From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
When I was expecting my first child, I had diligently read all the birthing books and felt prepared for the experience. As she was born, the obstetrician said to me “Well, you think that was hard! You will now have to worry about her for the next 25 years minimum. What you just experienced was the easy part!”. It occurred to me that over the nine months, I had been naively preparing for her coming into the world and hadn’t given much consideration to the years that would follow. In many ways, he was right.
Parenting is a life-giving and fulfilling privilege for many people, however, it comes with its doses of absolute joy, hardship and pain. For new parents, they learn their own needs and wants will take a back seat and that they now take on sole responsibility for a frail, dependent little person whose needs and care will always supersede their own. Our innate desire to protect and nurture our children emerges from the core of our being and it will stay with us for as long as we are their parent.
Unlike the time my children were growing up, I believe parenting in our current times has become more complex and more fraught for the parent and the children. Parents have greater pressures on them to be everything to and for their children and their families. There is financial pressure, there is time pressure and there is relational pressure to provide for the family. Parents are very aware through their reading and exposure to media of what they “should do” to be a good parent and what could potentially happen if they get it wrong. There is a school of thought out there that you can get it right as a parent or you can get it wrong. It is my belief that parenting isn’t black and white and that we will have a few wins and have to concede to a few losses in this journey. I humbly share with you my thoughts which I draw out of the experiences I have had whilst at the College.
- Be sure your daughter knows that she is loved by you, her parent. Don’t be afraid to express that to her regularly.
- Allow time to get to know her and spend time with her. Be persistent and this will grow.
- Have the courage to do the hard stuff. You are the only one who can parent her and she needs that as she develops through adolescence.
- Build a network with other like minded parents you can call on, so you don’t feel isolated or on a limb when making decisions. This is particularly helpful when you are told “everyone else’s parents let them do…”
- Don’t sweat the small stuff but hold your ground on the big issues. This will let her feel she has had a few wins and you can be confident the big issues are non negotiable.
- Show compassion and listen. It isn’t easy to grow up as an adolescent in the 2020s. A parent with a listening ear will provide great comfort and security to her.
Our young people increasingly have compromised health and wellbeing concerns. Their world is a different world to those of my children and their parents as they were growing up. They need as much guidance and assistance possible to build their resilience and confidence so that they are better able to face the challenges and hurdles in the years to come. Work with us at the College, so that in partnership, her journey through adolescence enables her to grow her skills in resilience and independence.
This week we commemorated Sorry Day. A lovely service was held by the Winga Myamly Aboriginal Ministry at Minto. I will leave you with the Prayer for the Stolen Generations developed by the Aboriginal students at John Therry Catholic College which was distributed at the service.
Sue Lennox - Principal
Prayers for the Stolen Generations
God of all creation,
We thank you for this beautiful land,
for the First Peoples you entrusted to care for it,
for its wealth and many Second Peoples who have made it their home,
Australia has been good to us.
We ask now for this land that we will be healed,
For our ancestors made gains at the expense of the Aboriginal custodians.
Lands were taken and families destroyed by removal of children.
We pray for those who were taken,
And those parents and grandparents whose arms lost little ones.
We struggle to imagine how this would feel, and how it could have happened.
For the pain and loss of identity and culture, we ask healing.
For a callous disregard of human rights, we ask forgiveness and healing.
For wilful blindness and ignorance, we ask for your light to shine.
For the descendants still affected by trans-generational trauma we ask
for ongoing support systems, in the name of justice.
May we all be one,
May we be a nation who cares for 'the least of these'.
In the name of Christ,
The Faith Feed
As Catholics, we are committed to dialogue with other religions to promote understanding and tolerance. On Monday 17 May our Year 12 attended an excursion to Auburn Gallipoli Mosque and ISRA where they were able to participate in such interfaith dialogue. While the students were able to revise their HSC topics for Studies of Religion, the day was important for this experience of dialogue – listening to Muslim adherents in relation to the HSC topics but also more broadly in terms of their worldview and experiences in Australia. The students were able to ask a range of questions and were given a tour of the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque. Some of our Muslim students were able to partake in prayer at the Mosque and it was a privilege to be able to facilitate this for these students.
What follows are two students' reflections on the importance of the day to them:
Personally, this experience was the most eye-opening experience I have embarked on. It allowed me, as a student, to be able to understand just how truly beautiful the religious tradition of Islam is with my own eyes, leaving behind any misconceptions and assumptions, being open minded during the day. I empathised greatly with their insights and got to understand just how much adversity and prejudice they face for being Muslim. This experience was extremely beneficial in terms of solidifying some key information in our syllabus too. I am so glad I got the privilege to enter a Mosque, which was one of the most breathtaking places of worship I have stepped foot into. Overall, today’s excursion was one I will not forget and I am grateful I was able to gain insight and dive into the experience with an open mind to ensure I got the most out of it. It was amazing. Gabriella K
My thoughts on today were that it was a good day with the change of scenery. I liked being able to hear the opinion of Muslim girls themselves about Aisha and her importance to them. I also liked listening to the lady who spoke about the Hajj as she really made me understand the Hajj better and how significant it is to adherents. I think today was a great day in physically seeing the mosque and seeing how Muslim adherents live out their faith. Jessica R
Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator
Learning and Teaching
Via NESA News:
The evidence shows that when parents and carers engage with schools on mathematics and numeracy, students' engagement with and attitude toward maths is enhanced.
The Everyday Maths Hub has been designed to support families to:
- develop and support positive attitudes towards mathematics and numeracy at home
- empower their children to think critically and creatively
- find and solve problems
- notice and wonder about the mathematics in the world around them.
Designed by the Department of Education mathematics teachers, the Hub aims to help parents and carers trigger positive engagement and conversations with their children about mathematics through everyday activities:
- easy explainers to remind parents and carers of key mathematics topics
- fun and useful resources to help engage with their child in using mathematics outside of school, for example, at home and hobbies
- guidance on careers where mathematics is important and valuable (next release)
- personalisation filter by year group, topics and scenarios.
Watch the following video clip that introduces the Everyday Maths Hub (1minute 45 seconds).
Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
As part of our focus on school effectiveness, St Patrick’s College invited students to participate in an online survey – Tell Them From Me (TTFM). Now we invite our parents to participate in the survey too. The survey will provide us with valuable feedback on your experiences with our College. Schools in Australia and around the world have used the Tell Them From Me survey to help them improve.
The survey link is http://tellthemfromme.com/
From today, parents have the opportunity to participate in this survey. The survey is anonymous, voluntary, and participants can skip any questions they are not comfortable answering. Results will show all scores combined together – it is not possible to single out individuals in the results.
The survey takes approximately 25-30 minutes to complete.
The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing.
If you would like more information, please contact the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, Dr Debra Bourne.
Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
In Term 1, students from St Patrick’s College were invited to participate in the annual Education Perfect Language World Championships. Just under 1,900 schools worldwide participated in this competition and 167 students represented our College, where 208,000 students worldwide participated.
This year we achieved amazing results. Some of the statistics include:
- 86th overall globally out of 1,894 schools
- 60th overall in Australia out of 1,231 schools
- 18th overall in NSW out of 343 schools
- 16th overall in Japanese out of 1,133 schools
- 2nd overall in Japanese in NSW
Our students have achieved fantastic results.
Credit – achieving 500 points – These are for students who achieved 500+ points
Year 8 - Diadem A, Stella A, Isabelle H, Sophie H, Addison N, Chloe R, Steffanie S, Angelea V
Year 9 – Mbali J, Sienna T
Year 10 – Stephanie F, Maham K
Bronze – achieving 1000 points – These are for students who achieved 1000+ points
Year 8 – Emmalynn D, Ashley J, Ava M, Lexi V
Year 9 – Abigail B, Jade F, Caitlin R, Abbey R
Year 11 - Charlotte F, Madison M, Lucy O
Silver – achieving 2000 points – These are for students who achieved 2000+ points
Year 8 - Charlotte D
Year 11 - Annabella N
Gold – achieving 3000 points – These are for students who achieved 3000+ points
Year 8 – Jordana N
Year 10 – Ella W
Emerald – achieving 5000 points – These are for students who achieved 5000+ points
Year 8 - Alexis N
Year 9 - Renae L, Sarah M, Hannah Y
Elite – achieving 10000 points – These are for students who achieved 10000+ points
3rd Place – Candice M of Year 11 with 10,069 points
2nd Place – Marina P of Year 10 with 14,780 points
1st Place – Olivia L of Year 11 with 15, 469 points
I would like to give special mention to Olivia L of Year 11 for the effort she put into this competition. For four out of the seven days of this competition, she was first in the world in Japanese and her final ranking in Japanese was 11th in the world. Congratulations to Olivia for her hard work in this competition in both 2020 and 2021.
The Education Perfect Language World Championships is a competition we have participated in for the past nine years. We look forward to participating in the years to come to give students the opportunity to embrace languages and language learning.
Julian Nash - Japanese Language Teacher/LOTE Coordinator
Year 8 History students compete in the 'Tutankhamun's tomb challenge'!
Year 9 Elective History students visit Sydney University's Chau Chak Wing Museum!
Year 8 History students compete in the 'Tutankhamun's tomb challenge'!
Year 8 History students recently participated in the 'Tutankhamun's tomb challenge' where each class recreated the tomb of Tutankhamun to scale, with objects in each room of the tomb shown in situ and a mummified Tut in the Burial Chamber inside the sarcophagus! The classes uploaded a guided tour video of their tomb drawing to Canvas (our LMS) and the winning class will be judged by our resident Egyptologist, Mrs East with a special prize awaiting.
Nathan East - HSIE Coordinator
Year 9 Elective History visit the Sydney University Museum!
Year 9 Elective History recently had the opportunity to visit the new Chau Chak Wing Museum which now houses the University's entire museum collections ranging from natural history, art and the ancient world.
Students have been studying the latest scientific research on mummies and the use of technologies such as CAT scans. These 3D scans were on display alongside the actual mummies in the 'Mummy Room'. Students were also led around the museum by an archaeologist and had the opportunity to handle ancient artefacts. These artefacts ranged from prehistoric stone tools to mummy wrappings and Roman statuary.
We also took the students on a walk around the campus where the students viewed the nineteenth century new gothic buildings (harking back to their studies last year about the Medieval World). I thank our College archivist, Mrs Joanne Cavallin, for coming.
Fran Musico-Rullo - Elective History teacher
Year 7.1 and 7.4 Technology classes have been busy studying Food and Agriculture this semester. They have been regularly working in our agricultural plots growing various herbs and vegetables.
The students were very excited to use their produce from our gardens in the production of a Thank You Burger. We have been learning about farming practices and the role of professionals in the agricultural and food manufacturing industries. The burger helps to recognise the valuable work of farmers and our Food and Agricultural students here at the College. The classes enjoyed working in teams to produce, prepare and plate their burger.
Tanya Robertson - TAS Teacher
"Parents are recognised as the primary influencers of their dependants' career choices"
Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications have been developed with the specific goal of preparing students with skills for work. VET is designed to help people to join the workforce, move into a new career or gain additional skills in their existing career. VET qualifications have a very practical focus.
A VET course will broaden your skills in a specialised area that teaches you the practical experience you'll need for the workplace. It will train you to design, plan, and execute the practical and technical aspects of your field in an industry context.
We recognise that parents are the primary influences on their dependants' career choices. MWLP, in conjunction with the NSW Department of Education, have created an event night specifically designed for parents to help them understand how beneficial VET is for their children.
What to expect on the night:
- COVID Safe Event
- Industry framework info sessions
- Apprenticeship and Trainee info sessions
- What is VET Work Placement
- Benefits of VET Work Placements
- Student success stories
VET Pathways provide job options now and into the future for young people. These options include jobs in areas such as:
- Allied Health
- Beauty Services
- Business Services
- Child Care
- Financial Services
- Human Services
- Information, Design and Technology (IDT)
- Metals and Engineering
- Primary Industries
- Salon Services
- Sport Services
- Tourism and Events
Please send any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday 25 May, the St Patrick's College Mock Trial team competed in Round 3 of the Mock Trial Competition against St Charbel's College in Punchbowl. It was an eventful day and all team members enjoyed being able to contribute to the court proceedings. We thank Greg Morahan who acted as the magistrate. He was very knowledgeable and helpful in assisting both teams to understand court procedures, rules of evidence and relevant legal concepts.
Mock Trial Students with Miss Cassandra Iler and Mr Greg Morahan (of Greg Morahan Solicitors)
Our barristers, Leah A and Amelia M, strongly argued the evidence and facts of the civil case, and did extremely well in the delivery and execution of these matters. Our solicitor, Olivia L, provided our barristers with quick, strategic and effective legal advice and information. The witnesses, Hayley M and Isabelle O, communicated their affidavits distinctly during examination-in-chief and delivered considered and articulate responses during cross-examination. Chelsea P, our court officer, performed her role dutifully and diligently.
This round was a success for St Patrick’s College with a winning score of 224 points. The team performed outstandingly and are feeling confident for future rounds of this competition. We thank St Charbel's College for their outstanding hospitality and kindness during this round.
Throughout this round of the Mock Trial Competition, I was able to learn about the formality of court procedure, the layout of events and the important responsibilities that must be played out by barristers, solicitors and witnesses. I also learnt about court strategies, particularly how you approach cross-examination when questioning the plaintiff witnesses.
Other team members of Mock Trial who supported on the day include:
Written by Amala A - Year 11 Student
You are all invited! Tickets on sale now, click here to book.
It has been quite a busy time in Koori Homeroom over the last little while, with a number of opportunities provided for our girls.
On Sunday 28 March, a group of St Pat's Koori students and staff members made their way to the Lyric Theatre to watch the play Hamilton. The girls in attendance were Latiah B, Kaitlyn J, Leah A, Elizabeth W and Sophie A. The girls, accompanied by the staff, made their way to the city for the matinee session. The girls were privileged to see the story of Alexander Hamilton played out on stage, which included several Aboriginal actors who played a number of roles during the performance. The girls were wonderful representatives of the College and enjoyed dinner together as a group afterwards. Thank you to the teachers who came along to support the girls, and to the girls for their positivity and energy!
Library Painting Incursion
On Friday 30 April, a group of our Koori students worked with Mr Stevens and Mr Duncan on an artwork for the Library. The artwork revolves around the idea of 'welcome' and, when finished, will be placed in the library. Thank you to the following girls who attended on the day: Bindi FT, Latiah B, Olivia J, Kaitlyn J, Nyala R, Mahlia L and Sophie A. Thank you also to Mackenzie L who attended during her study period. The girls worked for two periods in order to start the artwork, and whilst it is half finished at this point, it was an excellent start made by the girls who designed the artwork, and made a start on crafting the written element to be placed in the artwork. Thank you very much to the Library staff for their assistance, to Mr Stevens for his artistic expertise, and to the girls for their fervour in getting this project underway!
Sorry Day Service
On Wednesday 26 May, several of our Koori girls made their way to Holy Trinity Minto, at the invitation of Sr Kerry, to attend the Sorry Day Service. This service remembers the Stolen Generations, and recognises the inter-generational trauma still suffered by our mob today. It is an excellent chance for the girls to engage with our Elders, many of whom are on our Aboriginal Advisory Committee. The girls who represented our College are Bindi F, Latiah B, Kaitlyn J, Olivia J, Nyala R and Elizabeth W. Bindi F and Kaitlyn J completed a reflection on what Sorry Day means to them, reflecting on the true nature of Australian history and how important it is to properly recognise the experiences of our Stolen Generations. Olivia J and Latiah B then recited a poem titled 'Sorry Day Australia' which delved into the realities of why the day is important to survivors of the Stolen Generations.
Christopher Duncan - HSIE Teacher/Aboriginal Liaison
P & F
On Saturday 8 May, the St Patrick’s P&F were pleased to host our Mother Daughter High Tea.