St Agnes Catholic High School

August Newsletter - Term 3, Week 6 2020

From the Principal

Year 12 complete their Trial Exams this week.  In any given year, these Trial Examinations can be a source of anxiety for Year 12, however, in a COVID situation there is another layer of complexity. On behalf of the school community I commend Year 12 for the manner in which they have approached these exams.

The Trials provide Year 12 with the ‘full HSC examination experience’ – sitting for the required two or three-hour examination papers for those subjects that require it, sometimes completing two three-hour papers each day. For the majority of subjects these examinations are the last assessment tasks. 

Year 12 should remember that the Trials provide insight into areas where further revision and consolidation may be required. NESA has partnered with Reach Out to provide resources to support Year 12 in their HSC studies.


To protect staff and students, students should stay home if unwell and undertake a COVID test. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat and shortness of breath.  Any student (or staff ) with these symptoms must present a negative COVID test before returning to school.


The new building is almost complete, and we anticipate being able to use the new learning spaces from next term. Unfortunately, the rooftop basketball court will be delayed due to COVID impacts on the building trade, but we are hopeful that it will be accessible before the end of the year.

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,

 plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

 plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11

        Lisa-Maree Browning



4 SeptemberFathers Day Liturgy
9 - 18 SeptemberYear 11 Exams
10 SeptemberRUOK Day @ St Agnes
22 September

Year 12 Formal lessons conclude

Mass & Presentation

23 September

Year 12 Semester 2 Reports Distributed

25 SeptemberTerm 3 Concludes
12 OctoberTerm 4 Commences
20 OctoberYear 12 2021 Information Evening
20 October -  10 NovemberHSC Exams - CLICK HERE FOR TIMETABLE

From the Assistant Principal

Complaint Handling Procedures and Guidelines

Complaints will be addressed according to the Complaint Handling Guidelines in a professional, competent and timely manner.


These guidelines apply to parents/guardians, students, visitors, volunteers, community members, employees and contractors of the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, except where issues are dealt in accordance with*:-

·      Suspension, Transfer, Expulsion, Exclusion Procedures 2012

·      Child Protection – Risk of Harm and Significant Harm and /or Allegations

·    Relevant CEO discipline procedures for employees (for serious complaints involving allegations of misconduct/unsatisfactory performance by employees)

·      Enterprise Agreements/Awards

·       Anti-Bullying Policy for Students 2005

·      Criminal Jurisdiction

Generally, student complaints will be processed through school based procedures relating to pastoral care or student management. The Catholic Education Office Complaint Handling Procedures may be used in matters assessed as more serious in nature and involving an adult as one of the parties (e.g. a complaint by a student against a teacher, teacher against a student, or by a parent on behalf of their child).

Complaints relating to the areas of discrimination, harassment and bullying are dealt with according to these guidelines with reference to the Countering Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy (2010).


There are informal and formal options for making and resolving complaints. The aim is to resolve most complaints informally where appropriate.

Assessment of a complaint is an important step in determining how a complaint will be handled.


Making an informal complaint

Wherever possible, complaints should be raised directly with the person concerned (unless this person is a child, in which case, it is usually more appropriate to contact the relevant teacher or member of the School Executive). Approaching the person who may be the cause of the complaint and letting them know the impact of their actions may be the most appropriate action. This provides the person with an opportunity to stop or change what they are doing and/or explain their actions.

Informal complaints may be received in a number of ways, including face-to-face contact, email, letter or phone.

Completion of the Complaint Form is optional for informal complaints although all complaints should be recorded.


Resolving a complaint informally requires that parties identify the issues concerning their complaint and agree on a resolution.

Informal options for resolution include:

Self-resolution – handle the issue personally

Assisted resolution – seek resolution with the help of a colleague, support person, school principal or team leader. Employment Relations may assist in some circumstances.


Making a formal complaint

A formal complaint may be made when:

·      a complaint cannot be resolved informally

·      where you cannot approach the person directly or remain dissatisfied with their response

·      the seriousness of the issue warrants a higher level of formality

Options for resolving formal complaints

Formal options for resolving formal complaints are:

·      Intervention - developing a solution or agreement through discussion or correspondence with the parties.

·      Investigation Procedure – investigation procedure is used for a complaint relating to an alleged serious breach of legislation, policy or procedure.

·      Mediation – a structured process conducted by a trained mediator aimed at resolution between the parties concerned.

·      System Improvement Procedure – used for a complaint that is about policies, procedures or systems rather than a person.


All formal complaints are to be put in writing using the Complaint Form. For informal complaints, a record of the complaint will be retained at the school or workplace.

For school related matters, the form will be forwarded to the School Principal. If the complaint relates to a principal, the form should be forwarded to the relevant Director System Performance.

Complaints received by the Community Liaison Officer, Catholic Education Office will be logged, and forwarded as appropriate to the relevant Director System Performance.

Complaints relating to system policies or practices, or complaints that are perceived to have remained unresolved will be forwarded to a Director System Performance.

Complaints relating to the Executive Director of Schools should be forwarded to the Bishop, Diocese of Parramatta.  


A school principal, Team Leader, Director System Performance or Executive Director of Schools may determine and appoint an investigating officer for a complaint. When required, Employment Relations can provide further advice relating to the investigation process.

The investigating officer is responsible for assessing, planning and managing the process concerning the allegations. The investigating officer will:

·      assess if there is any conflict of interest

·      plan and implement an investigation process

·      complete report with findings to the complaint handler

The complaint handler will:

·      communicate with all parties, including the outcome of a complaint process

·       take action concerning the findings of the investigation

·      refer issues requiring system improvement to the relevant Director


The principles of natural justice apply to all complaints.

Natural justice is also known as procedural fairness and applies in situations where a decision could potentially have a detrimental effect on the rights, interests or legitimate expectations of a person.

Procedural fairness requires that:

1. The respondent is heard

2. The decision is not biased

3. The decision is based on relevant and reliable evidence

It is also important that complaints are dealt with in a timely manner and parties advised of the reason for any delays.

Where an anonymous complaint is lodged, no action will be taken unless the allegation is reportable conduct and action must be taken in accordance with the NSW Ombudsman’s Act.


To maintain confidentiality in so far as that is reasonable all participants in the process, particularly the Complaint Handler, should restrict the information about the complaint to those who need to know.

All participants in the process also need to be informed of the importance of confidentiality and also that unfair repercussions or victimisation in any form is unacceptable and if evident could result in disciplinary action.


The person who made the complaint and the respondent may access support. If meetings with the parties are held, the parties may have a support person present.

Students under the age of 18 who make a complaint are to be offered the support of an adult support person. This may be a parent, guardian, teacher or other significant person.

Guidelines for dealing with complaints may be adapted according to such considerations as the age of students, English competency and disability (for example, assistance may be given completing the Complaint Form).

Decisions on appropriate remedies involving students will consider their age and involvement of, and consultation with, parents/guardians.

Remedies for substantiated complaints may include:

•           A written apology and/or a summary of action to be taken

•           Counselling and support

•           Mentoring

•           Ongoing monitoring of behaviour

•           Facilitated/mediated resolution

•           A formal agreement


Mr Ken Wolffe

Assistant Principal

From the Head of Mission

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (8 Aug)

Our Mother Mary has a very special place at St Agnes, with a strong Marian devotion inspired by our Franciscan charism. On the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we celebrated her honour as the Queen of Heaven through a whole school liturgy via zoom and breathtakingly beautiful visual focal point of Mary adorned with a flower crown and floating into the heavens. I’d like to formally acknowledge the work of Andro Esho, a Year 10 student who is extremely gifted in his vision for this space. With the help of our Year 10 Portfolio Leaders, our school community was able to stop, ponder on and take in the beauty that was the aim of this very special day.

The Catholic Identity leaders Neil Swin and Nicole Cabalhin and the liturgy group, Angelica Prasad, Samantha McGrath, Teresa Bouchmouni and Aaliyah Kennedy did a wonderful job in leading us into prayer and for creating a reflective space in the Prayer room for students to take some quiet time out to pray to our Mother. Our Year 12 students used this space to pray as they embarked on the Trial exams the following week.

A very thank you to Ms Juarez and Mr Mangion and the choir and band for the beautiful song of Gentle Woman and the Magnificat (sung in the tune of Amazing Grace) that captured the essence of this day perfectly; the grace of our Mother, her peaceful nature and unconditional love was felt through the voices and gift of music of our students.

As a school community, may we continue to seek the guidance of our Mother Mary, as our role model of courage to say ‘yes’ to God’s will and her unrelenting servanthood to trust God wherever He may lead us.

Pace e bene,

Mrs Mary Reyes

From the Head of Learning

We are well and truly into Term 3!

There has been so much happening at our school - 

  • All students are seeking to learn and become active in their lessons;

  • Year 12 students have almost finished their HSC Trials and will move to the final stages of revision and completing any Major Work/s.

  • Year 11 will start their final exams in Week 8;

  • Year 10 have selected their courses for Stage 6;

  • Years 8 and 9 have selected their electives for 2021; and

  • Year 7 has demonstrated significant growth on our Visible Literacy Continuum.

Despite the challenges that the year has presented us, the students, on the whole, have demonstrated resilience and a willingness to seek help. There may be times when the learning falters or classwork is not completed to the best of one’s ability. The most important lesson here for all students is perseverance and a desire to improve for next time. 

Study Skills Tip for August

 Making the Most of Your Learning.

 Learning is not just what you do in the classroom. Study is not just what you do the night before a test. Both of these are ongoing activities that are enhanced by the correct pre and post activities. See which of these 5 Ps you do.

 PREPARE: This is the stage where you ensure you have all of the materials you need for learning and have completed any pre-tasks such as reading sections of your textbook in advance or any other activities your teacher asks you to complete prior to the class.

 PARTICIPATE:  Engaging in your learning is the best way to start to embed it in your memory and ensure you understand. Having the opportunity to discuss and interact and complete different styles of learning activities really helps your brain to process what you are learning.

PLAN: Take the time to look at the assessments for the course and plan when you will start, work on and complete tasks. Anytime you are asked to complete work for class, plan when you will do it and even better write your plan into your diary or online planner.

PRACTISE: One of the best ways to learn is to do practise questions. When you apply what you have learnt to actual questions, you will engage in retrieval and cognitive pathways in the brain and reinforce your learning and uncover areas that need extra study.

PINPOINT: After a test or assessment is returned to you, celebrate your successes but also use it to pinpoint areas of weakness. This allows you to then spend time building your strengths in these areas without the pressure of an exam looming.

 Our school’s access details are:

 Username: stagnes

Password: 24success

Mr. G. Kemmis

Head of Learning

Around the Classrooms

What’s Happening in TAS?

Technology and Applied Studies subjects are practical subjects based on learning the design process. It allows for creativity, critical thinking and promotes problem solving...all skills that can be applied in any workplace.

Year 7 Technology Mandatory

Digital Technologies

Our students use arduino kits to transfer the knowledge and skills of coding to a practical application.

Mixed Materials

Our students learn to sew (both hand and with machines) to transfer the knowledge and skills to a practical application of making an apron with decorative techniques inspired by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Designers. 

Year 8 Technology Mandatory

Food Technology/Agriculture

In this “Paddock to Plate” inspired program, our students learn about eggs in Australia, their benefits to our health and how to transfer this knowledge and skills to a practical application. Throughout the unit, students also learn about nutrition and a variety of practical skills to make a variety of foods. So far this semester students have made ANZAC biscuits, scones and cupcakes.

Engineered Systems

Our students learn science based applications such as force, hands on skills such as how to use a chisel as well as machinery to create a CO2 car made from timber.

Year 9/10

Food Technology

Students are participating in the unit “Food for Special Occasions”. In this unit students have learnt about reasons for celebrating such as social, cultural and historical, types of menus and kitchen work flow plans. So far in this unit they applied their knowledge and skills to practical applications such as creating Eggs Benedict with Hash Browns, Stuffed Croissants with Custard Danish Pastries and Coconut Prawns and Mini Quiches. For their formal assessment they will make a cake.

Year 9/10 Information Software and Technologies

Students studying Information and Software technology study about computer networks by setting up and investigating the characteristics of a typical small network.

 The students also undertake a crash course in one or more programming languages of their choice using the Grok online learning platform.

Some of the common languages that the students choose are Python, HTML. Scratch, SQL.

Year 9/10 Industrial Technology (Timber)

This term students have been learning to apply skills and knowledge of using hand tools and machinery to the creation of a clock and toy truck.

Information Software and Technologies

Industrial Timber

Year 11 Food Technology

Students are participating in the unit “Food Availability and Selection”. In this unit, students have learnt about how food availability in Australia has changed over time due to migration and the introduction of technology. They have also learnt how factors such as politics and the economy affect the individual's ability to select and access foods. So far in this unit, they applied their knowledge and skills to practical applications such as creating Cannelloni, Pad

Year 11 Food Technology

Year 12 Design and Technology and Year 12 Industrial Technology (Timber)

Our Year 12 Students are working on their Major Works. These projects are almost a year long assessment. Design and Technology allows the students to identify a need or want and work through the design process to find and create a solution. Our current Yr 12’s are designing and creating Products, Systems and Environments such as a sustainable building, a fire resistant house, a jacket for the homeless, sporting safety equipment and specialised toys. Industrial Technology (Timber) allows the students to work through the design process to create a product made from timber. Our current Yr 12’s are designing and creating items such as desks, cabinets and boxes utilizing a variety of hand and machine tools.

Minimum Standards for Year 10

Minimum Standard Testing occurred for Year 10 over weeks 2 and 3 this term. The Year 10 students have achieved particularly well especially in terms of reading. The NESA results have shown that 100% of students who completed the Reading Test met the minimum standard required for their HSC in 2022. Whilst Reading was clearly the standout result, students also achieved particularly well in the other two areas especially in comparison to previous year groups. 87% of students met the minimum standards in Numeracy and 83% met the standard for writing. Congratulations to all the students for achieving such strong results.
If a student did not meet a minimum standard for any of the tests, there will be another opportunity at the end of this term to do so. There will be two further opportunities later in Term 4 and four more opportunities in Year 11 and 12 for those students who need them.
Once again well done Year 10 on such an impressive set of results.

Literacy Growth completely Visible during Remote Learning at St Agnes!




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