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.


Sue Lennox - Principal 


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