From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
Last Saturday we hosted Open Day. Once again we had many, many visitors who used the time to see the site and gain a sense of what we have to offer. We had a large number of girls acting as tour guides and assisting in the demonstrations and displays around the College. The positive feedback was overwhelming. The visiting parents recognised the very helpful staff and the confidence of the students. I am very grateful to the staff and students for being present on their Saturday. I am also grateful to the Parents and Friends who worked the barbeque and to our Alumni Sarah Barnes (President) and Sarah Cavallin and Archivist Joanne Cavallin for helping all day. I believe we were able to showcase the uniqueness of our College and provide discerning families with the information needed to assist them in their decision making.
Throughout the day, one of the more common questions asked of us whenever parents consider St Patrick’s is:
“But will she be able to speak to boys if she goes to an all-girls school?” “I don’t want her to become boy crazy.”
My normal response is: “Well that will depend on her maturity levels, the social experiences she has where she can meet boys, her levels of self-awareness and self-confidence and her friendship group". It bemuses me because I have it on good authority that this question is not asked by parents about their boys seeking an all-boys education. As parents committed to an all-girls education, I imagine you would be asked the same question at social events, on the sidelines of the sports field and in conversation with parents who are deciding where to send their daughter for high school.
What is it that the girls will learn in a co-educational environment that will enable them to speak to boys that some parents are concerned they won’t receive in an all-girl environment?
In an all-girl environment, the girls grow in confidence, they are free to be themselves, they develop opinions and practice to express themselves, they believe in themselves, they are compassionate and empathetic. It is my belief that this would be what all parents would want for their girls. If we achieve this then wouldn’t this be the perfect skill set to be able to speak with boys?
Nevertheless, the evidence is seen at the stations in the morning, at the combined dances and musical and in their social media interactions. Where there is a will there is a way and adolescence being as it is, the boys and girls do communicate and they manage it very well. They have multiple methods of communication in this age and they do so with complete confidence. For some girls, there is silliness and for some it is with greater maturity. This range of responses though is more a reflection of the personality of the individual than their setting. In summary, I don’t believe we need worry about the capacity of girls to speak to boys in the long term if they attend an all-girl school.
At the end of 2017 the P&F funded the purchase of a laser cutter for the College. This was a two year project and we took delivery of it just before Open Day. The girls and staff are over the moon with this acquisition. It is a very expensive piece of equipment that will enable classes to be far more creative and ingenious with their designs. I would like to thank the P&F for this gift and especially Denise Egan (President) who managed to negotiate a very good deal for us.
On 12 March we will have the Parents and Friends AGM. It begins at 7.00pm in the Benedict Centre. Denise will be stepping down from the role and we will be looking for a new President. All other positions will also be declared vacant. I encourage you to attend the meeting as the P&F are a vital support to the College and an excellent connection for our parents. Click here to see the role descriptions for our P&F: P&F Role Descriptions
Next week we will have our first Parent Forum. The Middle School Parent Forum is Tuesday 6 March and the Senior School Parent Forum is Tuesday 13 March. Click on the link to view the agenda Middle School Agenda and Senior School Agenda. It is held in the Library with one session at 9.00am and another at 7.00pm on the same day. I invite you to these gatherings as you meet parents with daughters in other year groups, learn more of what is happening at the College and have an opportunity seek clarification on issues.
We also have our International Women’s Day Breakfast on Wednesday 7 March. It begins at 6.45am and I encourage you to attend. We have two exceptional ex-students to speak and it is always a great morning.
Finally, our Emerald Gala Dinner Dance is on Saturday 17 March, St Patrick’s Day. It is held at The Cube and is always a fabulous evening. The hard working committee have managed to create a very special night which is sure to impress and entertain you. Tickets can be purchased via this link: Gala Dinner Tickets
As we come to the third Sunday of Lent, I will leave you with a short reflection for the season.
Sue Lennox - Principal
The Loving One, who made you,
who yearned over you in the womb,
who cherished you as a baby,
who tended you as a child,
who gave you glimpses of glory
from your pram;
the One who moulded you,
the One whose loving arm is always
under your head, says:
'Have no fear for I have
I call you by name
and you are mine.'
The Green Heart of the Snowdrop - Kate McIlhagga
SAVE THE DATE - EMERALD DINNER DANCE - 17 MARCH 2018
St Patrick's College had the privilege of accepting an invitation from Caritas to have a guest speaker talk to our girls about Project Compassion and the work done by Caritas in Nepal.
The guest speaker, Janak Prasad Sharma, a Regional Program Manager of Caritas Nepal, spoke about the needs of the people of Nepal who live in extreme poverty. He told us about the youth clubs run by Caritas which address the needs of the young people who need support, education and encouragement.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
“In all things, give thanks.” (Thessalonians 5:18)
On Thursday 22 February 2018, an event took place which was significant for the Wollongong Diocese—the ordination of Bishop Brian Mascord. Bishop Brian’s installation as the fifth Bishop of Wollongong took place in the Wollongong Entertainment Centre. He has taken as his motto a verse from Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians: “In all things, give thanks.”
The venue was gracefully transformed into an inviting liturgical space, fit for the occasion. Amongst the 4,000 guests were 12 St Pat’s girls who stood as representatives for the whole St Patrick’s College community. Also representing the College were Mrs Lennox, Dr Bourne, and her husband Mr Bourne, and Mr Gattone.
Archbishop Fisher, archbishop of Sydney archdiocese, was the principal presider. The event was a joyous one with 31 other bishops and over 100 priests present. Also present was the Papal Nuncio (the Pope’s representative in Australia) who delivered Pope Francis’s words of commissioning and blessing. Music delivered by various school bands and choirs filled the auditorium. Bishop Brian, who has a well-trained singing voice, also delivered an acapella solo performance of a specially-written song.
The St Patrick’s College community extends its congratulations to Bishop Brian Mascord and we also extend to him our warmest welcome as we look forward to his leadership and pastoral care. We pray that our God, who has begun his work in Bishop Brian, will bring it to fulfilment.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
Learning and Teaching
St Patrick’s College has deployed a Parent Portal that compliments existing lines of parent – school communication in the College. Access keys and instructions have been sent to families in Years 7, 9, 11 and 12. Families of Year 8 and 10 students can expect their access keys very shortly.
St Patrick’s College Parent Portal is a component of our student information system – software created by Sentral Education. It provides a one-stop point of contact to stay up-to-date with progress and awards, tracking attendance, updating details and communicating with teachers. Students were provided access to the Portal in 2017.
Accessing the portal
All families have their own individual log in details (registration key). All that is needed to access the Portal is a valid email address and the registration key. Instructions on how to create and log into your own account as well as how to navigate the site were provided with your family registration key. If you have not received your registration key, please email me and I will redistribute it to you.
The portal is accessed through a browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer) at the following URL: https://sentral.saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au/portal. There is also a link from the College homepage http://www.saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au.
Attached is a PDF that has further information about the Portals. Any questions regarding the Portal can be directed to Dr Bourne (eLearning@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au).
Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services
Google’s G Suite for Education is a set of education productivity tools from Google including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Classroom, and more used by tens of millions of students and teachers around the world. G Suite for Education is one of the important tools utilised by teachers and students to support learning. At St Patrick’s College, students use their G Suite accounts to complete assignments, communicate with their teachers, sign into several services such as our IT Help Desk and learn 21st century digital citizenship skills.
Student use of G Suite for Education is governed by the St Patrick’s College Technology Acceptable Use Agreement. Parents are encouraged to talk with their child about online etiquette and safety, and to ensure their child’s compliance with the Technology Acceptable Use Agreement. Students are responsible for their own conduct at all times when using G Suite for Education, just as they are when they use any technology resources the College offers.
This notice describes the personal information provided to Google for G Suite accounts and how Google collects, uses, and discloses personal information from students in connection with these accounts.
Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services
As the heart of the College, the library celebrates many things. Recently we celebrated Lent, and Library Lovers day. This week we are excited to celebrate a real treasure of the College.
Maureen McCann Library 2018
Mrs Maureen McCann is celebrating a major milestone birthday. Now ordinarily, a lady never divulges her age but this is a special milestone as Mrs McCann turns 70.
Mrs McCann has worn many hats in her 28 years at St Patrick’s. She began in 1990 as the Canteen Manager and held this role for 14 years until the canteen was privatised. She then worked in the uniform shop, as well as the print room; moving from there to cooking in the childcare centre.
The library has been blessed to claim Mrs McCann as one of our own for the past 10 years. She is all things textbook as well as a helping hand for staff and students in the library.
In 2014, Mrs McCann was the recipient of the inaugural ‘Spirit of St Patrick’s’ award for the support staff; in recognition for all the years of service to staff and students as well as the wider community.
Please join us in wishing Mrs McCann a very happy birthday as she celebrates with family and friends from all over Australia.
Sue Harradine - College Library
At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) Mr Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, urged delegates to consider the “…human face and dimension of Climate Change”. He introduced 12 year old Timoci Naulusala from Tailevu province in Fiji, whose village was devastated by Cyclone Winston, to present his speech that was submitted for the Fiji National Climate Change Speech Competition. Timoci performed his speech for world leaders in November 2017.
Timoci’s message is simple but powerful:
“The question is not about what, how, who … it’s about what you can do as an individual … “
And this is the driving question behind the first Science project (Assessment Task 1) that Year 9 are working on as a component of the Stage 5 Science curriculum.
This project involves students creating a three-to-six minute call-to-action video that urges people to consider their carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gas an individual, organisation or community produces, and is an indicator of the impact we have on global warming.
This interdiscplinary unit of work has students learning about science, considering sustainablity, working with technology and learning to communicate through audio visual media.
Additionally, the unit of work has students considering their digital citizenship as they learn to navigate online video publishing sites such as YouTube. When students produce for the public - be it peers, family, or the rest of the world - they want it to be good. Accessing an audience beyond the classroom can provide authenticity to students' work. Tools such as YouTube and other G Suite applications provide an easy way for students and teachers to engage any audience. Students' St Patrick’s Google account provides the ability to create a YouTube channel and upload videos. Content uploaded is tracked and controlled by the College Google account administrators who can take control of the account at any time.
Digital citizenship is a component of the Year 9 Science climate change project. Students will learn about positive engagement with social media technologies when they participate in a YouTube, Digital Citizenship workshop on Tuesday morning. We are aiming to cover the following:
• Building strong, positive digital footprints
• Establishing an online identity – Screen names, avatars and YouTube Channel Art
• Online reputation management
• YouTube Privacy Settings and Comments
Students were sent home with a YouTube information sheet for parents that contains information about student YouTube accounts and how they are used. This document is available as an attatchment below.
It is inspiring to listen to the level of engagement and concern our students have when we speak about the big issues that are raised by a unit such as this. Year 9 students can be the STEM professionals, in the near future, who will action solutions to global problems such as those associated with energy use and climate change. The Year 9 Science team are very much looking forward to viewing the work that comes from this project and we aim to publish (with students' permission) some of the work through Inside Out later in the term. Attached is a copy of the Year 9 Global Warming Project notification. We encourage families to support their daughter's learning by engaging in conversations about household energy use and through watching and contributing to the video work that is part of the project.
If families have any questions or concerns about the assessment task and/or the use of video sharing websites, please contact the Leader of eLearning, Dr Bourne, for further information (eLearning@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au).
Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services & Year 9 Science Teacher
WordFlyers is a comprehensive online literacy program that is being provided by the College for our Year 8 students in Semester 1. The girls began working on WordFlyers in Semester 2 last year and enthusiastically embraced this learning resource.
We are hoping the girls will re-engage with the program in 2018 as a way of further developing their literacy skills. The online program offers students the opportunity to enhance their literacy skills in grammar, reading, comprehension, punctuation, vocabulary and writing. The program also provides differentiated activities that allow students to work at their ability, with a review level designed to bring struggling students up to standard. Not only will students access this program at key points in their English lessons, but they are encouraged to access the program at home as part of their ongoing study.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your daughter’s English teacher or Ms Treanor (English Coordinator) here at the College.
Ann Treanor - English Coordinator
Emily - Year 12 Student
What's On ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
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, Year 11 SLR Excursion
7 March - International Women's Day Breakfast, Year 7 Twilight Dance at St Gregory's College, Year 12 SOR Incursion
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 (7pm Benedict Centre), Year 12/10 Japanese Excursion
13 March - Middle School Assembly, 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
26 March - Year 10 History Excursion, Year 11 Biology Excursion
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
4 April - Year 10 PASS Excursion
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