hopefully returning to onsite learning on Wednesday the 28 July.

Academic Intervention Program
The Academic Intervention Program is a program that was introduced to the college in 2019 and will resume on Wednesday 28 July for the Glenroy Campus. The program assists students that have been identified as needing some extra assistance, based on their semester 1 report. The students will be required to attend a designated homework club on a Wednesday from 3:10 to 4:10 conducted by the campus wellbeing team.

During this time, students will have a conference from one of the leaders to discuss issues such as work ethic, attendance patterns, grades, areas for improvement, etc. in an effort to keeping the students more engaged with their studies. Students who have been identified were given a letter as well as sent a CareMonkey approval. The program is not meant to be seen as a punishment but an opportunity for the College to assist students in achieving their best.

College Uniform
Just a reminder that students are required to wear their College blazer to and from school in Terms 2 and 3. While students can wear the summer uniform they are not allowed to mix and match the winter and summer uniform or the college and sports uniform.

From the Acting Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mrs Liviana Daniele Vol 11

Welcome back to Term 3. We enjoyed our first week back at school where staff and students were able to interact with each other. This was followed by our first lockdown for the term. Regardless of whether we are on site or teaching and learning remotely, we will continue to ensure that we support each other during this busy term.

Careers Expo and Subject Selection
As the term begins, we prepare our Year 9 to 12 students in career and subject selection choices. Ms Vera Treloar, the Deputy Principal of Learning and Teaching, along with the Careers Department have begun the transition process for our students on the Broadmeadows Campus. The Year 9 students will be able to consider subject choices that will determine their Year 10 programs in 2022, while the Year 10 students will be presented with information that will help them to decide on their VCE or VCAL programs. Year 11 students will be able to reflect on their current Year 11 program and finalise the subjects they will study in Year 12. Our Year 12 students will begin to have discussions with tertiary institutions and or potential employers as they plan their future study and work after they graduate.

It is a very exciting time of the year both for students and their parents/guardians. We encourage you to have conversations with your children about these important choices they will be making during Term 3.

Elections for College Captains and College Vice Captains for 2022
The beginning of term three also initiates the process of students running for College Captains and Vice Captains for 2022. The first phase of the process involved candidates who nominated themselves or who have been nominated by their peers and teachers taking part in an interview with Mr Caldow, Ms Perkins and myself. During the interviews the candidates were given the opportunity to outline leadership skills and qualities that they believe will enable them to serve our community as a College Vice Captain or College Captain.

As a result of the interviews we congratulate the year 11 students who have been invited to run for College Captain in 2022;

  • Jordan Gioskos
  • Angus Drenen
  • Sofia Gutierrez Monroy

We also congratulate the following year 10 students who have been invited to run for College Vice Captain in 2022;

  • Maream Gorgees
  • Siala Maelasi
  • Leah McGrice
  • Melwin Edwin
  • Nikitha Kayagurla

These students will present a speech to the college community at our leadership assembly that will take place on 30 July. After the assembly students from years 10 and 11 and staff will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidates. We wish all the successful candidates the best of luck as they continue to pursue their interest in leadership.

I would also like to thank Ms Perkin for preparing, developing and supporting all the candidates on their leadership journey at Penola.

Upcoming Parent Webinar
On the 4th of August, we would like to invite all parents and guardians to attend an evening parent webinar titled ‘Parenting in the 21st Century’. The webinar will be led by Dr Justin Coulson and will begin at 7.00pm. The major themes that will be discussed at the webinar include;

  • What is active parenting
  • Parents/Guardians managing conflict with their children
  • Establishing positive relationships with your children
  • Recognising and dealing with screen issues.

A link that will enable you to join the webinar will be available closer to the date on our school website and facebook page.

VCAL Intermediate Food Security Network Program
I would also like to acknowledge the VCAL staff and students involved in the intermediate VCAL Food Security Network Program undertaken in Term two. As part of their Personal Development Skills component, the intermediate VCAL students have participated in this program where they were able to learn about communities in our local area that are suffering from food shortages. The Food Security Network program required them to show acts of altruism and kindness through their work in growing and harvesting fresh vegetables and then distributing this food to groups in our community. The project would not have been able to be implemented without the organisation of the VCAL teachers; Mr Nicolas Sliwka, Ms Lauren Johnson, Mrs Olympia Kangalis and Mr Daniel Catoggio.

Italian Poetry Competition

Year 8 Italian CIS Poetry Competition
Earlier on in the year, the Year 8 Italian CLIL class was enrolled an Italian Poetry Competition conducted by Swinburne University and CIS (Centre of Italian Studies).

Students were expected to memorise their chosen poem. This Competition is open to schools across Victoria.

After many hours of practice, on Tuesday 13July, many nervous students recited their poem and were assessed on pronunciation, intonation, appropriate expression and gesture/eye contact.

I am so pleased to announce that Valentine Lewis came 3rd overall in the Non-Italian section. I am also pleased to announce that five students will be receiving a Certificato di Lode (High Distinction).

I would personally like to thank the students in the Year 8 CLIL class of 2021 along with Daniel Hakim, who joined in as well, for taking on the challenge of memorising a difficult poem in another language and having the courage and confidence to recite it to the judge, Elio Guarnuccio.

I wish them every success as they continue their journey with Mrs Pace and I, in CLIL Humanities and Religion this year.

From our Psychologist

Dealing with our constantly changing circumstances, including lockdown, can be challenging. Please have a look at the link below for some useful information.

Tips for looking after yourself during COVID.

College Learning

I commend students and their families on the manner in which you have adapted to remote learning during this period of lockdown in Victoria, Naturally, we would all prefer to be in classes on campus and learning face to face. I have been very impressed by the swift response by students to return to the skills required using the online learning platform. We are mindful, at all times, that any negative impact on student achievement and learning outcomes is kept to a minimum. If your son/daughter requires additional support please do not hesitate to contact the subject teacher, year level co-ordinator or the counselling team so that we can assist.

Transition / Subject Selection
As you would be aware many of the College events we have planned have been postponed or presented in a virtual manner. During Term 3 students will continue to be supported by staff throughout the transition and subject selection process. Please rest assured that students will still have access to staff and resources as they give careful consideration to their potential learning program for 2022.

  • The year level transition assemblies scheduled for this week are postponed. Students in Years 8-11 will view pre-recorded presentations during their Pastoral lesson on Friday 23 July.
  • We are working on a virtual Careers Expo with presentations from university and TAFE staff. Further details will be shared in due course. We hope to offer these in early August.
  • The Senior Programs Evening will become a Senior Programs Afternoon. Students will have access to the Heads of Learning and a variety of resources. Date TBC, however, we anticipate early August once students return on campus. If restrictions permit, parents may be able to attend.
  • We will reschedule the VCAL Information Evening. This will now occur after the course advice sessions scheduled for mid August have concluded.
  • Students in Years 8-10 will attend course advice meetings with staff in August once they have returned to campus.

All relevant resources including vodcasts regarding the VCE, VCAL, VET and subject selections will be available on MyPenola. This will include the Penola Catholic College Year 7-12 Curriculum Handbook and application forms for accelerated studies, VET and VCAL. We are currently updating these resources. Students will be advised of release dates and are asked to monitor their current Year Level Page. Parents can also access all relevant resources via MyPenola.

Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF)

Eligibility Dates:

For concession cardholders CSEF eligibility will be subject to the parent/legal guardian’s concession card being successfully validated with Centrelink on the first day Term 3 2021

  • 12th July 2021.

How to submit a CSEF Application in 2021

If you have applied for the CSEF in a previous year, you do not need to complete an application form in 2021. Unless there has been a change in your family circumstances, the school will apply for the CSEF on your behalf.

You will ONLY need to submit an application form in 2021 if any of the following changes have occurred:

  • New student enrolments: Your child has changed schools in 2021 or you did not apply at the same school.
  • Changed family circumstances, such as: a change of custody, change of name, concession card number or new siblings commencing at the school in 2021.
  • Applications for newly arrived refugee and Asylum Students remain open till end of Term 4.

CSEF Flyer Attachments: English, Arabic and Vietnamese

CSEF Application Form Attachment


Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 11 - 22 Jul. 2021