Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

From the Principal ....

What an interesting couple of weeks, these are definitely uncertain times. There have been many firsts for us here at the College and I would like to acknowledge the work of my Leadership team , in particular Mr Matthew Paton and Mr Patrick Finnerty, the work of our office team,  our wonderful teachers and the support of the team at CEDP. I would also like to thank our parent community for your wonderful support and your understanding as we navigate this unchartered territory, which continues to evolve on a daily basis.

From the very beginning the greatest concern of our staff has been health and safety, ensuring the continuity of learning to the best of our ability and concern for how our students and families have been feeling during this time. Our mantra despite having a significant number of students and indeed staff in isolation has been business as usual as much as possible in our learning. 

Our social distancing and safe practices guidelines have been discussed with all staff and students and students are being reminded each morning.  Social distancing is an effective measure, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations and the aim is to generally reduce potential for transmission. We have made changes to playground areas, canteen lines, spacing in classrooms as much as possible, all assemblies, excursions, incursions have been cancelled. I have asked staff to adjust classroom pedagogies for individual work and no close collaboration. 

I have been asked about providing hand sanitiser. Unfortunately we have been unable to purchase these products from our usual suppliers. I ask that each student have their own sanitiser on hand and use it as required.

Google classroom has been our online platform for learning for a number of years. Google Classroom is a collaboration tool for teachers and students, where teachers can create an online classroom, invite students to the class then create and distribute assignments. Within the Google Classroom students and teachers can have conversations about the assignments and teachers can track the student's progress. I have asked staff to continue to place work on their classrooms each lesson and to follow our normal procedures for following up students who do not complete their work. 

We have been exploring the use of zoom which is a CEDP video conferencing tool with our senior students. Our teachers have been very positive and supportive of each other and the students. We have been  working to better understand how we can more effectively deliver remote learning when students and staff are in isolation or should there be a change in directive about schools remaining open. 

Update on Assessments:

All Assessment tasks were postponed for the two-week duration of self-isolation for students and staff. 

  • All Assessment tasks in Year 11 and Year 12 will go ahead at some point this term or next. 

  • All dates are currently under review and Leaders of Learning have proposed new dates. They are all being mapped against the school calendar to ensure that they do not clash with upcoming tasks and to ensure that students do not have an excessive number of tasks due at the same time. 

  • Once all new dates are confirmed, Assessment Plans will be updated and re-shared with students. 

  • We are looking at reducing the number of summative tasks in Years 7-10 to minimise stress for students and bombarding them with a large number of tasks in a short period of time. 

  • We will be looking at our dates for reports to parents and will send a letter home with more information around the dates of reports shortly. 

You will find more about learning in Mr Finnerty’s report further on in the newsletter. 

As a nation and indeed a world we are as I said in very uncertain times, times which remind us of our vulnerability and of our responsibility to one another.  We have seen human interactions that are both deeply disturbing and on the flipside beautiful and loving. It is so important that we ensure our most vulnerable in our communities are well cared for and not forgotten. 

I share with you  a message from Frank Molloy our Marist Schools Australia National Director

Dear Colleagues, 

Over the past two months Australians have watched the rapid spread of the coronavirus from Wuhan Province in China to 140 countries around the globe. As the number of infections and fatalities rise, and governments respond with restrictions to lessen the impact on their countries, the behaviour of people has been surprising and for many disappointing. 

Last week, images of two women physically fighting over rolls of toilet paper in a south western Sydney supermarket "went viral" around the world on social media. These sad and disturbing images are in stark contrast to the selflessness of Australia's volunteer fire fighters who worked so courageously for months on end during the summer. 

One can only guess what motivates good, rational people to behave in such a way. The great Australian aphorist, Michael Leunig, possibly captures the essence of the phenomena in the following poem: 

Love and Fear 

There are only two feelings. Love and fear. 

There are only two languages. Love and fear. 

There are only two activities. Love and fear. 

There are only two motives, two procedures, 

two frameworks, two results. Love and fear. 

Love and fear. 

As Marists, followers of Jesus, with a sacred responsibility to teach the young, may our response in these unprecedented times of uncertainty always be characterised by love.

We are here to support our students and families, please reach out if you need to. I have included some agencies and information regarding mental health support. If you have a subject specific question we ask that you contact the relevant KLA Leader of Learning, your child/rens  Pastoral Leader of Learning is also a great point of contact. 

Mental Health Support

Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak is important. Please see below a suite of contacts & resources to assist you.

    Beyond Blue: Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

  •     Headspace: How to cope with stress related to COVID-19
  •     Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  •     Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  •     Lifeline: 13 11 14
  •     Mensline: 1300 789 978
  •     Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin

Mrs Angela Hay


Enrolments Dates - Reminder

A reminder to all parents and carers that  Enrolments for Year 7, 2021 close on Friday, 27 March, 2020.  Offers for enrolment in the first round will be made on April 6, 2020.

We are also currently accepting enrolments for Year 7, 2022. 

Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning

In the 21st Century we often talk about the need to be a life-long learner. After the challenging events of the past two weeks, I have certainly learnt a lot. I have learnt that:

  • our students are resilient, meet challenges head on, and work together to support each other in times of crisis.
  • our staff at our school put the needs of our students ahead of their own needs.
  • our parents are incredibly supportive and demonstrate exceptional empathy.
  • Social Distancing sounds great on paper, but is a challenge to actualize in a large school.
  • online learning is a viable option - provided teachers, students and parents work together to ensure clear communication channels are established.

Planning for Online/Continuous Learning – Just in case!

Over the past two weeks staff have been working with their departments to not only meet the needs of the students currently in isolation, but to prepare for the possibility of school closure. Please see some of our current planning below.

Agreed Practices for remote learning at St Patrick's Marist:

●     Our school-wide platform is Google Classroom

●     All lessons are to be put on Google Classroom

●     All lessons will have a clear learning intention

●     We will provide extensive scaffolds to support the continuous learning of all members of our diverse learning community

●     We will be mindful that students may find it difficult to manage time and commitments independently

●     We will be mindful that students may not be supervised at home

Teacher Responsibilities

●     To set rigorous, relevant and authentic lessons for students

●     Give feedback on student work through Google Classroom or tools you are already using

●     Make contact with parents/carers of students who are not completing set work or engaging in the learning experiences

Student Responsibilities

  • To be actively engaged with learning

●   Check-in with Google Classrooms regularly. Submit work through Google Classroom.

●  Be authentic with the completion of work, do not copy and paste content from the internet

●     Engage with work set on Education Perfect or Mathsonline or Atomic/Edrolo as allocated by your teachers.

Parent Responsibilities

  • Encourage your son/daughter to maintain a regular school workday.
  • Ensure students take scheduled breaks and walk away from their workspaces. 
  • Check-in with your son/daughter daily about what work they need to be doing and how they are going with it. 
  • Check the Google Classroom pages of your son/daughter’s subject areas and make sure that work is being completed authentically. 
  • Encourage your son/daughter to maintain regular bedtimes and sleep schedules and wake up at a regular time for their school day.
  • Check-in with your son/daughter’s Pastoral Leader of Learning with any concerns over their mental health or well-being.

Thought of the Week

We really appreciate your feedback. If you would like some more information or clarification of any policy or procedure we have please let us know.

Mr Patrick Finnerty

Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning


Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

Third Week of Lent

Third Week of Lent

Project Compassion, Week 3, brings you the story of Barry, a Gamilaroi man originally from western NSW. Barry is a father of four and he embodies resilience and strength. Growing up in a tough environment, he had to look inside himself to make the right choices for himself and his family.

Barry, and others like him, were able to take part in a cultural healing program called Red Dust Healing. This program encourages participants to examine their own personal hurt and allows them to heal from within, addressing family and personal relationships and what may have been life-long patterns of violence, abuse and neglect.

Your support of Project compassion can help build a brighter future for people like Barry through the Red Dust Healing program.

Let’s Go Further, Together!

Business Manager

School Fees


The first instalment of the school fees were due on Wednesday 18th March unless you are on an approved payment plan.

If any family is experiencing financial difficulty please do not hesitate to contact me confidentially on – 8841 7955 Monday to Thursday or email or   The College is always happy to assist any family requiring more time to pay fees. 

Concession Assessments

The Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) have taken carriage of any concession assessments from the 30th September, 2019.  This initiative has been taken so CEDP can provide a more efficient and consistent process in supporting families in difficulty.  You will still be required to contact me in the first instance.

Students leaving the College before the end of the year.

Under the School Fee Policy set out by the Catholic Education Office Parramatta:  “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”.  Parents are also required to complete a clearance form. 

Further details on this policy can be found on

Ms Rolla Wadih

School Fee Administrator


Year 12

During this time, it is of the utmost importance that students are working with diligence and initiative to complete all class work set by teachers. The HSC journey is long and it is through ongoing commitment that students can experience HSC success. If students have any questions regarding their learning and assessment tasks, they should discuss these with their teachers, Miss Hagarty or myself.

Congratulations to Eve Watson who was awarded second place at the Lions Youth of The Year, Parramatta branch awards held recently. Eve has been an outstanding ambassador for the school and her success is a reward for her contribution to the school and general community.

Mr D Bonora

Pastoral Leader of Learning -  Year 12

Year 11


From the Eyes of a Year 11 Leader

Early last Wednesday morning, 14 Year 11 students gathered in the Harrington Courtyard, sheltered from the pouring rain outside, and prepared ourselves to spend the next three days at Year 7 camp. All of us seniors had been to this camp before, however, going back 4 years and being seen as a ‘leader’ was something of a completely different experience. Over our short but sweet 3 day stay, we were all assigned groups that we would be helping to manage in the day to day activities; these ranged from archery, kayaking, high ropes, bushwalking, the leap of faith and many more. During our time at the camp, it was interesting to watch different friendships and connections being formed and new experiences being shared by the younger kids. It was strange remembering back a few years ago when we were sitting in the same position and seeing the similarities of those same experiences that we all shared and seeing how far we’ve all come as people and as a grade. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience that hopefully resulted in some of the Year 7 students now having a few more friendly faces to see around the school whilst trying to manage the chaotic junior years of high school. 

Alex Bozanic

11 Paul

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 photos will be shared with students to keep as memories.


Please note that vaccinations will proceed as scheduled for Monday the 23rd March 2020. NSW Health have added more guidelines in regards to administering vaccines. 

In addition to these guidelines NSW Health would like to limit the time a student sits with their nurse having vaccinations, to a maximum of 5 minutes.

This may be challenging for nervous student. To help I have supplied the following video to all students on my Google Classroom that they should watch before Monday; “What to expect on Vaccination Day”; Students could bring their own distraction toy;

Hesitant students will need to leave the clinic and come back later should they change their mind, or catch-up at NSW Health’s next visit.

If you no longer want your child vaccinated at school can you please email me before Monday 8am and indicate when your child will be vaccinated.

Mrs N. Padden

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 7

Key Learning Areas



Year 7 English

Year 7 English is exploring poetic representations of Marist Value. Their final assessment task product will be three illustrated poems representing one of the Marist Values. As part of their learning, students are experimenting with different forms of poetry and how to represent experiences in our lives as a poem. Below is just one excellent example of a free verse poem, by Anton Galati, that explores experiences of school.


       (by Anton Galati

        The sun shined through the window,

        On the first day back at school,

        Year 6 this year,

        How the holidays flew,

        As we greet old friends,

        From the years before.

        As the terms went by,

        I found school really fun,

        I enjoyed the work, and was respectable too,

        And was having a great time.

        The last few weeks were filled with rainy days,

        Dark, Sad and Weak days,

        We all wanted to hold on.

        Our last day was tough,

        We all said goodbye,

        Goodbye to childhood friends.

        As I walked out the gates I could see things in people's eyes.

        Seas of misery,

        Seas of fake smiles,

        Seas of sadness.

        I couldn’t take it anymore, 

        A wave of grief crashed over me.

        The holidays were filled with bright green leaves,

        And waves of blue.

        Nervousness and dread were bottled up inside me,

        But I didn’t show it and had a great holiday.

        We bought stationary and new uniforms,

        As the first day grew near.

        I knew what my school would look like,

        It had separate blocks and a lot of people go there,

        But I was excited nonetheless.

        Once again, a new school year,

        And I was on a plane with continuous turbulence,

        I was crawling out of my skin,

        But I was still excited,

        I wanted to meet my teachers and make new friends.

        And yes, I did,

        All the homework was fun and I made the best friends ever,

        I had fun at Year 7 camp and made lots of new friends there as well.

        The gates of new experiences opened wide and I went through,

        With a smile on my face.

Earth and Environmental Science

On Friday the 28th of February, myself along with the rest of the Year 11 Earth and Environmental Science (EES) class left the school and embarked on an excursion for our depth study. The Excursion consisted of travelling to the top of the Ponds Walk, at Marsden Road, and making our way down through the track; taking soil and water samples to test for pH levels and any contamination (chlorides), as well as the turbidity (clarity) of the water samples. As well as this, we travelled to Sir Thomas Mitchell Reserve in Dundas Valley, just off of Yates Avenue and Alexander Street, to examine remains of a past quarry and take samples of volcanic rocks, still available to see at the site today. 

Before the excursion took place, all EES students were required to learn about the history of the area, why the site is important, as well as what we can learn about the site and its surrounding region. In our research, we discovered that volcanic rocks were formed millions of years ago in our western Sydney region and quarried for bluestone and basalt from 1832 to the 1940s and that world-renowned scientist Charles Darwin along with others visited the site to examine the evolution of the site.

On the day of the excursion, we made our way to the top of the Ponds Walk on Marsden road by bus, then proceeded travelling all the way down through the bush to Curtis oval where we ate lunch. Throughout the bush walk, we had 6 stops, where at 4 stops, soil samples were taken. At 3 of these, water samples were also taken. We tested the pH levels of soil on-site and took our remaining tests back at the school lab. From our results, it was found to be very important that our waters were tested, as they can help Earth and Environmental scientists discover what influences they have on their surrounding area.  Once we reached Curtis oval, we had lunch before setting off again across the road to Sir Thomas Mitchell reserve. It was there that we took remains of volcanic bluestone to be examined, proof of the underlying quarry that was filled by landfill in the 1940s. After this, we embarked on our journey back to school on foot, making sure to drink plenty of water and make great use of the lab’s air conditioner and darkroom upon our return. 

In conclusion, the Excursion was extremely beneficial to our class and a new experience for all of us. We were able to look at much different living and non-living factors (biotic and abiotic) and how they influenced the Carlingford and Dundas area. We were also able to visualise how the weather and topography of the region impact its bush and waters, visible through our results. 

Olivia Scibilia

On the 28th of February, the Year 11 Earth and Environmental Science class had an excursion to the Ponds Walk leading to Sir Mitchell Reserve in Dundas, which in fact used to be a quarry back in the day. The EES students along with Miss Szarycz set out early on Friday morning to the start of the Ponds walk, which was nearly Carlingford shops. Along the walk, there were several stops where the students would get in groups and collect soil samples to test the pH of the specific soil. Water samples were collected to test how turbid the water was going down the slope as well as rock samples. Samples were then kept in order and labelled  to further test in the science lab. Additional testing for water quality was tested to find out if the area has been affected by human impact such as urbanisation and pollution. From results we concluded that the soil samples at the top of the slope were more moist than the soils at the bottom of the slope due to the excessive amount of rain which caused some runoff by recent heavy floods.The Hawkesbury sandstone rocks found at our excursion underlying Dundas and the Sydney Basin have formed from shallow marine lakes which were deposited around 230 million years ago.The very last stop brought us to Sir Mitchell Reserve, a soccer field which used to actually be a working quarry in the 1830 s and at later stage visited  by Charles Darwiin who studied Australian vegetation. The quarry has provided many jobs and the volcanic rock called basalt ‘blue metal’ was transported to the ‘Rocks’ for building roads. Around the 1940s the quarry was filled in and became a landfill and has now been made into a recreational park for the public to use. The research for this excursion not only reminded us about the history of this area but also by testing the current water quality proves that the environment can be monitored to be sustainable.  

Alexander Mansour 

Visual Arts


On the 4th of March 2020, twenty students from Year 10 Photography with Year 11 and 12 Visual Arts, were given the privilege to attend an evening with a professional light painter, Peter Solness. Solness taught us how to use DSLR cameras and how to light paint with torches, wands and other tools in order to create a variety of works. The incursion took place in the school’s Drama Green Room as well as the La Valla Centre, which we used as a studio space to capture various subject matter such as plants and our peers to create portrait photographs whilst using light painting and graffiti techniques. Through the light painting study with Solness, we employed these techniques with Solness through creating orbs with lights on strings, lighting with torches and creating a movement with light-up hula hoops, optical fibres, light sabres and wands. As well as looking at how to create these light photos, Solness showed us his previous works and achievements exhibiting how light painting and graffiti can be used in order to dramatise a photo. Those who came, had an excellent night and through the various techniques, Solness exhibited and taught to Year 10, 11 and 12 we were inspired and look forward to applying them into our own artworks and photography. 

Samuel Jacobs, 11 Visual Arts

From the Library ...

Community News

Walk for Autism

You are invited to join us in this year’s Walk for autism from 29 March – 5 April 2020. By taking part, you can start a conversation about autism and help foster greater understanding and acceptance. 

 Register Now!

Walk for autism challenges participants to take 10,000 steps a day for eight days while raising vital funds for people of all ages on the autism spectrum. It is a virtual event, which means you can take part at any time, place and pace that suits you. An estimated one in every 70 people in Australia is on the autism spectrum. It is likely that you know someone, perhaps a family member, friend, workmate – even a student.

Get involved and step towards a more inclusive future for people of all ages on the autism spectrum.