St Agnes Catholic High School

May Newsletter - Term 2, Week 3 2022

From the Principal

Dear Parents, Students and Staff ,

Welcome back to Term 2. I hope you all had a very enjoyable and restful break. I encourage students to give their personal best throughout the term. Our St Agnes Way of Being articulates in our pillars of integrity and compassion, that we all aspire to grow and support one another.

Last Sunday we celebrated Mothers Day; it has been celebrated in Australia on the second Sunday of May since 1924. However, Catholics have been celebrating mothers since the early beginning of the Church. In Catholic tradition, the month of May is dedicated to Mary. Chosen by God above all other women, Mary’s faith and obedience paved the way for the Incarnation. Her example teaches us faith, obedience, humility and most of all, how to love.

A Mothers Day Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, You chose to put yourself—tiny, needy and helpless—into the nurturing and watchful hands of a human mother. Since then, every act of mothering, both physical and spiritual, in every time and every corner of the world recollects Mary’s. Inspired by this example, we, too, honour our mothers and mother figures today. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers and nurturers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, honour them always with a spirit of profound respect.

We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

ANZAC Commemoration Assembly

At the commencement of this term, the St Agnes community took part in  an Assembly commemorating the spirit of the ANZACS. ANZAC Day is more than the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is also the day we remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. ANZAC Day celebrates neither success nor failure, neither victory nor defeat, rather it celebrates human qualities of courage, sacrifice and comradeship. It is deeper than patriotism or military pride, a day for paying homage to, and offering a prayer for, more than 102,000 Australians who have died in war and must never be forgotten. Finally, the day recognises the debilitating wounds endured by thousands of survivors and the tireless work of nurses and chaplains who did their duty. 

Australian Education Awards

I would like to congratulate one of our teachers, Mrs Walters, on her nomination for the “Education Rising Star of the Year”. This is a prestigious Australian Education Award which recognises professionals working in the K-12 education space who are aged under 35. This award recognises young teachers who are able to demonstrate effective leadership, innovation, and achievement in their career. The Awards Night will be held on 12th August 2022. We wish Lauren all the best. 

Feedback Invitation

In the coming weeks, we will be inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experiences of our school through an online survey, Tell Them From Me (TTFM). This annual survey is an important part of our evaluation and planning process. The link to the survey will be sent to all families. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and helps us maintain our commitment to working in partnership to further improve learning and wellbeing at St Agnes Catholic High School. 

2023 Enrolments

The Leadership Team commenced interviewing Year 7/2023 students towards the end of last term and will be continuing interviews this term. We have sent offers to the majority of students interviewed. It has been a pleasure to meet so many parents and Year 6 students. During the interview we discussed the St Agnes Way of being, including students taking responsibility for their learning and the expectations we have at the school.

 All students who wish to enrol at St Agnes need to complete an application form, including siblings of students who are currently enrolled in the school. If you have a daughter or son who is in Year 6 and you want them to attend St Agnes in 2023, it is essential that you submit your enrolment form by the due date. Unfortunately, there were some students who missed out on a place at the school this year because they left it too late to submit their enrolment form. 


Congratulations to our Debating teams who debated against St John Paul II, Quakers Hill, last Friday Night. I would like to thank the dedicated teachers who have been coaching the teams and giving up their Friday nights to adjudicate and mentor the teams. These teachers include: Mr Loughin, Ms Dunne, Ms Dahdah, Ms Fielding, Ms Udovicic , Mr Neilson, Mrs Walters, and Mr Kemmis.

I would like to wish our teams the best of luck tonight, the St Agnes debating team will debate Nagle College, Blacktown, at our school. 


On Friday 6th May, students from Year 10 and Year 11 engaged in a Career Transition Workshop where they looked at the latest Labour Market Trends and reflected on their own personal strengths and abilities to identify what areas of industry they could consider when planning their pathways. 

The key tools that they worked with were profiling tools regarding multiple intelligences and career personalities. They were then introduced to the e-Portfolio which allows students to compile and organise the information and experiences they have gained on their journey through school and life in general. The e-Portfolio allows students to document, reflect on, and record these experiences in a convenient and efficient manner.When students’ complete their e-Portfolio they will have the opportunity to share with: ● Friends ● Teachers ● Parents ● Colleges or Universities ● Potential Employers.

Year 11 2023 Subject Selection Information Session

On Wednesday, 27th April, St Agnes held its Year 11/2023 Subject Selection Information Session. The focus of the afternoon was to inform students and parents of the possibilities beyond Year 10. Thank you to the parents  and the students who took the time to attend this meeting. This was an important afternoon because it commences the transition to Year 11 for our Year 10 cohort. At St Agnes we strive to make sure that our young people are future ready. The way we do this is by connecting them to purpose, linking them with the most relevant tertiary and industry  opportunities and, by immersing them and exposing them to a range of experiences in and out of the classroom. We are fortunate that we  have multiple  partnerships with various  universities and the wider community. I would like to thank of all the teachers who attended this meeting and presented.  A special thanks to Mr Kemmis, Mrs Tomich and Mr Scarpin for organising the night.

Year 11 and 12

Year 12 students are approaching the end of their coursework and their Trial Examinations commence Term 3, Week 3. Before this, many students have major works that contribute to their final HSC. Similarly, Year 11 students are nearly half way through their courses as their Year 11 Examination Block occurs late Term 3. A practical way to support your sons and daughters is by ensuring that they have a dedicated quiet time and space each evening to complete work and study.


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13 MayYear 10 CathWest Information Session Meeting
16 MayYear 12 Report Distribution
18 MayYear 7/8 Vaccinations, Year 12 Careers Market
25 MayYear 11 Biology excursion, Vinnies Van 6.30pm
27 MayDebating v Bede Polding @ St Agnes
30 MayTTFM Survey Opens, 9SCI4+ 9/10 IST Incursion
3 JunePentecost Liturgy, Debating v St Andrews B @ St Andrews
15 JuneYr 11 Ancient History excursion, Stem Careers Day
22 JuneSt Agnes Day/ Naidoc Day/ Feast of Sacred Heart
23 JuneLifted Breakfast with the Bishop

From the Assistant Principal -Learning Transformation

Stage 6 Student Led Conference

Year 12 reports will be issued via the COMPASS Parent Portal on Monday 16th May 2022. The next day (17th May), we will be having Student Led Conferences for our Stage 6 (Years 12 and 11) students. Communication has been sent to parents through COMPASS, and also, our text messaging service. We ask all parents and carers of Stage 6 to attend this evening. Student led conferences are a valuable opportunity for feedback on where each student is at in terms of their preparations for the RoSA/HSC in their respective courses. Also, a plan is established with each teacher as to the next steps required to ensure students are meeting their potential. 

Year 11 2023

On Wednesday 27th April, we began the discussion with Year 10 students and their parents about Stage 6 schooling here at St Agnes. It is a very exciting time for everyone; we will be exploring the many and varied pathways we offer and the external partnerships we have at the school, such as UNSW, Macquarie and ACU. Further detail will be provided to the students in the coming weeks and they will make their initial decisions about subjects mid June. From there, we will be meeting with each student and the parents/carers regarding their pathway for Stage 6 and beyond.


NAPLAN tests for students in Years 7 and 9 have completed for 2022. By all accounts, students approached these quite well and the data received will inform how we approach learning at the school. It is essential that we are reminded of the main purpose NAPLAN has to a school. The testing is to assist teachers in knowing the particular strengths and challenges in reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy for students as individuals as well as to consider trends across a class or year groups. All of this data is returned to schools as well as families to assist us in supporting the literacy and numeracy development for each student as the year progresses.

Study Skills Tip for May – Starting to Write an Assignment

When helping students with assignments, the focus is often just on the research process. These tips will focus on getting started with the writing.


So you have done all of your research, collected the information you will need and are ready to start writing your assignment. Before you begin, revisit the requirements, format and criteria for the task. Be very clear on what the assignment is asking you to do and any guidelines you have been given for the assignment. If you are unsure at all, check with your teacher. It can be good to have the assignment questions written on an index card that you keep next to you while working so you stay focused on answering the question and meeting the requirements.


Your approach will vary depending on the style of your assignment (eg. essay, speech, presentation or report) but regardless of this, unless it is explicitly given to you, you need to decide the structure of your assignment.  Have you determined the main points, the headings and subheadings? Have you made sure you have gathered information about all parts of the question? Have you found any diagrams, images, photos, quotes needed to reinforce any points? Before you begin the writing, create a structure for your work listing all of the headings and subheadings you will write about. Keep checking back with the criteria or requirements to ensure you are answering the assignment questions.


The best thing to do if you have no idea how to begin your writing, is to just start writing. Now this may sound a little strange, but many students do not start writing because they want what they write to be perfect or ‘right’ the first time. Don’t worry whether your writing is up to standard at this stage. Instead concentrate on getting your ideas down onto paper or screen. Choose a section and start putting down ideas on the sorts of things you could include in that section.  The hardest part of any writing is starting. Once you start putting down ideas this generates other ideas and before you know it you have some text to work with. So even if you have no idea where to start just write or type ‘I don’t know what to include here’ and even writing this will get your subconscious thinking about what could be included.


Once you have started, you can use your notes from the research you did to build your ideas and arguments for your assignment. This mean that you integrate your own thoughts and ideas with the research you have done using this to help support your ideas. Make sure that you reference correctly, this means that when you use materials you have researched, particularly quotes, you make it clear where this material has been sourced from. You may find holes in your research as you progress and have to then do additional research about those areas.


Unlike an essay, you generally have a bit more scope in how you present an assignment. Think about how you can bring the material to life for the reader. Photos (appropriately referenced) are a good start and sometimes diagrams, tables, examples, statistics or flowcharts may be appropriate. You might use lists, bullet points or colour to make the material more user-friendly. Your teacher will be reviewing many assignments on the same topic, so what can you do to make yours stand out or have a unique angle?


Have you ever had that experience where you write something, leave it, come back the next day and read it again and find a whole heap of errors you didn’t see the first time? This is why it is important to space out your work on your assignment over a number of weeks and days. You need time to edit your work and you need space between edits. When you come back with a fresh eye, you will be able to look at your work from a different perspective and get ideas on what you could do to improve your work. As you review your work, look for spelling and grammar errors, possible repetition or unclear areas. Reading your work out loud is surprisingly a great way of locating errors or things that don’t make sense.

You can learn more in the Research Skills unit on and our new unit coming at the end of this year on Assignment Skills.

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on Our school’s access details are:

Username: stagnes

Password: 24success

Mr Geoffrey Kemmis

Assistant Principal - Learning Transformations

From the Head of Mission

Pace e bene

May is the Month of Mary 

The month of May is the “month which the faithful have especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady,” and it is the occasion for a tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world pay to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both publicly and privately, offer up to Mary from their hearts and especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration (great respect). In this month, too, the benefits of God’s mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church and therefore the example, as well as the guide and inspiration, of everyone who, in and through the Church, seeks to be the servant of God and man and the obedient agent of the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 

My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour

For he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

The almighty has done great things for me, 

And holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

In every generation.

He has shown strength of his arm, 

He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, 

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he remembered his promise of mercy, 

the promise he made to our fathers, 

To Abraham and his children forever.

Mother’s Day

One day out of the year, we have this opportunity to give back to the people who have given us so much: our mothers. I wish all our mother’s in the community had a wonderful and blessed Mother’s Day.

Outreach and Mission at St Agnes 

How do we show compassion to others?

There is nothing small about compassion, and making a difference in the life of another human being. This is at the core of who we are here at St Agnes and as Franciscans. This is epitomized in our work with the Vinnie's Van as well as Caritas and other initiatives from St Vincent de Paul.

The experiences we get when we go out ‘on mission’ invite us all to hit the reset button. Take us all back, no matter who we are, to what it means to be ‘fully human’. To say yes to those connections, as people who need compassion and mercy for sustenance, and as people who cannot walk the journey in isolation.

In reflection during this period after Easter and during the Marian month of May, I look back on the time I have had here at St Agnes, which is considerable , and I am constantly amazed by the generosity of not only goods for the community, but the spirit in which we give and interact with each other. St Francis was invited to ‘go and rebuild God’s church’ when he sat in front of the San Damiano crucifix. Re-building God’s church takes many forms. But one thing remains true always, that of compassion.

There is nothing small about compassion. It is the thread of life woven through each day. As human beings - born in the image and likeness of God - we love, give, receive and redeem. It is now time to rethink our understanding of compassion. It is an affirmation of what is already alive and burning within each of us.We have the capacity to be a place of shelter, comfort, hope and inclusion through the healing hearts around us.

Weekly Mass and Confession

Each week students participate in Mass on a Thursday morning from 8am-8:30am. Along with their Learning Advisor, it provides students the opportunity to sit ‘be still’ and listen to God’s word before they start their day. On alternate weeks, Mass is celebrated by Father Alan and Father Galbert. Mass is held in our Sacred space in Alverna 1.

On Fridays between 11am-12:30pm we offer students and staff the opportunity to attend Confession (Reconciliation) with Father Galbert. If students wish to attend, they need to see the Front office to receive a time in which to attend.

Peace and blessings

Mr Patrick Madigan

History of St Agnes

Around the Classrooms

Stations of the Cross Easter Liturgy

During Week 10 of Term 1, St Agnes students were invited to view the Stations of the Cross Easter Liturgy performed by CAPA students.

We had students from Drama and Music classes performing. We were also lucky enough to have some excited student volunteers wanting to show their skills in bringing the Passion of Jesus to life. They were instrumental in retelling the passion in a reflective manner.

St Agnes prides itself on Liturgy and for our community it was the first time in a long time that we could come together and mark this significant event, what with restrictions being in place etc. We also had the Yr 11 Photography and Digital Imaging students attend the event to capture the occasion.

Thank you to Mr Cheung for your guiding presence here. A HUGE thanks to Mr Sadsad (Our Pontius Pilot), Ms D'Aprile, Mr Mangion and Mr Di Ienno for their musical expertise and conducting our choir singers and our IT Support Mr Camillieri with lighting and sound. 

I appreciate everyone's collective and supportive approach to this occasion, particularly Mr Madiagn's guiding direction and look forward to the next dramatic event in the liturgical calendar.

Mrs Millwood
Drama Teacher

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Vinnie's Van

Vinnie's Van is a new way for some of our St Agnes Seniors to get out and support those who are less fortunate. Our first group of Seniors went out to Mount Druitt and Parramatta on the 21st April and offered food, beverages, and warm clothing. Students involved in the group included: Michelle Clark, Maria Schuster, Grace Valades, and Bianca Vultureanu and were accompanied by Mr Mangion, Mr Conte and Ms Karafotias. The night was filled with laughs and new acquaintances with the community teaching communication skills through communicating with the customers. The start of Vinnie’s Van here at St Agnes is yet another opportunity for our students to help make a difference in our society. 

Written by Bianca Vultureanu

TAFE NSW’s Youth Engagement Strategy

TAFE NSW’s Youth Engagement Strategy helps students identify potential career pathways through vocational tasters in a wide range of industries, delivered at a local TAFE NSW campus.

The 'YES' initiative removes students out of the school setting and places them into TAFE-style learning. St Agnes students have had an opportunity to be part of the Health and Fitness, Cybersecurity, Robotics, Retail, Construction and Music and Entertainment Courses which are running one day per week over 9 weeks at either Blacktown or Nirimba Campus'.

Activities they are involved in include:

  • Taster courses in different industries leading to a TAFE NSW Statement in Youth Engagement
  • TAFE NSW support services, including career counselling, mentoring, career advice, and literacy and numeracy support
  • Visits to industry sites and real workplaces 
  • Local funding to help with items such as PPE and transport
If you are a student who is interested in a particular industry and would like to experience either study or industry placement please email your expression of interest so when opportunities like this come up in the future you will be one of the first to hear about the opportunity and apply. Numbers are always limited but first in first served is how it works. 

Stationary packs - limited stock available! St Agnes Catholic High School has been donated stationery packs for students. Please contact the school to reserve a pack, LIMITED STOCK AVAILABLE!!!


Faith In Action Team (FIAT)

Be part of a great opportunity coming to St. Agnes! The Faith In Action Team (FIAT) program is an initiative with a focus on growing our communities Christian spirituality through experience and practice. It involves engaging the school community through charity and living through the example of Christ in order to promote faith within our St Agnes community. 

We will be calling on students from year 7-11 to be involved in this faith-based student body. As FIAT members you will be meeting periodically with Mr. Goco and Mr. Zucco as a group to discuss scripture, faith and charity initiatives. You will lead and participate in charity fundraisers, faith-based events in school and across the Parramatta Diocese. 

Keeping young people safe from suicide - Free training online for Year 10-12 student leaders, parents/carers and broader school community

LivingWorks suicide first-aid training is available for free to all NSW High School Teachers, staff, parents, carers and school communities. This has been made possible through the NSW Government’s Mental Health Recovery Package, which aims to support anyone whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic.

This is the largest suicide prevention training blitz in the world and aims to create a network of safety around young people in NSW by training their most trusted peer, adult and community touchpoints on how to recognise the signs that someone may be thinking about suicide, intervene and refer to further help.

Learn to read the signs of suicide, begin the conversation and connect to further help through this interactive, online program

It can be undertaken by anyone 15+ years (or 13+ years with parental or carer guidance).

90 minutes online individual access, self-paced.

Want to start online training straight away? 

Click to do a 90-minute LivingWorks Start program now. Feel free to share this link with anyone in your community who may benefit from this training.


Compass will become our primary parent communication tool for day-to-day operational matters, upcoming events, notices and notifications so it is essential that all parents download the app.

It is more important than ever that we are able to communicate effectively, especially when it involves the safety of our children. If you haven't already, we ask that parents download the Compass app onto your device for either Apple or Android. 

Compass is a web-based system allowing you to access up-to-date and meaningful information about our school and your child’s progress. Compass includes many different features, including the ability to:

  • Be informed of important updates, events and reminders
  • View your child’s timetable
  • Review your child’s attendance
  • Provide explanations for periods of absence
  • Update your contact details
  • Book Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences.

Compass is accessible on any modern web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) or by using the Compass iOS or Android apps.

Eligible students can receive free travel to and from home and school on approved metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail during term.  Apply now.

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

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