Term 1, Week 5 - 26 February - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
The last fortnight has been particularly busy. Our annual Swimming Carnival was held last Friday and it really was an enjoyable day for all those present. There were many highlights on the day, particularly the exciting finishes to the relays, the great participation of both competitive and non-competitive swimmers, and the best-dressed competition. I was particularly impressed with the encouragement that was given to the participants who “had a go”, irrespective of their ability. Another highlight was at the end of the day with the Year 12 versus Staff relay. The male teacher's team certainly showed the year 12 boys how to be competitive; but the female relay was extremely close, possibly too close to call! I could see Georgia Salvestro closing in on the lead that was given to me, as the last swimmer for the staff! Congratulations to McCarthy House on their exciting win - only 6 points ahead of Mercy House! I also wish to congratulate our Age Champions, who are listed in this newsletter. As I mentioned in our previous newsletter, all students are expected to attend all school events, as stated in our enrolment form, College handbook, and student planner. I understand that the weather conditions on the day of the Carnival may have kept some students away. All absences need to be accounted for, so parents & carers are asked to contact the College via phone, email, or letter.
Student Leadership Team
Well done to the Student Leadership Team for the work they are doing in the school to give students a voice and to engage students and staff with the goal of building a strong community. The student leaders gathered for an Induction Day last week, where they discovered, collaborated and planned. We are looking forward to hearing more from the team on a regular basis. Thank you to Georgia Salvestro and Paige Thompson for sharing our school news this week on 103.1 Loving Life.
Our Ash Wednesday Liturgy was held on the 17th of February to start the season of Lent. This also coincided with our opening School Liturgy. Lent is the season for prayer, almsgiving - doing things for others, fasting and reconciliation. It is a time to think about ourselves and also beyond ourselves - to the chaos of the world and how we each contribute to it through our own lives and the lives of others around us. This is reflected in the common attitude of “this is our world and we can do what we like with it”. Lent is a good time to reflect on what we do and the impact we have on others. Sometimes we think we don’t need prayer or faith or spirituality or the support of others. However, in times of adversity, in times of despair, of feeling helpless and sad - prayer has great power. It is often in times of hardship and adversity that we turn to our faith, to prayer, to Christ. And sometimes this sets us on a path of discovery, or rediscovery, of our faith.
I encourage our Yr 10, 11 & 12 students to participate in the LEAD conference which is being held here at McAuley on the 11 & 12 March. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience faith formation through music, prayer, and community. More information is available in this newsletter.
Fees & Assistance
Our fee statements were sent out this week and I wish to thank the many families who have responded so quickly with payments. There are a number of ways fees can be paid to College, and I encourage you to contact the College and speak to Julie or Steve if you require more information. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact Steve Hartmann to discuss the options available.
Sam Dougherty Indigenous Scholarships
Each year we receive a generous donation that supports our Indigenous students in years 11 & 12. This year we are able to include our year 10 students in this scholarship opportunity. Application forms have been sent home and are to be returned by the 5th March.
Please note the following events and important dates in your calendar:
General Permission Note & Contact Verification Forms - due 12th March
Parent-Teacher Interviews - 30th March
College Open Night - 27th April
Term 2 starts with 2 Staff Development Days to complete our Berry St Education Model training (19th & 20th April). Students begin Term 2 on Wednesday 21st April.
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
On Tuesday 16th February Brainstorm Productions presented their student wellbeing performance 'Cyberia' for students in Years 7 to 10.
'Cyberia' is a live theatre experience that addresses mental health, (cyber)bullying, impulse control and the responsible use of technology.
"Anxious and struggling with impulse control, Ruby is in danger of damaging her digital reputation. For Ruby's brother Tim, a lack of sleep and social interaction lead to mistakes, scams and misunderstandings online. He becomes isolated and withdraws into gaming. Tim and Ruby must restore their dignity, privacy and relationships if they are to find their way back from Cyberia."
'Cyberia' is part of our student wellbeing curriculum and has been developed by education and mental health professionals. Real student experiences are woven together to create a compelling narrative and theatrical experience. The performance poses questions about how we treat ourselves and others, both online and offline, and encourages resilience and positive relationships.
If you would like to know more about Brainstorm Productions, you can visit their website: brainstormproductions.edu.au, or their Facebook page: facebook.com/Brainstorm.Productions.
Lockdown brought with it a host of social media challenges that have set the Internet ablaze again. Some good, some bad. During the lockdown, people at home came up with weird stuff to do and, further, nominated friends to participate. But just how dangerous these challenges became is what we are writing about this morning and how to handle them if they circulate in your school community.
Social Media challenges can be fascinating to young people, who may be both impulsive and drawn to behaviour that gets attention – especially when using social media. Young people are naturally more impulsive and likely to act before thinking through all of the ramifications, making Social Media Challenges a big attraction.
Some were fun, like the #binisolationouting challenge. This challenge began in Australia, where people dressed up as their favourite Superheroes, Disney characters, or in black tie outfits to take the bin out.
Some were helpful, Like the Safe Hands challenge Launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the #safehandschallenge on social media called on people to practice hygienic hand washing techniques to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Celebrities on social media took up the challenge and posted videos of them washing their hands for 20 seconds.
Some are incredibly positive. One of the first significant challenges to go viral was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The chilling challenge required pouring a bucket of ice-cold water on your head to raise awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encourage donations to research. According to the ALS Association, more than $115 million in donations were raised through the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and used for research.
However, there can be a dark side. Social Media Challenges may require the person doing the challenge to film some form of a risky, dangerous act or unhealthy behaviour and posting the video online to consider the challenge completed to gain followers, attention, or going viral.’
The Pass-out Challenge or the Choking Game. While not new, this challenge is dangerous and deadly, and in late January 2021, a 10yr old girl in Italy lost her life while participating in this challenge.The “Choking Game” has made its rounds on the Internet over the years. Participants intentionally cut off their oxygen, intending to cause euphoria, but most of the time lose consciousness.
The Earphones Waist challenge is just the latest in a long line of these challenges that appeared during lockdowns globally. The challenge started with a news account on the Chinese app Weibo, which asked people to see the amount of weight they have gained by counting the number of rounds their earphones can do around their waist. However, as far back as 2015, we had the collarbone challenge that saw young women compete on how many coins they could fit in their concave clavicle. We have also had a resurgence in the A4 challenge, first seen in 2016 — women measuring themselves against pieces of A4 paper to show off how thin their waists were. While social media challenges have become a cornerstone of internet culture, these particular ones highlight an unhealthy preoccupation with being thin and perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards.
Social media often rewards outrageous behaviour, and the more outrageous, the bigger the likes and follows. That environment plays into young people’s underdeveloped ability to think through their actions and possible consequences.
Social media challenges are something we must be across. We need to be aware and start conversations around which challenges they may have heard of in their circle of friends. Ask them (without judgment) what they think are the dangers behind these challenges. Google the challenges online, research them, and make sure you notify the school if you hear them being discussed (or acted out), so they know they are circulating if they are even slightly risky. That way, you and the school will be aware of challenges and mitigate the risks, and the school can immediately notify other parents.
Sometimes kids are more willing to talk about their peers than themselves. Asking questions about school trends, friends, and fads may yield more answers than direct questions about their activities.No matter what, it is essential to keep the lines of communication open and avoid passing judgment. Instead, calmly discuss the dangers in those choices.
Also, consider discussing with the child/teen what actions they can take if they are worried about a friend or peer and whom they feel safe to talk to if they feel pressured to join in on a challenge.
As long as the answer is that they would tell you or another trusted adult, that is a great start.
Assistant Principal Mission and Wellbeing
The forty days of Lent are a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for Catholics. During Lent, we prepare for Easter, and reflect on the new life that Christ has given us. With this new life comes the obligation to share our gifts with all members of our human family.
Through prayer we respond to God’s call to live justly as Jesus teaches us. We reflect on the gifts of the earth that we enjoy in abundance and give thanks. In our prayers we are reminded that we have an obligation to share the fruits of the earth with the poor, the marginalised and the disempowered.
By fasting we walk with the poor for whom the pangs of hunger are a normal part of daily life. In giving alms we take concrete and meaningful action to give of ourselves to the lives of others.
The ashes we received on Ash Wednesday remind us of our own mortality and call us to repentance, to turn away from selfishness to the promise of new life. We gather to ask forgiveness for our human weaknesses and to pray for the strength to become better and more compassionate people.
Inspiration from Pope Francis (Lent 2020)
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Students in Years 7 to 11 have recently been provided with information relating to assessment. Assessment is a process of gathering information about student achievement at various stages in a course. Assessment can be formative (ongoing) and summative (at the end of a topic or unit).
During the presentation, aspects of the Assessment Policy were highlighted to the students including the procedures for submitting tasks, what to do if they miss a task and where they can seek support.
Students in each year group have been emailed their Assessment Handbook and they have been placed on the College Website under Learning and Teaching. The Assessment Handbooks contain assessment schedules for each subject studied, providing a guide for students to the timing of formative tasks throughout the year. Students have been asked to read the handbook to ensure they are familiar with assessment requirements and processes.
Leader of Curriculum
Year 8 History
During Term 1 in Year 8 History, students are being provided with opportunities to study life and society in Medieval Europe (590AD-1500AD). So far, we have explored the way of life in Medieval Europe (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society. Students have created informative posters representing the key roles within the Feudal System that was implemented during the time of study. Samples of Jailon Donohoe's successful depictions are attached below.
Year 8 English - Poems
This Term in Year 8 English, students are exploring poetry and in particular, how they can use poetry to represent their unique experience of the world. Writing from their own perspective, they will use a variety of poetic forms and styles to represent aspects of their own lives. This week's focus included the study of Diamante poems which subscribe to a set of rules to create a diamond - shaped poem (Student samples by Georgia Shorrock, Brooke Chapman and Benjamin Hunt).
Rotating, Peaceful, Glowing
Grass, Animals, Nothing, Stars
Twinkling, Flying, Spinning
Twitching, Quivering, Shaking
Prey, Predator, Running, Hunting
Growling, Howling, Prowling
Ignites, Kindles, Blazes
Light, Flame, Charcoal, Ash
Moving, Burning, Scorching
Year 12 Student, Corey Newbold recently attended neurosurgery work experience at Brisbane Private Hospital, under the guidance of Dr Scott Campbell and Dr Thorbjorn Loch-Wilkinson. This was a part of the McAuley Catholic College Student Workplace Learning Program as advised by Careers Adviser, Mr Paton.
Pictured is Corey with neurosurgeon Dr Thorbjorn Loch-Wilkinson in his neurosurgery clinic, holding a glass model of a lumbar spine with spinal fusion hardware.
Australian Defence Force Tour
'Defence Force Recruiting' are touring Northern NSW during March. The aim of this tour is to inform students about the ADF Career options.
Our College will be visited on Tuesday 2nd March, for interested Years 10, 11 and 12 students to listen to the presentation. Students will need to register with Careers Adviser, Mr. Rod Paton beforehand to attend.
There will be another information session from 6pm until 8pm at the Grafton Army Reserve Depot in Duke St, Grafton the same night.
This week Clarence Valley talent and International Emmy® Award-winning dirtgirlworld co-creator Cate McQuillen spoke with the College’s senior Multimedia students about the ever-expanding kid’s series from live-action Get Grubby TV to i-view and a variety of new exciting real time and virtual platforms/ projects.
The College’s 2021 HSC Multimedia students had the opportunity to Zoom with dirtgirlworld CEO Cate McQuillan on Monday 22 February to discuss the evolving success story and business model behind the company. Ms McQuillen explained how they keep abreast of technology advancements in the Industry.
As part of the HSC Multimedia course students are required to complete an Industry Study research task. The Industry Study provides a framework for Multimedia Industry specific knowledge for the HSC Examination. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was the chosen Multimedia Industry for this year’s students, so it seemed fitting to invite the locally grown dirtgirlworld co-creator and mememe Productions CEO Cate McQuillen to discuss her company and its role within the Industry.
In anticipation for the Zoom interview the students prepared a series of questions and emailed them in advance to McQuillen. On the day Ms. McQuillen answered a variety of questions asked by the students relating to her company operations such as; grant funding, business structure, business plan, future projects, and her background before becoming a CEO. “Up to 80% or more of the team are from the Northern Rivers,” McQuillen says. “So we employ local people and heaps of women. And we grow each other during the project. So if you started out in props, you’d probably be an art director by now” says Ms McQuillen. The students learned about her career before dirtgirlworld, as a musician in the Clarence Valley band The Two Pot Screamers.
Ms McQillen spoke about the excitement of when winning their first International Emmy® Award in 2013. She also discussed how the company name came about with no capital letters. Ms Quillen explained the company name mememe came about as a metaphor for staying young and recreating a child’s make-believe world where everything is child-centric. “The company focuses on positive relationships, environmental education and families,” McQuillen said “The goal is to build up the talent pool in the Northern Rivers, so it isn’t just known for its beautiful landscapes or environmental messaging – it’s a place where great creative ideas come from.”
It was an inspiring conversation for the Multimedia class and it gave them the opportunity to personally ask questions relating to the industry from a highly successful Multimedia company in the Clarence Valley. The College students have prepared a thank you letter to send to Ms. McQuillan for sharing her inspirational business insights with them.
This Saturday 27 February dirtgirlworld will stream live from a secret location, launching their first project for 2021. Declare You Care. Check the link below to the live stream of the family gig http://www.slf.org.au/event/now/
Vinnies in Action:
2021 has seen a great increase in the number of people and families seeking assistance from Vinnies.
It is because of the McAuley Catholic College community that this assistance has been made available especially with COVID restrictions. This is a part of our faith in action and outreach to others in need.
Our students, staff and parents are integral to ongoing support in our community.
Pictured on Left: New member, Jack Bailey learning the ropes on his first Saturday morning on the job. Jack is learning data input with the conference’s Vice President, Barry Whalley.
On Friday the 13th of February, the Student Leadership Team held the school’s Valentines Day celebrations. Chocolate boxes made by the awesome hospitality group and the library helpers were handed out by the cupids, with the option to send a love letter to your special someone. Songs were sung during the lunchtime break by the senior boys, serenading that certain someone and letting them know how special they are. Some song options included One Direction’s That’s What Makes You Beautiful and James Blunt’s You're Beautiful.
Student Leadership Day
On Wednesday the 17th of February, the Student Leadership Team joined together to brainstorm the goals and themes that they wanted to achieve throughout the year. They also took part in some activities set by our YMO’s, Quinnlan Boyce and Eve Dougherty, in order to get to know each other better. This day was structured for the team to bond and recognise common ideas, to become stronger, and connected. Themes that were decided amongst the team included positivity, participation, and a healthier school environment.
On Friday the 19th of February, the annual school swimming carnival took place at the Grafton Olympic Pool. Students were encouraged by the Student Leadership Team to arrive in their house colours and be wearing the craziest outfit that they could pull together. SLT members also held some activities out of the water such as House vs. House tug-of-war, volleyball, and spike-ball.
Friday, 19th February the school had its Annual Swimming Carnival. It was a good day and great to see so many students competing for championship points for their house. Congratulations go to the following students who were Age Champions:
Under 12, Corrie Wells and Kai Brossman;
Under 13, Eve Van Least and Chase Corcoran;
Under 14, Navah Crofton and Kyron Nipperess;
Under 15, Lucy Day and Kurtis Corcoran;
Under 16, Brooke Surawski and Dean Chapman;
Opens, Georgia Salvestro and Bayden Toyer.
There was a lot of competition between the houses all day. So congratulations goes to Champagnat House in 4th place, Tracey House in 3rd place, Mercy House in 2nd place on 998 points which means this year's winners were McCarthy House on 1004 points. Well done.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who helped out on the day. I also thank all senior students who helped out to make the carnival run very smoothly. I would like to wish all of the students who will be going to the Diocesan Swimming Carnival next week, all the best. A permission note is available from the front office for students to take home and return. Also, a COVID plan from the convenor of the carnival was emailed to all students for parents to read.
- Diocesan Touch Trials (Postponed)
- Diocesan Rugby League (Trials 15’s and Opens) - Lismore
- Diocesan Open’s Soccer Trials Lismore
- Diocesan Open’s Soccer Competition - Lismore
- Diocesan Open’s Basketball Competition - Coffs Harbour
- Girl’s League tag
Our school bus operator Busways is reminding all road users, parents, and students to ‘be bus aware’ as part of Transport for NSW’s Bus Safety Week campaign, running Feb 22 - 28.
Bus Safety Week, part of the ‘Be Bus Aware’ campaign, sees Governments, bus operators, and emergency services raise awareness about the importance of being safe in and around buses and spread the message to ‘Be Bus Aware’.
The initiative provides a timely reminder to parents to have a talk with their children about bus safety; to motorists when giving way to buses; to pedestrians to make sure they are alert of their surroundings; and to cyclists to ensure they can see where buses are. We all have a part to play in bus safety.
For more information on bus safety or to learn about Transport for NSW’s ‘Be Bus Aware’ campaign, visit https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/be-bus-aware/ or visit the Busways website www.busways.com.au.
Learning to live with change and loss
Change and loss are issues that affect all of us at some stage in our lives. At McAuley Catholic College we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce or other losses, young people may benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We are therefore offering an education program called Seasons for Growth which will commence Term 2, 2021.
Seasons for Growth is facilitated in small groups and is based on research which highlights the importance of social support and the need to practise new skills to cope effectively with change and loss. When someone we know dies, or when a family member moves out of our home, or another big change happens such as divorce or losing relationships, it can be a sad time for us. Seasons for Growth is a program where you learn how to cope when difficult things like this happen. The program focuses on issues such as self-esteem, managing feelings, problem-solving, decision-making, effective communication and support networks. Seasons for Growth runs for eight weeks and each weekly session is one period long. The program concludes with a ‘Celebration’ session. Later in the year each group will have the opportunity to meet for two further sessions to build on their earlier learning. Seasons for Growth will be facilitated by Megan Barton, Student Support Worker, and Siobhan McNamara, School Counsellor, who have received special training in the use of this program. If you think your child would benefit from Seasons for Growth we encourage you to talk to them about the program..
Additional information about grief is included in this newsletter and if you are interested in this opportunity please contact Megan Barton at email@example.com. More information will be given later in the term and permission forms will follow.
The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment will be undertaking a residential address collection in 2021. As part of this project, we have to provide parental address information as well as student residential address information.
A statement of addresses contains the following information about each student at the school:
- Student residential address (not student names).
- Student level of education (ie, whether the student is a primary or secondary student).
- Student boarding school status (ie, whether the student is boarding or a day student).
- Names and residential addresses of the student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s).
We are required to send out to all parents a 2021 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection Notice, advising parents that the Department is requesting that schools provide a statement of address. This was emailed to parents during the week and a copy is attached here.
Carrot cake muffins
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (112 grams)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium carrots)
- 1/2 cup milk (115 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups flour (195 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1/4 cup butter (50 grams)
- 1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon cream cheese (whole fat) (63 grams)
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar (300 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons cream
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F (200° C).
- Grease and flour a 12 medium size muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, beaten eggs, carrots and milk.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon just until combined (15 or 16 stirs no more).
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a medium bowl beat butter and cream cheese until creamy approximately one minute.
- Add icing sugar a little at a time, continue beating, add salt and cream beat approximately 3 minutes until fluffy.
Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 138mg | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 2055IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.1mg
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2021 #2
John the Apostle records a prayer of Jesus that He prayed in the presence of His apostles on the night before His betrayal and crucifixion.
It is an amazing recording of the fact that on this night, perhaps of all nights, Jesus was praying for us who would some 2000 years later believe in Him because of them! (See bold print below)
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20+).
Who would doubt that the Father would ever NOT grant His Sons’ prayer request?
Not only was He praying for us but Jesus was giving us the insight that God the Father loves us – you and I – just as God the Father loves Jesus, His only begotten Son.
God the Father loves us, who believe in His Son, no less than He loves Jesus Himself.
Food for thought. (David Ogg)