Volume 32 Issue 05 - 27 March 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

This edition will be slightly smaller as the Inside Out will operate weekly whilst we have this extraordinary situation of girls learning off site for the remainder of the term. In listening to the Prime Minister's address the other evening there was a suggestion that these arrangements may continue into the start of next term as well. These are new and interesting times.

Staff started the pupil free day placed in rows in the MSC ready for our instruction on all the applications available to use with the girls. The social distancing requirements meant we were spread out not unlike the placings we have for Year 12 for the HSC. It was a very productive day as staff familiar with the technology were able to lead us on the strengths and capabilities of the resource. At times the noise levels and banter were not dissimilar to what happens in class when a new concept is introduced. Thank you for supporting us this day.

As you receive this edition your daughter will have begun her learning program. Feedback from the girls is that they are managing the structure quite well and are confident and familiar with the Canvas courses. Please let us know if there are any concerns.

NESA recently released a media statement about the HSC. I have written independently to the Year 12 parents informing them of the implications for their girls. This is a space that will continue to change over the year. It is positive that a designated COVID-19 Response Committee has been established by NESA to deal with the many individual situations that will arise as a result of the virus in communities. This is such an important year for our Year 12 girls and it is particularly difficult for them as they fail to experience the last times of many events due to cancellations and the frustration of trying to do their best in their studies in the face of changing circumstances. Fortunately, all the Year 12 students in the state are impacted so there should be some acknowledgement of this fact in the end results.

I have recently sent all parents a letter concerning school fees. I appreciate many in our community will be impacted by the virus in a variety of ways. I hope you will be able to access some of the Government's stimulus package to help you through if your circumstances have changed. Please contact the College if you need assistance.

Finally, the College is very quiet at the moment. We have a few girls working in the library and a number of staff in various spaces taking classes or working on their skills and resources. Schools are never the same without the students and there is an eerie stillness on the grounds when they are not there. I hope your daughter is managing her technology and enjoying this different mode of learning. Thank you for your ongoing support.

I will leave you with a reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel. It is the story of Jesus healing the blind man and the pharisees challenging Jesus because he did this on the Sabbath, a day of rest. In the story Jesus shows he is the one who personifies the love, compassion and light of God for all in need. Ironically, the very ones whose role is to reflect the light, love and compassion of God are blind when all this is acted out in front of them. Sunday’s gospel invites us to stop and consider where and how we are blind, wilfully or inadvertently. It also reminds us how Jesus insists that our role as Christians is to reveal God’s goodness, love, mercy and compassion to the world by the way we live. Do we dare illuminate our world by letting our light shine?


Sue Lennox - Principal 


"Be not afraid"

“Be not afraid,” says the Lord.

If our faith is real, it is at times such as these that we are compelled to draw strength from the faith we profess in our God. When we read from the Bible God’s exhortation to “Be not afraid”, our faith in God’s advice is tested. How do we stay “unafraid”?

One answer is that we draw on the Gospel values that are the foundation upon which we ought to make decisions and to know how to interact with others. And Gospel values are not merely words on a page—Gospel values are in fact a person: Jesus. In living out Gospel values, we ask, “What would Jesus do?”

It is a common human response in times like this to blame God for the situation (usually in the sense that God’s punishment is being meted out to a godless and sinful group of people). Also, lately, you may have heard comments such as “God will protect me.” God has not caused COVID19, nor will God directly cure it. This is a man-made situation and it now demands a man-made solution. And God will be present in the man-made solution when humanity manifests God’s presence through acts of kindness, care, compassion, and love. We are called to be God’s instruments of good.

If we keep reminding ourselves and each other to ask this question, “What would Jesus do?” then we will be bringing God into the equation. We will be allowing ourselves to be God’s healing instruments in the world. In the year in which we focus on the Benedictine values of Peace through Justice and Stability, let us be active peacemakers. Let us also be stable: founded on Gospel values—that is to say, grounded in the person of Jesus. Stability is about what is enduring and true; stability is about retaining and relying on that which is most important. With God in the equation, there is hope.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator


Students Respond to Online Learning

As part of the wider community’s response to the spread of COVID-19, the girls at St Patrick’s College commenced with online learning as our main mode of learning from Thursday 26 March. 

Year 12 Student Jarian - Engaged in Remote Online Learning

During this time school will look different, as this crisis presents us with an opportunity to provide learning in different ways. After the first day of online learning the girls seemed to have adapted to the new ways exceptionally well and have embraced the new opportunities presented to them. It has been pleasing to hear some positive feedback from the girls:

It's always very reassuring to myself and other students knowing that teachers are both organised and genuinely care about our learning, so thank you so much. Today for me has been a great experience, my classes running smoothly and efficiently. The feedback from my friends has been great as well. For most of my classes I have been using zoom and there have been no issues. - Georgia M

My experiences with online learning have been going really well so far. I really appreciate the amount of effort you and all the teachers and staff members are putting in to make this work for us. It is greatly appreciated. - Danielle N

Today marked the first day of online learning, and it is definitely an intriguing deviation from our norm of arriving at the gates of school every morning. Butterflies were definitely round and about as the levels of organisation and communication has increased, but most of all, it's exciting despite the terrible and conflicting circumstances the rest of the globe has had to experience. A conversation or dynamics of the classroom environment is slightly harder as the barriers of delays and connection are in the way; in contrast to a connecting and engaging conversation in person but either way it's still uplifting to see everyone’s faces one way or another. Our friendship groups have tried to maintain our socialisation during the lunchtimes, as we’ve set up group chats to have a laugh or light-hearted catch up of everyone’s day. So there is definitely the unknown for the next couple of weeks regarding our country’s situation but our levels of education and support are very much there and appreciated. - Jadyn B

I have found homeroom great, being able to see all the girls and Miss every morning will keep me being a bit saner and I think the time table schedule is GREAT so we have a routine to follow. - Natalie L

My experience for my first day of zoom and online learning went well. It was better than expected and ran smoothly, with each teacher emailing us instructions before our class. I quite like this online learning, I feel I have more independence and can learn from the comfort of my own home. I also like that zoom allows us to create our own chats so we can catch up with friends at recess and lunch time. Personally I was kind of apprehensive about the whole “online school” thing so I was surprised that even after the first lesson, I felt good about it. So far, I’m really liking it and am hopeful for the future. - Georgia J

The decision to move to a remote learning environment has come out of the most extraordinary set of circumstances which are beyond our control. The structure we have developed has ensured the girls continue to have quality education and ample support in the current environment. We will remain connected through the power of technology during this unprecedented challenge that the world is facing.

To all St Patrick's families, especially our students, stay safe and stay well.

Chris Bettiol - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

Be Ready to Learn at Home

Maths Matters

A simple numeracy problem that can keep your mind active when staying inside is the Four 4s puzzle. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. If you want to have a more structured set out for your answers, then there are many answer templates available online that can be freely downloaded.

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

The task is to form a mathematical expression for each whole number from 1 to 100 using four repetitions of the digit 4, as well as the four mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. For example, some ways to calculate the number 16 could be

4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 16

4 x 4 - 4 + 4 = 16

4/4 x 4 x 4 = 16

There are also many variations of the game such as allowing powers, square roots, cubed roots, percentages, reciprocals and the decimal point. Some simple variations include:

Concatenation: This means that you can join two of the 4 digits to make 44,
Brackets: Multiple sets of brackets can be used to change the order of operations by calculating the answer inside the brackets first,
Factorial notation. A factorial uses the ! symbol such that 4! = 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24

Other alternatives to the puzzle could be to find the values using the fewest number of 4s or using five 5s, six 6s, or so on. Different challenges could be to change the target values, such as only finding the expressions for 0 to 20, or -10 to +10. To simplify the puzzle for younger kids, they could have a competition to see who can be the first to calculate any ten different whole numbers using the four 4s.

This puzzle could be something for you to do on your own or as a competition with family members. My Year 7 class last year enjoyed when I set them this puzzle after we had completed the classwork on a Friday afternoon - especially when I let them use calculators to find those last few elusive numbers!

Michelle Parker - Mathematics Teacher

Message from the College Captain and Leadership Team

Congratulations on making it through your first day of online classes, ready for another go today! While this transition online is very new to all of us, we can be comforted in knowing that we are all in this together.

College Leadership Team 2020

Always remember that there are people at the College who are here to support you - your peers, teachers and the leadership team. Though we are physically separated, we are not alone.

A big thank you to all the staff for their organisation and devotion to ensuring the transition online was as smooth as possible!

This is a very confusing and concerning time for many, and the situation is changing day by day. Please keep all those affected by COVID-19 in your prayers, and be there for those you know who are feeling the impact of the situation. A sense of community is so important for our wellbeing.

And what better day than today to start spreading this comfort and joy - Harmony Day! This is a highly significant day in the year when we celebrate the diversity of our nation. The idea that we are all one community, gaining strength through our diversity, is extremely relevant for us today.

While the special activities planned for today were unable to go ahead due to the current conditions, on behalf of the leadership team, I wish you all a very happy Harmony Day - may we all strive to work together.

Have a great day girls!

Imogen M – College Captain 2020

Farewell to our Japanese Exchange Students

On Wednesday this week we farewelled our three Japanese exchange students from our sister Japanese school, Shonan Shirayuri Gakuen. 

Maho, Rikako and Yuri have spent the past nine weeks in Australia at St Patrick's College. The girls participated in mainstream classes with the objective of improving their English skills. The students thoroughly enjoyed their time as part of our College community involving themselves in all aspects of school life from the Swimming Carnival, Open Day, College Band and Choir.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Holland, Mulhall and Quinnell families who hosted the girls. Without their generosity and hospitality this program would not exist.
We wish the girls safe travel as they return to Japan.
Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

for all events at the College, CLICK HERE