From the Principal
Last Sunday was Father's Day. I hope all of our Father and father figures had a fabulous day and were truly spoiled and appreciated throughout the day by family.
Fathers hold a specific role in every family. Apart from being the person who delivers those sad and often forgettable 'dad jokes', fathers can offer stability, security and set appropriate boundaries for all members in the family group. For girls, dads are the first men to provide some feedback and encouragement on how she will be perceived as a young woman in a social setting. Girls long to receive affirmation and advice from their fathers as they grow and develop into the young women they ultimately will become. It is the interactions she experiences with her father that will prepare her for her interaction with subsequent young men. It is unfortunate that as girls move into high school and adolescence, dads can be less confident to get involved in their lives and may tend to be more comfortable taking a backstage position. Whilst their daughter's relationship with their mother is very important, it is better this is not done at the expense of their daughter's relationship with their father. Adolescent girls can be emotional, unpredictable and at times irrational, which can strike fear into the hearts of the most seasoned father. These fluctuations in the emotional development of a teenage girl are tempered by the wisdom and guidance of a loving father.
At a recent meeting, a presenter introduced the audience to the fathering project. The website http://thefatheringproject.org/ has some wonderful resources and tips on how to remain connected with your children, deal with stress and improve the health and wellbeing of your child through warm and loving relationships. I encourage you to look at this website and use the information to your advantage.
By the time you receive this edition of the Inside out , the College reception will have moved to a classroom (Room 11) situated near the carpark through the first site entry gate. Reception will remain here until Term 4. The noise of the refurbishments at reception became a work hazard through the week, which necessitated an earlier than expected move for the ladies. If you are visiting the College in the coming weeks, you will not be able to access the old reception as it will be locked up. We thank you for your cooperation during these building works.
Last week we commissioned the new student leaders of the College. It is always a very moving ceremony as the outgoing girls are acknowledged for their wonderful leadership and the incoming girls are excited and energized with the service they will provide. I wish the new team the very best and look forward to the initiative and support they will give the College. I hope their work will enable the College to continue to be a place where people can take the risk to become the best they can. To the outgoing team, I say thank you. They have been active in their work and diligent in their endeavours to build our community. They now can focus on their studies and the finishing weeks of their 13 years of school education.
Through the week we held the Alumni AGM. Thank you to those who sent their apologies. It was heartening to see that many of our alumni were interested in the meeting. I am thrilled to inform you that Sara Barnes (2003) is our new President. We were unable to fill the Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary roles, so if you would like to assist Sara, I ask that you contact her or the College for further information. This marks a new and exciting era for our alumni and I am very grateful for the interest and support the College has received from alumni over the last months.
As we prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our annual Father Daughter Dance, I will leave you with a prayer of gratitude for the kind and loving fathers in our lives. I hope to see you on the dance floor with your daughter on Friday night.
For a Father
The longer we live,
The more of your presence
We find, laid down,
Weave upon weave
Within our lives.
The quiet constancy of your gentleness
Drew no attention to itself,
Yet filled our home
With a climate of kindness
Where each mind felt free
To seek its own direction.
As the fields of distance
Opened inside childhood,
Your presence was a sheltering tree
Where our fledgling hearts could rest.
The earth seemed to trust your hands
As they tilled the soil, put in the seed,
Gathered together the lonely stones.
Something in you loved to enquire
In the neighbourhood of air,
Searching its transparent rooms
For the fallen glances of God.
The warmth and wonder of your prayer
Opened our eyes to glimpse
The subtle ones who are eternally there.
Whenever, silently, in off moments,
The beauty of the whole thing overcame you,
You would gaze quietly out upon us,
The look from your eyes
Like a kiss alighting on skin.
There are many things
We could have said,
But words never wanted
To name them;
And perhaps a world
That is quietly sensed
Across the air
In another’s heart
Becomes the inner companion
To one’s own unknown.
John O’Donohue – Benedictus, A Book of Blessings
Learning and Teaching
On Wednesday, 27 July Year 11 visited the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque and ISRA. The focus of the day was the practice of the Five Pillars of Faith.
The visit to the Mosque was a first for many of the grade. Our guide was knowledgeable and engaging, and led us through the mosque whilst explaining the way in which the faith is practised and celebrated in their house of worship.
Our presentation at ISRA was incredibly in-depth and personal, allowing us access to first-hand information and experiences about what it means to be a part of the Islamic religion, especially the practice of the five Pillars: Shahada (creed), Salat (prayer), Zakat (almsgiving), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage).
The eye-opening experience was extremely beneficial to our understanding of the nature of the Islamic faith. We were all able to take away with us a new perspective that we are willing to share with the rest of the school, our families and our outer community.
Thank you to the staff that organised the opportunity for our grade, the experience was one that will be remembered.
Lindsay C - Year 11 Student
English help is available every Wednesday at lunch time in Room LH1.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
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.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
Come along to Room LH1 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.
Maths Help runs each Monday at lunch time in Room 33. All students from Years 7 to 12 are welcome to come along with any Maths problems and to bring their lunch.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
All are welcome to join us for "The Pi Club" every Friday at lunch time in Room 33.
Earlier in the week, the College issued this alert about a popular app amongst teens called Musical.ly.
I would like to bring to your attention a popular app that is being used by many young people. The app is called Musical.ly and it is intended for creating and sharing short videos. It is a social networking site that makes it easy to create music videos by allowing users to ‘dub’ over their voices with songs from popular artists. It has been described as a fun karaoke style app where users can follow and comment on others' video creations.
Although iTunes rates this app suitable for persons 12 years and over, a number of Cybersafety commentators have grave concerns over content that is available through this app and several of its features. These concerns are summarised below:
Even when teenagers enforce privacy settings to allow only users approved by the account holder to view videos, teenagers’ Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Facebook account details remain public in the ‘Bio’ part of the user account.
Musical.ly asks for location settings so that you can view what people who are close to you have uploaded. It would be very easy for predators to find the location of teenagers singing and dancing in their bedrooms, especially when links to Instagram and Facebook enable easy click-through to find out more about a person.
The iTunes store, itself, includes the following disclaimer regarding content:
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humour
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity
Leonie Smith (The Cyber Safety Lady https://thecybersafetylady.com.au) has recently written an excellent blog-post on this app and she outlines her concerns and dangers for young users of Musical.ly. A Google search reveals that many cybersafety commentators share her view that this is not an appropriate app for children.
At St Patrick’s College, we consider this app as a cybersafety risk due to the explicit content available, the potential for private information to be shared and its popularity among teenagers. Here is a link to the Musical.ly iTunes page where you can see the app icon to look out for.
We have blocked the internet features of this app whilst students are on our network, but we do not have the capacity to block this app from opening or being installed on student owned smart phones and tablets. Parents are asked to be vigilant in checking family owned devices and the apps that are installed. In addition, parents are strongly encouraged to establish clear rules about media and phone use and monitor adherence to those rules, with clear consequences if the rules are not kept. Further advice regarding managing iPads at home is outlined in the College iPad Use at Home document (http://goo.gl/CckLex).
Are you on top of all the latest news from the College? Our College app can deliver all the latest information directly to your smart phone.
St Patrick's College Campbelltown uses the School Stream mobile school app to deliver information, announcements, event notifications and more, directly to parents and students on their mobile devices. Stay connected and communicate even through the school holidays. An additional service offered through School Stream is the ability to notify the College of absences, avoiding the need for hand-written notes or phone calls.
The instructions and links to downloading the app are here. It is a very simple process to connect to our College. If you would like any further information, please contact Debra Bourne, the eLearning Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Science faculty was a hive of activity during the recent Science Week celebrations. Year 8 science are studying a topic called When Things Go Wrong. This is a unit of work that studies the biology of the human body. During Science Week, the Science 8.1 girls took over the TAS woodwork room and set up a makerspace.
Francesca and Amelia negotiating the structure of the small intestine
Makerspaces are a recent phenomenon (or an old one renamed?) that are becoming popular in schools and the broader community. Edutopia.org defines these as spaces to provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering.
In our Science classroom, we established a makerspace for students to build a model of the human gut. Models are very important learning tools for scientists of all ages. They allow us to see things that are normally difficult or impossible to see. Our Year 8 girls had an opportunity to think about the internal organs associated with human digestion while developing their inquiry and collaboration skills as they immersed themselves in the model building process.
Debra Bourne - Year 8 Science Teacher
On Wednesday 31 August St Patrick’s College for Girls held their annual HSC Project Showcase.
The evening featured performance and presentation items from Drama, Dance, Music, History Extension, English Extension 2 and Society and Culture classes. Around the Mary Sheil Centre, a rich gallery display of Visual Arts Body of Works complemented the dynamic projects on stage. Delicious food was put together by Year 11 Hospitality students. Thank you to all the staff and students for creating a cultural highlight in our 2016 calendar.
On Friday 26 August, Year 7 were joined by many guests for our annual G Day celebrations. We were so happy to see the many Grandmothers and Grandfathers, Aunties, Uncles, Mums and Dads, and even big brothers and sisters who had come to join us for the day.
We began our celebrations with a lovely liturgy organised by Mr Gattone, which was a special ceremony highlighting the importance of grandparents and other special people in our lives. After this we were entertained by many Year 7 students who displayed their talents in an array of ways. Thank you to all the girls who spoke or performed at the Assembly on G Day, it was just wonderful and I know all of our guests thoroughly enjoyed it. A special mention must go to Mr Combes and the Year 7 Drama group who put together a performance from a scene from Roahl Dahl’s “The Witches”, which had us all watching with anticipation. It is safe to say that we have lots of talent in Year 7!
Our guests then enjoyed a tour of the College and our exhibition, which was a small display of some of the work Year 7 have been putting together this year so far. Then to conclude the day, the girls enjoyed a lovely lunch organised by Ms Renshaw, with our guests before we said farewell for the day.
It was a wonderful day and we all enjoyed the company of our guests immensely. The girls loved showing off their school to their special guests and we look forward to other opportunities to have you back again.
"Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them." – Jay Kesler
Katherine Power - Year 7 Coordinator
On Thursday 1 September, St Patrick’s sent an open age hockey team to compete at the Wollongong Diocesan Hockey Championships. The championships were held in fantastic conditions at the Narellan hockey fields.
While the team is still very young and have a number of years to grow and develop as a team, the amount of talent amongst the girls is quite overwhelming. Another highlight was the way in which they came together as a team and the sportsmanship they displayed throughout the day. Added to this, under the guidance of super-coach Mr Michael Mayo and the leadership of senior players Lauren M and Emma O, the girls went into the competition with an air of confidence due to the experience they gained last year when they finished in second place overall. This confidence was evident from the start of the day when they took a 1-0 lead over a very strong St Benedict’s team, however a short lapse in concentration in the last eight minutes of the game saw their 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 loss. This loss would ultimately hinder our progress come finals time. Fortunately, the girls were able to bounce back and won their next three games convincingly against St John’s, Mt Carmel and Corpus Christi. These results meant the girls finished second in their pool and would have to play the first placed team from pool A, which happened to be an extremely strong St Mary’s team.
Unfortunately St Mary’s were just too strong across the park and defeated the girls 3-1 to progress to the final, which they ended up winning quite comfortably against St Benedict’s. Our girls then had to regroup and play off for 3rd position overall against St Josephs, which they were able to win 2-1 in what was a very intense and exciting game.
It was an absolute pleasure to accompany the girls on the day and the way they conducted themselves was exceptional. I would like to thank the parents that were there to support the team, Ms Kay Cornett for assisting on the day and a big thank you to Mr Mayo for giving up his time to coach the team.
The team consisted of Lauren M, Emma O, Eden G, Ellie F, Amelia C, Lauren D, Emilee O, Charlotte M, Georgia M, Ashley F, Taylah M, Rebecca S, Piper L, Zoe V and Caitlyn S. Unfortunately Brooke D was selected in the team but was unable to attend due to illness.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
We had an early start heading down to the volleyball championships. Nervous but excited, we aimed to maintain the championship title in our College.
We played a total of six games. Each game nerve racking but victorious. With a four straight win, we soon saw ourselves heading towards the final rounds. Our game against Magdalene was a very tight match, but we managed to claim another win by 1 point – Magdalene 24 St Patrick's 25. A 1 point win only meant that we were heading straight for grand final against Mount Carmel. With a strong team like Mount Carmel, we knew they would give us a challenging match. With one set won by both St Pat's and Mount Carmel, it all came down to the last set. With our strong defence and communication, we claimed the last set and the title of the Wollongong Dioceses Volleyball champions. A special mention has to go to the all the girls in the team for all their efforts and sportsmanship. However our victory couldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement from our coach Mr Ghanem.
The Good Samaritan Foundation is committed to supporting those in need, including young people suffering as a result of poverty or particular hardship. As part of this commitment we are delighted to offer the Good Samaritan Foundation Education Grants for students attending Good Samaritan Colleges in 2017.
With the introduction of the Opal card now in place, the College has purchased Opal cards for student train travel on excursions. The following procedures will apply for use of the Opal card.
Students will be given an Opal card on arrival at Campbelltown Station.
Students must tap on and tap off on at every station
PLEASE NOTE: For parents/care givers who have given their daughter permission to alight at an alternate station on their return journey, the following procedures will apply.
Your daughter will be responsible for the return of the Opal card the following day (Opal card to be returned to the Teacher in charge of excursion).
If the Opal card is not returned, a replacement card fee of $20.00 will be applied.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
9 September - Father Daughter Dinner Dance
12 - 16 September - Year 11 Preliminary Exams
14 September - Year 7 and 8 Aboriginal Education Excursion
16 September - Aboriginal Education Excursion
20 September - Year 12 Assembly, Year 12 Graduation Dinner
21 September - Year 12 Graduation Mass and Awards
22 September - Year 12 Formal
23 September - STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 3
10 October - STAFF AND STUDENTS RETURN FOR TERM 4
12 October - Year 11 First Aid Training
13 October - Year 11 SLR Recreation Day
14 October - Aboriginal Education Excursion
17 October - 4 November - HSC Examinations
18 October - Years 7 - 10 Parent Teacher Student Evening
24 October - Year 9 Italian Excursion
26 October - Year 12 Parent Information Evening
31 October - Year 11 Studio Play Performance
3 November - Music "Count us In" Excursion
7 - 10 November - Year 10 Examinations
7 - 9 November - Year 8 Camp Group 1
9 - 11 November - Year 8 Camp Group 2
9 November - Year 7 RE Excursion
11 November - Year 10 Social
15 November - Year 7 2017 Pre-Orientation Day
17 November - Year 7 2017 Orientation Day
18 November - Middle School Dance, International Games Day
25 November - Year 9 Forensics Incursion, Year 10 Community Service Incursion, Aboriginal Education Excursion
28 November - Year 10 HSC Preliminary Readiness "All my own work"
30 November - PACMAN
1 December - Year 7 Vaccinations (HPV)
2 December - Year 10 Mathematics G/T Excursion, Creative Arts Night
6 December - End of Year Awards and Assembly, End of Year Mass, Students Finish for 2016
8 December - Staff finish for 2016