Volume 32 Issue 09 - 15 May 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Happy Mother's Day to all in our community who hold a mothering role. I hope you were able to spend some time with some of the family over the weekend. We cannot underestimate the impact our mothers have on our development over the years. The selflessness and devotion to their children is unmatched and I hope all were able to express their gratitude to the mother figures in their lives last week.

The transition back for girls in Years 11 and 12 has been smooth. Whilst the lessons have been shorter than in the past, the girls have used their time in between lessons productively. Next week we resume the original lesson time length and will welcome back girls in Years 7 to 10 across the week. All teaching staff will also be back on site and things will begin to return to the new normal.

We embark gingerly on this new normal. Referring to the advice given to us by the health experts, we are working to ensure the safety of all in our community with a measured and moderated approach. The path is unchartered, so every decision is made following deep reflection, consideration and consultation. My hope is that all are able to stay safe as the regulations are eased.

I would like to acknowledge the work of our staff over this period. The support staff have been working feverishly to attend to the jobs around the College that always seem to sit at the bottom of the to do list. We have managed to keep all staff employed and I am grateful for their willingness to be adaptive and accommodate the many different jobs they have done.

I must make special acknowledgement of our teaching staff over this time. At all times they have held the needs of the girls in the front of their minds. They have learnt skills to adapt and then been very creative in providing lessons that are varied and engaging. They have followed up on all the girls in their classes and where they have held concerns, passed these on to Year Coordinators and others who have then followed the concern up. KLA Coordinators have met weekly with their staff to check on how the lessons are going and provided support and assistance where needed. Staff have shared resources and tools with each other, which has enhanced the learning for all the girls.

Conducting a remote lesson is very different to one that is face to face. In a video conference, the screen is filled with faces and teachers are not as free and able to get around the class to check on the work done by the girls. The girls work at different paces and it can be difficult to monitor who is finished early and who is struggling to get through the work. A walk around a classroom to monitor this is a very useful tool that is missed in remote learning. Teachers invite questions and queries from the girls, and many have asked girls to upload the work done so they can check it at a later date. Often at the end of the day, the teachers are then going through the work uploaded and providing feedback and advice to the girls. This is very time consuming. Not all the girls are uploading all of their work, which makes it difficult for teachers to follow up. Many girls like the ability to work at their own pace, which is a good outcome of this model, and some girls find the ability to remain relatively hidden for a period of time also a benefit. In face to face it is far more difficult to remain hidden. I am very appreciative of the passion and dedication our staff have brought to this new way of learning. They have been exemplary and our community is very blessed to have them. I know they look forward to returning to face to face and again I know they will provide experiences in the classes for the girls that will be varied to what they have had over the last months.

I will leave you with a short prayer on mothering.

Blessings

Sue Lennox - Principal 

Thanksgiving

For the mothering of mothers
and the mothering of fathers;
for the mothering of others:

Mother God,
we give you thanks.

For those who act as midwife
to our hopes,
for those who nurse us through our pain,
for those who nurture, strengthen and guide us:

Mother God,
we give you thanks.

For those who gently push us from the nest,
for those who welcome us home,
for those who become our family,
for the motherhood of the Church:

Mother God,
we give you thanks.

The Green Heart of the Snowdrop - Kate McIlhagga

“We are more than an economy. We are a society”

This year we are celebrating the Benedictine values of PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch

As is the case each year, we draw on our Good Samaritan and Benedictine tradition to have a focus for the year on the Benedictine values we live by. This year’s focus is PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability. This has been a most apt focus at a time when we have had to deal with a medical emergency resulting in the need for us all to reorder our whole way of being. Stability has a lot to do with being in the present moment. When we are left with only the present moment, we quickly realise what is most important, which is another aspect of stability—holding on to what is most important to sustain us. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it has been made plainly clear to us that the important things are family, friendships, care for those around us, and respect for human life. We are finally coming to an understanding that we are not an economy, rather, we are a society made up of people. And people matter.

When we have the attitude that people matter more than the economy, we start to see the obvious need for justice in our society. Australians in general have now come to an appreciation of “front line workers” who have carried on their vital roles in society because we now recognise how “essential” they are to keeping things operating. Our Christian and Benedictine values have shouted this to us since Jesus walked the earth and St Benedict penned his Rule. With a massive dose of hope, let us envisage a future filled with living out the important stuff, seeking justice for all, and, thereby, attaining peace in our hearts and in the world.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch—a reference to the Noah’s Ark story and the dove’s bringing an olive branch to signal the subsiding of the Great Flood, signalling reconciliation and the re-establishment of peace between God and humanity.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

“We are more than an economy. We are a society” copy

This year we are celebrating the Benedictine values of PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch

As is the case each year, we draw on our Good Samaritan and Benedictine tradition to have a focus for the year on the Benedictine values we live by. This year’s focus is PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability. This has been a most apt focus at a time when we have had to deal with a medical emergency resulting in the need for us all to reorder our whole way of being. Stability has a lot to do with being in the present moment. When we are left with only the present moment, we quickly realise what is most important, which is another aspect of stability—holding on to what is most important to sustain us. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it has been made plainly clear to us that the important things are family, friendships, care for those around us, and respect for human life. We are finally coming to an understanding that we are not an economy, rather, we are a society made up of people. And people matter.

When we have the attitude that people matter more than the economy, we start to see the obvious need for justice in our society. Australians in general have now come to an appreciation of “front line workers” who have carried on their vital roles in society because we now recognise how “essential” they are to keeping things operating. Our Christian and Benedictine values have shouted this to us since Jesus walked the earth and St Benedict penned his Rule. With a massive dose of hope, let us envisage a future filled with living out the important stuff, seeking justice for all, and, thereby, attaining peace in our hearts and in the world.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch—a reference to the Noah’s Ark story and the dove’s bringing an olive branch to signal the subsiding of the Great Flood, signalling reconciliation and the re-establishment of peace between God and humanity.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Wellbeing and Resilience

As students return to the College over the next week it will be a time of yet another change for them. We are very fortunate here at St Pat’s that our girls have a positive attitude towards their learning and enjoy the connection that being back at school brings.

In an article I read recently it spoke about the relationship between wellbeing and the role it plays in increasing student resilience. I know that resilience is a word that is used often in our society and one that is often misunderstood. In this study the research was focused on their belief that “that the most sustainable approach to enhancing educational engagement is to improve and maintain student resilience”. In looking at how to increase resilience the study found that the most important factor was “connection”.

To those of us who work in schools this is not new – we know that the girls find being around each other to be the best motivator. So as they return to the College after this period of remote learning we will see these connections begin again – whilst there may not be the hugs of the past, the smiles and chatter around the place will certainly bring the College back to a place of welcome.

In the same article it spoke about the important role of parents and how a child’s success depends in many important ways on parents'/carers' knowledge, attitudes and practices. The role parents/carers play in the resilience of young people has been proven over time.

So as we work together to support the girls over this transition period, we need to acknowledge that there will be bumps in the road but that if we continue to foster positive experiences for the girls and focus on the value of belonging, we can ensure that the girls have a positive experience in College where they feel “Connected, Protected and Respected”.

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

Year 12 Practice Exams Recommence

In a recent issue of Inside Out, we indicated that we had introduced a practice examination period which allows our Year 12 students to get a sense of what it means to sit an exam under exam conditions. We wanted to provide an authentic exam experience for your daughters so that they may build their confidence and maximise their performance. Unfortunately due to recent circumstances and your daughter learning remotely, we had to postpone these sessions.

 

 

There is much evidence that proves that taking practice examinations has a range of benefits. Students can ascertain where their strengths lie and identify areas that require further study. It also provides your daughter with additional feedback. To this end, we feel the need to recommence these exam sessions to assist your daughter further with her HSC. We want to enable your daughter not only to be familiar with the exam environment, but to provide her with an experience of responding to questions that will be of similar expectation to what will come up during their actual HSC examinations in October.

We also request the assistance of parents to encourage your daughter to attend the relevant exam sessions. As the well-known saying states “practice makes perfect”.

Please find below a table which indicates when the practice exams will be held for each subject. Each exam will be held on a Tuesday afternoon between 12:50 pm and 2:20 pm. Your daughter has a copy of the timetable already emailed to her.

Chris Bettiol - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

Excellent Results in Education Perfect Language World Championships

On Thursday this week the Education Perfect World Championships began and our students have been competing in earnest. There are many languages to choose from and so far our students have achieved amazing results.

Some of the Year 10 Elective Japanese students who are competing in the EP Language World Championships.

Our current standings are:

  • 10th Globally out of 1, 456 schools
  • 7th Overall in Australia
  • 2nd Overall in NSW
  • 3rd Globally in Japanese
  • 6th Globally in Samoan
  • 10th Globally in Spanish
  • 10th Globally in Russian

These are fantastic results only in the first day of competition. Special mention goes to Olivia L (Year 10) who is very close to achieving an Emerald Award (5000+ points) and Marina P (Year 9), Renae L (Year 8), Tiana G (Year 9) and Josie E (Year 9) who have achieved a Gold Award (3000+ points). As a school, we have students who have 5 Gold Awards, 3 Silver Awards, 6 Bronze Awards and 9 Credit Awards.

With six days still to go, if students wish to get involved and compete they can check their emails from Mr Nash regarding the competition.

Best of luck to our students and we look forward to many students receiving certificates for their great efforts.

Julian Nash - Languages Coordinator

Historical Fiction Prize for Years 7 to 10

Historical Fiction Prize for Years 7 to 10 (Sydney Living Museums) – Closing date 4 September.

Sydney Living Museums have launched an online photographic exhibition titled ‘A Thousand Words’ featuring 100 photographic images (between the 1880s to the 1980s) from its own collection and the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW see https://atwonline.com.au/.

As part of the exhibition, a writing competition for students between Years 7 to 10 has been developed where students choose one image from the collection and write a story inspired about it between 750-1000 words.

From the website:

The Judges are looking for:

  • An interesting original story inspired by an image from the A Thousand Words exhibition.
  • A story with links to a historical period or event relating to the chosen image.
  • An accurate depiction of the relevant historical setting, including language, landscape, dress, names, dates, technology and other possible elements.
  • Effective and accurate use of historical knowledge and vocabulary in the plot, story context and character dialogue.
  • Effective use of English language to communicate a range of ideas, language forms and features, including appropriate pitch, pace and structure for the story, descriptive language, dialogue and punctuation.

There are two major prizes:

Stage 4 category (Years 7-8)

  • One winner will receive $250 and a 12-month Sydney Living Museums Member Plus One membership (valued at $145)
  • One runner-up will receive $100

Stage 5 category (Years 9-10)

  • One winner will receive $250 and a 12-month Sydney Living Museums Member Plus One membership (valued at $145)
  • One runner-up will receive $100

Entries close on 4 September and more information can be found from the competition website: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/writingcomp

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

 

Simpson Prize - Years 9 and 10

Simpson Prize - Years 9 and 10 - Closing date 6 November.

The Simpson Prize is a national competition for Years 9 and 10 students. The competition encourages participants to explore the significance of the Anzac experience and what it has meant for Australia.  Eight winners are chosen from each State and Territory with the opportunity to visit overseas battlefields and participate in Anzac Day commemorations. 

Students write an essay using provided and their own primary sources to answer the following question:

“How do lesser known stories from the Western Front expand our understanding of the Australian experience of the First World War?”

Submit your entry by post to reach Canberra by Friday 6 November 2020

Please refer to the website http://www.simpsonprize.org/

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

National History Challenge - Years 7 to 12

National History Challenge – Years 7 to 12 – Closing Date 28 August

The theme of this year’s National History Challenge is ‘Contested Histories’. This competition is open to all years and can be either an individual or a group entry. Students have the opportunity to research any historical event/personality/debate that is ‘contested’ and present in a variety of platforms from videos, 3D models to essays. The closing date is 28 August and the winners receive medallions and prize money. There is also an opportunity to receive a ‘Young Historian’ trophy which is presented in Canberra (travel and accommodation provided). Please see the website for further details http://historychallenge.org.au/

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

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