St Agnes Catholic High School

June Newsletter - Term 3, Week 9 2022

From the Principal

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends, 

We are nearly at the end of Term 3.  It has been an extremely busy term with many events and activities some of which are outlined in this newsletter. Many of our students have been engaged in their learning and participating in the many opportunities available at St Agnes. It is wonderful to see a large number of students involving themselves in the life of the school.

September is the Season of Creation in the Catholic Church. This season embraces the four Sundays of September before the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Ecology on the  4th October. The Feast of St Francis is a special feast day for the St Agnes community because we were founded by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. The school maintains the Franciscan spirit of simplicity, acceptance of all and a deep personal love of Jesus. St Agnes staff will be spending our Staff Spirituality Day at the end of this term developing a greater understanding of St Francis and how we at St Agnes can show our Franciscan charism.

 The Season of Creation  encourages us to make this a special time of prayer and action in caring for our                                                                                                                                        common home.

Creation Pray

May God who established the dance of creation,

who marvelled at the lilies of the field,

who transforms chaos to order,

lead us to transform our lives and the Church

to listen to the voice of all creatures,

that reflect God's glory in creation.

Give us courage to give ourselves, as you do,

for the good of all people and all of your creation.


Additional Pupil Free Day 10th October 2022

As you may be aware, there have been major staff shortages and illness this term due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, cold and influenza. This has meant that teachers have needed to use their normal release time to take additional classes and learning interventions. The decision to provide two extra days was taken to ensure that teachers have the time to focus on their teaching priorities and classroom planning.  

The first pupil-free day for St Agnes will be on Monday 10th October 2022, the first day of Term 4. The school will be open for supervision for students who require this on Monday 10th October 2022 but, there will be no formal lessons. The second date will be sometime later in Term 4 at a date to be confirmed.

Public Holiday 22nd September 2022

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Sunday that there will be a public holiday on Thursday 22nd September 2022 to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Fortunately, our Year 12 Graduation Ceremony and School Mass will be held on Wednesday 22nd September 2022 so this public holiday does not impact this special day.  

Staff Spirituality Day Friday 23rd September 2022

St Agnes Staff will be participating in a Spirituality Day on Friday 23rd  September 2022. This has been on the St Agnes calendar since the beginning of the year. The focus on this day is to gain a greater understanding of St Francis and how his example influences what we do at St Agnes. 

Science Week

Today ends Science Week where the theme was 'glass. This has been a great event at St Agnes with many activities where students could participate in challenges which contributed to their house points. A large number of students enthusiastically participated in the various activities available; these included: Finding Frankie, Adventure Lab, The Magic of Science, DNA Stained Glass Artwork, Make a Telescope, Paper Plane Challenge and Kaleidoscope. I would like to thank the Science Faculty, especially Mrs Cruickshank and Mrs Chapman, for organising the activities. Students enjoyed the various activities on offer.

Year 12 2022 Graduation

Next week we will formally farewell our Year 12 students with a Mass at Mary Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown and a Graduation Ceremony, at school, for students and their families. This is a significant milestone for these students, ending 13 years of schooling. They will continue to prepare for their final HSC examination which commences on Wednesday 12th October. I encourage all our Year 12 students to remain focused and work hard as they approach their exams which is the most important component of the HSC.

Inaugural Creative Arts Night

On Friday, 2nd September, we celebrated the achievements of our senior students and had an opportunity to see their creativity come to life. At St Agnes, we encourage student participation in all facets of learning, the Creative and Performing Arts is just one area where students are able to follow their passion and excel.

I would like to congratulate all of our students, especially Year 12, on their commitment to their major works, especially considering the various hurdles they have had to endure over the past few years. Also, I thank parents for supporting your sons and daughters in their creative pursuits, for supporting the school and attending the night.  

We are very fortunate at St Agnes to have a dynamic and energetic Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Department. I would like to thank Mr Cheung the Leader of Learning Creative Arts for organising this event along with the Creative and Performing Arts  teachers  including Ms D’Aprile, Mr Di Ienno, Mr Zucco, Ms Gale and Mr Walton. Without their commitment and hard work none of this would take place.

School Captains 2023

I would like to congratulate St Agnes School Captains for 2023, Annabelle Kayrouz and Anish Khadka. They will be formally acknowledged at our Year 12 Graduation Mass next Wednesday. We are in the process of selecting our Year 12 SRC Leaders. I would like to thank the students in Year 11 who nominated for leadership positions. It  was wonderful to see the passion our students have for our school and the leadership qualities which they displayed. 

Tournament of the Minds

On Sunday, 28th August, at Mitchell High School Blacktown our students participated in the Tournament of the Minds competition. The St Agnes Team enjoyed the experience and  learned a great deal. I would like to thank Mrs Fraser, Mrs Rana and Mr Mangion for working with the St Agnes Team in the six weeks leading up to the tournament and for giving up their Sunday so that our students could participate in the competition.

Bishop’s Award for leadership, compassion and integrity

Congratulations to Aiden Priestly who was recognised with the Bishop’s Award for his leadership, compassion and integrity.

Aiden, exemplifies Franciscan spirituality, living out the St Agnes’ motto, to Truth Through Love. As SRC President and Cultural Diversity Leader he initiated a team creating unprecedented involvement with Years 7-12 students. Aiden is approachable, compassionate and a person of integrity. He represented St Agnes at Lifted Live, Murama and Harmony Day. Aiden’s embraced his Aboriginal knowledges and skills passed down by Elders and used this mastery to help heal our communities. His enthusiasm and love for learning is evident in his academic involvement in Aboriginal Studies and Macquarie University Walanga Muru Program.

Haka Warrior Competition 2022

Yeasterday afternoon, 15th September, St Agnes participated in the PCYC Pacifica Haka Warriors competition. The students were successful, winning the Most Outstanding Fijian Performance category. The students had been meeting and practising their performances for a number of months. I would like to congratulate the St Agnes team who put on a spectacular performance at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre, Rooty Hill.  These students included: Talia Afungia, Cadence Autagavaia, Maretta Fuimaono, Megan Fuimaono, Jocelyn Graf, Christopher Hifo, Melehifo Kaumavae, Rosemary Lealiiee, Saifagaloa Lotovale, Delilah Matuu, Evangeline Nio, Jocelyn Nisa, Cynthia Peckham, Chantelle Pese, Helen Piliae, Rilie Roberts-Taia, Elizabeth Seru, Dalovinya Taiki, Edwina Toleafoa, Karina Tuuina, Shilohbella Tuuina, Saane Vailala and Cassandra Vunipola. 

I would like to especially like to thank Mr Zucco, Ms Padovani-Ginies and Ms Gale who worked with these students over countless afternoons, as well as during lunch and recess. Also, I would like to thank the parents who have been assisting and supporting the students.

Mrs Holland



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20 SeptemberState Girls Rugby League Competition
21 September

Year 12 Graduation Mass and Award Ceremony, Report Distribution

Final Day of Term 3 for students

22 SeptemberSpecial Public Holiday
23 SeptemberStaff Spirituality Day (no lessons held)
10 OctoberPupil Free Day
11 OctoberTerm 4 Commences
12 OctoberHSC Begins - Click HERE to find the timetable
18-19 OctoberYear 9 Peer Support Leadership Camp
26 - 28 OctoberYear 12/2023 Retreat @ Collaroy Retreat
7 NovemberYear 12 Sign Out Day

From the Assistant Principal -Learning Transformation

Year 12

Our Year 12 students are rapidly coming to their final days here at St Agnes and will complete their 13 years of schooling.  It is always at this time of year I reflect on the purpose of our work as teachers. Over these years of schooling, all of the teachers and staff along the way have always been committed to supporting parents in their formation of these fine young people. At this stage, the students need to be pondering the feedback they received from their teachers regarding the Trial HSC and planning their next steps as they move into their Study Vacation prior to the examinations.

Year 11

Our Year 11 cohort have approached their final exams with a sense of maturity and diligence. The high expectations were set from the start and the students have met these quite well. At this stage, teachers are marking and preparing worthy feedback for their classes so that all Year 11 work can conclude early next term and the HSC can begin. On the note of the HSC, we will be holding an Information Session for parents/carers about the demands of Year 12; all communication will be sent via email and the Compass App.

Moving into Term 4


The examinations begin on Wednesday 12th October and conclude on Friday 4th November. I know you will keep our students in your thoughts and prayers as they embrace each exam.

Year 12 Begins

During the first two weeks of Term 4, Year 11 students will receive all examination marks, feedback and suggestions as to the next steps with their studies. The students will have the opportunity to reflect on their successes and determine what they need to do in order to show progress in skill development for next time. That said, once teachers work through all of this with their students, all HSC courses will officially start.

Year 10

Our Year 10 students will receive their examination timetable early next term, as these will run during Week 4 and early Week 5. Parents/carers will receive communication shortly from the school regarding subjects selected for Year 11, 2023.

Junior Examinations/Final Assessments

The students in Years 7, 8 and 9 shall also be working towards their final assessment tasks and or tests next term. The examination week for Year 9 will be in Week 5. During this time, if there are any tests for students in Year 7 and 8, these will occur during their regular lesson. All students need to remain committed to their studies and complete the set work for each class. The students in Years 8 and 9 will receive confirmation next term about their elective choice for 2023.


Students were recently given their NAPLAN results to take home to parents. The tests were conducted earlier this year. Overall, the results are pleasing, but there are still areas for further development and growth. The data will be analysed over the weeks ahead and will assist the school in making informed decisions about our learning journey.

Study Skills - Top 10 Tips for Dealing with Test and Examination Pressure


The more confident you are about the topic(s) in your test, the less stress you will feel come exam time.  Make sure you stay on top of your school work and homework throughout the term.  Follow up with your teacher, or another subject matter expert, if there are things you do not understand, well before the exams. Trying to understand new concepts the night before a test is very stressful.

2.              PRACTISE

Make sure you do practise papers if they are available, or practise questions. This might include multiple choice, short answer or essay style questions. Always study in the way you will be tested. Work out a plan of action so you know how long you are going to allocate to each question type, what question types you will start with and what you will do if you come across things you are not sure about. Learn more about this in the Active Studying unit.


In the days leading up to an exam make sure you get enough sleep. Being tired makes it harder to concentrate and remember. Fuel your body and mind by eating well and drinking plenty of water.  Learn more about this in the Lifestyle and Balance unit.


Familiarise yourself with how your body feels when you are stressed. Do you get headaches? Tension in your neck or shoulders? Does your heart race faster? What happens to your breathing?  Whenever you feel these effects, quickly start some relaxation exercises.  A good one to try during an exam is to breathe in deeply for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this a few times to calm yourself down and allow yourself to refocus. Learn more about this in the Managing Stress unit.

5.              BE PREPARED ON THE DAY

Make sure you have packed or prepared everything you need for the test the night before.  Have a plan for how you are going to get to school on time - including a back-up plan if necessary. Eat a nutritious breakfast and make sure you are hydrated. Learn more about this in the Test-Taking Techniques unit.

6.              VISUALISE

Use visualisation techniques to help reduce your stress on the day. Every day in the weeks prior to the exam, last thing at night and first thing in the morning, visualise yourself calmly walking into the exam room, preparing your equipment, reviewing and completing your exam paper and feeling good about how you did. Learn more about this in the Managing Stress unit.


Throughout the term talk to your parents about what you are studying.  Show them your bookwork and homework.  The more your parents understand about what you are doing and how you are going along the way, the better they are able to manage their expectations. They may also be able to help you study by testing you on what you are learning.


Keep talking to your parents about what you want to achieve, in individual subjects, at school overall and in other aspects of your life.  Focus more on the learning and developing skills instead of just marks. Involve them in helping you to identify where to concentrate the most effort to achieve your goals.  Learn more about this in the Goal Setting unit.


Many students feel like they are not meeting their parents’ expectations.  Often this is a result of poor communication about expectations by both parties. Assessment and reporting systems also change over time and are different in different schools and systems. Making sure your parents really understand what your report means may help them to understand what you are actually achieving.  Your school can assist you to explain these to your parents if need be and most schools provide booklets of explanation.  Often students are achieving, but reporting structures may not clearly represent this to parents.

10.          ASK FOR HELP

The most important way to deal with stress is by talking to people and asking for help. Do not try to go it alone. Your school, teachers, parents and friends are your support structure so keep lines of communication open (that means talk to them!) and let everyone know how you are feeling and what help you need.

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Mr Kemmis

Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation

From the Head of Mission

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 8th September, 2022

Pace e Bene, Peace and Blessings to the St Agnes community,

A September birth was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year with September. The September 8 date helped determine the date for the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

We can see every human birth as a call for new hope in the world. The love of two human beings has joined with God in his creative work. The loving parents have shown hope in a world filled with angst, and pain.The new child has the potential to be a channel of God’s love and peace to the world.

This is all true in a magnificent way in Mary. If Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s love, Mary is the foreshadowing of that love. If Jesus has brought the fullness of salvation, Mary is its dawning. Next to the birth of Jesus, Mary’s birth offers the greatest possible happiness to the world. Each time we celebrate her birth, we can confidently hope for an increase of peace in our hearts and in the world at large.

Feast - Exaltation of the Holy Cross - 14 September, 2022

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrating the three moments in history related to the Holy Cross of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. On this day we mark the moment when the True Cross, the actual Cross on which Jesus was hung and nailed on, was discovered by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

The most important triumph that this Feast celebrates is the great triumph that Jesus has won for all of us, as He raised His Cross and was Himself raised on it, for the salvation of all the whole world, of all of God’s beloved children. Through His Cross, Jesus has shown us the perfect manifestation of God’s love as well as the perfect obedience of Man, through which God reached out to us and Man reached out to Him, with Christ forming the important Bridge through His Cross, reconnecting us and God.

Feast - Saint Matthew the Apostle - 21 September, 2022

St Matthew the Apostle is also known as Levi. He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Before being called by Jesus, he was a tax collector. He is the author of The Gospel of St Matthew. He preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea and later went to other countries. We celebrate his feast day on September 21 every year in the Catholic Church.

Mr Madigan

Head of Mission

Around the Classrooms

Extra-Curricular Spotlight - Maretta Fuimaono

Tournament of the Minds Update

This year, St Agnes was very proud to field our inaugural Tournament of the Minds team. Tournament of the Minds is an inter-school competition where teams of seven students work together for six weeks to prepare a presentation in response to a particular challenge, which requires teamwork, creativity and commitment. Our team chose three antagonists from well-known stories and presented a dramatisation of a ‘therapy’ session, whereby each antagonist explained why he was a victim, and not the aggressor. 

Our students presented their solution before several judges on Sunday 28 August, at Mitchell High School in Blacktown. Although we didn’t get through to the next round this year, feedback from the judges was very positive and students put on a terrific performance, based on a cleverly-written script. 

Overall, this was a great way to make some new friends and enjoy some new challenges. Any budding group members, keep an eye out for TOM announcements early 2023!

Mrs Fraser, Mrs Raad & Mr Mangion

TOM Coordinators

Tournament of the Minds

TAS Report

Stage 6

Major Projects

Congratulations to our TAS Year 12 students who recently had their major projects marked by external markers from NESA. Major Projects form a large part of the students HSC results and require them to submit an item created with a folio that documents their progress and ideas.

Industrial Technology (Timber and Furnishings)

The Industrial Technology students were required to create a piece of furniture that showcased a variety of woodworking skills. The students use both hand and power tools as well as larger machinery and new technologies to create their masterpieces. A ‘Decorative Art Table’ was created as well as a ‘Bedside Cabinet’ by our students.

Design and Technology

Students  in Design & Technology were required to identify a need, or want, and create a solution. It allows students to make a variety of items using a wide range of mediums. This year our senior projects varied from an ‘Inclusive Playground’ design to allow people in wheelchairs access to enjoy equipment such as the Flying Fox, a “Rock Fishing Chair’ inspired by the Cephalopod to allow it to ‘stick’ to the rocks to decrease fatalities, ‘Multipurpose furniture’ that changes to a child’s needs/wants and a ‘Third Brake Light’ to assist with Motorbike Safety.

Year 11 Design and Technology

Students have just finalised their last project which was to design a ‘Sustainable Shipping Container Environment’. This project required students to look at architectural designs, sustainable power source solutions and think of how they combine these to create a sustainable space. Students designed a range of environments such as a rehabilitation centre, a tiny house and a burger store to a transportable arcade. They were required to create a floor plan of their environment, create a CAD drawing and a model of the design as well as document the design process in a portfolio.

Stage 5 Food Technology

The Stage 5 students have been immersed in a unit called ‘Food for Special Occasions’. Food is an important component of many special occasions. Students explored a range of reasons that we celebrate special occasions including social, cultural, religious, historical and family. They examined small and large-scale catering establishments. Students planned and prepared safe food for special occasions, demonstrating appropriate food-handling and presentation skills.

As part of the assessment for this unit, students decorated and presented a cake to suit a theme of their choice under timed conditions.

Year 8 TAS

Paddock to plate

This semester Year 8 have been learning about Eggs and refining their baking skills. This is all leading up to their practical exam next term.

They have enjoyed making and decorating Scones and Cupcakes.

Stage 5 IST

Stage 5 students have been spending the term investigating data and networks. They have also been building their skills in programming using programming languages such as Python and Blocky. Students have strengthened their coding skills by transferring their knowledge into projects such as cyber security challenges and building a retro game using Microsoft MakeArcade.

Book Week 2022 Celebrations

Book Week took place In Week 6, August 20-26, and this year’s theme was 'Dreaming with eyes open...'. St Agnes celebrated Book Week in a low key way, with two main events. Students from all years were invited to submit a 25 word book review that allowed them to go in the draw for a $50 Dymocks Voucher. We had over 50 entries across 7-12 and the lucky winner was Ashleigh Galletes from Year 8 for her review of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. While Ashleigh’s entry was the lucky draw winner, her review was still very eloquent with Ashleigh stating in 24 words: 

“The journey of their relationship and flashback story was intriguing and almost made me cry. It was realistic and included the problems with families”  A deserving winner. 

On Friday, Week 6, we capped off Book Week with a Megakahoot in the library at lunch with around 30 students gathering to compete in a Book Trivia, Kahoot, with a chance to win some great book prizes. Well done to our three book savvy winners: Katrina Knezevic (Year 9), Taneesha Prasad (Year 9) and Xerses Galletes (Year 11) and well done to those brave students who dressed up for the occasion as their favourite character. Bianca Vultureanu from Year 11 was a clear winner for her Hermione from Harry Potter costume but thanks to all students who got into character and to the wonderful Miss Fielding for donning her Wonder Woman suit. We will look to making 2023 Book Week at St Agnes even better. 

Mr P Loughlin, Leader of Learning - English

ENGLISH in the classroom

Drama performance of Romeo and Juliet

In our English unit for Term 3, we engaged our students in the study of Shakespeare in an innovative and exciting way.  There was active-based learning, creativity, close reading and critical analysis of Shakespearean language. Furthermore, they were able to express their own imaginative ideas critically and analytically about the historical and social context of Shakespeare’s times and his writing.  At the end of this unit, students wrote their own scripts based on the play, Romeo and Juliet. They worked collaboratively in their groups to present a play demonstrating a deep understanding of the characters, themes and events in the play.

Year 12 Advanced English

Year 12 Advanced students recovered from the HSC Trial examinations with a lesson outdoors. Students were asked to write an analogy for human experience based on a random item they chose from a lucky dip. Their analogies were also quite random but still insightful.

Faith in Action Team and Ignite Food Drive and Bake Sale Update

Over the past 2 weeks, the St Agnes Faith in Action Team, otherwise known as FIAT, have been organising donations for the Ignite Food Store in Emerton run by Jesuit Social Services. 

On Wednesday, 7th September, the FIAT students ran a bake sale through both recess and lunch containing scrumptious desserts such as brownies, cupcakes, cake pop, cookies, chocolate crackles just to name a few. The bake sale was extremely successful with the students raising $880 which will go towards purchasing items for the store. It was wonderful to see the generosity of both the FIAT students who made all the desserts themselves and by the school community in participating and donating.

On the same note, myself and Mr Goco, would like to thank the St Agnes community both students and parents, for donating so many food items for the store. It is heartwarming to see students and their families make the effort to assist those who are less fortunate and in turn live out the Franciscan values of compassion and service to others.

Mr Zucco

From the Careers Advisor

Chase Your Dreams

Chase Your Dreams conference 2022 at Western Sydney University.

PATHE students from Year 9, 10 and 12 attended WSU Kingswood Campus where they heard from amazing keynotes speakers regarding the challenges of the Pasifika experience in Australian Education systems. They were provided with key tools and advice to assist them to successfully navigate these challenges. The students then went on to immerse themselves in workshops including Community and Social Justice, Construction, Creative Industries and Business. We were blessed to have one of our own Alumni from 2021, Katalina Vave, navigate how to chase our dreams at the event. She is studying a Bachelor of Nursing and is now on her second year of the degree.


Holiday Short Courses

...............................CHANGE OF UNIFORM SHOP HOURS..........................


Monday 8am - 12pm    AND   Wednesday 12pm - 3.30pm

Compass parent app

Compass will become our primary parent communication tool for day-to-day operational matters, upcoming events, notices and notifications so it is essential that all parents download the app.

It is more important than ever that we are able to communicate effectively, especially when it involves the safety of our children. If you haven't already, we ask that parents download the Compass app onto your device for either Apple or Android. 

Compass is a web-based system allowing you to access up-to-date and meaningful information about our school and your child’s progress. Compass includes many different features, including the ability to:

  • Be informed of important updates, events and reminders
  • View your child’s timetable
  • Review your child’s attendance
  • Provide explanations for periods of absence
  • Update your contact details
  • Book Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences.

Compass is accessible on any modern web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) or by using the Compass iOS or Android apps.

Canteen News

Eligible students can receive free travel to and from home and school on approved metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail during term.  Apply now.

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