Year 9 Reflection Day
This year's reflection day was filled with excitement, laughter and happiness as we learnt many important life lessons as a year group. We first started the day by coming together to be introduced to the Youth Mission Team. They were extremely friendly, kind and engaging. They were always willing to talk to us and were very helpful throughout the day.
Some of the Youth Mission team shared their personal stories on how having a relationship with God benefited their lives and impacted them in positive ways. The theme that we learnt about was Social Justice so the day was filled with a mix of fun, excitement, laughter and important life lessons.
After the introduction we were put into smaller groups to talk about who we would save if there was a zombie apocalypse. It was very interesting because we had to choose based on their appearance. Once we had chosen, we were given some details about each person and realised that some of the people were more helpful than others. So we swapped them out and this made us realise that you cannot judge a book by its cover.
Throughout the day there were numerous plays presented to us. They were very interactive and everyone wanted to participate. Some were funny, whilst others had a very serious message. They made us think about what the people were trying to tell us and how every action we make will eventually impact upon us.
The Youth Mission team taught us how to treat others with respect, to not judge people by their looks and how God can influence our decisions in a positive way and lead us onto the right path. The Youth Mission team were really welcoming, funny, engaging and insightful; teaching Year 9 many lessons about social justice and how the issues relate to us.
Year 10 PASS Ski Trip
On Sunday, 26 August Year 10 Pass girls departed from St Mary’s to travel to Jindabyne, 40 minutes away from Thredbo. After a long, loud and chaotic bus trip and a quick food stop at Cooma, we finally reached Bungarra Alpine Resort. After the bus was unloaded, we met the ALI staff and were sized up for our ski gear. Then we retired to our cabins for an early night in preparation for a couple of big days ahead.
Day one - 6:30am wake up, scoffed down our breakfast eagerly anticipating the slopes, for some of us this was the first-time seeing snow. Arriving at Thredbo we were settled into our lesson groups and began to learn the basics or for some groups hit the slopes straight away. After many stacks and falls (but a lot more laughs!) our frustration quickly disappeared as we took to the Friday Flats.
Day two - another 6:30am alarm, another yummy breakfast and an early arrival at Thredbo. Today involved our final lesson with our skilled instructors and the rest of the day was spent in our buddy groups for free time. Slowly we started to feel the tiredness and sore muscles, we took the bus home and decided to get ready for what the teachers thought was an “early night”.
Day three - our final day. Waking up earlier than usual, we packed up our things cleaned up the cabins and said good-bye to the Alpine Resort. Feeling a little sore and tired we were a bit apprehensive about the day of cross-country skiing ahead of us but took on the challenge of learning even more skills. We finally reached the top of the mountain to see an extraordinary view. The struggle was well worth it! Sliding down the mountains on our stomachs, having a whole class snowball fight and taking some very aesthetically pleasing photos, we knew the entirety of our class had bonded after the trip.
Finally, a long bus ride home, we knew that we had accomplished so many things on this trip.
We would like to thank all the ALI staff members as well as Ms Marlow, Mrs Preeo, Ms Kelly, Mr Lechner and Mrs Sparks for taking time away from their own families. Also, Ms Kent and Ms Goodman for organising all the costs and activities.
Thanks girls for a great time!
Women in Sport Competition
A âWomen in Sportâ tabloid event was held on both Good Samaritan Day and the National PDHPE Day of celebrations.
The events involved students completing a round of seven sporting skills as fast as they could.
Year 7: Charlotte Hall and Ava Hamilton
Year 8: Alexandra Jones, Demi Gay and Tylah Lee
Year 9: Lauren Rooke, Cleo Fein, Imogen Thompson, Neave Ferguson, Bri Carboni and Claudia Decker
Year 10: Sophie Rodwell
Year 11: Jamie Mayes and Victoria Guest
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following businesses for providing fantastic prizes to help promote physical activity for our students and raise funds for St Vincent de Paul:
Savvy Fitness donated 6 ONE MONTH PASSES for a student and a parent
Pines Surfing Academy donated 6 LEARN TO SURF VOUCHERS including a T-shirt and bag
University of Wollongong Recreation Centre donated 2 ONE MONTH GOLD PASSES to their fitness centre
Wollongong City Council donated a 1 MONTH MEMBERSHIP at Beaton Park Leisure Centre.
Students visit BlueScope
On Thursday, 5 September a selection of Year 10 students had the opportunity to visit BlueScope Steel and tour the facilities. This experience was to engage students in career choices at BlueScope. Students came away from the experience full of excitement and some new ideas for their post school careers.
Thank you Mr Berry for taking the students on the tour. If students are interested in participating in a BlueScope excursion, we will be organising another tour in Term 4 and students are asked to contact Mrs Judd for more information.
Student Book Lovers Club
To follow on from the success of the Reading Challenge, the Library is starting a “Book Lovers Club” for students. There is a sign on sheet at the PLC desk or students can sign up online : CLICK HERE to sign up for the Student Book Lovers Club
Science @ St Marys
A random walk through the labs today found students inquiring into the world around them.
Year 9 students observing a chemical reaction in test tubes and Year 8 students experimenting with light energy and colour.
Positive Body Image
Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception (The Butterfly Foundation, 2019). We get many messages about how we should look and behave and not all of these are healthy messages - all of this can be confusing especially when we are trying to figure our place in the world! As Morgan Harper Nichols stated in her quote “You can still be who you are meant to be without meeting everyone’s expectations of you”. Please refer to the download section for the full article including strategies that recognise the benefits of valuing yourself for who you are rather than what you look like.
PLC Reading Challenge Winners
The annual PLC Reading Challenge has become a great tradition for our book lovers.
- First Place: UNGUNMERR- BAUMANN (229 points)
- Second Place: FOLEY (183 points)
- Third Place: HAYES (111 points)
PLC Committee Book and Bake Sale
On Good Sams Day, our PLC student committee organised a book and bake stall as a fundraiser for Indigenous Literacy. A big thank you to the students who baked or donated books for the stall, the sales raised $145 for this great cause.
P.A.R.T.Y. Program Helps Teenagers to Think Twice
Last week 30 Year 10 students had the opportunity to participate in the P.A.R.T.Y. Program at Royal North Shore Hospital. This program addresses the very real concerns of trauma related injuries as a result of risk related decision making in adolescents. Throughout the day students had the opportunity to learn about the realities of drugs and alcohol, experience real life scenarios in both ED and ICU, consider the possibilities of organ donation and listen to the stories of injury survivors, living with long term disabilities.
The students found the program powerful, informative and eye-opening. Throughout the day, presentations reinforced that every single accident is preventable. Through the real life stories shared, the students were able to recognise the importance of identifying the links between choices, risk and their related consequences.
Some of the thoughts shared by the students included:
“I now realise that it can take just a moment to change your life completely”
“I now understand the importance of seeking medical help immediately”
“That we often think ‘it won’t happen to me’, but it just might and this would impact not only me, but my friends, family and so many others”
“I realise now that I have been optimistic. The P.A.R.T.Y. Program taught me that everyone needs to be so careful in relation to drugs and alcohol”
The program is open to 30 students per school per year. Whilst this is only a small number, it is hoped that the strength of the experience is shared through
the influence of peers. We have invited our students to speak about their day with their PDHPE classes, along with friends and family. We also hope
to engage one of the speakers to meet all of Year 10 later in the year.
Mater Dei Feast Day
On Wednesday, 31 July, the 2019 Pastoral Liaison's Bethany Bujaroski and Demi Goddard and Social Justice Captains Amelia McGrath and Caroline Martin, along with Mrs Walsh embarked on a bus ride to Mater Dei Catholic School in Camden.
The day began with a beautiful mass, with all the students energetically singing hymns and the School Captain performing a lovely solo. Following the mass,
morning tea was provided before each visiting school was allocated an activity to run. St Mary’s was given the most competitive activity of the day
Tug-o-war. Students from Mater Dei rotated around the activities in class groups and almost every class that visited our activity asked could the boys
verse the girls. With a little help from us, the girls were victorious and the boys obviously requested a re-match. When asked about their favourite
part of the day, many students replied “Tug-o-war!”
Following the activities, lunch was provided for all the volunteers which comprised of homemade soup, sandwiches and a delicious apple crumble. The staff at Mater Dei were very friendly and showed pride in their wonderful school community. At the conclusion of lunch, volunteers were welcomed back into the hall to enjoy a magic show and disco with students. The room was filled with giggles and when the music started the students busted out dance moves worthy of Mick Jagger. We had a great time wandering around and dancing with different students.
The day was such a wonderful encounter, we made many new friends and experienced how life at Mater Dei works. The staff were so generous and the students
were delightful. Overall it was an amazing day.
Good Sam's Day - RSPCA fundraiser
A big thank you Mr Luck for bringing in his free range chickens for our RSPCA fundraiser. Many students enjoyed their time feeding and petting the lovely chickens.
Good Samaritan's Day
From the Principal
The story of the Good Samaritan is one that is told in many different ways in communities and in churches across the world. As you are aware we are a Good Samaritan Education College and the story of the Good Samaritan and the work of the Good Samaritan Sisters is foundational to who we are and what we do. I was reminded of this at our recent Good Samaritan Day celebrations where we were joined by two Good Samaritan Sisters from our own community. We have four Good Samaritan Sisters who live in the convent next to the College. You may know of Sister Rita, who works at the College in pastoral care, we also have Sr Joan Sparks and Sr Eileen Brown (both former St Mary’s students) and Sr Gemma Cahill, who are part of the community and part of our community.
The Good Samaritan Sisters have had a presence in Wollongong for a very long time and they established a number of schools in the Diocese. The Sisters opened St Mary’s College in 1873 and they have been a constant presence in our community ever since. The Good Samaritan Order is an Australian Order of religious women founded by Archbishop John Bede Polding in 1857. He chose this name because he firmly believed that their work was about being a neighbour to the poor and destitute women and children of Sydney. Our sisters, like all Good Sams, continue this work by showing love and compassion to all in need. We are blessed to have the Sisters in our community as they give living witness to our story and the values that have formed our community.
Our Year 7 girls joined with Year 7 boys from Edmund Rice College for an Activities Day on Thursday, 12 September followed by a dance that evening. This is the first occasion the girls and the boys from ERC have had to gather and to spend time playing sport and engaging in various structured activities. For many girls this day gave them the opportunity to catch up with boys they had attended primary school with and to compare experiences of high school. The behaviour of the girls was exemplary as they showed great maturity and some ‘smooth moves’ on the dance floor, demonstrating to the boys what St Mary’s girls can do. My thanks to the girls for being excellent St Mary’s ambassadors and to all staff involved in the day and the evening for their work.
The Year 11 students are having their first experience of major assessments as they are in the middle of their Preliminary exams which is their final step before they begin their HSC year at the commencement of Term 4. The girls appear relatively calm and quite relaxed as they cope with a fairly intensive timetable of exams to complete the requirements of Year 11. Unfortunately, they are not getting much sympathy from the Year 12 girls who have completed their Trial HSC exams, completed the practical components of their HSC exams, submitted projects, portfolios and major works, and undertaken their HSC oral languages exams.
Needless to say, the Year 12 girls are looking forward to the next few weeks when they begin the various graduation events that mark the end of school. The girls will then move into full study mode as they begin preparing for their written HSC exams which commence on 19 October. The HSC written exams conclude on 11 November and the girls begin a period of waiting for HSC results and ATAR’s which are scheduled for release on 17 December.
I wish you and your families a relaxing and peaceful weekend.
Father's Day Breakfast
BIKE Week is coming!
NSW Bike Week 2019 will be running from 21 – 29 September, Wollongong Council’s main Bike Week event will be held at Lang Park, City Beach on Saturday, 21 September from 9am – 1pm.
Please see the poster in the download sections for full details, please feel free to contact the Traffic Unit Care of 4227 7111 should you have any enquiries.
Australian History Competition
The Australian History competition is an Australia wide competition run by the History Teacher's Association of Australia which challenges students to demonstrate their understanding of the historical inquiry process and apply key skills in History.
Students awarded a HIGH DISTINCTION performed in the top 1% in their Year level across Australia.
At a recent College Assembly, the following students were awarded certificates of HIGH DISTINCTION:
Jemma Toohey - Year 10
Aoibh Costello -Year 10
Charlotte Kelly - Year 9
Saskia McIntyre - Year 7
The following students were awarded a DISTINCTION for performing in the top 10% in their Year level across Australia:
Charlotte Moylan - Year 7
Cecilia Carolan - Year 9
Jessica Hall - Year 10
Amelia Roodenrys - Year 10
Imogen Woolnough - Year 10
Layla Tarhan - Year 10
Tess Ryan - Year 10
Adolescent Anxiety Program
There is a lot of discussion about anxiety these days. Everyone experiences a degree of anxiety. A healthy level of anxiety can help us get much needed study completed or helps our bodies recognise new experiences or times when nerves are completely normal and appropriate. This might be starting a new job or attending an event where we only know a small number of people. However, for some people it can begin to interfere with daily functioning and wellbeing. If this is the case for your teenager the Northfields Psychology Clinic are running an Adolescent Anxiety Program that would be worth considering. The ‘Chilled Program’ aims to address concerns with anxiety and provide practical skills to help adolescents manage these feelings. See the download section for details.
This week there are two great articles in the downloads.
- Are you asking your kids to step up? – This article highlights the importance of providing opportunities for young people to step up and into independence. There is also a related free Webinar on September 18 which is well worth considering.
- When Relationships go wrong with girls – As a parent of daughters there are going to be times when they need our help to process their thoughts when relationships turn sour. This article helps parents navigate these times and provides insights into how you can be there to support them.
NSWCCC Netball Championships
Three St Mary’s Netball Teams travelled to Penrith on Tuesday, 20 August for the NSWCCC Netball Championships.
All three teams knew they would face tough opposition in the top championship division. All players displayed excellent sportsmanship across the day and
some skilful play as they competed against teams from all across the state. A special mention to the intermediate team that reached the final and came
runners up on the day.
Thank you to the umpires and staff who supported and assisted on the day.
Junior team - 2nd position
Sophie Yates, Alannah Curtis, Gemma Starcic, Genevieve Bosker, Gabby Eaton, Larissa Jovanovski, Lilly Merrick, Jenna Chiodo and Maddie Simpson.
Coached by: Sarah Goodman
Intermediate Squad - 2nd position overall
Claudia McGoldrick, Zoe Smith, Georgia Chrystal-Foy , Mia Evans, Riahnna Ricardo, Natalie Tomasiello, Dakota Hudson, Adysen O'Brien, Selene Chadrawy, Olivia
Coloquhon and Sophie Rodwell.
Coached by: Donna Fearon
Senior Squad - 4th position
Emily Stewart, Victoria Guest, Erin Body, Tenaya Hegarty, Chloe Bourke, Amy McHugh, Annalise Chadrawy, Luisa Kaihea, Hayley Reeves, Matilda Moate
Coached by: Lauren Kent