Week 2 Term 2
His avocation brought him into immediate contact with the working classes. He perceived that, in many instances, irreligion proceeded from their ignorance – and that to its prevalence much of the crime that abounded could also be traced. He lived in a part of the city where vice and ignorance prevailed to a greater extent than elsewhere. … Mr Rice having once embarked in the cause he undertook was resolved to persevere…
Before the pandemic, Pope Francis said, people were rushing through life, "greedy for profit," undisturbed by "wars and injustices" and not hearing the "cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick." Edmund challenged the ailing system of his time. He could not disregard those in need even if his own life was disturbed. How and to what extent are we prepared to be disturbed today? This will be a year we will always remember – it has disturbed, but as Bill Gates reminds us, it can be considered “a correction”.
Bill’s view on the virus is not so much about what the virus is doing to us, but what it is doing for us. He suggests:
- It has taught us we are all equal and all just as vulnerable
- It reminds us that we are all connected and what affects one affects another
- It reminds us how precious our health is
- It reminds us how short life is and what is truly important
- It challenges our materialistic tendencies and how little is really essential
- It reminds us that family comes first and our true work is to look after and protect one another
- It reminds us that the power of free will is in our hands - the power to choose to share, to support to help and to co-operate
These are lessons that cannot be packaged in a neat, well-resourced and approved curriculum. They are lessons learnt through life’s experiences and by the modelling of the people worthy of admiration. They are not necessarily those considered hugely successful. It includes the mum struggling to teach her three children under ten, online lessons with only one computer. It’s the hard working and exhausted front-line people who have chosen to put their own needs on the back burner. It is the particular politicians who challenge the system to put the needs of people first above all else. It is the students who use their voice to challenge the status quo and who dream up a future that ensures the protection of our planet and the life it sustains.
What lessons we draw from this time will determine how we shape, model and change the world, hopefully for the better, as we move forward. We have the free will to choose what we take from our experiences. Will it be:
- Showing tolerance to those who are scared or building brick walls of rejection?
- Caring and compassion or assigning blame and scapegoating?
- The sharing of deep wisdom or shallow ill-informed ignorance?
- Coming together as community or intolerant tribalism?
- Giving and accepting love or scornfully rejecting our humanity from fear and terror?
Our choices will shape the world into the future. We are at a crossroads and have a real opportunity to embrace a new future full of those values we hold dearest. This will take courage and strength, but it is a future worth fighting for. St Paul’s College has an opportunity to lead the way in making a better future for this community.
You… are an important part of this community. I encourage you to consider the way forward carefully and prayerfully. What world do we want for our children and grandchildren to come?
Kevin Lewis BEd (Syd) MEd (ACU) GradCertRe (Uon)
Online Learning in Full Swing
Last week kicked off with online learning in full swing. I am immensely proud of our students and teachers for making this happen so well! Our classes are now working with a range of online learning tools, just some of which include:
- STILE – discussed later in this article
- Collaborative documents
- Video conferencing with Zoom
As I walk around the sparsely populated College now, with many teachers remaining here behind the closed doors of their classrooms, I see wonderful sights like the following:
It is certainly the case that our teachers are determined to ensure that students stay up-to-date in their learning, and maintain their strong connections to their classrooms, peers and teachers. One thing I would like to emphasise in all of this is the importance of keeping our students working to their daily timetable. This will help them stay connected and productive.
While there is no doubt that we cannot completely substitute the real classroom experience with the virtual one, it turns out there are some unexpected positive outcomes of this type of learning. In one of my lessons last week, one enterprising student finished her work a couple of minutes early and wrote to me, “If it’s alright with you Mr Robinson, I’m off to get started on next period’s work and then I’ll hit an early lunch.” It all sounds very adult!
May I encourage you to let your child’s teachers know that they are doing a great job? Our teachers are genuinely concerned about ensuring students remain connected and feel valued. Let us ensure our teachers receive that same support from our community.
Please contact individual teachers regarding the learning that is occurring in particular classes, but give me a call or email if you feel you need another perspective about a learning issue, or if you have any questions or comments to make more broadly about our online learning.
You have probably now seen the St Paul’s College Continuity of Learning plan for Term 2. Please note that the transition plan is constructed so that each year level will only have one mode of learning on any particular day. For example, as of Week 4, all teaching for Years 11 and 12 will be delivered face-to-face, whilst in Year 10, these students will receive face-to-face teaching on Monday and Thursday and Online learning will be made available for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Unfortunately, the STILE learning platform was not functioning very well or at all for most of last week. I apologize for these technical issues and have been informed by the CEO at STILE that all these technical issues have been caused by the large number of users wishing to access STILE and their technicians have now solved these problems.
Hoping you are all staying well in these difficult times and wishing for a quick end to the Corona Virus crisis and a smooth transition back to full Face to Face teaching.
Mr Leon Robinson - Acting Assistant Principal
Schools are strange places without students, but as you know we have a plan to get your children’s smiling faces back. We have missed them all. I want parents to know that we understand it has been a difficult time for many and we will do everything we can to help your child in this transition period to stay positive, both at home and at school.
This term, the College we will be focussing on building resilience. Resilience is better than bubble wrap because it is about developing internal strength rather than relying on an external shield. Think of resilience as a process of bouncing back — of rising above adversity. We want to teach your child the skills required to be resilient so they can better handle the next bump in the road. Pausing and reflecting on all your child has to be grateful for is one way to train the brain to become more resilient. Get Grateful – Get Resilient.
To foster our already established relationships, your child’s Pastoral Care teacher is making contact with them via email each week and a ZOOM catch up. These weekly activities were created to focus your child’s attention on being grateful.
Please feel free to try these activities at home with the rest of the family. This week’s activity is to think about one person in your life who has made a positive influence. Write them a note to thank them for all that they have done for you. Once you have finished, take a photo and send it to them (please send it, because it will make a difference).
Could you please encourage your child to participate in the ZOOM on the allocated morning to stay connected with other students and their PC teacher, sharing their ideas and feelings about the week’s activities.
Changes to Sick Bay Protocols
If your child becomes ill throughout the day with cold or flu-like symptoms, they will be required to do the following:
- Sit on the wooden seat (pew) inside the front office. They must not approach the ladies in the office.
- The ladies will see them sitting there and enquire to the issue
- It will be a requirement that all students coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose will be given a mask to wear.
- Parents will be required to pick their child up immediately after a phone call from the College to ensure the safety of all.
Just remember, as winter is approaching, if your child has any COVID-like symptoms they MUST STAY HOME. We are not doctors.
Mrs Bronwyn Shipton - Assistant Principal - Mission & Wellbeing
HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA! We continue to celebrate the JOY of the Easter Season, as we make the 50-day journey from Easter Sunday through to Pentecost. Despite all of the current restrictions and illness, there are still things in our lives that we can be thankful for and celebrate with JOY in this Easter Season. It is a time to especially remember that God can transform our struggles and sufferings and bring about and abundance of life in all things!
For those wishing to engage in some personal spiritual formation during the remainder of the Easter Season, I would encourage you to check out the Pentecost Pilgrimage.
Sunday Mass Livestreamed
During this time of church closures, the faithful are suspended from fulfilling their obligation to attend Sunday Mass. However, there are literally THOUSANDS of parishes right around the world livestreaming Mass, even as you read these words.
Here are a couple of links to some live broadcasts of Sunday Masses that will continue until our churches reopen:
During this time when we cannot physically receive Holy Communion, we are able to make a Spiritual Communion. The following is a small prayer that you can say as a Spiritual Communion.
Spiritual Resources from the Parish
There are resources available on the internet to help support you and your family’s spiritual journey during this time of pandemic. The Macleay Valley Catholic Parish website has a number of good resources, which are being added to weekly. I would commend these to your viewing.
Another good resource is The Pope Video, which is a short video from Pope Francis which is published every couple of weeks.
Project Compassion 2020
Our fundraising efforts were a bit disrupted this year due to the COVID-19 situation, however our College community still managed to raise an incredible $1,487.70 for Caritas Australia, through a combination of online and at school fundraising. THANK-YOU to all those who contributed generously, either financially or prayerfully, to help make a difference for our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are particularly struggling at the moment.
Our Youth Ministry Officers (YMOs), Calissa and Darcy, have been doing lots of amazing things, even in the absence of face-to-face teaching and cancelled and postponed retreats and the like.
- As the lunchtime youth group REACH is currently not happening, the YMOs have set-up an Instagram page for all to follow. They post new content every school day and can be accessed on Instagram using reach_kmc
- Along with other YMOs throughout the Diocese, ours are involved in a Catholic Youth in Action Initiative which is being offered through the Parish. In the coming weeks, they will be agents of connection through the simplicity of a phone call to check in on those in our parish who are feeling an added isolation during this current pandemic. If you or someone who you know might be interested in this service, then please contact myself or the Macleay Valley Catholic Parish Office.
- The Easter video from our staff to our community was collated and put together by Calissa and Darcy. They are indeed multi-talented!
- With classes being online, our YMOs have been supporting our Youth Ministry classes in Years 9 and 10, by continuing to provide them with some formation around Youth Ministry, in the hope that later in the year, our classes will be in a position to be able to facilitate retreat days for our Catholic feeder primary schools.
Please contact me if you have any questions about, or ideas for, ministry and evangelisation at the College.
Mr Dominic MacAndrews - Leader of Evangelisation
HSC Minimum Standard of Literacy And Numeracy
A large number of Year 11 and 12 students completed these tests in Weeks 6-8 of Term 1 and many of them have now met the Standard. Any students who were unable to sit a test, or who have not yet met the standard, will be able to sit these tests later in the term.
Minimum Standard tests for Year 10 have been postponed until later in the year.
NESA Updates on the HSC
NESA have advised that the HSC is going ahead for 2020. The following is from the NESA website:
Higher School Certificate
The Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams are going ahead in 2020. NESA will release the HSC written exam timetable by 15 May (Week 3, Term 2).
Students will receive their HSC results in mid-December.
Education authorities are working together to ensure a pathway to university for Year 12 students. Key dates and deadlines currently listed on the NESA website are subject to change due to the COVID-19 outbreak. NESA will continue to update you with exceptions and changes to relevant deadlines.
The due dates have been extended and teachers will provide the final mark for the following components of the 2020 HSC practical exams:
- Design and Technology: Major Design Project (Product)
- Industrial Technology: Major Project (Product)
- Textiles and Design: Major Textiles Project (Product)
- Visual Arts: Body of Work.
Extended Hand-In Dates
The hand-in dates for the teacher-marked components and the externally-marked folios have been extended by two weeks.
- Design and Technology: Thursday, 10 September 2020
- Industrial Technology: Thursday, 27 August 2020
- Textiles and Design: Monday, 31 August 2020
- Visual Arts: Monday, 14 September 2020
This information is being updated regularly and can be accessed via the website: https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/about/news/novel-coronavirus
Stage 6 Misadventure Process
A reminder that the process of applying for an Illness Misadventure for any students who are unable to complete an assessment task by the set date has not changed. The following is from the Year 11 and 12 Assessment Booklets provided to students at the start of the year:
Illness - Misadventure Provisions
Students may lodge an illness/misadventure appeal if they believe that circumstances occurring immediately before or during an assessment task or assessment task due date, and which were beyond their control, diminished their performance.
The right to submit an illness/misadventure appeal and the responsibility for doing so rests with the student, except where it is impossible for the student to do so, such as in cases of severe illness.
Illness/misadventure appeals cannot be submitted on the basis of:
- Difficulties in preparation or loss of preparation time: for eg as a result of an illness during Year 12.
- Alleged deficiencies in tuition eg extended teacher absence.
- Loss of study time or facilities prior to the assessment task or assessment task due date.
- Long-term illness such as glandular fever – unless you suffer a flare-up or exacerbation of the condition during the assessment task or assessment task due date
If students or parents have any questions they can contact me via email: email@example.com
As students continue with online learning, it is essential that they regularly check their emails as teachers will be communicating essential information to their classes including updating them about work requirements on Stile and upcoming Zoom lessons.
If teachers schedule a Zoom lesson for their class it is expected (internet permitting), that all students attend. If students are unable to do so they should email their teacher to explain.
HSC Practical Submission dates – Friday, 21 August – Friday, 14 September
Important Diary Dates
|Year 7 and 9 Online NAPLAN Testing||Cancelled|
|Year 12 HSC Trial Exams||18-30 August|
|HSC Practical Submission Dates||13 August - 18 September|
|Year 11 Preliminary Final Exams||14-18 September|
|Year 12 HSC Exams||To Be Confirmed|
Mrs Catriona Martin - Leader of Curriculum
A Huge Thankyou!!!
to all those students using the Library at the moment for the way in which you are doing so. These are strange timers indeed, and your co-operation and general ability to do what is required of you is wonderful. It is a two-way street and you’re all driving it like experienced licence holders! Well done.
Premier’s Reading Challenge
Ten students have now gone online although, surprisingly, there has not been a great deal of movement since last term. Jade McLean (Year 9) joins Alec Gorline Singleman (Year 7) in double figures. And in breaking “Covid 19” news, the rules have been relaxed to allow for ten choice books, instead of the usual five. It does get a little complicated, so sing out if this relates to you and we will guide you through it. If anyone did not receive (or has forgotten) their User Name and Password, send an email and we will fix that for you (firstname.lastname@example.org). Likewise, if you have decided that you would like to sign up after all, just say so.
then don’t forget SORA. If you need to download, this is how: Download the SORA app from the App Store
Click/Press "Find my school"
Click/Press "My school isn't listed"
Type the letters ACEN (NOT case sensitive)
Click/Press "ACEN Member Collection"
Click/Press "Select Your School"
Select "ACEN Member Collection" again
Sign in using your SPC Login (select Lismore Diocese).
Other Libraries (a reminder)
Kempsey Shire Libraries are closed. Members can access many resources electronically. Others can join online: go to "Member Services" down left hand side. Then "Join the Library". Then take things from there. Go to https://www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/library/. Phone 6566 3210. Staff are still on duty.
Both Nambucca Shire Libraries are closed. Members can access many resources electronically. Others can join online via the "Sign Up" button. Go to https://www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au//cp_themes/ library/home/asp. Phone 6568 6906 (Nambucca) 6568 1422 (Macksville). Staff are still on duty.
State Library of NSW
residents can sign up for a Library card online and access an extensive range of eResources and eBooks including online access from anywhere – and it's free to join. You will receive your Library card number via email (next business day). We will then post the card to you at a later date. Go to: https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/join-us. The SLNSW has many useful resources for HSC students.
Happy Reading & Stay Safe.
and remember…Wash Your Hands and Keep Your Distance
Mr Peter Garty - Teacher/Librarian