The School Newsletter Week 3, Term 2 2021

What's Coming Up?

  • Wed 5 May: Mother's day stall - gifts available to purchse between $1 - $10
  • Fri 7 May: Mother's Day Breakfast from 7.30am - (please rsvp using the link within).
  • Fri 7 May: Mother's Day Liturgy 9:15am in the outdoor sacred space - followed by 'Reading Rugs and Hugs'
  • Tues 11 May: NAPLAN Testing - Year 3 Writing & Year 5 Writing.
  • Wed 12 May: NAPLAN Testing - Year 3 Reading and Conventions of Language & Year 5 Reading.
  • Thur 13 May: NAPLAN Testing - Year 3 Numeracy & Year 5 Numeracy. Year 5 Conventions of Language.
  • Fri 14 May: Walk Safely to School Day - (more info within the newsletter).

From the Principal

This year, 2021, marks a very special moment in the history of Catholic education in Australia. It has been 200 years since the first Catholic school in Australia was founded. This week – Catholic Schools Week - we pause to recognise and give thanks to all those who have contributed to the growth of Catholic education, as well as to acknowledge the remarkable achievement of generations of educators to successfully meet the needs of our ever-changing society.

I would like to share this story with you:

The leader of a certain tribe encamped at the base of a mountain was dying. The chief summoned his three sons and said, “I am dying, and one of you must succeed me as the head of our tribe. I want each of you to climb our holy mountain and bring back something beautiful. The one whose gift is the most outstanding will succeed me.”

After several days the sons returned. The first brought his father an extremely rare and beautiful flower which grew near the summit. The second son brought his father a stone which was colourful, smooth and round, having been polished by rain and sandy winds. The third son’s hand was empty. He said: “Father, I have brought nothing back to show you. As I stood on top of the holy mountain, I saw that on the other side was a beautiful land filled with green pastures and a crystal lake. And I have a vision of where our tribe could go for a better life. I was so overwhelmed by what I saw and what I was thinking that I could not bring anything back.”

The father replied: “You shall be our tribe’s new leader, for you have brought back the most precious thing of all – the gift of a vision for our future.”

Catholic Schools Week presents us with an opportunity to give thanks to all those who have visioned, dreamed and believed in Catholic education over the last 200 years. Some of the people who have contributed to the building of our school here in Swansea – the Sisters of St Joseph, lay staff, students, families and parishioners – are etched into the pavers in our sacred space. This paved area is a tapestry of our school’s 70-year history. Elsewhere in this newsletter is an invitation for you to become part of that tapestry.

The bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia invites us to remember the past with gratitude, to be inspired by that story in the present, and to look forward with faith in the future.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.


Yesterday we marked Catholic schools Week with a liturgy in the hall. During the liturgy, we recognised and gave thanks for all those people who have contributed to the growth of catholic education in Australia. Fittingly, some of our Year 5 students finished the liturgy with a beautiful recital of the Tom Booth song ‘Sacred Silence’. Our thanks to Louise Stewart who coordinated the liturgy.

Catholic Schools Week 2021

Taken from ‘A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of Australia to the leaders, staff, students and families of Catholic education in Australia, 2021.’

Two hundred years ago the first official Catholic school opened in Australia.

Since then, Catholic education has grown to the point that it now educates around 770,000 primary and secondary school students, in more than 1,750 schools, with nearly 100,000 staff. These are sponsored by dioceses and parishes, religious institutes and public juridic persons, and groups of parents. Six thousand Catholic catechists participate in the religious education of 200,000 children in government schools and parishes. Over the last few years, hundreds of Church sponsored early learning centres have been established, educating many thousands of preschoolers. Around 50,000 tertiary students are now enrolled in our two Catholic universities with their several campuses. It is an extraordinary achievement!

Catholic schools are a jewel in the crown of the Catholic Church in Australia, with few parallels in other countries. Alongside families and parishes, they are the Church’s principal meeting point with young people. They are integral to the Church’s mission of transmitting the faith to the next generation. It is there that many young people encounter Christ, intensify their knowledge and love of God, and are formed as future contributors to Australian society. We hope all our students will emerge from our schools with a deepened sense of the sacred and greater appreciation of the true, the good and the beautiful. Catholic education is steadfast in its commitment to evangelisation, catechesis, religious education and spiritual and moral formation.

Catholic schools are also a major part of Australia’s educational ecosystem. They are the equal of other schools regarding educational programs, student achievement, teacher professionalism, facilities and innovation. They have provided high quality education to generations of young Australians, now numbering in their millions. They stand as a beacon in our society, for their contribution to the common good and to the nation’s social capital. They have helped nurture a more just, tolerant and cohesive society. Catholic education is determined in its commitment to excellence and equity.

The extraordinary success of Catholic education did not occur by chance: it is fruit of the sacrifice of past generations and divine grace. We are heirs to that rich legacy, borne out of sincere belief, inspiring vision and unwavering resolve. The bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia invites us to remember the past with gratitude, be inspired by that story in the present, and look forward with faith in the future.

Uniform Service This FRIDAY

  • Owing to conflicting demands on the time of our uniform service volunteers, the uniform service will not open this tomorrow morning.


Congratulations to all our 20 athletes who represented St Patrick’s at the Diocesan cross country event at Maitland Park last Tuesday. Every one of our runners completed the course. For some reason, Mia’s place and time did not appear on the results. However, she was not far behind her sister, Skye. Apologies, Mia!

Our results were very good:

8/9 years (2 km)

  • Skye P – 9th – 9 min 16 sec.
  • Mia P – No place or time recorded.
  • Evie B – 34th – 10 min 51 sec.
  • Drew T – 51st – 9 min 46 sec.
  • Oscar C – 71st – 10 min 33 sec.
  • Sebastian K – 82nd – 10 min 59 sec.

10 years (2 km)

  • Sienna R – 7th – 8 min 51 sec.
  • Lukah T – 28th – 9 min 58 sec.
  • Sunshine W – 72nd – 12 min 9 sec.
  • Aiden B – 28th – 8 min 55 sec.
  • Jack A – 37th – 9 min 3 sec.
  • Koby M – 50th – 9 min 36 sec.

11 years (3 km)

  • Madison T – 3rd – 13 min 32 sec.
  • Lara W – 24th – 17 min 34 sec.
  • Banjo H – 45th – 16 min 23 sec.

12 years (3 km)

  • Tamika F – 41st – 18 min 1 sec.
  • Emily J – 42nd – 18 min 9 sec.
  • Nate T – 20th – 12 min 57 sec.
  • Ben M – 45th – 15 min 13 sec.
  • Evan W – 47th – 15 min 14 sec.

As Sienna and Madison finished in the top 8 for their events, they will progress to the Polding cross country trials. We will keep you informed as to their progress.


With Catholic Schools Week officially kicking off this week that means enrolments are now in full swing. Come in and collect an enrolment pack from the School Office or download one from the school website! And, don't forget to tell your friends!


90 Adults and 97 Children have RSVP's to our Mother's day Breakfast. It will certainly be a busy and fun . We look forward to serving you all. Please don't forget to bring along a gold coin donation. Our huge thanks go to Lousie Stewart and Lyn McMaster for organising the event.

At our Mothers’ Day liturgy, which will commence at 9.15am. we will give thanks to God for the gift of these special ladies. All are welcome to stay for the liturgy.

Following the liturgy, you are invited to spend some time reading with your child. There will be a selection of books outside the library to choose from. Perhaps you would like to bring a rug to sit on. If you are unable to stay around for our ‘Reading Rugs and Hugs”’, there will be some teachers who will be very eager to find some children to read with. Some of the mums might also take an extra child or two under their wing.

COVID precautions: For events such as this one, we are required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan in advance. Please note the following requirements for those attending:

  1. You should only attend if you are feeling well and you do not have any respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. All attendees must sign in using the QR code which will be displayed at various points around the playground.
  3. Wherever feasible, observe appropriate physical distancing.
  4. Maintain good hand hygiene practices by using hand sanitiser, which will be located at key points around the school.


On Friday next week (14th May) we will hold our annual “Walk Safely To School” Day. The students, staff, parents and grandparents (and anybody else who would like to join us) are invited to “Walk Safely to School” with us. We will leave from Reids Reserve, Lambton Parade, Swansea Heads at 8.00am, and we will walk down Lambton Parade and Northcote Avenue until we reach St Patrick’s School. This is a distance of 2.6 kilometres. We should arrive at the school a little after 8.30am. Any students who do not live in this vicinity might ask Mum or Dad to drop them at Reids Reserve so that they can join the walk.

There are many families who live either along this route or close to this route. Those families may wish to join us on the way. (You might hear us coming!)

All students who participate in the “Walk Safely To School” event should ensure that they wear a hat and that they bring a water bottle.

We will need adults and older students to walk with us to ensure the safety of our younger students. Adults . . . If you leave your car at Reids Reserve, why not double back at the end of the walk and make it a 5-kilometre walk? Great way to meet new friends as well.

We should try to incorporate more walking as part of a healthy, active way to get around. Although walking all the way to school isn’t realistic for many of us, it is quite easy to figure out how you can build a walk into your family’s daily routine. Regular exercise like walking with your child helps them (and you!) to beat chronic problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and behavioural and mental health issues. It also gives you a great opportunity to teach your child safe ways to behave around roads and traffic.

See you at Swansea Heads on the 14th!


We have had a great start to this term in the library. The students have been very enthusiastic to learn to code, using code.org which offers a fun and creative platform for learning basic coding and computer science. Throughout this term the students will also study topics that include:

  • Impacts of computing and digital citizenship.
  • Logic, problem solving and creativity.
  • How the Internet and computers work.
  • Basic computer programming.
  • Creating simple apps, animations, and “code art”.

Get ready for lift off! The annual National Simultaneous Storytime is happening at St Patrick's on Wednesday 19th May. This year it will be an intergalactic adventure with astronauts reading the book 'Give me some space' from the International Space Station.

Lunch club is back on again this term.

  • Monday: Games
  • Tuesday: Art and craft
  • Wednesday: STEM
  • Thursday: Lego
  • Friday: Technology

Library borrowing days will remain the same as for Term 1, except for Kindergarten who will now borrow on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays.


Sincere thanks to Mel Pasfield who coordinated yesterday’s Mothers’ Day stall. There was certainly a lovely range of beautiful gifts for sale, and I am sure that many of you will just love what your children have selected for you. Thanks also to Natalie Le Marchant, Jodie Boyce, Carissa Brown and Dana Unwin who assisted with setting up the stall and selling the gifts.

An extra special thank you to Helen Boyce handmade beautiful cards for the students to purchase.

A large number of gifts were given to the students on the promise that the IOUs would be honoured. Those parents have been contacted. Thank you for your attention to paying for the gifts.


In 2014 we created an outdoor sacred space on the edge of Black Neds Bay as a means of bringing to life the history of our school, which was opened in 1952 by the Sisters of St Joseph. The paved area of our sacred space shows the names of many people who have had an association with our school, either as a student, as a parent, as a teacher or as a parishioner. Some of the people whose names appear on the pavers had a long association with the school. Others were with us for only a brief time. The paved area represents a tapestry of our school’s history. If you would like to order a paver showing your family’s name or your child’s name, please complete and return the order form which can be found by clicking the link below, or collected from the school office. The orders will close on Friday 14th May.

Canteen Roster

The Canteen is desperately in need of volunteers this term. If you are a registered volunteer and able to offer some of your time, please contact Belinda Newell.

New Baby


On 31st March, Cath Garrett-Jones, Family Engagement Officer at the Catholic Schools Office, addressed a small group of parents and carers about an alternative model of engaging parents and carers in the school. If you would like to read more about the two options available – P&F Association or PEG (Parent Engagement Group) – click here.

On Wednesday 19th May, you will have the opportunity to vote for your preferred model of parent engagement. The meeting is scheduled to run from 7.30pm to 8.15pm in the school library.

A letter was sent to all parents through Compass last Thursday, giving further details. If you have any queries about this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peter Green.


Our Parents and Friends Association recently transferred $10,000 into our school account. We are very appreciative of the P&F’s donation, and of the many people who have contributed to this donation through your support of our fundraising.

This year we are planning a considerable amount of money on technology. We are awaiting the delivery of 12 laptop computers for the use of students. This week we have taken delivery of seven interactive touchscreens which will replace the interactive whiteboards in the classrooms. We are waiting on the delivery of the mobile stands for these new touchscreens, which will allow them to be moved within each classroom. The stands will not be delivered until next month. The generous donation by the P&F will be used to fund these purchases.


Many of you would know Cath Garrett-Jones, the Professional Officer (Family Engagement) at the Catholic Schools Office. Sadly, Cath’s father, Bill, died in hospital last Tuesday evening. Cath was with him at the hospital at the time. Bill was 83 years old and is survived by his beloved wife, Kath, Cath’s sisters Jenny, Wendy and Lynette, eight granddaughters and seven great-grandchildren. Bill and Kath were married for 62 years and were devoted to one another and their family. Cath says he ‘was beyond the best’, and she is understandably very sad at this great loss to her family. As a community, let us keep Cath and her family in our prayers at this sad time.


Last Friday and yesterday, our staff was led by two education officers from the Catholic Schools Office to develop and refine our practices in the areas of gifted education and Mathematics.

Friday’s session was led by Sally Brock. Sally showed us how to use the results of the CogAT assessments which the students undertook in Term One to ensure that we are catering for the academic needs of all students, with a particular emphasis on those students who are gifted in one of more of the following domains: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Under the leadership of our Gifted Education Mentor, Cathy Curk, gifted education will be one of our top priorities in the near future.

Last Monday, Maree Pittaway (education officer, Catholic Schools Office) facilitated a professional learning day on the subject of Mathematics. Maree demonstrated how we can use learning intentions and success criteria to enable students to develop greater ownership – and hence deeper understanding – of what they learn. We also examined alternative ways of structuring our Mathematics lessons to make the learning more relevant and visible for our students. Mathematics will be our primary curriculum focus until the end of this year.

I thank you, the parents and carers, for allowing us this time to collaborate on these two days. While we appreciate this time, we did look forward to seeing the students arrive back at school today.

St Vincent de Paul Society

The three Conferences of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the Parish of Jesus the Good Shepherd advise that, during the first three months of this year, assistance in the form of food vouchers totalling $38,720 was given to 469 people in need. These are difficult times for many people in our community and, in order for the Society to continue to provide a ‘hand up’ to the disadvantaged, we need more people to generously give of their time. If you have thought about the possibility of joining your local Conference, or if you just require more information about the work of the Society, we would be happy to speak with you. The Swansea Conference may be contacted by ringing Mary on 0408 498 898.


At last week’s P&F meeting, some parents expressed a desire to be informed whenever a casual teacher is rostered onto a class. We have implemented this suggestion. If you would like to know whether or not a casual teacher is rostered to teach a particular class on a given date, log on to the Compass calendar where you will find this information available.


Next week we will administer the NAPLAN assessments to the students of Years 3 and 5. As we will begin the assessments at 9.00am, it is important that every student arrives at school on time.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • Tuesday 11th May: Year 3 Writing & Year 5 Writing.
  • Wednesday 12th May: Year 3 Reading & Year 5 Reading. Year 3 Conventions of Language &
  • Thursday 13th May: Year 3 Numeracy & Year 5 Numeracy. Year 5 Conventions of Language.


This month’s edition of Aurora features a very moving story of Helen, Elliot and Gemma, the courage with which they have dealt with the loss of Michael, and how they have supported one another throughout the past 12 months. You can read the story at https://issuu.com/diomn/docs/aurora_may_2021_web2.






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