JPC Key Messages - Week 4

The concept of a growth mindset is one that students, teachers, and parents of the JPC community will often encounter. Nearly every day our students encounter challenging moments where their attitude and approach to their learning is tested. There is perhaps no greater test to their application of a growth mindset than during Independent Learning Time. During Independent Learning Time, our students face up to the challenge of becoming self-directed learners, taking responsibility for planning their work, overcoming challenges, and extracting the most out of their potential. Each period will offer up different challenges- motivation, distraction, content, understanding. Each challenge needs different skills and characteristics to be overcome. As your child encounters these challenges, there really is only two options. By showing a growth mindset, they persevere, look for solutions, look for support, and grow substantially as a learner and as a person. They begin to understand that the learning process can sometimes be hard but be worthwhile. The other option is that they show a fixed mindset. In this pathway, students succumb to challenge in any number of ways. Our job as parents and teachers is to try and ensure that every opportunity for our students is one that is one that they learn from.  


As Independent Learning Time began this week, it was interesting to note the difference in two groups of students in their own self-directed learning journey.


It is fair to say that our seniors have begun the year with a new vigor in their learning and this was evident in their attitudes during ILT this week. Each of Year 11s has encountered their own challenges over the last few years, with each experience adding to their problem-solving tool belt. Their planning and organization has improved vastly in the time that I have known them, and to see the groups of seniors engaged with their work, sets a great example for our younger students. There is no clearer example of how their self-direction has improved than watching the Year 11s in their study periods. AS you walk through their study area in class time, there are groups of students collaborating, debating, arguing over the content, demonstrating an enthusiasm for their learning that has not been seen before. I congratulate the Year 11s on the fine start and hope they can continue the pace shown for the rest of the year.


On the other end of the spectrum are our new Year 7 students. They began this week with a flurry of excitement as they entered their first week of independent learning. Armed with a skills booklet, perhaps some overconfidence in some areas, and a limited knowledge of our rooms, it was impressive to see how well they took to a system completely foreign to them. Their journey this week will replicate their journey over the next few years, with periods of confidence, some obstacles that seem insurmountable, help and support from their peers and teachers, some tears and hopefully more smiles. The first few weeks will be especially challenging, and at times their will and outlook will be tested. It is in these moments where the use of the growth mindset is most important. Many times, I heard the phrase “I can’t…” by one of our year 7 students. With a few probes and pokes, and sometimes a few attempts, it was amazing to see the confidence of these same students as they climbed the metaphorical wall that only moments previously seemed too difficult to attempt. To the parents of these new year 7s, I know it is difficult to see your child in the midst of this struggle. I encourage you to use your own growth mindset, and instead of helping your child, help your child to help themselves. Allow them to make mistakes, allow them to learn from their struggles so that the next time they are faced with a similar problem, they have the skills and characteristics needed to overcome it. Your child’s Mentor teachers are there to offer their support and are only a quick email away.


I am often asked by parents how they can support their child on their ILT journey. I can assure you that the role that you play is significant. Firstly, and probably the greatest impact we see that parents can have, is to start by helping your child with the planning process. Their ILT planners are to be completed before they arrive at school on Tuesday mornings. It is our expectation that parents sign their child’s planner when it is completed. We know that this is not always possible, but even by asking to see their planner, you are showing an interest in your child’s education. Ask them about their room choices, the teachers they have chosen, the students they have written to collaborate with. Helping with their planning will mean familiarizing yourself with Moodle, our online learning platform. Secondly, help your child by monitoring their Homework and ILT work. The Homework policy at JPC is for 30 mins of reading, 15 minutes of Language and 15 minutes of Mathematics work each night. If they come home on Wednesday or Thursday evening, ask to see the work they completed in ILT. They will give you every excuse for why you don’t need to see it, but please persist! The rewards for both you and your child will be worth it. Thirdly, build a relationship with your child’s mentor. Engage with their mentor reports, ask questions of their Mentor teacher, ask your child about how their mentor session went. And lastly, on a practical note, it is a wise decision for parents to purchase a document folder for their child to keep their ILT planner safe from the rigors of being shoved unceremoniously into a student’s locker at the end of the day.


Over the next few weeks, I encourage you to monitor how your child is fairing on their journey to self-direction. If you think they may need some extra support, please contact your child’s mentor.

Liam Stakelum
ILT Coordinator

ICT and BYOD Agreement and Policy

On Monday of next week during Pastoral Care time students will be taken through the College’s ICT and BYOD Student Agreement and Policy during Pastoral Care time. A copy of this policy and agreement can be found on Moodle on the Parent Information page. We would ask that parents and carers please read this document carefully and discuss it with their son and/or daughter. Should you required further clarification in regards to the policy and agreement please make contact with the College.

The Social Justice group has started the year on an enthusiastic note with several students participating in the St Vincent de Paul Doorknock Appeal. On two Wednesday afternoons, the students went ‘Doorknocking’ in the Casey and Ngunnawal areas. Their excitement, professionalism and teamwork made us very proud and was reflected in the number of donations received. Thank you to all those students who participated this year and especially to Mrs Rey, Mrs Tually, Ms Young and Ms Hillier who volunteered to supervise on the days.


Miss Zorzi and Ms Ganderton
Social Justice Group Coordinators

Car parking @ JPC

The carpark is still causing issues,  particularly in the afternoons.  Please be mindful of pedestrians, buses and other cars.


We have a number of families who need to use the diabled carparks, please only use these if you have the appropriate permit to do so.


Thank you for your cooperation.

School Buses @ JPC

Last week we emailed home a survey regarding school bus services to and from JPC.  Thank  you to all those families who completed a survey.


If you missed the email please see the link below.

The Importance of Music

Often learning music can be seen as an extra curricular activity and can often be pushed to the side with priority given to more traditional academic subjects. Though studies have shown that people who play instruments from childhood have above average general reasoning skills and verbal intelligence. Other studies have proven that learning music increases fine motor skills, enhanced hearing ability, and memory. This means the skills acquired learning music give the child the foundation to succeed in other disciplines. For instance, the enhanced reasoning skills and verbal intelligence are the skills needed to excel in the language arts. The act of reading music is cognitively very similar to the act of reading words, so children who learn to read music at a young age generally read at a higher grade level than their peers.


We are creating a fantastic music program here at St John Paul ll College.  There are numerous ways for yourself or your child to get involved in it. We are catering for all types of music tastes and interests. Please click the link below and get involved.

Kind Regards

Aron Lyon
Co-Curricular Music Director

Upcoming Drama and Performance Opportunities

This Semester, students are able to participate in a unique performance experience. This after-school club will offer students, who aren’t necessarily studying Drama, a chance to develop confidence, performance ability and create a self-devised piece of theatre.

First  Act!

Every Thursday afternoon, 3.45pm – 4.30pm

First Act! will commence in Week 6, Thursday 9th March and will continue weekly, every Thursday, until a final performance in Term 2.


The first of the Drama Showcases for the year occur on Wednesday of Week 9, 29th March. Students who are studying Drama are encouraged to perform and share their growing talent with their family and friends.

Information and Permission notes can be collected from Miss Keane. These are available on Moodle via the Permission Notes and Drama pages. Hope to see you at the show!


Miss Keane

Swimming Carnival 2017 Wrap-up

Last Thursday we travelled as a school to Big Splash in Jamieson for our annual JPC Swimming Carnival. Conditions were perfect and made for some very fast times. Special mention goes to our early morning swimmers who participated in the 100m, 200IM and butterfly events. It was great to see how many students participated on the day with many students giving it their best and showing great courage. Support from their peers created a great and supportive atmosphere for the students to race in. After the races finished the community afternoon followed in which it was great to see the college come together to celebrate the fantastic day.

The overall winners for the carnival was Vanier House, however all students who participated should be commended on their fantastic spirit and effort for their house.

I would just like to thank the teachers and staff for their fantastic efforts on the day and also thank all of the students who demonstrated unity and made the day a warm, fun and amazing.


Nic Whatman


New Vocal Tutor

Dear Parents/Guardians

It is my pleasure to announce that we have a new Vocal Tutor beginning at St John Paul ll College within the next week. If your child has applied for Vocal lessons or is a continuing student please expect to be contacted by our new tutor Leilani Wagner within the coming week.  Leilani is a seasoned performer and is currently studying her Bmus at ANU school of music. If you are interested in your child applying for Vocal Tutoring please click the link below, fill out the paperwork and return to the student office at St John Paul ll College. For any further questions please contact me at


Kind Regards

Aron Lyon

Co-Curricular Music Director
St John Paul ll College

1021 Gungahlin Drive Nicholls ACT  |  Ph: (02) 6163 4800
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