Volume 32 Issue 13 - 26 June 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

This week we held the parent/teacher/student interviews. It was a bold step to hold them all via Zoom with pastoral advisors speaking with parents for the day. I appreciate the preparation all pastoral advisors did so that they could provide some helpful and relevant feedback to you about your daughter’s progress. I know some spent over four hours online speaking with parents and girls on Tuesday. I also extend my thanks to parents. Once again, you have had to be agile in your adjustments and accommodate the changes. Thank you for your flexibility. We had just over four hundred Zoom meetings across the day with less than five difficulties. I apologise to those who experienced a problem, but I must acknowledge the IT team and the pastoral teams who were extraordinary in their planning and execution of the day. Your feedback through the survey will be very informative, thank you.

With the Westview project now completed, we are making preparations for the next development which will be a designated kiss and drop off zone on St John’s Road and the site security. With this in mind, we are preparing to increase the security and safety of the girls when there are cars moving through the site. From Monday, we will be policing the entry of cars on site from Gate 1 of St John's Road and ensuring there is only one way traffic through the site to the exit through the MSC carpark. Staff will be there to stop any person trying to exit back out on to St John's Road. This will be enforced in both morning and afternoon drop offs. If we are unable to stop the unlawful exit, against traffic back onto St John's Road, the gates will be closed and there will be no drop off on site. We don’t want to wait until a student is hit by a car before we stop entry on to the site. Your support will be needed with this strategy.

Each year Non Government schools are required to send to the Federal Government information on their enrolments. This is a requirement of our funding. I have included with this edition of the Inside Out a copy of the Privacy Statement from the government for your information. This information is treated with the utmost security and is not sold on to any further parties. If you have any concerns please contact me at the College.

On Thursday 2 July we will be taking a commemorative photo for our 180th anniversary on the top oval. All girls and staff will be part of this photo. Girls are to come to the College that day in school uniform to be part of the photo, not sports uniform. Regrettably girls in sports uniform will not be included in the photo.

The Premier announced this week significant reforms, with a new school curriculum to be delivered over the next four years, including:

  • stronger foundations in literacy and numeracy with new English and Maths syllabuses for Kindergarten to Year 2 by 2022
  • more time for teaching essential knowledge and skills in each subject by 2022
  • Year 11 and 12 learning will be better linked to future work and study with new key learning areas and career pathways by 2022

The reforms are based on the recommendations of the NSW Curriculum Review led by Professor Geoff Masters - the first significant review of the NSW curriculum since 1989.

This review has been in the making for two years and it is good to see many of the recommendations will be accepted by the government. Hopefully the workload and the changes to be developed over the coming years before the anticipated implementation will be fair and reasonable. I am sure we will hear much more about this in the near future.

Next week we will be holding Benedict Day celebrations in our community. We have developed a program which is mindful of the restrictions yet will still be joyful and celebratory for the community. It includes a liturgy, talent quest and some creative activity on the top oval which will have the girls moving. A focus of the day has always been to raise funds for the ministries of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Girls will be able to wear sensible mufti clothes for the cost of a small gold coin as a minimum and will be able to vote for their favourite talent act on the day. We hope each girl is able to enjoy the day with all in the community.

This is the last edition of the Inside Out for the term. Wishing you a wonderful break in the coming week. Thank you again for your support of the College. I will leave you with a short reflection on Rest.

Rest is important to all of us. The scripture is filled with God’s promises to provide rest when we seek Him. God is an endless source of peace and strength and He created us to need Him. So I encourage you to rest over the coming weeks and open some space that will allow our God to enter and nurture your spirit.

Blessings

Sue Lennox - Principal 

“ Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”

Matt 11: 28-30

Winter

The cold of Winter with its darkness and lack of life is often endured with a negative mindset and a longing for the coming of Spring. In the Catholic Church, Winter is a time for renewal and reflection, the season when retreats are commonly offered as opportunities to “to rest, refill one’s cup, and get to know Jesus”. In order for the fruits of the harvest season to be produced, there needs to be rest and reflection. Winter is an important time for prayer and to grow in our faith as Catholics. 

Joan Chittester OSB wrote of the cooler seasons, “The skies hang grey and heavy, the wind gnaws and bellows. Life changes drastically from the velvet days of early autumn. The things we love begin to die right before our eyes. The roses begin to shrivel on the bush, the sun draws away, the colors around us start to darken. Then the streets get quieter and the neighbors disappear inside their houses and the days darken before the light has had time to seep through the mist of morning. The earth rests. It is a time of great life learning: We learn that we cannot control the passage of time in life. We learn to accept each of the stages of life with serenity. We learn to look to new moments in life with hope rather than despair...Winter is a lesson about the fine art of loss and growth. Its lesson is clear: There is only one way out of struggle, and that is by going into the darkness, waiting for the light, and being open to new growth".

To live with hope rather than despair is especially important for us as Catholics this Winter. There are so many issues and injustices being experienced and highlighted in the world. So much unfairness and pain. With the recent murder of George Floyd, we are reminded that people of colour are told that their lives don’t matter. In our own country overrepresentation of Aboriginal Peoples in custody and high rates of deaths in custody reinforce the same message. Domestic Violence continues to result in the death of one Australian woman per week. Refugees remain unfairly detained with increasing human rights abuses. As Sister Patty Fawkner articulated in this month's 'Good Oil' article, "In the face of searing unfairness and injustice, we set ourselves up for misery and frustration if our response is merely to rail, rant or hunt for a scapegoat. We embrace injustice by working for justice. We embrace the painful realities of life by digging deeper for hope". 

Winter is a time to prune, to remove what is unhealthy from our lives. It is not enough to pray but to challenge the injustices in the world, in our Church, communities, and families. In this way, we need to "go into the darkness and wait for the light”.

We are urged to turn to God as a source of love and warmth during the metaphorical Winters of our lives. 

In the midst of Winter, when the days are cold and wind can pierce remind us of the 

warmth of your love.

In the midst of Winter, when days are short, dawn comes late, and dusk arrives early 

remind us that in the darkness your light still shines.

In the midst of Winter, when the flowers of spring still lie hidden in the earth, when leaves 

are off the trees, and the world can seem bleak remind us that Easter is but a short time 

away.

And when in our lives we feel as if we are experiencing a season of Winter, reach out to 

us with the power of your resurrection so that we may feel the warmth of your love and 

see your light that alone can take away the darkness of our soul.

- Cal Wick

 

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator

St Pat's Peace Gong

Each year the St Patrick’s community chooses a particular Benedictine value to focus on. In 2016, for example, we focused on the Benedictine value of peace (in Latin: PAX). This year, under the direction of the Good Samaritan Education Mission Team, all Good Samaritan Colleges have focused on PAX through the lens of justice and stability. In 2016 to draw our College community’s attention to peace on a daily basis, the sounding of a Peace Gong was introduced. Since then, each day at midday, the Gong has been struck and it serves as a gentle reminder to take a few moments to experience peace by stopping and being silent.

From the Benedictine point of view, peace is an action. The aim of Benedictine life is to find peace. We must pursue it and work for it. It is our mission. As St Benedict states in The Rule, “Let peace be your quest and your aim” (RB Prologue v17). In other words, peace does not just happen. Peace has to be worked for. Benedict places the pursuit of peace within the social context of daily life. Peace comes from seeking God in the present. Sister Joan Chittister asserts that “The Rule of Benedict offers a model of peace that depends on being gentle with ourselves, gentle with the other, and gentle with the earth.” Peace comes from regularly putting the needs of others ahead of our own and it starts in our own small world of family and community.

May PAX be our legacy, our mandate and our mission for living life—life to the full.

The St Pat’s Peace Gong is sounded every day by student volunteers who carry out their duty faithfully. Currently, Eliza P and Olivia H are the Sounders of the Gong as captured in this video clip. Sounding the Gong

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

A Reminder About Uniform Requirements

As we come to the end of the term, the upcoming holiday period is always a good time to check your daughter’s uniform – especially in terms of the length of her dress / skirt and ensuring she has enough stockings to get her through a week.

As you are aware, we have a strict uniform policy that we work hard to police and so I would ask that you speak with your daughter about this so that we are all aware of what is expected of them. It is disappointing when a few girls feel that these rules and regulations don’t apply to them and even more so when parents too wish to support them with this.

The girls know the policy (as displayed in the College Diary) and so using the excuse “that others have this or others haven’t been spoken to” is very disappointing as we would hope the girls respect that they are responsible for their own choices and so need to act on this responsibility rather than looking for someone to blame or a way out.

As you can appreciate, trends come and go in terms of makeup and jewellery and it is difficult to continually change a policy throughout a year because of these and so could I draw your attention to three areas that have become a concern in recent times:

  1. Extra earrings (usually at the top/inside of the ear) – these are not allowed under our policy and so the girls should not have these and if they do they need to be removed as soon as possible and not return next term with them
  2. In-fills (eyelashes) as these are not natural and so do not comply with our make-up expectations
  3. Acrylic nails as these can be a hazard in the classroom, particularly for practical subjects

I would appreciate your support in this matter.

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

Year 10 History Incursion - performance of 'Dusted Off'

On Friday 12 June, Year 10 History students were lucky to engage in a performance by renowned singer/actor Brett Hunt and his one man show: 'Dusted Off' - a wonderful experience involving one of our living national treasures!

 

Brett's father was Frankie - immortalised in the Redgum classic 'I was only 19' (read more here: https://www.abc.net.au/doublej/music-reads/features/breaking-down-the-truth-behind-redgums-i-was-only-19/10268932)

Our students reflected on their experience in the following way:
 
"I really enjoyed the fact that he not only spoke about his Dad's experience in Vietnam through conversation but that he also incorporated singing, sound effects and humour along with very serious ideas. I felt I was actually there: I was able to hear choppers, heartbeats, explosions and even the thoughts within his head. Overall, I feel like this was the most valuable experience I have had through an incursion at school"
Tahlia M.
 
"I thought that Brett Hunt really brought the experience of being in the Vietnam War to life and it helped me understand the terror and inner battle that the veterans had gone through. The sound effects and engaging storytelling was great to listen to and helped me gain more knowledge on the Vietnam War. I don't think anyone wanted to leave after this performance!" 
Sophia E.
 
Our girls are to be commended for the attentiveness and respect they showed Brett during and after his performance - another sign of the value of learning about this country's past.
 
Marianne Fetterplace - Year 10 History teacher

Writing Competitions Closing Soon!

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

https://www.jacaranda.com.au/writingcomp/

 

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

https://www.dorothea.com.au/How-to-Enter-awards

Claire McGillicuddy - English Faculty

Is My Answer Reasonable?

In Mathematics, it is important to be sure that the answer you get to a problem makes sense. Students are often advised to think about whether their answer is reasonable. In our everyday living, thinking about reasonableness can prevent us from being accidentally overcharged, help us to estimate how long it will take to get somewhere or even how much food to cater for a party.

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

Many errors in mathematical calculations can be prevented by thinking about how reasonable an answer is. Often we need to use estimation to calculate an approximate answer to a calculation question. Rounding the original numbers in the question to make a quick mental check of your answer is a great strategy. This is particularly useful when working with numbers involving decimals. Year 7 students have been using this idea in their current study of the Decimals topic.

Knowing the approximate measurements of objects in your everyday world can help you to assess whether a number seems reasonable. For example, did you know that one kilogram (1kg) is about the mass of five oranges or one litre of water? Did you know that a door handle is approximately one metre (1 m) off the ground or about the length of a guitar? Maybe you know that for the average person one kilometre (1 km) is about a 10 to 12-minute walk, or that an Olympic sized swimming pool, such as those common to our local council pools, is 50 metres long and hold approximately 2.5 megalitres of water (2.5 million litres).

Another way to check for reasonableness is to put your answer to a problem back into the original question to see if it is correct. This method of checking is particularly useful in algebra. All students are encouraged to do this when studying topics which involve solving equations. Not only will it tell you if your answer is reasonable, but it will tell you if your answer is correct.

Too often students rely on the answer given by their calculator. There is always the assumption that if the calculator gives a particular answer then this must be the correct answer. Thinking about how reasonable an answer is will help avoid the reliance on a calculator, after all, the calculator is only as reliable as the information it is given. Mr Lord frequently talks about a concept he calls GIGO - “If you put Garbage In, you get Garbage Out”. Paying particular attention to the types of measurement units being used can help to avoid this situation, such as, checking whether all of the units in the question are the same or which type of units are required in the answer.

 

These ideas are not common family dinner time conversations but are little things that can help your daughter to improve her numeracy skills.

Michelle Parker - Mathematics Teacher

HSC Minimum Standards in Literacy and Numeracy

The NSW Government has implemented a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy for students wishing to receive their Higher School Certificate in 2020 and beyond. Throughout Years 10, 11 and 12, your daughter will have a number of opportunities to sit the NESA online tests, receive feedback on her progress and access support to reach the minimum standards.

The first round of tests for 2020 will take place in Week 2 of Term 3. There will be further test opportunities scheduled later in the year.

All Year 10 students will be participating in the Reading, Writing and Numeracy Tests on Thursday 30 July.

Students will be supervised by their class teachers and supported by our Literacy and Numeracy specialist teachers through the process. Follow-up interviews will be offered to all students to discuss their results and set goals for their future development.

More information about the NSW HSC Minimum Standards can be found at the NESA website https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/hsc/hsc-minimum-standard

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact either Mrs Claire McGillicuddy (Literacy) or Mrs Michelle Parker (Numeracy) via the College.    

Bring your own charger with your device.

Unfortunately, due to electrical constraints, the library is unable to provide the charging station for devices.  

There will be electrical powerboards and USB outlets within the library for students to plug in their own charger to power their device.  This means that students need to ensure their device is charged each morning and if needed they are able to charge it during the day before school, at recess, or at lunchtime. The library will not be providing chargers to take or use.  If the student's device is not charged and they need a device the library can provide them with a school laptop for the period/day.  We apologise if this causes any inconvenience but we are working towards a better solution for the future.

The College Library

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 sources 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

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

 

Sisters of the Good Samaritan Foundation - Can You Help?

As the COVID-19 pandemic countinues to affect our lives, we wanted to update you on the impacts in Good Samaritan ministires. Our most urgent call for help has come from Bacolod City. Here, Sisters of the Good Samaritan operate a Kinder School, provide food for the children at the local orphanage and operate an Outreach Centre serving people living in squatter settlements along the coastal shoreline. 

COVID-19 has changed everything as local familes, many living in crowded conditions, deal with some of the toughest lock-down measures in the world. Employment has dried up and people are prevented from going out or travelling within the city.

 

The restrictions have been particularly hard on the poorest - those whose homes are on the streets or in the squatter settlements. With no savings to fall back on, many families are facing the very real risk of starvation.

In the face of this crisis, the Good Samaritan Sisters in Bacolod have shifted their focus to providing urgently need food relief.

Can you help by making a donation to support their work? Donate Here

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

for all events at the College, CLICK HERE