From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
Welcome back to the school year. We warmly welcome all of our new families and girls. It certainly has been a very hot and humid start and we can only hope that the weather will settle over February so that the girls are feeling more comfortable. Fortunately all of the classrooms have air conditioning so the girls and staff are able to continue working and the learning isn't compromised. We have opened the Mary Sheil Centre during the breaks so the girls can sit in there, however conditions are less than pleasant. The irony is not lost on many of us as we use our electric air conditioners for longer and harder due to the excessive heat brought about by climate change due to our insatiable appetite for non renewable energy!
I would also like to welcome our new staff to the College. Mr Luke David is the new Mathematics Coordinator, Miss Emma Randell is the Dance Teacher and Mrs Vanessa Singles is our new Music Teacher, Ms Aoife Gallagher is a Mathematics Teacher taking Mr Ashkar's classes for Term 1 whilst he is on leave, and Mrs Leanne Knox, our new part-time Science Lab Assistant. We have a few staff returning from lengthy leave. Mrs Shobna Sharma, Mrs Melissa Arena and Ms Sophie Georgiou. We are delighted to have these staff members returning to the College. Over the holidays Mr Ghanem was able to secure a permanent position elsewhere, which means he is no longer at the College. We will be inviting him back to say farewell. Photos of the new and returning staff are included in this edition of the Inside Out.
The building project to coming to a conclusion. The staff have now moved into their new facilities and finding the spaces very conducive to productive professional collaboration. The new learning spaces will be completed prior to Open Day which will enable us to showcase them to our prospective parents. These spaces are light, airy and flexible and will accommodate our 21st century learning pedagogies beautifully. We will have an official opening later in 2017.
Since beginning in 2017, we have been celebrating the successes of the HSC class of 2016. A more detailed report is included in this edition for your information. We had our high achievers assembly last Tuesday and again we invited back some ex-students to the Year 11 Parent Information Evening this week. The message which has been articulated consistently has been the support provided by the College and the value of an all-girl learning environment. Consistently, the girls who have spoken in these forums have said that where they collaborate and assist each other in their learning, they have reaped the benefit. Each student in each course is ranked against the others in the course during Year 12 and this creates competition. When the girls use this competition to strive to achieve their personal best and share their knowledge and expertise with their classmates who seek help, both the individual students and the whole class benefit from the gain. When students use these rankings and competition as a means of isolating themselves and holding back from assisting others because of the threat this poses to their own rankings, everyone suffers. Both College Duxes were able to attest to how their own learning and understanding were consolidated when they had to explain concepts to their class peers. This is a common quality in an all-girl classroom. Whilst girls love competition, girls will perform best in a collaborative learning environment.
Again, there has been high media attention to the benefits of all girls vs coeducational learning settings. Through the year we continue to welcome girls who seek an all-girls classroom because they recognise their coed classroom is not meeting their needs. In an all-girl environment, the girls can be themselves. As adult women, I think we can sometimes forget the strong influence boys had on our developing adolescent self. Next week, we will have our swimming carnival. The level of participation of the girls and the freedom they feel to have a go is directly attributable to the fact that there are no boys present. This permission to be themselves is repeated in many forums across the College. As the girls develop in confidence, recognise their strengths and abilities, they won't be told they are incapable of achieving something based on their gender.
Whilst an all-girls learning environment has documented advantages for a girl's success, it is still essential that girls enjoy the company of the boys in social events. Here the dances hosted at the College with the boys from St Gregory's College are very well supported. They are calendared each term and create quite a bit of excitement. The girls also have opportunity to enjoy the boys' company in events such as the musical, debating, leadership workshops and other combined activities. Social media now also has provided added avenues for the girls and boys to communicate and socialise in mutually respectful ways. I am currently visiting the Catholic primary schools, speaking to the girls in Years 5 and 6 about St Patrick's and there is always a visible exclamation of relief when I mention the classrooms at St Pat's don't have boys!
We are currently preparing for Open Day which will be held on Saturday 25 February. We enrol Year 5 students who will begin high school in 2019 and have some vacancies for Year 7 2018 at the moment. If you know of anyone who may consider St Patrick's for their daughter, niece, granddaughter or friend, you may like to let them know of our Open Day. More information is in this edition.
2017 is the year of Balance and we will work towards establishing some balance in all that we do. St Benedict would say that a good life needs time to work , time to study and time to pray. These three aspects of living enable us to appreciate what we have and give us time to reflect on the more important things of our existence. I hope you are able to give yourself permission to let go of the things that are excessive in your life and attend to the important things that are depleted at times. I will finish with a reflection on Balance using the acronym B.R.E.A.D
Balance mean state:
Ensuring the essentials,
Aiming at purity of heart,
Discerning what's in line with this aim..
On the first teaching day of the 2017 school year, as always, we gathered in the name of our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As stated in our College’s Vision Statement, St Patrick’s College is a Christ-centred community which is formed in the Benedictine and Good Samaritan tradition and which engages all its members in learning and in working for a just society. In the spirit of St Benedict, a warm welcome is extended to each member of the St Patrick’s community, especially those new members. Just as St Benedict himself would do, we welcome each other as if each one of us is Christ himself.
We also honour St Patrick as the strength of our College for he is our role model who demonstrates to us the value of community and the power of God’s Word. St Patrick had the ability to draw people together to form faith-filled communities whose foundations were firmly grounded in their faith in Jesus.
Therefore, as we begin the 2017 school year, we commend to our God our hopes and vision for a year of:
- deep learning
- the gaining of knowledge and wisdom
- strengthened relationships
- utilised opportunities
- realised justice, and
- true compassion.
St Benedict’s advice is that ‘Whenever you begin any good work, you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.’ The ‘good work’ we began on the first school day of 2017 is empowerment through education—empowering all to be independent and lifelong resilient learners. This process, according to St Benedict, should rightfully begin with us asking Jesus for his guidance, strength and protection, so that what we begin is brought to perfection.
Loving God, you are our beginning and our end.
We commend to you all the endeavours of the year ahead of us.
Guide us in all that we do.
Bring balance to our lives
so that we may experience fullness of life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
We ask this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
for you are one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Learning and Teaching
The HSC results were released on 16 December 2016 and the students and staff of St Patrick's College had much to celebrate.
One hundred and two students presented for the HSC, with 94 seeking an ATAR. Of these students, 22 achieved a total of 45 Band 6 (a mark above 90), across 21 subjects. Eight students achieved an ATAR above 90 and a further 18 with an ATAR above 80. We were very excited to have not one but two Duxes for 2016. Amy Abdilla and Karen De Raya received the impressive ATAR of 96.4, followed very closely by Brittney Monk with 95.9 and Lauren Abdilla with 94.55. Amy was also acknowledged as a Distinguished Achiever/All Rounder by BOSTES for achieving Band 6 in 10 of her units.
Further to this, our students also were placed in top positions across four subjects in the State. Sahanuja Thiyagesan (Year 11), was placed 1st in the State in Tamil Continuers, Katarina Zrnic, 3rd in the State in Croatian Continuers, Cortney Druery, 8th in the State in Business Services and Ally Peng, 14th in the State in Standard English.
Three students were acknowledged for exceptional practical work in both Drama and Dance. Megan Kay's Individual Drama project was nominated for Onstage. Two Dance students were also nominated for Call Back. Rhiannon Bowyer for her Major and Core performance and Alexandra Whelan for her Core performance.
The following table represents the students who achieved a Band 6 and the subjects they achieved them in:
English Advanced, Mathematics, Mathematics Ext 1, SOR1, Information Processes and Technology (Dist Ed), Visual Arts
English Advanced, Modern History, Society and Culture, SOR1
Community and Family Studies, Mathematics General, PDHPE
Karen De Raya
English Advanced, Modern History, Society and Culture, SOR1
Community and Family Studies, Business Services
Food Technology, PDHPE (Dist Ed), SOR2
Community and Family Studies, PDHPE
Community and Family Studies
Modern History, SOR1
Biology, Mathematics Ext 1, SOR1
Community and Family Studies, Mathematics
Tamil Continuers (Outside)
Croatian Continuers (Outside)
These outstanding achievements placed St Patrick's in the top 200 schools and identifies us as one of the higher performing schools in the Macarthur area.
We have faith that the class of 2016 are ready to embrace the world beyond St Patrick's as they are well equipped young women and leaders of the future.
As the students return to the College for the 2017 academic year we are full of hopes and aspirations for them. Like all other years, once we walk across the threshold it is full steam ahead.
Much is planned for the students to learn and we have been busy developing classes and programs that will inspire, excite and enrich.
The classes at St Patrick's College are not streamed on academic ability, rather they are mixed ability. This allows all learners to be extended, challenged and supported appropriately. Teachers deliver a differentiated curriculum and quickly get to know their learners and accommodate them accordingly. The number suffix added to the end of classes simply identifies a group, with no group being more able then another. An exception to this, however, is in late Stage 4 and Stage 5 Mathematics.
A reminder that if you have any general/pastoral concerns for your daughter, you can contact her Pastoral Advisor or Year Coordinator and academic concerns can be directed to her Subject Teacher or KLA Coordinator. Teachers can be called or emailed and they will get back to you. Karen Wright as Assistant Principal Students and myself as Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, are also keen to assist where we can.
A reminder that St Patrick's is a busy place and there is much on offer for your daughter. Please encourage her to get involved. Likewise, there are many supportive structures in place if needed through the College Counsellor, Careers Advisor, Aboriginal Educator, Learning Enhancement Coordinator and Pacific Nations support. We also offer extended Library hours, Afternoon Study Assistance Programs, Language Lifeboat, Maths Help, STEM Club, Scholastica Enrichment Programs and Science Extension to name a few.
Our Benedictine Value for the year is Balance. Engagement in the whole life of the College will in fact create a sense of balance needed to develop the social, emotional, spiritual, physical and academic growth of all students.
Cecely McGeachie - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an over-arching approach to teaching that increases student interest in STEM-related fields and improves problem-solving and critical analysis skills. St Patrick’s College has a long tradition of cross-disciplinary programs of study and STEM continues to have a strong focus in the curriculum. This focus aligns to Australia’s National STEM school Education Strategy that sets two key goals for STEM education:
- Goal 1: Ensure all students finish school with strong foundational knowledge in STEM and related skills
- Goal 2: Ensure that students are inspired to take on more challenging STEM subjects
How is stemED implemented?
St Patrick’s College sets high expectations for all students to engage with STEM subjects. Science and Mathematics are mandatory components of the curriculum for Years 7 to 10 and are selected as elective subjects in Years 11 and 12. Technology is compulsory in Years 7 and 8 and is selected as an elective subject in Years 9 to 12.
St Patrick’s College promotes a school culture where STEM is recognised and valued. This is important because employment in professional, scientific and technical services are predicted to increase. Research has highlighted inequities that currently exist in STEM. Girls, students from low socio-economic status backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and students from non-metropolitan areas can be less likely to engage with STEM education and therefore have a higher risk of not developing high capabilities in STEM-related skills.
The College exposes students to a range of career options and information to help increase STEM aspirations and engagement. This is achieved through
- Cross-curricular units of work that apply STEM-related skills in developing real-world task-based projects
- Career information sessions
- STEM enrichment days
- Science acceleration opportunities
- Engagement with STEM industry and university partners
- Passion Project opportunities through the Scholastica Enrichment Program
- Digital leadership programs such as the co-curricular Tech Angels group which includes STEM club, Code club and Design club projects
2017 stemEd initiatives
- The appointment of a STEM professional learning team
- An integrated curriculum in several subjects across Years 8 and 9
- Year 7 Project Based Learning (PBL) day (T2)
- Year 8 Day of STEM (T2 Week 9) Robotics focus
- Year 9 Science Fair (Next Gen) Engineering focus
- Year 9 Day of STEM (T2 Week 2) Engineering focus
- All years – digital leadership co-curricular Tech Angels and Bio-Box teams. STEM club, Code club and Design club projects – all terms
- All years – Bio-Box and digital photography opportunities
- Years 7 – 9 Scholastica projects
- Primary school girls in STEM challenge day (Term 3)
From 16 to 20 January I attended the digIT, advanced digital technologies summer school at Macquarie University, North Ryde. It was a residential summer school and we stayed at the Robert Menzies College on campus. The digIT summer school is a part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda targeting the way in which technological change is transforming how we work and live. This was the inaugural digIT summer school, which encourages students to follow their passion for digital technologies.
It was the beginning of a six month ICT/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program for students in Years 8 to 10 who are under represented in Maths and Science, or who were seeking extension in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The six month program includes another residential camp and professional mentoring. I expressed interest in joining digIT after I found out the Year 9 Information Software and Technology course was unable to run because of the small numbers selecting that subject choice. Thanks to Mrs Lennox and Mrs Bourne, they found digIT after I asked whether I could still do something related to IST outside of school.
During the week I stayed at the Robert Menzies College with a group of 60 young people from all over Australia. I listened to eight speakers, participated in five workshops, went on two excursions and competed against others in group competitions. I met my mentor who will work with me on a project that I am undertaking over the next six months. I will present my project at the final residential camp in July.
The speakers were from all different career backgrounds and had different skills. They explained to us what their job was and their role in the world of STEM. One speaker used a robot to demonstrate how robotics are used in our world today and how they will be used in the near future. Another speaker showed us animations she had created to help people visualize science concepts and improve their understanding. Another speaker explained how he was the first person who found a way to evenly divide something amongst any number of people. I was very surprised to learn that only 3% of all university students studying STEM subjects are girls. It was a very inspiring experience and many of us who attended the summer school are considering a STEM related career.
The majority of the workshops were held in the Macquarie University computer labs. We learnt to code web pages using the language of the world wide web – HTML and CSS. We also wrote computer programs with Scratch and Python. A workshop was also held at Robert Menzies College where we played and programmed Spheros- spherical robots that roll around and are controlled by smartphones or tablets. We made obstacle courses for the robots and programmed them to manoeuvre around the obstacles. We also created some Art by placing the Spheros under plastic cups and attaching pens to the cups.
The highlight of the Summer School was definitely the excursions to the University of Technology Engineering and IT building and Google’s HQ Sydney office in Pyrmont. While at the University of Technology, we went to the Data Arena which is a 360-degree 3D projector screen used for data visualisation. At Google we went for a tour around the office which was more like a playground. There were hidden rooms, a movie theatre and scooters (to ride around the office). Google HQ also had three different cafes with free food for employees, a dance studio, a games room, a recording studio and a rock-climbing wall.
Apart from all the activities, workshops and excursions, I made friends with many students who were just like me and love doing STEM subjects. I can’t wait to see what my finished project will be and my chance to present it back to the group in July.
Caroline A - Year 9 Student
St Patrick's College has deployed a fantastic new school information system (Sentral) which has allowed us to implement an improved College calendaring system. The College calendars are available on the College website and we have included the direct links for you below.
St Patrick’s College Calendars
How to use the calendars
Use the calendars to teach your daughter about time management. Teenage girls have a hectic schedule that includes sporting, family, schooling and leisure activities. To maximise her chances for success in her academic life, it is important that she consciously thinks about balance. A simple strategy for teaching time management is to begin by providing your daughter with a term calendar. Here are some strategies:
1. In her school diary towards the back (page 184) there is a Forward Planner. She can colour code these with the weeks of each term. Then together, check the College calendar and enter all of her assessment tasks and any other significant events she may be involved in.
2. Use a grid like this. Print it on A3 paper (they are available in the library) and display it in a place that the whole family can see it. Once again, use the College calendars to fill in the significant events. Include other events such as family or sporting commitments.
When the whole family is aware of the busy times in the term, everyone can work together to support your daughter with her time management.
St Patrick's requires a coach for their 2017 Mock Trial team.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
If there are any Lawyers in training, current legal practitioners or retired Lawyers in the St Pat's community, who can donate a little time and expertise to support this dynamic and enthusiastic team - please email Mr Nathan East @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information may be found here: http://www.lawsociety.com.au/community/forschools/mocktrial/AbouttheCompetition/index.htm
Welcome to all our Year 7 Parents
The girls have made a very positive start to the new school year and should be proud of how they have settled into the College. Already I have met some very talented students and I look forward to seeing what every member of Year 7 is able to contribute. Below are some reflections of the students on their first day:
My first day in Year 7 - by Sophia E
"I was excited to be starting a new stage of school but at the same time felt butterflies and a little overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar faces, teachers and uniforms. After meeting our Year Coordinator Mr Power and Principal Ms Lennox we went to Homeroom with our Pastoral Advisors. As the day went on I met new friends and caught up with old ones and by the end of the day we all felt that the nerves were gone and that we had made a great start to Year 7".
My first day in Year 7 - by Katie B
The first day of the new school year was exciting, nerve wracking and of course tiring. We the new Year 7 students were all so excited to begin our high school journey. The proper school day began shortly after the countless photos and hugs. We gathered in the Mary Sheil Centre and were introduced to our pastoral advisors, year coordinator and our fellow peers! Once the formalities were over we went to our pastoral lesson in our homeroom, whilst there we found out our classes, received our lockers, diaries and timetables and went through what is expected of us here at St Patrick’s.
Finally, Recess! Since it was extremely hot the Mary Sheil Centre was open for the girls who wanted to sit and chat. Recess was a lot faster than I expected. Year 7 met at the sheltered seating areas at the beginning of each lesson and waiting for our teachers to come and pick us up. Some of the activities we played included Bingo, partner activities and played all sorts of fun games which made the day enjoyable! Year 7 ended the day early to learn how to catch the bus. Looking around I could see lots of smiling faces from my fellow peers and I could tell everyone was looking forward to seeing new friends, going to new classes and enjoy the rest of the 2017 school year.
Over the next couple of weeks myself and the Pastoral Advisors will be encouraging the girls to find a co-curricular activity that interests them. This could be Debating, Public Speaking, Choir, MISA Sport or Chess Club, just to name a few. We will be introducing the girls to many of these and they should feel very welcome to become a part of these groups.
The swimming carnival is next Friday 17 February and it is an expectation of the College that all students attend and all students participate. I look forward to seeing Year 7 getting involved at their first College carnival.
A reminder that the Year 7 Parent Dinner will be held on Thursday 23 February. This will give you an opportunity to meet the Year 7 Pastoral Team and learn more about the Pastoral program that we have in place for your daughter.
Finally, just a reminder that the Year 7 Camp will be held at Teen Ranch Cobbitty from Monday 27 February to Tuesday 28 February. A permission note will be sent home this week with full details of the camp. The College will have a staff member at Teen Ranch from 8am if parents wish to avoid Narellan Road and take their daughter straight there. I hope that your daughter has had a positive start to the new school year and they are enjoying their new environment.
Chris Power - Year 7 Coordinator
Term 1 Sporting Events
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
Tuesday 14 February CCC Softball Registration Closing Date**
Wednesday 15 February NSW All Schools Triathlon Registration Closing Date**
Friday 17 February College Swimming Carnival
Tuesday 21 February CCC Softball Selections
Wed & Thurs 22 / 23 Feb NSW ALL Schools Triathlon
Thursday 2 March Diocesan Touch Carnival (Wollongong)
Thursday 2 March CCC Cricket Registration Closing Date**
Monday 6 March NSWCCC Cricket Selections
Thursday 16 March Diocesan Swimming Carnival (Corrimal)
Thursday 16 March Diocesan Tennis Teams (Wollongong)
Friday 17 March STP Cross Country
Tuesday 21 March CCC Hockey Registration Closing Date**
Monday 27 March NSWCCC Hockey Selections
Please note, students wishing to attend any NSWCCC events marked ** must use the registration process outlined below. The registration and organisation of these events is the responsibility of the student / parent.
ONLINE REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR NSWCCC SPORTING EVENTS
When you wish to attend a NSWCCC sporting event you are required to register online at the CSSS website www.csss.nsw.edu.au.
CREATING A LOGIN
If you have not used the website you will need to create a login. Go to www.csss.nsw.edu.au website and click into NSWCCC
Please note that if you already have a login, you do not have to create a new account. If you have forgotten your password, use HELP or “WHAT’S MY PASSWORD” and follow prompts to reset.
- Click Help
- Click on I am a Parent/Guardian for a student
- Click on Secondary student (NSWCCC)
- Click on How do I get a login for the website
- Scroll down to the information If you don’t have a login
- Click on Click here to get a new account and login
- Complete the page titled Parents Register Here and click Register after you have completed all fields.
- You will now need to check your email account for the password and the login. You will received a computer generated text and email with your password (you may need to check your Junk Mail if you don’t receive an email)
NOW YOU ARE READY TO REGISTER YOUR CHILD TO A SPORT
- Login to your account
- Go to NSWCCC Home Page
- Now select your Sport from the list provided, then click on Register
- Follow the instructions to complete your registration
- Once complete, a message will be sent to the sports coordinator for final approval
Apology - Angelique-Laura H
Unfortunately during the End of Year Award ceremony Year 8 student Angelique-Laura H was accidently overlooked as a recipient for a major sporting award. Angelique had an outstanding year representing the College which included her involvement in Touch, Soccer, Athletics, AFL, Basketball, MISA Basketball, MISA Hockey, MISA AFL, MISA Oz Tag, Diocesan Athletics and NSW Athletics. This level of representation easily qualified her for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sport’ award which I will be happily passing on to her so she can be appropriately acknowledged by her peers. My apology for the over-sight Angelique and thank you for your service to the College on the sporting field.
We are currently preparing for Open Day which will be held on Saturday 25 February. We enrol Year 5 students who will begin high school in 2019 and have some vacancies for Year 7 2018 at the moment. If you know of anyone who may consider St Patrick's for their daughter, niece, granddaughter or friend, you may like to let them know of our Open Day.
Please see attached flyer
The Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict are seeking a suitably qualified person who will fulfil the role of Director, Mount St Benedict Centre. This Centre is a spirituality, formation and education centre in the Catholic tradition and is conducted by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
Pennant Hills, NSW
Two year contract
The Director will work collaboratively with the Board of Management and staff to strategically implement change and facilitate the ongoing management of the Centre.
The successful applicant will commence as soon as possible.
All applications should include a covering letter, statement about capacity to meet the requirements of the position and a current curriculum vitae. Applications can be sent via email to email@example.com or by mail to: Sister Clare Condon, Good Samaritan Centre, PO Box 1076, Glebe NSW 2037.
Applications to be received by close of business 28 February 2017.
If you have any questions in regard to this application, or would like a copy of the job description please ring Sr Clare Condon on 02 8752 5303 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the attached flyer regarding Mater Dei's Enrolment Information Evening
What's On ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
17 February - College Swimming Carnival
22 February - NSW All Schools Triathlon (Individual)
23 February - NSW All Schools Triathlon (Teams), Year 7 Parent Night
24 February - PUPIL FREE DAY
24 - 25 February - Year 9 Bronze Duke of Ed Journey
25 February - COLLEGE OPEN DAY
27 - 28 February - Year 7 Camp
28 February - Shrove Tuesday
1 March - Ash Wednesday
3 March - Middle School Dance (MSC), Year 10 Elective, Year 11 & Year 12 History Excursion, International Women's Day Breakfast (MSC)
6 March - CCC Girls Cricket Selections
8 March - Year 7 Twlight Dance at St Gregory's College
9 - 10 March - Year 10 Retreat
10 March - G Day
16 March - Dio Swimming and Tennis
17 March - St Patrick's Day
18 March - EMERALD DINNER DANCE
21 March - Senior School Parent Forum
23 March - Year 10 History Excursion
27 March - Year 7 Vaccinations, P&F AGM
28 March - Year 9 Parent/Student Information Forum
31 March - Year 5 Workshops, NSW CCC Swimming
7 April - Easter Liturgy, Staff and Students finish for Term 1
24 April - Staff and Students return for Term 2
25 April - ANZAC DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY
26 -28 April - Year 9 Camp
28 April - Year 7 STEM Day Incursion