Term 3, Week 5 - 13 August - 2021
Dear Parents & Carers,
As you are aware, COVID has found its way to Regional NSW. At the time of writing to you, we have been fortunate enough to not be in lockdown and under stay at home orders. I need to take this opportunity in our newsletter to outline our plans if the situation changes and we need to go into lockdown and return to Blended Learning, as we did last year. Please go to the COVID section of the newsletter for information on our evacuation plan if we are informed of a COVID case in our school and information on Blended Learning. We have been surveying students about their internet access. If you have internet issues where you live please contact your child’s year coordinator so we can put alternative plans in place.
Cancellations and postponements:
Some of our planned events are unable to go ahead for COVID safety reasons:
- Year 7 2022 First Orientation Day - scheduled for 17th August has been cancelled
- Parent Forum Term 3 - scheduled for Tuesday 17th August has been postponed. We will inform you of the new date shortly
- RSA course (1st & 8th September) - cancelled
- Yr 11 Retreat - replaced by a one day retreat on Tuesday 14th September
- Yr 11 Deb Ball - postponed until Term 4
OPALs (Ongoing Participation and Application Log)
Our staff have completed the mid-term 3 OPALs for all students Year 7 - 11. These will be available today on the Parent Portal. Various levels of follow up with students will now occur based on these scores. Dianne McGowan (AP Learning & Teaching) has provided an extensive list of questions you could ask your child to help promote discussion about their OPAL score and learning in general.
Subject Selections for 2022
Leader of Curriculum, Tiffany Lee, has prepared the subject lines available for Years 9 and 11 in 2022, based on the data received from the initial selections made by the students. Mrs Lee will be distributing these subject lines early next week, with clear instructions and return dates. This is an exciting time for our current Year 8 & 10 students. If you need some assistance with the process or have any questions please contact Mrs Lee or Mrs McGowan at the College.
We have expanded the information available on our College Calendar, with assessment calendars now on display. Have a look at what is available by either using the link on this Newsletter or on the College website. Calendars available are
- College Calendar
- Yr 7 & 8 assessments
- Yr 9 & 10 assessments
- Preliminary assessments (Year 11)
- HSC assessments (Yr 12)
You are able to select the calendars you wish to view by ticking on the respective box using the key at the top of the page.
Preparing for McAuley Day
For many years we have celebrated McAuley Day, except last year due to COVID! McAuley Day is our Feast Day where we celebrate our Mercy history and traditions and raise money for the Mercy organisation Mercy Works, which supports those less fortunate than ourselves, modelling Catherine McAuley, and the Sisters of Mercy. Planning has started this week for our 2021 McAuley Day, which is set for Wednesday 15th September! Homerooms are getting their activity ready and we look forward to a great (COVID safe) event.
All the best for the fortnight ahead. Keep in your prayers our Year 12 students who are halfway through their Trial HSC exams; the students, staff and families of the schools in our Diocese who are in lockdown and therefore learning and teaching from home; and remember Blessed Mary Mother of God on the Solemnity of her Assumption on Sunday 15th August.
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
Students will obtain their Term 3 OPAL grade at the end of this week. Individual student results focus on the nature and quality of student participation and application across all curriculum areas.
We are promoting self-motivated learners at the school thus students must have the opportunity to reflect on the grade and set goals for the future. Parents may like to support this focus by having a conversation at home around the following areas:
- Use of Class time
How well did you use your time in class? Who did you sit next to? Did you work well together? Did you listen to teachers and fellow students when they were speaking? Did you participate and contribute during lessons? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
- Asking for Help
If you didn’t understand something in class did you ask a question about it? If you were unsure about an assignment or assessment did you check in with your teacher? If you were struggling with a topic did you ask for help? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
- Time Management
Did you do enough schoolwork each afternoon? Did you plan out a timeline to do the work for your assessments? When you were working at home did you remove all distractions so you could focus? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
- Preparation / Revision
Did you ensure that you were always prepared for class? Do you pack the correct equipment including a fully charged chrome book? Did you make study notes along the way so you had them ready for test time? Did you test yourself on the content as you were learning it to see if it was in your memory? Did you do lots of questions to practice the skills of the subject? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?
Trial Exams & HSC
Congratulations to the Year 12 students who are one week into the Trial exam period. Keep working hard.
In terms of the HSC, NESA has again revised the 2021 HSC timetable to give students additional time to prepare for upcoming HSC exams. As per previous correspondence, written exams are scheduled to run from 19 October to 12 November.
There have also been some slight changes to HSC performance exams to limit external markers. The music performances will still take place at the advertised time (Monday 6th September), however, they will be marked internally. To ensure equity, teachers’ marks will be moderated by NESA against the externally marked components of the course.
The Sydney Morning Herald has some hints and ideas that may support students with their studies. Advice and tips for HSC students.
HSC results will be released on 17 December.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Our College Uniform Committee has spent time unpacking the data from the surveys that were conducted at the beginning of the year. The goal of our review is to provide options for students to suit the different learning environments within the College. This may mean some changes and additions to the current uniform; however, we do not wish to lower our standard of uniform, presentation and expectations.
Overwhelmingly, the data has shown that we should keep a Junior and Senior Uniform and that this distinction should remain. The data has also given us much to reflect on and consider. At the moment we are currently undertaking the following research:
- Range of styles and fabrics to consider the need for comfort, breathability and ease of movement to accommodate for the curriculum.
- To provide options for girls other than just a skirt
- To provide a suitable short option for boys
- To provide winter options and a choice in jumper/jacket
- Pursue a new sports shirt
- Suppliers and costs for parents
As we start to find suitable solutions we will consult with the student and parent body before any decisions are made.
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
It is with regret that we inform you that the Orientation Day, scheduled for the 17th August, has been cancelled, based on the current COVID restrictions and advice received from Lismore Catholic Schools Office. As you can appreciate this is disappointing for students and staff, but unfortunately it is beyond our control.
We are still hoping to hold our 2nd Orientation Day, on Tuesday, 9th November. A Parent Information Night will be held the night of Tuesday, 9th November at 6pm. Thank you for your support and understanding. Please contact the College if you have any questions.
How To Respond To An Identify Style Question
In response to the Parent Engagement Survey, we are now creating fortnightly videos to help explain the most common Key Words from NESA that students frequently respond to in High School. Please watch the following video for more information.
Fortnightly Literacy Strategy: Avoiding the use of ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’
In most types of formal, academic writing, the use of the FIRST PERSON (I, me, my) is generally discouraged. More authority is given to the work if it is written in the THIRD PERSON. This is because it is more objective rather than based on personal thoughts. This aspect of objectivity will make your work look more credible and less biased.
Alternative ways of saying ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ for formal reports and essays:
- It could be suggested that…
- This is/can be illustrated by….
- It is seen through….
- This is evident when….
- Upon examination, it becomes apparent that….
- The facts indicate that…
- Popular opinion does/does not support….
- This is exemplified by….
- This illustrates that…
- This shows that….
- Therefore, it can be stated that….
- Clearly, this becomes apparent when…
- With some exceptions, sources generally agree that….
- This is most obvious when…
- It can, therefore, be perceived that….
- There is evidence to support both opinions on this topic…
- Smith (2020) is in total agreement/disagreement with Jones (2018) when….
- Most notable exceptions to this rule are….
- The author of this text believes that….
- Observations reveal that…
Alternative words to ‘said’:
Admitted, agreed, announced, argued, asked, commented, complained, congratulated, declared, denied, exclaimed, explained, mentioned, inquired, insisted, observed, proposed, questioned, quoted, repeated, spoke, stated, suggested, urged.
Hipwell, P. (2012). How to write what you want to say. n.p.: Boolarong Press.
Year 10 Textiles
A Journey through 2021 with Year 10 Textiles!
‘A distance, course or area travelled’
‘Passage or progression from one stage to another'
Stage 5 Textiles students have been busy creating designer duffle bags like the well known Country Road or Sportsgirl bags loved by many teenagers.
The duffle bag is the hero project for the ‘Non-Apparel’ unit this term. The unit focuses on the relationship between function and material properties. Students were given the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence in the manipulation and use of a range of textile materials, equipment and techniques for functional use. This included a variety of textile techniques such as inserting a zipper, piping, straps and pattern interpretation.
To commence the unit the class participated in an excursion to Grafton Spotlight to choose their fabric and to gain knowledge regarding the properties and performance of suitable fabrics for both their small travel and large duffle bags.
As part of the Stage 5 100-hour Textiles course, students complete a series of quality textiles items that reflect the theme of Journey. Over the duration of the year, students will have completed THREE textile projects that include; Travel Accessory Bag, Duffel Bag and Lap Quilt. This will also be reflected in their Design Folio for the year.
Students are currently finalising and resolving their duffle bags following specific pattern terminology. They will also present a Design Folio as part of their submission along with their final project. The finished products will be on display in the MCC Library during weeks 8-10 of term 3, 2021.
The theme Journey aligns with the 2021 Textile Art Piece (TAP) Challenge. The competition is open to all Stage 5 Textiles Technology students in NSW and is run by the NSW Technology Educators Association, sponsored by S&S Creativity Unlimited. Entries are to be received by Friday 17th September 2021 (Term 3, Week 10).
For more information on the TAP challenge visit
Visit the Virtual ADFA Open Day
At ADFA, you don’t just get a degree - you graduate with a guaranteed career as an Officer in the Australian Defence Force. Click here to explore some of the jobs the Defence Force has on offer, and to see where ADFA can take you.
- Students are employed at Azure Realty Group, a simulated real estate organisation. Within the marketing unit of this course, students will learn how to promote a residential property and develop a property profile.
- To achieve this, learners will be guided through interactive video scenarios, pop quizzes and all the information required to complete the subject; from property features to best-practice real estate imagery and the three Ps of property marketing: Price, Presentation and Property.
The myfuture/careers organisation is having webinars for parents. Two that are coming up are -
Career planning and transition for young people on the autism spectrum| Thursday 2 September, 4.00 pm (AEST)
In this 60 minute live and interactive webinar, our presenters, Associate Professor Marina Ciccarelli, Cheryl Mangan, and Brendan James will provide information for parents about:
- The Better OutcOmes and Successful Transitions for Autism (BOOST-A) research;
- The role of parents and supporters in youth-focused, strengths-based career planning; and
- How myWAY Employability career planner can support young people on the autism spectrum to build a customised profile and goals to plan for future career pathways.
Based on six years of research, myWAY Employability is a smart web platform that helps autistic individuals plan and prepare for working life. Autistic individuals co-produced content, design, and usability of the website. myWAY Employability matches an individual’s interests and strengths to relevant careers and pathways. It encourages users to create big dreams, and smaller goals and tasks to track progress. Register now
The second webinar is the first of four industry webinars myfuture/careers have coming up over the next 6 months.
Industry Insights: Media and Telecommunications | Thursday 9 September 2021, 4.00 pm (AEST)
This is the first in our new Industry Insights webinar series brought to you by myfuture and the Australian Business & Community Network (ABCN).
The media and telecommunications industry employs almost 200,000 workers in Australia. In this webinar, you will hear from a panel of representatives from technology and telecommunications companies. We’ll explore a range of occupations in the industry, essential competencies required for the work, emerging occupations and future challenges for this industry. Register now
They’ll also be hosting a Professional, scientific and technical industries webinar in October, and a Financial and Insurance Services industries webinar in November. I’ll send details of those events as we get closer to the dates.
This week we have included an article from the National Eating Disorders Collaboration on Body image. Accompanied with this is a link to their website where you can find information in the following:
Study Support from Reach Out
5 Steps to Study Success
These are scientifically proven steps to study success from ReachOut.
- Break your study up into manageable 20-minute chunks. Get some more info about setting small goals here.
- Talk about it or say it out loud. When you say something out loud, you'll find it much easier to remember it. Chatting with someone about what you're studying is even better.
- Remove the distractions. Put your phone on silent and out of reach, and turn off the pop-up notifications on your computer. Research shows that it can take up to 20 minutes to refocus on what you're doing once you've been distracted.
- Take breaks. If you plan your study chunks with breaks in between, having the time away can help you to come back refreshed.
- Get some sleep! Getting a good night's rest helps your brain and body to rest and recharge. In fact, you'll do better at your exams and remember more of what you studied if you get a good night's sleep, rather than if you stayed up late studying.
Other things you can do include eating the right foods, perfecting your time management skills, and knowing when to take a break from studying and getting some physical activity or social time in.
Find out more at: https://au.reachout.com/articles/5-steps-to-study-success
Exams: turn that stress into success
School and exams can be a massive deal, but it’s also important to help your teen understand that it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Talk to your teen about signing up for the ReachOut free weekly emails about healthy study habits and managing expectations.
Thank you to the 168 parents/carers who completed the Respectful Relationships Survey in Term 2 of this year.
Parents/carers were asked two questions:
1. Respectful relationships and consent education are being taught in school. How can our Catholic schools better support our children and young people in this area?
2. Our children and young people need both their families and schools to help support them in their understanding of consent and respectful relationships. How can our families and Catholic schools work together to better develop their understanding in this area?
The key themes to emerge from survey responses included:
• The need for explicit teaching across the curriculum and a whole school approach
that focused on developing a culture of respect within the school community.
• Improved communication with parents about consent and relationship education
curriculum content to allow parents to effectively support children’s learning and
development at home.
• The use of high-quality external providers for students and parents.
Key actions that the Lismore Catholic Schools Office will undertake include:
• Developing a set of guiding principles that will provide an effective and consistent
framework for consent and respectful relationships education in the Diocese of
Lismore. This will include the importance of student and parent voice.
• To improve communication with parents and carers and explore parent and community
respectful relationships and consent education opportunities.
• To investigate priority areas for curriculum resource development and teacher
Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
On the 8th of August we celebrated the Feast of St Mary MacKillop, Australia's first canonised saint
This video, featuring Gary Pinto, is a beautiful reflection of the life of Saint Mary MacKillop.
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On the 15th of August, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Reflection:Blessed is She.
is our Christian destiny.
pilgrim journey before us,
the greatness of God.
- Gratia Plena, Andrea Bocelli - As we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption this Sunday, we ask our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us this week as we meditate on the gift of fortitude.