Volume 33 Issue 06 - 14 May 2021

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

All the Year 7 and 9 girls participated in their NAPLAN exams throughout the week. In addition to this the Year 10 girls recently participated in the Minimum Standards Test.

Why test? All schools around the country have invested enormous hours and resources into the NAPLAN exams and the Minimum Standards Tests these last few weeks.  Students and teachers have been impacted as they have prepared and sat though the hours of questions and problems in these assessments. They have taken time away from classes and learning and for some students have raised anxiety levels and apprehensions about succeeding and failing.

Our girls live in an era of greater testing. Data and evidence are increasingly an important component of their learning. Teachers are required to develop and implement their instruction based on the needs and requirements of the students who sit in front of them in the classrooms.

Once we receive the NAPLAN results, we are aware of the girls who need support and the girls who are not growing in their skills. We learn what areas in particular need greater emphasis and we learn what areas the students have performed particularly well in. We draw from this which programs and activities produced the anticipated improvements and which do not appear to be having the anticipated outcome. It is great material for educators who are focused on producing the best for their students.

With the Minimum Standards Test, we are alerted to the girls who are underperforming and the ones that will need greater support over the coming years to ensure they will be able to achieve their HSC. The data is very rich and a good measure of how successful our teaching has been.

At St Patrick’s College, we continually strive to provide the best for the girls. We use this data gathered from the tests to inform our teaching and in that way influence the learning for the girls. In the coming weeks, we will survey the girls on their engagement in their classes. We will gather their feedback on their lessons and how they feel they are succeeding in their classes. Once again, this data will generate conversations with staff about how to improve the learning in the class and be the catalyst for improvement. Assistant Principal, Dr Debra Bourne, will have some further information for you on this new strategy in the coming editions.

I will finish this edition with a transcript from Luke’s Gospel on the Ascension which we celebrated on Thursday 13 May.

Luke 24: 46-53

You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this. And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with power from on high. Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.”


Sue Lennox - Principal


May – the Month of Mary

It is a centuries-old custom of Catholics to dedicate the month of May to Mary. May is always part of the Easter season – the fifty days between the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Catholics hold Mary in a unique place as Mother of God and Mother of the Church. Throughout the ages, more poems, hymns, statues, icons and paintings have been produced on Mary than any other woman in human history. Parishes and families often celebrate with special pilgrimages, devotions, or placing a crown on a statue of Mary, traditionally called a “May Crowning”.

May devotions to Mary began in the 13th century, but there is little information to know how it was celebrated. In its present form, the practice of May devotions to Mary originated within the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in the 18th century under Father Latomia of their Roman College. Shortly afterwards, devotions were adopted at the Jesuit’s mother church in Rome, the Church of the Gesù, and then began to spread throughout other area churches to the entire globe.

The image of Mary wearing a gold crown appears in early Eastern and Western iconography, drawing inspiration from the Coronation of Mary as understood in Catholic biblical tradition based on the passage from Revelation 12:1.

One reason the devotion has come to extend over the entire month is the abundance of Marian feast days in May: Mary Queen of Apostles (Saturday before Pentecost – 14 May, this year), Our Lady of Fatima (13 May), Mary Help of Christians (24 May), and the Visitation (31 May).

Louise East  - Religious Studies Coordinator


Year 12 Retreat

From Wednesday, 5 May until Friday 7 May, the Year 12 girls experienced their third and final Senior Retreat at The Tops Retreat and Conference Centre at Stanwell Park. The Year 12 girls were remarkable for having been able to spend all three days inside for the entire time due to rainy and windy weather. This is testament to the way they entered into the Retreat experience with open hearts and minds, thereby gaining many blessings through this shared time of reflection, prayer, discussion, and friendship.

The following is Year 12 student, Kulia T’s, reflections on her experience of the Retreat.

Year 12 got the privilege to go to Stanwell Tops for our last retreat. We enjoyed the different activities and time we spent together with our friends, teachers and as a year group. The activities included watching a documentary, making/decorating plates with our main personal qualities, writing positive affirmations for one another, creating a story about God for primary schools and having a liturgy as a year group. Each day focused on a different theme of love. This included love for ourselves, love of neighbour and love for God.

It was great to have time away from school and reality, to focus on myself. This deepened connection between other people in the year group as well as teachers that came. My personal favourite activity was writing positive affirmations for others. This created such a positive environment amongst the entire year group and it was great to see so many smiles. Overall, this retreat was a one of a kind experience. It has made me focus on the positives of myself, others and God. It has given me the opportunity to love others and strengthen my spiritual connection. - Kulia T - Year 12 Student

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Student Wellbeing – Talking Point!

As parents and carers of adolescent girls you are very aware, I am sure, of the many pressures that young people are facing these days. We hear a lot in the media about the changing nature of young people today and the fact that society is seeing them grow up more quickly than in any other time in our recent history.

The concept of mental health is no longer something that we shy away from and fortunately it is now seen and treated as physical health would be. This quote from a recent study on mental health I believe, sums it up well.

Being mentally healthy is more than just not being depressed or anxious. Being really mentally healthy allows us to perform at our best and reach our full potential.

In a recent article “How perfectionism hurts our girls” the focus was about the growing awareness of the dangers posed by perfectionist thinking in girls.

Below is a case study which highlights the typical behaviour of a girl exhibiting the signs of heading towards perfectionism:

Kellie is a Year 9 student, bright and capable. But increasingly, her marks have been well below her ability level. She struggles to finish in-class assignments, takes too long on other work, and will get teachers to read her drafts even when it isn’t required. With each ‘imperfect result’, her self-worth plummets. The pressure builds with the perception that her work will never be good enough.

Common traits included black and white thinking, critical self-talk, avoiding things as a means of coping, and generally negative thinking and reasoning.

If any of the above is ringing a bell for you with your daughter, then we need to take action. We need to work together to give her the skills to be more resilient and to re-focus on what we believe is the ‘normal’. A lot of this comes down to how they perceive what is “good enough” and we need to model this for them – take the pressure off them and show them that “doing your best” does not equal having to be perfect in all that we do. The answer is to provide “everyday strategies to enable striving and achievement to exist alongside flexibility, risk-taking, resilience and wellbeing.”

Case study taken from Parents Website: https://theparentswebsite.com.au/how-perfectionism-hurts-our-girls/

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

Hospitality caters for Biggest Morning Tea

Last Tuesday 4 May our Year 11 Hospitality students enjoyed their first challenge - catering for 100 guests for our annual Biggest Morning Tea fundraising event.

Year 11 Hospitality Students with local Federal Member, Dr Michael Freelander

The girls worked extremely hard to prepare, produce and present an array of delicious dishes including chicken sausage rolls, chicken, apple and poppy seed sandwiches, blini, turkey scrolls, chocolate slice and violet crumble cheesecakes to name just a few. 

Distinguished guests also joined St Patrick's College staff on this special occasion and a wonderful morning tea was had by all.

A huge thank you to the Year 11 Hospitality girls for making this a special morning tea.

Mrs Maree Durrington - VET Coordinator/Hospitality/TAS Teacher

Mrs Alicia Pollicina - Hospitality/TAS Teacher

Parent Student Teacher Interviews

Parent-Student-Teacher interviews continue on Wednesday 19th May 3:30-8:30pm, face-to-face at the College.

Booking Interviews

Interviews are booked through the Parent Portal. Information on accessing the Portal and booking interviews is available on the College Website https://www.saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au/parent-and-student-portal/. Problems related to Portal access can be directed to elearning@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au.

Once parents/carers have completed bookings, an interview timetable will be emailed. The schedule should be brought along to the interview sessions.

Parents attending Week 5 interviews (19 May) are advised NOT to book back-to-back interviews as teachers are split across two locations on-site at the College (to comply with COVID regulations).  

If you have any further questions about the interview sessions, do not hesitate to contact Dr Debra Bourne (dbourne@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au). We look forward to seeing you at the Parent/Student/Teacher interviews.

Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

Tell Them From Me Survey

As part of our focus on school effectiveness, St Patrick’s College will be participating in an online survey for students – Tell Them From Me (TTFM). The survey will provide us with valuable feedback on what our students think about school life, how engaged they are with school and the different ways that teachers interact with them. Schools in Australia and around the world have used the Tell Them From Me survey to help them improve.

From 25 May, all students will be given the opportunity and time to participate in this survey during regular school hours. Students will be given a random username and password to access and complete the survey online. Students’ names cannot be linked to their responses which allows it to be completely anonymous. Results will show all student scores combined together – it is not possible to single out individual students in the results.

The survey takes approximately 25-30 minutes to complete. The survey measures include such topics as emotional and social well-being, physical health, and behaviours and attitudes linked to student success. The survey also allows students to give their thoughts and feedback in open-ended question responses.

Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary. Your child will not take part if either you or your child do not wish to. If, during the survey, your child is uncomfortable answering any question, she should leave it blank and move on to the next one. Your child can stop the survey at any time.

If you would like more information, please contact the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, Dr Debra Bourne.

Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

Term 1 at a Glance

It was a VERY busy Term 1 for the College Library!

It is of no surprise to library staff, teaching staff and the students of St Patrick's that the College Library is often a bustling hive of activity from the time the library doors open at 7.30am each morning. However, the statistics for Term 1 made even the Library staff do a double-take!

Here are some of the stats for your College Library at a glance...for Term 1, 2021:

* 5,893 unique student visits either before school, after school or during recess and lunch
* 2,745 library items borrowed and 67 individual requests for reservations
*861 textbooks loaned to students
*52 textbook deliveries direct to classrooms - eliminating the disruption of whole classes who would otherwise leave lessons to borrow prescribed textbooks
*25 individual Library instruction classes - classes instructed by Library staff identifying how Library resources support student assessment work and recreational reading
* 8 Clubs, involving 801 unique student visits - clubs include Makerspace, 2 Book Clubs, Movie Club, Chess Club, K-Pop Club, Anime Club and Creative Writing Club

The College Library is looking forward to continuting to support students and staff alike during 2021...and beyond!

Lisa Robertson - College Library


Many students come home from school and end up just waiting until they might ‘feel’ like doing schoolwork. Or else they drag everything out over the whole night. A better practice is having set allocated times for home learning. Many students find that learning in 20-30 minute blocks works well for them.

Have a study timetable

During this time students should do homework first, then work on any assessments or upcoming tests, devoting the remaining time to revision, making study notes or doing practice questions to build their skills. All distractions should be removed, so students learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks of time. It is a great idea to make a timetable of the home learning and place it on the fridge so everyone is clear when students are focusing and when they are doing other activities or having free time.

Some of the benefits of having set times allocated for home learning are:

  • You are more likely to learn at home if you know when to start and when to end.
  • You will be more effective when you remove distractions and learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks.
  • You will not feel guilty about enjoying ‘down time’.
  • Having set times stops arguments between students and parents as everyone has agreed when the timeslots allocated to students will be.
  • You know that you are definitely doing enough work for school.
  • Keeping your home learning and personal life separate means you will be able to manage all of the distractions in your life and still complete your work for school.

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units. Access is via  the Library Website.

You can also print a sheet outlining independent learning activities (click on the More menu then on Things to Print).

The College Library


Diocesan Football Year 7 - 9 Team

The Diocesan Football Year 7 - 9 Team played a catch-up competition on the last day of Term 1 at Nowra.

The girls performed exceptionally on the day with 1 loss in our first game and then 3 wins. Special mention to Jordanne M, Charlize F and Olivia J who scored the winning goals in those games.

Our defence consisted of Logan L, Jordanna J, Gabriella A and Mia L, who became stronger each game. As the games progressed, the girls built on their teamwork and our midfielders Mariah A, Stevie F, Cora W, Olivia J, Mackenzie H beautifully set up our strikers and winger; Alannah A, Jordanne M, Sianna F, Mia A and Charlize F. This result then put us into the semi final. The girls unfortunately lost by one point but were placed in the minor final and won from a very nerve racing penalty shootout. Well done to our fearless goalkeeper Siena B who made some incredible saves.  We will move to the next level of competition as we ended up in the top 4!

Maria Boulatsakos - Coach

Diocesan Cross Country Championships

On Monday 26 April, Mrs Danielle Wilson took a team of very keen and dedicated cross country runners down to Nowra to contest the Wollongong Diocesan Cross Country Championships.

Unfortunately, due to a clash on the calendar a number of students who actually qualified for the event were unable to attend and while this impacted our overall result, it had little impact on the outstanding success a number of individuals achieved throughout the day. All students represented the College with distinction and should be extremely proud of their efforts. The most notable individual performances on the day were from College Sports Captain Hannah P (Year 12) who finished in 1st place in the 18 years age group and Chloe C (Year 7) who finished in 1st place in the 12 years age group. Both girls will now go onto represent the Wollongong Diocese at the NSWCCC Cross Country Championships to be held at Eastern Creek. A massive thank you must go to team manager Mrs Wilson who does a great job with the girls, as well as all the parents who were on site to support and assist on the day.

The team consisted of Chloe C, Charlize F, Harshini R, Sienna Z, Hannah W, Gabriella A, Niamh M, Mackenzie H, Olivia K, Siena B, Caitlin R, Isabelle S, Laura Z, Sianna F, Bronwyn Z, Aaliyah B, Amelia P, Amy Y, Brooklyn S, Darcy E, Madison M, Carrera K and Hannah P.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Diocesan Open Soccer

On 23 April, the College soccer team headed down to Wollongong to contest the Wollongong Diocesan Soccer Championships.

After early fears that we may not be able to field a team due to the lack of numbers, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of students willing to give up their time to represent the College when an SOS message was sent out in desperation. A massive thank you to all the girls who answered the call. While it was a steep learning curve for some of our ‘newbies’, the girls did manage a 3-0 win against St Benedict’s which brought a massive smile to the coach's face.

All girls in attendance should be super proud of themselves as they did an amazing job and gave 100% all day. A couple of highlights for the day were Amy Y’s efforts in goals, the ‘energiser bunny’ Tayissa M who ran all day and Isabella W who was selected as a shadow in the Wollongong Diocesan representative team – an outstanding effort considering she is still only in Year 10.

Finally, a massive thank you to Mrs Tacca-Baudana for all the time and effort she put into the team as coach.

The team consisted of Emily R, Sophie A, Olivia H, Charlotte T, Lily M, Amelia M, Chantelle D, Tayissa M, Isabella W, Carrera K, Siena M, Nimrath D, Mia C, Emily F, Sienna S and Annalise D.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Term 2 MISA Teams

Congratulations to the following girls on their selection in Term 2 MISA teams.


Year 7, 8, 9 Basketball

Charlie C, Nyala R, Sianna F, Jacqueline C, Jordana N, Sienna T, Zarah N, Hannah Y, Lexi V, Yuhan W and Fale’ofa A. Coach Mrs Nash.

Year 7, 8, 9 Frisbee

Stevie F, Siena B, Annabelle M, Dakoda L, Mia L, Shreya M, Jordanne M, Tamanna M, Breanna R and Gabriella A. Coach Ms Wallin.

Year 10, 11, 12 Soccer

Nimrath D, Isabella W, Sophie A, Emily R, Charlotte T, Tayissa M, Lily M, Sienna M, Sarah W, Sienna S, Olivia H, Emily F, Carrera K, Angelique M, Liana Y, Marie V and Madison B. Coach Mr Lord and Mr Baca.

Year 10, 11, 12 Indoor Cricket

Grace K, Amelia M, Brooklyn S, Jessica J, Dayna V, Candice H, Lucy G, Merinda F, Amy W, Amisha K and Anielle S. Coach Mrs Lawrence.

Year 11 / 12 Netball

Charlotte F, Chantel S, Piper A, Katarina S, Hannah S, Hannah P, Evana S, Olivia Z, Lucy O and Zoe D. Coach Mrs Pereira.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Congratulations Hayley D

Congratulations to Hayley D (Year 8) who recently competed in the International Sports Karate Association Battle of Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport. 

It was her first tournament in over 16 months and she was competing in a new division which saw her competing against girls and boys up to 15 years old – pretty impressive considering Hayley is still only 13 (and battling an ongoing ankle injury). Hayley had an extremely successful tournament and was able to place in every event she competed in. Quite an amazing effort. Well done Hayley.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

History Club- Anzac Day/AGM Assembly

The 2021 Anzac theme for the History Club was ‘Commemorating Their Service - The Role of Australian Women in War and Peace'. The Club has been working on collecting material for this assembly since Term 1 and was pleased to present it in front of the College Board and distinguished guests.

The beginning of the Assembly featured a video of images the students had collected depicting Australian women in each of the major conflicts beginning with the Boer War up to Afghanistan and continuing peacekeeping missions.  Ava M and Lauren G then introduced the History Club girls who took on the personas of different women over time in historical costumes. World War I was covered by Eve M as Matron Grace Wilson and Nikitta J as local Minto nurse, Elizabeth McRae. With World War II, Bronwyn Z took on the persona of Ingleburn nurse Cynthia Haultain who was killed aboard the Centaur in 1943. Isabelle S played nurse Vivian Bullwinkel who survived the Banka Island massacre and Japanese POW camps. Ava C dressed as  a Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) member, Emily M as a VAD nurse and Laura Z and Karli G were members of the Land Army. Charlotte D covered the 1950s and the Vietnam War period as a member of the  Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps and Gabrielle V and Jamelia M covered the period up to the present day. The students described the major changes for women over time, from roles restricted solely to nursing to the present day where women can be involved in frontline combat.

Diadem A then introduced a very special guest. The address was given by ex student (class of 2007) and current serving member of the Royal Australian Air Force,  Squadron Leader, Brittany Lovett.

Her address outlined her personal experience as a serving woman and the many obstacles women have faced in gaining equal rights over time. She shared her experiences of her time in the Middle East and in Afghanistan. Brittany outlined to the students why Anzac Day is so important to her, particularly as she has lost friends in combat. Her address was very inspiring and the student body was very engaged by Brittany’s address.

Lily K then introduced the President of the Campbelltown RSL sub branch, Mr Warren Browning and Ms Lindy Deitz, General Manager of Campbelltown Council, to present a plaque to Abbey C on behalf of the RSL and Campbelltown Council. Abbey C gave the address on Anzac Day in Mawson Park. Mr Browning and Ms Deitz spoke to the girls on how important it was to commemorate the fallen. They congratulated the College on keeping the Anzac spirit alive in the College and in the local community. Mr Browning had also mentioned that the previous director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendon Nelson, had mentioned to him how impressed he was with the work the History Club had done on Anzac Nurses in 2019.

Chelsea P had the honour of introducing our local Federal Member, Dr Michael Freelander, to present the 2020 Anzac Day Schools’ Award to the History Club for ‘Most Innovative Commemoration’ in an Australian school. He spoke highly of the College saying it was ‘iconic’ in the Macarthur area and stressed that the work of the History Club had been of great importance to the local community.

I wish to thank Lucette Zapirain for her help with the historical costumes, Mr Nash and his Biobox crew for IT, video and photography and Mr Combes for his assistance.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

History Club - Diadem Wins a Special Curator's Award at the Museum of Fire

In association with the National Trust’s month-long Australian Heritage Festival, the Museum of Fire at Penrith recently launched an exhibition on the history and heritage of the Museum (and its building).

Diadem's Entry

One aspect of that exhibition was a competition run by the Museum for high school students called ‘Our Heritage By the Voices of the Future’. Students were encouraged to voice their concerns about how the future generations need to look after heritage in 300 words or less in a variety of texts. Former student, Belinda McMartin, the CEO of the Museum of Fire, came and spoke to the History Club earlier in the year about her role and about this upcoming exhibition.

We had several History Club members submit entries, however, Year 8 student, Diadem A received a special ‘Curator’s Award’ for  her poem titled ‘Don’t Worry, There’s Still Time’. This is now part of the exhibition on display and will be added to the Museum’s permanent digital collection. There is also the opportunity for people to vote in the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for Diadem - please click on this website to vote for Diadem https://www.museumoffire.net/history-comp-shortlist

Well done to Diadem and all those who entered!

More information can be found at https://www.museumoffire.net/single-post/local-penrith-student-wins-museum-of-fire-history-award

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher