From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 8

Reintroduction of Masks
The Victorian Government has announced that additional COVID Safe measures will be in place from 6pm on Tuesday, 25 May, in metropolitan Melbourne. Schools will remain open with the current restrictions that are in place. There are no changes to existing density rules.

As our school is located in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • School staff and secondary school students aged 12 or older must carry a face mask at all times and wear a face mask indoors when at school, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • Children under 12 years of age and students at primary school are not required to wear face masks when at school, or when attending an OSHC program.
  • Face masks are mandatory for all school staff and school students aged 12 or older on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles. This includes travelling to and from school on public transport or in a vehicle with others not from your household.
  • Teachers and education support staff are not required to wear face masks while teaching, but those who wish to do so, can.

All parents should have received an SMS from the school with a link to the news section of our external website or it can be accessed through this link

Given how quickly things can change, I will use this process for any further updates or changes that may occur.

PAVCSS Conference
I had the privilege of hearing Dr John Haught present at the PAVCSS Conference this week. Dr John Haught will present on “The Meaning of Faith in an Age of Science”. Dr John Haught is an American theologian and a Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University. He specializes in Roman Catholic systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to physical cosmology, evolutionary biology, geology and Christianity.

Mid-year examinations
Students in Year 10 begin exams this Friday, 28 May and conclude their exams next Friday, 4 June. The following week is work experience for all of Year 10 students. Our Year 9 students will be involved in City Experience next week and hopefully will take the opportunity to become involved in a range of different activities. Year 11 students commence exams on Thursday, 3rd June and will complete their exams on Friday, 11th June. A number of Year 11 students and all Year 12 VCE students will be undertaking the General Achievement Test (GAT) on Wednesday 9 June. We wish them well for these important assessments.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews
Our next round of Parent/Teacher/Student interviews take place on Thursday, 27th May from 3.00pm – 8.30pm with a dinner break in this time as well. This will take place via TEAMS which enables both staff and families to enjoy the interviews within the comfort of their own homes as the winter weather kicks in. I have been heartened by the numbers of parents who have been attending our interviews and taking an active role in the learning of their children. Research indicates that parents who take an active role in their child’s education results in significantly better outcomes for these students. Your son or daughter notices whether you attend these interviews, whether you are taking an interest in what they are doing and whether you think learning is important. Parents act as role models in so many areas of a child’s life and their beliefs about education and the importance of learning are vital.

Languages Week
Last week at the College we celebrated Languages Week. Our Languages department provides support for students and families in a wide range of areas including French, Japanese and Italian. These also include Study tours and homestay experiences in each of these countries as well as hosting students from our sister schools in France, Italy and Japan. I thank Mrs Anna Favrin, Head of Languages and all the staff on the great work that they do. The introduction of Content Language Immersion Learning (CLIL) at Year 8 has seen more of our students engaged to a greater degree in the development of their language skills and love for another language. As Australia increasingly becomes part of the Global economy and Globalisation increases, the ability to be multi-lingual increases opportunities for our students into the future.

Prayer for the next fortnight
On Sunday, 6 June we will celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. In every celebration of the Eucharist we remember the way that Christ fed the crowds who came to him and how he gave his entire life for us. He feeds us too when we remember and receive Christ’s self-offering, his body and blood in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

Our country is just about to celebrate National Reconciliation Week and our world has celebrated International Children’s Day. There are many things to celebrate this week, but in particular, we want to hold in our hearts and minds this week that Christ gave his very life, his body and blood for us.

O Lord Jesus Christ,

You who have given us Your precious Body and Blood to be our meat and drink,

grant that through frequent reception of You in the Holy Eucharist,

I may be strengthened in mind and body to do Your holy will.


From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 8

As the days continue their way through the term, there is much going on at the moment. In recent times we have been addressing the student body about how the COVID lockdown last year impacted the established routines of school. We have addressed a number of concerns with students and I have written about some of these things in another Newsletter article published earlier this term.

School Routine
Despite a recent small outbreak in the local area, Australia’s management of the COVID crisis has continued to allow normal school routines to be the common feature of our day. Along with this comes the student responsibility of acknowledging and applying the school standards regarding appropriate behaviour, a strict application of the uniform standards and attending school (on time). We acknowledge that the majority of students are very supportive of these expectations and routines, but if these expectations are not met by students, it leads to the development of inappropriate dynamics of student behaviour and work ethic in the classroom. And so, the college will continue to work with students to help them identify and apply the best version of themselves to the college.

The government has now mandated the wearing of masks for students when in doors until Friday of next week. Students have been asked to provide their own masks as the college has a limited supply of masks for emergencies only.

Student Leadership Program
As mentioned in the last Newsletter, tomorrow (Friday) the Launch of the Student Leadership Program takes place for Year 10 and 11 students. At the launch students will be invited to participate in the Leadership Program which prepares students for leadership positions. We highly encourage students to be involved in the program as the leadership training that comes with it prepares students for leadership opportunities that will become available both within the school experience and outside of it.

Year 10 exams
The Year 10 exams commence on Friday 28 May. Students have been given an exam timetable which identifies days and times for each of the exams that need to sit. A copy of this timetable has also been attached to this Newsletter.

Exams can be scary experiences; but for most students who prepare for them by understanding what to study for and establishing good routines for study, they are navigated well. Study routines for any exam cannot be last minute activities, but they must be planned with a good schedule of study times in the days before the exam. Students should also be in regular conversation with their teachers to determine what to study and how to prepare for exams.

Year 10 Work Experience
After the Year 10 Exams are complete, Year 10 students will be enjoying a week of Work Experience from 7 to 11 June. This is an invaluable opportunity for students to discover the world of work and perhaps to get an experience of working in an area which they wish to pursue as a career path. It goes without saying that as students are representing the school, we are expecting good behavioural standards. Students who have been unable to get a work placement will be expected to attend school as usual to complete a specially designed program.

City Experience
Year 9 students will also be involved in an exciting program called City Experience which runs from 31 May until 4 June. This experience is not a social event or a shopping excursion but students will be venturing into the city every day for that week, using the train network, to explore Melbourne’s history, people and infrastructure. Their exploration will give them a good understanding of how their capital city and the people within it, live and work. Their findings will be presented in a special presentation night to their parents and staff on the Wednesday 9 June.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 8

It has a busy fortnight at the Glenroy Campus with NAPLAN and the first whole college assembly at the Broadmeadows for the 7 & 8 students since Term 1 2020.

Languages Week
Last week we celebrated languages week with a range of activities for students studying, Italian, French and Japanese. The activities were both hands on and entertaining and allowed students to deeper their appreciation of other cultures. You can read more on this in the Language articles.

Bicentennial Mass
On Monday the students at the Glenroy Campus watched the live streaming of the 200 Years of Catholic Education Mass from St Patricks Cathedral from the Glenroy gym. With this momentous occasion our students should be commended for being attentive and interacted during this time of celebration.

Junior Languages

Languages Week is indeed an essential experience for all students undertaking French, Italian and Japanese, as it is a celebration of not only languages but also cultures and traditions around the world.

La Comica Variety performed their hilarious ‘Gnocchi Mission’ play to our Year 7 Italian and Year 8 CLIL students. Our students were actively engaged in the play and learned about Italian culture and the importance of the Italian cuisine.

Our Year 8 Italian students enjoyed ‘Il Capitano’ performance from Commedia dell’ Arte. Students were introduced to the traditional masks and characters of this historical Italian theatre form in this clever comedy and participated in the performance by acting out different roles throughout the play.

Year 8 Japanese students participated in ‘Sumie’ workshop, the art of traditional Japanese calligraphy, incursion where they used ink dipped brushes to artistically create Japanese characters and further engage in Japanese culture. Our Year 7 Japanese students also learned about ‘Manga’ drawing. Student produced their very own work and took great pride in these.

Our Year 7 and 8 French enjoyed a performance by Philippe and Jacques, where they combined French music, mime, comedy, drama and magic. With audience participation, students were taken on an hilarious journey of French drama and music, using accordion, fife, drum, bombarde, singing and mime. Students were taken on a vibrant and colourful journey through the music of regional France with folk dance and folk song. Students also indulged in yummy breakfast croissants.

On Friday we had a visit from Tom with his famous and dearly loved Gelati Van. Students were able to purchase their favourite gelato and some opted for the fairy floss.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated team of Language teachers and assistants for their hard work and commitment to provide our students with an excellent Languages Week program.

Thank you – Merci – Arigatō – Grazie!

VCE Music Night

On Tuesday 18 May, our Year 11 and 12 VCE Music Performance students performed at our VCE Music Night, held in the Mary MacKillop Auditorium, Senior Campus. Due to lockdowns and restrictions last year, we were unable to hold any live concerts, so for many of our VCE Music students, this was their first solo public performance. Congratulations to the following students on a wonderful night of music:

Spencer Adams (guitar), Jacob Agius (guitar), Kai Betros (drum kit), Nicholas Campbell (guitar), Emily Collings (guitar) Matthew Gravina (guitar), Anthony Hoang (guitar), James Kerr (drum kit), Jonathon Nicolazzo (guitar) and Dilan Pancarci (piano).

We are very proud of our VCE Music Performance students and look forward to hearing them perform throughout the year.

Senior Languages

Languages Week at Broadmeadows Campus (17 to 21 May)
What a great week that we have enjoyed celebrating the Italian, French and Japanese languages and cultures. Many activities have taken place, amongst them pizzelle making, Italian lunch with the Advanced year 10 class, senior Japanese students enjoying an Obento box for lunch, and year 10 Japanese students enjoying a workshop with Toshi and his thundering TAIKO drums, just to name a few.

A highlight of the week was, of course, the year 9 Languages Banquet, where there was fun, food, quizzes, tongue twisters, prizes and an exceptional performance of WA-SA-BI (TAIKO drums and SHAMISEN – both traditional Japanese instruments).

In addition, this week there has been international music playing over the PA and 2 competitions, one initiated by Jayan for the Penola Student Council and the other by the Languages Department. My thanks must go to all the Languages staff and assistants at the Broadmeadows campus for organising and supervising activities and encouraging students to take part.

Inaugural Languages Rock Competition
This year, an extra special Education Perfect Competition was organised on both campuses for our Languages Students. Education Perfect is a great way to revise, study for tests or exams, build on the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and learn a language in a fun way.

The prizes are as follows:

Overall Campus Winner - $75

Prizes per language:

  • 1st $50
  • 2nd $40
  • 3rd $30

And the winners are …

Glenroy Campus:
Overall Campus Winner – Dinuth (Italian, yr 7) – 6117 points




1st Jwana 5544 points

2nd Krish 4534

3rd Elsina 2335

1st Peter A 5544 points

2nd Marygrace 5111

3rd Riley M 1553

1st Sandra S 4665 points

2nd Lachlan H 3584

3rd Aaron M 3460

Broadmeadows Campus
Overall Campus Winner – Joshua T (Italian, yr 10) – 4150 points

1st Athraa D 1001 points

1st Ishika G 2024 points

2nd Sofia G 1160 points

1st Samantha N 4109 points

2nd Joel B 3572

3rd Ali Baron G 1432

Merci, Grazie, ありがとう 間投

Learning at Penola

Recently, Year 7 and Year 9 students completed the 3 day National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skills in writing, reading, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals which can be used to improve student achievement.

Later in the year you will receive your child’s personal NAPLAN report. The report will describe your child’s particular skills in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The report will also show how your child performed in relation to national minimum standards. These describe the minimum acceptable standards for students across Australia. I am confident that the information you receive as a result of your child’s participation in the NAPLAN tests will be valuable in helping you to assess your child’s progress in literacy and numeracy.

Year 9 & 10 Studio Art Printmaking
At Penola Catholic College we offer an engaging curriculum. Our students have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects and develop as resilient and creative learners. Please enjoy the photos of the Year 9 and 10 students having success and creating great work in Ms Judy Mathews’ Studio Art classes.

Students explored Relief printmaking in response to their exploration of Pop Art portraits and the urban landscape, areal abstract maps. The students develop a range of skills to produce graphic imagery using the printing press. This method requires the students to plan their imagery before carving the negative space. Students develop safe working habits and demonstrate control when using sharp cutters to carve the negative space from the soft printing plate (lino).

Please enjoy the photos of the Year 9 and 10 students having success and creating great work in Ms Judy Mathews’ Studio Art classes.

Junior Sport

Year 7 & 8 PE

Throughout term 2, Year 7 and 8 students have been attending Elite Swimming in Pascoe vale for their Aquatics unit. In this unit the students have been focusing on their swimming capabilities through technique and survival skills.

Here are the following activities they have completed:

  • Freestyle
  • Breaststroke
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly
  • Survival strokes
  • Rescues
  • Diving
  • Safe entries and safe exits.

Each student has visited the Elite Swimming facility every fortnight to complete 4 session. With feedback from every Glenroy Pe staff who has attended the session has been amazingly positive. All Students involved have been phenomenal with their improvements and we couldn’t be prouder as a college. The staff at Elite Swimming have spoken very highly of the students from Penola.

We as a College community can be very proud of the way our Year 7 and 8s have conducted themselves so far this term, they have done us proud!

Senior Sport

Year 10 PE

Throughout this term, year 10 students have been completing their fitness unit set up by the Physical Education staff and external venues. The students undertook fitness training in week one of the program where they focused on a sit and reach test, illinois agility run, 12min shuttle run, Vertical jump, 60sec of sit ups and 60sec of push ups. The unit is so students are to participate in 10 weeks of training to help improve their fitness levels, so when they retest at the end of the term, we would look to see improvements! By the end of the unit, the Year 10 students would have completed the following:

  • 2x Fitness tests
  • Plyometrics training
  • Resistance training
  • Circuit training
  • F45 Class
  • HIIT Class
  • MetaFit Class
  • Boot Camp Functional Training

As a college we try to apply many different sports and activities to our lessons so we can help create the best opportunity for our students. The Department of Health recommends students the ages between 12-17, need to partake in the following requirements to help remain healthy:

  • 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous training
  • Muscle and bone strengthening training 3 days per week

By having 7 different types of activities throughout this unit, we hope we have motivated our year 10 cohort to continue with fitness or sport after this unit is completed.

On behalf of the College, we would like to give a massive thank you to F45 Gladstone Park, Broadmeadows Leisure Centre and Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre for offering their programs to us over the 10 weeks of this component.


VCAL@Work - Arnel Davis – VCAL Liaison

Wominjeka (Welcome in Woiworrung language) to this Reconciliation Week edition of the college newsletter.

The opportunity to have employment is one that should not be taken for granted, past generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were unable to earn a wage due to non-citizenship in our own country, thankfully a referendum 54 years ago today overturned this.

In Newsletter 6 I stated I was hopeful of securing further outside employment opportunities in Umpiring for students through the Essendon District Football League. During the last week approval was given by the School to commence an EDFL Umpiring academy on the Senior campus. I will keep you posted as to the commencement due to the uncertainty of COVID. Anyone who is interested in joining should inbox me at , this is also open to year 7 & 8 students.

This will provide students a direct pathway to employment through school.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind both parents and students of the opportunity the importance of returning signed forms for work placement. These forms assure that you and the employer are covered in the event of an incident.

Yet again I would also like to thank our employers and partners of both our Structured Workplace Learning and Work Experience programs.

Anyone interested in further support around opportunities should call me on (03)9908-9033 or e-mail me at

Not Austin an opportunity like this comes along

Shalee Austin has commenced a School Based Traineeship at the ANZ Bank.

This has come at a fantastic time for Shalee, a young Gunditjimara \ Yorta Yorta woman, as she experienced being retrenched by Qantas last year during COVID. Shalee will be mentored on the job by our very own 2007 Penola Catholic College graduate Jason Odisho. This is a blessing in many ways.

Shalee has been able to secure this opportunity through the ANZ’s Reconciliation Action Plan, ironically the date this newsletter is released coincides with the 1967 referendum.

The ANZ is proud of its commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and offers a basic cultural awareness program feel free to access. Click here.

Heading South East

Aaron Eastman participated in a Reece group online induction session last October with around 3 other students, all were hopeful of gaining a spot as a Reece school based trainee. Aaron becomes the fourth and final participant to gain a place, Aaron travels around an hour South East of his home on public transport to Reece.

Aaron also a keen footballer had to negotiate some alternative hours to work, so he could still run around for Airport West in the winter. As a result of this trade off Aaron uses his time effectively, working 1 full day and commencing the other half day at Reece, prior to utilising public transport to attend NCAT to complete his Certificate II in Plumbing.

Aaron has settled in well and is looking forward to his journey at Reece.

Betham joins LLEN

Tyra Betham wants to work in administration, Tyra became aware of a position at a local educational network, during the last school holidays and organised herself an interview during this period. Tyra’s role involves Administration and marketing.

Tyra has been fortunate enough to be involved in some pretty hands on marketing and project work early and has acquitted herself well. Tyra’s supervisor has been extremely impressed with her work ethic.

Alice in Hair land

Alice recently left VCE to pursue her immediate goal of becoming a hairdresser.

I recently visited Alice at her place of employment in Moonee Ponds, and yet again the employer was impressed by Alice’s willingness to participate and learn. Alice holds a Mannequin styling head and has been learning all the basics of hairdressing.

We hope this placement will put Alice in a strong position to be employed as an apprentice at the years end.

Year 10 VCAL Pre-Work experience week

The Year 10 Pre-Work experience program commences tomorrow, this is the first of its kind. Students will go to scheduled VCAL classes as normal, post this they will engage in an intense Pre-work program during their Homeroom and 7 periods outside their regular VCAL subjects.

The program will see them do basics like set alarm clocks, save important contact details, and prepare transport routes to work.

Co-Curricular Activities

Co-curricular in Term 2
Students have been actively involved in co-curricular during Term 2. Students have been busy cooking some delightful dishes at Glenroy and the VCAL students have been working in their garden harvesting fresh vegetables to give to disadvantaged communities.

There have been many opportunities for students to become involved in sporting activities at both the Glenroy and Broadmeadows Campus.

Community News

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PCC Newsletter Volume 8 - 27 May 2021