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Berwick News – 28 June 2018


2019 Year 8/9 Subject Information

The main focus of this information evening held last week was to outline the subject choices available to students, the process involved and the subsequent links those choices have to pathways in Year 10 and beyond.

The philosophy at the 7-9 Campuses is for students to experience a wide range of subjects and gain an insight into where their strengths, passions and talents lie in order to then make well informed choices in a Senior School setting.

There has been an extensive curriculum review that has been undertaken this year. We believe that the proposed changes in subjects and/or curriculum reflect the college philosophy of creating a deeper approach to personalised learning. This approach allows students to enjoy the freedom and flexibility to apply themselves in a range of settings, minimising learning constraints.

Some examples of this are the creation of multiple learning academies, specifically designed for extension, a wider breadth of languages offered and a more open-ended approach to some subjects offered in a combined 8/9 learning landscape.

Students also have attended a session outlining the process for subject selection, below are some key dates relating to this.

Term 2

28 June: Student Assemblies, Berwick Campus
29 June: ‘Select My Subjects’ website opens for elective preference entering
29 June: Application forms for Extension Academies published on SIMON for students

Term 3

20 July: Application forms for Extension Academies due
25 July: Extension Academy Application outcomes communicated to students
30 July: Electives are due to be entered on Select My Subjects website


Berwick Campus Therapy Dogs

The Berwick Campus was recently abuzz with the introduction of two therapy dogs who have recently completed their training to feature at our campus on a regular basis to benefit our students. Therapy dogs go a long way to supporting the college focus on student well-being.

Benefits include:

  • Animals can teach empathy and appropriate interpersonal skills;
  • Help individuals develop social skills;
  • The relationship between therapy animals and the therapist/handler can be a model for a healthy relationship;
  • The presence of animals is soothing and can more quickly build the therapeutic relationship for children, adolescents and adults.
  • Therapy dogs have skills that make them able to pick up social cues imperative to human relationships.
  • Therapists then can process that information and use it to help clients see how their behavior affects others.
  • Patting an animal has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure, lower anxiety and lessen stress.
  • It has been shown that animals have the potential to lower human anxiety by simply being present.

Both Panther and Abbey have been a welcome addition to the campus during the probationary period and we look forward to them becoming regular features at our campus.


Fitness for Wellbeing

McDonagh recently participated in a Zumba session to promote fitness for wellbeing during their House time. Zumba is an exercise fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez during the 1990’s.

Zumba involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. The choreography incorporates Hip-Hop, Soca, Samba, Salsa, Merinque and Mambo dance movements. Squats and lunges are also a regular part of the routine. Thanks to Ms. Nadia Liu, McDonagh Head of House for organising such an enjoyable event for students.


Host a Japanese Student

We are currently looking for Host Families to host our Sister School students at Berwick campus from 22 August – 28 August 2018. A room and meals need to be provided for the students.

Please email or for an application form.


Student Sport Achievement

Year 8 student Georgia Pettinella has been selected to participate in the Callisthenics Victoria Junior State Team as a soloist.

They are due to compete in Canberra in the Term Holidays. Great work Georgia, we wish you all the best!



Religious Education Department

We have concluded the semester with two significant faith events that have enabled the building of empathy and community. On 22 June, each of our Houses united as one in various parishes around the area. The day is designed to bring together two important aspects of our school life – our House system and our parishes. Both of these are places where every person is known, the parish welcomes all and walks with us through the significant moments in our life. The parish provides a place to gather and worship, a place to care for the world and without our parishes our school would not exist. Our Houses also provide our students with a place where they are known and cared for in their six years at the College. It is the basis of our community life, a place to say hello each day, a place to pray, and place to be supported in learning. Our priests welcomed our students to their parishes of Cranbourne, Narre Warren, Berwick, Pakenham, Koo Wee Rup and Warragul. Staff and students enjoyed meeting again their students who had moved to the Beaconsfield Campus. The day was joyful, students were very positive about the experience, and it brought us closer as a community. We thank God for our parishes, knowing that beyond school it is a place where all of us can go to find belonging, peace and inspiration.


From 27 – 29 June, Year 11 Houses have been on retreat at various locations around our area. I have observed a House whose members have shown empathy for each other. They have listened to each other’s stories with respect, they have welcomed and delighted in the opportunity to get to know their peers more. They have taken part in prayer, servant leadership games, reflected and shared significant life moments, and grown closer as a House. On Thursday night the students led a liturgy around a camp fire. I was moved by their willingness to pray for each other, to listen deeply, and to participate willingly in this moment. Our Catholic faith informs the aims of our retreat. The unconditional love of God is available to us at all moments in our lives. Living in tune with this beautiful song brings hope and vision for a life that is fulfilled, resilient and caring of others. If the students know that we can depend on God and this promise of love they can walk a little lighter in this world and make a difference. The Year 11 students will begin discerning what 2019 leadership roles they can apply for when they return in term three. I can say that I have observed potential leaders in action at the retreat, and this would have been evident around all the Houses.

We pray for a restful, peaceful and safe school holiday.


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