Dear Parents and Carers
Today our Years 8 to 11 students will finish exams before commencing the 2023 school year next Monday as our ‘Head Start’ program commences. We feel that Head Start plays an important part in ensuring students know their timetable and are comfortable with their subject and elective choices. It also provides the opportunity for teachers to get to know students, set expectations for the school year and ensure that the last few days of the school year involve meaningful and challenging work rather than ‘busy work’.
One important feature of the College is our ongoing shared working relationship with Sacred Heart. For about 30 years now the two Colleges have operated aligned timetables, with senior students from each school able to take one or more subjects at the other school. In 2023 there will be over 150 Sacred Heart students taking a subject at St Joseph’s and over 100 of our students studying at Sacred Heart.
In a sense, such a relationship gives us the best of both worlds. In the junior secondary years, we have the proven advantage of a single-gender student cohort. Boys in single-gender classes at this age have been shown to speak up more, take on challenges that they wouldn’t when girls are present, be more involved in less typically masculine pursuits and receive more praise from teachers than they do in a co-ed environment. In the senior secondary years we have a peer female presence on-site and in many classes, which creates a positive social environment.
We are currently working closely with Sacred Heart to ensure that this relationship continues and together we are planning possible adjustments to the school day and school week for some students. Such changed arrangements will offer some exciting opportunities around blended and offsite learning and we expect changes to be in place in 2024.
Last week the College Advisory Council formally ratified our new strategic plan. This document is the product of over 12 months consultation with, and contribution from, the College community. The document itself is deliberately and necessarily high level and will provide the basis for all of our decisions and actions and the next few years.
I encourage you to spend some time considering this document.
Last week our Year 12 VCE students completed their final exams. I would like to commend them on their approach and attitude towards their exams, and we wish them all the best as they wait for their results which are released on Monday 12 December. We would also like to thank all staff who were involved in preparing our students for these exams, as well as our Head of Mt Sion Learning Mr Brad Smith who coordinated the process with the assistance of Jules Holt.
This week all our students completed their final assessments for the 2022 reporting year. This includes end-of-semester examinations, where the final grade will be included in the end-of-semester report. Friday 25 November is a student-free day to provide time for teachers to mark examinations and prepare lessons for our Head Start program.
Student reports will be released to all parents through the PAM portal by the end of the day on Monday 12 December. This coincides with the release of the VCE results. As there will be an upgrade of PAM accounts over the holiday period, it is advisable to download the reports and store them on your computer should you need them. A celebration of student achievement will occur next year very early in term one as part of our awards ceremonies.
Head Start program provides an opportunity for our current students to transition to their 2023 timetable, enabling our students to be familiar with their new teachers and learning environment.
At Mt Sion, many of our students begin next year's VCE or VCE Vocational Major program, enabling our senior teachers to get a jump start on their courses early. Our Year 10 students are introduced to their new homerooms based on their House groups, setting the foundation for new friendships and establishing familiarity with their homeroom teacher who will be available to support them throughout their time at Mt Sion.
Our Westcourt team welcomes our Year 9 cohort for 2023, transitioning them from Waterford to our Year 9 Campus in Herne Hill. This is an equally important transition stage in the College and Head Start provides the opportunity for our students to acquaint themselves with the facilities, teaching team and begin our newly revised curriculum including the Westcourt Project.
The Waterford students will transition from Year 7 to Year 8, following their new timetable, meeting their new Homeroom teachers, and being introduced to their elective programs. Our new Grade 6 students will transition on Tuesday 13 December, after our students have finished, providing them with the opportunity to explore the Campus on their own.
The Head Start program provides a chance for our teachers at each subschool to outline our subschool norms and expectations, as well as opportunities to establish new friendships and routines. All students will receive their Head Start timetable via their email, and it will also appear on SIMON the weekend prior.
There are many elements that contribute to the engagement of a child’s experience at school, and one of the most important elements is parental involvement. Discussing school activities, nurturing aspirations, imparting expectations, helping with homework, and respectful and effective communication with the College are all ways to increase parental engagement.
Whilst teachers and staff appreciate and encourage the open dialogue between parents, there have been times when communication has been less than productive. Often this form of communication breaks down when parents and teachers have differing viewpoints, and they voice this in a less than respectful way. As parents, it’s evident we want the best for our children, we want them to know right from wrong, but we also find it difficult when other people including teachers point out that our children can be less than perfect at times. At St Joseph’s College, we take both an educative and restorative approach, and one that may result in issuing consequences for poor behaviour. Lieutenant General David Morrison, when addressing the International Women’s Day conference in 2013 said “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”, and “he needs everyone to support him in achieving this”. This was about changing culture, and it is the mandate that we need to ensure our students respect each other and our broader community.
As parents and teachers, we need to value our role in modelling positive behaviour. We need to be mindful of our own feelings and reactions, and identify the best way to communicate with each other to get an outcome that is educative and supportive of all individuals involved. We often refer to parents having relational knowledge of their child, they know how they learn and the influences that impact their learning. Whilst the teacher has expert knowledge in the curriculum, the developmental stages of learning and the ways to deliver it. Parents are the most influential teachers of their children, and our teachers are your colleagues, working alongside you, as they guide and educate your son. So, let’s keep the partnership strong and the lines of communication open, as we work together to support a thriving and respectful learning environment.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
(Philippians 4: 4-7)
As our St Joseph’s students make their transition into their new classes for 2023, they have been excitedly waiting to discover which classes they will be in, which subjects they will have on their timetable and importantly who will they be learning with as they begin their two weeks of their Head Start program. A fantastic way to prepare for the year ahead, anew with hope, calming nerves, getting organised and building new relationships.
Our teaching staff have been working hard to be prepared to create a positive start with their new classes which will all begin by reflecting on either the Waterford, Westcourt or Mt Sion Learning and Behavioural Norms which all staff and students are encouraged to follow. We believe that we achieve our academic best through the development of positive, respectful relationships with our teachers and classmates. We believe in having high expectations and a consistent approach to learning in all subjects. We are encouraged to adopt a growth mindset and agency when it comes to our learning.
Relationships are central to the success of any student transition, especially in secondary school. Head Start allows new classes to create a sense of belonging for the year ahead as students’ transition from focusing on completing their exams and assessment tasks to quickly developing a new sense of belonging with their 2023 Homeroom and House teachers.
Head Start coincides with the first week of Advent. Advent, which begins the Church’s new liturgical year. Advent encompasses the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation for our hearts and minds for the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. As with all new beginnings, this season is intended to renew our joy, hope, faith and love.
As we journey together over the remaining weeks of Advent and our school year may we follow the words of Philippians 4: 4-7 to, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.’
We need to live each day well by being respectful and loving towards each other so that we walk in God’s light. Let us be awake and on the lookout for the God who comes to us in the everyday happenings: in the sunset we see; the kind words we hear; the fresh air we breathe; the faces of the people we love; the feelings we experience knowing that we are accepted and valued.
As a community we live out the Touchstones of Gospel Spirituality, Inclusive Community, Liberating Education and Justice and Solidarity while living out the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice. During this Advent season our Year 12 Head Start students will be invited to take part in a House Car Wash challenge in Week 9 to raise funds for Catholic Missions. The #wearestillhere, a 2022 campaign reflecting on the role of being a missionary. “Being missionary means to give hope to those who have lost hope, and to work together with the community to continue building a better, more just, world for everyone.” The Car Wash House Competition gives points up for grabs for the 2023 Adam Bryant Shield. The House with the most cars washed gets the top points followed by the second third and fourth ranked House.
Our staff are also contributing to the annual Vinnies Christmas Appeal. As our Parish churches launch the annual 2022 Vinnies Christmas Appeal this weekend, we think about how we can support our local Geelong families in need to have a beautiful Christmas meal with their loved ones. We would like to make their Christmas joyful and therefore we will assist Vinnies by contributing a staff hamper for those in need.
Some staff are volunteering to support the The Barwon Health Foundation by wrapping Christmas presents at Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre to raise funds for the ‘Wish Upon a Star Christmas Appeal.’
Other staff members are purchasing a Christmas gift to support the amazing carers of our local Bellarine Support group for Kinship Carers who support and assist kinship carers who are people caring full time for their grandchildren or other relatives. Kinship care is the care provided to a child by relatives or a member of the child’s social network when the child cannot live with their parents.
I conclude with a verse from a beautiful Advent prayer I like to use at our staff end of Year Mass.
Ring out the bells!!
Ring out the bells of love.
Good and loving God,
We pray for greater love in our world;
Peace between nations, trust and good will between religions.
During this season of Advent, we pray particularly for our families in our St Joseph’s community.
May we take the time to listen carefully,
And to appreciate just how much other people mean to us.
May we find words to say how much we love those around us,
And sincerely work through any problems we might have with them.
Ring out the bells of love!
(Ritual Prayer 2008 Erica Marshall)
Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles paid a special visit to the College on Wednesday 16 November for a lively Q&A session with some politically minded senior students.Hosted by the Year 10 Civics and Citizenship class, the session covered a broad range of topics including the environment and engine emissions, Australia’s commitment to Ukraine, urban poverty and the major issues facing Geelong. Mr Marles said he thoroughly enjoyed being put through his paces by the students who offered up insightful and thought-provoking questions. “They were really good questions and it spoke to the thoughtfulness of the kids about the way they think about their community, the way they think about their future and the way they are thinking about the world." “If that is an example of the level of thought which is going on amongst our young people in this town we should have a lot of confidence about the future.” Mr Marles said it was a pleasure to visit St Joseph’s which continues to make a vital contribution to education in Geelong.“St Joseph’s College has been a great school for our region for a very long time. Over generations the school has been providing excellent education for young men,” he said. “You only have to look at the St Joeys alumni to understand the contribution that it’s made to Geelong. In lots of ways St Joey's is a really, really important school for our town.”
In addition to the wonderful efforts of students collecting recyclable plastic items for our National Recycling Week competitions, it was also all action behind the scenes, as we filled a truck with the equivalent of 720kg (three large wheelie bins) of E-Waste and a large bale of polystyrene for recycling through GDP Industries. In addition, a new “Hot Drink Eddie Coin” was introduced for use at the VCafe only. To differentiate, the “Hot Drink” coin is a "coffee" colour and will hold the value of one hot drink only! Ironically, at the tail end of National Recycling week, the REDcycle group announced a temporary suspension of collection of soft plastics from supermarkets. As we are not in a position to stockpile our collections (for health and safety reasons), the decision was made to follow suit and suspend our collection of soft plastic until the program resumes operation. We implore all students to adopt our CUT THE WRAP approach to lunches and refrain from bringing soft plastic wrappers onto the College grounds.
The Year 7 class 7H, commenced the Recycling Responsibility initiative, recycling the food waste from the staffroom and Sustainability leaders and other volunteers have been proactive in maintaining the reconciliation garden, sorting plastic bottle tops and bras for donation to Fiji.
CALLING FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TO COLLECT PLASTIC ITEMS (NUMBERS 2 AND 4 ONLY)
In order to keep the production line running, we are still calling for all members of our community to assist in the collection of raw materials needed - Number 4 plastics!
Common items made of Number 4 plastic include; Sauce bottles, Milk bottles and plastic bottle lids. Please ensure donated items are washed and dried before donating and tops are removed from containers. Items may be delivered to the Reception area at either campus.
The following students participated in the 2022 All Schools Athletics Carnival which ran over the last two weekends.
Massimo P - 100m, 200m and long jump as well as the 110m hurdles where he came 2nd with a time of 14.46. (nationals qualified)
Ace P- 400m Hurdles coming 3rd.
Noah B - Pole vault and came 1st jumping 4.3m (national qualified).
Tobias S - 100m, 200m, came 2nd in the 400m and 3rd in the long jump.
Max R - 200 hurdles, 5th place, in a time of 29.78 (nationals qualified).
Oska R -- 100m finishing 6th and 200m finishing 5th
Congratulations on all your achievements and for representing the school.
Tuesday 31 January - Wednesday 5 April
Wednesday 26 April - Thursday 22 June
Tuesday 11 July - Thursday 14 September
Monday 2 October - Thursday 7 December
* Finishing dates may vary for different year levels in Term 4 due to senior classes having exams etc. All dates may also be subject to change. Please keep up to date with the College newsletter for the latest information.
Join Team St MOseph's! Grow a mo, set a MOVEmber challenge, or support a fellow MoTeam (such as St MOseph's.... for example) and raise awareness for men's health.
Find our MOvember team at: https://movember.com/t/sjcgeelong
Money Raised - $3400/10,000
MOVES - 149km/1000
Team Members - 82 / 220 (the 220 member goal is around 10% of our school community)
Conversations promoting men's health. Countless, but impactful.
With our goal of $10,000, 1000km and 220 members. We are on track. We would love to exceed all these goals by the end of the month. Sign up, get involved and change the statistics surrounding men's health.
The 2023 St Joseph’s College booklists for each year level will be listed when available to download on this page. Submission of booklists is to be done online – please do not return the booklist to the College.
1. Visit www.campion.com.au
2. Choose to set up an account, sign in or continue without an account.
3. Type in the code: “MH3J”
4. Select the relevant year level booklist
5. Complete and submit the order by the due date. Please check carefully that all compulsory items have been selected.
All orders will be home delivered.
The College is working with Sustainable School Shop to provide parents with the ability to trade second-hand items via www.sustainableschoolshop.com.au The service is very accessible, it preferences our school first and then provides access to buy and sell items with families attending other schools. Many schools use this service. Access to second-hand textbooks, uniforms, calculators, stationery, musical equipment, etc is available all year. For the best results:
• Register on the Sustainable School Shop website and nominate the school
• A subscription to the service will be provided to you
• List your items for sale
• List wanted ads for those items you are looking to buy (if you’re buying texts, please ensure that it is the booklisted edition and that digital codes are current)
• The College’s uniform and book lists are loaded into the system to make listing ads easy
• The system matches the ads of buyers with sellers and notifies the buyer via email
• Buyers contact sellers and arrange where and when to trade
• Most trading will occur with other parents from our school
• Parents are well supported via Sustainable School Shop’s telephone (0438 743 444) and email help lines
• The system is simple and easy to use. If you don’t have a computer, internet access or an email address, please call the Sustainable School Shop for assistance.
• You can pre-arrange the transaction and then trade after the texts are not required.
The College is providing this service so there is no cost for families. Each family that registers on the Sustainable School Shop will be given a subscription.
Facebook Group: St Joseph's College Geelong Second Hand Uniforms and Books
In Loving Memory of Terry Strain (Past Staff)
Terry Strain died peacefully on Sunday 20 November, after a battle with cancer. Terry worked on the ground staff at St Joseph's College for about 6 years in the early 80's with Russell Zampatti (dec) and Damian Moynihan. Brother-in-law to Michael Anderson (staff), husband to Pam, father of Emily, Luke and Bob. Proud Grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
In loving Memory of Kevin Costa (78 years) SJOC 1961.
St Joseph’s College and the St Joseph’s College Foundation are saddened at the passing of Kevin Costa (17-11-2022).
Kevin joined St Joseph’s as a student in 1955 as a boarder with his older brother Anthony.
Kevin has been a much-loved and respected member of the SJC community for many years and was instrumental in launching the SJC Foundation in 1995. He served as chair from 1999 – 2009 and remained on the committee until his passing retaining a great passion for our College.
Kevin was thrilled to receive a 25-year service award to the College and the Foundation at the Foundation’s 25-year celebration in November last year, with fellow long-serving committee members Dr Joe Virgona and Peter Rudd.
Kevin’s stories of his time at St Joseph’s, in particular as a boarder, are legendary and he attended all the reunions over many years with fellow boarders.
To Lorraine and Brad and the entire Costa family, the College extends its heartfelt sympathy.
He was a true friend of St Joseph’s who will be greatly missed by his fellow Old Collegians and by all of the members of his St Joseph’s family.
Rest in peace Kevin. ‘Take it easy’.
Uniting Barwon are recruiting motivated, reliable volunteers to the following roles:
Retail Assistants - mid-week and Saturdays
Logistics Head Volunteer - 3 mornings a week (e.g. M/W/F or T/Th/F)
Christmas Programs Head Volunteer – various shifts from now to end Dec
Uniting Barwon is an emergency relief agency providing assistance to individuals and families in our local community who need practical support during times of financial and personal struggle. If you—or someone you know—would enjoy being part of a can-do volunteer team, even for a few hours a week, please contact Elizabeth Hopkin on
4210 1113 or email [email protected]
Support vulnerable people in the community and help make a difference.
Volunteer appointments are subject to satisfactory criminal history checks, reference checks and Working with Children Check prior to commencement.