From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 17

Great News!
All of our students have been able to return on-site for face-to-face classes over the past week which has been a particularly happy experience for all. We had the opportunity to farewell our Year 12 students on Friday, 22 October and the students conducted themselves fantastically.

As our Year 12 students completed their formal classes with us last week and begin their written exams this week it is fitting that we pay tribute to them in this, their final newsletter, before their final exams finish. For all of our Year 12 students, their behavior was impeccable throughout the final week where they completed a range of activities including a College Assembly where they were farewelled by all staff and students and their Year 12 breakfast and dress up morning. We take this time to reflect on their contribution and achievements over the past six years and celebrate the conclusion of their secondary education.

For the Year 12 students it marks the end of 13 years of classes. However, it doesn’t mark the end of your learning. To be successful in the future you will need to learn new skills, new knowledge, and a new way of building and sustaining relationships.

For parents it means an end to school fees and a change in the relationship with your child as they continue to develop their independence. For our staff it marks another transition point where the students that we have nurtured for the past 6 years go out into the wider world to make a difference. 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 over the past 2 years. All students, particularly our Year 12’s, 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.

I feel as though I know each and every one of you and I am feeling very proud of who you have become.

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

Today, on behalf of all your fellow students, and on behalf of the staff, I say thank you, not only for the gift you have given us, but for the gift of yourselves as members of our community

School Fees
The College School Advisory Council recently met in October and have agreed that the College will not increase school fees for the 2022 school year. The fees were due to increase by $90 for Years 7 & 8, $110 for Years 9 & 10 and $120 for Years 11 & 12. This is the second year that the fees will remain the same with no increase. The College will place a credit of $120 on all Year 12 student’s accounts for 2021. These decisions have been made in recognition of the impact that COVID-19 has had upon many members of our community and more broadly the Australian economy.

The 2022 school fees will be as follows:

Year Level Annual Fee

  • Year 7 $3,050
  • Year 8 $3,190
  • Year 9 and Year 10 $3,620
  • Year 11 and Year 12 $4,140

    A family concession will be granted to all families who have two or more students enrolled at Penola Catholic College. A discount of 10% for the second child, 50% for a third child and 100% for the fourth and subsequent children will apply. The maximum family fee will be $8250.

    A compulsory Building Fund contribution of $200 will be charged annually for each student enrolled at Penola Catholic College.

    Year 12 classes throughout SWOTVAC
    Year 12 VCE & VET teachers will be available to students for all of their scheduled classes up until their exam is completed. With the Year 12 Exams being held in the Shortis building it may mean that there will be some room changes, these will be communicated through the student bulletin for the affected classes and teachers.

    Year 12 VCAL classes will continue as normal until Friday, 20 November. All Year 12 VCAL students are expected to continue in these classes until they have satisfied all of their outcomes so that they can be awarded their VCAL certificate. We are committed to getting all of our Year 12 students through what has been a particularly disrupted year for them. Given the practical and hands-on nature of VCAL it has been more difficult to demonstrate competence in all outcomes remotely. Once Year 12 VCAL students have completed all of their outcomes, our VCAL Coordinator, will make contact with each family indicating that the student is no longer required at school.

    Year 12 students commenced their written exams with English yesterday Wednesday 27 October. These exams continue through until Wednesday 17 November for our students. The Year 11 exams commence on Wednesday 17 November and conclude on Thursday 25 November.

    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 of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 closed on Friday 16 August. A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year making 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.

        Glenroy Bell Times from Tuesday, 26 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


        Homeroom includes locker


        10.40am – 11.00am

        Homeroom includes locker access


        11.00am – 11.50am

        Period 3

        Period 3

        11.50am – 12.40pm

        Period 4

        Period 4

        12.40pm – 1.30pm

        1.15pm – 1.20pm


        Locker Access

        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

        Broadmeadows Staggered Finish Times from Monday, 26 October
        We will have staggered Dismissal times on the Broadmeadows campus with Years 9 and 10 having a shortened period 6 and finishing at 2.50pm, Year 11 and 12 students will continue until 2.55pm.

        World Teachers Day
        World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually, a day that we acknowledge the professionalism, dedication and expertise of those responsible for educating our students at Penola Catholic College.

        As many parents know instinctively, the impact individual teachers have on a child’s education can be great. Teachers are central to learning and, while there are other important factors, including the quality of the curriculum, school environment and student ability and commitment, it is teachers that breathe life into what is being taught and who engage and motivate students.

        As a Catholic school we recognise that parents are their children’s first teachers, during the course of primary and secondary school it is often individual teachers that enliven education and cause students to identify what is most exciting and rewarding.

        Each one of us, if asked, could most likely name one or two special teachers that made what was being studied engaging, lively and relevant and who sparked an interest and passion for learning that was life changing.

        Teachers in Catholic schools, given their faith-based nature and commitment to the Church’s teachings, are especially important. Teaching is a vocation, a calling from God, not just a ‘job’. I encourage you to take the time to personally thank your child’s teacher on World Teachers Day.

        Prayer for World Teacher’s Day

        Giver of all wisdom and greatest of all teachers,
        Look upon our teachers with love
        Grant them the resolve to nurture our eager minds
        and to never give up on us who fall behind.
        Bless their hearts for they rejoice when we succeed
        and encourage us when we fail
        And bless them with gentle patience
        for the path of learning is never easy
        Kindle a spirit and passion in them
        it is the flame that ignites the love of learning in us
        Help them see the potential in each student
        Their belief in us means much more than the grade we make
        Instil in them a commitment to keep on learning
        It shows us to not fear new knowledge and experiences
        Inspire them to touch the future
        They influence how big a dream we dream for ourselves
        Bless our teachers who have come before
        For their work endures to this day
        Let the light of your example shine upon all teachers
        To build up with their words
        To love with their mind
        To share with their heart.

        From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 17

        The staggered return of the Year 9 and 10 students, and the full time return of the Year 11 students to the campus, has been well received. Students were really looking forward to their return as the attendance figures in the first few days was extremely high. Students belong in schools where the structure and routine shape their discipline for learning. The social element, and what they reap from mixing with others, is also an important element of the school experience and their growth. Staff are delighted to see students ready to finish the year on a high.

        The remote learning experiences of the past two years invite us to reflect on how students learn best; and on strategies to strengthen their mental health. There was a lot to learn as not every student took to the remote learning experience; whilst, on the other hand, others thrived in it. Overall, the resilience that the whole community has shown has been remarkable.

        Year 12 Celebrations

        Last week our Year 12 students celebrated the end of their formal secondary education. It has been a real pleasure over the years to be involved in their journey of growth and extremely satisfying to watch their transformation from adolescents to mature young adults. Despite the restrictions placed on society by the pandemic, we were able to give students a suitable send off. Year 12 students participated in the traditional Dress Up morning and breakfast, basking in the glorious morning sun, absorbing the well wishes of a grateful school community as they paraded around the campus in their costumes.

        The recorded final College Assembly was a fitting tribute to them. The assembly acknowledged Year 12 students who excelled over the course of the year in their study and areas of school life. Students were recognized for their academic endeavours as well as for their leadership and service to the community. Congratulations to these students who, despite the pressures of the day, were able to give a wonderful account of themselves in 2021.

        We wish all Year 12 students well for their future endeavours and every success for those sitting upcoming exams.

        As a community we are delighted that next week we will have the whole student body on the campus and look forward to their cooperation as we endeavour to make the final stages of the year a happy and safe experience for all.

        From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 17

        It was fantastic to welcome our Year 7 students back on Friday and our Year 8 students back on Tuesday. It enabled both staff and students to reconnect after the difficulties faced with remote learning and rebuild authentic relationships with our students. It also enabled students to re-establish friendship groups and have a sense of freedom from the confines of remote learning.

        Masks and Covid Safe
        The school has taken a strong stance to the wearing of masks and as of Wednesday 3 November all students are required to wear a mask indoors, unless granted an exemption. We have communicated to both parents and students that as of Wednesday 3 November students not wearing their masks properly will be sent home for the remainder of that day. With changes to the wearing of masks outside by the Victorian State Government, students will not be required to wear their mask outside in the school yard. Students will be reminded that they will need to wear them when moving inside including spaces outside the boundaries of the classroom such as corridors, the ERC or the canteen area.

        As in previous lockdowns, it is imperative that students are social distancing and practising hygiene measures, such as using hand sanitiser as they enter the classroom and wiping down their work areas and placing these wipes in the designated bins.

        Student Wellbeing
        Student wellbeing has always been a priority and the Glenroy Wellbeing Teams have been especially busy during the remote learning period. With the transition back to onsite learning we are conscious that students need some adjustment period and are also feeling a fix of emotions, especially around feeling anxious. We have put in place various processes to support in the transition back to face to face teaching and are assisting students in numerous ways.

        From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 17

        Next Thursday 4 November at 7.00pm, we will celebrate our annual Memorial Mass, where we remember all those who have passed from our extended Penola Catholic College community.

        Due to current government restrictions this year, the College will be live streaming the Mass, which families will be able to view at home on the night. For this to occur, you will need to forward an email address so that a link can be sent to your email, 30 minutes prior to the Mass starting (6.15pm).

        This occasion provides an opportunity to come together to share memories of our deceased loved ones and our faith in God’s continuing providence. In past years, as a dedication to those we remember at our Mass, each family has brought along a symbol of that person, eg: a photo or an item of special significance to them. These are traditionally brought to the altar during the entrance procession by a nominated family member. This year, however, due to our current restrictions we ask you to email us a photo or image of your loved one, along with your reply, so that we can place it in front of the alter.

        We truly hope that you, members of your family and friends may be able to be part of this special occasion. To receive the Livestream Link, please RSVP by this Monday 1 November 2021 to either: or

        Learning at Penola

        Student return to campus
        It was terrific to welcome our students as they returned to face to face learning on campus. The smiles on their faces said it all! Our students were happy to be back to a more regular learning routine and very pleased to see their friends and teachers once again. I wish our senior VCAL and VCE students well as they complete their final outcome tasks. All the best to our students sitting VCAA exams. The Penola Catholic College community wishes the senior students all the best as they graduate and embark on the next stage of their journey.

        NAPLAN Online – School Readiness Test
        In 2022 all schools are required to transition from the current paper-based tests to the computer-based assessments. NAPLAN Online provides a better assessment, more precise results and is more engaging for students. The assessments can run through a real-time internet connection or onscreen without an internet connection. Watch the short clip: Understanding NAPLAN Online (2m 11s).

        At Penola Catholic College, significant planning must be carried out to make sure we are all ready to move NAPLAN online. Now that we have returned to face to face teaching in Term 4, students in Year 7 and Year 9 will participate in a School Readiness Test (SRT) on Thursday 4 November during Periods 1-4.

        The School Readiness Test is a ‘practice run’ for Penola to assess our technology ahead of NAPLAN Online. The readiness test is not an assessment of student ability. The readiness test allows Penola to:

        • Become familiar with the NAPLAN Online test format and processes

        • Check whether we have the technical capacity to administer NAPLAN Online

        • Provide students in NAPLAN Years 7 and 9 with the opportunity to experience the online test question types and format by completing a practice NAPLAN online test

        Your child will not need any academic preparation for the school readiness test. This is not a test of their literacy and numeracy skills, but an opportunity for them to experience the online test format and for Penola to assess its online testing capability. The School Readiness Test is expected to include two assessments: a writing assessment and a combined numeracy/literacy assessment. The duration of each assessment will be approximately 40 minutes. Students with additional learning needs will be supported by the learning enhancement team.

        There will be feedback to schools about the technical information gained from the readiness testing. There will be no reporting of student test results from the readiness test as this is a practice only.

        The assessment is delivered inside a locked-down browser. This ensures students cannot access the internet or spellcheckers while completing the test. The lockdown browser has, in most cases, been installed on your child’s device. Students with BYOD laptops (non school issued laptops) need to download and install the NAPLAN Browser in order to do the NAPLAN Test. Please see the links below to download the most appropriate NAPLAN Browser for your Operating System. For information about the NAPLAN Locked Down Browser please click here.

        In advance of taking NAPLAN Online, students, teachers and parents are invited to use the public demonstration tests to familiarise themselves with the type of questions and related functionalities available in the NAPLAN Online assessment.

        Some of the key features include a range of question types, onscreen tools, timers and interactive navigation. Students are encouraged to try all the tests for their year level to practise the complete range of question formats available in the online assessment.

        For more information

        What does my child need for the School Readiness Test on Thursday 4 October?

        • Headphones are required for some questions that include sound in the spelling, writing and numeracy tests. Please ensure that your child brings plug in headphones on Thursday 4 November. Bluetooth headphones may not work during the test.
        • · A fully charged laptop
        • Pens

        Studio Arts
        We are always proud to share examples of our students’ achievements with you. I hope you enjoy the work completed by our Studio Art students.

        Congratulations to the Unit 4 Studio Art students. They have overcome the challenges of working remotely during this critical time to develop and produce their final art works. Limited access to materials and equipment created significant challenges for these students. They should all be very proud of the work that they were able to create. Each student was required to produce two cohesive artworks. These final artworks represent the themes and ideas that have been trialled and developed this year during the Unit 3 Studio Art process. Students have explored a variety of themes, materials and techniques including, dry point etching, acrylic and oil painting, collage and digital processes.

        Community News

        Important Dates


        Monday 1 - Student Free
        Monday 22
        - Student Free Day
        Friday 26
        - Student Free Day
        Monday 29
        - Year 8-11 students commence 2022 Headstart program

          PCC Newsletter Volume 17 - 28 Oct 2021