Term 2, Week 1 - 23 April - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to Term 2! The holiday break was extended for our families so our staff could participate in days 3 & 4 of training in the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM). We are now continuing the implementation of this model into our classrooms and many other areas of the College. We believe that the investment of time and money allocated to implementing this model into our College will have a considerable impact on the wellbeing, learning, and academic growth of our students. Natasha Green, our Leader of Pedagogy, has written an article about our BSEM experience and we will continue to keep you informed about this positive education model and its implementation into the College.
End of Term 1: Easter presentation, Parent Teacher Interviews & involvement of MCC students in the community
Term 1 came to an end very quickly and was slightly disrupted by the flood. In the last week of the term, we held our Yr 7 - 11 Parent-Teacher interviews. It was wonderful to see so many parents back on-site again, and I encourage you to continue this communication with the teachers of your child/children.
Also in the last week of the term, I attended one of the numerous functions that celebrated the opening of the newly refurbished and extended Grafton Regional Gallery and was very proud to see contributions from students and staff of McAuley Catholic College. We are very fortunate to have this beautiful Gallery in our town.
We finished the term with an Easter Liturgy, where the students from the Year 10 Ministry (CSYMA) class presented a contemporary reenactment of the Stations of the Cross which concluded with a display of painted black and white images of Jesus’ face, hands, and feet that were completed on stage as part of the liturgy. These images reminded us that we are the hands and feet of Christ as stated by St Terese of Avila:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Our Assembly and Pastoral Care lesson this week focussed on ANZAC Day. The assembly prayer was led by our Year 12 Modern History class and highlighted the importance of service, gratitude, and resilience. We were also able to share in the gifts of our staff - musicians Rob Imeson and Sarah Nicholls - as they played The Band played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle. Rob is a skilled storyteller, explaining the story behind the song. The rendition by Rob and Sarah was a very moving experience for many in the assembly. As we can return to participating in ANZAC Marches this year, many students have indicated their intention to attend one of the many Marches held in the Clarence Valley. Students are to wear their full school uniform, and proudly represent McAuley Catholic College on Sunday.
Open Night Tuesday 27th April, 4 - 6.30pm
Our Open Night is fast approaching! This is our opportunity to showcase to prospective families, who we are and what we do here at McAuley. Classrooms will be open with displays, videos, interactive activities, and demonstrations on show. Staff and student helpers will be available to answer questions and take tours around the school. Our current families are also welcome to attend, as many new families have not had the opportunity to see the whole school in action due to the COVID restrictions in place in 2020. If you know of anyone interested in attending McAuley please tell them about our Open Night! Student helpers have been asked to express their interest to assist via a Google Form. We are looking forward to welcoming lots of interested people on Tuesday.
Advertising of the College - Can you display a poster?
Our advertising campaign for Open Night and enrolments is in full swing, as you may have seen and heard. We are promoting our school on Facebook, Instagram, radio, TV, newspapers, buses, and via posters. We would love to place our “Enrol Now” posters in businesses around the Clarence Valley. If you can help by placing a poster in your business, please contact the College office.
Catholic Schools Week - Week 2 - “Faith in the Future”
In 2021, Catholic Education is celebrating 200 years in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first Catholic school established in 1820. The first Catholic school in the Diocese of Lismore, St Joseph’s Primary, was established at South Grafton in 1858. 2021 is a time to celebrate the many contributions Catholic Education has made to the Nation.
Our College will be acknowledging and celebrating Catholic Education by praying the 200 Years of Catholic Education National Prayer, which you will find in this newsletter, and making thank you cards for the Sisters of Mercy, Marist Brothers, current and former staff. Activities have also been organised for Assembly, PC, RE classes as well lunchtime games and a leadership summit with students from our Catholic Primary schools.
The theme of Faith in the Future will also be the theme of Proclaim Lismore Staff 2021. To enable all staff to participate in this biennial event across the Diocese, the 5th of May is a pupil-free day.
Finally, well done to all students who competed in the Cross Country Carnival yesterday and to Mr. Hand and his team for the organisation of the event.
Have a great fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
Online Learning environment = Google Classroom
Year 7 parents and parents of students new to the school may not be as familiar with the Google Classroom site as others. The following information has been adapted from a letter sent to parents in March 2020 (at the start of blended learning).
Google Classroom is the main platform used at McAuley Catholic College for communication, collaboration, and completion of tasks online. The online platform was invaluable both during COVID and the recent school closure due to floods in the Clarence area and is continued to be used by many staff.
The Classroom Teacher may send an invitation to allow Parents or Guardians to receive a Classroom Summary. Once you receive the invitation and accept, you should receive weekly summaries of the student’s work set on each google classroom (If you do not, please contact the classroom teacher or email email@example.com). Should you wish to turn these notifications off you are able to unsubscribe.
Assessment notifications for Formal Assessment Tasks are posted to the students a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the task due date. Tasks that are to be handed in will include a marking criteria to guide students when completing the task. Exams will indicate the focus area of the syllabus that will be examined.
Parent/ Guardian email summaries include:
- Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
- Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
- Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
For work that needs to be submitted for marking the teacher will usually post the activity as an Assignment / Assessment and indicate the marks allocated on the post. Students upload a link to their work via this post.
Further information and FAQs on Google Classroom Summaries can be located at https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/topic/7175351?hl=en&ref_topic=6020277
If a parent/guardian would like to view the Google Classroom, it is encouraged they sit with the student and become familiar with the various tasks and communications streams.
The Assessment Calendar for Term 2 indicates that year 7-10 will have a number of hand-in assessment tasks due over the course of the term. The following information is adapted from a study skills website and may be of help to students and families:
FOUR REASONS NOT TO PUT OFF STARTING ‘HAND IN’ ASSESSMENTS
Here are four reasons why you should start working on your assessment immediately.
- GET YOUR BRAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC
Even if your assessment is not due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, ensure you review and understand the requirements the day you get your assessment. Be sure to look at the marking criteria and mark allocation. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.
- FIND LIBRARY AND ONLINE RESOURCES
Although the school or local library may not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assessment. Your teacher will probably have alerted the Library to the assignment, and reference books etc, may well be displayed. These will disappear quickly if the whole cohort has the same assessment. Reference books can sometimes be a useful general overview for an assessment and they help clarify a direction as you begin to immerse yourself into the topic. Your librarian can also guide you to online journals or databases that may be useful.
- STARTING EARLY MEANS MORE TIME TO EXPLORE & ASK FOR HELP IF NEEDED
If you do some initial research on the assessment, you could find yourself needing more direction in your next research. For example: Perhaps there isn’t enough information, or perhaps you find you don’t understand important concepts, or perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity. If you find this out early, you will still have plenty of time to plan, research, write and present your assessment. Imagine if you didn’t start your assessment for a week or so, and then discovered you needed more guidance. You could easily run out of time. Starting early also gives you a longer time to think through and develop your ideas.
- CREATE A SAFETY NET
Starting your assessment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick or something unexpected happens. ‘Hand in’ Assessments are usually given over a period of time because they require more time; students must plan a strategy or schedule to ensure they are completed. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.
Adapted from https://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
On Monday the 19th and Tuesday the 20th April, staff of McAuley Catholic College, St Mary’s Primary School and guests were fortunate enough to complete the final two days of training in the Berry Street Education Model.
This model, established at the Berry Street School in Melbourne, provides “strategies for teaching and learning that enables teachers to increase engagement of students with complex, unmet learning needs to successfully improve all students’
- academic achievement.
The pedagogical strategies incorporate trauma informed teaching, positive education and wellbeing practices.” (berrystreet.org.au, 2021)
The two days of training focused on the domains of Engagement, Stamina and Character and complemented the initial training, completed in December 2020, which focused on the domains of Body and Relationships.
Staff were engaged in a range of collaborative and individual activities that allowed them the opportunity to reflect on current practices and plan for the incorporation of new strategies that will enhance learning and teaching experiences, wellbeing practices and ultimately the growth of each student.
We thank all staff for their participation and engagement in this professional development, parents and carers for their continued support of these valuable days and to our Principal, Kate Thomson in providing this unique and rewarding opportunity.
Leader of Pedagogy
HSC Minimum Standard Tests
The HSC minimum standard tests in writing, reading and numeracy were introduced into the HSC in 2020. To show they meet the HSC minimum standard, students need to achieve Level 3 or 4 in short online reading writing and numeracy tests of skills for everyday life.
Some students with a disability studying Life Skills courses may be exempt from meeting the minimum standard to receive their HSC credential.
Most of our students in Years 11 and 12 have now passed the tests. Students in Years 11 and 12 who have not completed the tests will have the opportunity to do so in the coming weeks.
Year 10 students will also have their first opportunity to attempt the tests in the coming weeks. Students will be presented with information about the tests at school and parents are asked to read through the information linked to this newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns about the tests please contact me at the College.
NESA Information - HSC Minimum Standard
McAuley Study Site - Study and Organisation Skills
We have created a Study Skills Google Site for the students, staff, and parents of our College. This site provides a range of information, templates, and short videos on various aspects of study and organisation. A link to the site can be found on the College website.
Link to site here McAuley Study Hub
The Learning Hub
The Learning Hub is available to students every day at lunchtime. Students may be asked by their teacher to attend intervention at the Learning Hub if they have outstanding work to complete.
The Learning Hub can also be attended voluntarily by students and students may attend for as long or a little as they wish. A teacher supervises The Learning Hub and students can receive support with their work during this time. Student volunteers have also given their time to attend The Learning Hub each day to support students with their learning. This is a fantastic initiative of the Student Leadership Team and has been well supported by some awesome volunteers!
Leader of Curriculum
NAPLAN 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.
NAPLAN Online provides better assessment, more precise results and a faster turnaround of information. The assessments can run through a real-time internet connection or onscreen without an internet connection.
NAPLAN Online is a tailored test that adapts to student responses, presenting students with questions that may be more or less difficult – resulting in better assessment and more precise results.
- Numeracy: 65 minutes
- Reading: 65 minutes
- Writing: 42 minutes
- Conventions of Language: 45 minutes
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 do not wish for your child to sit the NAPLAN test please let the school know prior to the date of the practice tests. Withdrawal and/or exemption forms will need to be submitted and kept as a record.
More information for parents and carers can be found at https://www.nap.edu.au/
A more detailed timetable of the testing week will be made available to parents, carers and students next week.
If you have any questions about NAPLAN Online, please contact Sophie Beresford, your NAPLAN Coordinator.
Helpful Sites for Year 10 Subject Selection
University of Newcastle: Year 10 Subject Selection – Parent Info session Webinar
Tuesday 25 May 2021
6:00pm – 7:00pm
To register, CLICK HERE
Let Newcastle Uni support you through the subject selection process with their 3 simple steps!
We encourage both parents and students to register for this digital event.
Presented by a panel of current Student Ambassadors who will share their stories and experiences, the webinar will cover the subject selection process (including their 3 simple steps on how to select your HSC subjects), as well as case studies and examples and some general university information.
The University of Sydney Year 10 Information Evening
|Year 10 Information Evenings||Join us either on campus or online to discover your options at the University of Sydney. Get your questions answered about subject selection, scaling, pre-requisites and assumed knowledge and hear all about university life.||Camperdown/ Darlington Campus||Tue 20 April||6-7.30pm AEST||Register now|
|Camperdown/ Darlington Campus||Tue 4 May||6-7.30pm AEST|
|Online||Thu 6 May||6-7.30pm AEST||Register now|
Griffith University Information Night for Years 11 and 12
This event is designed to provide clarity and advice about the transition to university. It will cover the opportunities, experiences and support available to Griffith students, while a QTAC representative will guide attendees through the application process and preferencing. Our expert study advisers will also be on hand to answer questions.
Students in Year 11 and 12 and their families are invited to attend. Register now
Date: Thursday 29 April
Time: 5.30 – 7 pm
Statement of Intent: Our Shared Commitment
The role of schools in strengthening children and young people’s understanding of consent, and preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual violence among young people.
A Statement of Intent was signed on Friday, 26 March 2021 by the Government, Catholic and Independent Schools to strengthen school-aged children and young people’s ability to form healthy relationships, understanding of consent and harm prevention. The Statement acknowledges the key role of school staff, in partnership with families, in supporting change.
This Statement is our system commitment, which recognises the innate dignity of the child and young person and their inherent goodness, ‘to enable each to achieve the fullness of life’. The Statement acknowledges the key role of school staff, in partnership with families, in supporting children and young people to reach their full potential by strengthening their ability to form healthy relationships, understand consent and harm prevention.
As a system of Catholic schools, we recognise our duties and responsibilities as educators and the growing concerns in the community in this area. We believe that each person is made in the image and likeness of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnicity.
At McAuley Catholic College, we believe in delivering a robust curriculum across stages. Healthy relationships, understanding of consent and harm prevention are in the following PDHPE units Stage 4:Year 7; Positive Relationships and Stage 5:Year 10; Respectful Relationships. We will supplement the curriculum by engaging the services of appropriate community-based organisations. In 2021 our school improvement plan continues to have the theme of Relationships. To support this we are implementing the Berry St Education Model which promotes positive and respectful relationships. In addition to this, we have engaged Brainstorm to present Cyberia to years 7, 8 & 9; David & Katie Kobler presenting Respectful Relationships to years 10 & 11, and year 10 will participate in the Lovebites program (aspects are also included in the year 12 Wellbeing day). This supplements our ongoing teaching of relationships through our promotion of Mercy values, retreats, and reflection days.
The voice of parents/carers is valuable as the first and continuing educators of their children. We encourage families to complete a survey to support our future direction in driving cultural change around respectful relationships.
The survey is open until Friday, 7 May.
If you have any questions please email the college at firstname.lastname@example.org and a school leadership member will contact you.
The following information has been provided by the Family, School & Community Partnerships Team from the CSO
Families of Students with Diverse Learning Needs
The NSW Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) recognises that families of children with differing abilities require targeted advocacy and support and has developed a valuable resource to assist parents of children with diverse learning needs. Please access this resource via the CCSP website. https://www.ccsp.catholic.edu.au/students-with-diverse-learning-needs
From School to Work for Students with Disabilities
The flyer attached is advertising free webinars for both students with disabilities and their parents to inspire and support students to develop a vision for employment after the completion of schooling.
Southern Family Retreat
Attention: North Clarence, Nambucca and Hastings
The Southern Family Retreat will be hosted by Parent Assembly on 22-23 May. The information is in the attached flyer.
Vinnies celebrates its young volunteers
The St Vincent de Paul Society sees young people serving those less fortunate every day (St Vincent de Paul Society)
Today, Friday 23rd April, we celebrated National Youth Week with our marvellous Vinnies volunteers at school. We have a wonderful crew of student volunteers and ‘young at heart’ staff members some of which were members when they were students themselves.
A big thank you to the Year 11 Catholic Faith in Action (CFiA) class who assisted in preparing the food and presenting it to the McAuley Vinnies members. Their assistance is very much appreciated and they are living up to the name of their course. Well done!
The following is an extract from CathNews earlier this week that highlights the growing number of young people reaching out to others in need in their communities. The example given by our students has been acknowledged at many levels of Vinnies in our state. We thank them for their time, humility and love shown to others.
Our St Vincent de Paul Society Conference is using this week’s National Youth Week to celebrate the “growing number of younger people who enthusiastically give their time and expertise to help others”.
“This year in particular, we recognise the role of young volunteers – that often unsung cohort of 28,500 people under the age of 40 – who make up more than a third of our volunteer base,” said Jacob Miller, National Vice President of Youth for the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia.
“Young people from primary school age to their late 30s are in our shops, in our soup vans, talking to people experiencing isolation and disadvantage, and taking up senior leadership roles.
“Nationally, seven of our advisory committees are led by young people, with more than 60 individuals shaping how our organisation responds to public policy challenges of the day.
“Young people are not the future of the Society, they are the here and now – without their contribution Vinnies Australia would be a very different organisation.”
When some talk about young people in Australian contemporary society, the words “volunteer spirit” rarely appear. But Vinnies sees young people serving those less fortunate every day. Even more impressively, this always has been the case, even in the earliest days of the charity’s formation.
“A young Frédéric Ozanam founded the Society on his 20th birthday and that spirit of youth is thriving in the Society today.