A MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician. But that is not so… He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment. 

Pope Francis

 

Dear Parents, Carers and Friends of Bethany,

As we move to the final week of the first semester, reports for Years 7 – 10 are being finalised. Reports will be published on Compass mid next week and a notification will go out regarding this. Bookings are also open for Parent Teacher Interviews next week. Some of the feedback that we have had from parents is that it would be good to have reports ready ahead of interviews so that more targeted questions may be asked for each subject. Upon reading your daughter’s report I recommend that the following way of thinking is adopted.

  • Attendance – does this reflect what you know of your daughter’s attendance?
  • Are all times away from school explained?
  • How much does my daughter give of herself to the College in the form of participation at a homeroom level, to being an ambassador for the College in how she wears her uniform through to her level of involvement in extra curricular activities offered? We do recognise that extra curricular offerings have been reduced due to COVID-19.

For each subject page an overall grade from A-E is awarded. NESA stipulates that we need to ensure that grades are awarded not just on assessment tasks. Teachers have observed your daughter all semester in the classroom and remotely and know what she has currently achieved. At times, achievement is seen through classwork and perhaps due to pressures of tests, may not be seen via a mark only. The overall grade is not an average of the areas of learning which are communicated on reports. The areas of learning give specific information of parts of the course and tell you at what level your daughter has achieved. Whilst students have varying abilities and may not be able to achieve the highest of grades, what each student can do is try her hardest and this is reflected in the final section of reports which is the commitment to learning. Your daughter is trying her best if her commitment to learning falls in the consistently box. If your daughter is rated as sometimes in any box, please talk to her as to why this is so.                                                              

For Parent Teacher interviews next week, a great take home piece of information is to ask for advice on how your daughter can improve regardless of her grade. Students who achieve an A can still improve. Staff have met for each year level for each subject to establish clarity and consistency in grading patterns.

 

This term we have had to juggle the competing demands with College events and COVID-19 restrictions. As part of a system of schools, we are guided by our Central Office at Sydney Catholic Schools who in turn make decisions based on the latest health advice. At present, we are pleased to be able to say that our entire sporting program will return on Thursday afternoons. Representative sport will run in keeping with junior sport across the state returning on July 1. For our Recreational sport choices, all venues have been assessed and whilst we can use these venues, it will be in keeping with social distancing regulations mandated by the State Government.

Hopefully with the easing of restrictions, events may all return but at present we still have some restrictions which will limit what we can offer in the first part of the term at least. Unless advice changes, we will enter Term 3 still unable to have excursions, retreats, parent attendance at assemblies or gatherings of parents at large school events or where parents are on site potentially mixing with others. For the first few weeks of term, this will mean that we are not able to have our Semester 1 Academic Awards Ceremony. Students will still be recognised for their achievements in Semester 1 with an award and this will be published in the first newsletter of next term but we are unable to present these awards via an assembly in front of the rest of the school nor parents. Other events which will not occur are the Parents and Friends Meeting scheduled for July 27, the HSC Dance Showcase scheduled for July 22 and the Year 9, 2021 Subject Selection Parent Information Evening. Parents of Year 8 will receive via Compass the presentation that would have been delivered with all of the information that Year 8 require to choose their elective subjects for 2021 and 2022. The Year 11 Retreat is scheduled for Week 4 and a decision will be made about this during Week 1.

As Term 3 progresses, restrictions may ease. We have been able to reschedule Bethany Day for September 1 and as you already know School Photos for July 31. Please especially keep Year 12 in your prayers for the easing of restrictions as we look towards the end of Term 3 and hoping that all of our planned Graduation ceremonies can progress.

Semester 1 has been unique in many ways. It has provided many challenges as well as time for reflection and reassessment of what we value mostly in our lives. Through much adversity has come some good and I encourage all students in the upcoming July holidays to think about what they want to achieve at school next semester. I pray that all members of the Bethany Community have a safe, happy and harmonious holiday and that students work to the best of their ability right up until their last lesson of term this coming Wednesday.

 

Robyn Rodwell

College Principal