Caroline Chisholm College Newsletter

Term 4 Week 2 Issue 16 2019


From the Principal

Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,

I am writing to you from Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Grose Vale, where our new Year 12s are spending the week on retreat. It is such a privilege for me to be able to spend time with the students, away from the pressures of classwork and assessment. One of the great treasures of a Chisholm education is that the students develop such strong ties with each other, relationships which, in many cases, last a lifetime. The experience of retreat is a precious component of this treasure. The students are given the space and time to consider how they have been gifted by God, and what it is they are meant to do with these gifts at the service of the world. I am very grateful to our Religious Education Coordinator, Ms Bernadette Murray and our Leader of Learning for Year 12, Ms Debbie White, for all the time and effort they put into preparing and conducting these retreats. At a time when many people are questioning aspects of Christianity, our retreat program is a hope-filled and life-giving event in our students’ Caroline Chisholm journey.


While we are enjoying God’s gifts of nature and the company of each other on retreat, our HSC students are well into their examinations. I have been impressed with their preparation, their calm attitude and their obvious desire to do their very best. Having supported three of my own children through the HSC, I know it can be a tough time in families. There is a bit of tension in the air and perhaps an expectation that we should be walking on egg-shells at this time. Every family is different, but there is value in keeping life as normal and calm as possible over these three or four weeks. Life goes on, dogs need to be walked; grandparents appreciate being visited; the dishwasher is not going to empty itself! A good balance of study, rest and some happy things will ensure that our young people are fit, well and mentally relaxed for the challenge of exams. Please continue to pray for our HSC students.


Over the school holidays, 18 students and Mrs Merriman and I travelled to visit our sister school at Tokyo Junshin Girls’ School and engage in a cultural tour of Japan. The tour was such a rich learning experience for our Japanese language students and for me! It was also a chance for our students to challenge themselves in a very different environment and develop their confidence, not only with language but with skills for life and travel. Thank you to Mrs Merriman for her excellent organisation of this international excursion. Shortly after our departure typhoon Hagibis lashed large areas of Japan, including the region where our sister school is located. Even though students were sent home, all were safe and the school only suffered minor damage.

It won’t be long now before our Year 9 students embark on their Urban Challenge. As you will recall, this experience for Year 9s replaces the Year 10 camp they would have undertaken next year. It is two days of challenges, teamwork and self-management around the City of Sydney. The students are accompanied by our teachers and by staff from Urban Challenge. Whilst some parents have raised concerns about the program, it is our deliberate intention to take students out of their comfort zone, expose them to real choices and uncertainty in a supported environment. By the time they leave school, and even earlier, our young people need to have experienced challenges, had some failures, confronted problems where the solutions are not clear and used their own gifts and resources to move forward. The college has decided to undertake this program to address these challenges in a way which, within a safe and supervised environment, allows students to learn to rely on themselves and their group members to respond to challenges, learn from (minor) failures and use combined insights to solve problems they may not have faced before. We want our students to experience a type of learning that strengthens their resilience and perseverance, to learn that discomfort and uncertainty are facts of life that they are strong and capable enough to overcome. I am grateful to Mr Fuller for his organisation of the Urban Challenge and to our parents for embracing this opportunity for their daughters.

The building program is going full steam ahead this term. Our students and staff are moving through three building sites: the new central building, the new canteen, and the demolition and rebuilding of our art studios. We are on track to open all three of these facilities at the beginning of the new school year. The final stage which is the refurbishment of the top floor of the admin building (which we call North Block) will commence at the end of this term and continue into next year. Whilst it has been uncomfortable and noisy, I am so impressed with the way the students have conducted themselves and focused on their learning. Our teaching and support staff, too, have worked extra hard to ensure that learning has not been impacted. For example, our visual arts teachers have had to move their operations to the rooms in North Block temporarily. This involved moving stock, furniture and equipment upstairs whilst the students were on holidays. The finished facilities will be worth all of the inconvenience.


I want to leave you with a prayer that I prayed with our HSC students at the beginning of their first exam:


God of love,

Be with these wonderful young people as they undertake their exams.

We thank you for the gifts you have already given to these students:

·   An excellent school

·   Caring and expert teachers

·   Good friends

·   Intellect, curiosity and energy

As they face the challenge of the HSC remind them:

·   That they are well prepared;

·   That they are capable and clever;

·   That they are valuable because of who they are, not for the mark they receive;

·   And that they always have been and always will be worthy of love.

Breathe your peace into their hearts, calm and clear their minds and give them the energy and resilience to work hard and present their very best.

And, as they travel the journey of the coming weeks, remind them of what is truly important: 

that God’s love, which is beyond all understanding, and is the source of all that is good, 

is given freely to them today and every day.


We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Caroline Chisholm – pray for us. 


Mr Greg Elliott Principal

Year 11 Retreat Group A

From the Assistant Principal Pastoral

Uniforms – shoes

It’s the time of year when I need to remind students and parents that students must wear black leather-covered laced polishable shoes that cover the top of the foot. This is both a uniform and a WHS requirement. Please note that black leather gym style shoes (like Converses) are not acceptable, nor are completely flat shoes without any moulding on the sole. If shoes need to be replaced before next year, please make sure they conform to this requirement as it will expensive if a newly-purchased pair has to be replaced. If a particular store is out of stock with this type of shoe, try another. If there is still a problem, contact me before buying any shoes.


Uniforms – skirt length

Another reminder as Term 4 starts, that a few students who have had growth spurts really need to see about letting their skirts down or purchasing new skirts. All students whose skirts are not to the bottom of the knee need to do something about it over the next few weeks. Over the next fortnight, all students whose skirts are too short will get reminder notices with the expectation they do something about it immediately, whether it is getting a hem let down or purchasing a new skirt. As the same skirt is worn by all year groups, skirts can be purchased at any time during the year with the expectation that reasonable wear will be had from any purchase.


If a new skirt is needed, it makes sense to purchase it in Term 4 when there aren’t quite so many demands on money as there are at the start of a year. Just make sure the new skirt has plenty of length to accommodate future growth. Given the time they spend in the skirts, the $50 cost will be one of the more cost-efficient clothing purchases you make for your daughter.


Changes to Uniform Provider and Purchase Process

As you would know from previous newsletters, the uniform shop procedures have changed. From March 2020, Lowes, Penrith will be our uniform supplier and families will be able to purchase uniform items at any time that is convenient to them without being restricted to certain days of the week and limited hours. More information about this will be provided next year.


Between now and next March, the process for purchasing uniforms is a little convoluted. The process applies to all parts of the uniform, including socks. Until Lowes commences selling the uniform next year, The School Locker is the only place which stocks our uniform, unfortunately.


At this point, uniforms can no longer be purchased at the college from The School Locker. Parents can place orders online at Use the search bar to search for Caroline Chisholm. Parents can select

●       to have their order delivered directly to them

●       to collect the order from the Liverpool store

●       to collect the order from the school on our collection days (9:00am – 1:00pm Monday 20 January or 1:00pm – 4:00pm Tuesday 21st January). 


Orders placed after Wednesday 15 January will need to be collected from Liverpool or delivered directly to families’ homes.  Online ordering will cease on Wednesday 12th February 2020. Any outstanding ‘pickup’ orders that have not been collected will be considered abandoned after Friday 14th February. 

A set of ‘try on’ uniforms to assist parents with sizing for online orders will be left at the office.

Busways’ western Sydney buses are going cashless from October 28

We have been asked by Busways to pass on this information: from Monday, October 28, Busways’ western Sydney buses will no longer accept cash payments. 


●        Cash payments will not be accepted on Busways buses in western Sydney from 28 October 2019.

●        Students can use their School Opal card to get to and from their destination during the week. On the weekend, they will need to use their Child/Youth Opal card to pay for their journey.

●        Parents of the students and friends of the school can pay using their Opal card, credit card, debit card or linked device. Travel benefits apply to all when using the same card consistently.

●        Opal cards are available online and over the counter from retailers including most newsagents, post offices, convenience stores and supermarkets.

●        Remember to separate your cards so your preferred card is charged when tapping on and tapping off.

For more information on cashless payments, see the Busways website


Doing the Right Thing

Congratulations to Mackenzie Cooper (7 Macarthur), Emma Matthias (7 Kenny), Krystal Sharpe (7 Kenny) and Sarah Bartolo (8 Gilmore). They have been selected to receive a $5 canteen voucher for college service.


Appreciation of Honesty

Students at Caroline Chisholm College regularly display outstanding honesty in returning items they find on the college grounds. Often these can be of quite substantial value. Students handing in found items receive a certificate of appreciation. I would like to congratulate the following students who have handing items in over the last fortnight: Matilda Vella (7 Jackson), Teagan Hinds (7 MacKillop), Katilyn Roy (7 MacKillop), Rachel Wilkinson (7 MacKillop), Sarah Bartolo (8 Gilmore), Karina Doyle (8 Gilmore), Sophie Leonard (8 Gilmore), Kate Rennie (8 Gilmore), Ashleigh Gill (9 Jackson), Olivia Bennett (9 Wright), Victoria Mashiri Yaconi (9 Wright), Mia Di Iorio (10 MacKillop) Emily Holmes (11 Wright) and Jordan Power (11 Wright)

Mr Greg King - Assistant Principal

From Assistant Principal Learning

What are you learning to do today?
Students come to school to learn ‘stuff’, that is, to learn content in their different subjects. More importantly, they come to school to learn how to do things – that is, to learn skills. This week I asked the students this question: What are you learning to do today? Here are some of their answers.


We are learning how to write a vignette about tolerance and intolerance. We are learning how to use techniques such as ellipsis, adjectives, two word phrases and reflective statements to enhance our creative writing. Samantha, Tahlia and Courtney Year 10


We are learning how to write SEEL paragraphs so that we can express our ideas clearly and logically. We are also learning how to be stewards of creation and how to look after the environment.
Katelyn Year 7


In Japanese, we are learning to understand the Japanese culture and learning how to use manners in Japanese restaurants. We are learning how to order food in Japanese. We are also learning how to write the Japanese alphabet in ‘Hiragana Bootcamp’.
Chelsea and Caitlin Year 7


We are learning how to find God in everyday things – in art, music, scripture, images and prayer.
Emma, Chloe and Bella Year 8


We are learning how to make cushions. We are learning how to design an aesthetically pleasing cushion and are learning how to make the cushion – how to measure it, lay it out and use a sewing machine to sew it together. We are also learning how to use techniques such as dying – marbling, tie dying and sun painting.
Emma Year 8


We are learning how to use 3D fabric paint to create designs for our pillows.
Fifi and Anon Year 8


We are learning how to use a design process to create a storage box and how to do technical drawings of our storage boxes. We are also learning how to construct our storage boxes using machines such as disc sanders, hand sanders and scroll saws and hand tools such as hammers, saws and squares.
Tayla and Keira Year 8


Year 12 2020
The Year 11 students will begin their Year 12 courses in week 3 this term when they return from their senior retreat. Students have been asked to finalise any changes to their pattern of study by week 3 to ensure a smooth and settled start to Year 12. As I have explained to the girls, once Year 12 starts no further changes can be made to patterns of study.


I often describe Year 11 as a sprint race – you must learn a lot of new skills very quickly and the three terms fly by swiftly. By comparison, Year 12 is a marathon – the foundations have been laid for the race in Year 11, fitness levels have been built up – the task now is to keep running, keep racing to the finish line. The most important thing is to keep going and not give up. We are confident that the girls will experience great success in their Year 12 studies.


PAT-R testing

Commencing this week, all students in Years 7-10 will complete the online PAT-R test to assess their skills in reading and comprehension. All schools in the Parramatta Diocese will complete this test which provides teachers with objective information for setting realistic learning goals and planning effective programs. If you have any questions about the PAT-R tests, please contact Mrs Lans at the College.


Study Skills Tip for October: Managing Anxiety During Exams

If you are someone who freezes or has a mental blank during an exam or is overly anxious you may find that the heightened anxiety is reducing your ability to recall. Remember that being as prepared as possible and not leaving your study until the last minute can make a big difference in reducing anxiety. Start your study early and make a plan so that you have time to study what you need to without stress. It is also important to note that the more practice tests you do, the more familiar you are with the test so it will be less intimidating and you will be used to working under time limits. When you are in the exam if you feel anxious, a good strategy is to close your eyes for a moment and take some long, deep breaths. When you open your eyes do some of the questions you find easy or feel confident about. Meanwhile your subconscious will have a chance to recall the things you are struggling to remember. Another trick is try moving your eyes to different directions - looking up and to the left, for example - this can also prompt recall.


You could also seek help from a counsellor for techniques on how to manage stress. You can also visit the MANAGING STRESS unit for more strategies.


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Ms Deborah Scollard - Assistant Principal Learning

Food for thought

Subject: Physics

Last week’s answer: 4 x 4 —> by 4!

Are you familiar with Law: E=mc^2, and if so, who proved it(scientist)? What does each letter stand for?

(answer in next ‘Food for thought’)

 Leaders of the Learning Committee

2019 Japan Study Tour - The Reiwa Tour

Our students had a wonderful and formative experience in Japan, visiting our sister school, Tokyo Junshin, staying with host families and travelling together around significant areas of Japan. It’s hard to put into words what the experience meant but here are some thoughts from the students!


By the way, do you know why we have called it “The Reiwa Tour”?
I absolutely adored my host family and friends! My host family were very kind to me and welcomed me into their home as if I was a part of their family. As for my friends at Tokyo Junshin, they were all very nice to me and wanted to include me in everything they did!
Grace Wood, 10 Mackillop


I never knew how close I'd become to the people on this trip. Though the places we visited were all beautiful and I had the best food, the bonds we formed on this trip are what I took from the second half of the trip. I had never spoken to half the girls there, before but next thing I knew we had an endless list of inside jokes and always rushed to tell each other the funniest thing that happened to us that day. We already became best friends after our first night and the rest of the tour went by with happiness and laughter we all wished would never have to end.
Nourien Tanaz, 10Mackillop


While travelling in Japan I spent most of my money on ice cream. It was worth it though and it was fun when my friends and I got a picture with two cleaners on Miyajima Island, they were probably confused when five high school students came up to them and asked for a picture with them.
Brynlee Fazio, 9 Kenny


When we were at Fushimi Inari, we met this very nice retired fire fighter who used his phrasebook to talk to us in English. He was the most friendly Japanese person I have ever met and I hope to see him again some day!
Gourvika Kumar, 9 Gilmore


Hiroshima was one of my favourite places in Japan. We hung up the cranes that we prepared beforehand and we were able to watch a school sing to a monument nearby. Going to the Hiroshima Peace Museum helped me understand what the bombing was like and how badly it affected families and friends. The injuries were terrible and I could not imagine how those people would have been feeling. It was very emotional and eye-opening.
Sancia Turner, 11 Jackson


When I got in the car with my host parents, it was very awkward. However, they were so kind and welcoming the entire time, even with the language block, that I couldn't help but enjoy my experience with my hosts. Almost every night we played card games and I got to cook some Japanese food. I remember one night they spent a whole ten minutes trying to get me to understand the meaning of a Japanese word! Sadly, I never got the meaning, but I did enjoy myself!

Ourania Theodorou, 10 Mackillop


My host brother, who couldn’t speak English, bought an extra switch controller so Nana, him and I could all play computer games together.
Niamh Farrell, 10 Jackson


I enjoyed eating chicken cartilage after searching for a restaurant for ages. Finally finding a good restaurant, only to be given the wrong food and chicken cartilage! It was actually one of the best dinners of the whole trip!
Victoria Mashiri Yaconi, 9 Wright


I loved the deers even though they kept biting me.
Monique Granada, 9 Macarthur


I remember when my host family celebrated my birthday when I got back from school even though it wasn't my birthday. My host grandparents were even there! They accidentally thought it was as my birthday due to the fact that they write the date differently to us. Although it wasn't actually my birthday yet, we all ended up laughing together and celebrated anyway. They were extremely kind and absolutely lovely.
Riya Chauhan, 9 Macarthur


I enjoyed visiting Sadako's Memorial in Hiroshima and seeing the amazing number of cranes that were on display. We watched many people,  including Japanese school children deliver their cranes like we did. The peace museum was a way for us to remember and acknowledge the stories of survivors and people who were affected by the tragedy.
Taylah Pracy, 9 Macarthur

Mrs Wendy Merriman - Leader of Learning Languages


Japan Study Tour

Diary Dates

Thu 24 Oct

HSC Examinations


Year 11 Retreat Group B

Year 11 SOR Mosque Excursion Group A

Fri 25 Oct

HSC Examinations

AM - Maths 1 & 2

PM - Maths

Year 11 Retreat Group B

Mon 28 Oct

HSC Examinations

AM - Biology

PM - History Extension

NSWCCC Junior Basketball Championships

Tue 29 Oct

HSC Examinations

AM - Business Studies

PM - Drama

NSWCCC Junior Basketball Championships

Year 7 Sculptures by the Sea

Wed 30 Oct

HSC Examinations

PM - Modern Greek Beginners

Fri 1 Nov

HSC Examinations

AM - Studies of Religion I & II

PM - English Extension 1

Dance Showcase at St Dominic's

Mon 4 Nov

HSC Examinations

AM - Maths Ext 1

PDSSSC Futsal Gala Day

Tues 5 Nov

HSC Examinations 

AM - Legal Studies

PM - Hospitality

Wed 6 Nov

HSC Examinations

AM - Economics, Human Services

Thur 7 Nov

HSC Examinations

AM - Chemistry

PM - Society & Culture

Year 9 Urban Challenge

Fundraiser for Cambodia Bush School at St Finbar's Glenbrook

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