From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 13

Lockdown extended
As most of you are aware, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, announced an extension of another 14 days to lockdown 6.0 in Victoria until midnight Thursday, 2 September.

All Catholic schools have transitioned to remote and flexible learning from Friday, 6 August. He also announced that if students can learn from home, they must learn from home for these 20 days, that is from Friday, 6 August until Thursday, 2 September. We will continue the process of remote learning for the next 20 school days through a combination of Microsoft Teams meetings and information on class pages on MyPenola.

I know that remote learning is not ideal, but I am proud of the efforts of the vast majority of our students in taking responsibility for their own learning during this lockdown period. I am particularly conscious of our Year 12 students’ anxiety and concerns regarding their assessment and hope to hear from the VCAA regarding any changes with regards to assessment.

Year 12 Assessments
With the lockdown being extended we have decided to change the structure of the timetable for Year 12 students next week with Periods 1 & 2 being designated for cohort assessments and then the resumption of regular classes Periods 3 – 6.

More information has been included in Ms. Vera Treloar’s section of the newsletter so that families are aware of the assessments that are taking place in studies which have multiple classes. The intention is to provide a designated time within school to complete these assessments. There are a range of protocols that have been put in place to ensure that these assessments are conducted fairly and will include students having cameras and audio on to minimize the chance of cheating or inequity.

Year 10 Work Experience Cancelled
The extended lockdown has made it extremely difficult for students and employers to know whether or not work experience could proceed in the first week of Term four i.e., Monday, 4 October – Friday, 8 October. Many workplaces have reduced their capacity, others have been unable to commit and the possibility of all students getting a placement with the appropriate documentation completed, is impossible. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to cancel work experience. For a number of students work experience may occur in late November or early December if possible, with an easing of restrictions.

Year 7 Enrolments 2023
A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 close on Friday, 20 August. A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year which 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, 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.

Calendar Changes
There are a significant number of events that were planned for these days which will obviously not run. I have listed these below:

  • College Production – Monday, 9 August, Tuesday, 10 August and Wednesday, 11 August. We will attempt to reschedule when students return.
  • 2022 Year 11 Subject Counselling - (Monday, 9 August – Wednesday, 11August).
    This will take place in the Week of Monday, 23 August – Friday, 27 August online via TEAMS. Students will be contacted by a staff member to arrange an appointment time for the session.
  • 2022 Year 10 Subject Counselling - (Wednesday, 11 August – Friday, 13 August).
    This will take place in the Week of Monday, 30 August – Friday, 3 September online via TEAMS.
  • 2021 General Achievement Test (Thursday, 12 August) will be rescheduled.
  • Year 10 Reflection days that were scheduled for next Wednesday, 18 August and Thursday, 19 August have also been postponed.
  • VCAL Information Night scheduled for Wednesday, 25 August will still take place via TEAMS commencing at 6.00p.m.
  • Year 12 Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings will take place via TEAMS on Wednesday, 2 September (Changed date) with interviews from 4.00p.m.- 6.00p.m.and the information session commencing at 6.15p.m.

Wellbeing Day – Wednesday, 1 September
This day was already in the calendar as a student-free day. We decided to have a Wellbeing day on Wednesday, 1 September to give both staff and students a reprieve from screens! This will be a mid-term break to allow staff, students, and families time to reflect on what they have achieved to date and prepare for what lies ahead. There will be no classes held on this day and it is my intention to shut the school so that all can take a well-earned break. In conversations that I have been having with a number of staff, they have commented on having sore eyes and headaches which they have attributed to the increase in screen time required of them with remote learning. Parents have also made comment about their concerns regarding the amount of time that their son or daughter is spending on their screens. We hope this time provides you with an opportunity to spend quality family time together and a time to relax.

Year 12 English Date Changes
There was a remote learning day planned for all Year 12 VCE students on Friday, 20 August so that students could complete their Year 12 English Oral Presentations but this will be rescheduled depending on when students return to school.

Homework throughout Remote Learning
I think we would all acknowledge that remote learning is much more difficult than face to face. I would also hope that teachers would recognise the impact that these lockdowns are having on the mental health of our students and their families. As a result, like last year during our extended lockdown, the expectation is to keep homework to a minimum particularly at Years 7-10 to work that they should have completed during class time. We also need to be conscious of not spending the majority of the lesson talking so that students have time to complete tasks whilst they have the support of their teacher.

Our students are spending so much time on their screens throughout the day that to expect them to complete significant amounts of homework in addition to this is both unrealistic and lacks empathy for their current predicament. We are all conscious of trying to ensure that students don’t fall behind but loading them up with too much is potentially even more damaging. I would rather reduce the content and teach it well than continue with the same content and teach it poorly. Obviously, this becomes more difficult within the senior years where the curriculum is prescribed.

Prayer for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Last Saturday, 14 August 2021 was the Feast of the Assumption.

I have included a prayer for the Assumption of Mary:

Woman of Listening,

Mary, woman of listening, open our ears;

Grant us to know how to listen to the word of Jesus among the thousands of words in this world;

Grant that we may listen to the reality in which we live, to every person that we encounter,

Especially those who are poor, in need, in hardship.

Mary, woman of decision, illuminate our mind and our heart, so that we may follow the word of your son Jesus;

Mary, woman of action, obtain that our hands and feet move “with haste” towards others.

To bring them the charity and love of your son Jesus, to bring the light of the Gospel to the world, as you did.


From the Acting Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mrs Liviana Daniele Vol 13

The Continuation of Remote Learning
As we continue our remote learning just a few considerations to keep in mind going forward into the coming weeks. In regards, to student attendance our homeroom and class teachers have been tracking student attendance to homeroom and classes. The YLCs will also be reminding students about the importance of attendance in their weekly vodcasts. The campus office staff will send out messages to parents/guardians on a daily basis, informing them if a student has missed a whole day of learning or a particular lesson. Can parents and guardians also assist with attendance by ensuring that your son or daughter is attending online learning. If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, please contact their homeroom teacher and or the relevant YLC for assistance.

Upcoming Events on the Senior Campus

Year 9 English Speaker – Author Morris Gleitzman
On Monday 23 August, Morris Gleitzman will be presenting to all Year 9 students via a Livestream session. This presentation will allow Year 9 students to engage with the author of Loyal Creatures a text they have studied this year. This session will give students the opportunity to hear an author speak about their work and also for students to be able to ask questions about the text. The presentation will be for the duration of periods 5 and 6 and will replace the afternoon timetabled subjects.

This is a compulsory presentation for all Year 9 students to participate in therefore could we ask parents and guardians to ensure you remind your son or daughter to attend the session and then follow this up with a discussion about an overview of the presentation. Links for the Livestream will be placed on each of the Year 9 English class pages.

I would like to thank Mrs Sandra Harrison, Head of English at the Senior Campus for organising this great opportunity for our year 9 students.

VCAL Information Night
The VCAL information night will held on Wednesday 25 August online from 6.00pm to 7.15pm. Please ensure you have watched the VCAL vodcast prepared by our VCAL Coordinator Mr Daniel Catoggio. Click here to watch the vodcast.

The vodcast will explain in detail the structure of the VCAL program from years 10 – 12 along with requirements that must be met for a successful completion of a VCAL certificate. It also emphasises the importance of work placements and VET subjects that are a part of the VCAL program.

Please ensure you have watched this vodcast before the information night as there will be opportunity for you to ask questions and or clarification of the VCAL program that will be explained in detail in this vodcast.

Year 12 Information Parent Night and Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings.
For parents of Year 12 students there will be an opportunity for you to speak with your sons or daughters Year 12 teachers on Thursday 2 September. You will be able to make bookings from Wednesday 25 August via the parent portal. Interview times will begin at 4.00pm and finish at 6.00pm. Then at 6.15pm there will be a parent information session via teams that will be run by the year 12 Coordinators, Mr Luke Reynolds and Mrs Danielle Prescott.

We are asking for parents/guardians to watch a vodcast before attending the information session. The vodcast will cover important agenda items such as exam preparation, selecting courses for 2022 via VTAC, and the Year 12 Appreciation Week. Parents will receive an Operoo notification with information about the night including a link to the vodcast that can be viewed beforehand. There will be an opportunity for parents and guardians during the Parent Information session to ask any questions they may have. We look forward to meeting with our Year 12 parents and guardians.

VCAL Excursions
Mr Daniel Catoggio, Ms Lauren Johnson, Mr Arnel Davis, and Mrs Felicity Fox were able to take the VCAL students to the RSPCA and Gravity Works before our lockdown was enforced. Both excursions allowed students to contribute to the components of work- related skills and personal development of their VCAL courses. The RSPCA excursion allowed students to understand the importance of community values involving the caring of animals and the importance of rescuing animals that face starvation and illness. On the other hand, the Gravity Works excursion focused on the importance of understanding safety induction processes and procedures that need to be adhered to in work settings.

May we continue to support each other in any capacity that is possible during the current lockdown and may we remember to always pray for one another.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 13

With the continuation of remote learning for the next two weeks like many parents who are working from home with school age children, it can be difficult to manage both work and ensuring our children’s educational, mental, social and physical needs are being met.

Penola Catholic College has been and will continue to be a great support for all families in these difficult times. As an additional resource please visit the Victoria State Education Department website on helpful tips for parents in regards to remote learning.

It categorises into 6 areas:

  • About Learning from home: Understand learning from home and your child's responsibilities
  • Supporting your child’s learning: How to set up a learning environment at home, establish routines and expectations
  • Supporting your child with additional needs: Advice for parents of students with additional needs who not attend a specialist school
  • Resources and tips: Explore resources for parents that support learning alongside school or kindergarten
  • Screentime, health and wellbeing: Advice for how to manage time online and check-in to support your child's health and wellbeing
  • Advice in your language: Learning from home advice and information in a variety of languages

Stay safe

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 13

Feast Day 2021
What an awesome day Feast Day was, in fact, what a terrific week, the whole of JJAMM Week was in total! Despite the difficulties of having yet another Lockdown (lockdown 6) imposed upon us only the night before, we still managed to put together a wonderful tribute in honour of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and raise some funds for our Year Level Charities along the way. In enlivening Mary’s spirit, we were definitely not going to let a mere lockdown deter us and so we celebrated Feast Day virtually by live streaming to our community at home.

As always, we started with our St Mary of the Cross Feast Day Mass, and true to form, Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplin, ensured that our Mass was a beautiful tribute to Saint Mary and one, which I am sure she would have been quite touched by. The focus for our Mass centred upon the Charism of Saint Mary, our College connection as a Josephite school and to our 2021 College theme, “Work on with Constancy and Courage.” Reflecting on St Mary’s words throughout the liturgy provided perfect encouragement to us all in one of the most difficult periods of our lifetimes. There could not have been a more special way to begin our Feast Day than to come together as a Catholic school community and share in the Eucharist together. Nor could there be a greater tribute to Saint Mary than to celebrate Mass together in her honour because she was so strong and passionate in her faith and love of God. It really was a beautiful start to our festivities.

We followed our feast Day Mass with a very special guest interview. The Faith and Mission Team thought it would be great to try and gain some perspective of St Mary’s life as a nun as it was back then and compare it with the life of an existing Sister of St Joseph in our contemporary world. Who better to help us with that than our very own, Sr Rita Malavisi (well, she is a past staff member and so we still rightly proclaim her as one of our own). She was more than happy to join us for the morning and share her thoughts with us. She probably wasn’t expecting to be sitting alongside Saint Mary herself and sharing experiences with her Order’s founder and with us, but that’s exactly what she did. Yes, that’s correct, St Mary of the Cross made a once only, special guest appearance, arriving in her very own Saint mobile and then joined us in St Joseph’s Chapel for a face-to-face chat. Not only was this an extremely insightful and engaging interview, it was also quite a lot of fun for all of us to be a part of and experience. Following the interview, our special guests joined in the frivolity of the St Mary of the Cross Feast Day Spinning Wheel. What an honour it was to have St Mary and Sr Rita to actually spin the wheel for us, resulting in several lucky students and a staff member winning a $50 Uber Eats voucher each. A perfect, pick me up prize when you are stuck in lockdown. Congratulations to all our winners!

As a Josephite School, we belong to AJASS (the Association of affiliated Josephite Secondary Schools). So to conclude our Feast Day Celebrations, it was only fitting that we viewed a short, “Feast Day Shout Out” from the other AJASS schools. Feast Day 2021, although virtual due to lockdown, proved to be a truly fantastic celebration of the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mass
With the lockdown being extended and our local parishes closed to attendees at Mass, the Faith and Mission Team recorded a Mass in celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Mary, and made it available for the College community to view and participate in. Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplin, led us in our Eucharist and paid beautiful and appropriate homage to Mary, the mother of our Lord, Jesus. It was wonderful that many members of our community did take the opportunity to access the link and view the Mass with family. It was also fantastic to hear that a number of people shared the link with other relatives and friends who also felt the void of missing attending Mass and so wanted to view it. It was definitely worth their while because it was a beautiful liturgy.

Enrolments for Year 7 in 2023

Enrolments for Year 7 in 2023 are closing tomorrow Friday 20 August.

Visit our website to submit you online application form.

Learning at Penola

I am so proud of our students and staff as we continue with remote and flexible learning during lock down 6.0. The manner in which students are staff are engaged in learning despite the circumstances is admirable. We are all so blessed to be a part of the Penola Catholic College community.

Due to the recent lockdown extension some summative assessments tasks such as tests and SACs for VCE students will be completed online. Each student will be informed of the relevant details. Students must monitor their class page and year level page on a regular basis for important updates about their learning program. Students in Years 7-11 will complete tasks during their regular lesson times.

Some Unit 4 SACs will be scheduled in lieu of regular classes during Period 1 and 2 on August the 23rd and August 24th. Regular classes for Year 12s will resume for the remainder of each day. Further details will be posted on MyPenola.





Period 1 & 2

Biology SAC

Classes as per regular timetable for the remainder of the day


Period 1 & 2

Psychology SAC

Economics SAC

Physics SAC

Classes as per regular timetable for the remainder of the day

Students are required to have a fully functioning device in order to make the most of remote learning and to meet the requirements (VCAA and Penola Catholic College) when completing assessment tasks online. SACs cannot be accepted for assessment without a functioning camera. If your child is having issues with their laptop and cannot join Microsoft Teams meetings with a functioning camera and microphone you will need to contact the ICT Helpdesk via email at or by phone on 93012755. The helpdesk staff will be able to assist over the phone to fix the issue or they will make an appointment for you to bring the laptop to the College for repair. Only students with appointments will be permitted onsite for laptop repairs.

Parents you can support you child at home by:

  • Discussing class work and learning progress
  • Providing an environment conducive to online learning
  • Regularly monitoring MyPenola for important messages
  • Communicating with staff if you have a concern about your child’s wellbeing or learning

Parents, we know that this is a difficult time and many of you are juggling working from home and supporting your children to learn at home. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you require additional information or support for your child.

Subject Selection
During Term 3 students are considering very carefully their pathway and subject selection for the following year. Thus far students have been supported to make informed decisions via a range of activities.

These have included:

  • Pastoral lessons focused on the curriculum structure at each year level
  • Viewing vodcasts focused on key learning areas, VCE, VCAL and VET
  • Viewing vodcasts on transitioning to the next year level
  • Attending the Senior Programs Day to speak with Heads of Learning and subject teachers
  • Attending lunchtime VCAL sessions to learn more about applied learning
  • Attending Q & A information nights with their parents

From next week the current Year 8 and Year 10 students will be meeting remotely with course advisors and entering their subject preferences for 2022. Students will receive a MS TEAMs invitation in order to attend this meeting. At this stage all students should have completed their Planning Sheet prior to course advice.

This document and other resources are located on MyPenola. Students can access all vital information and links to key documents vis their year level page. You can also visit our Careers Website

I also encourage you and your child to view the virtual presentations from tertiary providers.

If you have questions please do the following:

  • Read/view the curriculum resources on MyPenola
  • Contact the relevant Heal of Learning or Year Level Co-Ordinator
  • Contact Sandra Warren (Year 7-8) or Vera Treloar (Year 9-12)
  • For VCE matters contact Joanne Barton
  • For VCAL matters contact Daniel Catoggio
  • For Careers contact Terry McGann

NB: Students interested in the VCAL pathway must attend the virtual VCAL Information Night with their parents beginning at 6.00pm on 25 August. Further details including the meeting link are posted on MyPenola.

Coordinator of Students

It is hard to believe that we already more than half way through Term 3 of 2021. Whilst it has not been the most ideal term and we find ourselves in an extended lockdown, we need to recognise our suffering and distress due to COVID but refuse to allow those thoughts to overwhelm and destroy our hope and optimism.

As a staff, we are constantly having conversations about how students, families and staff are coping with the lockdown and how we can all support each other. Our staff continue to take into account the social, emotional, wellbeing and academic needs of our students.

It is a challenging time as we face ongoing separation from our loved ones, sport, hobbies, outings, stress about health and safety, uncertainty about the future, etc. Days can blur into nights, especially when our time outside is restricted. Therefore, it is really helpful for our students to maintain a routine during this time. I have included some visuals on ways students may maintain routine and motivation during lockdown.

We also continue to consider how best to support our parents and carers who are struggling with the combined efforts of working and also supporting their kids to access learning from home.

Headspace have created a short video with some tips and strategies for Victorian parents and carers during lockdown.

Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds.

Headspace has devised a 3-step process to help parents support their child: NIP

  • Notice
  • Inquire
  • Provide

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom teacher or Year Level Coordinator if you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing, remote learning engagement issues or academic progress.

Stay safe and try to find the positives.

Science Week

This year, like last, has been interrupted with lockdowns but this hurdle has not stopped us from celebrating Science week!

The theme this year is “Food: Different by design” and is focussed on the way we grow food, genetic modification of foods to improve nutrition and reducing food waste.

The activities that our Year 7 and 8 students have been invited to participate in include: daily quizzes, challenges online and a variety of science projects that they can do from home.

The Year 9 – 12 students have also had the opportunity to complete daily quizzes along with activities during homeroom where students watch videos relating to food production at home.

We would like to thank our fantastic Science team for all their efforts throughout the Covid pandemic in providing your children with engaging lessons and instigating a curiosity in the world around them. We hope to continue to share our love of Science with your children when we return to the classroom.

Hopefully you can become actively involved by learning more about food nutrition. You can access more information on the topics mentioned above by following the links below.

Some fun facts about food:

  • Dark chocolate has lots of health benefits
  • Raspberries are a member of the rose family
  • Broccoli contains more protein than steak
  • Apple give you more energy than coffee
  • Pecans are rich with antioxidants
  • Pistachios are actually fruits
  • Banana’s are berries..... and strawberries aren’t!

Thank you to those who have joined in to help us celebrate Science week.

Work Experience

My name is Ben Durose and I am a Year 10 student at Penola Catholic College. During the first week of Term 2 holidays, I was given the opportunity to attend work experience with Frank McGuire, the state MP for Broadmeadows as well as the Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research and Crime Prevention. Upon my arrival to the office, I was greeted with a warm welcome by Frank and his team.

The workplace environment had a positive corporate culture. Everyone was relaxed, friendly but at the same time productive.

During my time with Frank, I was invited to join him during his visit to the Broadmeadows Valley Early Learning Centre and Kangan Youth Foyer where I was able to see firsthand, the impact that Frank has had on the people of Broadmeadows. I was also given the rare opportunity, for a Year 10 student, to join Frank in parliament for a day. This was an amazing experience. Frank gave me an astounding private tour of the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, Dining Hall, and other places while telling me about the perplexing and interesting history of politics in Australia.

I am so honoured to have been given this opportunity and I’d like to urge my fellow schoolmates to make the best of their work experience as you’ll never know what you may learn or discover by having an open mind and attentive ears.

I’d like to say thank you to Ms Grech, for facilitating my work experience and a huge thank you to Mr Frank McGuire and his team for taking me on and providing me with this immense opportunity. This is an experience that I will never forget.

Ben Durose, 10A

    Beauty at Penola

    Students at Penola Catholic College have access to a number of subjects relating to the Beauty industry.

    To find out more about the classes offered please click the links below;

    PCC Newsletter Volume 13 - 19 Aug 2021