Volume 32 Issue 20 - 6 November 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

In the course of this year we farewelled our Business Manager, Mrs Tessa Gooch. Mrs Gooch had been at the College for 22 years. She began as a part time temporary bookkeeper and retired as our Business Manager having held the role for 16 years.  Whilst she was excellent in her role of managing the finances and the economic sustainability of the College, I believe one of her greatest contributions could be seen in her role in the building and development across the College over the years. Her work in this area of her responsibility has secured for us an up-to-date, modern educational environment that is recognised by all as one of our greatest asset. Under her watch, the College built the COLA, refurbished the science labs, refurbished the library, created the Benedict centre, College Gym and relocation of the Canteen. She oversaw the demolition of the convent in the centre of the College, refurbishment of the drama space, Year Coordinators' offices, all of H Block and refurbishment of Westview. Our environment is certainly enhanced thanks to her work and the collaboration between builders, architects, Board Directors and Principals at the time. Mrs Gooch also managed the Duke of Edinburgh program and was a valuable member of the leadership team. We wish her the very best in her retirement.

We were very fortunate to secure the services of Mrs Kristy Dennis as the new Business Manager. Being an ex-student and still living in the area, Mrs Dennis is very aware of the charism and mission of the College and the challenges and difficulties our families experience over time. She has had extensive experience as a Business Manager prior to this position and currently holds the position of president of ASBA, which is the National Body of School Business Managers, in addition to positions on various boards of peak bodies in New South Wales. She has settled in very well and we are delighted to welcome her to the College community.

After extensive advertising and a rigorous application process, I am thrilled to inform you that Dr Debra Bourne will be our Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching from 2021. She has been instrumental in the model of remote learning engaged by the College earlier in the year and has navigated our management of this throughout the pandemic. I welcome her to her new role. We are currently in the process of securing the now vacant eLearning position at the College for 2021.

Last weekend, the Board Directors, committee members and staff from the leadership and management teams participated in a Strategic Planning day in the new Design Centre at the College. It was a very productive day as we reviewed the plan we currently have and took stock of the areas still to be addressed over the coming 12 months.  I am very grateful to all these people for giving up their Saturday to contribute to this important work. It was a great opportunity to showcase the new spaces to those volunteers who have contributed so much to the governance of the College.

The Year 12 girls will finish their HSC exams next week. It is hard to believe it will then be over for them. They remain constantly in our prayers as we hope they are feeling confident and assured whilst they answer the questions and complete their responses in each of their exams. In the coming weeks, we will finish their graduation ceremony with their parents and then they will have their formal. It has been an extraordinary year for them and we wish them the best as they make their way into the world post school.

In this edition you will see a note from the Chair of the Board of Directors referring to my recent appraisal. I  would like to extend my thanks to all who contributed to this process. I found it to be very affirming and rewarding and feel very privileged to be the Principal of this College community.

In the coming days, you will receive a letter outlying the changes to the entrance of the College due to the start of the building project. The project is expected to be finish early term 1 2021, however, there will be a significant impact on the movement entering the College for the rest of this term.  Please read the information carefully so you are familiar with the changes.

I will leave you with a short prayer on accepting an outcome from The Rule of St Benedict. It provides some food for thought as we witnessed two big contests this week, the NRL State of Origin 1 and the presidential election in the USA.

Blessings

Sue Lennox - Principal 

'Let them strive to be the first to honor one another.'
They should bear each other's
weaknesses of both body and character
with the utmost patience.
(The Rule of St Benedict 72.4-5)

From the Chair of the Board - Principal's Appraisal

The Principal’s appraisal for Ms Sue Lennox was conducted during Term 3.  The appraisal process was led by Mr Dallas Burgess from People Advantage Pty Ltd, who was accompanied on the panel by Ms Kate Rayment, a colleague Principal from St Scholastica’s College in Glebe. The appraisal represented a 360° Performance Review with feedback received from representatives from the staff, students, parents/carers and the Board of Directors.

The appraisal report confirms that clear trends in the data collected indicate that Ms Lennox is a very effective leader and is highly regarded in the College and the wider community.  It is recognised that she has been responsible for turning around the perception of the College in the community over recent years.  The report confirms that Ms Lennox is known for her outstanding management and leadership of the educational community and that she has the ability to communicate and implement the College’s strategic directions to the relevant stakeholders.  She has demonstrated strong professional leadership of the teaching community at the College particularly in the area of professional learning and that she constantly searches for ways to bring to bear the latest research to all educational improvement initiatives.

As Ms Lennox moves into 2021, which represents the final year of her current contract, the Board has confidence to renew her contract in light of the appraisal report. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all of those who provided feedback to the appraisal process.

Anne-Maree Creenaune - Chair of the Board of Directors

All Souls' Day

As you would be aware, Halloween was celebrated by many in Australia last Saturday evening. In the Catholic Church this is close to the time we remember and pray for those who have died. Monday 2 November was All Souls’ Day when Catholics are urged to pray for the souls of their fellow believers who have died, to help them be cleansed of their past sins that prevent them from getting to heaven.

Remembering the dead has been a practice throughout Christian history and All Souls’ Day is considered a Holy day. In countries such as the Philippines and Mexico there are 2-3 days of holidays related to remembering and praying for the dead. In the Philippines, this day is observed as part of a two day public holiday called Undas which also incorporates All Saints’ Day falling on 1 November. Each year, people in the Philippines flock to their family plots in cemeteries across the country. They also use this holiday to hold a family reunion where groups of an extended family gather together.

The day is filled with music and food. There is also prayer and religious traditions. At the end of the day, people will often camp overnight in the cemetery to pay their respects to their dead relatives. Visitors remark that Filipinos are remarkably at home among their dead ancestors.

Filipinos are known for having great respect for their dead. To prepare for Undas, families will visit the graves of their ancestors before the holiday to clean up the area and perform maintenance. During the holiday, people will decorate the graves with flowers and candles. The cemeteries will come alive during this period.

In addition to these traditions, other Catholic traditions are also observed. Many cemeteries will hold a special mass during the day. The rest of the day is often marked by periods of prayer and the recitation of the Litany for the Dead.

This holiday is a mix of the observance of the dead and a joyful holiday. Families bring plenty of food and drink for their dead relatives. Some believe that the deceased are taking part in the feast alongside the living. While most bring food directly to the cemetery, other families will also leave food at home on altars for any relatives who aren’t buried in the cemetery.

Sadly, this year the holiday was cancelled in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While in the United States of America it was observed that All Souls’ Day would be even more significant this year due to the many thousands of Catholics who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic and they have not been able to properly farewell or remember them.

In Year 9 Religious Studies the students will learn about the significance of these events and the importance of remembering and praying the dead. The students have viewed Coco, an animation about the Mexican practices of this kind. They will then work through some activities that encourage this prayer and reflection in the Catholic tradition. Our sacred text, the Bible, will be consulted and analysed. One such extract is that from the Old Testament book of Sirach(Chapter 38: 16-23) on “Mourning the Dead”. It reads as follows:

My son, let your tears fall for the dead,
    and as one who is suffering grievously begin the lament.
Lay out his body with the honour due him,
    and do not neglect his burial.
Let your weeping be bitter and your wailing fervent;
    observe the mourning according to his merit,
for one day, or two, to avoid criticism;
    then be comforted for your sorrow.
For sorrow results in death,
    and sorrow of heart saps one’s strength.
In calamity sorrow continues,
    and the life of the poor man weighs down his heart.
Do not give your heart to sorrow;
    drive it away, remembering the end of life.
Do not forget, there is no coming back;
    you do the dead no good, and you injure yourself.
“Remember my doom, for yours is like it:
    yesterday it was mine, and today it is yours.”
When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance cease,
    and be comforted for him when his spirit has departed.

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator.

Year 10 Community Service

Due to this year’s experiences relating to the pandemic, during Term 4 three quarters of the Year 10 cohort has been experiencing a modified Community Service Program.

In Term 1 this year, one Year 10 group was able to go out to the various service venues and participate in a hands-on experience of service to the local community. Given that three other Year 10 groups were unable to attend the actual venues, this term they have been undertaking an alternative program in which they have been learning about social justice issues as well as doing practical acts of service here at the College.

Still meeting for one and half hours on Tuesday afternoons, this term the Year 10 girls were introduced to what Community Service is all about and that it is an opportunity to give practical expression to the parable of the Good Samaritan. Therefore Community Service is for the girls an opportunity to live out Jesus’ words at the end of the parable to “Go and do likewise” and be neighbour to all who are in need.

The Year 10 girls have also had opportunity to prayerfully reflect on social justice issues and inform themselves about community service options. Last week the girls participated in a simulation game called “The Orange Trading Game”. This simulation required farming family groups to produce oranges as their livelihood. The intention of the game was to alert our girls to the pressures placed on poor families and for them to understand how difficult it can be to make ends meet.

This week the girls did two varied activities: decorating tote bags and general clean up around the College grounds. The tote bags have been requested by the Nagle Centre in Campbelltown. These decorated bags will be filled with Christmas fare and distributed by the Nagle Centre to families in the Campbelltown area.

A word of praise and thanks needs to go out to the Year 10 girls who are fulfilling their Community Service commitments in this way. They have entered into every activity with openness, genuine interest, and in a spirit of service to others. Well done, Year 10 girls.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Does The Old School Report Have A Future?

This question was posed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) a few years ago as they embarked on a major study looking into the effectiveness of school reporting and the best ways to communicate information about student learning to parents and carers.

Professor Geoff Masters, in his introduction to the review of student reporting in Australia, writes:

A significant concern is that parents and carers reported paying little attention to much of the content of student reports. They often focus only on written comments, ignoring other reported information. They are critical of what they see as educational jargon, reports that simply reproduce material from curriculum documents, and comments that are exclusively positive. And they may see reports as outdated by the time they arrive. Parents and carers want information about how students are tracking against expectations, whether they are making good progress, and what they can do to support next steps in learning.

While acknowledging the importance of effective communication of student achievement and progress to parents and families, teachers too, question the value of their many hours of work and effort that go into the construction of reports at the end of each semester.

In response, the College formed a professional learning team (PLT) in 2019 aimed at investigating alternatives to the ‘old school report’. The team includes Key Learning Area (KLA) coordinators and teachers from several subject areas as well as representatives from the Leadership and Management teams. New technologies enable schools to provide more continuous, personalised information about students and their learning and the Continuous Reporting PLT was established to research and investigate the best way forward for St Patrick’s College.

The voices of our key stakeholders – teachers, students and parents - is important in understanding our future needs related to effective communication of student progress.

Parents and carers – your feedback is highly valued. This questionnaire seeks feedback on your views on the future of academic reporting at St Patrick's College for Girls. The questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and it begins with a short video introduction that explains the current reports as well as thinking around future possibilities. The video is included below. Follow this link to have your say on the future of school reporting at St Patrick’s College for Girls.

Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services

 

BYOD Program 2021

St Patrick’s College Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program requires families to provide a laptop computer for use at school and at home. This program enables access to College-provided ICT resources including the Wi-Fi network, electronic texts, subscriptions to a range of eLearning materials, printing facilities and software licensing. The BYOD Minimum Specification Advice document is designed to guide families in the purchase of a suitable device.

Parents are able to purchase devices from anywhere and there are a range of devices available that meet our minimum specification. Together with the College Technology team, JB Hi-Fi have created a purchasing portal. Access the JB Hi-Fi Education portal here – https://www.jbeducation.com.au/byod/; Enter School Code: SPCCBYOD. Further information on the JB Hi-Fi is available here

Software and Apps

Families are responsible for the purchase and installation of their own software; however, the following applications are available for students to install on their devices:

Google Suite – The College has deployed G Suite for Education - a host of productivity tools such as Docs, Sheets and Slides. Additionally, Google Drive is used to store and share documents, and Gmail hosts the College’s email. Students download and install Google Backup and Sync to ensure that all class work and assessments are properly backed up.

Microsoft Apps - The College’s Microsoft Licensing Agreement extends to student owned devices. Students can download and install Office 365 via the Office Portal. Students must sign into the portal with their code@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au user account.

Adobe Suite - The College’s Adobe Creative Cloud suite licensing can be extended to student devices. Students request access to this suite through the College online Help Desk.

The College provides several learning portals. The Canvas Learning Management system supports access to learning materials, assessment task resources, and online interactions with teachers.  Sentral Student Portal provides access to important documents, the College welfare system and academic reports. SPC Connect links to the College Daily notices, room changes, and provides a jump page to online services. The Library microsite links to a range of information services including Destiny Discover (catalogue), online books, scholarly databases, Britannica School Online, Study Skills Handbook, ClickView online videos and much more. 

Please feel free to forward any questions you may have regarding our College BYOD program to the eLearning Coordinator (elearning@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au).

Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services

Everyday Maths

The NSW Government has recently released a new website called Everyday Maths. https://education.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/mathematics/domain

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

The idea of the site is to provide some information on how to support your child's mathematical skills and understanding with activities you can do together. When you visit the site, there are four main categories to explore: At home, Out and About, Hobbies, and Money. You can also select the link to “View all topics” which will allow you to look up mathematical ideas by specific content area. Most sections can also be navigated based on the age of your child, from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Found at the bottom of the homepage are a variety of links through to additional resources for parents and carers, including a maths glossary called “Maths A to Z”. https://education.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-carers/learning/maths/maths-a-to-z.

Michelle Parker - Mathematics Teacher

Holiday Reading Packs & Christmas Raffle

The summer holidays are almost here and the Library has you covered with some great holiday reading material.

Borrow a Holiday Reading Pack over the school holidays

Students are invited to borrow a Holiday Reading Pack over the school holidays. Each pack will contain four assorted mystery items – they could include a fiction or non-fiction book, biography, magazine, graphic novel or manga PLUS a candy cane, lollipop and two bookmarks.

While the bookmarks and treats are yours to keep, please be aware that the books will need to be returned by 29 January 2021.

Holiday Reading Packs will be available to borrow from Week 6 and everyone who borrows will also receive an entry in to our Christmas raffle. There will be four lucky winners – two Senior prizes and two Junior prizes – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

The College Library

Free eBooks and Audiobooks!

All students are encouraged to borrow eBooks and Audiobooks via the ePlatform app.

Some of the new releases on ePlatform this month

ePlatform by Wheelers is an eBook and audiobook platform St Patrick's subscribes to, for the benefit of all staff and students. The app can be downloaded on your mobile device (phone, tablet or laptop). Once the app is downloaded, you can log in using your St Pat's login details and start browsing - it's as easy as that! ePlatform gives you FREE access to the latest releases, contemporary favourites, and classic literature. eBooks are a great alternative to carrying a few books around at once, and audiobooks are excellent to listen to when travelling to and from school, or on holiday car trips. We encourage students to check out all the great titles, and ask the Library staff if any help is needed. 

This month's new releases include Enola Holmes, Mind the Gap Dash and Lily, The Kissing Booth (all new on Netflix), The Glass Queen, Our Chemical Hearts, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (the Hunger Games prequel), Riverdale, Cemetery Boys, and The Other Side of the Sky.

The College Library

Whodunnit?

Can you solve the clues in our Whodunnit mystery?

Can you solve the clues in our Whodunnit mystery?

Week 5 is the last week of our Whodunnit mystery. This week we are featuring five high-achieving and inspirational women from the world of Sport. Check out our library windows and make sure you enter the quiz for this week - there are prizes up for grabs!

Plus make sure you collect all five cryptic clues (they are on our library display windows) as you try to discover who our mystery Whodunnit person is.

In Week 6 you will have the chance to provide your answer along with the opportunity to win a major prize.

The College Library

StudySkills@TheLibrary

When you say that you have a bad memory, it usually means that you do not retain the information into your memory in an effective way. Memory is really a ‘process’ as opposed to a ‘thing’ in your head that you are born with.

Study planners are crucial

Rather than ‘improving your memory’, you want to improve the process of memory creation to ensure that retrieval goes smoothly! The reason why many students do not retain what they are learning is that the way they are studying only gets the information as far as their short term memory, so before long it is forgotten instead of being implanted into long term memory.

The first stage in improving retention of information is to try and find ways to make what you are learning INTERESTING to you, EMOTIONAL and ENJOYABLE. If this isn’t possible, at least create the firm INTENTION to remember the information. It is all about your approach to what you are learning.

The next step in memory creation is the encoding process. To improve in this area, you need to improve:
- CONCENTRATION AND FOCUS: make notes about what you are learning, study using techniques that suit your learning style and study when you are most alert.
- ORGANISATION OF MATERIAL: make brain friendly notes (lists, highlighting, categories, grouping, graphics etc)
- MAKING ASSOCIATIONS AND LINKS between the new material and previously learned material.

Next stage in the memory process is facilitating the storage of memories. You can improve the way memories are stored by ensuring you BREAK YOUR STUDY BLOCKS UP with at least a few minutes break every half hour (this gives the brain a chance to absorb and file that chunk of content) and CHUNK DOWN the information to be learnt into manageable chunks.  Getting enough SLEEP is also essential as fundamental memory processes take place during sleep. The other thing that is really important in this stage is REPETITION AND REGULAR REVIEW. Each time a review takes place, the brain fires all the neurons connected to that memory. The more regularly this happens, the stronger the connections between the neurons becomes, and the more intense and powerful the memory is.

So in summary, the top three things to improve the process of creating powerful memories are:
i)  focus, positive attitude and intention to remember are essential (reading something half-heartedly while bored pretty much guarantees it won’t be retained)

ii) an active approach to learning where you are ‘doing’ (making notes, testing yourself using a wide range of study techniques) rather than just ‘reading’

iii) repetition and constant review of the material over a period of time.

The College Library

Congratulations Amelia C (Year 12) and Georgia O (Year 7)

Congratulations to Amelia C (Year 12) and Geogia O (Year 7) who have both been selected in NSW State hockey squads in the U/18 and U/15 squads respectively. The final team will be selected in February 2021. This is an outstanding achievement for both girls and we wish you the best of luck as the trial process progresses.

Amelia C (Year 12) and Georgia O (Year 7)

Term 4 MISA Teams

Congratulations to the following girls who were selected in Term 4 MISA teams.

 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

Year 7/8 AFL

Phoebe H, Evie R, Mackenzie H, Gabriella A, Lily K, Jordana N, Paige R, Siena B, Annabelle M, Sianna F, Emma G, Stevie F, Maiya-Lily C, Faleofa A, Lilliana A and Sarah M. Coach Mr Baca.

Year 7/8 Softball

Lillian M, Jordanne M, Valentina V, Gabrielle V, Jessica H, Emily H, Breanna R, Grace B, Ava C, Shreya M, Faith R and Maya M. Coach Mrs Lawrence.

Year 7/8 Oz Tag

Aaliya B, Charlie C, Ella D, Mia F, Kiah G, Ava H, Scarlett N, Mirae Q, Nyala R, Cora W, Keesha D and Dakoda L. Coach Mr Ashkar and Mr Nash

Year 9/10 Volleyball

Katarina S, Tavara S, Olivia S, Charlotte F, Dayna V, Madison M, Helen T, Eden P, Sydney R and Quincee P. Coach Mrs Nash.

Year 9/10 Frisbee

Sophie A, Annalise D, Darcy E, Lucy G, Olivia H, Sophia S, Olivia Z, Ilori P, Amy Y, Summer D, Eden G and Carrera-Rose K. Coach Mrs Arena.

Round 1 of the Term 4 MISA competition got underway on Tuesday 27 October and was extremely successful for all teams with most winning comfortably against Oran Park Anglican College. Results can be seen below:

7/8 Oz Tag 8-0 Win

7/8 Softball 7-0 Win

7/8 AFL 127-0 Win

9/10 Volleyball 3-0 Win

9/10 Frisbee 12-12 Draw

Round 2 vs Mt Carmel Catholic College

7/8 Oz Tag 7-4 Loss

7/8 Softball 10-6 Win

7/8 AFL 39-22 Win

9/10 Volleyball 3-0 Loss

9/10 Frisbee 15-10 Loss

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Music Count Us In 2020 slightly different performance

The Music Count Us In initiative has been going for some years and we often use it as an opportunity to engage in a Music concert with many local Primary Schools. 

St Pat's Ensemble Music Count Us In 2020

Due to current restrictions we have had to think outside the box and have been preparing for a performance on Thursday, 5 November in the COLA at lunchtime. We will have some photos and video of this event in the next newsletter. The College Choir is restricted in singing so we have learned this year's song in AUSLAN. We all now have a greater respect for the language and look forward to incorporating it into many more performances. The St Pat's Ensemble was able to return to rehearsals and welcome some new members this term. They have enjoyed learning the song "You Won't Bring Us Down" and are performing it with a very good sense of style. Attached are photos from our recent rehearsals. 

Elizabeth Samyia - CAPA Teacher

2020 LAN Book Drive - donations wanted!

Donations of pre-loved books suitable for children aged 4-12 are invited from all members of our College community until the end of term. All genres, styles and sizes are welcome - from picture books to novels, board books and graphic magazines. Donations will be collected into baskets and distributed to our local primary schools in our third annual LAN Book Drive.

Kayla delivering one of our first book baskets in 2018

The LAN Book Drive launched in 2018 as an initiative driven by Year 12 graduate Kayla. Her passion for reading and love of books inspired her to collect donations from our students, staff and families to give to children in our local community who may not have access to reading books at home. In the first year we packaged up seven baskets and delivered them to our closest primary schools, who were incredibly grateful and made use of them as class book boxes, as donations to families or as valued additions to their library collections.

In 2019 we were thrilled to collect enough books to fill 22 baskets that made their way to even more of our local primary schools. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and are hopeful that we will be able to collect more books with the help of our 2020 Year 7 cohort too.

Books will be collected in pastoral time over the final weeks of school and all donations will be gratefully received. Please feel free to send in small bags or boxes of books with your daughter, or if you have lots of books that are difficult for her to carry, please contact Mrs McGillicuddy via the office to arrange a convenient drop-off or pick up time.

Claire McGillicuddy - English Faculty