Term 2, Week 7 - 4 June- 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
I have decided to shorten the length of the fortnightly Principal article. Information I would normally have in Principal News will be moved to the various sections of the newsletter. I will seek feedback from you on this change in the coming weeks.
There is so much to read in this fortnight’s newsletter. I would like to highlight a few of the features:
- One of the major news items for the newsletter and the school is the introduction of The Family Connect Service, starting in our College next week. This service is being provided in partnership with Social Futures and we are very excited to welcome our Family Connect Worker, Skye Pullen to the College community. We have been waiting for this service to start in our College for nearly 10 months and I thank the Lismore Catholic Schools Office and Bishop Greg Homeming for this initiative. More information is available in this newsletter.
- McAuley Fest: 8th June 5 - 8pm for students and families. Please come along and support this Student Leadership Team initiative. I am looking forward to being entertained by the talented students and staff who will be performing on the night!
I would like to welcome back Kathy Warby who has been on leave for the past month. Kathy has been assisting her parents, as her father has been very unwell. We continue to keep Kathy and her family in our thoughts and prayers.
I encourage you to explore the many sections of the newsletter as they are full of interesting news and photos!
Dates and Reminders:
- 2022 Year 7 Enrolment Interviews continue for the next two weeks. Letters of acceptance will be sent at the end of the term
- Year 10 into 11 Parent Information Night on subject selections - Tuesday 15th June 6pm
Enjoy the fortnight ahead
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
SHINE unites Youth Ministry (CSYMA) students in Parish Secondary schools of the Diocese of Lismore. The Youth Ministry program is offered to Years 9 and 10 students, allowing those with a willingness to nurture their faith an opportunity for Christian fellowship and spiritual formation in the area of peer to peer youth ministry.
This two-day event combines elements of praise and worship, inspiring keynote speakers, student testimonies, small group discussions, interactive workshops, prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and Mass. A feature of the gathering is peer-to-peer ministry; so, we welcome all Senior Ministry Team members to apply for roles: small group leaders, testimony and workshop facilitators.
An integral part of the Proclaim Lismore Students continuum of Student Discipleship Retreats, SHINE will again be held at St John Paul College in Coffs Harbour on Thursday 12th – Friday 13th August, with over 550 participants expected. Please join us in praying for its ongoing success.
All Youth Ministry students from McAuley will be attending SHINE. Permission forms will be distributed by their Youth Ministry Class teacher.
Just a reminder, 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 a permission note and return to the school office. No notes will be accepted after this date.
Group chats can be an excellent way for several people to participate in an online conversation together. Group chats most commonly happen through Whatsapp, Instagram Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Messenger for Kids, and Discord. Users are getting younger and younger.
They can be both helpful and harmful. Notifications ping all hours of the day, stacks of unread messages build up until they are not worth the effort to catch up on, and important information gets lost in the stream.
However, it does not have to be this way.
We have not been informed of any issues with kids under 13yrs using Facebook Messenger for kids because, we would assume, of the strict parental controls included. However, parents need to remain vigilant. Group chats on other apps can also be where drama, nasty behaviours, exclusion, cancel culture, and bullying can thrive.
However, what we find time and again is that if there is a group chat of 14 young people, for example, that is potentially 14 sets of parents that may be checking their child’s phone and reading that chat, mainly if those parents have decided to keep an eye on their child’s device and interactions while they are younger. There have been countless times schools have told us parents had contacted them because of the nasty, bullying, or inappropriate things happening in the group chats.
Furthermore, there are ways to share online content via screenshots, saving and forwarding to other people. This is when things can spiral and fast.
Drama, exclusion and cyberbullying
There have also been many times when young people have engaged in nasty behaviour about another person in a group chat, then deliberately invited them into the chat to see those comments. The deliberate nature of this abuse makes it cyberbullying.
Group chats happen outside of school hours. Nevertheless, schools are asked to manage the behaviours of the young people involved in the chat by parents, but more often than not, these chats are happening at very late hours of the night. Parents need to help their kids build some intellectual muscle too! Teach them the life skill of politely exiting a social situation that they feel uncomfortable in, online and off.
This should serve as another reminder of everyone’s role to combat negative online experiences—especially parents.
Removing access to the devices late at night helps avoid interrupted sleep caused by the group chat notifications and beeps. We asked a group of primary school-aged children this week, “who sleeps with their phone beside their bed” most raised their hands. They also said that they check messages in the middle of the night.
It also avoids having to engage in conversations at night when our emotional part of the brain switches on, our rational part of the brain takes a back seat, and we are therefore left more emotionally vulnerable.
Helping young people take control
Leaving a group chat without warning can offend the remaining group members and become an awkward situation for our text-obsessed generation.
Teach them the skills to know how to leave a group chat that is not helpful or is harmful in any way, including the actual words to use should they need to leave. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a significant factor in a tween/teen’s life, so you will need to navigate around that as well. We hear reports of young people trying to “catch up” on the hundreds of messages that they have received overnight first thing in the morning. Their brains are bombarded first thing in the morning, sometimes after a night of often broken sleep checking messages in the middle of the night. They are often anxious and exhausted from it. We are told this directly by teens.
Kids have come up with statements such as “sorry guys, this is getting pretty nasty, I am out of here” in our sessions as words they can use when they need to remove themselves.
There have also been some hilarious responses that can add some humour while they exit a toxic chat that may also help to defuse a situation. “I don’t have to go but I am pretending that I do,” “I am going to practice my ninja skills and sneak away now. “ Do you want to see my impersonation of a tree?” “ I have to go the planet needs me,” and do not forget the old “my battery is low” excuse.
However, not all kids have that confidence, and many would prefer to remove themselves from the chat. Again, not always easy for young kids, but we do want them to always be in charge of their online interactions and how those interactions may affect their reputation and digital footprint.
Getting kids to realise that they can be “guilty by association,” even if they are not the ones saying the nasty stuff is also a necessary part of growing up and parenting.
We want to give young people the skills to put boundaries around their
friendships. We do not have to be accessible all the time just because we can be. We want our kids to know their friends will not go away if they are not involved for 30 minutes while they have dinner.
Teach them to be in charge and confident in their relationships. Their friends will understand that their refusal to engage at every moment has nothing to do with the state of their relationship. They will understand this is the way they manage their time, their devices, and their priorities.
Keep group chats positive, helpful, and supportive. These are not places where we have a whinge about someone else, reveal our intimate secrets, or create drama, gossip, or spread rumours.
Teach them how to leave. Often kids are in multiple chats at once. If the chat is getting toxic, bullying is happening or images circulated, or anything that may be deemed illegal. Take a screenshot and log out, so they do not find themselves in a “guilty by association” situation if something gets reported. Sometimes they have got no other option but to leave a group chat—the notifications have become too much, the conversation has become increasingly irrelevant, and their phone has become cluttered with too many group chats for them to keep across them all. In most cases, the exit button is easy to find. In the case of group chats on Instagram, tap the header banner in a group conversation to see its participants and then tap on Leave Conversation to quit it.
Make sure they know they should not feel compelled to respond straight away or be a part of every single interaction.
Remember that just because there are only six participants in a private chat does not mean that the chat will remain private. There are plenty of ways these chats can become very public.
Avoid using late at night or let people know when they are signing off for the day.
If getting overloaded with alerts, change the way chat notifications appear. Make those pings silent and invisible quickly on both Android and iOS. On Android, open up Settings, go to Apps & notifications, and choose an app to make changes. On iOS, take even more control over the alerts style: From Settings, pick Notifications, then tap on a particular messaging app to see the available options.
It is also useful to silence individual conversations temporarily. It is easy to make sure alerts from certain people come through while limiting the number of pings from everyone in the chat. Most messaging tools and group chat apps allow conversations to be muted for a period, and the option should be easy to find in the app of choice. If not, a simple google search will give instructions.
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
Teaching and Learning
In this very busy assessment period, it may be worthwhile to spend some time with your child talking about their learning. What they hope to achieve and how they plan to go about achieving it.
The Berry Street Education Model looks at Goal Setting as a means to turn aspirations into a positive, active and possible goal.
You can attain almost any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. The following information focuses on SMART goals as a means of developing strategies to achieve goals.
SMART goals are Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic/Relevant and Timely.
Specific - a goal needs to be articulated or written down as a specific declaration of intent eg: ‘I will be persistent and focused on my maths tasks completing maths online for 20 min every night’.
Measurable - it is important that goals can be measured – It is important to have a measurable way of determining progress. What would count as evidence of progress towards a goal? Evidence needs to be both specific and manageable.
Something as simple as a three-column chart such as the one below may be of benefit:
|My Learning Goals||Strategies I will use||I demonstrated that I have achieved this when….|
Attainable- Breaking up personal learning goals into smaller achievable parts is often a good process as it makes monitoring more targeted and focused. Instead of a goal of improving essay writing the goal may be broken into smaller components of structure, expression, grammar or topic sentences in essays.
Realistic/ Relevant – Good questions to ask oneself when setting goals are:
Why is this goal important? Do you think that you could achieve this goal with persistence and dedication?
Acting on the feedback given by a specific subject teacher in both formal and informal tasks would be one way of ensuring the relevance of the goal.
Timely - a goal needs to have an endpoint: A goal needs to be grounded in a time frame ...‘By when will I achieve this goal?’
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
Hello to all Students and Parents.
I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a break in a few weeks time!
It’s been quite some time since I’ve contributed to the newsletter. I was told a long time ago to only speak if I had something to say……...
Two weeks ago, we conducted extra Year Meetings to address an issue we feel needs attention at our College. The topic was Social Media Safety. All Year Groups were spoken to by their Year Coordinators with the help of extra staff who volunteered to give their time to this cause.
Topics covered were:
- Sexting - a definition
- Sexting and the law
- Consent - a definition
- Consent relating to sending, receiving, and/or sharing inappropriate images via social media
- NSW law and consent
- The law and “child abuse material”
- Advice for young people who receive inappropriate images via social media
- Advice for people who are pressured to send inappropriate images via social media
- Who to go to at our College for support if you feel your safety on social media has been compromised
A few big take-home points for our presentation were:
- Sexting can be a crime if it involves people under 18, even if they have consented
- In NSW, a person under 16 is not able to consent at all to having their intimate images taken or shared
Parents may ask why we are educating our young people about these issues as young as Year 7? Well, the advice from the NSW Police Liaison team is that young people need education two years before they encounter these issues. At a school level, we are dealing with these issues as young as Year 8, hence the whole school approach.
We used the following resources to make our presentation:
The e-safety website is also a wealth of information on ANY issues involving cyber safety and being safe online. You can find it here at:
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call me at the College on (02) 66 431434.
All the best for the next few weeks and the upcoming holidays!!
Leader of Pastoral Care,
Jumpers - With colder mornings upon us a number of students are coming to school with different coloured jumpers or sleeves/skivvies under the normal school shirt. The only jumpers to be worn are: Maroon “Gotcha’ with monogram, Para Sport Jacket or Maroon Woollen College-Style Jumper. Remember to label all uniform items with the student name. Many are left behind of an afternoon and are placed in the lost property bin for collection.
Jewellery - Jewellery should be modest and kept to a minimum. Students may wear a wristwatch, a single neck chain, one simple ring and one bangle. Students may wear a maximum of two sleepers or studs in each ear. These are to be small, plain earrings.
Neckbands, as well as wrist and ankle-chains and ankle-bands and leather jewellery are not permitted.
Excess jewellery will be confiscated by staff and returned at the discretion of the Assistant Principals or Pastoral Care Coordinator. All care will be taken, but no responsibility accepted.
Nose Piercings - Visible facial piercings are not permitted. However, in 2020 we relaxed this rule to allow for clear nose spacers only. If your child has their nose pierced, they must wear a clear spacer during school time.
Hair - Hair should be well-groomed and tidy - Long hair over the collar MUST be tied back. Ribbons and other hair ties are to be in school colours. Extremes of hairstyle, including extremes of colours, are not permitted.
It is important that students wear the appropriate school uniform as outlined in the school diary p.11A-14A. Please support the school by ensuring that your child is in the appropriate uniform.
“What are good reasons for wearing uniforms?”:
- School uniforms promote learning. Just like a switch turns the light on, the College uniform lets the brain know it is ‘go time’ and performance is encouraged. Students can concentrate on what to learn, not what they should wear.
- School uniforms nourish a sense of equality. To some extent, a uniform avoids ‘the have and the have not’ theory.
- School uniforms promote a sense of community. Each and every McAuley College student should be proud of their school. Wearing their uniform well displays this fact.
- School uniforms make it easy to get ready for school.
- School uniforms improve safety around the school. Whether it be in the kitchen, wood tech room or science lab, a well-worn uniform promotes safety.
- School uniforms do not eliminate individuality. Individuality is witnessed every day in the different personality characteristics students put on show.
- School uniforms are durable and cost-effective.
As with all areas of school life, the relationship between home and school needs to be positive if the student is to realise their potential. Parents are encouraged to play their role by expecting their child to be organised the night before school to avoid jumpers being lost or shoes taken by the dog. Other areas that must be mentioned and regularly checked by parents include jewellery, hair (no extreme colours/cuts), correct shoes, hats that are graffiti/colour free. Together (staff, students and parents) we can make a difference.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding uniform, please do not hesitate to contact your respective Year Coordinator or one of the Assistant Principals.
Kathy Warby Dianne McGowan
Assistant Principal Assistant Principal
Mission & Wellbeing Learning & Teaching
Introducing our Family Connect worker, Skye Pullen
Skye is a new member of our McAuley family, who is here to support families access any of the services they might need, to help their family thrive. She has a background in social work and primary school teaching with a strong focus on learning support for children. Skye has worked extensively in health and community projects and is a qualified practitioner in many parenting programs including 1 2 3 Magic and Tuning into Kids.
Skye has been a member of the Grafton community for 25 years and has 2 school-aged children in our schools. Skye is passionate about promoting family wellbeing and can help families access a wide range of support services including assistance with NDIS, housing, parenting and counselling services. We are thrilled to have Skye as part of McAuley Catholic College and encourage any of our parents/carers to make contact with Skye if they would like more information about the help and support she can provide.
Skye Pullen 0417004779 or email@example.com
We asking for your input into what the topic of each workshop could be - what toolkit would you like to build to better support your child in their learning at home?
We have proposed some suggestions below, but we are also asking for your own specific ideas for the content of these workshops.
We thank you in advance for your input into these very valuable learning experiences for 2021.
HSIE (Human Society and Its Environment) covers many interesting subjects. From Stage 4 and 5 mandatory History and Geography, to Stage 6 Legal and Business Studies. Our HSIE passion at McAuley is to make learning accessible and relevant to all students. Here are some snippets showing some of this Semesters’ extracurricular activities.
Year 7 Geography students headed off to Iluka Rainforest to meet Rangers Tylar and Ben. This fieldwork focused on Landforms and Landscapes. Students were introduced to a variety of geography skills in-situ.
Year 8 History students were “edutained” by the Coffs Harbour Knights who brought great Middle Age stories and a wide collection of costumes and weaponry.
Year 9 Geography students used chocolate cupcakes with hidden “jewels” to investigate the implications of sustainable mining. They were asked to mine their cupcake with the intention of being able to put it back together, without damaging its appearance. Students were then asked to report their findings on a graph and compare how many lollies or “jewels” they found while mining sustainably compared to unsustainably.
Year 9 Commerce students have been busy researching contemporary scams and marketing approaches of some of the global brand companies. They are keen to visit our local McDonalds to listen to the manager talk about a range of product promotions.
Year 10 Geography students created a wide range of Environmental Change and Management websites, were gallant in completing skills booklets and missed out on their Trip to the Tip - re-scheduled for Term 4.
Our senior students have also been extremely busy.
Year 11 Ancient History engaged in some Toothpaste Archaeology - learning that archaeology is a destructive science and the importance of keeping detailed and accurate records.
Year 11 Business Studies are readying themselves for a visit to a local brewery to investigate the process, marketing and management of a Small to Medium Enterprise. They are also in the midst of creating a Business Plan for their own innovative product. This task will be entered into the Newcastle University Plan Challenge 2021.
Year 11 Legal Studies students have started working on their options for the HSC and are engaged in the study of Global Environmental Protection. Independent and collaborative research has highlighted the nature of Global Environmental Law and the need for legal protection of the world’s environments. Of particular interest has been the discovery of global environmental disasters and their impacts, including the recent Australian bushfires, which have resulted in legal responses both domestically and internationally.
Both Year 11 and Year 12 Geography students will participate in fieldwork soon. They will be focusing on Ecosystems at Risk and People and Economic Activity. Year 11 are well into their individual Senior Geography Project and Year 12 are honing their geography skills in readiness for the upcoming Trial exams. Watch this space.
Year 11 Modern History students have been studying the First World War, the Decline and Fall of the Romanov Dynasty, and our own individual research projects on
significant personalities from the past. The students have used primary and secondary sources to develop their understanding of the nature of war and to imagine what life was like in the past. Our research projects involved the investigation of a significant person’s life and the consideration of controversies surrounding their story. They have been building arguments based on our interpretations of the past and using historians to inform and support our perspectives.
Additionally, HSIE provides opportunities for students to participate in cross course events such as the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA), in which a combination of McAuley Year 12 Legal Studies and Year 12 Modern History students participated. Students utilised and refined skills in diplomacy including debating, negotiating, communicating and collaborating to vote on amendments and additions and passing or denying the resolutions.
Congratulations to Jacqueline, Melissa and Jack for their commitment, participation, effort and representation of McAuley Catholic College, we are extremely proud of you all.
We are fortunate to have dedicated teachers, willing to go beyond the basic requirements of the syllabus, to create opportunities for our students to spread their wings and learn through action.
If you have a burning desire to share your expertise with our students then please contact the college where we can organise you to be a HSIE guest speaker to visit a class or you could be a HSIE expert in the field. We would be glad to work in partnership with you.
Leader of Learning - HSIE
UON has once again partnered with InspirationED to deliver a free series of HSC subject-specific webinars. 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 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 sessions are specific to HSC courses, and will cover specific module areas.
All webinars are open for registration.
University of Newcastle - Parent Information Webinar
We invite parents to register for our Parent Information Webinar. Sam Doherty, Senior Manager of Admissions will be delivering a live webinar covering key topics such as
This is a valuable session for parents with students in Year 11 and 12. how to apply to university and the various entry schemes that are available for your child.
Date: Tuesday 8 June 2021
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Click here to register.
Ask a Griffith College student
Your students are invited to connect with Griffith College students to get answers to all of their questions about life at Griffith College and study in Queensland. Get a student's perspective on everything from applying and which program to study, to advice for moving into second year of study at university. Chat to our students today!
Yr 12 Retreat
A successful retreat for our Year 12 students was held in Week 5 at Yarrahapinni Youth Centre. Thank you to the staff and students for their contribution and participation. From all reports, it was a wonderful time for our Year 12 students. I hope they cherished the time together as they reflected on their own lives, their families and friendships, their faith life and considered their path ahead. Thank you to Mr Alex Montford for planning this retreat and to Mr Bellamy, Mr Imeson, Mrs Bertalli, Mrs Kinny, Ms Thomson, Ms Brown, and our YMOs Quinn and Eve for giving their time to make this retreat a rewarding experience for all.
NORTHERN RIVERS CATHOLIC COLLEGES - RUGBY LEAGUE
On Wednesday 28th April, McAuley Catholic College travelled to Casino to play in the annual NRCC Rugby League competition. For our U14’s team, it was the first time they had represented the College in RL. We were given a very difficult draw with our first game against Xavier Ballina. We unearthed a rampaging bull in Jaleb Kyle-Robinson who scored 2 tries in his first-ever game of RL. Unfortunately, the team lost by a try. Our second game was against the much-fancied St Joseph’s College Banora Point. McAuley continued to improve with 2 tries to Kyron Nipperess and another to Jaleb, coming away with a well-deserved win. The big hit of the day went to Chase Corcoran who crumbled an opposition forward. Our third game was against the hosts, St Mary’s Casino. McAuley played outstanding footy coming away with another win with tries to Peter Hammond, Seb Pousima, Wilson Moore and Jaleb. Our great efforts in attack and defence were rewarded with a finals game against Woodlawn Lismore. Unfortunately, the rain started, we lacked ball control, players began getting tired and we had three injured players unable to make it on the field. Therefore we lost to Woodlawn, but every player should be proud of their efforts and we have a strong team to work with for Daily Examiner U14’s Shield later in the year.
The U16’s boys represented the college with pride throughout the day, playing three games before eventually making the final. The first game of the day was against St. Joseph’s College Banora Point, the boys were fresh and eager, playing hard and winning 3-2. Next up, the boys played Mount Saint Patrick College, coming away with another victory 6-1, with a double going to Chris Cunich & Andrew De La Cruz. The last round game of the day was against St Mary’s Casino, this was the hardest game of the day for the boys, securing a last-minute 3-3 draw with Harry Anderson scoring out wide. With the boys going undefeated throughout the day, they faced the challenge of playing in the Grand Final game against Woodlawn Lismore. The boys dug deep and scored an early try to get into the lead, however, with the weather taking a turn and the exhaustion setting in, the boys did well to defend, however, the final bell rang with the score sitting at 4-1. It was an amazing day and the boys should be very proud of their efforts, especially being the first U16’s Boys team to make it through to the final.
- In the Year 7/8 Girls Competitive division, one of our teams was successful in winning all of their games and our predominantly Year 7 team will be one to watch out for in 2022.
- In the Year 9/10 Boys Competitive Division, both Team Yellow and Team Green placed on top of the ladder.
- In the Year 9/10 Girls Competitive Division, both teams showed strengths throughout the day winning multiple games.
PASS excursion to St Mary's
On Wednesday 19th May, Year 10 Physical Activity and Sport Studies (PASS) travelled to St Mary’s Primary school to coach Years 3 - 6 students in a range of sports.
This formed part of their assessment task on “Coaching” where students had to plan and implement a training session in a sport of their choice. The St Mary’s students were exposed to a variety of sports including; Netball, Soccer, League Tag, Basketball, Touch football, Dodgeball and Hockey. The PASS students did an excellent job at not only planning and running a coaching session, but giving worthwhile feedback and having fun all at the same time.
On Monday, 24th May, 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia was celebrated in the Diocese of Lismore. Principals and students from across the diocese gathered together for Mass in St Carthage’s Cathedral in acknowledgement of this significant milestone and the contribution of the clergy, religious, lay men and women, parents and parishes who have helped build Catholic education.
Captain Jacqui Samms and Vice-Captain Corey Newbold accompanied me to the Mass. We travelled to Lismore with the Principals and Captains of our local Catholic Primary schools - St Mary's, Grafton; St Joseph's South Grafton; St Joseph's Maclean; and St James, Yamba. Thank you to Brett Bowling for being our bus driver for the day.
Did you know?
The first school in the Diocese was in South Grafton, which was established in the early 1860s!
Transport Connect Bus Program is coming to your area
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has rolled out the Transport Connect Bus (TCB) Program to Grafton and will soon be going live, delivering state of the art technology to rural and regional NSW to help customers plan their journey and receive real-time trip updates for buses. Students and parents now have the ability to plan their journey to and from school, and to track the location of the bus and estimated arrival times.
As the TCB launch date of the 8th of June approaches, we wanted to provide a flyer to raise awareness of the available service and provide tips and tricks on how parents and students can use the Trip Planner tool on the Transportnsw.info site.