Term 1 - Week 1 - 3 February 2023
Dear Parents and Carers, Staff and Students,
Welcome to the 2023 school year! It is with great pleasure that I welcome all our students, staff and families to McAuley Catholic College, especially our 129 Year 7’s and our new staff who I will introduce further on in the newsletter. We have had a very pleasing and positive start to the year, with high enrolments in all year groups.
On Monday, Years 7, 11 & 12 started their school year and it was an exciting start with Yr 7 parents and students able to gather for a meet and greet opportunity with staff in the Courtyard and at Catherine’s Cafe. In our brief welcome Assembly, we presented each year 7 student with a College badge, which we ask them to wear with pride. Our Year 11 students joined us, looking very presentable in their new senior uniforms! We also welcomed back our Year 12 students who should be ready to start straight back into work. We have included some photos from Day 1 in this newsletter. Years 8, 9 & 10 returned to school on Tuesday and there was an excited buzz around the school, with perhaps a little bit of nervousness evident at times.
Our overall mission of the College continues to be the development of the whole person through spiritual, academic, cultural, physical and wellbeing experiences. This year we will have a focus on High Expectations as well as continuing our focus on building strong relationships, improving student engagement and achieving student academic and personal growth through the continued implementation of the Berry Street Education Model and The Learning Collaborative, based on the work of Dr Lyn Sharratt. We have been building a strong wellbeing - pastoral care base to ensure students are ready to engage in learning. Everything we do is under the guidance of Jesus Christ, who is our model, as demonstrated by the Sisters of Mercy and Marist Brothers, whose ethos and charisms form our traditions and history.
Last year we spent time reviewing our College Mission and Vision, as part of our school review, which you will find in this newsletter. These will gradually be placed into our documentation and promotional material. In addition, we have prepared a 3-year Strategic Management Plan and Annual School Improvement Plan. These are in draft form, waiting for approval. When finalised they will be shared with the community.
It is exciting to inform our community that our enrolments are very healthy and at a number that we have not reached for many years, if at all. We have started the year with 590 students. To ensure students and staff are settled from the start of the term we won't be taking new enrolments until next term unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Students leaving McAuley must sign out correctly, which means completing a leaving form and stating where the student is going (education, work), paying outstanding fees and returning any borrowed items. A student who has finished year 10 but is not 17 and wishes to leave school must be doing 25 hours of education or work or a combination of the two.
WELCOME TO NEW STAFF
We welcome the following staff to McAuley in 2023:
- Raquel Light - Science
- Ashley Esad - English
- Kiya Saffigna - School Counsellor
We welcome back:
Katrina Don & Tegen Filewood, returning on a part-time basis
On behalf of all members of our College community, I warmly welcome each of these staff members to McAuley in their respective roles and know that they will each make a valued contribution to our College during their time with us.
OTHER STAFF NEWS
At the end of last year, we received notification that Laura Phillips was taking a position at another school. We wish Laura all the best in her new venture and position. During the holiday I was informed that Mr Mark Bellamy, our Librarian, Ancient History teacher and Learning Technologies coordinator is unable to return to work due to illness. Mark will be receiving treatment and focusing on getting well, and we look forward to welcoming him back in 2024.
Important Beginning of the Year Information in this Newsletter
The majority of this Newsletter is providing parents & carers with introductory information on staff (Year Coordinators, House Leaders and Homeroom teachers), communication, requirements and procedures and some COVID-19 information. Hopefully, this helps you navigate the start of the year smoothly.
It is important that all students requiring bus travel to and from school must apply for a bus pass. This is done online through Transport for NSW. There is more information on this in the newsletter. Transport for NSW makes decisions on bus requirements based on this information, so it is vitally important the applications are made before the 24th of February.
WALKING - BIKE PATH
The walking-bike path from South Grafton to McAuley is almost completed. The opening is expected to be Monday 13th February. I look forward to promoting this new mode of transport and in the meantime, we are in the process of developing our Bike management policy and procedure to ensure safe entry to the school.
Year 12 2022 HSC results
Congratulations to our Year 12 students who achieved their HSC after enduring 3 years of uncertainty and disruption. We are proud of the achievements of each and every one of our students. There were some outstanding performances that I would like to acknowledge here. Congratulations to Jonathan Leung who achieved our highest ATAR of 90. I also congratulate Brooke Surowski for also achieving an ATAR over 90. Well done to the 6 students who achieved Band 6 results in a variety of subjects. Many students achieved substantial growth and we have been congratulated on this achievement.
Congratulations to Peter Dougherty - Australia Day honours - OAM
I wish to congratulate Mr Peter Dougherty on being awarded an OAM for his community work in the Grafton region. Peter and his wife Pam have supported McAuley Catholic College in many ways for an extended period of time and I thank them for their generosity and care.
We pride ourselves at McAuley on building relationships and productive partnerships between home and the College. As in all partnerships, from time to time issues will arise. Mrs Warby, Mrs McGowan and I are available to speak with parents on any matters, provided that these have been initially addressed with the staff member concerned. To contact any member of staff, please phone the College Office on 66431434 or come to the Office to make an appointment.
I look forward to working with all parents and guardians throughout 2023 and beyond and I ask for your ongoing support as we work in partnership to make a difference in the lives of our children so they can be the best person they can be.
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
Welcome to the 2023 School Year at McAuley Catholic College
I would like to warmly welcome back all our returning students and welcome our Year 7 and new students and their families. The following information is provided to help support families in knowing who to contact.
OUR PASTORAL STRUCTURE
Each year at this time we outline the roles within the Pastoral Structure and the communication process that needs to be followed when making contact with the College.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN PASTORAL STRUCTURE
- Homeroom teachers are a very important part of the pastoral structure. The Homeroom Teacher is the teacher primarily responsible for the welfare of each student in his/her Homeroom.
- The Year Coordinator will be responsible for the welfare of the students in their year group. The six Year Coordinators form a pastoral team and will liaise with parents, Homeroom teachers, House Leaders, Leaders of Learning, Classroom teachers and the College Leadership Team.
- The House Leader is the Coordinator of the entire House. They are responsible for building the House Spirit and House system. They work with their House Team which is comprised of the seven Homeroom teachers and other teachers allocated to the House.
All students are issued with a Planner at the start of each year. The Planner is an important learning item that is to be taken to every class every day. It will be a valuable tool in the Pastoral Care lesson and will support the positive education program being delivered. Students are to record all homework, assessments, reminders etc in their planners. It is also used to collect and record Merit Stamps and exits from class (eg toilet, library, office, sick bay).
STUDENTS WHO BECOME ILL AT SCHOOL
Students do get sick while at school. We have a sick bay where students can be attended to and monitored. The Office staff regularly contact parents when a child is sick. Any student who is feeling unwell must report to sick bay.
As per our Mobile Phone Policy, students should not use their phones to contact parents during school hours. The students must go to the office where the office staff can contact home. It is difficult when parents arrive at the College Office to collect their child and the Office staff are unaware the student is ill and then have to find the student somewhere in the school. This can be very disruptive for the Office staff. It is appreciated if our policy is followed.
PDHPE PRACTICAL LESSONS AND UNIFORM PROCEDURES
The PDHPE staff are currently assigning practical lessons to their classes. When this is completed we will share the timetable with parents.
Students are able to wear their PDHPE uniform on days that they have a practical lesson to avoid changing. All students, however, are expected to wear their full school uniform each Wednesday and on days they do not have a practical PDHPE lesson. There will be no practical lessons scheduled for a Wednesday.
Senior students must wear their full school uniform every day. Sports uniform only to be worn on a Thursday. Students undertaking SLR or Drama need to bring their Sports uniform to change into.
Please support the College in ensuring your child wears the correct uniform daily.
Students and staff expect to work in a safe, secure and supportive environment. The expectations shown below ensure all learning spaces are settled and productive. These expectations work in-conjunction with our Mercy values of Respect, Compassion, Justice, Excellence and Hospitality. The expectations are displayed in all classrooms and are clearly stated in the Student Planner.
MOBILE PHONE POLICY
Mobile phones and other related devices have become an important part of today’s world and, as such, are seen as common and necessary items which must be incorporated into and managed within the educational domain.
Students who choose to bring their mobile phone and other related or similar devices to school must adhere to the following procedures. This includes all times students are under the supervision of MCC staff (ie. excursions, camps, travelling to and from school events). The decision of the Principal on all phones, smart devices and related technology will be final. The Principal reserves the right to allow an individual student to use their device for medical monitoring or other such purposes.
- Phones must be turned off upon arrival at school in the morning and may be switched on again after classes at 3.10 pm.
- Students are welcome to leave their phone in the office each day or place on the teacher desk/phone tub each lesson
- If it is necessary for parents or carers to make contact during school hours this must be done in the usual manner through the School Office.
- Students must not lend their phones to other students during school hours.
- Students can only use their phone with the permission of a teacher, for example when used for educational purposes during a lesson, using eftpos at the canteen and office.
- After 3.10 pm, while being supervised on school grounds, students may use their phone to listen to music, check messages and make calls. However, they cannot take photos or videos.
- Students found using phones during school time without permission will incur the following consequences:
- 1st Offence:
- The phone will be confiscated by the teacher and placed in the office.
- The student’s name is recorded on a phone log in the office
- Students may collect the phone at the end of the day.
- The teacher is to record the incident on schoolworx
- A warning is issued to the student by the teacher (and Year Co)
- 2nd Offence
- When phone is confiscated for the second time the above points 1-4 are followed
- A second warning is issued to the student from the teacher and Year Coordinator
- Parent is to be notified by the Year Coordinator or Pastoral Care Coordinator
- 3rd Offence in a term
- The student’s phone is confiscated and placed in the office.
- The student’s name is recorded on the phone log and in schoolworx
- The phone is to be collected by the parent/carer - not the student.
- The parent/carer and student is to attend a meeting with the Year Coordinator and or Pastoral Care Coordinator and or Assistant Principal.
- At this meeting consequences and strategies will be put in place to assist the student in the management of their phone. This may include:
- Placement on a stage / monitoring
- Handing the phone to the office each day for a period of time (determined in the meeting)
- Intervention as needed
Mobile phones are valuable items and the responsibility for them rests with the owner. If a student refuses to follow these instructions it will be dealt with by the Pastoral Care Coordinator, Assistant Principal and/or Principal. No responsibility will be accepted by the College for the loss, theft or damage of a phone.
- The following is deemed unacceptable use of mobile phones and similar devices - (this list is not exhaustive and therefore not limited to the following):
accessing social media (such as but not limited to facebook, instagram, snapchat and other similar platforms), taking of photos and videos, text messaging, phone calls, facetime or similar, accessing apps, streaming movies, listening to music etc
- The following is an extract from the Terms and Conditions section of the College Enrolment form signed by parents/guardians:
These items are not banned from the College. If they are used in class it is only with permission from the teacher. If they are used inappropriately or at the wrong time, the item will be confiscated and placed in the Office for collection by the parent/carer as per the Mobile Phone Policy.
Chewing gum, bubble gum, matches or lighters, cigarettes, e-cigarettes (vapourisers), alcohol, drugs, knives and other weapons, liquid paper, aerosol cans, fireworks/crackers, water bombs, inappropriate printed and electronic material and other such items as the Principal may determine to be unsafe or nuisance items, are banned from McAuley Catholic College.
MISSION TEAM 2023
Our Commencement Mass will take place next week on Wednesday 8th February at 10.15 am in the College Hall. All parents and families are welcome to join us on this special occasion to mark the beginning of the year.
Mrs Kathy Warby
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
The beginning of the academic year is one of the busiest school times. A real sense of excitement exists amongst the student body and the staff. The excitement of seeing one another again, of being in a higher grade or just pleased to be back in a place where they feel they ‘belong’.
As educators, we must focus on learning:
- How best we learn
- How best our students learn
- How we can help them learn about their learning
Next week we will have our ‘High Achievers’ assembly where we will acknowledge the 2022 dux and the hard work of the year 12 cohort last year. At the assembly, I will challenge each and every student to ‘buy in’ to their learning. To commit from the start of the year to engage and take ownership of what they need to achieve their best and what this might look like in the classroom and at home.
There was an email home to all families during week 1 that listed some of the important academic events for term 1 and I ask that you please keep these dates free. One of the events is on week 2, Tuesday 7th February - ELEVATE.
Elevate is an external program with young presenters aimed at guiding students to reach their academic potential. The program will explore mnemonics, study skills, time management and ways to ace exams. Our year 10-12 cohorts will attend Elevate sessions in week 2.
Parents of students in any cohort are invited to an evening session focused on the best ways to support their children in their studies. We will gather in P.1 (Drama room) for a 6 pm start.
I look forward to seeing our parents and families at our various events over the coming months, and I wish you all the very best for the academic start of 2023.
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
Assistant Principal – Mission Wellbeing
Mrs Kathy Warby
Leader of Pastoral Care
Mr Rob Imeson
Year 7 Co-ordinator
Mr Rowan Butcher
Year 8 Co-ordinator
Mrs Nardia Hill
Year 9 Co-ordinator
Mrs Nikita Robinson
Year 10 Co-ordinator
Ms Sarah Nicholls
Year 11 Co-ordinator
Mr Alex Montford
Year 12 Co-ordinator
Mrs Maria Rouse
Leader of Diversity & Inclusion
Mrs Sophie Beresford
Ms Kyia Saffigna
Student Support Officer
Mrs Megan Barton
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE HOUSE SYSTEM
The aim of the House System is to promote a strong sense of community as well as opportunities for connectedness which will, in turn, promote resilience and a sense of achievement for all our students. The House System at McAuley Catholic College is the “umbrella” under which all activities - religious, academic, pastoral, cultural, community, social, and sporting - take place.
In 2022 we spent time reviewing our Mission statement and creating a Vision statement. Here they are for your perusal:
McAuley Catholic College is a Christ-centred, student-focused, inclusive learning community founded on the Mercy and Marist traditions. We strive to develop the whole person through spiritual, academic, cultural, physical and well-being experiences, enabling every student to achieve the fullness of life.
To inspire our students to be confident, curious and compassionate lifelong learners who will bring about a better tomorrow through the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, and the embodiment of the Mercy values.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP TEAM 2023
College Captains - Nash Crofton and Kaydence Kilduff
College Vice-Captains - Sean Sowell and Jorja White
Faith and Action Leader - Holly Morrison and Paige Thompson
o Champagnat House Captains - Sahara Powell and Samuel Platt
o McCarthy House Captains - Levi Vereyken and Stella Van Leest
o Mercy House Captains - Alexander Salvestro and Mischa McGrath
o Tracey House Captains - Yazmin Shepherd (new male leader TBC)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Leaders
Noah Burchell and Sienna Clifton
Year 11 Leaders:
Eva Patricks, Ayla Howell-Mclachlan, Finla’e Cassidy-Thomason, Harry Stephenson
Year 10 Leaders:
Jasmine Chellew, Amali Rainbow, Will Tait, Timothy Van Der Vlist
Cheryl, Kim and Tracey would like to welcome back all our College families and especially our new Year 7’s for 2023.
We are proud of our canteen menu and work hard to offer nutritious meals; many being made fresh in-house daily. We also cater for special dietary requirements (please ask).
We work with our suppliers to purchase goods at the best possible prices, but unfortunately, prices on certain lines have increased and we have had to pass on some of these increases.
On offer daily are a variety of freshly made sandwiches, rolls, and salad bowls along with our regular pie warmer staples.
- On Mondays we offer Lasagna, meatball subs and pizza;
- Tuesday - beef burgers and crispy chicken wraps;
- Wednesday - sushi and other Asian delights;
- Thursday - chicken burgers and nachos;
- Friday - butter chicken and fisherman’s basket.
Also keep an eye out for our gourmet toasted focaccia or Turkish bread.
Breakfast is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 am and features bacon and egg muffins, pancakes, croissants, toast, hot chocolate and hash browns when available.
The fridge is full of canteen-approved drinks including no-sugar mineral water, kombucha, milk, and juice to name a few. We also have frozen icy poles and ice creams.
EFTPOS facilities are available (except for American Express) and lunch orders can be placed before 9 am. Our menu is available on the school website and on the canteen window.
Wishing everyone a healthy 2023,
Tracey, Cheryl and Kim.
The College has a supply of Rapid Antigen Tests available for students. Please contact the College if you require additional tests and they will be sent home with your child or they can be picked up from the office.
You may be aware of an increased number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the broader community. Please be reminded that students and staff CANNOT attend school if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Students who are unwell
If a student is unwell, displaying any COVID-19 or cold and flu-like symptoms at any time, they CANNOT attend school and should undertake a rapid antigen test.
If the rapid antigen test is positive and the student is unwell and/or experiencing any symptoms, they CANNOT attend school.
If the rapid antigen test is positive and the student is not feeling unwell and not displaying or experiencing any symptoms, they CAN attend school under the following conditions:
- the school office is informed of the positive test result, AND
- the student (over 12 years old) wears a mask for a period of 7 days in all indoor settings.