From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
International Women's Day
Yesterday morning we hosted our annual International Women’s Day breakfast. Two of our ex-students spoke at the event. Dr Joanna Winchester and Baylie Trostian shared their experiences since leaving the College and gave some insightful words of wisdom to the gathered audience. We don’t often allow ourselves the opportunity to listen to other women and reflect on the messages they deliver. This morning was one of those nurturing opportunities where we walked away feeling empowered and hopeful of the future of women and our society. The unifying thread throughout their presentations was the impact and influence the College had on their lives and their futures. Their reflections confirm for those of us, currently at the College, of the ongoing importance of our work and the seeds that are planted in the day to day. As Joanna said in her presentation, we need to give the girls a voice, but they need to be able to listen with their ears and their hearts. Otherwise it is just a lot of people making a lot of noise. This action of speaking, hearing and listening is the foundation of a well loved and often quoted Benedictine value to “Listen with the Ear of your Heart”.
Through the week we hosted the first of the parent forums for the semester. Thank you to those parents who were able to attend the Senior School Parent Forum on Tuesday. It is always a casual gathering of parents and a good opportunity for parents to meet each other and raise issues if they wish. We also try to provide some broader information which we believe parents will find interesting. Next Tuesday will be the Middle School Parent Forum. An agenda has been sent out via email and I encourage you to attend if you are able. The minutes of both meetings will be sent out in the following week.
Year 7 Camp and Year 10 Retreat
This week the Year 7 girls attended camp and the Year 10 girls attended their retreat. Both had an overnight experience with a program that was organised and delivered by the staff. I believe both events were very successful with students gaining valuable skills and experiences. I thank the staff for their work in supporting these events as we would not be able to offer them without their support.
You will have heard in the media lately the outcome of the court case concerning Cardinal George Pell. As there are further legal actions pending it would be inappropriate to make any comment about this case. There has been deeply disturbing revelations of abuse and a neglect of care amongst those in positions of responsibility across a number of institutions. For the Catholic Church this has been profoundly felt by the faithful resulting in the erosion of trust and credibility. As a College, discharged with the duty of educating young people, our obligations to ensure their safety and protection is paramount. We have policies and protocols in place that ensure there is appropriate action should there be any suspicion of risk to a student. Similarly, if our girls feel at risk or have concerns about any behaviours at the College, we urge them to inform you or their Year Coordinator immediately. Every disclosure is treated with utmost respect for the child and treated in accordance with our policies. We are all aware we need to be constantly vigilant when it comes to child protection.
Emerald Gala Ball
During the next fortnight we will hold the Emerald Gala Ball. It is our only fundraiser and the money raised goes exclusively to the scholarship fund. If you haven’t purchased your tickets, I suggest you do so quickly. It is always a great night and you will be supporting a great cause.
I will leave you with a short reflection on women as we celebrate International Women's Day today. Thanking all the women in our lives for their support, guidance and role modelling over the years.
Sue Lennox - Principal
Today we honour women of all times and places:
Women of courage
Women of hope
Women of suffering
Women of mourning
Women living fully
Women experiencing joy
Women delighting in life
Women giving life
Women knowing the interconnectedness of the human family
Women promoting human flourishing
Women boldly leading the transformation on unjust global structures
Women seeking and sharing wisdom
Women seeking and sharing love.
We thank you God for them all.
(Source: Caritas Australia)
On Wednesday 6 March, we held our Ash Wednesday service which marks the start of our lenten season.
The purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter through prayer, penance, repentance, self-denial and almsgiving. In the spirit of almsgiving, each year, on Ash Wednesday, we launch Project Compassion. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia's annual lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal. Millions of Australians come together in solidarity with the world's poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. The season of Lent runs until Thursday 18 April (Holy Thursday). We would encourage all our students to be actively involved as fundraising together is a great way to build community and show solidarity with people around the world.
On Wednesday 26 February the new SRC students for 2019 were presented with their badges by Ms Lennox. Election by the College staff and students' peers into the SRC is a great honour and provides these students with an opportunity to lead and serve not only their respective Pastoral Classes but also the College community.
These students, through their involvement in all aspects of College life, have displayed the many qualities that are necessary criteria in the effective management of the role. Such as building relationships and community school spirit, sharing in decisions on school issues, responding to student concerns and needs and bringing about change.
Student Representative Councils give students the skills to create and to implement, to lead and to follow, to learn from mistakes and to succeed. Most importantly, they give students the opportunity to represent the views of their peers, and to succeed in making those views heard.
Through the SRC it is hoped that we develop strong relationships between all members of the College community and at St Patrick's this is always with the Benedictine values that underpin Good Samaritan education - namely, to treat other people with the respect that they deserve which involves the welcoming and accepting of all students and staff members.
Each year, as part of our leadership process we elect three middle school leaders who will work with the senior leaders to ensure the middle school and senior school stay connected and work together for all the students of the College.
Middle School Leaders
Middle School Leader – Community. This role will work with and support the College Captain, with a focus on promoting and supporting the Middle School and its links with the Senior School and the wider College community - Amelia C
Middle School Leader – Stewardship. This role will work with and support the Scholastica Captain, with a focus on promoting and supporting the co-curricular life of the College – Tavara S
Middle School Leader – PAX. This role will work with and support the Benedictine Captain, with a focus on promoting and supporting social justice and liturgical life of the College – Molly Q
As a school community we wish them well in their role and look forward to the initiatives and changes they bring to the College in 2019.
Karen Wright - Assistant Princpal Students
On Tuesday 5 March the Year 10 Japanese class visited the Nihongo Tanken Centre. This excursion provided an authentic Japanese language and cultural experience for the students, where they were able to use their knowledge and understanding of Japanese to participate on the day.
The students were involved in activities that required them to skilfully solve challenges, participate in team-work games, converse in Japanese in front of an audience, and learn how to make Onigiri (Japanese rice ball snacks). The students also enjoyed a traditional Japanese Bento lunch in the serenity of a beautiful Japanese garden. The girls did an amazing job representing the College – well done Year 10!
Jared Baca - Japanese Teacher
Year 7 attended camp at Teen Ranch this week. Although it was two very hot days, the girls participated with enthusiasm and stepped out of their comfort zone to take part in the activities.
The girls overcame many challenges by working as a team and using initiative and leadership. The activities included the giant swing, horse-riding, rock-climbing, canoeing and pool and water games. The theme of the camp was ‘fun with friends’ and the girls got to know the students in their homeroom a bit more and form new friendships. The night-time activity included a drum session of mindfulness and cooperation to stick with the instructed beat. Camp was a great opportunity for the girls to bond as a year group and I thank them for their willingness to have a go and sit with any discomfort to build resilience.
Maria Boulatsakos - Year 7 Coordinator
The start of a year is a good time to reassess the space where you work at home.
Study Skill Units - Working Better at Home
It is best to work in whatever space has the least amount of distractions. Here are some points to consider:
- Natural lighting is best, but if not possible then a good strong bulb in your room and a bright desk lamp is essential. What is the lighting like in your study area?
- Fresh air and oxygen to the brain helps keep you mentally alert. What is the ventilation and air quality like in your study area?
- Your work space sets the tone for the way you approach your study. Is your desk large enough? What is your working space or desk like?
- The chair you use should be comfortable (but not so comfy you fall asleep) and adjustable to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. What is your chair like?
- When you are trying to memorise things, quiet is essential. No music (unless it is certain types of classical like baroque). How effectively can you keep your room quiet?
- Storage is essential to help you keep your notes organised and sorted. Shelves, a filing cabinet, drawers. What is the storage like in your room?
- It is important to keep your study area uncluttered and organised. A large pin board for notices and a calendar are useful. How organised is your study area?
- How many distractions do you have in your room? Computer, phone etc? It is always a good idea to switch off or remove distractions before you start work. If you have to use your laptop make a conscious effort to not use personal technology during times when you are doing schoolwork. How well do you cope with the distractions in your room?
To learn more about setting up an effective work area at home (including the effect the colour of your room has on your ability to study and how to set up your room ergonomically visit the Home Study Environment unit. There is a direct link to Study Skills Handbook in Destiny Discover that will take you straight through to the handbook without the need to enter the user name or password.
If you need assistance in accessing this or any other online resource please see the library staff.
The College Library
Each month, all staff and students will receive an email highlighting the great new additions to the College Library.
'What's New at @ Your College Library' will be a snapshot of just some of the new fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels and picture books for the month, as well as new (and free!) eBooks and Audiobooks available via the ePlatform app. All titles are available for staff and students to borrow. We are more than happy to help any students who would like any assistance, and hope the new monthly newsletter will be a useful guide to increase awareness of the Library's evolving collection and support reading for leisure and study.
The College Library
This fortnight has been an extremely busy one for the library as we have had many 'irons in the fire'.The library has been a hive of activity as we primped and prepped for Open Day. New ID cards have been printed for Year 7, and the Premier's Reading Challenge for 2019 was officially launched on Monday 4 March.
Big Sister Little Sister display
Open Day is the opportunity for the College and its departments to showcase themselves to our families and prospective families, and the library is no exception.
From the Big Sister Little Sister display, the furnishings and aesthetic enhancements courtesy of Year 10 Design and Technology class 2018, the Sphero maze run by the Tech Club, the PowerPoint display of all the clubs on offer by the library, the latest additions to the library's collection, visitors to the library on Open Day were impressed with the improvements and ongoing growth of the library.
Our students played host to the library's numerous visitors, taking them on a tour and pointing out all that the library has to offer. It was very heartening to hear the pride with which the girls spoke of their library and their glowing testimonials were a positive affirmation that what we do, believing it to be for the benefit of the staff and students, is in fact noticed and appreciated as such.
Monday 4 March saw the official launch of the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge for 2019. The challenge is open to all students in Years K-9, and we invite all interested students to participate. There was a quick meeting of interested students held in the library on Thursday, and those students will shortly receive their logins so they can electronically log their reading list. It is not too late to join up. Please pop into the library and see Mrs Harradine or Mrs Robertson. Our collection has many new additions so there is no shortage of material to suit every reader. Happy reading.
The College Library
On Thursday 21 February, St Patrick’s College held its annual swimming carnival at the Gordon Fetterplace Aquatic Centre. The weather was perfect, and the sight of red, green, yellow and blue splashed everywhere across the venue suggested house spirit was going to play a big part in the carnival this year.
Swim Age Champions
The day started with the traditional Year 12 fashion parade and it was amazing how much thought, time and effort Year 12 put into their costumes. They looked fantastic as they paraded around the pool and it was obvious they took great pride in showing them off. Another highlight was the quality of swimming on show throughout the day. From the very first race, it was obvious that the standard was going to be high and the competition fierce.
As always, everyone appeared to have a great time and this was reflected in the enthusiastic participation by all students. The cheering, point scrambles, aquathon (congratulations to Hannah P on the win) and Big Sister Little Sister swims were all a magnificent spectacle and ultimately decided the final house positions for the day.
While the novelty events are a key element of the carnival, the swimming races are what most are there for and the best performing students in each age group for 2019 were as follows:
12 Years Age Champion – Caitlin R (Lyons)
13 Years Age Champion – Hayley C (Chisholm)
14 Years Age Champion – Ilori P (Chisholm)
15 Years Age Champion – Brianna H (Gilmore)
16 Years Age Champion – Hannah P (Kenny)
17+ Years Age Champion – Niamh G (Lyons)
For the first time ever, we had joint winners of the Overall Age Champion trophy and those students were Hayley C (Chisholm) and Brianna H (Gilmore).
In regard to House points, it was the closest finish ever and ultimately came down to participation points from the novelty events to determine the final positions. At the end of the day, Gilmore finished in 1st place with 991 points, Kenny in 2nd on 904 points, Lyons in 3rd on 871 points and Chisholm 4th on 723 points.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the students on the way they conducted themselves throughout the day. I would also like to thank the staff for their involvement in the running of the carnival and also to the numerous parents who turned up throughout the day to support not only their daughters but the College community as a whole.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
Congratulations to all the girls that took part in the NSW All-Schools Triathlon Championships held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Thursday 28 February and Friday 1 March.
In the individual event we had two students compete in the Junior Division – Bronwyn Z and Laura Z and they did an exceptional job in their first ever triathlon.
In the teams event we had five junior teams and one intermediate team compete. The junior teams consisted of Darcy E, Georgia Q and Annalise D, Amy Y, Ilori P and Tess M, Logan L, Caitlin R and Tamika-Bree H, Nicolette A, Siena B and Hayley C Abby C, Amelie O and Brontee M and the intermediate team consisted of Emilee O, Piper L and Brianna H.
While it was the first time at the event for many and they were not overly competitive, they all had a fantastic time representing the College.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
Congratulations to Elizabeth C on her selection in the NSW Under 19's Indoor Netball side that will be contesting the Aged Nationals in Brisbane at Arundel Indoor Sports Centre in May.
The Knitting Group (now in its 13th year) resumed on 28 February with 43 members attending the first meeting. It was wonderful to see the number of new Year 7 students joining the group. Students will knit squares that will be put together into blankets for local welfare cases attended to by the St Vincent de Paul Society. Students also have the option of knitting scarves. We had a display for Open Day and many of our brochures were taken by prospective students.
Open Day Display
We have started the year with five blankets already assembled by our volunteer helpers Ms Lorraine St John and Mrs Maureen O'Brien using squares knitted in 2018. Our volunteer helpers consist of past staff members Ms Lorraine St John, Mrs Maxine Evans, Mrs Maureen McCann, Mrs Shirley Mills, Mrs Maureen O'Brien, Mrs Janine McLeod and friend of the College, Mrs Cathy Johnson. We are indebted to these ladies who give up their own time to attend and knit and assemble blankets at home. Campbelltown Council presented these volunteers with the 'Gift of Time' certificate in December 2018.
We welcome donations of squares or wool/needles to our group. If you know somebody who would like to knit squares, we cast on 50 stitches and knit in garter stitch.
Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher
After a very busy 2018 organising the centenary of the Armistice commemorations, the History Club has a busy year ahead preparing for the school's 180th birthday next year. We had a very successful Open Day display decorating H13 with the decorations from last year's Remembrance Day ceremony. This room will now be the place where all meetings will be conducted.
Open Day Display
Students were given a wonderful presentation by Mackenzie M who attended a trip of World War I sites as part of the Anzac Ambassadors Program late 2018. She spoke about seeing Australian war cemeteries and sites such as Lemnos, the Imperial War Museum in London and the French village of Villers-Bretonneux. The History Club members were enthralled by her talk and had lots of questions.
The History Club's next project is to transcribe interviews done with past Sisters of the College conducted in 2015 and the interview they conducted with 94 year old Phyllis Baxter last year. We also intend to catalogue all plaques, statues and artworks around the College.
Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher
P & F
FINAL DAYS TO BOOK YOUR TICKET TO OUR EMERALD GALA BALL.
As the only all-girls school in the Macarthur area, St Patrick's College offers a secure and supportive environment for local girls who thrive in such a setting.
We invite you to join us and the wider community on Saturday 16 March 2019.
Theme - Gatsby "Glitz and Glamour". Dress - Cocktail or Gatsby.
Campbelltown Catholic Club
20 Camden Road
Campbelltown, NSW 2560
Danielle Grant - Telephone 02 4629 2999
What's on ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
for all events at the College, CLICK HERE