Creativity in COVID
Globally, we have seen many samples of creativity. Equally talented are many students at St Mary's.
Here is one example of beautiful artwork by Sienna Markou, Year 9.
Please see the downloads for more creative pieces.
During the Summer holidays, I decided I would submit an artwork to the Young Archie’s Competition, which is an annual art competition for young Australians to participate in. The topic was: someone who is close to me so I drew my little brother, Aristos.
My brother is very dear to me; he is always by my side, cheering me up when I’m down, and I am so grateful to have him. The A3 size drawing is of him on his first day of primary school, and communicates his bubbly and positive attitude. I’m excited to find out the results of the competition, but I am just super glad I had the opportunity to partake in such a cool competition.
Year 7 Music
Music is still alive and well at St Mary's with Year 7 starting a unit on orchestral instruments. Many students were able to access instruments at home and participate in a practical lesson, playing Vivaldiâs Spring. It was great hearing keyboard (physical and virtual on Garage Band), guitar, ukulele, recorder and clarinet all playing the famous classical piece.
Thank you to the support of parents who have these instruments in their homes.
Year 12 Chemistry class Depth Study work
Year 12 Chemistry have been busy all term working on a depth study investigating the acidic nature of different substances. For some students, this involved determining the pH of a range of household substances, by using many different natural indicators which the students prepared. For others, they were investigating the acidity of different fruits, whether it was the difference between different coloured grapes or store bought versus home grown lemons.
The depth studies in Years 11 and 12 allow the students an opportunity to dive a little deeper into one of the syllabus areas, while developing their ability to work as a real scientist and test a theory or hypothesis. The girls have had a great time engaging with all of the practical work they needed to design and carry out their studies.
Top Books, Movies and TV Shows
This week's Birthday List
Happy birthday to those students celebrating this week!
Saturday: Lily G - SUL3
Sunday: Bianca K - LYO6, Sinead S - SUL5
Monday: Jasmine H - KEL8, Bronte M - UNG7, Brielle M - LYO4
Tuesday: Lara J - LYO5
Wednesday: Chloe B - LYO4, Sian B - LYO3, Naoise H - HAY2, Mackenzie S - SUL2
Thursday: Prada C - GIB1, Alex G - SUL6, Jenna S - SUL3
Friday: Olivia B - UNG8, Emma F - FOL8, Eva A - LYO5, Millie L - FOL8, Bethany W - HAY8
St Mary’s Savvy@Home
Have you joined our exclusive Savvy classes yet? Classes are held live every Friday at 1:30pm and then available afterwards on SEQTA to replay at any time.
Holly (Foley 7) shared her experience with us after her first class week 1.
Last week I participated in my first online Savvy Fitness session with the College - what an amazing way to keep fit while at home! The exercises were simple but challenging and were great for pushing myself out of my comfort zone. As a Year 12 student, this was also a fantastic way to take my mind away from technology and stress about the issues in the world we are currently living in.
I would strongly encourage everyone to participate.
St Mary’s Kahoot! Was a Hoot!
This week the Year 9 Leaders and I decided to run a Kahoot for the College. We chose to do a Kahoot on fun facts about the staff of St Mary’s. We learnt many different things about staff and what they do outside the world of St Mary's when they emailed the facts for us to use in the Kahoot.
On Wednesday, we had a massive group of 70 students and staff playing the online quiz. The Year 9 Leaders and I would like to thank the staff for submitting facts about themselves and to thank the staff and students for joining the Kahoot and we hope that everyone enjoyed it.
Congratulations to our winners Ashley, Alana and SuzyQoo (Mrs Wilson!).
Sportswoman of the Week - Jasmine Locke, Year 12
Jasmine is a humble and driven athlete. She has a natural ability to excel in a countless number of sports. In our time here at St Mary’s she has not only demonstrated the values of our College, showcased her strength, determination, selflessness and friendly nature, but she has also achieved great success both academically and in the sporting world.
Jasmine's capacity to balance her school work and assignments, along with her early morning and afternoon training sessions, all without complaint and with an infectious smile is admirable. She has broken multiple school records and won medals at Diocesan carnivals, NSWCCC and All Schools events.
Jasmine is a valuable member of our school community and a humble representative of St Mary’s in soccer, cross country, triathlons and swimming.
In the wider community, Jasmine’s sporting resume grows. She has tried every sport under the sun, playing netball, running, surf lifesaving, physical culture, soccer and swimming to name a few, achieving admirable results at local, state and national competitions.
Jasmine has made numerous sacrifices for the love of her sport, one of which is her sleep. Yes, when most of us are waking up at 7.30am to get ready for school, still complaining that there arn't enough hours in the night, consider an average morning for Jasmine. By this time she has woken up, driven to Sydney, completed a grueling training session, had breakfast on her way home and is getting ready for school. Like they say, hard work pays off!
Recently Jasmine has added kayaking to her range of sports. With her natural sporting ability she competed in South Australia at the Australian Grand Prix Canoe (kayak) event as a NSWIS paddler in the U18 age group. Jasmine took out the individual treble, winning the Women’s U18 K1 200m, 500m, 1000m and the K4 500m. She has since been selected to represent Australia at the 2020 Asia Pacific regatta in Tokyo and the World Junior Championships in Germany, both now postponed to 2021.
Jasmine is only 17 years old yet has achieved so much in a short time. Anyone who knows her would agree, we have never heard her brag or look for recognition. Accomplishments like these are something Jasmine should be extremely proud of and we do not want her efforts to go unnoticed, especially in our school community. Jasmine is a Sports Star to watch for in the future. We are certain she is going to achieve wonderful things in her sporting career!
Please read our interview with Jasmine in the downloads.
Riddles for this Week's Challenge
For this week's challenge, we offer some mind boggling riddles. Give each one your best shot!
1. What is seen in the middle of March and April that can't be seen at the beginning or end of either month?
2. What runs all around a backyard, yet never moves?
3. What tastes better than it smells?
4. A man who was outside in the rain without an umbrella or hat didnât get a single hair on his head wet. Why?
5. Two fathers and two sons went fishing one day. They were there the whole day and only caught 3 fish. One father said, that is enough for all of us, we will have one each. How can this be possible?
6. I am something people love or hate. I change people's appearances and thoughts. If a person takes care of themself I will go up even higher. To some people I will fool them. To others I am a mystery. Some people might want to try and hide me but I will show. No matter how hard people try I will Never go down. What am I?
7. Which of the following words does not belong in the group and why? CORSET, COSTER, SECTOR, ESCORT, COURTS
Find the answers on the last page.
A Mother’s Love
A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain.
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may,
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking.
It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems.
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation.
A many splendored miracle man cannot understand,
And another wonderous evidence of God’s tender guiding hand.
Push Up Challenge
We want you as a member of TEAM SMC in the Pushup Challenge!
Together we will complete 3046 push ups in only 21 days
From the 11th – 31st May 2020
Why should I do it, you may ask?
- It is to raise awareness for and to make a difference in mental health
- 3046 may seem like a random number; but it represents the number of deaths by suicide in Australia in 2018
- You will gain fitness as well as becoming mentally tougher
- Also, who doesn't want to be social and have a healthy competition with friends!
How it works:
- YOU get to complete it by yourself or as a team if you would like to create one
- YOU are in charge of how many you do each day and whether you spread them over the course of the day or do them at once
- YOU have 21 days to complete the 3046 pushups
- YOU have the option to fundraise money which will go towards headspace in Wollongong
- If you are under 18, your parents or guardian will need to fill out a permission form
JOIN THE FUN AND HELP RAISE AWARENESS FOR A WORTHY CAUSE
SIGN UP THROUGH THE LINK BELOW
Library Moments of Joy
Although we aren’t in our beautiful PLC space, there have been many moments of joy with our students, below are just a couple of examples.
Student Book Lovers Club has been meeting via MS Teams, giving students a chance to discuss all things books. At our first meeting our discussion point was holiday reads and of course the usual discussion of Percy Jackson books! In a lovely exchange of holiday read titles, one of the students was discussing “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. In a millisecond another student inquired “what language are you learning at school”. “French” was the reply. There is now an offer of lending the French version of the book to the student when they are back on site.
Personal Project sessions via MS Teams for Year 10 students have been advertised on SEQTA notices and on noticing this, one of our Year
11 students quickly contacted me. “Miss, would you like to me to come to the PP Sessions so the Year 10 students can ask me questions?” Thank you,
Laura Borg, for this very generous offer, the students have appreciated asking firsthand experience of the PP.
Our inaugural PLC Short Story Competition runs until the end of Week 3. We have been amazed by the talent of poets and short story authors and will share some of the entries at the conclusion of the competition. Please see the flyer in the downloads.
PLC Reading Challenge
This annual House challenge has another week to run, students can email their Reading Logs to email@example.com or hand in at the Library desk. Winners in each House will receive a $20 Book voucher. The winning House receives the accolades and glory!
The PLC is now on Instagram, this has been another way to connect with students. Follow us at stmarysplc.
In other Library news, Library staff have been busy creating resource lists for Assessment tasks. Students can access these via our Destiny collectionshttps://collections.follettsoftware.com/collections/public
There has understandably been an increase in eBook and Audiobook loans, we have added many new titles our ePlatform collection, access at https://smc-college.wheelers.co/. Students can also request titles and it has been great to see the requests coming in, so I encourage
Mother's Day Competition Poems
Following is one of the entries from our Mother’s Day Poems Competition. Thank you to all the girls who entered and for the beautiful expressions of love and gratitude to your mums and special people in your lives.
Please see the downloads for more entries.
Dear my mother who’s been there since day one,
By Emily Giacometti
Interact Club: Fundraiser for the bushfire affected residents
At the end of Term 1, the Interact Club focused on the urgent needs of residents in southern NSW who were badly affected by the bushfires. These communities have endured much in recent times and not only from the bushfire calamities. The girls organised a very successful bake sale and raised $907.75. This sum was matched by the Illawarra Sunrise Rotary Club who then distributed the funds to needy communities via the Rotary Clubs in those areas. We await reports from Sunrise Rotary on how the funds were used.
The girls were delighted to be able to help and we congratulate them on their generosity, hard work and positive spirit.
House Colour Competition
I See… Red, Orange, Yellow and Purple ….
This weekâs fun House competition is overflowing with House spirit. Your challenge is to capture a photo with as much of your house colours in it as possible!
Check out these images for some inspiration.
Entries due to Miss Magill via email, no later than Friday,15 May. You may also like to post on Instagram and tag @smcwollongonginsta
From the Principal
I am sure that like me, you often think that there is too much noise in the world; too many devices, too much access, too many opinions, too much accountability and too little peace. Perhaps one of the reasons our lives and communities become fractured is because there is too little silence, too little peace and too little time for reflection. Together, all of that means too little room for wisdom. Perhaps the recently imposed restrictions on social distancing that have forced us to remain at home have helped bring a different experience to life; one that has exposed the graces that come with peace and solitude.
As we tentatively move along the road to a resumption of ‘normal’ school, we might reflect on the gifts of this recent period of isolation and remote learning. Many families have cherished the time at home, renewing the bonds of family that are often tested with the distractions and busyness of daily life. And for some students too, there has been appreciation for a life less cluttered. But overwhelmingly I think, there has emerged renewed appreciation for the things temporarily lost; the joy of relationship and the shared endeavors of our community at St Mary’s. These are the things that we look forward to embracing once again when the girls begin to return to the College next week.
Finally, and most importantly, this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day; one of the really beautiful days of the year. There can hardly be anything original
written about Mothers and the role they play in families, in communities, in workplaces and in our circumstance, in schools. It has all been said before.
However, it is timely to be grateful for all of those qualities that we recognise and appreciate in Mothers and more generally in women; intuition
and intelligence, good judgement, a unique capacity to balance multiple tasks and responsibility at one time, both courage and grace under pressure
and the timing to know the need for a kind word, a warm smile, a tender and loving embrace. Mothers and women bring all of that and much more to their
relationships, their workplaces and their communities. At St Mary’s, were it not for the influence of Mothers and women, our work could not continue.
It is as simple as that. Is it any surprise therefore that our community overflows with those qualities above?
We are fortunate that in our tradition, Good Samaritan Education makes a public commitment to the Voice and Experience of Women in Leadership through a statement that proclaims “that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God and therefore all women and men are equal”. The statement expresses a commitment to “encouraging and advancing the full participation of women in the life and mission of the Church as well as academic, cultural, economic, social and political life to better reflect the fullness of the Divine”. This should be a daily resolution, but Mother’s Day does give us special cause to stop, reflect and be grateful for the beautiful gift of Mothers in the lives of all of us.
I hope that Mother’s Day in your home this Sunday is a particularly beautiful day.
Foley House Report
Despite all the recent chaos, Foley House had a very successful and busy start to the year.
We began strongly, with the Swimming Carnival and I'm proud to say that Foley placed 2nd overall, breaking Foley’s famous streak of not being the most 'Athletic House'. The swimming carnival was great fun. We had many opportunities to cheer on the rest of Foley as they swam their way down the pool. The carnival is a great opportunity to display House Spirit.
I am very proud of every student who participated and swam to the best of their ability.
In other news, our Year 7’s have settled in nicely, bonding at the Year 7 Activity Day and BBQ. The girls created and presented an impressive war cry in front of parents and teachers, involved themselves in a multitude of activities and we ended the night with a delicious BBQ dinner.
Unfortunately, the Athletics Carnival along with Foley’s Lenten Activity (Foley Sanga's and Fairy Bread) was cancelled due to the oncoming COVID-19
restrictions. With online learning at the start of Term 2, Foley has participated in an isolation scavenger hunt, along with walks, outdoor COVID-approved
sports and socialising to keep busy, sane and active during these difficult times.
So proud of you girls! Keep the accomplishments coming.
Throughout these past few weeks of our lives, we haven’t had the normality that we are used to, switching from school and work to home. Certainly not the way we all anticipated our 2020, or the start of a new decade to be.
As we sit and ponder on what we have all experienced it brings us back to the theme of the year, ‘On The Road’ and the journey that we have all been through in these unprecedented times. We didn’t expect for our College to split and both staff and students to adapt our lives to working, exercising and participating in school all from our homes. Nor did we expect for toilet paper to become the newest ‘luxury’ of our lives. Additionally, we think we can proudly speak on behalf of all of Year 12 in saying that we didn’t expect our final year of schooling to pan out this way, or for Mr Fitzgerald’s first year as Principal to be communicating with staff and students via MSTeams. In saying this, it's crucial we are optimistic. We can now see that our separating paths on our journey are now being conjoined ‘On The Road’ to normality, with the introduction of some face-to-face learning next week and the easing of restrictions, due to all of our hard work.
With all that’s going on in the world today, through wishful thinking of being back at school, we remember many College assemblies where we listened to
Dr Pitt reminding us to ‘take a step back from the news and the negativity of it’. We often sat there, unsure on what he meant but it has truly
sunk in now. The news is often filled with negative information; how many people have lost their jobs, the new death toll and the rising cases of COVID-19.
It is easy to get stuck within these statistics and negative thoughts. However it is important to take a step back and look at things from a larger
perspective and being grateful; more time to spend with family and pets and the newfound competitions for us all within the College community (Hayes,
I’m talking to you - I hope you have been joining in to get some extra house points).
Within the school calendar, yesterday was our planned school photo date, although our Year 7 students missed this chance for their first photos, and Year
12 their last, we as a community need to remember the famous words of High School Musical, ‘We’re all in this together.’ (Well as together as we can
be at the moment). We hope you are all as excited as we are to see you next week with new front fringes and new TikTok dancing abilities.
A fortnight ago I emailed the students just prior to ANZAC Day suggesting some ways they could mark and celebrate this significant day in the history of
our nation while in isolation. As the grand-daughter of a World War I Veteran and having travelled with a group from St Mary’s to mark the centenary
of ANZAC at Gallipoli, I am mindful of my responsibilities to remember and observe the sacrifices of the past, even as we always look towards a time
As a quick return to my email communication a Year 7 student shared with me that she thought her grandfather might have served in the war and that April 25th was her mother’s birthday. The email made me smile. Here was a young woman trying to make sense of the complexities of her own situation and searching out a way to mark and celebrate two very different realities. As I stood in my driveway at sunrise on the 25th I looked down my suburban street at individuals and families with candles and flags standing in silence in the stillness of the morning and in this strange time. They sang with faltering voices: “With courage let us all combine, To Advance Australia Fair.” Fleetingly, I hoped the mother of my Year 7 correspondent found a way to celebrate a happy birthday.
A week later one of my closest friends celebrated her 50th birthday. Some people like to celebrate quietly and let birthday celebrations pass by almost unnoticed. This particular friend prefers a birthday festival. She has been planning it since her last birthday when the world was a different place. To be fair, she is an ever-generous host who often invites her many friends to her table. She has an eye for detail and an embracing, expansive understanding of what it means to live hospitality whether that is a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for the child of a friend, meals delivered with re-heating instructions in times of stress or Christmas take-home packs of peanut butter balls.
Those of us who share the meals she has prepared often find that with the first mouthful we are bereft of actual words and find ourselves making appreciative noises, such are the feasts she sets before us. This year she had to put her 50th on hold and be content with flowers, wine, gift vouchers, texts, Facebook messages, cards, letters, Zoom catch-ups and promises of what will be after lock-down. Not quite the celebrations she hoped for and I'm sure that in some ways she was disappointed. Still, she did comment that she felt loved. It seems that lock-down enables us to find the words to bring us close together even when we are apart.
As I write this, Mother's Day sits on the horizon of this weekend. Another celebration when we observe, remember and consider the sacrifices made over time to create our families. School celebrations to mark the day are missing from our calendar this year. No doubt many celebrations in families this weekend will need to be creative as a response to the times.
Whatever the limitations, whatever the changes to familiar rituals, whatever the adjustments that may need to be made, the core of Sunday is the love that binds people together. Love is love, no matter where or how it is celebrated. My Year 7 friend who emailed me before ANZAC Day reassures me that our students know this in their hearts. No doubt they will find ways to surprise and embrace their mothers and those who are often their ‘other mothers’ this Sunday.
Answers to Riddles
1. The letter ‘R’
2. A fence
3. A tongue
4. He was bald
5. There was the father, his son, and his son's son. This equals 2 fathers and 2 sons for a total of 3
7. Courts. All of the others are anagrams of each other.
Social Justice – Service as Action
Send a letter of support to an IRT Aged Care Centre resident.
IRT have launched a 'Write to a Resident' campaign encouraging the community to connect to more isolated members of our community.
In order to protect from COVID-19, IRT residents are currently unable to have visitors or go on outings. They may be physically isolated but you can help
them be less socially isolated.
Let them know they’re not alone by writing a letter of support. Tell them what you have been doing at home or school: share a story, a poem or a painting.
Reply Paid codes are available for the letters to be sent for each of our Aged Care Centres to assist with alleviating costs.
The 'Write to a Resident' post is up on the IRT Facebook page. If you would like more information you can find it on IRT’s landing page https://www.irt.org.au/write-to-a-resident/.
You can write to a resident in the Illawarra area or elsewhere across NSW.
Show Up and Glow UP - yLead Webinar
This week Year 11 and 12 students were given the opportunity to participate in our first virtual web event for students.
It was a chance to pause for a half hour and think about how we can refocus and grow from the challenges we currently face.
Megan and Holly share their thoughts below…
The pandemic of Covid-19 has affected College life drastically, particularly for our senior students. With exams looming and study notes piling around us, it is hard to gain focus and remain optimistic. Luckily, Belinda from the yLead group virtually rejuvenated us with her inspiring presentation. Belinda’s anecdotes from over-coming mountains and the lessons she learnt along the way put perspective into our uncertain lives, encouraging us to work as a strong, supportive cohort.
The media tells us how Covid-19 has and will impact the globe financially and socially but Belinda reminded us that compassion and growth can bloom through experiencing adversity together. The message acts as a perfect reminder of the lessons learnt through the recent Lenten season before the girls return to school on Monday, 11 May. With a new outlook, I am excited to see what myself and my peers achieve in the coming months. (Megan, Kelly 2)
Throughout the seminar with Belinda, we were given the opportunity to assess the moments within isolation that we will be proud of when we look back on this time of our lives. This enabled many of us to gain motivation to adapt and act whilst at home. Belinda called this, #strongerontheotherside. I found the webinar enlightening especially regarding isolation and staying positive. We were asked to consider, what about ourselves we wanted to be proud of after this time. Belinda identified wanting to have courage and pushing through, this struck a chord with me. (Holly, Foley 7)
Year Groups face to face at College
Mon, 11th - Year 12 and Year 11
Tues, 12th - Year 9 and Year 7
Wed, 13th - Year 12 and Year 8
Thur, 14th - Year 12 and Year 10
Fri, 15th - Year 12 and Year 11
Year Groups via MS Teams
Mon, 11th - Years 7/8/9/10
Tues, 12th - Years 8/10/11/12
Wed, 13th - Years 7/9/10/11
Thur, 14th - Years 7/8/9/11
Fri, 15th - Years 7/8/9/10
Transition Time for Uniforms - you may wear either summer or winter.
Winter Uniform from Week 5