Volume 1 - 10 Feb 2017


Dear Parents and Caregivers,


I welcome each and every one of you to the 2017 College year. This week, 990 students in our school began the next step in their educational journey at Bethany. This is a large student body stretching the College to its full capacity. As I have interacted with students, parents and staff during these first few days, I have been struck by the high level of enthusiasm and sense of poise and ambition in each encounter. New students at all levels are receiving strong support and the strong connections between our students have been re-established. Our spiritual theme for the year is “For many are called but few are chosen” and our academic focus will be to “Aim for the Longshot”, promoting the learning principle of Self-Directed Learning which is an important part of our school-wide pedagogical vision of “Together, we grow.  



Students and teachers are all learning together in this special place. We believe we need to focus on adopting a Growth Mindset and make progress, however incrementally, setting a  difficult goal (a longshot) and working hard to achieve it. We are all very excited about the possibilities of each and every one of us extending ourselves for others and as a consequence, reaching for milestones we never dreamed we’d reach!

I particularly welcome our new Year 7 students (“The Magnolias”) to the College and the new members of staff who have joined our community:

  1. Baldwin, Gemma (VA)
  2. Bird, Maria (Bursar)
  3. Black, Lisa (ICT Officer)
  4. Forrester, Damienne (Assistant Business Manager)
  5. Ibrahim, Elizabeth (English/RE)
  6. Laguzza, Sebastian (English)
  7. Nabaki, Chantelle (Music/RE)
  8. Napoli, Theresa (TAS/RE)
  9. Naticchia, Tanya (LOTE/RE, job-share with Mrs Colreavy)
  10. Poole, Hannah (Science)
  11. Straker, Nora (EAL/D)
  12. Taouk, Kahlie (English/RE)
  13. VandenHengel, Stephanie (English/Drama, job-share with Mrs Camer)
  14. Vrahnos, Elizabeth (HSIE)
  15. Walsh, Madeline (English)
  16. Wood, Jamie-Lee (RE)

We also welcomed back Mrs Amy Camer (nee Nelson) who has returned to the College in a job-share position following the birth of young Madison.

There have been a few changes to the curriculum team at the College. Namely:

  1. Miss Walsh is our new English Coordinator, previously at Waverley College.
  2. Miss Wood is our new Assistant Leader of RE and Mission, previously at Marist College Kogarah.
  3. Mrs Vrahnos is our new Vocational Learning Coordinator, previously at Marist College Kogarah.



All of our students and teachers were present last week at our College Commencement Mass which took place in Yallunga Hall on Friday 3 February. This significant event, officially celebrated the beginning of the school year and was celebrated by Father Janusz.  We have two themes for the year.

Academically, we are focusing on each of you AIMING FOR THE LONGSHOT. You have done work already with your Year Coordinator and Home room teacher on setting your personal and academic goals for the year. By now, you’ve reflected on your personal attributes and how you can use the gifts that you do have can be used to enhance the pursuit of the ones you still want to achieve.

Spiritually, we will be adopting the theme of “FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN”.

We have all been privileged to have been called and chosen. Because of the invitation we have received by being called, we now need to act on that and this is where we show that we are chosen – through our acceptance of the invitation.  Through our baptism, that call becomes evident when either we or our godparents make our baptismal promises.  These promises though, come with a responsibility to proclaim the good news of Jesus.  This is where the action part comes in.  This acceptance enables us to live our lives by modelling Gospel values and to show others, though our actions, words and deeds, what it really means to be Catholic.

We can all be assured of the call, but it is only through response to it that we are truly chosen.  Our faith is about action and this is where we have the opportunity to show that action.

As part of our ongoing journey to live out Gospel values and to acknowledge the charisms of both the Charities and Josephites, the six values then become an integral part of being chosen.  How we live by them, how we integrate these into our daily interactions with each other, how we are challenged by them in difficult times to step up and really live the way we have been called to are all things we can consider when understanding the privilege and responsibility that being chosen comes with.

Ultimately, the students will be challenged to see how they can act upon the invitation by living out the Gospel values allocated.



There have been changes this year to the way schools are asked to manage exemption from school requests. It is the duty of the NSW State government to ensure that every child receives an education of the highest quality and it is the duty of parents to comply with the compulsory education requirements of the Education Act 1990. As such, in the case of students of compulsory school age (less than 17 years) who are enrolled in a school, applications for exemption from school attendance must be submitted in advance.

  • Exceptional domestic circumstances, subject to being satisfied that this is in the best educational interests of the child
  • Other exceptional circumstances such as health of the student where sick leave or alternative enrolment is not appropriate
  • The child being prevented from attending school because of a direction under section 42D of the Public Health Act 1991
  • Employment in the entertainment industry or participation in elite sporting events for short periods of time e. for one or two days, and at short notice exemption are very clear.

From the commencement of 2015 when Applications for Exemptions from school have been received, students travelling during school terms are not to be exempted. Do not complete the Exemption application if you wish to take your daughter on leave for a vacation. The following table indicated processes and procedures that need to occur. All forms can be located on the College website or alternatively, requested from the Main Office.

Summary of Forms

All parent forms are available through the College website to be downloaded.


Why such a strict protocol around attendance? The broad message from recent longitudinal research is that there is a close relationship between school attendance and academic performance: every day counts. Moreover, the effects of non-attendance accumulate over time. Days missed in Year 3, for example, are detectable in the years ahead. This is important and has not been, until now, documented in the literature. This is not a trivial issue.

We will continue to work with our students at ‘lifting’ our attendance rates. Students should only be on sick leave at home when they are genuinely ill with infectious or serious ailments. Students with chronic conditions work hard to overcome issues and we are so proud of their efforts to catch up on work and submit their assignments. I would urge parents to support the College in setting the expectation and pattern about attendance early. Please make it a priority to take your holiday breaks in published school vacation periods only.

A full research report is available for your interest at http://www.telethonkids.org.au/media/472779/final_report_2013.pdf



We keep the following people in our prayers:

  • Miss Kahlie Taouk who had surgery late last week.
  • Siena Dal Bianco (10) whose maternal grandfather Fausto Del Vecchio passed away.
  • Mrs Azizi who is the mother of past ex-students (Dah Dah) who passed away after suffering serious injuries in a pedestrian-car accident.
  • Rachel Cassar (12) who is recovering from surgery after having been hit by a car.
  • Miss Robinson and Mrs Russo who both lost an uncle over the weekend.

Collectively, we pray that the souls of the faithfully departed rest in perpetual peace.



Catholic families experiencing genuine financial hardship who cannot afford to pay fees can apply for a financial bursary through the Catholic Education Foundation (if Centrelink dependent) or other families by completing the Sydney Catholic Schools Fee Reduction Application Form and submitting this, together with the required documentation, to the Principal of the school that the eldest child attends.

The Principal of the school the eldest student attends, or the Business Manager , will arrange an interview and assess the fee reduction application using the Fee Reduction Matrix to determine the level of reduction. This matrix has been determined by Head Office and will be applied consistently across all 151 of our schools.  A failure to provide all of the necessary documentation will mean that a fee reduction cannot be considered at all.

The fee follow-up processes are a little different to what has happened in the past. Late fee follow-ups will be happening earlier than what has previously taken place (Term 1, Week 5 and Week 7). If there is no payment or no contact made by the end of Term 1, the fee follow-up will be referred to the Sydney Catholic Schools Fee Unit and they will communicate directly with parents over fee plans and debt recovery.

These new processes have been put in place to ensure the smooth cash flow and operating budget of each school and will also achieve a level of consistency in support of families who need it.



In addition to the already forecasted change in demountables, the following has changed for our students and staff:

  • Marian block and Yallunga bathrooms will now be available for use by Years 10 to 12 and alleviate congestion near the MacKillop Building facilities.
  • Six new microwaves will soon be installed, one for each year group, and to be monitored by student leaders.
  • Vocational Learning Room has been located to the MacKillop Building, across from the library entrance. This will mean easier access for students to our Coordinator, Mrs Vrahnos and a more visually pleasing place to access resources and advice.




HSC Class 2016


Excellence in Performing Arts

On Stage Nomination

Melissa Lameri

Callback Nominations

Hannah Berghouse

Isabella Bouzianis

Bianca Cuschieri

Belinda Jones

Karli Karagiannis

Lisa-Marie Maglione

Irena Pitsos

Serena Siow


Hannah Berghouse

Belinda Jones

Serena Siow

Excellence in Creative Arts

Art Express

Stella Dimitrakas

First Place in HSC Exam

One Subject

Melissa Agapiou – Personal Development, Health & Physical Education

Rita Bechara – Senior Science

Monique Cacaj – Business Services

Emily Davis – Mathematics General 2

Adriana Dell’Aquila – Studies of Religion II

Francesca Garcia – Music 1

Isabella Georges – English (Standard)

Isabella Healion – Visual Art

Belinda Jones – Dance

Eleanor Kerwick – Ancient History

Melissa Lameri – English (Standard)

Shana Lee – History Extension

Alexandra Lisboa-Pinto – Society and Culture

Chiara Mastrogiovanni – Textiles and Design

Niamh McMenamin – Legal Studies

Rebecca Moody – Italian (Beginners)

Floriana Rizzo – Italian (Continuers)

Sabrinna Veloso – English Extension 2

Jacinta Walz – Physics

Two Subjects

Isabelle Hancock

Geography, Mathematics

Kristyn Katidis

English Extension 1, Modern History

Anastazia Nedelkoska

Modern History, Studies of Religion I

Christina Ristevski

English (Advanced),

Personal Development, Health & Physical Education

Jacinta Tennet

Drama, Biology

Three Subjects


Adriana Halias

Community and Family Studies, Hospitality Examination, Society and Culture

Katerina Meliss

Business Studies, Economics, English (Advanced)

Four Subjects

Anthea Michalopoulos

Chemistry, English (Advanced), Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2

Distinguished Achievers

Band 6 / E4 in One Subject


Dinuki Algama – Studies of Religion I

Jasmin Allotta – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Sarah Borg- Mathematics General 2

Monique Cacaj – Business Services Examination

Victoria Dakhoul – Studies of Religion I

Emily Davis – Mathematics General 2

Zoe Delaney – Visual Art

Fiona Gazali – Studies of Religion I

Amy Greenhalgh – Studies of Religion I

Belinda Jones – Dance

Karli Karagiannis – Dance

Tara Kousoulas – Textiles and Design

Monica Krstevski – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Sharlize Lasala – Hospitality Examination

Alexandra Lisboa-Pinto – Society and Culture

Lisa-Marie Maglione – Dance

Eilish McIntyre – Legal Studies

Tijana Miles – Personal Development Health and Physical Education

Isabella Nguyen – Studies of Religion I

Lucienne Pacifique – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Fiona Pelosi – Studies of Religion II

Irena Pitsos – Dance

Bethany Price – Personal Development Health and Physical Education

Floriana Rizzo – Studies of Religion I

Serena Siow – Visual Arts

Sophie Tran – Community and Family Studies

Lara Trisley – Society and Culture

Jacinta Walz – Studies of Religion I


Band 6 / E4 in Two Subjects


Melissa Agapiou
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Studies of Religion I

Rita Bechara
Mathematics General 2, Senior Science

Francesca Garcia
Legal Studies, Music

Qitong Huang
Studies of Religion I, Visual Arts

Sabrina Lopez
Music, Studies of Religion I

Chiara Mastrogiovanni
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Textiles and Design

Micaele Parker
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Studies of Religion I

Teadora Sorial
Legal Studies, Studies of Religion I

Alexia Vassilopoulos
Legal Studies, Studies of Religion I

Naomh Webster
English Extension 1, History Extension


Band 6 / E4 in Three Subjects


Hannah Berghouse
Dance, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Studies of Religion I

Danielle Cavanagh
Dance, English (Advanced), Studies of Religion I

Brooke Cibalevski
Hospitality Examination, Legal Studies, Mathematics General 2

Stella Dimitrakas
Drama, Studies of Religion I, Visual Arts

Adriana Halias
Community and Family Studies, Hospitality Examination, Society and Culture

Isabelle Hancock
Geography, Mathematics, Studies of Religion I

Isabella Healion
History Extension, Modern History, Visual Arts

Melissa Lameri
Drama, Music 1, Studies of Religion I

Katerina Meliss
Business Studies, English (Advanced), Studies of Religion I

Christina Ristevski
English (Advanced), Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Studies of Religion I

Jacinta Tennet
Biology, Drama,Studies of Religion I

Sabrinna Veloso
English Extension 1, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Visual Arts


Band 6 / E4 in Four Subjects


Kristyn Katidis
English (Advanced), English Extension 1, Modern History, Studies of Religion I

Eleanor Kerwick
Ancient History, Modern History, Studies of Religion I, Visual Art

Shana Lee
Ancient History, Modern History, History Extension, Studies of Religion I

Niamh McMenamin
Legal Studies, History Extension, Modern History, Studies of Religion I

Band 6 / E4 in Five Subjects


Anthea Michalopoulos
English (Advanced), Legal Studies, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, Studies of Religion I

Anastazia Nedelkoska
English (Advanced), English Extension 1, Macedonian Continuers, Modern History, Studies of Religion I


Outstanding ATAR

Emily Davis – 90.0

Isabella Healion– 90.05

Chiara Mastrogiovanni – 90.1

Eilish McIntyre – 90.9

Qitong Huang– 90.9

Melissa Agapiou – 91.55

Shana Lee – 91.75

Adriana Halias – 92.45

Sabrinna Veloso – 93.0

Danielle Cavanagh – 93.05

Brooke Cibalevski – 93.2

Jacinta Tennet – 94.1

Niamh McMenamin – 94.2

Eleanor Kerwick – 94.3

Jacinta Walz – 94.4

Katerina Meliss – 94.5

Christina Ristevski – 95.55

Kristyn Katidis – 95.75

Anastazia Nedelkoska – 96.95

College Dux

Anthea Michalopoulos – 99.0







Our mantra:

“Girls can do anything.
Bethany girls can do everything!*
(*except divide by zero)”
Vicki Lavorato

A Letter from Archbishop Fisher OP


School Xchange

www.schoolxchange.com.au  is an online marketplace where parents and students can sell or buy local, good quality second hand school uniforms, school and university text books, sporting equipment or musical instruments. Bethany College is registered with this site.

Whether it’s school uniforms, musical instruments, text books or sporting gear it’s free to browse and buy at any time.

For a small listing fee, you can sell unwanted school items to buyers looking to purchase items at a substantially lower cost. Generally, this will be within our local school community which means no postage and packaging costs.

Schoolxchange has been developed with busy mums and dads in mind and made it trouble-free and easy to use. Just type in Bethany’s name in the ‘find your school option’ or choose the buy or search options to viewall the items listed in a particular category.

Selling Used School Gear Made Easy
The selling process is as simple and as inexpensive as possible. You only pay to list items for sale. It may be a school blazer, netball outfit, athletic gear or a trombone that’s no longer required.
You will need to register first if you wish to sell and you’ll need either a credit card or PayPal account to pay a small listing fee of 10% (less for more expensive items) based on the price you want to sell the item for.
Once registered, you simply key in the details of your item and the price you are seeking. Your listing will stay online until it’s sold and you remove it. We hope you find this site useful.

2017 Year 7 SCC Jazz Auditions

2016 HSC Dance Callback Showcase Success

Three talented young dancers from the 2016 Year 12 Dance class have been shortlisted for the 2016 Callback Showcase.

The successful 2016 HSC Dance class were nominated for sixteen of their practical HSC Dance works. The Callback Showcase is held at the Seymour Centre in February 2017.

Callback is a selection of exemplary practical performances from the HSC Dance Practical examinations.  Only 20 Dancers across NSW get selected from the nomination process.


Congratulations ladies for making the shortlist.


Belinda Jones – Core Performance ‘Jealous’ and Core Composition ‘Savannah’ dancer Lyric Fidow

Hannah Berghouse – Core Composition ‘The Runner’ dancer Kayla Jomaa

Serena Siow – Major Study Film dancers: Nyah Jones, Dominique Kulchar & Roselyn Mae Pasia


Danielle Bennie

Dance Teacher


Curriculum Matters

The 2017 year has got off to a very busy start with new changes being implemented in a number of areas.  The NSW Board of Studies has gone through a name change, it will now be called the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The National Curriculum continues to be rolled out across the middle school with National Curriculum Geography courses being implemented in Year 7 and Year 9 this year. Changes are being made in the area of assessment by NESA that will necessitate some changes in reporting.

A few parents have enquired recently regarding the class selection process and how streaming is arranged in the College. In determining classes, in Year 7 through 10, these classes are determined using available contemporary data. We use ability data and where appropriate performance data from Academic Assessment Services. Other data sources accessed include NAPLAN results in literacy and numeracy, Progressive Achievement Testing (PAT) which tests both ability and comprehension performance. Finally, we use school achievement data in relevant subjects. This data is collated and used to determine homeroom and Scientia classes. Specific subject results such as Science, English and Mathematics have more of an influence in Year’s 9 and 10 and are used to determine classes in those subjects.

The streaming model currently in place for 2017 is set out below.

Year 7 has mixed ability homerooms with one homeroom established as a Scientia literacy class. There is no streaming in any subjects other than this. The girls go to all classes except those listed below in those groupings. Technology Mandatory classes are also mixed ability and different to the students homeroom class. Visual Art and Music also share these class groupings. This is simply done to mix the cohort of students, allowing the students to get to know more girls.

Year 8 has mixed ability homerooms with one homeroom established as a Scientia literacy class. Girls are streamed in Mathematics on results achieved throughout Year 7 from the previous year. Girls are not streamed in any other courses and will go to classes in homeroom groups except for Technology Mandatory, LOTE, Visual Art and Music.  In Year 8 we have also created one Scientia Technology Mandatory class to cater for those students who show themselves to be gifted in a more creative way.

Year 9 has mixed ability homerooms with the exception of two homerooms operating as Scientia literacy classes, this will operate only in 2017. Girls will complete Religion, PDHPE, History and Geography subjects in these mixed ability homerooms, hence the class nomenclature is irrelevant as to whether a student is in class 3, 4 5 or 6. Students are streamed in English, Mathematics and partly streamed in Science. Elective Subjects are chosen by students and are not streamed.

Year 10 is exactly the same as Year 9 with one exception and that is that there is only one Scientia literacy class operating as one homeroom. Also in 2017 in English in Year 9 and Year 10, the top two classes are graded directly on results in English. Classes 3 and 4 are equivalent on results so neither should be seen as a stronger ability grouping than the other.

Year 11 and 12 are based on student choice and girls are separated on the basis of the level of the  subject they have chosen. For example this would mean that girls in English (Advanced) are in different classes to those girls who have chosen English (Standard).

For Year 10 students and parents this will be a very important year as they move over to a new senior assessment policy and they choose subjects to undertake in 2018 and 2019 in the middle of the year, in preparation for a 2019 HSC. I therefore invite all Year 10 students and their parents to the Assessment Information Evening on Monday 20 February commencing at 6.30pm in Yallunga Hall. Any new students who have joined Year 11  this year should also attend this information session.



Gregg Conroy

Leader of Learning

Road Safety Around Schools

road-safety-around-schools_page_1 road-safety-around-schools_page_2

Careers Update

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Elizabeth Vrahnos and I am the new Careers Advisor at Bethany. I look forward to getting to know the students and welcome questions about career pathways, further study options and subject selections. I will be based in the new Careers room located opposite the Library.

Please encourage your daughters to regularly check this space in the school newsletters for information pertaining to the many career and study options open to them. Below is the first of many course information days:

UTS Bachelor of Accounting Information Evening
Event Type : Event
Date : 16th May 2017
Time : 6.30 – 7.30pm
Venue : UTS Business School, 14-28 Ultimo Road, Ultimo
Target Group : Students – Year 11, Students – Year 12, Careers Advisers, Parents
Cost : FREE
Contact Name : Carin Alberts
Contact Details : carin.alberts@uts.edu.au

Come along to our Information Evening for the 2018 Intake, and meet current students, graduates, sponsors, and staff of this elite program. See the UTS site for more information about the program:www.bachelorofaccounting.com



Elizabeth Vrahnos

Vocational Learning Coordinator

Pedagogy Report

A big welcome back to the Bethany College community for what is already shaping up to be a vibrant year ahead. For staff, the curriculum year began with discussion of our most pleasing 2016 HSC results and a presentation of those key curriculum directions that will form the ‘rocks’ of our 2017 Annual Improvement Plan; such as Literacy and Gifted Education.

The following Monday (29th January) saw staff actively engaged in Growth Mindset Professional Learning led by Dan Haesler; Teaching Kids to Stretch. As part of the continued focus in 2017 on the Self-Directed Learning principle of our School Wide Pedagogy (SWP), Dan discussed the ways educators can improve curriculum outcomes of students by providing feedback that increases their desire to learn. His ideas around combining the work of ‘Growth Mindset’ with ‘Formative Assessment’ were well received by College staff, challenging them to consider new approaches, especially in regard to assessment and feedback.  



In e-Learning news, Year 7 and Year 10 student BYODD policy implementation is underway with student laptops currently undergoing processing for onsite approval. This will continue over the coming weeks. Yr 7 students will also be attending an ICT Bootcamp in their CLE lessons and be provided with an ICT manual to assist them in connecting to the wi-fi for example, and printing on campus using the Papercut Web App.  

Congratulations to Yr 10 student Joeme Severino and Yr 11 student, Georgia McGilchrist for their participation in the University of Wollongong’s STEM camp for girls in 2017. These girls were accepted as a result of their outstanding academic achievement and passion in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Joeme and Georgia contributed to hands-on workshops exploring themes such as renewable energy and biomedical engineering and I look forward to hearing them share these experiences at an upcoming whole school Assembly.


Katherine Maish

Leader of Pedagogy

From the Assistant Principal

Important Dates

  • Tuesday 14/2: School Photos
  • Wednesday 15/2: Year 7 Vaccinations
  • Friday 17/2: Swimming Carnival
  • Thursday 23/2 – Friday 24/2: Year 7 Camp
  • Tuesday 28/2: Year 12 photos
  • Wednesday 1/3: Ash Wednesday


Uniform:   A reminder to familiarise yourselves with the uniform guidelines for the College; particularly jewellery, hair and makeup.

Waratah St:   Please keep the safety of all the community in mind when dropping off and picking up your daughters.


Self Directed Learning:

We began 2016 as a learning community focusing on Self Directed Learning, one of our five principles of learning. Bethany College is a place where teachers and students work together to be Self-Directed Learners:

    • Where learning is personalised to empower students to take charge of their own learning and become lifelong learners
    • Where students take initiative and responsibility for their own learning
    • Where students are self-reflective and engage with feedback to set their learning goals, defining what their learning needs and interests are.

To develop this, we set aside teaching time to instruct why goal setting, monitoring and assessing matters and model how to do it. We continue with this focus for 2017, and staff worked with presenter Dan Haesler at the start of the term to refine our practice.

Why is goal the goal setting process important?

“growing body of research indicates that when students are working on goals they themselves have set, they are more motivated and efficient, and they achieve more than they do when working on goals that have been set by the teacher” (Hom and Murphy, 1983 p. 104).

Research by Carol Dweck (1989) also showed that children with learning goals tend to choose challenging tasks regardless of their ability; they take every opportunity to get better; they quickly generate possible strategies for mastering a task and persist in finding answers; and in the case of failure, students’ self-esteem remains unaffected.

Students spent time in homeroom setting general learning goals in their diary and I would encourage parents and carers to have a look at the goals set, and encourage the girls to work through their strategies and monitor their progress over the term. This is a vital part of the process because just stating the goals is not enough, in fact it can work against us to share our goals, because we feel we are part way to achieving them. (For more on this… https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself?language=en ) What is important at this stage is to offer to assist by helping to monitor their goals. Ask questions: How are you going? What strategies are working for you? How else could we look at this? Is there anything I can help you with?

A big step towards achieving your goals is developing and maintaining a growth mindset.

















The attitudes you have learnt and develop will influence the way you view goal setting. Approaching a task with a negative and self-defeating attitude makes it much harder to actually be successful at that task.

You need to have a positive attitude when you are setting and trying to achieve your goals. A positive attitude means you are looking for ways to succeed rather than focusing on the difficulties and obstacles that could be in your path.


Jacinta Russo

Assistant Principal

What’s Been Happening in Religious Education

The beginning of the new school year always brings many hopes and aspirations for both academic and personal growth.  2017 is no different for all of our students as we begin the new year with new teachers, new friends and new goals for our learning.  Many of us may have made New Year’s Resolutions that will enable us to be better people and enhance the quality of our lives for ourselves and for others.  Pope Francis also made a list of New Year’s Resolutions that I would like to share with you:

  1. Don’t gossip
  2. Finish your meals
  3. Make time for others
  4. Choose the “more humble” purchase
  5. Meet the poor “in the flesh”
  6. Stop judging others
  7. Befriend those who disagree
  8. Make commitments such as marriage
  9. Make it a habit to “ask the Lord”
  10. Be happy

This is a practical list with many things that can be easily adopted into the choices and decisions that we make.  Pope Francis is definitely a practical and down to earth leader whose suggestions and recommendations are certainly worth thinking about.  As our new school year is beginning, perhaps these could become a part of what we could focus on and add to our own goals and resolutions for 2017.

We have also had a very busy start to the Year with both our staff mass and whole school mass to welcome the beginning of the 2017 school year.  As a Catholic school, it is always fitting to begin with prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist as a community is a most appropriate way to come together and welcome our new staff and students to our College.  Both of these masses have been beautiful celebrations and a testament to the shared spirituality of our staff and students.   This term, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate four liturgical celebrations together – our opening school mass, Ash Wednesday, Bethany Day and our Easter liturgy.  Please look out in future newsletters for more details about these celebrations.

This year, we are weaving a spiritual theme into our masses and liturgies.  The focus this year is “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14).    We have all been privileged to have been called and chosen through our baptism.  The promises that we made (or were made on our behalf by our Godparents) come with a responsibility to proclaim the good news of Jesus.  It means that we have a responsibility to live our lives by modelling Gospel values and to show others, through our actions, words and deeds, what it really means to be a Catholic.  As part of our ongoing journey to live out Gospel values and to acknowledge the charisms of both the Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of St Joseph, we have allocated to each year group a Gospel value that they will be encouraged and challenged to incorporate more fully into their daily lives.  At each of our liturgies and at other appropriate times throughout the year, the students will have an opportunity to engage with the value allocated to them and to explore ways that they can be models of living Gospel values.  The Gospel values allocated to each year group are listed below and I encourage you to speak with your daughters about how they can integrate these into their daily lives:

Relationships – Year 7

  • We value positive relationships
  • We know that our relationships are bound together by our love of God
  • We aim to be spiritual friends bringing out the best in each other

Acceptance – Year 8

  • We keep our school to be a place that is safe and supportive
  • We place the dignity of the human person – spirit, soul and body – at the centre of every thought and action.
  • We protect one another from harm

Justice – Year 9

  • We treat each person in our community fairly
  • We strive to do the work of God each day
  • We reach out to those in need and be agents of change in the world

Welcome – Year 10

  • We have a commitment to openness, inclusion and hospitality
  • We welcome, in Jesus’ name, all who visit Bethany College
  • We work hard to understand others

Service – Year 11

  • We lovingly care for the needs of others
  • We are the hands of God
  • We lovingly serve God in the service of others

Wholeness – Year 12

  • We acknowledge that every human being has the potential for complete wholeness and humility.
  • We believe that each individual, made in the image and likeness of God, respects themselves and others.
  • We believe in restorative practices that promote wholeness.

I wish you all the very best for a wonderful 2017 and very much look forward to working with your daughters.


Diane Kennaugh

Leader of Religious Education and Mission

Letter from Dr Dan White


Seasons for Growth Program

Seasons for Growth® is based on the belief that change and loss are part of life and grief is a normal response to these losses. Children, young people and adults need the opportunity to learn about how death, separation, divorce or other significant loss events may impact on their lives. The Seasons for Growth® programs provide an opportunity for participants to learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand and respond well to such experiences.

The Seasons for Growth® Children and Young People’s Program:

  • supports children and young people to understand and respond well to the issues they experience as a result of death, separation, divorce or other significant change and loss in their lives
  • assists children and young people to understand that their feelings and other reactions are normal
  • develops skills for coping, problem solving and decision making
  • builds a peer support network
  • helps restore self-confidence and self-esteem
  • educates children and young people about the grief process.

The program is based on small group like-to-like peer learning processes (4–7 participants with 1 adult ‘Companion’), creating a safe space for children and young people aged 6–18 years to practise new ways of thinking and responding to change and loss in their lives. The emphasis is on understanding the effects of change, loss and grief, whilst developing skills in communication, decision making and problem solving. The program is underpinned throughout by an emphasis on the development of children and young people’s identity (‘I am’), relationships (‘I have’) and competence (‘I can’), helping to build self-confidence, self-esteem and a felt sense of belonging and connection.

The Seasons for Growth® program is evidence based and relies on research, strategies and techniques consistent with high quality, psychosocial education. The program has a sound curriculum structure and incorporates a wide range of age-appropriate activities including writing, drawing, discussion, stories, role play, music, guided meditation and journalling. Children’s learning is largely generated through these activities and the conversations that emerge from stories shared, questions asked, skills learnt and friendships developed. This child-centred approach to learning encourages participants to not only value who they are and the particular ‘story’ they have, but also to modify where necessary their thinking, attitudes, beliefs and constructs about life and to ‘take charge’ of their behaviours. As de Winter and colleagues (1999) point out:

Learning by doing, learning by participation instead of exclusion is to be considered as a powerful tool to promote self-confidence, self-respect and a sense of control over one’s own life.

Learning to live with change and loss

Change and loss are issues that affect all of us at some stage in our lives. At Bethany College we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce and related circumstances, young people may benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We are therefore offering a very successful education program called Seasons for Growth which will commence on 29th March, 2017.

This program is facilitated in small groups and is based on research which highlights the importance of social support and the need the practise new skills to cope effectively with change and loss. The program focuses on issues such as self-esteem, managing feelings, problem-solving, decision-making, effective communication and support networks.

We will be inviting students who have discussed their challenge with loss, and each of those families will receive a notice in the near future with more details about the Seasons for Growth program. If you think your daughter would benefit from Seasons for Growth we would encourage you to talk to her about participating in the program.

Bethany College is pleased to be able to offer this important program and we are confident that it will be a valuable learning experience for those who request to be involved. If you require further information please contact Katerina Stratilas (School Counsellor) on 8566 0711 or k.stratilas@syd.catholic.edu.au.



Katerina Stratilas  – School Counsellor        

Katrine Barnes – Year 7 Co-Ordinator



NSW School Vaccination Program


Family and Community Services High School Scholarships



PDHPE Lessons

A PDHPE information package was sent home for students in years 7-10 for parent/s or guardian/s to read, sign and for students to return. If you have any concerns or questions please contact Mr Guthrie (PDHPE Coordinator) at the school on 8566 0711.


Swimming Carnival

On Friday 17th February, Bethany College will have its annual swimming carnival to be held at ANGELO ANESTIS AQUATIC CENTRE, 98c Preddys Rd, Bexley. This day is a great opportunity for the students to participate in one of the many whole school activities. The carnival promotes school community and sport house spirit. The carnival will commence at 9.30 am. Parents are welcome to attend.



Representative Sport

The Sydney Combined Colleges (SCC) Competition will start on Thursday 9th February (Week 2) and the following sports will be running for Term 1:


TERM 1 Representative Sports

Year 7 – Volleyball

Years 8 & 9 – Volleyball

Years 7 – 9 AFL

Years 10, 11 & 12 – Touch Football


Best of luck to all students and their sporting endeavours.


Wes Guthrie

PDHPE Coordinator

Study Skills @ Bethany College

SWOT TIME Courtesy of Prue Salter


What would you like to achieve this year both academically and in your personal life? The start of the year is the perfect time to reflect and reassess. It is a great time to look back and decide what worked, what didn’t and what new approaches you will try.

A great way to do this is through taking a few minutes to do a SWOT analysis. You can either write your answers down or discuss with someone or just think about your responses.


  • What went well for you at school last year?
  • What study and time management techniques worked for you?
  • What skills do you have that help you to do your best at school?


  • What were your greatest challenges in achieving your personal best at school?
  • What do you struggle with most as a student?
  • What do you need the most help with?


  • What one thing could you do differently this year that would most help you to improve your results?
  • What skills do you most need to focus on improving this year?
  • Who in your life would be able to help you to be a better student?


  • What are the biggest obstacles to you making changes in your approach?
  • Are there other students you sit with who make learning difficult?
  • What is stopping you from achieving the best results you can at school?

After you have worked through the SWOT analysis, choose the top 5 changes you want to make this year and write these down. Put these goals somewhere where you will see them every day before you go to school. If possible also write down some specific actions or steps you could take to achieve these goals. A good way to do this is at the start of each week write down the steps you want to take for that week.

You can learn the skills you need about how to be a more effective student at www.studyskillshandbook.com.au by logging in with these details:

Username: bethanyhurstville

Password: 65success

If you go to the THINGS TO PRINT page after you log in you will find lots of useful grids and planners for this year like a weekly calendar or term planner.



Parents and girls in Years 8 and 9 – keep Thursday June 15 free. Prue Salter is coming to present some valuable tips and information that will support the girls with their study skills. The evening will run from 7.00 to 8.30pm in Yallunga and it is expected that all Year 8 and 9 girls attend with at least one parent or carer.


Robert Gough

Year 9 Coordinator

Public Speaking For Life – Growing in Confidence

On Monday February 27 from 3.30 to 5.00p.m. there will be an after school public speaking training session as a trial for 20 students.  Preference will be given to Years 7 to 9 students who may have difficulty getting up in front of a class to speak.

Being able to communicate ideas clearly and having the confidence to stand up and speak in front of a group is very important for personal development and presenting is part of the curriculum. The training session will be run by Public Speaking For Life.   Sarah and Tarek, the founders, specialise in training and coaching and are all about making the sessions fun, interactive and most importantly creating a friendly and safe environment for the students to practice and grow in confidence.

Any girl interested in participating in this trial session please email or see Mr Gough.


2017 Year 7 Magnolias – New Parent Welcome Evening

Friday 10th February from 6.00pm



We look forward to officially welcoming the Year 7 families and friends into our Bethany Community.

On this evening we will share a light meal together, you will have the opportunity to meet your daughters teachers, and have the opportunity to listen to our guest speaker, Dr Toula Tsovolos (Child and Adolescent psychiatrist).

Dr Tsovolos is a specialist medical doctor in psychiatry with expertise in the psychopharmacological management of childhood psychiatric disorders. Some of the areas she specialises in, is the medical treatment of Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Intellectual Disability. Dr Tsovolos provides specialist treatment in the area of Depression and other mood disorders, Self-harm, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Academic Anxiety.


We have invited Dr Tsovolos to provide valuable insights around the developmental tasks of adolescence including neural pruning, learning to fail/ resilience,  the task of independence and the role of parenting styles in managing teen behaviour and teen outcomes.


We look forward to meeting you at this event.



Mrs Katrine Barnes                 Miss Lara Grimm

Year 7 Coordinator                Assistant Year 7 Coordinator


2017 CGSSSA Gymnastics Team Tryouts


Bethany College Choir


Update of New School Bus Timetable

Transdev Bus timetable update