The School Newsletter Week 7, Term 4 2021

What's Coming Up

  • Tomorrow (Wed 17 Nov): School Photo Day
  • Tomorrow (Wed 17 Nov): Parent Engagement Group Meeting 7:45pm
  • Friday 19 Nov: 2022 Kinder Orientation 9:30am-11:30am
  • Friday19 Nov: Crazy Sock Day
  • Wednesday 24 Nov: Book Week Parade
  • Tuesday 30 Nov: Year 3-6 Blackbutt Excursion


From the Principal

It is with sadness I inform you of the death of Bishop Bill Wright, who died last Saturday afternoon at Maitland Hospital, having succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 69. Bishop Bill was ordained as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle on 15th June 2011 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton. It was only September when the Bishop announced his ill health and confirmed he had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Whilst he had confirmed his ill health, the speed of Bishop Bill’s death was unexpected. Our prayers and sympathies are with the Bishop’s family at this time.

In his bulletin to schools, our Director of Schools, Gerard Mowbray, has written a moving tribute to Bishop Bill:

“Bishop Bill always took a very keen interest in Catholic schools seeking quality learning outcomes, effective and relevant Religious Education curriculum, an insistence on our work in their Catholic identity and great commitment to the formation of our staff working in Catholic schools – all areas we have made significant developments in. He was a wise, steady pastor who was never swayed by opinion or media, always serving that which was just and principled. We have lost a powerful ally for Catholic schools.”

Details of Bishop Bill’s funeral have not yet been finalised, but information will be shared when it is available.


On Thursday this week (25th November), our new principal, Lucy Harvey, will visit St Patrick’s. She is looking forward to meeting with the staff and getting to know our students. I will spend a good deal of time with Lucy, passing on information that will make her transition to St Patrick’s as smooth as possible. Lucy has told me that she is very excited about coming to St Patrick’s.

Peter Green



School Photos will be taken tomorrow. Please ensure that your child is wearing the correct school uniform, with shoes polished, and hair neat and tidy.

All parents have been emailed directly from MSP Photography the instructions on how to place photo orders. Ordering requires your login details for Compass. If you are unsure of these details, please contact the school office for assistance with resetting your password. For any other order retaled questions, please conact MSP directly.

This year no group photos will be taken. Group and Class photos will be provided in a composite manner only.

If you wish to order family photos. You can select this option once you are on the profile area of your last child: - see image explanation below.



Sadly, our school counsellor, Melanie Dawson, has been redeployed to another of our Diocesan schools in 2022. Mel has worked at St Patrick’s since last year and, in the brief time that she has been with us, she has had a lasting and significant impact on the wellbeing of our students. Apart from her formal consultations with students and their families within the privacy of an office. Mel likes nothing better than to meet with students on their territory – on the handball court, playing table tennis or just sitting on the playground. It is this hands-on approach that has endeared the students to Mel and earned her their respect and admiration. Having given so much of her time to our students during the school day, Mel is frequently required to deal with the paperwork aspect of her role in her own time, while balancing her responsibility as a parent of two children. It is not unusual for me to receive an emailed report from her late at night. Mel’s pastoral care extends to the staff, and her capacity to say the right thing at just the right time has brought comfort to her colleagues at difficult times. Mel will be sadly missed at St Patrick’s next year.

In 2022, Mel will be replaced by Krystle Perrin. Krystle is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the counselling team at St John’s Maitland and Rosary Park Branxton for the last two years. Krystle lives locally and is excited to be coming to St Patrick’s. The handover from Mel to Krystle will be seamless, and I am confident that Krystle will continue to deliver a high standard of service to our students.

Peter Green



After a few postponements we will celebrate Book Week next week (November 22 to 26), with our Book Week parade taking place on Wednesday 24th November at 9.00am. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions will mean that parents and carers will be unable to attend the Book Week parade, but we will live stream it through Facebook for those who would like to tune in.

The book fair will be open for business all week. Again, due to COVID restrictions, parents and carers will be unable to come into the school to purchase books, so we will photograph the books, their shelf locations, and prices. The students will be able to create wish lists. Payments can be made online or with cash. More information will follow through Compass and Facebook.

We know which book characters we are dressing up as. We hope you have been thinking about your costumes too.

Karen Devlin (Teacher librarian)



Socktober for Mission Month encourages us to engage with mission for children by using our heads to enquire about the reality of the world around us, using our hearts to feel empathy for those in situations of great need, and using our hands to take action for them in whatever way we are able.

To acknowledge and support the work of Catholic Mission, we will be having a crazy sock day this Friday (19th November). On this day, we are encouraging the students to wear bright and colourful socks for a small donation, which will go towards supporting a Kindergarten in Thailand that is run by the Good Shepherd Sisters. On this day the students will also be participating in a formation experience in their classrooms, followed by a goal kick shoot-out with the soccer balls that they will be making.

If you would like to learn more about Socktober 2021, go to https://www.socktober.org.au/about

Online donations can be made directly to our school fundraising page: https://www.socktober.org.au/fundraisers/daniellockwood

Thank you for yor support.

Daniel Lockwood (Religious Education Coordinator)



Last Thursday the school gathered to commemorate Remembrance Day. The Year 6 students led the school through the liturgy in a very reverent manner. The liturgy included the Last Post, a minute of silence and a recital of the Ode.

Thanks to Year 6 for their leadership, and to Mr Green for sharing the story of his great uncle - Lieutenant Cornelius (‘Con’) Bradburn - who was mortally wounded in France on 4th October 1917. Mr Green showed the students a set of Rosary beads which was found in Con’s pocket after he died and which was sent back to his sister in Australia.

Daniel Lockwood (Religious Education Coordinator)



A reminder that tomorrow evening’s PEG meeting will take place both face-to-face and via Zoom. If you are attending the meeting face-to-face:

  1. Do not attend the face-to-face meeting if you are unwell.
  2. You must be fully vaccinated to attend the face-to-face meeting. Please show evidence of full vaccination as you enter.
  3. Please check in using our QR code as you enter.
  4. Please observe good hygiene. Hand sanitiser will be available.
  5. Please wear a mask for the duration of the evening, except when you are eating and drinking.

Refreshments will be available in the school library from 7.15pm. The food will be individually wrapped. The meeting will begin at 7.30pm.


This will be our final PEG meeting for 2021.

For those who prefer to attend by Zoom, please use the following link and password:

Password: 022654


Year 7 Parent/Carers and Students Information Evening.

December 1st, 2021.

Due to the current COVID safety protocols, the St Mary’s Catholic College Gateshead Year 7 (2022) Parent/ Carer and Student Information Evening will be held as an online information session on Wednesday December 1st 2021, from 6.00 – 7.00pm. The College’s aim is to welcome next year’s enrolled students and families to the College and provide information to ensure a well-prepared beginning Year 7 in Community in 2022.

A letter from the College has been sent to Parents and Carers informing them of our planned evening.

If you have any queries or need more information, please contact the College on 4944 4800.





Thankfully, COVID restrictions have eased to the point where we are now able to host our orientation mornings for our Kindergarten 2022 students. Our first orientation morning will take place this Friday morning. Our Year 4 senior buddies are looking forward to meeting their new buddies. We feel very confident that our students will do a wonderful job of making them feel safe and welcome.



Due to COVID restrictions, the students of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 have not had an opportunity for a class excursion this year. As those restrictions have now eased, we are inviting those students to spend a day out together at Blackbutt Reserve.

  • Date: Tuesday 30th November 2021.
  • Time: Leaving the school at 9.00am. Returning to the school at 2.45pm.
  • What to wear: Sport uniform, including a hat.
  • What to bring: Lunch, afternoon tea and plenty of water.
  • Transport: As we are required to ensure that the cohorts of students remain separate, we will be transporting the students to and from Blackbutt Reserve in small buses, with one class designated to each bus. We have developed a risk assessment that will enable us to ensure that other COVID-safe protocols are followed.
  • Volunteers: Unfortunately, COVID regulations do not allow us to have parents and carers as volunteers on the day.
  • What will we do? While Blackbutt Reserve normally offers a range of educational experiences for children, these experiences are not currently available, due to COVID restrictions. However, we plan to spend our day looking at the animal enclosures, bushwalking, playing games and picnicking. It promises to be a fun day out.
  • Cost: $15.00 per student. Payment can be made via the QKR app, where a special excursion section has been set up for ease of use. Alternatively, you can call the school office with your credit card details over the phone.
  • Consent: If you give consent for your child to attend the excursion, simply pay the fee. We will assume that parents/carers who do not pay do not give consent for their children to attend. Those students will undertake lessons on that day at school.



With school holidays just around the corner, students will be spending more time at home and online. These eSafety webinars are guides for parents to help keep their children and young people safe this summer.

Webinar #1: Parent guide to digital technologies and mental health

  • Date: Thursday 18th November, 12.30 to 1.30pm.
  • This webinar will provide parents and carers with an understanding of how games, apps and social media can influence young people’s mental wellbeing. It is designed for parents and carers of young people aged 10-18. It will cover:

o What to do about accidental exposure to content about suicide, self-harm or eating disorders.

o Using games, apps ad social media to support mental wellbeing.

o The pros and cons of digital media platforms.

o Strategies for young people to support friends online.

Webinar #2: Parent guide to online gaming

  • Date: Wednesday 24th November 7.30 to 8.30 pm
  • This webinar will provide parents and carers with an understanding of the benefits and risks of online gaming. It is designed for parents and carers of children aged 8–13. It will cover:

o eSafety’s State of play research.

o The games young people are using and how they are engaging with them .

o The benefits of gaming and how to mitigate risks.

o Practical strategies to use at home and where to find help and support if things go wrong.



Unless otherwise stated, the advertisements placed in this Newsletter are placed by independent third parties who have no legal relationship with the Diocese. The activities or services of the advertisers are not supervised or controlled in any way by the Diocese. The Diocese is not in a position to endorse the advertisers or the services provided and make no representation about those matters. Accordingly, the diocese cannot accept any responsibility for the advertisers or the activities or services that are the subject of these advertisements

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