From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
It was lovely to see all the girls arrive back at school this week refreshed and ready for another school year. In addition to the Year 7 students, we also have quite a few girls joining us in other year groups this year. To all those girls and their families we extend a very warm welcome. I am confident you will find this community a warm and friendly place, where you will feel very much at home.
We welcomed some new staff also this week. Ms Elizabeth Fenton (Science), Ms Sophie Lansley (HSIE), Mrs Madeleine Lytton (Music) and Mr Jared Baca (Languages/English). We are delighted that they have joined us and I am sure the girls will be very well served.
As noted in the email sent through last Wednesday, we have made some changes for term 1 as Mrs McGeachie will be on leave. Mrs Wright will hold the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching role, Mrs Power will hold the Assistant Principal Students role (previously held by Mrs Wright) and Mrs Matti will hold the Year 10 Coordinator role (previously held by Mrs Power). This will be for term 1 only. I am very grateful that these women have taken on these responsibilities and that we have such depth of talent in the staff to fill these roles.
In this edition you will see a report on our 2017 HSC results. We are delighted with the results achieved by our 2017 Year 12 girls. They worked hard and were able to achieve some exceptional personal bests. To have two students achieve the All Rounders award is also a first for the College. Well done to Michaela and Lauren. My thanks to the dedicated staff who supported and worked with the girls to achieve their best. These excellent results indicate strength across a number of courses by a number of students.
Further in this edition you will see information reminding parents of drop off and collection zones for students in the morning and afternoon. With students making their way across the site in a number of different directions, it is very important that we streamline the areas where cars and students may mix. Please pay particular attention to some of the changes as they will come into effect on Monday 5 February. Your daughter’s safety is our priority, so please support this by following the directions.
Finally, the ordination and installation of the new Bishop Fr Brian Mascord will be on Thursday 22 February at 7.00pm in the WIN stadium, Wollongong. We will be able to take a few girls with us to be part of this significant event. If you would like your daughter to attend, she can collect a permission note from Mr Gattone.
I will finish with a short reflection on Blessings by John O’Donohue.
Ours is a blessed community because of the people that make up that community. Enjoy this reflection as it speaks of all of us.
Sue Lennox - Principal
'There is a quiet light
that shines in every heart.
Though it is always secretly there,
it draws no attention to itself.
It is what illuminates our
minds to see beauty, our desire to seek
possibility and our hearts
to love life...
This shy inner light is what enables
us to recognise and receive
our very presence here as blessing.'
John O'Donohue - Benedictus - A Book Of Blessings
SAVE THE DATE - EMERALD DINNER DANCE - 17 MARCH 2018
Learning and Teaching
As we begin 2018 we must look back at 2017 and congratulate our Year 12 cohort on a wonderful performance. Like all schools, we look at the results to see how the girls have performed and congratulate them on their achievements. For many, they have achieved their personal best and so can be proud of the efforts they put in over the two years.
The St Patrick’s College HSC class of 2017 was made up of 97 students, all who achieved the HSC credential. Of these 97, we had 82 who followed an ATAR program. We had four study through Distance Education, three studied a language through an external provider and 23 participated in school-based VET courses, achieving dual accreditation. Three students participated in a VET framework delivered externally and four students completed the Animal Studies course at TAFE. So a diverse group who were able to follow the pattern of study that was best suited to their abilities and interests.
We celebrated these results as a College – with 37 Band 6 achievements, 2 All Round Achievers (receiving Band 6 for every subject), and 24% of our students receiving an ATAR above 80, as well as the same number being placed in the top 20% of the state.
We will acknowledge these achievements at a special assembly on Tuesday 13 February and look forward to hearing the plans these young women have as they step into the next stage of their journey.
Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
Welcome back to the beginning of the 2018 school year. We have been contacted by our local transport companies asking us to remind our students about the importance of using their Opal Cards to “tap on and off” each time they use buses and trains to get to and from school. I will include some information from the literature we have received.
“One of the more significant changes created by the recent introduction of the School Opal card is the need for students to tap on and off when they travel to and from school.
Opal data gathered by tapping on and off is used to determine demand for bus services. If students do not tap on and tap off, services may be cancelled due to the lack of recorded patronage.
With this in mind, we ask for your assistance in reminding your students that tapping on and off at the beginning and end of each trip is one of the conditions of using a School Opal card.
Your support helps us ensure we are able to provide the appropriate level of service to your students.”
I reminded all of the students of this important practice at our assembly this week and it would be wonderful to have you reiterate the same message to your daughter as well.
I thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
ATTENTION - DROP OFF AND PICK UP ARRANGEMENTS
If parents are wanting to drop off or pick up their daughter in the College grounds, please use the COLA end gate on St Johns Road. The girls are to be dropped off or collected from the area near the bottom of the Therry Wing, close to the Basketball Courts. Parents will then need to proceed out of the gate at the back of the MSC Carpark onto St Thomas More Road.
Alternatively, you can wait in any of the close side streets and have your daughter walk to meet you. We ask parents not to use the Westview Carpark gate (closest to reception) to drop off and pick up as this is a very busy area and is a safety hazard. Similarly, please do not use the Staff Carpark on the COLA side of the College as a drop off point which creates congestion and is a danger to our community members.
From Monday, 5 February, there will be no entry to the College from St Thomas More Road from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. All parents wanting to collect their daughter must use the St John's Road entry and drive through.
We thank you for your support and cooperation in this matter.
Katherine Power - Acting Assistant Principal Students
We hope you all had a wonderful break and were able to relax with a book or three. The girls who borrowed books at the end of term four are sure to have escaped to various places and times in their imaginations. Just a friendly reminder that these books are now due so that others can have the same enjoyment.
This term is always a busy time in adjusting to a new school year and the library is here to support all students, staff and parents. We are the “go to people” if you have an issue with your technology, passwords, photocopying and printing, ID cards, lockers and bus passes.
Mrs McMann is currently organising and distributing text books to students. These texts are a loan item and need to be returned in good condition.
Mrs Harradine and Ms Dallo are busy cataloguing both fiction and non-fiction books. They have highlighted a few of the new books that can be borrowed from the library. The white bookshelf will be the place to go in discovering the new titles that arrive daily in the library.
Mrs Schimschal is your friendly library assistant who is also the person to see in relation to locker and opal card issues.
I look forward to empowering all students in using the library tools and technology to research and obtain not only the best marks in their assessments but also in their own interests. I recommend that all students download the Destiny Discover App (found in both the Playstore and the App Store). This app gives you access to the St Patrick’s Library. You will be able to see the library’s newly acquired books and place a reserve, ascertain when your books are due and use the links to do your research.
Starting next week all clubs will commence; Thursday is when the knitting, K-Pop, and the chess clubs meet and Friday is Anime and Makerspace. All are welcome. If any students are interested in starting another club please see me during recess.
I look forward to another exciting term in the Library.
Michelle Feely - College Librarian
It is hard to believe that the first three days of Year 7 are almost over. It certainly has been a busy few days but it has been so rewarding to see the way in which our newest students have approached their transition to high school and become part of the St Pat’s family.
The focus of these days and the coming first weeks is about settling your daughter into high school in the smoothest way possible and getting her used to new routines and systems. The first day of high school is an important milestone in anyone’s education journey and the girls have taken it all in their stride. They’ve faced the challenges of multiple teachers and learning spaces, more bells, getting their lockers and diaries, iPad set-up, catching new buses, as well as deciphering the timetable codes. It has also been wonderful to see them being brave and making new friends on the playground.
A key highlight for the girls has been meeting their Big Sisters on Thursday. This is a program that sees the Year 7 students joined with a Year 11 student to foster a connection and expand their support network.
The Year 7 Pastoral Team have been working very hard to ensure your daughter has everything she needs. I’d like to thank them for their efforts:
7A – Mrs Parker
7B – Mrs Wilson
7C – Mrs Norris
7D – Mrs Thomas/Mr Stevens
7E – Mrs Lawrence/Mr Stevens
7F – Mr McGrath
Please do not hesitate in contacting me or your daughter’s Pastoral Advisor if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help as best we can.
Next week will be another busy week, with Sport/Activities on Tuesday afternoon and the Swimming Carnival on Thursday. Students wear their sports uniform on both of these days.
On their first day, your daughter was encouraged to fully embrace the opportunity that has been given to her in coming to St Pat’s, to do her best and to be her best. She was told that we are like the Brady Bunch, a big blended family full of different people, cultures and faiths. That we all have different interests, experiences, gifts and talents. We value this diversity and foster respect, acceptance and tolerance at all times. I look forward to seeing how your daughter takes on this opportunity and how she flourishes here at St Pat’s.
Ms Louise Glase - Year 7 Coordinator and Visual Arts Teacher
From Monday we will begin auditioning this year's homegrown St Patrick's production of "QUEEN OF STORMS."
Details on how to audition have been emailed to all students.
STEP 1 – Which year group are you in?
Are you in Year 7? No need to audition. You have already been cast. Congratulations! As part of Mr Combes’s Year 7 Drama classes, your project will be a featured group role in the musical.
Are you in Years 8 or 9? Turn up to the Drama Room at the start of lunchtime Monday 5 February. From there, you will be directed through the audition process.
Are you in Years 10 or 11? Turn up to the Drama Room at the start of lunchtime Wednesday 7 February. From there, you will be directed through the audition process.
Are you in Year 12? Be mindful of the heavy time commitment involved in being part of a production. Discuss it with your parents in relation to your ability to balance curricular and co-curricular demands. Then if you’re sure you’re making a realistic decision, turn up to the Drama Room at the start of lunchtime Wednesday 7 February. From there, you will be directed through the audition process.
STEP 2 – Preparation
Would you like to be considered for an acting role?
Read over the scenes that were attached to the email. Prepare for how you would perform each character. You will have a script, in hand, during the audition and be asked to read one of these characters.
To be considered for some of these acting roles it may be helpful if you can also hold a tune with other people (chorus singing) or have some dance ability.
If required, you will be asked to have your voice tested with one of the music teachers in the music room. NOTE: A singing test is optional but may give you a greater chance of getting a role.
If required, you will be asked to have a dance test with Miss Randell in the dance room. NOTE: A dance test is optional but may give you a greater chance of getting a role. If you were to obtain an acting role who is a featured dancer, you will be required to be an active member of the St Patrick’s College Dance Company, to train for your role.
Would you like to be considered for a solo singing role?
Choose one of the following songs and be prepared to sing it in front of a group of people (Staff and auditioning students). If you wish to be considered for all solo singing roles, including the more demanding roles, you must audition with “Going Under” by Evanescence (Going Under - Backing Track) using the lyrics attached to this email (please bring your own copy of the lyrics to show your organisational ability). For less demanding singing roles, please prepare “Walking on the Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves (Walking on Sunshine - Backing Track) using the lyrics attached to this email (please bring your own copy of the lyrics to show your organisational ability). The original tracks of these songs are here...
PLEASE NOTE: All solo singing roles cast will be expected to train their voice for the production by being part of the College Choir.
Would you like to be a part of the dancing in the production? Dancers will be drawn from the members of the St Patrick’s College Dance Company. Miss Randell will cast the dancers from active and committed members of this company. It is essential for all dancers in the musical to train with this company.
Joshua Combes - Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator
This Government funded program offers eligible parents a free $500 to spend on school expenses.
Saver Plus offers low-income parents a free $500 to spend on education costs such as:
Specialty subject costs
Even better, Saver Plus will help low-income families and individuals to:
Start a small, regular savings habit
Improve their money skills to help manage education expenses, and
Reach a savings goal!
This national, Government funded program is totally FREE, with no costs or catches, and has helped over 1,200 local Macarthur parents improve their money situation.
Eligible parents join, save for 10 months, attend four money skills workshops and then receive up to $500 free in matched savings. Parents who hold a Centrelink Healthcare or Pension Card (low income status) could be eligible to join. After 10 months of saving, the FREE $500 MUST be spent on education costs.
What's On ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
7 February - Year 11 Parent/Student Information Forum
8 February - College Swimming Carnival
12 February - CCC Blue Award Presentation
13 February - HSC High Achievers Assembly, Shrove Tuesday, Apology Anniversay (2008)
14 February - Ash Wednesday Prayer Service
20 February - Year 8 STEM Day Excursion
21 February - College Photo Day, P & F Meeting
23 February - PUPIL FREE DAY
24 February - COLLEGE OPEN DAY
26 February - DIO Girls Touch Football
27 February - CCC Softball Selections, College Assembly(SRC Induction Years 8 - 11)
28 February - NSW All Schools Triathlon (individuals)
1 March - Year 7 Parent Night, All Schools Triathlon (Teams)
2 March - CSDA Public Speaking Round 1
5 March - CCC Girls Cricket Selections, Year 7 Camp
6 March - Middle School Parent Forum (9am or 7pm- Library), Year 7 Camp
7 March - International Women's Day Breakfast, Year 7 Twilight Dance at St Gregory's College
8 March - Year 10 Retreat
9 March - Middle School Dance, CSDA Public Speaking Zone Final, Year 10 Retreat
12 March - CCC Hockey Selections, P & F AGM
13 March - Middle School Assembly, Year 10 Liturgy, Senior School Parent Forum (9am or 7pm - Library)
15 March - Dio Swimming Carnival, DIO Tennis
16 March - Official Opening of New Building, CSDA Public Speaking Grand Final
17 March - St Patrick's Day, Emerald Gala Dinner Dance
20 March - Senior School Assembly, Macarthur Max Potential Induction Workshop, Close the Gap Anniversary
22 March - Year 5 Workshops
23 March - Year 7 Reflection Day
27 March - College Assembly
28 March - Easter Liturgy
29 March - Holy Thursday - COLLEGE CLOSED
30 March - Good Friday - COLLEGE CLOSED
1 April - EASTER SUNDAY
2 April - Easter Monday - COLLEGE CLOSED
3 April - Year 9 Parent/Student Information Forum
6 April - NSW CCC Swimming, DIO Touch Football Selections
9 April - Year 7 Vaccinations
10 April - Year 7 Liturgy
13 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 1
17 April - Appin Massacre Anniversary
30 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS RETURN FOR TERM 2