Volume 33 issue 19 - 10 December 2021

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

This is the last newsletter for the year. As Fr Michael would often say at our College masses, “Where did the time go?” Today we held the final mass and award ceremony for the girls in Years 7 to 11. My thanks to Fr Felecki for celebrating the eucharist for us. Once again, it is a delight to join with the girls as their hard work and effort across the year is acknowledged and celebrated. It is unfortunate you couldn’t join us, but I hope you were able to access the streaming service that was available to you.

Two documents will be sent to you today. One is the overview of the results of the survey the College conducted in term 2 called "Tell Them From Me". We have identified three projects that we will work on over 2022. An outline of the first project will be sent to you today and then an outline of the following two will be sent over the first weeks of next year. In addition to this,THIS LINK  outlines the work we have been doing at the College over the year and the changes and improvements that will be seen in classes and experiences for the girls from next year. Our aim is to enable our girls to flourish in 2022. 2022 will be a fantastic year for all the girls at St Patrick's College.

As we finish up today, we wish our best to the staff who are leaving the College at the end of the year including Mrs Christodoulides, Mr Gargoura and Mr Godbee. Mrs Christodoulides has been a wonderful counsellor for the past 13 years. She has cared for and supported hundreds of girls in that time. We wish her the best as she begins a new venture in her life. Also farewell to Mr Gargoura who has worked in IT since 2017. It has been his dedicated service which has created our stable network and built confidence in our capabilities. Finally, Mr Godbee has been at the College for the past two years. During these COVID years he has been wonderful in assisting with meeting the demands and difficulties of supply during remote learning. We wish these wonderful staff all the very best as they move to new communities.

I wish you a happy and holy Christmas and that you have some time to relax and unwind with family and friends. I encourage you to access some of the beautiful Christmas services that will be held across all churches this season.  Let’s hope we all keep safe and well and that we return in the new year ready for the great year that is planned for us.

I will leave you with a short Christmas prayer of St Augustine of Hippo:

Let the just rejoice, for their justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, for their saviour is born. Let the captives rejoice, for their Redeemer is born. Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born. Let free men rejoice, for their Liberator is born. Let All Christians rejoice, for Jesus Christ is born.

Blessings

Sue Lennox - Principal

 

Prayers for Advent and Christmas

Advent brings us closer to Christ who is with us. We are reminded that no one is beyond the reach of God's love. We wait with joy for the Lord, the hope of the world. As Pope Francis stated in Laudato Si’, "The Lord comes that we might find him in this world of ours."

We are called to reach out with love to our sisters and brothers in need, sharing our hope for a world transformed. The following are examples of prayers that can be said during this time.

Come Lord, come again

Come Lord, your wounded world is yearning
for you to come again.
Come Lord, your weary world is crying out
for you to lift us up
out of our despair, our hunger,
our thirst for something better,
our need for the food that will last.
Come Lord, come again,
we need to begin again.

Sue Allerton/CAFOD

God of hope

God of hope,
we cling to you,
for you renew the face of the earth. 

Through the gift of your Son,
our Lord Jesus,
we follow you on the path of dawn.

Enlightened by your love and wisdom,
help us to lead each other
and all creatures
back to your open arms.
Amen.

Rachel McCarthy/CAFOD

Light up our lives

Christ, come into our world of darkness
Light up our lives with your coming.
Fulfil all our longings with the joy of your birth
Strengthen our resolve to work for change in our world
And to share the hope of your birth that each Advent brings.
Amen.

Sr Bridgetta Rooney/CAFOD

Expectant God

The heavens can no longer hold your abundant love,
So you pour out the gift of your embodied self
Relinquishing the beauty of your majesty,
To adorn the pale colours of our humanity.
Choosing to enter into this world in a place of scarcity and need.

Reveal to us this hidden world
of poverty,
of refugees,
of suffering.
As you choose this as the place of your birth
Let us choose this to be the place of our rebirth.

Rebuild us,
Transform us,
Make us anew.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Kieran O'Brien/CAFOD

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator

The Year in Review: Our Mission to Build God’s Kingdom

You may recall that 2020 ended with our saying, “Good riddance and let’s bring on 2021.” And this was said with much hope and anticipation that this year would be better. The cartoon reminds us of the cautious optimism we had at the start of this year. How wrong we were. 2021 has brought us both familiar and new challenges and we have all done our best to meet those challenges.

Terms 1 and 2 lulled us into a sense of normalcy as we were anticipating the opening up of borders and the end to restriction. This meant that our three senior Retreats were able to take place and we are grateful that the Year 10, 11, and 12 girls had their Retreat experiences so that they did not miss out two years in a row. It was also possible during Terms 1 and 2 for the Year 10 girls to be out in the community doing their Community Service. 

Then Term 3 happened! It is safe to assume that no one expected that lockdown would be so long and so strict. What we needed, amongst so many other demands, was ways to stay connected with the St Pat’s community and to be able to keep alive our mission of continuing to build God’s Kingdom here at St Pat’s. Ways we did this was to connect with each other through communal prayer, albeit virtually. Our communal prayers helped us to remain mindful of those things we value, hold dear, and aspire to live out as a Christ-centred and Benedictine community. Our Benedictine value and theme of stewardship this year has been a very apt value to focus on because a significant aspect of stewardship is caring for people as well as the environment. Hence our catch cry this year that “Stewardship is heart work” compelled us to be aware of the needs of others. By our connecting regularly through communal prayer, we were being stewards towards one another and expressing the “heart work” of stewardship. St Benedict, as always, has been for us during difficult times, a reminder to put the love of Christ before all things. In doing so, we have confidence that “all shall be well” (which is a saying attributed to St Julian of Norwich).

Upon the end of lockdown during Term 4, our St Pat’s community started gradually getting back to normal, although many restrictions remained. There was an excitement in the air on the days when various year groups were able to return to the College and be with friends and familiar faces. Almost immediately, the call went out to all year groups to bring in donations for the annual St Vincent de Paul Society Christmas Hamper Appeal. We were asked to provide 60 hampers for families in our local communities. As parents, you have the right to be proud of your daughter who rallied to donate to this appeal with enthusiasm and generosity.

A special mention must go to the Year 10 girls who did the Alternative Community Service Program during Term 4 because they had missed out on the opportunity to be active within the community due to COVID-19 restrictions. One of their tasks was to decorate 120 drawstring bags which were donated to the Nagle Centre for use as toiletry bags. Apart from decorating the bags, the whole of the Year 10 cohort offered donations of toiletries to place into the bags. This was on top of their donating to the Christmas Hampers. Congratulations, Year 10, on a job done so well and so generously. The staff at the Nagle Centre were very thankful when the toiletry bags were delivered and they wish to extend their sincere gratitude for the effort that was put into creating the bags. They will be distributed to homeless people in the Campbelltown area.

Although 2021 proved to be no better than the first “COVID year”, we still have much to be thankful for. We thank God for the gift of the collective St Patrick’s community which has remained faithful to its mission of bringing God’s Kingdom increasingly alive at St Pat’s. May this Advent season and Christmas be a time of many blessings which we gratefully receive from our God who comes to us in human flesh as Jesus, the Christ, to live among us and show us the way to salvation.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

おしょうがつ  あけましておめでとうございます! - New Year – Happy New Year!

The end of year marks time for celebrations. Students studying Japanese in Year 8 and in Elective classes we able to participate in some special events in the final week of school. 

At New Year time, families get together and eat “Toshikoshi-soba”noodles and make “Osechi ryouri” New Year Banquet.

All students studying Japanese are congratulated on a great year. Students have put in an immense effort with remote learning and then quickly adapting back to classroom learning.

Mr Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator

Year 10 Commerce Interviews

The Year 10 Commerce classes have been studying the topic “Towards Independence” this term where the students investigated a range of financial, consumer, legal and employment issues which may affect them in the future. They also learnt strategies that they may utilise as they move towards independence. As part of their investigation, the students planned an interview and developed a range of questions to ask young adults who have left high school about some of the challenges faced as they start studying for their HSC and when moving towards their later teenage years and into adulthood. They also came up with questions regarding practical strategies that have been helpful to people in different phases of their life.

The students had the opportunity to interview two past students from the College - Kaitlyn Skuse (Ward), who graduated in 2012 and Stephanie Ellsmore, who graduated in 2019. Many of the students also remembered Stephanie in her role as College Captain from their junior years. This interview allowed the class to have two different perspectives of young women at different stages of independence. The students asked a range of questions surrounding factors such as employment, education, budgeting, saving money, meeting financial obligations while still managing to have a social life, handling the stress of studying, balancing work/uni/sport, renting and the financial demands of having children.

The interview was successful with detailed and thoughtful answers from Kaitlyn and Stephanie, providing insightful and valuable advice to the class. The students enjoyed the experience and took away with them a greater understanding of issues they may encounter and strategies they can implement, as they move through the next 5 to 10 years of their lives. Kaitlyn and Stephanie were also impressed by the quality and range of interview questions developed by the girls. 

Cath Waud - HSIE Teacher

Year 12 Graduation Mass

The Mass of Thanksgiving for the Year 12 Graduating Class of 2021 was held on Tuesday 7 December at Holy Family Catholic Church in Ingleburn. Fr Sean Cullen graciously accepted the invitation to preside at the Mass and he spoke to the Year 12 girls about moving into their future with confidence and placing their trust in a God who is love.

Many of the Year 12 girls took up roles in the Mass such as readers, processionists, and singers—all of whom made their contribution with grace and reverence. Despite COVID-19 restrictions on congregational singing, the five voice choir of Year 12 girls sang beautifully which added a profound sense of joy to the eucharistic celebration. In particular, the singing of the “Deer’s Cry” brought some to tears and to everyone a moment of peace and uplifted spirits. Arden D. spoke on behalf of the Year Group and her words were crafted beautifully with the key message of gratitude for having been (and forever remaining) part of the St Patrick’s community.

We congratulate and bless the Graduating Class of 2021 and wish them every success in their future endeavours.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Year 7.1 Technology - Digital Technologies

For this past Semester, Year 7.1 Technology have been hard at work developing a game in AppLab.

Year 7.1 Technology have been learning how to code in AppLab and have completed a few Tutorials - with all students showing their competency and receiving a Certificate from Code.org.

Here are a few pictures of the students dedicating the last lesson to finish their game in AppLab. The winner will be announced later this week.

Dale Reader - TAS Coordinator

Year 9 Study of Microbes Growing on Surfaces

As part of our Medical Science topic this year, we have been studying the brain, the nervous and endocrine systems, infectious diseases and the pathogens that cause them, non-infectious diseases, epidemics and pandemics, vaccines, the discovery of Penicillin, how the body fights infections and how everyday medicine works. The Medical Science topic has been really interesting because we’ve been able to learn about how simple mould helped modern medicine take such a big leap to where it is now through the creation of antibiotics.

Agar plate left open to the air

To further our knowledge on this topic, we have been investigating how microbes live, grow and thrive on different surfaces in the environment around us. We observed this by growing colonies of bacteria and fungi from swabs of different surfaces and objects around the school on agar plates. We studied the amount of growth and the different species between the samples after the plates were left to grow for a few days.

Most samples grew colonies of both bacteria and fungi. The colonies of bacteria that we grew were generally circular or irregularly shaped, small to large in size, smooth, non-pigmented, and opaque. However, the colonies of fungi we grew were generally filamentous in shape, small to large in size, rough, dull, non-pigmented and translucent or opaque. One sample from a student’s shoe grew a huge variety of different microbes, ranging from irregular to circular in shape, from large to punctiform (tiny) in size and varying from opaque to translucent in their optical properties.

A lot of groups in our class swabbed and grew microbes which were on the everyday items we use or touch often (eg phones, bin handles, hand railings, doors and soap and hand sanitiser dispensers), and it was surprising to see the different places the bacteria and fungi were growing, and in what amounts. Something that I found really interesting was that places like railings, desks and door handles, where the cleaners have had to clean more often because of the pandemic, weren’t having as much growth as previous years. This means that the work the maintenance team at our school have been doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 has also helped protect us from the bacteria and fungi there too! 😂

Our teacher, Miss Stapley, left one agar plate open in the classroom (photo included), allowing it to pick up any bacteria and fungi that was floating in the air. Luckily for our study (whilst a bit gross), it grew a variety of different species of bacteria and mould. Our laboratory technician, Mrs Knox, is experienced in microbiology and identified that we had grown Penicillium mould, which was very interesting to see after our work on Alexander Fleming. Penicillium mould is used to make Penicillin - one of the most widely used and effective antibiotics developed in the 1940s. After seeing how much bacteria and fungi that was on this agar plate after just being left open to the air, even compared to places like light switches and bin handles, one student said what everyone else was thinking: “I’m never breathing air again!”.

This experiment was very interesting to do as, due to COVID, we are becoming increasingly more aware of the germs around us. It was also very fun and exciting as we explored the school trying to think of the weirdest things we could swab to see what really was on them. But, thanks to our maintenance team, we were able to see how clean our school really is. The Medical Science topic, and all the topics Year 9 Science has offered, have been really fun and interesting and I look forward to studying this topic in more detail in senior Biology in future years.

Angelina B - Year 9 Student

The Post-it Note Show Wraps Up...and the VOTES are in!

Over the last 7 weeks the St Patrick's community, students, staff and families became involved in a CAPA Community Initiative: The Post-it Note Show that was designed to reunite our community after being apart for so long whilst remote learning. What a success this initiative has been! 

The final Post-it Note Show Exhibition on show at the College Library

At the final 'wrap up' of the exhibition, we had received 513 post-it note artwork submissions. These were a variety of sizes ranging from the traditional 75mm post-it note to a mammoth 300mm post-it note. There was a variety of styles, materials used and themes of positivity came through and over 300 individuals entered artworks. 

On Tuesday, the final Online Exhibition was published and the St Patrick's Community voted for their favourites. There were nominations for the following categories: The Most Artworks Entered, People's Choice Award (the overall favourites), The Sticky Fingers Unpackers Prize (awarded by Mrs Denford who unpacked all of the entries) and People's Choice - Text-based Work. Students also had fun participating in a Staff Post-it Note Artwork Guessing Competition. 

We would love to share with you our winners. View the Winners Page on the Post-it Note Show Website to find out about the winning artworks and the artists behind them. 

Tarna Tannous - Acting CAPA Coordinator

MISA Year 7 Grand Final

Towards the end of Term 4, our 7A MISA Debating team had been anxiously preparing for their Grand Final debate against John Therry Catholic College. This team consists of Chaiyya R, Valentino S, Aurora F and Annalise E. In training, the squad had been practising their rebuttals and discussing their feedback from previous adjudicators. It was nostalgic for them in their last training session as they reminisced on their journey and considered how far they had come. “Remember when our speeches were only 30 seconds long!? Look at us now! Grand Finalists!

On 30 November, the final stage of the MISA Debating Competition took place with our students arguing the affirmative for the topic ‘That we should all be vegetarians’. 7A were supported by a student audience of MISA and CSDA debaters from Years 7 - 9. The debate was ready to begin, with Chaiyya R as first speaker. As a passionate vegetarian herself, she opened the debate by expertly defining the topic and arguing the increased benefits of vegetarianism in the areas of health and climate change. She referenced a 2015 scientific study which proved that the protein in meat can be sourced through vegetables. A highly impressive example for a speaker of her age!

When it came time for Valentina S’s speech, the negative team had raised several concerns surrounding religious needs, financial implications, and the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies. Valentina’s rebuttals were highly effective, asserting that vegetarians can gain protein and B12 through substitutes such as nuts, beans and grains. She also managed to dismantle her opponent’s team line by pointing out its contradiction. Valentina proceeded to argue that a vegetarian lifestyle is not only ethically superior, but can lead to better heart health.

At second, the opposing team had argued that worldwide vegetarianism would cause job-loss and create a black market.Then, the time had come for Aurora to conclude her team’s case. She refuted that this black market idea was unrealistic, and that the job-loss could be rectified with increased employment in plant-based industries, thereby making an unemployment crisis unlikely. She closed by summarising the main points of her team’s case.

After third negative gave their closing speech, it was decision time. Every person in the room turned to the screen, hearts pounding, as they listened to the feedback. The adjudicator asserted that this was an excellent grand final debate, with impressive ideas and rebuttals from both teams. She suggested that manner, timing and palm card organisation can be areas for improvement, but was overall incredibly impressed with the quality she saw from our young speakers. She announced in the end that our opponents, John Therry Catholic College, were the lucky winners of today’s debate. Despite not being the Grand Final winners, the young speakers of St Patrick’s College still have a lot to be proud of as Runners Up of this prestigious competition.

Congratulations to Chaiyya R, Valentina S, Aurora F and Annalise E, for their wonderful achievements in MISA Debating. It has been a pleasure to watch each of them grow together in their first year as a team. Thank you to all students and staff present for their support of our debaters - it means the world to them to know that they have the support of their community behind them and we are ecstatic that our 7A team has come so far. Go St Pat’s!

Laura Bryant - Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator

Introducing 'Love To Read' - a new online bookshop

Introducing ‘Love To Read’, a new online bookshop featuring an exciting range of easily discoverable books to help you find your next favourite read.

St Pat’s staff, students and parents/carers are invited to browse the Love To Read website without having to set up an account.

However, if you would like to access our special discounted pricing of 15% off everything for St Pat’s staff, students and parents/carers, you will be required to register as a new customer and enter the Group Special Code which is listed below. 

Love To Read website

Group Special Code: NSP0001

Please note: The group special code needs to be applied to the login screen each time you sign in for the discount to be applied.

The website allows you to browse the Top 20 books or by categories such as Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children or YA books and Graphic Novels.

Please note: Some books on the Love To Read website are not carried in direct stock and need to be ordered in from suppliers around Australia.

Generally, titles in stock are shipped within 7-14 days of order (depending on stock availability). Please also take into consideration postal delays before placing an order.

The College Library

Accessing books over the school holidays

The Library is never closed when you have ePlatform by Wheelers!

 

 

 

By downloading ePlatform by Wheelers students and staff will have access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks for free.

Read the instructions below to get started:

For eBooks:

1. On your laptop or tablet open https://stpatricksnsw.wheelers.co/ on your browser

2. Sign in using your school username and password

3. Browse and download eBooks....happy reading!

For Audiobooks:

1. Download the ePlatform by Wheelers app on your mobile phone

2. Find St Patrick's College, Campbelltown under 'Find my Library'

3. Sign in using your school username and password

4. Browse and download audiobooks....happy listening!

The College Library

 

 

StudySkills@TheLibrary

As the school year comes to a close, now is the time to re-evaluate your methods of study and carefully look at how effective they are.

On the College Library page, you will find ‘Study Samurai Library’ and within this library you will find five topics of focus: Performance, Study Skills, Time Management, Mindset, and Wellbeing.

The Study Skills section contains 15 topics pertinent to developing effective study skills and practices. From Memory techniques to taking helpful study notes, from better handwriting to improving your reading skills, and what to focus on after the test or assessment: there is something in this module for every student.

Take the time over the Christmas break to work your way through the Samurai Study library. Incorporate the study skills listed. Practice the Wellbeing elements, read through the Mindset module and analyse yourself; can you take on board some of the suggestions? Take a look at the Performance module: it is interesting to watch the videos and then take the short quizzes.

Enjoy your break and the fun and relaxation it provides. Put aside a small period of time every few days and work your way through the modules and the helpful information they contain. New topics are continually being added within each module, so make it a habit to touch base with the Samurai Study Library to keep updated with the helpful topics provided.

The College Library

Creating Ceramic Art in Outdoor Makerspace

Thank you to all of the students in Years 7 - 10 who joined in the fun of our outdoor Makerspace this term.

At lunch time during Weeks 8 and 9, around 280 students created their own piece of ceramic art, by decorating mugs, bowls and plates with a holiday-themed design. The students came up with some beautiful, unique and fun designs of their own.

Some advice for parents and carers - don't forget to act surprised if you find a piece of ceramic art under your Christmas tree this year.

The College Library

LAST CHANCE FOR THIS SPECIAL OFFER

Have you taken up the special offer from our friends at Grove Estate yet?

With Christmas fast approaching, make sure you get your orders in today, to ensure delivery before Christmas Day!

*Funds raised will go towards the Scholarship Program

Simply go to www.groveestate.com.au/shop/fundraise/ and enter STPATS in the ‘Apply Coupon’ section at the cart.

Feel free to share this special offer with your friends, family and neighbours.

The more cases sold, the more St Patrick’s Scholarship Program will raise*.

SAVE THE DATE

The date has been set for our Annual Emerald Gala Ball.

Make sure you mark it on your calendar and join us for this magical evening of raising funds for the College's Scholarship Fund.

If you, or someone you know would like to donate, contribute or partner with the College for this event, please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator, Haley Keays on hkeays@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au.

View the 2022 Partnership Packages Pamphlet here: 2022 Emerald Gala Ball Partnership Packages 

Haley Keays - Community Engagement Coordinator