St Clare's Catholic High School

Hassall Grove

29 May, 2018

Praise God by Your Life

To provide excellence in education:

  • through quality teaching and learning
  • by providing a safe and creative learning environment
  • by challenging students to strive for academic excellence
  • by being a place where faith and values are enriched and shared within the Catholic tradition.

Principal's Message - Mr Morris

Daily Reading, Sunday 27 May (Listen here)

Year 11 Information ‘Catch Up’ sessions for parents and students

This Thursday 31 May during session 2, any Year 10 students who missed last week's Subject Selection evening can attend this an information session with Mr Hulme and myself. Students will receive all the information they will need to complete this subject selection process. All the information presented last Wednesday evening will be available via the school website.

To assist families, a parent ‘catch up’ session will also be available this Friday, 1st June from 9.30-11.00am. This information has already been be sent out to parents via email, school bag and via the website. If you missed the evening last Wednesday and wish to attend this Friday, please reserve your spot by lodging your details here. We look forward to seeing you this Friday. Morning tea and a coffee will also be provided as we discuss your son or daughter’s learning pathway here at St Clare’s.

Enrolments for 2019 for Year 11 and the ‘Senior Experience’

Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to meet with Mrs Sue Walsh, Deputy Executive Director & Director of Learning, CEDP to discuss our plans in supporting families for year 11 2019. I am pleased to announce that Mr Ian Jordan will be working with us to connect with our current and new families as they commit to continuing or joining our school in 2019. Ian has extensive experience in this work as a former principal in schools both in our Diocese and other Dioceses. Ian will be working with us to connect with our families and provide you with the necessary information and support to assist you in this important process.

Parent Forum - Informing the Senior Experience for Year 11 2019

Our first Parent Forum will take place on Wednesday 13 June, commencing at 7pm-8.15pm. If you wish to attend and shape the future learning pathways for your son or daughter as Senior students at St Clare's - it all starts here. I strongly encourage parents to join with us to work in partnership to plan this exciting phase of our school. We encourage parents who have a child at St Clare's in year 7-10 or enrolling in 2019 to attend. Your input and involvement in shaping the ‘Senior Experience’ is both exciting and pioneering for our school community. Please RSVP your attendance here.

Assistant Principal, Wellbeing & Learning - Ms Deschamps

Positive Behaviours for Learning

Students have been very enthusiastic about seeking community service opportunities in order to be awarded the SILVER STATUS, as well as accumulating merits. We encourage all students to aim for the SILVER STATUS and beyond.

Below is a PLATINUM STATUS badge. This is the highest achievement for our students. This is a prestigious award, which students from all years can aim to achieve.

We encourage our parents to have the conversation with their children about reaching each status and their subsequent journey towards the next status.


If students have ideas how they could contribute to our school and accumulate community service hours, please see your Year Leader of Learning, Mrs Nielsen or Mrs Deschamps.

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National Centre Against Bullying

Advice to students and parents about different types of bullying, the signs of bullying and advice to stop bullying.


A reminder that all students who are not wearing full school uniform, are required to sit in the Amphitheatre at recess and lunch. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they are in school appropriate uniform every day. Students continually wearing inappropriate uniform, will be be decreased a status level. Uniform is as important as appropriate equipment for every class.


We commenced this term with a celebratory attendance and certificates. To accompany our attendance challenge this term, we have extended the attendance lunch to 90% or above attendance, 3 merit awards towards their next higher status, a certificate AND a special lunch in the Passive Area.

Students continually late to school have received a letter and parent phone call, reminding the student about the importance of commencing the school day on time. Continued lateness to school will result in the student decreasing a status level.

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Leader of Wellbeing & Learning - Ms Nielsen

Year 10 Picnic

This week Year 10 were invited to spend lunch time together as a year group in Passive Area. It was a great opportunity for the seniors of our school to come together. Thank you to Kaylen George for her enthusiasm in organising the fun activities for everyone to play. I look forward to the next Year 10 picnic and welcome other students to help organise the event.

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Leader of Diversity & Learning - Ms Ruff


We currently have many of our Year 10 students participating in learning programs supported by the Post School Options Team at CEDP. Post School Options provides personalised intervention for students with additional learning needs. Opportunities for our students include workplace learning tailored to their needs, mentoring and completion of courses to ensure they are ready for the workplace. Some of the courses already completed by our students this year include; First-Aid, Effective Communication, White Card qualification, Resume Writing and Work Orientation Days. As our students have been preparing for a pathway toward work placement they have demonstrated initiative and enthusiasm in meeting the challenges of these courses and experiences. They have shown maturity in working collaboratively with students from across various schools within the Diocese. These experiences have in turn, given them the knowledge, skills and understanding to participate effectively in their chosen pathway. They have demonstrated an active commitment and have been great ambassadors for the school.

Religious Education Coordinator - Ms Cassar

Feast of Mary Help of Christians

24th May, 2018

Almighty God,

Deepen in our hearts our love of Mary Help of Christians. Through her prayers and under her protection, may the light of Christ shine over our land. May Australia be granted harmony, justice and peace.

Grant wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens. Bless especially the men and women of the Australian Defence Force and their families. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Mary Help of Christians,

Pray for us!

St Clare and

St Francis,

Pray for us!


Feast of Mary Help of Christians Mass

Yesterday, St Clare’s community celebrated Mass for the Feast of Mary Help of Christian at Good Shepherd Catholic Church.

This feast day is an opportunity for all Australians to thank God for his blessings and to remind us that we are called to work against social trends that marginalise sections of our community.

We must remember that Mary is always there to help us on our faith journey. Mary loves us all with a mother’s heart and she is always ready to listen. We can pray to Mary and seek her guidance, as she is our spiritual mother.

Mary is a picture of love, compassion, hope and faith. Her sacrifices were great and illustrate for us the selflessness that motherhood generates.

Let’s turn to our Heavenly Mother today and ask her to draw us closer to her Son.

I would like to thank Fr Joshy for celebrating Mass for us, Mrs Jane Ngui and Mr Brain for all their hard work and support in organising the music and the choir. I would also like to thank Mr Tony Calvo and Mr Rodrigues for their contribution to the Mass.

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School Counsellor - Ms Luthra

Black Dog Institute Resources

Season 2 release of “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix

When Netflix launched the much talked about first series of 13 Reasons Why – a fictional show depicting the death of a teenager by suicide and its impact on those around them – many people the world over were left confronted by the difficult subject matter that the show covered. While it was certainly a conversation starter, there were questions about whether the show prompted discussions about suicide in a helpful way.

Ahead of the second season, which launched on the 18th of May, the national youth mental health foundation headspace have teamed up with Netflix in an effort to generate more helpful conversations about the subject matter. The first episode opens with a disclaimer from the main characters encouraging help seeking, rather than keeping things private (Source: Black Dog Institute).

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Resources can be found at or on the headspace website. I encourage all students, parents and teachers who are watching or know of a young person watching the show to access these resources, so that we can encourage positive, help-seeking behaviour earlier and work towards reducing the stigma of help-seeking for mental health concerns and disorders. The resources include crisis and emergency contacts, connections to youth mental health organisations, and a discussion guide for parents.

If you or someone you know is struggling, seek help either by speaking to family and friends, school or external counsellors, other trusted adults, or contacting one of the above 24/7 crisis helplines. If you find yourself in a situation where you are supporting a loved one, consider the following actions (Source: R U OK?)

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Navigating your teen’s mental health webinar - Monday 28th May, 7pm
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Business Manager - Mr Wakeling

School Fees Instalment 2 – Due 6th June

All families should have received Instalment two School Fees bills. If you have not received your bill please contact the school’s Finance office. Instalment two bills are due for payment by the 6th June unless you have in place a payment arrangement.

Financial difficulty

Families who are experiencing financial hardship which makes it difficult to meet the financial commitment of your child’s education, can have their circumstances assessed for assistance with fees. This may take the form of additional time to pay, a discount or a waiver of school fees. The assessment will require that families provide income, expense and liability documentation to substantiate that they meet the requirements of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta school fee management policy. Once the documentation is submitted, the Business Manager will assess and may require an interview with families.

Assessments are made for one year only and MUST be reviewed each year. These matters will be treated sensitively and with absolute confidentiality, and will not affect your child’s education.

Note that the Finance office is open between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm. Please contact the schools finance officers on 9830-2400 and select option (2).

Unwanted / Surplus / Second Hand uniform

Any families with graduating students or where students have outgrown uniform items are invited to donate them to the school. While the school does not run an official clothing pool these items are used in emergencies or to assist families in financial difficulty. Please launder and bring such items to the school office. Thank you. Second Hand Uniform items may be purchased or listed for sale at Enter “St Clare” on the home page search and hit enter, then further refine the search items in the Enter School Name field by typing “St Clares” and then selecting the Hassall Grove option from the drop down menu. You have to register on the site to get the sellers contact details.

Leader of Learning English - Ms Mitchell

We have been working hard in English over the past few weeks, reading our novels and preparing for our first semester examinations. We remind students to continue reading novels and preparing study notes. We wish all students the well and encourage them to try their best to succeed.

As the exam week winds down, we encourage students to continue reading in order to complete the work for their term 2 novel study. Here are some helpful tips that can help students to concentrate when reading:

1. Remember the importance of location, location, location.

Reading for school should be completed at a desk in a room that doesn’t have a TV or computer. Phones and other devices should be elsewhere. Reading comprehension, especially for texts that are more challenging or perhaps less interesting (this can sometimes be the case when reading for school), requires careful attention and structure.

2. Reading comprehension is not the same as memorisation.

Teachers often ask students to reflect on a given book, story, or passage as they read it, and to compare it with their own experiences, knowledge, and philosophies. Rote memorisation may allow a student to parrot back some details from a passage, but it will not allow for long-term growth or comprehension.

3. Encourage your child to become an active reader.

Reading should be done with one hand on the book and the other holding a pen. Students should note details about characters, whether it’s in the book itself or in a separate notebook. (While there are a number of note-taking apps and tools available for computers and smartphones, these can be an invitation to distraction for high schoolers.)

4. Teach your child to love reading.

Some students and parents are looking for a quick fix to improve reading comprehension, but the truth is that a solution is not that simple. Reading comprehension is a gradual process, and those students who develop the best skills tend to be those who love reading.

5. Read along with your child and discuss the book.

A popular (and relatively easy) way to initiate a conversation is by reading a book and then viewing its film adaptation (if applicable). Asking about the differences between a film a book, as well as decisions about visual style and casting choices, allows young readers to consider their own opinions and voice them. On a more practical level, it also asks them to recall specifics from the text.

Adapted from 5 Steps to Improve Your High Schooler’s Reading Comprehension by Kevin Kearney

Leader of Learning HSIE - Mr Ahern

We have been very busy in HSIE over the last couple of weeks in preparation for our semester one exams. We encourage all students to make sure they are taking the time to study for HSIE exams so they can achieve their best. We wish all students success during this time period. Below are some helpful tips on how to study at home to achieve success:

  1. Find a quiet place to study

  2. Take regular breaks (15 minutes studying then a 5 minute break)

  3. Put all unnecessary technology away while studying (i.e phones)

  4. Underline key points as you go (when you review later you will know what the important parts are)

  5. Quiz yourself as you go

  6. Make sure to have a good sleep before an exam

  7. It's better to get up early and review your information instead of staying up late

Leader of Learning CAPA - Mr Smolen

On 10th May, 2018, 12 students from St Clare’s CAPTIVATE Music Hub initiative and one student from Cerdon college, went on an excursion to the Opera House to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Their performance is part of the ‘Meet the music concert’ series, aimed at inspiring young musicians from local High Schools. We left school at 3:00pm and got back to school at 9:50pm.

Once we arrived we were dropped off just outside of the Opera House (Macquarie Street) and looked around whilst walking to McDonalds to get our dinner. From there we made our way back to the Opera House stopping to take a nice photo with the sunset and Harbour Bridge in the background.

After taking all of the photos that we wanted, we walked up to the Opera House to enjoy the view and part of the Vivid display. The show started at 6:30pm but we arrived at 5:30pm so we sat on the stairs and joked with each other. When 6:30pm came around we made our way into the Opera House and took our seats.

The performance was spectacular. Lights, a whole orchestra, opera singers and even a choir, The concert played pieces from Broadway musicals by Leonard Bernstein including Candide, West Side story, On the Town and Wonderful Town. Everything you could want and more!

After the performance we made our way back to the place where the bus dropped us off. It was very windy and therefore cold in the city! The bus picked us up and we drove back home.

Special thanks go to the teachers that supervised this excursion including Mr Smolen, Mr Ahern and Mr Brain.

By Jack Murphy

Year 9 CAPTIVATE Music Hub Student

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Librarian / Careers - Ms Wood


Congratulations to the Year 10 cohort on their exemplary behaviour and participation in the Greater Western Sydney Careers Market on Wednesday, 23rd May. The Careers Market was held at The Penrith Valley Sports Centre and comprised over 100 stalls for students to visit. Our students were able to gather information from all the major universities, TAFE, many private colleges, RTOs (Registered Training Organisations), Defence Forces and other organisations. This was a timely opportunity with Senior Subject Selection coming up in the next few weeks. A number of presenters commented to me about the maturity shown by our students and the insightful questions they asked. Well done Year 10.

Mrs Wood.


The reading Challenge is well underway with some students more than half way through reading their 20 books. A reminder that students need to log their reading on-line at the challenge website. If there are problems using the site please see Mrs Wood for assistance.

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Leader of Year 7 - Mr Collimore

It has been great to see so many Year 7 students volunteering their time to help keep the school environment clean and tidy at the end of each day. I would like to encourage all Year 7 students to get involved in community service this term.

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Year 7 camp is fast approaching. Students will be attending the YMCA Camp Yarramundi on Monday 4th June - Wednesday 6th June (Week 6). This is an exciting opportunity for Year 7 students to engage in a variety of fun, yet challenging team building activities. Please refer to the checklist below and start organising all the necessary equipment to ensure you have a great experience at camp. Also, don’t forget to label all your belongings!

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Leader of Year 9 - Mr Eisenhuth

It has been excellent to see so many Year 9 students working hard towards the Silver Status. A number of students have already accumulated the merits needed and are now working hard to get the community service hours they require. Over the coming weeks there will no doubt be Year 9 students ready to move up to the Silver Status.

Please encourage your child to continue putting in the effort each day to work towards the Silver Status and beyond. This is a great way to recognise all the fantastic work they are doing in and out of the classroom each day here at St Clare’s Catholic High School.