Volume 32 Issue 02 - 21 February 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

As we make our way through the term I would like to draw your attention to some key events that are coming up over the next few weeks. Each of these are significant and I believe you will find them very informative and worthwhile.

29 February - College Open Day will be held. It is a great day that showcases what we do at the College and why we provide such an advantage to the girls in the Macarthur area. Please encourage your friends and family members who still have not decided where their daughter will go for high school to come and see what St Pat’s has to offer.

3 March - Danielle Miller has been booked to speak at the College at 7pm in the Mary Sheil Centre. For a gold coin donation, you will hear tips and suggestions on how to raise amazing girls. Danielle is a very informative and engaging speaker who parents just love to listen to. Please bring your daughters, friends and family members. Each year the College P&F offer to parents a speaker who has the experience and profile to inform parents on the raising of adolescent girls. You will not be disappointed with Danielle Miller.

5 March - International Women's Day Breakfast. This is hosted in the Mary Sheil Centre beginning at 7am. A panel of three ex-students speak about what they are doing since leaving St Patrick’s and how they have benefited from their years at St Pat’s. It is always inspiring and very entertaining. Breakfast is included and we are normally finished by 8.45am. Girls who come with their mothers are free so bring your daughter and come along.

11 March - Year 5 workshops. If you have a daughter in Year 5, I suggest you register her for the Year 5 workshop day. They girls gain a good insight into all girls’ education in high school. It is always a great day.

16 March - Our P&F AGM meeting will be held in the Benedict Centre at 7.30pm. All positions will be declared vacant and should you wish to be nominated for a position, please contact the College Reception for a nomination form. New members are always welcome and we would particularly like to encourage the new members of our College community to consider joining our P&F committee.

18 March - We will all be travelling to St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney to celebrate the opening school Mass and our 180th anniversary in Campbelltown. Whilst you won’t be able to join the train we have chartered for the girls, you are very welcome to join us in the Cathedral. Bishop Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong, Sr Patty Fawkner, Good Samaritan Congregational leader, and the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC are some of the special guests who will be joining us on the day. You will receive the permission note on Friday which has all the details for the day. All girls are to have the College hat and blazer for the event. The girls will not be able to come unless they have both these items with them on the day, so please ensure they locate both items prior to the day. 

21 March - We are holding the St Patrick's Emerald Gala Ball in The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club. This is our only fundraiser for the College Scholarship Fund. It is vital work so that we can continue to offer assistance to families in need. If you are able to provide prizes or would like to join us, please contact the College office.

This week the girls in Year 12 received information about the newly introduced LEAP program. It is a coaching program offered to girls who want to optimise their results in their HSC year. It will support the girls and assist them in navigating the stress and rigours of the HSC. If you have a daughter in Year 12 and would like her to apply to be part of this program, then please encourage her to approach Ms Glase. Once we have Year 12 settled into their groups, we hope to be able to offer this service to Year 11.

Finally we will be celebrating Ash Wednesday on 26 February. I will leave you with this Lenten prayer which prepares us for the season of Lent that is before us.


Sue Lennox - Principal 

Almighty and Everlasting God,
You have given the human race
Jesus Christ our Saviour as a model of humility.
He fulfilled Your Will by becoming Man
And giving His life on the Cross.
Help us to bear witness to You
By following His example of suffering
And make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Next week we will come together as a College community for an Ash Wednesday liturgy to mark the beginning of Lent, the liturgical season of fasting and prayer. During the 40 days of Lent, Christians devote time and effort into preparing for the holiest of days: Easter Sunday. This is the meaning and purpose of Lent. Lent is a time for preparation, reflection and spiritual renewal. Traditionally, this is done through almsgiving (being charitable to those in need), through prayer (fostering right relationship with God and neighbour), and through fasting (giving up those things in our life which prevent us from being fully human and fully alive).

During the liturgy, ashes are placed on each person’s forehead. The ashes symbolise the dust from which God made us. As the ashes are applied these words can be spoken: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Alternatively, "Repent and believe in the Gospel" can be spoken. In this case, the ashes serve as a reminder of our grief, that we have sinned and caused division from God. We accept the ashes as a visible symbol of penance. Non-Christians are welcome to receive the ashes which are made from blessed palm branches, taken from the previous year's Palm Sunday Mass.

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator


Community Service at St Patrick's

As a Benedictine and Good Samaritan community, our College seeks to live out the call of the gospel to be people of compassion, justice, and peace. To that end, our College has a formal Community Service Program for our Year 10 girls.

Some of our Year 10 Girls from the Community Service Program

Each Year 10 girl is given the opportunity for a term to spend two hours each Tuesday afternoon at a service venue in the Campbelltown and Camden area. These venues include op shops, aged care facilities, call-in centres, and schools. This week we have been affirmed as to the value of this Community Service Program when we received the following email:

Hello. I am hoping you will pass on my heartfelt thanks to the Teachers and students who visit Carrington Retirement Village. My mother lives there and she has spoken very enthusiastically about the girls and what their visits mean to her. Yesterday, I saw this first hand. The girls were superb; engaged, respectful and very interested in what my Mum had to say. To say that Mum's spirits were lifted by the visit does not do it justice. I, as her son, am very grateful and, as I said, would be very pleased if you passed this on to all concerned. Well done girls, and thank you!

This thoughtful message speaks for itself as to the kindness of St Pat’s girls and testifies to the value of Community Service. Given its value, the experience of offering service to the community is extended into Year 11 also. Our Year 11 girls are required to make their own arrangements for completing 15 hours of service in their own time. This is to reinforce their living out of the values we espouse, especially the values of hospitality, justice, and peace, as articulated in our College Prayer.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Safer Internet Day 2020

Safer Internet Day is a worldwide event that raises awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet. 

Year 8 spent part of the Pastoral lesson on 11 February in small collaborative groups to brainstorm and bring awareness to how they can make the internet a safer place. The theme this year was ‘Together for a better internet’ and the girls discussed ways on how they can do this in a safe and supportive way. Australia’s eSafety Commissioner is encouraging regular family conversations about online safety and we also believe these open discussions are fruitful for your daughters to make positive online choices. 

Explore Australia’s online safety hub (taken from the esafety Website)
Check out eSafety’s great range of advice and resources. Get started by visiting our parents and carers pages and reading the practical tips for kicking off an online safety conversation. You can also download the ‘Parents guide to online safety’ booklet (available in five languages), tell your family about eSafety’s pages for Young People or get familiar with our step by step advice to reporting different types of online abuse. Find out more at esafety.gov.au/sid to chat about online safety with your family. 

Maria Boulataskos - Year 8 Coordinator

Maths Matters

Many people believe that they are either a maths person or not. There is no such thing. It is important to dispel this myth with your daughter and to encourage the idea of a growth mindset - that through hard work and practice you can get better at maths. People with a growth mindset use effective strategies to learn and are willing to seek help from others when needed.

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

Remember that maths skills are not genetic and a home environment that has a positive attitude towards maths can have a positive impact on a child’s maths achievement. Studies show that as soon as mothers shared the idea with their daughter that they were bad at maths at school, their daughter’s achievement went down.

It is important not to focus on doing maths with speed. Whilst practising skills and being more fluent in mathematical calculations is important, drilling and speed skills can lead to maths anxiety– especially in girls.

Encourage your children to play maths puzzles and games. Anything that uses dice can help to develop number sense – having an idea of the size of numbers and being able to separate and combine numbers flexibly. Board games and card games are also great for social development too. The College library has a great range of these for the girls to access at recess and lunch.

Talk to your children about finance. You don’t need to share the details of your family finance but instead have general conversations about things such as bank accounts, credit cards, budgeting and paying bills. This can help to develop familiarity with these systems and the terminology they use.

Michelle Parker - Mathematics Teacher

High Achievers Assembly

On Wednesday 12 February the College recognised and celebrated the Class of 2019 who achieved Outstanding Academic Achievement. The High Achievers Assembly was an opportunity for our recently graduated students, current students, family members and staff to reflect and gather together as a community.

In 2019, 106 young women chose their path to complete Year 12. Whether they selected an ATAR, non-ATAR or nationally recognised qualification through a Vocational Education Pathway, each girl’s journey was unique and, as a school community, we are proud of the individual efforts of every girl and the personal milestones that have been achieved.

The class of 2019 have been instrumental in continuing the great traditions of the College through their outstanding achievements, not only through their academic results, but their success in the artistic, cultural and sporting domains.

We were delighted to hear from some of our High Achievers at the assembly. We thank them for shedding light on their experiences and offering some wonderful words of encouragement and advice to our student body. 

Congratulations to Niamh G who was awarded the 2019 Dux Award (highest ATAR score) and was recognised for her Outstanding Academic Achievements.

Chris Bettiol - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching


How can you add eight 8s to get the number 1,000?

888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000

Year 10 SEPEP Program

Middle school and senior school are very different, especially the first term where everything starts changing. Just in the first week things start getting serious with the HSC minimum standards getting close and the workload and work expectancy increasing. With all of this happening, the most important traits to have are organisation and management skills, as these skills help balance out school life and social life.

In Term 1, Year 10 do the Sport Education in Physical Education Program also known as the SEPEP program, which is a number of competitions based on a combination of netball and soccer skills. This program is designed to be a fun and educational course that promotes maximum participation of students, greater player confidence and greater potential to build on and improve physical and management skills. This program puts students in the driver's seat where they elect their own managerial board and fulfil the roles associated with officiating a sports competition (eg empires, coaches, administrators, equipment officers and first aid officers). Each student achieves to do the best they can and go out of their comfort zone to fulfil each task. This task doesn’t just improve the students’ physical skills but also improves students' organisation, management and communication skills.

What are your thoughts or impressions of the SEPEP program?

"It's an interesting way for our class to develop physical, communication and managemental skills". - Year 10 student

"I think it’s good because we are with people we didn’t know well before so it really helps us get to know other people better and have a different opinion about them". - Year 10 student

"It's a great opportunity for students to learn leadership skills and apply them to a sporting environment". - Year 10 student

How will the SEPEP program help you improve or develop better organisation or management skills?

"It will help me be on time and understand how to set up certain things, especially with a time limit". - Year 10 student

"This program allows students to take responsibility for a team and work together to help each other do their best". - Year 10 student

Eknoor G - Year 10 Student

Creative Writing Club - an overview

Creative Writing Club is facilitated by Mrs Robertson in the Library each Wednesday at recess.

A few of our wonderful Creative Writing Club members from 2019.

The aim of the Creative Writing Club is to encourage students to spark their imagination and participate in a range of short, fun writing activities. The club began in Term 3 of last year, and now has 20 members from Years 7 - 12 who come along to the Library each Wednesday at recess. Each student is given a blank notebook and pen when they join, and they bring this notebook with them to our meetings each week. There is no requirement for students to share their work with everyone else if they choose not to, nor is there a homework element. This term, the club will be involved in writing character profiles, creating progressive stories in groups, writing poetry and re-writing the endings of famous novels. 

The students are incredibly imaginative and very enthusiastic. The meetings are very relaxed, and the students are really supportive of each other’s work and ideas, which is wonderful to witness. Creative Writing Club is always welcoming new members - if anyone is interested, they are encouraged to email or speak with Mrs Robertson in the Library.

The College Library


The Library is a vibrant place; a place of learning, of socialisation, a place of quiet reflection, or a place to participate in the many clubs that the library has to offer.

Junior Bookclub.

The library hosts many clubs; some held within the library and some in the rooms surrounding the library. Although facilitated by library staff, many of the clubs lend themselves to being student led, extending the opportunity for students to achieve, in time, a library badge.

Monday lunch is Makerspace in the library with Mrs Denford. From card making to Christmas craft, bookmarks to origami and even gardening; the only obstacle is your imagination. Suggestions and feedback are welcome, as Makerspace is always on the lookout for new ideas.

Tuesday recess is the Junior Bookclub with Mrs Roberston. The current read is the Children's Classic 'A Wrinkle in Time', and every meeting is an opportunity to discuss the storyline.

Wednesday recess is Creative Writing club in the library with Mrs Robertson. Members are inspired by a short prompt, an image or an idea. Wednesday lunchtime is Tech/Science club with Mrs Denford and here the girls embrace all that is Tech. Minecraft, Sphero's, coding or problem solving on a large scale; nothing is impossible.

Thursday recess is Senior Bookclub with Mrs Robertson and membership to this club has increased so dramatically that the cohort has been split into two, with one group reading 'Love Lie Repeat' and the other reading 'It sounded better in my head'; both young adult novels by Australian authors. Discussions surrounding both titles have been thoughtful and impressive. Thursday lunchtime sees two clubs running simultaneously: The chess club in the library with Mr Bettiol, and KPop in room D24 with Mrs Harradine. KPop is a very keen group of students who are passionate about all facets of Korean pop.

Friday luchtime with Mrs Harradine in room D24 is Anime club, where the ladies view and discuss the Japanese medium Anime. They watch movies and clips, listen to soundtracks, run quizzes, and have a lively discussion based on their common passion for Anime.

All are welcome to join these clubs. Please see the library staff if you are interested. We look forward to seeing you there.

The College Library


Term 1 MISA Teams

Congratulations to the following girls on their selection in MISA teams for term 1.

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

Year 10, 11, 12 Basketball

Evana S, Katarina S, Piper A, Chantal S, Kamaria N, Arden D, Madison M, Charlotte F, Rahniesha W, Hannah S and Hannah P. Coach Mrs Nash.

Year 7, 8, 9 Volleyball

Helen T, Charlie C, Amy Y, Darcy E, Emily H, Ilori P, Dakota L, Lofia A, Henora W and Sydney R. Coach Mrs Arena.

Year 7, 8, 9 Indoor Cricket

Laura Z, Amelia M, Sophie A, Brooklyn S, Lucy G, Merinda F, Daniella D, Caitlin O, Cara McMahon and Molly M. Coach Mr Lord.

Year 7, 8, 9 Hockey

Isabella W, Summer D, Grace M, Jordanne M, Angelina B, Charlotte F, Maiya Lily C, Lillian M, Sianna F, Emelia B, Siena B, Valentina V, Sienna C, Mia F, Georgia O and Annabelle L. Coach Mrs Lawrence.

Year 10, 11, 12 Oz Tag

Ellie H, Dayna V, Lara M, Olivia M, Tara B, Sarah P, Tavara S, Alysha B, Paris H, Ellie F, Ruby D, Sienna M and Brynn W. Coach Mr Baca.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Swimming Carnival 2020

Yesterday we held our annual College swimming carnival, the results will be published in the next edition of the newsletter, in the meantime here are a just few snapshots from the day, more photos can be seen on the College Facebook page. 

History Club Preparing for the College's 180th Anniversary

The History Club's major project this year is commemorating the history of St Patrick's College. Our war nurse display has come down outside H11 and is slowly being filled with historic photographs and objects related to the College.

Photos by Bronwyn Z

The Club has made an '1840-2020' and a '180' sign out of a collage of historic photographs from the school. They have also busily created shamrocks, each one depicting a historic event related to the College. Our laminating team have eagerly laminated the photographs and shamrocks. The team is working on displaying 180 shamrocks to represent each year of the College's existence. Many of these items will also form part of the ceremony at the College on St Patrick's Day.

The display includes some precious artefacts which were purchased with the proceeds of the 2019 Fisher's Ghost Parade winnings and the prize money received from the Anzac Day Schools Award. This includes a vintage writing slate that was similar to those used by students at St Pat's in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We also purchased an authentic Victorian-era school bell, ink wells and sewing materials that would have been used in schools. Mrs Lucette Zapirain is in the process of creating minature replicas of the College uniform and nun habits.

We will have several displays for Open Day, including our war nurses from 2019.

The College will also take part in the Campbelltown Anzac Day March occurring during the school holidays. If any student would like to join us in the march please email me.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Knitting Club Resumes for 2020

The Knitting Club was formed in 2006 to make blankets for the less fortunate in our local community.

Each Thursday lunch in H12 starting on 27 February students can learn to knit squares or scarves. A group of volunteers (mostly retired staff) come and teach the students to knit and to sew the squares into blankets.

We are also seeking donations of wool and needles (4mm).

If you know someone who would like to knit squares for us, we will gladly accept donations. Cast on 50 stitches in garter stitch.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

P&F AGM Invitation

All welcome.

Helpers Required

College Open Day is on Saturday 29 February and we are looking for some assistance.

The P&F committee are looking for parent helpers to assist with serving on the BBQ for Open Day.  If you are able to provide some assistance, even if only for an hour or two, please contact the P&F President, Jeff Pollard on 0415 277 116.

For Families of Year 5 and Year 6 Students

All Welcome!

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

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