Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter Number 4 - 20 March 2019

From the Principal ....

Last week was Anti-Bullying week organised by Mrs Padden our Year 8 Leader of Learning Pastoral and the pastoral team. We took the opportunity at our St Patrick’s Day Liturgy to launch our Anti-Bullying Campaign.  Every day in the College is an anti-bullying day.  In an ideal world we would love to eradicate this kind of behaviour. We continue to educate and talk about positive relationships, about the effects both with and without intent that our behaviour can have on others. I am glad that I am not a young person today. In my youth, disagreements were left at school, gossip could only really happen at school, on the bus home or, if you were lucky, your 10 minutes allocated on the one family phone. Those that wished you ill did not have the weapon of social media at their beck and call.

We must continue to build resilience in our young people. There will always be unkind people, people who want to tear you down in order to make themselves somehow feel better,  I know you would have met these people in your own work life. I encourage you to read “Resilience in Teenagers: How to build it” at, I have included a couple of quotes below.

You can’t always stop your child from experiencing problems or tough times. But you can play a big role in helping your child build resilience. Your child can also gain strength from other supportive adults, like grandparents, aunts, uncles or teachers. Friends and classmates can be great sources of support too.

Resilience is more than just coping. When you’re resilient, you’re more prepared to seek new ways to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals. Although this might mean taking some risks, it also creates opportunities for success and greater self-confidence.

Next week on Thursday 28th March at 6.00pm we have a  parent Cyber Safety Information Session with Susan McLean, Australia’s foremost expert in the area of Cyber Safety and Young people. We hope to see you there. Please note that if you have any concerns about bullying please contact the College immediately.

As we finished the week in great spirits at our annual Cocktail party we were shocked by the devastating news of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. A city that many of us have visited and enjoyed the wonderful sense of friendship and welcome. We were  inspired by the response from the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. Her calmness, compassion and empathy have been welcomed by all. I was so proud of our School leaders who emailed over the weekend to ask if they could lead the College in prayer. We came together on Monday morning as a community to pray and  to show our solidarity and support of our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand, Australia and around the world.

I would like to share the response of our Bishop the Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv to these attacks:

"I wish to express my deepest sympathies to the victims and those who grieve because of the consequences of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

To all my Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand, Australia and around the world, I stand in solidarity with you in your horror, grief and distress.

I offer my prayers on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta to the deceased, the injured and to all the individuals and communities who have been affected by this senseless violence.

The attacks on innocent lives at a worshipping place were sadly motivated by hatred and prejudice against people of the Muslim faith.

I condemn Islamophobic, racist and extremist violence in all its forms. It is an offence to God, to believers of all faiths, to all people of good will, and to our common humanity.

Times like this should make us reflect on the way we treat one another in words and actions. We will reap what we sow.

Let us therefore not only eliminate the fruit of prejudice, hatred and violence but also its seeds in their many forms and on many levels of our society.

May Muslims and Christians everywhere respond to the joint invitation by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, to “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity, to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.” (Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019).

In these troubled times, when evil forces seek to divide us on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity or religion, may Muslims, Christians, people of all faiths, and all people of good will remain united in heart and mind and resolve.

May faith bind us in human solidarity, hope drive out fear, and love overcome hatred.

As I mentioned above, we recently held our Parent Cocktail evening, hosted by our P&F. Once again, it was a fantastic night. The food, cocktails, set up and company were wonderful, in fact I would say the tables were a work of art. It was wonderful to meet and talk with many first time parents and parents with students in older year groups as well as Year 7 and hear really great positive feedback. I thank the teachers for supporting this event, our Year 12 leaders for their assistance and the P&F for the organisation, enthusiasm and commitment to the College.

A reminder that if at any time you have a concern or complaint please contact the College. Our school diary has many of our policies and procedures within it, and our website has all of our policies available, including our complaints policy and procedures. It is important to note that from time to time there are incidents that occur between students. As part of our privacy requirements you will not be told of specific consequences for a student other than your own, however you will be informed that the matter has been dealt with in line with our policies and processes including procedural fairness.

Enrolments for 2019 close shortly. We have a significant number of applicants. Please remind friends and family of the closing date.

What a bumper edition of our newsletter. There are many wonderful things happening at the College both in and out of the classroom. What a great place to teach and learn.

Mrs A. Hay

Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

National Anti Bullying Day

Last week our school participated in the National Anti-Bullying Week, in which we, as a school community, took a stance against bullying, pledging “Bullying No Way!”.

At St Patrick’s Marist College, there is a universal understanding that there is no place for bullying within our school community, and that we do not tolerate nor accept any bullying behaviour of the sort.

Statistics show that informing students on issues is positively impacted and further influenced with the use and emphasis of student voice, which was why the College Leaders were given the role of running the Anti-Bullying Week. They organised the distribution of wristbands and ribbons which read “Bullying No Way!  Take a stand together”.  They also ran an assembly which entailed speeches regarding bullying, the detrimental impacts of bullying, being a bystander, and even an entertaining and yet informative skit about how to combat bullying in a real life situation.

Pictured below is every homeroom of the College proudly presenting the Anti-Bullying banner, which now remains hung within the College Harrington Courtyard to continue the Anti-bullying efforts throughout the term.

During the week, a google form for registering bullying issues was introduced, sent to all students to access via their emails. Similarly, a school-wide forum which will occur once a month was developed, where students who are interested can discuss issues regarding bullying that may be plaguing the school, and additionally introduce ideas which could prevent the bullying occuring.

Click on the link to view  The Project ‘Speak Even If Your Voice Shakes’ video.  You can also view via the link the Bystander Speech from our Anti-Bullying Assembly.

Cyber Safety Information Evening


Parent CyberSafety Information Session

Thursday, 28 March @ 6.00pm

Towards the end of Term Four 2018, the students had the opportunity to listen to Susan McLean, not only nationally recognised, but recognised worldwide as one of the foremost authorities on Cybersafety. We have booked Susan in for a Parent Information Session on Thursday 28 March at 6.00pm. 

We certainly would encourage you to come along and listen to Susan as she will provide the skills as to how you can monitor and promote safe online behaviours at home.

Please register your attendance at the office. You are more than welcome to invite members of your family who have students who attend other schools to the evening. Please just indicate how many will be attending when you confirm your attendance.

This night will be held in the College library. 

Mr M. Paton

Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

2019 Leader Profiles


Brendan has been at the College since Year 7, 2014 after graduating from Christ the King Primary School, North Rocks. Brendan has been elected Chavoin House Captain for 2019.  Throughout his time at the College, Brendan has actively participated in a number of extracurricular activities, most predominately driven by his passion for sport.  Over the years he has been a part of the NSW CCC Cross Country Team (2017), represented the College in MDC soccer and athletics, since Year 7. Apart from his passion for the track and field, Brendan has been an exemplary student, evident by his countless academic awards, participation in the Australian Mathematics Competition and the Big Science Competition.In his leadership during 2019, Brendan hopes to achieve a stronger sense of the Marist value of family spirit, by allowing a more active participation in the College athletics carnival by students among all grades.  With his personal qualities of hard work and dedication Brendan is sure to achieve a large level of greatness within the College in his leadership during 2019.

Written by:  Ashley Doueihi

Project Compassion 2019

Tati’s Story

The readings today make reference to the promises of God and the relationship that God has with the people. We hear of the loving promise made between God and Abram. On Mount Tabor God speaks of Jesus as 'beloved son' and urges Peter, James and John to "listen to him'. He urges them to listen to what Jesus has been saying. Jesus is moving towards Jerusalem and his eventual death and resurrection, a path on which we, as brothers and sisters of Jesus are invited.

This journey is intended to help us discern our priorities, and to recognize that our responsibility for others goes beyond our immediate community. Our Project Compassion story this week is a story in two parts, revolving around connection with land and connection with people. Project Compassion invites us to accompany our Indonesian sister, Tati, as she sees in her Indigenous Dayak culture and land a way of living sustainably while maintaining the integrity of her community. Tati now has a more holistic vision of how her community can thrive through celebrating their enhanced capacity for forest conservation and sharing the art and culture of their people.

The story of the transfiguration of Jesus is a stark reminder of how we might look at our sisters and brothers with the eyes of God who looks at Jesus his son, our brother and says "this is my beloved." The disciples on Mount Tabor returned to the foot of the mountain with a different perspective having seen with their own eyes something of the relationship between Jesus and his father. Each of us is called to a new way of looking and seeing, understanding that all creation is within the loving gaze of God.

We might ask ourselves, how can we open our eyes to see ourselves in relationship with all of God's beloved people?

Marist Association


The staff at St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas have started a Breakfast Club that offers students breakfast on Thursday mornings before school. This initiative was put forward by our Marist Association committee. Many students often attend school without having breakfast, which can often hinder their learning for the rest of the day.

All staff of the College have been keen to participate in this initiative by donating all breakfast items and serving the students breakfast. The vibrant atmosphere on a Thursday morning has proven to be a great event bringing staff and students together in our Marist Community - following in the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat.

Mrs T. Ledesma

Marist Association Co-ordinator

Mother's Day Liturgy Letter to Parents 2019


Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning


This year we continue to depth our whole school literacy focus on reading & writing This year writing continues to be our focus after analysis and reflection of our NAPLAN data from 2018. The strategy that we employ across all learning areas is called PALS – which supports students in ensuring that they have clarity in mind when approaching the task of writing. PALS provides this clarity of writing by directing students to identify the PURPOSE of their writing; the AUDIENCE – who they are writing for; the LANGUAGE that is required to fulfil the purpose and audience of their writing and lastly the STRUCTURE of their writing, ensuring a logical sequence of ideas.

As we embark upon building the skill of writing for each of our students using the PALS strategy, I encourage you at home when reviewing your child’s work that you also ask them if they have approached their writing using the PALS strategy.

Next term at our Parent Learning Forum we will also present and support parents and caregivers with the use of this strategy to support your child’s application at home.


The ongoing work in transforming our learning to ensure that each of our graduates are equip for our ever-changing world, continued through four teachers attending the Foundations Academy for PBL. Teachers engaged with other teachers across the diocese with Steve Zipkas’ team from New Tech High School in Napa, California. New Tech High School is a world leader in PBL and their team regularly visit the Catholic Education Parramatta to build capacity amongst our school system in Project Based Learning. As we progress with PBL and Inquiry learning building teacher capacity is an essential element in the transformation of our learning environment.


I ask that you assist your son/daughter to use their diary well. Parents are asked to sign the front of the diary accepting all policies contained in the diary. Good planning and organisation will greatly assist them in there learning. Please make sure that you sign the diary each week; it is an excellent resource that, when utilised, will assist students with their learning.

Students need to get into the habit of writing down each subject for each period each day. Ideally this should be done on the weekend for the week ahead (highlight practical subjects that require students to bring equipment). Students are to write down homework when it is set and revision is to be undertaken when there is no set homework. Assignment due dates can also be placed in this section.


Technology is normative part of our contemporary world and at school the use of technology is a tool to build the necessary skills of communication, collaboration and creativity. However, can I remind parents and caregivers that students can use their workbooks to complete homework, hand written work that is neat is also encouraged. We also encourage our students to be visible in the home environment when using their devices or to use the family device rather than their personal one. The College only uses the Google Platform (Google Classroom, Doc, Slides etc) which all students can access through any device at home. Your supervision and support when students are completing tasks at home is recommended. 



On the 22 March, Years 7 to 11 will engage in a Formation day. Year 12 have already engaged in their senior retreat will have the opportunity to have a study day. This can be undertaken at home or at the College Library. I encourage all Yr 12s to use this opportunity to focus on any upcoming assessment tasks, reviewing course materials already covered and engaging in revision using Atomi online. Study is offered here at the College in the Library with supervision allowing for students to collaborate together.


Year 7 and Year 11

Interim Reports will be sent home at the end of the term which will provide an overview of your son/daughter’s application, effort and engagement with each of their subjects this term in their transition to secondary school and the preliminary courses. Please take time to discuss the results from these reports with your child and set Term 2 goals to continue to build on the success of Term 1 and/or identify areas for growth and change.


A reminder that Year 12 Parent Teacher interviews will be held on 9th April in the College Library from 4 to 7pm. This provides a timely opportunity to meet your child’s HSC Teachers and seek feedback on their progress thus far. An emailed letter with booking details for interviews has been sent out.


The Learning Challenge


Known by many as the Learning Pit, the Learning Challenge is used around the world to promote challenge, dialogue and a growth mindset. This strategy is a key aspect of our enquiry learning at SPMC, ensuring that rigour and challenge are part of our learning cycle. As students engage with this process, it is important that as parents you understand the process and language.

This model provides learners with a language to think and talk about learning. It helps build participants’ resilience, wisdom and self-efficacy. And when it is used as a structure for learning, it can also improve teacher clarity and raise expectations of success.

  • The Learning Challenge encourages learners to investigate contradictions and uncertainties so that they might more deeply understand what it is they are thinking about.
  • The Learning Challenge is a frame of reference for students to talk and think more accurately and extensively about their own learning.
  • At the heart of the Learning Challenge is ‘the pit’. Someone is said to be ‘in the pit’ when they have a set of unresolved, contradictory ideas about something they are trying to understand.
  • Learners are not in the pit when they have no idea. To be in the pit is to have many ideas that are as yet unsorted.
  • The Learning Challenge is designed to help learners step out of their comfort zone so that they might discover insights that are more meaningful and long lasting.
  • The Learning Challenge typically has four stages:

    Stage 1: Concept

    The Learning Challenge begins with a concept. The concept can come from the media, conversation, observations or the curriculum. So as long as students have at least some understanding of the concept(s) to explore then the Learning Challenge can work.

    Stage 2: Conflict

    The key to the Learning Challenge is to get your students ‘into the pit’ by creating cognitive conflict in their minds. This deliberate creation of a dilemma is what makes the Learning Challenge such a good model for challenge and inquiry, reasoning and reasonableness.

    Stage 3: Construct

    After a while of being in the pit, students will begin to make links and construct meaning. They will do this by examining options, connecting ideas together and explaining cause and effect. Often this leads them to a sense of ‘eureka’ in which they find new clarity. This sense of revelation is one of the reasons why the effort of going through the pit is so worthwhile.

    Stage 4: Consider

    After achieving a sense of eureka, students should reflect on their learning journey. They can do this by considering how they progressed from simplistic ideas (stage 1), to the identification of more complex and conflicting ideas (stage 2), through to a deeper understanding of how all these ideas interrelate to each other (stage 3). Now at stage 4, they can think about the best ways to relate and apply their new understanding to different contexts.

    Mr J. Scanlon

    Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning

    Leader of Studies and Learning Analytics


    All students in 7-12 have been emailed their Assessment Schedules for 2019.  A letter has gone home to all Parents/Guardians that acknowledges receipt and reading of the booklets. I asked that this is signed and returned to your son/daughter’s homeroom teacher.


    A reminder that students in Years 9-12 who are absent for an Assessment task due to Illness require a Medical Certificate to explain the absence. This, along with the completed illness/misadventure form is to be brought to the Curriculum office on the first day back at school. This form is then to be taken to the relevant subject Leader of Learning with the task or the readiness to sit the task. The Assessment Policy Summary along with a copy of the Misadventure form are attached to this newsletter.


    All NAPLAN exams this year will be held in the online environment. A letter has gone home to Parents/Guardians explaining the changes to NAPLAN. All students in Years 7 and 9 will be sitting NAPLAN practice tests in Week 9.


    These will be held on Tuesday 9th April and Parent/Teacher/Student interview bookings will now be hosted in EDVAL. We are no longer using SOBS. All students in Year 12 have received a personalised letter with instructions on how to access the booking platform. If they have not received this letter, please check with Homeroom Patrons or Miss Hagarty in the Curriculum Office. Please access the link on the letter and indicate availability. Any parent who will not be in attendance at this evening is asked to contact Mr Simon Belcher, Year 12 Leader of Learning Pastoral.


    All Students in Year 10 will be sitting Allwell Tests in Week 11. These tests will aid in subject selection as well as career guidance. A further letter will be going home to Parents/Guardians closer to testing.

    Miss S. Hagarty

    Leader of Studies and Learning Analytics

    Illness and Misadventure Process


    Years 9-12 Assessment Form - Illness and Misadventure


    Year 12 Formal Assessment Procedure Guide


    Years 7-11 Formal Assessment Procedure Guide


    NAPLAN Online Information Booklet


    Instructional Leader / Learning Coach

    The commencement to the 2019 year has seen staff participation in a variety of strategic directions including data driven groupings for collaboration purposes, the continuation of our PALS literacy strategy and the launch of Co-Teaching in our College.  With the former, staff were led through a professional learning session on how to triangulate data in order to better understand and know their learners, and subsequently group students more appropriately for collaboration in the classroom. This targeted and intentional grouping will mean that your son/daughter will be working more often with other students within their 'zone of proximal development' i.e. their academic ‘flow’. We are already seeing the benefits of this work and staff will continue their focus in this area to ensure appropriate groupings for increased student learning gain and academic wellbeing.

    Our 2019 literacy strategy is a continuation of our 2018 goal;  the embedding of PALS (Purpose, Audience, Language, Structure) to assist students in developing their reading and writing. We will be implementing a greater focus on peer and self reflection through PALS, as well as growth tracking through a Stage 4 and Stage 5 data wall. A selection of staff from the HSIE, RE, TAS and Science faculties have been grouped into two professional learning communities and are engaged in exploring PALS more deeply through a practical application, using their syllabus documents to plan informal and formal writing experiences for students in their KLA, as well as formalised opportunities for feedback. As a part of this work, we will also be using 'Pre and Post Testing' in order to calculate effect size and plot student gain using the four quadrant growth and achievement effect size tool. This approach embraces the work of Lyn Sharratt (educational academic and CEDP associate), by exploring the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework, John Hattie’s (Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne) effect size research and Dr Michael McDowell’s (CEDP Associate and Superintendent of the Ross School District, California) growth and achievement framework, for the explicit and scaffold teaching of literacy through an action research based approach.

    The focus of this newsletter, however, is the very exciting and much anticipated launch of Co-Teaching throughout the College. This pedagogical direction brings together the strengths of Project Based Learning, Solo Taxonomy, Differentiation and Growth Mindset through a targeted embedding of ‘Collective Teacher Efficacy’ - the highest effect size of John Hattie’s internationally celebrated meta-analysis’. During Term 1, Mathematics teachers Mrs Aimy Papoulias and Nichole Padden (Year 9), HSIE teachers Ms Stephanie Thompson and Peter Tusa (Year 8), English teachers Mrs Emily Gray and Mrs Sarah Duffy (Year 8) and HSIE teachers Mrs Danielle O’Neill and Mr Jared Palmer (Year 7) have all embarked on Co-Teaching and experienced much success. Whilst our 3 purpose built, double spaces for 180 students will not be utilised until Term 2 due to inclement weather during the building project, these staff have managed remarkably well in traditional spaces this term, despite some practical challenges. I thank these staff (and students) for their patience and excitedly await the opening of our new spaces next term.

    The following will provide a sense of the work in these spaces thus far and the increased student engagement that has resulted. I look forward to updating you again next term once we are in our new Co-Teaching learning spaces and when 24 more staff begin the Phase 2 launch of this pedagogical direction. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

    Ms K. Maish

    Instructional Leader / Learning Coach

    Co-Teaching Year 9 (5.3) Mathematics


    In the Year Nine accelerated Mathematics class, we have converted to a co-teaching environment, where two teachers teach two classes together, as a combined class. This creates different methods and views of how to do the set work, and allows students to ask more questions, and have more guidance in our learning, to gain a greater understanding of the work we need to complete.

    Some of the advantages includes, allowing students to communicate more as there are two classes together. This shows students can cooperate more and have specific set work to complete.

    This co-teaching environment has allowed participants to encounter the helpful skill of teaching peers, and helping others advance their learning.

    This learning experience has given us a chance to accelerate our cooperation skills due to thee many group activities that have been held in the classroom.

    The query board also allows us as students to stick up sticky notes on the board if we have any questions that we don’t understand.

    Natasha Ball, Evelyn Yau and Allison Lee

    Co-teaching is when two teachers work together to plan, organise and teach the same students in the same classroom. I must admit, it was a little difficult to adapt to this new way of learning at first but now after a few lessons I have come to believe that co-teaching is a very effective method of teaching and learning for St Patrick’s Marist College because of many reasons that include; two places we as students can go to for assistance, we can learn different things at once and go through topics fast but effectively and collaborate with and learn from the other class. Also, we learn different strategies to solve math equations. Therefore, a co-teaching environment is a very efficient and successful way for us students to learn.

    Hayley Garbutt

    Co-Teaching - Year 8 English


    “I have enjoyed being able to collaborate with the other class and asking either teacher for advice is great because both teachers have a different way of understanding and explaining the idea.”

    “It is very interactive and interesting how with different teaching methods you can learn so much more rather than with just one teacher.”

    “I feel comfortable because there are more people around to do my work with. I also think that peer tasks are really fun and I like that our classes are combined with the other English class.”

    Co-Teaching - HSIE


    When I first knew that my History and Geography class was combined with another class, I was thinking it was not going to work out well. Being in a class with twice the amount of students and a pair of teachers, has been and continues to be an amazing experience. Having all these children in a class gives us more opportunities to learn because we’re building up our knowledge with a range of students and two different teachers. Having two teachers has been a lot of fun and I really enjoy our Geography lessons.

    By Laura Mirashaj

    The parts that I have enjoyed about co-teaching is that when there are 2 teachers it means that one can be doing the lesson while the other one can make sure everyone is paying attention. Another thing is that you will have a wider base of knowledge to learn from because they have been through different adventures. The final thing that I enjoy about having 2 teachers is that it means that there will be 2 homerooms combined into 1 class, also if you don't know one of your teacher's emails you can email the other one. This is the reason why I enjoy having 2 teachers in the same classroom.

    By Jack White


    The year began with our Year 8 Geography students enthusiastic about working in a co-teaching setting and our teachers felt just as excited (and a bit nervous). Eight weeks in and we are having so much fun! Our classroom is vibrant and the energy is positive. We are all still learning how to manage our behaviours and meet expectations in a small space with a lot of voices, but every lesson is more successful than the last. Some lessons we work on individual tasks while other lessons involve mixing up into different group combinations. We even had a lesson when we implemented station teaching, involving students moving around to three stations to learn three specific skills - what an amazing success for Friday period 5! We are looking forward to moving into the new learning spaces and filling these with our laughter and learning.

    Ms S. Thompson

    Year 8 HSIE Teacher

    School Fees


    The first instalment of the School Fees has been sent out to all families.  Please contact me urgently if you have not received your school fee statement yet.  The due date for the fees has been extended to the 29th March after which time a reminder letter will be posted to families that have not paid their fees or contacted the school to set up a payment arrangement

    If you have elected to pay your fees by direct debit please check your bank account at the end of the month and advise me urgently if your payment has not been deducted. 

    Payment of fees can also be paid by:  Credit card, direct debit, cheque, bpay, billpay, Centrelink payments, eftpos or cash.  If you are paying with a large amount of cash this can also be paid at your local post office using billpay.

    The College is happy to assist those parents/caregivers who require more time to pay off 


    A reminder of the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta’s policy regarding a student leaving the College during the year. A Term’s notice in writing must be given to the Principal before the removal of a student or a full Term’s Fees will be payable.

    Further details on this policy can be found on

    Ms Rolla Wadih

    School Fee Administrator

    Lost Property

    There are many personal items handed into the office that have been lost or misplaced by students.  The office is currently in possession of a camera, ear pods, watches, reading glasses and jewellery, some of which date back to last year.

    Please check with the office if you feel you may have lost personal items while at school.

    Also, there are many uniform items such as jumpers, sport jackets, hats and several items from the Year 7 camp including 1 sleeping bag that are in Lost Property.  Please collect from Lost Property.

    Ms D. Jefferson

    Disability Provisions

    Disability Provisions are practical supports designed to help students who couldn't otherwise make a fair attempt in their HSC examinations. The definition of a 'disability' includes: physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, and learning disabilities, as well as physical disfigurement, and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms. 

    Disability provisions also apply to temporary and emergency-related disabilities such as where a student breaks their writing arm a week before an examination.

    NESA requires all applications to be supported by appropriate documentation and the documents must be no older than Term 4 2018. 

    The provisions are granted by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and are solely determined by how the student’s exam performance is affected. Provisions may include braille papers, large-print papers, use of a reader and/or writer, extra time or rest breaks. 

    Students in Year 12 who will be sitting their HSC Examinations in 2019 and who wish to apply for disability provisions should see me in the Diversity/Learning Enrichment Centre (room C101) as soon as possible or parents can contact me on 8841 7956 or via email on

    Further information with regards to these provisions can be located at:

    Mrs Catherine Thomson

    Diversity Leader

    P&F Parents Welcome Cocktail Evening

    Thank you to all our Year 7 parents and new parents to the College that joined us last Friday for our welcome cocktail night.  We hope you all had a wonderful time and were able to connect with other parents in the College.

    A big thank you to the amazing team of parent and student volunteers who went above and beyond in making this night such a success.  We are thankful for your servant hearts in blessing our community in this way.

    We would also like to acknowledge Piquant Catering for the delicious food served on the night.

    St Patricks Marist P&F Executive


    Year 12

    Over the past few weeks, many Year 12 students have been thoroughly involved in College life providing excellent examples to students of other year groups. Going back a few weeks, there were numerous Year 12 students involved in our successful Open Day. Many were involved in school tours, catering, running demonstrations or performances. It was great to see a large amount of students helping out for the day. This was followed by a 'Super' Marist Connect night on the Friday, where a record numbers of senior students met with Marist students from other schools in the area. I urge any student who has not attended, to give it a go!

    I would also like to bring particular focus to our excellent College leaders. They ably led the St. Patrick's liturgy and bullying assembly for the whole school last week. It was extremely powerful. Many of the leaders were also involved in the Parents and Friends Cocktail evening last Friday night, giving up their time to ensure a smooth evening for new parents, friends and teachers. It was a wonderful success. Thank you to those students who helped out on the evening. A big congratulations to Claudia Sobral who progressed through the second round of the Catholic School's Public Speaking competition. We wish her well this Friday night at Marist North shore in the Grand Final. Finally, could I ask parents to please, where possible, make any type of appointment outside of school hours as contact time with teachers is extremely valuable for students, particularly in their final year of schooling. Many thanks.

    Mr S. Belcher
    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 12

    Year 11

    On the 7th of March, Tamsyn Brown and Eliza Arathoon from Year 11 represented the school and attended NSW Parliament for International Women’s Day.

    On this day, many successful women presented advice to students including ourselves from across Sydney. Many of these women are leaders in male dominated industries. It was a very inspiring and rewarding day that we were both extremely lucky to be a part of. Eliza also keeps in contact with one of the speakers from that day who was kind enough to share her experience as a student and encouraged us to take every opportunity offered to us. The day was extremely rewarding as many of the speakers gave advice on navigating the workplace as a woman and working in alliance with the people around us. The speakers of the day shared their wisdom on women leadership and have inspired us both to strive for greatness in our lives and in the short term we hope to give back to the school.

    From Eliza Arathoon and Tamsyn Brown

    Year 10


    A reminder about the uniform. We will be doing a uniform inspection shortly. Students have been given ample time to have their uniform in line with the senior uniforms. It is a college expectation that the uniform is worn correctly and in line with the expectations for your year group. Particular area's of note include. 

    1. Girls should have their top button done up at all times. 

    2. No Makeup is allowed at school. 

    3. Boys should be in the senior white shirt and be wearing the senior tie. 

    4. No jumpers or jackets other than the college jumper are to be worn. This includes wearing the sports jacket during a normal school day. 


    Next week year 10 will attend a talk by former Police Officer Brent Saunders. Brent is a fantastic speaker with great experience in the law enforcement field. He has years of valuable experience in dealing with young people and giving real world examples and information to do with sexual safety, partying and how to avoid dangerous situations when out with friends.

    Mr D. Berner

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 9

    Year 9

    It is a busy time for Year 9 students who are completing assessments in a number of subjects. In Year 9 and 10 it is common for students to tell us they are distracted which causes them to be off task. Improving the ability to control attention is vital. We all know it is very easy to be distracted! A strategy that students can use is to make a list of the things that cause distraction, put the list somewhere where it will be seen often.

    When a student begins to feel distracted:  Stop;  Take Control;  Make a determined decision to ignore the distraction.

    "Difficulties are the stepping stones to success".


    • Friday 22nd March - Formation Day
    • Tuesday 26th March - Period 1 English Incursion
    • Tuesday 26th March - Brett Sanders talk

    Mr P. Quigley

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 9

    Year 8


    We had our first round of public speaking, where Eva Galati and Elizabeth Hogan represented Year 8. They spoke wonderfully and demonstrated exceptional skill and I would like to congratulate them both on their effort.  I would also like to congratulate our newly elected Class Captains and Vice Captains who are already doing a fantastic job.


    Keeping Track is a chance for students to receive assistance from senior students in managing homework, assessment tasks and classwork. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that they are ‘on track’ and meeting the demands placed on students in their junior years. Keeping Track runs every Wednesday from 3:20pm to 4:20pm in the library.


    This Friday is our Formation Day at the College.  It is a compulsory school day where we will be focusing on our Catholic Social Teachings, specifically the Preferential Option for the Poor. I encourage all students to bring in donations for JRS Foodbank. Students are to wear their School Sports Uniform for the day.


    A reminder that diaries should be signed at the end of every week by a parent. The diary is a valuable tool for organisation and a way of communication between the College and parents/caregivers.


    Students received their Assessment Schedules earlier this term via email. Students are to return the note sent out last week to acknowledge that they received the Assessment Schedule.

    Pi DAY

    8 Paul celebrated Pi Day last Thursday with their Homeroom Patron, Ms Magner, with some pies. How many decimal places of pi can you recite?

    Mrs N. Padden

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 8

    Year 7

    Year 7 Camp

    Week 6 saw the Year 7 cohort take part in a three day ‘Getting to Know You’ camp in Toukley. Students took part in some exhilarating activities such as the giant swing, leap of faith, the flying fox and several other activities like surfing, BMX and bush cooking. Both staff and students had a fantastic time and it was an absolute pleasure to be involved in a camp with a great group of young students. Each day saw laughter, smiles, encouragement and students challenging themselves in foreign situations.

    The Year 7 cohort must be commended on their behaviour and their ability to engage with each other in a positive, welcoming manner. The camp video and the (many) photos have been shared with students to keep as memories.

    Mr J. Hornby

    Year 7 Pastoral Leader of Learning 

    Marist 'Super' Connect

    Last Friday, 34 of our year 11 and 12 students attended Marist Super Connect at Marist College Eastwood. With over 200 students in attendance, our students networked and made friends with the many other members of our Marist community.

    The theme for the night was 'Holy Today'. Our students discussed ways in which we can improve the quality of life for those in the world who are most vulnerable.  Human trafficking and slavery was specifically discussed and how it affects the wider world.

    Our students came up with a plan of how we as a community can fight human trafficking, slave labour and the unfair treatment of workers. 

    Connect nights are a great way for our students to meet like-minded people who want to explore their faith in challenging and new ways. they are held once a term and all senior student ares encouraged to come along. 

    Mr D. Moussa

    Youth Ministry Co-ordinator

    Key Learning



    Tuesday 12th March - Year 7 Incursion

    Year 7 were enlightened by the Poetry in Action troupe who brought poetry to life through performance.  The actors managed to entertain and educate at the same time – an amazing experience for the students.

    What happens when Calliope, an ancient muse responsible for some of the greatest ideas in history develops an addiction to her smartphone?  If your son or daughter happens to be in Year 7 – ask them!

    However, the energetic comedy performers introduced students to basic poetic concepts while encouraging their audience to laugh along to a representation of how famous poets such as Kate Tempest, Dr Seuss, Banjo Patterson, Emily Dickinson and W.B. Yeats gained their inspiration for writing some of the most enduring and timeless poetry know to us all.

    Ms Shannon Graham

    Acting Assistant Leader of Learning - English



    On Tuesday 19th March, Year 9 English students held their Science Fiction Exhibition. In groups, students prepared an interactive display to feature in this exhibition to explore the importance and role of the Science Fiction genre in understanding ethical problems and dilemmas. Each groups’ display showcased their understanding of the evolution of the Science Fiction genre and its role in helping humanity understand the potential problems of advancements in technology. 

    Students worked hard to prepare their displays and developed creative ways of showcasing their understanding, including virtual reality experiences, interactive games and annotations of well-known films and stories. 

    Congratulations to all of Year 9 for your efforts with this project! Thank you also the Year 9 English teachers who facilitated this exhibition and made this wonderful learning experience possible. 

    Ms E. Gray

    Acting Leader of Learning - English

    Open Day Competition Winner

    During Open Day on Monday 4th March, prospective students participated in a 6 Word Story writing competition. There were some fantastic entries and students from Years 4 - 6 submitted creative and engaging stories! 

    The winner of the competition from St Mary's Primary School, Rydalmere was presented with a copy of 'Nevermoor' by Jessica Townsend. His 6 Word Story read: "Lost but found, crowded but empty." Congratulations!

    Ms E. Gray

    Acting Leader of Learning - English

    Year 11 Earth and Environmental Science

    On the 1st of March, 2019 our Year 11 Earth and Environmental Science class went on an excursion investigating the different types of rocks and water samples and we inspected the remains of the basalt Quarry.

    As part of our Depth Study, we analysed the historical aspect of the once mined basalt Quarry in the area. Our journey began at Eric Mobbs lookout, a location nearby Carlingford court where we could see the Sydney basin, a crater in which most of us live. Our trek followed the path of the Ponds Walk, taking us down a winding track that eventually brought us down the walls of the basin. On the way we stopped, collected samples of soil and water on which we ran various chemical tests. These tests allowed us to check environmental conditions such as amounts of chlorides and pollutants in the local area and analyse the human impact on the environment. On the way back we diverted from the Ponds Walk to stop at Sir Mitchell Reserve, a new beautiful oval with steep walls that used to be a 40 metre deep rock quarry which closed down in 1940’s. That oval is a landfill and currently used as a sporting facility in our area. When we returned to school we finished conducting our tests in the laboratory. This excursion provided us with evidence that the Eastern part of NSW was once a volcanic area and has been vastly impacted by human population.

                                                         Jacob Rodriguez

    Year 11 Edwin

    Extra Curricular

    Public Speaking Competition

    The Catholic Schools Public Speaking Competition is held in Term 1 of each year.   This competition tests the ability of students to construct a speech around a central topic area. Students are responsible for their interpretation of the key idea and are required to deliver their speech using appropriate rhetorical devices in the prescribed time limit.

    The Competition has been running since the 1960s and it is in the light of the Catholic Values of our schools that the Competition aims to provide a healthy, competitive and social environment for our young men and women to grow in their knowledge, learn to listen, respond perceptively and effectively and become informed and effective citizens.

    2019 Competition topic areas:

    • If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am
    • I've got a little list
    • Ties
    • The Sandpit
    • I'm not making this up, you know!
    • The internet will end in an hour

    Trials for Public Speaking were run by Ms Gray, Miss Nelson and Mrs Harney in the weeks prior to the commencement of Round 1 of the Catholic Schools Public Speaking Competition held at Marist, Eastwood on Friday night 8th March, 2019. Only two students per grade can be sent as the College’s representatives.

    The following students were selected to enter the Competition:

            Year 7:     Hayley O'Neill and Ayden Bottos

            Year 8:     Eva Galati and Elizabeth Hogan

            Year 9:     Hayley Garbutt and Grace O'Sullivan

            Year 10:   Imani Cogger and Charlotte McCaughan 

            Senior:     Eliza Arathoon and Claudia Sobral 

    Mrs Hay, Mr Scanlon and Ms Gray were in attendance to listen to our amazing speakers.  Ms Graham was the College Representative Adjudicator on the night.

    The following students successfully proceeded to the Final (Round 2) of the Competition. It was held at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield on the 15th March:

            Senior:    Eliza Arathoon and Claudia Sobral

            Year 10:   Imani Cogger

            Year 9:     Grace O'Sullivan 

    Thank you to Miss Hagarty who not only attended the evening with the successful speakers but represented the College by Adjudicating.

    Where to now?

    The Grand Final will be held at Marist College North Shore this Friday evening 22nd March, commencing at 6.30pm.  We are fortunate to have Claudia Sobral (College Vice Captain) go through to the final round.  We are very excited for Claudia and for the College.  We would like to encourage community members to join us in supporting Claudia this Friday night.

    As a community we pray that in our speaking and listening, and our interactions with others who participate in the Competition, that our thoughts and actions declare the glory of God, that our words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are always pleasing in His sight.

    On behalf of the English Faculty,

    Ms Gray and Ms Graham

    YMCA Epping

    Youth Week Activities

    During Youth Week, YMCA Epping will be hosting a number of free activities designed specifically for young people.

    ·         Free access to Teen Gym classes (11-16 yr olds)

    ·         Free Taster Fitness Class (11-18 yr olds)

    Participants do not need to be a member and as the activities are free, it is a great opportunity for teenagers to try the facilities at the Centre.

    If you require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact the centre  on 9869 8966.

    Community News

    Bandaged Bear Appeal


    Now in its 30th year, the Bandaged Bear Appeal helps The Children's Hospital at Westmead to continue providing the very best care to sick children and their families.

    Running throughout the month of March, the Bandaged Bear Appeal raises essential funds to purchase the most advanced medical equipment, fund vital research into the causes and cures for childhood illness and maintain the total healing environment that is vital to the wellbeing of children and families.


    2 April 2019 

    Maronite College of the Holy Family, HARRIS PARK

    To celebrate World Environment Day, the City of Parramatta is hosting a Speaking 4 the Planet competition. And the Council would love you to participate!

    The event will be held on Tuesday 2 April 2019 at the Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park. It commences at 9.00am and concludes at 2.30pm.  Participation is free.

    Speaking 4 the Planet is a public speaking, drama and art competition based on the United Nations’ World Environment Day theme. World Environment Day is celebrated in over 100 countries each year to raise worldwide awareness for the need to take positive environmental action – locally, nationally and globally.  

    The theme is Beat Plastic Pollution. The message behind the day is, ‘If you can’t reuse it, refuse it’.  The message includes a call to action to consider how we can all make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health.  A resource package will be available for participating teachers and students – it will contain information about the event, links to the issue of plastic pollution, and some teaching/learning ideas.

    The competition is comprised of 4 categories:

    • Public speaking – prepared and impromptu (one student per school for each category)
    • Drama – impromptu (one group per school of up to 5 students)
    • Art – prepared art. Maximum 2 entries per school.
    Here's a video from the Speaking 4 the Planet event at Mt Annan in South West Sydney in 2018. If you haven't participated in one of these days before, the video will give you a sense of the benefits and fun for students and supporting organisations.

    I am the key point of contact for this initiative. If you have any questions about the event, please contact me by email at

    GWS Ticket Offer

    Students, Parents, Siblings, Friends and Staff from the St Patrick's Marist community have been invited to attend the GWS Giants season open clash against the Essendon Bombers on Sunday the 24th of March with tickets for $11 each. 

    They have a family friendly school only bay reserved to ensure an amazing game day experience for all!  The school with the highest attendance on game day will also win a train like a Giant experience at Giants HQ.

    To purchase your $11 tickets, click on link School's Offer enter Promo: SCHOOLS and don't forget to put the College Name in the selection box for our chance to win.

    Learning Links Workshop

    For more information including dates and locations

    Student Exchange Australia


    In May, June, July and August, we will be receiving exchange students from France, Denmark and Sweden. Our new arrivals will live with a host family and attend a local school for 3, 5 or 10 months. As we plan for their arrival, we are keen to hear from suitable families who might be interested to host a student.

    Host families come in all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and ages. To this end, we would be grateful if you would place a notice in your newsletter or mention it on your website. You can download the newsletter notice here in pdf format or as an image.

    Hosting an exchange student can be a truly rewarding experience. It allows a family to experience a foreign culture first hand, be exposed to a new language and pass on a bit of our own culture. They might even make a friend for life!

    All students have at least basic levels of English, would attend a school in your local area and live the life of a local. Below is a sample of 2 students who will be arriving.  

    15 year old Cassandre is a student from France who also speaks Spanish. Her favourite subjects at school are Biology, History and Maths. In her free time, Cassandre enjoys spending time with her friends, swimming, reading and listening to music. While in Australia she is looking forward to experiencing the different culture and hopes to share her culture with her Host family too. At home, Cassandre helps with any chores given by her parents. She describes herself as open-minded and relaxed.

    15 year old French student Antoine also speaks Spanish. In his free time, Antoine enjoys playing tennis, rowing and playing chess. He also enjoys drawing and computer programming. While in Australia, he is looking forward to experiencing the culture, meeting new people and improving her English. He tells us this will be the first time he has celebrated a birthday in the winter. Antoine describes himself calm, patient, social and sometimes serious. At home, he helps by cleaning his room, setting the table, gardening and looking after the pet fish.

    You can view more profiles of students arriving soon from our website. Please note that this is just a handful of the students who will be arriving. If families would like a selection of student profiles sent to them to review and decide which student may fit into their family best, please contact us or reply to this email. 

    The Stuart family were thrilled to have Danish student Simon stay with them for 8 months. As commented by host mum Victoria, "it has been a fantastic experience.  Simon has been an awesome role model to our two young children, he has been like an older brother to them." Victoria continues, "the experience has benefited us too, as it has allowed us to have greater free time and flexibility as a family. I was very impressed with Simon, as within the first couple of days he was here, he asked what should his chores be?"  "Just give it a go, the benefits will surprise you.  I highly recommend it", mentions Australian Host Dad Andrew, from the Stuart family.  "Not only do your children benefit, but the benefits exist for the parents too."  Host Dad, Andrew continues, "We are so lucky to have Simon come stay with us.  He is a fantastic student, easy going and not very demanding.  He has fitted into the Australian way of life so easy. He even obtained his Bronze Medallion.  We are so proud of Simon." Check out what some of our families who have hosted have to say about their experience by clicking here: host family testimonials.  Student Exchange Australia New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that is registered with all state and territory Departments of Education around Australia and with the Ministry of Education in NZ.  We were the first secondary exchange organisation in the world to be certified to ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and we ensure the highest standards of care and support to our participants. You can find out more about our organisation by visiting

    If your students, families or language teachers have any questions about hosting an exchange student or would like to view profiles of students arriving from other countries, they can respond to this email, call our office on 1300 135 331 or visit our website. Our staff members will be happy to discuss which student might be best suited to their family. No obligation. 

    Please note that the purpose of this email is to find families to host international exchange students.  Thank you in advance for your assistance. 

    Yours sincerely,

    Sandra Harders

    Host Family Placement Manager