Year 8 News

Gemma Wooltorton - Assistant Deputy Principal Year 8


Year 8s have been busy in the past couple of weeks. We had our Day of Commitment where we concentrated on our 3 Rs. The morning started with Judy Bevan from Brain Ambulance running a workshop for us on Resilience. Students were taken through a process of learning about the meaning of resilience, examples of when things had gone wrong and they needed to bounce back. Strategies to help them gain more resilience.

Then the Year 11 leaders from each House worked with each Year 8 homeroom group. During this session the students looked at what we would hope a John XXIII College student would look like e.g. Confident, organised, involved, positive etc. From there the Year 11s took the group through a process of looking at the pressures that they face as a Year 8 student and some practical suggestions to overcome these. There were some excellent strategies given to the Year 8s. We then presented these ideas to the whole Year 8 cohort.

After lunch we wrote our commitment to make 3 changes to improve different aspects of our school life so that we can grow to become the John XXIII College student we discussed. We also named 2 older people we can turn to for support. These were brought up as part of the Offertory process during our Mass which we celebrated with Fr Wilson as the conclusion of our day. All in all the day was a positive day with many challenges given to the Year 8 students.

A huge thank you needs to go to all those who supported and helped the Year 8s grow especially our presenter Judy Bevan and also our Year 11 leaders. They were fantastic. We will do a follow up on their commitment in Term 2.


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2015 has provided an opportunity to introduce a Mother (significant female) / daughter breakfast and a Father (significant male) / son breakfast for our Year 8s. Late last year when I found out that I was to work with the Year 8s I had this idea that it would be good to do something that saw parents, students and teachers work in partnership together. What better way than to offer each other moral support on our theme of the 3 Rs. I am grateful to the many parents and students who attended and supported this event.

Please take time to read some of the reflections from students and parents.

Mother/Daughter Breakfast

"Thank you for hosting the Mothers and Daughters Breakfast this morning. I have just heard my daughters discussing some of the issues that the guest speaker Rommie Maserei and her youngest daughter Lucy talked about today. We are blessed to have our daughters at a school that takes time to educate them on the values of life beyond the grounds of John XXIII College.

It was very insightful to hear Rommie discuss how she has found being a Mother both challenging and extremely rewarding, but at the same time obviously holding the respect of her children. The messages that I took away from Rommie's experience are to set clear boundaries for your children, stay consistent with those boundaries and consequences, always be prepared to listen and discuss issues, and make regular time to talk - The love between a mother and daughter is special.

Lucy's advice to our daughters gave me the reassurance that having a caring and sometimes annoying mother eventually has its rewards. The respect and love from a daughter is the greatest gift. My mother always said to me "you will understand when you are a mother". God Bless her - I truly now understand. Thank you Gemma for organising this event, not only did it inspire me to be a better mother but also to be a better daughter." (Mary Jane Rowbottom)

"On Monday morning the Year 8 mothers and daughters were invited to a lovely breakfast to celebrate our unique relationship. Once we had enjoyed some delicious food, we were addressed by previous JTC mother, Rommie Masarei, and her daughter, Lucy, who is now studying teaching at Notre Dame. Their sharing of experiences was both enlightening and comforting for those of us new to parenting teenagers. Lucy was very open and honest both in her address and when asked some difficult questions. She is a wonderful role model for our young girls with a strong message to stay true to yourself and stand by what you believe in." (Rosemary)

"Firstly I would like to congratulate you on organising this morning's talk. Inspirational and thoughtful. The Mother/Daughter team are sacred and precious. These teenage years we are launching into are challenging and rewarding for teachers, students and parents so I really thank you for your effort and consideration putting this morning together, any tips to navigate this coming year is sincerely appreciated." (Paula O'Connell)

"The mother and daughter breakfast was a special time of sharing the hopes, concerns and advice of raising teenage daughters. I felt enriched hearing Rommie, a parent of JTC graduate daughters, speak so passionately and strongly about the importance of being an active mother figure in our daughter's lives and resisting the modern day pressure to be their best friends. As Rommie so rightly put it, we are first and foremost their mothers and our daughters need us to be strong in that role and set clear rules and boundaries." Linda Leong.

Year 8 student Jessica was reassured hearing 19 year old Lucy speak to the girls about "being your own person and to not let others influence you in a negative way".

Father/Son Breakfast

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for coordinating the Father (significant male) / Son breakfast last Tuesday morning the 24th March. I believe the morning was a very successful one on many levels.

Firstly it allowed my son, Matt and I time together, one on one, on the way to the College where we talked about the 3R's and how they relate to him and his life and it allowed me to give him my thoughts on the situation.
Secondly it allowed us to catch up with fathers from the College that we know and also the opportunity to get to know and involve some of the newer fathers to the College.

The coordination of the morning went very smoothly with the meet and greet over breakfast and a cup of tea or coffee. And then sitting with our sons during the presentation was also very special. Your choice of speaker for the morning in James McMahon was a very good one.

We and the College are very lucky to have someone of the calibre of James at the College and James presented a very enthusiastic, motivating and well structured talk on his life and life experiences and how the 3R's related to him in what he has achieved so far.

I am extremely pleased that the College is embracing the "Year of Conscience" in Year 8 to prepare the children for their upper schooling and obviously for the rest of their lives. "(Jim Koios)

"The Father and Son breakfast was a really good experience. I really enjoyed the food and drinks, especially the bacon and egg burgers. The talk from James McMahon on respect, resilience and responsibility was great , it really prepared the boys for the future and what was coming. He shared with us his background and some of the situations he has been through which displayed respect, resilience and responsibility." (Matthew Koios Year 8)