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Term 2 2024 - Edition #5

In this newsletter

Principal's Message

Mr Ian Mejia

Mr Paul Murphy

From the Deputy's Desk

Ms Tracey Clarke

Mr Paul Murphy

Teaching and Learning in Years 5 & 6

Ms Jenny Hoare 

Mr Paul Murphy

Year 5-8 Update

Mr. Shaughn Gilroy

Message from the Chaplain

Fr Paul Grant

Important Announcements and Reminders

Mrs Nicole Abbott

Principal's Message

Ian Mejia, Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Gospel last Sunday was the parable of the mustard seed, where Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a tiny mustard seed. In this short parable Jesus explain that despite how tiny a mustard seed starts, once planted it grows into an immense tree where the birds come nest in its branches. What a great reminder of the future of Hartford College as it grows in students, teachers, and facilities, from a tiny mustard seed.

As Paul Kelly the Australian singer songwriter sang, ‘From little things, big things grow,’ and overall the parable is a great reminder that great things often have humble beginnings.

Last week teachers at Hartford College attended a professional development day delivered by Andrew Kern and Katerina Hamilton. The day centred on the principles of classical education and practical teaching and learning strategies for student engagement.

In the evening the Hartford College Leadership team and members of the Hartford Board were invited to a dinner hosted by Paul Kelly, Australian Editor at large, and Elena Douglas, CEO, Knowledge Society. It was an honour to be in the company of such distinguished guests and to have the opportunity to discuss such important issues in education. It was an insightful evening with various topics discussed, but most importantly an in-depth discussion in to the future of education in Australia and details of the growing movement of Classical education in the United States.

(In future I will avoid making reference to two different people with the same name but forgive me this once for this opportune coincidence.)

It was great to see our Hartford Soccer team sporting their new Hartford kit! A big thank you to Mr Alex Giraldo Renza for helping to design and source our wonderful jerseys and shorts. We look forward to getting a few more wins in the seasons to come.

I wish all students well for their upcoming exams and hope they enjoy a well-deserved winter break.

Our last day of Term is Friday 28th of June, and students return on Wednesday the 24th of July. Have a happy and safe break.

Warm regards,
Ian Mejia

From the Deputy's Desk


Tracey Clarke, Deputy Principal

An Adventure into Liberal Arts Education

Recently I had the joy of joining with my new colleagues from Hartford College on an adventure into Classical Education at Campion Campus.

Andrew Kern and Katerina Hamilton led a fabulous day of learning, which included modelling Socratic and mimetic teaching methods.

This expert modelling of pedagogical practice provided all participants with an authentic experience of the joy of these ancient teaching techniques.

Elements of:

  1.  gathering and assessing knowledge
  2.  creating a gap of wonder
  3.  guidance through comparison and contemplation
  4.  illumination
  5.  mastery
  6.  and then rejoicing after the work of learning was complete were expertly demonstrated.

The task of learning is not an easy one. These professional learning opportunities allow teachers to remain humble to the struggle our boys at Hartford experience as they grapple with new material. The day required participating Hartford teachers to evidence our College value Dare to Think, Dare to Know.

I am excited by the future prospect of facilitating the fostering of wisdom and virtue as a learning experience for the men of Hartford College.

General announcements

  1. Our young men looked very impressive last week morning at assembly in full winter uniform. Thank you for your support in this matter. Just a reminder that students are to arrive and leave campus wearing the college blazer. Should you require assistance with uniform orders please contact Mrs. Abbott at the College reception. All items of clothing should be clearly labelled with your son’s name to ensure lost items are able to be quickly returned.
  2. A reminder that the current provision of hot food and heating facilities will cease at the beginning of Term 3. Hartford College is very excited to provide an opportunity to order hot lunches on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. More details to come shortly.
  3. Semester One assessment block begins this Wednesday. This assessment block provides a formal opportunity for your son to evidence his learning. Students will be provided with a printed document outlining Exam Process. This information will be displayed in each exam room and emailed to parents early this week. We thank you for the support you show your son during this time and your support of the College process for examinations.
  4. After two weeks of teaching the young men of Year 7 and 8, I would like to organize a quick chat with each boy’s parents either via zoom, phone or in-person prior to the end of term. Details of booking options will be sent soon.

Finally, I have an open invitation to parents and educators who may wish to attend a zoom workshop this Saturday, 22 June 2024, 9am till 10am. The workshop is offered by a company called Cultivating Calm Kids. I have never participated on one of these events but thought some members of the Hartford community may like to join me in the zoom next Saturday morning.

Booking link

Daring greatly,

Tracey Clarke
Deputy Principal 

Teaching and Learning in Years 5 and 6

Jenny Hoare
Years 5/6 Teacher

History: Australia as a Nation.

The students in Years 5 and 6 have displayed notable enthusiasm across all Key Learning Areas this term. Term Two is particularly busy with preparations for Half Yearly Examinations and the completion of class assignments. Their diligent preparation and commitment to their studies are commendable.

In the final week of term, the students will deliver a digital presentation to conclude our History Unit, ‘Australia as a Nation.’ Over recent weeks, they have been researching a significant person, group, or event that has shaped Australia as a democratic nation. In their presentations, they will highlight the impact of their chosen subject by discussing the struggles faced, rights challenged, and freedoms granted or abused during the relevant period. The boys have eagerly delved into topics such as the impact of World War One and Two, the Stolen Generation, and Aboriginal Rights.

National Reconciliation Week.

During National Reconciliation Week, May 27th-June 3rd, the students explored the rich cultural heritage and history of Australia's Indigenous peoples. They researched the significance of key events such as the 1967 Referendum and the Mabo Decision, gaining a deeper understanding of their impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Through class activities and discussions, they developed a greater appreciation for the importance of reconciliation and the ongoing efforts to achieve equality and justice for Indigenous communities.


Class Novel: ‘Rabbit Soldier Angel, Thief’ by Katrina Nannestad

The students have shown a genuine interest in researching Australia's involvement in World War I and II. Our class novel, "Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief," set in Russia during World War II, has been a fantastic addition to our History Unit. It tells the story of Sasha, a 6-year-old Russian boy who must fend for himself during the war, offering a poignant perspective that enriches our understanding of this historical period.

One day, Sasha returns from playing in the sunflower fields to find his entire village, including his family, destroyed by the Nazis. Sasha is taken in by the Red Army, where he brings hope and smiles to weary soldiers, earning the title 'The Angel of Stalingrad' and becoming an inspiration to both German and Red Army soldiers. He soon finds a new family within the army and is dearly loved by his newfound father figure, 'Papa Scruff'.

Sport Highlight

Congratulations to Nicholas Madouris, Jonathan Madouris, Jaydon Hancock and Daniel Gray who have been playing on the Year 7 and 8 Hartford Soccer Team. Over the past few weeks, they have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Sydney Catholic Schools Competition. Playing in an older age group is always challenging, but the boys are to be applauded for their outstanding contributions to the team. The season concluded last week.

Miss Jenny Hoare

Year 5-8 update

The boys at Hartford are having a good slog at their work in this second half of the semester.  Year 5/6 are desperately learning their lines to perform their monologues in their Creative Arts class, Year 7 are polishing up their programmed games in Technology and creating some exceptional sculptures in Art, while Year 8 are working away to discover their inner Monet, Picaso, Van Gogh or maybe even Da Vinci or Michelangelo, testing different painting techniques to create a landscape.

The Church has specially dedicated the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and so Year 8 have been praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus daily to foster a greater appreciation for the Love of God. Please pray for all the students in this examination period.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Mr. Shaughn Gilroy


Message from the Chaplain

Fr. Paul Grant

This month has been smooth sailing from my point of view. Everything seems to be going well. In our classes on virtues, we faced a challenge with the letter "X". We chose "Xenial," meaning hospitable.

This rare Greek word opened discussions on "friendship and welcoming others". Next up are Y and Z, which should be easier. Then we’ll restart the cycle. I’m considering a new approach: exploring vices from A to Z.

A highlight has been Anthony Digges, a Notre Dame Psychology graduate. He’s contemplating a teaching career and has been a great help in our classes.

The boys seem to appreciate the sacraments and the encouragement to lead meaningful lives. When chatting with them, I always promote reading. We share books, and I even read what they enjoy. Movies are another story—they tend to watch some intriguing but unsettling films.

However, we all share a love for sports, and I encourage team participation as a way to build virtues.

I sprinkle whatever I say  with quotes from intellectual heroes, reinforcing the Liberal Arts tradition we cherish at Hartford.

With the short-term ending, I’m sure the boys are looking forward to their July break.


Fr Paul Grant

Important Announcements and Reminders


School Photos.

School photos are scheduled for Wednesday 7th August. Please order and pay online.

Photos will be taken by Advanced Life Photography;

Please enter code: F97 6QV GQF for all orders.

School Holiday Activities.

With the holidays soon upon us, please see the following links for some inspiration.

The Australian Museum; What's on at the Australian Museum - The Australian Museum

Music on Purpose;

ICAS information.

ICAS COMPETITIONS 2024 – Please enrol and pay separately online.

Hartford College is pleased to participate in the following ICAS units for 2024:

English, Science and Maths for all years, Spelling Bee for years 5,6,7.

Assessments will take place during the school day.

Please note that parents are requested to enrol and pay for students entering ICAS competitions online.


  • The ICAS English competition is on Monday 12 August
  • The ICAS Science competition is on Monday 19 August
  • The ICAS Spelling competition is on Wednesday 21 August
  • The ICAS Maths competition is on Monday 26 August.
  • All students are strongly encouraged to enter.


If you would like your child to participate in any of the competitions listed above, please visit the online Parent Payment System to make a direct payment. The Parent Payment System is a simple and secure online payment service specifically for parents to purchase ICAS Assessments.

The parent page link is:

Our school access code is: JQG614

Online payment closes: Monday, 29 July 2024

IMPORTANT: Please enter your child’s name accurately into the System as it will appear on their ICAS certificate.


End of Financial Year Donations.



Compass Information

If you have not already done so, you can download the app here. 

Compass for Parents 


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.

Dare to think. Dare to know.