From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
Happy St Patrick’s Day to you. Today we celebrated our feast day at the College with the Blessing and Opening of the new building, a mass to open the school year and the Challenge. It was a massive day and I am grateful for all the parents and guests that could come to join us for the day. Thank you to Fr John who celebrated our mass, to Sr Patty Fawkner, Congregational Leader, who conducted the Blessing and Opening, Sr Helen Foley’s family who could join us and the many friends of St Patrick’s College who came along. Thank you also to all the staff who held a significant role in ensuring the day proceeded well.
Our new building is called the Helen Foley sgs Learning Centre. It is named after Sr Helen Foley who was a director on the board when she sadly passed away. She was a committed advocate for the education of girls and a strong supporter of St Patrick’s College. We are grateful for her vision and wisdom in the years that she served the College.
To the many girls who participated in the Challenge this afternoon, well done. It had a different configuration this year aimed to better support the students and leaders. Once again the skill and commitment of the girls were exceptional. My thanks to all the girls who participated and well done to all the house groups. It was a St Patrick’s Day that will be remembered.
Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day breakfast. Once again it was a wonderful morning aimed at recognising the contributions of women in our community. The two ex-students invited to speak were again inspirational. Michelle Wood (1997) and Soraiya Fuda (2002) provided a great insight into life after school and the benefits of hard work and dedicated effort. Both shared some challenges they had to overcome and the drive they have to make a difference. It was humbling to feel part of a community that has nurtured and encouraged such fabulous role models and good people through adolescence into adulthood. May we continue to provide this to our girls. At the breakfast I was presented a book from Sue Power (grandmother of Emilie Year 7). The book is written by Stephanie Wood who is also a young woman driven to make a difference in the world. It is called “From a Tin Shed to United Nations” and will be available to the girls through the Library.
We have now had all the parent forums for this semester. Thank you to those parents who were able to attend. The minutes of both meetings have been distributed to parents in the respective Middle and Senior schools. One of the benefits of this meeting is that parents get to hear the experiences of the other parents and learn what works in other households. It also helps parents feel less isolated and more connected to others. We will have another forum in term 3 this year. We also hosted the Parents and Friends AGM this week. Denise Egan stepped down as the P&F president. We are very grateful for her work in this role as she balanced a very demanding job with the responsibility of the P&F. I am delighted to inform you of the new P&F executive:
President: Mr Jeff Pollard
Vice President: Ms Claire Montgomery
Secretary: Mrs Liz Henson
Treasurer: Mr George Gatt
I am very appreciative of these people taking on the roles for the College.
I have recently received a number of applications from parents requesting that they take their daughters out of school for extended breaks during term time. I appreciate that sometimes situations arise which necessitates you taking your daughter away. However when your daughter is away for a period of time she misses significant learnings which may have an impact on her understanding and performance in a course. It is not just the content but the opportunity to listen to the discussion in the class about the work and the explanation from the teacher. Some parents have taken holidays during this time as it is cheaper to go during term time. I ask that you consider very carefully the urgency of taking your daughter out when we are still in the school term. Of equal concern is the number of girls who are taking a day here or there through the term. A girl who takes a day off a fortnight will have effectively lost more than three weeks of work in comparison to someone who has not taken any time away. It is hard to expect a child who is three weeks behind to have the same opportunities to perform as the girls who don’t take a random day away. Regular absence without a serious underlying reason is more often an indication of a poor work ethic. I again encourage parents to discuss with us any concerns you have regarding your daughter's attendance so that together we can work to her achieving an excellent attendance record.
Finally, I would like to draw to your attention that Holy Thursday 29 March, is a pupil free day. The College is closed that day.
This Saturday is our Emerald Gala Dinner Dance. I do hope some of you will be able to join us at The Cube for this great night of entertainment and frivolity.
I will close with an Irish Prayer sent to me recently by a dear friend of St Patrick’s College.
Sue Lennox - Principal
An Irish Prayer:
May those that love us,
And those that don't
may God turn their hearts,
and if God doesn't
turn their hearts,
may God turn their ankles
so we'll know them by their limping.
Learning and Teaching
On 12 March, Year 10 Japanese Elective and Year 12 Japanese Beginners students travelled to Kirrawee High School to visit the Nihongo Tanken Centre. It is a Japanese Language Centre which provides a stimulating and authentic Japanese environment where students can use and further develop their Japanese language skills.
The Centre is a Japanese-style building and garden with the “look and feel” of Japan. Students and teachers are immersed in Japanese language and culture through innovative learning programs.
This was a perfect opportunity for the St Patrick's students to practise what they had learnt in class and, with the Year 12 HSC speaking exams soon approaching, it was a very valuable experience for the Year 12 Beginners students.
The students are to be congratulated on their efforts and we look forward to other opportunities this year in the Languages Department for students to practise their language skills.
Julian Nash – LOTE Coordinator/Japanese Language Teacher
As I work through my first round of book checks with Year 9 Science students, I am reminded of the importance of fostering student pride in the work they produce.
Title pages produced by Alia T. Year 9 Science Student
Title pages are a common topic entry-point task set by teachers. They have multiple purposes. Title pages help students to organise their work by clearly indicating the beginning of a unit of work. They promote thinking and orientation towards a new unit of work as students consider images and words that align with new content. Title pages also provide opportunities for students to demonstrate pride in their work.
Pride is a feeling of satisfaction or pleasure in our work and achievements. While it is easy to appreciate the importance of pride in achievement (scores or grades), a sense of pride, in work as a whole, is an indicator that students are invested in the learning process and are motivated. Work by Carol Dweck, British Educational Psychologist, links motivation to students’ goal-seeking and persistence in the face of obstacles. These are important attributes that foster skill acquisition and quality in performance.
We often highlight the outstanding work that students present as components of projects and assessment tasks. In this article, I acknowledge the ordinary, everyday, beautiful book work of Year 9 Science and highlight examples where students demonstrate a sense of pride in their work. The students are studying a unit of work called Next Gen - with an overarching question that considers what life will be like for the next generation.
Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American psychologist, 41(10), 1040.
Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services & Year 9 Science Teacher
Entry is now open in the 2018 School Writing Competition.
Write4Fun Competition Poster
Students across Years 7 to 12 are invited to enter their Poems or Short Stories and battle it out for the great prizes on offer. See the poster below, log on www.write4fun.net or speak to your English teacher for more details. Best of luck!
Ann Treanor - English Coordinator
The past fortnight has seen the library embrace the celebrations of women through our acknowledgement of International Women's Day.
The Premier's Reading Challenge display
Last Monday, 5 March, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian launched the Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2018.
The challenge is open to all students from Kindergarten to year 9 and is a challenge to ‘read, read more, and read more widely’. The Premier’s Reading Challenge has been running for many years Australia wide and in 2018 runs from 5 March until 31 August. Each of our participating students must read a minimum of 20 books: a minimum of 15 from the PRC list and a maximum of 5 personal choice books. St Patrick’s College library has a long and successful history with the Premier’s Reading Challenge, with many girls achieving Gold and Platinum certificates, as well as the Premier’s Medal.
The library currently has a Premier’s Reading Challenge display and the list of eligible books can be found both in the library and on the Library’s Destiny Discover page.
To encourage the students to take part in the challenge, the library will be offering incentives throughout their reading journey.
On Wednesday 7 March, St Patrick’s College celebrated International Women’s Day. In recognition of the importance of celebrating women and their achievements and aspirations, the library celebrated with a display of their own.
We also added to our collection the story of Stephanie Woollard, who, at the age of 22, encountered seven disabled women subsisting in a tin shed in Kathmandu. Shocked to learn that disabled people are stigmatised in Nepal, Stephanie started helping the women help themselves. From this encounter, the aid organisation Seven Women was born, the effects of which are now World Wide. In 2016, Stephanie was honoured at the United Nations with a Rotary Responsible Business Award. We thank Sue Power, Grandmother of Emilie (Year 7), for her kind donation of this author signed book for our collection.
The library subscribes to a variety of journals and magazines; some digital and some in a physical form. The latest addition to the library is ‘Total Girl’, a magazine that covers fashion, travel, animals, cooking and craft. As we forsee these to be extremely popular, magazines will not be available for borrowing. They will only be available for use within the library.
The library is usually a hive of creativity and collaboration with lots of noise but for the remainder of this term, due to the impending exams, the library is now in quiet zone mode.
Michelle Feely, Librarian and Sue Harradine, Library Technician
On Tuesday 6 March, the Year 11 SLR class assisted at the Diocesan Primary Schools Swimming Carnival as part of their Sports Administration unit.
The girls actively supported parent volunteers throughout the day. They met with Mr John Sparks the Education Officer for Sport and PDHPE in the Wollongong Catholic Education Office to learn about how to run a major competition or event and the policy and procedures involved for the smooth running of a carnival. The girls were excellent ambassadors for our College, receiving lots of praise for representing St Patrick's with pride and humility.
Maria Boulatsakos – Year 11 SLR Teacher
On 8 and 9 March, the Year 10 girls went on their very first retreat experience at Mulgoa. It was a very different experience for all of us girls, but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it.
As it is our first year in the Senior School, we were all expecting our first retreat to be a lot like camps in previous years, but we were all surprised by how different the whole experience was.
At first, we all thought that it was just going to be two days of talking about God and what we believe in, but we soon learned that it wasn't just a chance to talk about our relationship with God, it also gave us all a chance to look deeper into the journey of our lives so far, and the journeys of our peers.
We arrived at Mulgoa, and the first thing we did was come together and talk about our expectations of ourselves, each other, the teachers and in general over the two days. We participated in multiple activities over the course of the two days, and each activity was engaging and different in its own way. I learned a lot about the other girls in my group, and I honestly think that just after one small activity, we all felt closer to each other. We all learnt things about each other that we didn't know before. On Thursday night, we participated in a year group liturgy. It gave me the chance to stop and just think quietly. A lot of girls were talking about assignments and other things, and this liturgy gave them a chance to relax and take their minds off those things and focus on just taking a break.
Overall, this first retreat experience was difficult, in the sense that we had to push ourselves to think in ways we don't normally think, and to take a break from everyday life and just focus on ourselves. But it was also one of the most amazing experiences I have had at school, because I truly feel that I have grown closer with every girl in our grade, and I believe that all the other Year 10 girls feel the same way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Gattone for organising the 2 days and the teachers, who took time away from their families to share this experience with us.
Ashleigh K - Year 10 SRC Representative
On Monday 5 March, St Patrick’s sent two touch teams to contest the Wollongong Diocesan Touch Championships.
Traditionally we send three teams but unfortunately due to a change in date we were unable to send our junior team as it clashed with the Year 7 camp. Overall, the level of competition and sportsmanship displayed at the event were excellent. The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot about the game of touch in the process.
Both teams had very successful days with the senior team finishing in second place overall after only losing one game all day. Unfortunately, the girls went down in a very close game to eventual champions Holy Spirit 1-0. The girls should be extremely proud of the way they played and the team work they displayed throughout the day.
The 15 years team were also extremely successful and finished in third place overall. The girls started off very well and recorded a number of strong wins against some very skilled teams. Unfortunately a couple of lapses in concentration at key points throughout games saw them lose and draw a couple of games that they probably could have won. On a positive note, this did not deter the girls and they went on to finish the day on a high defeating St Benedict’s 5-0 in their final game.
All girls should be very proud of their efforts and were by far the strongest performing Macarthur school in the competition.
Special mention should go to Sarah P (Year 9), Amy S (Year 11) and Julia P (Year 11) who gained selection in the Wollongong Diocesan Representative team to contest the NSWCCC Championships in Penrith.
I would like to extend a big thank you to Miss Buckler who offered to assist on the day at very short notice and also to our amazing group of supporting parents who braved tough conditions to support all the girls throughout the day.
15 Years Team
Piper A, Olivia S, Maya B, Tara B, Karina B, Rahni W, Sarah P, Sophie S, Sophie M and Abigail G.
Ana C, Emily A, Gemma C, Andrea M, Olivia F, Ruby D, Loretta T, Eden G, Kiarra B, Natalie S, Amy S and Julia P
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activites Coordinator
Congratulations to the girls that took part in the 2018 All Schools Triathlon at Penrith on 28 February and 1 March. On the first day of competition, we had Amy and Natalie S take part in the individual event which consisted of a 600m swim, 15km ride and a 4km run. It was the first time doing the individual event for both girls and they did extremely well with Amy finishing 12th overall in the Combined Catholic Colleges division and Natalie finishing 18th.
We then had eight school teams compete on the team relay day. It was a massive day at the Regatta Centre with over 1000 teams taking part in the event. All teams did a great job (even if some didn’t get the course quite right) and I’m sure the triathlon bug has bitten a few of the girls and we should see an even bigger team of girls taking part in 2019.
The triathlon teams consisted of:
Junior - Annalise D, Amy Y and Eden G.
Intermediate – Gabrielle P, Jarian H and Ruby D.
Intermediate – Rebecca O, Alysha B, Ruby B.
Intermediate – Hannah P, Sarah P and Tara B.
Intermediate – Alex F, Paris H and Ellie F.
Senior – Tia B, Cecilia T and Amelia A.
Senior – Julia P, Natalie S and Amy S.
Senior – Eden G, Ana C and Kayla G.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
Congratulations to the following girls who have been selected to represent NSW Combined Catholic Colleges teams to contest the NSW All Schools Championships.
Jorja B and Isabelle M
Softball – Jorja B and Isabelle M
Cricket – Stephanie E
After four rounds of the Term 1 MISA competition, College teams are currently sitting in the following positions, listed below.
Year 7,8,9 Softball currently in 2nd place overall with 3 wins and 1 loss.
Year 7,8,9 Volleyball currently in 1st place overall with 3 wins and 1 draw.
Year 10,11,12 Basketball currently in 1st place overall with 4 wins and 0 losses.
Year 10,11,12 Oz Tag currently in 1st place overall with 4 wins and 0 losses.
Open Tennis currently in 1st place overall with 4 wins and 0 losses.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
On Saturday 11 March, I had the pleasure of accompanying College Captain Natalie M, along with her parents, to the District Final of the Lions Youth of the Year Quest at Wests, Campbelltown.
College Captain - Natalie M
After completing her panelled interview that morning, Natalie gave two impromptu speeches and a prepared speech. The impromptu questions were “Is technology having a positive or negative effect on the way we use our brains?” and “Tomato or Barbeque Sauce?” and her prepared speech explored the role of history in shaping our awareness of the present. Thanks to the Lions Club of Campbelltown for this great opportunity and for their enduring support of our wonderful young people.
Well done Natalie! We are all very proud of you.
Marguerite Pulham - Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” Margaret Fuller
CSDA Public Speaking Team
On Friday 2 March, 12 very articulate and passionate young women shared their wisdom, insights and perspectives with a room full of adults, children and teens in the Catholic Schools Debating Association Metropolitan Public Speaking Competition. Our motto is “Empowering Young Women” and there is no better way than public speaking to do so. Our girls use their voices to promote peace, justice, equality, solidarity and sustainability. All 12 were outstanding. Congratulations to all 12 girls and especially to Kate and Rhiannon who proceeded through to the Zone Final on Friday 9 March.
Thanks to All Saints Liverpool for hosting round one and Aquinas Menai for hosting the Zone Final.
Bianca R (in the Year 9 division)
Well done girls! We are all very proud of you.
Marguerite Pulham - Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator
This year, the focus for the Environment Group is waste and recycling.
As a group, we would like to educate, advocate and participate in initiatives that will increase awareness of our current waste-practices and better strategies to ensure the College moves towards a waste-free environment and encourage better recycling practices. All students are invited to complete the ‘Waste @ St Pats’ questionnaire which was emailed so we have some data for our current situation. Here is the link if you have some time to complete it over the weekend Waste@StPats
Maria Boulastakos - Teacher
On Friday 2 March, the College community participated in the annual Clean up Schools Day.
The Environment Council placed house colours on bins and the students were encouraged to put their waste in the appropriate bin for house points. Then at the end of lunch, each year group was allocated an area to be a steward of and remove any rubbish. Our beautiful grounds became waste-free again and our native birds came back to our lovely gardens. We encourage all students to continue being mindful of their rubbish and engage in more environmentally friendly practices to make our College community and planet more sustainable for the future.
House points will be allocated from the leadership in the following order:
1st - Chisholm
2nd - Gilmore
3rd - Kenny
4th - Lyons
Maria Boulastakos - Teacher
Knitting Club is starting up again for 2018.
P & F
What's On ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
16 March - Official Opening of New Building, CSDA Public Speaking Grand Final
17 March - St Patrick's Day, Emerald Gala Dinner Dance
19 March - Year 12 Biology Excursion
20 March - Senior School Assembly, Macarthur Max Potential Induction Workshop, Close the Gap Anniversary
22 March - Year 5 Workshops, Year 7 & 8 Public Speaking/Debating Excursion
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, Year 10 Liturgy
4 April - Year 10 PASS Excursion
6 April - NSW CCC Swimming, DIO Touch Football Selections, Year 11 First Aid Incursion
9 April - Year 7 Vaccinations
10 April - Year 7 Liturgy
12 April - Year 12 Hospitality Excursion
13 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 1
17 April - Appin Massacre Anniversary
30 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS RETURN FOR TERM 2