Term 3, Week 3 - 30 July - 2021
Dear Parents & Carers,
This edition of our Newsletter is a comprehensive review of the last fortnight as well as containing important information for parents in a variety of areas, particularly the latest COVID update.
Congratulations to all our students who received certificates recognising outstanding achievement and effort in Semester 1 at our Awards Assembly on Thursday. I also congratulate our Age Champions from our Athletics Carnival who are listed in this newsletter.
Thank you to all our parents and carers who participated in the Zoom Parent-Teacher interviews. I have received some positive feedback about the event and the experience. If you would like to provide feedback please email the College. I also wish to thank all parents and carers for your support and understanding with regards to our Staff Development Day which was held on Monday. You can read more about it in this newsletter but I would like to add here a few points about the day. The focus was on student learning and I was asked to provide school context and a summary of our “journey” over the 5 years in terms of our focus, development and school improvement. It is important to revisit who we are, where we come from and our purpose. Our Mercy and Marist charisms guide us in all that we do and ensure our work is faith-based and student-centred. Based on our traditions, I believe we have a moral obligation to assist all students to receive a holistic education where they can strive for excellence and equity in all areas, especially literacy and numeracy outcomes. Over the last 5 years, we have worked to build a strong base on which we build and improve our student learning. We have been building this strong base by improving and strengthening relationships, behaviour and wellbeing, with Mission as our overarching umbrella. Our focus is now very much on learning and we will continue to share with you what this looks like and how we are achieving student growth.
I ask that you keep our Year 12 students in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for their Trial HSC exams which start on the 9th of August. The current COVID situation has increased the anxiety and the unknown for many of our students - across the school. We also keep in our prayers the people of the Greater Sydney area, particularly those in the extended lockdown areas. We need to ensure our school community is following the COVID regulations and restrictions. The Tokyo Olympics have provided us all with some reprieve from COVID 19 news, with some wonderful stories and examples of people displaying great resilience and perseverance, and overcoming adversity.
We have welcomed 12 new students to the College this term. Please note our enrolments for 2022 are still open. The next interview dates for this term are 25 & 26 August. Please submit your applications as soon as possible.
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
In our last newsletter Mr Rob Imeson, our Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, highlighted the importance of Attendance. Below is a set of procedures we are using to support families and promote the regular attendance of students. These are aligned to the CSO Student Non-Attendance Standard Operating Procedures.
An Attendance Concern means the following:
- Less than 95% attendance or;
- 3 consecutive days of unapproved leave; or
- Any 5 days of unapproved leave or any other pattern observed (such as regular Mondays and Fridays away or habitual partial non-attendance).
The ongoing monitoring of attendance data is the responsibility of the College Wellbeing Team and we are currently undertaking the following:
Attendance Concern <95%
- Home Room teachers will have a discussion with the students in their Pastoral Care lesson to discuss concerns and provide strategies and support to improve attendance
- A session will be provided in Pastoral Care on the importance of attendance and attendance requirements
Emerging Absenteeism <90%
- A letter has been sent out to families detailing the attendance concern. Parents are encouraged to discuss this with their Year Coordinator.
Chronic Absenteeism <80%
- Our Year Coordinators have been phoning home and discussing reasons for absenteeism and offering support for improvement with the families.
- A letter will be sent out to outline the attendance concern.
Complex Absenteeism <70%
- Our Pastoral Care Coordinator(PCC) or I will phone home and discuss reasons for absenteeism and invite parents to the College for a meeting with PCC and myself. At the meeting, we will discuss concerns, and create an Attendance Improvement Plan which provides strategies for improvement.
Our aim is to work with and support families where there is a need to improve attendance. While families are legally responsible for the regular attendance of their children, school staff, as part of their duty of care, record and monitor part and whole day absences. The school has legal obligations to follow up with the family when non-attendance becomes a concern. I am grateful for the many families who have contacted the College in response to our letters and some productive and reflective conversations have been had to not only support families but also to improve our own policies and procedures.
We do realise in these COVID times that the data does not tell the whole story and hence why we are only addressing absenteeism in a formal way for those under 90%. The data takes into consideration both full and partial absences and on careful analysis of the data sometimes there are valid reasons for absences and this has been verified by contact with the families. We encourage families to have regular contact with the Year Coordinators to discuss absences and thank those parents who already do this.
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
One of the main College focus areas is building a strong connection with parents. Aside from the obvious newsletter and social media information to let parents know what is happening at the school, some of the other ways that the school is doing this is through the correspondence home regarding interventions, attendance, opportunities for involvement and updates about your child’s learning.
Thank you for your participation last week in the Parent-teacher interviews via zoom. It is great to have the opportunity to speak with you regarding your child’s strengths and focus areas. I would also like to say thank you to all the families who continue to support the College in ensuring their child follows the rules and expectations set down in our code of conduct, from wearing the correct uniform every day to meeting all obligations around teaching and learning. It is vital that we deliver the same message.
We would like to congratulate all of the students who were acknowledged in the Awards Assembly Thursday.
It was great to see so many of our students walk across the stage to receive a Principal’s award for consistently portraying college expectations of safety, respect, effort and responsibility.
The Principal’s award for Academic Achievement was also given to students who achieved at an exceptionally high level in a majority of their subjects during Semester 1. Just as many fellow Australians have had success in the Olympics due to their talent, passion, sacrifice and relentless effort, the student’s presented with academic awards certificates on stage this week have demonstrated hard work, persistence, dedication, and good study habits which have led them to achieve academic success. Often we only see the end product as the student comes to accept the certificate - the image below indicates some of the many character traits that lead to this success. Congratulations!
Year 10 into 11 information:
Subject forms have now been submitted and are with our Curriculum Coordinator, Mrs Lee. The school will now progress to creating the lines, based on student choice. Over the next few weeks, students will have a conversation with either the careers advisor, the curriculum advisor or the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching to discuss their career aspirations and subject choices.
Last week we addressed Year 10 about re-enrolment at the College as they progress into the senior years. It was noted that it is not an automatic re-entry from year 10 to 11. For most students this will be the case; however, the year coordinator, both assistant principals and/or the principal will be reviewing all year 10 student’s attitude towards studies, behaviour in the classroom and the way that they relate to both staff and peers over this semester. Students of concern (and their parents) will be required to attend an interview in order for them to have the opportunity to improve prior to a final decision is made regarding year 11.
Year 8 into 9
On Tuesday this week students were provided with an Elective Information Pack, as well as information from Elective teachers. We have been so impressed by their cooperative and respectful behaviour during the presentations, and their active engagement. The planned parent Curriculum Information evening will be presented by Zoom this Tuesday, 3rd August. The schedule will be emailed to parents of year 8.
Before a decision is made regarding subjects we encourage students to read their handbooks and ask lots of questions of their teachers.
Feedback from Year 7 parents regarding the requirements of assessment tasks and reading assessment notifications indicated that they needed support in deciphering requirements. As a response to the request, the school Literacy Coach (Lena Jansons), has created the following video.
The second round of The COVID Learning Support programs will begin during week 3-5, with selected students from Year 8 or 9 partaking in small group literacy or numeracy programs implemented by teachers at the school. D.E.A.R is still continuing after lunch at the start of period three. Please remind your child (7-10) to have a book to read for school.
Year 12 Trials
The Year 12 Trial HSC exams will be held from 9th to 20th August. All students have sent an exam timetable.
Year 12 NESA Information
The physical and mental wellbeing of students remains a priority as they continue studying for upcoming exams. The Stay Healthy HSC campaign is encouraging students to continue taking care of their health and wellbeing and importantly, asking for help if they need it. The Stay Healthy HSC HUB is now available to help students and parents with tips for prioritising wellbeing, including:
- Checking in to support with friends and family.
- Practical help to visualise and manage study goals.
- Identifying different types of stress.
Further NESA Updates
HSC Written Exams
HSC written exams have been rescheduled to run from 19 October to 11 November.
Major Work Hand in Dates
Student hand in dates for major works have been extended as follows:
- Industrial Technology – 2 September
- Visual Arts – 6 September
- Music (projects) – 13 September
NB: Music performance exams are continuing as scheduled, running from 30 August to 10 September.
HSC results will now be released on 17 December.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Bishop Greg Homeming visited the College last week, accompanied by Father Joe Holloway. Bishop Greg spent time with Year 11 and 12, visiting them during their RE lessons. He asked the students to think about what kind of person they would like to be remembered and he acknowledged that young people today are faced with many challenges and wanted our students to know that they are not alone. During our afternoon recess break, the Bishop spoke to staff and thanked them for the care they give our students and the wonderful work they do to develop the whole student.
We thank the Bishop and Fr. Joe for their prayers and continued support.
The lockdown in the Greater Sydney region has been extended to 28 August. COVID 19 restrictions in Regional NSW that have been in place for the last 3 weeks remain the same until 28 August, unless advised otherwise.
Therefore the following restrictions are still in place:
- Only local excursions may continue within the school’s Local Government Area (LGA).
- Travel for sport can only occur within the school’s LGA. Interschool visits, including all sporting activities, are only permitted where both schools are located in the same LGA and providing that:
- Mingling of students is minimised where possible.
- COVID safe check-in requirements are followed.
- Mask wearing requirements (for all aged over 12 years old) are followed.
- No, retreats and camps are currently not permitted. They will be permitted when our schools are rated at a Level 1 risk.
- VET placement and work experience can continue as long as the workplace adheres to the current COVID restrictions. VET students in years 11 and 12 who cannot complete their placement due to COVID-19 restrictions will remain eligible for the HSC.
- Under the current restrictions, parents can come into schools for the following reasons:
- Enrolment interviews with one parent, one student and the Principal; all adults are required to wear masks. It is recommended students over the age of 12 years old also wear masks.
- To sign in students arriving early or to collect students leaving early.
- To attend a meeting in the office area with the Principal or their delegate. One parent may attend the meeting with one staff member. All adults must wear masks.
- Please note some exceptions may apply regarding parents in schools for specific purposes, vulnerable students or students with disabilities.
- Students over the age of 12 years old from schools in the same Local Government Area (LGA) are recommended to wear masks, and intermingling between different student groups should be kept to a minimum.
The following College events have been affected by the current COVID restrictions:
- Year 8 Camp - postponed (date to be confirmed if available)
- Year 11 Retreat - This will be a Reflection Day here at the College (date to be confirmed)
- SHINE - postponed (date to be confirmed)
- Diocesan Athletics - postponed (date to be confirmed)
- NRCC AFL - cancelled
- CCC Girls Hockey - no advice yet
- Dio Netball - no advice yet
- Debutante Ball - postponed, date to be confirmed in Term 4
Information for Year 12
JMC Academy - As our Post-school Career Expo in Coffs Harbour has been cancelled, JMC Academy has an online resource for students.
- Go to https://pages.jmcacademy.
edu.au/SydOnlineExpo.html for all information about JMC and their courses.
Charles Sturt University - They're transforming their Open Day this year into an Online Event! Online Open Day will be held on 15 August where students can discover their study options, what uni life is like and what they have to offer.
ACU Open Day 2021 - If you need more information about choosing ACU, want to tour their campuses or chat to staff about the courses they offer, then Open Day is for you. Saturday and Sunday 7 – 8 August – All campuses (online) Saturday 7 August – Canberra (on-campus), Saturday 11 September – Blacktown Campus (on-campus and online)
- Register now: https://openday.acu.edu.
TAFE NSW Download your TAFE NSW Online Student Resource - Looking for a one-stop TAFE NSW resource shop? Download your copy of the Online Student Resource for access to a Career Guide, Degrees Guide, Scholarship information, Disability Services, videos and more.
- Download here https://www.tafensw.edu.
Charles Sturt University Parent Info Session - CSU are holding a free Parent Info Session in September to help parents assist their child's transition from high school to uni. The online event will be held on 21 September where parents will be able to find out about paths into uni, their student services, accommodation and scholarships.
La Trobe University - La Trobe University's Virtual Open Day is less than a week away on Sunday, August 1. Explore its campuses, hear from its leading academics and student advisers and get all your questions answered - all from the comfort of your home.
- Plan your Open Day at latrobe.edu.au/openday
Southern Cross University Southern Cross University Open Day (for a month)
This year their Open Day isn’t just a day, it’s a whole month. Online and On Demand with an immersive 360-degree look at SCU campuses. Prospective students can find out what current students have gained from their courses, explore the best degree and join online information sessions with academic experts.
- Visit: https://discover.scu.
SAE Creative Media Institute - Join SAE at VIRTUAL OPEN DAY, an interactive experience hosted online by the SAE team. The Virtual Open Day is on Sunday, 8 August from 4pm - 6pm. Attendees will be able to attend course presentations, see student work displays, take tours of the equipment and facilities, access internships and admissions information, and ask questions to their friendly SAE team.
- Register your interest at https://openday.anu.edu.au/
Why Is Punctuation Important?
Punctuation is necessary for conveying and clarifying the meaning of written language. Punctuation can include simple markers like a full stop or a comma and more complicated punctuation like semicolons and hyphens. Punctuation errors can completely shift the meaning of a statement. So, if you want to make sure your writing is understood, read on.
When we speak, we can pause or emphasise certain words and phrases to help people understand what we are saying. In our writing, we can use punctuation to show pauses and to emphasise certain words or phrases.
Fullstop . A full stop is used at the end of a sentence.
Question Mark ? A question mark is used if a direct question has been asked.
Exclamation Mark ! An exclamation mark is used to indicate a demand or a strong emotion.
Comma , A comma is used in a variety of ways including:
- To separate items in a list.
- To separate elements of a sentence to avoid confusion.
- Around words such as therefore, however, finally and nevertheless when they interrupt a complete thought.
- To mark a short, natural pause in a sentence where a reader may take a breath or pause.
Ellipsis Points … An ellipsis point indicates that whole words are left out or they are used at the end of a sentence to have a dramatic effect.
On Monday 26th July, staff engaged in professional development in the area of learning and teaching with a focus on literacy. The day was centred on the CSO developed Learning Collaborative and the work of Lyn Sharratt in ‘Clarity: What Matters Most in Learning, Teaching and Leading.”
Principal, Kate Thomson, addressed staff on the McAuley Catholic College journey in responding to a need with focused professional development and the importance of clarity in the classroom to see growth for each student. Staff then undertook an analysis of current data to identify trends and celebrate targeted improvements and acknowledge areas for growth. Staff were actively involved in a variety of pedagogical practices while unpacking the 14 parameters of school improvement and aligning with current practices at the College.
The work of Literacy Coach, Lena Jansons and Leader of Learning English, Mr Matthew Lobsey, was explored through the introduction of learning progressions and data walls to inform teaching practice. Professional Learning Teams worked collaboratively to identify and develop student learning goals with a focus on improving literacy outcomes in each faculty through a commitment to action in the cycles of improvement platform that aligns with the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework.
We thank all staff for their enthusiasm and engagement on the day and look forward to follow up sessions throughout the semester to further develop the work of the Learning Collaborative to improve literacy outcomes for all students.
MCC Interhouse Dodgeball Competition
Over the last 2 weeks, the Student Leadership Team has been running a Dodgeball Competition between the College Houses. In the 1st round Tracey beat McCarthy and Champagnat beat Mercy. Both games were won by a player getting the hoop.
The Grand Final between Champagnat and Tracey was watched by a very large crowd in the hall. It was a hard-fought game but Hayden L’Estrelle for Champagnat threw a hoop and therefore Champagnat became the Champion Dodgeball House for 2021.
Hayden L'Estrelle scored the hoop in both games and was therefore named MVP for the Tournament.
Thanks to everyone who participated.
Year 12 Coordinator
Each Wednesday, McAuley Catholic College cooks a BBQ lunch in South Grafton for people who are less fortunate or doing it "a little tough". With the generous support of Vinnies, the school is able to provide sausage and egg sandwiches with fresh fruit and a cup of tea/coffee.
Great conversations occur and the people show their appreciation readily. The students regularly put their hand up to assist and the empathy and willingness displayed by the students is exceptional.
The ongoing costs are supported by Vinnies, and many of the senior students who volunteer for the BBQ trailer also help out at Vinnies on a Saturday morning.
We are very grateful for the support that Vinnies gives our College, in not only the BBQ trailer but a number of other areas.
On Friday, 25 June we held our Annual Athletics Carnival at Junction Hill. There was a great atmosphere on the day and all students and teachers are to be congratulated for their enthusiasm. Congratulations to the Age Champions, the students of the winning House and to all the students who participated and contributed to their House
- U12 Grace Shorrock and Kai Brossman
- U13 Hazel Golding and Timothy Van Der Vlist
- U14 Jasmine Chellew and William Tait
- U15 Sienna Clifton and Mitchell Dick
- U16 Sahara Powell and Levi Vereyken
- Opens Hanna Tait and Bradley Hollett
In the House Championship points
- 4th place went to Tracey on 702 points
- 3rd place went to Champagnat on 1100 points
- 2nd place to McCarthy on 1116 points and
- Congratulations to Mercy house who won with 1491 points.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped out on the day to make it a great experience. A special mention goes to the following students who broke records on the day.
- Xavier Cassidy-Thomason - who broke the 1993 12 Boys Discus record with a distance of 22.69.
- Hazel Golding - who broke the 1996 13 Girls 200m record with a time of 29.02 seconds.
- Navah Crofton - who broke the 1999 14 Girls 1500m record with a time of 5 minutes 44.34 seconds.
- Beau Thompson - who broke the 2014 14 Boys Shot Put record with a distance of 10.36m.
- Chris Cunick - who broke the 2007 15 Boys Shot Put record with a distance of 12.08m.
- Mitch Dick - who broke the 1998 15 Boys 400m record with a time of 59.35 seconds.
- Sahara Powell - who broke the 2018 16 Girls Shot Put record with a distance of 9.61 meters.
- A special mention goes to Hanna Tait who broke 4 records on the day. She broke the 100m, High Jump, Shot Put and Javelin records which is an amazing achievement.
I also encourage any student who came first or second to sign up for the Diocesan Athletics Carnival by attending meetings held at school during lunchtime. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Nipperess, Mr Humphries, Mr Tait, Ms Snow and Mrs Robinson for their help and expertise in organising such a huge event.
This week in our Parent Education section we have continued the theme of Positive Body Image. Attached is a Presentation from the Butterfly Foundation which is a Parents Guide to talking to young people about positive body image and authentic sharing. The toolkit is intended to help parents with young people in their lives to navigate conversations about Instagram usage, so that the time young people spend on social media is positive, inspiring and balanced.