Principal Blog Issue 11 2017


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


In many ways, I am relieved that my teenage years are (a long way) behind me. Although I have many fond memories of my school days, I also remember the challenge of negotiating the twists and turns of growing up and working to achieve the expectations of my family and friends. Fast forward several decades and the pressures facing our young people seem even more intense, pressure to succeed, to belong, to fit in. Some of our students live with anxiety, and many suffer from what has come to be termed “toxic perfectionism”, perfectionism that begins to harm the person striving for perfection. In fact, perfectionism is motivated more by fear of failure than growing towards achievement. 


Ask yourself:

Does she spend too long on tasks that should take less time?

Does she give up easily, or become frustrated when faced with a challenge?

Does she produce many drafts of the same work?

Does she put things off, because of worry?

Does she avoid trying new things she may not be good at?

Does she agonise over small details?


If this sounds a little bit like your daughter, then I want to warmly invite you to our Parent Forum titled “Awesome - not perfect” on August 16 at 6:00pm. At this forum, you will meet other parents like you and hear practical tips and strategies for helping your child develop  healthy approach to her goals and aspirations. Wouldn’t it be great if she could celebrate being awesome, and not perfect. Please RSVP to or reply to our Facebook event to let us know you’re coming along.


On the very first day of the term, our teaching and support staff spent the day at the Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Gross Vale for our Staff Formation Day. This was an important opportunity to stop and reflect on the reason for our work, and to celebrate the joy of our mission as proclaimers of the Good News. Through story, scripture and prayer, our Religious Education teachers led us through a process of remembering the reason we have committed ourselves to sharing our faith with the students in our care. This is such important work, and we can’t do it without your support and prayers. Thanks for keeping our students home for one extra day of holidays!


Even though there were only four days in Week 1 of Term III, we certainly had a busy start.  On Thursday, Year 8 spent the day engaged in Japanese language and culture activities all day. I can still hear the Taiko drumming that was held in the building behind my office. A big ありがとうございました (thank you very much) to Mrs Merriman and Mrs Smith who arranged the Japanese day and invited a range of fascinating visitors to the college. Friday night we enjoyed the spectacle of the HSC Dance Showcase. Best of luck to Mrs Hughes and the girls as they prepare for their HSC examination in Dance in two weeks time. Mrs Hughes, with help from Ms Cassells-Forward, then presented our students in the Dance ensembles at the Sydney Eisteddfod on Saturday, where they performed beautifully. This Wednesday night we will enjoy the HSC Drama showcase, where students in Mrs Lemaire’s Year 12 Drama class will present their group and individual performances as a rehearsal for their examinations which will be held shortly.  I know our parents are as grateful as I am to our talented and hard-working staff who support the students in diverse ways each day.


Do you know a student in Year 10 at another school who may benefit from a Caroline Chisholm education for Year 11 and 12?  We are holding an enquiry night for students in Year 10 from other schools who want to find out more about the college and the excellent success that can be achieved here in the senior years.  Please let your friends know of our enquiry night that will be held on August 7 at 6:30pm in the College Library.  See the ad in this newsletter, or our Facebook event for details. Although we are at capacity in most of our junior years, and have a significant waiting list, there are some vacancies for Year 11 2018.


Finally, students have been wondering about a sign that was put up in the college before the holidays. I have asked a few students if they know what it means. Some do, many don’t. In light of our upcoming Parent Forum, perhaps you could have a conversation with your daughter about this sign, and ask her what she thinks it might mean.


God bless!


Mr Greg Elliott