As part of our ongoing commitment to student wellbeing, we have decided to adopt Skodel Check-In for our Year 7s. Skodel Check-In offers us a simple and engaging way to check in with students on a regular basis. By giving students an opportunity to share stories of gratitude, share their vulnerabilities, or simply share a story with us we aim to achieve the following:

  1. Build Stronger Relationships: By driving more meaningful conversations in our school community, we are able to build stronger relationships with students, families, and our College’s values and culture.
  2. Identify Students That Need Support: It can be hard for students going through a challenging time to speak out. Our aim is to give students a medium they feel comfortable opening up on so we can best support them.
  3. Encourage Self-Expression: We want to give students a voice and encourage them to use it.

We plan to trial this in 2021 for Year 7 with the aim to grow to other year levels in 2022, if successful.


Last year St Joseph’s secured a partnership with the LifeChanger Foundation, a non for profit organisation that will come in and work with all our Year 8 students in Term 2 and 3 this year. LifeChanger was formed in 2017 by Scott Watters and Trevor Hendy. LifeChanger’s mission is to create a generational shift in society by focusing on positive psychology to ‘Awaken the Hero’ that lives within Australian youth. Their objectives are to build sustainable, growth-mindset communities by providing interactive sessions with students on Health, Gratitude, Connection, Resilience and Purpose.

What we love about the program is that we have been able to train over 70 senior school students to mentor our Year 8s and help with the session facilitation. We see this as a wonderful opportunity to give Mt Sion (Years 10-12) students an opportunity to gain this mentor qualification and give back to the younger years, thus creating a supportive culture. This partnership with LifeChanger will run for at least three years meaning your son may opt-in to the mentor training when he enters the senior school. Our first Year 8 session will commence on Monday 10 May. Feel free to check out their website.


All Year 12 students and many Mt Sion teachers will be involved in a three-day renewals program on 3-5 May. The Year 12s are preparing for their renewals and will all be away at either Araluen Anglesea, Pax Hill Activity Centre Ballarat, Arrabri Lodge Warburton, or Wombat Corner Lake Emerald for two nights. The boys will all have time to stop and reflect on their journeys thus far and look at who they are now and plan and discuss who they want to be in the future. The staff share personal reflections linked with the EREA touchstones and it is truly a special time for the Year 12s. We wish them all the best.


In 2021, Year 10 and 11 students will engage in remote learning on 3-5 May whilst the Year 12s are on their renewals. For the teachers involved in the Year 12 renewals, their Year 10 and 11 classes will be provided with ‘anytime learning’, as these teachers will be heavily involved in the renewals program. The teachers not involved in renewals will conduct ‘real-time learning’ through MS Teams with their Year 10 and 11 classes which will be clearly set out on SIMON Learning Areas as per usual. Please be assured that the full timetable for regular teaching and learning will still continue uninterrupted for Year 10 and 11 students, it will just be delivered remotely. All VET classes will be running as per usual along with Music tuition. We believe this will keep our students and staff in touch with the independent learning and teaching skills that were enhanced last year.


The nationally mandated NAPLAN testing will be undertaken by Year 7 and 9 students at St Joseph’s from Tuesday 11 May until Thursday 13 May. The NAPLAN testing is conducted online and it is essential that the students have their laptops fully charged each morning of the testing. Please encourage students to place their laptops on charge overnight before each testing day. It is highly desirable that if the student’s laptop is not functioning correctly they must attend the IT office to have any repairs undertaken well before the testing week. All students will be required to have their own personal earphones/buds/pods to undertake the testing properly. We wish our Year 7 and 9 students all the best

  • Tuesday 11 May Period 1 and 2 - Reading (approx. 65 minutes)
  • Tuesday 11 May Period 3 - Conventions of Language (approx. 45 minutes)
  • Wednesday 12 May Period 1- Writing (approx. 42 mins)
  • Thursday 13 May Period 1 and 2 - Numeracy (approx. 65 minutes)


Late last term some of our students reported to us their concerns that some boys were vaping at school during school hours. We have addressed this by explicitly speaking to our students about the health and legal concerns and how it goes against our strict drug and alcohol policy. We have adjusted our health units to incorporate Vapes which will ensure our younger students are well aware of the health risks. This seems to be a wide spread issue and I am keen for families to have conversations at home about this. Firm consequences have and will be enforced if students are caught vaping at school. The following website provides good information for parents.