Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
Welcome back to the new year. I would like to welcome all our new staff to the College. They will be a great addition to learning and teaching and I am confident your daughters will find them to be excellent educators. We have included a photo of each in this edition for your information. They include Mr Bettiol, Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, Ms Claudine Bella, English/RE, Ms Laura Bryant, and Ms Sarah Hilder, who are all English, Ms Cassandra Iler, HSIE/RE and Ms Soliette Roa who is Music. Finally we have Ms Courtney Russell who is our School Psychologist. Thank you to Mrs Wright who held the Acting Principal position during Term 4 and negotiated these new positions.
Welcome also to our new students in Years 8-11 and all the Year 7 girls who have made a great start. We wish you and your families the very best as you begin your time with us at St Patrick's.
At our first assembly I spoke to the girls about being fearless. Everyone has fears. Some of these are important as they keep us safe but others stop us from becoming the person we have the potential to become. I read to the girls what some prominent people had to say about being fearless. Madonna King, who spoke to this community in 2017, described fearless as being rarely easy. Maree Crabbe, founder of Risk and Reality, believes fearless means not being controlled or limited and defined by fears. Several student leaders believe it is about being out of their comfort zone or to be able to show yourself as vulnerable and that you will make mistakes. During Chapel we spoke with the girls about one area in their life where they will be fearless for 2019. It can be in their approach to work, it can be in their relationships with others or it can be in the activities or behaviours they have. They each wrote down what they will be fearless in and this has been put in a safe spot. Later this term we will revisit the commitment they made to themselves and review how they are going with it.
As key supporters of these girls we all need to encourage them to try new things, to make safe choices and extend themselves so that they have the experience of what they can do and like to do. It will mean being out of the comfort zone and possibly making errors but it is the only way to fully embrace what is on offer. Certainly, every new student who started at St Patrick's this year has made that very step. They are on a journey and a new beginning that has required them to be fearless. I encourage all girls to take up this challenge to be fearless.
The start of the year is always very hectic. I am currently visiting all the Catholic Primary Schools and speaking with the girls in Years 5 and 6. They are delightful and ask very good questions about high school. I am ably accompanied by two Year 10 students who are exceptional representatives of the College. We are informing all girls of our upcoming Open Day. A flyer for Open Day is included in this edition for your information. If you know of anyone with a Year 5 or 6 girl who have yet to decide on their high school, can you encourage them to visit us on Saturday 23 February. It is always a great day and often the turning point in school choice for many girls and their families.
We were recently informed by our uniform supplier that they have insufficient material for the winter school order that the College placed last November. A new batch of material will be ready by June but as you would be aware, this is after the girls have transitioned into the winter uniform. You will have received an email outlining the strategy we will deploy so that we support you in acquiring a winter unform. Unfortunately, this is an unforeseen situation that will require your patience and assistance. We will keep you informed of the developments and apologise for the situation.
During our parent information evenings over 2018 you would have heard of the new Parent Portal that the College has launched. It appears to be utilised by several parents with high levels of satisfaction. We still have a few anomalies to iron out but it will serve the College well into the future. We therefore are in a position to discontinue the Schoolstream application. To duplicate information to two access points increases the risk of potential error and disjointed communication. We will therefore be discontinuing the app and will develop capability in the Parent Portal to cover the tasks parents may have used with the application. An email will come from the IT department to inform you of how to do this.
Emerald Gala Ball
You may be aware we are finalising the preparations for the St Patrick’s College Emerald Gala Ball which will be held on Saturday 16 March 2019 at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club. We will need some parents to help us package up the silent auction items. If you have a few hours in the week of 11 March to 13 March we would dearly love your assistance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, thank you for your ongoing support of the College. The girls have returned to school invigorated and ready to learn. They are a credit to you and their community. We are forever grateful to be in this blessed community. I will leave you with a short reflection on Hospitality which is one of the Benedictine Values for 2019.
Sue Lennox - Principal
A wisdom story from oral tradition...
An old rabbi once asked his pupils how they
could tell when the night had ended and the
day had begun.
"Could it be," asked one of his students,
"when you can see an animal in the distance
and tell whether it's a sheep or a dog?"
"No," answered the rabbi.
Another asked, "Is it when you can look at
a tree in the distance and tell whether it's a fig
tree or a peach tree?"
"No," answered the rabbi.
"Then when is it?" the pupils demanded.
"It's when you can look on the face of any
man or woman and see that it is your sister
or brother. Because if you cannot see this, it is
Joan Chittister - Songs of the heart - Reflections on The Psalms