From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
This week we have seen a number of changes with the welcome back of Years 7 to 10 across the week and all staff now on site. On each of their first days the student leadership team were at the front gate to welcome the girls, handing them lolly pops and a warm smile. Later at lunchtime on the top oval, the music was on and banners of welcome were around the buildings. For all those girls who were a little apprehensive about a return to the site, their fears were dispelled as the hospitality was clearly genuine and inclusive. I am grateful to the student leaders for leading this welcome.
Slowly the state is returning to the normal way of life. All state school students will be back next Monday and on 1 June we also will have everyone back on site. As noted by the AHPPC (briefing note CSNSW 5 May) the risk of infection across students is low at 2.5% and schools are not required to maintain the 1.5 metre rule between them, however, we are informing girls that they need to maintain a safe distance between themselves as a precaution.
Thank you to those parents who have communicated with the College their appreciation or concerns during this time. As we both have a vested interest in your daughter/s, we value the feedback, both positive and critical. In this day and age social media can be used as a platform for expressing concerns or passing comments. We are grateful therefore that our parents have communicated with us directly, which has allowed us to rectify or address concerns immediately. Thank you for your work with us.
You will have received a letter last week outlining our altered model for Parent/ Teacher/Student interviews. The bookings are now open through the parent portal. I do hope you access this opportunity as there is much to discuss about your daughter’s progress and success over the last few months.
I am delighted to inform you that Courtney, our psychologist, had a beautiful baby girl just before Mother's Day. Both are doing very well. I would like to welcome psychologist Ayesha Jilani who will be replacing Courtney to the end of the year. I am sure the girls will make Ayesha feel welcome and I am confident they will be very well served during this time.
One of the difficulties during this pandemic, outside of supporting the wellbeing of those in the community and the provision of the learning for the girls, has been the reinvention of events and experiences so that the girls still have the experience/s in the context of the regulations required. Such challenges have been providing sport on a Tuesday when all girls are remote, hosting an assembly when everyone is remote, holding parent/teacher/students interviews when we can’t actually have everyone here at the College, conducting parent information evenings and the list goes on. Our premise has been, if we believe these experiences are important, then we need to explore all ways to ensure they continue. This has required creative thinking and, for many, several sleepless nights. I appreciate the dedicated support provided by all staff in overcoming these challenges and finding a way! There are still many challenges ahead but I can assure you we are keen to ensure the girls do not miss out as a result of this pandemic, but may have these experiences packaged in a different way.
This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Ascension. On this Feast, Jesus ascended into heaven and left his community. In leaving his community, though they were not left alone or wanting, he was now present in and around them at all times. They became the ministers of His message as he was present in them and in what they did. So I will leave you with a poem by Mary Oliver reflecting on the mystery of God that is all around us.
Sue Lennox - Principal
My Work Is Loving the World
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
by Mary Oliver (September 2013)
Currently there has appeared a number of television advertisements by companies such as Coke-a-cola, Toyota, the Commonwealth Bank and other businesses which are telling us that “we are all in this together”. What the ads refer to is the need for each one of us to support each other during this unusual time and through these unusual circumstances.
It is clear that businesses which exist to make a profit do not always have our best interests at heart. So let us be cautious about these ads. Let us not be taken in by false claims of being cared for as suggested by the television advertisements. Rather, it is family, friends and neighbours who are for us the true source of support and care. It is our closest relationships (and not businesses and institutions) that have our best interests at heart. Let us be thankful to the people who really do care for us.
Of the many lessons gifted to us during this time of isolation and pandemic, perhaps the most important awakening has been the realisation that the many people in our lives who matter the most are the ones we too often take for granted. We have come to realise who are the “essential” people in our society: health care workers (doctors and nurses), supermarket workers, cleaners, delivery drivers. Some on this list may surprise us as they are some of the poorest paid in our society. Thankfully, they are now recognised as “essential workers” and hopefully they will continue to be praised for their efforts and no longer be taken for granted.
Consequently, in remarking that “we’re all in this together”, we are recognising that which connects us all as people—the need to be cared for, nurtured and respected, no matter what our station is in life. We all share a common dignity and worth. This has been the Christian message for the past two thousand years. Jesus came that we may know our true worth and dignity. Jesus is for us the one who calls us to “love one another”. Jesus also calls us to be servants to one another in the same way as Jesus demonstrated for us at the Last Supper by his washing of the feet of his disciples.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
By the end of next week, we will be at the end of our mixed model of schooling of some of our schooling being face to face and some being done remotely. This has certainly been a time of change which I know the staff are feeling and of course the students as well. I am sure many of them will appreciate things returning to normal – or as normal as it can be under the restrictions we still face as a state and as a country.
These last few weeks I have written about the impact of remote learning on the wellbeing of the girls, the importance on connection that is essential for our girls and here the focus is on what returning to school full time may look like, feel like for your daughter. Like any change, there will need to be a time for the students to adjust and so I have included a list of tips about this with you may find useful. Please click here
If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the College.
Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students
Learning and Teaching
Students of all year groups are encouraged to enter these fantastic annual writing competitions, both closing at the end of June. There are some great prizes on offer and our English teachers are more than happy to give advice and feedback on student drafts.
1. The Jacaranda Press Writing Competition closes 26 June.
Entries will be judged across Years 7-9 and Years 10-12 across these five categories:
Micro Fiction (300 word limit)
Flash Fiction (1000 word limit)
Short Story (4000 word limit, Fiction or Non-Fiction)
Essay (2000 word limit, Theme: COVID-19 Pandemic, any type of essay accepted)
Poetry (No word limit, Fiction or Non-Fiction)
For more information on entry guidelines and prizes, visit
2. The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award closes 30 June.
Entries will be judged across Years 7-9 and Years 10-12. The optional theme for this year is "We Used to Live There", but students are allowed to explore any topic or subject of their choice.
For information on entry guidelines and prizes, visit
Claire McGillicuddy - English Faculty
Over the past week students have had the opportunity to participate in the Education Perfect World Championships. We have participated in this competition the past seven years and 2020 has seen our best results ever. In this competition for students can compete in different languages and gain points for completing vocabulary exercises. The students receive awards for the points they gain and this year our students achieved 49 awards.
Three of the Elite Award Winners from the EP Language World Championships Josie E (Year 9), Renae L (Year 8), Marina P (Year 9)
Out of 2,155 schools competing globally, St Patrick’s College was ranked 30th in the world; 25th in Australia and 5th in NSW. In relation to specific languages, our students were ranked as follows:
Japanese - 11th overall, 10th in Australia and 3rd in NSW
Russian - 4th overall; 2nd in NSW
Latin - 11th overall
Samoan - 15th overall and 1st in NSW
Spanish - 38th overall and 14th in Australia
From these languages, students who gained individual recognition in world rankings include:
Olivia L – 3rd in Japanese
Amelia W – 3rd in Russian
Chelsey-Rae H – 4th in Latin
Marina P– 7th in Japanese
Josie E – 14th in Spanish
Renae L – 20th in Japanese
In our College the top five students were:
Olivia L – Elite Award (19,867 points)
Yuhan W – Elite Award (17,708 points)
Marina P – Elite Award (17,285 points)
Josie E – Elite Award (14,867 points)
Renae L – Elite Award (13,210 points)
At our next whole school assembly all 49 award recipients will be presented with their awards and an article with photos will be put into the College newsletter.
Well done to all the all the students that took part.
Julian Nash - Languages Coordinator
The College Library
The Library is encouraging all students to review our fiction books.
Write a book review in Destiny Discover
It's always helpful to find a great book based on recommendations, and so with that in mind the College Library is encouraging students from all grades to review titles in our fiction collection. All St Pat's students have access to the library catalogue through Destiny Discover, where reviews can be written. It's easy to do - just go to Destiny Discover, click on the image of a book you'd like to review, and choose "Add Review". You can rate your book out of 5 stars and write a short review (good or bad!). We're looking forward to reading your reviews!
The College Library
Have you peeked at the new library website yet? There's a whole new look which will make it easier to navigate.
Welcome to the college library
The library website has a new look and we are keen to hear what you think. It is still a work in progress but it is a very user friendly and the library are pleased to watch it develop. It will continue to evolve and improve for a little while yet, but have a look, explore, and give us your feedback.
It is the base point for all things library related: accessing the databases, referencing guides, suggestions for purchase, ebooks and Audio books, latest additions to the collection, magazines, join a club, IT help...
The library are here to help and we hope this new look will also assist students and staff with their library needs. Remember that the library staff are always here to assist you.
The College Library
The race is on - who will win this year's DEARs Cup?
DEAR cup entries can in the Library
The DEARs program - Drop Everything And Read - for Years 7, 8 and 9 encourages students to read every day and submit a one sentence book review (either in the Library or through the DEARS canvas course online). Every entry is counted towards a student's House, and the House with the most entries wins the DEARs Cup for the year. So far, Lyons is in the lead with 44 entries, followed by Gilmore with 39, Kenny with 21 and Chisholm with 8. The Cup is currently held by Kenny...but the race is on to see if a new House will win this year.
The College Library
Congratulations to the students who are well on their way to completing the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge this year, and a special congratulations to Simra B from Year 7 who has already read her 20 books and completed the Challenge! Well done.
But even if you've only read a couple of books so far, that's fine, there is still plenty of time to keep reading and get involved in the 2020 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge.
If you’re looking for your next PRC book to read check out the PRC Display in the Library or Wheelers ePlatform for an ebook.
There is also a PRC page in Canvas where you will find instructions, book lists, recommendations and discussions as well as fun stuff like Book Bingo, a Where to Read Chatterbox and Authors and Illustrators Showcase. If you would like to be added to the Canvas course please contact Mrs Denford in the Library.
Due to COVID-19 there have been some changes made to the 2020 PRC rules.
The main changes are:
- Students on all Challenge levels are able to read 10 choice books - an increase from five.
- Students on all Challenge levels will be able to include books on their reading records that they read collaboratively as a class, in person or online with their teacher or at home with their parents/carers.
- Students who complete the Challenge in 2020 will be able to count this towards cumulative awards.
- Students who do not participate in the Challenge in 2020 will not be disadvantaged in the receipt of cumulative awards.
- The Challenge will include Year 10 students in 2021 to allow all students the opportunity to meet the gold and platinum certificate and Challenge medal requirements.
For more information about the rule changes, or how to add the bonus choice books to your reading record, or if you’d like to sign up please email or see Mrs Denford in the Library.
The College Library
After a particular book, eBook or magazine? Let us know!
Parents, staff and students are able to suggest books, eBooks and magazines they would like to see in the College Library collection. Just go to the new College Library website via SPC Connect, choose 'Suggestions for Purchase' and complete the Google Form. All suggestions will be considered - and greatly encouraged - it's our aim to ensure the Library collection remains relevant and meets the needs of curriculum and recreational reading for everyone.
The College Library
Please find a link below to the latest Careers News Bulletin.
What's on ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
for all events at the College, CLICK HERE