St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill Newsletter

Term Three : Issue 3 | 23 September 2019

From the Principal

The Term is quickly drawing to an end.

 These past weeks have seen Year 11 undertaking their final exams before beginning their HSC coursework next term. I congratulate them on the wonderful manner in which they have conducted themselves during this time – most exams are 2 hours and they used their time well. Students are encouraged to use the feedback from these exams together with personal reflection before setting their goals for their first HSC term.

RUOK Day was a good reminder of how valuable a kind word  and a conversation can be – my thanks to Mrs Meade for the overall organisation of this initiative with the pastoral and wellbeing team.

 NAPLAN  - Year 7 and 9 students will receive their NAPLAN results tomorrow. As you may have seen in the media, this is much later than expected and the timelines have been changed several times. The is also the first time NAPLAN has been conducted online. As a school we have begun analysing the results to feed into future planning. We are particularly pleased with individual growth as again St Agnes students have performed at a higher than expected level. We are delighted with the trends as they show good growth across literacy and numeracy. There were connectivity issues during the writing paper but overall the students were able to complete the tests in a conducive setting. I commend all students for their commitment to regular engagement across reading, writing and numeracy.

With the holidays approaching, it is important that all students regularly engage in literacy and numeracy activities.

  As a community, we celebrate The Feast of St Francis of Assisi on Wednesday, 25 September.  The feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church's patron saint of animals and the environment. On election to the Papacy, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, took his name in honour of St Francis of Assisi, a symbol of poverty, charity and love of nature.

"It means respecting each of God's creatures and respecting

the environment in which we live. It means protecting people,

showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children,

the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about,"

-  Pope Francis, 2013

 A reminder that the 26 and 27th September are staff days – no students on site. Thursday will be a professional learning day with teachers finalising their preparation for HSC courses and Friday is Staff Spirituality Day.

Pace Bene,

Lisa-Maree Browning


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

25 September Feast of St Francis Mufti Day, Multicultural Performances 1pm, last day for students

26 September Staff Professional Learning day - NO STUDENTS

27 September Staff Spirituality Day,  - NO STUDENTS

14 October TERM 4 Commences

14-18 October - VET Work Placement

15 October - Year 12 Assessment Information Evening 5:30pm (compulsory attendance)

18 October - Year 9 Olympics Unleashed NSW Program

23 October - PASS Aline Cables Excursion

24 October - PASS Bline Cables Excursion

5 - 8 November - Stage 5 Assessment Block

11-15 November 7-9 Assessment Block

5 November PASS Bline Cables Excursion

18 November Year 7/2020 Orientation Day

22 November Aline Swim School,  Year 10 Community Day (Raging Waters), Year 5 Technology Day, Year 10B1/B2 Gym visit

From the Assistant Principal


Recently we received our results from the 2019 NAPLAN tests. These findings provided a snapshot of how each state and how we as a nation performed.  St Agnes is very proud of our results, which compare favourably with any schools.

To produce more literate and numerate students, the focus has to shift from NAPLAN to more effective teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy. The saying is, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, which applies to how we approach the education of your child. We are all teachers of every young person we deal with. We should never waste any opportunity we have to extend the literacy and numeracy of young people.

Here are some suggestions you could employ with your children:

·       Take every opportunity for your child to read, at home or when you are shopping

·       Ask them what a piece of writing is saying

·       Ask them if there is a meaning ‘between the lines’?

·       Estimate the length, weight or volume of an item they can then measure

·       Measure out the ingredients when cooking something as simple as muffins and then work out the finishing time

·       Convert digital time to analog time

·       Estimate the total cost of 2 or more items and then actually calculate the cost mentally

·       Work out how much change will be received.

 School Uniform

With the warmer weather arriving, students can now wear their Summer Uniforms for the remainder of Term 3. Term 4 will be Summer Uniform.

Ken Wolffe

Assistant Principal

From the Head of Mission

As we approach the end of Term 3, we also prepare for the biggest day in our school liturgical calendar - the Feast of St Francis of Assisi (4 Oct). As a school founded by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the spirit of St Francis of Assisi echoes in our classrooms as we aim to imitate Francis’ desire to imitate Jesus so as to bring the living presence of God to every person. This term, St Agnes embarked on an exciting journey to highlight our St Agnes Pillars as a way to refresh and rejuvenate what it truly means to be a St Agnes student in a Franciscan school. Each homeroom was given the task to come up with a creative way to showcase the St Agnes Pillars and a winner will be chosen from each year group.

I’d like to share the prayer from 11.2 on the St Agnes Pillars and ask that you pray with us as we become people who value inclusivity, integrity, the dignity of every living thing and compassion. A sincere thank you to the Year 11 students who created these prayers as they exemplify the St Agnes student:


Ever present God,

In our community we are many different people,

we come from many different places,

and we are united by many different cultures.

Let us open our hearts and allow our vision of oneness

to push each other to the horizon of hope.

Let us enable individuals with the same passion of equal opportunity

in education and employment, and to acknowledge the positive contributions

individuals around the world have made. For making St Agnes one family.

To Truth Through Love.


Ever present God,

We pray that you give us the strength to walk with integrity.

When we fail, give us the will to bring our own sin to light and repentance,

so we may receive the forgiveness you so freely offer.


Ever present God,

Let us always respect and remember the dignity of one another.

Let us reconcile who those who we may have conflict with

so we may reach a common ground of respect.

Let us be followers of the Franciscan values

of helping those who are marginalised and oppressed,

so that all people can be treated fairly and with dignity.


Ever present God,

Make us compassionate the way you are with your love for all.

Let our rooms be full of happiness and respect for one another.

Let love fill each and every heart at St Agnes,

with kindness and compassion for all.

Let us remember in learning together,

we grow together and succeed together.

For you are the one who will guide us

in finding ways to use our many gifts you have blessed us with,

to make St Agnes one family.

Last Friday, Mr Sadsad and Mrs Othman accompanied 8 of our 24 Year 10 Catechists who were acknowledged and thanked for their ministry as Special Religious Educators (SRE) at the St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong along with hundreds of students, SRE volunteers and members of the Diocese of Parramatta by Bishop Vincent. 

A very big thank you to the Year 10 Catechists for 2019:

Stephanie DerjaniLily KoteracRuth Nool
Tiffany WuRaewen NansenAyak Ater
Viola MoggaAmira AlwangSimran Bhullar
Angelica PattersonShantel ErupiAiden Shamas
John TomaJake AlcalaLeduina Piliae
Christina TuliatuBianca FragomeliJamie Sukkarieh
Carlos DanialVeronica DimoAyak Tong
Emma YousifChristina Abi ChemouniDominique Byrne

Since Term 1 Week 6 every Tuesday morning, St Agnes teachers have accompanied the Student Catechists on a nice 15 minute walk to Eastern Creek Public School. For me, this is one of my favourite parts of the week as I take this opportunity to get to know these lovely students with (mostly) the sun in our eyes but with a step in our stride. They have been blessed with wonderful SRE teachers from the St Aidan’s Parish, who have held their hand and gently walked alongside them as Catechists; with ample opportunities to observe and teach their own lessons and room to be creative and innovative. These students have shown unwavering commitment to this ministry with a love for teaching children the Catholic faith. I am honoured to witness their dedication to spread the joy and richness of our faith and can only pray they continue to travel on this journey of discovering in a deeper way the love of Christ.

I chose to become an SRE teacher because I was drawn to making a change as a year 10 student, teaching younger classes to the best of my ability. - Christina Abi Chemouni (10.1)

I enjoyed teaching the students as an SRE teacher because it made me happy that they were learning about the teachings of Jesus. - Shantel Erupi (10.3)

I encourage Year 10 students next year to become an SRE teacher because it is an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. - Emma Yousif (10.8)

I chose to become an SRE teacher because I wanted to change the students' lives and leave a mark in their lives so that they could realise the importance of Jesus. - John Toma (10.7)

Here is the prayer we pray every Tuesday morning that reminds us of the privilege of being a part of God’s mission:

A Prayer for Catechists

Loving God, Creator of all things,

you call us to be in relationship with you and others.

Thank you for calling me to be a catechist,

for the opportunity to share with others

what you have given to me.

May all those with whom I share the gift of faith

discover how you are present in all things.

May they come to know you, the one true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide my heart and lips,

so that I may remain constant in loving and praising you.

May I be a witness to the Gospel and a minister of your truth.

May all my words and actions reflect your love.


This Wednesday 25th September I’d like to welcome all our family, friends, past students and community members to our Feast of St Francis of Assisi celebrations with the theme “One Spirit”. The day will begin with Mass at 9.45am and conclude with multicultural performances starting at 1pm. You are welcome to join us for both events. We look forward to coming together as a Franciscan school community as we give thanks to God for all things and celebrate the beauty in our diversity.

Pace e bene,

Mary Reyes

From the Head of Learning

Year 11 Examinations

Our inaugural Year 11 cohort have approached their final exams with maturity and the right amount of respect. The students have realised that they all need to successfully complete their Year 11 studies in order to receive their ROSA and this will be released mid term 4. The high expectations were set and the students have met each one. 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.  

Moving into Term 4

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 way forward 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, the HSC will officially start in Week 3. The students will also have an Information Evening on Tuesday 15th October commencing at 5.30pm, which is compulsory for all students and their parents. We have also arranged for Prue Salter, the Study Skills founder, to speak with the students on Wednesday 16th October.

Year 10 Examinations and the next steps

Our Year 10 students will receive their examination timetable early next term, as these will run from mid-week 3 until the end of week 4. Students need to ensure they are revising their work after each lesson and completing all the homework set by their teacher(s). The students must ensure that they finish the NESA Modules, All My Own Work by the end of week 4 as well. The students who did not meet Minimum Standards in Reading, Writing and Numeracy will also have their second chance to do so at the end of the examination period. The Year 10 students who have had Subject Selection Interviews will receive a letter from the school next week outlining their courses and the events that will occur in Term 4.

Year 7 - 9 Examinations/Final Assessments

Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 shall be working towards their final assessment tasks and or exams next term. If there is one to be scheduled, this will take place in week 5. All students need to remain committed to their studies and completing the set work for each class. The students in Year 8 and 9 will receive confirmation early next term about their elective choice for Stage 5 in 2020.

Study Skills

Getting Motivated to do Your Work 

If you are struggling to get motivated to do your schoolwork, sadly there is no magic solution. However, here are a few strategies you can try from the DEVELOPING MOTIVATION and OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION units if motivation or procrastination is an issue for you:

  • REWARDS: Set yourself small specific tasks to do with a specific reward at the end of the task. For some people little rewards are enough to get them going. 

  • CHUNK IT DOWN: If the work seems overwhelming or boring or unappealing, break it down into small bearable chunks and just do it one piece at a time. 

  • FRIENDS: Work with a friend or else tell your friend what work you want to get done and then check in on each other at the end of the night. Help each other stay on track.

  • RULE OF 3: If you can’t get started, write down the 3 most important things you must get done before you go to bed, then don’t even look at any other tasks until these 3 are completed.

  • MOTIVATING IMAGES: Find slogans, or images that motivate you and put them near your workspace.  Some people are motivated by pain (thinking of the consequences if you don’t study) while others are motivated by pleasure (thinking of all the good outcomes that will happen if you do study).

Learn more at

Our school’s subscription details are -

Username: stagnes

Password: 24success

Mr. G. Kemmis

Head of Learning

School Activities

Letters from France – The Poetry of Wilfred Owen

On Thursday 15th August 2019 the English Standard cohort attended an incursion, ‘Letters From France – Wilfred Owen’. This dramatic production was to enhance the students’ learning about the war poetry of Wilfred Owen. Especially significant for the students was the power of his poetic protest against the traditional view of war as an honourable duty.  The story was told from the perspective of Wilfred Owen’s mother and recalled his childhood, his own fervour for the war, his injury and convalescence and then, his decision to return to France to tell the truth of war from the trenches.

 'I know I shall be killed,' he told his brother,

'but it's the only place I can make my protest from.'

 A number of the students evaluated the production.

The production was a worthwhile experience, as it is one thing to just read a poem but another to see it acted out with real emotions’. - Keira

 ‘I liked the presentation because the actor brought energy while acting and I believe that future year groups should also watch the presentation’. - Emmanuel

‘I thought that it was a fun way to engage with the poems and seeing it being played out made it more relatable’. - JohnPatrick

‘The actor had so much enthusiasm and passion whilst performing the act. It was really cool how the actor acted as if she was back in 1917 when I thought that she would take a much contemporary approach. I also liked how she knew the background of Wilfred Owen and not just like most actors who have a script and performing it without any interest in the actual events taken place which is evident as all questions asked were answered. I think it was an honour to watch it as it was a pretty unique experience. - Charbel

‘It was very interesting to see the actor’s interpretation of Owen’s mother, Susan and her emotional expression of the letters’. - Avrielle Pulido

Owen’s poetry is the final unit studied in Standard English. It ignites the students’ learning as they connect with the sensory imagery that vividly protests the pitiful degradation of humanity when engaged in the brutality of war. ‘Letters from France’ was a wonderful incursion that brought his poetry to life and encouraged deep reflective learning.

Mrs Chrissy Payne

Leader of Learning – English

Mathematics Competition

On Thursday, 1st August one hundred and eighteen students from Years 7-11 took part in the annual Australian Mathematics Trust Competition. Over 10 000 students competed in this prestigious competition from schools around Australia and overseas. Andrew Padrilan of Year 9 is to be commended for receiving a Distinction Award as well as the "Best in School" Award. This is a great achievement and Andrew is to be commended on this excellent result. Sixteen students received a Credit Award, seventy-seven a Proficiency Award and twenty-four a Participation Award. Listed below are our top students.

 Year 7:  Rushil Goundan, Ayaan Khan, Enrico Villanueva, Krishiv Singh, Kyan Baxter

Year 8:  Niloy Mohammed, Farrell Hagan, Gabriel Matocinos, James Que, Beatrix Favor

Year 9:  Andrew Padrilan, Natalie Buneta, Jdyn Espino, Rita El Ghossein, Javier Garcia

Year 10: Julian Hipolito, Praveena Kilberd, Prince Martin Gonzales, Julian Tan

Year 11: Evan Tecson, Sotonye Warmate, Yuyin Zhang

 All award recipients are to be congratulated on their efforts. 

Mr DeMartin

Leader of Learning - Mathematics


Let’s hope we don’t wait another 364 days to start a conversation, to check in with a loved one, friend, someone we know or even ourselves. This conversation could change a life.

 On Thursday 12th September, St Agnes was awash with yellow in celebration of R U OK? Day. As a society we are finding that our young people are experiencing unprecedented levels of distress, anxiety and depression. R U OK? Day activities are designed to empower all  young people and school community members to Ask, Listen, Encourage Action and Check In.

 This year’s theme to ‘R U OK? Day’, was trusting the signs, trust your gut and ask R U Ok? This day was a very important wellbeing initiative. Research has reported, that younger people have a much higher chance than older people to suffer from mental illness. 26% of younger peopled (aged 14-24) suffer from a mental illness. 20% of deaths in people aged 15-19 has resulted from suicide or self-harm.

Our students were involved in creating art works, image presentations, words of encouragement, posters and advice sheets which have been displayed in the library. Our school community members had a gallery walk to interact with these works and then added their own messages on our pavement, capturing the essence of the day. A formal presentation was given by Prue Excell (School Counselor) and myself. The presentation was aimed at supporting our students in how to ask R U OK? and importantly what our role is if we feel someone is not okay. Our students showed great insight, maturity and compassion around this work and we are grateful for the community’s support of this day.


Family School Liaison Officer

Year 7 Project Based Learning

During Term 3, Year 7 Geographers have been undertaking Project Based Learning in an attempt to answer the driving question: 

How can we as Geographers, create an Information Booklet, so that we can inform townspeople living next to a geomorphic hazard so they can be well informed in case of an emergency?

The students collaborated, planned, discussed, researched, drafted, questioned and sought feedback to create information sources that they are truly proud of. The student’s had the opportunity to “ship it early”, which means they presented their draft booklets to their fellow students and parents in a mock community meeting. The feedback and advice the students received was invaluable and really allowed them to add precision and clarity to their end product. A visit by the SES was also wonderfully valuable in assisting the students to add information to their booklets around emergency plans and kits which were shown to them.

We celebrated the launch of our project with a Volcano and Landslide Games Day complete with Volcano cake.


he "Spirituality tree" represents a strong cultural history of the land our School stands on.The Darug people and their dreamtime and how we come together through voice and truth.designed by Hanna Brogan and will be a permanent fixture in the Library


From the Business Manager

School Fees – 

Term 3 fees were due on 28 August, 2019. All school fees for 2019 are now overdue. If you need an extension of time or a payment plan please contact Lorraine Bailey on 8882 0706.

 If you are currently on a payment plan, please continue to make payments as per your arrangements.

 If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please contact the Business Manager Kelly Pickett on – 8882 0702 immediately. 

 Thank you to those parents who have paid fees or who have made contact with the school to explain their circumstances. The school is always happy to assist those parents/ caregivers who require more time to pay off their children’s school fees.

Uniform Shop Opening times

TERM 4 opening times are:-

Monday 8am - 12pm

Wednesday 12pm - 3:30pm

Remember, Year 10 will now wear the Senior Uniform in 2020, purchase now to ensure your student has the correct uniform.

Orders can be made online at

From the Bishops Office

CatholicCare Blacktown Neighbourhood Aid Volunteers Needed

Blacktown Neighbour Aid, a program with CatholicCare, is looking for volunteers to support our senior clients in the Blacktown area to remain living independently in their own home. If you feel you would like to make a positive difference to other’s lives in this way, please contact the Manager, Deb Woolacott on 0418 114 055 or email

Office for Worship RCIA Workshop: 5 October

The Diocese of Parramatta has once again the exciting opportunity to have Nick Wagner, co-founder of TeamRCIA, to facilitate a workshop. This full-day workshop will be held on Saturday 5 October at the Institute for Mission, Blacktown. For more information and to RSVP, please contact the Office for Worship on 8838 3457 or

Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass: 27 October

All married couples and their families are warmly invited to the Diocese of Parramatta’s Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 27 October at 11am. Bishop Vincent will celebrate Mass and will join couples and their families for a light lunch in the Cathedral Hall afterwards. Please register your names and numbers of years married, and the numbers attending the lunch by contacting the Life, Marriage & Family Office on 02 8838 3460 or email

Holy Hour for Vocations: 3 October

Youth aged 18 to 35 and families are invited to join The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth for the Holy Hour for Vocations at the Holy Spirit Convent, Plumpton, on Thursday 3 October at 7pm. Dinner will be served afterwards. RSVP to Sr Paula – or 0449 656 406.

World Community for Christian Meditation Evening: 3 October

The World Community for Christian Meditation Australia is presenting an evening with Laurence Freeman OSB, Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation on Thursday 3 October at St James’ Anglican Church, 173 King St, Sydney from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets are $30 or $20 for concession. For more information, contact Jan Wylie on 0418 655 291 or or visit

Broken Bay Bible Conference: 11 – 12 October

The Broken Bay Diocese Bible Conference – ‘The Holy Spirit Through the Pages of Scripture’ – will be held from 11 to 12 October at the Caroline Chisholm Centre, Pennant Hills. $88 for the conference, or $44 per day. Lunch and morning/afternoon tea is included. RSVP by 4 October through For enquiries, contact Tania Rimac on 02 8379 1629, or visit

Jesus Light of the World Communities Formation Retreat: 12 October

The Jesus Light of the World Communities is hosting a formation retreat on 12 October from 9.30am to 5.30pm at St Joseph’s Parish Hall, Walz St, Rockdale. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. Registration is $30 and bookings are essential. To register, please contact Helen on 0433 455 114, Ida on 0424 267 500, email or visit

Youth PoWR Southern Sydney Consultation Session: 13 October

Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) is travelling across the four corners of Sydney, calling on young people to generate The Sydney Statement – an interfaith statement that will help build bridges between different religions. The Southern Sydney consultation session will be held on 13 October at the LMA Function Centre in Lakemba. For more information, and to register, visit

Spirit of Jesus Community Healing Mass: 15 October

The Spirit of Jesus Community, part of the Jesus Light of the World Communities, are hosting a Healing Mass on 15 October from 7pm at St Aidan’s Church, Rooty Hill. For more information, please contact Luming on 0406 587 717 or Anita on 0451 832 977, email or visit

Spirit of Jesus Community Healing Mass: 17 October

The Light of Jesus Family Sydney, part of the Jesus Light of the World Communities, are hosting a Healing Mass on 17 October from 7.30pm at St Patrick’s Church, Blacktown. For more information, please contact Jaime on 0410 292 047 or Hydie on 0430 671 918, email or visit

Rome Pilgrimages:

Rome Pilgrimages, by the Archdiocese of Sydney, is a Catholic pilgrimage which deepens one’s prayer life, offers a cultural experience, and connects pilgrims to our tradition and faith. The cost of the 7-day Pilgrimage is $2,350.00 (twin share accommodation – excludes airfares, some meals and travel insurance). Discounts available for large groups. Pilgrims stay at Domus Australia in the heart of Rome with opportunities for daily Mass. For more information, call 1800 753 959 or email

Visiting Rome? Stay at Domus Australia:

Domus Australia is a Boutique Pilgrim Guesthouse established by the Australian Catholic Church, welcoming travellers to Rome seeking comfortable accommodation and an ideal base from which to explore historical and cultural sites of the Eternal City. Centrally located with a magnificently restored Chapel featuring daily Mass in English, Domus Australia is the perfect oasis in the heart of Rome for Aussie pilgrims. For enquiries, please contact or visit

For more events please go to:


Remember to TAP ON and TAP OFF so we can keep our school bus services running.

Any problems with Bus transport, please contact Busways asap (02) 9625 8900

The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

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.