Volume 07 - 15 May 2015

Additional News

Advanced Life Photographers – On-line Portal

Our school photographers, Advanced Life, has a new on-line portal which will allow parents to access all photos (both individual portraits and groups) of their children taken since the company went digital in 2007, even if the children were at another school.  Over the next while, Advanced Life will be scanning even older photos from the film days, and adding to the data base.
In order to access this portal, you will need the unique nine-digit code that was supplied with this year’s photo.  If you have mislaid this code, you can contact Advanced Life on 1300 728 972 and ask for it.

Term 2 School Fees

Term 2 School Fees were emailed during week 2.  Payment is due by 15th June. Your prompt payment is appreciated.

Fight Against Bullying

Fight Against Bullying: Teaching Students to be Active Bystanders

Bullying can be defined as teasing, harassment, cyber bullying, physical violence, name-calling, intimidation, threats, exclusion or mean looks. The reasons individuals engage in such behaviour vary from bullies thinking it’s fun/cool to lacking confidence and trying to fit in with a group. In adolescence particularly, peer relationships are increasingly important in how young people treat each other, and unfortunately individuals are either less likely to report bullying or bullying happens out of sight of teachers that it can take time for the bullying to be identified. The Australian Covert Prevalence Bullying Study conducted by Edith Cowan University in May 2009 identified that:

  • 1 in 4 Year 4 to 9 students reports being bullied every few weeks or more in Australia
  • It is estimated that 25% of students are affected by bullying to the degree that it affects their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Research shows that peers are present in 85% of bullying incidents at school.

Bethany is committed to creating a caring and nurturing school community. One way to achieve this is to combat bullying by teaching students how to be active bystanders. Bystanders are those who witness or know bullying is occurring. When bystanders defend or support the student who is being targeted, often the bullying stops quickly. The Australian Covert Prevalence Bullying Study (May, 2009) found that bullying has been shown to stop within 10 seconds when bystanders take positive action.

How to teach your child to be an active bystander

Express Empathy. Encourage your child to show empathy to their peers by reaching out to those that are being victimised, for example, whisking a student away from the bullying or telling a bully to stop or by talking to the victim and offering help.

Role-playing different situations is a fun way to teach skills and it also reduces the child’s need to improvise during periods of heightened distress. Remember to emphasize that kids should only step in when they feel safe.

Discuss when it’s appropriate to speak up in a conflict and when it’s safer to ask for the help of an adult. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves.

Assertiveness. Teach children to stand up for themselves/others using appropriate language in a calm but firm voice. Encourage your child to avoid name-calling or mirroring the bullies’ aggressive behaviour.

Avoid physical confrontation and walk away. Bullies enjoy having an audience, which will promote their bullying behaviour. Teach children to walk away with their head and posture held high and avoid certain body language that may show vulnerability to bullies. Have your children encourage others to leave, too.

Lead by example. If you see someone being bullied or hurt, help them.

Build empathy in your kids. If you see examples of people being bullied or hurt in movies, television, or books, talk with your children about how these people must feel. Ask your children how they would feel in that situation and what they would do to make it better.

Develop positive social skills. Encourage your children to be friends with many different people. Have them spend time with people of different ages, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, and mental and physical abilities.

Cyber awareness. If your child sees a classmate being targeted online, encourage her to save the message and report the cyberbullying to an adult. Many social media sites have avenues for reporting abuse, so help her become familiar with how to report harassment on social media.

Talk about it. If your child knows the bullies, encourage them to talk to them privately (ask what is going on). If they do not feel comfortable enough to talk to the bullies, they can always talk to the teachers, school administrators and counsellors, and their parents. Never remain silent when someone is bullied.

Let’s all work together to combat bullying!


Katerina Stratilas

College Counsellor

Library News

Library News.pdf (1)

Brekky Van Fundraiser – Lollipop Day

A huge thank you to the students who either bought or sold lollipops on Wednesday. You have raised $332 which will be used to purchase items for Brekky Van this Saturday 16th May.


Educational Access Scheme (EAS), Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) and Equity Scholarships

Reminder: Year 12 students who are planning on applying to a University in 2016 through the University Admissions Centre (UAC) will have the opportunity to apply for the following 3 programs depending on the application criteria. I have included below some information regarding the Educational Access Scheme, Schools Recommendation Scheme and Equity Scholarship program which are managed by the University Admissions Centre (UAC) so that you have some idea of what is available, the application criteria, documentation required, and the time frame.

1.  Educational Access Scheme

The Educational Access Scheme (EAS) that has been available in the past is for students who have experienced long-term educational disadvantage as a result of circumstances beyond their control or choosing. Categories of disadvantage considered in the past include:

  • disrupted schooling;
  • financial hardship;
  • home environment;
  • English language difficulty;
  • personal illness/disability;
  • refugee status;
  • and school environment.
  • See the UAC website for further info: http://www.uac.edu.au/eas/

2.  Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS)

Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) are one way institutions make early offers to current Australian Year 12 students who have applied for undergraduate admission  through UAC.

The Universities which took part in this program last year included:

 Australian National University

 Charles Sturt University

 Macquarie University

 Southern Cross University

 University of Canberra

 University of New England

 University of Technology, Sydney.

SRS aims to facilitate access to higher education for current Australian Year 12 students who might otherwise not be offered a place.

This is only a very new program (2014) and there will be some changes made for this year. Information will be distributed as it becomes available. Further information is available on the UAC website at http://www.uac.edu.au/srs/, and this will be updated throughout the year.

3.  Equity Scholarships

Equity Scholarships assist financially disadvantaged students with the costs associated with higher education. Information regarding this is available on the UAC: http://www.uac.edu.au/equity/. The information has not been updated for this year, however, it will give you some idea of the eligibility requirements and the application requirements.


NSW COOP Scholarship program

The Uniiversity of NSW Co-op Scholarship Program applications are now open.

Applications close: 30 September 2015.

The scholarship program involves courses in the following:

Engineering. Business Science and Built Environment.

For further information, see the brochure on the Careers Noticeboard in Sophia as well as flyers emailed to Yr 12 students last week.

Also, for more information and to start your application online, go to the UNSW website:



NSW COOP Scholarship Information evening

Date: Wed 15 July.


Ernst and Young Sydney Cadetship Program

Applications open Mon 25th May and close Mon 22nd June

The Ernst and Young Cadetship program provides high school graduates the opportunity to combine full-time work with part-time study. Cadets will gain valuable experience working within the organization and with clients, ensuring they graduate from university a step ahead of their peers. If you want a taste of working life while you’re still a student, we can offer you a number of different options, from a two-week Work Experience Program to a year-long Industrial Placement.You’ll get a sense of our culture and values — and start to see the career you’d like to shape. The relationships you make, and the impression you leave, can help you secure a permanent position after you graduate. And the experience will last a lifetime.

We accept applications from all degree disciplines. Find out more here.

Discover which student track is right for you. Click here to download an overview of all our student programs. More info, go to:


The University of Notre Dame – MBBS Information Session

Date : 19th May 2015

Time : 6:00pm

Venue : 160 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Cost : FREE

Contact : Anne-Maree McCarthy : sydney@nd.edu.au / 02 8204 4404

Those considering studying the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) commencing in 2016 are invited to attend an information session at our purpose-built Darlinghurst campus.  The session is designed to help you find out more about the admissions process, an overview of course content, meet current students and tour our facilities.


UTS Bachelor of Accounting Cooperative Scholarship Program Information Evening

(More information about the Bachelor of Accounting Coop Scholarship program is found in previous Careers News – 1 May 2015 on the website).

Date : 19th May 2015

Time : 6.30 pm

Venue : UTS City Campus

Cost : FREE

Contact : Carin Alberts : carin.alberts@uts.edu.au

For more information or to RSVP, please visit: http://www.uts.edu.au/about/uts-business-school/accounting/events/bacc-information-evening


UOW College Spring Session Information Evening 

Date : 19th May 2015

Time : 6pm-8pm

Cost : FREE

Venue : UOW College, Building 30, University of Wollongong

Contact : Megan Serrano : mserrano@uow.edu.au / 4221 5919

Event Description :  Find out about alternative pathways to UOW, as well as vocational courses to help students start their career. Staff will be on hand to answer questions on fees, enrolments, career paths and more.  Application closing date for Spring: 29th May Register now! http://www.uowcollege.edu.au/about/events/index.html


Macquarie University Student and Parent Information Evening

Date : 20th May 2015

Time : 6pm – 8pm

Venue : Macquarie University

Cost : FREE

Contact : Helena Cantrall : helena.cantrall@mq.edu.au

Our Student and Parent Information Evening provides an opportunity for students in Years 11 and 12, and/or their parents, to learn about Macquarie’s degrees, unique learning experiences, bonus point schemes, scholarships and the transition from high school to university. You will also have the opportunity to speak with staff and current students. This is a free event, however registration is essential.


Your Path to Sydney Uni

Date : 20th May 2015

Time : 6pm-9pm

Venue : Revesby Workers Club

Cost : FREE

Contact : Fabi Fugazza : (02) 8627 0123

An information evening for students and parents will be held at Revesby Workers’ Club on 20 May 2015. Find out about University of Sydney alternative entry schemes, scholarships, fees and university life, and meet with faculty staff who can answer all your course-related questions. Registration is essential as places are limited – register now at http://sydney.edu.au/future-students/high-school-students/your-path-to-sydney/index.shtml

Chartered Accountants: Meet the Business Leader

Wed 20th May, 5.00pm – 8.00pm, 1 Olympics Drive Milsons Point

Meet the business leader, formerly known as Cadetship Evening, provides the chance for Year 12 students to connect with employers who offer a structured cadetship opportunity. Get practical and specific advice about where a career in business can take you and learn about the benefits a cadetship can provide.

Contact: 1300 137 322 or service@charteredaccountants.com.au http://www.charteredaccountants.com.au/Students/Whats-on/Event-listing/NSW/NSW-Meet-the-Business-Leader-2015.aspx


HSC & Careers Expo

Date : 28th May 2015

Time : For 3 days

Venue : Moore Park
There are still a number of free tickets for this event. Please see Ms Gereige.


WEP Student Exchange Scholarship

Date : 29th May 2015

Time : 5pm

Contact : Judith Ortmann : judithortmann@wep.org.au

WEP is offering a $3000 scholarship towards semester and year-long student exchange programs commencing in 2016. This scholarship is of particular value for year 9 students, wishing to complement their secondary studies with an international experience during year 10. To find out more, students should visit www.wep.org.au, email info@wep.org.au or call 1300 884 733.

UWS Day Parramatta

Date : 2nd Jun 2015

Time : 9.30 am – 2.00 pm

Cost : FREE

Venue : Parramatta Campus, Cnr Victoria Rd and James Ruse Dr, Rydalmere

The University of Western Sydney is hosting UWS Day, a hands-on event allowing high school students to find out about UWS courses, scholarships and career pathways! The day will be filled with interactive workshops and the opportunity to speak one-on-one with current UWS students.  To find out more, visit http://www.uws.edu.au/uwsday.


UNSW Youtube: UNSW Experience

UNSW has a number of online videos where current students and staff speak about topics of common concern to prospective students. Topics covered in the online videos include picking subjects, deciding on a degree, student life, and HSC bonus points.



Macquarie University: Double Degrees

This article explores the benefits of studying a double degree at Macquarie University and lists some of the double degrees that the university offers. http://www.mq.edu.au/study/undergraduate/parents_and_teachers/connect_with_macquarie_newsletter/all_connect_articles/focus_on_double_degrees/


University of Notre Dame: HSC Study Week

Mon 6th July – Fri 10th July, University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus, Broadway

Cost: $345

A week-long program delivered by well qualified and highly experienced HSC teachers and markers. Attendees will be able to select the subjects they would like to focus on and attend dedicated lectures and skills workshops on these subject areas. Contact: 02 8204 4228 or sydney.aesc@nd.edu.au



University of Newcastle: Mid-Year Entry Online Chat

Wed 20th May, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

University of Newcastle student ambassadors will answer questions on a range of topics including degree options, change of preferences, alternative entry schemes, and scholarships.



CSU Information Studies Webinar

Wed 13th May, 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Learn about Information studies, the benefits of the courses, career opportunities for graduates, what it’s like to study by distance education and the costs involved.

Contact: (02) 6338 6010 or infoevents@csu.edu.au



QS World University Rankings 2014/15

QS World University Rankings have been released for 2015 with the results based on academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international student ratio and international staff ratio.  The Australian National University was ranked number 1 in Australia followed by The University of Melbourne at number 2, The University of Sydney 3, The University of Queensland 4, and the University of New South Wales number 5. http://www.topuniversities.com/qs-world-university-rankings


Sydney TAFE Information Session

Library Services Information Session: Wed 20th May, 2.00pm – 3.00pm, Ultimo

St George School of Fashion Information Session: Mon 25th May, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, Kogarah

Information Technology: Wed 27th May, 5.30pm – 7.30pm, Petersham

Certificate IV in Accounting: Wed 3rd June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, Ultimo Associate Degree in Accounting: Wed 3rd June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, Ultimo

Applied Fashion Design and Technology: Mon 22nd June, 5.00pm – 7.00pm, Ultimo

Photography Information Session: Mon 22nd June, 6.00pm – 7.00pm, Ultimo

St George School of Fashion Information Session: Mon 22nd June, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, Kogarah



Australian Apprenticeship Pathways: Career Interest Explorer

A new resource which aims to help job seekers identify the strength of their career interests. http://www.aapathways.com.au/Search/Career-Interest-Explorer


Shillington College Information Session

Fri 3rd July, Level 3, 50 Margaret Street, Sydney Learn about studying a course in graphic design at Shillington College.



Think Education: Design Faculty Course Guide 2015 & 2016



JMC Academy Open Day

Sat 29th August, 10.30am, Harris Street, Ultimo

Speak to staff and students, get an overview of courses and take a campus tour.

Contact: 02 8241 8899



JMC Academy: Design Day with Nick Vegas

Sat 30th May, 11.00am, Harris Street, Ultimo

Nick Vegas, one of 3D’s biggest names, will be speaking and taking question about 3D work for network news, music clips and also how to prepare for a career in 3D.



Sydney Design School Open Day

Thu 14th May, 6.00pm, Level 2, 40 Oxley Street, St Leonards

The Information session will run for approximately 40 minutes and will cover the courses available at the design school as well as career opportunities available to graduates.

Contact:  02 9437 1902



Academy of Information Technology: Creative Careers Expo

Tue 23rd June, 7 Kelly Street Level 2, Ultimo Join industry experts for a fun and interactive careers expo showcasing opportunities within the creative and digital fields.  This is an opportunity for teachers to expose their students to the career opportunities within the creative world.



Academy of Information Technology: New Bachelor of Digital Design

The new Bachelor of Digital Design is a three-year (or two-year accelerated) degree with a hands-on focus, supplementing theory with practical experience in a wide range of design principles. Students will learn key design elements while also having the flexibility to broaden their study by choosing electives that are of interest to them.



TSFX Mastering the Exams 2015

Sun 31st May or Sat 13th June, 10.00am – 2.00pm, The University of Sydney, Camperdown

Mastering the Exams is a free unique lecture designed to provide students with the best opportunities to maximise examination scores. During the course of this program, students will learn vital skills that will help optimise examination performance as well as strategies that will maximise learning and cut down on study time.

Students attending this program are required to make a minimum $10 donation to The Fred Hollows Foundation representatives on the day.



Australian Defence Force: Information Sessions

Forster – Women in Defence: Mon 18th May, 6.00pm, 19 Strand Street, Forster

Sydney – Navy Careers: Mon May 18th, 6.30pm, 9 George Street

Canberra – Army Careers: Tue 19th May, 6.00pm, 64 Northbourne Avenue

Port Macquarie – Women in Defence: Tue 19th May, 6.00pm, 1 Bay St, Port Macquarie

Wollongong – Army Reserve: Tue 19th May, 6.30pm, 91 Gipps St, Gwynneville

Wollongong – Defence Careers: Wed 20th May, 6.00pm, 91 Gipps St, Gwynneville

Parramatta – ADF Fitness: Wed 20th May, 6.30pm, 9 George St, Parramatta

Online – Army Reserve: Thu 21st May, 6.30pm – 8.00pm



Ms Viviene Gereige

Vocational Education Coordinator



Sport Report

SCC Senior Soccer (Y10-12)


Bethany v MSJ

Bethany WON 2-0




SCC Netball

netballSCC Senior Netball (Y10-12) – BYE

SCC Intermediate Netball (Y8/9)

Bethany v Holy Spirit Lakemba

Bethany WON 29-7

SCC Junior Netball (Yr7) – BYE



SCC Cross Country Results 2015

Congratulations to the Bethany Cross Country Team who competed in the SCC Cross Country Carnival.

The following students were selected to represented the SCC Cross Country Team at the NSWCCC Championships

Open Girls 1st Amelia Carnovale 19.22
U14 6th Maddie Hunt 13.34
U12   2nd Eva Kostopoulos 8.28
  4th Veronica Psaltis-Puerta 8.37


NSWCCC Swimming Carnival


Congratulations to the following students who competed in the NSWCCC Carnival 4th May at Homebush Aquatic centre.

Bridget Cole, Cate Hochwallner,Jessica Butler, Jasmin Juncal, Kiera Warn, Bianca Wu, Claudia Vucic and Elena Vidaic

Kiera Warn had an outstanding Carnival achieving the following results:

  • 7th
13 Years 50m Butterfly
  • 6th
13 Years 100 Free
  • 7th
12-14 Years 200m Free
  • 7th
12-14 Years 4 x 50m Medley Relay (Mallory Hull, Elena Vidaic, Claudia Vucic)
  • 4th
12-14 Years 200M Individual Medley


SCC OPEN Soccer Team

Congratulations to the following students who were selected in the SCC Soccer Team to compete in the NSWCCC Soccer Championships on the 25/26 May to be held at Blacktown International Sports Park.

Annabel Stojanovska (BC), Sotiria Psakis (BC), Rachel Cassar (BC), Cassandra Patrulovski (BC), Vanessa Patrulovski (BC)


Bethany Touch Football Competition – Tuesday 3.20pm – 4.00pm

Round 3 in the after school comp. Two teams remain undefeated.


Term 2 FITNESS CLUB Reminder

fitnessAny student wanting to participate in this terms FITNESS PROGRAM, please grab a permission form from student services. This term the program will run for 8 weeks, Week 2 – 9 on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings from 7:15-8am. Breakfast will be served afterwards.

All information is on the permission form. If you have any other questions, please see Miss Cox. Form and payment will need to be in before the commencement of program.

Its not too late to join!



 CGSSSA Basketball 20 May
CGSSSA Training Day Kogarah 25 May
CGSSSA Gymnastics 3 June
Year 7 Athletics Day 12 June
School Athletics Carnival 17 June
CGSSSA Netball 17 June


Mrs Katrine Barnes


What’s Happening in Religious Education

Praying the Angelus

Prayer is at the heart of Catholic faith. It opens us to the presence and activity of God in our lives and helps us to discern and follow the will of God. A prayer of particular significance within the Christian Tradition is the Angelus. The Angelus is an ancient prayer recalling the events of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit and become the Mother of God. The prayer honours Mary’s great ‘yes’ to God; offered humbly, faithfully and obediently. Through this prayer we reflect upon and celebrate the great mystery of God sharing in our humanity, becoming one of us in the person of Jesus. The Angelus was traditionally said three times each day: morning noon and at dusk each day. Bells are customarily rung to encourage people to stop work, if only for a few moments, and reflect upon God’s gifts to us and our own ‘yes’ to God.

At Bethany College, we will be saying the Angelus beginning on Monday 25 May 2015  (the first day after the end of the Easter season).

A bell will go at 8.45am during homeroom and all are asked to stop their work and to stand.

Students are invited to state any intentions.

The SRC member of each homeroom will lead the Angelus and the class will respond.

At the end of the Angelus, the Homeroom will be seated and homeroom will resume.

A copy of the Angelus card will be given to each student in Homeroom.

Angelus Card






The Annunciation by Fra Angelico  Convent of San Marco, Firenze(1450)

Year 12 Studies of Religion visit to Auburn Gallipoli Mosque

Year 12 Studies of Religion students visited Auburn Gallipoli Mosque as part of the Religious Tradition depth study, Islam. Students listened to our guide, Ahmed, as he told the students about the history of the Mosque and central beliefs and expressions of Islam.

Here are some responses from the student’s evaluation:

Ahmed was very clear and concise in his explanation of Islam. I learnt so much in 1 ½ hours.

The mosque was beautiful. Words and phrases from the Qur’an are decoration. So simple but so complex.

It was privilege to be able to visit the Mosque.  Thank you.

Thank you to Mrs Pelham, Mrs Rizzo, Mr Currao and Mr Martin for their support on the day.


Celebrating Mother’s Day

Thank you to Fr Janusz for celebrating our Mother’s Day Mass. It was a beautiful celebration of the women who are role models for us in our lives. Thank you to Mr Currao and the students who help in the preparation for and the presentation of the Mass and the P & F representatives who made the thoughtful gifts that the students presented to their mothers. Thank you also to Mr Skeen and Mrs Forrester for the scrumptious breakfast after the Mass.



Mary Kleist

Leader of Religious Education and Mission

From the Assistant Principal

Important dates for Term 2             

11 May All students in full winter uniform
12 May Europe 2016 Information Evening- 6pm-7pm
12-15 May NAPLAN
13 May Year 12 Parent/student/teacher interviews
5 June Staff Development Day (Assessment and Feedback)/ Pupil Free Day
8 June Queen’s Birthday long weekend
17 June Athletics Carnival
25 June Years 7-11 Parent/student/teacher interviews 4pm-7pm
26 June Years 7-11 Parent/student/teacher interviews 9am-4pm
26 June Term 2 concludes


Professional Development: What do teachers really do on pupil free days?


Over the next few years much of the professional development will be aligned to our Vision for Learning: Together, we grow. We aim to target and develop school wide pedagogies (ways of teaching) that support the 5 learning principles that underpin our school wide pedagogy: Bethany College is a place where we are:


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
 Engaged Learners
  • Where students participate in authentic and meaningful learning experiences
  • Where the curriculum is relevant to our students; the diversity of their needs, interests, ability levels and prefered learning styles
  • Where students natural curiosities are stimulated and they are able to articulate their own learning interests and learning needs
  • Where technology is used discerningly in a manner best suited to the educational setting
 Critical Learners
  • Where the relevance of our curriculum is justified through real world, authentic learning experiences Where students are encouraged to engage with their world in a critical and constructive way
  • Where critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and communication are promoted and valued
 Creative Learners
  • Where students build their capacity to experiment, invent, innovate and find solutions to real-world problems
  • Where students have the opportunity to explore a variety of perspectives, challenge their own assumptions and create alternative solutions to problems and issues
  • Where students are encouraged develop independence of mind, and the capacity to think for themselves in a respecting and trusting environment
Collaborative Learners
  • Where learning is social, allowing students to explore the ideas of others in order to deepen their own understanding and promote critical thinking
  • Where there is a focus on student-centered learning and the development of lifelong learning skills like discussing and negotiating, higher-order thinking, problem solving and communication
  • Where professional relationships among staff and students fosters an environment where students are free to take risks and negotiate their own learning

Last Friday was designed around maximising engagement in the classroom through structured collaboration. The teachers were guided through various strategies devised by Kagan that research has shown enhances student learning outcomes. Later this term staff will focus on assessment and feedback strategies to support our school wide pedagogy.



A reminder that all students should be in full winter College uniform and sport uniform. Please refer to the College diary for any clarification. The College blazer (Yrs. 7,10,11,12) or College cardigan (Yrs. 8,9) must be worn as the outer garment to and from school.  Long socks or navy stockings only (cannot wear short socks) and full tracksuit pants must be worn for the sport uniform.


Jacinta Russo

Assistant Principal


2015 Mother’s Day Celebration

On Sunday 10 May, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and for us at Bethany, a beautiful celebration was held on the preceding Thursday morning with the Eucharist followed by a breakfast.

We were delighted to see over 120 mothers, grand-mothers and mother-figures accompanied by their daughters. A special thank you to the mums who took the time to contact me and  thank me for accommodating busy, working mothers with the early start. We can never choose a time that is appropriate for everyone but in this instance, it was clearly the most convenient timing. Here is the reflection I shared last Thursday:

For many, Mother’s Day is a joyful time of celebration and recognition of the women who have shaped their lives. But for many others, it is a painful time. Those who have lost their mothers, who struggle with infertility, who choose not to parent, or who have experienced some other wound may feel excluded by the way we choose to honour this day in our churches. If we do not wish to turn away those who are hurting, nor ignore this day in our worship services, how might we approach honouring Mother’s Day?

Our Christian Scriptures are rich with stories of women who brought new life into this world, but they also give accounts of those who struggled with infertility, like Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth; those who presumably had no children, like Michal and Esther; and even women who lost their lives in childbirth, like Rachel and the unnamed wife of Phinehas. How might we bring this collective narrative of both joy and sorrow into our congregation?

As the body of Christ, we are called to care for one another (1 Corinthians 2:25), starting with caring for those in our pews and communities and extending that care to those around the globe. Caring for one another on Mother’s Day means acknowledging both the joy-filled and painful experiences of motherhood.

It means remembering the nearly 800 women everyday who die in childbirth around the world, mostly from preventable causes, and collectively responding to this tragedy with prayer, education, and action.

Thank God for mothers! Mother’s Day is an opportunity to make life special for them. It is a chance to celebrate family. I thank God for my mother. There is one thing I regret: for too many years I did not appreciate her enough and took her for granted. She was always there for us. I thank God for blessing me with two beautiful children, the most special things in my life.

Mothers are the backbone of our society and the glue that holds a family together-their work is vital but often unseen. We all need to show greater appreciation for them. I pity the man who does not have a good wife to take care of him.

One of my favourite saying goes, “God could not be everywhere at once, so he gave each child a mother!” Mothers should be proud to be mothers. It is a God-given task and privilege. Actually there is a mother’s heart in every woman, whether married or single. In the past, motherhood was regarded as the noblest calling of a woman. Today it is too often pushed aside by more “desirable” occupations such as careers, and seen as an inconvenience or even an embarrassment.

A true mother thinks day and night about the well-being of her children, and is the first to praise, comfort and protect them. She is willing to sacrifice her life for them. The pains of pregnancy and childbirth are borne by the mother, and she continues to carry the child in her heart her whole life.

Motherhood is a mystery. It is something truly divine for which every human heart longs. This is why mothers provide the most powerful influence on a child’s life, and are the most important role models for positive change in our society. When anyone is in trouble, or knows that they are dying, the first person they think of is their mother. When children start going wrong ways a mother’s prayer is powerful. Mothers remind us that there is a loving God above us who will take good care of everyone, especially children. Whenever a tragedy occurs-no matter where in the world this happens-you will always find mothers both weeping for the dead and bringing comfort and security to the living.

As we seek to improve your education, let us start by taking better care of our mothers. This will enable them to provide better homes for all of us, and ensure the survival of our society. Never before in our history have so many men abandoned the children they fathered. Fathers are vanishing from their children’s lives, not just physically, but legally as well. Therefore, congratulations to all single mothers and grandmothers who do their best to raise children on their own. They often struggle under the most difficult circumstances. They are the real heroes of the family-and not just on Mother’s Day.

A Prayer for our Mothers

All-loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers young and old.

We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes and tend to our every need;

May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.

We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; May they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.

We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict;

May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.

We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.

We remember mothers. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who

live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

Five Parenting Strategies to Develop a Growth Mindset

Bethany College has girls within it that dislike challenges. They’d rather give up than persevere. What I know is that they do not have what professor Angela Duckworth calls grit and author Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset. Or at least it’s hidden somewhere! And I’m concerned.

They are students living with a fixed mindset. This is when you believe that people are either born smart or not; that talents, intelligence, and personality can’t be changed. But we know from decades of research that this is simply not true. Our brains are amazingly malleable, even as adults.

We don’t need each student to get straight As or a perfect ATAR in the HSC. That’s not it at all. What we care about is our students’ lives. Having a growth mindset is essential for a successful life. In all areas.  Our heart’s desire is that our students start to see their potential by adopting a growth mindset. We want them to believe they can learn anything, grow in areas of challenge, and work hard to solve any problem.

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”  – Carol Dweck


How do Parents Help Promote a Growth Mindset?

According to Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., author of Mindset, you can do the following:

  1. Have daily learning discussions.

At dinner, in the car or at bedtime take time to share the answers to these types of questions:

  • “What did you learn to day?” (I LOVE this – so much better than “How was your day?”)
  • “What mistake did you make that taught you something?
  • “What did you try hard at today?”

It’s really important says Dweck that you share what you have learned, too. This models for kids that we learn new things every day, even learning from failures.

When children share, you can reply like this:

  • “You certainly did get smarter today.”
  • “I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that maths problem until you finally got it right.”
  • “We all have different learning curves. It may take more time for you to catch on to this and be comfortable with this material, but I you keep at it like this you will.”
  • “Everyone learns in a different way. Let’s keep trying to find the way that works for you.”

(These are direct quotes from Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.)

  1. Give feedback on process only.

Praise effort, persistence, strategies, seeking challenges, setting goals, planning, or using creative strategies. Don’t praise personal abilities like being smart, pretty, or artistic. This kind of praise actually can lead to a loss of confidence since kids won’t be smart at everything. They’ll doubt their ability to be good at something that is difficult initially.

Salman Khan recently wrote that he will never tell his son he’s smart for this very reason. He shares, “Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.” https://youtu.be/NWv1VdDeoRY

  1. Do you know brains can grow?

Explain to kids how the brain can grow stronger and that intelligence can improve throughout your life. Intelligence is not fixed. It’s changeable. This is called brain plasticity.  What’s more, learning CHANGES our brains. Kids need to know this is possible.

  1. Encourage risk, failing, and learning from mistakes.

Now is the time to let our kids risk and fail. Failure teaches our kids important life lessons. For one, it’s how they learn r resiliency But we often want to prevent our kids from failing, from feeling upset or sad.


We must let our kids fail now so that they can strengthen their growth mindset muscles. If we don’t, they will be adults with no perseverance, with no belief in their abilities to work hard and succeed. In The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel says to be compassionate and concerned but not enmeshed. Let’s keep each other accountable on this. This is hard but so import

famous failures



  1. Encourage and model positive self-talk.

Finally, I think it’s worth sharing this self-talk chart from another school. Our self-talk is where it all starts to shift.  Are you hoping to help your kids shift mindsets?





Enrolment for Year 7 (2017)

Bethany College is now accepting applications for enrolment for Round One Year 7 (2017).
Round One is for:
  • Siblings of children already attending Bethany
  • Children enrolled in our eleven Feeder (Catholic) schools: Arncliffe, Bexley, Blakehurst, Brighton, Hurstville, Kogarah, Oatley, Penshurst, Rockdale, Sans Souci, South Hurstville
  • Baptised daughters and siblings of Alumni
  • Children of families in designated Feeder parishes
If you are interested in enrolment for Year 7 (2017), meet the Round One criteria and have not already made contact with us, please phone or email Jenny King on 8566 0711 or info@bethanyhurstville.catholic.edu.au 


Our mantra:

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


Vicki Lavorato