Term 1, Week 3 - 12 February - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have just finished week 3, one cycle of the timetable, and overall, life is very busy at McAuley. In the last fortnight, we have settled into classes with learning and engagement a major focus, and of course, there are many other activities happening outside the classroom. I am very happy with the way the school has started the year and I encourage all students to get involved in the life of the College. This newsletter is full of articles promoting upcoming events or sharing what has already happened both in and out of the classroom.
New Students in Years 8 - 11
I again welcome all our new students and their families to the College, with a particular mention to the new students who have started in Years 8 - 11. We have 7 new students in Year 8; 8 in Year 9; 1 in year 10; and 8 in Year 11.
Year 12 2020
It was wonderful to recognise the achievements of our Yr 12 students from 2020 at our Assembly this week and I was able to express, again, how proud I am of our school and our students. Photos and a summary of the Assembly have been included in this newsletter.
Student Leadership Team
This week the Student Leadership Team arranged Valentine celebrations as a fundraiser. Students and staff were able to purchase chocolates, made by our TAS & VET students, and they were also able to purchase a song. During Friday lunchtime a number of staff and students were serenaded by our in-house boys' choir!
A Focus Area for 2021 - Literacy
We, as a school, are part of a 3-year CSO-led Literacy Project (2021-23) to improve the literacy skills of our students, with a particular focus on writing. To enable this project at the school level, Lena Jansons has been appointed as Literacy Coach. Lena joined our teaching staff in 2020 and brought with her many years of teaching experience. Lena has written a brief article in this newsletter explaining her new role and the project.
I take this opportunity to remind all our families that when they enrolled their child at the College they were agreeing that their child will attend and participate in all aspects and events of the College. This includes the following events that are scheduled in the next fortnight:
- Opening College Liturgy combined with Ash Wednesday on 17th February. A reminder that the Canteen will NOT be selling meat products on Ash Wednesday, which remains a day of fast and abstinence in the liturgical calendar. As many of us know, Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time of reflection, fasting, and penance that prepares us for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.
- Our annual Swimming Carnival on Friday 19th February A letter outlining the details of the carnival has been sent home this week and a copy is also in this newsletter. Unfortunately, we are unable to have parent / carer spectators in attendance for COVID 19 safety reasons.
- School Photos on Wednesday 24th February. All students have their photograph taken for our records. Purchasing of school photos is optional. School photo envelopes are to be returned on photo day.
Communication - Website, Facebook, Newsletter & Radio chat
We have launched our new Website this week; however, it is still a work in progress as we determine what information to include and remove, as well as determining ease of use. As always, your feedback would be appreciated. Those of you who follow us on Facebook may have noticed that we are increasing our posts on this platform as a way of sharing news and information with the community. As we did in 2020, we are continuing to develop this newsletter with the goal of making it informative, relevant, and accessible. In addition to these communication platforms, we also have a weekly chat with Damo at Loving Life 103.1 at around 7.45am on a Friday, where we talk about what is happening at the College. I encourage you to use these various platforms to continue to engage with the College and to spread the word to other families.
Update of Information and General Permission Note
In the coming week, we will send out to all families, forms requesting up to date information and a general permission note. It is vitally important that our information for each student is current, particularly contact details of parents/carers, and medical information. All forms need to be returned even if there is no change required.
COVID 19 & Parent Gatherings
As outlined in our first Newsletter, due to ongoing COVID regulations, parents/carers and visitors are unable to attend school events during school hours; however, events held out of school hours are able to recommence with parents in attendance. Therefore we are looking at restarting our parent gatherings/forum (that replaced P&F in 2019). I will send out more information via email and our other communication platforms in the near future.
As we move into the season of Lent, I share with you an extract from Pope Francis’ 2021 Message for Lent:
Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (cf. Mt 6:1-18), enable and express our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
Webinars for Parents and Carers
Free Webinars are available throughout the year on the eSafety Commissioner website, https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars. These live webinars explore the latest research and they are a great way to learn how you can help your child develop the skills to be safer online. All sessions are delivered by eSafety's expert education and training team.
eSafety’s 2021 parent and carer webinar schedule- save the dates!
The demand for the popular parent and carer webinars in 2020 prompted the education and training team to develop the 2021 series to support Australian parents and carers. Each term, a new topic will be offered that will run at numerous times. These webinars will provide parents and carers with the knowledge, skills and tools to support their children to have safe, positive online experiences.
Topic: eSafety's guide to cyberbullying and online drama
- 15 February 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
- 22 March 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
eSafety's parent guide to cyberbullying and online drama
This Safer Internet Day 2021 webinar will look at how parents and carers can support young people to have safe and respectful online relationships and what to do if things go wrong.
It will cover:
- starting conversations with your child about their online friendships and positive ways to deal with changing relationships
- understanding the rights, laws and community expectations that govern social media use
- where to seek help if your child is involved in a cyberbullying incident.
The webinar will include case studies, research and targeted advice so you can support the young people in your life to have safe, enjoyable online experiences.
Dates (Australian Eastern Daylight Time):
Monday 15 February 12.30 to 1.30 pm
Monday 22 March 12.30 to 1.30 pm
Tips for parents of Tweens
Tuesday 9th February was Safer Internet Day and we believe the younger children learn about being safe online the better.
When your child reaches 10 – 11yrs (or even earlier), they may start asking for their first smartphone and to use social media. So here are ten things to keep your Tweens safe online:
- If your child is asking for a phone, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation, or write a small project sheet, on a topic of cyber safety every week in the lead up to getting their phone.
- Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents’ permission. But they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they actually turn 13yrs. Like Facebook, for example. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example…if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yrs…so by the time they are 15yrs if they haven’t adjusted the year they were born, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life.
- Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how too.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.
- Help them to check and manage privacy settings. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Think twice before “sharenting.” Do not post photos of your kids in school uniform or school events or holding certificates with their full name and school name on it. You are letting the whole world know where they go to school. This can happen by “checking in” or geotagging a school as well.
- Ask them first when you are about to share their photo. Let your kids be involved in the decision making on whether they are ok with you posting a photo of them or not as young as possible. This will teach them to ask others first before they post pictures as they grow up.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don’t ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared either. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Respect the classifications. The average age of a gamer is 35yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games…even with their parents!!! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well. All of the other tips above also apply to gaming.
Assistant Principal Mission and Wellbeing
"I have called you by your name you are mine" Isaiah 43:1
The beginning of the academic year is one of the busiest times for schools. A real sense of excitement exists amongst the student body and the staff. Excitement of seeing one another again, of being in a higher grade or just pleased to be back in a place where they feel they ‘belong’.
It has been a wonderful start to the year and by all accounts, the students and staff have settled into the new year very smoothly. I would like to especially mention how great the new year 7 cohort have transitioned to high school – all 83 of them!
A very special welcome also to all our new families to the McAuley community this year. I hope that like me, as you enter into our school, you feel the strong sense of belonging, culture and community that is steeped in the Mercy traditions of compassion, respect, justice and hospitality.
For the 523 students and over 60 staff who come here every day, know that we are striving for a sense that we belong to a community who cares about and knows each and every one of you.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Literacy Coach for McAuley Catholic College. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to work with Year 7 and 8 students and teachers in order to focus on skills and techniques in writing over the next three years. I look forward to getting to know the year groups over the coming term and to helping your son or daughter to achieve even greater results throughout the year.
This project will involve collecting data about your child’s current literacy level and mapping their progress against the National Literacy Learning Progressions. I will also be working alongside teachers to plan, resource and deliver exciting and engaging literacy programs in their respective subject areas. Throughout the year I will also be communicating with parents on ways in which they can support their children at home to improve writing.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
- Annabel Bindon: Business Studies, English Advanced, Mathematics Advanced, Studies of Religion II
- Alanah Boon: Biology, Community and Family Studies, Mathematics Advanced
- James Hylton-Cummins: Mathematics Advanced
- Georgia Kroehnert: Advanced Mathematics
- Abigail Lydon: Visual Arts, Frech Beginners
- Joshua Sommer: Biology, Mathematics Advanced
Abigail Lydon's score of 99 in French Beginners placed her in the top 5 of the State
1st in Lismore Diocese
Annabel Bindon: Business Studies
Alanah Boon: Community and Family Studies
Abigail Lydon: French Beginners
Georgia Kroehnert: Primary Industries
Abigail Lydon HSC Artwork was accepted into the 2020 ARTEXPRESS exhibition, which tours the state for the next 12 months.
McAULEY CAREERS WEBSITE
Year 12 students have been invited to attend the University Roadshow at McAuley College on Tuesday, 16th February at 11.45am. Representatives from Charles Sturt Uni, Southern Cross Uni, Newcastle Uni, and the University of New England will be in attendance.
STRUCTURED WORKPLACE LEARNING
- Contributing to the development of workplace skills and entry-level skills in their industry
- Promoting to young people the career potential of their industry
- Providing access to a pool of future paid apprentices, casual or part-time workers
- Enabling potential recruitment of new employees who can be immediately productive
- Developing the training and supervisory skills of employees who will induct, train, supervise and/or assess MCC students
- Enabling employees to mentor young people in their career decision-making process
- Encouraging students to become involved with businesses in their local community
- Catering for a diverse range of students and learning needs
- Information from employers regarding expectations and work tasks to facilitate a better match between employer and student
- Engaged students who are able to put classroom learning into practice and contribute their experiences to classroom discussions
- Improving understanding of the work environment and employers' expectations
- Increasing self-understanding, maturity, independence, and self-confidence, especially in the workplace
- Increasing motivation to continue to study and/or undertake further training
- Ability to put the knowledge gained in the classroom into practice in a real-world situation
- Opportunity for personal improvement through the development of employability and generic skills
- Development of networks and obtaining industry feedback and a professional referee
- Enhancing opportunities for an apprenticeship, casual or part-time employment
- Providing an opportunity to try out career choices before leaving school
This week is Love the Library Week and we have a number of activities running in the Mercy Library. Last week the Library Helpers decorated the space with love hearts and love chains. Monday was the beginning of the Chess competition which will be played each day this week. Tuesday the Library Helpers made boxes for the Valentine’s Day Chocolates. Wednesday the Library helpers presented a Valentines card workshop all through lunch in the library, all materials were supplied. Ongoing all week, borrow a book and go into the raffle for a prize. Poetry writing Competition, Theme: "Love in the Pandemic", Drawing competition Theme: “The thing I love the most." Thursday is Bellzy’s Bingo and it always draws a large crowd for some light hearted fun.
Each day in the Library at lunchtime we have board games and cards for the students to play and interact with their friends. UNO and Guess Who are regulars along with those who look forward to reading books on offer in the Library. We are constantly purchasing books for the Library so we are up to date with the latest releases and often they are books that students have requested for us to purchase. There has also been a daily word puzzle that has been hotly contested by the homerroms. I will publish a list of winners in the next newsletter.
Big thanks to my Library Helpers Group and my assistant Ann Fallon-Watkins for all their help.
Best Start and PAT Assessments are online diagnostic tools that help provide information for teachers on the literacy and numeracy skills of students at the beginning of Year 7.
The Best Start Literacy and PAT Numeracy Assessments will take place in Week 4 and 5, Term 1. The assessments cover key literacy and numeracy skills that are important to a student's success in all subjects in high school.
Students come to high school with a range of experiences, skills and abilities in literacy and numeracy. It is important that teachers have current information about their students so that they can plan programs and lessons that best support the learning needs of every student.
The Best Start and PAT Assessments will be completed at school during class time. No preparation is needed for this assessment. Its purpose is to provide our teachers with additional information to best support the teaching of your child.
Please contact the school if you have any questions regarding the Best Start or PAT Assessments.
This term in Year 8 Catholic Studies, students will explore further the loving relationship between God and humanity through the particular lens of Jesus' teaching and lived example. Through this study it is hoped that students will appreciate the breadth and wisdom of the scriptures and their significance for their lives and the lives of others. This week's focus was applying the Beatitudes to everyday life. (Mathew 5: 3 -12 The Sermon on the Mount) (Student samples by Jasmine Chellew and Ava Whiley)
Catholic Studies Teacher
Year 10 Science
Year 10 Science 1 started off the year with an engaging lesson taught by Mrs Kinny. Students used Traffic Light system strategy to check the level of their understanding of chemistry related words. Then they raced against the clock in a Quizlet competition to see who could be the fastest at identifying the elements on the Periodic Table. Thank you Mrs Kinny for allowing me to capture these photos of the students engaged in the learning process.
Year 7 Science
Year 7.4 were excited about being introduced to the Bunsen burner this week in Science. Mrs Parkins used the document camera that projected onto the board to ensure all students could see the parts of the Bunsen burner. She is also teaching the students about what scientists do and how they keep safe in a Science laboratory. It was a productive lesson and it is obvious that the students really like their Science lessons.
To access WordFlyers at home on desktops, laptops and tablets, simply visit
www.wordflyers.com.au and click on ‘Student’ to log in. Your child has their own unique login and password to access WordFlyers at home. This has been given to them in English classes or will be shortly. Please feel free to browse the site with your child.
If you have any questions about the program or problems accessing it at home, please contact me using the details below.
Hello and welcome to another year of sport at McAuley Catholic College. Term 1 is very busy and all students will need to be checking their emails as well as daily notices for information regarding sports teams and events.
Diocesan and CCC representation
An email containing information and registration forms has already been sent to students who wish to trial for Diocesan Teams for Touch Football, Rugby League and Soccer. There are some sports which do not have a Diocesan pathway but instead have a NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) pathway and require a different registration. This includes the sports of Hockey, Tennis, Golf and Triathlon. If you wish to Trial for a Diocesan Team click on the Link. If students wish to Trial for a NSWCCC Team click on the Link. Before any student chooses to fill out a registration form with their parents/guardians, the student must speak with me about the requirements/cost needed for that level of representation as all NSWCCC trials are held in Sydney.
College Event - Swimming Carnival
The first major event for the College is the Swimming Carnival on Friday 19th February at the Grafton Pool Complex, Oliver St. There are 6 events students can compete in are - 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly, 50m Breaststroke and then followed by the age relays. Students nominate for these on the day by turning up in the marshalling area when events are called. There are also 5 long-distance events students can enter; however, students will need to nominate for these via the google form which will be sent out soon. These events are - 200m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke and the 200m Individual Medley. The long-distance events will be held at 8am on the morning of the carnival.
The cost of entry to the pool complex for the Carnival day will be $3.00 per student (per session) or a current Pool Season Ticket. Students are to make their own way to the pool. If students require transport, buses will be leaving the school at 8:45am. This service will also be available for the return journey. Students will be asked to nominate for the bus via the following google form.
Students may dress in house colours and are to wear appropriate swimwear / costumes. Please note that girls must wear one-piece swimmers. Bikinis are not permitted. Students may wear appropriate triathlon / surf lifesaving swim suits.
Items NOT to be taken to the swimming pool: crepe paper, body paints, balls (these will be confiscated), balloons or any substance that will require additional cleaning by pool staff or may damage pool equipment. The baby pool will not be available for use and will be out of bounds. The diving pool will not be used at anytime.
The swimming carnival is a compulsory school day, if students do not attend, they will need a valid reason. We want everyone to get in and have a swim; however, we still need the carnival to flow smoothly, so junior students who jump in and be silly will lose their participation points, seniors will depend on time restrictions. Any students who can’t swim but still want to help their house with participation points can do other jobs. They are asked to give their name to the house leader at their House Meeting.
Please note that unlike previous years, due to Covid-19 restrictions, Parents/Guardians, sadly, are not allowed to attend the carnival.
The DIOCESAN SWIMMING CARNIVAL will be held at Lismore on Thursday 4TH MARCH. 1ST AND 2ND QUALIFY DEPENDING ON TIMES. If there is any heavy rain listen to 104.7FM at 7.30am on the day of the carnival for instructions. If the carnival is cancelled normal Friday lessons will take place.
In summary, students are asked to come dressed in house colours, appropriate swimwear, with hats, sunscreen and a positive attitude.
Midway through the end of Term 4 in 2020 the Gardening Crew harvested their much awaited potatoes. Due to the dry times harvest was not as expected but quality over quantity was achieved with some very nice potatoes being harvested. The boys not only learned how to grow and dig potatoes, they also learned how to clean and peel their potatoes, and to cook chips. They couldn't eat all that they cooked but luckily Miss Thomson and Mrs Warby were there to help finish them off!
Congratulations to the students listed below, who have auditioned and received full or part scholarships for 2021 at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium. These awards are partially funded by the D.o.E. through the Regional Conservatorium Grants Program.
James Beard - Ensemble Scholarship
Lilyana McPherson - Group Drama Scholarship
Each year, Bus Safety Week raises awareness for all road users on how to stay safe on and around buses. There is a 40km/h speed limit for traffic passing a school bus that is picking up or setting down school children. The speed limit is for all traffic travelling in the same direction as the bus, whether the bus is stationary or moving. The 40km/h speed limit must be observed when the rear ‘wig-wag’ lights on the bus are flashing. Flashing headlights on these buses also alert oncoming motorists that children are close.
We ask families to talk with their child about:
- Waiting until the bus has gone to cross the road safely.
- Not getting distracted by a mobile device.
- What do to if they get on the wrong bus or off at the wrong bus stop.
More Road Safety tips can be found at: https://roadsafety.
DO YOU WANT TO FAST THIS LENT?
In the words of Pope Francis (2017)
- Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
- Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
- Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
- Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
- Fast from worries and have trust in God.
- Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
- Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
- Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
- Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
- Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
- Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
MEXICAN CHICKEN SALAD
- 1 large chicken breast
- ½ packet taco seasoning
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 tomato diced
- ½ avocado mashed
- ½ carrot grated
- ¼ cup grated cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 Handful of corn chips (crushed)
- Dice chicken breast. Heat oil in a frypan and cook chicken on medium / high heat until brown.
- Combine the taco seasoning and water, add to chicken. Simmer stirring occasionally.
- Cut lettuce, dice tomato, grate carrot and cheese, mash avocado.
- Mix the salad and cheese together in a bowl (except avocado), place chicken on top of salad then add sour cream and avocado on top.
- Add corn chips and enjoy.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2021 #1
The disciple John, records in his Gospel an amazing revelation:
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”.
John writes that if we believe that Jesus is THE Christ, (the One, the Messiah, spoken about by Moses), the Son of God, then we may have eternal life because of this belief.
I can have salvation based on believing what He has done for me in His coming from the Father, His life, death and resurrection.
Believing in Jesus naturally leads us to why He came to earth, what He accomplished, and the truth about not only a Holy God, but about my true fallen nature and the need for a Saviour and the repentance of my sins.
John, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that by belief in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, I may have this eternal life. I swap my sins so to speak for His righteousness and God declares me righteous in His sight.
Jesus didn’t come to make good people better so much as to offer dead people life!
Believing this, I cannot help but fall in love with God and try to live life and to love with justice and mercy and walk humbly with Him all the days of my life.
Food for thought!