MSB9159_Bennies Buzz_NOV-2016_hi-res - page 11

It was important during the College’s
Jubilee year to also look to the present
and the future and showcase innovation
at Mount St Benedict College (MSB). The
College hosted a gathering of teachers and
other interested educators entitled ‘Engage
and Innovate’.
It was an opportunity to share many of
the innovative and engaging techniques
implemented by staff in the College’s
mission, pastoral and teaching programs.
Internationally renowned keynote speaker,
Julie Temperley, along with Keren Caple,
ensured the afternoon was off to an
inspiring start with stories of innovation
around the world, followed by inspiring
stories of the work of staff at MSB.
The final part of the afternoon, TeachMeet
included presentations from teachers
from MSB and other schools sharing
their successful practices. Presentations
included: STEM, integrated learning,
student voice and choice, innovative use of
technology, service learning, embedding
social justice in school culture, creating
a space for meaning making, innovative
approaches to particular subject areas,
using Teaching for Understanding as
a Learning Framework and the role of
formation in the development of student
Tuesday 23 August 2016
Things we remember about that
first term in the new building:
• We had a tuckshop that sold
meat pies, sausage rolls, lollies,
chips and icy poles but only once
a week on a Friday
• We had a proper science lab and
a small library with BOOKS
• We had classrooms and an admin
wing with a proper staff room
• We had proper toilets and a
tennis court of our own
• We were divided into different
levels for academic subjects
• We had more subject choices
because a few more teachers
came on staff. We had a PE
teacher, a History teacher, a
French/German teacher, an
English teacher, a Science
teacher, and an Economics
Sport and gymnastics
Sport was the big thing at school
in those days, after the academics
of course. Swimming was at a 25m
pool in Oratava Ave, West Pennant
Hills. PE was held on the front
lawn near Pennant Hills Road (in
those days there was a high wire
fence with barbed wire on top and
no trees)….Gymnastics was finally
introduced so we then had to
design a gym uniform but we could
only wear that for gym in the hall,
never to and from school.
We were the smallest and
youngest school competing
against other Good Samaritan
Schools but every year we went
to the swimming and athletics
carnivals and those that wanted
to could enter as many events as
you wanted. By Form 6 (Year 12)
we had won the Good Samaritan
Schools Swimming Carnival…
which we all thought was a great
For swimming training we used
a classmate’s back yard pool
after school. It was about three
strokes long which made for lots
of practice of turns. For athletic
training we had to walk down Hull
Rd for about 20 mins to the oval to
practice for 20 mins and then walk
back (we had no bus).
Other memories
The school could not afford a
cleaner so it was ‘The Pioneers’
job to sweep floors and halls and
paths, clean the toilets, clean
the staff room and office, in fact
cleaning duties involved every part
of the school. The only thing we
didn’t have to do was mow the
lawns. Maybe the cows did that!
We were never allowed to use the
front internal stairs and Sister
Hyacinth used to be in the small
uniform shop at the bottom of
the stairs and catch anyone being
disobedient and breaking this rule.
We had to change into jiffies in the
classrooms to protect the new floors.
During all those early years there
were many hours of consultation
between Sister Christopher and
Sister Hyacinth and ‘The Pioneer’
class because everything was
so new. We were always special
I think and when the next class
joined us we were a bit sad as we
loved being part of ‘The Pioneer’
Class of 1966.
By 1971, when about 28 of us were
in our final year of school, the
school had grown so much. There
were more new school buildings,
many more students and teachers,
we even had some male teachers
by then.
On our last day, as the first class
to graduate, after assembling at
Pennant Hills Station, a group of
us walked up Pennant Hills Road
timing our entrance to coincide
with the morning assembly as
we sang with gusto “Glory, Glory
Mount St Benedict, ‘Bennies birds’
go marching on” and ‘Bennies
birds’ have continued to march on
now for 50 years.
However we do, and always will
recall very fond memories of our
first years at Bennies but never
fonder than being the first class
to go through Mount St Benedict
College as ‘The Pioneers’. We made
lifelong friends and had instilled in
us the special values and standards
we still hold dear today.
Cathy Ferndale (nee Woods)
First College Captain of Mount St
Benedict College
Professional Development –
showcasing innovation @ MSB
Engage and
November 2016
Bennies Buzz
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