St Pius X College Newsletter

01 February 2017
Issue One
Upcoming Events
From the Principal
From the Assistant Principal Teaching & Learning
From the Assistant Principal Mission & Identity 
Student Matters
MindMatters for Families
P & F  News 
Department News
Learning Support & Enrichment
Senior School Sport
Junior School News & Sport
Uniform Shop & Canteen 
St Pius X College Chatswood
(02) 9411 4733
35 Anderson Street
Chatswood NSW 2067, Australia, [email protected]

Upcoming Events

Thursday 2nd February

Junior School Sports Trials #1


Friday 3rd February

Year 11 Peer Support Pers 5-6


Saturday 4th February



Monday 6th February

Yrs 5, 6 & 7 Parent Information Evenings


Tuesday 7th February

Senior School Swimming Carnival

Junior School Blazer Fittings

ISA Tennis Trials

Wednesday 8th February

Junior School Swimming Carnival

Senior School Blazer Fittings


Thursday 9th February

Junior School Sports Trials #2


Friday 10th February

Year 7 Induction Day


Saturday 11th February 

ISA R8/NSTA Commences/IPSHA R1


Monday 13th February

Yrs 10 & 11 Parent Information Evening


Tuesday 14th February

College Commencement Mass

ISA Cricket Trials

Wednesday 15th February

Peer Support 1 Begins


Friday 17th February

Year 12 Study Day #2


Saturday 18th February

P&F Commencement Mass & Social



Sunday 19th February

Football Gradings


Monday 20th February

Junior School Parent/Teacher Interviews (evening)

ISA Basketball Trials

Wednesday 22nd February

Peer Support 2


Friday 24th February 

Academic Awards Assembly #1


Saturday 25th February


Old Boys vs College Gala Day


Sunday 26th February

Football Gradings/NSTA R3


Monday 27th February

Year 8 Camp until Wednesday 1st March


Tuesday 28th February

Peer Support 3






From the Principal

Photo: Day 1, 2017

  • Prayer:  Gospel Spirituality
  • Welcome to the 2017 School Year
  • Staffing 2017
  • School Improvements during the Holidays
  • HSC Results
  • Attendance & Punctuality
  • Key Dates
  • 2017 Dates for P&F Meetings





A reading from the Book of Micah 6:8

"And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God."



"We are People of the Gospel who welcome the message given to us by Jesus Christ.  We are called to model right relationships.

We strive to foster a community that allows each person to build a personal relationship with God through scripture, prayer and ritual. 


Through the example of Blessed Edmund Rice, we recognise the Gospel commitment of care and love those who are marginalised, lonely, poor or different.


In our words and actions the Gospel becomes a lived-reality and so we are able to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God."




Welcome to the 2017 School Year

I welcome everyone to the new school year especially all the new Year 5, 6 and 7 students and other new students in each grade. In difficult heat conditions the boys started very well and the year ahead shows great promise. We welcome all parents new to the College and I thank the P & F for offering a special welcome morning tea last Monday as new parents arrived. I invite all families to the P & F Commencement Mass on Saturday 18 February at 5.30pm in Our Lady of Dolours Parish Church followed by a BBQ in the school yard.


Staffing 2017

During the holidays Mr Tom Pembroke resigned from his position at the College in order to pursue other opportunities. We wish Mr Pembroke well in his future endeavours.

We welcome staff new to the College this year. Mrs Diane Rogers (English/RE) , Mr Erwin Cabucos (English/RE), Mr Tom Garvey (Mathematics), Mr Ed Codsi (HSIE/RE), Ms Leanne Ho (Chinese), Mr Jack Kovacic (HSIE/RE), Mr Huw Manson (ICT Helpdesk), Mrs Hiliary Fromager (Front Office), Mrs Terri Hemmerman (Bookhire and Office Administration).

We also welcome back from leave Mrs Natalie Rawle, Mrs Joe McCarthy, Mrs Carla Leonardi, Mr Mark Anderson and Mrs Ewa Dmitrewicz.


Back Row:  Mr David Kovacic, Ms Leanne Ho, Mr Tom Garvey,

Front Row:  Ms Dianne Rogers, Ms Hilary Fromager and Mr Ed Codsi

Absent:  Ms Terri Hemmerman

Mr Erwin Cabucos



School Improvements during the Holidays

Your Building Fund in Action

The College has undertaken significant improvement during the holidays.

At Chatswood, the movement into the Brothers’ House has been completed. There is a Drama studio/classroom, new College Chapel, Mission and Identity Centre and additional staffing accommodation as well as new provision for the College Learning Support Team. We have also improved the provision for Counselling and Wellbeing Services. This has made available other spaces in the school for classroom and learning spaces such as in the Leary Learning Centre. The usual scheduled maintenance was carried out, such as carpet cleaning and spot painting.  Several toilet and shower facilities for staff were refurbished. Smaller jobs were also attended to in the TAS workshops and a number of classrooms.


Sadly the big tree had to come down and it was in worse condition than first believed. It had white ants in it, was hollow in the middle and parts of the tree were like paper-mache. In essence it was in danger of falling. We will now plan to replace it with a shade structure and student lunchtime seating. The other gardens were refreshed and looking good.


During the break, the College worked closely with the Presbyterian Church next door as they repaired their Hall off the Kirk Street laneway.  


The ICT and Maintenance Departments worked to connect the Sarto Centre and Gym to our network via wireless dish.


At Oxford Falls pitches were prepared for the cricket season, hazard reduction and tree maintenance were carried out and concrete slabs laid for the relocation of the Storage Shed and Bin Bays.  The painting of the externals of the Christian Brothers' Centre was completed as were improvements to the First Aid Room inside the CB Centre.


Sincere thanks to the College Maintenance and Grounds Team and the ICT Team.


HSC Results

HSC 2016

Congratulations to the class of 2016 on their wonderful HSC achievements.


College Dux:  Stewart Ross   ATAR  99.15


All Round Achievers:  The following students are All Round Achievers - attaining a Band 6 (a mark of 90 or more)  in 10 or more units:

  • Nicholas Parker
  • Stewart Ross   

Distinguished Achievers:  94 mentions on the Distinguished Achievers List (Distinguished Achievers attain a result in the highest band - Band 6 or E4)


ATARs over 90:  27 Students attained an ATAR over 90



  • Nektary Kotlaroff nominated for ENCORE (the program of outstanding performances and compositions by students from the HSC Music examinations, held annually at the Sydney Opera House)
  • Zac Tomaszewski nominated for ARTEXPRESS (the annual series of exhibitions of exemplary artworks created by HSC Visual Arts students)

The College will acknowledge these wonderful achievements at the Academic Awards Ceremony to be held on Friday 24th of February commencing at 11.00am at the Concourse.


Attendance & Punctuality

It is so important that students are at school early and ready for school. It is imperative that the boys are at school every day. We have extensive vacation breaks and the learning time is critical for their progress.


Key Dates


Please note the 2017 dates for P&F Meetings and the P&F AGM which were omitted from the College Calendar:

  • P&F Meetings:  Monday 6 March, Monday 8 May, Monday 21 August
  • P&F AGM:  Monday 6 November



Please refer to the 'Upcoming Events' for details of events on the College Calendar.


Mr John Couani - Principal




From the Assistant Principal Teaching & Learning

  • Welcome to the 2017 Academic Year
  • New Approach to Learning Criteria
  • The Portal
  • Year 12 Parent Meetings
  • Assessment Handbooks

Dear Parents,


 Welcome to the 2017 Academic Year.

In the year of ‘Gospel Spirituality’ we continue to develop in our students the ability to be critical and creative thinkers that will enable them to make a difference in our society and be true to the mission of Blessed Edmund Rice.


New Approach to Learning Criteria

As part of the academic reporting process, teachers provide an overview of each student’s approach to learning.  In 2017 teachers will be applying new criteria and will report if the student is Consistently, Usually or is still Working Towards meeting the following:

The new criteria provides clear expectation to students and the simplified grading will provide meaningful feedback to parents.  The new criteria will be explained to students and is also published in the College Diary.


The Portal

Please make use of the College Portal that allows you to keep up to date with your son’s learning.  It provides access to assessment calendars and notifications as well as an array of additional information and forms. It also allows you to manage notification of your son’s absence from school.

Parents who had a child at the college last year, your user name and password will remain the same.

New parents will have received an email with their access details.

If you are experiencing difficulty in accessing the Portal, please email Ms Leonie Millar  [email protected]


Year 12 Parent Teacher Meetings

Year 12 Parent Teacher meetings will take place in Week 6 of this term before the Mid Course examinations. In the past these were held in Term 2 after the examinations. They have now been brought forward with the intention of providing feedback and guidance prior to this major assessment period. Mr Masters will provide further details.


Assessment Handbooks

Assessment handbooks for Years 7 to 11 will be posted to the Portal early in Week 3. They will appear on the respective Year Page.


I wish your son well for his academic endeavours for 2017 and please do not hesitate to contact me if issues arise.

Mr A Damo - Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning


From the Assistant
Principal Mission & Identity 

A very big welcome to all our new students and families. I hope you have had a restful break ready to engage with what already looks like a busy year. During 2017 the St Pius X community will focus on the touchstone of ‘Gospel Spirituality’. It seems appropriate that we have left the best to last as this touchstone very clearly incorporates the other three touchstones that we have focused on during the last few years. Through the life of Jesus presented in the Gospel we have been gifted with values for living that call us to be hospitable and compassionate to those in need, inclusive to those who others alienate and agents of justice who seek to make a difference in our world. How fortunate we are that we also have Blessed Edmund Rice as an example that exemplifies how we can truly live out this Gospel message.


The Mission Team have begun planning activities and initiatives based around Gospel Spirituality that will be integrated across curriculum, pastoral and liturgical areas within the College this year. A beautiful quote from Micah 6:6-8 has been selected to give us direction and assist us in our journey this year:


We are called to …. act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.


Ms Katie Meale joins the Mission Team as Religious Education Coordinator, Mr David Blake continues as the Social Justice Coordinator and Mr Adrian Brannan as the Youth Coordinator of the College. Our team is joined by our three Mission and Identity Prefects, Alex Graffeo, Andrew Jackson and Anthony Maras.


As we move towards the season of Lent, I pray that this, our 80th year will be one where we can truly live out the message of the Gospel.


Ms D Dempsey

Student Matters

  • From the Head of Student Services
  • EREA School Leaders Conference
  • Year 7 Parent Information Evening
  • Student Travel Updates

From the Head of Student Services

At this the commencement of the 2017 academic school year it is timely to remind all students of their responsibility to ensure that their reputation, presentation and conduct, as well as that of the College, is of the highest order in travelling safely to and from school.


Uniform and conduct standards need to be maintained and safety and consideration of all members of the public, kept at the forefront of our actions.


Loitering in the Chatswood shopping precinct is not condoned with students expected to go straight to and from the College and their place of study and home.


Student wellbeing and Boys Education research inform us that connectedness with the school and community/organisation is an imperative for positive educational outcomes. As is working productively in a team with your peers, colleagues and teachers. To this end St Pius X College offers a diverse range of opportunities to connect through studies, co and extra curricula activities, sport, peer mentoring, music, drama, debating, public speaking, outdoor education, service, training, robotics and camps, to name a few. Students are required to fulfil at least two Terms of extra curricula College representation, with many students completing much more.


Our recognised MindMatters and Peer Mentoring and Support Programs provide a great opportunity to develop skills for life in working positively and providing role models for others. Boxercise is starting this week on Thursday and Friday mornings, and the Year 7 Induction Day, Swimming carnivals and upcoming National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Harmony Day, Ride to School Day, all provide further opportunities to participate and contribute.


Later in the year there will be opportunities for connection with other Edmund Rice Schools both in Australia and overseas. 


So whatever your goals, aspirations and choices, get training, make a positive contribution, and be the best you can be through Faith and Hard work.


Mr S Brannan - Head of Student Services


EREA School Leaders Conference

During the January School Holidays the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Student Leaders Conference was held at Mary Mackillop Place, North Sydney with 46 EREA School Captains and Leaders attending, including our own School Captain Joe Unwin.


One of the highlights of the four day Leadership Conference was the Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) initiative which involved groups of EREA School Leaders making Skype conference calls to Edmund Rice School Student Leaders in England Ireland and Canada. The Northern Hemisphere Edmund Rice Student Leaders offered great leadership insight, being half way through their school year, and tenure as leaders, but were also interested in the many student initiatives our school leaders were able to communicate.


Three of the Northern Hemisphere Schools: St Anselms, Birkenhead England, St Marys, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and St Thomas More Collegiate, Vancouver, Canada were schools with which our Year 7 RE students had email and skype contact in 2016 to explain our Australian interpretation of the lived values of Edmund Rice and the EREA Touchstones. Our students were able to eloquently communicate what it means to be an Edmund Rice student at St Pius X College, Chatswood.


The BERT (Blessed Edmund Rice Team) Leaders from St Thomas More Collegiate, Vancouver, were particularly taken aback to hear our Bindoon Agricultural (boarding) College School Captain from WA, describing the responsibilities of transporting livestock to shows and markets. Sarah went on to describe her aspirations of becoming a helicopter pilot on her family’s Northern Territory Cattle Station where mustering 20,000 Brahmin and Water Buffalo is the norm.


EREA is a broad community of schools.

Mr S Brannan - Head of Student Services

Year 7 Parent Information Evening

Dear Year 7 Parents,


You are all invited to attend an information evening on Monday 6th February in the College Gym commencing at 7:00pm.  Limited parking will be available in the yard, but please note that it will be a busy evening in the College with Junior School information sessions running prior to this event.


I look forward to seeing you there.

Mr S Yue - Year 7 Coordinator


Student Travel Updates


Please note that ALL Opal Card enquiries are handled by Transport NSW.  Information for parents, guardians and students can be found online at

Electronic copies of brochures and flyers are also available to download from the Useful Forms and Information pages on the school transport scheme website at


To report a lost, stolen or damaged School Opal card, please go to The card will be cancelled immediately and a new card will be sent within 8 to 10 working days.


Behaviour matters

Students are reminded to:

  • be mindful of safety
  • respect transport staff, transport property and fellow travellers
  • offer their seat to paying customers
  • always travel with a valid ticket
  • tap on and tap off every time if they are travelling in Opal areas.

Student Codes of Conduct are available at



FOREST COACHLINES: New departure time for Route 278S

A recent timetable adjustment has seen a minor change to Route 278S.

  • Route 278S to Killarney Heights is now departing Chatswood 5 minutes later, at 15:40pm.

Ms R Gaston

MindMatters for Families

  • Welcome and Introduction to the Counselling Team
  • MindMatters:  Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing for Students
  • Boxercise
  • Mentoring


A very warm welcome back to the new school year to all our SPX families.  Once again, we look forward to providing confidential, emotional and social support and guidance for your son and family throughout this year.


Let me introduce our College Counselling Team and relevant contact information for your safe-keeping.


Mr Rick Russo

Counsellor (Full Time, Monday to Friday) working with students across all year groups. 

Email:  [email protected]               

Direct Phone:  9414 4359

School Mobile (in case of emergency):  0418 438 325


Mrs Joe McCarthy

Psychologist (2 days a week, Wednesday and Thursday) working with students across all years.

Email:  [email protected]

Direct Phone:  9414 4322


Mrs Judy Gill

Psychologist (2 days a week, Monday and Tuesday) working with students across all years.

Email:  [email protected]                    

Direct Phone:  9414 4322


Throughout 2017 the Counselling Team, together with the Learning Support Team, look forward to providing CONFIDENTIAL support to assist your son to build his SELF CONFIDENCE/SELF ESTEEM and RESILIENCE within a caring, supportive, Catholic school community.  Please do not hesitate to make contact should the need arise.




Let me briefly share a few of the possible ways your son can learn to build RESILIENCE at SPX.


Boxercise is held every Thursday and Friday morning at 7.30am in the Junior School playground.  This MindMatters initiative provides friendship, fun and fitness to strengthen students’ resilience and general sense of wellbeing.  Classes are free to all students.


The photo below is from our Boxercise Program’s peer connection initiative at the end of Term 4 2016.  As part of this program, students from Years 5 to 11 (aged between 10 and 17) participate in our early morning before-school class with the young ladies from Mercy Catholic College in Chatswood.

We will aim to repeat this across-school peer connection at least a few times each year with the hope that increased students, both boys and girls, can meet together in a safe and supportive environment, and focus on their health and well-being.


In times where more students are turning to technology to connect with one and other, this program seeks to bring students together to improve their physical and emotional well-being which in turn improves their mental health … it’s a winner and a no-brainer !!


Mentoring – This one-on-one student support program is now in its sixth year at SPX.  It is a wonderful buddy program where a senior student (Year 11 or 12) volunteers to provide a younger student (Year 5, 6 or 8) with a listening ear and a close supportive relationship built up over time.  Students meet weekly at lunchtime and are given the additional opportunity to participate in the teacher led activities of rock climbing, trampolining, kayaking, beach/bush walks, paddle-boarding at Balmoral.  Limited spaces are available and preference is given to students who are new to the College.  Please note that the first MENTORING ACTIVITY, Rock Climbing at Artarmon, will be held early in March.



For further details on either Boxercise or Mentoring, please contact Mr Russo by either phone or email as per details above.


Mr R Russo - College Counsellor

P & F  News 

P&F Commencement Mass

Saturday 18th February

Everyone is invited to the P&F Welcome Mass at Our Lady of Dolours Church at 5.30pm on Saturday 18th February, followed by a light supper in the college grounds. 


For catering purposes please RVSP by clicking on this link


Call for Year Group Parent Representatives

The role of Year Group Rep is an easy one at SPX.  Distribute the contact list to your class/year group and organise a couple of gatherings throughout the year!  What could be simpler! Cassie coordinates the contact lists and reps, and will give you all the information and help you require for this important, but simple and fun task!


Thank you to those who are continuing on as Class Reps in 2017 and those who have put up their hand for the first time, however we still need some more!


Junior School –  Reps are required for Year 5 and 6 Classes.  We already have 6 Green covered, but if you can assist with any other class, please submit your name & boy’s class to Mr Tim Long:  [email protected]


Senior School – Parent Reps required for Year Groups 8 & 9.   Please contact Cassie Buono via email: [email protected] to nominate or enquire.  


Nadine Robson

[email protected]

0412 272 056



Department News

Photo: Year 11 - First lesson in the new Drama Room

  • Library
  • Performing Arts
  • Public Speaking & Debating
  • Visual Arts


Welcome to 2017!

The library is eager to help students settle into the new academic year. It is a vibrant, flexible and welcoming resource-rich space open from 7.30 am till 4.30 pm.  We offer a range of services to students support their studies:

  • Quiet spaces for individual study and reading
  • Meeting spaces for group work
  • A collection that supports curriculum studies including books, journals and a range of eResources
  • 24/7 access Library resources including ebooks and a website ( to support research assignments via the Portal
  • HSC study guides
  • Photocopy, scanning and help with printing

Teacher librarians, in collaboration with teachers, develop research skills and information literacy for assignments. We are keen for classes to come to the library to further assist this work.  

As well, research shows that recreational reading improves individual literacy outcomes. So, supporting adolescent book reading is one of our key goals. We encourage students to read in a number of ways:

  • Together with our English teachers students in years 7 to 10, we have one lesson per cycle in the library. The focus of the class is sustained silent reading.
  • We have an extensive collection of recreational reading including the latest YA and Manga titles.
  • We promote literature with enticing displays, read alouds, genre studies, book reviews and author visits.
  • We have reading challenges - all students from years 5 to 9 are enrolled in the Premier’s Reading Challenge and the Edmund Rice Readers’ Cup for Year 10 students.
  • We also have the book and writing clubs.

Students' book suggestions are valued - this helps us develop our collection with a title for every taste! We welcome suggestions on improving our services to meet the needs of every person in our learning community.


Ms K Keighery - Teacher Librarian

[email protected]

Performing Arts

Welcome back to all students and parents. The Performing Arts Staff, Ensemble Directors and Instrumental Tutors look forward to working with you this year. We particularly welcome back Ms Natalie Rawle from maternity leave. Ms Rawle is part-time this year, working Tuesday – Thursday.



These meetings are on TONIGHT in the Band Room. Parking is available in the Junior School yard. The Orientation Night commences at 6pm and is an opportunity for parents who are new to the College (as well as current) to learn more about our extensive Music and Drama Co-curricular program. The PAPA (Performing Arts Parents Association) meeting commences at 7pm with light refreshments. Parents who attend the Orientation are encouraged to stay for this meeting to make new friends and learn how this group supports performing arts at the College- both academic and co-curricular.



Boys Who Would Like To Learn An Instrument: Students who would like to learn an instrument, voice or music production, should pick up a form from the Student Administration Office. The form should be filled in and returned to Ms Bates in the Performing Arts Department as soon as possible. Please be aware that for some instruments there are only limited places available. Consequently, students will be allocated to tutors on a first come, first serve basis and then placed on waiting lists.

New Students- Instrumental Tuition: All boys new to the College who requested to learn an instrument have been placed with a tutor. The tutor has been given your details and should be in touch shortly. If you have not heard from a tutor by the end of THIS week, please see Ms Bates in the Performing Arts Staffroom.

Continuing Students- Instrumental Tuition: Unless you requested a change of tutor you have been placed with the same person you had in 2016. Your tutor should be in touch shortly. If you have not heard from your tutor by the end of THIS  week, please see Ms Bates.



A full list of Ensembles and rehearsal times can be found below. With the exception of the College Orchestra (who commence rehearsals this Friday at 7.30am), all other ensembles commence NEXT WEEK. Parents of new students who expressed an interest in and/or auditioned for an ensemble and parents of continuing students, were emailed in December last year advising of placements. Currently our Concert and Jazz Bands are at full capacity and there are no further positions available. There are limited vacancies in the Junior Guitar and Digital Music Ensembles. There are also vacancies in in the Junior Choir (Years 5 and 6). If your son is interested in these groups, please contact Ms Bates at [email protected] for further information.


Year 12 Drama students will be attending this evening performance next Saturday 4th February. A  permission note has been sent home with all the details.



Congratulations to Henrik Hogg (Year 6) who passed his first grade Double Bass examination with honours at the end of last year. Well done Henrik!


Ms T Bates - Performing Arts Coordinator


Public Speaking & Debating

CSDA Public Speaking Competition

Training for the CSDA Public Speaking Competition Round 1 will commence in Week 3 this term.  Watch Daily Notices for details.  The competition runs on Friday 3rd March and Friday 10th March.

Students from year 7 to year 12 participate in this event . The venues are still to be determined but training will commence in Week 3Everyone is welcome!  You don’t have to be familiar with public speaking, nor even confident with public speaking to participate.  We have time to train and build our confidence before the Round 1 event.


Debating Competitions

St Pius X competes in three debating competitions:  the Catholic Schools’ Debating Association (CSDA) Competition, and the Schools Debating Network (SDN) Competition  and the Macquarie Schools’ Cup Debating Competition. Enrolment forms will be available for students on Wednesday, 1st February and can be collected from the front office and then returned to the verandah notices box marked “Public Speaking and Debating”.  More details about the two debating competitions dates and structure as well as training times will follow in Week 2 Woodchatta.


St Pius X also competes in the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Competition and the

Plain English Speaking Competition and details will follow.


Ms M Waterson - Convenor

Visual Arts

During the holidays three Year 11 students took part in the Young Creators Program held by Willoughby Council. Patrick Howe, Alexander McLarty and Andrew Jackson can be congratulated for their curatorial skills. From meeting the artist they had to build a theme, select and display works which would work thematically and visually with works chosen by Mercy College students from another artist.


The exhibition, “Exploring Identity: Ned, Koala and Me” featuring works by Rosie Deacon and Liam Benson, is on at The Concourse Art Space until 11th February.


Mr M Anderson - Visual Arts Coordinator

Learning Support
& Enrichment

Photo: New location for the LSE Department

  • The LSE Department has a new home
  • Touch Typing & Handwriting Skills Courses at SPX
  • Free Parent Seminars
  • Research Opportunities

The Learning Support and Enrichment (LSE) Department has a new home in the Admin block.

As many will recall, LSE at St Pius X has been undergoing change during 2016. Not only did the department increase its staff to form a larger team, to broaden its scope to support students and work with teachers across Year 5 to Year 12, it has been given a new collaborative office space to work in. We also have a new shared meeting room next door, so we look forward to holding our CPMs (collaborative planning meetings) with students, parents and staff there in the coming year.


And what good timing for Mrs Carla Leonardi, who has returned from her long service leave, to join us in our new spacious LSE office space in the Student Support Centre, alongside the Counselling Team. Welcome back Mrs Leonardi, we missed you!

Touch Typing & Handwriting Skills Courses at SPX

Term 1 OT courses in Handwriting Skills, and Touch Typing Skills at SPX – Limited places still available, but be quick!

Do you want to improve your son’s performance in exams and assessments in 2017? St Pius X offers the handwriting and Touch Typing Skills courses that can fuel the change he needs.

Please see the flyers below for our 2017 courses, open to all students from Years 5-9, and contact Anna Orchard for an enrolment form. Anna will also advise and make private therapy arrangements for interested students in Years 10-12.

Each of the two programs runs one afternoon per week, over 8 consecutive weeks, starting from Week 2 of term, with makeup classes offered in Week 10 if required.

The time for each of the 8 sessions in Handwriting Skills or Touch Typing Skills is: 3.20pm – 4.30pm, and the venue will be LC2.



Free Parent Seminars

Free Parent Seminars and opportunities to be involved in research for parents and carers of students with support needs:

Seminar 1: NDIS Information Session by NDIA

What? This information session is designed to help people with disability, as well as their families and carers, get ready for the National Disability Insurance Scheme that started in your area on 1 July 2016. The session will cover topics like: What is the NDIS and how does it work? Am I eligible for the NDIS? What will happen if I am made eligible? What kind of support can I access through the NDIS? When and Where?

Auslan interpreter available at all sessions.

  • Lane Cove Library, Library Walk, Lane Cove NSW 2066 - Tuesday 22 February 10:30am–12:30pm
  • Lane Cove Library, Library Walk, Lane Cove NSW 2066 - Monday 27 February 6pm-8pm

RSVP? Ensure a space by emailing [email protected] with any accessibility requirements at least one day before the event in each location. Limited spaces available.


Seminar 2: Don’t Make it Worse

What? This 8 week DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) integrated skills training helps carers of someone with a mental illness to acquire effective skills to manage themselves in overwhelming situations. Three areas of DBT skills being focused on in this program: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation.

Commitment to participate in all 8 weeks sessions is essential. An individual interview will be conducted in order to assess suitability prior to the program.

When?  Starts Tuesday 21 February, 10.30am-1pm (for 8 consecutive Tuesdays to 11 March)

Where?  The Kirribilli Centre, 16-18 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli 2061.

RSVP? For registration and enquiry, contact the Bradfield Park Carers Program on 8920 0675 or [email protected]. Registration closes Friday 3 February at 5pm.

Research Opportunities

Research opportunity 1: New Mental Health Carer Experience Survey Tool

The Fourth National Mental Health Plan recognised the role of carers in mental health service provision and the need for carers and families to receive information, within the bounds of privacy and confidentiality, about the treatment and care provided to the consumer. A national project was undertaken to develop a tool to support mental health services to monitor and improve carer engagement as part of an evidence-informed quality improvement program. The Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) has now developed this tool for use across the sector.

It aims to measure carers’ experiences of the mental health sector. Find information about the tool and how to access and use at


Research opportunity 2: Seeking Carer Input on Education Program by Department of Developmental Disability UNSW

Comments are sought from carers of an adult friend or family member who has an intellectual disability or mental health problem. The online education program about intellectual disability and mental health will be free at:

Before its publication, the Department needs carers to review it to create high quality

education for other carers. Reviewing a module would take about an hour of your time. There is no payment. For information or to participate, contact Thea Kremser, Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry, UNSW on 9385 2580 or [email protected].


Ms J Raheb-Mol - LSE Coordinator


TAFE students and parents

Year 12 TAFE students classes start on Tuesday 7th February.

Year 11 NEW TAFE STUDENTS Orientation and first class Tuesday 21st February.



Parents and students please watch YouTube video and sign up

Sign up to JobJump for information about tertiary study options, ATAR’s and apprenticeship and TAFE information. Create a resume, sign up for news alerts.


To register go to

Search school – St Pius X Chatswood

Register with an email address

Password – pius (lower case)

Parent information:

Careers Newsletter



Ms D Janes - Careers Adviser

Senior School Sport

  • From the Senior School Sportsmaster
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Swimming
  • NSTA Tennis


Welcome back to 2017 sport.  

ISA Sport recommences this Saturday and draws can be found below. We anticipate that NSTA Tennis will start up on the 11th February and note that the District Cricket Competition recommenced last Saturday.


Next Tuesday 7th February is the Senior School Swimming Carnival at Macquarie University Aquatic Centre.  This is a compulsory event for students.


I look forward to seeing you all throughout the conclusion to the Summer Season and in preparations for the Winter Season.

Mr M Stearn - Senior School Sportsmaster



All teams will be playing their Round 7 matches this Saturday 4th February.


Most of our teams play at Oxford Falls this weekend with only our B teams travelling to play St Spyridon’s teams at Maroubra. This will definitely make for an exciting day at Oxford Falls, including our D and E teams matching up against each other.


Last week our Firsts played in the Trinity Challenge and our 17As played in the Newington Challenge. The Firsts had a great tournament wining all their pool games, only to be knocked out in the quarter finals from a buzzer beater by Trinity Firsts. The 17As performed well against some talented teams to just finish on the wrong end of the results. I ultimately hope the experience has prepared them to turn their result around against Central Coasts 17As this Saturday.


Use the link below to see all of the ISA Basketball Teams Results:


Mr N Gibson - Senior Basketball Convenor


Welcome back to the business end of the season. Training for all teams has recommenced with details emailed by the Cricket Club to each player.


The 1st and 2nd XI are aiming to solidify their positions in the top two of each division to earn a home semi-final. With four rounds remaining both teams are well placed.


SPX Cricket congratulates Lachlan Hearne (Year 11) on his promotion to 2nd Grade for Mosman Cricket Club in the Sydney Premier Cricket Competition. This is a fine achievement – well done.


Reminder: All players are required to be in the correct uniform for training and correct attire for matches.





Welcome to the 2017 Football season - the first event of the year is the Senior College team trials.  The trials are organised and funded by the Football Committee in collaboration with the College Football Convenor.

This year, after feedback from parents, we have altered the format of the trial in be a two-part process:

  1. Skills -  including drills for ball control, passing etc
  2. Small sided games – field/position awareness, team attitude
  • These will be held over 2 Sundays commencing Sunday 19th and then again on Sunday 26th.
  • The trials are for boys in Year 7 through Year 10. 
  • We run two separate sessions for each age-group so every boy has more than one opportunity to display their abilities.
  • Boys are expected to attend both days to be eligible for team selection.  Please contact Simon Yue - Senior Football Convenor - if there are extenuating circumstances where attendance is not possible.

The committee has increased the number qualified independent coaches who will assess and record the boys abilities observing them across the skill and game play.  The head coach will then liaise with the College football staff who will make the final decision and announce the teams.


The reality is that the College attempts to field as many teams per age group as possible but there are competition limits and inevitably some boys will be unsuccessful.  Please view this as an opportunity to discuss expectation with your son around these facts.


Also for the first time we will be holding an Opens trial on the 2nd Sunday following the 1st trial match.  This is open to all boys interested in playing in the 2nd, 3rd, 4ths; the 1st XI team selection will continue to be coordinated and organised by Steve Quilty and Simon Yue. 


Players interested in trialling for the 1st XI should contact Mr Quilty or Mr Yue directly.

This Opens Trial will be followed up by other sessions organised through the College before final Open teams are selected.


All players across all age groups must register prior to the day at:   (closes Friday 17th evening)


Trial Times:   (TO BE CONFIRMED)

8:30-9:30           U13 (Y7)

9:30-10:30         U14 (Y8)

10:30-11:30       U15 (Y9)

11:30-12:30       U16(Y10)


26th Feb – Opens Trial: 12:30-14:00  (TO BE CONFIRMED)


Location:  Oxford Falls Sports Fields


Please bring: 

  • football Boots
  • protective equipment - shin pads (compulsory)
  • water and sunscreen
  • suitable sports attire (school sports uniform not necessary)

Additionally the Committee will be operating the Old Boys Kiosk offering light refreshments for sale.  We seek some parents to assist on the day if possible please turn up to the kiosk on the day or contact Mary-Ann Backs - [email protected] to volunteer.


See our webpages for News, Calendars, Photos and Draws:


Mr Rodger Paino




Our first official invitational Carnival is the St Andrews Cathedral Invitational held at North Sydney pool on Friday 10th February. Our School Carnival in on the Tuesday beforehand. Ages 14 and up will be the same as the previous two carnivals in November last year.

U/12s and 13’s will be chosen on the day of our school carnival. I will notify you of your position in the squad on the Wednesday and you must be prepared to swim for the College on the Friday night.

Swimming training will commence on Monday 13th February at Fitness First Pool across the road from the College.


Miss L Proc - Swimming Convenor


NSTA Tennis

Term 1 Competition



Welcome back to the Summer season of tennis. There has certainly been some amazing matches to marvel at through the recent holidays. The Williams v Williams, followed by the Federer v Nadal matches were outstanding – I hope you got to enjoy them.



Our NSTA Competition will commence as we planned on Saturday 11 February – with 5 weeks to follow. It is the usual short and sharp season and players are expected at every match, each week, with their Team.


Teams are being finalised this week with new Junior Students having grading at Thursday Sport. Existing players may move teams based on results from last term. A Draft SPX Team List will be published on Friday or Monday next week, with NSTA Grading happening next Monday night where the Draw will be finalised for the following Saturday. Parents are requested to ensure that personal contact and medical details are up to date on College records that staff would use as necessary to communicate with parents during the season.


Players - please use this early stage of the Term to ensure that the usual Tennis Sports Uniform is ready for this new year, including a College cap. Caps and Tennis Caps are always available at the College Shop. For new players from the Junior School – this means the regular Blue PE Shirt, White Shorts and Socks with a College cap.


See you at Talus St on Saturday 11 February!


Ms Sarah-Jane Grove - NSTA Summer Tennis Convenor


Junior School News & Sport

Photo: Year 5 Blue - First Day 2017

From the Head of Junior School

  • Junior School News:  Introduction & Information
  • Transport
  • Student OPAL Cards
  • Swimming Carnival Wednesday 8th  February
  • Performing Arts Information Evening - TONIGHT
  • First 3 Thursdays of the Term - Requirements
  • Sports Trial Day – Thursday 2nd February – Parent Afternoon Tea
  • Parent Information Night for Years 5 & 6:  Monday 6th February
  • Blazer Fittings:  Tuesday 7th February
  • Swimming Carnival:  Wednesday 8th February
  • Year 5 Camp:  Medical/Consent Letter
  • P&F News:  Commencement Mass/Call for Year Group Parent Reps

Junior Chess Club


From the Junior School Sportsmaster


Junior School News

They are off and running!

The year has started well with Maths groups starting yesterday and the boys are beginning to settle in to their new surroundings.  It is imperative that you are positive with your son about the school and don’t demonstrate any anxiety issues you may feel.  Boys do pick up on their parents anxiety. In a few weeks the boys will be in the swing of things and they will know what day of the cycle it is and if they have PE etc.  Some boys are better at this than others, so some vigilance each night is wise, to ensure they have all their equipment.

You should have received a hard copy and an emailed copy of the Junior School Newsletter.  If your son didn’t give you the hard copy look in his bag, it is probably under the mashed banana!  If you didn’t receive the email could you please update your contact details on our website.  Open the SPX home page, click on the drop-down menu – Enrolment Information and then click on Update Family Contact Details - Submit.  In this way we should avoid any typographical errors or mistakes in interpreting poor handwriting.  This is the last printed newsletter for the year.

The newsletter and notes are also on the portal.  I understand there have been some issues with the portal and many new parents have not received an email with their access details.  If you haven’t received this email, I understand that we are working on resolving the problem.



Until Friday 3rd February, the Junior School teachers will be walking all the boys to their respective bus stops or the train station.  In week 2, from the 6th to the 10th February the boys will walk to their transport stops and the teachers will go up and supervise. In Week 2 we want the boys to become accustomed to walking themselves but still have a teacher presence. The boys will be shown a specific way to walk to and from school and they are not to deviate from this path.  This also includes the use of shops.  Boys must go directly to and from school.  If you wish for your son to buy something or meet you at the shops on a special occasion, please write a note to myself (Mr Long) and I will supply your son with an exit pass.  Otherwise any teacher at the shops will question why your son is there and a detention could ensue.


The route for the boys to the train and interchange involves walking up the mall.  The reason for this route is there are no driveways or crossings without lights.  It is deemed the safest way.



Applications for 2017 school travel should have been done by now unless you are a late enrolment. It can be done at


A new application is required when:

  • Applying for a school opal card or travel pass for the first time or
  • Requesting an additional entitlement as a result of a shared parental responsibility situation

You will need to do an update if the student has a current travel pass and:

  • is progressing from Year 6 to Year 7, or
  • changes address, or
  • changes school .

If you already have a school Opal card that does not need updating, or you’ve successfully reapplied, the opal card will automatically be updated for travel next  year. Do not throw it out as you’ll be able to use it when the school year starts in 2017.


Important information about travelling with Opal

  • The School Opal card is only for travel to and from school on approved modes of public transport.
  • The School Opal card doesn’t cover travel to activities away from school, such as, after school care, sport and school excursions.
  • Remember: a grace period applies at the start of each new school year, where school students who have been approved for SSTS travel can travel without a valid pass while new passes are being issued. Students must be in school uniform or be able to provide evidence (such as a school ID or school books) that they are travelling to or from school during this time.
  • Students should use a Child/Youth Opal card for travel after hours, on weekends, during school holidays or activities away from school.
  • Boys do require their own child/youth card for some school activities.  Sometimes boys go by train for debating or an excursion in the city.  We can’t buy a bulk ticket anymore and the opal card for going to and from school is solely for that purpose.


The Performing Arts information evening will be held on Wednesday 1st February.  If you are interested please attend to have all you questions answered.

  • Performing Arts Orientation: 6.00 – 7.00pm (New Parents)
  • PAPA Meeting: 7.00 – 8.30pm (New and Old Parents)

Location: Band Room (drive into playground and it is near Junior School playground)



For the first three Thursdays of Term 1 the boys will spend the whole day at Oxford Falls.  This means that they need to bring their morning tea and lunch plus a water bottle.  Please ensure they have a school hat.  The boys meet at school and are bussed to Oxford Falls and in the afternoon they are bussed back to school unless you choose to collect your son from Oxford Falls at 2.15 pm. 

Please note that if you are late we must take your son back to school on the bus.  If you wish for somebody else to take your son home we require a note stating these details.  If it is an arrangement that will continue regularly, please state that in the note and then one note will suffice.



We are having an afternoon tea for parents - please feel free to come up, from 1.30 pm onwards, to the Falls Room, the one with all the windows in the older building between the top and bottom ovals, and have a cup of tea and see the facilities.  The boys will be lined up at 2.20pm for the buses.  After roll call, you may take your son.   If you are going to regularly collect your son from Oxford Falls the normal procedure is to wait in the car park at 2.15 pm and we will walk all the boys being collected to the car park before the boys catching buses back to Chatswood.



Next Monday evening, 6th February, there will be an Information Night that will commence at 6.00pm sharp.  We are making a change this year and the meeting will commence in two separate venues.  Year 5 parents will go upstairs to the  classrooms and Year 6 parents will go to the Sarto Centre, (The Sarto Centre is north of the school entrance on Anderson Street at the corner of Daisy Street - previously a church) where your son’s class teacher will explain how the classroom operates, homework, expectations, etc. 


Due to limited space in the classrooms, boys are not to attend this information night. Some parking will be available in the playground. However, please be aware that Year 7 parents have a meeting commencing at 7pm so there will be limited parking space available, and there have been times where somebody has been parked in. 


On the night we will ask for a volunteers to be Year Representatives for the P&F.  It usually involves organising social events, supporting the P&F to disseminate information by email. 



The boys require a blazer for Terms 2 and 3. The boys will have the opportunity to be measured up for a College blazer. It is done in school time and parents aren’t required. However, your son needs to know if he needs to be measured for a new blazer.  The norm is that most new boys are measured up.  There is no commitment to buy unless you confirm the order with the uniform shop.   Another option is to purchase a second hand blazer from the uniform shop. 



Our swimming carnival will be held at Macquarie University Pool (Outdoors). You are all welcome to attend and offer support with your cheering and comments. On the full days at Oxford Falls and the swimming carnival the boys will need to bring their recess, lunch, drinks and wear their colour house sporting uniform.  (If they don’t have a house colour shirt-or it is being washed after the swimming carnival, they can wear the blue sports shirt) On Wednesday 8th February swimming gear will be required and it is an outdoor pool. 

The boys wear their sports uniform - the coloured school sports polo shirt (the Rice house have a different shade of blue) to and from the swimming carnival. We do supply sun cream but if you can put ample on before school and if your son requires a particular brand please pack it in his bag.  Rash vests at the swimming especially for novelty events are a good idea.  Please remember a plastic bag for wet clothes etc on Wednesday. 

Please pack plenty of water and lunch and recess.  Leaving the Carnival early is discouraged as we promote the value of belonging to a team and supporting your team mates even if your events have concluded.  If they wear their swimmers to school under their shorts, please ensure they have dry underwear. 

If you are taking another person’s son home, the teacher needs a written letter of permission from that boy’s parent.  I’m sure you can appreciate that this is a basic legal requirement because if a parent is expecting the boy to be driven in a bus by a professional driver and another parent takes them without written permission and has an accident, we have a problem.



Yesterday all Year 5 Parents and Guardians were sent out a letter containing  information and a link to the Sport and Recreation website where you need to submit medical, dietary information and other special needs information.


All Medical and consent forms need to be submitted by Wednesday, 8th March, 2017.

If your son gets sick after you have submitted the form and you wish to inform us, please write a letter to me.   I will send out more information about requirements and what to bring when we are closer to the time.



(Please also see the P&F section of this newsletter)

P&F Commencement Mass - Saturday 18th February

Everyone is invited to the P&F Welcome Mass at Our Lady of Dolours Church at 5.30pm on Saturday 18th February, followed by a light supper in the college grounds. 


For catering purposes please RVSP by clicking on this link


Call for Year Group Parent Reps!

The role of Year Group Rep is an easy one at SPX -  Distribute the contact list to your class/year group and organise a couple of gatherings throughout the year!  What could be simpler! Cassie coordinates the contact lists and reps, and will give you all the information and help you require for this important, but simple and fun task!


Thank you to those who are continuing on as Class Reps in 2017 and those who have put up their hand for the first time, however we still need some more!


Junior School –  Reps are required for Year 5 and 6 Classes.  We already have 6 Green, 6 Red , 5 Gold and 5 Red covered, but if you can assist with any other class, please submit your name & boy’s class to Tim Long [email protected]


Thank you to the following parents who have volunteered to be class reps.

Year 5:

Gold:    Cathryn Berecry (son's surname is Leo)

Red:      Dominique D'Alessandro


Year 6:

Red:      Annelise Pearce

Green:  Daphne Bewley, Deb Reed, Simon Gillard and Prab Raic.


As you can see we require reps for 5 Blue, 6 Blue and 6 Gold. Thankyou to Mrs Cassie Buono for organising the reps and the morning tea on Day 1.


Mr T Long - Head of Junior School

Junior Chess Club

The NSW Junior Chess Competition is pleased to invite the SPX Junior School to take part in the 2017 Primary Schools Chess Teams Competition.

WHY CHESS? There are tremendous benefits for children involved in the competition – new outlook, new friends, intellectual stimulation, improved concentration, a new reason to develop self-esteem.


Registration is Week 3 17th February, 2017. Attached is a Chess Newsletter with all the relevant information if your son is interested. Please complete the form, detach and hand it to Mrs Martin by Friday 17th February, 2017. Training begins Week 8, Tuesday 21st March, 2017 at 7.30am in the Junior Resource Centre.



Mrs E Martin - Junior School Chess Convener 

Junior Sport

Welcome to all those new to the College and, to those returning, we are primed for another huge year of sport at St Pius X in 2017. We hit the ground running with two full days of summer sports trials and a Swimming Carnival in the first 8 days of School! A reminder that all pertinent information can be found on the College website (season draws etc. will be uploaded shortly):


Thursday Sport:  The planner for Term 1 is below. Please note the all-day program for the first three weeks where a full packed recess/lunch are required. Sports uniform with House colour shirt is worn to and from school on all Thursdays throughout the year. This week Trials/Training takes place for respective summer sports (see below for further details). Parents are invited to join us from 1.30pm this Thursday for afternoon tea. Boys can generally be collected at 2.20pm from the car-park at the conclusion of Sport on a Thursday.


Swimming Carnival: Our annual House Carnival takes place on Wed 8th Feb at Macquarie University Pool. Whilst a fun, participation carnival, this also forms the basis for squad selection. Parents are of course most welcome to attend. A detailed information letter will be emailed shortly and will also be available on the school website.


Basketball: The first game of the 6 week, Term 1 season is on Saturday 11th Feb. Grading takes place as part of Sport for the next two weeks. A detailed information letter, team lists and a season draw will be posted on the school website.


Softball: The first game of the 6 week, Term 1 season is on Saturday 11th Feb. Grading takes place as part of Sport for the next two weeks. A detailed information letter, team lists and a season draw will be posted on the school website.


NSTA Tennis: The NSTA season commences on Saturday 11th Feb. Grading takes place as part of Sport at Oxford Falls this Thursday and then training continues at Thursday Sport each week. A detailed information letter and season draw will be distributed to all successful trialists.

Mr G Virgona - Junior School Sportsmaster



Uniform Shop & Canteen 

Uniform Shop

A big thank you to those who came and helped in the Uniform Shop last week as we wouldn't have managed without you.




  • Blazer Fittings

Junior School - Tuesday 7th February

Senior School  - Wednesday 8th February

Students will be notified when to come for their fitting.  A form will go home with each student who attends with information regarding  the process of ordering and payment.  Parents don’t need to attend .

  • Price List:  A full price list is available on the College website.  
  • Blazer Buttons are available from shop - $2.00 each. 


Ms D Muirhead - Uniform Shop Supervisor

Canteen Roster

Mrs A Coombs & Mrs M Erickson - Canteen Supervisors

St Pius X College Newsletter
Careers Newsletter 1.pdf
SPX Basketball Sat 4th Feb 2017.pdf
Handwriting Program 2017.pdf
Touch Typing Program 2017.pdf
After School Tutoring.pdf
Chess Letter.pdf