Term 3 - Week 9 - 15th September 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
Year 12 2023
It is with sadness we say farewell to our Year 12 students of 2023. Since their Trial HSC exams, students have received feedback from their teachers, highlighting areas to work on and skills to improve. Practical subjects have completed their projects, and last week our 12 Music students performed for examiners. This week the year 12’s and staff have competed for the prestigious Salad Bowl, an annual event that is highly competitive and greatly sought after.
The Graduation and Awards ceremony is Wednesday 20th September 2023 at 9.30am in the College Hall. I look forward to acknowledging the achievements of all our Year 12 students at the Graduation ceremony and hope to see many parents and guests at the College for this special event.
I wish all our year 12 students the very best as they prepare to leave the formality and routine of school life. I sincerely believe the class of 2023 have developed into amazing young adults ready to take on the world in many different ways. The experiences they have had at McAuley will hold them in good stead. Our students should be proud of themselves and of the College from which they are graduating.
I wish to thank our 2023 Year 12 Student Leaders for their contribution to the College over the last 12 months and I welcome our new student leaders for 2023 - 24 - Eva Patricks, Brooklyn Roach, Molly Shaw and Finla'e Cassidy-Thomason. Our new Year 12 Student Leaders will participate in a handover of Student Leadership with the outgoing captains within the Graduation Liturgy.
McAuley Day & McAuley Fest
Congratulations to the staff & students who made these two events so successful. A huge thank you to the community who supported McAuley Fest and made it a fantastic night, showcasing our talent across so many areas of creative arts and hospitality. McAuley Fest raised $2117.82 which will be given to St Vincent de Paul (our term 2 beneficiary - as McAuley Fest was originally scheduled for term 2).
McAuley Day raised $4230.37 which will be donated to Mercy Works - the development arm of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea. They work in partnership with vulnerable communities and local organisations domestically and in the Asia Pacific region. They work with the people of these communities and organisations to build capacity, dignity and self-reliance. (Taken from the Mercy Works website - https://www.mercyworks.org.au/)
HSC Music Concert & Practical Exam
Last Sunday evening the Year 12 Music students had their last rehearsal before their practical HSC examination. The students played a range of instruments, performed classical and modern pieces, and performed solo, duets and within groups. Congratulations to Nash, Sean, Alex, Sam, Kaylee, Angelina, Eliza-Rose, Jorja, Connor, Tylar, and Ms Nicholls.
Congratulations to our Indigenous Dancers who recently performed the Welcome to Country on Day 1 of the recent Principals Gathering in Angourie.
In the holidays the toilets in A block, often referred to as the Junior toilets, will be refurbished. This means that the 2 toilet areas will be demolished and rebuilt with a new design, which is more open and easier to access and supervise. This is a major renovation for the College and has been planned for 3 years, so it is hoped that this will make the toilet area more hygienic, safer, and less vandalised. Currently, the lack of care for the toilet area is very disappointing. Often the toilet blocks are closed and additional cleaning hours (and costs) are needed because of the state the toilets are left in by the students.
As mentioned previously in my correspondence, we are introducing a new, updated uniform in 2024 which will provide more options for our students. The uniforms will be available from the College uniform shop which will be onsite and online. The new uniform will be phased in over a 2-3 year period. Students in Year 7, 2024 will be in the new uniform and Year 11 students will be wearing the new senior shirts. Students in years 8, 9, 10 & 12 will not be expected to purchase new uniforms, but my do so if they wish. More information about the availability of the new uniform items will be provided next term.
As this is the last newsletter for the term I wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday and I thank the parent community for their support this term. I also wish our 12 students and 2 staff attending Ignite in Brisbane all the best. As I have mentioned in previous Newsletters, I will be on leave for the first 5 weeks of Term 4. It is 6 years since I have taken long service leave so I am looking forward to having an extended break. In my absence, Mrs Dianne McGowan will be the Acting Principal, Mrs Tiffany Lee will be the Acting Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, and Mrs Margaret Bertalli will be the Acting Assistant Principal Mission and Wellbeing (replacing Kathy Warby).
All the best for the weeks ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
Congratulations to our Year 12 students finishing formal schooling this week. It has been a pleasure to have the students throughout their secondary education, and we are looking forward to seeing all they achieve in their HSC exams and post-school pathways as they embark on their future.
We encourage all students to take a balanced approach to their studies during the weeks leading up to the HSC exams. Eat well, get enough sleep, maintain a morning routine, get outside and exercise, and make your study area a comfortable space. Complete practice papers and submit them to your teachers for marking. It is always possible to make a difference!
During the upcoming spring school holidays, some optional workshops will be implemented for year 12 students. The times and days have been posted on the year 12 Google Classroom.
We look forward to seeing you in full school uniform for your first English exam on the 11th of October. Please be at school at least ½ hour before any scheduled HSC exams. Please familiarise yourself with the NESA site for more information regarding the HSC exams, including the HSC timetable. The school will communicate further with students and parents before the exam period. If you have any specific questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact the school.
We will acknowledge the achievements of our Year 12's at graduation this Wednesday and celebrate with our students at their formal in Term 4.
Year 11 students have just completed their first experience of an examination block, which gave them a taste of what to expect in their HSC year. They are to be congratulated for the way they approached this experience. Thank you to Mrs Lee and Mrs Beresford for ensuring the exams were well organised.
Staff will be returning papers with feedback as soon as possible, and students are encouraged to plan and set specific goals related to their academic study pattern in preparation for the start of their HSC work in Term 4. If students consider changing any subjects, they must complete the paperwork as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition into Term 4 when their HSC year begins. The Curriculum coordinator will send out documentation in Term 4 regarding confirming subjects for the Higher School Certificate credential.
Year 10 students must remain focused on their learning to ensure they are fulfilling the NESA requirements associated with completing Year 10. This includes expectations around learning and attendance to be eligible to receive a ROSA.
Some of our Year 8 students still need to select electives for Stage 5. We are currently finalising electives with students. Students will receive confirmation of their selections early in Term 4.
I wish to thank all staff, students and parents for another extraordinary term. Enjoy a well-deserved break, and I look forward to seeing you all next term.
Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching
Goodbye For Now
To the Students, Parents / Carers and Staff of this wonderful College,
It is with sadness and some excitement that I am writing my final newsletter article to you all. As many of you are aware, I have taken a position with the Catholic Schools Office as a Pastoral Care Officer for the Clarence Region. I have been interested in this position for quite some time and when the opportunity came up to apply, I took it with both hands and was lucky enough to get the job.
Pastoral Care in schools is a real passion of mine. My goal has always been to work at a school where students and staff feel safe and supported from the moment of their arrival, throughout the school day, until their return. I care not so much about the academic results of a student but about building a student’s capacity to develop relationships, ask for help if needed and learn how to become part of a community - skills for life that will have a positive impact on their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them. I sincerely believe that at McAuley Catholic College, we have achieved this over the last few years. Our recent school review certainly gave us a sense this was true. My goal now is to take what I have learned at McAuley and implement it in other schools in the Clarence Region.
Having a school with great pastoral care is only as effective as the people doing the hard work every day. With that said, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our Pastoral Team. Our Year Co-ordinators, our School Counsellor, our Youth Support Worker, our AEWs, our amazing Teacher Assistants and Additional Needs team, and our front office staff - you are the backbone of our school, you are the reason we have been recognised throughout the Diocese as a school with exemplary Pastoral Care. Your outstanding work has never gone unrecognized in my eyes. I will miss working with you all on a daily basis. Thank you for all you do.
Great leaders make a huge difference in effective Pastoral Care in schools. In my time at McAuley, I have been led by Leon Walsh, Mark O’Farrell, Aaron Beach, and Kate Thomson. I have been well supported by all these leaders, but I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Kate Thomson for her unwavering trust and belief in me, particularly in the last seven years. Kate has been a courageous leader, challenging culture at McAuley and bringing Pastoral Care to the forefront of the minds of all staff, not just those with a wellbeing role - she has made us increasingly aware that wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility at a school. Kate led the charge of our College adopting the Berry Street Education Model, training all staff in the model, giving them the tools to make the school environment a more manageable, positive place. I know I will miss her leadership. I do look forward to beating her at golf one day! Thank you, Kate.
Assistant Principals also shoulder a huge responsibility for Pastoral Care at schools. Since Kate took the reins as Principal at McAuley, our AP Mission has been Kathy Warby. They make quite a dynamic duo, Kathy and Kate. Kathy is one of the hardest-working people I have ever met. If anyone wants to tell me school teachers only work from 9 till 3, they need to spend a day with Kathy, a 12-hour day is a light day for her! Kathy and I have worked very closely over the years, spending many afternoons till dark pondering on decisions, fielding complaints, planning for students with complex needs, worrying about those students and their families, and wondering at the end of the day if we have done enough to support those in need. Kathy has always supported me, always trusted me, always challenged me with respect and has always picked up the pieces I have at times left behind in a humble, no-fuss manner. She has taught me the meaning of the word “vocation” and for that, I thank her immensely. I wish her and her family my best wishes at this time in their lives.
To the students; All I can say is thank you for letting me work with you over the last seven years in this capacity. You remain our greatest teachers. Without you, there is no school. Thank you for making me a part of your community for so long. Look up from your phones every now and then and realise you go to an amazing school; you have amazing people caring for you every day and you are indeed amazing yourself! I will miss the daily banter I have with so many of you but look forward to seeing you in my new role when I come for a visit.
To the parents and carers; Thank you for entrusting your students to McAuley. I have enjoyed working closely with so many of you and have enjoyed your support over the years. Sometimes there are no easy solutions when dealing with teenage children except unconditional love and firm boundaries. I hope we have provided those things for your children in my time at the College. I hope you can place the same faith and belief in Mr Alex Montford, who is taking my place as Leader of Pastoral Care. He is more than ready to make this position his own. I know how hard he works, and the passion he has for Pastoral Care, and he will always have the needs of your children at the heart of everything he does. Please be kind to him, despite the fact he supports the Parramatta Eels!
One last thank you to all. As I said to the students, I will still be around, just in a different light.
McAuley Day 2023
On Friday 8th of September, we held our annual McAuley Day at the College to acknowledge and celebrate our Mercy history and traditions and raise funds for MercyWorks and their mission to improve lives in vulnerable communities.
The day commenced with a delicious BBQ breakfast prepared and served by our fabulous faculty, Homeroom activities and a Mercy-themed Liturgy.
Afterwards, we proceeded with the Year 12 Costume Parade, and Music Concert, and the winners of our Art Competition were announced. Congratulations to the following students who were announced victorious in each section:
|Section 1 - Drawing||Section 1 - Painting||Section 2 - Drawing||Section 2 - Painting|
Emma Bransdon (Yr 8)
Maya Conaghan (Yr 7)
"We Are Not What They Say We Are"
Aailiyah Roach (Yr 9)
Arie Cave (Yr 10)
Then the fundraising stalls and talent show commenced. All students did a fabulous job assisting their Home Room peers and teachers to set up and operate their designated fundraising stalls on the day which included delicious food & drinks stations, challenging activities, and a tonne of fun games!
Our Year 12 students certainly enjoyed their final McAuley Day! The dress-up theme this year was "Heroes/ Inspirational Characters" and all made valiant efforts with their costumes and characterisations of their chosen icons. The senior students finished their day with the annual year 12 waterslide; the perfect way to cool down with the current warmer weather, and a fabulous send-off for their last celebration of this fun-filled day.
The staff dress-up theme was "Crazy Shirts" with most teachers and aides donning their brightest and most unique shirts available. Our Admin staff went above and beyond to transform our College Front Office into the "MCC Laundromat for Crazy Shirts", and dressed in their best old-school washer "women" attire.
A massive thank you to all staff and students who participated and organised the festivities of the day!
We look forward to celebrating this excellent day again next year.
On Thursday 7th September, the College held it's annual McAuley Fest for the third year and it was bigger and better than ever!
Bands of students, teachers and even a parent or two took to the stages to strut their stuff. Yes, STAGES. This year we saw the first main stage and side stage setup, fitted with amazing lighting and complete with a smoke machine!
It was a great night of food, music and community, with a range of music genres to listen to - including jazz, rock, folk, metal and pop music. The huge crowd feasted on yummy food and showed their appreciation, the mosh pit heaving with people dancing the night away.
Thanks to the Year 11 SLT organising committee who took over running the show from Year 12 SLT, the TAS department for food, Ashley Esad for lighting, Jarred Burley and Nash Crofton for sound, Cass Palmer for the Art Show, Jas Chellew for photography and last (but DEFINITELY not least) all the talented and hard-working performers.
This year's event raised over $2000 which is going to the St Vincent De Paul Society.
We can't wait to do it all again next year!
Year 9 Food Technology
Year 9 Food Technology were randomly given an athlete to research. Students had to identify the athletes' nutritional needs, plan a daily menu for their athlete and justify the choices. Students had to prepare and serve the breakfast item on the menu and evaluate their safety and hygiene while cooking.
Year 12 Music Teacher
School holidays are on our doorstep providing an excellent opportunity to encourage your children to spend some time reading without worrying about the pressure of school and sporting commitments.
The benefits of reading extend far beyond the enjoyment of a good story as deep reading develops many brain functions that create an excellent basis for academic and real life success. Have a look at the infographic for more information about the benefits of deep reading.
To help your child gain all the colossal benefits of reading you can discover what your child likes to read. If your child likes to read ‘real’ stories you can suggest that they borrow a biography of inspiring people, watch the video to have a look at all the new biographies that have just arrived in the Mercy Library - https://youtu.be/-MJLzz7hKwI. Students can borrow up to five books from the library over the holiday period. Why don’t you try reading a book that they are interested in, and create a shared experience?
In other news, we wish all our Year 12's the best of luck in their HSC, and we have enjoyed being the focal point of your study for the last two years. The Mercy Library has also been thrilled to display the Year 12 Industrial Technology major works for the Timber and Multimedia strands. Congratulations to all the Year 12 students for your amazing projects that we are sure you will cherish for years to come.
It has also been fantastic to see the Year 11 students ‘grab the bull by horns’ as they prepared for their Preliminary exams held last week. We hope that their current transitional period begins their pathway to a well-organised year of learning and study in Year 12.
Take a look at some of our Senior Students studying and celebrating, and being the best they can be in the Mercy Library photographs.
Ignite Your Future Survey
The NSW Department of Education through Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP), Education Pathways Program (EPP) and Training Services NSW - Skills Broker program have come together to support 2023 school leavers as they transition from school through the Ignite Your Future Survey.
How it works: Students complete the survey allowing us to gather information about their post-school preferences around work, education (VET) and career advice. Then using the email address provided we will reconnect with students post-school to link them to fee-free training options, local jobs and career advice based on their preferences. Complete the free survey now!
*The information you provide in this survey is confidential and intended only for the purpose of contacting you to inform you about career opportunities once you’ve left school until December 2024. After this date, your personal information will be disposed of.
Students can complete the free 2-minute survey now via the link / QR Code below:
Year 10 Work Experience and Structured Workplace Learning
All Year 10 students are reminded that compulsory Work Experience is fast approaching. Students should be making enquiries now, to attend workplaces during the week of November 27 until December 1 in Term 4, especially if they are considering travelling interstate.
Work Experience is a valuable opportunity to assist students with the planning of their career path. It is also a chance for students who intend to leave school to showcase their abilities to prospective employers.
All the necessary guidelines and permission forms can be assessed on our Career website at www.mcauleycatholiccollegecareers.com
- Improving understanding of the work environment
- Development of networks
- Obtaining industry feedback and a professional referee
- Enhancing opportunities for an apprenticeship, casual or part-time employment
- Providing an opportunity to try out career choices before leaving school
Reminders for Students
We have been discussing the university application process in Career Classes via the NSW University Admission Centre.
Entry to Queensland Universities via the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre will be covered after the students finish their trials.
It is important that students and parents are aware that application closing dates for universities vary and may even vary depending on the course to be studied. Students need to research their proposed university and courses thoroughly to avoid missing application dates.
Students have been made aware of Early Entry opportunities so far and have applied during Career classes.
Visit the link below for important upcoming student career opportunities and dates:
U14'S Girls & Boys NRCC AFL
On Tuesday 5th September, our College under 14's girls and boys AFL teams travelled to the Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay to compete in the NRCC AFL Gala Day.
Both teams fought hard and worked tremendously to be named victorious in each of these games and as a result, they were placed 3rd overall out of 8 teams.
An enormous effort from both teams! Congratulations again for your hard work and for representing McAuley proudly!
We welcome to the College our new Family Connect Worker - Amanda Jones. Amanda will be available on Monday and Tuesday. The services provided by the Family Connect Worker and Social Futures are outlined below
What is NATSICC?
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) is the peak advisory body to the Australian Catholic Bishops on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics. The council was founded in 1992 and the Secretariat is based in Adelaide.
Indigenous Voice to Parliament
NATSICC and Caritas Australia have launched www.indigenousvoice.church - a website that empowers Catholics to make an informed decision at the 2023 Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum.
The site contains a collation of statements from Catholic Organisations, resources to assist in discernment and the voices of First Australians and our Catholic Leaders.
Dates to note:
15th: Yr 12 Last day of lessons
18th: Yr 12 Community Service Day
Yr 12 Grad Rehearsal - Period 1
19th: Yr 12 Parent Breakfast
Yr 12 Mystery Day
20th: Yr 12 Graduation Ceremony 9.30am
21st: IGNITE 2023 - Brisbane
22nd: Last day of term
9th: Staff Development Day
10th: First day of term for students
11th - 2nd November: HSC Exams
13th: Dio Volleyball Championships
16th: Sam Dougherty Award Open (Yr 11)
16 - 17th: PAT Testing Yr 9 & 10
19th: Yr 10 & Yr 11 2024 Leadership Applications Open
19th - 20th: PAT Testing Yr 9 & 10
23rd - 24th: PAT Testing Yr 9 & 10
26th: Yr 7 Immunisation Catch-Ups
26th - 27th: PAT Testing Yr 9 & 10
27th: Yr 10 & Yr 11 Leadership Applications Close
30th: Yr 10 & Yr 11 Leadership Interviews
31st: Yr 11 Parent Information Evening
Yr 11 Parent, Teacher, Student Conferences
Please note COVID-19 is still present in our 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.