From The Principal

Welcome parents, carers and friends of St Mary’s College to our Issue 01, 2023 newsletter.

We have welcomed many new students to the College as well as a number of new staff this year. Whilst many students have commenced their education with us in year 7, we also have students who have joined us in year 1, year 4 and year 9. Across our campuses, we now have 78 students enrolled at St Mary’s, all of whom we are looking forward to seeing grow and flourish over the year.

Opening assembly

As is tradition, we started the year with a St Mary’s Opening Assembly where all students and staff came together to recoginse our award winners, acknowledge our student campus leaders and build their connection to other students who are also deaf or hard of hearing. Having this opportunity adds to each student’s sense of who they are. Recognising that hearing loss is just one part of their identity and viewing it as a difference or positive part of their personal, social and academic identity can help students feel more settled and connected in their school community. It was wonderful to see many of our parents join us on the day and have an opportunity to meet with other parents from across the school. We try to rotate the campus hosting the event each year to cater for all our families living across Melbourne. In 2024, we anticipate we will hold the assembly at our Tarenit campus within Thomas Carr College.

School Improvement Plan

Each year the College reviews its work towards improving outcomes for students and identifies key areas that will become the focus for the year. We have been delighted with the improvement our students have made in writing, with almost all students making more than one years’ growth over the past 12 months. Knowing that reading is always a challenge for students with a hearing loss, we want to ensure our students are not slipping behind and as such, have decided to make impactful reading instruction a focus for 2023. I look forward to sharing with you the positive impact this will make on our students’ reading skill over the year.

Teacher PD day

On Monday 24th April, all St Mary’s teachers will come together at our Wantirna South campus to learn more about the science behind reading and how this can be applied to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Many of our partner schools are having a student free / professional learning day on that day and so this will not impact most students. Our Wantirna South campus students will be well supported by our Learning Support Officers and the wonderful Holy Trinity teachers.

Reports & PAM

One of the advantages of having our own Parent Access Module is that now students and parents can see what they are learning and how they are going as they learn. We understand that it is a little inconvenient having 2 different logins, but know that it is a wonderful opportunity to get a complete picture of your child’s progress. I would encourage you to log on to St Mary’s College Parent Access Module (PAM) when you can. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or Head of Campus if you have any questions about assessment and reports.

CampusSt Mary’s subject assessments, Personal Learning Plans (PLPs),
Medical Information, commendations for PBL, contact information
Partner school subject assessments, attendance, PTIs.
DandenongSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleSt John’s SEQTA
RingwoodSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleAquinas Parent Access Module (PAM)
South MorangSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleMarymede Parent Access Module (PAM)
SunburySt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleSalesian College Schoolbox
TarneitSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleThomas Carr Parent Access Module (PAM)
Wantirna SouthSt Mary’s Parent Access Module

Inclusive Education

On the 23rd March I was invited to speak as part of an expert panel on Inclusive Education at The Age Education Summit. Whilst there are a lot of interpretations around what inclusive education is, one thing that is generally agreed upon is the right of every child to learn alongside their same-aged peers in an environment that gives them the same access and opportunities as any other child. St Mary’s College was chosen to talk about the innovative way we have interpreted this idea which involves retaining all the benefit of having expert advice and teaching available every day to ensure learning is designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing whilst providing all the benefits and opportunities of local mainstream schools. By bringing St Mary’s expert staff and students into each partner school, it allows our students and families to select an educational program that is designed specifically for them. The success of this model can be seen in the amazing results and post school destination of our 2022 school leavers, all of whom are now successfully pursuing their dream pathway to employment.

75th Anniversary Celebrations

This year marks the 75th year of St Mary’s providing an education to deaf and hard of hearing children in Victoria. We have a number of past students and current staff working on events that will run across our campuses later in the year. I look forward to sharing more information about this exciting time over the coming months.

School Advisory Council

We are delighted to welcome Dilani Rasanayagam as a parent representative to our School Advisory Council this year and would like to thank Cara Patterson for accepting the role of SAC chair. The work of the council is very important in ensuring parent voice and community perspective influence and support decisions made for the good of school where students’ wellbeing and outcomes are paramount. If you have an interest in joining our School Advisory Council, we would welcome your involvement. Please contact Lexie at our administration office on 9800 2733 or admin@smdeaf.vic.edu.au for more information.

Enrolments

Enrolments are currently open for:

  • Prep 2024 (closing Wednesday 31 May 2023)

  • Year 7 2025 (closing Friday 18 August 2023)

  • A small number of places at other year levels for 2023 and 2024 at our Dandenong, Tarneit Wantirna South and South Morang campuses.

Please visit the College website or contact Lexie at our administration office on 9800 2733 or admin@smdeaf.vic.edu.au for more information.

I hope you enjoy learning more of the fabulous events and learnings that have occurred across our college over term 1 .

As we move into the final weeks of Lent and start to think about Easter and the coming holidays, I would like to wish everyone a bright and joyous Easter and safe Term 1 holiday.

Easter Prayer

A quiet moment to God before the Easter festivities begin

Easter Prayer

St Mary's College 75th Anniversary

Upcoming 75th Anniversary Celebrations in 2023...


We are inviting all past and present St Mary's College students and staff to an evening of celebrations in recognition of 75 years of education for deaf and hard of hearing students.

St Mary's will be hosting celebrations on multiple evenings, across multiple campuses. Share the excitement!

When: August date TBA

Register you interest below or email admin@smdeaf.vic.edu.au

Register your interest:

Please provide a brief description of your enquiry to assist us in responding appropriately.

Student Leadership News

Read about what the St Mary's Student Leaders have been up to this term.

Student Leaders for 2023

Congratulations to our student leaders of 2023 - Kai Phipps-Papadopoulos (SM), Angad Singh (SM), Rosalee Corrone (RW), Daniel Tabios (DN), Isabella Slavik (SB), Myisha Lim (WS) and Lianna Selle (TN). They have worked diligently this term to get to know all the students, lead our school in our opening assembly and run a fundraising event for Hearing Awareness week.

Each student will represent their campus in a variety of ways throughout the year, including delivering speeches at our St Mary’s assemblies, being involved in fundraising events and organising events to connect as a student group at their campus. This promotes student voice and agency within our college.

Hearing Awareness Week Fundraising

Our South Morang, Wantirna South and Tarneit campuses were involved in a fundraising event this term to raise awareness for Hearing Awareness week. Our student leaders worked diligently to promote the event for one whole week at their partner school. They sold butterfly badges and a range of different pens to their peers.

Pen Pals

Isabella has worked independently to create a new program for our St Mary’s students. Isabella will be running a pen pal program, allowing students to connect with peers from other St Mary’s campuses.

Young Leaders Conference

To conclude the term, our student leaders traveled to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday 27th March to participate in The National Young Leaders Day. This day provided a unique opportunity for students to gather and hear some of Australia’s most high profile people share insights from their own leadership journey.

The guest speakers included Candy Hertz, Amanda Johnstone and Nazeem Hussain.

Students gained an understanding of important leadership qualities and how to overcome challenges.

Tarneit Campus News

Here's what term one brought us at St Mary's College Tarneit....

Welcoming in 2023

As we began the 2023 school year we welcomed two new students to our Tarneit campus, Ewan and Johnny. It has been fantastic to see them adjust to their new school and create some great connections with their teachers and peers.

Zoubowa did a great job at welcoming them to St Mary's and showing them around.

We truly hope they will enjoy their time with us and look forward to seeing them thrive at St Mary's!

Student Leader

Lianna called a meeting of all the Tarneit campus students to introduce herself as the student leader for 2023. She invited the students to ask her for help if they need it. Then we all enjoyed some pizza and soft drink.

Auslan Club

Auslan Club runs every Tuesday at lunch time at the Tarneit campus. Lianna and Ewan help Mr O’Neill teach the eager students. They did a fine job and their peers really enjoyed learning about deaf language and culture.

Swimming Carnival

Earlier this month, St Mary's students, alongside Thomas Carr College, proceeded to the Werribee Outdoor Pool for the TCC Swimming Carnival. All the St Mary’s College students enjoyed the day, supporting their Maynooth House (red) teammates and socialising with their friends.

Hearing Australia Visits

Tarneit campus students welcomed Stephanie Harders from Hearing Australia who checked the students' hearing devices were working and made sure all the students were aware of how to care for their devices. Lauren Fisher displayed her artistic talents to the delight of the students.

Dandenong Campus News

What's been happening at Dandenong in term one?

Term one has had some great learning opportunities, activity, and newness as we welcomed the new year 7's students to our Dandenong Campus.

Welcoming The New Year 7s

We welcomed two new students at our Dandenong Campus and they were delighted to start secondary school. Melissa and Lovayah were timid and shy when they first started but after a few days it was great to see their confidence and self esteem increasing. Secondary school is a big change from Primary school.

Aquatics Carnival

The school Aquatics Carnival was an exciting and enjoyable day for all. Students were able to compete but also have fun with their peers. Sport is an excellent way to connect with others and share a common interest. Sporting carnivals help students to feel a part of the bigger community whilst also showing off their skills.

Year 7 Camp

The year 7’s went off to camp to meet new friends and experience a range of fun activities. Both Melissa and Lovayah became fully involved and had a go at many of the activities. By the end of the three days the girls and teachers were extremely tired but very satisfied with the wonderful experience.

Year 12 Retreat

The year 12’s were involved in a retreat which involved reflecting on their future lives as young adults. They were able to mix with friends and enjoy each other's company and have a rest from the tedious and grueling Yr 12 workload. The time away helped them reflect on their past and future school life.

Harmony Day

Harmony day was celebrated at St John’s this week and there was hardly a school uniform to be seen as students embraced the opportunity to dress in outfits that displayed their cultural heritage.

Jai and Daniel were also extremely busy in the kitchen cooking for the event.

Wantirna South Campus News

The latest from our primary campus at Wantirna South...

Laws and Community

Year 3/4 students were introduced to the topic of laws by being separated into 5 groups and being asked to create a marble run. Group A was only given paper and sticky tape and group B could use whatever they wanted. Group A was given less time and no opportunity to check and revise their work. It very soon became clear to students that this wasn’t fair and discussions followed about what could be done to make it fair. Rules were then introduced. This was a very creative way to help students understand the need for laws in our community. What a fun way to start a unit!

Garden Club

The garden club is open to all students weekly. Alicia, Sofia and Durva have joined the team on Thursdays and enjoyed harvesting the crops, watering the plants, planting beetroots, weeding and general garden care. They have also learned about the need for fertilizing the plants and the names of herbs and vegetables.

Swimming Program

Prep to Year 4 students were part of the swimming program every Friday of term 1. Students were graded into appropriate skill groups and were able to expand their knowledge of water safety and skills in swimming.

Sunbury Campus News

Term one at our Sunbury campus...

Graduation


Congratulations to Mykaela who received the EAL prize at the Salesian Year 12 Graduation dinner. Mykaela is continuing her studies this year in Film and Media at RMIT.


Swimming Carnival

Our students enjoyed the swimming carnival. For our Year 12’s it was a chance to start the rites of passage this year with fancy dress.


Year 7 Camp

The purpose of the Year 7 camp program is to develop positive relationships with peers and have a great sense of belonging to the college. Our student completed outdoor activities such as some paddle boarding and tree surfing and stayed the night at Safety Beach.

Hearing Australia

The audiologist paid a visit to Sunbury to do a routine check of our student’s hearing devices. Our students enjoyed learning about the process and the fitting of hearing aid earmolds!

Interactive Panels

Our students are enjoying the use of new interactive panels in the classroom. They have been a fantastic learning tool in St Mary's classes.

Ringwood Campus News

Check out the latest news from our Ringwood campus...

The start to the year, as always, has been busy and full of newness for the new year 7's and a whole bunch of excitement for the Year 12's as they begin their final year of secondary schooling.

Make and Bake

Ryan thoroughly enjoyed making passionfruit yo-yos during his school based traineeship course Make and Bake. This batch of delicious looking yo-yos were a test run for an order of 60 that Ryan will help make and package for the customer in his next class. The traineeship allows students to learn and work at the same time a wonderful Pathway for senior students.

Year 7s Make a Great Start to 2023!

Year 7’s have started the year well and are working hard. They are making new friends and finding out all about their new school. Connecting with peers and engaging with new people is a great way to learn pragmatic skills.

Swimming Carnival

Swimming Carnival for Year 7’s was great fun. All thoroughly enjoyed the competition and fun games. A great way to meet new friends. The students were able to demonstrate their swimming skills and compete with others whilst having some fun.

Celebrating the Opening Mass Jack was proud to carry the banner for St Mary’s. The Mass is an important school event and the whole school was in attendance. This meant over 2000 people were present.

Auslan interpreters, Carolyn and Angela, even had their own special listening devices that enabled them to hear the lectern microphone directly. This meant they could hear the presenters clearly, which allowed them to interpret into Auslan to support the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at our Ringwood Campus during this whole school event.

Year 7 Camp

Year 7’s were exhausted after their initiation into Aquinas school life and camp. All 5 St Mary's students were able to get involved and mix with other students forging new friendships. Extra curricular activities like this one are an important part of the transition into secondary school. The activities included cycling, flying fox, the waterslide and loads more. At night they were involved in group activities.

Design and Technology

After completing the planning and drawing phase of their project to make a phone stand, Keira, Tluang and Zara put their design onto pieces of wood and then used the saw to begin the first stage of production. What amazing skills and learning they have demonstrated.


Writing Worthy of Note

Writing skills are an important part of the English Curriculum in secondary schools. Ethan G's writing was used as an exemplar for his class to show them what good writing looks like. Students used this as a model for their own writing.


Read Ethan's Piece here

Dissection of the Wing

Through dissecting a chicken wing in their Year 8 Science class, Keira, Zara and Tluang learned how the bicep and tricep muscles work.

Athletics Carnival

There was fun in the sun at the annual Athletics Carnival. Joining Aquinas College, our students enjoyed team spirit, getting involved in the events and just good vibes of the day whilst dressed in green - marking St. Patrick's day.

They raced and cheered all day to ensure the best from their team mates.

South Morang Campus News

Here's the latest news from South Morang...

Academic Sweep!

Congratulations to Sarah Jin who received 7 awards at the Marymede High Achievers ceremony. Sarah was Subject Dux in Mathematical Methods, EAL and Psychology. She also received awards for gaining an ATAR over 40 in Further Mathematics, EAL and Psychology along with an award for her ATAR over 90.

NAPLAN

Our students successfully navigated NAPLAN online this year.

Year 7 Camp

During term 1, two of our newest secondary students here at South Morang attended their school camp. This was very exciting as Tanisha and Luis joined their entire year level in games and more challenging activities. Outside of the activities our students engaged in social times, often spotted at the basketball court during free time.

Vocabulary Development

We are excited to share with you that our primary students have been busy learning about morphology! In their collaborative lessons, they learned about breaking down words into their smallest meaningful units, called morphemes. This is an important skill for developing vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Athletics

We had a wonderful day at the Secondary Athletics carnival. Our students enjoyed competing and supporting their friends. Some of them did very well too - as the number of ribbons attests!

Open Day

Our student leader Angad volunteered to take prospective families around on a tour of our campus and partner school - they were impressed with his enthusiasm and knowledge.

Staff News

St Mary's staff news and announcements...

Welcome New Staff

We welcomed 6 new staff this year, one at each of our campuses. Pictured with Principal, Ms Amanda Purcell are (left to right) Lauren Fisher LSO Tarneit, Chantelle Haralambopoulos TOD South Morang, Hayley Myers TOD Ringwood, Erin Halloran TOD Dandenong and Kylie Brennan TOD Wantirna South. We also welcome Emma Hills to the St Mary's team as an LSO at our Sunbury campus. We trust they will enjoy their time with us.

Professional Development

Our staff came together for our traditional start of the year professional learning day. The focus was on policy & practices, child safety, students with other needs and our St Mary’s Inclusive and Responsive Education Model.It was also a chance for our teachers, allied health and educational support staff to meet in teams.

Congratulations!

Well done to Hayley Myers who graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction and her Master of Teaching (secondary).

From The Principal

Welcome parents, carers and friends of St Mary’s College to our Issue 01, 2023 newsletter.

Ms Amanda Purcell

Principal

12788

We have welcomed many new students to the College as well as a number of new staff this year. Whilst many students have commenced their education with us in year 7, we also have students who have joined us in year 1, year 4 and year 9. Across our campuses, we now have 78 students enrolled at St Mary’s, all of whom we are looking forward to seeing grow and flourish over the year.

Opening assembly

As is tradition, we started the year with a St Mary’s Opening Assembly where all students and staff came together to recoginse our award winners, acknowledge our student campus leaders and build their connection to other students who are also deaf or hard of hearing. Having this opportunity adds to each student’s sense of who they are. Recognising that hearing loss is just one part of their identity and viewing it as a difference or positive part of their personal, social and academic identity can help students feel more settled and connected in their school community. It was wonderful to see many of our parents join us on the day and have an opportunity to meet with other parents from across the school. We try to rotate the campus hosting the event each year to cater for all our families living across Melbourne. In 2024, we anticipate we will hold the assembly at our Tarenit campus within Thomas Carr College.

School Improvement Plan

Each year the College reviews its work towards improving outcomes for students and identifies key areas that will become the focus for the year. We have been delighted with the improvement our students have made in writing, with almost all students making more than one years’ growth over the past 12 months. Knowing that reading is always a challenge for students with a hearing loss, we want to ensure our students are not slipping behind and as such, have decided to make impactful reading instruction a focus for 2023. I look forward to sharing with you the positive impact this will make on our students’ reading skill over the year.

Teacher PD day

On Monday 24th April, all St Mary’s teachers will come together at our Wantirna South campus to learn more about the science behind reading and how this can be applied to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Many of our partner schools are having a student free / professional learning day on that day and so this will not impact most students. Our Wantirna South campus students will be well supported by our Learning Support Officers and the wonderful Holy Trinity teachers.

Reports & PAM

One of the advantages of having our own Parent Access Module is that now students and parents can see what they are learning and how they are going as they learn. We understand that it is a little inconvenient having 2 different logins, but know that it is a wonderful opportunity to get a complete picture of your child’s progress. I would encourage you to log on to St Mary’s College Parent Access Module (PAM) when you can. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or Head of Campus if you have any questions about assessment and reports.

CampusSt Mary’s subject assessments, Personal Learning Plans (PLPs),
Medical Information, commendations for PBL, contact information
Partner school subject assessments, attendance, PTIs.
DandenongSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleSt John’s SEQTA
RingwoodSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleAquinas Parent Access Module (PAM)
South MorangSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleMarymede Parent Access Module (PAM)
SunburySt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleSalesian College Schoolbox
TarneitSt Mary’s Parent Access ModuleThomas Carr Parent Access Module (PAM)
Wantirna SouthSt Mary’s Parent Access Module

Inclusive Education

On the 23rd March I was invited to speak as part of an expert panel on Inclusive Education at The Age Education Summit. Whilst there are a lot of interpretations around what inclusive education is, one thing that is generally agreed upon is the right of every child to learn alongside their same-aged peers in an environment that gives them the same access and opportunities as any other child. St Mary’s College was chosen to talk about the innovative way we have interpreted this idea which involves retaining all the benefit of having expert advice and teaching available every day to ensure learning is designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing whilst providing all the benefits and opportunities of local mainstream schools. By bringing St Mary’s expert staff and students into each partner school, it allows our students and families to select an educational program that is designed specifically for them. The success of this model can be seen in the amazing results and post school destination of our 2022 school leavers, all of whom are now successfully pursuing their dream pathway to employment.

75th Anniversary Celebrations

This year marks the 75th year of St Mary’s providing an education to deaf and hard of hearing children in Victoria. We have a number of past students and current staff working on events that will run across our campuses later in the year. I look forward to sharing more information about this exciting time over the coming months.

School Advisory Council

We are delighted to welcome Dilani Rasanayagam as a parent representative to our School Advisory Council this year and would like to thank Cara Patterson for accepting the role of SAC chair. The work of the council is very important in ensuring parent voice and community perspective influence and support decisions made for the good of school where students’ wellbeing and outcomes are paramount. If you have an interest in joining our School Advisory Council, we would welcome your involvement. Please contact Lexie at our administration office on 9800 2733 or admin@smdeaf.vic.edu.au for more information.

Enrolments

Enrolments are currently open for:

  • Prep 2024 (closing Wednesday 31 May 2023)

  • Year 7 2025 (closing Friday 18 August 2023)

  • A small number of places at other year levels for 2023 and 2024 at our Dandenong, Tarneit Wantirna South and South Morang campuses.

Please visit the College website or contact Lexie at our administration office on 9800 2733 or admin@smdeaf.vic.edu.au for more information.

I hope you enjoy learning more of the fabulous events and learnings that have occurred across our college over term 1 .

As we move into the final weeks of Lent and start to think about Easter and the coming holidays, I would like to wish everyone a bright and joyous Easter and safe Term 1 holiday.

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