- From our Principal, Frances Robertson.
- Kellie Summerville, Literacy and Numeracy Leader
- Mike Introna, Year Five Teacher
- Kerrie Harris, Humanities and Maths Teacher
- Millie Greville, Year Six Student
- Ben Smith, Year Seven Student.
- Ava Barrett, Year Ten Student
- Josh Abrokwah, Year Nine Student
Welcome to the first of our Celebrations newsletter. Our regular newsletter can often be busy with the day to day reminders of running our school and so we set out to create something where we could celebrate the wonderful work and achievements of our staff and students. Here it is, a place where we reflect on how we are doing as a school community as we - and indeed the whole world - adapt to change.
As I sit here, I am nursing a fractured arm. It is such a powerful reminder of how interdependent we all are. Just when I think I am independent, I am forced to remember that interdependence is really the strength of our families, our school and indeed, our nation. Together, we can do so much.
That interdependence is the core of the Connected Learning Plans we have shared with our students and families. It is also the reason that we are writing letters and making phone calls to students and parents. We value the feedback from parents: the emails and phone calls have helped us to decide the next steps on this learning journey. We are connected and we are part of the St Patrick’s web of interdependence.
Did you have a chance to see the video clip that was made for the ANZAC Day commemoration on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StPatsCooma/)? The School Captains, Molly and Lochlan, came in during the holidays to record it and then Hunter Stacey in Year 5 put it together. It was a real team effort to connect us to the wider community’s efforts to recognise the ANZAC spirit.
We are preparing to virtually showcase our school via the website and a Year 10 student, Matilda Mitchell, will be doing part of the filming as a personal project. We are grateful that she is sharing her talents and helping us to connect with the St Patrick’s family, now and in the future.
I am proud of the Student Leadership Team who chose to undertake the task of writing cards that can accompany Fr Mick when he visits parishioners isolated from our Parish. They decided that no-one should be left out of the care that we offer each other. For them, compassion is a verb. They act on it and make the school’s motto ‘Strength in Gentleness’ a reality.
The Primary Student Leadership Team have also decided to run virtual assemblies to stay connected to their peers and to acknowledge the achievements of other students. The connection really matters.
We may be physically distancing but we have never been more connected. And it is all of the little things that make us a strong community. In the photo, you will see in the background so many letters I have received from the students. It is such a treat for me to receive this mail from them.
As people of Faith and people of Hope, let’s look for the blessings. You are not alone; we are connected.
And how did I break my arm? Well, let’s just say that, in future, I have been banned from any twirling dancing with Kindergarten!
Kellie Summerville works mainly in the younger grades as Instructional Leader for Literacy and Numeracy.
This is a great school. We have wonderful professional development, fantastic support systems and consultants available to us, and incredible resources.
We focus on three key questions. How do you know? What strategy did you use? Is there another way?
Everyone is really keen. We’re getting lots of lovely comments from parents.
It’s really building the relationship between home and school.
Much like the take home maths bags we introduced earlier.
We have fantastic classroom libraries and these books have gone home for connected learning.
All our children are now on a digital reading program called Wushka where we can monitor their reading.
Mike Introna considers the school’s motto as a signpost for life.
I’ve taught in quite a few schools and you can feel the difference here. It’s something they can take with them for life. There’s a real rapport between teachers and students here.
We encourage the children to use higher level thinking and to reflect. For instance, the students set goals for themselves, one academic and one social. The second part of the task was to choose three students to give positive feedback to, tell them something they could be proud of about themselves. They reflect on attitudes and consider how they can be the best person they can.
As teachers we know the value of collaboration, inspiring and supporting each other. Our students do the same.
Kerrie Harris also teaches enrichment activities. She says the beauty of St Patrick’s is ‘no one goes under the radar’.
Really, we work on making them better people.
One of the special things about St Patrick’s is that everyone can have a go. We enter fabulous competitions, such as Tournament of Minds, DaVinci Decathlon, the Science Engineering Challenge, public speaking … the list goes on. Every student can join in if they wish. It is not for the elite or specially selected groups. It is the same for our sports programs. The offerings are rich all round.
Millie Greville, (pictured with dogs Holly and Rex), is also a student leader.
The teachers are supportive, they help us grow up, helping us solve problems with friends, and helping us mature.
t’s not just help help help, it’s encouraging us to have a go and solving it ourselves and then if we can’t they can help us.
I’ve been learning about compassion, perseverance and resilience. These are important things.
The Connected Learning is going really well. I’m one of the school leaders and we’re working on connecting the whole school. Our weekly assemblies are going virtual soon with a slide show.
Ben Smith says St Patrick’s makes transition easy.
It’s very adaptable here. You don’t have to be worried about anything.
I think it can be hard for some young students to make the transition from Kinder to big school or from Primary to Secondary.
It’s easy to adapt to the St Patrick’s way.
There is a community value around the school.
It’s a very tight knit school.
It’s not massive and you always know a face.
Ava Barrett has been at St Patrick’s since Kinder. She shares her insights.
Being able to transition through the same school and having the consistency in beliefs and values is important.
The teachers know us and our family and they really care about your education and how you’re going. They’re genuine.
One of the things I love most about St Patrick’s is the heritage. Our school was originally established as St Brigidine’s Convent in 1884. Later it became a girls’ boarding school.
I am the fourth generation of my family to go to this school. In 1899, St Mary MacKillop even visited the convent. I love our school’s unique history.
Learning online was a bit tricky to get used to. I stick with the school timetable. It really helps me, writing down the classes and getting the work done by the end of the day. Good time management is important. So is self motivation; trying to stick to getting up at the right time and getting dressed. Being determined to do the school work. You have to be able to stay focused and not be distracted. You have to be strict with yourself.
This Connected Learning is sort of like a blessing in disguise. This will be good for Year 11 and 12. The teachers have given us a lot of ideas to help us work, a lot of online programs and communication has been good. No one is lost.
Josh Abrokwah enjoys the collegiate atmosphere at St Patrick's.
Even if you weren’t religious, you are still being taught morals, values and virtues which you can use and will be useful when you grow up.
We mostly work, but we also have fun in the process.
I love all the extras as well. I am in the band, where I play the keyboard. I have been able to join in so many enriching competitions.