On Thursday we gathered as a College to acknowledge the beginning of National Reconciliation Week: More than a Word. Reconciliation Takes Action. The week is bookended by significant events, 27 May marking the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were counted as citizens of this country. June 3 marks the historic Mabo decision when the High Court of Australia recognised native title, recognising rights over land.
Over many years Siena College has been committed to the process of reconciliation and last year commenced work on developing a Reconciliation Action Plan. A very visible demonstration of this Reconciliation Action Plan is the inclusion now of the Torres Strait Islander flag shown in unison with the Australian and Aboriginal flag at the front of the College. Yesterday we also commissioned Amelie Nikolovski as a Fire Carrier, entrusting her with the privilege and responsibility of further igniting a spirit of reconciliation with First Nations people within our community. I was very pleased to receive for the College a beautiful version of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a representation of the voices of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a 2017 presentation to Australian political leaders. The language in the statement is heartfelt and powerful and may be read here.
Included in this message is a link to an article which pays tribute to five first nations women who have changed the course of history.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
At the beginning of this week we marked the Feast of Pentecost – the birth of our Church. The followers of Christ found ways to build community as people created, released and sustained by the God made known to them in the man Jesus. So, while the disciples would continue to have moments of struggle and conflict, the primary message of restoring community through radical hospitality persisted. Our role as educators, learners and Dominicans demands that we not only live this message but do so in the true form of the word ‘radical’ - that is, not simply by making a departure from tradition but by striving to affect the fundamental nature of an issue with far-reaching consequences. Across this week our Siena students have embodied the radical hospitality of our tradition in numerous ways:
Over many years Siena College has been committed to the national reconciliation process and worked hard to acknowledge the important place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spirituality plays in our Australian Catholic heritage. The theme of this 2021 National Reconciliation Week is
Reconciliation – More Than A Word. It Takes Action. Our Veritas Leaders, FIRE Carriers and members of the Reconciliation Action Plan Team facilitated the launch of NRW, which included presenting our Principal Elizabeth Hanney with a mounted copy of the Uluru Statement From the Heart.
During Wellness this week the Years 9 to 11 students participated in an information session regarding preparation for the Semester 1 examinations. Students were given a hardcopy booklet that included their exam timetable, expectations of student behaviour, a calendar to record homework and study times and a useful list of tips and strategies for approaching learning and study. As we head towards examinations, completing several past exam papers in each subject is an excellent way to augment preparation. Our teaching staff are always available to address learning questions and offer help and clarity on any challenging content. Please encourage your daughter to seek assistance from their teachers.
Revision materials are now available on Siena Central. Linked to the Examination Tile on Siena Central, for both students and parents, you can find the exam timetables, expected behaviours and the presentation on planning and study tactics.
Semester 1 reports will be available on Siena Central on Friday, 25 June.
There are no Year 11 or 12 classes on Wednesday, 9 June as the GAT will take place from 10.00am to 1.15pm.
Year 8 students participate in the Allwell Assessments on Tuesday, 15 June. The data generated by these assessments is an important indicator of student learning and ability and assists in determining learning strategies to best suit individual students. As such, we ask that you please ensure that your daughters attend the assessment.
There are several Learning and Teaching activities on the calendar for the remainder of Term 2 that may not be able to be held on site. We will keep our community informed of any changes to upcoming events and appreciate your understanding and patience as we establish alternate ways to share these events.
Siena College, like many schools, is preparing students for end of semester exams, tests and assessments. As we all know, the digital revolution has changed the way students learn and study with information available at their fingertips twenty-four hours a day. It is important for parents to understand this and support their daughters to help reduce stress levels.
Setting a schedule is vitally important. Students need to schedule everything from sleeping and eating, to studying and exercising. It is one of the best ways to manage inevitable exam stress. When it comes to productive study, sometimes less is often more. It is recommended that students hit the books in fifty-minute stints, broken up by fifteen-minute breaks. This gives the brain and body a rest. Adolescents will often underestimate the amount of sleep they need. Getting enough sleep is key to successful study practices.
Research shows that physical activity also has a very positive impact on mental wellbeing. Eating well is another crucial factor to maintaining concentration and staying focused on the task ahead.
Parents will find helpful advice on how to help students cope with the pressure and how students can work smarter to achieve the results they desire in this episode of SchoolTV.
Vaping is becoming a pastime that is unfortunately growing in popularity across Australia, especially amongst teenagers. Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapour created by an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. Many teenagers are succumbing to peer pressure around this risk-taking activity due to the ease of accessing and hiding vapes. They are often cheaper than conventional cigarettes, making it more cost-effective and attractive to young people.
Although anyone under 18 is not legally allowed to purchase any type of e-cigarette or vaping product in Australia, teenagers are finding ways to access them online. Australia has strict regulations in place for nicotine-containing products, and attempts are being made to regulate vaping and ban the importation of them. Many of the flavoured liquids associated with vaping, contain not only high levels of nicotine, but other potentially harmful additives. Many of these “e-liquids” contain chemicals that are likely to be toxic, that when inhaled or vaped repeatedly, can cause severe damage to the lungs.
Vaping is often marketed as being the “healthy” alternative to smoking. However, doctors strongly advise that if you do not smoke, then you should not start vaping. Most teenagers are unaware of the associated risks and potential impact vaping can have on their development and overall health. Parents are encouraged to discuss the dangers of nicotine addiction and include e-cigarettes in the discussion alongside alcohol and drugs.
This Special Report highlights the facts around vaping and e-cigarettes and outlines the potential risks.
Siena College has a zero tolerance approach to smoking (including vaping), the use of alcohol or any other drug.
If you have a current Grade 5 daughter who will be attending Siena College in Year 7 2023, please be advised we are currently moving forward with enrolments.
Enrolment Applications and supporting documents can be submitted online via our website https://www.siena.vic.edu.au/enrolment/enrolment-procedure
Any further enquires please contact Tracey Lawson at email@example.com
Students Georgia Connolly, Renata Fanthome, Alessandra Pastore and Angelina Rodos recently represented Siena College by participating in the Secondary Girls Chess Tournament at Presbyterian Ladies’ College. Eight secondary schools competed in this tournament, which was open to students from Year 7 to Year 12 under the direction of Leonid Sandler, International Chess Master.
Each student played seven games with a time control of fifteen minutes for each player. Georgia, Renata, Alessandra and Angelina each had a few wins. Round 4 was especially exciting with all four Siena students winning their games!
The Siena students were able to use strategies that they had learnt at lunchtime Chess, which runs every Tuesday and includes coaching by our tutor from Dark Horse Chess, Denise. We look forward to attending another tournament this year and we hope that more students join the team! Well done to Georgia, Renata, Alessandra and Angelina!
On Thursday, 20 May, Year 8 students from Kingswood College, Strathcona Baptist College, Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies College joined Siena students Alana Stravato, Amalie Cornehls, Amber Kantzipas, Lily Graham and Terumi Tapusoa in attending the ‘All Fired up!’ Enrichment Day. During the first session, Haneen Bou Karroum explained to students how the body responds anatomically to physical activity during exercise – in particular, how the muscular system reacts. Recess in the convent courtyard was followed by a session on Sports Nutrition given by Katherine Shone, a sports nutritionist from Olympic Park. Katherine emphasised maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet without too much regimentation or banning of ‘bad foods’ - these should be enjoyed in moderation as the occasion arises. After lunch, Peta Mackintosh from the Art Department inspired students to express the day’s theme ‘All Fired Up’ by creating sculptures in groups out of metal mesh and flame-coloured wires. Two of the resulting sculptures (pictured) include a girl walking through fire and a person (perhaps St Catherine of Siena herself?) sporting a hooded head of fire. Students worked in mixed-school groups throughout all three sessions – and judging by noise levels in the Art room towards the end, they seemed to be getting along like a house on fire.
The Year 8 Enrichment Day was a fantastic learning experience, I had the chance to interact with different people and hear more about their schools and how they learn in their environments. The subjects of the day were how our muscles work and how important it is to have a balance and daily schedule of healthy foods, with some nice treats along the way! We also learned how to make wired sculptures on our topic "All Fired Up" which was a great way to connect with people and work as a team. I enjoyed this day to talk to new people and understand the true importance of balance in foods. I appreciate what all our Siena teachers have done to make this day run so smoothly, thank you very much for allowing me to be a part of this terrific event.
The "All Fired up Enrichment Day" was a great opportunity to learn new things with students from other schools. We started by learning about how our body works and how it can run. It was nice showing visiting students around the school and getting to know them. The last activity was making a wired sculpture based on the day’s theme – "All Fired Up". My group came up with the idea of having a person with a flame as a head. I had a great time with them as we bonded by working as a team to create the final product. Overall, it was a great day and I would love to do it again.
Last week we hosted tertiary representatives from five universities and two TAFE Institutes who presented to our Year 12 students during their Enrichment time. This informative session covered the various courses offered by the tertiary institutions as well as admission procedures, entry requirements, pathways and early offer programs.
During lunchtime on Friday students from Years 10 to 12 were invited to a presentation, “Careers for Women in the Defence Force”. Two Army officers shared their personal stories about joining the ADF and outlined all of the amazing careers available and how to improve your chance of a successful application.
The latest edition of Siena Career News has a great deal of useful information for students in Years 10 to 12, including:
• Dates to diarise in Term 2
• News from Monash University
- Inside Monash: Advanced Science Degrees
- Science Precinct Tours
- Useful Science Website
• News from Australian Catholic University
- New Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Experience ACU on-campus event
• Career as a Dermatologist
• Deakin Explore
• Career as a Sound Technician
• Music Production Courses in Victoria in 2021
• Performance Degrees in Victoria in 2021
• Snapshot of James Cook University in 2021
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.