Year 12 Practice Exams

I had hoped to be able to report our arrangements for the Year 12 Practice Exams in the second week of the upcoming holidays (Monday 28 September – Thursday 1 October) but this decision will be delayed until we hear from our Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, on Sunday 6 September. At this stage there are 2 possibilities.  The first is that students are able to attend onsite to complete these exams with external supervisors all be it in a very different manner to ensure student safety.  This would include socially distancing, wearing of masks, restrictions on the numbers within rooms based upon the size of the rooms and appropriate hygiene and cleaning procedures.  The second is that the exams are completed remotely by students at home and the exams will be mailed to students to complete.  Once the roadmap out of Stage 4 restrictions is provided by our Premier this Sunday, we will inform both students and parents as soon as possible.

In John McKay’s section of the newsletter, he outlines some decisions we have made with regards to exams at Years 7 -11.

Year 12 Graduation

In light of current COVID-19 restrictions it seems quite unlikely that 1000 people are going to be able to gather collectively to celebrate our Graduation Mass and Graduation Dinner. As such we have come up with alternatives so that we can formally recognise this significant milestone for our current Year 12 students. This will take place in the first week in December once Year 12 exams have concluded (most likely Thursday 3 December and Friday 4 December).  In essence we are planning to conduct some form of liturgy and graduation ceremony for each homeroom which will be livestreamed to enable peers, staff and our wider community to be involved in the process. Obviously, it will be in line with any restrictions that are in place at that particular time to ensure the safety of all involved. We have a number of different plans depending upon the restrictions that are in place at that particular time.

Year 12 Discussions

Last year I asked our Year 12 teachers to nominate 2 groups of students within their classes- the students who are applying themselves diligently towards their studies and those who are capable of more.  After meeting with these students to have a discussion about what strategies they used to prepare for their written exams in less than nine weeks.  For the students who applied themselves diligently to their studies, I congratulated them for their efforts, encouraged them to continue their efforts and asked what tips they have for studying.

For the second group who were capable of more I asked what they could do in the next nine weeks to improve their work ethic and study in preparation for the exams. I am also providing them with some of the strategies that our most diligent students are using in their studies.  These strategies include:

  • Taking notes during class either in written form or typing their notes.
  • Revising these notes, rewriting and summarising these notes to commit this information into their long-term memory.
  • Applying the knowledge that they have learned by practising previous exam questions.
  • Being familiar with and understanding the study design in each of their subjects.
  • Using tools such as Edrolo, Mindmapping and Cue cards to remember important information.
  • Seeking extra help and assistance from their subject teachers
  • Listening carefully in class to teachers for hints about how to maximise their marks in both coursework and exams.
  • Asking teachers for ways/strategies to assist them with their study and revision.
  • Completing all of the set work, homework and completing extra questions in preparation for the exams.
  • Organise a study group and plan your study time by developing your own schedule.


MyPenola Notifications

I have had a small number of parents contact me saying that they had been inundated with notifications from MyPenola.  Whilst it is not possible for parents to stop all notifications from MyPenola, the following link shows you how to shut off the notifications that you have control over.

Parent guide to changing notifications on MyPenola

Professional Development Day – Wednesday 2 September (Student Free)

Wednesday, 2 September is a Student Free day to allow all staff to participate in Professional Learning for the day. The Staff Professional Development Day consisted of time allocated to complete learning modules in the Penola Learning Centre as well as a compulsory Professional Learning activity for teaching staff led by Professor John Munro who is now working with ACU. Professor Munro was the Author of the Curiosity and Powerful Learning booklet titled Curiouser and Curiouser and he is going to present 4 learning sessions titled Improving students’ reading comprehension: practical strategies for remote teaching during COVID-19. These mandatory sessions for teaching staff will take place on 2 & 9 September and 12 & 21 October from 3.30p.m. – 5.00p.m.

Year 7 Enrolments 2022

A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2022 close on Friday 9 October.  A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year and it makes it very difficult to accurately plan for the following year, so I ask that you submit your enrolment as soon as possible.  Often families assume that we know that there is a younger sibling, I would be very disappointed if one of our existing families missed out on an enrolment due to not submitting their enrolment in a timely manner.

Grade Prep enrolments in our Catholic Feeder Primary schools

One of the strengths that we have as a regional Catholic secondary school is the great relationship that we have with our feeder Primary Parish schools.  We meet each term just to discuss what is happening in each of our respective schools.  At our meeting last week, a number of my colleague Principals indicated that prep enrolments for 2021 had been slow and I said that I would place a reminder in our Newsletter as we share the same families.  I have listed below the contact details for each of our Catholic Primary Schools:

Corpus Christi Primary School – 13–21 Widford Street, Glenroy, 9306 3062

Holy Child Primary School – 227 Blair St, Dallas, 9309 1620

School of the Good Shepherd – 88 S Circular Rd, Gladstone Park, 9338 7686

St Carlo Borremeo, – 5-9 Drummond St, Greenvale, 9333 2572

St Dominic’s Primary School – 408 Camp Rd., Broadmeadows, 9309 4146

St Fidelis Primary School, – 52-64 Saunders St, Coburg, 9383 3600

St Francis de Sales Primary School – 626 Pascoe Vale Rd, Oak Park, 9306 9444

St Matthews Primary School – 95 William St, Fawkner North, 9359 5423

St Marks Primary School – 118 Argyle St, Fawkner, 9359 6463

St Thomas More Primary School – 30 Angus St, Hadfield, 9312 8200

St Therese Primary School – 25/33 Edward St, Essendon, 9374 6100

St Monicas Primary School – 20 Robinson St, Moonee Ponds, 9375 1132


Father’s Day

In our setting – a coeducational school in Melbourne’s Northern suburbs, we are ever conscious of the impact we, as adults have on our young people. The influence that parents have on shaping their children is paramount and the second greatest influence usually comes from the teachers that young people have during their schooling. The opportunity to bring Dads and their children together is something which the College values enormously.

The evidence suggests that as Dads, we must ensure that we do find time to be with our sons and daughters and to take an active and genuinely interested role in their lives. I hope that all of our Dads and families will enjoy the upcoming Fathers’ Day this Sunday.

I have been fortunate to have my father be a strong and positive influence throughout my entire life. My father is from the era where men were seen as the provider and nurturing children was seen as the mother’s role. My father, whilst an extremely intelligent man, left school at the age of 15 to begin an apprenticeship as a butcher. Unfortunately, he lost both of his parents within a 6 month period whilst he was still aged 14. As a result, Dad always found it difficult to express his emotions particularly love. That is not to say that he didn’t love me or my siblings he just wouldn’t say it. He demonstrated his love on a regular basis to all within the family but found it difficult to say. Fortunately, with the addition of grandchildren, he has become much better at verbally expressing his love. This is something that I am conscious of with both my son and daughter and I try to express my love to them on a daily basis. Sometimes too regularly if you ask them!

Stuart Harrison’s Review

Mr Stuart Harrison will be having a summative review of his position as Deputy Principal; Head of the Glenroy campus on Wednesday 16 September. The panel members will consist of Chris Bence (CEM Regional Leadership Consultant), Ernie Pisani (Stuart’s nominee) and myself as Principal. The purpose of the review is to provide Stuart with feedback about his performance in the role as Deputy Principal: Head of the Glenroy campus both in terms of things he does well and areas for improvement. The information from the review will determine whether Stuart is reappointed into the role for another 5 year period. Every Glenroy staff member will be sent a survey to provide feedback to Stuart with regards to his performance in the role.  There will be a sample of students and parents randomly selected to complete surveys as well. We wish Stuart well with the review process.

Years 11 & 12 Practical Assessments (Students coming onsite)

Listed below is a schedule for Year 12 students to come onsite to complete essential assessments for their VCE and/or VET programs. The VCAA can confirm that the Stay at Home Directions1 (the Directions) across Victoria enable:

  • students to leave their premises to undertake essential VCE and VCAL assessments onsite,
  • a school or other educational facility or institution to operate for the purposes of providing those services to those students, where it is ‘not reasonably practicable for those assessment to be undertaken’ from the student’s home, and
  • education staff can leave their premises to undertake support for the delivery of mandatory VCE and VCAL assessments onsite.

If parents require a permit for travel to drop their son or daughter at the College for any of these sessions, please email me at and I will attach a permit in a return email.  The permit allows you to legally travel to and from the school in the event that you are stopped by Victoria Police.

Students will report to Reception upon arrival at the Broadmeadows campus where they will sign in and be temperature tested.

Tips on how to be a top role model

No matter what young people might say, parents and care givers are still the most influential role models in their lives.  Children learn how to behave from the people closest to them.  This includes how they deal with their emotions and cope with stress and anger and how they relate to others socially.  It also teaches them how to empathise with others and what is appropriate behaviour.  This is a very important message given the potential stresses that come out of trying to make long term decisions such as future career pathways.

As they get older and become more independent, it is important not to underestimate the importance of being a good role model.  Having a strong healthy relationship with a young person will help them navigate the danger years when alcohol, drugs, risky behaviour and peer pressure are also vying for their attention.

  1. Show support: as teenagers get older, they still turn to their parents for advice. Show you support and trust their decisions and they will be more likely to come to you for advice and let you know what is going on in their lives.
  2. Get involved: try to stay involved in a teenager’s life, share their interests and ask about their friends. Teenagers are most likely to choose friends who are like them, so encourage good values from a young age.
  3. Do what you say: if you are asking a young person to respect certain rules and a life style make sure you stick to it as well. Show them you have confidence in who you are and what you believe in.
  4. Healthy lifestyle: demonstrating good eating habits and a positive attitude to your body will help young people feel positive about their own body image and be more accepting of their body shape. It also emphasizes having a healthy body rather than striving for the external stick thin images portrayed by the media.
  5. Exercise regularly: this encourages teenagers to do the same. This gets them out of the house and away from the computer and other social media that can take up so much of their time.  It also gives them a different outlook and perspective on life and encourages social interaction with others through team sports.
  6. Life is about learning: show that you enjoy learning and that you are not frightened to try something new. This can be in both formal and informal education.  Show that sometimes things need a bit of work and sticking at before you get results.
  7. Look on the bright side of life: an optimistic attitude and positive outlook in life will develop a sense of ‘can do’ in a teenager rather than ‘what’s the point’. This is an important skill for them to develop and helps build their resilience and self-confidence.
  8. It’s alright to make mistakes: the important thing here is how you handle them. Everyone makes mistakes and the key point is for a young person to know that this is how we learn. Take responsibility for your actions and talk about how they can be corrected.
  9. Do unto others: Teenagers will treat people with respect and kindness if it is shown to them first. Talk to them about social issues and point out positive role models in the media (e.g. Nelson Mandela) and inspiring historical role models (e.g. Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa).
  10. Problem Solving: try to demonstrate how to solve problems in a calm and productive way (listen and think calmly, consider options and other people’s needs, find constructive solutions and, sometimes, work towards compromises). Getting angry when things don’t go well doesn’t help teach a child how to handle a situation when it doesn’t quite go the way they had planned.

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

I have included a reflection given by a staff member previously as there is a truth within the reflection that resonated with me.


When I was 4 years old I thought, “My Daddy can do anything.”

When I was 5 years old I told my friends, “My Daddy knows a whole lot.”

When I was 6 years old I told my best friend, “My Dad is smarter than your Dad.”

When I was 8 years old I thought, “ My Dad doesn’t know exactly everything.”

When I was 10 years old I thought, “In the olden days when my Dad grew up, things were sure different.”

When I was 12 years old I told myself, “Well, naturally, Dad doesn’t know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.”

When I was 14 years old I told my friends, “Don’t pay any attention to my Father. He is so old fashioned.”

When I was 21 years old I said of my father, “Him? My Lord, he’s hopelessly out of date.”

When I was 25 years old I thought, “Dad knows a little bit about it, but he should he has been around for so long.”

When I was 30 years old I said to my friends, “Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all he has had a lot of experience.”

When I was 40 years old my mantra was: “I’m not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.”

When I was 50 years old I would ask myself, “I wonder how Dad would handle this? He is so wise and has a world of experience.”

When I was 60 years old I said to myself, “I’d give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn’t appreciate how smart he was. I could have learnt a lot from him.”