Principal Blog Issue 4 2017

Premier Visit 04

Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,


“You make the Premier of NSW proud”. It was with these words that Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW acknowledged the quality of our students when she visited the college last Wednesday. The Premier, the Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, the Minister for Women, Tanya Davies, the Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent, the Executive Director of Catholic Education, Greg Whitby were joined by about one hundred guests for the launch of the Sydney Science School. Caroline Chisholm College was chosen for the launch because of our excellence in all areas, and some of the very interesting innovations that have been introduced in STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The students demonstrated robotics, laser and 3D printed manufacturing, problem solving and how we use drones in agriculture. Our visitors were also delighted by the students who provided hospitality and a warm Chisholm welcome on a very wet day. You may have seen some of the coverage of the event in the media. I know that our students felt very proud to have been able to share their learning with such a diverse audience. I am grateful to the students, student leaders and teachers who not only made the Premier proud, but made the principal proud, too.


Please click here to view Premier Visits CCC )


Last Monday night, we hosted a parent forum on the topic of Adolescent Relationships and we were joined by over thirty parents. The evening considered some of the challenges facing our girls as they navigate friendships that can sometimes be quite intense and complex. We learned the concept of ‘Distance with Dignity’, which is the skill of creating space in a relationship when things aren’t going well, or when a friendship ends. The ‘distance' part refers to giving each person a break from the constant and intense exchanges on social media and in person that sometimes happens when friendships change. The ‘dignity’ part is about agreeing not to attack the other person’s character online or in person, not blaming and refusing to be hurtful. We were very lucky on the night to be joined by Mr Rocky Biasi from Human Connections, a psychologist, study skills expert and Chisholm parent, who shared his tips for keeping communication open with our daughters, and not ‘buying-in’ to the intensity and hurt. If you are noticing that your daughter appears to need some help navigating her friendships, there are things we, as a school, can do to support you. Your daughter’s Home Room teacher would be the best person to speak to, in the first instance. She also has the support of the Year Leader and the College Counsellor. 


It is camp season! Year 10 enjoyed three rain-drenched days on camp last week with Ms Mabon and the Year 10 team. The photos in this newsletter and on the website tell a story of young people having a ball in sometimes miserable conditions! The teachers reported that every one of the students was positive, resilient and made the very best of the situation. The girls challenged themselves with a range of activities that pushed them beyond their comfort zone: a necessary life lesson. By the looks of the tired faces and mud-splattered clothes when the girls got off the buses on Friday evening, everyone was headed for lots of laundry and an early night! Thanks to the teachers who put themselves on the line for their students! This week, Year 7 head off for their camp, and we know they are going to have a wonderful time with Mr Mills and their teachers. The luggage some of the girls dragged onto the buses today looked large enough to hold the students! We look forward to hearing great stories of adventure and new friendships when Year 7 return on Friday.


(Please click here to view Year 10 Camp 2017 


Year 12 have been engaged in their half-yearly examinations since last Friday. In speaking with the students it is apparent that they have been working hard to consolidate their learning in preparation. At this stage of Year 12, students should be making hard decisions about their out-of-school commitments, especially part-time work. Research shows clearly that more than 10 hours per week begins to have a negative impact on learning outcomes. Students with other time commitments including sport, dancing and social commitments must evaluate how best they can maintain a balance, whilst maximising their learning growth as they move towards the HSC. Students in Year 12 with Major Works must, by this stage, have a clear plan for how they will bring their project to completion with plenty of time for feedback and refinement. If you are concerned about your daughter’s progress through Year 12 (or any year group) please contact her teachers.


As we move closer to Easter, next Sunday is Rose Sunday. This Sunday is a reminder that, in the midst of our penance, there is still time and space for joy, and we are motivated by the expectation of the glory of Easter. Our students are continuing their Lenten practice of working for Project Compassion and each Home Room is leading an activity or fundraiser. As we focus on developing the inward attitudes of the Lenten season: repentance and conversion, gratitude and humility, may God bless us in our work and in our learning.


Let’s pray for the gift of hope. 


Dear God,

Where does my hope begin?

When days are dark and lost

could hope rise up with the dawn

as colour fills my heart?

Do birds that sing sweet song

somehow know the truth?

Is their chorus melody

leading us to you?


Dear Lord,

Where does my hope come from?

When I wait on you.

Yes, hope flies in with wings of truth

And changes life anew.

For love has risen up with Christ,

It reigns for all to see.

And more than this I know your life

And Spirit work through me.


Mr Greg Elliott