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13 November 2015


From the Principal

At Assembly this week there was so much to celebrate in terms of student achievement - Future Problem Solving, Write a Book in a Day, Festival of Speech, Student Alliance and much more. We were able to continue to learn the music which has been composed for our Jubilee celebrations next year, thanks to our ex-students and our current musicians. We have much to be grateful for as a College community - for our willing and involved students, for our committed staff and our supportive parents.

Good Samaritan Foundation Education Grants

Each year the Good Samaritan Foundation offers a number of Education Grants to students attending Good Samaritan Colleges. These grants are designed to support those in need, particularly young people suffering as a result of poverty or particular hardship. The grant money can be used for necessary school items or related services, including uniforms, subject fees, text books, excursion expenses or payment of other essential education expenses. Applications are now open - if you wish to apply please contact Kathryn Sheehan on 9980 0405. Applications must be received by the Foundation by Friday 4 December and do require a Principal's reference. Please submit them to me in time so that I can complete the reference form prior to the closing date.

On Friday this week we welcomed our new Year 7 students for the day. In some other states of Australia Year 7 is still part of primary school but seeing our incoming students I was struck by their confidence and their preparedness to take the step into secondary school. Each of the Houses offered the girls cards expressing their welcome as they join their new Houses.

God can get no closer

God is within you –
God can get no closer.
We cannot distance ourselves from God physically.
The distance between us
Is created by our attitude and awareness.
God is surrounding our lives –
God can get no closer.
God touches all we touch,
God hears and sees all that happens to us.
And so,
Be aware of God’s presence each moment –
God can get no closer.

(Ruth Sermon, in A Lifetime of Blessing , Ed. G. Duncan, 2004, p247))

Maria Pearson

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Bennies Buzz

The latest Bennies Buzz is now available for viewing.

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Mission News

Wednesday of this past week was Remembrance Day and accordingly at 11.00am on November 11 we paused and observed a minute’s silence to remember all those who had lost their lives as a result of war. At the end of our observance we prayed the following prayer for peace.

Lord we pray for the power to be gentle, the strength to be forgiving,
the patience to be tolerant and the endurance to hold onto what is right.

May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred.

We pray that our world will be set free from violence, war and conflict
and that we will work together to build communities of justice, compassion and peace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord


This week we have been interviewing applicants from our Year 12 Class of 2015 who are looking to continue their connection with the College as part of our ex-student mentor program. The successful candidates will be responsible for leading some of our formation programs for students in Year 7, 8 and 9 in particular. These groups known as “Big Sister” groups in Year 7, “Sisterhood” groups in Year 8 and “Step Up” groups in Year 9 meet on a fortnightly basis throughout the year. They use a process of reflection and action based on the methodology of the Young Christian Students movement “See, Judge, Act”. The aim of these groups is to allow students to reflect on situations that arise in their lives from a faith perspective and to look at appropriate responses that bring the values of the Gospel into play. We are always delighted to see the quality of our group of applicants for these roles and just as in previous years we will have a difficult choice to make in deciding who to appoint to these roles.

On Saturday night our team of staff and student volunteers will head out on the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol taking some refreshments to people living on the streets of the Sydney CBD. While the drinks and snacks are always appreciated it is the friendly smile and the opportunity for some conversation which are most valued by the people we meet. For our staff and students it is also a very powerful reminder of how easily circumstances can change in people’s lives and they can suddenly find themselves facing poverty and hardship through no fault of their own.

Our Christmas Hamper collection is continuing in Homerooms and we are now putting together the details for our Hamper Delivery Day on Saturday 5 December. We have a good group of students, families and staff who have volunteered to help out. If anyone else wishes to be involved they are asked to let me know as soon as possible so that our arrangements can be finalised.

Next week is Mission Week where we make a particular effort to focus on the ministries of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan through our House Partners. These partners are located at Mater Dei School at Narellan, Railaco in Timor Leste, Bacolod in the Philippines and the remote Pacific Nation of Kiribati. Next week our House Ambassadors, in conjunction with our Social Justice portfolio have organised a range of activities to strengthen our partnerships, increase our knowledge of the work that takes place in these areas and to investigate ways that we can meaningfully assist.

This week we received information about the annual Advent Festival held at the MSB Centre adjacent to the College. This will take place on Sunday 29 November and in addition to the opportunity for some prayer and reflection it also provides an occasion for raising some funds for the work of the Good Samaritan Sisters in Kiribati. For further information on the Advent Festival see the flyer in the Community Notices section of this newsletter.

Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Authentic Audience Help Required for Year 7 to 9 Learning Activities

As part of the MYBennies initiative to engage our middle year students with authentic experiences for their learning we have a few upcoming events where we require some an authentic audience of experts to view the student work alongside the MSB staff and fellow students.

If you are able to help on the following dates and times can you please let myself or Christina He know via email.

Year 7 MYChoice Projects

Students are completing individual research into their own personal passion or interest using the technology design process.

  • Friday 20 November 8.30am - 1.00pm
    Experts in: Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Animal Welfare, Sport and Fitness, Social Justice, Science
  • Wednesday 25 November 8.30am - 9.30am or 11.00am - Midday
    Experts in: Social Justice, Health and Wellbeing, Environmental Sustainability, Creative Arts, History, Fashion, Sport and Fitness
  • Friday 27 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Experts in: Sport and Fitness (injuries/disabilities), Education, Photography, Fashion, Food and Nutrition, Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing

Year 8 STEM Challenge (team based)

  • Thursday 19 of November 1.45pm - 3.15pm
    Experts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Year 9 PDHPE/Geography Integrated Task

How can we promote lifelong physical activity by meeting the needs of the community?

  • Monday 30 November 11.30 - 1.30pm
    Experts in Community Services, Sport and Recreation, Health Services or Local Government Services

Thanks in advance for your support, the girls will appreciate gaining some expert feedback on their work.

Sharon McGowan
Middle Years (MYBennies) Innovation Leader

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How completing a major work can help you get into a university course

Congratulations to Barbara Smirniotis (Cclass of 2015) who has been accepted into Raffles College - Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) course.

Barbara told Ms Reid that she used her Industrial Technology Multimedia portfolio as part of her interview so would like the other girls to know how useful the portfolio can be beyond the HSC.

Raffles College was very impressed with Barbara’s work and called her the next day to offer her a place.

Kathy Reid
Industrial Technology Multimedia Teacher

After Exams - Year 9 and 10

Students in Years 9 and 10 will have their exam results returned to them over the next few weeks. It can be very easy for these papers to be agonised over, placed in the bottom of bags or lockers, or perhaps even thrown away and never thought of again especially if students did not achieve the marks they were hoping for.

It can be really valuable for students to take the time to go through their exams and

  • look at what they got right and what they did well
  • look at the questions they got wrong and see if they understand what they did incorrectly
  • ask their teacher about anything they didn’t understand or couldn’t work out

Students should be looking at ways to learn from the experience and keep trying to improve on their performance by having a growth mindset which psychologist Carol Dweck explains as, A “growth mindset,” … thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.

We want students to be able to identify and celebrate their strengths in each of their subjects, as well as, be able to acknowledge that there may be areas they can improve in. Setting goals based on these areas they’ve identified for further focus will give them direction as they head into the new school year.

There is a unit in the Study Skills Handbook titled After Tests and Exams, along with a PDF document which students have been encouraged to access and read in an email this week.

Parents can also access the study skills handbook site and are encouraged to have the conversations with your daughters about their exam results, study techniques and goals for 2016.

user name: formsbenonly
password: 124results

Gabrielle Keats
Studies Coordinator

Studying Ecology in Year 9 Science

Our trip to to Ingleside began in cold and rainy conditions. However this setback did not stop us from having an action packed day with the highlights being finding tadpoles in the pond and looking with magnifying glasses in leaves to find organisms. Finding these animals that were so small made me realise how much life is around us but we don't easily recognise it. The whole day was designed to educate us on abiotic and biotic factors in our ecosystem. This meant learning how each factor affected each other and its impact on the world around us. On the whole, the day was a blast but we were happy to return to the warm bus. I believe it was a great practical learning experience that really made us appreciate our environment.

Tara Finlay and Holly Mallia (Year 9)

Katherine Mason
Science Teacher

Year 8 Geography Excursion to Homebush Wetlands

On Monday 2 November, Year 8 Geography students visited the Homebush Wetlands to conduct a variety of geography skills.

We completed many activities throughout the day including interpreting geographical information systems, identifying and catching water bugs, as well as soil and water testing. Part of the testing involved having to lick the back of a leaf, which left us all with a salty taste in our mouths!

The very first activity that we completed was studying the natural environment of the wetlands. We did this by climbing several flights of stairs to get an aerial view of an entire ecosystem. It was beautiful, however many of us were eager to make our way back down, because of our fear of heights. We then explored the wetlands and studied the mangroves and their habitat. We even spotted an eel swimming in the muddy water, which was quite exciting!

Overall, Year 8 had a wonderful day at the Homebush Wetlands and enjoyed learning about the natural environment from the range of activities and observations conducted on the day.

Rabia Rasul
Year 8 Geography student

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Pastoral Care

Year 7 students inspiring our newest Bennies girls

Earlier in the year, all Year 7 students generously completed a “Transition Survey”. In the course of this survey, our students were asked for their ideas and experiences across a range of areas associated with life as a Bennies girl. A part of the survey dealt specifically with the transition between primary and high school life.

Here are some highlights of the ideas of our current Year 7 students . . .

What advice would you give to the students starting in 2016?

  • Try to meet everyone in your Homeroom, House and classes
  • Ask for help if you need it, even if you are afraid to. Others are happy to help
  • Organise your locker as soon as you can. Don’t forget your lock code.
  • You will find your way around - but it will be hard at first
  • Don’t leave your assessments until the last minute
  • It seems like a big school when you start but it does get easier quickly
  • Use your planner. Your planner is your best friend
  • Be yourself and have fun
  • Don’t get addicted to the canteen muffins
  • Don’t worry, you will make friends
  • Be brave
  • Take every opportunity you are given
  • Focus in class. Get to know your teachers
  • Don’t stress, don’t worry, try to relax, it will be alright, keep calm, be confident

What advice would you give the parents of the students starting in Year 7, 2016?

  • She’ll love it here
  • Your daughter should get to bed early
  • Don’t stress, your daughter is growing up, that’s all!
  • Ask her if she has done her homework and what she learnt that day
  • Be proud of your daughter
  • Help her prepare for assessments
  • Connect with other families. Get involved in parent activities.
  • Your daughter is in good hands
  • On the first day of school, just act normally (like a normal primary school day) because some kids get stressed out (like I did)
  • Your daughter will get lost for sure - she just needs to ask for help
  • Be patient. Be aware of what she is learning
  • You can trust the teachers and older students
  • Talk to her about what she did each night
  • Listen to your daughter - she might need reassurance
  • The teachers are very easy to talk to
  • Don’t worry

The overwhelming message from our current Year 7 students to the newest members of our community we welcomed here today is not to worry, you will be taken care of here at Bennies. The girls in Year 7 send a message of resilience and positive thinking to all of our newcomers. We wish them and their families a warm welcome into the MSB community.

Katherine Mason
MYBennies Innovation Team

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College News

Mackays Booklists and College purchased lists for 2016 now available

All Booklists and College purchased digital and book resources are now available to be viewed on the Parent and Student portals of the College Website.

Mackays Book List orders can be placed online at Alternatively the Booklist can be printed and returned to Student Services by 2.00pm on Wednesday 2 December.

College purchased resources will be provided to students on their return to the College for the 2016 school year. Many of these resources are digital and log on details will be emailed to students.

Sharon McGowan
IRC Coordinator

From the Fees Desk

Thank you to all the families who have paid their fees in full for 2015. If you have not paid, please ensure they are completed by Tuesday 17 November.

If you require a final balance or statement of your fee account, please do not hesitate to contact Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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Representative Sport

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Four


Australian KO Championships
Monday 7 December


BBSSSA Open Team Trials
Friday 20 November


BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 24 November
MSB Representative Team

Students who wish to trial for sports that are offered directly through NSW CCC will need to nominate through the NSW CCC website. I encourage you to visit the NSW CCC website if your daughter is an experienced state level athlete in any sport.

Please remember that these are trials for State teams and as such students must be very experienced for their nomination to be approved.

Sports Presentation Assembly

Our annual Sports Presentation Assembly will be held on Wednesday 25 November at 9.35am. Parents and family members are most welcome. Any student who gained selection into a Representative Sports team in 2015 will receive a medal. These students will receive an invitation early next week.

This year our guest speaker is Michelle Daley.

Michelle is an ex Bennies girls and College PDHPE Coordinator. Whilst young and fit playing AFL one day she fell and badly injured her liver resulting in not one but two emergency liver transplants!! She now competes in the Transplant Games in athletics and swimming and has won multiple gold medals for Australia and set many records at the World Transplant Games. The venue for next year’s games is Sydney! Michelle’s story is a unique and interesting one that shows how sometimes you get to an elite level in a totally unexpected way.

Here are some links to some more information about Michelle:

The College ‘Sports Person of the Year’ Awards for each year group will also be presented at this Assembly.

Good Luck

To the seven MSB students trialling for the 2016 Open Broken Bay Softball team next Friday.

Big Skip Final

After five preliminary rounds the Top Five 'skippers' in each year group had been determined for this week's Big Skip Final. All twenty-five girls were very talented with the rope turners having to swap regularly to ensure a high rope speed. In the end it came down to two Year 10 students - Grace Gibbeson, a previous winner, and Georgia Emerton. Both girls are incredibly fit, continuously skipping through many loops throughout lunchtime, surrounded by a big crowd of students eagerly anticipating a result. Finally it was Georgia who outlasted all others to become the 2015 Bennies Big Skip Champion! Georgia will be presented with the perpetual trophy at the Sports Presentation Assembly in two weeks.

This event was an initiative of the 2009/10 Sports Portfolio and it is great to see that it still continues today - Georgia even mentioned that she had been trying to win the event since Year 7. The current Sports Portfolio (pictured here with Georgia) are to be congratulated on again running such a successful event and committing to numerous lunchtime events this term.

Well done to everyone involved.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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The Canteen opens daily from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

MY STUDENT ACCOUNT - Cashless Canteen

Students may order and pay for purchases with our 'cashless' option using their Student ID card.
Cashless Canteen - Comprehensive instructions on how to use this system
Place a Canteen order .

Canteen Roster for the week commencing Monday 16 November






Kath Darcy


Susan Bell

Karen Khoury

Josephine Vaggis


Rachael Taylor

Carmen Galluzzo


Sarah Cusack

** Additional volunteers are most welcome **

Please notify Melissa if you are unable to attend or you would like to be removed from the roster.

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Community Notices


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