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4 Apr 2014

From the Principal

Dear parents, friends, staff and students,

We welcome back our Year 12 students after their half yearly examinations. It is important that they continue to be engaged in their lessons and focus on learning from the feedback offered by the teachers. Remember to affirm the areas where you have done well and learn from feedback so you can continue to move forward and achieve your goal.

With the completion of the second Year 7 Parent Teacher Evening on Wednesday, all Year 7 parents would have had the opportunity to discuss with the teachers the progress of their daughters. From all accounts our Year 7 students have had a successful transition into high school and have had many positive experiences throughout the term.

The annual Year 11 Drama performance was held over two nights, Thursday and Friday with the performance of Deborah Oswald's House on Fire. As always our students gave a professional performance and expertly managed the combination of light humour whilst examining some serious contemporary issues.

With the final week of Term One approaching, I ask that all parents be mindful in ensuring their daughter attends the College every day. The learning experiences continue to be rich and as a community we will be involved in reflection and prayer heading into the Easter Break. I would ask that any events that take your daughter out of the College be planned and contained within the holiday periods available unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Our Homerooms continue to implement the swapping diary in support of Caritas. During the assembly this week I mentioned the essential role of women as part of the answer of addressing poverty and in making the world a better place. If one woman is helped out of poverty she will bring four others with her. It is essential we continue to recognise the strengths that women bring with them and the difference that women can make.

The theme the UN put forward for International Women's day was 'Equality for women is progress for all.' And I quote from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 'Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.' This week

I received a message from our Principal, Mrs Maria Pearson, who is travelling 'In the footsteps of Benedict', becoming immersed in the rich tradition that forms the foundation of our College. As always Maria's prayers and thoughts are with this community. And so we join with Maria and pray that God will continue to guide us,

Dear Creator God,
give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions
so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.

Sister Joan Chittister OSB

Ms Jackie Duncan
Acting Principal


'Like' the Mount St Benedict College Facebook page.

The official Mount St Benedict College Facebook page is now operational. We invite parents, family and ex-students to 'like' the page to receive news of our College community including key events and achievements.

To 'like' the page:

'like' the Mount St Benedict College Facebook page:
or click the Facebook icon below or at the top right of our newsletter and website.


Do you have a daughter in Year 5?

If you are a current family with a daughter in Year 5,

please ensure that you have lodged a Registration for Waiting List form.

Mrs Narelle McClure




Term Dates 2014

Term One


Term concludes Friday 11 April

Term Two


Tuesday 29 April - Friday 20 June

Term Three


Tuesday 15 July - Friday 19 September

Term Four


Tuesday 7 October - Friday 5 December

Mission News

In last Sunday's Gospel we again listened to a rather long yet fascinating story from the Gospel of John. On this occasion it was the story of the healing of a man who had been blind from birth. The story begins with a curious question; "His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?'"

The question reveals a deeply held attitude among people of the ancient world that illness, a disability or hardship was a sign of sin in the life of the person or in the lives of their parents or grandparents. This attitude, which is summarily rejected in Jesus' response was one that led communities to ostracise those in their number who had such illness, disability or hardship. Thus, it was an attitude that invited discrimination. Jesus' rejection of the idea included another startling claim linking the disability experienced by the man to the revelation of God's glory. Not only was discrimination against such a person unacceptable, but it also prevented those who discriminated from truly seeing God at work in an individual regardless of ability, health or social status.

The story continues with Jesus healing the man and giving him sight for the first time in his life. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary aspects of this story is the reaction to the healing of the blind man. Some from his own community doubted whether he was actually the same man who had been blind from birth or just someone who looked like him. The religious authorities who came to investigate the situation expressed the same doubt and were hard to convince even despite the testimony of the man and his own parents.

As the story moves on another level of dispute emerges. The healing of the man born blind occurred on the Sabbath day leading the religious authorities to claim "This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the Sabbath." The man himself claimed only that he had been healed and wondered how anyone who was not of God would be able to do such a thing. "I don't know if he is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see."

The climax of the story comes when the religious authorities drive the man away because of his belief in Jesus and his insistence that Jesus had healed him. This decision reflects a judgement about what had taken place. It reflects a decision to reject and turn away from the actions of God in the life of the blind man to ensure that the orthodoxy concerning the Sabbath and religious ritual is maintained.

The text closes with a powerful statement of Jesus condemning the actions of the religious leaders in their rejection of this sign of God's love and compassion and their expulsion of the man who had experienced the healing:

"Blind? If you were, you would not be guilty, but since you say, "We see", your guilt remains."

When reading a text such as this, we are challenged to scrutinise our own thoughts, actions and responses. We could do so by asking ourselves some searching questions such as:

Where are the prejudices and unfounded judgements in our lives that lead us to see some people or groups as less important than ourselves?

Where in our lives do we find the unlikely encounters with God, especially among those we regard as undesirable?

When have we closed our minds to a new possibility because it doesn't fit with our view of the world.

As we journey through the Season of Lent and approach the solemn commemoration of Holy Week we carry with us the opportunity to open our hearts to the work of our God in the unexpected places and among the people where we least expect to find God.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal - Dean of Mission

Curriculum News

Year 12 Parent Teacher Interviews

4.00pm - 7.00pm
in the College Hall
Wednesday 9 April

You will receive an email with your username, password and instructions on how to make a booking. The online booking system will open at midday on Wednesday 26 March and will close at midday on Tuesday 8 April.

Once you have logged in, you will be able to book your interviews. You will also see whether your daughter's teacher has requested an interview.

Students are to attend in school uniform with their parent/s.

Please contact the College if you are experiencing difficulties or would like further clarification.

Mr John Muskovits
Assistant Principal - Dean of Curriculum

College News

2014 Student Representative Council

As a community, we recently congratulated the girls who were elected as the 2014 Student Representative Council (SRC).

The SRC is made up of two Year 12 SRC captains, a Year 12 SRC Portfolio and eight representatives from each House, representing each year group (Years 7-11).

The role of SRC is to be the voice of their peers in the College. It provides a forum for students' opinions, where they have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. They promote the College values within the College whilst developing school spirit through the activities they become involved in. Students are given a voice about activities they would like to run and are involved in coordinating these activities for the College which promotes a positive school culture.

Congratulations to the 2014 SRC representatives. I look forward to working with you in the year ahead.

Miss Christine Takchi
SRC Mentor

News from the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Department

Dates for your diary

Tickets $10 and are now available via the College website

Mrs Gabrielle Keats

Mrs Lisa Stevens
Drama Teachers

Music Tuition at the College

Lessons have now commenced, however there are still places available if your daughter would like to commence music tuition at the College. Download the following documents and return to Mr Watters if interested.

Download Letter to Parents - Music Tuition here

Download Music - Enrolment Form here

Download Music - Instrumental Tuition Application Form here

Mr Peter Watters
Head of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Department

From the Studies Coordinator

Study SkillsTip for April - Why do we have to do Homework?

Homework in secondary school serves many purposes. It could be to consolidate or check or extend the learning from the day or prepare for the learning to come in subsequent days. It could be to do with longer term work such as assignments or preparing for tests and examinations. Ultimately it comes back to what school is all about – learning. Learning not just content, but learning and developing skills. At times students feel that the work they are doing at school is not relevant to their lives, however sometimes we need to look beyond the content to the purpose of the learning exercise. At times the content will be a vehicle to teach particular skills. Much of what we learn in Mathematics develops the problem solving circuits in our brain. When you are analysing Shakespeare you are learning not just about Shakespeare but to think critically and expand your point of view and broaden your experience of the world through examination of different lives, emotions and experiences. The message is that everything you learn at school has purpose and value, even if you can't quite see it at the time.

There is much debate in the media as to the value of homework. In Primary school it has been shown that only a small amount of students actually benefit from doing homework in terms of academic achievement. The exception to this is reading at home – every student benefits from this. However the other benefits can't be discounted: developing independent working skills, establishing study routines necessary for learning in later years, helping students master things they are struggling with and allowing parental involvement. In secondary school homework has been proven to be an essential component of academic success in the senior years. The reality of Year 11 and 12 is that a large component of independent learning needs to be undertaken at home. One of the biggest problems for students transitioning to the senior years is that they have not learnt to work effectively and efficiently in the home environment. This is why developing good habits and learning to do at least a solid hour a day of home study is essential in Years 7-10. It is also about developing the qualities of discipline and perseverance, both essential for senior studies. Students will not like every subject equally, students need to learn how to make themselves do the work even for their least favourite subjects.

So what can you do to manage your homework effectively? Try these top tips:

  1. As soon as you get home unpack your bag before you have a break and something to eat. Lay out all the work first. It is easier to get started if you have everything ready to go.
  2. Before you start work, write a list of what needs to be done and decide what order you will do it. Focus on what is most important, not just what subject you like best! Also write down how long you think each task will take to do.
  3. Keep in your mind that it is all about learning. Try and look beyond the actual content to what type of skill this homework might be developing in you – analysing, critical thinking, writing skills, or problem solving skills for example.
  4. Do your work in 20-30 minute blocks with no distractions during that time. So switch off the TV, turn off your phone for that 20-30 minutes. When you just focus on the work that needs to be done you'll be amazed at how much work you complete. Of course if you are on a roll, you can keep going past the 30 minutes.
  5. If there is a task you really don't want to do then alternate this with a task you enjoy doing. For example 15 minutes on the homework you like, 5 minutes on the homework you don't like. When you chip away at it you will be surprised how quickly you get through the work.

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on - our school's access details are:

Username: formsbenonly

Password: 124results

Essay and Extended Response Skills Workshop - for Years 9 and 10

8.45am - 3.15pm
Wednesday 23 April
in the IRC

Your daughter is invited to attend a holiday workshop on essay writing run by ICS Learning Group.

The aim of this course is to provide a step-by-step approach for students to help them understand the specific requirements for essay writing and other extended response writing. The scope of the course extends from reading and interpreting the question, through to the final draft. The outcome is to maximise marks gained in exams and for assessment essays.

Your daughter has received a letter and permission note about this workshop. This letter contains all the relevant information regarding booking and making payment with ICS Learning. This letter is also available to download from the Permission Notes area on BenniesNet and has been included below for your convenience.

Year 9-10 Essay and Extended Response Skills Workshop.

For further information, please contact ICS Learning Group

Mrs Sharon McGowan
MYBennies Innovation Leader / IRC Coordinator

Mrs Gabrielle Keats
Studies Coordinator

PDHPE - Year 10 improving their mental and physical Health

In PDHPE this term Year 10 students have explored three different types of physical activity - Tai Chi, Yoga and Body Pump. Each individual aspect focused on improving the wellbeing of our mental and Physical Health. We were lucky enough to be taught by professionals in each field and gained lots of knowledge about our current topic.

These classes will help us for the future if we wish to participate in similar activities. We believe that these classes have benefited our mental health and helped us cope with our stressful lives.

By Dominique Boudib and Natalie Thomas


Mrs Denise Hillier
Head of Mathematics

MSB Golden Jubilee

We are currently updating our archival records with the History Company in preparation for our Golden Jubilee in 2016. As a result of this process we have discovered some of our publications have been misplaced. If you are an ex-student and you have kept publications such as Newsletters and School Diaries, or have photos of significant events etc, and you would be happy to share a copy with us and/or donate it to the College please email

MSB Alumni Memories

If you have fond memories of your time at Bennies, we'd love it if you could please jot these down and email them to If you have photos to go with these memories, please include. The Archives are looking for memories that we can put in a safe place to share with the future MSB Girls.

Hot topics of discussion would be:

  • Food
  • Fads
  • Friends
  • Favourite places to hang in the College.

From Student Services

If Your Daughter is Absent or Late

If your daughter is absent or late, please send an SMS message to 0418 565 982 with a brief reason.

For example 'Susan Smith Y8 sick', "Susan Smith Y8 Physio appt'.

If your daughter is attending an appointment please specify the type of appointment. The College is required by law to record a reason for absence/lateness so as to avoid a follow-up, please ensure that you explain your daughter's 'absence/lateness' when sending your SMS message. This is a text only number. Once you have sent a SMS message you are not required to send a written note. If you are bringing your daughter to school late, could you take the time to write a note in her diary before she gets out of the car. To have the ‘lateness’ explained on the day then requires no follow up.

Lost Property

A reminder to all parents to clearly name all of your daughter's personal possessions. Lost Property is displayed on the table outside Student Services. All UNNAMED items are placed here and your daughter should check regularly for anything she has misplaced. All uncollected unnamed items will be recycled at the end of term. Named items are held at Student Services and students are notified via Daily Notices. Note: All items of value are held at Student Services.

Changes to Bus Timetable

From Monday 31 March there will be some important changes to our school buses.

Kellyville: 3572 will now depart from the school at 3.20pm, go to Castle Towers then become the 2585 and go to Kellyville. (Route: Showground Road, Green, Kings, Wrights, Glenrowan, President, Acres, Memorial.)Girls going to Kellyville will not need to get off the bus at Castle Towers. Students getting off the bus at Castle Towers should catch a different bus so students going along this route can fit on the bus.

Pennant Hills Station: There will be three buses going to Pennant Hills Station from Beecroft Road.

  • 3602 at 3.25pm
  • 3652 at 3.25pm
  • 3653 at 3.37pm

All juniors will now depart from Beecroft Road. Only seniors will go across to Pennant Hills Road. Please do not run for these buses.

Dural and Glenorie: 3536 departing at 3.20pm will go to Castle Towers and then become the 3573 to Dural and Glenorie. Girls will not need to get off this bus if they are heading to Dural and Glenorie.

Fitness Studio - Opening hours for Use by Senior Students

Mrs Gill McGregor
Physical Activity Coordinator

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.


NSW CCC Website:

Wet Weather Line: 9990 3633


Representative Sports Calendar - Term Two



NSW CCC Championships
Tue 29 April
BB Representative Team

NSW ALL SCHOOLS Championships
Mon 5 May
NSW CCC Representative Team



NSW ALL SCHOOLS Championships
Mon 5 May
NSW CCC Representative Team



NSW CCC U15 Trials
Tue 6 May
(Angela Cloeraine)

Wed 7 May

NSW All SCHOOLS U15 Trials
Tue 24 May
(NSW CCC U15 Team)



BROKEN BAY Championships
Fri 9 May (wet weather Backup Tue 13 May)
MSB OPEN Representative Team

Wed 11 June (wet weather Backup Tue 18 June)
MSB U13, U15 Representative Team

NSW CCC Championships
Mon 26 - Tue 27 May
BB OPEN Representative Team

NSW ALL SCHOOLS Championships
Mon 16- Tue 17 June
NSW CCC OPEN Representative Team



MSB Carnival
Periods 3 and 4
Tue 6 May

BROKEN BAY Championships
Fri 16 May
MSB Team

NSW CCC Championships
Fri 16 May
BB Representative Team

NSW ALL SCHOOLS Championships
Fri 13 June
NSW CCC Representative Team



NSW CCC Championships
Fri 3 June (wet weather backup Tue 17 June)
K.Noble, B.Duncan, A.Shepherd, S.Bissett



BROKEN BAY Championships
Thu 19 June
MSB Senior Representative Team

NSW CCC Team Notifications

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 the attached information - please read it carefully.

Closing dates approaching include trials for Diving and U15 (students must be turning 15 in 2014) and Open Netball. These are State level team trials and as such only experienced athletes should nominate to attend.

NSW CCC How to Register an Expression of Interest

Representative Sports Dates next Week

  • Monday 7 April - Final Sports Tour Meeting in the Drama Room at lunchtime
  • Monday 7 April - Sports Tour Dinner
  • Tuesday 8 April - U15 Rep Soccer Trials (Mr Campbell / Miss Enright)
  • Wednesday 9 April - Open Soccer Training (Mr Hume)
  • Thursday 10 April - Open Soccer Training (Mr Hume)

Year 12 Pierre De Coubertin Nominations

The Australian Olympic Committee is again offering this prestigious award in 2014. Students in Year 12 who wish to self-nominate need to complete all of the questions emailed to them 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 benefits.

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 7 April which demonstrates/depicts an appreciation of Olympism.

In 2013 MSB student Lily Vidler went on to represent Australia at the International Youth Forum in Norway.

To ensure that our applicant does not miss out on gaining a spot at the Academy Day we will need to close entries at 9.00am on Monday 7 April. Please hand in your entries to the Representative Sport slot, to Student Services (if too large) or to Mrs Grant prior to this time.

2014 Sports Tour

There are now only EIGHT days until our teams depart for Europe.

Dates for next week -

  • Monday 7 April - Farewell dinner
  • Saturday 12 April - DEPARTURE !!

Ex-student Georgia Casey continues to receive accolades

Georgia Casey (Class of 2010) continues to receive the highest praise from her peers. In more than two seasons, Casey has hit 22 home runs, 10 of which came in her freshman season.

"She's athletic and that's what I wanted, just a team of athletes that are not afraid to compete any time, any place," University of Oklahoma Coach Gasso said. "She is the epitome of what that looks like."

Read the full article here

MSB Swim Team Relay Training

All relay swimmers have been emailed information regarding a training session scheduled for Thursday 23 April at 11.30am at Cherrybrook with Mr Young to work on changeovers.

Mrs Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator / Physical Activity Coordinator

Co-curricular Sports

Dates for your Diary

  • CROSS COUNTRY CARNIVAL - Tuesday 6 May at the College during Periods Three and Four
  • ATHLETICS CARNIVAL - Monday 2 June at the Sydney Olypic Park Athletics Centre

MSB Netball

Netball teams have been finalised and are available on the College Sports Noticeboard.

Dates for your diary

  • Sat 5 April: Beginners Coaching Clinic
  • Sat 3 May: Winter Competition commences

Training Sessions

All girls are reminded that they are expected to wear their full PDHPE uniforms to all training sessions, including your cap when training outdoors. Relevant safety gear, as required by your sport, is also required at all training sessions.

Students being picked up from inside the College grounds are permitted to wear their PDHPE uniform home from school after training. Any student who needs to leave the College grounds to make their way home is required to get changed back into her correct school uniform.

Changes and cancellations to training sessions will be posted on the whiteboard outside Student Services. Please check the whiteboard between lunchtime and the end of Period 6 on your training days.

Mrs Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator

P & F News

P & F Coming Events


Online booking is now available


The P&F Executive wishes to advise that the MSB Golf Day advertised for 21 March 2014 has been rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. The new date will be advertised as soon as it has been secured with the Golf Club. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your patience.

Ms Julie Saad
P&F President on behalf of the P&F Executive



Class of 2004 – 10 Year Reunion

Organisers of the Class of 2004 Reunion have started a reunion Facebook page. Join this group at

Class of 1976 – Where are You?

If you were in the Class of '76, Ann Jackson (nee Williams) would like to hear from you. Ann is keen to start discussions on your 40 Year Reunion. This one falls in a significant year, as it is the College's Golden Jubilee Year.

If you are interested in connecting with your peers socially and/or becoming involved in starting the discussion, please email Ann on

2014 MSBESA Dates

2 June
17 June (BEYOND BENNIES 7.15am)
11 August
10 November (AGM)

Each Meeting commences at 5.45pm in the College Boardroom.

Bennies Connect

Register at, log on as a 'first time user', update your details, explore the site, network and stay connected.


The Canteen opens daily from 8.00am - 2.00pm.

MY STUDENT ACCOUNT - Cashless Canteen

Students may order and pay for purchases with our 'cashless' option using their Student ID card.

Comprehensive instructions on how to use this system can be found here.

If you have any queries please contact Mrs Elke Forrest, Assistant Business Manager.

Place a Canteen order here









Karen Benco

Aileen Buecker

Karen Khoury

Marlene Manning


Chun Shen

Sophie Xu

Georgina Khamis

Julie McIntyre



Nicole Weston

Swarnima Mathur


Roza Bindschedler



Joanne Murrie


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








Therese Davies





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

** If you can assist on ANY DAY please call Melissa **


Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, we certainly could not provide the vast array of healthy nutritious food if it wasn't for our volunteers who give up one day a month to assist. If you would like to volunteer please click here.

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager
T: 9980 0448

Uniform Shop

The Uniform Shop is open Mondays between 10.00am and 2.00pm and Thursdays between 8.00am and 11.00am.

Mrs Melissa Arane
Uniform Shop Manager
T: 9980 0447


Year 10 Subject Selection

Next term Year 10 will commence the process of choosing subjects for the Higher School Certificate. Below are links to a few resources on the Myfuture website that are designed to assist parents helping their child explore career options. Myfuture is Australia's national career information and exploration service, helping people to make career decisions, plan career pathways and manage work transitions.

Mrs Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

Community News


PCYC NSW is opening registrations for the Blue Star Citizenship Award. This is an excellent opportunity for young people aged between 16 to 18 who are looking to challenge themselves, give back to the community and have a blast in the meantime. Upon completion of the award, the student will receive a Certificate I in Active Volunteering, First Aid Certificate and their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The program goes for a term, including regular volunteer hours at their local PCYC and has two camps.

Contact PCYC Hornsby Ku-ring-gai for more details on 9477 2310 or visit