What's Coming Up?
- Wed 26 May: P & F Meeting
- Fri 28 May: School Athletics Carnival - (details inside newsletter)
- Mon 7 June: Kinder 2022 Meetings
- Fri 11 June: Semester 1 Reports Published on Compass
From the Principal
Yesterday, our school captains, Lacey and Ben, accompanied Liz Walker and me to Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton, to attend a liturgy celebrating 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. Our school, St Patrick’s Swansea, has been part of that history for almost 70n years, having been founded by the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar.
Our school was opened on Tuesday 29th January 1952 with 30 students in attendance. The parish priest at that time was Fr Leo Boyle. Built at a cost of 5,500 pounds, Swansea Parish was part of the Archdiocese of Sydney. It was not until 1st January 1966 that the parish was incorporated into the Diocese of Maitland.
In those early years, St Patrick’s School was staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph. Its founding principal was Sr Virgilius Perkins. In those early days the nuns, who lived at Belmont, travelled to the Black Neds Bay wharf by rowboat, where they moored the boat, and walked to the school which, at that time, was located on the site of what is now the McDonalds restaurant in Swansea. Local legend has it that, on more than one occasion, the boat capsized and gave the Sisters an additional bath for the day!
In 1971, the school was rebuilt on the original site at McDonalds. In 1977/78, the school was relocated to its present site on the shore of Black Neds Bay. The church, classrooms and cottages were transported on large trucks from the original site. Sr Ellen Shanahan was the principal at the time of this move. It was Sr Ellen who developed our present school logo and school motto, ‘Grow In Hope’.
In 2006 the school was demolished to make way for the buildings which we currently occupy. The new school was blessed and officially opened by Bishop Michael Malone on 23rd February 2007.
The words of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop have a powerful resonance for us at St Patrick’s: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart . . . Be full of hope in God who has been good to us all.” Indeed, we owe a great debt of gratitude to the Sisters of St Joseph and the early parishioners of Swansea, who saw a need for a Catholic school and allowed it to grow. The Gospel message calls us to “Grow In Hope”. With a rich tradition of Josephite education, the future of our students is filled with hope.
For me, it is a privilege to have served St Patrick’s as its principal for the past ten years. I have, however, decided to retire at the end of this school year. I have made many friends among the community of parents and carers, and I hope that there will be opportunities for me to thank each of you personally between now and the end of this year.
Have a good week.
Our annual school athletics carnival will be held this Friday (28th May 2021) at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Centre, 120 Smith Street, Newcastle West. It is an all-weather track.
- All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will be attending the carnival.
- The students will be transported to the venue by bus, departing from the school at 9:15am and returning by 2:55pm.
- The carnival will commence at 10:00am. The students will rotate around six stations in their age groups and will participate in running races, long jump, shot put and novelty events.
- The students will wear their sport uniform, but are welcome to wear a T-shirt in their house colour. (Blue, Gold or Green)
- There will be no canteen facilities available. The students will need to bring:
- Morning Tea
- At the conclusion of the carnival, parents and carers are welcome to take their children straight home from the venue, but the students must be signed out by the class teacher before leaving. – only one bus has been booked for return to school.
- For the carnival to run smoothly, we need volunteers. If you are a registered volunteer (i.e. you have completed the registration process), please respond with your availability and preferred duty using this link. Please reply before Wednesday next week (25th May).
Volunteer Registration Process
If you are not yet registered to volunteer, please read the volunteer handbook and return the following forms to the school office:
- Registration form (page 16)
- Volunteer policy declaration (page 20)
- Code of conduct declaration (page 25)
- Statutory screening selection tool (page 26) and, if required, the Working with Children Check Clearance (page 27).
When the above forms have been sent to the Catholic Schools Office, you will be sent a National Criminal History Check to complete. This will be sent to you via email from VerifyNow and must be completed within 5 days of receiving the email. Please also note that the process for registration can take longer than 1 week.
SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR THIS FRIDAY’S ATHLETICS CARNIVAL
Whenever we organise an event such as an athletics carnival, we are required to develop a risk assessment to ensure that everybody – students, staff and spectators – are safe. The precautions that the students must take will be communicated to them throughout this week.
Some of the precautions that parents and carers will need to consider are as follows:
1. Travel sickness
- If your child is prone to travel sickness, alert their teacher, so that they can be seated at the front of the bus.
- If travel sickness medication is required, ensure that it is administered prior to the morning trip.
- If your child requires travel sickness medication for the return journey, place it in a sealed envelope with your child’s name printed on the envelope, as well as any instructions required for administration of the medication. Give the envelope to Bronwyn Sartori before the bus departs.
2. Sun protection
- The students will be required to wear hats while they are not competing. Please ensure that your child brings a hat.
- Please ensure that your child brings sunscreen.
3. Cold weather
- Please ensure that your child brings adequate warm clothing in case the weather turns cold.
4. Hand sanitiser
- Hand sanitiser will be available at the entry point and is recommended for use by all adults entering the athletics centre.
FROM THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Pentecost Sunday is the birthday of the Church. The word Pentecost comes from the Greek word meaning fifty. It signifies the ending of the Easter Season. In Jewish tradition, on the fiftieth day after Passover people gathered to celebrate the blessing of the harvest. This was one reason why the disciples, Mary and some of the other women were gathered together.
The coming of the Spirit filled them with the courage and strength they needed to go out and evangelise. They went out, led by St Peter, to preach about Jesus Christ and the salvation to be found through him. They went to continue the ministry of Jesus, gathering followers and believers who in turn spoke of the Good News of Christ. Pentecost Sunday was the founding day of the Church, the day that Jesus’ promise of sending the Spirit came true. For the disciples it was a day of enlightenment, when they came to full realisation of the Spirit that Jesus had breathed into them.
That same Spirit is received in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to give his people the strength and courage to continue to carry out his mission. Is that still happening here today? Christ called both men and women to follow him and be his disciples. This challenge is here for all.
Religious Education Coordinator
News from the library
Last week the students went on an intergalactic adventure for the National Simultaneous Story time. Dr Shannon Walker (NASA Astronaut) read the book ‘Give me some Space’ by Philip Bunting from the International Space Station. The students loved seeing what life is like from the space station. They even watched a rocket launch into space.