From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
As I begin this editorial, we find ourselves once again in lockdown. Finishing our third week and looking at the fourth next week, we are all hoping and wishing that cases reduce so that we can begin the transition back to normal life. This Delta variant of COVID-19 is far more transmissible than previous variants and with the numbers of vaccinated people very low, the entire country is reeling from its impact. Let’s hope all stay safe and our community doesn’t suffer any more than it has to over the coming months.
The girls have jumped into their remote learning classroom with interest and vigour. They have been engaged in their lessons and working to keep on top of their work and studies. Homerooms have initiated a number of different activities to energise the girls each morning and it has been delightful to hear of the funny stories coming out of these interactions.
Staff have been exceptional in preparing and presenting their lessons for the girls. As one staff member said to me this week “much more time goes into the preparation and presentation of a one-hour lesson on line than an hour of face to face learning”. Teachers are videoing themselves demonstrating work or concepts or developing activities that are interesting and self-explanatory for the girls to follow. We are following up on girls who are struggling by providing support and counselling assistance where needed. Please let us know if your daughter is having difficulties with her remote learning.
Our thoughts and consideration are particularly with our Year 12 families and girls at the moment. The Year 12 teachers are working with the girls to finish the content and check they are devoting enough time and energy to their preparation for their upcoming trial exams. The girls who have major works and performances are working to finish the projects and perfect their performances. We were just informed of the extension of time for some of those major works and performances and it is highly likely these will not be the only changes.
It is this uncertainty and stream of changes from NESA which unsettle and unnerve the girls who are preparing for their final assessments and exams. They have been preparing with their deadlines in mind and as these change it does shake their stability and focus a little. Please keep the girls in your prayers during the next few months. We never thought last year as we were negotiating this with the then Year 12 cohort, we would have to do this again for another cohort of Year 12 students. No Year 12 student would want to finish 13 years of schooling this way, but sadly this is beyond our control and with the support of their families and school community, they can show courage, resilience and persevere to achieve their best in their HSC.
Finally, I would like to thank you for completing the Tell Them From Me survey, that was sent out to parents, teachers and students last term. It is always a risk to gather feedback from stakeholders, as you can’t be sure what will come back. My belief is, if you are not prepared to listen to what is being said, then don’t ask. Having said that, the feedback was very rich and very worthwhile. It has given us a significant amount of data on what people in our community find beneficial and what areas in the College could be improved. I will share these results with you in the coming weeks and we will work to address the areas we can over the coming months. So, thank you for your affirmations, which were abundant and your constructive suggestions.
I will leave you with the prayer Mr Gattone used this week in our Virtual chapel which was centred around Matthew’s Gospel, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Sue Lennox - Principal
I place my trust in you this day.
Help me to live as a true Child of God,
totally dependent on you as my Lord and Saviour.
Grant me the wisdom to know what is needed to honour
the yearnings in the depths of my being
so that I may grow in perfection, united to you.
I make this prayer under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Our annual Benedict Day celebrations as usual commenced with the celebration of Mass, which was a rare opportunity for the College community to gather together for prayer.
On Friday 25 June, we gathered in the MSC for the celebration of a Eucharist of Thanksgiving for the patronage of St Benedict and the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. We are grateful to Fr Feleki from the Campbelltown Parish for having lead us so enthusiastically in our Eucharistic celebration. Fr Feleki brings a joyful spirit to our communal prayer and we extend our thanks to him for his prayerful support of our community.
The context of our Eucharist was the Benedictine value we are focused on this year, which is stewardship. In focusing on stewardship, our catchcry has been “stewardship is heart work”. This catchcry alerts us to the dimensions of stewardship. Stewardship is fundamentally any act of caring—therefore it is “heart work”. In being good stewards, we are expected to care for others, for the environment, and for ourselves. Stewardship is a way we can live out the Greatest Commandment—“to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul, and to love your neighbour as yourself.” Our Eucharist together was an invitation for us to open our hearts to the love of God made real and present in the Eucharist we celebrated together.
It has now become customary for students and staff members to be invited to offer the reflections on the readings used at Mass. On this occasion, the reflection was written and presented by Year 10 student, Monique R. who delivered an inspiring understanding of stewardship, particularly from an Aboriginal woman’s perspective. In her reflection on stewardship, Monique confidently proclaimed, “I am a proud Wiradjuri woman and what I've been told by elders of my mob is that the land is sacred and everyone, Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people, must proclaim and practise custodianship."
Benedict day is also a day of fundraising for the work that the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict do, both in Australia and overseas. Our collective fundraising efforts on Benedict Day will be offered to the Good Samaritan Foundation which oversees the many good works the Sisters do to bring hope and compassion to so many disadvantaged people. We ask God to bless the work of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
The central theme for the Year 11 Retreat is based on verse 14 of Psalm 139, “I praise you God for I am wonderfully made.” The following is a number of reflections on the Year 11 Retreat experience written by our Year 11 students.
The Year 11 Retreat was an amazing experience. I was able to bond, make memories and become closer with my grade. All the activities we did were really enjoyable and it helped many girls and I build up our confidence and trust. I was able to let go of all the stress for 3 days and focus on myself and all the amazing people around me who were there to support me and make Year 11 Retreat a memorable one. We were able to share our thoughts and ideas without any judgement and build a closer connection with each other. By Amisha K.
Year 11 Retreat 2021 was a peaceful and leisurely experience. It allowed us all to unwind, bond and slow down as a year group. Not only was the Retreat site very nice and tranquil, the staff there were very welcoming and accommodating. One of my favourite things about this Retreat was the meditation we did on the second night. This allowed us to connect with each other on a deeper level and reflect on our own spirituality and the relationship we have with ourself. I gained stronger bonds with people that I wouldn't usually hang around and a clearer view of the path and journey I want to follow in my life to find my purpose. In Year 11, I thought I knew every person in our year, however, I was surprised about how much I didn't know about people. The lasting impact that this Retreat made was that it connected our whole year from multiple small groups into one big community. By Annabelle M.
Retreat was an eye-opening experience that connected our year group through faith and reflection. It gave us the opportunity to take a break away from our busy lives and to be free from stress and assignments. The experience itself is something I will never forget. I was able to create new bonds, strengthen old ones, and became more spiritually aware. I felt very in touch with my beliefs and was given the chance to share my views. Also, I gained a clearer understanding of the importance of the relationships I have with others. Year 11 Retreat was the highlight of my Semester 1. By Tavara S.
Personally, Year 11 Retreat was a great break away from the busy days at school and let me take time to focus on myself. During the three days we did many different activities and created many experiences as a year group, including meditation, our 6 circles, dances and creating our image of God. These activities allowed me to make deeper connections to my closer friends and girls I don't normally speak to. One of the last activities we did was my favourite, writing symbols and positive messages for the other people in our small groups. This truly made a positive environment within our small groups as well as our whole year group. Overall, Year 11 Retreat was an eye opening experience being full of positive and fun energy, creating memories that will last forever. By Jade J.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
On July 22 we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the establishment of Good Samaritan Education (GSE) to mark the occasion GSE is launching Communio Calling, a podcast series.
Infused with the values of our Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition, Communio Calling is a dynamic conversation and connection point for the Good Samaritan Education community and beyond to nurture and share story, faith, and life.
The podcast series provides accessible engaging formation resources in your pocket. Subscribe using Spotify or Apple Podcasts to automatically receive the latest episodes to access when it best suits you. Communio Calling aims to build communio by sharing the stories and experience of Good Samaritan Education as we learn and grow together, attending with the ear of the heart. Join us as we progress on this way of life and faith together.
On 15 June, the Year 7 and Year 11 student had their end of term catch up.
Learning and Teaching
In response to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, St Patrick’s College began Term 3 in remote learning.
Our staff have worked hard to ensure that our students continue to experience the very best learning opportunities throughout the lockdown period. A new timetable has been issued with shortened periods and our teachers are working hard to structure lessons within the online format.
Our students have stepped up too. They are greeted each morning in their Virtual Homeroom by their Pastoral teachers. And then they complete four online classes each day. Our online learning environment is supported by a plethora of sophisticated learning technologies and an eLearning/IT Team who are specialists in the realms of offsite education. Technology support and infrastructure networks are largely invisible to us all – a testament to the success of the ongoing work in supporting remote learning.
Our eLearning team continue to offer online learning advice to families through our Remote Learning Website that has copies of the Remote Learning timetable as well as links to seek help if needed. The ponts of contact for help are reproduced here:
For help with
- A course, assignment, a resource – Email the class teacher.
- A Wellbeing issue - Email the Year Coordinator.
- A technology issue/request or issue with remote learning - Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Library resources, information services and assignment/research support - Email email@example.com.
Catholic Schools NSW, AISNSW and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) continue to advise schools about changes related to HSC Assessment. The most recent advice has changed project and performance dates for our Society and Culture and our Dance students. It seems likely, that further changes to key dates will be announced as the NSW COVID cases remain stubbornly high. As information becomes available, we communicate with teachers and with Year 12 students about the changes and their implications. Year 12 students are reminded about the HSC hub – A NSW Government website that offers resources and support for students.
I will leave you with a video clip that our very talented eLearning Coordinator created to guide us in the commencement of our Remote Learning session this term.
Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
At the end of last term, students studying Japanese as an elective in Years 9 and 10 were given the opportunity to connect with a school in Japan, Nara Ikuei Junior High School. This is part of the Australian Olympic Committee’s project to connect schools in Australia and Japan in the lead up to the Olympic Games.
St Patrick’s College students were able to participate in a ZOOM call with students and introduce themselves in Japanese. The students from Nara Ikuei also introduced themselves, but in English. This is the start of relationship we hope to continue over Semester 2. Students from St Pat's will continue to build a digital profile about themselves in Japanese, so they can share information and use the Japanese they have learnt in the classroom in a real-world situation. We hope it will be the start of a strong friendship between our schools.
Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator
Class 7.4 enjoyed the last practical of our Food and Agriculture Unit in Technology.
At the end of term 2, Education Perfect held its first National Spelling Bee.
St Patrick's College students from Year 7 to 10 were invited to participate and eagerly accepted the challenge. Over the three days of the competition, we had 123 students participate. At the end of the competition, we were ranked 6th overall in Australia out of 150 schools. We were 2nd in NSW overall and 1st in NSW for our school size. Three students achieved Elite levels, Sophie H, Eknoor M and Annalise E. With Annalise E coming 23rd globally and first in our school. We also had six students achieve Emerald status, two achieved Gold, eight achieved Silver, 13 Bronze and 12 Credits. This is an incredible achievement and demonstrates the amazing dedication of our students.
Well done to all who participated and a special congratulations to those who beat their own expectations and achieved awards.
Sarah Hilder - English Faculty
Via NESA NEWS 19 July 2021
Health and wellbeing are more important than ever, as HSC students continue their school assessments and prepare for upcoming HSC exams during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Stay Healthy HSC hub is now available to help students and parents with tips for prioritising wellbeing, including:
- Checking in to support with friends and family
- Practical help to visualise and manage study goals
- Identifying different types of stress.
Also, keep a look out for the HSC Study Guide in the Sydney Morning Herald, this Wednesday.
Join the #StayHealthyHSC conversation on social media to share how your students are taking care of their wellbeing.
Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
The "U Turn The Wheel to Stay Alive" program has been run by the Rotary Club of Campbelltown for many years.
This program is for school students who are nearing the age to attain their drivers' license. Year 11 had the opportunity to engage with guests speakers (some being our local police) and Lofty Richardson, the presenter of “Sharing the road..” who allowed the girls to experience what it is like to be in a truck and not see cars in their blind spot.
The program focuses on road safety, awareness and the associated risks which was very beneficial for all students to hear and workshop. Some of the topics discussed included keeping your Ls & Ps and the NRMA, low-risk driving, buying a used car and celebrating safely.
It was a very valuable day for the students and we thank the program organisers for visiting the College.
Maria Boulatsakos - Year 11 Coordinator
Monday 2 August 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Online via the Remote Learning Website
Our Year 8 students are about to commence a very exciting time in their education. Unlike Years 7 and 8, where the curriculum is compulsory, the Year 9 and 10 curriculum allows some flexibility for students to choose elective subjects.
An information session is being organised to inform families about the Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10) curriculum on 2 August from 6:30pm. The session includes a presentation about:
- The Stage 5 Curriculum and NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requirements.
- The elective subjects on offer.
- The online Web Preferences elective subject selection process.
The presentation will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions about electives or about the selection process.
It is important for parents/carers attend this information session so they can support students in making appropriate subject choices.
On Tuesday morning, the 2022 Year 9 subject selection process was launched and students were directed to the Remote Learning Website that has important information about the Stage 5 curriculum and the electives on offer. There is also an online copy of the Year 9 and 10 Subject Selection Handbook available.
Should you have any queries about the event or subject selections, please contact the Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching, Dr Debra Bourne (DBourne@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au; 46292999).
Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
The College Library remains open and ready to help all students during offsite learning.
The Library can help during offsite learning.
While all students are engaged in offsite learning, it is still business as usual for the College Library.
The Library is available to continue to assist all students with their assessment needs - including helping students find information for assignment work, check referencing and proof-read work prior to submission. Students can get in touch with the Library by raising a Helpdesk Ticket, and a member of the Library will promptly be in touch to assist. The Library team are here to support students during these challenging times in any way we can.
The College Library
The Library has a large collection of research databases which are available online, to help with your studies at home.
To access these resources go to the library homepage at: library.saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au
then click on Research Databases
Our Research Databases include:
EBSCO Ebooks - a selection of classic literary works, important historical documents and general reference materials.
JStor - access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books and primary sources in 75 disciplines.
Directory of Open Access Journals - provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
Australia / New Zealand Reference Centre – a collection of full text articles from leading regional and international newspapers and periodicals, full-text reference books, tens of thousands of full-text biographies, and a collection of images containing more than one million photos, maps, and flags.
Australia / New Zealand Points of View - this resource presents diverse perspectives on important issues and events.
Literary Reference Center - an expansive collection of author biographies, plot summaries and work overviews, full-text essays, literary reference books and monographs, cover-to-cover full text for literary magazines and journals, book reviews, poems, short stories, classic texts, author interviews, and much more.
History Reference Center - offers full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books, cover to cover full text for more than 150 leading history periodicals, nearly 57,000 historical documents, more than 78,000 biographies of historical figures, more than 113,000 historical photos and maps, and more than 80 hours of historical video.
Religion & Philosophy Collection - an essential full-text database for theology and philosophy research
Science Reference Center - full text for nearly 640 science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, etc.
Issues in Society - targets specific social issues and comprises a thoroughly researched compilation of the latest news, facts, statistics and commentary from trusted sources.
You can also access the following resources via the library homepage:
Digital Vatican Library - provides free access to the Vatican Library’s digitized collections: manuscripts, incunabula, archival materials and inventories as well as graphic materials, coins and medals, printed materials (special projects).
Australian Dictionary of Biography - concise, informative and fascinating descriptions of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history.
Encyclopaedia Britannica - can be used for quick facts or for indepth information on a wide variety of subjects.
All of these online resources can be found on the Library homepage.
The College Library
All St Patrick's College students have free access to a wide range of new release, favourites and classic eBooks and audiobooks - perfect for the current offsite learning situation!
Some of the new releases on ePlatform this month
Students can download the ePlatform by Wheelers app on their phones and mobile devices (or go to stpatricksnsw.wheelers.co on their laptops) to download eBooks and audiobooks.
The most recent titles added to the ePlatform collection include:
The Angel of Waterloo by Jackie French
Ruinsong by Julia Ember
Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Shadow Club Rising by Neal ShustermanHow to Pack for the End of The World
A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
Having trouble downloading the ePlatform app? Contact Library staff for help!
The College Library
Evaluating Areas to Improve
During the term break it is easy to put all thoughts of school out of your mind and just enjoy the downtime. This is not a bad thing, as it is important to have a good break and clear your mind. When you return to school, it is important to take some time and evaluate your approach in these key areas, noting down the changes you will make this semester so you can really focus on them.
Review of last semester:
USE OF CLASSTIME
How well did you use your class time? Who did you sit next to? Did you work well together? Did you listen to your teachers and fellow students when they were speaking? Did you participate and contribute to discussions? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
ASKING FOR HELP
If you didn’t understand something in class did you ask a question about it? If you were unsure about an assignment or assessment did you check in with your teacher? If you were struggling with a topic did you ask for help? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
Did you do enough schoolwork each afternoon? Did you plan out a timeline to do the work for your assessments? When you were working at home did you remove all distractions so you could focus? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
PREPARING FOR TESTS
Did you ensure that you were always clear on what you were being tested on? Did you make study notes along the way so you had them ready for test time? Did you test yourself on the content as you were learning it to see if it was in your memory? Did you do lots of questions to practice the skills of the subject? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
The College Library
With the current Covid situation and Greater Sydney being in lockdown, obviously this impacts the sport calender for term 3 and changes have to be made. Below is a list of changes that impact College teams and/or individual students.
- Diocesan Netball scheduled for 19 July - Cancelled for 2021
- Diocesan Athletics scheduled for 23 July - Postponed and most likely cancelled (TBC).
- Term 3 MISA - Weeks 1-3 of the draw have been modified. Further decisions to be made towards the end of the lockdown period.
- CCC Events - Any CCC events taking place up until the 30 July 2021 have been postponed. A decision regarding events after this date are to be confirmed. Most notably will be a decision regarding the CCC Cross Country and the CCC Netball Championships scheduled for 10 August 2021, which we have 3 teams entered. (TBC)
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
Last term, on Wednesday 2 June the Year 7 to 9 Diocesan Soccer Team played in the Dio Knockout Competition.
The competition was fierce and unfortunately, we did not proceed to the next stage. I wanted to acknowledge the girls and their commitment to training prior to the competition and their effort to give it their all.
I also want to thank Sophie A (Year 10) and Sandrine M (year 11) for their support as line referees.
Maria Boulatsakos - Diocesan Soccer Coach
The Pax Program is a new program that runs in conjunction with the Tuesday's activities program.
Last term the PAX Program ran for the second time and we had 18 girls elect and participate from Year 7 to Year 10.
The PAX Program is designed to provide opportunities for students to focus on their inner-self. PAX means peace - it is not something that we sit about and wait for - we must pursue it, work for it, set out trying to achieve it. It aims to enrich a student’s knowledge on wellbeing topics and teach students skills to step forward with an understanding of their own strength to positively adjust to the dynamic nature of their life. The girls participated in different mindful activities such as journaling and meditation. They also engaged in a mindful movement each session and worked on mantras, vision boards and natural and alternative medicines for health and wellbeing. The feedback has been wonderful and we cannot wait to run the program in Semester Two.
Maria Boulatsakos - Year Coordinator