St Agnes Catholic High School

February Newsletter - Term 1, Week 3 2022

From the Principal

Welcome to 2022. I feel privileged in being appointed the Principal of St Agnes from 2022 and would like to thank the Community for making me feel so welcome. This community truly reflects the Franciscan tradition; it is a centre of teaching and learning, reflecting the life and mission of Jesus. We will strive to provide opportunities for all members of the St Agnes community so that they may flourish through appreciating the gifts of our head, heart and hands. 

New Staff

I would like to welcome the new staff who commenced at the beginning of 2022. They  include:

New Staff                  

Jodee Bain - (Learning Support)                                                              

Donovan Cheung - LoL:CAPA                                                      

Adrianna D’Aprile - CAPA   

Gilda De Guzman - Instructional Leader/Maths/EMU                    

Hayley Fielding - English                                                                                                                         

Alex Izquierdo - (Science)

Mungai Evanson Mburu - (TAS)

Nicole Tomich - Learning Mentor       

 Our new staff were welcomed and commissioned at the Opening School Masses on Tuesday 15th February. 

HSC Distinguished Achievers

Congratulations to the 2021 HSC cohort.  On Friday the 18th of February we welcomed the 2021 ATAR Dux, Farida Zaheer and Distinguished Achievers at a HSC Distinguished Achievers Assembly. Our St Agnes school community are very proud of the achievements of our second HSC cohort and wish each of them continued success as they begin the next stage of their life journey. May the spirit of St Agnes stay strong in their hearts. 


Unfortunately, we begin another school year dealing with COVID -19. Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation as we work together to respond to this pandemic. We will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments via text messages, Skoolbag and Compass.

The NSW Government has extended the schools Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) program for another two weeks. Students should receive another four Rapid Antigen Tests to take home next week (Term 1 Week 4)

The NSW Government’s recommendation is that tests should be completed at home in the morning on Mondays and Wednesdays before attending school that week.

Families of students who receive a positive RAT or PCR test result must inform the school as soon as possible, and follow NSW Health advice. A reminder also that if a student has a positive RAT result, this must be registered on the Service NSW website or the Service NSW app as soon as possible. Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms should get tested immediately and stay in isolation until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. You can find more information about COVID-19 symptoms 

2022 Opening School Mass

Opening School Mass and Commissioning of School Leaders and New Teachers

On Tuesday 15th February we celebrated our opening school Masses. Due to Covid restrictions  there were two Masses, one for Years 7, 8,and 9 and another for Years 10,11 and 12.  Year 7 students were welcomed to the St Agnes community by the blessing and distribution of the Tau Cross. St Francis gave a Tau Cross  to the Friars when they became part of their community and for our students it is a symbol welcoming them to our community. 

During the Mass, attended by students in Years 10,11 and 12, the new leaders were commissioned and new teachers welcomed. Congratulations to the School Captains, Portfolio and SRC Leaders who were officially commissioned this week. 

Being a leader means being of service to others in our community. I encouraged our new student leaders to use St Francis as their guides by the way they lived the Gospel teachings. St Agnes also embodied leadership because she stood up for what she believed. Our student leaders need to be a role model for all students at St Agnes, living out our Catholic values, working to the best of their ability and demonstrating pride in being a student at  St Agnes.

Our SRC and School Captains provide students with an avenue for recommendations and ways they can contribute to the growing community of St Agnes. The SRC,  Portfolio Leaders and the Captains work together to build community and lead by example. Our school leaders need to actively seek ways to ensure that there are ways to increase  student voice and leadership opportunities for all years. I would like to encourage our leaders to reimagine events and feasts, ensuring that our faith and community events thrive and continue to build community.

 Congratulations to our Leaders

Julia FreemanSchool Captain
Abhishek MarahajSchool Captain
Abigail LumbreCatholic Identity Leader
Aarya MehtaCatholic Identity Leader
Mary-Rose AhadSocial Justice Leader
Vanessa YousifSocial Justice Leader
Jewel OsbourneWellbeing & Peer Support Leader
Sofia CorpuzWellbeing & Peer Support Leader
Sienna EdwardsWellbeing & Peer Support Leader
Lilah Magro
Wellbeing & Peer Support Leader
Anjali Sharma
Events Leader
Achol LualEvents Leader
Izabella Keryo
Environment Leader
Jiya KumarEnvironment Leader
Sam GabardaDigital Media Leader
Purva Kumar
Digital Media Leader
Maretta FuimaonoSport Leader
Julian Hemady
Sport Leader
Lisa AlamehHouse Leader
Rylee HeinemannHouse Leader
Neha MaharajHouse Leader
Candice Wilden
House Leader
Talia Afungia
Yr 8 SRC Leader
Michael Al-Semann
Yr 8 SRC Leader
Angelica PrasadYr 9 SRC Leader
Xander MendiolaYr 9 SRC Leader
Paula El-GhosseinYr 10 SRC Leader
Rohan KrishnaYr 10 SRC Leader
Eliana Frendo
Yr 11 SRC Leader
Heleana Soriano
Yr 11 SRC Leader
Emma JohnstonYr 12 SRC Leader
Aiden PriestleyYr 12 SRC Leader

60th Anniversary

This is a special year for St Agnes because we are celebrating our 60th anniversary as our school was established in 1962 by the Franciscan Missionaries.  We have  60 years of history with a rich Franciscan tradition which has evolved over this time. There are a number of special celebrations planned and we will inform the school community with these details. 

Mrs Jeanette Holland



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21 FebruaryPhoto Catch up day
22 FebruaryYear 11 Information Session (Students Only)
25 FebruarySwimming Carnival
1 MarchShrove Tuesday
2 MarchAsh Wednesday
8 MarchInternational Womens Day
8 - 11 MarchSchool Tours
9 MarchYear 7/2023 Virtual Presentation
11 MarchYear 11/12 Art Express Excursion
14-16 MarchYear 7 Camp
18 MarchNational Close the Gap Day / Harmony Day
21-25 MarchYear 9 UNSW program
25 MarchCross Country
28 - 1 AprilYear 12 Assessment Week

From the Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation

Welcome to 2022! We have had our challenges over the last two years, but despite all the obstacles, I know all our students and staff are ready for an exciting year of learning!

I send a special welcome to all the new families who have joined our community and I do hope that you and your child/ren enjoy what St Agnes has to offer.

The HSC results are in, and we had distinct learning gain in many of our subjects with our 2021 Year 12 cohort! We warmly congratulate each student who achieved the award of the HSC and, those who attained an ATAR. Our students have either gone directly to work, moved into studying at TAFE or commenced their tertiary studies at University. Through the partnerships we have with several universities, such as UNSW and ACU, quite a few of the students achieved an early entry offer. This is a great credit to them, and it highlights their determination to succeed in life after school.

As we enter this year, I have set a challenge to each student, from Year 7 through to 12, that they are to push for personal success. We have significant support networks here at St Agnes and ensure that the pathway of each student is commensurate with their goals, interest, and strengths. Each student is to work through all their school and home learning (as required), remembering that there are 3 or 4 formal assessment tasks per subject in each year group.

School and Home Learning

Last year, we developed a new framework around School and Home Learning; you will find this in your child’s diary (page xi). Can I please draw your attention to the table below. No matter where your child stands with their learning, we always want each individual to try their best, complete what is possible and seek help whenever needed. There is always a connection between what the class teacher sets during each lesson, the work to be completed after class (at home) and the formal assessment programme. All students have the ability to access our Library until 3.30pm each day and also, our Learning Centre (formally Homework Club) every Tuesday from 2.30pm for one hour. As a result of these structures, all students can be supported in their learning and once they commit, anything is possible! 

The Relationship between School and Home Learning

 School LearningHome LearningAssessment Tasks

Class teachers will provide many experiences in the lessons which will allow the students to showcase their ability.

These could be (but are not limited to) - 

  • Reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing activities.

  • Investigation and inquiry based activities.

At the end of each lesson, the class teacher may request the students to:

  • Finalise the work not completed.

  • Access our Learning Platforms (Edrolo, Education Perfect, Maths Online and/or Google Classroom)

  • Complete experiential learning; such as a simple physical activity and provide feedback.

There are three main forms of assessment:

  • For Learning

  • (in class activities set by the teacher so that the student can actively demonstrate their learning)

  • As Learning

  • (students are responsible for their own learning and provide thoughtful answers to a problem posed by their teacher)

  • Of Learning (this is a formal task usually at the end of a unit of work).

  • You will also see the time that each student needs to devote to their learning after school each day in the table below.


    Year Group


    Monday - Friday

    Per Subject (daily)


    Years 7 & 8

    90 minutes

    7.5 hours

    15 minutes

    1 - 2 hours

    Years 9 & 10

    2 hours

    10 hours

    20 minutes

    2 - 4 hours

    Years 11 & 12

    3 hours

    15 hours

    30 minutes

    5 - 7 hours


    Study Skills Tip for February

    Having run over 5000 study skills seminars over the last 20 years, Dr Prue Salter has been asked many questions about study skills. Below are some of the common questions parents ask.

    1.              Should you type or handwrite study notes?

    If the exam will be handwritten, students are better to handwrite study notes. This creates muscle memory and helps students practice their handwriting skills. However, many students prefer to type their study notes as it is so much easier to organise the information. If students choose to type, when they are learning their notes, they need to read a section, see what they can write down without looking and check and see if they were correct. This will help them practise their handwriting skills while committing the information to memory.

    2.              My student doesn’t seem to know how to study, what should they be doing?

    Sadly, many students think that studying for a test just means reading their notes over and over. This is the slowest and most ineffective way of studying. Studying involves 3 steps. The first is to make study notes or summaries on what they have been learning. The second is to learn the notes by testing themselves over and over on the information to be retained. The last step is to do as much practice as possible – the more different questions they can do, and preferably under time constraints, the better they will be prepared. Remember that we all learn in different ways so there is scope to allow students to use techniques that suit their individual learning style, such as recording notes to listen to.

    3.              How can students get more organised?

    The first step is to work out what area of organisation you want to target. Books, computer files, locker, diary, desk, folders…the list goes on. There is no point saying to a student ‘you need to be more organised’. Instead, identify an area where there could be improvement. Then, with your student, work out specific strategies to implement to address this issue. Once this issue is under control, then move onto the next problem. 

    4.              What time should students go to bed?

    Although it varies, most students need at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Therefore, work backwards, allow an hour or so for students to get ready for bed and fall asleep, then work backwards to the time they need to get up for school. Have students pay attention to how they feel in the morning – they may need less or more sleep than the average.

    5.              How can I get my student motivated to do their work?

    There is no quick or easy fix for lack of motivation. There are quite a number of strategies to try, but they all take time and effort and persistence. Check the Developing Motivation unit to print a guide for parents on helping your student to be more motivated. 

    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 Kemmis

    Assistant Principal - Learning Transformation

    From the Assistant Principal - School Culture

    Welcome back to the new school year. It has been a couple of years like no other and we continue to face the challenges that COVID-19 poses. Our school has several procedures in place to ensure safety for all so that most school activities can still occur. Thank you for your support in following all rules and regulations including use of RAT’s. If students are sick, they are reminded to stay at home and bring a note on returning. All positive cases or cases of home isolation need to be reported to the school during office hours. If assistance is required for any reason, please always feel able to contact the school.

    Road Safety

    The safety of all members of our community is the highest priority at St Agnes. For our community to stay safe we need everyone to contribute to safe and supportive behaviours. One area where we can all set good examples is through road safety. At St Agnes we understand that the site provides many challenges. St Agnes and CEDP have invested in external transport support, and we hope to have improvements made, but in the meantime we all need to work together to ensure we are all committed to safety.

    In the morning there are often large amounts of sun glare that can make visibility quite difficult, so I plead for anyone who drives to drive below the 40Km/h speed limit. Many parents and carers also drop their children off across the road and encourage or allow them to run across the road in front of the main gate. This is very unsafe as not only the glare, but the steep rise to the top of the hill makes it near impossible to see cars that are coming.

    Our teachers try to ensure safety while we are on duty in the morning and afternoons, but I ask for support from our whole community to ensure that we are all safe.

    Please use the crossing so that we can all get to and from school safely. The school driveway gate is closed each morning and afternoon during the peak times to ensure that students can move across the driveway and make their way to the crossing.

    We are located next door to Our Lady of Consolation Nursing Home, but this does not mean that we can use their site for pick up and drop off passengers. Can we please respect all of our neighbours and obey all road rules and signs.

    St Agnes Uniform

     St Agnes values a sense of community and belonging. We are built on the pillars of dignity, integrity, compassion, and inclusiveness. The uniform is the first way a student can show these values and be part of the community. Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for school each day and if there is any reason that your child is out of uniform, please write a note for their Learning Advisor explaining this reason. Please check the school diary for all uniform requirements.

    In particular the expectations around Grooming and Jewellery are:-


    • Students are expected to keep their hair clean, neat and tidy at all times. Students are to keep their hair off the face and out of their eyes.
    • There are to be no extremes of fashion in hair style, cut, colour or accessories.
    • Boys' hairstyles should not go below the neckline. Boys must be clean shaven. Minimum no.1 clipper length shave with hair blended in at a length similar to the sides. No lines in hair or eyebrows.
    • Students with hair below the shoulders should have their hair tied back. All hair accessories are to be black. No make up or nail polish, fake nails and eye colour permitted.
    • The Assistant Principal School Culture will make the final decision on what is extreme.


    In the interest of safety and security, no inappropriate jewellery should be worn. Body studs, chains or bracelets are not permitted. Inappropriate jewellery will be confiscated and secured in the School Office until collected by the parents or returned to students at the end of term. The following only may be worn.

    • A simple wrist watch
    • A plain gold or silver ring (with no elevations, stones or sharp points)
    • A plain gold or silver chain with a Christian cross or Christian medal (to be worn underneath the shirt)
    • Students may wear one pair of plain gold or silver sleepers or small studs without stones, one in the lobe of each ear.

    If there are any concerns including cost of purchasing new uniform items, please seek support from the Learning Mentors and Leaders of Learning Pathways.

    Mr Hilder

    Assistant Principal - School Culture


    From the Head of Mission

    Pace e Bene,

     Peace and all good

    A very warm welcome to you all, to our returning families and staff, and to our new members of the community, you are most welcome and now new members of our Franciscan Spirituality.

    This year is very significant for us here at St Agnes. It is our 60th Anniversary. St Agnes has grown so much since its foundations in 1962. What originally began as a small catholic school for young women, over time has now become the school we see today. A vibrant, multicultural, and compassionate community.

    Opening School Mass / Welcoming new students, staff, and commissioning of Leadership

     Over the past year, we have all had to deal with the pandemic. Learning new ways to live in a covid world. We have all been impacted to some degree, and there has been no greater impact then on the spiritual/ faith connection that we have lost, as having minimal face to face experiential activities such as masses and liturgies.

    We begin this year in a similar way to ending Term 4. We recently held our Opening School Mass, and we could only come together in year groups. That being said, students across the school were still able to participate and engage with our Mass. They were able to share Mass in a more intimate setting, via their LA/ homerooms.

    During the Opening School Mass we were able to formally welcome our new School Principal Mrs Jeanette Holland, and teaching staff; Mr Nicolai Bianchi, Ms Jodee Bain,Mrs Kata Collimore,  Mr Lucas Camilleri, Mr Donovan Cheung, Miss Adrianna D’Aprile, Mrs Gilda De Guzman, Miss Hayley Fielding, Mr Miguel Goco, Mr Alex Izquierdo, Miss Yasemin Kurt, Miss Krystal Liu, Mrs Amutha Ramasamy, Mrs Nicole Tomich, Mr Mungai Mburu, Mr Chris Walton, Ms Fay Jelley and Ms Kristy Wakeling, and our Year 7 students. Our new staff and Year 7 were given the ‘Tau’ cross as a way of visually welcoming them into our Franciscan community, and that they continue St Francis’ legacy of walking humbly, peacefully, and compassionately in the footsteps of Jesus.

    I would like to thank Fr Alan Layt and Fr Galbert Albino from St Aidan’s Parish for their continued support of our school community and leading our celebrations on Tuesday.

    Sacramental Program 2022

    Finally, I would like to invite families / students that wish to make any of the Sacraments of the Catholic faith either, Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, we will be running the Sacramental Program in partnership with St Aidan’sParish this year. If you could please email me on the email address below with any questions about the program, or interest you may have, and I will respond to you. Ensure you include your child's name, LA (homeroom) group, and the sacrament you are wishing to undertake or would like further information on.

    Peace and Blessings to you all,

    Mr Patrick Madigan

    Head of Mission

    Careers Advisor

    February 2022

    It has been a busy start to the term with students making careful and considered changes to their subjects so that they align with their interests, passions and pathways. Please continue to access the careers website and gain access to a wealth of information regarding University, College and work opportunities within the Western Sydney local area. Below are a few important career events and opportunities to take note of.

    ACU Step Up into -

    Health, Exercise Science and Business for Year 11 and Year 12

    ACU Business

    ACU Health

    ACU Exercise Science

    Employment Opportunity:

    McDonald's Arndell Park



    McDonald's Arndell Park

    Christopher Hanley

    P: 0481 798 808



    Group interviews will be held at Sports Park McDonald’s between 3pm to 5pm on:


    17 February

    24 February

    3 March

    2022 Forensic Work Experience Opportunity for Year 10, 11 and 12

    Australian Federal Police
    Red Rooster Eastern Creek

    Phill Wylie

    Restaurant Manager

    Red Rooster Eastern Creek

    P: (02) 79235611

    Eastern Creek Speedway - Partime employment for Year 11 and 12 Students

    NSW Government & Sydney Metro have built a new purpose-built Speedway facility at Sydney Motorsport Park - Eastern Creek.

    Speedway Promotions as the operators are now looking for part-time staff to facilitate operations.

    They have several areas that would interest year 11 & 12 students looking for experience in Business, Event management &  Hospitality.

    Any interested students are asked to send Resume details to
    Careers at Council

    Careers at Council

    Entry Level Careers at Council

    SBAT Traineeships in the fields of Business Admin, Library & Medical services; Finance; Arts & Entertainment; Real Estate; Surveying & Information Technology

    How to Join the NSW Police Force Information Session

    Girls in Engineering Club @ UNSW


    3 Min VIDEO

    Around the Classrooms

    Technology Mandatory - Onguard Safety Courses

    Years 7 and 8 have been busy studying the Work Health and Safety aspects of the Technology Mandatory course to get them ready for practical lessons this Semester. On completion of the work, students are presented with  their Onguard Safety Certificate.

    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard

    Yesterday, St Agnes inaugurated our first Learning Centre of the year.  It was fantastic to see students’ enthusiasm early on this year.  Teachers are doing a great job in pushing students to be the best learners they can be.

    NBA player and former Most Valuable Player, Kevin Durant, famously said that “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”. Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.  

    Even the people who we think are geniuses or just plain born “gifted” work really hard and do exceptional ways to improve their craft and their talent.  They practised a growth mindset, celebrated their mistakes and persisted through the most challenging problems.

    At St Agnes, we give value to Learning both at school and at home and emphasise the relationship of School Learning and Home Learning as equally important in building Assessment-Capable Learners.  And so we encourage more students to turn up to our Learning Centre.  There are a lot of great teachers who are generous in volunteering their time to help each and everyone of our students.  We hope to see you there each week!


    Learning Centre ❖ 2:30 to 3:30 ❖ Every Tuesday

    Please remember to scan the QR code when signing in.  You want your teachers to know you turned up to another opportunity to learn more.

    Year 7

    Alverna 2-3

    Year 8

    Alverna 2-4

    Year 9

    Alverna 2-7

    Year 10

    Alverna 2-8

    Years 11/12

    Alverna 2-9

     Mrs Gilda De Guzman

    Instructional Leader


    Message from Samantha - Family School Liaison Officer

    Since the return of Term1, 2022 we have partnered with local community organisations and have received generous amounts of back 2 school packs which include, backpacks, ruler, pencil case, exercise books, highlighters and pen. 

    If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact me during school hours, Monday - Friday during school term on 0427 068 429

    Supportive Hearts Bereavement Group:

    This group, formally known as the "Bereavement Support Group", meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from February to November.  It’s currently run online via Zoom.The group is open to men and women whose spouses /partners have died.  If you've experienced the death of your spouse/partner and would like to be supported in your grief, while connecting with others in similar circumstances, please contact Rita at Catholic Care Solo Parent Services for more information. Please call Ph: 8843 2500 or email: 

    Registration essential / Zoom gatherings on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, from 10am - 12pm.  Please see flyer on notice board for more information.  

    STEPPING BEYOND: MONTHLY SUPPORT FOR THOSE SEPARATED OR DIVORCED Catholic Care Solo Parent Services “Stepping Beyond” Group, supports those navigating their way through separation or divorce.  Guided by trained facilitators, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the challenges faced during this time in a safe and supportive environment.  This group is held on the last Tuesday of each month via Zoom.

    1st Gathering for the year: Tuesday 22nd February – Held online via Zoom. Time: 7pm – 9pm.  Registration Essential:  Please contact Rita Ph. 8843 2500 or email:  for more information and registration. See Flyer on Parish Notice Board for more details. 

    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.

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