In this newsletter
Mr Frank Monagle
From the Chaplain
Fr Paul Grant
Mr Paul Murphy
Term Two Celebrations
Miss Jenny Hoare
Sport for Life
Technology and Programming
Mr Ian Mejia
Dear Parents and Friends,
What a whirlwind start to the year! It has finally come together and Hartford College is underway. I trust that this is the beginning of a wonderful future for the College, its first parents and students, and the many generations of families and boys in the years that will follow.
The commencement has been relatively plain sailing perhaps because of the level of experience of the teaching staff. With boys coming from a variety of schools, there have been some settling in issues as they get used to our expectations. Outside the classrooms, it has been great to see the boys getting along so well. Hand ball is the perennial favourite.
Preparation for NAPLAN, which is much earlier this year, and is all online, is underway. Of course, it involves all except Year 6.
The first week closed with the Official Opening and Blessing with Archbishop Anthony Fisher. He and Chairman Tim Mitchell both spoke of the vision for Hartford that we hope to bring to fruition in the days and years ahead. It is a joy to work with other educators who see the big picture.
But we are now faced with the reality that these pioneering boys have come from a variety of schools, and each has a story to tell us. We are discovering gaps in their learning here and there and developing strategies to bring them all along. Patience and perseverance will be needed. I wish to encourage all parents to encourage the boys with the tasks set for homework and above all, do all you can to promote their reading; both prescribed texts and other quality literature.
Mentoring is now underway. We have preferred not to take the boys out of class during the introductory days. Your son's mentor will be in touch soon to set up this term's meeting.
As I said at the Official Opening, I want to thank all those who have made the establishment of the College possible especially the parents who have shown such faith in the ideas and ideals that we have promised for Hartford.
Term Two Celebrations
The Easter Season
It has been a wonderful start to Term Two for the students in Years 5,6 and 7. After their moving and dramatic performance of Jesus’ passion at the end of Term One, the students have continued to celebrate Jesus’ glorious resurrection through their study of the Season of Easter. The Easter Season continues after the resurrection for 50 days until the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The students have learnt the significance of the Paschal Candle (Easter Candle); which represents Christ as the light of the world. In class, the students have focused on the features and symbols of the Paschal Candle and designed their own candles with the cross, the Greek letters Alpha and Omega and the five grains of incense, representing the five wounds of Jesus.
ANZAC DAY Commemoration Service
The Hartford College Community participated in a solemn and meaningful ANZAC Day Commemoration Service at the start of the term. The students gathered to remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The students were involved in reading the Acknowledgement of Country, the history of ANZAC Day, prayers, readings, the Gospel and Poems that honoured the memory of all those who have fallen in battle, those who have mourned them and of all who have been the victims of armed conflict. The service concluded with the Ode of Remembrance, the Last Post, the Rouse and the National Anthem. This was the first time the Hartford Community had gathered for an ANZAC Commemoration Service, and it marks the beginning of an important tradition that will continue at Hartford College.
The students in Years 5 and 6 created beautiful ANZAC Day poems and artwork in honour of this great tradition.
May the Month of Mary and Mother’s Day
Throughout the month of May, the students have been learning about the Catholic tradition of honouring Mary. The custom of dedicating
the month of May to Mary dates back to the 13th century. Mary has a unique and privileged place in the Church. Because she responded yes to becoming the Mother of God, she is our first model of discipleship and our model of grace and trust in God. The students have been learning about the Rosary and the many feasts of Mary in May, most importantly, the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24th). On this day, we acknowledge Mary as the Patron of Australia. The infant church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. No priests were sent to the colony in its early days, and Mass was not allowed except for one brief year until 1820. It was largely the Rosary in those early days that kept the faith alive. Catholic Australia remained faithful to Mary and was the first nation to choose her under the title Help of Christians as principal Patroness.
St Mary’s Cathedral was dedicated in her honour by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr John Therry, who arrived in Sydney in 1820 and assumed responsibility for the planning and initial construction of the Cathedral.
It is fitting that we celebrate Mother’s Day in May. The students in Years 5 and 6 thoroughly enjoyed making surprise gifts for their Mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day. A 'special thank you' to Michelle Loye( Mother of Winter), who came into our class to teach the students how to make beautiful chocolates. Michelle’s expertise, patience and generosity made the experience exciting and memorable. We hope that the Mums had a wonderful Mother’s Day and know how special they are.
Birthday celebrations are important days in our community. Throughout the year, the students enjoy coming together to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ for their peers and be treated to a delicious array of cakes or doughnuts. These days bring great joy to the students and create a sense of belonging and community spirit.
Sport for Life
Rugby Union skills have been the focus of Hartford’s Sport for Life Program over the last four weeks. The NSW Waratahs Development Team have provided two experienced coaches, who are current players, to teach the boys passing skills, agility drills, strength drills and fitness games. Although Rugby is not necessarily their sport of choice, the students have embraced the new skills and enjoyed its challenges. For the remainder of the term, the students are looking forward to Sydney FC’s Football Program.
The students have also continued to focus on their fitness by maintaining their involvement in club sports and staying active during lunch breaks. During PDHPE lessons, the students have been working on improving their one-kilometre running times, maximum sit-ups in one minute, and push-ups in thirty seconds. We encourage the students to practice these disciplines often in order to measure their improvement in our testing weeks. We are also in the process of organising our annual Cross-Country Running Competition.
Technology and Programming
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are excited to share some incredible achievements from our students in the technology class, where they have been exploring the world of programming and computer science through the popular platform called Scratch. Over the past few weeks, our budding programmers have embarked on an adventure of innovation and creativity, surpassing expectations with their exceptional projects. Ask your son to take a look at what he has been up to!
Scratch, a user-friendly block-based programming language developed by MIT, has proven to be an exceptional tool for introducing our students to the concepts of coding, logical thinking, and problem-solving. It offers an interactive and visual environment, enabling our young learners to create their own stories, animations, and games by simply dragging and dropping blocks of code.
Our students have shown tremendous dedication, enthusiasm, and aptitude in their Scratch projects. They have unleashed their imagination, transforming ideas into digital realities while building vital skills that extend far beyond the realm of programming. Through their journey with Scratch, they have honed critical thinking, collaboration, and perseverance, qualities that will serve them well in their future academic and professional endeavours.
From the very beginning, our students eagerly embraced the challenges presented to them, engaging in activities that fostered their understanding of coding concepts. They have demonstrated impressive problem-solving abilities, iterating on their projects, and finding creative solutions to any hurdles they encountered along the way.
Furthermore, our students expanded their horizons by developing interactive games using Scratch. They exhibited great ingenuity in designing captivating gameplay mechanics, scoring systems, and intuitive user interfaces. These games not only entertained their peers but also demonstrated their ability to craft experiences that require strategic thinking, problem-solving, and quick reflexes.
And just as our students have embraced cutting-edge technology, so have I! This entire article has been written by Artificial Intelligence.
What an exciting world our students will face!
From the Chaplain
24th May was a feast day which can have a helpful impact on all Australians and we at Hartford College celebrated this anniversary in our own quiet way. It was the Feast Day of Our Lady Help of Christians. Our Lady under this title is the patroness of Australia. Intervention by Our Lady has a long history. In the early days of the Colony, there were no priests to say Mass so the Catholic faith and devotions was kept alive, and helped to flourish by the reciting of the rosary in the various homes in the Colony and asking for her help to overcome the troubles occurring in those early days.
Besides, Our Lady help of Christians was the most popular devotion among Catholics in Europe when European settlement began in Australia so it was only natural that when the first priest arrived Fr. John Joseph Therry, he would name our first Church St. Mary's Cathedral after her and make her our Patroness. Australia is the first country in the world to have Mary help of Christians as Patroness.
It is wonderful devotion. If we want to overcome any kind of feeling down or lack of enthusiasm it is good to ask Our Lady, the Patroness of Australia for help. She makes each day a brighter and more enjoyable one. A good phrase to encourage us is the one recommended by St. Josemaria. It is his point 513 of the booklet the Way "Before by yourself you couldn't, now that you have turned to our lady, how easy it is".
THE HART is Hartford College's newsletter for parents and students. Here you will receive all the latest news for what is happening around the school.
The name 'THE HART' refers to a mature stag of more than five years old. Its use is now considered in a more poetic form deriving from the Middle English word hert.
The word hart can be found in many classic texts such as the Old English epic Beowulf, which names Hrothgar's royal hall Heorot after the Danish word hjort meaning "deer".
J. R. R. Tolkien uses the word hart in his book The Hobbit, especially in the scenes traveling through Mirkwood Forest.
Shakespeare's uses the word in his plays, particularly the Twelfth Night as a pun between 'hart' and 'heart'.
It is in the spirit of these great works that we decided to name our newsletter THE HART since we want our boys to grow into mature and wise men like a faun grows into the stag or hart.
This newsletter will go to the heart of what is happening at our school by sharing news, stories and events.