Term 1, Issue 01: Learning and Teaching | Siena College
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Learning and Teaching

2023 Learning and Teaching Team

Welcome back to the 2023 academic year and a warm welcome to all our new students and families. May I introduce Siena College's Senior Learning Leaders for 2023:

  • Director of Learning and Innovation, Anne Rogan
  • Head of Religious Education, Laura Ridley
  • Head of English, Punita Mistry
  • Head of Health and Physical Education, Jessica Brady
  • Head of Humanities, Jessica Sullivan
  • Head of Languages, Tina Di Camillo
  • Head of Mathematics, Nicholas Roussidis
  • Head of Science, Nicholas Harvey
  • Head of The Arts and Technology, Claire Al-Noah
  • Head of Learning Centre, Roxanne Summer
  • Head of Learning Diversity, Lidia Mostert
  • Acting Head of Learning Diversity (Term 1), Jessica Hall
  • Head of Senior Pathways, Michael Petrie
  • Siena Central Coordinator, Chimene Bousejean
  • Leaders of Pedagogy, Tina Di Camillo and Punita Mistry
  • Leader of Data Informed Practice, Sonia Singh

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 the Siena Central Parent Zone. If the matter needs to be escalated, please contact the relevant Head of Learning or Head of House.

2022 VCE Acknowledgement Assembly

Our 2022 VCE Acknowledgement Assembly will be held on Friday, 17 February.

Year 12 Learning Conversations

The Year 12 Learning Conversations provide an opportunity for students to share with a senior member of staff regarding their strategies, academic and personal goals that may assist in their learning, and finally to develop a 2023 Action Plan with a focus on improvement. The Year 12 students have received the relevant documents to enable reflection on their Year 11 achievements, in preparation of their learning conversation. The focus is on the way in which students can maximise their learning opportunities in 2023. Individual Learning Conversations will be held during Enrichment lessons.

Year 12 students require an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry into many undergraduate programs in Australia. All Year 12 students will also participate in a Careers conversation with Head of Careers, Clare Timmins or Careers Practitioner, Maree Hodgson, which will include an ATAR estimation based on their Year 11 Semester 2 examination results.

Student Learning Reflections and Learning Conferences (PTIs)

Year 7 to 12 students will complete a self reflection in each subject prior to the Learning Conferences. The reflection will be completed via Siena Central, and parents will have access to subject reflections. Further details will be provided when available.

The Year 7 to 12 Student Learning Conferences will be held online on Wednesday, 29 March from 4.00pm to 7.30pm and Thursday, 30 March from 4.00pm to 7.30pm. More details will be published in upcoming newsletters.

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

Learning and Teaching Parent Communication

This week, all families received a Learning and Teaching communication via Siena Central, outlining the 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 while 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 on the amount of time that students should spend on home learning:

  • Year 7
    60-90 minutes per day, 50 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 8
    60-90 minutes per day, 50 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 9
    90 minutes per day, 50 minutes per subject per week
  • Year 10
    90-120 minutes per day, 75 minutes maximum per subject per week
  • Year 11
    2-3 hours per day
  • Year 12
    3-4 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 efforts
  • 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 a conducive environment for effective home study
  • Help students balance the amount of time spent completing home learning versus 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, as well as complete home learning and assessment tasks by the due date
  • Observe and acknowledge students’ success by asking how their class assignments 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 if required
  • Communicate with class teacher or Head of House where appropriate
  • Assist students 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 and social media etc.)
  • Be well organised, allowing easy access to resources and stationery
  • Display a 2023 calendar with important dates such as assignment due dates and key school event dates 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, 20 February 2023.

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 coming weeks via Siena Central. The Academic Calendar will provide an outline of the week, indicate when Unit Assessments are due 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.

If you have any difficulties accessing the Parent Zone, 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, 15 March; Thursday, 16 March and Monday, 20 March. Parents of Year 7 and Year 9 Students will receive more details next week via Siena Central.

Donna Laughlin

Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching
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