“Eternal God, you who are light, you nourish and stoke the fire in the soul…” (St Catherine of Siena)
This week, the soul of Siena College has been nourished and stoked by the joy filled celebrations of St Catherine’s Day. We thank Fr Peter Murnane OP for celebrating Mass in the Latingata Morrom Gymnasium and to all talented musicians, singers and staff who made this such a fitting way to begin our day. We acknowledge Jasmine Skutela who created a beautiful image of St Catherine, with Dominican heart aflame. In gorgeous autumn sunshine, all students and staff were then able to enjoy a range of food stalls before taking part in Fiesta, our highly anticipated House performing arts spectacular. Congratulations to all House Captains for their fine leadership of their House group; the quality and engagement of students in each of the performances was outstanding. Thanks also to our student hosts for the day, Arts Captain, Anastasia Barres and Music Captain, Aisha Bowker. Knowing that this day was not possible last year made it even more enjoyable this year, particularly for our Year 12 students. A great day!
For those seeking to know more about St Catherine:
Catherine Benincasa was born in 1347 in the ancient Italian city of Siena. An intelligent and cheerful child, she had a great love for God from an early age. At the age of 18 she decided to dedicate her life to God and entered the Dominican Order. Her conviction and great charity for all earned her the respect of many people, along with followers. Catherine had a great love for the Church which led her to play an active role in many affairs of the troubled Church and State, in pursuit of truth. Catherine’s life was also marked by personal austerity and tender care for those in need. Catherine produced nearly four hundred letters on spiritual education, seeking for all the fire of God’s love and unity amongst all people. Catherine died in Rome on 29 April 1461, at the young age of 33. She is one of just four female Doctors of the Church.
Congratulations to all students involved in a wonderful Night of Jazz evening last week. Such talent! We thank the Music Team, under the leadership of Director of Music, Kerryn McGillen who are steadfast in their commitment to supporting students in the Music program and for ensuring this opportunity for live performance opportunities, for the enjoyment of all.
The Feast of our College Patron St Catherine of Siena is a unique day of prayer, community building, outreach to our Dominican sisters and brothers in the Solomon Islands, fun and Fiesta. As we had been unable to celebrate Eucharist as a whole-school community since 2019 it was wonderful to begin our special day with Mass in the Latingata Morrom Gymnasium.
The word Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning thanksgiving – and yesterday we certainly had much to be grateful for, including:
In this Easter season our celebrant Fr Peter Murnane OP reminded anew of our 2021 College theme – Be Possibility. In our current context we explore the ways in which we are called to live this theme – to be who God means us to be…and set the world on fire.
Each year on St Catherine's Day we focus on responding to the needs of our Dominican family in the Solomon Islands. In February last year, Sisters Teresa and Marie Tom visited us here at Siena; they shared with us that their community is challenged by access to full education, adequate food and water supply and, like so many islands, is concerned about rising sea levels and further impacts of climate change.
All funds raised yesterday will make visible our ongoing commitment to supporting our Dominican sisters in their important work.
Siena in the City was a wonderful success. With its focus on the Arts and Technology and our theme, ‘Be Possibility’, students were able to participate in and enjoy an array of cultural and artful endeavours, explore ideas, technologies, sustainability and community. The Siena in the City Showcase will be held at the College on Tuesday, 1 June from 6.00pm to 7.30pm. We look forward to sharing the highlights of this event with you.
As we immerse ourselves in Term 2 and look ahead at what’s to come, I refer to some learning and teaching matters in regard to assessment.
The Semester Report provides feedback on the five specific Classroom Learning Indicators and parents and students will be able to see if there has been any progress or consolidation in this area. It will also include a statement of results of all assessment tasks and at Years 7 to 11, an overall percentage score taking into consideration the individual weightings for each task. If a percentage score is not given, a letter grade is used, such as NS – a school sanctioned absence and no penalty or NA – not assessed and a score of zero. At Year 12, it will consist of S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Satisfactory) for each assessment task. Semester reports will not have teacher comments, as the feedback has been throughout the semester and targeted to the assessment task.
Assessment Tasks should be completed by the due date and time set by the subject teacher.
In the case of a known absence, a student must submit a ‘Change of Assessment date’ form with the assessment task prior to the due date. The student can submit both documents either directly to the Subject Teacher or email them or upload to Siena Central by the due date.
In the case of an unforeseen absence, the student must submit the ‘Change of Assessment date’ form with the assessment task assignment to the class teacher in their next class with either a medical certificate (Year 12) or a written statement (Years 7 to 11), from parents or guardians supporting the situation. If the assessment is an in-class test, the student must arrange to complete the test as soon as is practicable.
When required, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure the submission of a ‘Change of Assessment Date’ application. Failure to do so, and the submission of late work without approval, will result in a score of zero for the assessment task and NA on the report. The ‘Change of Assessment Date’ form can be accessed on Siena Central in the Student Zone or obtained from Student Reception.
Presentations and performances for which a student has been absent must be completed as soon as is practicable. At Years 7 to 11, this will normally occur in the next lesson. At Year 12, a rescheduled date will be negotiated with the Head of Senior Pathways and the class teacher.
The GAT will be held on Wednesday, 9 June from 10.00am to 1.15pm. There will be no Year 11 or Year 12 classes on this day.
Exams take place from Friday, 11 June until the last day of term, Friday, 18 June. The Student Examination Timetable will be published in coming weeks.
Please note that Siena College does not support students taking holidays outside of the scheduled term breaks. If a student is unable to complete the set assessment task due to their holiday absence, the student will receive a zero and NA for the task on their report. In some instances, students may be able to complete the assessment task beforehand. Completed assessment will be assessed and will contribute to the overall Semester 1 Report. Unfortunately, examinations cannot be rescheduled outside the designated time. Students may request a copy of the examination after the scheduled date and may submit for teacher feedback; however, the examination will not be graded. We ask for your support in this matter.
Just a reminder that Friday, 18 June will be the last day of Term 2 for students. Teaching staff will participate in a Staff Week until 25 June, dedicated to Professional Learning and the preparation of Semester 2 Curriculum and classes. Term 3 will commence on Monday, 12 July.
Fiesta is the Spanish word for feast that is often linked to a significant day that celebrates a saint, and so it is at Siena College. We celebrate St Catherine’s Day and mark this special day with Mass, a celebration of student participation in House singing, dance and performance and with food. Fiesta has been such a significant event at Siena College for many, many years, and this year we are particularly grateful for the opportunity to gather and celebrate as a College as we were unable to do this in 2020. It was an absolute delight to watch our Year 7 and Year 8 students participate with such enthusiasm in their first Fiesta at Siena and to see so many students across the College contribute to this wonderful celebration. Student leaders did an exemplary job in preparing their House to showcase their talents.
The Fiesta fundraising stalls in 2021 are an opportunity for the College to raise funds for St Martin’s Rural Training Centre which is a Dominican school located in the Solomon Islands. The monies raised may contribute to a water tank so they can have ready access to water and be used to buy volleyballs and netballs for the students.
We had a fantastic end to Term 1 sport with both the Senior A team and Junior B Indoor Cricket teams making the Grand Final!
A big congratulations to the Junior B team who won the final in a very tight game against Sion. The Senior A team was unlucky this time and lost to a strong Sacre Coeur side.
This term we have over 450 students participating in a range of sports including AFL, Netball, Hockey, Aerobics, Cross Country and Water Polo. We look forward to seeing the girls participating and displaying Siena Spirit. Please refer to the Siena Sport page for regular updates regarding training and fixtures.
Congratulations to Teah Wilson (Year 9, Dianella) who has been selected for the U15 State Netball Team and Netball Victoria Talent Academy.
Preparations are well under way for the House Athletics Carnival on Friday, 7 May at Bill Stewart Athletics Track. The girls are very excited and may the best House win!
If there are any questions regarding sport, please email email@example.com
During Activities Week at the end of Term 1, all Year 7 students embarked on their much-anticipated camp to Lord Somers. After camp was cancelled in 2020, it was fantastic to be able to provide this wonderful opportunity to our newest Year 7 students. Arriving on Tuesday morning all students hit the ground running and embraced the wide variety of activities on offer. These included stand up paddle boarding, raft building, kayaking, marine coastal walk, initiative games and t-shirt printing. It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm and enjoyment on the faces of the students as they participated in the activities and responded to the many challenges these presented.
The weather could not have been better with the sun shining on the Peninsula for the three days we were there. Certainly, one of the highlights was the group of students who were able to stand up paddleboard with dolphins! All Year 7 students are to be commended for their approach to camp. Our thanks are also extended to the Lord Somers camp staff and the amazing Siena staff members who attended. We are already looking forward to returning next year!
In the last week of Term 1, my year level went to Lord Somers Camp. When we arrived, I could feel the excitement in the air. After we listened to the camp staff, we grabbed our bags and sprinted to our cabins. Each day was packed with activities, my favourite one was stand up paddle boarding because I enjoyed cruising over the sparkling water. Another activity that I enjoyed was printing a design onto a t-shirt, this activity for me was the most unique one because I had never down this before. I made the most of each day at camp and have taken away lots of great memories.
Camp with Siena wasn’t at all what I expected. Compared to the other four camps I have gone on with my primary school, Lord Somers Camp was clearly the best one I have ever been on. The activities were so interesting and different to any other camp. My personal favourite would be stand-up paddle boarding as it was my first time doing it. Some groups were even fortunate enough to see dolphins! Through these activities I met so many people that I didn’t know previously and got to know them a lot better. The food was the most delicious camp food that I have ever had, and the staff were so interesting and had an amazing sense of humour. The cabins were clean and organised, and nothing makes you know new people like living with them for three and a half days! Overall, the camp was so diverse and I, and many other Year 7s loved it.
Camp Somers was really fun! There were so many fun activities like raft building stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking and screen printing to learn how to work together as a team. Keep an eye out for baby dolphins! 🐬👀 I also loved the trivia night and the movie night.
Camp was full of many fun experiences. As a year level we completed many fun activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, initiative games, raft building, marine discovery and print making. We got to see all the teachers get involved and get wet! The staff were lovely, and the food was pretty good, I would probably average their score at an 8/10 but a 10/10 for the lasagne. Even though we had a little pillow issue at the start (no one brought pillows in the whole year level,) doing all the fun stuff made it way better.
As part of Activities Week at the end of Term 1, our Year 8 students headed to Waratah Bay for our stay at Waratah Beach Camp. Having had our planned camp cancelled last year, there was much excitement and everyone was delighted at the opportunity to be together as a year level.
Across the three days, the students participated in a variety of activities, including initiative games, a ropes course, a climbing/abseiling wall, a giant swing and beach games. One of the highlights was the disco on the last night, where everyone donned their fluro outfits and their glow sticks on the dance floor, including the Siena staff.
We were very lucky to have beautiful weather for the duration of our stay, and we were able to conclude our camp on the Thursday morning by spending some time at the beach together; playing games, walking on the beach and celebrating the end of a busy term.
Thank you to all the Year 8 students for making camp so successful, and to the camp staff and Siena teachers for their support in running the activities. It was a fantastic end to Term 1.
On 30 March the Year 8s headed off to Waratah Bay to begin our camp journey. We had the chance to participate in many initiatives and social activities whilst at camp, my favourite activity was the rock climbing and finishing the first night with a beach walk and a campfire. We also got to take part in a range of beach activities to create new friendships. Overall the experience was great, I made new friends and created memories that I will cherish forever.
Year 8 Camp was at Waratah Beach Camp and it had some amazing activities. One of my favourite activities was the Giant Swing, from the top we could see all around the camp, it felt as if we were on top of the world. We also had a chance to go to the beach to play games and spend time bonding with other girls in our year level. It was a great chance for us to make new friends in our year after not having a lot of time together last year and I am so happy we were able to go.
On Monday, 26 April, we attended the School Captains Round Table event, hosted by John Kennedy MP of the Hawthorn Electorate. Mr Kennedy designed the event with the purpose of discussing the issues that matter most to the young people of his electorate. We were joined by Year 12 students in leadership from a number of neighbouring schools.
As a group, we considered and analysed issues which we felt were prominent in our modern society. These issues included, but were not limited to; consent education, climate change and mental health and wellbeing. Mr Kennedy was very interested in how we, as the future generation, wanted to respond to these issues. He wanted to make sure that our views and values were at the centre of not only the education system, but also the wider community.
The event was a wonderful opportunity to hear the opinions on issues that we as a Siena community often discuss, from the perspectives of students at other schools. Additionally, we were able to converse over different SRC led ideas and initiatives that were unique to our schools. This provided a great opportunity to discuss event ideas that could be new additions to our respective SRC calendars.
Overall, the afternoon was a brilliant experience to be able to debate and discuss issues in our society. Issues which we feel are in need of urgent attention now and into the future - both nationally and globally.
Friday Night School, a tutoring program which partners Melbourne secondary school students with migrant and refugee students from non-English speaking backgrounds, has been running each Friday afternoon in term time for twenty-five years. Five Siena students in Years 11 and 12 have commenced volunteering in this program as tutors. Our students have been partnered with students from Prep to Grade 6 and will continue working with the same students each week. The young people attending Friday Night School come predominately from Pakistan, East Timor, Sudan, Ethiopia and Vietnam. The type of tutoring offered depends on the student’s age but generally involves working through activities aimed at improving student literacy and numeracy skills or being helped with their homework.
“Being part of Friday Night School is such a humbling experience where I have the privilege of sharing my Siena education with other young girls and am able to contribute to the learning and growth of another individual. But what’s more than this, is that I am able to form a genuine connection with another young person and watch their schooling journey unfold, hopefully providing them with support, guidance and a friendship to develop their love for learning.”
Hayley Di Stefano, Year 12
"Upon first hearing about Friday Night School, I was very interested in the program and excited at the opportunity to assist and watch these students grow as they learn. So far, I have really enjoyed meeting the tutees and learning more about each students' abilities and different cultural backgrounds. What surprised me about the experience was how comfortable I felt and how encouraging the environment was, as I was slightly nervous going into my first session."
Grace Kim, Year 12
“Friday Night School is a fantastic program, as it facilitates the transfer of knowledge from those who have been privileged enough to access and feel comfortable in their education to those who may be still learning English. Observing the learning process through someone else's eyes is incredibly rewarding, and the effervescent humour and brightness of the tutees has truly been a joy to witness.”
Juliet Guthrie, Year 12
“I knew I wanted to be involved in the program because of my passion for helping and connecting with people, and assisting in creating an environment where students feel comfortable to ask for help as well as grow in their learning. At first before starting, I was worried about my abilities to effectively help the students and connect with them easily, however, my doubts began to fade as soon as I started because I realised that everyone was in the same position, and by getting to know the students, it made everything much easier. My experience with working with the students so far has been very enjoyable and the idea of helping them even in the slightest bit provides me with an immensely rewarding feeling. I look forward to continuing in this program and from what I can already see happening, creating strong bonds."
Helya Ezadi, Year 11
Home Learning Club (HLC) will commence in Term 2, 2021. It will run on Wednesday afternoons from 3.17pm to 4.15pm in Room J103, near the Resource Centre. Home Learning Club provides students with the opportunity to work in a quiet, friendly study environment where assistance with work may be given by Learning Diversity staff. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s edition of Siena Career News is bursting at the seams with useful information, particularly for students in Years 10 to 12. Deakin University, RMIT, Monash and the University of Melbourne are all holding course information webinars. These are as useful as Open Days as the information is targeted to those who want to know more about a particular course or career and the bonus is that you can listen to these from home!
Also, in this week’s Siena Career News, information on the annual Careers and VCE Expo at Caulfield Racecourse which is this weekend. Students who attend will be able to chat to tertiary representatives, employer groups and listen in to presentations on study skills.
Students interested in studying interstate will be able to read about scholarships for Bond University on the Gold Coast and learn about a new pathway to Medicine at ANU.
For many years William Angliss Institute has provided the best in tertiary Tourism and Hospitality courses, this week’s “Snapshot” explores all that this college has to offer.
Latrobe University’s Aspire Early Entry program is now open and Year 12 students who have volunteered their time in community service, leadership, sport, or volunteering in the arts are welcome to apply. Successful applicants will receive a conditional offer for a Latrobe course as early as September, so definitely worth looking at!
Courses in Animal Science, Conservation and Zoology are always popular, check this week’s course matrix to see what tertiary courses are available in this fascinating career area.
Applications for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) are now open. If you hold a valid Health Care Card (HCC), Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or are a temporary foster parent and are a first-time applicant you may be eligible for a $1,000 fee discount.
If you believe you are eligible, please fill out and return the CSEF Application Form before 25 June, 2021.
If you applied for the CSEF in 2020 at Siena College, you do not need to complete an application form in 2021 unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.