Secondary Matters Term 4 Week 6

Wednesday, 16 Nov 2022

The end of year is upon us ... again! Thank you for 2022.

Where does the time go? We are already well into Term 4 and are now heading toward the end of a successful and vibrant year on the secondary campus. As you receive this week’s news, HSC students have now completed their HSC examinations and Year 10 have completed their examination block. Our students are in the midst of Semester 2 assessments, and staff are finalising feedback and grades in their respective learning areas.

The Class of 2022 have been farewelled and many are completing some celebrations with family or traveling up the coast. Camping was big on their list we believe this year. The current Year 10 students are finalising their 2022 Work Experience and Year 11 have transitioned well into their new HSC studies. Our Year 7, 8 and 9 students will remain in their 2022 timetabled classes until Monday 12th of December.

Key end-of-year dates

  • 9th December, Friday. Year 7-8 Awards Assembly 9am. Years 9-11 Awards Assembly 11am.
  • 12th December, Monday. K-12 Christmas Service, 9am in the Branson Centre.
  • 13th December, Tuesday. Last day for students, picnic day.

Start of 2023 key dates

  • 30th January, Monday. Year 7 and Year 12 return, Day 1, Week A (and Year 10 Peer Support Leaders).
  • 31st January, Tuesday. All students and Year 8-9-10-11 return to school. Day 2 (sport day for 7 to 10). 
  • Week 1 college photographs and Week 2 will be our Year 7 camp and their rite of passage.

I would also like to congratulate the class of 2023 for their hard work already this term. While many in Year 11 complete an accelerated HSC course, they have all commenced their final year of schooling with a positive mindset and engaged in their learning.

Last Friday the college held a K-12 Remembrance Day Assembly. This was a formal assembly to acknowledge and remember those who had served Australia and died in conflicts. The bugle player Will Hodgson, Grace Notes Choir and Senior Vocal Ensemble added to the sense of respect and importance during the national anthem, last post, minute silence and rouse. Thank you to our Service Captains Sadie William and Matilda Watson for leading the assembly.

In Week 4, I had the privilege of being part of our large audience at the ensemble's evening. Congratulations to our students who participated in this evening and thank you to our team in Performing Arts. 

Last week, I also reminded students to finish their year in class on a positive and with a high work ethic and enjoy the opportunities that enrich their experience at BDC. This involves maintaining a positive attitude and a solid work ethic both in and out of the classroom to maximise the potential that lies beyond the college. At this time of year, students can sometimes find it difficult to prioritise, organise, and find a balance as the pressure builds as they move through the assessment period and toward the end of the year. Please discuss this with your child and ensure they have a quiet place to study and check the development of their schedule. They should be planning for all time commitments during the week eg part-time work, social media access, sport, and downtime (even helping around the house). 

Staff Updates on the secondary campus

Due to our continued growth, leave and some staff movement to part-time or change of roles, the following changes are confirmed for the start of next year. We welcome Ms Victoria Phillips as acting Head of Faculty of Visual Arts, Ms Kelly Hardingham Visual Arts, Ms Laura Donnelly and Mr Ian Watkins Science, Ms Julie Thurgood into HSIE, Mr Paul Driscoll. Mrs Kristy Spagnolo and Mr Adam Newman TAS and Ms Georgia Scott English. Ms Leah Ham continues as acting Head of House for Cottee.

Shopping for uniform items in 2023?

Please refer to our uniform code and guidelines. The requirement is black polishable shoes, limited jewellery, no extreme hairstyles, and no nose rings. Referring to these guidelines will help students commence with a positive start to the new year in 2023. Click here for guidelines.

At the end of 2022, I would like to thank staff across the campus and their dedication as we have adapted to the changing needs throughout the year. The Chaplains, teachers, Heads of Faculty and Heads of House, Year Coordinators, LRC, Student Services, Counsellors, Canteen, Office, Enrolments, IT, Support Staff, and Grounds/Cleaning teams. There are many extra voluntary hours given through HSC holiday tutorials or workshops, coaching, clubs and other opportunities beyond the classroom.

Reports and access to Parent Lounge and Student Café.

After reports are published, please download, and save any items that you require by 13 December 2022. There will be IT upgrades and maintenance changes and access will not be possible until late January.

We look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Service and our presentation assemblies in 2022 if you can join the college. 

Please see the following page for key dates and activities for the end of 2022 and commencement dates for 2023. 

As the school year winds down, the desire of students to celebrate with friends usually increases as well. Especially in the late teenage years. Opportunities for social engagement with peers are important to adolescents and in many ways essential to their personal development of social and emotional capabilities, strengthening independence, and assessing risk to minimize the potential for harm. As young people seek more freedom as they gain your trust and become more independent, we would encourage you to talk to the young people in your life in an (age-appropriate) timely manner about your expectations and or what they know about the risks associated with partying, such as:

  • Your essentials: eg who is going, drop off and pick up times (and location). Negotiate where possible (a shared conversation).
  • Ask them to download the Emergency Plus App (which links to emergency services and indicates GPS location).
  • The name of the parent at the party.
  • That it is okay for them to call/text you at any time for a pickup.
  • Eating before going to a party.
  • The family views alcohol and other drugs (legal reminders as well).
  • Drinking too much, and how this can affect decision-making eg drink driving, injury or violence or drink spiking, assault.
  • What to do if an unsafe situation develops eg calling home, moving to a safe space, being with a friend.
  • Going out – general safety issues, how they are getting home.

Young people need to have some freedom, so they learn to become independent. However, discussing your family's beliefs, responsibilities and concerns are also important in a shared decision making process. Often parents sharing and talking to other parents about the party or sharing the transport is beneficial as well. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout 2022. On behalf of our staff, I wish you a safe and holy Christmas and look forward to seeing you upon our return in 2023.

Simon Doyle
Assistant Principal (Head of Secondary)

End of Year and Start of 2023 Timeline Year Level Event
Week 7 from 21st November, all week.
Work Experience, Mrs Driscoll and Mrs Matthews
Week 8
Peer Support and Year 9 Rite of Passage Assembly (on Friday)
Week 9-10
Commence CPR update
Week 6
Year 8
Year 8 Pastoral Day with Mrs Nriggemann, on Thursday
Week 9
CPR update continues for staff
Week 9-10
Year 11-12
Cambodia immersion commences
Week 9
Wednesday - Period 5, presentation award assembly practice in the Branson Centre. Friday - Secondary Presentation Assembly in the Branson Centre. Normal school uniform (no sport uniform). Normal roll call. 9am Period 1-2 Year 7 and Year 8 Awards, then morning tea. 11am Period 3-4 Year 9-10-11 awards. Period 5 as normal. Period 6 Locker cleanout with Year Coordinator, return all resources.
Week 10 Monday
7 to 12
Normal roll call, Period 1 as normal. 9.30am Monday K-12 Christmas Service. Normal roll call. Period 3-4 Years 7-11 classes as usual. Period 6 Year Level end of year assemblies with Tutor teams and Year Coordinator. Last day of school for Year 10 students.
Week 10 Tuesday
7-11, Staff
Roll call in greenroom. Secondary picnic (please bring sunscreen, water bottle/food, appropriate swimwear, and clothes for the day). Last day of school for secondary students.
Week 10 Thursday 15th December
Last day for access to Parent Lounge, Student Café until late January. Staff Christmas service and Professional Learning Day. HSC and ATAR results released.
Week 10 Thursday 15th December
Year 12 Class of 2022
Brunch for HSC Students tbc time by Mr Verbruggen.
2023 16th January, Monday
Front Reception opens. Uniform shop opens Monday 17th by appointments only
2023 23rd January, Monday
Support Staff onsite and New Staff Induction
2023 25th January Wednesday, Friday 27th January
All staff return - professional learning days
2023 30th January, Monday, Week 1
K to Year 7 and 12 only
Day 1 Year 7, 12 and Year 10 Peer Support students only commence on this day in the Branson Centre
2023 31st January, Tuesday. Week 2 is Year 7 Camp. Week 3 College Photographs
Year 7 to 12
Day 2 All students return to school on this day in the Branson Centre (7-12). Please note: Year 7 Camp is in Week 2 and Years 7 to 10 Sport is on a Tuesday

Host Families Wanted for French Teaching Assistant

We are delighted to announce that the Languages Department will have a French Teaching Assistant in 2023. Miss Safiatou Diallo, 21, a recent university graduate from Paris, will join us for terms 1 and 2 to assist with French classes at all levels.

In order to be able to provide this experience for your children, the college must find accommodation for Miss Diallo. We are looking for host families to accommodate her in 3 - 4 week blocks for the duration of her stay.

Host families would need to provide Miss Diallo with her own room and meals. Please note that there will be no remuneration for host families. However, we hope that the opportunity for students to practice their French with a native speaker and the chance to develop a relationship with a French person will be of significant benefit to students studying French. In addition, the school will provide canteen lunches to Miss Diallo from Monday to Friday to ease the burden on host families.

If you are interested in hosting our French Language Assistant for a period of time during 2023, or you have any questions about hosting, please email Ms Katherine Wyndham, Head of Languages at

Year 7 Library Orientation 

This year the Library Orientation for Year 7 took on a new look. Instead of a traditional tour with a walk-around and brief chat - we incorporated elements of technology, personal organisation, and a bit of fun!

During their primary library times over the first 4 weeks of this term, the existing Year 6 classes had weekly ’Transition to High School’ sessions with Ms Dare or Mr Davis. 

Each student had their own ‘Library Passport’, with QR codes and information that guided them through: setting up their google drives with folders for Year 7 opening hours and expectations finding important BDC resources online (term planners, assignment assistance, library catalogue, and online encyclopedias) getting IT and library help in the iHub.  

To formally welcome our wonderful BDC Year 6 and the new cohort of friends enrolling for 2023 during the week 5 orientation day - they came to the iHub, engaged in a lively quiz, had a timely reminder of the importance of digital citizenship, and left the iHub with a chocolate treat!