Volume 27 Issue 8 - 29 May 2015

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

I recently attended the NSW Catholic School Principals Conference in Dubbo. Whilst time away from the College is always a difficult pressure, on this occasion the speakers and the workshops proved to be very interesting. A number of international speakers were present and they explored the notion of learning for this new millennium.

Valerie Hannon spoke about the new culture of engagement needed in schools. It was pleasing to realise that many of the strategies we have implemented at St Patrick’s College Campbelltown reflect what she was advocating. The implementation of an integrated curriculum, high levels of professional learning for staff and a focus on the needs of the whole student, which is our Academic Care model, are all in line with the current educational research. Yang Zhao spoke about the need for us to encourage the development of the entrepreneur in our classes. The current educational regime satisfies an old paradigm, one which was designed to prepare young people to move from the farm and into the industrialised society. Our society is very different to this, so we must review how we prepare our girls for this new globalised world and then relate this in the learning at the College.  Such input is always very inspirational and motivating as we work to ensure that we give our students the BEST advantage for their future.

During the course of this conference I came upon 3 ex-student’s from St Patrick’s College. What an absolute delight to meet such competent and intelligent women who fondly shared with me their experiences at St Patrick’s. Ms Jeanette Wilkins and Mrs Lynne Pull (nee Channell) are both principals and live in the Lismore diocese. Ms Kylie-Ann Haynes (nee Barr) organised the entire conference with her company and now lives in Wollongong. I felt very humbled to meet such good women and ambassadors of the great educational legacy St Patrick’s College continues to give to our girls both past and present. 

At its recent meeting, the Board accepted the final draft of the Mission statement. The Vision and Mission statement includes contributions from parents, students and staff. It will now be launched in the coming weeks. It outlines what the College will continue to work towards in the years to come.

If you have a daughter in Year 11 or 12, I am sure she will have shared with you her recent experience of Retreat. We are one of the few schools who offer retreat experiences to girls in both Year 11 and 12. These opportunities are invaluable for the girls and provide them with spaces in their life to reflect, pray and connect with their God. Before long they will have left the College and my hope is that through this opportunity they will have established a relationship with their God that they can nurture and continue to grow in the years to come. To have achieved this will be a very strong indicator of success for us at the College. I thank Mr Angelo Gattone and Mrs Petah Foran for their work on the programs and to all the teachers who took time away from their families to be with their students for this memorable event.

We have included photographs of our Integration space. The P&F provided the finances that enabled us to purchase beautiful furniture for the girls in these spaces. I thank them for their support and your support in improving the spaces for the girls at the College.

Last Sunday was the feast of Pentecost. This has to be my favourite church feast. Imagine the apostles in the room absolutely fear ridden as they had lost their leader and were very unsure of what now and where to from here! They expected Christ to come back soon, but really hadn’t figured what to do now he wasn’t back as yet. The spirit filled them with hope and courage. They left the room emboldened and committed to their mission. I pray that we also receive  the gifts of the spirit  so we can continue to do the work of Jesus in our communities and in our society.

I will leave you with a small reflection on Pentecost.

Assist me, O Holy Spirit,
in all my trials of life,
enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts,
strengthen me in my weakness, help me in all my needs,
protect me in temptations and console me in afflictions.
Graciously hear me, O Holy Spirit,
and pour Your light into my heart, my soul, and my mind.
Assist me to live a holy life and to grow in goodness and grace.


Sue Lennox



Providing Feedback on Student Learning

Teacher feedback about student learning is essential for students and integral to teaching, learning and assessment.

Middle School Parent Teacher Evening


Feedback can clarify for students:

  • how their knowledge, understanding and skills are developing in relation to the syllabus outcomes and content being addressed
  • how to improve their learning.

Feedback enables students to recognise their strengths as well as areas for development, and to identify and plan with their teacher the next steps in their learning. Students are provided with opportunities to improve their knowledge, understanding and skills through this feedback. Feedback at St Patrick's aims to be:

  • timely, specific and related to the learning and assessment intention
  • constructive and provide meaningful information to students about their learning in a variety of forms
  • focused on the activity and correct misunderstandings
  • identify and reinforce students’ strengths
  • provide information about how to improve
  • facilitate the development of, and provide opportunities for, self-assessment and reflection during the learning process
  • inform future teaching and learning opportunities

The nature of the assessment activity and the context of the learning influences the type of feedback provided to students. Feedback may take a variety of forms, including digital and other modes. It may be formal or informal, and should encourage teacher–student dialogue about learning.

Feedback within the classroom is both formative and summative, regular and ongoing. Further feedback has been provided to you as parents through Interim or Progress Reports, Semester Reports and Parent Teacher Interviews. I continue to encourage you contact the College if you have any concerns about your daughters progress.

 Cecely McGeachie - Assistant Principal Curriculum 



Macbeth Comes to Life

William Shakespeare


On 20 May, Year 10 students travelled into the Seymour Centre, accompanied by their English teachers, to experience a live performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, which we will be studying next term. The experience included joining other Sydney schools and watching a fantastic performance of the play. For many of the students, this was their first introduction to not only ‘Macbeth’, but a live play itself. The performance was eerie, dramatic, loud, full of emotion, and at times, a little bit confusing. It really made us think about Shakespeare’s writing style and how well he managed to balance the darkness with light in his work. The performers met with us afterwards and explained how they interpreted the characters and how they used the humour in the play to support us through the tragedy. I enjoyed the experience immensely, and it has made me look forward to what Term 3 in English has to offer.

Lindsay C (Year 10 Student)

Study Guides in the Library

For year 11 and 12 students the library has recently added new study guides to the Closed Reserve Collection. The new books cover a range of subjects and topics.  A variety of guides related to the English Area of Study, Discovery, have also been added to closed reserve. In the general collection there are a range of materials for students to browse to help  in finding related text materials. If students need help finding these resources they just need to ask a member of library staff for assistance.

Claire Stalker Booth - College Librarian

Language Lifeboat

English help is available every Wednesday at lunch time in Room 37

Bring your assessment tasks, homework, class notes or questions. Dedicated English teachers are available to help. All students from Years 7 to 12 are welcome.

Literature Club

Come along to Room 27 on Wednesdays at lunch time. If you love reading and are ready for a challenge, launch into the world of the classics and join the Literature Club. All students from Years 7 to 12 are welcome to join. Drop in next Wednesday and ask our mentors for a starter pack. 

Who do you say that I am?

From Wednesday 13 May until Friday 15 May, all Year 11 students underwent a Retreat experience at Galston Gorge. Retreats are fundamentally different to camps in that a retreat’s focus is on spiritual nourishment and growth.

All photographs courtesy of Karen D (Year 11 Student)


The Biblical foundation for the theme of this retreat was a quotation from Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus asks his Apostles, “Who do people say that I am?” and then Jesus asks the more direct question, “Who do you say that I am?” To that end, the Year 11 Retreat progam was designed to facilitate the girls’ undertaking an exploration of their relationships, including their understanding of God. One vehicle for this exploration was having the girls engage with stories about women from the Bible and how those women encountered God. With a variety of personal experiences of faith and religion, the Year 11 students were able to safely share with each other their own stories and, in so doing, deepen their connections and relationships with each other.

The following are reports from some of our Year 11 students: 

After a long and stressful week of half yearly exams, Year 11 travelled to Galston Gorge Crusaders Conference Centre for a three day retreat. At retreat, we had the opportunity to open our hearts and minds to God and to each other. The main focus of our retreat was based around the question Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" and in relation to the theme, we recognised our relationships with God and learnt about influential women in the bible.

As well as recognising and strengthening our relationship with God, we also strengthened our relationships among the year group, in both small and large groups. We participated in trust activities, meditation, shared stories from our lives, and learnt more about each other in structured sessions. We also bonded in our free time by playing sports, exploring the venue, with some performing yoga poses while others participated in intense games of ping pong! We also thoroughly enjoyed dancing around the room to Mr Ganham's playlist before every one of our sessions.

It was great to see the spirit of the girls on our second night, where we all dressed up for dinner, the outfits ranging from S.W.A.T teams, to Grandmas, the Sims, Mexicans, the Bridal Party and the Unicorn Pyjama Army. The trivia and games after dinner showed great team work and enthusiasm, despite the late night we had all had the night before!

On behalf of Year 11, we would like to thank the teachers who came along to retreat with us, Mr Gattone, Mr Power, Mrs Wright, Mrs Cornett, Mrs East, Mr Williams, Mr Nash, and Mr Ghanem, for spending time with us when you were away from your own families, for sharing your personal stories and for the early morning wake up calls! 
We would also like to thank the rest of the Year 11 girls for making retreat such a fun and memorable time away, and for being the most loving and supportive year group.
Rosie L, Ana M, and Varsha R (Year 11 Students)
Research into retreats indicates that students respond and engage more meaningfully in retreats that are facilitated by their own teachers. Therefore, I would like to repeat the acknowledge of the Year 11 students in thanking the teachers who dedicated the three days to facilitate this retreat experience: Mr Chris Power, Ms Karen Wright, Ms Kay Cornett, Ms Louise East, Mr Damien Williams, Mr Fady Ghanem, and Mr Julian Nash.

Angleo Gattone - Coordinator of Mission



Year 10 Student Conference

Michaela C and Renee P at St Ignatius College, Riverview

On 19 May, I travelled with Michaela to St Ignatius College, Riverview, for a student conference with speakers Julie Arliss and Jeffrey Hodges. Students from numerous other Sydney high schools attended as well. The central theme for the talks was Civilisation, with topics such as ‘Thinking about thinking,’ ‘The death of individuality,’ ‘The Oxbridge interview question,’ and ‘Sexual ethics and Civilisation.’ At the end, Julie and Jeffrey debated that ‘without Science society would disintegrate into barbarism.’ The conference made me think philosophically and scientifically, showed me how we can control and change our thoughts, and how social traditions and codes of gender are changing in response to the modern world. I was introduced to the realm of social physics and its relation to science and society. I thoroughly enjoyed this conference, and I would definitely go again if given the chance.

Renee P- Year 10 Student

Careers Invitation

As the term seems to be rapidly hurtling towards the end, I would like to invite students from the Senior School to attend a Careers Evening here at the College on 10 June, 4.30pm to 6.30pm. This will not be a typical careers stall market, rather what I have organised is a number of women from different career backgrounds to come and talk to the girls about their career journey and where it has led them to. There will be four half hour sessions where students will be able to move to different venues to hear talks from these guest speakers. At the same time MWLP will be running another session of the “Parents as Career Transition”. This seminar was run last term and was well received by those who attended. If, as a parent, you would like to attend this seminar, please contact me here at the College.

Meanwhile please see some upcoming events you may be interested in.




UNSW: Co-op Program Create Your Career Sessions

Wed 3 June, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, UNSW Kensington Campus

Create Your Own Career Sessions offer students the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and gain an insight into the career opportunities which exist through the degrees available in the Co-op Program.  UNSW will be holding six sessions on the possible career paths available in the Co-op Program. These sessions are titled:
·       Accounting & Business Management Careers
·       Actuarial Careers
·       Finance & Banking
·       Marketing Careers
·       Information Systems & Technology Careers
·       Engineering Careers

UNSW: Power of Engineering dayMon 6th July, 9.00am – 4.00pm, UNSW Kensington Campus

For female year 9 and 10 students.
The day will feature inspirational and informative speakers, site tours of local projects, and hands-on workshops showcasing a variety of disciplines. 
Contact: (02) 9385 7458 or a.bannigan@unsw.edu.au


UWS: Parent Information Evenings

Bankstown Campus: Wed 22nd July
Penrith Campus: Tue 28th July
Parramatta Campus: Wed 5th August
Campbelltown Campus: Tue 11th August
Lithgow Campus: Tue 18th August
Students and their families may attend to learn about how the ATAR works and the range of university entry options available. Attendees will also learn about fees, HECS-HELP loans, and all that UWS has to offer.

Sydney Dance Company: Two-Day July School Holiday Workshop

Thu 9th – Fri 10 July, Pier 4, 15 Hickson Road, The Rocks
A two-day dance workshop with Sydney’s leading choreographers and dance teachers featuring contemporary, lyrical, JFH, and Theatre Jazz.
Download the flyer - http://www.sydneydancecompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/July-15-Workshop6.pdf

My Big Tomorrow
My Big Tomorrow aims to demonstrate how important developing sound literacy and numeracy skills are for future careers. The website features over 90 different career choices, with students able to search careers based on their hobbies and interests or search for random careers.

This website is a very useful resource for current HSC students interested in becoming a teacher in the NSW public school system. As well as containing information about teaching as a career, the website provides details of a number of scholarships relevant to current year 12 students.

Damien Williams - Careers Advisor

A Big Thank You


Caritas Project Compassion Lenten Appeal 2015

Over the past Lenten period, St Patrick's College raised money and awareness for Caritas’ Project Compassion. This year the focus and message was ‘food for life’, creating a spotlight on global food issues and how Caritas Australia empowers the world’s poorest people to establish sustainable food sources for life. In total the College raised an amazing $5, 659.75. Every grade participated in at least 2 initiatives to help raise money for project compassion this year and they were very successful. Most year groups participated in a coin line and tried to reach their monetary aim on a 'goal thermometer'. Year 9 ran an Easter Egg guessing competition and three Year 10 homerooms raised over $100.

The seniors also ran a very successful ice cream stand which raised well over $200. The money raised for Project Compassion will assist our Pacific Island neighbours in Fiji, such as Eric and Ma who now can have a successful farm, a sustainable income and food for life. The gift of a new cow and other water facilities really do assist our fellow neighbours more than we will ever know.

Thank you everyone for participating in Caritas Project Compassion this year and the Social Justice group welcome your involvement for our future initiatives.

Madeline K (Year 10 Student) and Miss Boulatakos (Social Justice Coordinator)

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan


The Sisters of the Good Samaritan operate from two communities in Kiribati, a small Pacific nation, where they minister to the poor and most needy. It is challenging but rewarding work.

We are currently seeking trades and skilled people to assist with the maintenance of the Sisters’ community buildings in Abaokoro. Using your skills you can help the work of the Sisters, experience life in Kiribati and support the local people. Some of the work required this year will involve painting, reroofing and general maintenance. At this stage we have sent new roofing sheets, roof capping and paint to Kiribati, ready for the work to commence.
The exact timing is still being finalised but we would like to be able to send the team to Abaokoro early in September for a period of about ten days. Flights in and out of Kiribati are weekly and there would be stopover in in Fiji. A maximum of 5 volunteers are able to be housed with the community during this stay. Download the PDF for further information.

Expressions of Interest or Questions, please contact Mr Michael McDonald on 0437 153 215 or www.goodsams.org.au 

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Important Dates

29 May - Year 12 AIS Excursion
29 May - Year 11 Dinner Dance at St Gregory's College
01 June - Year 8 MISA Debate
02 June - House Assembly
03 June - Year 10 Science and Engineering Challenge
03 June - Twilight Tours 4.30pm
04 June - World Environment Day
05 June - College Athletics Carnival
08 June - PUBLIC HOLIDAY - Queen's Birthday
09 June - Sports Assembly
10 June - Career's Evening
11 June - College Musical at St Gregory's College
12 June - CSDA Debating Elimination 2
12 June - College Musical at St Gregory's College
13 June - College Musical at St Gregory's College
15 June - College Photo Day
17 June - Year 7 Vaccinations and Year 11/12 Measles (if needed)
18 June - Year 8 MISA Debate
18 June - Twilight Tours 4.30pm
19 June - CSDA Debating Quarterfinals
22 June - Year 12 SOR Incursion
23 June - College Assembly
24 June - Year 11 2016 Information Night
25 June - Talented Mathematicians Day
26 June - Benedict Day - Mass 9am
13 July - Staff return for Term 3
17 July - CSDA Debating Semi Final