Volume 33 Issue 11 - 06 August 2021

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

I hope you are all well and keeping safe. Unless you are an essential worker, you will be working at home with children and family members all trying to conduct their business around the household. I imagine your workday will be peppered with some time reading work on your daughter’s Canvas page, helping smaller ones with their craft, maths or literacy and then your own work, which doesn’t get done until you return to it. We have shared with staff, over the weeks, several amusing prayers and images of parents at home in lockdown and students managing remote learning. It is so important to keep buoyant and try to see the humour in our days, as we manage this situation that we are all currently in. I hope every now and then you can stop, breathe and affirm yourself for the fabulous job you are doing in these difficult times.

I recently listened to a presentation where the presenter spoke about the need for schools to build good learners and students who are generous, mindful, intellectual, empathetic, compassionate, and humble. The presenter spoke of students with epistemic character. A person of epistemic character is not afraid to face complexities and challenges of their times. They don’t profess to have all the answers or to be the expert, but they believe they have some of the knowledge and there is always more to consider, as new evidence and information comes to light.

In a time of a pandemic, we need people who are agile in their thinking and not afraid of challenging and addressing the difficult issues. Every generation will have its challenges and in dealing with each one of these challenges, we need people who have depth and ability to process the information and make decisions that are formed, with a commitment to the benefit of the greater good. It is often the easy path to look after ourselves and our own needs, but not so easy if we consider what is best for the greater community or population. We are people living in community and as we respect, nurture and care for that community, we all gain and benefit from this. Over the following two weeks, I encourage you to reach out to others in the community. To show you care or that you are there for them. Lets make our way through this situation without more causalities than we need, but with stronger links and connections than before.

I will leave you with the following COVID Poem written by Laura Kelley Fanucci from Jesuit resources.


Sue Lennox - Principal

Covid Poem

When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbours
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way--better
for each other
because of the worst.

- Laura Kelley Fanucci

Taking the Inward Journey

Lockdown can be a very trying time. It is also the case this time around that the restrictions are the most severe we have had imposed on us so far. The day we were told by our political leaders to not enter into conversation with friends we may encounter as we do our dash to the shops, appears to have been the day that we had stripped away from us our last bit of humanity.

Let us not allow this pandemic (and the circumstances it imposes on us) to dehumanise us. We must draw on our innermost being as a source of courage, determination, and faithfulness. Prayer is the way to that place of courage, determination, and faithfulness. Prayer has the capacity to centre us on that which is most important. Prayer reminds us of what the ideal is. Prayer can be a time and place for solitude, regeneration, reconnection.

Interestingly, for many of the saints and mystics of the Church, winter has often been regarded as the time of the year for retreating, for taking that inward journey to meet the soul. In a recent conversation with a cousin of mine, we were asking each other about the experiences of lockdown. My cousin noted that because she was home bound and not receiving visitors, she had a lot more time for prayer. During lockdown, she is spending more time taking that inward journey.

In the words of a Carmelite priest, prayer involves “learning about ourselves ... who we are, what we have received, what we can become. To pray is to release the almost infinite possibilities hidden within every human heart. To know ourselves as God knows us, to realise how we have been gifted by nature and by grace, is to break out automatically in prayer.”

Praying together as the St Patrick’s community can be a powerful thing—even when the communal praying is done remotely. Even during lockdown, prayer is our special way of connecting to each other, and it is a way of connection which can be just as meaningful and powerful as being in each other’s physical presence. An extra dimension to the power of communal prayer is to acknowledge that whenever our St Patrick’s community gathers in prayer, it is as if the whole Christian Church throughout the world is gathered in prayer.

As St Paul urges in his Letter to the Ephesians, “In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Take care and stay safe. And let us keep praying for one another.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Self-Care Matters

As we come to the end of our third week of remote learning, the importance of self-care becomes more and more evident for all of us. Self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. Whilst we navigate our way through stay at home orders and remote learning, self-care must be a priority. With this in mind, Year 9 have been enjoying a range of activities in Pastoral time to prioritise self-care and to promote its importance to those family members that may be learning and working at home too. Starting this week, Year 9 students have been given a range of self-care activities to select from and then spend their Tuesday morning completing them.

We certainly are all in this together and Year 9 are enjoying making self-care a priority.

Activities suggested to Year 9 range from meditation, journalling, going for a walk and baking, to manicures, learning a language, origami, yoga and daggy dancing. With many more options in between, there's something for everyone. Ask your daughter how she plans to spend her next Tuesday morning and perhaps, if you're working from home, you could join her too. Remember, we are all in this together!

Louise Glase - Year 9 Coordinator

Education Perfect English Championship Results

At the start of Term 3, Education Perfect held its English Championships. 

St Patrick's College students from Year 7 to 12 were invited to participate and demonstrate their love of learning. Over the week of the competition, we had 24 students participate. At the end of the competition, we were ranked 31st overall in Australia out of 1,255 schools. We were 7th in NSW overall and 2nd in NSW for our school size.

Two students achieved Elite levels, Charlotte D and Sarah M. Charlotte D coming 26th and Sarah M coming 27th globally. We also had two Bronze and six Credits. This is a wonderful achievement and demonstrates the amazing dedication of our students who found time to participate in an extra challenge during remote learning. 

Well done to all who participated and a special congratulations to those who beat their own expectations and achieved awards. 

Sarah Hilder - English Faculty

Creative Writing Club - online

Creative Writing Club is open for students in all Year groups.

Creative Writing Club is open to students of all ages.

The Creative Writing Club meets every Wednesday at recess, and students participate in short, fun writing activities to spark their imagination. With the move to remote learning this term, the Creative Writing Club followed suit. A Canvas course has been created for Creative Writing Club members to engage in a different writing activity each week and upload their work. There are no deadlines, no pressure, and members can undertake as many activities as they like. A merit is awarded to students for each of their efforts. Any students who would like to join the Creative Writing Canvas course are encouraged to email splh@stpatshelpdesk.atlassian.net. We always love new members!

The College Library

Makerspace @ Home

Just because we have moved to remote learning doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the fun of Makerspace.

Make some cute mini-notebooks

All students are invited to join Makerspace @ Home where we have created some easy projects for you to enjoy using household items such as pegs, toilet rolls, buttons and egg cartons.

Projects include how to make potpourri, a T-shirt tote bag, cute mini-notebooks or a DIY Phone Stand plus many more.

If you are already a Makerspace member head to Canvas to find the Makerspace Club course. Or if you are not yet a member but would like to join just email splh@stpatshelpdesk.atlassian.net

The College Library


How To Stay Positive About Your Schoolwork

It can be difficult to stay positive at all times about your schoolwork, particularly if you have personal challenges  or are struggling to balance online learning. When we allow pressure and stress to build up, we can let go of good habits and invite bad ones. This can result in students feeling even more drained and exhausted.

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions in pressure situations is to “fuel up”. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in your life. You need to boost the wellbeing factors in your BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.

Exercise and practice relaxation and mindfullness

BODY: Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY

 Get better sleep.
Feeling good all starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good nightly routine. Minimise stimulants such as caffeine, TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help, along with gentle stretching to ease those tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep, be sure to see your doctor.

Eat in Moderation
Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right. Yoga and mindfulness are also helpful to reduce stress and relax.

MIND: Here are some things you can do to THINK more positive

Change your thinking and perceptions
Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!

Change your focus
Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.

EMOTIONS: Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive

Acts of kindness
Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.

'Three good things' exercise
Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.

Start ticking things off your list
Pick something small and achievable to start with that you need to do for school and get it done. You will feel much more positive when you start doing things. Do a few more easy things to get your confidence up then tackle a more challenging task.

The College Library

NSW Premier's Reading Challenge - Update

Firstly, congratulations to the following students who have already completed the Challenge this year -  Maram A, Caitlin R, Laura Z, Rebecca M, Bianca J, Shreya M, Sarah M, Bronwyn Z, Hannah W, Charley L and Darcy E. Please give them a virtual round of applause.


For students who are in the process of completing the Challenge there is some good news - there have been some rule changes and the Challenge has been extended by two weeks.

The rule change is due to students learning from home. The rule change increases the number of Choice books students are permitted to read. Students on all Challenge levels are now permitted to read 10 choice books. Choice books are the books the students choose themselves that are not on the PRC Book Lists.

The new closing date for students is Friday 3 September 2021. This is the date students need to have their online Reading Record completed by.

If students are having difficulty finding books to read while you are learning from home, there is a solution - the Wheelers ePlatform App

As a St Patrick’s College student you have free access and you can download the App on your laptop or on your phone. The app includes eBooks and audiobooks and there are over 300 PRC books on the app, so you should be able to find plenty to read. 

Instructions on downloading the App, as well as everything else PRC-related, can be found on our NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge page on the Library homepage.

If you have any questions or need any help you are always welcome to email Mrs Denford in the Library.

The College Library