St Agnes Catholic High School

March Newsletter - Term 1, Week 6 2021

From the Principal

Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For forty days, we accompany Jesus on his passionate journey to Calvary and give witness to the mercy he showed despite his suffering. Like Jesus, we try to show mercy to others, just as God shows us mercy. During these 40 days, let us take time to reflect on our lives and say sorry for any wrongdoing. This repentance and reflection help to lead us towards a meaningful Easter. Lent is a time of hope as we renew our relationship with God.


God of all peoples and nations,

As you accompany us on our Lenten journey,

May our fasting strengthen our commitment to live in solidarity,

Our almsgiving be an act of justice,

And our prayers anchor us in love and compassion.

Awaken our hearts and minds that we may be one human family

As we all go further together.

We ask this in Jesus’ name,


International Women’s Day March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all.  This year's theme,  “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.

Harmony Day Friday March 19 - recognising diversity and inclusion, this is a key event in the St Agnes calendar where we come together to celebrate our diverse culture.  

 Enrolments 2022

The enrolment process for Year 7, 2022 is underway. Many prospective families have booked in for tours next week. This is an opportunity to view the school and meet with school leaders.  Bookings can be made using this link:

For the past years, there has been high demand for places at St Agnes and waiting lists are in place. It is essential that any family wishing to enrol for 2022 submit the completed application form by 28th May 2021. 


8-12 MarchSchool Tours Bookings can be made at
10 March Virtual Open Evening (Zoom link will be provided at 1pm)
16 MarchPrue Salter Study Skills (Year 11)
17-19 MarchYear 7 Camp
19 MarchHarmony Day Celebrations
22 March CathWest Try a Trade Day
26 MarchCross Country, Year 12 Retreat, Year 7-11 Interim Reports issued
1 AprilEnd of Term 1
2 - 18 AprilSchool Holidays
19 AprilTerm 2 Commences
7 MayMothers Day Liturgy
11-21 MayNaplan
11 MayYear 12 Reports Distributed

From the Assistant Principal (acting)/Head of Learning

Time is moving quickly for all of our students and staff. We are halfway through our first term of the year and learning is taking place in our classrooms.

Since we are at the midpoint, I would like to remind our parents and the wider community of a few things that establishes who we are here at St Agnes:

  • Attendance; all students need to be at school each and every day. Whilst we do know that illness will occur and we are all hyper-vigilant as a result of the COVID world we live in, students do need to be at school. Their attendance will ensure that they are across all dimensions of their learning and maximise their potential.

  • Uniform; whilst most students are across the uniform requirements, some do need to remember that students are only permitted to wear their Sports Uniform on days they have PE Practical or on a Thursday IF they are representing the school at PDSSSC events. No student needs to wear their Sports Jacket with the School Uniform.

  • Device; please ensure that this is fully charged overnight so that the students are able to use it effectively throughout the day. However, the students do know that their mobile phone is to be out of sight and not to be used during class or break time. 

  • Positive Interactions; this is not only between student and teacher, but also between student and student. We are a Franciscan community and are respectful of each member who walks through the gates every day. 

Year 12 - they need to ensure that suitable blocks of time are being spent on homework, assessment tasks and overall study (further information about this is outlined below). This will allow all students to be suitably prepared and ready for the demands of future assessment tasks, the Trial HSC (in July/August) and the actual HSC Examinations (in October).

Year 11 - they are well and truly into their studies, with most students applying themselves diligently. We had our Information Session on 19/2 and the students were spoken to about Stage 6 study. All students are reminded to carefully check their Assessment Handbook which states when their assessments are due and also covers the essential procedures around submission of tasks. All students have been issued their first assessment task and MUST follow the correct procedures.

Years 7 - 10 - have all received Assessment Handbooks from their Learning Mentor via Google Classroom. It is important that each student acknowledges receipt of this and downloads a copy for themselves. The Handbook contains vital information about assessment tasks, assessment processes and who to contact if needed. This handbook has also been shared with parents via the SkoolBag App and email. Please take the time to read through these so that you are aware of when an assessment task is approaching for your son/daughter.

It is vital that our students in Year 10 look closely at theirs, as this year marks the start of them working towards their first credential, that being the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). This is a cumulative record of achievement beginning with Year 10 and ending with the HSC in Year 12. At the end of Year 10, grades are submitted to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The allocation of these grades is based on student performance in the assessment tasks outlined in the assessment handbook and also, class work and application.

When students are issued with an assessment task, this is uploaded by the teachers onto their respective Google Classroom page AND SkoolBag App. All parents are encouraged to subscribe to the respective SkoolBag App year level so that they can discuss with their son/daughter upcoming assessment tasks. Even a simple question about when an assessment is due has proven to be most successful for student engagement.


Homework, or Home Learning as some schools now prefer to call it, serves many purposes. It may be to consolidate or check or extend the learning from the day, or prepare for the learning to come in subsequent days. It could be to do with longer term work such as assignments or preparing for tests and examinations. Ultimately it comes back to what school is all about – learning. And learning not just about learning content, but learning and developing skills. At times students feel that the work they are doing at school is not relevant to their lives, however sometimes we need to look beyond the content to the purpose of the learning exercise. At times the content will be a vehicle to teach particular skills. Much of what we learn in Mathematics develops the problem solving circuits in our brain. When you are analysing Shakespeare you are learning not just about Shakespeare, but to think critically and expand your point of view and broaden your experience of the world through examination of different lives, emotions and experiences. The message is that everything you learn at school has purpose and value, even if you can’t always quite see it at the time.

There is much debate in the media as to the value of homework. In Primary school it has been shown that only a small amount of students actually benefit from doing homework in terms of academic achievement. The exception to this is reading at home – every student benefits from this. However, other benefits can’t be discounted: developing independent working skills, establishing study routines necessary for learning in later years, helping students master things they are struggling with and allowing parental involvement.

In secondary school homework has been proven to be an essential component of academic success in the senior years. The reality of Year 11 and 12 is that a large component of independent learning needs to be undertaken at home. One of the biggest problems for students transitioning to the senior years is that they have not learnt to work effectively and efficiently in the home environment. This is why developing good habits and learning to do at least a solid hour a day of home study is essential in Years 7-10. It is also about developing the qualities of discipline and perseverance, both essential for senior studies. Students will not like every subject equally, so students need to learn how to make themselves do the work even for their least favourite subjects.

What can you do this year to manage your homework effectively? Try these top tips:

  • GET ORGANISED STRAIGHT AWAY: As soon as you get home unpack your bag before you have a break and something to eat. Lay out all the work first. It is easier to get started if you have everything ready to go.
  • PRIORITISE AND PLAN: Before you start work, write a list of what needs to be done and decide what order you will do it. Focus on what is most important, not just what subject you like best!  Also write down how long you think each task will take to do.
  • DEVELOP THINKING PATHWAYS: Keep in your mind that it is all about learning. Try and look beyond the actual content to what type of skill this homework might be developing in you – analysing, critical thinking, writing skills, or problem-solving skills for example.
  • CHUNK TIME INTO FOCUSED BLOCKS: Do your work in 20-30 minute blocks with no distractions during that time. So switch off the TV, turn off your phone for that 20-30 minutes. When you just focus on the work that needs to be done you’ll be amazed at how much work you complete. Of course if you are on a roll, you can keep going past the 30 minutes.
  • ALTERNATE AND CHIP AWAY: If there is a task you really don’t want to do then alternate this with a task you enjoy doing. For example, 15 minutes on the homework you like, 5 minutes on the homework you don’t like. When you chip away at it you will be surprised how quickly you get through the work. 

 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

Acting Assistant Principal

From the Head of Mission

“Aspire not to have more, but to be more”– Saint Oscar Romero

Every year, countless people turn lent into a demonstration of faith, love and generosity. You can be a part of this incredible community, who believe that there are simple actions we can all take to “be more” for our world.

Make a donation to Project Compassion, start a fundraiser with your school, parish or community; give something up for lent… there are many ways to put your compassion into action. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be contributing towards a more just and compassionate world.

St Agnes is will be launching our Project Compassion Mission next week that targets the Lenten journey of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. I thank all our staff, students, parents and families for their ongoing support to Caritas as we build a just world together.

To donate to the St Agnes Project Compassion page, go to

To donate to the St Agnes Project Compassion page, go to


Around the Classrooms

Year 12 Citizenship Life Skills

The Year 12 Citizenship Life Skills class attended a Jury Simulation activity over two lessons, where they read through the full transcript of a civil court case, examined the pieces of evidence and determined the facts of the case. The students then acted as the jury, in determining whether the plaintiff or the defendant won the case.They carefully deliberated, and the decision was unanimous. 

Here are some photos of our jurors, hard at work, deliberating over the facts of the case.  

 Mrs Walters

Year 9 students using our new space in Alverna

Year 10 Mathematics

Mrs Walters and Mr Mangion’s Year 10 Mathematics 5.2 classes are using the Flipped Learning approach this year.

Flipped Learning is a teaching and learning strategy which aims to increase student engagement and learning by having students watch instructional videos for homework, and work on mathematics problems in class, often collaboratively.

Whilst Flipped Learning has been a change from the traditional teacher-led classroom, students have really risen to the challenge and are working brilliantly, utilising all of the facilities of the new Alverna space to enhance their learning. 

                                                                                                  Great work, Year 10!

Year 10 Maths

Stage 5 Photography

Congratulations Angelica!



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