Volume 32 Issue 18 - 25 September 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

We had the Graduation Mass for Year 12 this week and celebrated their subject awards and major prizes. The girls put a delightful video together reflecting their six years at the College. It was witty, funny and a source of entertainment for all at the College. This group of Year 12 have had much to manage through this year, and they have been exceptional. We wish them all the very best as they now finalise their preparations for their HSC. They will celebrate some further graduation time with their parents after the HSC, at The Cube and the finale will be a formal in the MSC later in November.

The school term finishes on Thursday this week. Friday will be the staff spirituality day which is a pupil free day. It seems like yesterday that I communicated to you that we will have the spirituality day on this day as we relinquished the usual PD week at the start of term 3 to get girls back into class  after the lockdown earlier in the term. I am sure the staff will appreciate the change in pace on the day and the opportunity to reflect and participate on some wellbeing activities.

We have a few staff taking long service leave next term. Mrs Wright will have the first fortnight away. Mrs Tacca Baudana, Mr Quigley and Mrs Nicolaou will have up to 16 November and Mrs Musico Rullo and Mrs Parker will have the entire term away. We wish all these staff a well deserved break. A number of new staff have been engaged for these periods. Returning from long service leave in term 4 will be Mr Bettiol. I would like to thank Dr Bourne who acted in his place for the last weeks and Ms Lefever who was acting Library Services and eLearning Coordinator and Mrs Nash who was acting Science Coordinator. We are very fortunate to have very capable staff who are able to fill positions when others take some leave. I extend my thanks to all these staff for their work over the last weeks.

Very early in term 4, we will be hosting our second round of teacher/parent/student interviews. These interviews will be with subject teachers and open to all parents and girls from Years 7 to 11. I encourage you to make your bookings so you can receive the feedback on your daughter's progress.

From Term 4, students will not be able to wear their PE uniform to school on their practical lesson days any longer. We will return to the original action, that girls will need to bring their PE uniform to school to change into for their practical lessons. The change rooms will be cleaned regularly and the number of girls entering the change room will be monitored to keep girls appropriately distanced.

Finally, I wish you a wonderful break. I hope you find some time to relax and enjoy a different pace for a couple of weeks. I leave with you a brief reflection on spring by Leunig.

Blessings

Sue Lennox - Principal 

To Spring
Thank God. At last! Spring is coming.
I can hear the bees inside me humming
The mind becomes a Flower bed.
A nest is being built upon my head.
The spirit rises from its tomb.
The weary soul is coming into bloom.
We've made it through. We will survive.
The soil is sweet and love is still alive.
The bell of happiness is ringing.
A little bird inside your heart is singing. 
Leunig

 

The Transcendent as Light

As Year 12 graduates this week we can reflect on the journey of these young women in many ways. Something significant from my point of view is their growth in their understanding and appreciation of religious diversity.

Since Year 7, these students have been undertaking Religious Studies from a Catholic perspective but with an attitude towards embracing interfaith dialogue. They began their journey learning what it means to be Catholic, which for several was something quite new to them given our increasingly secular society. The students were exposed to the Parable of the Good Samaritan for the first time on their Reflection Day and they began to ponder what “loving your neighbour” means. Their visit to the Buddhist Nan Tien Temple was invaluable in their examination of spirituality in different cultures.

In Years 8 and 9 they delved deeper into the topics of Christian Living, Church History and Religious Truth. Many opportunities for spiritual growth were offered in terms of prayer, liturgy and reflection days. Once Senior School years commenced in Year 10 the key topics included Gospel studies, Church History and Moral Decision Making. Connections have been made between their learning in other KLAs and the Benedictine Values.

During Years 11 and 12, all students at St Patrick’s undertake Studies of Religion. In addition to Christianity, our students examine the religious traditions of Islam and Judaism (if completing the 2 Unit course). It is through this study that our students truly come to understand their “neighbour”. We feel that this best prepares St Patrick’s students for their place in a multicultural and multifaith society. Mosque and Synagogue tours open opportunities for dialogue and increased understanding rather than being deceived by common misconceptions and fear. This isn’t always initially embraced by our parents and students. By the end of their studies, however, the barriers to dialogue and understanding have come down and commonalities become quite apparent. One example of this relates to our school motto, “The Lord is My Light”. This is very similar to the Islamic understanding of God, “Knowledge (of Allah) is Light”. We would do well to remember our shared belief in the transcendent and I am glad that our students now know this truth. The three Abrahamic religions adhere to the one God and offer much to the believer. We wish Year 12 the best for their future and we hope that what they were taught in their Religious Studies continues to play a role in their formation in the years to come.

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator

 

Farewell and Congratulations Year 12 Class of 2020

Yesterday marked the end of a truly special week, as we celebrated and farewelled our Year 12 Class of 2020 with a Graduation Mass and Awards ceremony. It is hard to believe how quickly the past six years have gone but they have reached this momentous milestone with positivity, grace and gratitude.

The week of celebrations started on Monday with their last lessons and the delivery of gifts to the College Executive, Year 12 teachers, faculty departments and various support teams. The day then ended with an excited countdown on the top oval for the last bell.

Tuesday was spent in the MSC and highlights included the viewing of our Showcase 4 1 website with the guidance of CAPA Coordinator Mr Combes. It was wonderful to see the culmination of many hours of hard work and creativity spread across a broad range of subjects including Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts, Textiles and Design, Design Technology, Society and Culture, History, English Extension and Aboriginal Studies. Tuesday finished with a video version of the usual Year 12 Assembly. This was a fantastic trip down memory lane and further demonstrated the creative strengths of this cohort. All the students involved in its production are to be congratulated for an amazing job.

Wednesday started with a special Graduation Breakfast and video address from Alumni President, Dr Joanna Winchester (Class of 1996), before the live streamed Mass and Awards Ceremony began at 10am. Whilst parents, family and friends couldn’t be there in physical form, they were very much with us in spirit and this was reinforced by the family photo wall at the back of the MSC. It was lovely to see the Year 12 students lining up for photos in front of these pictures. The official ceremony concluded with the traditional guard of honour, albeit a socially distanced one.

Our Year 12 Class of 2020 can be enormously proud of themselves and their achievements, we as a College certainly are. They are more than ready to move on to the next adventure. We wish them every success in their future lives and all the best for the HSC exams ahead.

Louise Glase - Year 12 Coordinator

Year 8 Activities

As Year 8 could not attend camp this term, camp activities came to Year 8!

During the last two pastoral lessons, Year 8 participated in active outdoor rotations. These activities encouraged team-building, creative thinking, problem-solving and physical workouts and fitness. The girls had a great time working with their homeroom peers and getting outside in the fresh air away from the pressures of a busy assessment schedule over the last few weeks. With social distancing and hygiene practices taken care of,  the girls had lots of fun in this environment. 

Maria Boulatsakos - Year 8 Coordinator

Library Closing Early

The College Library will be closing early two days in Weeks 1 and 2 of Term 4.  

Library Closing Early

Due to meetings, the library will be closing at 3:15pm on Wednesday 14 October and 3:30pm on Tuesday 20 October.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.

Michelle Feely - College Librarian

Anime poster winner @ the library

Congratulations to Annie B of Year 8 on winning the poster competition.

Poster winner Annie B

Anime club ran a poster competition to raise awareness and advertise the details of the Anime club. Annie was a well deserving winner and her poster can be seen on the library window. Congratulations Annie. 

The College Library

Library open during holidays for Year 12

The Library will be open for Year 12 students to study during the school holidays.

Library space

With many public libraries limiting / not allowing individual or collaborative study due to COVID restrictions, the College Library will be open exclusively for Year 12 students during the September/October school holidays. Library staff will be on hand to assist Year 12, and the space will be available for silent and collaborative study, printing, scanning and photocopying needs, in the lead up to the HSC.

The College Library will be open for Year 12 only from 8am to 4pm on the following school holiday days:

Monday 28 September - Friday 2 October

Tuesday 6 October - Thursday 8 October

The College Library looks forward to supporting our Year 12 students as they prepare for their HSC, and wish them the very best.

The College Library

Congratulations Amelia C - Year 12 2020

Amelia C (Year 12) coached Metropolitan South West Hockey Association Division 1 U/13 Girls Outdoor and Indoor Hockey Teams in 2019. Georgia O (Year 7) was a member of both teams with Emilee O (Year 12) also involved as the team's Technical Officer.

These teams competed at the Hockey NSW U/13 2019 State Championships held at Parkes (July 2019) and Orange (November 2019) respectively, over three days. These teams both finished at the top of their pools at the end of the Round Games and won their semi-finals qualifying them for the Grand Final, which they also won. These outstanding results enabled the team to be crowned State Champions in their age group for 2019. This was the first time a team had won both tournaments in the same year.

As a result of the team’s success, Amelia was nominated for the Hockey NSW Young Community Coach of the Year Award and her team nominated as the Community Team of the Year. At the Hockey NSW Awards Night held in Bathurst, both were successful in winning these prestigious awards. Amelia has now been selected as one of four finalists vying for the 2020 Sports NSW Community Awards Young Coach of the Year Award and the team has been selected as one of four finalists state wide in the category of Community Team of the Year. Over 200 nominations were submitted across 10 categories with the winners to be announced at a dinner later this year, with a date still to be confirmed. This is an outstanding achievement by Amelia and her team and we wish her every success at the upcoming awards night.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Debating and Public Speaking Update

Once again, our students here at St Patrick's have been very busy competing in Public Speaking and Debating. Here is an update on results:

Year 10 MISA Public Speaking

On Friday 11 September, Molly Q and Grace K of Year 10 were proud to represent the College in the Macarthur Independent Schools Association’s Public Speaking Competition. This competition focuses on students delivering two speeches, with participants presenting a six minute prepared speech from a chosen list of topics and delivering a three minute impromptu speech with only two minutes to prepare.

Molly's prepared speech tackled the topic of “The Chosen One”. She took this opportunity to challenge our understanding of what it means to be labelled ‘gifted’ and how having the collective traits of giftedness impact young people. In her impromptu, Molly was given the topic ‘That words are our most inexhaustible source of magic’. Despite such a challenging topic, Molly spoke wonderfully, discussing the importance of reading and writing to our society.

Grace’s prepared speech was an interesting discussion of manipulation under the topic of 'Twenty-Six different ingredients.' She discussed the various circumstances in which manipulation is appropriate and damaging, highlighting the importance of raising awareness of manipulation tactics. Grace’s impromptu topic was ‘The Last Hurdle’. She took this opportunity to discuss the importance of perseverance when striving for our goals. 

While we are greatly proud of both students, we were not the lucky winners this year. That said, they have both made our school very proud and grew as speakers as a result of their hard work. A big thank you to Mr Duncan for his support of Miss Bryant and the St Patrick’s College public speaking community.

Year 7 and 8 MISA Round 5 Debate

We are proud to share that on Monday 7 September, our Year 7 and 8 MISA Debaters participated in their final debate of the MISA season against John Therry Catholic College. 

Our Year 7 squad, consisting of Eliza F, Orla B, Diadem A and Jamie M, debated the topic ‘That animals should be kept in zoos’ Our students argued the affirmative, stating that zoos provide economic, educational and animal welfare opportunities. Although our girls made us very proud, they were unfortunately not the winners of this debate. 

Our Year 8 squad, consisting of Renae L, Abby D, Olivia M and Hein J, affirmed the topic ‘That obesity is a matter of personal responsibility’, arguing that it is 'your body - your responsibility' Thanks to their superior ability to provide arguments relevant to the topic, our Year 8 squad won this debate. A big thank you to Mr Duncan for his support of Miss Bryant and the girls, and congratulations to our MISA debaters on finishing the season strong!

Laura Bryant - Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator