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27 February 2015

From the Principal

Year 7 students attended their Reflection Day on Monday and from all reports entered into the day with enthusiasm. Our staff are committed to ensuring high quality experiences for students and I thank all those who supported Year 7 on Monday.


On Monday evening Year 10 students and their parents gathered together to hear about what lies ahead for them this year. As our students embark on their final three years of study, procedures for assessments become more rigorous, they are confronted with significant choices and decisions regarding their studies towards the Higher School Certificate and the demands of their courses are stepped up. Both parents and students were able to hear valuable information about many of these aspects, including a comprehensive outline of Higher School Certificate marks, scaling and the relationship with the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank). Hopefully a number of myths were dispelled which will ensure that students make good choices for the right reasons.

Caritas Week commenced on Thursday with the Caritas Trek, which has a long history in the College. A number of staff and students walked in solidarity with people around the world who do not have easy access to safe water supplies.  Further activities reminded us of the theme of Project Compassion this year - Food for Life. Last week I attended the Caritas launch of Project Compassion and was privileged to hear from Eric and Ma, a Fijian couple who have developed a sustainable farm as a result of training given to them by a Caritas funded training centre. They spoke of the way in which the training changed their capacity to support their family, enabling them to give all their children an education. While Lent is not simply about donating money to Caritas, it is good to know that our donations are going to such worthy causes. Giving up something during Lent is a reminder of our need to focus our lives on the needs of others and if, by doing so, we are able to contribute to improving the lives of others, that is a very positive outcome.

Our Swimming Carnival on Wednesday was a blaze of colour as our student leaders, especially the House Captains and Vice-Captains, led their Houses in cheering and supporting each other. It was wonderful to see so many students participating and enjoying the camaraderie of the day. Thanks again to all staff who assisted in running the Carnival and supervising on the day.

Congratulations to Maredsous House, a double victory winning both the Participation and overall Carnival trophies.

Open Day

Sunday March 8 is Open Day. Girls are encouraged to assist in various ways on the day - in faculties, as tour guides, performing and simply by being in attendance.  Our visitors are always keen to meet our students, so I ask parents to encourage their daughters to attend and assist staff in whatever way is possible.  Parking is very limited so where possible parents are asked to park off site.

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Lord Jesus, the mystery of your Cross is at the heart of our lives.
Help us embrace the world as you did.
Give us the perseverance we need to make our world a better place.
Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Maria Pearson

Mission News

Having begun the Season of Lent with our Ash Wednesday Liturgy on Wednesday 18 February it was most appropriate that this week, following the first Sunday of Lent, the focus of our work has been on Caritas and our responsibility to respond to people in need. Our own tradition of the Good Samaritan Sisters places us right at the heart of the struggle to achieve justice in our world and our response to the work of Caritas each year is an important aspect of this work.

Starting on Thursday of this week and continuing until the middle of next week we have activities during our classes, at Assembly, during lunch time and even before and after school.

On Thursday morning a group of approximately 100 students accompanied by a number of teachers took part in an early morning trek to collect water in containers to bring back to the College. This trek takes place in solidarity with women all over the world who have to walk long distances each day to collect a supply of water for the daily needs of their family. The trek reminds us of the stark reality that most people in the world do not have ready access to a supply of safe and clean water.

On Friday our Year 9 Ministry class ran workshops for fellow students highlighting the work of Caritas Australia in a range of the projects which they support. This workshops provided participants with information on a broad range of projects in the fields of education, micro credit, agricultural skill development and community organisation. These projects are being undertaken in various parts of the world in response to the needs identified among some of the world’s poorest communities.

Activities will continue into next week with Monday being our Caritas Solidarity Day with whole school activities planned, while after school on Monday our Year 10 Community Problem Solving team will host a Junior Social Justice Forum for the younger members of our community.

Throughout Lent we will continue to focus on the work of Caritas through the swapping diaries that were handed out on Ash Wednesday. We encourage everyone in our community to do what they can to support Caritas in the coming weeks confident in the knowledge that our contributions do make a difference.

On Monday of this week Year 7 students took part in their Reflection Day at St Benedict’s Parish, Arcadia where they were guided through a number of discussions and activities focusing on the Benedictine Good Samaritan Community to which they now belong. On this day our Year 10 Ministry Class also took a leading role as they facilitated the Year 7 students through a process of learning and developing a deeper understanding of our College Song and our College Prayer.

Preparation is also underway for our Year 10 and Year 12 Retreats which will take place in March and April respectively. This week Year 10 have been organising themselves into cabin groups while Year 12 are choosing the venue for their Retreat. Permission notes and student information sheets for the Year 12 Retreat will be distributed next week.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures - Year 12 Geography Fieldtrip

On Monday 24 February my Year 12 class visited Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. On the day we were lucky enough to all have a go on the new zip line which only just opened in December last year. The entire class was very brave on what is Australia’s highest zip line. There were three separate zips and two high rope bridges. After this we had a guided tour around the suspended treetop walk, enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean over the Illawarra escarpment. Nathan, the local ranger, taught us all about the ecotourism industry, the rainforest and the history of the area.

We finished off the day with a late lunch at a trendy cafe in Bowral, the organic "Raw and Wild".

This excursion was both exciting and worthwhile; we all learnt a lot while having a great time. Thanks to Dr Batten for organising and Mr Fitzsimmons for driving us down.

Hollie Johnston, Year 12

Paul Batten
Senior Geography Teacher

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MYBennies - The First Few Weeks …..

Year 7 MYBennies classes have now completed their orientation activities for MYBennies and have moved into the first of the integrated units 'What’s behind the red brick wall?'. The first few weeks have seen the girls discussing their individual strengths, what strengths we have as a class group, aspects of effective team work, recalling experiences from primary school, finding what kind of learner each girl is and what it means to be an independent learner. The girls also discussed a time when they were engaged in their learning in primary school and how it made them feel and reflected on what their parents had answered to the same question late last year. O n Friday 6 February the girls undertook a Walking Tour of the College and were invited two weeks ago to co-create their learning spaces and the cues the teachers will use in the lessons. The girls really enjoyed these lessons as they were an opportunity to get to know each other, the MYBennies teachers and to have some agency in their learning.

What’s behind the red brick wall? was launched to the girls on Friday 18 February and will see the girls explore the themes – physical environment of the College, support structures within and external to the College, Benedictine Traditions and Good Samaritan heritage, personal identity, history of the College, house involvement in community and College culture.

We look forward to sharing the MYBennies activities as they happen on the College Twitter and Facebook pages.

Sharon McGowan
MYBennies Innovation Team Leader and IRC Coordinator

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Year 10 Science 2014 - Science in a new era

Towards the end of last year, Year 10 Science classes were exploring the very topical issues surrounding global warming and climate change.

In the course of their collaborative work, some girls were asked to create their own websites and "Thinklinks" to gather, process and showcase their collective works.

Below are links to some of these great class tasks done with limited time but maximum enthusiasm for learning.

Congratulations to all students involved.

Katherine Mason
Science Teacher

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College News

The Merit Award Program

Congratulations to the students who have received enough merits to achieve either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Merit.

Merits are awarded for achievement in any of the following categories:

  • School Service
  • Effort
  • Academic
  • Extra Curricular
  • Christian Commitment

Merits also go towards the House Cup with 10 merits equating to 10 House points, 50 merits equating to 20 House points and 150 merits equating to 50 House Points.

Merit Report as at end of 2014

Year 12 College Ring deadline

The deadline for Year 12 Ring Orders is Monday 2 March.

The ring and ring sizer are outside the Marketing Office for all Year 12 girls to view/use to help them complete their form.

From the Fees Desk

The first term’s fees are now due.

If the College holds a Direct Debit Authority to deduct payments automatically from your Bank Account or Credit Card the first instalments have now been processed.

Direct Debit Authorities remain in force until the College receives notification in writing. New authorities can be downloaded from the College website, sub heading Enrolments, Fees.

If you wish to confirm your payment arrangements or require a copy of your 2015 statement, please contact Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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Representative Sport

If your daughter has recently achieved outstanding sporting results please send me an email so that the College can share in her success.

BROKEN BAY Website: There is a new BBSSSA site under construction - we will advise when it is 'live'

NSW CCC Website:

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term One


BBSSSA U13 Touch Championships - Manly Vale
Tuesday 17 March
MSB Junior Representative Team


Tuesday 10 March
NSW CCC Team  - E.Morley (Y12), J.Tong (Y10)


BBSSSA Championships - SOPAC
Monday 23 March
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 as outlined in that information. I encourage you to visit the NSW CCC website if your daughter is an experienced state level athlete in any sport.

Representative Sports Trials and Training next week

Representative Sports Trials and Training

Monday 2 March

JUNIOR Touch (U13)

Surnames N - Z only

Trial on the oval

Tuesday 3 March



Call Backs

Wednesday 4 March



Call Backs

THursday 5 March


Final Selections

NSW CCC Softball

With over half the BBSSSA team comprised of MSB students it was a great day for MSB softball at the NSW CCC Championships. Thanks to Kel from Photos in a Flash for these great photos.

Here is Erin Morley's report on the day -

Last week several girls from MSB played for the Broken Bay Softball team at the NSW CCC Championhsips. The girls included: Erin Morley Y12, Jessica Tong Y10, Hannah Breatnach Y9, Natalie Tong Y8 and Caitlin Wilde Y8 which is amazing considering most are from junior years!

They all enjoyed every moment of the day playing as a team with several other girls from other BBSSSA schools and finishing 4 th overall. At the end of the day they announced that both Jessica Tong and Erin Morley were selected to play for the next level in the NSW CCC team.

Congratulations to them and all the other girls for making the day extremely fun and for playing at their best!

Triathlon and Senior Basketball

Our representative Triathletes and Senior Basketball team competed this week, check out next week's newsletter for full reports.

2015 Pierre de Coubertin Award

The Australian Olympic Committee is again offering this prestigious award in 2015. Students in Year 12 who wish to self-nominate need to complete the form emailed to them earlier this week.

This is not necessarily an award for an elite sports person, rather an award that aims to recognise a student who displays great sportsmanship and encourages others to be involved in sport for the joy of competing, rather than a 'win at all costs' attitude.

They may have demonstrated this by 'giving back' to their sport through coaching, umpiring etc rather than just playing sport for their own benefit.

Students at some stage throughout Years 7 to 12 must have:

  1. Represented the school in at least one sport on the current Olympic Program eg triathlon, swimming, athletics, soccer, basketball etc
  2. Participated in at least two other sports (these don't have to be currently on the Olympic program eg softball, touch, netball etc).
  3. Have participated actively in the school Physical Education Program with a consistent positive attitude
  4. Demonstrated attributes consistent with the fundamental aims of the Olympic movement

A literary or artistic piece of work also needs to be submitted by 9.00am Monday 9 March which demonstrates/depicts an appreciation of Olympism. This year applicants are asked to depict one or more Olympic moments that epitomise the core value of participation in sport.


Broken Bay Carnival Monday 23 March

If you wish to nominate for the 200m Freestyle event that is not held at our Carnival but will be held at the BBSSSA Carnival please nominate on the Sports Noticeboard prior to Thursday 5 March. You will need to submit evidence of your time via a website printout or signed by your coach which needs to also be received by Mrs Grant (can be scanned/emailed or dropped into the Representative Sports slot).

There are multi class events at this Carnival. Please contact Mrs Grant if you are a multi class athlete.

NSW CCC Carnival Monday 4 May

Information regarding this Carnival is currently available on the NSW CCC website.

  • 400 Freestyle
  • 100 Backstroke
  • 100 Breaststroke
  • 100 Butterfly

Students wishing to nominate for these long distance events at the NSW CCC Championships (not held at the BBSSSA Championships) will need to return the Broken Bay Distance Nomination Form to Mrs Grant via the Representative Sports slot before Period One on Monday 9 March so I can have them signed by Mrs Pearson and I will send off to BBSSSA.

This is a state level Carnival for experienced swimmers only. Only one female swimmer per age division from the entire Broken Bay Diocese will usually be successful (in some cases multiple swimmers may be successful from the same Diocese for an event, particularly if times are quite close or they are different ages). Unsuccessful athletes will not be notified.

There are multi class events at this Carnival. Please contact Mrs Grant if you are a multi class athlete 

NSW All Schools Carnival Monday 18 May

This event is the selection trial for the Pacific School Games to be held in Adelaide from Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 November.

Students wishing to nominate for long distance events at the NSW All Schools Championships (not held at the NSW CCC Championships) will need to submit a NSW CCC Distance Nomination Form (with long course times) and available on the CCC website prior to 3.00pm on Tuesday 21 April to Chris Anschau as directed on the form.

  • 1500m Freestyle Open Mixed
  • 800m Freestyle Open  Mixed
  • 200m Breaststroke
  • 200m Backstroke
  • 200m Butterfly
  • 400m Individual Medley

This is a state level carnivals for experienced swimmers only.

Please notify Mrs Grant if you apply for one of these events so that the College can follow up if necessary.
There are multi class events at this Carnival. Please contact Mrs Grant if you are a multi class athlete 

Remember nominations for all events are very competitive - you will be notified only if your application is successful.

Divisional age groupings for all school swimming carnivals are as follows:


12 / 13 / 14 yrs 


15 / 16 yrs 


17 yrs and over

Referees and Umpired needed

In addition to our pathways for students competing in their sports there are pathways for talented referees, umpires.

Currently Broken Bay are looking for qualified and competent student referees for soccer, touch and softball. If you would like further information please contact Mrs Grant.

Qualified ex students or older family members are also welcome to contact Mrs Grant if they would like to referee or umpire at a Broken Bay event which is usually a paid position.

Good Luck

To Kirsten Simpson (Y11) who is trialling for the NSW CCC Tennis team next week and to Kate Barry (Y9) and Louise Campbell (Y10) who are trialling for the NSW CCC Cricket team.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport


Coaches URGENTLY required for MSB junior and Cadet teams. This is an opportunity for students in Year 10 or above, as well as parents and friends.

No experience is required just a willingness to support a team through the season.You will be offered opportunities to attend coaching clinics as well as the support of a team manager and the MSB netball committee.

Please contact the Coaching Convenor by email, if you are interested or would like further information.

MSB FOOTBALL - Players needed

We are still looking for players from Years 7 and 8 to join the MSB Football teams. The games are played on Sunday mornings around the Ryde and Hills area. The competition begins in April and concludes in August.

Download the MSB Football Registration Package.

Please contact Mrs Lewis for more information.

Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator

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University of Newcastle

Built on the principles of equity, excellence and engagement, the University of Newcastle has a reputation as a world-class institution making an impact within its own region, throughout Australia and across the globe.

Our research is world-class and diverse. Our degree programs are internationally recognised and our partnerships and collaborations drive innovation. Our alumni are leaders and our students are preparing to make a difference in the world.

We are ranked in the top three per cent of universities world-wide and we have not yet turned 50.

Future Students

Advice for Parents



Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

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P & F News


The College Open Day will be held on Sunday 8 March and the P&F are looking for volunteers for the Refreshments table and the Caritas BBQ. The P&F are also asking for donations for the refreshments table.

If you can assist please download the OPEN DAY VOLUNTEER FORM and return it to the P&F Box at Student Services by Thursday 5 March.

Please direct any queries to Christa Silvia via email


MSBESA (Mount St Benedict Ex-students Assocation)  Meeting

Please join the ex-students association for their next upcoming meeting:

When: Monday 2 March
Who's invited: Alumni (Ex-students)
Time: 6.30pm (NEW START TIME)
Where: College Boardroom

Look forward to seeing you there.

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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 2 March







Kai-Jai Huang

Natalie Conway

Jaye Harkin

Simone Williams

Claudia Heer

Kay Munro

Susan Brown

Rosie Lancaster

Sylvana Boyd

Joanne McCormack

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

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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Community Notices

Mater Dei Peace Eggs for Easter

The PEACE EGG is a means by which individuals, school communities, businesses, families and friends of Mater Dei can be involved in an action of community building. Help improve the quality of life for children with intellectual disability by purchasing a Peace Egg.

The Mater Dei Peace Egg is now available for order:

  • The ‘Original’ chocolate PEACE EGG (100g egg, 12 cm tall) - $3
  • The 80g gift box PEACE EGG - $5
  • 160g gift box PEACE EGG - $10

Please download the MATER DEI PEACE EGG Order Form. Orders, with correct money, can be returned to the box at Student Services by Friday 13 March. Orders will arrive during the last week of school.

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Mount St Benedict College
449C Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills NSW 2120

Phone:  02 9980 0444
02 9484 4911

General enquiries

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