St Clare's Catholic High School

Hassall Grove

20 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

Our Reflection

The month of May is a special time for us Catholics to pay homage to our Blessed Mother Mary. Note that I say we pay homage to her. Contrary to a distressing misconception found among Evangelicals and Protestants, we honor Mary. We do not worship her.

She has a unique role in salvation history as the Mother of God, conceived without Sin, who by her own free will agreed to bring the “Word made flesh", (John 1:14) our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into the world. Her life in the Gospel years was one of service and great devotion to Jesus, from the cave in Bethlehem where she gave birth to Him, to Calvary in Jerusalem where she stood by His cross in His Crucifixion, from Crib to Cross, as it were.

While she has a somewhat low profile in the Gospels, her words there still resonate with us today and challenge us to follow her example of humility, obedience, and service to God.

May we all live out the Marian values of compassion and hope and ask for each person in our school, community and families be touched by this heart full of love.

Year 11 2019 Information Night

A reminder to all parents that the Year 11 Information night will be held this Tuesday 22 May commencing at 6.30pm and concluding at 8.00pm. I would encourage all year 10 parent/s and students to attend the evening to find out more about the courses we will be offering in 2019. I understand that parents may be working so I would encourage students to seek the support of an older sibling to bring them along to this important evening.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Mr Anthony Hulme, Assistant Principal who has worked closely with the Leaders of Learning to support this evening. Parents and students will be introduced the what the Senior Experience will have to offer and detailed information about courses and information pertaining to patterns of study and NESA requirements for students undertaking preliminary and HSC courses.

Last Wednesday, Year 10 students also had the opportunity to find out more about each course being offered in 2019. Thank you to each Leader of Learning for sharing valuable information about the many courses being offered in 2019. Students were also provided with the opportunity to ask questions, clarify key terminology and unpack the requirements for each course.

Senior Learning Hub - transforming our learning spaces

Recently, I had the opportunity to share the plans of the new Senior Learning Hub with staff and students. The feedback from both staff and students was very positive and one of awe and excitement.

The two million dollar refurbishment of the San Damiano Centre will provide year 11 and 12 students with a functional, state of the art learning hub which will transform the learning experiences for each student. This refurbished space will enable our senior students to gather, share and engage in learning with each other and their teachers. I would like to acknowledge the support of Mrs Christine Howe, Director Performance, Mr Mark Rix, Director of Communications, Mr Paul Meldrum, Chief Innovations Officer and Mr Gavin Hays, Learning Leader, from the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta who have provided much guidance during this critical planning process. Mr Greg Whitby, our Executive Director, CEDP highlighted in his most recent column; 'a new approach to schooling that ensures every child is learning every year, and that what they learn is relevant for their world'. This vision reinforces the focus and precision we are embarking on at St Clare's as we continue to transform learning for our students.

I look forward to sharing a 3D 'fly through' of what the senior learning hub will look like in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled on facebook for the video. You won't be disappointed.

Over the coming weeks I will continue to share information detailing the refurbishment plans for our learning spaces. These changes and upgrades will accommodate our current and future needs as a leanring community. We are very fortunate to have excess space, which will ensure learning continues as usual when these works begin.

Tell Them From Me Survey

In the coming weeks we will be inviting students, parents and staff to provide feedback on their experience of our school by completing using an online survey. The confidential and anonymous surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.

We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partner in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school we would value you feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Clare's.

The survey is anonymous and will take around 20 minutes to complete. You will be able to complete your parent survey online on your computer or mobile device.

Should you wish to have your son or daughter opt out of this valuable opportunity please contact our school office.

More details of how to complete this survey will be sent home via email.

Assistant Principal - Teaching & Learning - Mr Hulme

Assessments in Term 2

Term 2 is often a busy time for assessments, particularly for Year 9 and 10 students.

Year 7 and 9 students will have just completed NAPLAN tests this week. I would like to congratulate all students in year 9 and 7 for their participation and the way they conducted themselves during the tests.

All students will be involved in Semester 1 Exams in Week 5. Students will receive a timetable of these exams this week. This will also be available on the school website.

What is the process if I am away for an assessment?

The process is slightly different for the Junior years (Years 7 - 9) and the Senior year (10).

In Years 7 - 9, if a student misses an assessment through illness or misadventure, they should bring a note from their parent/caregiver that clearly explains the illness or misadventure. This note should be given to the subject teacher on their first day back at school. If you know that you will be away before the task is due, bring in a note at your earliest opportunity.

Years 10-12 processes are slightly more involved because students are completing external credentials such as the Record of School Achievement and the HSC. If a student misses a task due to illness or misadventure they will need to complete an Illness/Misadventure Appeal Form. At all times we would ask for a copy of a Doctor’s Certificate dated on or before the assessment date. Certificates dated after the task are not valid. Submit the form on your first day back or as soon as you know you will miss the task. The verdict of the appeal will be emailed to relevant teachers, parents/caregivers and to the student. If the form is not submitted or is not approved, the student will receive an N-Award Warning Letter.

By sending the letter, your teacher can organise a different time for you to complete the task when they know that there is an official reason why the task was not submitted.

If a student is to be absent for an extended period of time, they should seek a Principal’s Approved Leave form from the front office and/or website.

Progress Reports

During week 1, all students were given a copy of their Term 1 Interim Progress Reports. These reports were an indication for parents about how your child is progressing this year. They were not based on grades or marks. If a teacher indicated they would like an interview, please call the school office to arrange a phone meeting or individual meeting.

Online Learning - Education Perfect

During week one, all students were invited to participate in an online learning competition. This was the first time our students have been involved in a global competition of this type.

We have been impressed by the interest that this competition has generated amongst the students.

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Congratulations to all students who entered the competition. Awards/Prizes will be given out at the next School assembly.

Assistant Principal, Wellbeing & Learning - Ms Deschamps

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eWRITE Testing

Our school goal is to improve the writing of every student. One of the ways we are aiming to achieve this, is by completion of an eWRITE writing sample each term by every student. The writing sample is matched against the students previous writing samples and teachers analysing each of their student samples to form strategies to improve every students writing. Further to this, staff have consistent professional learning in writing collaboratively as a staff.

The great news is that almost every student demonstrated significant improvement in writing from Term 1. Close attention to ensuring all students achieve significant growth this term, will be our staff challenge!

Kids Help Line

This site has great resources to support parents on a variety of topics. There are also great resources for students.

Leader of Wellbeing & Learning - Ms Nielsen

Attendance Awards

Congratulations to the following students who have achieved 100% attendance in Term 1. Certificates have been awarded to students who have maintained their 100% attendance and they will be invited to a special barbecue lunch.

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Students who have 5 days or less absence will also receive an award. Both the 100% and 90% awards may be used towards a status application.

Religious Education Coordinator - Miss Cassar


The month of May is dedicated to our Heavenly Mother, Mary. Pope Francis sums up Mary’s attitude to life with three words: listening, decision, action; when recalling that Mary faced her life’s journey with great realism, humanity and practicality. They are words that point out a way for us too as we face what the Lord asks of us in life: listening, decision, action.

This morning, we had a few mothers from our community come together and enjoy a delicious breakfast organised by Mr Ahern and our School Students Leaders. It was an absolute delight to be able to host our mothers, to honour them, to thank them and to pray for them!

This Sunday, as we celebrate our mothers, grandmothers and the many other significant women in our lives, let us be thankful to the Lord for their unconditional love and guidance that helps us to grow and become the people that we are.

(Prayer Source: Written by Bishop Kevin Manning)

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Mothers’ Day Breakfast

A massive ‘THANK YOU’ to Mr Dale Ahern, Mrs Theresa Nielsen and the Student Leaders who organised a beautiful Mothers’ Day Breakfast! Also, to Mrs Michelle Deschamps, Mrs Mel Palmer, Mrs Julie Alessi, Mr Luke Eisenhuth, Mr Jason Smolen and many helpful students for their significant contribution to this event! It was wonderful to see so many Mothers come together with their child and celebrate the love of a mother! Mr Ahern and Student Leaders bring so much to our community, and all their hard work, passion and dedication to the life of our school is an incredible blessing to us all!

And finally, a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to all the mothers in our community! May the Lord bless you and strengthen you with His very own special love.

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Pentecost Sunday - 20th May 2018

This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. This feast marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. Before the events of the first Pentecost which took place a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could meaningfully be called “the church.” For that reason, it is often called the “the birthday of the Church.”

Consequently Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church. When the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, they were granted the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts helped them to accomplish their mission to preach the Gospel to all people and to all nations. For us, too, these gifts are granted when we are blessed with the grace of God to help us to live a Christian life. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

Wisdom that helps us recognise the importance of others and the importance of keeping God central in our lives.

Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God’s message.

Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God’s revelation, and also to recognise there are mysteries of faith beyond us.

Counsel is the ability to see the best way to follow God’s plan when we have choices that relate to him.

Fortitude is the courage to do what one knows is right.

Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion.

Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God, who is all-present, and whose friendship we do not want to lose.

Our Lady Help of Christians Mass

We invite parents and friend to join us at our whole school Mass to celebrate the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians.

The students are preparing to make this a special celebration where we can honour our Heavenly Mother. Mrs Jane Ngui and Mr Geoff Brain and the school choir are preparing beautiful Marian hymns, such as Schubert’s Ave Maria and Haas’ Magnificat. A massive ‘thank you’ to Mrs Jane Ngui, Mr Geoff Brain, Mr Antonio Calvo, Ms Sherene Mitchell and Mr Gaviel Rodriguez for their hard work and constant support in preparing for our school’s Mass celebrations!

Our Lady Help of Christians Mass

Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Plumpton

Thursday, 24th May, 2018


School Leaders - Jeralynn Tui & Elizabeth Akosah

Welcome back to term 2! We’re so excited to see what this new term has to offer. We hope you had a refreshing, relaxing and eventful holiday. This term is filled with very exciting activities and new initiatives so keep an eye out for the following. Homework club takes place in the SDC from 2:45-3:45 on Wednesdays. Also we have started a Workout club for Year 10’s on Mondays from 7:00-7:50. We can’t wait to see what this term holds for us!

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Leader of Learning English - Ms Mitchell

Students in Years 7 - 10 have begun work on their term 2 units which revolve around a novel study. All students should be bringing their novels home and reading regularly.

If you were to do a web search on why reading is important, you’d get literally hundreds of articles, including scientific research that iterates the point that reading improves the mind. At St Clare’s we want all students to push themselves to reach their academic potential, and as such encourage reading as a daily pursuit; a habit. People who read more often tend to have more active imaginations and are often able to be more creative. As creativity is a 21st Century skill our students will need to read to help them become the leaders of tomorrow.

Leader of Learning Maths - Mr Hulme

Last Thursday at 2:30pm the St Clare’s Numeracy Competition was opened to all Year 7 & 9 students in preparation for the NAPLAN Numeracy exam this week.

It was exciting to witness the number of student logins over the nightly homework period. The Education Perfect online learning module as proving to be an outstanding success for our students.

Please ask your child to log into the platform and demonstrate a contemporary learning method that the students are excited to use.

Leader of Learning HSIE - Mr Ahern

In Year 7 we have been looking at Ancient Egyptian society and specifically we have been looking at the mummification process. To further students learning they formed groups of three and in these groups they went through each process to mummify a classmate. This was a great opportunity for students to learn about an important aspect of an ancient society.

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Leader of Learning CAPA - Mr Smolen

Most of our initiatives on offer are starting to develop and come to fruition thanks to the participation and commitment from our dedicated students and teachers. I would like to make a special mention of our CAPTIVATE Music Hub group who meet every Thursday and are building on their musical talents. These students attended an excursion on Thursday 10th May as part of an audience at the Opera House for the Meet the Music concert. The concert is performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and celebrates Bernstein’s vocal music from Musicals.

Mrs Ngui has been coordinating our CAPTIVATE vocal group in preparation for the Diocesan 10th Anniversary Showcase held on the 21st and 22nd August. Ms Naylor is busy leading the CAPTIVATE Dance component for this special event with great results, as well as preparing our ‘Bring it on’ dancers to reach competition standard. Our CAPTIVATE teams attend rehearsals with other schools in the area and this helps prepare them for other aspects of performance experiences.

Thank you to our students, parents and caregivers for your ongoing support of the Creative and Performing Arts.