Week 6 Term 4 2023
From the Acting Principal
In such a thriving community as Woodlawn, it is essential to recognise the achievements and growth that have transpired. From the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff to the countless acts of gratitude and kindness displayed by our students, we have much to celebrate and remember. As this is my final newsletter, until Week 10, I would like to highlight a number of these.
We congratulate Aaron Beach who has been seconded to the Catholic Schools Office as the Acting Regional Service Leader of the Richmond Region. This role will capitalise on his talents for organisation, people management and creative thinking. We wish him well as he pursues this role for 12 months.
The spirit of student leadership has flourished within our school, inspiring all to rise above and pave the way for a promising future. Our student leaders have played a pivotal role in fostering a positive learning environment, empowering their peers to explore their passions, and fostering a sense of unity amidst diversity. This week we congratulate a number of students for the way they foster connections in our community and aim to fulfil their potential. Oliver Mason and Amelia Turner have been selected to represent the College at the Griffith University Future Leaders Retreat held at the university campus in January. With the theme of ‘Make It Matter’ these SRC representatives are highly motivated to engage in the Retreat with open minds and hearts. I recently caught up with them about what it means to be a College leader. ‘Being an authentic voice for the rest of the student body and showcasing that it's okay to participate' were qualities high on Amelia’s list. She also hopes to continue to grow our community feeling of unity and inspire others to be actively involved and connect with the opportunities Woodlawn offers. Oliver’s advice is to set examples, challenge mediocrity, and foster a sense of appreciation for the College and our values ‘We are privileged to attend a good school, why not make the most of it?’.
Our Year 10 students recently self nominated for the David Landrigan Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2012 by a group of David's friends in honour of his life and achievements. These included being ranked number 1 academically for the 6 years he was at the College. David demonstrated integrity and determination as do all of our applicants.
The selection committee were impressed by the depth of talent, dedication and maturity shown by the students who wrote about their commitment to the College Mission of service, to academic excellence and to our sporting life. Matilda Price is a worthy recipient of this scholarship. She is a compassionate, diligent student who immerses herself in all aspects of College life. Matilda approaches all she does in a Marian way. She is humble, loves work and seeks out those who are marginalised and cares for them.
I joined the SRC representatives for the Remembrance Day Service at the Lismore Cenotaph last Saturday. We publicly thank them for their reverence and ability to represent our community with pride.
Thanks to everyone who assisted with the Formal celebrations. The tireless efforts of our parents, their friends, maintenance staff, teachers and our current students ensured that our graduating year group were honoured and given a wonderful farewell. There were many highlights of the evening and everyone ‘did us proud’.
Last night we celebrated the inextricable bond between mothers and daughters at our Year 9 Sisterhood evening. We gathered for prayer, dinner, and participated in a range of activities. It is special moments like this that ‘make the soul sing’. A special thank you to Natasha Wotherspoon and Annabelle Green for supporting this special evening of hope, gratitude, and connections.
Our staff have been working collaboratively to finalise the Annual School Improvement Plan for 2024. This plan is a reflection of our commitment to development in the areas of Mission, Pastoral Care and Learning and Teaching. As part of our consultation phase please take the time to familiarise yourself with the goals that will shape our intentional programs in 2024. Please feel free to contact Chris Mason, in my absence, if you have any comments or suggestions.
In 2024 we will also be part of an external review process. The ACER team will be in the College for 4 days discussing all aspects of College life. Their findings will go on to shape the next 3-year plan. We are also a part of the Mission review process. I will explain this in more detail at a later date. Please be aware of these reviews as we will be seeking your input and feedback at a number of forums and through a range of surveys. Your voice matters and we will appreciate your comments.
There have been a number of conversations around the uniform changes and the final stage of implementation. The current summer uniforms will be fully phased out by the end of 2024. Please be aware of this when purchasing uniforms. If you are buying secondhand uniforms you need to take this into consideration. Currently, all Year 7 and 8 students are required to wear the new uniforms.
We look forward to having everyone in the new uniforms.
I am currently preparing to re-establish our Immersion program. I leave for Cambodia on the weekend and will meet our 24 students and Mr Bailey and Miss Green there in one week's time. This is an exciting opportunity that has been on pause since 2019. You can follow our journey via our Facebook page.
One final reflection from Hebrews 13:18 ‘Act Honourably in all things’.
We look forward to the season of Advent. These resources have been provided by the Parent Assembly.
From the Acting Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
Are we there yet?
The short answer is ‘No’. It’s a tricky time of the academic year: Exams are over, assessments are done (unless you’re in Year 11), and there is a real temptation for students to lapse into the false belief that their work here is done for the year. But it’s not. The final four weeks of the year are an opportunity to learn for the simple joy of it, and our teaching staff continue working hard to ensure that learning activities are relevant, engaging and meaningful. Whilst less formal and rigorous than the exam preparation of this past fortnight, the next two learning cycles will see students engaging in projects, inquiry, collaboration and creation. A perfect example is the Year 8 ‘Night of the Notables’, in Week 8. It is a wonderful evening in which each Year 8 student represents themselves as a significant historical personality. They learn all about their chosen person, and present that information to their peers and parents in a short pitch about historical significance. All Year 8 parents are welcome to attend and share in the celebration of learning.
Year 7-9 Examinations
As indicated above, the Junior examinations concluded this week. Students will receive feedback, marks and reports in the coming weeks. Feedback from staff has been generally positive about the level of student application. The key message that we want our students to learn from exam blocks is that preparation is the key to success.
Year 10 Work Experience
All Year 10 students will participate in one week of work experience in Week 8. This is an important step towards their future, and for many students, it can influence their subject choices and direction in Year 11. (Year 12 students can make subject changes in Weeks 1-4 of Term 1). We thank Mr Maginnity for his work to make this important activity happen.
Year 11 Retreat and HSC Assessments
Our Year 11 students are off on Retreat from next Tuesday to Thursday. This is an important time of reflection and bonding for them. However, they do return to a very busy assessment schedule in Weeks 8 and 9. This means that they should make good use of their post-retreat long weekend to ensure that they are getting adequate sleep and preparation for a busy fortnight of assessment. Using a study timetable is crucial to goal-setting, organisation, and accountability. We thank Mrs Colman for the work she has been doing with many students around timetabling their study.
Acting Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
One Talk At A Time
The National Office for Child Safety recently launched 'One Talk at a Time,' a national awareness-raising and behavioural change campaign on child sexual abuse.
One Talk at a Time aims to protect children and young people from sexual abuse by helping adults understand that child sexual abuse is preventable and encouraging them to have ongoing, proactive, preventative conversations with children, young people and other adults in their lives.
Caring for others is part of the Woodlawn way, so if any members of our Woodlawn Community need help to access services please contact our Family Connect worker, Cassandra Finucane, via the contact details below.
Leader of Student Welfare
Cricket Round 2 Downie Trophy
Our First XI played their Round 2 Downie Trophy game against Mount St Patrick College, Murwillumbah on Monday 6, November.
We won the toss and elected to bat. Patience and good batting allowed us to get off to a strong opening partnership of 92 off 15 overs between Jameson Hinds and Blake Perkins. A rash shot from Jameson saw him lose his wicket on 49. Blake increased the tempo and went on to make an impressive 105. Supported well by Cooper Williams 49 (which included 1 short), Oliver Walker 21, and with a quickfire 20 from Hamish Weekes we were able to post a competitive 280 runs from 48 overs.
Hamish opened the bowling with a wicket in his first over and after 4 overs Mount St Patricks were 1 for 0. With tight bowling and good field positions, we eventually had them all out for 150. Jed Dougherty 4 / 35 and Hamish Weekes 2 / 38 took the bulk of the wickets.
We also congratulate Jed Arnett and Emily Hosking for making their First XI debut for the College.
Well done to the Team for a great performance. We have identified areas to focus on as we move further into the competition, and will be looking at these in training in the coming weeks.
NSW School’s Cup Netball - State Championships
After progressing through the local and regional Netball NSW Schools Cup events, our Years 7 and 8 and Years 9 and 10 Girls Netball teams headed for Sydney for the State Finals. The early morning flight meant there was some time to explore the city, so both teams braved the Sydney public transport system and sat down to a feast of dumplings, fried rice, spring rolls, and spicy soup in Chinatown. With full bellies, it was back to the hotel for some rest and recovery before a team dinner and an early night.
Arriving at Netball Central in Homebush is always a special occasion for our Netball teams. The state-of-the-art courts, the large number of teams present, and the amped-up atmosphere all go a long way in preparing the teams for their upcoming matches.
The Years 9 and 10 girls took to the court against SMC (South Coast). To say it was a tough game is an understatement. Despite this, the girls fought hard and by the conclusion of the game had started to find their groove. A defeat in game 1 did nothing to curb the tenacity for game 2 and the girls came out firing. It was goal for goal against St Matthew’s Catholic School (West Central West) and the girls held their nerves to level the game at 12 all at full time. Game 3 was played on the showcourt which was a wonderful experience for the team and despite a loss to Xavier High School (Riverina) the girls played some excellent Netball. Given the incredible quality of the teams attending, Woodlawn Years 9 and 10 girls did a fantastic job of maintaining their composure and team spirit.
The Years 7 and 8 team also faced some tough competition in their three pool games. While the team had been training well to prepare for strong competition, the reality of how hard these games would be was a shock to all of the girls, and their coach! We played games against SMC (South Coast), The Riverina Anglican College, and Westfield Sports High School. Each of the games provided the girls with challenges - both on and off the court. Our team needed to adjust our game to play differently from the way we had played before - these teams were taller and more athletic than we were used to so we really needed to use our speed and footwork to come forward, be patient in our attack, to hold our ground and stay strong in defence. The girls adapted well and played strong games but unfortunately, we went down in all three of our games, ending our time in the Schools Cup Competition that started back in August. Each of the ten girls in the team should be proud of the way they pushed through against better teams in the finals - they have all worked hard to make this level of competition and have improved along the way as a team and as individuals. I have no doubt they will continue to represent the College in future competitions with the same spirit and tenacity.
Netball NSW introduced two new initiatives at this year's State Carnival; the Suncorp Team Spirit Award (voted by the opposition teams) and a Most Valuable Player Award for each division (voted by the umpires). A huge congratulations to the Years 7 and 8 Girls team who took out the Spirit Award for their age group. No doubt the hair glitter and Woodlawn ribbons tipped the scales in their favour! To further cement the Netball profile of Woodlawn, both Kaytlyn Turner and Quinn McInnes were awarded the Most Valuable Player Award for their age groups. They were up against players from prestigious sporting schools such as Westfield Sports High and Hunter Sports High, so this was an impressive achievement for both girls and we are so proud of them. Congratulations to both girls.
The NSW Schools Cup State Championship is always a great competition to attend and the Woodlawn girls represented the school with professionalism and maturity. A special thank you to all the parents who travelled down with us and were constant sideline supporters. A huge thanks also to Natasha Wotherspoon who travelled down to support the teams - your assistance and willingness to get involved was greatly appreciated.
Years 9 and 10 Team: Quinn McInnes (captain), Taia Kempshall, Ava Lisetto, Amarli King, Harper Bailey, Chloe Ryall, Ruby-Mae Campbell, Madison Coppola, Indira Coble and Maggie Lynch. Coach: Jane Farrugia
Years 7 and 8 Team: Ellie McKay, Kaytlyn Turner, Allie Robinson, McKenzie Olivieri, Milani Kerr, Sam McLennan, Willow Pace, Bella Duncan, Claudia Barnes and Matilda Pope. Coach: Sally Ryall
Reminder from Student Services
All students should be in attendance at the College each day unless sick, or attending necessary events (e.g. funeral, medical appointment etc) that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours.
Absent from College
If we have not heard from you, via the Compass Absence feature, you will receive an SMS generated by Compass at 10.30am. Please respond by clicking on the link in the SMS (the link is active for 7 days but can only be used once). In the case of shared care of a student, both parents will receive an SMS but we ask the parent who has the child in their care that morning to respond. A medical certificate is required if your child is absent for three or more consecutive days due to illness.
If you do not advise the reason for your child’s absence, you will receive a letter from the College requesting an explanation, which we ask you to return within 7 days of your child’s absence so that we can update your child’s attendance records.
Students arriving after 8.55am, need to enter via the Student Services Office. Please submit late arrivals via the Compass Absence feature or phone the College.
Please use the Compass Absence feature or phone the College to notify them of early departures. The Student Services Office cannot guarantee your student will be ready for an early departure without adequate notification.
Absence due to holiday/family event:
Less than 10 days: Please notify the College that your student will be absent via the Compass Absence feature.
More than 10 days: Complete Form 01 Extended Leave Notification.
Absence due to Elite Sport, Elite Arts, Employment in the Entertainment Industry:
Accredited Elite Sports programs include national and international organisations that run camps for athletes and national sports squads in which students have been selected to participate. They also include talented identification programs run by the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation.
Complete Form 05 Exemption from Attendance General.
Accredited Elite Arts programs are defined as an opportunity for a student to participate in an event or program that is beyond the gifted and talented opportunities that the Diocese offers.
Complete Form 05 Exemption from Attendance General.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up Zone
A reminder for parents and students: the drop-off and pick-up zone is located between the College and the Ovals at the rear of the College. Please do not collect your student from the front entrance for safety reasons.
Please phone the Student Services Office PRIOR to 2.45pm to advise of any changes to afternoon arrangements. This will provide office staff with the best chance of ensuring that your child receives the message. Last minute phone calls at this busy time of the school day are not ideal and we cannot guarantee that late messages will be received. We all experience emergencies from time to time and that is understood and accepted.
Administering Non-Prescription Medication (eg. Paracetamol) to Students
A reminder to parents that when a student presents to sick bay a member of staff will contact their parent or guardian seeking permission to administer non-prescription pain relief (eg. paracetamol) if required.
Any previous permission to give non-prescription pain relief no longer applies. You will receive a phone call seeking consent each time your child presents to sick bay.
Lost Property is located outside the Student Services Office. Please clearly label all items that are brought or worn to school.
Student Services Office
The Woodlawn Uniform Shop is proudly managed by P&C Uniforms.
To ensure you have an easy and pleasant experience while ordering uniforms, we encourage you to order online ahead of time for easy click-and-collect in store.
The Uniform Shop will be CLOSED from Thursday 16th of November, and will reopen on Saturday 20th of January. During this time there will be NO ONLINE orders taken.
Outside of the above dates, the Uniform Shop will operate in their normal business hours as below:
Uniform Shop Opening Hours:
Time: Monday 8.00am - 9.30am & Wednesday 11.00am - 2.00pm
Where: Colin Centre
Order Online: www.sjcwuniformshop.com.au
Book a fitting: www.sjcwuniformshop.com.au/bts-appointments
Second Hand Uniform Shop Opening Hours:
Time: 11.00am - 2.00pm
When: Every Wednesday
Where: Colin Centre
Uniform Shop Convenor
0407 739 237
Flexischools orders has a cut-off time of 9.00am.
The cash free way to pay! - REGISTER NOW
Paying for lunches is now safer and hassle free. With cashless cards there's no need for students to bring cash to school.
The College has Flexischools to allow students to pay at the Canteen using their existing student ID card. Paying for lunches and items at recess or lunch is now safer and hassle free. With cashless cards there's no need for students to bring cash to school. Parents can set daily spending limits and view transactions online. Parents can also top-up funds at any time.
The Canteen has introduced a Fast-Track line for students who have pre-ordered to collect their lunches, making it much easier and quicker for students.
We encourage all students to register. This will allow for those days when your student may have forgotten their homemade lunches.
Please follow the link below to register now: