Newsletter - Volume 15 - 19 October 2017

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Term 4 Welcome

The term has begun and both the students and staff appear to be happy to be back at school. I hope that the holiday period was relaxing and that you were able to spend some quality time together as a family.

Term 4 within any school is a very unique term, and often in my imagination, the term seems like a period of continuous ‘count downs’, and I am sure many of the staff and students feel the same. Some of the countdowns include the last day of classes for our Year 12 students; the beginning of Year 12 examinations followed by Year 11 and 10 examinations. We also have a countdown to the Year 9 exams and then the many and various deadlines for the Years 7 and 8 students. All these events will be quite quickly followed by graduations, and before we all know it, it will be Christmas!

In this busy time, more than half of the school will be engaged in end of year examinations, and if you include end of year assessment tasks there should be many students with very demanding deadlines ahead of them. So for this reason, I thought it would be valuable to discuss with families how you might support your son or daughter during what can be a challenging period for school work.

At meetings with new parents I always try and make a habit of saying that school always will be the second educator of students, as parents are by a long margin, the number one educator. This is no marketing slogan or cute catch-phrase, but, I think, a very basic truth. And as such, it is most important that parents continue the very important role as educators of their sons and daughters. The type of assistance I am talking about is not meant to be like a teacher at home, but a more powerful supportive role that helps them perform well at school. So if I was drawing up a list of supportive things that families can do during this time of exams and projects, it would look something like this…

The highest priority might seem very obvious but I think it is still important to name it; and that is that most students perform at their best if their home environment is well ordered, has consistent rules and a warm and supportive emotional climate. All students prosper if there is regularity in their study habits and environment.

The second most important thing is that home study times should be in place which are consistently adhered to, preferably in a public place in the house where there is a quiet but supportive buzz of people around the student who is doing the study. I am sure I have mentioned before that in most cases, shutting a boy or girl in their room is just about the worst thing you can do.

The fact is, only a certain percentage of students really enjoy home study, so it can be a real benefit to students who do not enjoy home study to be in an environment where other people are around them, but this has to be done in a way which ensures relative calm.  In that environment students can seek quite a bit of support from parents about having, for example something read over, or a question made clearer, and parents can also get some understanding of how their son or daughter is coping with the work at hand.

In the case of older students (and I mean by this, anybody from Year 10 onwards), the reality is they are becoming more independent and therefore parents have less control over some aspects of their life style. Nonetheless, I think it is really important that parents of this age group help their sons and daughters make sensible choices about balancing competing life style agendas.

For example, sleep deprivation can be a significant issue for young people, so it is important for parents to help older teenagers make wise decisions about how often they go out, work part-time jobs and what they generally cram into their busy lives. It is not uncommon for a young person to have a job, a busy social calendar and budding relationship whilst still at school. It can be a tricky business when parents try to step in and take control when teenagers are not making wise choices. It is important for parents to develop the knack of having these supportive conversations about managing their quite complex lives in a healthy manner.

Some lifestyle advice can be given more surreptitiously, for example, by putting bowls of carrot and dried fruit and nuts in front of them as they study, and keeping the coke and sugary foods at a distance. These sorts of proactive actions are often much more powerful than sitting down and telling them to eat properly.

Another area where parents can be of enormous benefit is with time management. Many young people fall into the trap of just starting at the start and ploughing through the work to the end. They often think that just working at 100 miles an hour is going to be the best way. Advice about assessing priorities, breaking down tasks into components and creating timelines can be of real benefit.

For some students, exam and assessment periods bring about an increase in anxiety levels. We know that once anxiety gets to a certain level there can be a loss of good judgment and a decrease in work quality. Therefore parents can be a great support for their children by assisting with planning deadlines, timelines and generally sorting out the broad scope of what has to be done. These are very much adult skills that many young people don’t have.

Another important but complex area of support is the help parents can provide with their emotions. Although there are no simple rules or guidelines, parents have an enormous role to play by helping their child’s thinking and feelings to be positive and realistic. Strange as it may sound, too many students, particularly boys, overestimate their ability and as a consequence, can experience disappointment due to over confidence. If your child is like this, your job will be to keep him realistic and grounded. Overconfidence can be an unfortunate masculine characteristic and it is important to ensure that our young men are not too blasé about the capabilities.

Conversely, there is another group of students who are the opposite. Some are prone to anxiety and unfortunately talking that person up is not necessarily the best solution to this problem. Building confidence through pep talks may be a valuable ingredient, but by far the best solution is actually helping them think or work through whatever it is that is making them anxious. And when I say help them “think through” I do mean that. When it comes to school, there is no doubt that one of the hardest things for some parents is to not tell their adolescent children how to think or act, but instead be a form of mentor.

The last aspect where support can be very valuable relates to a wider problem solving capacity that young people often don’t have. This falls broadly into a communication or seeking help category. It is most important that students are able to talk over problems with their teachers, or raise concerns and know that they will be heard and understood. Offering simple advice such as when or how an issue may be broached with a teacher, or reminding your son or daughter that it might be a good idea to let your teacher know about this, can be an enormous benefit. Young people can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone around them is a mind reader and know what their problem is. Conversely, they may think that nobody would care or pay attention. Generally putting teachers in the picture, and also putting Mum and/or Dad in the picture is tremendously beneficial.

Most of the things I have talked about fall into the category of life skills. They don’t require university courses or degrees but they do need careful thought and consideration. If you are able to provide these valuable life skills for your child, you will be giving them a significant form of education that will not only benefit them while they are at Penola but will set them up for success in whatever area of pursuit they follow after school.

With my own son and daughter currently preparing for their end of Year University examinations, it is easy to suggest these strategies but it may not mean that your son or daughter takes them up!

Masterplan Feedback

I have attached a link below of the latest Masterplan from our Architects, Clarke Hopkins Clarke, for parents to both view and provide feedback regarding the Masterplan.  There are two options proposed with the Masterplan which have both advantages and disadvantages and relate specifically to the Broadmeadows campus.

The first option involves relocation of the Maintenance Facility to enable parking to extend beyond the Performing Arts Auditorium; a proposed Sports Pavilion on the Northern Oval; the relocation of the existing canteen; enclosing the existing hardcourt areas; the construction of a new Sports Pavilion on the Southern Oval and the demolition of the existing Year 12 Shortis Building to be replaced with a new Year 12 and VCAL area. 

The second option involves relocation of the Maintenance Facility to enable parking to extend beyond the Performing Arts Auditorium; a proposed Sports Pavilion on the Northern Oval; the relocation of the existing canteen to adjoin a new double court Gymnasium where the existing Year 12 Shortis Building is currently located; the construction of a new Sports Pavilion on the Southern Oval and the construction of a new double story Year 12 and VCAL area located where the existing Student Services building is currently located.

Click here to view the Masterplan!

Proposed Changes to Student Uniform

At this stage the following changes have been suggested to the current uniform.  Girls Summer Uniform to include navy shorts and the white short sleeved shirt. We are also looking at the optional introduction of navy skins to the Sports uniform.  As many of you will have noticed, our students are reluctant to wear the navy track pants so navy skins worn underneath the existing sports uniform may enable students to stay warmer in the winter months.  Please let me know if you have any feedback regarding these proposed changes or any other suggestions that you may have via email to principal@penola.vic.edu.au

Staff Changes

Welcome back to Deveraj Kumar after his long service leave and my thanks to Dion Hughes for covering for Kumar throughout his leave period. Welcome back to Danielle Prescott after maternity leave and my thanks to Ms Melissa Vella for covering for Danielle for the first three terms. Welcome back to Soula Argyropoulos after her long service leave and my thanks to Ms Angela Villella for covering Soula. Ms Anna Di Perna returns after long service leave and my thanks to Ms Connie Vindigni for covering Anna. Ms Noeleen Ellis also returns from long service leave and I thank Miss Nellie Mims for covering Noeleen last term. Mary La Riccia commences long service leave for the term and will be replaced by Matthew Seviour. Miss Angela Villella will replace Ms Megumi Irihama as she takes all of fourth term on long service leave as well.  Mr Jason Hussey is taking the first four weeks of this term as long service leave and has been replaced by Mr Troy Jacuta, Ms Elaine Georges commenced maternity leave at the end of Term 3 and is being replaced by Ms Melissa Vella. Ms Bridie Wallace commenced maternity leave at the end of Term 3 and has been replaced by Mr John McKay for the remainder of the year. Mr Dion Hughes will replace Ms Andrea London as she commences maternity leave. Ernie Pisani returns in Week 3 of Term 4 after 6 weeks of long service leave.


On behalf of our College community I express our deepest sympathy to Mr Colin Peasnell on the recent passing of his son, Rob. We pray for the Peasnell family during their time of loss.


On a more positive note I congratulate the following staff members on the recent additions to their respective families:

Ms Elaine Georges and her husband Theo on the birth of their second Daughter, Maria Georges on Tuesday September 26th.

Congratulations to support staff member, Ms Anita Namrood who was married in Sydney during the middle weekend of the holidays.

Year 7 Enrolments 2019

A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2019 closed on Friday August 25.  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 but 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.

Student Free Days this Term

Friday October 27 students finish at 12.30pm to allow staff time for professional learning regarding online collaboration using Microsoft Office 365 and Powerful Learning using different pedagogical Models of Practice. 

Monday November 6 is a Student-Free Day to allow staff to meet together to write the new Victorian Curriculum which will be introduced from the beginning of 2018.  This day will be student free for both campuses.  I recognise that this creates an imposition on families and thank you in advance for your ongoing support as we strive to improve student outcomes.

Friday November 17 is a Student-Free Day. This will allow our Senior students (Years 9 - 11) a small break between finishing exams and commencing their Headstart program and allow our staff to have a correction Day to finalise grades. It will also allow our Junior students (Years 7 & 8) a study day prior to their exams on Monday November 20.

2018 Bell Times

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo Vol. 15

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo Vol. 15

  Dear Parents, Guardians and Students, Further to the alert sent through MyPenola last week, as we conclude the second week of Term Four and prepare for 2018, there continues to be much to communicate. Headstart & Campion Booklists/Digital Resources DUE DATE for Years 10-12, 2018 – EXTENDED to 27th October All current Year 9-11 students will require all of …

Read more.


Winner of the Future Earth Sustainable Garden

The Glenroy Campus entry “Future Earth Sustainable Garden” was announced on Thursday 12th October as the Leader Local Grant winner for the Moreland area. The money from the grant will go towards building a garden next to the science wing that has many sustainable features from a water tank, solar panels, drought tolerant planting and a sculpture made from recyclable materials. Thanks to the Science team, Gareth Henderson and the Grounds Crew and a massive thanks to everyone from the Penola Community who voted for our idea, we will have an amazing new garden area.


Proposed Canberra Excursion

Next year our Year 11 &12 Legal Studies students will be given the opportunity to take part in a camp to our National’s capital, Canberra. The trip is proposed to take place on the 27th – 29th March. The aim of this camp is for our students to have a better understanding of the role and function of Federal Parliament and Government, the role of the High Court in the interpretation of the Constitution and how our Government and our Court system exhibits the notion of being transparent and accessible to the public. Interested students who will be studying VCE Legal Studies in 2018 are asked to complete an expression of interest letter and submit it to Mrs. S. Argyropoulos by the 25th October 2017.

Soula Argyropoulos

Head of Humanities


Year 11 Funfields Excursion Day

To celebrate the end of Year 11, we have decided to take the entire year level to Funfields Theme Park in Whittlesea. This event will take place on Thursday November 16 after the final day of exams on the Wednesday November 15.

Students will travel to the venue by bus and be supervised by their homeroom teacher and Penola Staff in addition to the theme park staff.

The cost will be covered by Penola Catholic College as a recognition of their efforts this year.

We have identified that there has been no special event for the Year 11 cohort in the past and so it has been suggested by our College Vice Captains that this would be a great way to celebrate before the conclusion of the year. We appreciate the support of all Year 11 parents and guardians with this venture and ask that you complete the permission details on Care Monkey and ensure that your child attends.

Students will be required to dress appropriate in casual clothes including closed footwear required for the rides and to be Sun Smart on the day.

Lunch and snacks may be purchased at the students expense on the day, or it can be brought with them from home.

Thank you for your assistance

Year 11 Coordinators


Penola Sport Facebook Page 


Flexi Schools – Cashless Canteen System

Penola Catholic College is in the process of introducing a cashless canteen system called Flexi Schools for both our Broadmeadows and Glenroy Campus College Canteens.  Over this term we have been trialling the new system with teaching staff. We hope to phase this new system in for students from the start of Term 3. We anticipate all going well we may be totally cashless  by Term 4. This new system allows you to order your lunch online prior to 11.00am daily. Parents can load up their students ID card through the Flexi School System and students will use their ID card for purchasing. Parents can also set up lunch orders and views their student purchases and balance.

Please click the link below and follow instructions to sign up or head straight to their website.

Flexi Schools Instructions




Forms can be filled out NOW for 2018 providing your card is eligible

CSEF eligibility DATES

For concession card holders CSEF eligibility will be subject to the parent/legal guardian’s concession card being successfully validated with Centrelink on the first day of either term one (29 January 2018) or term two (16 April 2018).

CSEF Applications forms can be collected either:

• Accounts Office (Broadmeadows Campus)

• Glenroy Campus Office

• Attached to this newsletter

• www.education.vic.gov.au/csef

• Emailed to dgaetano@penola.vic.edu.au

CSEF Flyer

CSEF 2018 Application Form



Second Hand Uniform Sales 

Fortnightly Tuesdays, Broadmeadows Campus

8.45am - 10.30am

Term Four: Oct 10, Oct 24, Nov 14, Nov 28

If you wish to sell your freshly dry cleaned second hand uniform items (new logo/uniform), you can do so by leaving them at Reception at the Broadmeadows Campus. Blue blazers with the old logo will also be accepted. All items must show they have been dry cleaned by having the dry cleaning tag attached. 

Academy Uniforms run a school shop service at Broadmeadows Campus in the current second hand uniform area in the Mannes building on:

Wednesday mornings from 8:00 - 9:30am
Thursday afternoons from 3:00 - 4:00pm

Academy Uniforms are now ON-LINE

Simply go to: Academy Uniforms
Choose Penola Catholic College and enter password Broadmeadows
Orders can be sent to the School Shop or home address.

Academy Uniforms
238 Wolseley Place,
Ph: 9460 8011


Penola Catholic College

Junior Campus: 35 William Street, Glenroy, VIC 3046
Senior Campus: 29 Gibson Street, Broadmeadows, VIC 3047

Postal Address:
PO Box 637, Glenroy, VIC

Telephone:(03) 9301-2777
Fax:(03) 9301-2770