St Agnes Catholic High School

May Newsletter - Term 2, Week 3 2021

From the Principal

The month of May is dedicated to Mary. Chosen by God above all other women, Mary’s faith and obedience paved the way for the Incarnation. Her example teaches us faith, obedience, humility and most of all, how to love. As St Thomas of Villanova said, “If in this world any creature ever loved God with whole heart, with whole soul, and with whole mind, she was the creature.”

“From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things.

From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.

From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God.”


At the foot of the cross, her heart broke for Jesus, yet she accepted God’s will not only for her Son, but for herself in her new role as mother to us all (cf. John 19:25–27). As we honour this Mother's Day, our earthly mothers and mother figures, we also honour our heavenly mother. 

A Mother's Day prayer: 

Lord Jesus Christ, You chose to put yourself—tiny, needy and helpless—into the nurturing and watchful hands of a human mother. Since then, every act of mothering, both physical and spiritual, in every time and every corner of the world recollects Mary’s. Inspired by this example, we, too, honour our mothers and mother figures today. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers and nurturers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, honour them always with a spirit of profound respect.

We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

Feedback invited: In the coming weeks, we will be inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school through an online survey, Tell Them From Me (TTFM). This annual survey is an important part of our evaluation and planning process. The link to the survey will be sent to all families, your feedback is  greatly appreciated and helps us maintain our commitment to working in partnership to further improve learning and wellbeing at St Agnes Catholic High School.

Lisa-Maree Browning



7 MayCSDA Debating Competition
11-21 MayNaplan
11 MayYear 12 Reports Distributed, Tournament of Minds
14 MayCSDA Debating Competition
18 MayStudent Led Conference Years 11/12
18-19 MayCathWest Innovation College Open Nights
19 MayYear 7/8 Vaccinations
20 MayYr 11 at Macquarie University
21 MayCSDA Debating Competition, Pentecost/Confirmation Mass
25 MayYear 11 Chau Chak Wing Museum
26 MayBoys U'14 Panther Trophy, National Sorry Day
28 MayCSDA debating competition

School Leadership:

St Agnes leadership structure has changed and there are now two Assistant Principal Roles. I am delighted to announce that Mr Geoffrey Kemmis has been appointed as Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation. The role of  Assistant Principal - School Culture is held by Mr Ken Wolffe (currently on leave). 

Mrs Mary Reyes leaves us shortly to take on a leadership role responsible for liturgies and retreats in an independent school. This is an area of great passion and strength for Mrs Reyes and we wish her every blessing as she enters this next stage of her career. The St Agnes community has been truly enriched by her leadership and guidance. 

Mr Patrick Madigan has been appointed as the new Head of Mission. He brings a strong commitment to Religious Education and faith development.

From the Assistant Principal (acting)/Head of Learning

Staff and students have returned from a well-earned break and everyone is looking forward to a busy and productive Term 2. As we indicated at the start this year, school life and activities have almost returned to normal after the COVID-19 restrictions of 2020 and we have a number of major events planned for this term. However, all of these are pending clearance from various relevant authorities.

The commencement of Term 2 also means that students have transitioned into winter uniform. As all parents are aware, we hold high expectations in terms of uniform and grooming and we will support these standards with follow-up as required. If there are any questions about our uniform requirements, please consult the Student Diary.

In terms of reminders for parents and students, we again urge all parents to pay close attention to their child’s attendance patterns. Learning Mentors and Leader of Learning: Pathways are focusing their attention on two specific areas of attendance.  Firstly, students who are developing absence patterns and secondly, students whose overall attendance has slipped below 90%. 

We have commenced identifying students who need additional support with literacy, particularly in reading and writing, as well numeracy. The intention of this program initially will be working with all students and in particular, those who need to meet Minimum Standards in Reading, Writing and Numeracy for the HSC. An additional focus will be those students who in the Learning Assessment and/or in NAPLAN are not yet able to demonstrate proficiency in the key areas of literacy/numeracy. 

Please see the table below for the NAPLAN Test Dates and Times and parents are asked to ensure that their child is at school on time for each test. 

On Tuesday 28th April, we began the discussion with Year 10 students and their parents  about Stage 6 schooling here at St Agnes. It is a very exciting time for everyone, as we will be exploring the many and varied pathways we offer and the external partnerships we have at the school. Further detail will be provided to the students in the coming weeks and they will make their initial decisions about subjects mid June.

 Study Skills Tip for May – Looking Ahead

Are you riding a rollercoaster at school? Rollercoaster study is where you stay up late doing last minute assignments, then you take it easy for a while and do very little, then panic again when something is due and have to spend huge amounts of time at the end completing the work.  If you plan ahead and are prepared, you will find school much less stressful and more rewarding.

 Here are the top tips for thinking ahead:

  •  STUDY NOTES: If you know that you have a test at the end of each topic or examinations approaching, then on the nights you do not have much homework start working on your study notes and summaries. File them in folders at home so they are ready to go when you need them.
  • ASSIGNMENTS: Always start the assignment the day it is given to you, even if it is just a little bit. Make sure you understand the requirements and if you don’t ask your teacher straight away the next day. Brainstorm the steps the first night and do a rough plan of when you will do each step.
  • ASK FOR HELP EARLY: There is nothing more frustrating than a student who says ‘I haven’t understood anything we did in the last 3 weeks’. Ask for help as soon as you have a problem. Keep a list of questions for your teacher on a post-it in your textbook or sticky notes on your computer or a list in your phone. Don’t let problems or issues build up, ask for help early and often.
  • THINK ABOUT WHO YOU SIT NEXT TO: Choose wisely who you will sit with in class. This can make a world of difference to your results. If you sit with someone where it is a productive relationship, you encourage and help each other and stay on task in the classroom. You will understand your work better and have less to do at home.
  • CONSIDER YOUR WEEK: Plan ahead for busy times. If you know you have nights where you can’t do much work or a busy weekend, plan ahead and get things done early. Always look ahead for possible times where you could be caught short of time and make plans to avoid problems. 

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on Our school’s access details are:

                                                 Username: stagnes

                                                Password: 24success

Mr Geoffrey Kemmis

Assistant Principal

Year 11 Subject Selection

From the Head of Mission

Mary, Our Mother and Model

First of all, I’d like to wish all our St Agnes Mother’s, Grandmothers and those who nurture and care for our young people, a very happy Mothers Day! We look to Mary, our mother as our role model, a person of integrity, patience, tenderness and mercy - qualities of a Mother we honour in our own. For the Mothers who are not with us on earth, we pray especially for them, and celebrate their life we continue to hold dear to us.

I’d like to share with you the prayer below, as a Mother myself, there is so much power in knowing we all journey together in our shared experiences and have the intercession of our Mother Mary who carries our struggles, joys and sorrows in her heart too. May we take this moment to celebrate Motherhood as grace gifted by God as we have taken this mission of love we are called to do.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

This week, our Year 10 Catholic Identity and Social Justice leaders have run a wonderful Mother’s Day Raffle with four prizes to be won. One of our donations came from Amity Created ( owned by a past St Agnes teacher Miss Libri who generously donated a ‘strength’ mug, Goddess soak (bath salts) and a calm roller, a self-care pack that promotes finding time to pause, breathe and be in the present moment. We are very grateful for the support of Amity Created to two of our Mother’s Day raffles in recent years. I hope the winner of our Mother’s Day raffle prizes feel all the love and kindness not only on Mother’s Day but every day, as it's one small way to show you are deeply valued and appreciated.

Walking in solidarity with our local community through the WASH House, Mt Druitt

At the start of IWD and throughout Lent, St Agnes staff have donated 27 toiletry packs for women and children for the WASH House. Over the years, our yarn in group who have made knitted squares have been turned into blankets by our very talented St Agnes teachers and have also been donated. I’d like to formally acknowledge all the teachers, students, family and friends of St Agnes for their wonderful work in our Yarn In group and for continuing to support this wonderful cause in our local community. All donations were warmly received as a sign of our solidarity in improving the lives of our community together.

Mrs Mary Reyes

Head of Mission

Around the Classrooms

SBS World News features St Agnes' Haka Warriors

Some of our amazing students were interviewed and performed a Haka LIVE on Studio 10 and also featured in this report on SBS World News. We were one of ten schools performing at the 2021 Haka Warrior competition hosted by PCYC Blacktown at West HQ 


PDSSSC Cross Country Carnival

On Friday 23rd April, 19 enthusiastic and talented athletes braved the cool of the morning to be at school by 7.00am to compete in the PDSSSC Cross Country Carnival at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre. A total of 642 students competed on the day.

All students were outstanding ambassadors for the St Agnes School Community. They participated with skill, determination and courage, running distances ranging from 3km up to 6 km.

Their support and encouragement of each other and the sportsmanship they displayed to their fellow competitors was as impressive as their individual performances. There was a shared sense of community and spirit within the St Agnes School team.

The individual performances of all students were noteworthy, with most of them finishing in the top 20. 

There were a few stand out performances. Dimo Dimo won the Boys U’15 event and Chloe Watson placed 4th in the Girls U’16 competition. Both students will now compete at the NSWCCC Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek in June. Andrea Plaatjes placed 7th in the Girls U’13 competition, missing representation at the next level by one place - or a metre in terms of distance.

The full list of competitors follows.

Year 7 - Emily Ahad, Shana Allen, Lincoln Johnston, Lucas Lombardo, Aayan Patel, Andrea Plaatjes, Summer Reynolds, Liam Robinson, Alyssa Younan.

Year 8 - Bettina Mangahas, Eyob Musgun, Aiden Sadsad, Dilan Salman.

Year 10 - Quincy Brewer, Dimo Dimo, Farrell Hagan, Zaelic Orayenza, James Que, Chloe Watson.

Year 10 Mathematics

At the end of the last term, the Year 10 5.2 Mathematics cohort had to create a comic that involved Trigonometry for their assessment task.

The comics that were submitted by the students were simply outstanding. The students demonstrated such creativity and ingenuity. Well done, Year 10!
Mrs Walters
Maths Teacher

Careers Advisor

Whitecard training this term was a success. We had 14 students complete the course. We will be looking to run another course at the beginning of Term 4 so if you will require a Whitecard for work opportunities or transition to trade in 2022 send an expression of interest to Mrs Karafotias to ensure you are on the list, as class sizes are limited to 20 and courses will only run with a minimum of 12 students. 

Alkira Field attended the army barracks at Newington Arms in March with students from the diocese to film an acknowledgement of country. Alkira is the president of the Junior AECG and has been representing our school in a culturally empowering way and the St Agnes community are proud of her achievements. 

Our Australian Catholic University Step Up into Exercise Science and Step Up into Education programs are continuing to successfully run. Students in year 11 and year 12 are completing units of the degrees they are interested in transitioning to. This offers conditional and unconditional offers into the degrees at ACU and offers students an opportunity to complete one or two units of their degree before they get to university. Any students interested in these Step Up programs need to express their interest as the next round of applications will be coming up shortly ready for June intake. 

Students interested in a career in fashion or looking to add to their portfolios for design and engineering courses are encouraged to register their interest for the Fashion Illustration course which will run with Whitehouse for one day towards the end of May. The cost of the course is $50 and is a fabulous opportunity to immerse yourself in a program that will explore your passion in design. 

Subject selection evening was a great success indicated by the number of interviews that have been booked for this month. Due to high demand for Careers Sessions, it is important that if you cannot secure an appointment and you have an URGENT query that students and parents speak to their teachers and request a referral. A phone call or zoom meeting can be an alternative option. 

Year 11 will be attending Macquarie University on 20th May for an Immersion Day with their faculties of Business, Science and Engineering. It is important that permission notes are handed in by no later than 14th May as names will need to be finalised with the University for Covid reasons by this date. 

'Welcome to Country' and 'Acknowledgement of Country' on the banks of the Parramatta River.


Opal Cards


The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

New format of our Newsletter can be translated to 100+ languages

With our Google Translation integration, you can access our newsletter in ANY language. Simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to give it a try.