Secondary News

This year our Secondary Students have been set the challenge to reflect on: “Is this really my best work?” 

We have been impressed with how the students have risen to meet this challenge so far, and we look forward to this continuing throughout the year.  

2021 Homeroom Teachers  
Year 7   Miss Anne
Year 8   Mr Joshua
Year 9   Mrs Anna Copeman
               Mrs Kara
Year 10 Mr Stuart  

If you have any queries about your child’s learning or wellbeing, please contact their Homeroom teacher. For subject-specific inquiries, please contact the relevant class teacher. 


Student Diary

All Secondary Students have been given a diary to help develop their organisational skills. All teachers will expect students to bring their diaries to all classes and write down their homework, assignments and study requirements. Please discuss with your child.

The diary will also be used as a communication tool between parents, students and teachers.


Purpose of School-Based Assessment

Stage 4 and Stage 5 syllabi advocate assessment for learning, as this is a type of quality assessment that has had worldwide success in enhancing teaching and improving student learning.  Assessment for learning gives students opportunities to produce work that leads to the development of their knowledge, understanding and skills. Teachers decide how and when to assess student achievement, as they plan the work students will do, using a range of appropriate assessment strategies including self-assessment and peer assessment.


In summary, assessment for learning:

  • is an essential and integrated part of teaching and learning
  • reflects a belief that all students can improve
  • involves setting learning goals with students
  • helps students know and recognise the standards for which they are aiming
  • involves students in self-assessment and peer assessment
  • provides feedback to help students understand the next steps in learning and plan how to achieve them
  • involves teachers, students and parents in reflecting on assessment data.

Assessment as part of Effective Teaching at St Philomena’s

St Philomena’s has implemented the Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework and Thornburg’s Theory for an effective one hour lesson. This incorporates:

  • the Gradual release of responsibility
  • Rich learning task
  • Effective questioning
  • Accountable talk
  • Feedback leading to improved performance
  • Reflection and evaluation

Within the lesson, students refer to the learning intention(s), know what success will look like, and become involved in the lesson especially through questioning and accountable talk. Students will be provided with time to reflect on their own work and that of others.

Student Responsibilities 

Students are expected to make a genuine attempt (Is this my best work?) at all Classwork, tasks/worksheets, including Assessment tasks, in order to : 

  • gain a thorough understanding of the subject
  • develop skills that are a foundation for success in the HSC and/or workforce
  • satisfy the requirements of NESA and the School for the completion of Stage 4 and Stage 5


Year 10 and Stage 5 Elective Courses: All assessments for these courses are weighted and there will be three to five tasks for each subject for the students to complete. The results from these assessments will determine the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) grade they will receive at the end of Year 10. 

Students now have access to the Google Assessment Calendar for Semester One. It is very important that this calendar is reviewed often as teachers will continually add in additional information. To assist in organisation, it would be beneficial for all students to write assessment due dates in their diary. A hard copy can be printed off the calendar by creating a schedule.

Parents will be able to access the Assessment Calendar once the St Philomena's Website has been updated.


Year 7, 8 and 9 Non-Elective Subjects: There are no weighted assessments. Assessments for these year levels will be ongoing. Teachers will be continually assessing for, as and of learning using a variety of strategies. This will enable students to know and recognise the standards for which they are aiming.


All Secondary students utilise Chromebooks to assist them in their learning. This means they require headphones every day to work independently. Due to COVID -19 hygiene standards, St Philomena’s is not permitted to provide headphones for our students to use. Students are required to bring in their own headphones to ensure we are meeting the hygiene and personal health requirements for all students.


It is imperative that Year 7 and Year 9 have headphones when they complete their NAPLAN practice test on Thursday 25th March. 


HINAMATSURI - Doll Festival or Girls Day

Hinamatsuri is celebrated in Japan on March 3rd. It is a holiday that celebrates girls' health and happiness.


This week in all Japanese classes, students learnt about Hinamatsuri. They made an origami Emperor and Empress Doll to represent Girls' Day. In Japan, girls display special dolls on a stand, dress in their kimonos (traditional Japanese dress) and pray for health and happiness. 


Students in the Japanese Yr 9 and 10 Elective classes tried on kimonos and drank ocha (Japanese green tea) and ate mochi (rice cakes) to celebrate this special day.



Stage 4 Mathematics 

Year 7 and 8 students are currently halfway through their unit of "Algebra Techniques 1". 


A Mathematics Wall has been created based on curriculum content scaffolded in class as well as fabulous student samples.


Just a reminder that your child will be assigned math homework regularly. They are expected to complete the task before the given due date. The homework is posted on Google Classroom as well as written in their diary. 


We do understand that some students have no internet access at home. Therefore, tasks are generally due 2-3 days after they are assigned so students can complete them during recess or lunch.


Should you have any questions regarding Mathematics, please email me at


Ag Plot- Marking out the Beds

Over the past fortnight, the Stage 5 and Year 8 Agriculture students have been measuring out the garden beds for the new plot. This process took a lot of time, patience and rigour to ensure that the beds were square. Our next step is building the beds - look out for our progress in the next Newsletter!


Year 8 Agriculture students also conducted a pH test of the soil at the two Ag plots to determine how fertile our plants will be for our winter vegetables. With our soil slightly acidic, it means that plants like carrots and tomatoes will thrive; however, for beans or cauliflower, we may need to add some lime to our soil!