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31 July 2015

From the Principal

This week saw the beginning of the HSC Trial Examinations for all of our Year 12 students. These examinations form part of the College assessment program for the Higher School Certificate and also provide a valuable experience in managing examination conditions for our students. At the beginning of the first examination we offered the following prayer with our students.

Loving God
As we gather here today on this important occasion
we ask that you will be with us and bless us.

We ask that you will guide our thoughts and calm our nerves
so that we may be able to work to the best of our ability during these exams.
We pray that you will watch over us,
keep us safe and well and do not allow us to become overly anxious.
Give us wisdom and strength we pray.
Through Christ our Lord Amen

We also prayed for our students during our Tuesday morning Community Prayer and we continue to ask God to be with them as they work through this examination period.

Our newly elected Captains took part in a two day Leadership Camp on Sunday and Monday under the direction of Mrs Marion Zammit and Ms Jackie Duncan. This is an important opportunity for discernment, planning and team building for these young women who will lead us through the Jubilee Year of 2016.

On Tuesday we held our Subject Selection Evening for parents and the current Year 8 students who are looking at their options for courses in Year 9 and Year 10. Thank you to Mr John Muskovits and the Heads of Department and teachers who assisted with this process. It was encouraging to see the high turnout for the evening and the thoughtfulness of questions asked.

This week also saw our participation in the annual Mathematics competition with 165 students taking part. In the past it used to be said that Mathematics was an area where boys excelled and girls found difficulty, however, the strength of our participation together with the strong results anticipated show clearly that this is not the case at MSB. I would like to acknowledge the work of Mrs Mary-Ann Dudley and Mrs Denise Hillier in providing this opportunity for our students.

Next week, a group of students in the College will take part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which is sponsored by the Australian Council for Educational Research. Our participation in this program is mandated under our funding agreements, however, the participating students have been randomly chosen. PISA uses data from internationally standardised tests to enable Australia to compare and monitor its performance with that of other countries. Approximately 15,000 students from over 800 schools in more than 70 countries will take part. We look forward to receiving the PISA report in March next year. Further information about PISA can be found on the ACER website: Parents are also invited to contact Mrs Jeannette Collins-Pope at the College if they have any questions.

Recently, I was pleased to receive a comment from one of our parents about the quality of our Annual Report. It was noted that the report was detailed and wide ranging, providing an excellent overview of life at the College. I was urged to use this article in the newsletter to draw attention to our report for anyone who has not previously seen it. Our Annual Reports can be found on the College website under About/College Communications or view our Annual Reports here.

Paul Lentern
Acting Principal

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Mission News

Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of accompanying seven Year 11 students and two staff on the St Vincent de Paul ‘Vinnies Van’. MSB has had a long tradition of supporting this ministry that caters for homeless people in the Sydney CBD. It is difficult to understand how such an affluent city as Sydney can have so many people who struggle to find permanent shelter, with statistics indicating that one in two hundred people are homeless.

Before they attend ‘Vinnies Van’, staff and students undergo a preparation workshop to not only learn about homelessness but prepare for the various roles they will perform on the night. One of the things that participants learn very quickly is that Vinnies Van is not just about the cups of tea and coffee and the supper that are served. The most important aspect is the conversation that takes place every night of the year (except New Year), between the homeless (mainly men) and the many volunteers that attend in either the Vinnies bus or truck.

We meet a variety of people on the street (or clients as they are known). Some are obviously living rough and have all their possessions with them in various types of bags with some actually bedding down in the doorways and shelter of various buildings. Others, as the students always say look just like us confirming the various opinions and misunderstanding that surround homelessness. In their training, staff and students learn that there are three types of homelessness:

  • Primary homelessness: people sleeping rough or in improvised dwellings
  • Secondary homelessness: people moving between various forms of temporary shelter including friends, emergency accommodation, youth refuges, hostels and boarding houses.
  • Tertiary homelessness: people living in single rooms in private boarding houses without their own bathroom, kitchen or security of tenure.

People who experience Secondary or Tertiary homelessness are not ‘roofless’, but they are homeless.

It is also obvious that mental health issues are much more prevalent among the homeless than among the general Australian population. These may include conditions such as depression or even schizophrenia. Clients are very trusting in sharing their life stories with us and although their life experiences are unique, there are common elements such as addiction, disability, financial problems, and a lack of family or social networks that contribute to homelessness.

When it is time to go home, there is always a feeling of disappointment that the night has to end. For a few hours our lives interact in mutual respect and staff and students learn that there is really very little difference between those who serve the cup of coffee and those who drink the coffee.

Our thanks to all the Houses who have supported us this year in providing items of food to serve on Vinnies Van each month.

Next week is Homelessness Prevention Week. For more information click on the image.

Grandparents are such a wonderful part of our lives. We would like extend a warm invitation to our Grandparents to our annual Grandparents Assembly and Morning Tea on Wednesday 19 August. To assist with catering please RSVP for this special MSB event.

RSVP here to the Grandparents Assembly

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Donna Dempsey
Acting Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

HSC Drama Showcase - Save the Date

The Drama Class of 2015 have been working on their Individual Projects since Term Four 2014 and their Group Performances since Term Two this year.

The Showcase Night provides an opportunity to share their hard work and talents with their family, friends and the MSB Community before their HSC Drama Practical Examination Day which will be the following Friday 21 August.

We hope you will be able to join us in the Drama Studio on Thursday 13 August at 7.00pm for an evening of entertainment and celebration of the girls achievements. No RSVP is required, however, it will be first in best dressed for seats.

Gabrielle Keats
Drama Teacher

Visual Arts Gifted and Talented Master Class at the AGNSW.

Fifteen Visual Arts students from Years 7 to 10 were selected to attend a Master Class at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) on Tuesday 21 July for an entire day. Students were chosen for their excellent performance in Art Making and or Studying Art in Semester One. We went on a guided tour through the Gallery to view and engage with specific works and exhibits as a way of stimulating discussion and ideas, as well as encouraging open mindedness when undertaking our art making practice later in the day. The change in dynamics in each artwork continually raised new ideas about art mediums, processes, attention to detail and the use of euphemisms that explored world events, historical architecture and cultural ideas through art. We toured the Contemporary, Asian and European galleries. Where we gained more insights into different art making practices. Students explored past and current movements to encourage sound critical thinking skills. The ideas we took from the tour were then taken into the Studio Space in the Gallery were we made art. We did this in a very modern Studio Space at the Gallery, which included a spectacular view of the city through a huge window that took up an entire wall. Here, we were challenged to think outside the box and push the boundaries of conventional art making practices. Like the avant-garde approach of the modern masters, Cezanne and Matisse and contemporary Post-modern concepts, we did just that. This experience provided us with the opportunity to take advantage of the inspiration that had been sparked inside particular artworks as well as a chance to leap off a cliff (metaphorically speaking of course) in our art making practice. We created mixed media paper sculptures which were all dramatically different from the other and which showed that amongst us, there could well be several promising future artists.

Elizabeth Khoury and Annie Wallace, Year 10

Fractions, Decimals and Percentages Revision Lessons

Do you lack a bit of confidence dealing with decimals? Was there something that didn’t quite click when you learnt fractions and you want to revise that skill? Were you away and found that you haven’t been able to master that part of the topic you missed? When shopping, do you find it difficult to work out the discounts involving percentages?

Then the following revision groups could be just what you need.

With Term Three Mathematics assessment tasks looming and both Year 7 and 8 learning fractions, decimals and percentages, there couldn’t be a better time to brush up on those fraction skills.

The revision lessons will be held in C208 on the following lunch times:

  • Monday 3 August
    Converting mixed numerals to improper fractions, simplifying fractions and finding equivalent fractions.
  • Wednesday 5 August
    Adding and subtracting fractions
  • Thursday 6 August
    Multiplying and dividing fractions.
  • Monday 10 August
    Converting decimals to percentages to fractions

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Lara Hibbard
Numeracy Resource Teacher

From the Studies Coordinator

Year 8 students had a Pastoral Care Study Skills session this week, run by their Year Group House Mentor, on study notes which included a variety of activities for them to understand Why they should make study notes? and How to Summarise. They did a small group activity practicing the skills of summarising and ended the session with some ‘I think and I wonder’ reflective opportunities as they shared how they summarised.

Students accessed the online study skills handbook to learn all about summarising. They are encouraged to return to this site if they need further clarification or see their teachers for assistance with particular subjects. Next year they will have their first exam block so it will be important for the girls to feel confident summarising and making study notes to lessen their workload when it comes time to revise and study.

There is a huge range of useful resources on this website from working better at home, working better at schools, improving how you study and improving your skills.

The user/password details for the online study skills handbook are

username: formsbenonly
password: 124results

Gabrielle Keats
Studies Coordinator

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Pastoral Care

Arcadia News

The focus area for the College this year has been the Benedictine theme of Hospitality. Students in Arcadia have been symbolically filling a jug in each of the Homerooms with water droplets. Each droplet signifies a time that students have shown hospitality towards others or have experienced hospitality shown towards them. The concept of ‘the ripple effect’ is shown through the water droplets and signifies how even a simple gesture can have such a positive effect on others. As the jugs have been filled the girls have been able to visually recognise the impressive volume of hospitality that exists within the Arcadia House. This is in line with the spirit of being grateful and the recognition that we can often use our strengths for the benefit of others.

‘Listen with the ear of your heart’ conversations have been ongoing throughout the year between Homeroom Mentors and the Arcadia students with the aim of recognising and celebrating the individual strengths and talents of the girls. This has been really rewarding for both students and mentors in developing positive relationships and establishing goals for the future. Positive Education tools such as the Resilience Doughnut and Values in Action (VIA) strengths have been utilised in these conversations and have proved to be well received by both students and mentors.

Term Three welcomes a new Leadership team for Arcadia for 2016. Rachel Takchi has been voted as Arcadia House Captain, Rebecca McGaw as House Ambassador and Amelia Dunkerley as Vice Captain. All three girls bring with them passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to lead Arcadia throughout the coming year.

There were a large number of applicants for the roles which demonstrates commitment to the Arcadian House Values of Individuality, Mateship and Determination. All girls showed great maturity and spirit in their speeches and a willingness to embrace leadership opportunities within the House.

The Arcadia Girls have demonstrated great resilience in the past two terms and we look forward to continuing to build our strong sense of community as we enter into Semester Two.

Jacqueline Saunders
Acting Arcadia House Coordinator

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College News

MSB G&T Community Education Workshop

Thursday 13 August
5.00pm - 6.30pm
in Room B307

Would you like to find out more about the MSB Gifted and Talented Program?

Would you like to work in partnership with other parents and teachers by participating in the 6th MSB Community Education Workshop?

Would you like to receive MSB professional development certification?

You are most welcome to attend this interactive workshop.

Topics include:

  • MSB G&T Program and Acceleration Policy Overview

  • MSB Excellence Program

  • Future Problem Solving Program

  • Gifted 201-identifying giftedness, academic & social emotional needs, friendships, over excitabilities

  • Personality Types

  • 100 words of Wisdom

  • Research articles and focus questions

RSVPs are essentail as there are limited places available. Please RSVP to by Thursday 6 August.

Refreshments provided.

Feel free to email Mrs Liz Dirckze if you require further details.

Elizabeth Dirckze
Coordinator of Teaching and Learning

City of Sydney Eisteddfod

On Sunday 26 July the girls from the MSB Senior Dance Ensemble competed at the City of Sydney Dance Eisteddfod, one of the largest dance competitions in Australia. We performed a contemporary piece entitled Sleepless , choreographed by Georgette Sofatzis.

We arrived at UNSW Science Theatre at 8.30am, this gave us time to warm up, get dressed and finalize our hair and makeup. The section began at 9.00am and was a very tough with 38 competitors coming from schools across the country. We were thrilled to receive a Highly Commended as it was the first time performing the routine.

We have been working on the routine every Tuesday morning throughout Term Two. All of the girls have put a lot of effort into the routine along with our choreographer Miss Georgette.

The Senior Dance Ensemble has been an enjoyable experience, allowing us to form lots of friendships and develop our love and skills in dance. I hope to participate in the Senior Dance Ensemble next year and I am very thankful for the experience of being a part of the team this year.

Chelsea McEntee, Year 10

Hillsbus Timetable Change.

Hillsbus have advised the College that the 2005 to the Towers in the mornings has been cancelled. Students may now catch the 2041, T60 or T62 then the 631 from the Towers to school.

From the Fees Desk

Term Three instalments are now due. If the College has a Direct Debit authority for term payments, they were deducted on Friday 31 July.

Current statements of account were posted to all families at the end of Term Two.

Tax Receipts for the Voluntary Building Fund have been posted. If you require a copy or have any queries regarding your fees account, please contact Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Fiona Barnett

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Representative Sport

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Three


BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 11 August
MSB Representative team

NSW ALL SCHOOLS KO Championships
Thursday 20 August
MSB Representative KO team

NSW CCC Championships
Friday 11 September


NSW CCC Open KO Quarter Final Game
Wednesday 12 August
MSB Open Team

BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 18 August
MSB U13/U15 Representative Teams


NSW CCC Championships
Tuesday 18 August
MSB JUN/INT Representative teams


NSW CCC Championships - Y9/10
Monday 24 - Tuesday 25 August
MSB Y9/10 Representative team


NSW BBSSSA Championships
Friday 4 September
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.

Representative Sports Trials and Trainings Term Three Week Four

Download T3 W4 Trainings

NSW ALL Schools Touch Championships

Last weekend Capri Vidler and Shannyn Bissett both from Year 9 competed at the NSW All Schools U15 Touch Championships as members of the NSW U15 NSW CCC Team. The team finished second in the tournament, losing to CHS in the closing minutes of the Final. Congratulations to Shannyn who was selected into the U15 NSW All Schools Team to compete at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide in Term Four.

Here is her report from the day –

On Friday 24 July we went to Narrabeen to compete at the NSW All Schools Touch Championships. We spent a lot of time on Friday playing team bonding games as we only had one training together in the school holidays. One Saturday night we played CHS losing in a close game 3 - 1 and a draw to CIS. On Sunday we played CIS and CHS again, we lost to CHS and then beat CIS to gain a spot in the Grand Final. In a close 30 minute Grand Final with seven minutes to go it was 1 - 1 then we ended up losing 3 - 1. It was a good experience as we got to play strong teams and strong players. We learnt a lot from each other and our coaches to develop our skills in such a short time, this helped us to develop and improve our understanding of the game. We got to meet a lot of different players from all over the state and gained everlasting friendships.

Shannyn Bissett, Year 9

NSW CCC Open Soccer Quarter Final Game

This game has now been scheduled for Wednesday 12 August at Campbell Park vs Marist Sisters’ Woolwich. Notes were emailed to the girls this week and are due back next week.

Broken Bay U15 and U13 Soccer Championships

This day has now been rescheduled for Tuesday 18 August. All students have been emailed new notes that need to be returned urgently next week. Training will be held at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Broken Bay Athletics

The BBSSSA program is now official and has been emailed to all team members and their parents, a draft Open KO team was also included to be confirmed after the BBSSSA Championships. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the BBSSSA website (see address above) to cross reference times and view technical information for the upcoming carnival at Homebush on August 11.

Broken Bay Golf

Any student who is interested in competing at the Broken Bay Golf Championships on Friday 4 September needs to contact Mrs Grant for a nomination form. Entrants must be affiliated golf club members for this 18-Hole Stroke Play competition divided into three divisions – Under 13, Under 15 and Open. There is a fee of $20.00 per entry and parents are required to organise transport for their daughter to and from the Shelly Beach Golf Club on the day of competition. Entries to Mrs Grant close on Wednesday 12 August.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport

MSB Netball

All MSB Netball Club teams will be involved in team photos on Saturday 15 August at Pennant Hills Park. A schedule of photo times will be publicised prior to the day.

Copies of the team photo can be purchased online through Advancedlife Photography. Further details will be provided closer to the date.

Summer Sport Registration

Registration information for summer sports has been sent via email to all students last week. All registrations forms are due to Student Services no later than Monday 3 August to be guaranteed a place in a team. Please note payments are required to be made online before registrations forms can be accepted.


Teams are entered in the Hornsby District Softball Association Competition. The games are played on Saturdays at Hayes Park, Galston commencing early September and finishing in March 2016. The competition breaks over the Christmas holiday period. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

MSB enters teams in the

  • Modball competition for girls currently in Years 5 or 6 who are planning on becoming MSB students.
  • Softball competition for our current students in Years 7 to 12
  • Ladies softball competition for our ex-students, mothers and friends.

Download Softball Registration Information package.


Girls who are current students from Years 7 to 12 are able to join a team in either or both of these Touch competitions. Girls are able to enter individually and be placed in a team or may register together as a team of 10.

Download Touch Registration Information package.

Parramatta Touch

Teams are entered in the Parramatta District Junior Touch Competition. The games are played on Wednesday evenings at Doyle Park, North Parramatta commencing early September and concluding late November. There is one game in the second week of the Term Three school holidays. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

Loreto Touch

Teams are entered in the Loreto Normanhurst Touch Competition. The games are played on Saturday mornings during Term Four only at either Loreto Normanhurst or Pymble Ladies College. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

Rebecca Lewis
Co-Curricular Sports Coordinator

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Careers Information for Students and Parents

Year 12 Careers Night - Wednesday 19 August (at Cherrybrook Technology High School)

LE Cordon Bleu Open Day - Thursday 20 August

Sydney Tafe Open Day - Saturday 29 August

Macquarie University - SIBT OPEN DAY - Saturday 29 August

Whitehouse Institute of Design

La Trobe University

ACU Law and Business

Apprenticeship and Traineeship Expo

Camp America / Au Pair in America

Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

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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 3 August







Tereza Miletic

Natalie Conway

Jaye Harkin

Simone Williams

Claudia Heer

Kay Munro

Susan Brown

Sylvana Boyd

Joanne McCormack

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

Community Notices

Registrations for Hornsby Touch (Girls Under 13s, 15s and 17s)

Online Registrations: Wed 20 July at

Registrations (in person): 4.30pm - 6.30pm on Wednesday 29 July at Foxglove Oval, Mt Colah.

Family Registration cost - 1 child $60, 2nd Child $55, 3rd Child $50 (playing shirt incl.)

Expected Timeslots : 4.45pm - Boys and Girls 13s, 5.00pm - Boys 15s, Girls 15s and 17s

Competition start Wednesday 9 September 2015 and concludes Wednesday 25 November 2015

Further information

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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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