St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill Newsletter

Term Four : Issue 2 | 22 November 2019

From the Principal

We are rapidly reaching the end of the year.

There has been so much happening at St Agnes that it is impossible to adequately capture everything in one newsletter. If you haven’t already done so, please “like” us on Facebook and Instagram to see events as they happen!

Year 7 2020 Orientation - On Monday we welcomed the newest members of our St Agnes community - Year 7, 2020, our graduating class of 2026. Led by Peer Support Leaders, they had a wonderful day as they moved through a range of activities to build relationships and familiarise themselves with the site and the nature of high school. On this day we also welcomed Miss Belinda Morgan – who has been appointed as Learning Mentor for Year 7 2020. Miss Morgan joins us from Loyola Senior High School, and will be in the PDHPE and Religious Education teams.

Additionally, this week we welcome Year 5 students from a number of local schools to explore Technology in a practice. I am sure that they will enjoy the opportunity to create and explore the technology and facilities available at St Agnes.

As advertised, The Road to Bethlehem is scheduled for Tuesday December 3. We are grateful to Loyola for allowing us to use the oval for the production while our building works are underway. Preparations are in full swing and we are delighted to be able to continue this tradition. Details of the day will be distributed to students directly.


Prayer for rain and those affected by drought and bushfires

May the bushfires be extinguished by the grace of God.

Lord God, in you we live and move and have our being.

Help us in our present time of struggle, send us the rain we need and teach us

 to seek your lasting help on the way to eternal life.

We pray for those who lost their lives and their loved ones.

We pray for the firefighters, volunteers and their families. Please protect them.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen


 Ms Browning




25 November Year 5 Technology Day, Year 9 Yarramundi Day

26 November PASS Aline Cables Excursion

27 November Year 12 Downing Centre Excursion

28 November HSC Dance Excursion, Year 8 Samba Incursion

29 November St Agnes Rewards Day

2 December Loyola TTC Orientation Program

3 December Road to Bethlehem @ Loyola

4 December Year 9 Bline TenPin Bowling

5 December Year 10 Step Up into Year 11 2020, Year 9 Bline Cables Excursion

6 December Year 9 Aline TenPin Bowling, Year 10 Step Up into Year 11 2020

9 December Australian Catholic Youth Festival Perth(9th & 10th), Year 11                                                                                                     SOC Research Excursion

                                                                                                11 December Thanksgiving Mass        

                                                                                                12 December Semester 2 Awards Ceremony 

                                                                                                13 December Year 10 Reports issued

                                                                                                16 December 7-9 Reports issued

                                                                                                18 December Parent/Teacher Interviews,     LAST DAY FOR STUDENTS 

From the Assistant Principal


Many of our students catch a bus to and/or from school. Most students have an Opal card (this is required). However, some students catch a bus but either do not have an Opal card or they have one but do not scan it when entering/leaving the bus.

Bus drivers do not want to leave children stranded and unable to get home, so they generally allow students without an Opal card to get on the bus. Students then think, well why should I tap on and off if I can still get my bus without a card?

This lack of compliance with public transport can have far reaching consequences. Bus companies are paid accordingly to how many customers they have. With school transport, the only way they know how many students use the service is by the electronic tap on and off. If no students comply then they are within their rights to cancel services. Bus drivers are also within their rights to charge any student getting on a bus without a card.

If parents want full service for their children to travel to and from school by bus, then together we must ensure that all students have an Opal card and use it consistently.

Please discuss this with your children and explain to them that they may be disadvantaged if they or their friends do not follow correct procedures.

 Traffic Safety

Unfortunately, our car park area is quite limited. There are not enough spaces at present for all of our staff to be sure of a spot each day.  Next year with an extra 80 students in Yr12 we will require even more staff, which will mean more pressure on spots.

To lower the risk of accidents, we ask parents not to drive up to the office to drop children off as there is very little room to manoeuvre. We also ask that parents consider our neighbours when dropping off or picking up children. It is not ok to park in someone else’s driveway or to perform a U turn across unbroken lines. Blacktown Council’s parking rangers are often seen outside the school and while we do not want to see fines being handed to parents, we also need to have a safe and predictable environment.


As you would know, students are not permitted to use their phones during class time. If a phone is seen being used, then it will be confiscated and can then only be collected by a parent from the front office. If you wish to contact your child during school hours you only have to ring our office on 8882 0700. If students are accessing social media on any device at school (including their Ipad) then they will receive a 2 hour Saturday Detention.

 Mr Ken Wolffe

Assistant Principal

From the Head of Mission

As we officially welcomed our first Year 12 St Agnes cohort in Week 3, a formation session titled "The Narrow Gate" was organised for them to learn about the spirit of the Year 12 prayer that was carefully chosen by the students; a prayer dedicated to St Teresa of Calcutta.Year 12 had the opportunity to learn about her incredible life of service, and how in their own choices towards the future are encouraged to imitate the compassion and humble nature of St Teresa in their careers and service to the community. The words they hold throughout their Year 12 journey was captured in a world cloud below:
I'd like to take this opportunity to formally share with you the Year 12 Prayer, to keep these young adults in our prayers as they embark on this wonderful adventure of not only learning, but discovering their valuable place in the world. May they walk humbly and compassionately with all those they work with and find God's love and care for them:

I'd also like to welcome our families, friends and community to The Road to Bethlehem liturgical pilgrimage on Tuesday, 3rd December 2019. All the details can be found in the poster below:

We look forward to sharing the season of Advent as we prepare for the Christmas story together.

Pace e bene,

Mrs Mary Reyes

From the Head of Learning

Year 12 2019/2020 

Our inaugural Yr 12 students have begun their first term of the HSC with interest and vigour. All students should have now gone through their Assessment Handbook and noted when each assessment task in due (either late this term or next year). All students are encouraged to write in their diaries when they must START an assessment and when they should be up to the EDIT phase. Any assessment begun close to when it is due to not best practice. All students and their parents are to ensure they are familiar with the information that is in the handbook. This focuses on the submission of tasks and the protocols regarding student absence on the day of a task, late submission and illness/misadventure processes. All Year 12 students are reminded that they are senior students now, hence must be focused in each of their classes and demonstrate that they want a HSC which reflects their ability.

Years 7 - 10

All students have now finished (or in the process of finalising) their last assessment or examination for their subjects. From now until the end of the year, each student needs to make sure all set work and homework is completed. This will provide the teachers the last piece of information needed for end of year reports. Alongside this, when the students receive their results, ensure that any advice or “next steps” provided by the teachers is recorded in preparation for 2020. 

Study Skills Tip for November 

How to Stay Positive as Exams (or any challenging situations).

 It can be difficult to stay positive or “be up” as exams approach. The more important we perceive the exam to be, the more stress we can feel. While feeling some stress can be positive and help us get motivated to study, we all have a tipping point. When our stress levels reach our personal tipping point, this higher level of stress can lead to inaction, where we avoid doing the work necessary to be prepared and as a result feel even more overwhelmed. If not dealt with, the stress can build and lead to anxiety and depression.

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including exams is to “fuel up”. It goes without saying that if we are exhausted, tired, stressed or depressed it is very difficult if not impossible to deal with the pressure of exams. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in your life. You need to boost the wellbeing factors in your BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.

BODY: Put your health first and eat healthily, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. We all know what to do, but we need to make the decision to prioritise our own well-being. Without the right fuel you will feel exhausted and depleted and it is very hard to be positive when you aren’t feeling your best.

MIND: To think more positively, challenge your perceptions. Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? How valid are these fears? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it, but if it can be changed, take action.

 EMOTIONS: To help yourself feel more positive every day think of 3 good things that happened that day and how they made you feel. Also take the focus off yourself and do 3 simple but deliberate acts of kindness every day. It might be a kind word, a compliment, helping someone or surprising someone with a kind act. You will be amazed at how making other people feel better lifts your mood as well.

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Mr. G. Kemmis

Head of Learning

School Activities


Isabella Gatmaitan from Year 7 won gold at the recent NSW ALL Schools championships held at Homebush in the U/12’s Hammer Throw. While winning gold she broke the record throwing 31.25m which broke the previous record by over a metre. An Amazing effort Isabella!


PDSSSC Competitions Results

Competition 3 

Round 6 results 

Junior Girls Basketball- Defeated St Andrews 18-13

Intermediate Girls Basketball- Loss to St Andrews 26-4

Cricket- Loss to Emmaus by 5 wickets 

Junior Boys Oztag- loss to MCHF 2-7

Intermediate Boys Oztag- Defeated MCHF 4-3 

Junior Girls Oztag- Deafeated MCHF 5-0

Intermediate Girls Oztag- Deafeated MCHF 5-0

Round 7 results

Junior Girls Basketball- loss to Bede Polding 24-33

Intermediate Girls Basketball- loss to Bede Polding 14-17

Cricket- Loss to St Columbas by 5 wickets

Junior Boys Oztag- Drew to St Columbas 6 all 

Intermediate Boys Oztag- Defeated St Columbas 4-3

Junior Girls Oztag- Loss to St Columbas 1-4

Intermediate Girls Oztag- Defeated St Columbas 6-2

Round 8 results 

Junior Girls Basketball- Semi-final Defeated by Bede Polding 21-10

Cricket- Defeated McCarthy by 63 runs 

Junior Girls Oztag- Semi Final Defeated by St Columbus 6-1

Intermediate Girls Oztag- Semi Final Defeated St Clares 3-2

This week we had three teams fighting it out in their respective semi-finals and the cricket team taking part in their round 8 clash. 

The Junior girls Oztag played well all season but unfortunately went down to a red hot St Columbus 6-1. The team coached by Ms Gale had been training hard every Wednesday and should be commended on their efforts this year. 

The Junior Girls Basketball with a 5-2 record coached by Mr Hilder, lost in their Semi- Final clash with Bede Polding 21-10. Although the result didn’t go the way the girls would have wanted, there is some serious signs that our intermediate girls team next year will be extremely hard to beat! Well done on your season!!!

Our last team to play their Semi-final was our intermediate girls oztag which includes a sprinkling of talent from our state champions rugby league side. The girls were the only victors for the week beating a very good St Clare's side 3-2. With that win they move on to the Grand Final this week playing Xavier in the Grand Final. This game will be played this Thursday and we wish all the girls and Mr Chavez all the best!!!! 

Previous PDSSC Results 

Competition 1

Junior girls volleyball- Premiers 

Intermediate girls touch- Semi- Finalists

Intermediate Boys basketball- Semi- Finalists 

Junior Boys Touch- Semi-Finalists

Competition 2

Junior Girls Soccer- Semi-Finalists

Mixed Frisbee- St Agnes Blue- Premiers 


Luke Dempsey 

Sports Coordinator


STEM Girls @ Sydney, University of Sydney This exciting two-day workshop on campus is for female high school students who want to explore the disciplines and careers available in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and how you can apply these skills in everyday life. If you are entering Year 11 in 2020, register now at Dates are 20-21 January 2020.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Communication and Employability Skills for the Workplace TAFE NSW Ultimo is now delivering a Certificate I in Access to Work and Training 10583NAT, designed specifically for people with ASD to enhance their social, occupation and communication skills. Students will develop and practise communication and social skills for employment. Information Session 4 Dec: email to register or visit for details.

We have had some students engaging in work experience so they can immerse themselves in the career pathways they are passionate about.

Emalie (pictured) has been persistent in her passion to join NSW Fire and Rescue and this persistence finally paid off when she received a call in Week 4 to say she was accepted into the work experience program. Her excitement was as you’d expect and that was before NSW found out that we would be experiencing catastrophic fires. She has had a chance to really immerse herself in what it takes to be a firefighter with a few hundred extra volunteers on the 12th of November. At St Agnes we are extremely proud of how well you have engaged in this opportunity. Great job!!!!

Jake Alcala attended The Reece Group, who are the largest plumbing supply company in Australia!!! This work experience was to identify if Jake was suited to a School Based Traineeships which incorporates a paid part time job with a subject of the HSC. The course that is combined with this role is a  Certificate II Warehousing Operations and the role is a combination of Warehousing and Retail skills. During his work experience Jake was outgoing, respectful, willing to work in a team environment,  and showed great customer service skills in the workplace. He represented our school well, showing that he had a very strong work ethic and an interest in retail, warehousing and trade.  Well done Jake and Congrats on your future pathways. 

Well done to Veronica Dimo, Teanna Warwick-Smith and Chloe Lopez who had to work extremely hard to ensure their successful placement in Human Services (Nursing) at Nepean TAFE. Although faced with the possibility of not being placed, the students sat a numeracy and literacy exam and out of hundreds of students received an offer of placement which was only open to 16 students at Nepean TAFE and 16 students at Castle Hill TAFE. The hard work is yet to come, and I am confident based on the hoops they had to jump through to start that they will be committed and strive to achieve even when faced with adversity. 

What an achievement ladies!

Nashwa Karafotias

Careers Advisor

An Excursion to the Reserve Bank of Australia

On Tuesday the 5th November 2019, the first ever St Agnes Catholic High School Economics class travelled to the Reserve Bank Of Australia (RBA) and the surrounding areas of Sydney’s CBD.

As part of the preliminary and HSC course, we learnt about the RBA’s role in stimulating and stabilising the Australian economy through monetary policy.

 A tool that effectively monitors and adjusts Interest Rates used by all major banks. Our extraordinary teacher Mrs Dass, gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit this vital financial system on a particular special day.

Of course on day of the Melbourne Cup, but more importantly the first Tuesday of the month ….the day of the month when decision on the cash rate are made. The atmosphere in the city was all hyped up. The RBA Museum was visually fulfilling in seeing the many forms of Australian currency. Understanding the Banknotes were an important representation of our nation's cultural identity, values and history. This was illustrated in the story of Australia’s banknotes in the context of Australia's economic and social history from the colonial period to the present day. As well as this, 3 representatives of the RBA dedicated their time to enlighten us on the role in the Australian Financial System.

I can officially say that this was the best school excursion I have been to, over the 5 years I have been at St Agnes. With the many memories we created as a group in class and this experience, it was truly spectacular and an experience to be proud of.

By Anthony Gagliardi - 12.2

On the 5th November 2019, the Year 12 Economics class went on an excursion to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) with Mrs Dass and Mr Nosworthy. 

The purpose of the excursion was to look at the economic activity in Australia, as well as extending our understanding of the economic world we have been learning since the beginning of the year. Kaja Troa, who is Senior Museum Officer of the Reserve Bank of Australia Museum led the presentation to us while discussing the economic trends with two employees from the RBA. We were shown career pathways in the field of economics, as well as furthering our knowledge on the content we learnt in class.

 It was an excellent day, as we also got to look at the design process of the newly designed money notes and see the little hidden details on the notes, as well as the significance of the iconic and famous Australian people that are on the notes.

 We were commended for our consistent positive attitude towards the two economists and Kaja, who allowed us to learn more about the Reserve Bank of Australia. From this excursion, I was able to gain more knowledge and a better understanding from the speakers, as well as explore the many career choices in the field of Economics include.

 Overall, it was a wonderful experience and for future Economics students, you are going to love this excursion if you do end up going. I would like to thank you Mrs Dass for setting the excursion up and taking us to the city to continue our excitement and passion to grow for Economics.

 By Kye Ferreira 12.2

On the 5th November I had the pleasure of travelling with my economics class to the Reserve Bank of Australia in conjunction with our work on interest rates.

 The day started with a brief trip to the Lindt Cafe and outside the Channel Seven Studio where we were able to see some filming. We then proceeded to a grand building and filled the foyer. After a short wait we were ushered into a small presentation room by our vibrant and ecstatic guide. While in the room we heard from two inspired and young economists who were  astounded by our knowledge, we were able to provide a deep, resourceful insight in the Reserve Bank and their affairs. We were able to hear from our host and learned a brief but thorough explanation into the life cycle of Australian currency.

To complete the experience the class and our host toured their museum on Australian currency. We were personally commended on our attitudes and manners frequently by all of the speakers and our host. Personally, I took a great deal of knowledge and understanding from the speakers and experiences we were so kindly gifted by our teacher Mrs Dass’ organisation of the day and the Reserve Bank’s overall welcome. This extension of our learning journey created a level of awe in all students unmatched by many other experiences. I personally know that this experience helped some see a possible future from economics.

In my opinion this excursion is more than just a visit to the city and should be repeated for future students because the knowledge taken away cannot be found in our textbooks but in the lessons from our teacher and reaffirmation from the Reserve Bank.

By Krystal Neely 12.3

Economics Excursion

Year 8 Food Around the World Assessment (click right for more pictures)



Please ensure students TAP ON & TAP OFF. 

The School Bus Service is on demand from how many students TAP ON. So if you do not TAP ON, this will tell the bus company we no longer need the service and they will cut the number of buses that pick students up. Stranding our students.

Please remember to TAP ON & TAP OFF.

Thank you for your understanding following the disruptions to normal school routines last week. As advised at the time, an urgent response was necessary when we learned that some asbestos had been discovered in landfill during excavation work taking place as part of our building program at the very back of the school. 

 As you would expect, the safety and wellbeing of each member of our community will always be our highest priority. At the same time, I apologise for the inconvenience to our students, parents and staff while this work took place. 

Ms Browning


Year 10 Students are reminded to have the Senior Uniform for 2020

Uniform Shop Opening times

TERM 4 opening times are:-

Monday 8am - 12pm

Wednesday 12pm - 4pm

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

Catholic Outlook is back!

At the request of Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Catholic Outlook will be back from Sunday 1 December 2019. The revised Catholic Outlook will be published quarterly as an A4 magazine with a focus on Catholic faith formation, spirituality and a look at what is happening across the agencies and ministries of the Diocese of Parramatta. Look out for copies in your local Catholic Church, Catholic school or Catholic office from Sunday 1 December.

Bishop’s Christmas Appeal

Help vulnerable people in crisis turn their lives around, recover and thrive. Your compassionate gifts and prayers will help CatholicCare to connect people with support and services to build strong foundations for self-sufficiency, fulfilling family relationships and brighter futures. Please give generously to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal via

Plenary Council 2020

The Plenary Council invites people to continue to participate in the journey towards the Council sessions in 2020. There are many opportunities to engage in the “Listening and Discernment” phase by participating in small group sessions within the Diocese. Ask you priests or Deanery Representatives for session dates in parishes and deaneries or contact the Pastoral Planning Office on 8838 3441.

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

The Epiphany Pilgrimage

The Epiphany Pilgrimage, through the Blue Mountains, is a not-for-profit event of the Diocese of Parramatta and outreach of the Blue Mountains Deanery. Beginning at Emu Plains on 2 January and finishing 7 days later at Bell, pilgrims walk 110km through the beautiful Blue Mountains bushland, celebrating the Christmas season with each parish along the way.

Registration and details at and

Upper Blue Mountains Adoration Chapel

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish in the Upper Blue Mountains has opened an Adoration Chapel at St Canice’s Church, Katoomba. If you would like further information or would like to sign up for a weekly hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, please call the parish office on 02 4782 2804.

Nigerian Mass in Igbo

The Nigerian Catholic community come together to celebrate Mass every second and fourth Sundays of the month at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, 198 Old Prospect Road, Greystanes. For more information, please contact Nigerian chaplain Fr Chinonye Akamadu via the parish office on 02 9631 8135 or Stella Nwosu 0405 478 472.

CEDP High Support Learning Centres

Kirinari, located in Llandilo and Wiyanga, located in Dudas, are purpose built centres for learning that provide an inclusive education for students with a moderate intellectual disability and high support needs. If you have a child or know someone who would benefit from an alternate platform for learning in Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, please phone 02 9840 5689 for further information.

ACBC National Prayer Campaign for Drought

The Catholic Bishops of Australia have announced a National Prayer Campaign for Drought to take place during November. People across the country are encouraged to pray for the gift of rain, for people affected by the drought and to provide practical support, where possible. The Bishops note that large parts of the country are directly affected by the drought, but the impact is national – and so should the response be national. Access resources and find out more at:

Country Care Link Volunteers Needed

Open Support, a not-for profit, community service organisation is in need of volunteer drivers for their Country Care Link program, which is a transport service for regional NSW families, couples and individuals when in Sydney for medical appointments and hospital stays. For more information or to receive a volunteer information pack, please email, call 02 8382 6437 or visit

Wisdom of the Desert Retreat: 29 November – 6 December

Carmel Moore rsj and Jan Wylie will lead participants at the “Wisdom of the Desert” retreat at St Clement’s Retreat and Conference Centre, Galong, NSW, from 29 November to 6 December. Attend for either the weekend or for six days. There will be several periods of meditation, daily talks and quietness and prayer. For enquiries and booking, please contact or phone 02 6380 5222.

Bach Akademie Australia Concert: 30 November

Bach Akademie Australia will present its Cantatas for Christmas – Comfort and Joy, including Part 2 of the Christmas Oratorio and BWV 191 ‘Gloria in Excelisis Deo’ at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta on 30 November at 7.30pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office on 1300 785 377 or

Order of Malta Annual Lourdes Day Mass: 7 December

The Order of Malta will be celebrating their annual Lourdes Day Mass on Satuday 7 December at 10am at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and the Chaplains of the Order will celebrate Mass and bless the congregation, with vials of Lourdes water to be distributed. For more information, or if you need assistance, please contact 9331 8477, or

Handel’s Messiah at St Patrick’s Cathedral: 17 December

To end their inaugural year, River City Voices is proud to present an intimate performance of Handel’s Messiah for Western Sydney audiences. The performance will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, on 17 December at 7.30pm. For information and to purchase tickets, visit

Campion College Summer Program: 5 – 9 or 13 – 17 January 2020

Campion College’s Summer Program provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience college life and a taste of the Campion College course. Students aged between 16 to 20 are encouraged to attend the program from either 5 to 9 January or 13 to 17 January at the campus in Toongabbie. Program is free for all local and interstate students. For more information, contact Student Recruitment Manager Christine Vella on 9896 9303 or, or visit

Summer School of Evangelisation: 13 – 19 January 2020

The Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community is running a week-long summer camp retreat for young Catholics aged 16 to 35 at the Mount Carmel Retreat Centre in Varroville from 13 to 19 January 2020. The retreat will include presentations and lectures, seminars, opportunity for communal and personal prayer and Mass. Early Bird registrations are available until 20 November. For more information and to register, please visit

For more events please go to:

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