St Agnes Catholic High School

September Newsletter - Term 3, Week 10 2020

From the Principal

As the term draws to a close, we farewell the inaugural Year 12 Graduands of St Agnes Catholic High School. 

As a cohort, they are the realisation of the hopes that were held for so long by many families and staff that students would be able to complete their education at the same school where they began their secondary journey. They leave us with blessings and with confidence that the values, knowledge and faith that has been nurtured at St Agnes will serve them well as they leave our gates for the final time to begin the next stage of their lives. As a community, we could not be more proud of our first cohort, I wish them well as they begin the final preparations for their HSC examinations. 

Next term Year 11 begin the Year 12 classes and Year 10 will finalise their selection for their own HSC journey, and so like that, St Agnes has become a 7-12 High School, rich in faith, culture and developing in traditions. 

Congratulations also go to our new 2021 School Captains Julian Tan and Bianca Fragomeli.

Our community continues to grow with waiting lists now in place for most years. We look forward to being able to move into the new building next term. The Performance Hub includes purpose built spaces which will be welcomed by our music and dance students. We have also learnt that the rebuild of the Roberts building - which will provide state of the art TAS and Art facilities should begin by the start of 2021. Exciting times ahead!

I wish all students a well earned break and look forward to seeing them return on Monday 12 October.

Lisa-Maree Browning



Dux (HSC)Highest Achieving Student AcademicallyAnthony Gagliardi

"The Ideal St Agnes Student" 

Katalina Vave
CaltexOutstanding achievement in all areas of school lifeRhiannon Soans
Reuben F ScarfConstant effort and commitment to learningAbhisek Kumar
                     Ben ChifleyDisplaying great community spiritSelenna Fuimaono
ADF 'Long Tan' AwardLeadership and teamworkKrystal Neely
ADF "Future Innovator' AwardRhiannon Soans

Most Improvement 

Yuyin Zhang

Proficiency and Hard Work in all aspects of their schoolwork.

Kiera Everingham

Most Improved in English

Charbel Boustany
Excellence in Catholic Life and Mission AwardsAcknowledges students who have put their faith into action in a significant way. This is awarded to one/two students.Callandra Jane and Taumatina Natini
Excellence in LeadershipDillan Goro and Katalina Vave
Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student ExcellenceAcknowledges the contribution of one Year 12 student towards their school, parish and local community, as nominated by their principal.Dillan Goro

This is an excerpt from Mr Cruickshanks speech to Year 12

You are the first, the inaugurals, the pioneers… 84 of you sit here today, proud as you should be of being the first Graduating Year 12 cohort of St Agnes Catholic High School. No one can ever take that from you. A couple of years ago when it was announced that we were going to Seniors, you showed by your commitment, that you believed in your school. And, now on your Graduation Day on behalf of the school I can proudly say that St Agnes believes in you.

 With talk already of many workplace offers and early university acceptances the future is looking very bright for you the cohort of 2020. Although our major exams are still a few weeks away, the groundwork set, and self-discipline displayed over recent times has me assured that we will be speaking fondly of this year group’s successes for years to come. Your legacy will live on.

 Be sure to remember and be thankful to those people that have played a significant role in your learning journey up until this point. Whether it’s family, friends and/or certain teachers that have helped get you to where you are today, show them that you appreciate all they have done.

 Probably now, is a perfect opportunity for me to give thanks on your behalf to all those staff that have been involved over the last 6 years for most of you. For all your classroom teachers, it’s been great to watch the adult relationships you have forged with them over the last 12-18 months. After lunch, I’ve got some special messages coming in from your teachers, so we can look forward to that. To the L.A.’s we just heard from, you must be congratulated again on the role you played in having helped mould these wonderful young ladies and gentlemen into who they are today. To Ms Gale for setting the platform in Yr 7 and 8 and teaching you guys what St Agnes is all about. Whilst you were still in Year 6 she was doing her research with visits to your primary school so we could provide the best opportunities for your commencement to St Agnes back in 2015. Sharing an office with Ms Gale I know how proud she is of how far you have come over the years.

To Mr Madigan who was your Assistant Stage Coordinator for 3 years and for all the hard yards he put into developing that self-discipline I mentioned earlier. The many hours he spent with Ms Gale and myself mending your friendships in those early years.

 I do feel very privileged to be in the limelight at such special occasions like this, but I really want to take this moment to emphasise the role that Ms Gale and Mr Madigan played in your well-being at school throughout your journey. (Put your hands together).

 To Ms Browning and the Leadership team for providing the opportunities and guidance as we took this journey together for the first time. Hopefully we can pay you back with some strong results in our upcoming exams.

 I could probably talk all day about how wonderful it’s been, and I do tell you most weeks when we meet that I am so proud of how you have taken on the challenges presented to you. You have set the standard and shown the way to the younger students.

 Like those many students gone before you, be sure to leave here with your head held high, remember the good times and the good people, but most of all be proud of what you’ve achieved and probably even more importantly who you have become.

 St Agnes’ Graduating Class of 2020 – Congratulations… It has been my pleasure. Thank-you…  

Congratulations to our 2021 School Captains


25 SeptemberTerm 3 Concludes
12 OctoberTerm 4 Commences
20 OctoberYear 12 2021 Information Evening
20 October -  10 NovemberHSC Exams - CLICK HERE FOR TIMETABLE
30 OctoberYear 11 Semester 2 Reports distributed
2 - 6 NovemberYear 10 Exams
9 - 13 NovemberYear 11 Business Services Work Placement
20 November Staff Spirituality Day - Pupil Free Day

From the Head of Mission

The St Agnes Way of Being and Becoming

As we have begun our professional learning journey on the Draft RE Curriculum this year, we have been inspired and affirmed by the Rationale that has shaped our framework of mission known as the St Agnes Way of Being and Becoming. This framework is centered around our mission as a Catholic school in the way of imitating Jesus and in light of Franciscan charism as contemplatives in action.

In Week 8, all teachers were actively involved in a Professional learning afternoon as they were introduced to the St Agnes Way. We began with the Emmaus Story (Lk 24:13-35) and prayed this through Visio Divina (“divine seeing” in Latin) with different images of the story. 

We want to foster nourishing relationships to help students flourish and thrive as children of God.

Allows students to take greater action → Actions are greater than words.

The invitation to think critically and deeply.

Thinking informs our actions and our actions inform our thinking.

Jesus is at the heart of all that we do.

As we near the end of our first learning cycle trial with two of our Year 9 Religion classes on the inquiry question “Why is care for our common home a moral imperative?”, I look forward to sharing our students' learning experiences with you next term.

I ask our parents and families to join me in taking the time to pray this prayer as we continue our shared journey of faith and wish you all a restful and safe holiday break.

Prayer based on the Road to Emmaus

linked to our St Agnes Way of Being and Becoming

‘Our patient teacher, our ever-pursuing Lord’

Lord Jesus, this story tells us so much about you.

You are:

not a passive ethereal being, but a pursuer.

not a benign, nice associate, but one who risks speaking the truth in love.

not a coercive overpowering presence, but a patient teacher.

not an isolated, individualistic prophet, but a guest, even a host,

whose true character is seen in table fellowship.

We praise you as our patient teacher, our ever-pursuing Lord.

Pace e bene,

Mrs Mary Reyes

From the Head of Learning

Year 12

Our Inaugural Year 12 students are rapidly coming to their final days here at St Agnes. Whilst there have been challenges, on the whole they have found the experience a rewarding one and nothing can take away from the fact they were our first HSC cohort - we, as a community, are rather proud of them! At this stage, the students need to be pondering the feedback they received from their teachers regarding the Trial HSC and planning their next steps.

Year 11 Examinations

Our Year 11 cohort have approached their final exams with maturity and diligence. The students have realised that they all need to successfully complete their Year 11 studies in order to receive their ROSA and this will be released mid term 4. The high expectations were set and the students have met these quite well. At this stage, teachers are marking and preparing worthy feedback for their classes so that all Year 11 work can conclude early next term and the HSC can begin.  

Moving into Term 4


The examinations begin on Tuesday 20th October and conclude on Wednesday 11th November. I know you will keep our students in your thoughts and prayers as they embrace each exam.

Year 12 2021 Begins

During the first two weeks of Term 4, Year 11 students will receive all examination marks, feedback and suggestions as to the next steps with their studies. The students will have the opportunity to reflect on their successes and determine what they need to do in order to show progress in skill development for next time. That said, once teachers work through all of this with their students, the HSC will officially start in Week 3.

Year 10 Examinations

Our Year 10 students will receive their examination timetable early next term, as these will run during Week 4. Students need to ensure they are revising their work after each lesson and completing all the homework set by their teacher(s). The students also must ensure that they finish the NESA Modules, All My Own Work by the end of Week 4 as well. The students who did not meet Minimum Standards in Reading, Writing and Numeracy will also have their second chance to do so at the end of the examination period. The Year 10 students who have had Subject Selection Interviews, will receive a letter from the school next week outlining their courses and the events that will occur in Term 4.

Junior Examinations/Final Assessments

The students in Years 7, 8 and 9 shall also be working towards their final assessment tasks and or tests next term. The examination week for Year 9 will be in Week 5. During this time, if there are any tests for students in Year 7 and 8, these will occur during their regular lesson. All students need to remain committed to their studies and complete the set work for each class. The students in Year 8 and 9 will receive confirmation early next term about their elective choice for Stage 5 in 2021.

Study Skills

Power of Collaborative Learning

 Learning with other students can be a very powerful way to improve your learning outcomes. You might be sitting next to each other discussing what you are learning, or working together in a group online and sharing your screens, or giving a friend feedback about an assignment. There are many benefits to learning to work with other students.

 MOTIVATION: Studying together can be much more motivating than studying on your own. Setting targets and working towards them together can help keep you focused on completing assignments. Often study done together is more active and engaging than studying on your own and this is much better for retention.

 DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING:  Discussing with a friend, being able to bounce ideas off each other, ask each other questions – all of these activities will help strengthen your neural networks and deepen your understanding of what you are learning. This can help to develop our higher order thinking skills.

 DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: Sometimes we don’t realise that we are only looking at things in one particular way and there are different and diverse viewpoints to ours. Learning with a friend can help you see things in a different light and broaden your perspective. This can help develop our critical thinking skills. 

BUILD TEAMWORK SKILLS: Learning to cooperate, negotiate and problem solve with other people is a great skill to have in later life. By learning with other students you will have opportunities to learn to be a more active participant in group work and also develop communication and leadership skills.

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Around the Classrooms

St Agnes Literacy Educators win Australian Council for Education Leaders (ACEL) NSW Leadership Award.

The ACEL NSW Leadership Award is given to educators who demonstrate outstanding performance in leading an educational initiative that has accomplished evidential growth in outcomes for students and teachers. 

The St Agnes team aimed for ALL Year 7 students to develop the skill, will to learn, and thrill of literary success early in their secondary schooling, a pivotal time of development in a student’s literacy progression. 

What started in 2019 as a goal for one cohort, has reimagined the literacy possibilities of all St Agnes students. 

In 2019, Year 7 students progressed their writing a measurable average of 3.4 terms over the first two terms. In 2020, with further professional development for teachers, Year 7 data revealed an average writing progression of 7.7 terms over the first 2 terms.

The 2019 Year 7 Visible Literacy Team comprised six educators led by Antoinette Meade and Christine Payne, supported by Linda Hicks and Principal Lisa-Maree Browning. Proudly, three team members were in their first years of teaching, a credit to the instructional mentoring system pivotal to teacher growth at St Agnes. 

Australian Mathematics Trust Competition

On Tuesday 4 th August ninety-five students from Years 7-12 took part in the annual Australian Mathematics Trust Competition. Over 10,000 students competed in this prestigious competition from schools around Australia and Overseas. Here at St Agnes twelve students received a Credit Award, forty-nine a Proficiency Award and thirty-four a Participation Award. Listed below are our top performing students.

Year 7: Reuel Velasco, Russell Alpas, Toetu Tunupopo

Year 8: Ayann Khan, Aarya Mehta, Daniel Kapustic, Enrico Villanueva, Garvay Tang

Year 9: Randall De Leon, Farrell Hagan, Mani Shakibaei Shahadati

Year 10: Mark De Guzman, Rita El-Ghossein, Emil Balajan, Tristan Payuran

Year 11: Farida Zaheer, Jamieson Sukkarieh, Celina Deeb, Ryanne Ocampo

Year 12: Abhisek Kumar, Evan Tecson

All award recipients are to be congratulated on their efforts.

Laurence De Martin

Leader of Learning (Mathematics)


This term Year 11 Society and Culture students were treated to an incursion, organised, run and presented by teachers from the St Agnes community. The purpose of the day was for students to learn about Indian culture in an immersive and interactive way. 

Organised by Mrs Dass, the room was richly decorated with saris, jewellery and accessories, parasoles, textiles, cushions, kitchen appliances and decorative items for Diwali. Most of the decorations were personal items belonging to staff members,who generously offered them for display.

Students dressed in traditional Indian attire for the occasion and were led through displays on Indian dress, cooking and technology, and the festival of Diwali. 

Mrs Kehal gave a presentation on Indian history, giving students an insight into continuity and change over time in society, culture, gender equality and marriage practices and traditions. Mr Krishna spoke to the students about changing views on gender roles and how culture impacts the development of personal and social identity for first generation Indian Australians. Miss Kaur spoke about Sikhism and the impact of communication technologies. Ms Udovicic spoke about the impact of culture on communication. 

Although we could not share food, Mrs Dass brought in spices used to make chai and fresh curry leaves, which added to the amazing immersive experience. The students also made their own roti’s, practicing rolling the dough and using an electric flat press. To end the day, Mrs Dass and Mrs Bedi led the students in Bollywood dancing, which was a lot of fun. 

What the students thought: 

  • “It was a hands on experience, and by being included I felt as though we gained a deeper understanding as we could refer to moments throughout the day and having it explained by teachers who have first hand experiences was great.” 

  • “I gained a lot of insight about gender roles in the Indian culture as well as continuity and change regarding marriage laws and social expectations.”

  • “It delved more into the experiences of individuals living under traditional cultural practices and it’s relevance with the changes in society today”

  • “The displays helped in understanding course concepts as it showed us how every culture has its own view on the world and live according to different customs and beliefs of beauty.”

  • “The displays helped us understand the society as a whole through the clothing and items found in a household”

A huge thank you to Mrs Dass for her organisation of the whole event, the presenters, Mrs Kehal, Mr Krishna and Miss Kaur who volunteered their time, to all the teachers who contributed items for display and wore traditional dress on the day, demonstrating their cultural pride and contribution to the students’ experience of the day. 


From the Careers Advisor

Year 12

Our Year 12 students have been busy applying for UAC and completing Early Offer Applications. Many of our students have received offers whether Conditional or unconditional. There are still many more offers to be made, particularly once they receive their ATAR results. We wish all of our students well as they begin securing their post-school options for 2021. It has been a tricky year but our industries and tertiary institutions have some fabulous support services and programs to guide and assist with your transition opportunities. If you still need assistance with applications please book a Careers session at or speak to your teachers about what support you require. 

Year 10
All of our students' subject selections have been finalised. Year 10 students now know if they will be continuing at St Agnes or choosing an alternative school or registered training organisation. All TVET or EVET Expression of Interest forms were to be finalised and handed to Irene Perreira. If you have not handed these in then you will need to adjust your subject selections and remove your TAFE choices. By now all Cathwest Applications should be finalised and interviews booked. If students are still interested in attending Cathwest next year lease see me. Students who are applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship are to continue looking for work experience and RTO opportunities. You should have a solid resume and cover letter by now. Next term we'll begin finalising these. Continue to seek guidance and advice as you secure employment and apply for your TAFE or college course. 

Western Sydney University
Our Year 11 and 12 Pacific Islander and Refugee and New and Emerging Community students have applied for pathway programs that are supporting them with their plans and goals for post-school options. It is important that students who are contacted via email complete applications to ensure that the programs continue to run successfully at St Agnes. The link for Pacifical Islander students for all year groups is . The application for NEC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Program
Our Indigenous students' have been involved in cultural programs with community links, Josh from Jarara and Roberto from Murama and the Indigenise Film Company. Students will be filing some of their sessions and collating them with other CEDP school programs to Celebrate 200 years of Catholic Education. We have also confirmed our involvement with Macquarie University in 2020 for the Walanga Muru program and will meet with Daisy at Macquarie University next term to go through the program and what it will look like for students from Year 7 to 12 next year. 


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