The Siena College community has experienced considerable upheaval over the last fortnight, particularly our Year 12 students, their parents and our staff. In responding to a rapidly changing environment of site closure and Department of Health directives, there have been many procedural matters which have required the support and cooperation of all. Throughout the week, there have also been moments of great pride as our Year 12 students have adjusted to changes in their final weeks of learning at Siena. One moment of pride was experienced at the final SRC meeting for the year, when all student leaders gathered, under the leadership of Ms Claire Moody, to acknowledge and thank the outgoing Student Leadership Team. Instead of focussing on what was lost in this tumultuous year, they highlighted what was found; creativity, connection, solidarity and savouring all that was. We thank the SRC for ensuring that the student body continued to engage with activities throughout the remote learning period and acknowledge their leadership in all of the onsite events earlier this year.
I share with the Siena Community, a prayer written by Hayley Di Stefano, Veritas Leader. In it Hayley offers a prayer of thanksgiving for the SRC and asks for God’s blessing on all Year 12 students. Let this be our prayer as a community at this time; thank you Hayley.
In our last SRC meeting as a collective 2021 group, we thank you for blessing us with the friendships, connections and fun that this year as brought. Through all the challenges and hardships that this year has continued to throw at us, thank you for the unity and support that has been provided in our community.
For this year's leaders, may you be blessed with the resilience, determination, and willingness to serve others that was embodied by both Catherine and Dominic. May you continue to be a guiding light in the darkness, leading others through both their difficulties and achievements.
To all future leaders of Siena, may you be filled with love, generosity, and selflessness to uplift those around you and continue to strive for what our community believes in.
Year 12s, although this is not the way you may have expected your time at Siena to come to a close, may you be reminded of your persistence, strength and the encouragement of the community around you. We thank you for all the gifts you have provided this group with, and may you continue to lead in everything that you do in your future endeavours.
It has been a pleasure to work with Fathers Kevin and Peter, students and staff to create our online Class of 2021 Graduation Liturgy and Ceremony. This significant celebration will focus both on gratitude and the way these students have lived our College Theme Be Possibility. We are fortunate to be able to mark this rite of passage as a College community and wish these students well as they head into their examination period. I encourage all members of this remarkable cohort to contemplate all that they are grateful for as they conclude their formal Siena experience.
A target in our Annual Action Plan is that data is used to inform policies, pedagogies and practices at Siena – MACSSIS provides an opportunity to gather and engage with such data.
These are a low-impact high-return set of tools for creating, collecting, analysing, interpreting and using data to inform school improvement. MACSSIS produces perception data which tells us what different groups in our community think and feel about their learning environment. All students in Years 7 to 12 will complete MACSSIS online between this week and 28 October, along with all staff and a number of Siena families. As Dominicans, we are always drawn to the places of greatest potential - thank you for your partnership with us in sustaining and growing our culture of continuous school improvement.
As we immerse ourselves in Term 4 with all the bumps along the way, we strive to ensure that learning at Siena is of the same high standard as ‘normal’ years. The uncertainty of what comes next and our constantly changing circumstances stress the need for some sense of routine while still acknowledging the impact that the absence of normalcy has on our community.
The decision to run the Year 9 to Year 11 exams was carefully debated and considered, and the consensus is that holding the exams will be of greatest benefit to our students. They allow us to consolidate and evaluate the learning for 2021. As much as teachers and students alike have put their best foot forward, it is important that we can measure data patterns to ensure that learning in 2021 has not been adversely affected. The examination outcomes will provide the opportunity to identify any learning gaps that may require addressing. In addition, practice in all things leads to improvement, and prepares our students for their final year.
Revision Sheets published via Siena Central:
Year 11: 29 October
Year 10: 5 November
Year 9: 5 November
Year 11: 5 November
Year 10: 12 November
Year 9: 18 November
Year 11: 12 November to 19 November
Year 10: 22 November to 26 November
Year 9: 25 November to 1 December
Online Year 12 Trial exams 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 are a learning opportunity and students should take the time to go through them and focus on or seek clarification on areas for improvement. A debt of gratitude to the Year 12 teachers who have been steadfastly marking the trial exams and the many practice papers submitted by our students.
The past week has offered ongoing opportunities for students to engage with revision lectures during Enrichment and also after school, presented by our internal experts and external assessors.
On Monday 18 October, an additional Trial exam for English will be held in the morning and Mathematics will be held in the afternoon.
The last day of classes for Year 12 students is Tuesday, 19 October.
Support and encouragement from family and friends is very valuable at this time, in order to keep up spirits and momentum. We’ll be thinking of you all and wish you the very best!
Please take note of the following dates, when students will receive their final list of 2022 subjects and access to the 2022 Booklist:
22 October: 2022 Subjects emailed
22 October: Year 10 and 11 Early VCE English Booklist available, due 27 October
3 November : Year 8, 9, 10 and VCE Booklist available, due 26 November
The VCE Headstart program provides opportunity for students to engage with their 2022 subjects.
Year 11 students will participate in five lessons for each subject and Year 10 students will participate in three lessons. The program provides an excellent foundation for learning as students prepare for the VCE.
2022 Year 12: 22 November to 26 November
2022 Year 11: 29 November to 2 December
Those students whose accelerated study application was deferred, are please to email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a review with Ms Laughlin, to be scheduled after completion of their exams. Deferred students have been emailed a reminder, should they wish to pursue an accelerated study.
25 October: Staff Learning and Teaching Day / 2022 Curriculum Planning Day
1 November: Melbourne Cup Long Weekend
With October being National Mental Health Awareness Month, it is an opportunity for us all to highlight the importance of good mental health, especially given the challenges that the past eighteen months have presented.
On Friday 1 October, Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) celebrated the launch of National Mental Health Awareness Month with an event that featured many leading industry experts and federal ministers who presented and showed their support of this great initiative.
This event included a virtual awards ceremony whereby various individuals, groups and organisations were recognised for their achievements and contributions in raising mental health awareness.
SchoolTV was awarded ‘Mental Health Organisation of the Year’ by the Victorian chapter in recognition of the important support they offer to schools and parent communities.
Parents are encouraged to watch ‘The Wellbeing Barometer’ Special Report and complete the survey which gauges the state of student wellbeing at our school.
On October 11, we celebrated International Day of the Girl, a day to raise awareness about inequality experienced by girls around the globe. This year’s theme is "Digital generation. Our generation”, calling for equal access to the internet and digital devices for girls’ and targeted investments to facilitate opportunities for girls’ to safely and meaningfully access, use, lead and design technology.
As we know from our own experiences, digital inclusion and literacy opens new avenues to learning, earning and leading for girls, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frustratingly, the pandemic has also deepened the gender divide around connectivity and online safety, with girls facing economic and social barriers to internet and device access. In fact, the gender gap for global internet users grew from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019. In the world’s least developed countries, it hovers around 43 per cent.
But the gender digital divide is about more than connectivity. Girls are also less likely than boys to use and own devices, and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs. Only by addressing the inequity and exclusion that span geographies and generations can we usher in a digital revolution for all, with all.
To learn more about International day of the Girl, click here
Commencing on Thursday, 28 October, the Learning Diversity Department will be running a Study Skills Club for Years 9 to 11 at lunchtime (1.00pm -1:30pm) in J103. Designed to help students prepare for the upcoming exams, topics covered may include:
All students from Years 9 to 11 are welcome.
Bring your lunch, device, pen and paper
In this edition of Siena Career News there is plenty of useful information particularly for Year 12s, whom we wish all the best as they prepare for their final exams.
Important VTAC dates are included, Change of Preference dates, ATAR release and tertiary offer dates.
The article detailing "Twenty Most Needed Jobs" provides great food for thought and is interesting reading for students who would like to increase their chances of employment post university or post TAFE.
Holmesglen Institute is holding a series of Virtual Open Days to showcase a variety of Vocational and Higher Education courses- you can now study a Bachelor’s degree at several TAFE Institutes which is great for students who prefer a study environment with smaller numbers and more one on one attention than large university degrees.
There are updates from the universities regarding admissions, changes to courses, new courses and special entry programs.
Paramedicine and Public Health have soared in popularity in recent years. I have included course matrices which list the various universities offering these courses and the entry requirements.
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.
Any further enquires please contact Tracey Lawson at email@example.com