Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter Number 5 - 26 June 2020

From the Principal ....

Dear Families,

We are close to the end of the term.  We continue to live in a different space both at school and in our everyday lives.  We have endeavoured to bring as much normalcy to our students, but of course there is so much that looks different than 2019. The many extracurricular opportunities, the community events that we have come to love and are so much a part of who we are. These are not gone forever, but we will continue to explore new ways to do things to ensure that we continue to focus on our core Marist values of family spirit, presence, love of work, simplicity, in the way of Mary.

Congratulations to Mia Northwood in Year 8 who came second in the CSDA Public Speaking Grand Final, involving 50 schools. A wonderful achievement for a very deserving student. I thank Mrs Pett and Mrs Malone for their organisation and support.

Refugee Week concluded on the 20th of June which was World Refugee Day.  A day where we stand in solidarity with over 1%  (79.5 Million people) of the world’s population who find themselves forcibly displaced, as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order.  It is estimated that 40% of these are children under the age of 18.  These are frightening statistics and reminds us of the importance of support and inclusion for these families and children. Each of us seek to provide a safe, happy, loving childhood, the best educational opportunities for our children, all children deserve this.  Father Andrew Hamilton SJ summed this up nicely in the recent article in the Catholic Outlook “it is important to keep our hearts open to people who have been left without family, without country and without support, and have come to seek protection. It is time to make this year a year of welcome, and this land a welcoming land. The need for Catholics to unite in care and outreach to people who seek protection is stronger than it has ever been.”

I wanted to acknowledge our wonderful Year 12 students, who have had a very disrupted final year. They were so impressive during our remote learning phase and have hit the ground running as they approach the final stretch of their 13 years of schooling. Have there been some tears and anxiety?  Absolutely, this is not unique to this COVID-19 world!. It is important to ensure students have a balanced approach to their week, with time for rest and relaxation and most importantly to have a regular sleep time. Every week we are seeing between 60 and 70 students at Senior Study Night, where they work in a range of ways. There are always 4 or 5 teachers that attend to support and mentor students. This is another wonderful example of love of work and family spirit.

Parent Teacher Interviews:  Recently we sent home information about Parent Teacher interviews. All Parent/Teacher/Student interviews have been postponed until further notice. Communication regarding Year 12 interviews has been emailed to parents. As you would understand, we are still working to ensure we meet the necessary safety and hygiene requirements. Reports timelines have been adjusted and can be found in this current newsletter. As always, if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us here at the College.

As I write this article, I have just returned from a site visit of the new building. Very exciting to see the progress and more importantly the amazing learning spaces. We expect handover by mid to late August.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday, take care and God Bless

Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin

Mrs Angela Hay


Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning

From St Paul…

 "I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given to you in Christ Jesus, for at all times you have been enriched in him."

"I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in everyone of my prayers for all of you. I am confident of this that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion"

Thank you to all for another great term where so much has been achieved despite our challenging circumstances. It is a credit to our community and the strong relationships built over time where learning continues to excel!

I hope you have the opportunity to spend lots of time with family and friends.

As you would understand, due to the challenging circumstances of COVID-19 there have been some modifications to the timelines of assessments, reporting and Parent/Student/Teacher feedback.  Please remember that even though face to face Parent/Student/Teacher interviews have been placed on hold, if you have a question or a concern regarding the learning of your child(ren) please contact the appropriate Pastoral Leader or Subject teacher.I would like to take the time before we begin the break to go over a few things.  If you need more information or if you have a question please email me on

Semester One Reports:

  • Year 12 were distributed to students in Week 5.

  • Year 11 will be distributed to students next week.

  • Years 7-10 will be distributed to students in Term 3 Week 2.

Academic Awards

Early in Term 3 we will take the opportunity to celebrate the many successes of Semester 1 learning. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the assembly may be different to other years, however, we will still ensure that the success of our students are both acknowledged and celebrated. 

Parent/Student/Teacher Feedback

Information will be given to Year 12 next week regarding the process for Parent/Student/Teacher feedback. Details regarding Year 7-11 will be sent to parents when reports are distributed.

Holiday Classes 

Thank you to all staff who have given up their time during the break to assist in offering Year 11 and Year 12 this time outside of the school term. Year 11 and Year 12 have been given access to the scheduled activities.

Illness/Misadventure Procedures 

A reminder that all processes for Year 7-12 are clearly detailed in their handbooks.

Subject Selection 2021

Year 10 parents received an email last week detailing the process for Year 11 2021 Subject Selection. A Google Site has also been created to assist with this process.  The process for Year 9 Electives 2021 will be detailed in an email which will be sent to parents soon.

Our New Collaborative Spaces - Due for Completion in August!

This week some of our leaders had the opportunity to tour the nearly finished collaborative spaces. There was much excitement as teachers began visualising the rich learning that will take place across the three levels in the not so distant future.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mr P. Finnerty

Assistant Principal

Innovation, Teaching and Learning

Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

New Religious Education Curriculum

Religious Education in the Diocese of Parramatta has undergone much change in the last two years.  Term 3 2020 marks the next step towards a new curriculum that will replace ‘Sharing Our Story’, the current curriculum that has been in place for over 20 years.The process of developing a new approach, currently known as the Draft New Curriculum, has been a collaboration with students, parents, teachers, clergy and system leaders. This innovative and ambitious project has led to the development of Learning Cycles (one per term), that apply scripture and tradition in a meaningful way to the contemporary life of young people. This endeavour supports our students to grow in faith and understanding through prayer, reason and action in daily life.In Term 3, using experiential learning through student inquiry, students in Stage Five (5) will engage with one Learning Cycle (Is Religion a Force for Good and Evil in the World?) from the Draft New Curriculum. In preparation for the 2021 implementation, teachers are continuing to participate in extensive theological formation and professional learning.

This is an exciting opportunity for our faith community of St Patrick's Marist College to further exclaim our commitment to empowering all our young people to discover a meaningful and flourishing life. We look forward to sharing this journey with you throughout the term and will keep you updated about opportunities that will extend the learning experience further for students and their families.

Mr M. Paton

Assistant Principal

Mission and Wellbeing

College Uniform

Last week an email was sent to students to communicate our expectation in regards to our College uniform:

Our College has always had high standards with regard to our uniform and this is always looked upon favourably in the wider community. However, we can still improve in some areas.

As of Monday 22nd of June, teachers will be logging any uniform infringements into Compass, three infringements will result in a Wednesday Afternoon Detention.

  • Jewellery - If you have any excess jewellery - piercings, rings, etc, they will be confiscated and given to your PLOL. The first incident will be confiscated for a day, the second incident will be confiscated until the end of term and the third incident will result in a Wednesday Detention. 

  • Skirts are not to be rolled and must be below the knee.

  • Gentlemen must be clean shaven. Failure to do so will result in being sent to the office to shave. 

  • Blazers must be worn to and from school.

  • Hair must be tied up, if below your shoulders. Scrunchies etc. must only be in bottle green, gold, white, navy, or black.

If you are unsure about any of the expectations, please refer to pages 6 and 7 of your school diary.

We thank you for your continued support and understanding in this matter.

The Pastoral Team

Jesuit Refugee Service

During a very different Champagnat Week, our school community could not celebrate in the usual way. However, we would not let the current situation prevent us from our social responsibility to the community and to our Marist mission. It has become the tradition in the College to use Champagnat Week as a reminder of the plight of the most vulnerable in our community. Every year we ask students to donate items to the Jesuit Refugee Service. The JRS provides a vital service, advocating for refugees and people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people in our own country. They provide the basic necessities to help these people get their lives back. This year the College will proudly donate over 800 food and toiletry items to the JRS, so that they may continue their good work. We would like to thank all students, staff and families who donated to the donation drive. We also thank the members of our Chance For Change Group, led by Rebecca Grundy, Eve Watson and Tayla Vancuylenberg, with our College Captains Sam and Jaymelee for collecting, organising and bagging the items ready for delivery. There will be many other opportunities to donate this year. It is impressive that, despite the turmoil of the current situation, that our College Community can come together to live out the teachings of Marcellin Champagnat and to demonstrate our own values of simplicity and family spirit. It is because of this, that we can call our school and community truly Marist. 

Mr D. Moussa

Youth Ministry

College Photo Day - 31 July 2020

The College photo day has been moved to Friday, 31 July.   Ordering envelopes will be distributed to students on Monday.  Further information can be found in the following attached document.


Information for Parents - School Photo Day - 31 July 2020
  • The Purpose of Catholic Education
  • A new NSW School Curriculum by 2024
  • Business Manager

    Business Manager

    Adjustments to 2020 School fees

    As you are aware, most excursions and incursions that were planned for 2020 have been cancelled.  All those scheduled up to 6th March went ahead. There are a few 'Key Learning' events that have been postponed to later in the year and some excursions, for example the Year 9 Camp and Year 11 Retreat that are still scheduled to go ahead in Term 4 (subject to government restrictions at the time).

    We are in the process of calculating an adjustment to school fees related to the cost of those cancelled excursions and incursions. These are to be adjusted by CEDP in time for statements which will be sent out early in Term 3.

    Payments at the Office

    CEDP have asked schools to move to cash-free transactions, to reduce the volume of cash receipted / banked by schools. We already have EFTPOS facilities at reception and can take credit card payments over the phone, however we are investigating an additional alternative cash-less method and hope to transition to cash-less by Term 3.

    This will only apply to non-school fee payments which are not already included in school fees, for example representative sport uniforms, bags/hats/ties, replacement items, etc and other payments like the Year 12 Formal, etc.

    For payments of school fees, other than by arrangement with CEDP, you can also pay cash by Billpay at the local post office, credit card over the phone or by EFTPOS at reception.

    We will only accept cash for Lenten appeals, mufti days, etc.


    For your information, we are providing the following:

    • We have created one-way corridors and pathways, to assist with the flow of students and social distancing. We have placed numerous social distancing signs around the school, and for break times, Years 9 and 10 now sit under the basketball shade structure (leaving Years 7 and 8 in the Harrington Courtyard.  Year 12 remains in the Senior COLA area while Year 11 now sit under La Valla and Theatre covered areas (until our new building is completed in late August).
    • We have provided sanitiser in every classroom, however, we ask that students bring their own sanitiser. We are also providing sanitising alcohol wipes for musical instruments and other shared laptops or equipment. Science labs have sinks with hand soap.
    • Our cleaners are continuing to disinfect touch points in every classroom/learning space and every office, every night!
    • We have also received delivery of sanitisation stations. These will be placed inside the main reception, at the 2 main entry points for students (the Junior breezeway and from the Bus Bay near the library spiral staircase) as well as at Wiyanga’s reception.
    • Our sick bay single bed has been removed and replaced with a more hygienic vinyl chair (which folds out to a bed, when required). Students are being sent home if they are unwell. They cannot simply stay in sick bay. 

    Working Bee

    During the Term 2 P and F Zoom Meeting on the 10th of June, I was asked whether we will be holding another Working Bee, as the one scheduled in Term 1 was cancelled due to weather. I am extremely grateful to our parent community who continually offer their support to the school. THANK YOU!

    At this stage, due to current government restrictions and winter, the earliest that we can even consider holding a working bee will be in Term 4. I will keep you posted.

    Lowes Uniform Shop, Carlingford

    • Lowes manufacturers in China have been affected by the Coronavirus and we have been advised that whilst the Chinese manufacturers are catching up on production, they are still not fully operational.
    • Stock levels in-store:  I have reviewed stock levels with our Lowes representative for the Carlingford store and in their Australian warehouses. Lowes are sufficiently stocked for most winter and all sport uniform items and are already sufficiently stocked for summer uniform items.
    • Light-weight trousers:  The first delivery of the new lighter-weight trousers for the boys is due in-store by late June (approx 400 trousers).  Another 400 trousers are due to arrive by late September. Please note, that the sizing reflects a 'mens' trouser starting from 62R, 67R, 72R up to 112R. I have been advised that the 62R is approx similar to a size 10.

    Lowes customer feedback/complaints email address is for customers who want to know information, or have a problem that cannot be solved at the store level. Customer email and contact details will be sent directly to the Key Accounts Manager to follow up on.

    Onsite Uniform Shop (part of the “Book Room”)

    Our onsite Uniform Shop is open on Thursdays (during recess and lunch breaks).  We sell school bags, sports bags, hats, boys’ ties and representative sports uniforms. The costs are:

    • School Bag $65; Chiro Bag $95, Sports Bag $15, Senior / Junior Tie $20, Hats $20
    • Soccer / Rugby Shorts $30; Cricket Shirt $35; Netball Shirt / Skirt $35; Rep Socks $15.
    • Good quality second hand uniform and other representative sports uniform items – various (please ask).

    Lost Property

    We have already accumulated a lot of lost property. If items are labelled, we can contact the student to come to the office to collect it. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing who it belongs to. Please ensure your child’s name is on their belongings.

    Unlabelled items are held in the book room, so students who can recognise their item can come and claim it. At the end of each term, any unclaimed uniform items are added to our second-hand uniform stock. Other items eg water bottles, lunch boxes, umbrellas, etc are discarded. 

    Ms V. Fraser

    Business Manager

    School Fee Statements / Assistance

    School fee statements were recently issued by the Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP) to provide parents an update of what fees are owing.  While no due date was put on the statements, we ask that fees owing are paid as usual, unless an Application for School Fee Assistance or the online COVID-19 fee relief is completed.   If there are any concerns about payments or timing of payments please contact me to discuss.

    The online application for fee relief is offered to any family who is experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.  The form can be completed by following the link:

    If any family is experiencing financial difficulty not as a result of COVID-19 please do not hesitate to contact me confidentially to discuss options available to you. 

    If you are not experiencing any financial difficulties, there is the option of paying your fees in instalments, please contact me at or 8841 7955 to work out a suitable payment arrangement.

    If you have made an application for assistance, the CEDP appreciates your patience as they work their way through the numerous applications submitted.  If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or community liaison at the CEDP on for an update on your application.

    Adjustment to the fees due to cancelled excursions and incursion will be made on your next instalment of fees which will be sent out in Term 3.  Please read the Business Manager’s article regarding adjustment to the 2020 school fees.

    Ms Rolla Wadih

    School Fee Administrator


    Year 12 Parent / Teacher Interviews

    As you would be aware, we have been unable to host Parent/Teacher evenings at the College due to government restrictions on gatherings and meetings on-site. 

    We believe that an essential part of student learning success is ongoing teacher feedback and an important aspect of this feedback are Parent/Teacher Interviews. We have had to establish alternative ways to ensure this important aspect of feedback is still offered to parents and students. We have decided that in our current climate, the best way for this to happen is a phone call interview. Parents are asked to request teachers that they would like to receive a phone call from, with the times they are available. Teachers will then call during one of your available times ranging from Tuesday 22nd July - Friday 7th August. These phone calls will be approximately 7 minutes in duration.  If parents wish to arrange a longer ZOOM meeting with Teachers and Students, they are asked to request this during the phone call interview. 

    Parents and Caregivers are asked to access the following google form ( and complete for which teachers you wish to talk with and times you are available. This form will also be emailed for ease of accessing the link. 

    Please note, these phone call interviews are not compulsory however, they are a way for parents to receive feedback on student progress, the mid-course report, areas for growth and aspects of learning to address before the Trial H.S.C. examinations beginning on 17th August. 

    Of course this will be a busy time once school resumes for Term 3 but, if at the end of the three week period, you have not received a phone call from a teacher who you have requested time with, please let me know. 

    If you have any questions, please contact me at the college or email

    Miss S. Hagarty

    Leader of Studies and Learning Analytics

    Year 7 Star


    Recently we were contacted by one of our local Primary Schools to inform us that during the holidays and the COVID isolation period, Isaac took the initiative to continue his involvement in their Year 6 "Intergenerational Learning program" with residents from Southern Cross Aged Care facilities in Greystanes, who have come to know and love Isaac since they began the program last year in 2019. Isaac was involved in three sessions in which his pleasant demeanour and outstanding conversational skills made him a great role model for their current Year 6 students in understanding how and why the school participates in this program on a weekly basis. Well done to Isaac on his service to our community!

    Key Learning Areas



    Year 9 English

    Year 9 have been learning about the power of poetry in representing key social issues in their world, and how poetry and powerful poetic language can change the minds of many.  At the beginning of the unit, many students were ambivalent about poetry power - how can a poem change my mind about anything? was heard throughout classrooms.  But, after reading and analysing many powerful poems about oppression, the suffering of Indigenous Australians, and the horrors of the civil rights movement in America, students began to recognise and embrace the power of poetic voice in showing the world the injustice suffered by many. And with that enthusiasm, they created their own poems to address a social concern of their choice. Enjoy reading some examples of powerful poetry that represents the concerns of our Year 9 English cohort. 

    Ms S. Duffy

    Assistant Leader of Learning - English

    Public Speaking Success!


    There is no doubt that the start of this term has been like no other, but it is wonderful to see that students are still able to participate in inter-school competitions.  Thanks to the wonders of modern technology our two Public Speaking finalists Mia Northwood in 8 Ludovic and Janika Fernando in 12 Mackillop were able to participate in the final rounds of the Catholic Schools Public Speaking competition via Zoom. 

    We congratulate these two students on their achievements in the Final series. Janika qualified into the Semi-Finals, facing stiff competition from speakers in Catholic schools from Sydney’s North East. Mia Northwood advanced into the Grand Final which was held on  Friday the 19th June. Against the finest Year 8 speakers that our Catholic Schools in the Sydney Metropolitan Area have to offer, Mia achieved Second Place which is quite remarkable. She delivered a very insightful and entertaining speech on the topic of "My Country" where she explored the positive aspects of Australia and its embracing of multiculturalism, but also the undercurrent of racism that exists  - quite a topical issue at the moment.  Mia spoke confidently and engaged with her manner and vocal skills.  

    Myself and Mrs Pett look forward to the  Public Speaking Competition next year and ask students to keep an eye out for trials which will begin in February. 

    Mrs F. Malone and Mrs L. Pett

    Public Speaking Co-ordinators

    Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS)

    This term for Year 9 PASS, our topic was Coaching. Classes in the years before us were able to coach primary school-aged students, but due to restrictions, we had the opportunity to guide and coach the Year 8 students of this school.

    The first few coaching sessions were mainly fitness tests, to record the ability of the students to set and exceed their personal fitness goals. We tested skills such as flexibility, speed and agility, and everyone was willing to give it their best go. The most recent coaching session that we have had, we were able to coach the Year 8 students through a fitness circuit. It was an incredible opportunity to get to know these students and observe how they learn so that we can alter our coaching to suit them and their different personalities. It was an opportunity to learn for the Year 8 class, but also an opportunity for us to experience coaching in a real environment so that we can learn and grow as coaches. 

    For our most recent coaching class, we had to lead the Year 8 students around a fitness circuit. In our PASS class, we got into groups and set up different activities, that tested the Year 8’s fitness, the circuit had activities such as: skipping, burpees, planks, hurdle jumps and ladder footwork drills. The class ran through this revolution twice, creating a great opportunity to break a sweat and have a good time, whilst improving their fitness. Our whole class has had an amazing experience coaching the students around us and we all had a great time.

    Sophie Klamer and Josephine Smith

    Mr Quigley's Year 9 PASS Class

    During Term 2 Year 10 PASS students have designed fitness programs to stay active during the current pandemic. These programs included a range of activities from; agility tests to Irish dancing. This curriculum allows students to gather an understanding of how to coach and them to develop their leadership skills. All exercise took place in a safe environment while keeping current social distancing measures in practice.

    Isabella Christoforidis, Alex Harrison and Alex Brown 
    Mr Quigley’s Year 10 PASS Class


    This Semester in Music, Students in Year 7 and 8 learnt how to compose and analyse music in different contexts. In Term one, students utilised their inquiry skills through aurally analysing, identifying and discussing the use of musical concepts in selected listening repertoire, to write and design their own 'Rolling Stone' music magazine article that demonstrated their understanding of how a song is musically constructed. Then COVID-19 came and turned everyone's lives upside down! This made teaching and learning online for a practical subject quite an interesting experience, so the students were tasked with a digital composition unit of work where they utilised music technology software to create their own music. In one of the compositions, students were asked to journal about their experience of learning from home in isolation during the Pandemic. Students composed their own 'Coronavirus Rap' to express their feelings through creatively writing their own rap lyrics, then performing and recording this to music.

    Ms T. Andrews

    Leader of Learning - CAPA

    Year 7 students composed a Rap about their experiences throughout the Covid-19 isolation period. 

    RAP Lyrics

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