Volume 31 Issue 8 - 7 June 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Over the past two weeks we have had parent teacher interviews. These are a crucial part of your daughter’s education. There is ample evidence that shows there is a direct correlation between parent involvement in their child’s education and that child’s success in their learning. When a parent simply asks how their child is travelling, looking at their books, or helping them complete their calendar of assessments that child feels there is a shared interest and care. With adolescents it can sometimes be difficult to strike up a conversation about their school work without the child becoming defensive. Positive conversations of this type can only happen if there is trust. That is, trust that there will be no blaming, lecturing, scolding or anger in the discussion. So I would suggest as a start non-threatening questions such as, who did you sit next to?  Was your lesson in the morning/afternoon? Are any of your friends in the class? Have the capacity to build trust. As the conversation begins to build you can ask about the topic she is currently learning about. What part of the topic does she enjoy? What activities are her favourite? These questions will illicit more specific responses that will develop into an ongoing conversation.

I would like to thank all our parents who were able to attend the parent teacher interviews. It was a great opportunity for staff to meet you and discuss with you your daughter’s progress. If you were unable to attend, then I encourage you to email your daughter’s teachers as they will be very pleased to share their observations of your daughter's progress with you. I would also like to thank the staff for their support of the evenings after a full day of teaching. They see these evenings as essential in support of your daughter's learning.

We have been successful in attracting some government funding to refurbish the Westview building. The building work will begin in term 3. The first stage will involve the creation of two brand new kitchens near the maintenance area of Westview. This is expected to finish by the end of the year. The second stage will be at the reception end of Westview when we will have refurbished TAS areas, textiles and DT areas. During this building, we will apply for some further funding to be used to assist in the final stage which will be the centre of the building. It is expected that this building will begin mid-2020. By the end of 2020 we will have a very contemporary space which will be very exciting to teach and learn in. In preparation of this building we will need to move a few spaces around and obviously secure the work area. Much of this will be done over the coming holiday break. We look forward to keeping you posted on the developments.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all the girls who have achieved success over the term. To the debaters who are growing from strength to strength from week to week. To the Year 11 girls who competed in the Rotary Youth Excellence Awards through the week and Imogen M who was awarded the coveted Youth Ambassador of the Year 2019. To all the MISA teams who are performing exceptionally well in their codes and to all the girls who have been diligent in their studies and worked hard this term.

I will leave you with a few words on the feast of Pentecost which will be celebrated this Sunday.

 May the courage and spirit that filled the disciples on that day, in that room, inspire you also to go out and live the good news in our communities.


Sue Lennox - Principal 



Student Drop off and Pick Up

A reminder to all parents that students are NOT permitted to be dropped off outside the front of the College reception area. The safety of all our students is paramount and it is dangerous for parents to be using this area as a drop off or pick up zone, regardless of the weather conditions. 

The College has provided a safe drive through loop with entry at gate 1.

Any student being dropped off in the morning, via the front reception and compromising the safety of others, may be issued a lunchtime detention. 

If parents are visiting the College and entering reception, visitor parking spaces are available for your use.

I thank you for your partnership in keeping our students safe.

Sue Lennox - Principal


As Catholics, we celebrate the birth of our Church on Pentecost Sunday, this year falling on 9 June. The word Pentecost comes from the Greek word pentecoste, meaning "50th day." Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.


At Pentecost, the Apostles and their followers were gathered in a room. Jews from all over the world were gathered with Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the Eleven. At this time, a great wind blew, and a flame appeared as a tongue of fire, which split itself into many individual flames above the heads of all those present. The Holy Spirit came upon these people and each began to speak in tongues. Despite the fact many had no common language, they were perfectly able to understand one another.

Others who were not so blessed, accused those speaking in tongues of being drunk, but Peter arose and addressed the crowd, explaining that it was only 9 o'clock, and that this phenomenon was not intoxication, but rather this was the work of the Holy Spirit, prophesised in the scripture.

Peter then called all those present to be baptised and about 3,000 people were baptised that day. These people were among the first Catholics, and Peter is the first Pope of the Catholic Church.

The symbols of Pentecost are the flame, wind and the dove, which represent the Holy Spirit. The colour of Pentecost is red and the priest wears red vestments on this day.

The timing of these feasts is also where Catholics get the concept of the Novena - nine days of prayer - because in Acts 1, Mary and the Apostles prayed together “continuously” for nine days after the Ascension leading up to Pentecost. Traditionally, the Church prays the Novena to the Holy Spirit in the days before Pentecost.

Louise East - Acting RE Coordinator

Help Needed

Volunteers need for HSC exams

We are seeking volunteers to read for the HSC exams on the following dates and times:
Tuesday 22 October 9.25-10.30am
Friday 1 November 9.25-11.00am
Friday 8 November 9.25-11.00am
In this role you will be required to read the exam questions and any incorporated stimulus or resource materials. You may also be required to read the student's answers back to them if they ask.
If you are available for these dates/times, please contact the Learning Enhancement Coordinator, Mrs Eileen Kelly on ekelly@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au
Eileen Kelly - Learning Enhancement Coordinator

Youth Ambassador of the Year for 2019

Our very own Imogen M has been named Campbelltown’s Youth Ambassador of the Year for 2019.

Jarian H, Imogen M, Amadee T

Imogen was nominated for the Academic category of the annual Rotary Youth Excellence Awards, along with Jarian H for the Sport category, and Amadee T for Community Service category.

A very shocked and humble Imogen was presented her award on Monday night at Wests Leagues Club in front of Campbelltown Mayor George Brticevic, and hundreds of fellow Macarthur students and their supporters.

Imogen has not only built upon her own academic success over the years, she has added to the knowledge and understanding of those around her, frequently and unselfishly providing valuable peer mentoring. Imogen’s remarkable commitment to academic excellence, and the respect her peers have for her, is evident in the long list of academic, school community and peer-nominated awards that accompanied her nomination.

In her acceptance speech Imogen thanked her parents and siblings for their unending support and her teachers for nominating her.

Congratulations Imogen for achieving this well-deserved award.

Wendy McDonald - Teacher

Year 12 Retreat Reflection

From Wednesday 15 May to Friday 17 May, we, Year 12, had our last Retreat. This was an experience we all enjoyed and thoroughly treasured as our last. The main approach to the Retreat was to focus on the love of self, love of others, and love of God, which was influenced by the theme of the Gospel passage, ‘Do you Love Me?’ (John 21:15-19). It was also emphasised to forget about our worries, particularly our school work, and to focus on being in the moment, reflecting and contemplating on our mission in life and the mission of God.

On the first day of the Retreat, we focused on our self love and the many great qualities that we possess. We did this through many small and large group activities that gave us the opportunity to spend time focusing on ourselves and reflecting on our strengths and weaknesses. We were given activities that allowed us to decide what person we are and how we operate. This enabled us to get to know ourselves to a greater extent. “Simon, son of God do you love me?” (John 21:15-19), is a part of the gospel passage that highlights the love of self we reflected on.

On the second day we focused on ‘Love of Neighbour.’ “Tend my sheep,” (John 21:15-19) focused on the love of others. Through affirmations and celebrating friendships we were able to share our love for our friends and classmates. We shared and identified our own and each other’s spiritual gifts. This brought us closer as a year group and by the end of the second day we were dancing and laughing as one.

By the last day, it really sunk in that this was our last time away from school together. We focused on our personal relationship with God, inspired by the quote, “Yes, Lord you know that I love you,” (John 21:15-19). We were able to share our thoughts on God, which was a real eye-opener to see that God is different in everyone’s lives. We learnt that God takes many forms and appears in each other’s lives during tough and joyful times. I can definitely say that God was revealed on this Retreat.

As a whole, Retreat was a refreshing and enjoyable experience that will be an important memory.  After tears, laughs, and lots of smiles, we are very grateful for the Retreat program. Thank you to all the students and teachers involved, especially Mr Ashkar and Mr Gattone, for making our last Retreat as special and as memorable as it was.

By Kate R and Stephanie E - Year 12

Student Leaders Iftar Dinner

On 29 May, I attended the Student Leaders Iftar Dinner held at Amity College. Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

It began with the Islamic Call to Prayer by a student of Amity College. This call preludes the night and set the tone for an opportunity that I will hold dear as an event that allowed me to experience another culture alongside other student leaders. The event included musical performances by the Amity College Choir, two phenomenal guest speakers who gave us insight into the contribution that diversity makes to leadership. As well as this, there was the chance to hear the social justice initiatives made by Amity College including a visit to Christchurch following the mosque shootings. Each of these aspects allowed me to witness the amazing ability of diversity to create a unified community both locally and globally.

One of the best parts of the night had to be the amazing dinner. The dishes were drawn from a mostly Turkish background and included an array of chicken, rice and potato dishes that were literally so good. The meal concluded with eating far too much baklava and discussions with the students around my table regarding how to lead through change. As a table we decided that the three ‘Cs’ helped with this: Communication, Collaboration and Commitment. Finally, one of the best parts of the night was hearing from the two Islamic students and their experiences of being a Muslim in a contemporary world. This was an opportunity that I will not forget and am so glad that I was able to attend. 

Rhiannon K - Year 12 Student

Year 9 Camp Reflection

After months of anticipation and preparation, the Year 9 students were excited to embark on their camp for 2019. This annual camp is always a highlight for the students, with senior students always reflecting on this camp as one of their fondest memories during their time at the College. In conjunction with the general Year 9 Camp, 14 students elected to also complete the Duke of Edinburgh program which saw these students arrive a day earlier than the rest of the cohort.

The Year 9 camp was a chance for girls to push themselves out of their comfort zone. The students spent three days at Biloela, completing a very well-coordinated and structured program in the Belanglo State Forest. It was also an opportunity for girls to take on the added responsibility to cook for themselves, set up their tents, clean-up after themselves, as well as support the other students in their group during the program.  The overall mood of the girls was excited, and the anticipation to disconnect from their busy routines was something many students could not wait for. During their time at camp, the girls participated in activities such as canoeing, abseiling, mountain-bike riding, raft building and orienteering. During the time away, the girls bonded closely to each and developed even greater relationships and friendships with each other.

Since returning from camp, the students have shared wonderful stories, memories and advice with each other. The positive feedback indicates the camp was a great success. I truly would like to particularly thank Ms Lennox, Mrs Nash, Mr Muller, Ms Macri, Ms Roa, Ms Hilder, Ms Bryant and Mr Stevens for their tremendous effort and contributions to making the camp so successful.

Jared Baca – Year 9 Coordinator


Reflections from some Year 9 students:

What were the highlights of camp?

Stepping out of my comfort zone – Looking up at the amazing stars – Not being so distracted by my phone – Not having social media – Sitting around the warm campfire – Laughing and making memories with my old and new friends – Creating new bonds with girls in my grade – Knowing I can push through pain barriers (and step out of my comfort zone!)

What was the most challenging part of camp?

Not having a shower - Using the drop-toilets (anonymous) – Hiking up hills – The cold weather – Sleeping in tents – Carrying our hiking packs – Not having access to my phone – Not knowing the time – Abseiling – Heights

Advice for future students attending camp?

Pack warm clothes and gloves – Embrace all challenges (the feeling of success is amazing) – Don’t overpack – LIVE IN THE MOMENT (AND ENJOY IT!) – Camp makes you appreciate your creature comforts – Have an open mind – IT WAS THE BEST CAMP I’VE EVER BEEN ON – YOU WILL LOVE IT! – Bring snacks – It may be the most challenging experience of your life, but it will also be the MOST MEMORABLE!

* Camp was a wonderful experience I will never forget. I went into the experience feeling nervous and anxious, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, during camp I started to see a side of myself that I had never seen before. I got to find out how strong I really was, and that I really was able to step out of my comfort zone. I am so glad I was able to experience such an amazing experience with the girls in my grade.

Year 8 Engineering - Pinball Machines

This trimester challenged the engineering skills of Year 8 Technology students through the design and production of their very own functioning pinball machine. 

The girls were asked to select a theme for their pinball machine and use the laser cutter to etch their design onto the backboard. This challenged the girls' ability to use computer aided software to draw their design and correctly etch it onto the timber. The construction of the pinball machine was difficult and the girls worked together to build and design the game with a range of bumpers and obstacles that demonstrated a range of different energy inputs and outputs. The girls should be very proud of their efforts with this project. It challenged their ability to independently read and interpret instructions, design and produce the board frame, experiment with a range of materials and problem solve any challenges they faced during the construction. 

Olivia Matti - TAS Teacher

Sydney Symphony Orchestra at St Pat's

Over the first weekend in May, St Patrick's College was privileged to host the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Playerlink Camp. 

Chelsey-Rae H (Yr8) ready to perform on Sunday Afternoon

School students from all over the state were auditioned to be a part of the event, where members of the SSO mentored the students through a variety of orchestral pieces. This culminated in a concert for parents and the community on Sunday afternoon. Angelina T of Year 12 was able to attend the tutorials on Friday and Chelsey-Rae H of Year 8 participated in the entire weekend. Both students gained many skills and said that they learned a lot about intonation and playing as an ensemble.

Elizabeth Samyia - CAPA Teacher

History Club - Prizes and Awards open to all students

There are two History competitions open to all students!


National History Challenge (closing date 30 August) - The theme for this year's challenge is 'People and Power' and students from all year levels can submit various formats for this competition. We are permitted to send six entries per year group and most students may be able to craft an assignment they have done into the theme. All participants receive a certificate of participation. For more information see http://historychallenge.org.au/

The Simpson Prize - (closing date 8 November) - This prize is open to Year 9 and 10 students. Students have to write the following essay using a variety of primary and secondary sources: “Allied victory brought an end to war, suffering, and challenges for Australia and its people.”
To what extent do experiences of 1919 support this view? Those students successful win a tour overseas of battlefields where Australians fought in World War I. For more information see http://www.simpsonprize.org/

Please see myself, Mr East or your History teacher if you are interested in applying.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Knitting Group - Preparing for Winter

The St Patrick's Knitting Group is working hard to complete as many blankets as possible as the cold weather approaches. The group is now in its 13th year and continues to teach a new generation of knitters to make squares which are then sewn into blankets. For many girls in our group this will be the first time they have knitted.

Layla E and Olivia L proud of their squares assembled into a blanket

The blankets are distributed by St Vincent de Paul to welfare cases in our local community. The Macarthur area  has a growing number of homeless people each year and our blankets go directly to local people in need. The girls meet every Thursday lunchtime in H12. We are going to present our first instalment of blankets to St Vincents on 4 July.

Olivia L and Layla E have been knitting a square each week and one of our volunteers, Janine MacLeod, has put all their squares together into a beautiful blanket. As the students are learning to knit we often get lots of different sized squares. We believe these squares enhance the individuality of our blankets. This week Maxine Evans put together a crocheted blanket of misshaped squares and created more squares to enhance it (see picture). Lorraine St John has also assembled some lovely colourful blankets with the design set out by her grandaughter, Emelia B in Year 7. 

I would like to thank staff Ms Hilder, Ms Tanginoa and Ms Cornett for their help, as well as our legion of volunteer (ex-staff and friends) 'knitting ladies' who come each Thursday lunchtime to teach the girls (and often take home bags of squares and assemble them into blankets) -Maxine Evans, Lorraine St John, Maureen McCann, Maureen O'Brien, Janine McLeod, Cathy Johnson, Shirley Mills, Jean Mills, Dell Costa and Sue Ollis. We are very fortunate to have lots of support from some of our grandmothers, Glenda Gaskell grandmother of Emelia B. in Year 7 volunteers her time each Thursday lunchtime. Mrs Pam Poole, Jan Vacchini and Lynn Carlin have all sent in bags of knitted squares. Without the help of all these volunteers we would not be able to achieve as much as we do. Even a grandmother of one of our past students, Kimberly Clissold, Mrs Judith Andrews, continues to knit for our group.

If you would like to help, we would appreciate donations of knitted squares with 50 stitches cast on in garter stitch or crochet squares.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Thought of the week

Here is something to ponder: The library's thought for the week.

Students Need School Libraries!

Now, more than ever, our students and their families need to be assured and reminded of the relevance and importance of their School Library.



7 signs your child needs their school library

Seven signs your child needs help from their school library:

FRUSTRATED: They get frustrated with homework and assignments.

The Library is open before and after classes. Speak to the library staff or your teachers regarding your time management skills. See the library staff for tips and assistance with researching, referencing etc. There is a Study Skills Handbook on the library page, accessible through the Dashboard.

OVERWHELMED: They feel overwhelmed by research tasks.

 The Library has assessment folders for each year group with a copy of each assessment task, resource lists and collections relating to the assessment tasks on Destiny, and physical books relating to many assessments are put aside. The Library page also has many databases and Encyclopedia Britannica (which can also be found in each Canvas unit). The Library page also has APA referencing. All of these are there to assist students with their researching and assessment tasks.

BORED: They can’t find topical, age appropriate digital content.

Clickview is age appropriate by year groups and has documentaries as well as films that are related to the curriculum. Our audio and ebook platform is Wheelers which students can access on their devices. The books are classified as fiction (Years 7 and 8) and senior fiction (Years 9-12), as well as non-fiction.

CONFUSED: They have trouble knowing which information to trust.

The Library recommends applying the CARP test to all information:

C- Current: is the website up to date and is it maintained regularly?

A- Authority: Who wrote the website's information, what are their qualifications and can the author be trusted?

R- Reliable: How reliable/accurate is the information, do all links work and are there references?

 P- Purpose: What is the purpose of the website; is it to sell or persuade? Check for bias; it should contain fact not opinion.

The library, in collaboration with teachers, runs sessions to educate students on fake news etc. When using the library search tools, students are able to access trustworthy websites.

VULNERABLE: They don’t understand the privacy settings on their social media accounts and devices.

The Leader of eLearning and Library educates on digital citizenship, digital footprint and the responsible use of social media.

POOR LITERACY: They rarely read for pleasure and their literacy is lagging.

The library has, as part of its collection, easy readers, ebooks, Audio books, Manga, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction books, picture books plus a range of physical and digital magazines. We also run bookclubs at recess for various year groups and participate in the state-wide Premier’s Reading Challenge each year.

POOR RESULTS: Their grades are starting to suffer.

After school is silent study/homework time in the library, giving students the opportunity to work on assessments, study, or complete homework. Library staff, in conjunction with teachers, are here to support in research and referencing.

Study Skills Tip For June

So you don’t have much homework tonight? Your assignments and study notes are up to date? Have you ever thought about spending a bit of time each night learning touch typing? Given that students now have to be masters of both the pen and the keyboard it is important to develop both legible handwriting and touch typing skills. 

Technology Units in the Study Skills Handbook

Touch typing is when you can type without looking at the keys while you type. This means you can type much faster than if you had to look and see where each key is, and it means you can keep looking at whatever it is you are typing instead of the keys. This is an incredibly useful skill to develop – it will help you at school and later in life as well, improving your efficiency and speeding up work on assignments and essays. Once you learn touch typing, you will know where the keys are located on the keyboard through your sense of touch and you will be able to look at the screen or whatever you are typing rather than the keyboard.

In the Study Skills Handbook, there is a section to get you started on your journey of learning touch typing. Click on unit Technology Tools and on the Learning Touch Typing page you will find links to lots of free software to help you develop your touch typing skills as well as some great tips to get you started.  Being able to touch type will definitely make life easier for the students in the senior years and beyond. Ten minutes of practice a day could end up making a big difference.

But don’t neglect your handwriting skills either. As long as you have to submit handwritten work or handwrite for tests and exams, it is also important to improve the legibility and speed of your handwriting. Go to the Study Skills Handbook and visit the Writing Skills unit and click on the Improving Handwriting section. You’ll find some excellent strategies for improving your handwriting.

Should students type or handwrite their study notes?

Short answer, they are better off doing whatever the exam or test will be. So if the exam is handwritten, it is better to handwrite notes. This creates muscle memory, it sets up a pattern in the brain of what they will be doing in the exam. If they do not have exams, then it does not really matter, they can choose to either type or handwrite their notes.

For students who do have written exams, they are better off getting used to writing as much as possible, especially as students do less and less pen to paper and more and more on the keyboard.  It is also argued that by writing the information, you set up pathways of familiarity and recognition in your brain that will kick in when you are in an examination situation.

On the other hand, some subjects have so much content that to try to wade through it with handwritten study notes would take forever.  A good compromise for students who would prefer to type is to start making initial notes on the computer as this allows you to cut and paste, group information and rearrange it with ease. Once you have a core set of notes completed, you may like to further summarise some sections on paper using a more graphical or visual form of note-taking such as mind-mapping. And when you are learning the notes, read a section, then see what you can write without looking, this way you will be testing if the information is in long-term memory and practicing your handwriting at the same time!

The College Library



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources

The College Library has a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection as part of our non-fiction collection.

The Library has established a wonderful collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources, which incorporates a wide selection of non-fiction books and picture books. We hope this ever-evolving collection will be an easy-to-locate reference section for both students and teachers. The collection is clearly signed and located at the end of our non-fiction collection. Remember - Library staff are always happy to help you locate whatever you need!

The College Library

You're Invited....

High School Musical On Stage - Thursday 20 June, Friday 21 June and Saturday 22 June. TO BOOK NOW, click here

NAIDOC Week 2019 Invitation

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

for all events at the College, CLICK HERE