Term 1, Week 7 - 12 March - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Today, as I write this fortnightly bulletin, we have over 200 students here participating in LEAD, a Catholic Schools faith formation experience for senior students in the Lismore Diocese, led by the SEACS team in the CSO. Being the host school, I was fortunate enough to witness some of the events, led by young people (Youth Ministry Officers), providing opportunities for the students to experience the power of faith and the work of the Holy Spirit. Well done to the 45 McAuley who have participated in LEAD 2021, and I encourage all students to take up the opportunities to explore and nourish their faith or spiritual dimension. I also thank the many staff who assisted with the catering and supervision - you are amazing!
Parents & Carers & COVID 19 restrictions
Another “celebration” is the news that COVID 19 restrictions have been revised and parents and carers can be invited back into schools! I acknowledge that the last 12 months have been difficult and I thank you for your patience, understanding, and support. The following points explain the new COVID regulations for parents and carers entering the school (from the CSO, Lismore)
- Parents and carers are able to enter school grounds but should continue to follow COVID safe practices, including social distancing between adults of 1.5 metres.
- Parents and carers can attend school sporting events. School sporting events should align with requirements for community sporting competitions and training activities in NSW.
Parent Forum - Term 1 Invitation
We will be holding our first Parent Forum gathering on Tuesday evening, the 16th of March. Parent Forum, which replaced our P&F format in 2019, is a way for parents to engage with the College, meet other parents, hear about the learning and other experiences that are happening in the College, through the Principal report, Parent Assembly news, and guest speakers. This term Rob Imeson will be our guest presenter and he will be talking about the pastoral care offered at the College as well as some additional information on the implementation of the Berry St Education Model.
Details of the Parent Forum:
- Tuesday 16th March, 6pm - 7.30 in the College Library
- Refreshments available from 5.30
- Zoom option available - see the flyer in this newsletter
Parent-Teacher Interviews for Year 7- 11
Our term 1 Parent-Teacher interviews will be held on Tuesday 30 March from 3.40 - 6.30pm in the College Hall. Information regarding booking interviews online will be sent to parents next week. Please contact the College office if you require assistance. Parents will be asked to abide by the COVID regulations mentioned above. I encourage parents and carers to come along to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher. Sometimes you may be unsure of what to ask your child’s teacher or you walk away a little disappointed with the information you received (or didn’t receive!) I have included some questions for parents to ask teachers at the PT interviews - go to the Parent-Teacher IV questions section in this newsletter.
We are in the process of reviewing aspects of our current College uniform. We surveyed the students at the end of 2020 and would now like some input from parents and staff. I need to preface this review with a few statements -
- We are looking for options for our students that suit the environment they are working in.
- It is important to have student, parent, and staff voice when reviewing the uniform of the College.
- Not everyone will be happy with the outcome, as not every suggestion will be implemented
- Our uniform requirements are a point of difference for us as a school and therefore the standard expected will not be lowered.
I will continue to keep you informed as we progress through the review process. The survey can be accessed here and is open until 26th March 2021.
International Womens Day - #ChoosetoChallenge
Monday was International Women’s Day and this was the theme of our weekly assembly. The message of IWD 2021 is #Choose to Challenge and I am appealing to our community to put up their hand and choose to challenge behaviour that is disrespectful, humiliating, or biased.
Through many media platforms, we have been provided with examples of disrespectful behaviour towards women at the National, State and local levels. Unfortunately, we as a school community are not immune from this behaviour, and the example I gave at the assembly was a recent incident where disrespect and intimidation were displayed to a female teacher by some male students. This is not acceptable here or in any setting. My concern is that this behaviour is probably being displayed towards students in the College, so we need to speak out. I appeal to all in our community - parents, staff, students - put your hand up and "choose to challenge"
From the IWD website:
A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.
Our Canteen assistant, Tania Hewitt, has announced that she is retiring from her position in the Canteen after 8 years of service. I thank Tania for the contributions she has made to the College and wish her all the best in her future pursuits and adventures. Tania has been replaced by Mrs Cheryl McGuren, who will work in a job share with Mrs Tracey Hartmann. We recently advertised for a part-time canteen assistant and this person will be appointed shortly.
The canteen is introducing breakfast options to their service. They will open at 8.20 each day except Thursday and will have for sale fruit, toast, yoghurt, milk and fruit juice. Thursday breakfast will be provided by the College Ministry team. This is a way for students to get involved in providing service to others. The cost of Thursday breakfast is a gold coin donation.
In addition to our website, newsletter and Facebook, we have now joined Instagram to share our news. You can find us at mcauleycatholiccollege.
Open Night & Enrolments for 2022
A reminder that our annual Open Night is on the 27th of April, 2021 starting at 4pm. This is a great opportunity to have a walk through the College, ask questions and pick up an enrollment pack. Please let any interested families know this is on!.
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
What is organisation?
Being ‘organised’ is a crucial skill not only for academic success but for life. Organisation involves the ability to establish the tasks that you need to do, by when and how. Part of organisation is understanding the requirements of the task.
Recently students have been asked to ensure that they organise their Google Drive as part of been active users of digital content. This involves setting up folders for each of their subjects and sub folders for each topic and ensuring that documents are appropriately titled so that work is easy to find.
Often at this stage of the term, students have assessments due. It is very common for students to have a number of assessments due roughly at the same time, particularly in the last few weeks of each term. Parents and students are advised to use the assessment calendar to plan focus areas and make quality use of the time leading up to an assessment task. The curriculum handbook for each year level advises what steps to take if you are absent on the day of an assessment.
During week 8 the Ongoing Participation and Application Log (OPALS) will be published. The OPAL program at McAuley Catholic College has been developed to provide information in a timely manner about the nature and quality of student participation and application across all curriculum areas. Please take the time to discuss with your child their progress.
The College will be implementing a COVID Learning Support program during terms 2 and 3. This program is designed to provide small group tutorial support for students whose learning was and is being impacted by COVID. This could potentially cover many students of all abilities.
Our staff are examining data from last year to see who they feel were most effected by COVID. However, we are looking at finding out from our students how best to deliver this support. Students will be asked to complete a short survey in the near future. This will be one of the data points used to tailor the program to students at McAuley College.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Parent Education: eSafety's parent guide to cyberbullying and online drama
This free one hour 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.
Tuesday 16 March 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Wednesday 17 March 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Wednesday 17 March 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Thursday 18 March 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Monday 22 March 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Parents can register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2898435107213971215
Transitus is a retreat for invited Year 7 students from Parish Secondary Schools in the South of the Diocese to create a smoother transition to secondary schools, celebrate and be nurtured in their faith at a diocesan level.
The retreat will be a chance to bring students together to meet like-minded peers and to celebrate with other young people who want to grow and be supported in their Christian faith. The activities will be a mixture of large and small sharing groups as well as celebrating the Eucharist together. The program has been geared to meet the needs of these Year 7 students.
The gathering will be an overnight experience that will allow students to build relationships with other students from throughout the Diocese as well as a chance for students to talk and share about their faith journey.
When: Wednesday 24th – Thursday 25th March, 2021
Where: Yarrahapinni Adventist Youth Centre
Cost: Nil. All transport and booking expenses met by the Catholic Schools Office.
This retreat is for students who:
- Regularly attend Mass,
- Are involved in some other form of Church involvement either at school or in the parish
- Show initiative, common sense and maturity, and
- Are seeking to grow in these areas
Assistant Principal Mission and Wellbeing
The Berry Street Education Model
Dear Parents and Students,
Some of you may already be aware of this, but for those of you who are not, Mcauley Catholic College has a School Improvement Plan. The key theme central to this plan is all about the development of positive relationships so students can reach their full potential. These include staff, student, and parent relationships.
In 2020, at the end of the school year, teaching staff, as well as teacher assistants, were trained in the Berry Street Education Model, a model where staff were explicitly taught the science and psychology behind positive education.
The purpose of implementing the Berry Street Model is to improve student engagement and wellbeing and ultimately, achieve student academic growth. The model has strategies that build students' self-awareness, self-regulation, resilience, and stronger relationships between staff and students. It is an evidence-based model that has been independently reviewed.
For those of you who like to do your research, here is a link to the Berry Street Education website:
If you’d prefer to watch a short film, here is another link, explaining the model:
What should the students notice?
- Staff have their own consistent routine they follow each lesson
- Staff giving strategies in class for self-regulation (eg meditation)
- Lessons incorporate “brain breaks” and increasing work time to build stamina
- Students are receiving clear, explicit instructions each lesson
- Students are actively encouraged to ask for help in class
- Students are praised for the specific effort they are putting into their work
There is more learning to come from this model. There will be two more staff development days in Term Two to enable staff to complete their training. As a staff member, I look forward to those days supporting the continued goal of School Improvement. As is written in our staff handbook, “Strong Relationships Build Strong Communities”.
If you have any questions about this model of education, feel free to email me at:
Leader of Pastoral Care
NAPLAN Practice Online 2021
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a point in time assessment of literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
The aim of this practice test is to assess the technical capacity of the platform and to allow students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the test format prior to NAPLAN in Week 4, Term 2.
Our school will be participating in NAPLAN Online Practice Test on Thursday 25th March 2021.
There are TWO practice tests that students complete:
- Omnibus Test: including questions from the domains of reading, conventions of language and numeracy. 45 minutes
- Writing Test: 42 minutes
Year 9 will be completing their tests in Periods 1 and 2.
Year 7 will be completing their tests in Periods 3 and 4.
Students will need to have a fully charged laptop and a set of working earphones/headphones for the tests.
Excessive preparation for NAPLAN Online is not recommended. Students can use the public demonstration site (https://www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment/public-demonstration-site) to familiarise themselves with the types of questions and tools available in the NAPLAN Online tests.
If you have any questions about NAPLAN Online, please contact Mrs Sophie Beresford, your NAPLAN Coordinator.
The Careers Department continues to provide many and varied opportunities for our students to explore their future career pathway. Last week the Australian Defence Forces gave a presentation on the numerous career options available in the Army, Navy and Air Force, for students in Year 10, 11 and 12.
Corey Newbold - Work Experience
Corey Newbold recently attended neurosurgery work experience at Brisbane Private Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Scott Campbell and Dr. Thorbjorn Loch-Wilkinson. After undergoing placement in neurosurgery clinical consultations, both surgeons invited Corey to join them in the operating theatre for a variety of cases across several days. Cases ranged from open brain surgery to spinal discectomy and fusion which made for an interesting experience and unique insight. Corey noted this experience as being very challenging and required a high level of professionalism, work ethic, and focus but has further motivated him to pursue a career in medicine and surgery. Dr. Campbell also organised for Corey to spend time with the anesthesiologist during surgery which made for the complete operating theatre experience. At the conclusion of his placement, both surgeons wrote Corey letters of recommendation which he will be able to use in his medical school applications.
Last Wednesday 5 female members of the student leadership team had the opportunity to listen to the Minister for Women and Minister for Foreign affairs, Senator Marice Payne, talk about her plans for International Women's Day.
Marice was an extremely passionate speaker and the devotion to standing up for women and their rights was very inspiring. Marice’s motivation comes from her love of her country and the empowerment of women.
Her main idea was to empower women, telling them to take the opportunity to lead others and support each other in the goals they wanted to achieve. She spoke about the major contributions that women can make to the community and society, and that we should all strive to make an impact.
We too would like to celebrate International Women's Day, which occurred on Monday, by encouraging everyone to get involved in the school community where they can and make an effort to appreciate the females within your life, starting at school with your teachers, staff members, and friends.
Jacqui Samms & Matilda Sheehan
On Thursday 4th March, a 14 person squad attended the annual Lismore Diocese Swimming Carnival. We had an early departure from school to get swimmers to the pool for an 8:30am warm-up. It was a very full program with over 130 events. Our students swam well and represented McAuley Catholic College with pride. There were many personal best swims, but unfortunately, our swimmers couldn’t place in the tough competition. Some stand-out results were Kurtis Corcoran, swimming a personal best 28.88 for his 50 metre freestyle event, and Chase Corcoran and Kyron Nipperess taking more than two seconds off their 50 meter butterfly times from our carnival. Thanks to Mrs Stainlay for accompanying us and to Mr Hand for driving the bus, and our students for representing our College so well.
Parent-Teacher Interviews - 30th March 2021
Here are some questions that parents can ask the teachers of their child during the interview:
What is my child learning?
How is she or he doing?
How do you know how he or she is doing?
How can she or he improve?
What supports can I provide and can you provide if she or he is struggling? When can we check in again?
(Taken from Clarity - What Matters Most in Learning, Teaching, and Leading by Lyn Sharratt, 2019)
The Parent Library is conveniently located in the foyer of the main office. It contains an extensive list of titles that can assist parents and carers with positive parenting strategies and advice on current social issues.
Just tell the office staff if you wish to borrow a title, they record your name and the book details and you can have it for as long as you need.
The Lismore Diocese Parent Assembly recently donated three new titles and these are now available for borrowing.
Premiers Reading Challenge
The Premiers Reading Challenge began on the 1st March and over the last week I have been visiting English classes and signing up eager readers. Students need to read 20 books between 1st of March and 20th August. I would encourage all students in Years, 7,8, and 9 to participate and read for pleasure.
I have also been visiting Year 7 classes and showing them our ebook and audiobook library SORA. McAuley is part of an Australia-wide Catholic educational consortium that subscribes to this library. They have over 15,000 titles. This site can be accessed on phones and tablets as well as laptops. I know families who get their children to turn on SORA when they travel and listen to an audiobook together. SORA titles can be downloaded so that you don't need to be online to listen or read them. Many SORA titles can also be used for the Premier's Reading Challenge.
This week in the Library we began Esports. This program is being run by Mr Alan Doyle who will also look after the team we are entering in the FUSE Cup. FUSE Cup is an international network of schools connected in providing young students with an opportunity to participate in a safe, supportive and structured national Esports competition while developing positive gaming behaviours and digital wellbeing. We had a huge turnout and students were in groups of four competing in Mario Kart.
The Lismore Diocese is providing all the funding for this event and will be; safe, structured, supervised, supportive and social, inclusive and values focused, use Player Code of Conduct documentation for players and families, have a Behaviour Management Policy that clearly outlines behavioural expectations of players and is age appropriate using console based games that are exclusively non-violent. No shooting games are part of The FUSE Cup.
Once again thanks to Alan Doyle for providing the consoles until ours turn up soon.
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise.
- Psalm 138:1 -
- Whole Heart (Hillsong Worship) - The more we seek God’s grace, the more God’s gifts are revealed to us. Let us use this beautiful worship hymn as a way to reflect and unpack the theme 'Wholehearted'.
HONEY ROAST PUMPKIN QUINOA SALAD
Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 45 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour Servings: 4 servings
- 500-600 grams pumpkin (no need to peel)
- 1 red onion
- 1 red capsicum
- 80 grams rocket – about 3-4 big handfuls
- 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup quinoa measured uncooked – I used white quinoa
- 4 tbsp flaked almonds
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
For coating the pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180C and grab two non-stick oven trays or line the trays with baking paper.
- Chop pumpkin into small chunks, about 2cm square. Place in a large bowl. Whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp honey, cumin, coriander and cinnamon in a mug. Pour the mixture over the pumpkin and toss until the pumpkin is coated. Spread the pumpkin out on one baking tray.
- Thickly slice capsicum and red onion. Spread out on the other baking tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil, and toss around a little. Then, place both trays in the oven to roast for 45 minutes, or until the veggies are nice and soft and starting to brown at the edges.
- While the vegetables are roasting, make the quinoa. Rinse quinoa, place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Once cooked leave the lid on the saucepan and allow the quinoa to sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- Once the quinoa and the vegetables are all cooked, allow everything to cool slightly before combining together. You want the mix around room temperature, or just slightly warmer.
- Mix it up. Take a large bowl and add in the quinoa, roasted vegetables, rocket and flaked almonds. Chop the parsley (discarding thick stems) and add to the bowl as well. Drizzle over remaining olive oil, squeeze over the juice of the lemon and season with salt and pepper. Toss it all together. Ready to serve! (Or, ready to store in an airtight container in the fridge.)
*you can use maple syrup instead of honey. If you would like to make this salad 100% vegan and avoid honey, this is the option for you!
*swap the flaked almonds to another chopped nut e.g. walnuts, pecans, or swap to pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds for a nut free salad.
*this salad should last 4-5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.
*serve with additional protein – chickpeas, feta, chicken, salmon or tuna would all work. If you’re serving this fresh, it’s so good with pan-fried halloumi on top!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2021 # 3 - WHO IS THIS JESUS?
If God became a man we would expect His life to be sinless.
If the true God were a man we would expect Him to live a perfectly righteous life.
If God became a man we would expect His words to be the greatest ever spoken.
If God were a man we would expect Him to exert a profound and unequaled power and influence over humanity.
He did and still does.
If God were a Man we would expect supernatural demonstrations of His being.
There were many - even now.
If God were a man we would expect Him to manifest the love of God
His entire ministry was one of saving people from the ravages of demon possession, death, disease and lostness. He came to seek and to save the lost. He still does
Food for thought. (David Ogg)