St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill Newsletter

Term two : Issue 3 | 28 June 2019

From the Principal

This is the final newsletter of the term.  It has been an exciting one as the construction of the next stage of St Agnes has begun. This build, expected for completion April 2020 is much needed. It will include dance, drama and music facilities, a  performance space new outdoor sports are as as well as 8 new learning spaces.

Student Led Conferences – 3rd July

A reminder that there are no formal classes on Wednesday 3rd July. On this day parents receive the Semester One report and meet with the students Learning Advisers. This meeting, led by the student is an opportunity to hear of their progress to date and to set goals for Semester Two.  Please ensure you book a time through: 

Semester One Awards – it was a pleasure to recognise so many Year 11 students on their achievements last week. It is important that all students continue to do their best each and every day.  Good habits include regular study and practice of  questions - by this stage, students should be spending the equivalent of 2 hours minimum per day on home study and revision.

The link to our Year 11 Study Skills Program is

I look forward to the 7-10 Semester Awards on Wednesday 24th July.  As we await the completion of our new space, this will be held at Loyola Senior High School.

Senior Uniform 2020  - Next year, St Agnes will be a 7-12 high school.  Recognising the importance of Year 10 as leaders and academically through the credentialing of the Record of School Achievement  (ROSA), Year 10 next year – the current Yr 9 group – will move into the senior uniform from the start of next year. Thus from next year, 7-9 will wear the junior uniform and 10-12 the senior uniform. Students currently in Year 10 may wear it from now if they wish.

See details further in the newsletter.

Wishing all students, a well deserved break.  I hope that you are all able to enjoy some quality time as a family and that if you are going away anywhere that you have safe journeys.

A Litany for refugees

1. Jesus you and your family knew what it was like to live in a country where people where it was not safe. May those who flee their own country find a new home that is safe.

2. Jesus, you and your family knew the terror and sorrow of leaving your home and country. May the refugees today find safety and ways to heal in a new place.

3. Jesus you and your family returned home when it was safe. May countries become more safe so refugees can go home if they wish to.

4. Jesus you stood up for those who were being badly treated. Help us to find ways to speak up for the sake of those seeking asylum in our country.

5. Jesus you welcomed the stranger. Help us to welcome all those refugees who seek a safe home in Australia.

6. Jesus you gave us the example of caring for everyone. May we follow you and have love and compassion for refugees. 

Staff Changes

Mrs Mary Reyes returns from maternity leave next term. Many thanks to Mr Harry Sadsad for his leadership of Religious Education and Mission this Semester. We also offer our gratitude to the following staff - Miss Ellen Celima, Mr Michael Murgolo and Mr Kristone Capistrano who complete their temporary roles. 

Lisa-Maree Browning


From the Assistant Principal

All parents know that in dealing with young people, the key is to have consistency. If they think you are treating another sibling more favourably, they will feel you are being unfair and will let you know clearly. If they get different messages about what they are allowed to do or not allowed to do they will exploit it eg “But Dad/Mum always lets me play that game, why won’t you?”

 For teachers the situation is the same, any inconsistencies will be instantly pounced upon by students. They will let us know that we are being unfair as they will say other teachers allow them to get away with it.

 We have had discussions with some students, and staff, in recent days around confusion and inconsistency with certain behaviours and / or expectations in the classroom.  

I would like to let you know of some areas in which students may need clarity. Here are our expectations:

1) Listening to music in class. Students should not be listening to music during class whether they are doing individual work, quiet research or any other learning activity. The only exception would be if a teacher has designed a learning activity that specifically needed a student to watch or listen to a clip.

2) Earphones. Students shouldn't have earphones hanging out of their shirts / blouses, over or in their ears, whether they are listening to music or not.

3) iPads. When students are not required to be using their iPads they are expected to 'Flip their covers'.

4) Playing games on iPads during class time. Under no circumstances should a student be playing games on their iPad during lessons, even if they finish all of their work early.

5) Use of phones in class. Not permitted / required. The iPad has greater capability for learning. Phones will be confiscated if out in class and stored in the front office for parents to collect.

6) Use of phones in playground. Students may access their phones during breaks, but not to make calls. If students need to call home they are able to use our office phones. Mobiles will be confiscated if used to make a call and stored in the front office until a parent collects it.

7) Organised for class. Students are required to have all books, equipment, iPad (charged) and diary (on their desk) ready to start each lesson. There will be consequences (rubbish collection, Friday study skills, communication with home, etc) for students failing in this area. If you engage an electrician or plumber and they turn up without their tools you would not employ them. We do our students no favours if we let them off in these areas.

8) Lateness to class. Students who are late to class without good reason will have to make up that time either during recess, lunch or after school (with parent notification).

9) Uniform. Please refer to the diary for expectations. Any student not meeting these standards will be issued with a Uniform Infringement and will be required to attend an after school detention.

 If you have any concerns about any of the above or if there are other areas causing confusion, please contact the Assistant Principal Mr Wolffe or the relevant Leader of Learning.

Ken Wolffe

Assistant Principal

From the Acting Head of Mission

Our Workplace Can Help Sanctify Us


Now the time has come to go to work. This means facing the traffic situation again. It is rush hour, and everyone seems to be tense. But the period of prayer has helped you a lot for this new challenge.

Maybe a taxicab or a motorcycle has come out of nowhere, gotten in your way, and suddenly forced you to apply the brakes. You were tempted to curse the bones of the driver, but you then remembered that, besides bones, he has a soul to save.

So, you say a prayer for him: “Lord, help that driver to do a better job; he needs Your help!” And aware that getting mad would not solve any problem, you repress other less supernatural ideas and words that might spontaneously occur to you.

You have arrived at your place of work. There you find the same setting as every day: the same faces, the same furniture, the same environment, day in and day out. It might appear prosaic and unappealing, yet it is precisely there, and not somewhere else, that the great Spectator wants you to perform for Him and for the entire supernatural audience. It can become an exciting experience if there is enough faith, hope, and love.

Perhaps you find your colleagues at work chatting before beginning their daily tasks. You, in contrast, are eager to begin to sanctify that work by beginning on time and doing the work well, with all the human perfection you are capable of. For you, punctuality is a good work habit. You have a motivation that others seem to lack: you are conscious of the fact that you are being constantly looked at by your loving Father. Others are, perhaps, talking negatively about some absent people. You profoundly dislike backbiting, not only because it is unfair, since those persons cannot defend themselves, but because it offends the veiled Father, who loves everyone and wants us to do the same. Upon seizing the situation, convinced that just because something is very common does not mean that it is right, you try to find a way to improve the topic of the conversation.

Begin the Workday in Offering

The workday has begun. It is a good moment to renew the gift of that labor you made in the Morning Offering and in the Holy Mass. That offering covers all your labor: those things you enjoy doing, as well as the tedious tasks done hour after hour, and also the frustrations and periods of pressure and stress. It also covers the unforeseen happenings that challenge your cool and try your patience. The teachings of St. Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei, are of help:

You are upset. Look: happen what may in your interior life or in the world around you, never forget that the importance of events or of people is very relative. Take things calmly. Let time pass. And then, as you view persons and events dispassionately and from afar, you’ll acquire the perspective that will enable you to see each thing in its proper place and in its true proportion. If you do this, you will be more objective, and you’ll be spared many causes of anxiety.

Through work, you joyfully cooperate with God in making this world a better place to live in, and you contribute positively to Jesus’ work of Redemption. You do not want to forget that line in the book of Job: “Man is born to labor and the bird to fly” (Job 5:7, Douay-Rheims). For you, work is an obligation rooted in human nature. It was planned by God from the very beginning, even before the fall from Paradise. The Lord placed man in the world so that he would work (see Gen. 3:16). It is clear that work is a good thing for man, because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his needs, but also achieves fulfillment as a human being.

Pray and Work!

St. Benedict, an ancient saint, has left us an excellent motto as a guide in our journey: Pray and Work! (Ora et Labora!) This motto is echoed in the teachings of St. Josemaría, a saint of the twentieth century.

A true Christian adopts and practices the Benedictine motto, combining the two virtues of prayer and work in unity of life.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have left us with a very impressive example of dedication to work. Thus, if out of laziness someone refuses to labor, that person cannot properly call himself Christian. St. Paul’s dictum is well known: “If anyone will not work, let him not eat” (2 Thess. 3:10). St. Josemaría writes, “You must strive for holiness, contributing at the same time to the sanctification of others, your fellow men; sanctifying your work and your environment.” These ideas could be summed up by saying that we are to sanctify our ordinary work, sanctify ourselves in our work, and sanctify others with our work.

The founder of Opus Dei says, “If we really want to sanctify our work, we are inescapably to fulfil the first condition: that of working well, with human and supernatural seriousness.”

To sanctify ourselves in our professions or trades, we ought to work seeking the glory of God. This implies a steady exercise of supernatural and human virtues. We can recognize that this seemingly monotonous and perhaps small task has a transcendent co-redemptive value in God’s eyes; that is faith. Similarly, we hope that we will be able to achieve union with God, precisely in and through these daily tasks. And the crowning virtue, charity, inclines us to do everything for the love of God.

After that follow a host of moral virtues:

§  Prudence helps us to determine the proper means to apply in every instance in order to obtain the right objective.

§  Justice leads us to give to each one his due and to fulfil our familial, professional, and social duties.

§  Temperance helps us to moderate our tendency to enjoy pleasurable things in excess.

§  Fortitude allows us to persevere in fulfilling our professional duties, even when they become strenuous and difficult.

§  Humility facilitates seeking, in all our endeavours, not our personal satisfaction, but God’s glory.

We could mention many other virtues, such as order, punctuality, and industriousness.

Thus, motivated by love — above all, by divine love — we are moved to work and spend ourselves for others.

Working well is also a means to evangelize, to bring others closer to God. It is a universally recognized fact that people value a job done well. Our Lord impressed His contemporaries, who exclaimed: “He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37).

Work has great importance. As a task of collaboration and stewardship with the Creator, it is a way to make this world a more humane and livable place, to contribute to a more just social order, and to pursue the temporal common good. In addition, work is also a means and an opportunity to evangelize. It is a hook to fish souls for Christ. When someone strives to be united to God, to take Christ seriously, he often moves colleagues like him to do the same.


Harry Sadsad

Head of Mission

From the Head of Learning

Year 11 Semester 1 Academic Awards

On Friday 21st June, we held our inaugural Year 11 Semester 1 Academic Awards. This is where we as a school, acknowledged all those students who received first place in their subject area, along with the students who were recognised with a Highly Commended Award for Academic Achievement or Sustained Effort. These awards are the cornerstone of learning here at St Agnes and our first Year 11 group has demonstrated their capabilities. We do hope, as they move into the second half of the year, that they will continue to listen, study and take heed of the advice offered to them by their teachers.

Year 10 into Year 11 Subject Selections

The Year 10 students have made some important decisions of late in terms of where their interests lie for Stage 6 schooling and beyond. They have been well informed by all Leaders of Learning and their teachers as to what can be offered here as well as at Loyola Trade and Training Centre. The students will find out early next term the courses on offer and they will have a conversation with their parents and a member of the Leadership Team. In the meantime, Year 10 students need to ensure that they are focussed on their current subjects and complete the NESA mandated programme, All My Own Work.

Semester 1 Reports: Year 7 - 10

These will be issued on Wednesday 3rd July, prior to Parent/Teacher/Student interviews. All parents should have received a letter via email or their daughter/son which explains the process. Please go to the link below to make a booking with your child’s Learning Advisor.

Geoffrey Kemmis

Head of Learning

1 JULY - Year 11 Biology Excursion

2 JULY - Mufti Day

3 JULY - Parent/Teacher interviews, Year 11 Reflection Day                                        

5 JULY - Term 2 Concludes

22 JULY - Term 3 Commences

23 JULY - Stage 5 & 6 ITECH Rosehill Gardens Excursion

24 JULY - Semester 1 Awards at Loyola Senior High School

30 JULY - Year 7 Synagogue and Cathedral Excursion  

Important Dates for Year 11

5 -9 AUGUST - Year 11 Food Technology Work Placement

16 AUGUST - Year 11 Digital Technology & Industrial Technology Powerhouse excursion

26- 30 AUGUST - Year 11 Hospitality Work Placement

11 - 20 SEPTEMBER - Year 11 Exam Block

23-27 SEPTEMBER - Year 11 Construction, Business Services and IDT Work Placement

14-18 OCTOBER - VET Work Placement

School Activities

Bring It On Dance Competition

BIO recap by Bianca Fragomelli

On the 22nd June 2019, a group of St Agnes students had the chance to compete in a dance competition against different high schools in the Sydney region. This experience was not only new to many of the students, but it was without a doubt the best team experience. Within a 5 week period the amazing Bring It On leaders worked extremely hard to put together a 6 minute dance, with all the stress, sweat & laughter the hard work that was put in created an outstanding performance. 

The hype of performance day was getting more and more real and we were extremely proud to say that the dance we had put together as a team had blown our minds but of course without the Bring It On team, none of this would have been possible. 

After the many recess and lunchtime rehearsals and after school practices the group exceeded expectations. 

On the day of Bring It On, we arrived on a bright sunny morning at 9am pumped and hybed ready to show everyone who Agnes really are. We were fuelled up by our amazing chefs Ms Gale and Mr Hilder who provided us with breakfast and lunch. We prepared for the evening throughout the day, doing each other’s hair and makeup.

The time had come we were on the way, we even brought our gorgeous little Agnes supporter with us. We arrived and were more than ready for the amazing atmosphere of supporters to show their love. We were more than lucky to have some of our own St Agnes students and teachers there to give us words of encouragement and provide us with the best support ever. It was our time to light up the stage and can I say that this St Agnes team was outstanding! 

We couldn’t be any prouder of what the St Agnes team had brought to the stage. Sadly, we didn’t place but gladly we can say we are going to win this wildcard and bring Agnes back to the stage. 

Choir sings at PDSSSC Cross Country

Kokoda Track Excursion

On the 25th June, Year 9 were given the insightful opportunity to visit the Kokoda Memorial Track. Our teachers had taught us extensively about the history, courage and lives Australians risked in the war, enough that we arrived with the most utmost respect and genuine curiosity. The tour guides were amazing people, some filled with years of experience and insight.

Once we arrived, our eyes couldn’t miss the rainforest wonderland, filled with tall trees that enveloped and welcomed us into chilly, humid air. We soon made our way along the stone path, commencing our wreath laying ceremony, as we sang the Australian National Anthem in remembrance.

Following introductions, we split into three groups with different tour guides, encouraged to walk along the track through the eyes of the soldiers. Along the track, there were a total of 22 stations that explained the conditions of the war, including soldiers of significance, through pictures and written information. Stories about each station were retold with uplifting charisma, and our particular tour guide even used verbal demonstrations to make the stories as realistic as possible. His imitations of machine guns, and a few jump-scares of explosions, made it so interesting, we even had people passing by stop for a few minutes to listen. Our tour guide reflected on his own experience from fighting in that same war, some details truly overwhelmed us with appreciation and sorrow.

Every inch of the Kokoda Memorial Track was carved to fit into the real experience of the soldiers in Papua New Guinea, from the rocks, plants and constant running rivers. The view and natural environment were absolutely breathtaking.

Our walk ended with a visit to the rose garden, a memorial wall for those who had passed away in the war, some as young as 19 years of age. Towards the end of the excursion, we received an information booklet on the 22 stations, and made our way onto the bus after sincerely thanking the tour guides.

I would like to thank the teachers who helped organise and make this excursion possible, it was truly an amazing learning experience we will never forget.

Rita El-Ghossein Year 9A1

ELP Class display Franciscan Values

During ELP students have been picking up rubbish on Rooty Hill and around Morreau Reserve. A year 9 student had the idea to take buckets and clean up the area during ELP walking. We are so proud of his initiative and display of Franciscan values. This is what the student wrote in regards to his decision to start the initiative: 

"When I joined the walking ELP I noticed that there was a massive amount of rubbish lying in the streets of Rooty Hill and in Morreau Reserve. I thought I could make a change and bring out a few students to help collect rubbish around these areas, as the environment isn’t being treated as it should be. My fellow friends helped me clean the area with the help of Miss Clark, who made this possible. I hope we can make the environment a better place and continue with similar environmental projects.

Year 9 Student

Formation and Service

This year our school formation goal focuses on serving others. Thank you to all of those students, staff and family and friends of the St Agnes community that have so generously donated of their time and talents in knitting and crocheting squares that will be made into blankets for those in need. Thank you also to those students who have busied themselves during ELP to cut patterns and prepare sewing kits so that dresses can be made for children in need. We are inspired by those students and staff who have selflessly given of their time to help those less fortunate. All are welcome to participate in this ministry of service by crocheting/knitting 20cm x 20cm squares or collecting a sewing kit (instructions and fabric included) to make a dress. Please contact Jenet Chapman ( if you have any enquiries.

Sports Update

Girls Soccer PDSSSC

Running onto the field with confidence and heads held high, the girls from St Agnes were ready to meet their competition, Xavier College. Tension was in the air, the first half was tight and Emily Rea relieved the pressure with a close goal right on the half time whistle.

With inspirational words still ringing in their ears after Ms Gale’s pep talk, the girls from St Agnes came back on the field, pumped for their second half. But Xavier College weren’t about to give up. They also came out ready for a good second half. It was a tough competition, but that didn’t stop St Agnes scoring another goal! St Agnes were wrecked and tired, but they pushed on. Nothing could stop them, they just wanted one more goal before the game finished, and Emily Rea succeeded in doing that.

St Agnes’ win of 3 goals to nil definitely demonstrate the team spirit and determination of the girls from St Agnes.

PDSSSC Rugby League Report from our game against Emmaus

The comeback for the ages as St Agnes Spirit is Alive and well

In a thrilling finish, St Agnes came from behind to beat Emmaus Catholic College after a score drought in the first half. Emmaus racked up three tries and successfully converted one goal.  Leading 16 nil early on in the game. First points however for St Agnes came on the whistle before halftime with Kenneth Manuao barging over for the first try. Unfortunately the kick for goal was unsuccessful.

With the inspiring words of Mr Dempsey and Mr Chavez ringing in their ears, St Agnes ran onto the field ready for the second half. It wasn’t long before St Agnes had control of the ball and Dwayne Tukala scored a powerful try. A quick succession of tries from Micheal Piliae and Izayah Gonzales, with Billy Taupau successfully converting two goals. The final score was St Agnes 20 and Emmaus 16.

A win that truly displayed what St Agnes is all about! With the boys moving on to play their rivals from last year Bede Polding College.

Summah Russell

Pdsssc Journalist


University Open Days

Western Sydney University

Campus tours are now running campus tours on the first Friday of each month for prospective students, their family and the general public. Each month provides a new opportunity to explore a different campus. For more information please visit:

Australian Catholic University

ACU Parent Information Night.  Join ACU to hear from staff and students, learn about the application process and discover how we can help you and your teen get ready for university. Strathfield, Thursday 25 July, 6pm – 7.30pm North Sydney, Thursday 8 August, 6pm – 7.30pm.

FULL LIST OF OPEN DAYS /future-applicants/ year-10-students

Thinking of a career in Games & Film? Industry Experience Day at AIE 12th July 2019 Learn about the local and international game development, 3D animation and VFX industries from experts. Free practical workshops in 3D Art, Animation, Programming and Game Design for Years 10-12 students. 10:00am-2:30pm, 33 Mountain St, Ultimo, NSW, 2007. Rego required. RSVP


School fees

Thank you to those Parents/Caregivers who have paid or who have made arrangements with us to pay off their Term 2 school fees.

Flexible Payment Plan

This provides options to pay Fees weekly, fortnightly or monthly between March and November. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please contact the Business Manager Kelly Pickett immediately on

8882 0702, or email 

Uniform Shop

Just announced! Year 10-12 can now wear the Senior Uniform!

As of 2020, years 7-9 will wear the junior uniform and years 10-12 will wear the senior uniform. If current year 10 students need to purchase new shirts they can purchase and wear the senior shirt.

The Uniform Shop is open on

Mondays between 8am and 12pm,  and

Wednesdays between 12pm and 4pm 


BUSWAYS Updated Timetable


Please note, bus 6570 in the afternoon, has a change which is 'first set down Luxford Rd & Belmore Ave'.

Opal Card Use

State Transit would like to remind students about the use of OPAL cards. A reminder to students to ensure they carry their OPAL card at all times when travelling to and from school and to make sure that you remember to always tap on and off on both your journey's. If there is a review of bus services and there are only a couple of students tapping onto a bus they will cancel that service as they will not continue to run it for a small number of students.

A reminder that you must 'Tap On' with your Opal card, especially of an afternoon when leaving school. This will help minimise the issues we are having and also make sure we continue to have all of the buses necessary.

School Buses are run and managed by Busways. If you have any issues or complaints, please contact Busways Glendenning.

New format of our Newsletter can be translated to 100+ languages

With our Google Translation integration, you can access our newsletter in ANY language. Simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to give it a try.

From the Bishops Office

CYP LIFTED Retreat 2019: July 5 – 7

CYP invites young adults aged 18 – 35 to attend the annual LIFTED Retreat from July 5-7 at the Benedict XVI Retreat Centre, Grose Vale. You can expect great guest speakers, stimulating discussions, adoration, daily Mass, Reconciliation, soul-stirring music and delicious food. The theme is inspired by Pope Francis – ‘Dare to be Different’ Register now @

Australian Catholic Youth Festival, Perth: 7 – 11 December 2019

ACYF19 is a biennial national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Bishops of Australia. The event involves three days of exciting, large scale Plenary's, tens of workshops, concerts, prayer experiences, fun, expos and concludes with an outdoor mass with the City of Perth. Bishop Vincent and Catholic Youth Parramatta will be leading an expected 200 participants. Free twin-share hotel accommodation is being offered now. For more information and to register visit

Women in Leadership: 4 - 7 July

The Benedictine Abbey, Jamberoo invites women of any age and any experience in formal leadership positions, and for those who exercise leadership without a formal title in business, schools, homes, offices, parishes, anywhere to the Women in Leadership workshop. The aim is to support women to explore their unique gifts – as people, as women and as leaders. 4-7 July. 02 4236 0533 or for more information.

Renaissance of Marriage 2019: 26 – 27 July

Renaissance of Marriage 2019 – Building a Catholic Marriage Culture – will be held on 26 and 27 July at the University of Notre Dame Sydney. Keynote Speakers include Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Kevin Donnelly. Registrations open at

For more events please go to:

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