Dr Gavin Hayes

Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends,

The term has kicked off energetically for all of us in the Marian family. Our student leaders have already generated a host of events and activities for everyone to relish this term. I encourage our students to immerse themselves in every aspect of school life and to embrace new adventures and prospects. Our aim is to conclude 2023 with the same high standard with which we began.

To ensure that we continue to set our students up for success, over the last couple of weeks have seen Year 8 and 10 participate in end of year examinations. I have been extremely impressed with the dedication and effort of our students during this period and the support that teaching staff have provided to help them prepare. The rigour of going through an examination block will put our students in a very good position to ensure they do not fear these 'challenges', but rather, feel well-equipped to tackle the challenge head-on.

In the coming weeks, students will complete their final assessments and teachers will prepare our Semester 2 reports. We will continue to provide engaging learning experiences for all students until the end of the term and I encourage all students to continue to give their personal best in all areas of school life.

Key Dates for Term 4
Below are some key dates for Term 4:

Week Day Event
4 Monday 30th October
Thursday 2nd November
Friday 3rd November
Year 8 Examinations Commence
Year 8 Examinations Conclude
School Assembly - Period 1
Drama Showcase Evening (6:00pm - 7:30pm)
5 Friday 10th November Wellbeing Program - Period 1
6 Tuesday 14th November
Friday 17th November
Friday 17th November
Year 7, 2024 Orientation Day
Wellbeing Program - Period 1
7 Friday 24th November Wellbeing Program - Period 1
8 Wednesday 29th November
Friday 1st December
CREATE Showcase (5:30pm - 7:30pm)
Wellbeing Program - Period 1
9 Friday 8th December Presentation Assembly - Period 1 & 2
10 Wednesday 13th December
Thursday 14th December
Last day of term for all students
Optional Parent-Teacher Communication regarding Semester 2 reports
HSC Results Released
Year 12 (2023) BBQ Breakfast at 9:30am

Term 4 - Staffing Update
Please welcome Mrs Lil Henshaw who has joined the Religion faculty. Mrs Henshaw is a highly experienced teacher who has worked across a number of schools and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our school community.

We also welcome the return of Mrs Belinda Judson who returns to our community from Maternity leave.

This year some schools have had to amalgamate classes, provide separate supervision or even cancel classes during the current teacher shortage. Marian has not been in this position and proudly continues to provide a professional delivery of the NESA curriculum with teachers who are qualified and experienced in teaching our young people to be the best that they can be.

Passing of Foundation Principal Colin Dwyer
The Marian community is deeply saddened by the passing of Colin Dwyer AM (1948-2023), who served as our Foundation Principal from 1988 to 1994. Colin played a crucial part in shaping our school, highlighting the importance of caring for one another and nurturing our spiritual life.

To honour his memory, we will continue to recognise Year 12 students who embody these values through the Colin Dwyer Award.

HSC 2023
The HSC examinations will conclude this week. I thank the community for the prayers and support that they have given our students during this time. I have been extremely impressed with how all students have conducted themselves during these examinations showing great enthusiasm and dedication during this time.

Year 12 2024 Retreat
Last week, year 12 2024 participated in their senior retreat. This was a great opportunity for this year group to develop new friendships and provide a time for reflection on their current journey as they transition to year 12. During the retreat students participated in many large and small group activities that helped them find purpose and clarity in embracing the next 12 months as they undertake the HSC. A big thank you to Miss Shaw, Miss Bisazza and Miss Vidler for their organisation of the retreat experience. Also, thank you to Mr Brillo, Mr Simonson, Mr Nasso, Ms Kabboura, Ms Fox, Ms Nelson, Mr Cascun, Mr Macri and Ms Ryan for attending the retreat and supporting this initiative.

Marian Catholic College Kenthurst


I would like to share the following prayer for peace in relation to the outbreak of tension in the Middle East, particularly in the Gaza Strip. This prayer is also applicable to all people in places where there is conflict, so please feel free to pray it with all those in mind who are suffering from violence and oppression.

A Prayer for all those who are in the midst of Oppression, Violence, War, and Injustice.
Dear God of all creation,
Bring justice and peace to our world.
Teach us to be peacemakers.
Guide us in our pursuit of justice and the common good.
Inspire us to welcome all, forgive all, and love all.
Direct us as we walk in the shadow of Jesus: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Inspire us to perceive the world through your eyes, that we might find hope and joy each day, supportive of each other, for the sake of your Kingdom.

Dr Gavin Hays

Fiona Livingstone from Marian Catholic College Kenthurst

HSC Workshops in the Holidays
We are pleased to report the success of our recent HSC workshops held during the school holidays. These workshops provided our dedicated students with invaluable resources and knowledge to help them prepare for their Higher School Certificate examinations. A total of 20 workshops were conducted, with students actively participating to enhance their exam readiness.

We extend our gratitude to the teachers, students, and parents who made these workshops possible. The commitment and enthusiasm displayed by all involved were truly commendable. Such collaborative efforts are a testament to our school community's dedication to academic excellence.

Year 11 Afternoon Study
Year 11 Afternoon Study sessions will resume again this term. These sessions have proven to be immensely beneficial, offering students the opportunity to consolidate their learning, seek clarification on challenging topics, and receive guidance from their teachers. Year 11 students are invited to join us on Tuesdays in Weeks 4, 6, and 8 from 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM. Additionally, for those who stay back, pizza will be delivered at 5 PM to fuel their productive efforts.

Learning Concern and Learning Commendation Letters
This year, we have introduced Learning Concern and Learning Commendation Letters. These letters provide a streamlined communication channel between teachers and parents regarding their child's academic progress. Learning Concern Letters serve as an early alert system to inform parents about issues such as incomplete homework on multiple occasions or underutilisation of class time. It is essential that we work together to rectify these concerns to ensure our students' success. Conversely, Learning Commendation Letters and Merit Awards recognise students who consistently meet learning expectations. We believe these initiatives will enhance parent-teacher communication and support our students' educational journey.

Staying Organised for High School Success
As students navigate the demands of high school, staying organised is crucial. We recommend the following strategies:

  1. Use the School Diary: Encourage your child to maintain and regularly update their school diary. This tool can help them keep track of important dates, assignments, and extracurricular activities.
  2. Planning Assessment Tasks: Create a study schedule that allows them to break down large tasks into smaller, manageable portions. This approach will help reduce stress and improve performance.
  3. Subscribe to the Assessment Calendar: Our school website offers an assessment calendar, which can be a valuable resource. Subscribing to it ensures that your child is always aware of upcoming assessment deadlines.
  4. Effective Note-Taking: Encourage your child to develop strong note-taking skills. This will aid in better understanding and retention of subject matter. They can use colour-coding or mind-maps to enhance their notes.
  5. Set Specific Goals: Have your child set clear, achievable goals for their academic performance. This will provide motivation and direction for their studies.
  6. Create a Study Space: Ensure your child has a quiet, organised study space with all necessary materials at hand. This helps minimise distractions and boosts productivity.
  7. Prioritise Self-Care: Encourage your child to take breaks, engage in physical activity, and maintain a balanced diet. A healthy body and mind are essential for effective learning.

Academic Award Presentation - Save the Date
Mark your calendars for our upcoming Academic Award Presentation, scheduled for Friday, December 8th, from 9.15 AM to 11.15 AM. This special event celebrates the outstanding achievements of our students. Those receiving awards will be notified via Compass at the end of November. Please be aware that due to space limitations in the Hall, only two guests will be permitted per student. For those unable to attend in person, the event will be live-streamed, ensuring that everyone can be a part of this memorable occasion.

Mrs Fiona Livingstone
Assistant Principal Learning and Innovation

Melinda Breakspear from Marian Catholic College Kenthurst

Term 4 is well and truly underway and we have a great term ahead! I was lucky enough to attend part of the Student Leadership Camp in Week 2 and listen to our new leaders pitch their ideas and suggestions. It was wonderful to hear ‘student voice’ and recognise that young people are so focused on their wellbeing and that of their peers. One of the ideas they raised was being more involved in the planning and running of wellbeing periods in 2024. This is an exciting next step and no doubt we will have plenty to share with you in the future.

Term 4 Uniform Focus
As we head towards the end of the school year we are reinforcing to our students the importance of making sure we meet the College expectations around uniform. Our College uniform is one significant way we represent ourselves and our school values, both at Marian and in the wider community, and is not an expression of a student’s individual style.

This term we are working with our female students to reinforce our College expectation that skirts are to be worn ‘to the knee’ (p.18 of the College Diary). A number of students have skirts considerably shorter than this length. All girls have been reminded of the expectation and that uniform infringements, as per any uniform/grooming breach, will be issued. If your daughter requires her hem to be altered, or a new skirt needs to be purchased, please email the relevant Year LOL to ensure that a uniform infringement is not given. Where a note is provided, girls will have a 7 day ‘grace period’ to make the changes needed. Boys also need to ensure they are clean shaven when they arrive at school each day (p.23 of the College Diary). We really appreciate your support in making sure your child is meeting our uniform and grooming expectations each day they are at school.

Wellbeing Initiative
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, a wonderful group of Year 10 students fundraised for the installation of a sanitary dispenser in our A Block toilets. This has now been installed and our girls have access to these products when needed. Thanks to the girls who realised this was a need and made it happen!

Current Global Issues
CSPD have issued a statement to be shared with our community and it is as follows:

The terror attacks by Hamas on the State of Israel and subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza have created distress for many people in our community, particularly children and young people.
Some of the news coverage and online content of the war is very confronting. All of us have been horrified by the images of suffering and destruction appearing on television and on social media. Young people can be understandably upset when viewing images such as these.
Please pay close attention to what your child is seeing and hearing in the media. Encourage them to either limit their use of social media or to have a break completely. It is also important to give your child the opportunity to talk about how they are responding to the news and reassure them that they are safe.
If you have concerns about how your child is managing, and believe she or he would benefit from additional support at school, please get in touch with the school.
I know that you will join our school community in praying for an end to this violence, and for all those who have lost their lives or been injured in the conflict.

Please note that School TV have produced a special report for parents on discussing war and conflict. The messages contained within the video are very relevant to how to have these conversations around difficult issues.

View now

Ms Melinda Breakspear
Assistant Principal Wellbeing and Growth

Liz Sproats, leader of learning at Marian Catholic College Kenthurst

At Marian Catholic College we continue to recognise the important connection between wellbeing and learning.

During this terms Wellbeing lessons we will continue to proactively strive to enhance the academic, social, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of each student. Each year group will be participating in four Wellbeing lessons/workshops/1% initiative programs and guest presentations that align with their Wellbeing theme for 2023.

Year 7 & 8 Girls Shine
Our Year 7 & 8 girls will be engaging in the Shine program which focuses on being the best version of themselves. The metaphor of ‘light’ is used to discuss what makes us shine, as well as what contributes to our light being dimmed. Sessions will focus on topics such as:

  • Be the best version of yourself and be unapologetically you!
  • Role Models in our lives and other ways to help us shine
  • Growth Mindset, Goal Setting and Resilience
  • Friendships - what makes a good friendship and managing complex issues that arise in our friendship groups

Year 7 & 8 Boys Rock & Water
Our Year 7 & 8 Boys will be participating in the Rock and Water course. A series of exercises and games are practised to develop confidence and self-reflection. The games are diverse and many have a martial arts origin. The program has a strong appeal to students who enjoy the active nature of the many games and drills. Students learn to stand strong, negotiate using “rock” or “water” verbal approaches, walk away from trouble, consider alternatives to aggression, and develop understandings about who they are, their intuitive feelings and their personal direction.

The themes of the upcoming lessons will be:

  • Grounding, centring and focusing.
  • The golden triangle of – body awareness – emotional awareness – self-awareness.
  • Communication.
  • The Rock and Water concept. The tough, immovable rock attitude versus the mobile, communicative water attitude.
  • Year 9 Residential Program
  • Ealier this term, Year 9 students took part in a two-day Residential Program. For one of these two days, students engaged in an incursion at school, run by the company 'Burn Bright'. The aim of this incursion was for students to unpack the way they interact with each other, and evaluate the positive and negative effects their interactions can have on their peers. The students engaged in a variety of activities that challenged their thinking, providing them with opportunities to mend any fractured relationships or further strengthen already forged friendships.

The students alternate day of the program saw them bussed out to Fagan Park where the company 'Thrills' ran an amazing race for the students. Students were grouped and had to learn to work together in order to solve problems and score points for their team. Following the race, students enjoyed a pizza lunch and some free time before heading back to school.

Seeing our students outside the classroom and getting involved in all activities across the two days was a great inspiration, and we hope they had an enriching and valuable experience.

Year 10 Study Skills
Our Year 10 students spent the first two weeks developing their study skills in anticipation of their upcoming exams. In a proactive effort to equip them for success, the school organised a series of workshops focused on various Key Learning Areas. These workshops served as valuable platforms for students to learn essential techniques for effective time management, note-taking, and revision strategies, empowering them to approach their exams with confidence and competence. As they immersed themselves in this preparation, these students are not just building their academic prowess but also cultivating essential life skills that will serve them well beyond the classroom.

Year 11 The Sleep Connection
In Week 1 of this Term our Year 11 students participated in a workshop with Lisa Maltman the owner and founder of The Sleep Connection. Lisa specialises in helping students, thrive in their overall physical and mental health, school performance and family lives through her interactive programs and workshops.

This session focused on how Good Quality Sleep helps:

  • Optimise learning, memory and concentration
  • Support our emotional health and wellbeing
  • Promote positive behaviour and decision making
  • Improve energy levels and promotes healthy growth, metabolism and immune system

Students were encouraged to create a Sleep Diary. to help personalise the information you have been learning about Sleep Health.

A sleep diary will help students understand:

  • How well you are sleeping
  • If you are you getting enough sleep
  • What may be affecting the amount and quality of your sleep
  • How sleep affects your mood, concentration and energy levels

Lisa will come back and work with our Year 11 students again in Term 1 2024 and review their sleep diaries and help students develop strategies to improve their sleep.

For more information please visit the Sleep Connection Website

Mobile Phone Policy
Marian’s existing mobile phone policy aligns with the principles of the NSW government's new policy, which aims to minimise distractions, enhance learning, and promote respectful phone usage in schools. Therefore, there is no need for any immediate changes to our current policy.

We do encourage open communication with your child regarding the responsible use of mobile phones both at school and at home. By working together, we can help our students develop good habits and digital citizenship skills.

If you have any questions or concerns about our school's mobile phone policy or its alignment with the NSW government's policy, please feel free to reach out to your child’s Year Leader of Learning or Ms Sproats. We value your input and cooperation in maintaining a positive learning environment for all our students.

Please find attached a copy of the updated Mobile Phone policy here.

Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that Marian remains focused on our four key values of Respect, Responsibility, Serving others and Personal Excellence.

Ms Liz Sproats
Leader of Learning -Student Wellbeing

Marian Catholic College Kenthurst

Year 11 transition Mass and Retreat
In Week 2 of this term, Year 11 (who have now begun their HSC journey!) attended St Madeleine's Parish for a mass that served as the start of their transition into Year 12. Last week our traditional Marian Stage 6 Retreat experience occurred from Wednesday to Friday which has the aim of connecting students not only with the people they will be journeying with over the next year but also to help them focus on stepping into their promising futures. I would like to thank the staff members who gave up their time to ensure that once again the retreat was fruitful and enjoyable for all.

Vinnies Van
Each year at Marian a large number of Year 11 and 12 students and staff volunteer to donate their time to the ‘Vinnies Van’; a service that allows people in need to have a meal and conversations 364 days of the year. Each 2nd Tuesday of the month Marian takes out the van with students and staff always commenting on what a great experience it is. Current Year 10 and 11 students will be able to complete the training for 2024 this term. Please keep an eye out for that information coming soon!

Bishop Vincent Long at Marian Catholic College Bishop Vincent is holding a sketch of himself that Syra drew during his speech. He was quite taken with his likeness.

A Social Justice update from Mrs Thomas
At the start of this Term, Stuart Groves from Operation Christmas Child came to Marian to collect our donations from 'Sew a Smile'. All up we donated 750 garments made by Marian students, staff, St Madeleine Sophie parishioners and students from Loreto Convent, Normanhurst. We have all been working together to make little cotton dresses and shorts to send to children in orphanages overseas.

Over the past nine years we have sent off thousands of garments to children around the globe, and this latest shipment will be going to children in Cambodia, being distributed by Operation Christmas Child, a division of Samaritan's Purse.

'Sew a Smile' is run from Marian College, and we welcome volunteers to help sew the little dresses and shorts. Our Social Justice team arrange the cut-out garments into packs along with the necessary instructions, bias binding and elastic, and these are available at the student foyer for students to take home. We are also delighted to continue our relationships with Loreto Normanhurst where students make the dresses in their Design and Technology classes, and we have been meeting with our local branch of the Country Women's Association and are hoping that they will be able to support our endeavour as well.

We are always looking for donations of patterned cotton material, along with bias binding and elastic, so if anyone has any of these that they would like to contribute, please email Mrs Thomas at mthomas2@parra.catholic.edu.au

Students attend launch of the Social Justice Statement: “Listen, Learn, Love”
On Wednesday the 18th of October, four Year Nine Marian students and Mrs Thomas attended the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Social Justice Statement at Our Lady of the Lourdes Parish Hall in Seven Hills. There were students in attendance from many other schools in the Parramatta Diocese, and our guest speakers were Bishop Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta, and Mr Jack De Groot, the Executive Director of Catholic Education Parramatta.

We were given a thorough explanation on what the ‘Voice’ referendum was and why it was important, and we learnt that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands people have been trying constantly over many years to fight for their rights. We also formed groups for yarning, which is a traditional action practised by Indigenous Australians to listen and learn about other people's experiences. This activity was a beautiful and meaningful experience for all students who attended the conference.

Bishop Vincent spoke to us about the importance of listening to First Australians with deep respect and the need for us to commit to walking alongside them in the struggle for justice. He emphasised that caring about First Australians is not a privilege of one race over another, but rather recognising a common heritage.

Mr De Groot stressed the importance of action. He said our challenge is to not just observe, but to take action by walking alongside First Australians to help bring about change. With this in mind, we were privileged to sit as a Marian group with Bishop Vincent and develop some meaningful strategies that we can implement at our college. We look forward to reporting how we are going.

Ms Alicia Shaw
Leader of Learning - Religious Education

Marian Catholic College Kenthurst

Season 3 of PDSSSC Sport is coming to a close. Thank you to all the students who have represented the school in PDSSSC Sport this year. Special thanks also goes to the staff who have coached throughout season 3.

  • Junior Boys Touch Football placed (coached by Ms Carlin)
  • Intermediate Boys Touch Football placed (coached by Ms Carlin)
  • Junior Girls Touch Football placed (coached by Mr Nasso)
  • Intermediate Girls Touch Football placed (coached by Mr Nasso)
  • Junior Girls Basketball placed 6th (coached by Miss Speechley)
  • Intermediate Girls Basketball placed 6th (coached by Ms Sproats)
  • Junior Boys Cricket placed 5th (coached by Mr Grace)
  • Intermediate Boys Cricket placed 6th (coached by)
  • 7-10 Girls Cricket placed 5th (coached by Miss Speechley)

There are a couple of upcoming PDSSSC trials for Touch Football (nominations close Friday 3rd November) and Softball can be found on the PDSSSC Website below

View results

Sport and Co-curricular activities have started up again for Term 4 with the Musical being a popular option for students to select with the College Musical of Shrek happening in 2024.

We are always engaging with new ideas for Sport and Co-curricular activities and new options will be announced for 2024 in the near future.

Mr Adam Thomas
Sport and Co-Curricular Activities Coordinator


Written By

Dr Gavin Hays

Dr Gavin Hays

Instagram | Marian



Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.