Entering the year's final term, Director of Students, Natalie Kinsella highlights our Wellbeing Program's vital role in child safety, fostering respectful relationships and promoting mutual support, resulting in remarkable connections and growth within our Siena community.
Our three Year 8 French classes had an enriching school excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in August, thanks to the collaboration between NGV's Education Department and the Alliance Française de Melbourne.
This final newsletter for 2023 coincides with the graduation of the outstanding Class of 2023 – great women of Siena! From our College Captains, Majella Hine and Hannah Rosel, along with fellow leaders and together with every student, they have been a pleasure to know and educate. The gift of a Siena education is exemplified in the character, capacity and compassion of our graduates: may our Dominican values of Contemplation, Study, Justice and Community be values for life.
As we join with them in celebrations next week and urge them on in the coming weeks of their examination period, we invite all members of the Siena community to join us in prayer for each of them. With gratitude for the staff who have guided and supported them, with appreciation for the parents who have partnered with us and with admiration for these fine young women we now ask for God’s abundant blessing on them.
May God who began this good work in you
carry it through to completion,
enabling you to use your talents to the fullest.
May God give you the grace to make wise choices
and to be faithful to your commitments,
always confident in the support of those who love you.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you will live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you will work for justice, equality, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who
suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you will reach out your hand
to comfort them and change their pain into joy.
May God bless you with the foolishness to think
that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you will do the things
which others tell you cannot be done.
May your integrity be a gift to the world
and may the Spirit of God be with you always.
Go well, fine women of Siena.
Over the remaining weeks of Term 4, further communication will be issued to families regarding end of year news and preparations for 2024. I thank all families who have engaged with our newsletters across the year and I thank those who have contributed articles and prepared its publication.
To our broader community, we thank you for your support of Siena College in 2023 and we extend warm wishes for peace and joy over the Christmas period.
On Monday, 16 October, we will celebrate the Class of 2023 with a Graduation Eucharist and Ceremony. This significant celebration will focus on both gratitude and the way these students have 'lived' their Siena education. We are fortunate to be able to mark this rite of passage as a College community in St Dominic's Church led by our College Chaplain, Fr Kevin Toomey OP. Following their graduation, we wish our Year 12 students every blessing as they head into their examination period.
We are heading into the final quarter, and the finish line is in sight! It is time to rally the troops in preparation for final assessments. Examinations for our Year 9 to 11 students take place at the end of this term and our Year 12s start their VCAA Exams on Tuesday, 24 October. The final event for the year is the Night of Excellence when we acknowledge the Siena College academic achievements for 2023. We will once again be holding it at the beautiful Camberwell Grammar on Thursday, 7 December.
Revision sheets available on Siena Central
Please note that the Year 11 (Unit 1/2) Examinations resemble the VCAA Examinations in content and duration. To support our students in their preparation, Wednesday, 8 November will be a SWOT VAC Day. There will be no Year 11 classes and students are encouraged to study at home. For any Year 10 student undertaking a Unit 1/2 subject, they may attend the Learning Centre if they have a Year 11 class on this day.
Year 12 Trial Examinations ran smoothly and the results are now available via Siena Central. Thank you to our students for committing to this exercise and adhering to the guidelines. These exams provide a valuable learning opportunity and students are encouraged to thoroughly review them, identifying areas in which they can improve and feel free to ask questions as needed. We extend our gratitude to the Year 12 teachers who have been steadfastly marking the trial exams and the many practice papers submitted by our students.
Parents and guardians of Unit 3/4 students are requested to take note of the information regarding the final arrangements for the VCAA Examinations that was posted on Siena Central News earlier this week.
Students have shown great enthusiasm in response to the Trial Exam 'Boxes,' with many trial exams and essays submitted for feedback. We strongly encourage students to maintain this level of dedication during SWOT VAC Day. Teachers will remain available during their regular class schedules in the designated rooms. Students should adhere to College uniform policy when onsite.
The support and encouragement from family and friends are incredibly valuable at this crucial time to help students maintain their motivation and momentum. We will be keeping you all in our thoughts and wishing you the very best!
The last day of classes for Year 12 students is Friday, 13 October.
On Monday, 16 October, students will participate in a series of celebratory activities culminating in their Graduation Mass in the evening.
Please take note of the following dates:
The VCE Headstart Program offers students the opportunity to begin building the foundation for their 2024 subjects.
Students who had their accelerated study applications deferred and wish to be reconsidered are asked to please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a review with Ms Laughlin. These reviews will be scheduled after the completion of their exams. Deferred students will receive a reminder email to inform Ms Laughlin of their intention to reapply.
We wish everyone a productive and fulfilling few months as we approach a well deserved and restful Christmas break.
Entering the year's final term, Director of Students, Natalie Kinsella highlights our Wellbeing Program's vital role in child safety, fostering respectful relationships and promoting mutual support, resulting in remarkable connections and growth within our Siena community. As we prepare to bid farewell to our Year 12 students and celebrate their achievements, we wish everyone a Term 4 filled with success, joy and continuous growth.
Fostering a nurturing environment of respectful relationships within your family is not only the key to harmonious living but also to improved academic outcomes for your children. As parents and caregivers, embracing the art of teaching children about respect at a young age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy interactions and empathetic understanding. It helps cultivate a positive environment where communication flourishes, conflicts are resolved constructively and bonds are fortified.
Teaching children to respect themselves and others opens up avenues for personal growth and academic achievement. Fostering an environment where respect is not just a word but a practiced behaviour empowers young people with essential life skills. Effective communication, active listening and the art of compromise provide your child with a solid foundation that transcends family interactions, helping them collaborate effectively with peers, teachers, and the broader community. Respectful Relationships are also key to Restorative Practices, which underpin behaviour resolution at Siena College.
Equipping children with an understanding of healthy versus unhealthy relationships is an important aspect of their development. It guides them to make informed choices, foster positive connections and set boundaries that contribute to their emotional wellbeing. Understanding the nuances between healthy and unhealthy relationships provides children with essential tools to navigate their social world, build self esteem and cultivate meaningful relationships.
Empowering young people in healthy interactions to embrace differences and forge connections that honour their self-worth is critical to positive social relationships.
On Thursday, 26 October from 6.00pm to 7.15pm, Siena College will collaborate with the Butterfly Foundation to host the Body Confident Children and Teens webinar. The webinar aims to provide knowledge, practical information and tips on promoting a positive body image at home throughout childhood and adolescence.
As we are aware, students face considerable pressure in today's society. Body image issues can affect individuals of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds. Those with low self esteem or other mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression, are at a higher risk of experiencing body dissatisfaction. However, an individual's relationship with their body will evolve over the course of their lifetime.
During the webinar, we will delve into why fostering positive body esteem, adopting non-dieting approaches, and promoting healthy behaviours related to food and exercise are strong protective factors in preventing eating disorders. We will also explore the impact of positive role modelling, reducing appearance-based discussions and most importantly, how to respond when a child expresses negativity about themselves or others.
While the webinar aims to increase understanding of eating disorders, its primary focus is on prevention, as well as cultivating positive body image and healthy behaviours. We invite you to join us in promoting a better understanding of cultivating positive body image and healthy behaviours.
Meeting ID: 812 4394 5874
In Term 4, our College will bid farewell to and express our gratitude to our current student leaders, while also welcoming the 2024 Student Leaders. It has been a privilege to work with students across year levels this year as they have contributed to the planning and management of various initiatives.
The 2023 Student Representative Council (SRC) has been meeting on a weekly basis and has responded to requests for student input on various issues. They have also organised and run activities such as SRC Week, St Catherine's Day Bake Sale and supported House based events and major Sport Carnivals. For the students who will not be returning in 2024, I hope that this year has provided you with opportunities to develop your leadership skills, take meaningful actions and enjoy the sense of community fostered at the College. Working with organisations to serve those who benefit from our support has been a significant part of this experience. Thank you to our Year 12 student leaders for their dedication, enthusiasm and generosity this year. While the wall in J level that currently showcases your photos will be taken down, rest assured that your names and the impactful contributions you have made will always be remembered.
The students who will assume positions in 2024 will start their roles on Student Leadership Day (Thursday, 19 October). This will provide opportunities for teams to begin planning for activities such as the 2024 Fiesta and the March International Women's Day, to name a few. Students will set goals, review their role descriptions and determine which specific aspects will guide their approach. They will decide what they want to achieve as individuals and as 2024 Student Leaders over the next twelve months. I would like to extend my gratitude to the students who applied for leadership positions and participated in the rigorous selection process during Term 3 and early Term 4.
Congratulations to our 2024 Student Leaders whose names and positions are listed below.
Cassia House Captains
Dianella House Captains
Kurrajong House Captains
Waratah House Captains
Veritas Leaders (Social Justice)
As part of the 2023 Book Week, students participated in the inaugural Write a Book in a Day (WABIAD) program. After an application process, thirty students from Years 7 to 10 were selected to work in pairs, including some pairs sharing both author and illustrator roles.
The program consisted of three parts:
During the initial planning stage, Siena students met with groups of Year 4 students at Hartwell Primary School. Students explored a variety of picture books to see what they liked or did not like, and then began planning the plot of their story and developing the characters for their book.
The creation stage was launched during a full day program held at Siena, coinciding with Book Week in August. Students spent the day creating their books and participating in workshops conducted by Siena teachers. The sessions included the following:
Demonstrations of the technical specifications required for printing were also included. Students spent the remainder of Term 4 creating their books, preparing them for printing.
International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) were purchased in preparation for printing. This means that the books are recognised as published, and Siena College is now considered a publisher. With the books having ISBNs, a copy of each will also be contributed to the State Library of Victoria, where all books published in Victoria are held, making them a part of the literary history of Victoria.
The final stage of the WABAID project was for Siena students to reunite with their Year 4 collaborators at Hartwell Primary and present the school with a finished copy of their books. The excitement was palpable, with students eager to see their names on the dedication page. Many Siena students brought their copies to be signed, making them even more cherished keepsakes. All students then enjoyed recess together, with many Siena students reliving the fun of the playground.
Books from the project now sit proudly in the lending collections of both Siena and Hartwell, and copies can be ordered at any time by anyone using provided links.
The WABIAD project was a hue success and next year’s books are already highly anticipated.
The Year 10 Product Design and Innovation students have been working incredibly hard this semester. Students have researched various traditional designs from a range of cultures around the world. They then used the knowledge from their cultural research as inspiration to design and create jewellery from polymer clay. Through this task, students have built up skills and knowledge in the design process and gained hands-on experience with polymer clay. They have all done a fabulous job and should feel proud of their wonderful creations.
Congratulations to our Unit 4 Drama students for successfully completing their Drama Solo Performance Exam! Our talented VCE Drama students dedicated several months to devising, developing and creating original solo performances as part of their Unit 4 Drama studies. It was heartwarming to witness the smiles on their faces, and the incredible sense of pride and accomplishment they felt in completing their Drama Performance Exam.
Our three Year 8 French classes had an enriching school excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in August, thanks to the collaboration between NGV's Education Department and the Alliance Française de Melbourne. This experience perfectly aligned with their curriculum objectives, offering valuable insights into Bonnard's cultural influence.
Guided by their love for the French language and culture, our students explored the Pierre Bonnard and India Mahdavi exhibition. This experience was a perfect match for their curriculum objectives, providing them with insights into Bonnard's cultural impact. During the Bonjour France session, students engaged with French language content while interpreting art and design from various eras and contexts, enriching their linguistic and cultural understanding. We commend our students for their active participation and enthusiasm. This excursion left a lasting mark on their educational and cultural growth, thanks to the NGV's captivating exhibition and the Alliance Française de Melbourne's expertise.
We extend our gratitude to the NGV's Education Department and the Alliance Française de Melbourne for this exceptional learning experience, reflecting our commitment to immersive education. Bravo to all involved in making this excursion a success!
"While exploring the artworks of Pierre Bonnard and other artists, I gained a newfound appreciation for their paintings, especially when witnessing the intricate details up close. Overall, I found the experience truly enjoyable and would eagerly revisit it.” Lucie K
"The excursion helped me gain a deeper understanding of Pierre Bonnard's work and the inspiration behind India Mahdavi's designs. Seeing a collection of Bonnard's works together allowed me to comprehend his artistic process more fully. Viewing some of the paintings in person enhanced my appreciation for them, making Bonnard and his work more tangible. Learning about his life and artistic journey had a profound impact on my enjoyment of his creations. After the excursion, I feel that I have developed a much greater appreciation and admiration for his work." Sofia L
"Visiting Pierre Bonnard's exhibition was a fantastic experience that allowed me to engage with his artwork in a meaningful way. I approached the experience with an open mind but I initially expected more structured activities. However, I truly relished the opportunity to freely explore the exhibition, immerse myself in his pieces and establish a deep connection with his work. This was the standout moment of the trip for me." Carys B
"We recently visited the NGV as part of a French excursion to explore the collaborative works of Pierre Bonnard and India Mahdavi. The primary goal of this excursion was to provide us with a profound immersion in French culture and enhance our understanding of French art. Overall, I found the art gallery to be truly remarkable. The artwork was stunning and vibrant, the wallpapers were vivid and harmonised perfectly with the artworks, and the furniture complemented the various spaces admirably." Maddison B
Notice of Siena College Alumnae Association Annual General Meeting 2023 to be held on Monday, 23 October at 6.00pm.
Business to include:
All past students are invited to attend, share their ideas about the future of the Association and consider taking on a role within the Association. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.
The Siena Parents' Association (SPA) is once again running their Annual Raffle with some fantastic prizes to be won. A reminder that everyone is welcome to purchase a Raffle ticket, you do not need to be a Siena parent:
Purchase your raffle tickets online at https://www.raffletix.com.au/sienaraffle2023 for your chance to win! The Raffle will be drawn at 11.00am on Friday, 1 December 2023.
Funds raised will allow SPA to continue their great work in supporting students and families at Siena College.
We extend a warm invitation to members of the College community to support our upcoming golf day at the Kew Golf Club on Friday, 3 November. All funds raised from this event will contribute to our Equity Scholarship Fund. Your support will enable students who would otherwise be unable to attend Siena to become a part of our College community.
A fun filled and action packed day has been planned for players of all golfing abilities. This will be a four player Ambrose event with competitions for the longest drive, straightest drive, and “nearest the pin” at various holes.
Please join us from noon for a light luncheon and warm up on the driving range before the commencement of the competition. This will be followed by post game drinks, a gourmet barbeque dinner and presentation of prizes.
Player / Team
You may register as an individual player or a team of four players, at $200 per player. To register please click here. There is a shotgun start with 30 groups of 4 players.
Should you have any questions please contact Jen Senior on 9835 0200.
The latest Siena Career News is now available with the following information:
To learn more, visit Siena Career News.