Deputy News

We are thrilled to share the highlights of our recent celebrations for the Waterford, Mt Sion, and Westcourt Awards which were held last week. These awards celebrate student achievement from the 2023 school year.

Waterford Awards

The Waterford Awards, held for our Year 7 and 8 students acknowledges the academic efforts of students in each subject at their year level. In addition, we celebrated our age group champions for athletics, swimming, and cross country. Recognising our students’ achievements plays pivotal role in boosting students’ confidence and self-esteem, it encourages continued effort, and motivates students to strive to their highest. We congratulate our Waterford students who received individual awards for their efforts in 2023.

Mt Sion & Westcourt Awards

The Mt Sion & Westcourt Awards celebrate the achievements of students in Years 9 to 12 in 2023. Over 20 Year 12 students received ATARS above 90, a testament to their hard work and dedication. We extend our warm congratulations to all our VCE high achievers.

We were particularly proud to acknowledge Henry Beggs as the dux of our college, who was presented with a new acer laptop to support his further studies. In his address, Henry reminded students that the fun and joy experienced along the journey often outshine the memory of hard work.

The prestigious McNeil Cup was awarded to Jaeger Fawcett, who was also a VCE High Achiever, who delivered an outstanding speech on the importance of putting your best foot forward and looking out for one another. His message of camaraderie and mutual support resonated with our community.

Our guest speaker, Dr Zach Fitzgerald, is a second year Doctor working in Paediatrics at the Box Hill Hospital, after finishing his internship at the Geelong Hospital last year. Zach graduated from St Joseph’s College Geelong in 2012, and has since completed a Chinese language course at Nanjing University, a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, and the Doctor of Medicine through Deakin University. Zach shared many stories of his journey to this date, but reinforced the message of putting in effort and coping with change as key to finding one’s path in life.

Once again, the College is very proud of our 2023 award recipients and we hope that the hard work and dedication of our award winners inspires others to put their best foot forward this year.

2024 Timetable

The students and staff have transitioned well to the new College timetable. We continue to meet with Sacred Heart on a fortnightly basis to discuss the timetable and ways to strengthen our communication with our students who are sharing subjects at Mt Sion. The aim of the timetable restructure was to provide flexible lesson lengths for enhanced learning and engagement. In our research regarding secondary timetables, there was no specific lesson length identified as optimal for learning, but a range of times were put forward as optimal for particular types of instruction and skill development. The College’s learning framework recognises reduced cognitive overload occurs in shorter lessons, while longer sessions allow deep dives into complex subjects. Lesson variation also prepares students for real-world scenarios where tasks vary in length. Additionally, adapting to different lesson durations builds resilience and time management skills.

We aim to seek feedback from our staff, students and community over various stages of the semester, and will monitor our student performance and wellbeing data closely to ensure we are balancing the importance of a conducive environment for learning, whilst providing flexibility that accommodates individual learning needs.

PAM and Email digests

As we are almost halfway through the first term, it is an appropriate time for both students and parents to check in on their learning. For students, it is around this time that their first assessments have or are soon to be completed, and given most students have between five to ten subjects, depending on their year level, they need to be organised to stay on top of their study routine.

Students can review their learning progress through the class planners in SIMON, as well as check the data analytics in their student profiles. Similarly, parents can log into PAM and explore their child’s Learning Tasks to identify when assessments are occurring and the results of any previous assessment. Parents can also email their child’s teacher through the PAM portal or book a Parent Student Teacher Interview for the end of the term.

Every three weeks, any registered PAM accounts will also get an email summary of their student’s attendance, submitted tasks and upcoming assessments. For parents wanting more information on any of these areas, more detail can be found in the parent portal. The College has reminded teachers that all assessment needs to be placed in SIMON/PAM for students to prepare adequately in a timely manner, and also there is an expectation for all summative assessment tasks (Years 7 - 12) that grades and written feedback should be submitted within a fortnight of the task’s submission. If you are finding teachers are not adhering to these guidelines, please contact them via email, and if for some reason you do not get an adequate response, contact the Head of Learning at each subschool who will follow this up for you.

Key Learning Dates for Term 1

The following are key assessment and reporting dates for this term, further email communication will be sent closer to the dates:

NAPLAN for students in Years 7 and 9 Wednesday 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15 March

Mid Semester Reports will be available through PAM on Tuesday, 19 March

Parent Teacher Interview Bookings open online through PAM Wednesday, 20 March

Parent Teacher Interview Bookings close on Tuesday, 26 March

Parent Teacher Interviews onsite in the Edmund Rice Gym Wednesday, 27 March (4pm-7pm)

Parent Teacher Interviews online via TEAMS Thursday, 28 March (9am-12pm)

Lisa Pope
Deputy Principal