St Johns College Dubbo Term 1, Week 4 2024
Dear Parents & Carers
The season of Lent began last Wednesday 14th February. Huge thanks to Fr Greg for enabling us to distribute ashes for students and staff when we returned to school on Thursday after the swimming carnival. Lent is the season of forty days where Christians are asked to prepare themselves for the coming of Easter. For Catholics this involves three key aspects. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving. As part of our preparation for Easter we will be asking all students to forgo purchases at the canteen next Wednesday 28 th February and donate, a minimum, of $2 to the Kids Cancer Project (almsgiving). This charity has St Johns Year 12 student Molly Croft as a leading light and articulate spokesperson appearing on the Channel Nine Today Show last Thursday. To assist students to donate they will be allowed to wear appropriate mufti on Wednesday 28th February. Students are asked to use their own money and not pester their parents for the $2 minimum donation.
I came across this story about Lent, I thought I would share with you:
“A man relocates to a small town and walks into a coffee shop and orders three lemonades. The shop owner raises his eyebrows but serves the man three lemonades which he drinks quietly at a table. As this continued every day, for some time, the shop owner asked him politely, “the regulars are wondering why you always order three lemonades?” “Tis odd isn’t it?” the man replies. "You see, I have two brothers and one went to America and the other went to Ireland. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two lemonades to remember the others whenever we drink”. Then, one day the man comes in and orders only two lemonades. As this continues for several days the shop owner approaches him and says, “All of us and me first of all, want to offer you our condolences on the death of your brother. You know the two lemonades and all.....” The man ponders this for a while and then replies with a broad smile, "You’ll be happy to know that my two brothers are alive and well. It’s just that we are Catholics, you see and I myself have decided to give up soft drink for Lent!”
Many thanks to all those students who wear the correct St Johns uniform so proudly! Thanks also to all of our families who support the uniform policy and understand the importance of self-discipline, as the backbone, for all that we are able to achieve in our lives. This is particularly so for the teenagers in our care, as we assist them in their preparation for their adult lives. We have been speaking to students who have not been complying with our requests in regards to uniform. Continual non-compliance will mean that those students will eventually be removed from their classes until such time as the matter can be resolved. In addition, girls whose skirts or dresses are too short will also be spoken to. Your assistance in assuring an appropriate skirt/dress length for school would be much appreciated.
I need to alert parents to the serious consequences for students who attempt to bring or consume vapes onto school premises. It is illegal for any shop to sell a vape containing nicotine to anyone under 18. This means that the source of supply for vapes is through suppliers who are prepared to engage in criminal activity. Parents need to be alert to their children using social media to arrange meetings with people they do not know.
St Johns will remain vigilant in regards to all forms of contraband on its premises. Please alert me personally, via a phone call to the front office, if your daughter or son comes home and tells you they saw another student vaping or in possession of a vape, at school. I would like to know all the details you can provide but most particularly time, location and a description of the offending student. All calls will be treated as anonymous.
Congratulaitons to Mr Toll and the whole “cattle team” including staff, students and parents for some extraordinary success at the Canberra Show during the 'week. They certainly did St Johns proud. You will read more about their success elsewhere in this newsletter. Huge thanks to the many parents who acted as taxi drivers for their students. Without your efforts their achievements would not be possible. Fantastic effort!
Many thanks to Mr McAlister and the staff for a highly successful swimming carnival last week. Congratulations to all those students who swam their races and had a crack! Special congratulations to all those students who will now represent St Johns and progress to the next level of competition. Great work!
Molly Croft did a fantastic job speaking on the Channel 9 Today Show for the Kids Cancer Project. Very impressive! Well done!
St Johns is a good school lets all continue to work to make it a better school!
Dear Students and Families,
Supervision and Bus Bay Behaviour
Supervision begins at the College from 8:20am. Please ensure that when you arrive at school in the morning, that you enter the playground straight away. Students are not to get off the bus and head to McDonalds and KFC unless prior permission has be sought with the relevant Year Leader. This is a duty of care matter.
Please be aware of the following process for bus bay in the afternoons.
For buses already parked at the bus bay:
- Students line up in single file, along the fence line then move to the side of the bus when the bus is completely stopped.
- Allow primary school students to get on the bus first
- Allow senior students to get on the bus
- Year 7-10 students who are lined up along the bus need to remain in single file and safely move onto the bus which directed.
Buses that are NOT already parked at the bus bay when you arrive:
- All students to wait behind the steel fence until their bus arrives
- When the bus arrives, all students are to line up against the steel fence on the bus side within 1.5m of the fence
- All primary school students will be allowed to get on the bus
- All Senior students will then be allowed to get on the bus
- Students will be directed to board the bus in single file.
It has been brought to our attention that a number of St Johns College students are using electric scooters (e-scooters) to make their way to and from school.
Some of these students are at risk of causing injury to themselves and others, particularly the children at neighbouring St Johns Primary School.
Please be aware that Transport NSW have determined that e-scooters are in fact illegal on NSW roads and road-related areas, this includes pathways and school grounds. For this reason, we request that e-scooters are not used as a means of transport to and from school. Police regularly patrol Sheraton Rd and they will enforce this law.
If your child does currently ride an e-scooter to school, can you please reiterate that this cannot be done.
We thank you for your support in this matter.
On Tuesday the 27th and Wednesday the 28th of February Year 7 students will be participating in transition testing. The NSW Department of Education test is a literacy and numeracy assessment which provides a snapshot of the literacy and numeracy skills and understandings that students bring to secondary school. The test provides additional information to help us better support students in their learning.
Students do not need to prepare for the test however they will need to bring:
Headphones or ear buds
Students may not use calculators, dictionaries, web browsers, email, mobile phones or other resources during the test.
Should you require any further information do not hesitate to contact Jacinta New - Leader of Curriculum or Joshua Galvin - Leader of Year 7 and Stage 4.
Relieving Assistant Principal
Term One is certainly motoring along. A few things on the near horizon when it comes to faith at the College. Our Year 7 Retreat days take place next Thursday and Friday. Due to the cohort size, we will split the year group so that group discussion and activities can be more intimate and therefore more meaningful. The Retreat day will focus on 3 relationships - the one our students have with themselves, the one they have with their peers and the one they have with God. Students will take part in games, discussion, reflection, activities and challenges in order to explore these relationships. They will also take part in a ‘teaching Mass’ where Father Greg explains what happens during the Mass plus some history of St Brigid’s itself. The hope is that out Year 7 students come away from the Retreat with new friends and an appreciation for the other people in their year group.
In Week 7, it is Year 10s turn. We head to Lake Keepit for their first overnight Retreat, which is very exciting. Students will be taking part in activities which encourage them to step outside their comfort zone and work as a team. The theme of the Retreat is ‘I am who You say I am’, which refers to the fact that as children of God, they have gifts and talents that they should be proud of and be able to share with others.
It has been wonderful this term to use our new chapel. Catholic Studies classes have been attending class liturgies with students from different year groups, which is a nice way to encourage a sense of belonging and community. Students have been enjoying coming together in the lovely space and having the opportunity to reflect and pray together. Many students have also been attending Wednesday lunch time masses in the chapel. This is something we are endeavouring to do every Wednesday with Fr Greg. Again, this is a chance for our students to connect with their faith. All are welcome.
Leader of Ministry and Mission
Learning and Teaching
Assessment Tasks Term 1
We are moving into a period of assessment. As students complete their first units of learning for the year, they will demonstrate what they know and can do through a variety of different tasks. These tasks are really important. They contribute to learning in the process of completing them, they help teachers understand a student’s performance, and they contribute to overall subject Grades.
While a lot of assessment preparation occurs at school, students need to supplement this with homework.
Assessment tasks are published in Canvas. They are easy to find using one of these methods:
- Via the Calendar - click on the link in the calendar to go directly to the task
- Via the course homepage - under the heading “Summative Assessment Tasks”
- Via “Assignments” - located in the menu on the left
Assessment tasks always have the prefix “SAT” for Summative Assessment Task.
Assessment tasks are always on the College template:
With an emphasis on writing in 2024, the College is introducing a writing rubric. It is consistent in every subject 7 - 10, and sits alongside all assessment tasks. In 2024, it is a feedback tool to help students to continually improve their writing - it is not used in determining a grade.
Teachers will reflect on the rubric’s role in helping students strengthen their writing, and how it will be used in 2025 and beyond.
For parents, this is a great tool for supporting students in editing their assessment tasks at home.
Parents and CANVA
Thank you for your patience in waiting for CANVAS access. It is great how many of you have contacted us keen to get on board.
Next week you will receive your login details via the email you use for school communication.
Through CANVAS you will be able to:
- See classroom learning
- See your child’s submitted work
- Find a calendar for upcoming assessment tasks
- Find marks, feedback and comparative information
- Support your child in their learning and relearning of key ideas
- Support your child in developing the executive functioning they need to navigate high school successfully
The newsletter and socials will include links to short clips to support you in accessing, using and making the most of the platform.
If you are having trouble with your login, it is important that you contact us.
Professional Learning Day 19th Feb
Syllabuses are changing. To help teachers program and resource towards these changes, the CEDB provided an opportunity for all of its teachers to work with learning expert and author Michael McDowell.
Teachers walked away from this event with many small but significant strategies for raising the level of feedback, critical thinking and motivation for students in their classrooms.
Literacy Focus 2024
Our literacy focus continued in Week 4 with teachers meeting to examine how we break down the complex process of writing for our Stage 6 students. Faculties had an opportunity to work together on understanding HSC data, and determining an area of focus within planning, composing or transcribing.
Leader of Teaching and Learning
Pathways and Careers
Stage 5 students are supported by Mrs Strain and Stage 6 as well as Year 9-12 Aboriginal Students by Mrs Strahorn. If you wish to contact a Pathways advisor to discuss your child’s pathways and post-school options, please call the School Office on 6841 5100 or email the respective advisor.
Looking forward to working collaboratively in guiding your child to discover their future pathway.
Resource Hub - Library
Library Lover’s Day 14th February 2024
Dear Students and Families
Library Lovers day is celebrated by Libraries across the country. Promoting the love of books on Valentines day, St Johns College wanted to do something special.
Throughout the week leading up to the day students and staff were able to write their favourite book on a heart shaped post-it note and place it on our giant heart display. These books ranged from Harry Potter, Heartstopper, the Divergent series and many more.
The Library also ran a Bookmark competition, where one student from each stage group had the opportunity to win a $10 Canteen Voucher. Students were asked to design a bookmark based on their favourite book which has a theme of Love, from romance, family and friendship, we wanted to share the love!!
And so our students did! With just under 30 entries, our students put in so much love and care into their bookmarks!.
These were due Friday the 16th of February, where they were then put into the staff room to be voted on. Voting was close, there were so many beautiful entries. We would like to congratulate our three lucky winners:
Stage 4: Ivan 7O Stage 5: Lily-Rose 9N Stage 6: Saphira 11A
These three students will receive a $10 voucher to the canteen as well as have their designs be made into actual book marks the students of St Johns can use whilst reading books from the library.
Congratulations to our talented winner’s and well done to all who entered! The Library aims to do an event every term so keep your eyes peeled and ears open for upcoming events and activities.
Just remember what Taylor Swift once said “I wouldn’t be a songwriter if it wasn’t for books that I loved as a kid. I think that when you can escape into a book it trains your imagination to think big and to think that more can exist than what you see.” So read a book, or two, or three, discover where you're meant to be
Love your library
Mrs Bruce - Teacher Librarian
Miss Lappa - Library Technician
On Tuesday February 20, Year 7 Music students and the SJC Choir were treated to a fabulous session about singing with Michelle Leonard OAM from Moorambilla Voices. Students learnt singing skills, the Year 7s learnt a fun song with hand movements, and all were given an opportunity to know more about the programs provided by Moorambilla Voices. For more information go to www.moorambilla.com
LA SALLE TRIUMPHS AT THE SJC SWIMMING CARNIVAL!
Yesterday the SJC Swimming Carnival was held at the Dubbo Aquatic Centre. Many of our students competed and swam exceptionally well with results as follows:
- 12 Years Harrison Pilon
- 13 Years Harrison Stevens
- 14 Years Nullah Baker
- 15 Years Jarred Heitzman
- 16 Years Aidan Webeck
- Open Age Callum Heitzman
- 12 Years Lillith Hanson
- 13 Years Phoebe Lavelle
- 14 Years Anna Toohey
- 15 Years Sienna Bennett
- 16 Years Amelia Heckendorf
- Open Age Joely Bruce
We have a new Champion House for 2024 with La Salle winning.
La Salle 2290
Nullah Baker was crowned Belly Flop Champion defeating Maverick Hutchins in a very tight final.
Congratulations to Callum Heitzman who broke the only record on the day in the Open Age boys 100m breaststroke. It broke Jack Allen's 2018 record.
Congratulations to all students who have qualified to represent the College at the Bathurst Diocesan Swimming Carnival in Dubbo on Tuesday 5 March. All students should have received their permission forms through Compass. Any student not participating or withdrawing from events needs to contact Mr McAlister as soon as possible.
Diocesan / CCC trials
If students are nominating to trial for Diocesan or CCC pathways, the conveners have asked that students be of a Regional or Dubbo representative standard. Age groupings are a guide for representative level (eg U16 or Open Age). The College does not provide transport to these events as it is an individual pathway nomination. All upcoming events are on either the Diocesan Calendar or NSW CCC Calendar. All nominations are done through the NSW CS Sport website. The College Principal and Sports Coordinator are then notified to allow the registration to proceed.
- Southern U15 AFL trials Wagga - 29 February
- Diocesan Soccer Trials U18 Boys and Girls, Bathurst - 7 March
- Western CCC U16 Girls amd Southern CCC U18 Girls Rugby League, Canberra - 12 March
- Western CCC U15 and Open Boys Rugby League, Forbes - 3 April
Flexischools is St Johns College online canteen ordering and payments. Simply download the app and sign up.
It is not too late to start a regular payment plan to ensure your College fees account is on track to be finalised by the due date of 30 November 2024.
The 2024 College statements/invoices will be emailed to families in early March 2024.
On the invoice will be Compass and BPAY details and also term payment amounts for those families wishing to pay their fees in Terms 1, 2 & 3.
Please note College fees Yrs 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 are due by 30 November 2024.
If your last child at the College this year is in Year 12 please note your College HSC fees are due by 31 October 2024.
If you wish to discuss your account and payment plan options please contact the College Fees Office on 6841 5142 or email email@example.com
Administration Finance Leader
Year 10 and 11 History students are invited to discover the rich history of Australia's military past with the Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship! Travel to Japan with a military historian and learn about the service of our Anzacs. This 2-week study tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.APPLY NOW before the applications close on 3 March 2024!
DUBBO RSL SUB BRANCH “AUSTRALIA MY COUNTRY” COMPETITION - 2024
This competition is designed to enhance in local students a sense of pride and patriotism in being Australian, through literary and artistic forms of expression.
Entries should reflect at least one of the qualities of SACRIFICE, LOYALITY, HISTORY, SERVICE, TRADITION or PRIDE IN AUSTRALIA.
No more than one illustration should be included in an entry. Art entries should not be so bulky that they cannot be forwarded by ordinary post. Combined or joint entries cannot be accepted.
The underlying theme will be “Australia My Country” but students my choose their own topic. For example Armed Services, Exploration, Art, Sport, Inventions, Education, Medicine, Natural Environment, Conservation or any other relevant topic the student chooses. It may refer to a time of peace or war. Persons or institutions depicted may be well-known or low profile.
PRIZES FOR STUDENTS WILL BE AWARDED IN THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:-
Section 3 Written Essay Years 7-8 Less than 500 words Secondary
Section 6 Poetry Years 7-10 Secondary
Section 9 Art Years 7-10 Secondary .
Entry form must be attached to back of each entry. A teacher and the student's parent/guardian must certify that the entry is the original work of the student to the extent that others provided no more than usual guidance. Please deliver entries to the front office by Friday 29th March.
Winners of each Section will receive an award from The Dubbo RSL Sub Branch.
First Prize: A gift card to the value of $50 plus a suitably inscribed certificate
Second Prize: Gift Cards to the value of $30 plus a suitably inscribed certificate
Merit Awards: A limited number, where justified, suitably inscribed certificates.
Term 1 2024
If you would like to add the St Johns College Calendar to your google calendar please click on this link.
Tuesday, 20th February - Friday 23rd February
2024 Canberra Royal Show
Tuesday 20th February 9am - 10am
Friday, 23rd February
School Photos for absentees plus groups
Tuesday 27th February - Thursday 29th February
Yr 12 Advanced English - Bell Shakespeare Sydney
Wednesday 28th February
2024 Navy Week Regional Tour Experience visit to SJC
Thursday 29th February
Yr 7 Retreat - MNOP groups
Friday 1st March
Yr 7 Retreat - QRST groups
Tuesday 5th March
Bathurst Diocesan Swimming Carnival
Wednesday 6th March
White Card Training
Wednesday 13th March - Friday 15th March
Yr 10 Retreat - Lake Keepit
Wednesday 13th March - Friday 22nd March
NAPLAN - Yr 7 & 9
Thursday 21st March
Tuesday 26th March - 27th March
Parent Teacher Student Conferences
Thursday 28th March
SJC Cross Country
Friday 29th March - Monday 25th March
Wednesday 3rd April - Friday 5th April
Yr 12 Art Excursion - Canberra & Sydney
Friday 12th April
Last day of Term 1