What's Coming Up?
- Fri 19 March: St Patrick's Day Celebrations - Out of uniform day, $2 donation. Liturgy at 9:15am in the School Hall
- Wed 24 March: P&F Meeting via Zoom - see details inside newsletter
- Wed 31 March: Parent Engagement Meeting 6.30pm in the library
- Thurs 1 April: Last day Term 1
- Fri 2 April: Good Friday
From the Principal
It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that our learning support teacher, Rachel Wright, has accepted a position at the Catholic Schools Office as an Education Officer: Developmental Disabilities, commencing in Term 2. Mixed feelings because, on the one hand, this is a wonderful opportunity for Rachel to utilise her knowledge and skills to improve outcomes for many students throughout our Diocese. On the other hand, Rachel’s departure will be a significant loss to St Patrick’s. Rachel has had an immeasurable impact not only on the learning outcomes of many of our students, but also on their social and emotional wellbeing. Her understanding of a broad range of developmental disabilities, as well as her extensive network of contacts in the education sector throughout Newcastle and the Hunter, have served us well at St Patrick’s for over six years. A number of parents who have enrolled their children at St Patrick’s have told me that it was Rachel’s expertise in coordinating the provision of additional needs that led to their decision to choose St Patrick’s for their child. I know that I speak on behalf of every staff member at St Patrick’s when I say that we have learnt a great deal from Rachel, and that the processes and systems that she has initiated will continue to guide us in serving the needs of all of our students, particularly those with additional needs.
Rachel’s position is now being advertised. I am confident that we will be able to engage somebody who will continue to advocate for all students, particularly those at risk and those who require additional support. As Rachel will continue to work within our Diocese, she will be available to support her successor. I am very proud to have worked alongside Rachel and, on behalf of everybody in the St Patrick’s community, I wish her all the very best in her new position. She certainly deserves this promotion.
If you wish to offer your own messages of gratitude to Rachel, I am sure that she would love to hear from you. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a good week.
FROM THE REC
1. St Patrick
St. Patrick was born in Britain and as a young man was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery. After six years in Ireland he escaped, returned to his family and trained for the priesthood in Gaul. He returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop. Through his work, Christianity flourished and the Church became organised. St Patrick was known for his sincerity and pastoral care, especially caring for the human dignity of all people. There are many legends about Ireland’s most beloved saint, including his use of the shamrock for explaining the Trinity, and his banishing of all snakes from Ireland.
His story would be ordinary if it were not for his decision to return to Ireland as a well-educated and faith-filled priest to give something back to the country where he had such profound experiences of faith. Patrick used his own experiences of being enslaved, and then his position of influence as a priest, to overcome evil and to offer himself to serve others. He stands as a living witness for the fight against slavery, intolerance and the diminishment of human dignity in our own time. He was someone who made the world a better place.
As a school community, we will celebrate St Patrick’s life and his feast this Friday. We will begin our celebrations in liturgy, led by Kindergarten and Year 2 White. The liturgy will begin at 9.15am and will be held in the school hall. Parents are invited to attend this community celebration. They will need to remain socially distanced at all times. For a $2 donation, students are able to wear something green. Green food will also be available for purchase. All funds raised will be donated to Project Compassion and Rare Cancers Australia.
2. Fourth Week of Lent
This week’s Project Compassion story focuses on the story of Arsad. Arsad, an Indonesian farmer, had no toilet in his house, so he always had to walk into the forest. Not having access to a toilet made his family sick and often led to neighbourhood disputes. With the support of Caritas Australia, Arsad took part in hygiene, sanitation and financial management training. He then funded the building of a toilet in his house and helped other community members to save money to construct their own toilets.
Around 17 percent of Indonesia’s rural population, or 45 million people, practice open defecation – going to the toilet outdoors in fields, forests and other open spaces. Now, Arsad’s family is healthier, and his community no longer practises open defecation. Arsad inspired his community to ‘Be More’. If you would like to watch this week’s story and discuss it further as a family, go to https://lent.caritas.org.au/week-4
The St. Patrick’s community has always been generous when it comes to helping those less fortunate than themselves. The Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal is our community’s social justice event for this term. During this season of Lent we ask again for your generosity and compassion, by supporting the Project Compassion Appeal. You support will also encourage your children to show compassion for those may not enjoy the comforts that many of us enjoy.
Your child has brought home a Project Compassion box. Please encourage them to contribute to this worthy cause. The students are encouraged to return their boxes during the final weeks of Term 1. If you prefer to make a simple electronic donation, please contribute to the St Patrick’s Project Compassion fund raising page: https://lent.caritas.org.au/t/st-patricks-school-team-page
“Aspire not to have more, but to be more.”
Religious Education Coordinator
A sincere thank you to all parents, grandparents and staff members who helped make our cross country last Friday at Swansea Heads such a success. Thank you to all students who participated. Everyone did such a great job running either 2 kilometres or 3 kilometres. It was great to see how many students participated and had such a fun time.
The following students will represent St Patrick’s at the Diocesan cross country event on Tuesday 27th April. At this stage the venue has not been finalised, but we will let you know as soon as we are told.
- 8/9 years: Skye P, Mia P, Evie B, Sebastian K, Drew T, Oscar C.
- 10 years: Sienna R, Lukah T, Sunshine W, Koby M, Aiden B, Jack A.
- 11 years: Madison T, Lara W, Hayden W, Jack C, Banjo H.
- 12 years: Tamika F, Emily J, Alicia S, Nate T, Ben M, Evan W.
We take the top three placegetters to the Diocesan cross country event, but those runners must finish the school cross country within a qualifying time. Hence, we do not have three runners in every event.
Unfortunately, I underestimated the athletic prowess of our Year 6 boys, who beat me soundly in the cross country. Congratulations Nate, Ben, Evan, Robbie and Jacob. Unfortunately, Elijah was unable to run due to an injury, but he spent the entire morning encouraging the other runners at the finish line. Great work, Elijah . . . I am happy to contribute to Rare Cancers Australia on Elijah’s behalf for the incredible spirit that he showed last Friday morning.
Thanks to Cathy Dent who also lost the bet. Cathy obviously thinks I am a faster runner than I had led her to believe!
Sincere thanks to those families who have contributed to this worthy cause. If anybody else would like to contribute, you may donate online at www.kosichallenge.com.au/my-fundraising/718/gemma-and-elliot-wisman-santamaria