From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 15

Term 4 Welcome
The term has begun and both the students and staff appear to be happy to be back at school. I hope that the holiday period was relaxing and that you were able to spend some quality time together as a family.

Term 4 within any school is a unique term, and often in my imagination, the term seems like a period of continuous ‘count downs’, and I am sure many of the staff and students feel the same. Some of the countdowns include the last day of classes for our Year 12 students; the beginning of Year 12 examinations followed by Year 11 and 10 examinations. We also have a countdown to the Year 9 exams and then the many and various deadlines for the Years 7 and 8 students. All these events will be quite quickly followed by graduations, and before we all know it, it will be Christmas!

Student Free Days this Term

Monday 31 October 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.

Friday November 25 is a Student-Free Day for all our students. This will allow our Senior students (Years 9 - 11) a small break between finishing exams and commencing their Headstart program and allow our staff to have a correction Day to finalise grades. It also allows all our Junior campus staff time for correction and report writing of the end of year reports.

Our current Years 8-11 students will be involved in their 2023 Headstart program at the Senior campus from Monday 28 November to Thursday 1 December. Our current Year 7 students will remain at the Glenroy campus but will commence their 2023 Headstart program from Monday 28 November to Thursday 1 December.

Staff Changes
Welcome back to Mr Nick Laleas after his long service leave and my thanks to Mr Christian Montesano for taking Nick’s VET Engineering classes.

Year 10 Ball
We look forward to the Year 10 Ball on Friday 21 October at Melrose Receptions. The Year 10 Ball is one of my favourite events in our Calendar as it provides an opportunity for our parents to see their sons and daughters interacting with others and enjoying themselves. It also allows us as staff members to see some of our students in a different light as they present themselves in a different way to the way in which they may present in the classroom. My thanks to our Year 10 PE staff who assisted in teaching the dancing and to Emily Hastie and Steve Woodburn for all their organisation of the event. My favourite part of the night is always the Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dance where all enjoy the experience!

Parking around the school
As many of you are aware, parking around both campuses are at a premium. Sometimes this results in parents parking in inappropriate places, including across residents’ driveways which inevitably leads to conflict. Can I ask all parents to be considerate of our neighbours and not park across their driveways so that they can access their properties? We endeavor to maintain excellent relationships with all our neighbours at both campuses, but this is very difficult when our parents treat them with disrespect. I know that it is only a handful of parents on a small number of occasions where this occurs, but consideration of others is required for society to function effectively.

Year 12 Trial Exams
Thanks to Year 12 staff for marking these trial exams for students. It helps students to assess their own strengths and weaknesses and should shape their revision over the next four weeks in the lead up to their final exams. Thanks, in particular to Jo Barton, Vera Treloar, Luke Reynolds, Danielle Prescott and Erin Bonavia for coming in over the second week of the holidays to support our external supervisors.

Technology Show Launch – Wednesday 12 October
Opening night commenced on Wednesday 12 October at 4.00pm with the Student Fashion Show. It is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the work of students across the Technology subject areas of Design Wood, Electronics. Systems Engineering, VET Engineering, Textiles, Food Studies, Hospitality, VET Hairdressing and VET Retail Cosmetics. Thanks to all involved with the preparation for the show particularly John Paul and our Technology staff. This show continues for the remainder of the week so if you have time call in to look at our student’s work.

Graduation Mass – Tuesday 18 October
The Year 12 Graduation Mass will take place at Our Lady Guardian of the Plants in Campbellfield on Tuesday 18 October. Students have been asked to be there by 6.00pm with the mass to commence at 7.00pm. It would be great to see as many staff as possible at the mass to celebrate our Year 12 class of 2022 after what has been a particularly disrupted Senior years for these students. The celebration of the Eucharist is what unites us as a Catholic community and reinforces to us, within a sacramental way, our identity as a Catholic school. As a result, I think that if staff are only going to attend one Graduation event it should be the mass rather than the Graduation Dinner.

Concrete Pour on Broadmeadows Campus – Tuesday 11 October
The last of our major concrete pours for our VCE Building took place this Tuesday. This will complete the first floor on the Northern side and the walls with only one set of stairs remaining to be poured. This is a significant milestone of the building and means that the metal construction of the second floor on the Northern side can commence by the end of this month.

Coping with Exams
In this busy time, more than half of the school will be engaged in end of year examinations, and if you include end of year assessment tasks there should be many students with very demanding deadlines ahead of them. For this reason, I thought it would be valuable to discuss with families how you might support your son or daughter during what can be a challenging period for schoolwork.

At meetings with new parents, I always try and make a habit of saying that school always will be the second educator of students, as parents are by a long margin, the number one educator. This is no marketing slogan or cute catchphrase, but, I think, a very basic truth. And as such, it is most important that parents continue the very important role as educators of their sons and daughters. The type of assistance I am talking about is not meant to be like a teacher at home, but a more powerful supportive role that helps them perform well at school. If I was drawing up a list of supportive things that families can do during this time of exams and projects, it would look something like this…

The highest priority might seem obvious, but I think it is still important to name it; and that is that most students perform at their best if their home environment is well ordered, has consistent rules and a warm and supportive emotional climate. All students prosper if there is regularity in their study habits and environment.

The second most important thing is that home study times should be in place which are consistently adhered to, preferably in a public place in the house where there is a quiet but supportive buzz of people around the student who is doing the study. I am sure I have mentioned before that in most cases, shutting a student in their room is just about the worst thing you can do.

The fact is, only a certain percentage of students really enjoy home study, so it can be a real benefit to students who do not enjoy home study to be in an environment where other people are around them, but this must be done in a way which ensures relative calm. In that environment students can seek quite a bit of support from parents about having, for example something read over, or a question made clearer, and parents can also get some understanding of how their son or daughter is coping with the work at hand.

In the case of older students (and I mean by this anybody from Year 10 onwards), the reality is they are becoming more independent and therefore parents have less control over some aspects of their lifestyle. Nonetheless, I think it is important that parents of this age group help their children make sensible choices about balancing competing lifestyle agendas.

For example, sleep deprivation can be a significant issue for young people, so it is important for parents to help older teenagers make wise decisions about how often they go out, work part-time jobs, and generally what they cram into their busy lives. It is not uncommon for a young person to have a job, a busy social calendar and budding relationship whilst still at school. It can be a tricky business when parents try to step in and take control when teenagers are not making wise choices. It is important for parents to develop the knack of having these supportive conversations about managing their quite complex lives in a healthy manner.

Some lifestyle advice can be given more surreptitiously, for example, by putting bowls of carrot and dried fruit and nuts in front of them as they study and keeping the soft drink and sugary foods at a distance. These sorts of proactive actions are often much more powerful than sitting down and telling them to eat properly.

Another area where parents can be of enormous benefit is with time management. Many young people fall into the trap of just starting at the start and ploughing through the work to the end. They often think that just working at 100 miles an hour is going to be the best way. Advice about assessing priorities, breaking down tasks into components and creating timelines can be of real benefit.

For some students, exam and assessment periods bring about an increase in anxiety levels. We know that once anxiety gets to a certain level there can be a loss of good judgment and a decrease in work quality. Therefore, parents can be a great support for their children by assisting with planning deadlines, timelines and generally sorting out the broad scope of what must be done. These are very much adult skills that many young people don’t have.

Another important but complex area of support is the help parents can provide with their emotions. Although there are no simple rules or guidelines, parents have an enormous role to play by helping their child’s thinking and feelings to be positive and realistic. Strange as it may sound, too many students, overestimate their ability and as a consequence, can experience disappointment due to over confidence. If your child is like this, your job will be to keep him realistic and grounded. Overconfidence can be an unfortunate characteristic and it is important to ensure that our students are not too blasé about the capabilities.

Conversely, there is another group of students who are the opposite. Some are prone to anxiety and unfortunately talking that person up is not necessarily the best solution to this problem. Building confidence through pep talks may be a valuable ingredient, but by far the best solution is helping them think or work through whatever it is that is making them anxious. And when I say help them “think through” I do mean that. When it comes to school there is no doubt that one of the hardest things for some parents is to not tell their adolescent children how to think or act, but instead be a form of mentor.

The last aspect where support can be very valuable relates to a wider problem-solving capacity that young people often don’t have. This falls broadly into a communication or seeking help category. It is most important that students can talk over problems with their teachers or raise concerns and know that they will be heard and understood. Offering simple advice such as when or how an issue may be broached with a teacher or reminding your son or daughter that it might be a good idea to let your teacher know about this, can be an enormous benefit. Young people can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone around them is a mind reader and know what their problem is. Conversely, they may think that nobody would care or pay attention. Generally putting teachers in the picture and putting Mum and/or Dad in the picture is tremendously beneficial.

Most of the things I have talked about fall into the category of life skills. They don’t require university courses or degrees, but they do need careful thought and consideration. If you can provide these valuable life skills for your child, you will be giving them a significant form of education that will not only benefit them while they are at Penola but will set them up for success in whatever area of pursuit they follow after school.

With my own son and daughter currently preparing for their end of Year University examinations, it is easy to suggest these strategies, but it may not mean that your son or daughter takes them up! I have listed below some suggestions from others:

Professor Andrew Martin from the School of Education at the University of NSW (UNSW) says, before major exams, the focus starts to shift to doing practice exams. “As students mark or assess their answers, they will benefit from looking closely at “mistakes” and seeing these as windows of opportunity for improvement,” he said. “Even at this stage, it is not too late to learn a bit more, better understand some aspects of a subject, improve one’s writing, and so on.” Professor Martin says that as revision is done, students should keep their mobile phone out of the study area and switch off social networking and gaming if working on a computer. “Finally, get some decent sleep and do some physical activity during this period,” he said.

According to Dr Rachael Jacobs, Western Sydney University, the key is avoiding the “disproportionate” stress that surrounds the end-of-year exams. “Students often feel like their whole lives and futures ride on ATAR exams,” Dr Jacobs said, adding that the news images of students in desks and chairs, isolated from each other, exacerbates community stress around high-stakes exams. “No student should ever feel that their future is dependent on one set of exams. We have more university places than ever before. Employers are looking for more than good results.”

To Dr Penny Van Bergen, a senior lecturer in Educational Psychology at Macquarie University, the best way to prepare for the Year 12 exams is for students to ask questions, test themselves, mix up their study sessions and avoid cramming. “The evidence is in, cramming the night before an exam is not as effective as studying for the same duration over a longer period,” Professor Van Bergen said. “Whether you have 10 hours or 100 hours spare, the brain works most efficiently when sessions are spread out and there is time to consolidate all the new information.”

Viviana Wuthrich, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Macquarie University, advises students and parents to “keep the pressure to excel in perspective”. “We all want to do well, but the key is to not blow the consequences of the exam out of proportion,” she said. "Secondly, balance study with rest time, and look towards life after the exams.” Associate professor Wuthrich said about one in five students experience particularly high levels of stress, but the majority experience only moderate levels of stress. “Exam stress appears to be lessened by strong family, peer and school connections, and an absence of negative thinking about the consequences of exams,” she said.

Year 7 Enrolments 2024
A reminder to all our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2024 closed on Friday 19 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. I ask that you submit your enrolment as soon as possible. Often families assume that we know that there is a younger sibling, but 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.

Changes to COVID-19 isolation requirements

It is strongly recommended that students:

  • Who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate for five days
  • Should not attend school after five days if still symptomatic
  • Who are symptomatic but have not tested positive should not attend school

Where students become symptomatic at school, they should:

  • Be collected by their parents/carers
  • Undergo testing for COVID-19.

The Department of Health recommends that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 should inform those with whom they have recently been in contact, including their workplace, school and household.

  • Schools are therefore asked to continue reporting positive COVID-19 cases to Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).
  • You no longer have to alert your school communities of positive cases.


Staff and students who wish to wear a face mask should be supported to do so, and schools should continue to make face masks available for staff, students and visitors.

  • The Department of Health recommends that masks should be worn by a person who is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 when leaving home.
  • Additionally, the department recommends that masks should be worn by a person who has COVID-19 for 10 days after a positive test when they need to leave home.

COVID-19 vaccination changes
The current mandatory vaccination requirement for staff, visitors, contractors and volunteers working in special schools will cease to apply from 11.59pm on Wednesday 12 October.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 15

Welcome to Term 4. I hope all the students and their families had an opportunity to have some downtime over the two week break.

Year 7 & 8 Year 12 Final Assembly and PAT Assessment
On Monday 17 October our Year 7 & 8 students will be at the Broadmeadows Campus for the day beginning with the Year 12 final assembly. The Year 7s will complete their PAT assessment during periods 3 & 4 which gives the school valuable data on their literacy and numeracy progress over the last year. They will then watch The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in the auditorium, as part of their study of the Holocaust for English. Our Year 8 students will be engaged in a talk from Bullying Australia during periods 3 & 4. During the afternoon sessions the Year 8 students will return to the ASH where they will have a transition afternoon which will include a tour of the Broadmeadows Campus. Please note students will be required to wear their full school uniform including their blazer for the Year 12 Assembly.

Year 7 2023 Information Vodcast
Our 2023 Year 7 Information Vodcast will be distributed to our families today via an email and I encourage our 2023 families to watch this for information regarding their child’s transition to Penola Catholic College. During November, the school will conduct Q & A sessions for families. This will take place via Microsoft Teams from Monday 14 to Thursday 17 November beginning at 6:00pm. An invite link will be sent to family’s email address the week prior.

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Ms Erin Bonavia Vol 15

Congratulations to:

  • all students on their start to term 4. It has been pleasing to see many students in the correct uniform.
  • Participants in this years Technology show. I am amazed at the talent of our students.
  • Students who attended the Student Leadership Camp at Dromana over the weekend. I had the privilege of attending the camp and witnessing the terrific efforts of the students.

Farewell to Class of 2022
Next week we farewell the Class of 2022 and celebrate their wonderful contributions to our College. Each year the College makes every effort to provide a fitting farewell to the students and I am looking forward to a range of activities after the past two years of restrictions. The activities include:

  • Monday 17 October College Assembly Period 1 and 2. All students are to wear their blazer to Assembly.
  • Tuesday 18 October Graduation Mass and Ceremony at Our Lady Guardian of the Plants Church in Campbellfield.
  • Thursday 19 October Celebration Dress Up Day and Breakfast for Year 12 students.

Please note that the back gate to the Broadmeadows Campus will be closed on the morning of Thursday 19 October. All students will be required to enter the College via the front gate on this day. My thanks to all students and staff for their cooperation in the smooth running of the celebration week and to the parents of Year 12 students for their partnership with the school. We wish those students completing examinations all the very best in their preparation.

Early dismissal- Year 10 Ball
The Year 10 Ball is fast approaching and will take place on Friday 21 October. Please note that all Year 10 students will be dismissed at the end of period 4 (lunchtime) on this day.

2022 Technology Show

Finally after missing the last 2 years our Annual Technology Show went ahead!

Yesterday, joined with students, parents and friends we were treated to the Fashion Show from the Textiles department, which was nothing short of incredible. The talent that was showcased blew us away.

There were some of the outstanding garments designed by our students, which won several prizes at the “Stitch it Don’t Ditch it” Competition through the guidance of Ms. H. Dimitriou.

Students’ work were also on display in the PAC Foyer from other Technology subject areas such as Engineering, Systems Engineering, Product Design Wood & Hairdressing & Make-up just to name a few.

There was a Cake making Competition held, with numerous entries and outstanding designs from both campuses. Keep an eye out for the announcement of the winner!

Our Year 11 & 12 Hospitality students help prepare and serve finger food and drinks to our guests after the Fashion Show.

A big thank you to students, Technology team and Penola community for your support of the show.

We hope you enjoy the below gallery from the evening.


The final term of the year is always busy as we finalise assessment, complete exams and begin preparations for new classes during our Head Start program. As we begin this period, we encourage our VCE Science students to take advantage of the various lunch time catch up clubs. We also ask that students keep challenging themselves to consistently build their learning skills. The following website outlines 10 tips to help students and empower them to reach their goals

One student who has challenged herself this year has been Amy H. Amy will be our Captain of sustainability in 2023 and on Friday 16 September, graduated from the Zoo’s Victoria Youth Leadership program. I was lucky enough to attend this event and was very proud to be part of Amy’s leadership journey. The event held at the Melbourne Zoo was led by the graduating students. They took us through their learning journey, the impact that education has on sustainability and ways in which schools can reduce their single use plastic usage. Nicole and Kirsty, the leaders from Zoo’s Victoria Youth program, were incredibly proud of the efforts of the students involved and we encourage any student wanting to be involved in this program to step forward and contact Amy over the coming weeks.

Photos of the occasion can be found below. Congratulations Amy, you should be proud of your efforts!

We wish all our senior students the best of luck as they enter their final assessments and exams. We ask that parents and caregivers encourage their children to reach their potential and strive for excellence.

Thank you, as always, for working with us. We look forward to a rewarding term ahead!

Leanne Attard
Head of Science (Broadmeadows)

Zoo Excursion

I went to Melbourne Zoo on the 17th of August 2022. The first thing I got to do was a lesson based around physical and behavioural adaptations. It was lots of fun and we learnt a rhyme to help us remember what we were taught, as well as being shown a bunch of bones, including skulls, teeth and so much more. I would definitely recommend checking out all of the enclosures. I did and it made the experience incredibly enjoyable. Overall, the day is quite amazing.
Ruby J (7B)

Hello, I am Shahista of 7G and I think that the zoo excursion was a great educational way for us to further develop our understanding of classification. We were able to roam around the zoo and get our information from the posters in front of the animals which we needed to collect information from. We got to interact, thus making it much more of a memorable experience than just a classroom. I think that it was a great way to get everyone involved and excited to learn. We also had a short lesson with one of the keepers of the Melbourne Zoo who widened our understanding and helped us better classify the animals based on both physical and habitual features. I was in the “Lemurs” group with Mr. Alberto, he took us to go around the “gorilla path” and explained to us a bit more about the gorillas before heading back to the campus. I really enjoyed this experience and hope that the following year 7s will be able to enjoy this just as much as I did.
Shahista A (7G)

Japanese Club

Excursion to Chiba Restaurant
On Wednesday 14 September, 10 students from the Japanese Club went on an excursion to a Japanese restaurant. The overall experience was amazing. We took a bus out to Moonee Ponds Station and walked from there to Chiba. We entered the restaurant and took a seat upstairs. Everyone was so excited to be there and we already had our orders. We received our food and enjoyed a delicious meal. The entire time, everyone was complimenting each different piece of food because it was all so delicious. Everyone who attended was a proud Japanese learner and we all had fun talking about Japan and various experiences we had in the past. We all interacted well and had mains, drinks and desserts. All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the meal and had such a positive experience. Japanese Club is a great way to improve your skills so come along and learn about the Japanese culture and language.

Kyle R (7J)

Italian Poetry Competition

During Term 3, Grade 5 and Grade 6 students were very busy preparing their entries for the annual Penola Italian Poetry Competition. It was such a pleasure hearing all the students recite their chosen poem and I was blown away by their dedication and efforts.

I am very honoured to announce the following winners;

  • 1st Place – Ivana S. - St Francis Primary School ($200 Kids E-gift voucher)
  • 2nd Place – Marcus T. - St Matthew’s Primary School ($100 Kids E-gift voucher)
  • 3rd Place – Georgia F. – St Oliver Plunkett Primary School ($50 Kids E-gift voucher)

Endeavor Awards ($20 E-gift voucher) were also award to the following students;

  • St Francis Primary School;
    Tristan F, Meliesha R, Arianne D, Edward M, Xavier B, Christian S and Aila A
  • St Matthew’s Primary School;
    Emmanuala I, Malak S, Mariella C, Alessia F and Katia S
  • St Oliver Plunkett Primary School;
    Bianca H, Isabel G, Jasmine S, Mila M, Amelia C, Autumn P and Stephanie G
  • Westmeadows Primary School;
    Mia G and Talia K

The students will receive their E-gift cards by an SMS and an email to one of their parents/guardians.

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the participants and a massive Grazie to all the Italian teachers who prepared their students for this annual event.

Until next year!

Anisa Shkembi
Transition Coordinator and Head of Languages, Glenroy

Australian Catholics Young Voices Awards

Congratulations to Shahista A of 7G for her highly commended entry to the Australian Catholics Young Voices Awards of 2022.

Here, Shahista explains her entry:

I chose to enter the digital media section where I recorded myself reading out my script and sent it out the written version which I titled ‘Future.’ What inspired me to enter the competition was when I was in English class and my teacher introduced the oral topic; record ourselves as if we are in the year 2222 giving a message to the people of 2022. We were then to give evidence by relating back to ‘WALL-E,’ a film that we had watched in class about what the future might be like.

In my script itself, I wrote about life comparing it to ‘a lead blocker, a frontline warrior, and bodyguard to the world. A doorway for free will to enter this otherwise deterministic world.’ Explaining it as, ‘a force now dead which brought order to chaos, salvaged the unsalvageable, reversed the irreversible, and worked miracles from the start.’ I explained how this thing called entropy, ‘the probability that everything will end as chaos’ started affecting life. ‘Turning life into lifeless zombies, positivity into stone. Viruses take hold of the will living inside the host, destroying the very essence of life, turning the world bleak.’ I decided to take entropy to overtake life, because last year I remember learning about entropy in my own time and remembered some basic stuff; Entropy can remain constant and increase but never decrease (Second Law of Thermodynamics), everything that can go wrong will (Murphy’s law), and simply that it was most commonly associated with disorder. I found this very fascinating and decided to include entropy in my script, calling it ‘the prohibition.’ Referring it to ‘Viruses, diseases, illness’ as ‘agents of entropy’ and described them as ‘infecting and hijacking.’ I then explained that ‘the world is bleak but bearable. You’ll need some training to inhabit it, technology moves faster than any mind can think, any eye can blink, and any light can travel. Every thought had impact and purpose, and every dream turned to reality. But so did our nightmares.’ I informed them that ‘I was able to hack the system, letting me talk to the people of the past’ and told them that I had heard about all that they did about two hundred years ago. I then ended it off with: ‘So please, I’m telling you now, don’t break your shield. Let the lead blocker block, the frontline warrior fight, and the bodyguard guard. Let the doorway open to alluring, trans-dimensional beauty in this world. Because this will not last if you do not fight with it. You are the courage and the strength that will push the stone wall through opening life to endless possibilities. The world will not survive without the help of everyone that can help, and yes you need the world but at points in time the world needs you far more then you’ll ever need it. We are polluting the air we breathe, poisoning the food we feed, we are being held captive by the things we make to help us and wasting till the world forms bleak. But as they say, “the house always wins.”
Shahista A (7G)


St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal

Christmas celebrates the Birth of Christ, the symbol of hope in our world. It is a time of giving to others without expectation of receiving something in return. Bring hope and happiness to those less fortunate in our community by donating non-perishable (unopened packaging, within best before date and has ingredient/allergen listing) items to our school appeal. Donations will be accepted starting Term 4 at the Glenroy Campus. Looking forward to your support and generosity.

Items most needed

  • Canned fruit, vegetable, fish, soups
  • Sauces and seasonings
  • UHT milk and juices
  • Coffee, tea and spreads
  • Rice, pasta and noodles
  • Cereals
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorants
  • Dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Tissues and toilet paper
  • Feminine Hygiene products

Mrs Quiriconi and Mrs Bruzzese

Important Dates


Tuesday 18: Year 12 Graduation Mass

Friday 21: Year 10 Ball

Monday 24: Sports Award Night

Monday 31: Student Free Day


Tuesday 1: Melbourne Cup Day

Monday 21: Year 12 Graduation Dinner

Monday 28: Headstart commences


Thursday 1: Term 4 Concludes

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 15 - 13 Oct 2022