Year 7 Reflection Day
On Thurday, 24 October, Year 7 took part in their Reflection Day. We were able to reflect on the past year since starting at St Marys. Throughout the day we participated in a range of different activities. First up we watched a play in the SGN hall called 'Flowers for Algernon', which was very emotional and enjoyable. We then split into House groups and completed three different sessions. During Our Place session we decorated blank canvases with our House colours and our names, this was a great team working activity.
During the session called 'My Place' we talked about the first day of school and answered some questions in a reflection book to explore how we had grown.
We also had extra time to play a game. The third session of the day was called 'Walk for Water' involving carrying a bucket of water from Wollongong
Harbour back to school. We discussed what it was like for children from other parts of the world such as Mission Months focus - Ghana. From this experience
we learnt we should be grateful for what we have and not take everyday essential needs for granted.
Finally, we concluded the day with a Liturgy as a whole year group. It was an enjoyable day filled with reflection and fun!
My Day as the College Courier
Each day a Year 8 student supports the College, acting as a Courier for the Student Office. The experience often provides great insights, here is just one.
It was Tuesday, 29 October, I walked into Student Office looking fresh and ready to start my day. As soon as the clock hands hit 8:45am, I grabbed some green slips, for I was the office’s little helper for the day. Singing Ruel songs in the elevator, I didn’t think this day could be bad. I practically ran around the school to get to my first destination.
When I got back to my ‘base’, the jobs didn’t stop coming. I had to remind teachers to mark the roll, deliver workplace sheets and even a backpack at one point. When it seemed things couldn’t get any more busy, Dr Hack assigned me to stuff cards into envelopes for Year 11, and when I wasn’t doing a job I had to work on my maths assignment which I kept panicking over. I don’t think anyone would want to know the amount of water I had to drink to keep my body temperature stable!
Despite all of this, I can see why I so desperately wanted to be courier before this. I got to go to so many classrooms, where some students said "Hi"
to me. I also got to miss out on normal class work. The ladies running Student Office are so nice and polite and they gave me a chocolate when all
my work was done.
Being the courier is a good opportunity to feel like you’re a very important student since you have to do jobs like taking the lunch orders to the canteen
and the list of bus lines to the PLC. Without a courier, the whole school system may fall apart. I know this is just a small huff compared to the work
that the staff members have to go through every day, so I make this a thank you to the staff that supported me today.
Japanese School visit
Tamagawa Seigakuin Junior High School from Japan visited St Mary’s on 24 October and it was a wonderful experience for all involved. Eighty St Mary’s girls were buddies to our 80 visitors and were involved in a Liturgy, lunch, activities and an amazing dance display by our Japanese guests. There were tears on both sides as the day came to an end with emails and mobile numbers exchanged and promises of continued friendships. It was a memorable intercultural experience all round!
From the Principal
I hope this week has been a happy one for you and that you are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. We have enjoyed beautiful weather over the past few weeks and while more rain would be wonderful, we need to appreciate the moment and enjoy this time of the year. We are at the end of an excellent week, with the College welcoming students on Thursday and Friday for our Try Year 7 for Day and our Year 12 girls fast approaching the end of the HSC which will end on Monday, 11 November. We are also preparing to welcome our Year 7 students for 2020 for their Orientation Day to be held on Wednesday, 13 November. As you can see we are quite busy supporting our senior girls as they finally end the HSC, while welcoming future students into the College. I guess this is the life cycle of schools with its challenges and its wonderful opportunities.
One of my favourite passages from the Old Testament and one that I often quote, is from the Book of Micah and it is about God’s expectations of us. Micah poses the question “and what does the Lord require of you?” The answer is both inspiring and rich in meaning. It is “to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah’s message is still relevant today as we live in a world where compassion and love can be seen to take second place to self-interest and selfishness. Religious rites and good teaching can never compensate for a lack of love in the world. Compliance to rules and regulations is not as valuable in God’s eyes as a humble heart that simply does what’s right. God continually calls each of us to desire justice, seek mercy and act with humility. This is certainly a message that I can happily heed and follow.
As you are aware, next Monday is Remembrance Day, a time where we stop, reflect and remember, those who died as a result of war. Originally called Armistice Day this day was instituted to commemorate the end of World War 1. Today it is a time when we pay our respects to people who have died in battle. We will be reminding students of the significance of this day next Monday and we will be stopping to observe a two-minute silence to reflect on the many sacrifices brave people have made to preserve our freedom.
Next Wednesday will be a very exciting day in the College as we have over 200 young woman visiting their new school for the Year 7 Orientation Day. The girls will meet their Tutor Group Teachers and House Coordinators, spend time with our leaders, and join us for a College assembly where they will meet their community. The new students will be very much looking forward to this day and will get their first real experience of College life. Your daughters may come home with stories about the ‘little girls’ that spent time at the College on Wednesday.
Finally, I congratulate all of our Year 12 students who have, or are close, to completing the HSC. We have a very stoic group who will complete the Physics, Spanish Beginners, Design and Technology and Textiles and Design exams on Monday. The girls have been conscientious and mature in their approach and have remained relatively calm throughout the exam period. We wish all of our Year 12 girls every good wish for the future.
I wish you a happy and peace filled weekend.
Financial Commitment: Final School Fee Statements have been issued to all families. Please ensure regular instalments are being paid to
meet your financial commitment for payment of School Fees. Please note fees are to be paid in full by 30 November, 2019.
Leave of Absence: If a student applies for leave of absence for a holiday or travel, school fees are to be paid prior to approval of leave.
On Monday, 21 October our Junior (Years 7, 8, and 9) and Senior (Years 10 and 11) Basketball teams competed at the Diocesan Carnival at the Wollongong
Both teams went through undefeated in their pools and were successful in defeating Holy Spirit College, Bellambi in both finals. A great day of basketball indeed! A big thank you to Mr Wayne Dent and Mrs Christine Thomas for coaching the teams. Mr Dent has been working with our teams every Friday and has helped develop player’s skills and team work.
Junior Team: Imogen Thompson, Ruby Brannon, Eva Loncar, Mia Evans, Alana Curtis, Lily Wroblewski, Shari Haniffa and Hannah Hegarty
Senior Team: Meg Ohrdorf, Luisa Kaihea, Victoria Guest, Georgia Chrystal-Foy, Audra Pasakarnis, Zoe Smith and Selene Chadrawy
The following week, our Intermediate team attended the NSW CCC Basketball Finals at Windsor for two days. St Mary’s played strongly and defeated the other
three teams in their pool by 20 points in each game. In the quarter final they won 45-25, then won the semi final by 20 to meet St Joseph’s College,
Port Macquarie in the final. St Mary’s got away to a strong start but couldn’t hold them, falling by two at half time. In the second half our girls
played well but could not contain the strong Port Macquarie offensive strategies and ended up losing by 14 points.
Congratulations on your CCC Silver medals girls: Georgia Chrystal-Foy, Audra Pasakarnis, Lily Wroblewski, Imogen Thompson, Ruby Brannon, Eva Loncar, Mia
Evans, Zoe Smith and Alannah Curtis. Well done girls!
Achieve with VET
Year 11 Hospitality students recently completed a practical assessment where they were required to ensure safe preparation and cooking of a range of foods suitable for a Tapas for six people.
The students were being assessed on their ability to use food preparation equipment, prepare appetisers and salads and use hygienic practices for food safety. This task challenged the girls to further develop their skills in a range of methods of cookery as well as important employability skills such as self-management, communication, teamwork and their ability to plan and organise.
The girls worked smoothly and efficiently to produce some quality Tapas platters.Â
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a number of our Year 12 VET students.
Rebecca Cavill and Emily Colby have secured Chef Apprenticeships. Both ladies have worked very hard on achieving this
career goal and we are very proud of them. In addition, Bethany Anger and Phoebe Burton have also secured work at
the Novotel in Wollongong working in the Kitchen.
VET partners with industry and government to provide people with workplace skills and technical knowledge to help them advance their career, now and in
the future. In a rapidly changing employment environment, the speed, value and skills VET provides helps people take a faster, more cost-effective
route to completing a qualification and entering the workforce. As a result, VET graduates enter employment with confidence and first-hand experience.
Congratulations girls we wish you the best of luck with your after school journey.
St Mary's offers four VET Courses that can be studied here at school:
- Certificate II in Business
- Certificate II in Kitchen Operations
- Certificate III in Information Digital Media Technologies
- Certificate III in Live Production Services
If you are curious about these VET courses please come and see me. If you would like to open your eyes to the world of VET, including Apprenticeships and
Traineeships, the following is a link where you can explore jobs in a variety of career fields.
Why do I need a Summer Job?
There are two very good reasons:
- Financial - That extra cash is always a motivator and the main reason most of us go to work.
- Experience - Work Experience is beneficial on both a personal and professional level. Learning new skills is paramount for gaining today's job and career opportunities.
The Griffith University Careers and Employment Service has written a great article on:
The Ten Things to Learn from Your Christmas Casual Job
They state: Over the summer period, Australia will see a 170% increase in casual positions available and 87% of those jobs are created by the retail industry. Experience gained from Christmas casual work can set you up for an ongoing position with the same company who employed you and can arm you with transferable skills that you can apply to virtually any career you embark on.
Where to look:
- Google “Christmas holiday jobs”
- Go to your School Careers Website > For Students > Job Vacancies
For Students or Parents wanting to weigh up the pros and cons of After School Jobs for teens go to: https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-afterschool-jobs-for-teens-2610471
Please see the download section for the latest Careers Newsletter
Living in line with our values
In last week’s article we discussed one way of managing difficult thoughts, emotions and experiences, urges and memories using the ACT model of therapy. The guru of ACT is Steve Hayes who in 1982 developed the model to integrate other models. It has since grown in evidence and functionality. Last newsletter we explored how we are separate to our thoughts, experiences, feelings even though we may feel overwhelmed by them at times. We have the ability to make decisions and respond in ways that are not as a reaction to the thoughts, experiences, feelings but are a response which can be based on our values and goals.
“Deep in your heart, what do you want your life to be about? Values are desired qualities of ongoing action” (Harris, R, 2009, 2010). A more memorable way to describe values is with a metaphor used by the same author. We live with a values compass; we may have a value of integrity or health and so we head east because that’s where they are on the compass. We will never actually achieve east, but we can always aim for it. That’s not to say we won’t achieve health goals or integrity goals along the way, we will. But we can always and forever head east – thanks to the fact the world is round we will just keep going.
Goals on the other hand are attainable and achievable. If we have the goal of scaling a mountain (let’s say that’s ‘scaling’ Year 10), then we can have a goal of crossing a river (that’s getting throughthe senior years of school), next we have a goal of getting through the forest (we can achieve the goal of getting married for example). Goals are attainable – we can have the new haircut, we can have the new clothes, we can get the cool car. Values are not meant to be attainable, rather they direct us, guide us and can form part of how we choose to attain goals.
As an example, I can get a new car by stealing one but that will not be in line with my value of honesty. So, I could borrow money from the bank and buy a new car but never pay the money back. I would then achieve my goal but not live by my value of integrity. I could borrow money from the bank, buy the car (goal) and work hard to pay the debt off. Although this means it is harder, more frustrating and a longer process it also means that I have lived by my values of patience, honesty, integrity and strong work ethic while also achieving my goal of a new car.
Values give us meaning. We all have different values; they will change over time as well and sometimes they are not conscious to us. Values are never wrong or right. It can be very helpful to make our values explicit or more conscious. To support this, there is a short list of values below, perhaps notice the three values that resonate most with you. Perhaps ask your family to do the same. What this does is make explicit, known and conscious to us what we value, how we want to live our lives. It helps us make choices as to how we want to behave. So even when we feel overwhelmed, stressed, sad or desperate we can notice this, make room for it and still choose to act in a way we value.
Kids HelpLine - 1800 55 1800 (24/7) W| www.kidshelpline.com.au ;Lifeline - 13 11 14 (24hr Crisis Line) W| www.lifeline.org.au ;YouthBeyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 (24hrs) W|www.youthbeyondblue.comMental Health Line - 1800 011 511 (24hr Help
Line);Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467 (24 Hrs).