August 14, 2020

< All Issues


Principal's Message


Remote Learning News

Visual Arts News

Head of Students' Message

Sports News

de Lacy House News

Bruton House News

Careers News

Year 7 2022 Enrolment - Important Update

Academic Excellence Scholarships - Important Update

Principal's Message

Coping with Remote Learning

I cannot be prouder of the way our students and teachers are managing this second period of remote lockdown. I had the privilege of speaking with some aspirational student leaders this week, and in casual conversation I asked them how they were experiencing this round of learning from home. They reflected about what was different between the two rounds of remote learning, what they had learned, and how they had adjusted their routines to ensure they were making the most of the learning from home experience. As educators we explicitly work to develop meta-cognitive strategies as part of the learning process. Sometimes referred to as learning to learn, metacognitive strategies help students develop awareness of their own learning, to self-regulate, and to drive and sustain their motivation to learn. To hear the students speak so eloquently about their metacognition, without naming this, reflects a learning process at St Columba’s College which ensures students will be learners for life, understanding what it means to adapt and change to their circumstances, being able to learn in any context. There is no greater gift we can give students than the skills to be curious enough to continue their growth and development through their ongoing learning.

Creative and Innovative

Our students, teachers and leaders continue to be creative and inventive as we seek ways to connect and be community online. From the Virtual Charity Run, to the Facebook streaming of live events, we seek different ways to be together and to share experiences. Our Student Executive have been especially mindful of this and their podcasts have motivated and inspired students, and communicated strongly the value of being a St Columba’s College girl. As I have written previously, the strength of our community pre-COVID has sustained and nurtured us during these times, and we look forward to being together in community again, when we are able.

Save the Date

A reminder that our next Conversations with the Leadership Team is scheduled for Wednesday, 9 September between 5.30 and 6.30 pm. Invitations for RSVP will be sent closer to the date. Bring along a cuppa and join us online as we share some of the work that is occurring at the College. We have had an enthusiastic response to the conversations held in Terms 1 and 2 earlier this year, and we look forward to meeting you on 9 September.


On Saturday we celebrate the great feast of the Assumption of Mary. This feast helps us understand the role of Mary both historically and for us today, as Jesus mother, our mother and our sister in our own journey of life. This great feast is also a very special day for our Sisters of Charity. We pray with and for them especially today. Let us listen to Marys encounter with her cousin Elizabeth in Lukes Gospel.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.

And Mary said,

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of Gods servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is Gods name.

Gods mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation.

God has shown strength of  arm and has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

God has helped Gods servant Israel,  in remembrance of Gods mercy,

according to the promise God made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Loving God,

May we ever be guided by Mary’s example,

strengthened in our commitment and compassion to you.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen

‘Mary’ by Ivy Kr_lovi_

Remote Learning News

Recently, Psychology students aimed to debunk the tongue mapping myth, that we taste particular tastes on certain parts of the tongue. Sweet on the top, sour on the sides etc. It was a success and students soon realised all/most taste buds detect all tastes.

Author: Ms Nicole Mazzarella – Cater House Leader


The St Columbas Tutoring Group has gone REMOTE!!


TIME : 3.15 – 4.15pm

HOW :  visit the Student Bulletin to gain access to the Google Meets link

Students in Years 7 and 8 who are needing any assistance with their school work are invited to join this group by clicking on the link above. The group is facilitated by Olga Angelini, a Learning Support Officer and Suzanne Krajcer, the Learning Diversity Team Leader.

The link will also be available on the student bulletin each Thursday.

For further information please contact Olga Angelini-

or Suzanne Krajcer –


Visual Arts News

One thing is clear about school in 2020: Normal is off the table. As our students head back into remote learning for the second time this year, our Visual Arts teachers have gone above and beyond to make sure that their classes have the best art education, despite not being able to access their classrooms. From watercolour palettes and brush kits, to ceramic and embroidery kits, oil painting sets as well as mannequins, sewing machines and cameras for our senior students who are working on the final stages of their folios, our team have an incredible ability to think creatively about the challenges and opportunities of remote learning and teaching. As we cant provide everything we normally would in the classroom, working remotely has meant doing things a little differently. We wish all our students the very best during lockdown 2.0, particularly our senior students whose final year has led to the cancellation of many Year 12 rites of passage. Good luck girls. Youve got this!

Students taking home resources to complete textiles work during stage 4 restrictions.


Having taught the same group of students in VCE Art since they were in Year 11, I feel as if we have developed a sense of trust in each other, which is beneficial to both personal growth and the development of Art Folios. I am able to offer support and constructive criticism to each of the girls, and they are willing to speak openly and honestly to me. Additionally, they are more than willing to help and support one another, and take a genuine interest in each other’s well-being and artistic progress. We have held several ‘Round Table’ discussions during Art lessons, in which each girl speaks about where she is at in her folio, shows examples of her work and receives feedback from her classmates. These have enabled us to achieve what I like to call, “a community of learning.”

Remote learning has challenged us in many ways, not least of which is the ability to sustain and grow our community of learning. In order to solve this problem, we held a ‘Remote Round Table’ in Unit 3 and will hold at least one more during this new period of isolation. Each girl will be updating her folio by submitting samples of work into a Google Drive folder and I will put together an informal ‘exhibition’ of the work so that we have a chance to view and discuss it as a group. There are plenty of challenges ahead, but with a reliance on and trust in each other, no problem is insurmountable. I look forward to being part of the learning process and know that these wonderful young women will achieve their very best.

Seth Seiderman – Teacher

I am very proud of my students. From Year 9 onwards, I have always tried to teach my students to be independent. This teaching style allowed my students to take responsibility for their own work and the girls have really shown up during online learning. I haven’t really had to adapt my teaching style much at all because of the independence of my classes. They have approached their work with enthusiasm and excitement, formulating their own cohesive ideas and developing concepts and artworks even in the wake of lockdown. It was sad to have to see the girls take home the sewing machines and mannequins again, but I know that I can trust their creative processes and initiative.

Michelle Grant – Teacher

I’m sure that I’m not the first to say that online schooling has been completely different from the norm – definitely not the way that I thought my final year of high school was going to go in January when we were all hoping for the luxurious, Gatsby-esque parties of the 20s! From google meets to online SACs, education has never been in greater contrast with our expectations and what we’re used to as students. Fortunately, I have found that Studio Arts: Textiles has remained a class that I can depend on for a moment of calm and a reliable space to destress amongst the madness of this year. Whilst completing a folio subject is often viewed as a demanding endeavour, I have found this class to be both a creative outlet and release. Similar sentiments were shared by my peer, Anyka Curcic, who noted the introspective state that could be achieved through the creative process:

‘Online school can at times be stressful and hard to manage, which will occasionally impact my motivation. However, I find that when I am doing work for the subject of Studio Arts: Textiles, I am relaxed and can escape from my stresses through the concentration and state of mindfulness which engaging with art can provide. Because of this, I have found art to be a very rewarding outlet in our second round of lockdown.’

Being in the Studio Arts: Textiles class meant that as a Year 12 student, I found the time to be meditative, to breathe and to reset. Although going into another round of lockdown is hardly ideal, I am confident that I will emerge with a sense of pride for what I, and my class as a collective, were able to achieve.

Ivy Kr_lovi_ – Arts Captain

Head of Students' Message

Implementation of Morning House Group

To assist with wellbeing check-ins with students we have implemented Morning House Group on the following days;

Monday 7 and 10

Tuesday 8 and 11

Thursday 9 and 12


Updated Information on PAM

We have updated the Remote Wellbeing Guidelines as well as our Remote Teaching and Learning protocol. Please access your PAM account to view the updated documents.

If you have further questions please feel free to contact the college and you will be directed to the appropriate person to assist with your query.


Supporting students during Remote Learning

Reach Out have some great articles and resources for parents and carers for supporting teenagers through the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting your teen during coronavirus


Wellbeing Activities

Our wonderful Year 11 VCAL Students under the guidance of their equally wonderful teacher Mrs Kathryn Hick have created a list of wellbeing activities for students. Some of these activities were completed by students in their house lesson time, but may also be great for families to complete together. StC Wellbeing Activity List.pdf

We hope that you enjoy some of these activities and would love to hear your feedback or better yet some images of you doing them!

Sports News

It has been a tough year for sport but we have still been encouraging physical activity! The remaining events from the Secondary Catholic Sports Association (SCSA) were going to be AFL, volleyball and soccer. Unfortunately, they have been cancelled but the SCSA have come up with a brand new competition! This is a virtual competition where students are encouraged to make up a promotional video for an SCSA sport of their choice. The students can do this by themselves, or with friends and family members since we are back learning remotely. The students need to register the video through the SCSA website by Friday September 4. The Studente Executive created an example video promoting netball which has been submitted to the competition and shared through the College’s social media channels.



Some great news is that our annual Charity Run with St Bernard’s  is still going ahead this year!  Of course, this will be a virtual run tracked through Strava which is an app that tracks how far you’ve run, how fast and features of your run such as incline. Students and staff have been completing virtual training sessions and will run 16km over the weekend of September 12 and 13.



And finally, this wouldn’t be an article for sport without mentioning the AFL.  For the first time, all students and staff will be invited to participate in our Footy (Sports) Scarf Day on the last day of Term 3 (September 18).  Participation is easy – just wear your favorite footy, or sport, scarf to your online classes.  We’ll be able to see who else supports the same teams as each other and we are going to try to gather a tally to see which team is actually our favourite. This is going to be a very exciting day and I can’t wait to see all the students supporting their sports’ team.

de Lacy House News

de Lacy House Partnership – Briar Terrace

The students in the de Lacy House work to support Briar Terrace.  Briar Terrace, a cottage suited in Fitzroy, was first established by the Sisters of Charity in 1997 and works in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital. This cottage offers the socially isolated a place of companion and a sense of day security. Briar Terrace offers a friendly and safe place where the friends of Briar Terrace can grab a snack, hot drink and engage in conversation with others.

Our House Captain, Chetha Nawana, chose the de Lacy theme of  PINK for this year. This stands for Passionate Individual Need Kindness and it also coincides with the Colleges theme of Compassion. The de Lacy House Teachers and myself always promote with our students the need to think about how they can make a difference to other peoples lives.

Considering the unprecedented times we are currently experiencing, the de Lacy House students needed to find an alternative way of supporting Briar Terrace this year. During one of our wellbeing classes during Term 2 while we were remote learning, the students were invited to create origami figures. This not only offered the students an opportunity to have a break from their studies, but it also made them ponder how the COVID 19 pandemic was affecting others in Melbourne, especially those who are socially isolated.

I would firstly like to congratulate the de Lacy students as I was truly amazed at the beautiful, creative and the huge numbers of origami figures that I collected. These were recently mailed off and I heard back from Shaun Dowling-Horgan, the Pastoral Practitioner (from St Vincents Hospital who also works at Briar Terrace) with much gratitude for the lovely parcel of origami figures that he received.

Below are some of the positive feedback that was forwarded onto me.

Thank you for the red bird.

Thanks for the green bird.

 What a great looking flower!

This has made my day! with a big smile.

At a time when life is tough you and your students have created a ripple effect of joy! Thanks again for the joy you and your students have brought to St Vincents and the Briar Terrace friends during this time of uncertainty!

I would like to end with a blessing that we have received from Shaun:

You are called to be a vessel of love. As opportunities arise, may you seek to: 

welcome the stranger;

accept the rejected;

solace the grieving;

reassure the worried;

affirm the discouraged;

refresh the weary.

Love has the capacity to find its way through the cracks to the heart. 

May you leave a smile of kindness upon all whom you meet this day. 

Shaun Dowling-Horgan 2020


Bruton House News

Recently, Bruton House members scrambled to compete in the great Treasure Hunt. There were great responses and images of their finds which are displayed below. I hope everyone enjoyed the something different and we made you smile. Congratulations to the following prize winners:- Hollay Barrett, Alisha Maslac, Sienna Micallef, Charlotte Nesci, Erika Pravica, Darcie Robinson, Elizabeth Sumanovic, Ruby Watt, Imogen di Florio, Claudia Passalacqua, Sophie Leighton, Grace Saparito, Therese Hockey, Maya Foti, Zoe Maclaren, Claudia de la Porte, Kathy Vo, Elise Pollock, Mia Powarchuk and Natalie Kelsen. Your prize is literally in the mail.



Careers News

This edition of the Careers News features:

  • Tertiary Admission Centres are now open for university and TAFE applications
  • Early entry program closing dates
  • Virtual open day dates
  • VTAC information sessions to assist Year 12 students with their applications
  • Federation University news
  • Transdev Apprenticeship Program – Heavy Diesel Mechanics
  • Building and construction scholarships
  • Recorded career webinars
  • Australian Catholic University news
  • Upcoming virtual career events

Access the newsletter here.

Visit the Pathways website here.

Year 7 2022 Enrolment - Important Update

Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) has reviewed the enrolment dates for Year 7 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19.  As a result, the enrolment timeline has been extended with new dates listed below:

  • Applications for Enrolment close Friday 9 October 2020
  • Offers of Enrolment will be mailed out Tuesday 1 December 2020
  • Offers of Enrolment to be accepted/declined by Tuesday 15 December 2020

If your daughter is currently in Grade 5 and you wish to enrol her at the College, please ensure you submit an application form by the designated date.

An Application for Enrolment form can be downloaded from the College website or collected from Reception. You can also book in for a virtual tour via the College website.

Academic Excellence Scholarships - Important Update

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions, the Scholarship Testing date has been rescheduled.

Registration closing date is Friday 9 October 2020

Scholarship testing date is Saturday 17 October 2020

Details about the scholarships on offer and online registration are available here.