Term 1, Issue 1: 2022 Learning and Teaching Team | Siena College
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2022 Learning and Teaching Team

Welcome back to the 2022 academic year and a warm welcome to all our new students and families. May I introduce the 2022 Senior Learning Leaders at Siena College:

  • Jemimah Walsh, Director of Learning and Innovation
  • Anna Page, Religious Education Convener
  • Punita Mistry, Head of English
  • Jessica Brady, Head of Health and Physical Education
  • Jessica Sullivan, Head of Humanities
  • Tina Di Camillo, Head of Languages
  • Therese Black, Head of Mathematics
  • Nicholas Harvey, Head of Science
  • Claire Al-Noah, Head of The Arts and Technology
  • Roxanne Summer, Head of Learning Centre
  • Annette Barker, Head of Learning Diversity
  • Anita Galli, Head of Senior Pathways
  • Tina Di Camillo and Punita Mistry, Leaders of Pedagogy

If a parent has any concerns about curriculum related matters, please contact the subject teacher as required by leaving a voicemail message or an email. Details are available on Siena Central Parent Zone. If the matter needs to be escalated, please contact the relevant Head of Learning.

2021 VCE Acknowledgement Assembly

Our 2021 VCE Acknowledgement Assembly will be held on Tuesday, 15 March 2022. Further details will be published closer to the date.

Year 12 Learning Conversations

Year 12 students require an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) for entry into many undergraduate-entry university programs in Australia. The Year 12 Learning Conversations program provides an opportunity for students to share a learning conversation with a senior member of staff regarding their academic and personal goals, strategies that may assist in their learning, and finally to develop a 2022 Action Plan with a focus on improvement. The Year 12 students have received the relevant documents to enable reflection on their Year 11 achievements and prepare for their learning conversation. The focus is on the way in which students can maximise their learning opportunities in 2022. All Year 12 students will also participate in a Careers conversation with Head of Careers, Clare Timmins which will include an ATAR estimation based on their Year 11 Semester 2 examination results.

Student Learning Reflections and Learning Conversations (PTIs)

Building upon our 2021 learnings, Year 7 to 12 students will complete a self reflection in each subject prior to Learning Conversations. The reflection will be completed via Siena Central, and parents will be able to access their daughter's comments. Further details will be provided in a later edition.

The Year 7 to 12 Learning Conversations will be held on Thursday, 31 March from 4.00pm to 7.30pm and Friday, 1 April from 8.45am to 3.45pm. All Learning Conversations will take place via MS Teams meetings. More details will be published in upcoming newsletters.

The Learning Conversations are an important opportunity to develop a working and supportive relationship between subject teachers, parents and students. It is essential that students attend the Learning Conversations so that they are able to share their learning experience and participate in the conversation about subject expectations. Parents and guardians will be able to download a copy of their daughter’s Interim Report prior to the Learning Conversations.

Learning and Teaching Parent Communication

This week, all families will have received the Learning and Teaching communication via Siena Central News , outlining submission of work procedures, accessing assessment task feedback and absence during the term. We ask for your support in acquainting yourself with the information.

In the Classroom

The Siena College Learning Framework and Lesson Framework provide an excellent foundation for strong learning opportunities for our students.

Our Learning Framework incorporates four necessary elements with the learner at the centre to ensure that every student can experience growth in their learning. Our Lesson Framework provides a shared understanding of the lesson structure, enabling students to effectively engage in their learning.

All classes have commenced by determining classroom expectations. These expectations are on the subject class page and provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents to revisit.

As part of providing a safe and collaborative learning environment, students are paired with a ‘Positive Learning Partner’ (PLP). This ensures all students engage in an environment that offers support and trust and develop skills of collaboration and respect for others.

Home Learning at Siena College

Study is an integral aspect of the Dominican faith tradition. Home learning enables students to embed their classroom learning and identify areas for further growth. It also provides an opportunity for students to play an active role in reinforcing their understanding, and for parents to work in partnership with students and teachers to positively influence their education.

Amount of Home Learning / Study Per Subject

Given the diverse nature of subjects, home learning requirements vary. Part of the learning process for students involves discernment and time management as they plan home learning. Subject teachers consider the suggested total guidelines and their professional judgement in determining the home learning for their individual subject. The following is a guide by year level, regarding the amount of time that students should spend on home learning:

  • Year 7
    60 to 90 minutes per day
    50 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 8
    60 to 90 minutes per day
    50 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 9
    90 minutes per day
    50 minutes per subject per week
  • Year 10
    90 to 120 minutes per day
    75 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 11
    2 to 3 hours per day
  • Year 12
    3 to 4 hours per day

Student Responsibilities

In becoming independent learners, students are encouraged to:

  • Use Siena Central to access class learning and to view home learning tasks on a daily basis
  • Submit work that reflects their best effort and in which they have pride
  • Complete and submit all work and assessment by the due date or apply for an ‘Application for Change of Submission Date’ form, available on Siena Central (assignments and tests only)
  • Establish a regular home learning routine which includes:
    - Accessing Siena Central to confirm Home Learning requirements
    - Home Learning/study planner
    - Due date calendar
    - Regular study/revision of their class work to consolidate learning
    - Dedicated learning space free of distraction
    - Catching up on missed class work if absent
  • Seek assistance from their subject teacher to clarify understanding of learning and tasks
  • Communicate with the subject teacher prior to the task due date, where a lack of understanding prevents completion of the task

Parent Responsibilities

Parents, as the primary educators of their children, are encouraged to:

  • Provide an environment conducive to effective home study
  • Help students balance the amount of time spent completing home learning with engagement in leisure or recreational activities
  • Assist the students in developing a home learning/study timetable
  • Encourage student to set aside a regular daily session to study/revise and complete home learning and assessment tasks by the due date
  • Observe and acknowledge the students’ success by asking how their home and class work are progressing
  • Check Siena Central subject class pages regularly to monitor that home learning is being completed
  • Encourage students to exercise thoroughness and care in the completion of work
  • Encourage students to seek assistance from the teacher where lack of understanding exists
  • Communicate with class teacher or Head of Student Wellbeing and Strategy where appropriate
  • Assist their daughter in determining responsible use of technology during Home Learning

A successful learning space should:

  • Have a suitable desk and chair
  • Be free of noise and distractions (such as the TV, iPhones, Social Media, other people, etc.)
  • Be well organised, allowing easy access to resources and stationery
  • Display a 2022 calendar with important dates such as due dates, assignments and key school events, etc.
  • Be well lit and ventilated

Year 7 Home Learning

The Year 7 Home Learning Guidelines assist our Year 7 students in transitioning and settling into secondary school. Home Learning will commence for Year 7 students on Monday, 21 February 2022.

To assist Year 7 students with assessment requirements, a Year 7 Academic Calendar will be published and made accessible to all students and parents in the upcoming weeks, via Siena Central News. The Academic Calendar will provide an outline of the due week for Unit Assessments and whether tasks are to be completed in class or at home.

Siena Central Class Pages and Online Feedback

Siena Central provides the opportunity for both students and parents to access subject class pages with direct access to daily classroom learning and home learning tasks. The Subject Overview is accessed via the course page and outlines all unit topics and key assessment dates. This is a useful tool in assisting students to develop strong organisation skills.

Assessment Task Feedback is also communicated via Siena Central. Parents will receive an email alert when feedback has been uploaded. Please see the Parent User Guide available on Siena Central Parent Zone > College Organisation.

If you have any difficulties accessing Siena Central, please contact IT Help at ithelp@siena.vic.edu.au or 9835 0200.


Online NAPLAN test dates for Year 7 and Year 9 students are:

  • Wednesday, 11 May
  • Thursday, 12 May
  • Monday, 16 May

Further details will be communicated later in the term.

Donna Laughlin

Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching
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