Term 2, Week 5 - 21 May - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
It was a great pleasure to be able to attend the Year 12 Retreat on Thursday afternoon and evening at Yarrahapinni near Stuarts Point, following my 3-day Principal Meeting. The overnight retreat format was a new experience for this group of students as we were unable to conduct our annual 3-day retreats for Year 11 and 12 last year, so it was wonderful to see this important and formative event up and running again. The students were guided through the retreat experience by Mrs Margaret Bertalli, Mr Alex Montford, Mr Mark Bellamy, Mr Rob Imeson and Mrs Anthea Kinny. They were supported by our Youth Ministry Officers Quinnlan Boyce and Eve Dougherty, and Teacher Assistant Chelsea Brown. Additional news about the retreat will be included in the next Newsletter.
Diocesan Cross Country
On Friday McAuley was the host school for the Diocesan Cross Country Carnival. The oval and surrounding hills were a sea of colour with students competing in their respective age groups, and staff and parents from the 11 secondary high schools spectating and supervising. Mr Hand was the convener of the Carnival and I thank him and his team for the organisation of the event. More news on the performance of the McAuley students will be provided in a fortnight.
The two current building projects that started in the holidays have continued to go ahead. The newly constructed stairs and seating facing the oval have been opened and were a great place to watch the start and finish of the Cross Country events on Friday. The final stage of this project is the construction of an access ramp to the oval/multicourt, which is due to begin in the very near future. The extension to the senior area is progressing, with the construction of the all-weather cover close to finishing. This area will provide more space for our growing senior numbers and will reduce the impact of wet weather as well providing better access to classrooms for students and staff.
Parent Forum Meeting - Tuesday 25th May
On Tuesday 25th May we will be hosting our Term 2 Parent Forum meeting in the College Library. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm with the meeting starting at 6pm. The main feature of the meeting is the Parent Education session which is focussed on Google Classroom. Guest presenters Di McGowan and Margaret Bertalli will guide parents through the basics of the Google Classroom platform to improve understanding and allow parents to further support their child in their learning journey. The Parent Assembly representatives will present a report and I will give a report on the last 8 weeks since our term 1 meeting. We will set up a Zoom option for parents who are unable to attend in person. More details can be found in this newsletter, Facebook and your email.
In week 4 all students in year 7 and year 9 completed their NAPLAN tests online. The staff supervising the tests complimented the students on their behaviour and application in each of the 4 test sessions. Thank you to Sophie Beresford for her coordination of NAPLAN this year. NAPLAN results will provide us with important data that will help us determine areas for improvement and focus, for the College and for individual students.
OPAL (Ongoing Participation and Application Log) results were released at the end of week 4. The purpose of this report is to give students and parents an insight into each student's progress in each subject. Students with scores that are below expectation or are of concern are to have conversations with their teachers to discuss ways to improve. Parents are welcome to contact staff to discuss their child's progress and strategies for improvement.
As we have a number of curriculum and sport excursions planned for this term and next, it is important that all permission notes and payments are finalised before the day of the excursion. Students who present these on the day will not be able to attend the event. Dates and deadlines need to be met to ensure each excursion is properly organised and conducted.
I have personally signed over 100 merit awards in the last few weeks and I congratulate all students who have recently received a certificate at their Year meetings. Merit certificates can be used to achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, which contribute points to the Annual House Competition. I look forward to seeing these merit certificates being converted into higher awards. Information on our Awards System can be found in the Student Planner.
Student Leadership Team
The SLT has been working on 2 main focus areas this term - the College Environment and McAuley Fest. More information can be found in this newsletter. Briefly, in week 7 the SLT will highlight beautification projects planned for the College and care of the environment leading up to World Environment Day on the 5th of June. A Green Mufti day is planned for Friday 4th June and all students are asked to bring a gold coin donation (preferably $2) for the privilege of wearing mufti. The funds will be used by the SLT for beautification projects in the College. In Week 8 the long-awaited McAuley Fest will be held at the College, with a great lineup of musical talent performing on the night. This evening is open to parents/carers, students and family members.
This Sunday is known as Pentecost Sunday, a very important day in the Christian Church and is often referred to as the Birthday of the Church. In the Clarence Valley Parish Bulletin, Damian Coleridge writes “Our images of the Holy Spirit – wind, fire, breath – are meant to unsettle us, move us out of our locked rooms to begin the living out of God’s love. They draw us into relationship with Christ, with the Father, with each other and with those we know as ‘them’ only to discover they too are us. We begin to reach out to strangers, the embattled, the broken-hearted and be with ‘them’, and through these relationships, we learn to be with one other and become ourselves. The self-giving of Jesus Christ, in his dying and being raised to endless life, models this way of living, giving as God gives, unceasingly.
My apologies for the delay in sending this newsletter.
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
This exciting conference is back again in September, starting on the first Wednesday of the school holidays. The CSO will be organising a trip which is open to students from Years 7-12. The trip will be subsidised by the CSO to make it more affordable and accessible. Student participants will be asked to make a co-contribution of $245.00. This cost will contribute to travel, accommodation, registration and most meals and is the equivalent of the registration fee alone.
To secure your registration for Ignite, students will need to collect a form from Mr Montford or the front office and return it by Friday 11th June. Please include $245.00 (non-refundable) payment with permission note and return to the school office. Registration as a group will be completed once an idea of numbers is known.
Further details on the conference are below:
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
One of the things covered in last weeks edition of the newsletter was Google Classroom. For parents and carers who would like further information, this will be one of the areas covered at the parent forum, please see attached flyer.
COVID intensive support
The COVID Learning Support programs started this week with selected students partaking in a variety of programs implemented by teachers at the school.
Mrs Brenda Little; Mrs Sophie Beresford and Mrs Rosemary Cureton have begun the small group tutorial support for students.
Mrs Little and Mrs Beresford will be working with some Year 8 and 9 students to support confidence and skills in literacy whilst Mrs Cureton will be specifically targeting the organisation, study skills and/or writing needs of students in Years 11 and 12.
Mr Jack Bellamy has also been working with Year 9 students focusing on Numeracy.
Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R)
Good literacy skills provide us with the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives. At McAuley, we have a D.E.A.R program that occurs 15 min into period 3 (after the first break) for students in Years 7-10 who are not in a practical lesson. The program aims to promote positive reading habits as a means of enhancing literacy growth. The importance of reading as an outcome of schooling is summed up by Vacca et al. (2011):
Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.
At the start of week 8 Term 2, the school will re-introduce the Peer Reading Program which will continue into Semester 2. This program has been successful in the past and will involve joining selected Year 7 students to Year 10 volunteers. The year 10 volunteer ‘tutors’ will utilise their D.E.A.R time to work with the year 7's and support confidence and reading fluency development.
Temporary Indigenous Education Worker
We would like to welcome Taylor Jarrett to McAuley College. Taylor is replacing Shona Heron who is currently on sick leave for an extended period. Taylor will be working alongside Wil Bancroft to support the needs of our students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
One of Taylor’s many tasks is facilitating and implementing the HEAL program.
The HEAL program runs once a week and brings all of the Indigenous students together to participate in physical and cultural activities. Our sessions prepare for upcoming events such as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week, they also allow for creative activities to occur and support students as they learn more about who they are and the Nation to which they belong.
During HEAL in week 5, students divided into gender groups. The boys spent time with Manduway Dutton who showed some traditional artefacts, taught some Gumbaynggirr language and they each had a go at playing the didgeridoo. The girls started to plan and prepare for our NAIDOC assembly item, a dance which they will perform during the assembly which is Thursday, 15th July, Term 3 week 1.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Year 10 Future Pathways Planning
The Year 10 Future Pathways Planning Day provided students with the opportunity to explore different career pathways by engaging with people from a wide variety of careers within their local community. The program was delivered in partnership with a number of organisations.
During each presentation, students had the opportunity to hear about the presenter’s pathway to their current role, lessons that they have learned and what their day to day job involves. The presenters were -
- Chris Moc from the Australian Defence Forces
- Bernice Pitt a Human Resource Training and Development Officer from Grafton City Council
- James Hamilton (Town Planner) and the Trainee Town Planner from Grafton City Council
- Melissa Hayes (CEO) from CHS Training, Grafton
- Jimmy Waters a Small Business Owner from Grafton
- Liza Bloomer, Agency Director of Yoohoo McPhee Print Workshop & Design, Grafton
- Student Ambassadors from Southern Cross University
- David Johnson and the Trainee Lead Design Manager, from Technical Services NSW Transport
- Jake Kroehnert a Real Estate Consultant from Grafton
- Lyteeka Currie from the ANZ Bank (Former School-based apprentice/trainee student from MCC)
- Will Maher (Engineer) and Caleisse Dunston Community & Safety Partner from the NSW Roads & Traffic Authority.
The day was a successful venture that was designed to get students thinking about their future career and the planning necessary to get to their destination.
I would like to thank all the presenters for volunteering their time to attend and making the day so worthwhile.
Year 13 Expo
There really has been something to inspire every student.
Plus, as a member of the MCC School Community, you’ll receive unlimited access to Schools on Demand indefinitely! Keep checking back in, as the content and activities are updated.
HSC Help Webinars, from Monday 7 June
UoN have once again partnered with InspirationED to deliver a free series of HSC subject specific webinars. They will be delivered by teachers and HSC Markers. Students will have the opportunity to gain advice on how to prepare for their respective subjects and ask questions. The webinars will focus on particular sections of the curriculum.
The first webinar is on Monday 7 June, 7:30pm, an introduction session 'Maximising your HSC'. We invite students and their parents to join in the session.
Date: Monday 7 June, 7:30pm
Audience: HSC students and their parents
To register: Click here
All sessions will be free to students and will complement their studies at school and home. The following sessions are specific to HSC courses and will cover specific module areas.
English Advanced, Paper 1
Tuesday 8 June, 7:30pm
Mathematics Advanced, Topic 1: Functions
Wednesday 9 June, 7:30pm
Biology, Module 5
Thursday 10 June, 7:30pm
Chemistry, Module 5
Monday 14 June, 7:30pm
Physics, Module 5
Tuesday 15 June, 7:30pm
Economics, Topic 1: The Global Economy
Wednesday 16 June, 7:30pm
All webinars are open for registration.
Student wellbeing and career resilience
There are a couple of webinars coming up on the topic of Student wellbeing and career resilience in a rapidly changing world that might be of interest to you.
Dr Lyn O'Grady, a psychologist specialising in the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and their parents, will explore the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on student emotional and psychological wellbeing which may create obstacles for students facing complex career decisions and transitions.
You can copy the webinar description directly from their website: https://myfuture.edu.au/assist-others/webinars
McAuley Catholic College Queensland Art Gallery excursion
On Tuesday, 18th May Visual Arts students from Years 10, 11 and 12 were lucky enough to travel to Brisbane for a long-anticipated art excursion. 2020 saw the normal Sydney Biennale trip cancelled so this was a great opportunity for our senior students to explore and be inspired.
We started our morning touring the Gallery of Modern Art where students found 'Creative Generation' the Queensland equivalent of Art Express. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to see what the 2020 Year 12 students of Queensland had submitted as their Major Body of Work. What a variety of art styles! The students were very impressed with the level of talent, skill and concept. It was certainly an inspirational start to our day. Students continued the tour by viewing further exhibitions called 'I object, I, object’ that looked at the many complex relationships Indigenous Australian artists have to objects: from the histories informing their creation, to the social and cultural consequences of their collection featuring works from famed indigenous artists such as Tony Albert & Fiona Foley. We enjoyed viewing some awesome works in the Kayili Car Bonnets exhibition, a series of traditional Western Desert style aboriginal paintings on car bonnets.
Moving to the Art Gallery of Queensland, students were met with some awesome sculptures in the front entrance as well as the grand scale of the Chandelier style piece from international artist Ai Wei Wei. Hanna & Harmony showcase the size in one of the attached photos. Our students found the works in this gallery as inspirational, if not more so, as they found famous international works from the Impressionist movement that they had previously researched, read about and seen in textbooks and now found themselves standing in front of these amazing artworks.
This was such an invaluable experience for these students as nothing is better than being able to spend time observing an artwork in the flesh. Being able to see the brush strokes, observing the sheer scale of some of these works and finding all the details really allows the students to gain a much deeper understanding, appreciation and inspiration from these artworks and the artists who created them. They can then apply this to their own artmaking and art writing which can only be beneficial.
Thank you to the Teacher Assistants who attended and the Bus driver. I’d also like to thank and say how proud we were of the mature behavior of this group of students. Well done! A wonderful day was had by all who attended.
From the Art staff in attendance Mrs Rodda & Mr Ellis.
During Term 2, The Student Leadership Team of 2021 is hosting McAuley Fest! This event will celebrate and showcase the talents at the college in a concert atmosphere. Taking place in and around the school hall, families and the college community will get the opportunity to enjoy musical performances and purchase food and drink from hospitality students and local vendors.
The event will take place on Tuesday, the 8th of June and entertainment for the night will contain a range of performances from the Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 student bands, a teacher band - Hennessy Drive and family acts. A number of food options will be available including a BBQ, soft drinks, tea and hot chocolate, and finger food and sweets by hospitality classes.
We would love to see a large attendance of our college community as this is an amazing opportunity put together by the Student Leadership Team to enjoy and celebrate the talents within McAuley Catholic College.
Fuse Cup eSports
During the last few weeks, McAuley has been competing in the 'eSports Fuse Cup', an Australia-wide Years 7-10 competition.
On May 6th, the years 7-8 team travelled to Xavier Catholic College for eSports to compete in Just Dance. Being a new competition, but a known concept of eSports, saw a range of emotions from students at the league. Some were pumped up and excited, others were extremely nervous but there were extremely positive vibes, excellent teamwork, sportsmanship and support from all players.
Each student competed in heats individually all whilst earning points for their team, this promoted team members not to give up when losing as every point mattered!
The team was made up of Jai Teasdale, Miller Greenaway, Abby Dickson and Lily Fisher. The students performed very well with Miller and Lily reaching the semi finals.
The Years 9-10 have been competing virtually at McAuley. So far we have competed in Rocket League. In the last two weeks Ashton McPherson, Martin Girdler, Hamish Smith and Conor Delaforce competed against Indie School SA and Kolbe Catholic College losing narrowly in both matches.
Congratulations to Daniel Hyde and Martin Girdler who won 6-0 against Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta in Rocket League last week!
One of the main focuses of the Fuse Cup is that students learn about cyberbullying, healthy gaming habits, discussions on digital wellbeing, gaming addiction, kids helpline and proper gaming etiquette.
Information received from CSNSW and Catholic Schools Office, Lismore:
It is important that schools continue to follow the COVID-19 Guidelines. CSNSW wishes to highlight the following:
- Staff and students should not attend work or school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19 and should not return until they have received a negative test result and are symptom-free.
- Anyone who is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms is strongly encouraged to get tested.
- Schools must be vigilant in implementing: personal hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning and record-keeping practices at events.
- Where possible to use outdoor areas, weather permitting or large open spaces, to enable adequate physical distancing.
- All visitors to a school site must be well and symptom-free, comply with sign-in arrangements, and the 1.5m physical distancing requirements where possible.
Changes to school bus route numbers from 1 June
Transport for NSW is seeking to improve the consistency and accuracy of bus service information across New South Wales. As part of this state-wide program, bus route names and numbers are being amended so they can become part of a standardised system. These changes will apply to all buses that operate to and from your school, effective 1 June 2021.
Note that these are route name/number changes only. Physical routes (or paths) along which school buses operate will not be affected.
Please find attached information and communications materials that inform students and families of the changes.
- Schedule of route service changes
This shows old bus numbers and corresponding new names/numbers. It has been formatted so it’s ready to print and distribute to students.
To help students and teachers clearly identify services and become familiar with the changes, there will be a transition period during which each bus will display its old route name/number next to the new one.
Praying for the end of the Pandemic
Pope Francis has asked the Catholic world to pray a Rosary Marathon during the month of May, the month of Mary, for an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Holy Spirit you are welcome here (Bryan and Katie Torwalt) is a great reflective song for Pentecost.