St Agnes Catholic High School

May Newsletter - Term 4, Week 9 2021

From the Principal

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,

As the school year draws to a close, it is timely to reflect on the unusual year it has been for students and all in our community.

As I reflect on students' achievements as shown in their academic reports, most students have shown remarkable learning growth across all of their subjects. Their focus on learning, whether at school or remotely was clearly evident. The year has most certainly been like no other and as a community we have all been challenged to reimagine most aspects of our life and traditions. At school, most traditional events and even rites of passage have been affected by the changing health orders. While certainly some experiences such as camps have not been possible, students have had the opportunity to take up other experiences or doing things in different ways.

This has led to many other memorable experiences throughout the year (see collage). While we have continued to find joy in our community, importantly, our students have learned to be both resilient and flexible. And true to our Franciscan heritage, have continued to live their faith, seeking opportunities even in the height of lockdown to serve others. 

This is my last newsletter as Principal of St Agnes. It has been a privilege to lead this community and I am incredibly proud to have served here during this period of transformation to a 7-12 school. While I have certainly overseen many changes, it is what hasn’t changed of which I am most proud. St Agnes is a welcoming community, its students and staff work together for the greater good and actively find and create opportunities to make a difference. St Agnes has always been known for its community and I am honoured to have played such a significant part of its journey. 

May the blessing of the birth of Jesus at Christmas, bring joy and peace to you and your families at this special time.

We pray as a community -

God our Father,

may the simplicity of the birth of Jesus, your Son,

remind us

that we can readily discover him

in the ordinariness of our daily lives.


Pace e’ bene,

Lisa-Maree Browning


28 - 31 JanuaryStaff Development Day
1 FebruaryYear 7 Commences
2 FebruaryYears 8-12 Commence
14 FebruarySchool Photo Day
15 FebruaryOpening School Mass / Commissioning of Leaders
17 FebruaryCaptivate/CEDP HSC Dance Day
21 FebruaryPhoto Catch up Day
22 FebruaryYear 11 Information Session 5.30pm

From the Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation

2021… a year we will not forget in a hurry.

We, as a community, have been significantly challenged by COVID-19, the extended lockdown and remote learning. That said, we have also risen to the challenge and attempted to make the best as to what was put before us.

The staff at St Agnes rallied as the year unfolded, particularly throughout Term 3 and had in the forefront of their mind the needs of their students. We undertook many and varied educational opportunities to ensure our students were learning throughout the most challenging of times.

That said, we did return to school in the middle of the term; the HSC did take place and the students were able to once again be learners in the classroom. It has been a goal of all teaching staff that the students need to end the year in a positive way, so that they are ready to begin 2022.

Year 12 2021

Our Year 12 cohort recently completed their HSC examinations. We will celebrate their achievement in the Graduation Ceremony on 13/12. It is at this time that we give thanks in prayer and acknowledge the hard work and dedication had by all students. The ATAR will be released on the 20th January 2022 (in line with UAC offers) and the HSC Results will be released on 24/1/2022 (6am). The latter will be sent to the students’ NESA Online Account. It is strongly recommended that students download these results and get a hard copy for future reference. They should also update their email address in the Personal Details section to a non-school email that they can easily access. You can also download your free eRecord and/or RoSA/HSC/VET credential PDF in the eRecords/Certificates section.

Step Up into Year 11

This occurred for Year 10 students from Wednesday 1st December to Tuesday 7th December. The aim of the programme was for each student to experience a number of lessons of their chosen subjects for Year 11. By all accounts, the students thoroughly enjoyed what the teachers presented and the learning opportunities they experienced. The students also completed various online activities and courses (under the direction of our Career Advisor) so that they were able to really consider the subjects selected against the Pathway they have in mind for the future.

Semester 2 Reports

By Monday 13th December, all students in Years 7 to 10 will be in receipt of their final academic report for 2021. This states clearly how the student has performed in each subject area and the Learning Advisor has also provided a holistic comment on their view of each student’s performance. I encourage all parents and students to read through the report carefully and reflect upon the learning attained. 

Please remember that the opportunity is available to partake in a Student Led Conference with your child’s Learning Advisor on Tuesday 14th December from 8.30am until 12.30pm. Thank you to the parents who have already made these bookings; please consult your email, Compass app or the SkoolBag app as to the steps required.

Academic Awards

Congratulations to our students who received an acknowledgement of their effort and success at our recent award ceremony. Our awards recognised:

  • First in course (Year 11 only).

  • Highly Commended - Academic Achievement. This first award is for students who regularly achieve consistent results in not only assessment tasks, but also, class tasks. The award is mutually decided upon by the respective class teacher and the Leader of Learning. 

  • Highly Commended - Sustained Effort. This award is for students whose effort is consistent and does not waver. They regularly complete the set work, homework and when or where possible, seek teacher feedback. This award is mutually decided upon by the Learning Advisor, Learning Mentor and the Leader of Learning Pathways. 

    (list of students with awards below)

    Study Skills Tip for December – Making the Most of the End of Year School Report

    1. Before the report arrives home, ask your child to write their own school report. Make up a grid similar to this (or a previous report) for all subjects, and ask your child to pretend to be the teacher and write about themselves. This gives your child the opportunity to reflect on their own performance at school. It can provide parents with a useful insight and can be a reference to compare the teachers’ perspectives with your child’s viewpoint. It is also a good discussion point when the school report arrives home to help your child reflect and evaluate the report with you.

    2. Read your child’s report with your child. This immediately indicates openness, and provides direct encouragement and support to your child. Wherever there are positives, in either comments, grades, effort and so on, point them out to your child first. Most students will have areas to commend and should be acknowledged by the parent.

    3. The report should be viewed as a vehicle to move forward, and not be perceived as a final judgment of a child’s ability - because it is not. It’s a “screenshot” and not the whole story. It is important for students to know they have the ability to modify and change their work ethic or study strategies, and they can improve. Reinforcing that the report is an opportunity to highlight strengths and weaknesses, which will happen throughout their working life through appraisal or performance reviews, can help the student develop goals for next year.

    4. Compare the yearly report to the Semester 1 report and last year’s report.

    This can be useful to identify specific subject areas where there has been an improvement or a decline.  If students have improved, celebrate this achievement. If not, discuss why this may be the case. For example, Semester 1 report grades may have been based on assignments and not exams. This could flag that exams were either not fully prepared for and study skills should be reviewed, or your child needs exam practice as they are a very different mode to demonstrate knowledge, or perhaps new concepts were introduced in Semester 2 and these could be weaknesses to work on!

    5. Don’t just look at grades, focus on effort also.

    A child’s performance is not measured solely by grades. Not every child will receive an A or B, in fact the average child would mostly likely achieve a C grade (which typically represents the middle 60%). A child who achieved a C grade, or 55%, yet gained an A for effort should be congratulated. Again, as the report should be viewed as a discussion and evaluation, if the effort grade is lower, ask your child why this might be the case, and make a note of this to form one of the goals for next year.

    6. Teacher comment.

    The teacher comment is quite valuable when discussing the report with your child. Ask him or her if they agree with the comment, or why, if they don’t. Encourage your child to consider the comment. For example, if the comment is on your child’s lack of concentration, or need to focus on answering the question, then the comments suggest a specific area of weakness. Similarly, if the comment commends your child on commitment, determination and diligence, it suggests your child’s attitude to school is solid.

    7. TALK to your child about the report, and LISTEN.

    Help your child not to blame someone or something that resulted in a disappointing report. Blame does not lead to action. If there are extenuating circumstances for a disappointing report (such as a difficult family situation like parents separating, or relocation or demanding co-curricular activities etc), acknowledge these may have affected your child’s focus and give understanding. However, help your child accept that they perhaps did not put in the effort, or had not established an effective revision program, or had not given the required commitment. Asking your child what they could do next year to improve or maintain excellence is a good start. Again, it would be worthwhile jotting down your child’s comments to establish goals. Reinforcing that a yearly report is a vehicle to move forward is vital.

    8. Establish goals for next year and consider a holiday review program (even if only 1 hour a week). The report can, and should, be read as an instrument to create goals for next year, and possibly plan a holiday review program. As students in December typically focus on the long summer holidays, freedom and unstructured days, it’s natural for school work to wane. However, now is the time to create goals for next year, whilst the academic year remains in their recent memory. It is more difficult to establish goals in February. Goals are best determined by the child, yet parental input after discussing a yearly report is prudent and can provide direction. The goals should be in response to you and your child’s discussion of the report, and teacher recommendations. Some goals could be:

    • Focus on reading the question in assignments/exams carefully to ensure the question is answered.

    • Ensure I make summary notes when I finish each topic.

    • Do at least 30 minutes reviewing what I learned at school each day, in addition to homework.

    • Ask the teacher if I don’t understand a concept.

    • For example, if Maths is a weakness, spend 1 hour a week doing extra Maths practice.


    When the goals are listed, put them in a prominent place – fridge, bedroom wall, notice board etc.


    It would also be prudent to develop a holiday review program if there are specific subjects or areas of subjects that are weak. This does not need to be extensive, however regular practice of specific subjects that will be required for cumulative learning next year can make an enormous difference.

    Examples of subjects where knowledge learned this year would be assumed knowledge for next year can include Mathematics, Science, English and HSIE – as well as many others!

    Holiday review programs can easily be incorporated into your child’s vacation plans. For example, if your child sees a movie, they could write a review, or analyse the film techniques. If your child reads a newspaper or magazine or internet site, they could write a short paragraph about bias, purpose and persuasive techniques.

    Learn more at

    Our school’s subscription details are -

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    I wish every member of our St Agnes community a very happy and holy Christmas. We look forward to working with you in 2022.

    Mr G Kemmis

    Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation

Academic Award Winners

From the Head of Mission

Pace e Bene

What a strange year this has been. It seems like the longest time since we have had the chance to communicate with you through the newsletter. Although we have not been able to come together to celebrate as a community, we were still able to hold many celebrations via the zoom for Father’s Day, various Feast Days of Mary, and now that we are back to some sort of normal, we were be able to come together to participate in our Advent Liturgy as well as celebrating our Year 12 Graduands in week 11, on 13th December, as their 13 years of education comes to end.

As we begin to emerge from the fog of lockdowns, we become more appreciative of what we have, and our eyes are more fully opened to those around us who may need some extra support and care.

What a year it has been for Religious Education in the Diocese, which has seen it contemporised through the ‘Living Life to the Full’ syllabus, and then making a return to ‘Sharing our Story’. Whilst learning has been impacted on all fronts, within Religious Education, students have continued to engage in their learning through a merging of the two syllabi as well as practicing their faith through various learning experiences, whether through assessment or class tasks.

I would like to thank, not only the students who have accepted the adjustment to learning with positivity and enthusiasm, but also the many RE teachers who have provided, and continue to provide engaging, fruitful, and experiential lessons for the students.

Students from 7-10 have re-engaged with the following topics, building upon their knowledge of Scripture, God, Church and Prayer. 

Year 7 - Life and Times of Jesus / The Church Spreads the Good News

Year 8 - Ways People Pray, People of the Covenant 

Year 9 -Inspiring People of Faith, The Eucharist

Year 10- A call to Unity, Reverence for life

Below are a few comments from the students relating to the learning that has taken place this year both Face to Face and remote learning.

‘In Religion this year we learnt about faith and how we can grow closer to it. RE this year has been very enjoyable and the lessons were very interesting”. (Montana. Year 8)

“During RE in Year 8, I have learnt many things this year.  I learnt about the many events that happened in the Bible as well as different ways we can pray. The assessments I enjoyed and also helped me recognise the importance of prayer and it educated me on the many things Jesus had done for us”. (Kayla. Year 8)

“This year I experienced many learning opportunities in Religion. We explored a variety of topics involving sacrifice, the Eucharist, the environment, and leadership in society. I felt very excited coming to Religion and my teacher made it very fun and easy to understand. I was able to grow as a person spiritually and felt very connected to God and my beliefs overall.” (Tsega. Year 9)

“Throughout the year, the learning of Religion has played a big part in my learning at St Agnes. The ability to learn about Chrsitianity, has given me the power to apply the faith into my everyday life through words, thoughts and actions. Religion has been extremely enjoyable this year, considering that the pandemic affected some of our learning.” (Vanessa. Year 9)


The season of Advent began on Sunday, 28th November. This marked a significant period in the Church calendar, a time where all Catholics come together in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time where we recall the themes of Advent which are; Joy, Hope, Peace and Love. There is also a fifth candle, which most Christians use which is the Christ Candle. This is lit on Christmas day to signify and remind Christians of the light Jesus brings to the world.

In the book of Hebrews we read, “persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith”. What great Advent advice. It is Jesus who is coming again in new ways to call us to be disciples and stewards of God’s many gifts and graces.

We need not despair when we are bombarded by distractions daily. Each day is a new beginning, to encounter Jesus; each liturgical season is yet another invitation to encounter God’s grace made present in the miracle of the incarnation. Humbly we invoke His guidance through the intercession of the Holy Spirit, a Spirit that enlightens us to see, a Spirit that allows us to love, a Spirit that emperors us to hear and follow the Good Shepherd. 

We are not alone on this journey, we travel together, as one community and we are constantly reminded of the promise of the gift of the Lord’s presence.

This is the last opportunity where I can wish all of you a very Blessed and Holy Christmas, and a Happy and Safe holiday with your families. May you each find the joy and hope that comes from the birth of Jesus Christ.

Peace and Blessings.

Mr. Patrick Madigan

Head of Mission

Advent Liturgy

Careers Advisor

Western Sydney University PATHE Program Updates

Due to COVID restrictions, all scheduled on-campus events had to be shifted to an online delivery mode this term. 

Our Year 11 students attended a PATHE Check it Out Campus Tour Online on  Friday 29 October. Students' participated in activities tailored to create discussions regarding career pathways and had the opportunity to break out into different faculties to enhance their knowledge and gain small group experiences regarding different courses. This was followed by interactive Talanoa's and workshops that students were squealing with laughter around.

Our Year 9 students attended a PATHE Leadership Summit on Thursday 25 November. Selected Year 9 students had the opportunity to choose from a variety of workshops designed to encourage students to dream big and to look forwards to what the future will bring. Students also had the opportunity to hear from Pacific professionals from various fields and to gain a better understanding of what opportunities are available post-school based on their interests. Using a Vaka as a metaphor students were able to reflect on how personal strengths such as Service, Teamwork, Effort, Empowerment and Responsibility are key strengths within the Pasifika community and how these strengths should be used to maximise opportunities and advocate for higher educational achievements. 

Our Year 10 students attended a PATHE Chase the Dream Conference on Thursday 9 December. Selected Year 10 students engaged in workshops designed to encourage students to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students engage in workshops such as Pacific leadership in a Western landscape, listened to International keynote speakers and wrapped up with an extremely insightful Talanoa where students were able to consider inclusive and intentional leadership in their educational aspirations. 

This program is clearly inclusive and forward-thinking. It promotes Pasific Islander and Maori students accessing high-quality early education and successfully transitioning beyond the st Agnes school gates. The PATHE PROGRAM with WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY has the potential to attract a greater number of parents and to provide an enriching bilingual, bicultural experience for non-Pasifika students. It has the potential to be a model for many educational institutions to adopt. It is therefore well worth considering how this progressive community initiative can be supported to grow and go forward.


Year 10 have been busy experiencing what Year 11 will look like next year during the Step Up into Year 11 Program. We have had a fantastic response to opportunities such as courses at Taronga Zoo for Animal Studies, Allied Health Courses with Nepean Blue Mountains Local Area Health and University of New England and many other fabulous opportunities that allow students to not only achieve a nationally accredited qualification at the end of year 12 but also immersion in a career that they are passionate about experiencing. after many hours of interviews and subject selection, i am excited to see students immerse themselves in subjects they have made a concerted effort to choose based on their passions and strengths. Any student wishing to attend a career session to discuss where they think their pathway is geared to feel free to book an appointment on our careers website or use the link below:

Congratulations to the following students who have received early offers or have apprenticeships

Around the Classrooms


What a year! Science has been front and centre in the media throughout this year. Many great discussions as the result of students' wonderings and curiosities about our ‘new normal’ have been taking place throughout our science lessons. In particular in Year 9 as we have been studying disease and our lines of defence. 

This year has made us realise just how much we enjoy the daily interactions with our students and the opportunities to facilitate investigations in the lab and around the school, working with students as they inquire more deeply into concepts and collect data to support their thinking.

The Science team are looking forward to the many great learning adventures our students will take us on in 2022.

Some highlights of Semester Two  - 2021 are in the photo's below.

Mrs Rebecca Cruickshank

Leader of Learning - Science

Year 12 - 2022 have been busy modelling the replication of DNA for their first assessment task.

Year 10 - Have been undertaking the challenging task of calculating the distance to the sun. This required them to write their own equations and collect relevant data. They also had access to some basic science equipment that some of the parents and carers reading this article might recall using themselves.

Year 9 - Modelling infectious disease and the effect of vaccination.

English Report 2021

While 2021 has been a challenging year for all of us, there were still some great highlights for the English Department and students of St Agnes this year.

In Term 1, St Agnes reentered the Catholic Schools Public Speaking Competition after a few years absent with an excellent performance from all our competing speakers. Two speakers progressed to the next round, with Purva Kumar from 9.4 advancing to the Zone Final and Andrea Plaatjes from 7.7 making it all the way through to the Grand Final! Well done to both girls. I’m sure you have a great future in public speaking ahead of you. 

In Term 2 the Debating season kicked off with St Agnes hosting the first round and it was great to see St Agnes back in the CSDA Competition. Throughout the 6 weeks of competition, all St Agnes debaters represented the College with great enthusiasm, skill and pride. Well done to our Year 7 team who managed to proceed to the Quarter Finals, which finally took place this term via Zoom. While the team unfortunately lost to a very skilled opposition in OLMC, they performed admirably under the challenging circumstances and showed great team spirit and humility in defeat. 

Well done to our Year 7 team; Amanda Buenaventura, Chloe Favor, Lincoln Johnston, John Jose, Andrea Plaatjes and their coach Mr Neilson.  

I was personally so impressed by all the debaters I got to know more about over the course of the competition (sometimes too well based on my experiences driving the Year 11 all male team around the greater Blacktown area) and by the very generous students who volunteered to assist as chairpersons and timekeepers at debates and come along to support our teams at our AWAY debates. The generosity of staff in assisting and supporting debating was also amazing and I would like to thank our debating coaches and for giving up their Friday evenings; Ms Payne, Ms Udovicic, Ms Dunne and Ms Dadah, as well as Mr Kemmis for his adjudication duties and Mr Khan for his I.T. Support. A special thanks must go to Ms Dunne and Ms Dahdah for training and preparing students for debating in ELP. 

In Term 2, 12 Advanced English had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the city to view a performance of their HSC text The Tempest by William Shakespeare at the Seymour Centre. It was a wonderful performance that no doubt gave a great insight into the play and it was just great to see live theatre after the shutdowns of 2020 and the fact that we were back in lockdown in Term 3. The small group of Advanced students relished the chance to see a vibrant, dynamic, modern adaptation of Shakespeare and sample the local cuisine - Halal snack pack, Redfern style. 

2021 also saw the first students at St Agnes to take on the challenging Extension English 2 Major Work. Mentored ably by Ms Payne, the two Year 12 students Farida Zaheer and Jamieson Sukkarieh worked hard throughout the HSC year, developing, writing and editing their major works. Jamie adapted and responded to the myths of Greek and Roman culture to create her own original contemporary poetry while Farida examined the legacy of the poetry of her Iranian homeland in a critical essay. Both girls showed great skill and concept development over the course of the major work and should both be very proud of their efforts and much thanks to Ms Payne for her many hours of advice and editing to help the girls refine their writing and meet the final deadline. We look forward to hearing how they go in the HSC. 

In Term 4 we returned from lockdown with the inaugural St Agnes Literature Prize, a chance for St Agnes students to demonstrate their great writing skills and be named Writer of the Year in Stage 4, 5 and 6 as well as winning a $50 gift card. The theme for this year was Courage. While there wasn’t an avalanche of entries, those students who did take up the opportunity showed great promise in the craft of writing and we received some excellent poems, speeches and short stories. 

Well done to all entrants and congratulations to the winners and runners-up below:

St Agnes Literature Prize Winners and Runners-Up.

Stage 6

Winner - Abhishek Maharaj, 11.4

Runner-up - Pranay Chand, 11.1

Stage 5

Winner - Bryon Murphy, 10.6

Runner-up - Brooklyn O’Brien, 10.7

Stage 4

Winner - Andrea Plaatjes, 7.7

Runner-up - Angelica Prasad, 8.6

As we finish a tumultuous but memorable year, what better way to unwind over the Summer than to do some reading. I’d encourage all St Agnes students to read a book and enter the Executive Director’s Summer Reading competition. Students can read anything they like to enter, whether it’s a comic, play, a piece of poetry, book, e-book or animated novel.

Then they just need to write what they love about the books they’ve read and they could win one of two $500 JB Hi-Fi vouchers or one of thirty gift vouchers valued at $30 each. The competition is open now and runs until February 25, 2022. Students can enter by going to

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the English staff for their hard work, dedication and support in my first year at St Agnes, especially Ms Udovocic for her work as Assistant Leader of Learning, and a big thanks to the Executive Team; Ms Browning, Mr Kemmis and Mr Hilder for their help and guidance this year.

 I’ll leave you with Andrea’s inspiring winning entry for the St Agnes Literature Prize 2021, a speech on courage (below). 

Have a safe and relaxing Christmas and a wonderful 2022. Whatever lies in store, let’s all take heart from Andrea’s words and face it with courage.

Patrick Loughlin,

Leader of Learning, English

Courage. Written by Andrea Plaatjes, Year 7

A French word with many meanings. Throughout the ages, courage has taken on different meanings for different people but essentially it is referring to “ heart”.  

To have courage or not to have courage? That is the question. 

I wake up one day feeling alone, I’m quiet as the slight breeze brushes my window open. I don’t want to stand out. I am weary. I don’t want to have courage, I just want to hide. I don’t want to be different and challenge anybody or make a statement. Isn’t it enough that I am just here? 

No, the wind whispers. Stand up . Be counted. Let your courage come from within. 

We must show courage not for ourselves but for others. We must try to become better versions of ourselves and we must become strong. Having courage will help us discover our heart. 

Courage doesn’t eliminate fears, it answers them. 

Courage comes in many different shapes and forms. It is when you keep going. Try again. Face your fears. When we show courage we don’t just do it for ourselves. I am inspired by people who show courage and determination. I gasp at the marathon runner who crosses the line after the crowds have long gone. I cheer on the Paralympian swimmer who touches the wall first. 

When we are courageous we are showing others the way, we are standing up for ourselves. We are even more heroic and courageous when we inspire others. Greta Thumberg, my favourite activist, gave me the courage to try out for public speaking. What if you are someone’s Greta Thumberg. What if you give people courage? 

Individuals with courage have the confidence to speak up against things that aren't right or shouldn't be tolerated, even if they are uncomfortable doing so. If we display courage we become better versions of ourselves, we can prove others wrong. It’s not that this person has it and this person doesn’t, courage is within everyone. There are many missed opportunities in life, so when you get the opportunity, use courage to your advantage and keep going. This is the mindset of powerful people. 

Courage doesn’t eliminate fears, it answers them.

Having courage often helps us to respond to risks wisely, rather than being overconfident or cowardly. Courage also aids us in taking action against individuals who threaten us or act in a harmful manner. It is the roar of the lion protecting his pride and the superhuman strength of a mother protecting her child. Courage makes us strong both mentally and physically. It helps us achieve the impossible. 

In the end whether you decide to use courage or not, it  is completely up to you. Even if you don’t think you have courage, you probably do. You wake up, you ask questions in class, you try again tomorrow, you get back up, you make mistakes, wake up tomorrow and try again. 

That itself is the greatest form of courage. 

Find your heart, find your courage.

 Andrea Plaatjes, Year 7

TAS Report

Year 7 Technology Mandatory

Students in Year 7 complete one semester of “Digital Technology” and the other engaged in “Mixed Materials”. These units of work provide students with an introduction to the Design Process whilst completing a coding project using arduino or creating an apron that demonstrates multiple decorative techniques.

Y7 Mixed Materials during remote learning, learnt about how to decorate fabrics and they experimented with natural dyeing techniques.The students have used common household ingredients or even flowers to dye cotton garments, socks or pillow cases. These are some images of their very creative work.

Back at school Year 7 enjoyed creating bags using tie dye and aboriginal dot painting techniques

Year 7 Mixed Materials

Year 8 Technology Mandatory

Students in Year 8 complete one semester of “Food Technology and Agriculture” and the other engaged in an “Engineered Systems” programme. These units of work provide students with an introduction to a workshop and to the food technology lab.

“Food Technology and Agriculture” is a ‘Paddock to Plate’ inspired programme which provides our students with knowledge about eggs in Australia, their benefits to our health and how to transfer this knowledge and skills to a practical application.

 Year 8 Food Technology were asked to develop a food product which is healthy and contains eggs as a solution to their Design Portfolio Task. Some of their ideas were an Indonesian Gado Gado Salad by Brodie D’ugo Gillette, Shakshuka by Valentina Butrus and a Tuna Nicoise Poke Bowl by Leah Brooke.

 Two examples below demonstrate not only the students' ideas of what they can make to suit the design brief but also what skills are required to make the dish and the safety and hygiene practices that would need to be followed in the kitchen.

We hope they enjoy making these tasty dishes at home for their families as unfortunately lockdown did not allow them to cook their carefully chosen and planned dishes on site. These creative Year 8 classes are looking forward to baking and icing Christmas shortbread cookies to finish off 2021.

Despite lockdown students were positive about what they have learnt this term, commenting:

    “I enjoyed learning more about the 5 food groups and how they all work together to make sure our bodies are healthy and function correctly.”

      The part of my portfolio that I liked the most was the product development section, I liked that in this section I could look at different recipes that I could make for the assessment.

      “I enjoyed section 3 research about eggs as it taught me many things that I didn’t know before and let me know what type of eggs are better like cage eggs, free range or barn.”

 Our “Engineered Systems” unit of work provides students with the opportunity to learn about science based applications such as force, motion and energy as well as the application of woodworking hand tools and machinery to create a CO2 car made from timber. The students have been working hard in the workshop since returning to school to create and paint their cars. When they have finished painting them, the wheels will be added, and they will race them down the track.

Year 8

Year 9 and 10 TAS

Year 9 and 10 Food Technology

This term students in Stage 5 Food Technology looked at access to an adequate food supply as a global issue. Students examine food production and distribution globally and how this is influenced by factors such as transport, infrastructure, political environment and geographic considerations.

 They completed an assessment task where they were assessed on their ability to:                       

●      Discuss the role of aid agencies in providing individual and community assistance

●      Discuss circumstances that impact on the individual’s access to food and resulting food habits.

●      Designs, plans and evaluates a safe and nutritious food item appropriate to specific situations

 Since returning to school, students have made Sticky Date Puddings and Christmas Shortbread Biscuits.

Year 9 and 10 Design and Technology

This semester, students in our Stage 5 Elective Design and Technology class have focused on redesigning a product to be more sustainable. Although the students were not able to be in the workshop to create these masterpieces, the students were able to create prototypes at home or submit CAD drawings of their designs.

Once we returned to on site learning, the students were given the chance to show off their practical skills by designing and creating a Christmas decoration to take home. The students crafted these using traditional methods such as sanding and sawing timber and some of them then chose to apply more modern techniques such as laser engraving or cutting to add detail.

Year 9 and 10 TAS

Year 10 Information Software and Technology

During remote learning, Year 10 were working hard on their portfolios and planning the design for their own game. When we returned back to face to face learning it was incredible to see some of the amazing progress the students had made. The class spent the next couple of weeks coding their games and bringing their ideas to life.

I am so impressed with the quality and persistent effort the students have shown during this project and the fantastic game they each created!

Ms Phillips

Desktop 2021.11.16 -

Year 9 and 10 Industrial Technology-Timber

It has been really nice to be able to get back into the workshop, after such a disrupted year.

The students continued working on their Toy Trucks and Clocks, making some very nice looking final designs.

A great effort with your practical tasks Year 9 and 10.

It has been a pleasure seeing your practical skills grow.

Mr Scarpin

Year 9 and 10 Graphics

In the Computer-aided design (CAD) unit, students developed a fundamental understanding of the significance of graphical communication and the techniques and technologies used to convey technical and non-technical ideas and information.

They took the role of a graphic designer and completed a series of exercises using both computer-aided design (CAD) and manual drafting techniques. Theoretical principles learned in this unit were applied to design, build and animate a simple dragon automaton that can be physically created through the use of rapid prototyping technologies.

Year 11 and 12

Whilst our Year 12’s were engaged in final HSC examinations this term, our Year 11’s commenced their HSC. For our Industrial Technology and Design and Technology courses, this means the start of their Major Projects which will be externally assessed next August. The students have been busy choosing projects that ‘show off’ the skills and knowledge that they acquired during the Preliminary Course. Some ideas the students have for Major Projects are tv units, an art desk, an environment for the homeless, a product to make a playground more ‘inclusive’, a product to lower the risk to rock fisherman, a product to increase visibility of motorbike riders and a product to assist young children in foster care. I look forward to updating you with their progress!


Meet St Agnes CHS Rooty Hill Year 12 student, William Palaki. He plays a mean trumpet and has secured early entry into the Conservatorium of Music at The University of Sydney, one of the most prestigious and highly acclaimed places to study music in NSW.

Read his story by clicking the heading above

Recognition of Achievement

St Agnes Catholic High School wishes to congratulate the following students on their outstanding dedication to remote learning. Despite the challenges faced by the COVID NSW 2021 lockdown, these students regularly attended online ‘help’ sessions throughout Term 3 2021. These students were awarded a certificate to recognise their efforts and achievements during this time. 


Justin Aberca

Lucas Martin
Briyanna Azaglo

Isiah Misi

Olivia Cox

Liam Nash

Hayden Culbert

Abby Neely

Daniel EssaThoren Ng

Ethan Frendo

Yannis Nikolaou

Jackson Frias

Keisha Nuval

William Hardie

Texas Parker

Gabriela Labbad

Maryam QraQuashi

Juliana Labbad

Lachlan Rawlings

Terence Maglalang

Yousef Sadiqi

Vince Manalo

Jordan Spratt

Kiara Marcelo

Year 12 Business Studies

Year 12 Business studies students were given the opportunity to engage in the process of conducting the operations processes. Students were given the resources which included coloured paper, scissors, and coloured pencils and were sent off to transform the materials into a finalised output. Students worked in groups of 3-4 collectively, and collaboratively sharing ideas together which evolved into a final product for each group.

During the transformation process, we had to keep the 4V’s in mind: visibility, volume, variety, and variation. Task design and value adding was also prevalent as students worked together in their groups. As a group students demonstrated teamwork and time management while gaining skills of product development.  Finalised products from the students included origami cranes and planes, large flowers, and miniature flowers. This activity allowed the students to see the transformation process of operations, and how everyone has their own specific role for the output of the process. The students then had the opportunity of looking at their peers’ artworks and how each group had all come up with a unique piece. Although it appeared simple, all the syllabus dot points for the topic Operation Process were covered.

By Varshini Chand 

Year 12

Mathematics - Hexasaw Activity

Reinforcing and applying knowledge of the relationship between decimals, percentages and fractions using a Hexasaw. The frustration for some led to other students taking on a consultative role as they worked together to problem solve. With persistence they were able to complete the puzzle successfully in 45 minutes.

Mrs Karofotias

Maths Teacher


How we travel to school

This October we conducted a Travel Questionnaire for St Agnes to look at how we travel to and from school. We had 683 responses, which represents 73% of students and staff. The survey provided us with some valuable feedback about what measures would help with transport to and from school. 

Over the coming months, we will work with the diocese to share our information with Blacktown council and Transport for NSW to resolve the issues you reported. Watch the upcoming newsletters as we share more from the survey and update you on the outcomes.

If you have transport concerns but don’t know where to report these, please use the Snap Send Solve website or app for a quick response.

Eligible students can receive free travel to and from home and school on approved metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail during term.

Apply now if you have a student starting in 2022.

Don't forget the uniform shop is open for bookings. Click the link

Dates are still available till the 15th December (at the time of publishing)

Dates for 2022

Monday 17th January - 8am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm

Tuesday 18th January - 8am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm

Wednesday 19th January - 8am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm

Monday 24th January - 8am - 1pm

Thursday 27th January - 8am - 1pm

Friday 28th January - 8am - 1pm

Normal trading to resume - Monday 31st January - 8am - 12pm

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