Term 4 - Week 7 - 25 November 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we head into the last few weeks of the 2022 school year, it is important that we finish well. All students are to be attending school each day and engaging in the learning activities and experiences, such as reflection days and excursions. School rules and expectations are to be followed by all students. Many activities and events have been happening in the last fortnight and will continue until the end of the year and these are highlighted in this newsletter.
Parent Forum Gathering - Term 4
Our Term 4 Parent Forum Gathering is Tuesday evening, week 8, 29th November. This will be a final gathering for the year. Parents can join in person at the Library from 5.30 for a light dinner ready for a 6pm start. Alternatively, parents can join via Zoom. Link here; passcode 473769. The Parent Education session will be on
- the School Improvement process and presentation of the Draft Strategic Management Plan for 2023 - 2025 for feedback.
- Parent Body Groups in Schools moving forward - CSO is collecting feedback on this area, so it would be a good opportunity to discuss and provide feedback. (see more details below)
Parent Body - Reviewing and Renewing - An opportunity to provide Feedback by 30 November 2022
In 2021, the Catholic Schools Office Executive deemed it both timely and necessary for a clear position statement to be developed that defines a mandated diocesan model/s for parent representative bodies, and that support is to be provided to schools to review and renew their forms of parent representation. The Working Party has developed a position statement and is now seeking more feedback from parents, staff and clergy. Janita Thomson, CSO Family Partnerships Lead, outlines this in the attached video. There is an opportunity to provide individual feedback or this can be done as a group at the Parent Forum Gathering on Tuesday evening.
Yr 12 Graduation Formal
Our annual Year 12 Formal, which was held on Saturday 12th November at The Grafton Racecourse, was a wonderful night. After another difficult year it was exciting that we could celebrate together - students, parents and staff. We also had in attendance special guests Mrs Jenny Allen, Acting Director of Lismore Catholic Schools and our Regional Services Lead Ms Tonia Tamblyn. Jenny provided some beautiful words of wisdom, based around our College Motto “To know wisdom” and our Mercy Values. Also present was Clarence Valley Counsellor Mr Peter Johnstone, representing the Mayor. Thank you to our parent representatives Kate and Tony Gallagher who gave a vote of thanks to the College on behalf of all families and a special thank you to our outgoing College Leaders Taylor, Matilda, Layla and Jonathan who again gave an outstanding address of memories, reflections and thanks. A copy of this is included in this newsletter. An additional thank you to our organising committee of Brayden Jamieson, Kathy Warby and Tony Ellis for making the night a success.
Year 10 Work Experience
I wish Year 10 all the best for their week of work experience. We see this as an important part of their education in terms of career planning and development. Thank you to the numerous businesses, organisations and individuals who have generously accepted our students into their places of work.
SLT - World Cup Soccer
Congratulations to the Student Leadership Team for their wonderful organisation of the McAuley World Cup House Competition, which finished on Friday with a grand final between Netherlands (Tracey) and Mexico (McCarthy). Round-robin games had been played over a few weeks, culminating in exciting quarter and semi-finals during the week. The grand final match was a 0-0 draw and went to a penalty shoot-out, with Mexico winning! Well done also to the staff who helped with the organisation and as members of the many teams!
Oval repair and upgrade
The College oval is undergoing major renovations and will be out of use from later this week. We look forward to using the fully renovated and repaired field when school returns in early February
We have been advised by CEnet that in an effort to increase cyber security, student Medicare Numbers should no longer be stored within a Student Information System (SIS). Compass has advised that all pre-existing Medicare Numbers from all CEnet school portals, will be completed from 2/12/2022.
With the increase in COVID cases in the community, we ask that families are vigilant in managing COVID and similar illnesses. This is outlined in the COVID section of the newsletter. Rapid Antigen Tests for students are available from the College Office
The weather is now very warm and therefore I ask students, via their parents, to consider the following;
- Students should bring their own water bottle to school. These can be refilled at water stations around the school. Water bottles can be taken to class.
- Stay out of the sun. There are many shade areas in the College. Air Conditioned classrooms will be opened for the students to use on days of extreme heat.
- Jumpers are discouraged in this hot weather.
- Hats are to be worn when students are in the sun.
This Sunday we began the Advent journey of waiting for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. This is a time when we prepare for Christmas. We are called to live in this time of waiting by loving and placing our trust in God, and by caring for one another, especially the poor, needy and vulnerable in our world - and for the whole of God’s creation. Pope Francis says to us “During this #Advent Season, let us ask the Lord to help us keep the lamp of faith alit in our lives, to be prepared to receive him, and that he fill us with peace and joy. (Twitter, Nov 26, 2022). And from our Parish Bulletin this week: As we prepare for Christmas this year, listening to and learning from the New Testament writers as they quote the prophets of old, let us pray that the Lord will deepen our faith in his abiding presence with us. Timothy J Buckley CSsR © Majellan Media 2022
Save the Date
Year 7 - 11 Liturgy and Prizegiving on the 14th December.
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
Mrs Bertalli and Mr Butcher have developed an Activities Program for Thursday 15th and Friday 16th December. The students have been emailed a program and a google form to elect the different activities they wish to undertake. Information regarding the activities will be sent home via Compass next week seeking permission and money for the different activities.
It is essential that permission and money is completed by Friday 9th December so that transport and activities can be finalised.
It will be a great way to finish the year with students spending some valuable time together. Students who wish to participate in activities must ensure they are present on Wednesday 14th December for our annual Prizegiving and Advent Liturgy. Students on Stage 2 or above will need to undertake activities at school. We thank you for your support.
Advent Liturgy and Prizegiving
This year our Advent Liturgy and Prizegiving will take place on Wednesday 14th December at 9.30am. Parents and families are welcome to attend this special event as we end our year, prepare for the season of Christmas and celebrate the achievements of our students for the year. A morning tea will follow the prizegiving and families are invited to stay and celebrate the end of the year with staff, families and friends.
Students must come to school in full school uniform, and polished school shoes, looking their best. Students can bring their PDHPE uniform to change into for House activities which will follow the Prizegiving. If you would like to take your child home you will need to sign them out at the front office. We look forward to having you at the College to share in this event.
The first Sunday of Advent this year will be Sunday, November 27th.
The first Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to centre our thoughts on hope. It's a beautiful chance to remember the hope God offers to our lost and uncertain world, and that He's given us through Jesus.
On this first Sunday of Advent, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity; let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. Over this Advent, we pray that hope would rise up in our spirits in a tangible and life-giving way
As we find ourselves at the beginning of Week 8, we expect our students to keep high attendance rates until the last day of school. Staff will continue to challenge and extend all our students until we partake in the end-of-year activities.
As we draw closer to the end of the term, it’s important that every student "continue strong" and strive to be the best version of themselves: to maintain good work habits; a zest for learning, and continue to work well with others. By putting in their best effort every day towards every class and each social interaction, they are setting themselves up for personal success.
At times, we need reminding that our actions have a direct impact on our learning and the learning of others. It would be wonderful if our parents support the focus on learning by guiding your child to ‘check in’:
- Am I prepared for class and ready to learn?
- Do I follow the teacher's instructions?
- Am I impacting my classes in positive or negative ways? How?
- Do I give my best in class?
We wish Year 10 well as they explore possible future careers whilst they partake in work experience during week 8. Please note that we expect all students back at school once the work experience period is over. The last few weeks of year 10 are essential to set students up for success in life after year 10. Those who are returning to the school will need to participate in some NESA-mandated requirements in preparation for Stage 6. Those students moving on to commence apprenticeships will benefit from routines and structure to support them with the TAFE component of their future careers.
It has been wonderful to see the seniors running the McAuley World Cup over the last few weeks. All this fun activity comes at a great time as the academic pressure builds toward the end of term and assessments start to fall due. Often at this time of the academic year, many Year 11 students find the balance between study and life difficult. Some may feel somewhat stressed as they juggle their assessment schedule whilst others are not quite working at the level they need to to keep up with the demands and meet the expectations of their classes.
We certainly strive for academic success at McAuley and we recognise that this comes in many different forms. However, our main aim is to have healthy young men and women who know how to work towards their goals; appreciate their success with humility, and handle their challenges with resilience.
As our students embark on their first HSC assessment tasks it is important that they re-familiarise themselves with the assessment policy requirements and keep communication between home and school open.
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
High School: The Good, the Bad & The Hierarchy
Servant Leadership at St Mary’s Primary School - Catholic Faith in Action
Since the inception of our Stage 6 Catholic Faith in Action course last year, participating students have developed an understanding of the servant leadership aspect of being Catholic. Up until this point, our students have cooked meals for the St Vincent de Paul to provide for families and people in need. In the last few weeks, we have been able to extend our good works further by branching out into one of our local primary schools, St Mary’s.
On Tuesday 22nd November, Year 11 students Tom Landrigan, Hamish Smith, Peta Girdler and Tylar Donohoe assisted and listened to Kindergarten students practice their reading, supported them in the classroom with writing practice and helped out at the school canteen with some preparation and serving.
It was wonderful to see our senior students encouraging and supporting the little ones with their reading, fostering bonds between our two school communities, and in some cases giving back to their own primary school community through their actions.
Just as the Apostles took Jesus’ message of God’s love for all out into the wider world, our group of senior students followed in their footsteps by leaving the comfortable and familiar surroundings of McAuley, putting their own feelings of fear of the unknown to one side, to help alleviate the need of others and displayed genuine care as they did so.
No report would be complete without hearing our student’s voices about their experience so here’s what they had to say:
- Tom: “It was terrifying, there were so many of them! The canteen was good. It’d be great to see Mr. T. again (a favourite teacher from primary days).”
- Peta: “I’ve had a fantastic time! I would definitely come back again!”
- Hamish: “It was pretty good, I enjoyed the canteen the most.”
- Tylar: “The kids were mostly well-behaved, but they are all outstanding students. Feel pretty good about myself knowing I’ve helped others today.”
It was a privilege to see our seniors in action, and they are all to be commended for their selflessness. On behalf of the Catholic Faith in Action classes, we wish to extend a huge thank you to St Mary’s for making us all feel welcome, to Brett for driving us to and from the school and we look forward to updating everyone as our fledgling servant leadership program develops further.
Caroline Doyle and Tom Howard
Course Changes & New Courses
- ACU: Take a small step into university with ACU’s Diploma in Exercise Science The diploma offers a pathway for students who do not meet the direct entry requirements of their preferred bachelor’s degree. After successfully completing a diploma, students gain credit for first-year entry to a range of undergraduate degrees in their chosen discipline, allowing them to transition straight into second year. Learn more: https://www.acu.edu.au/course/
- AGRADE EDUCATION AND TRAINING PTY LTD: Find out about the Childcare and Aged Care Diploma and Certificate III courses on offer. Classes are online via zoom and have supportive teachers to assist students. Upon completion, students may work in AGrade Education and Training centres, as most of the students find work during their studies. The main campus is at Kent St Sydney. Please call on 0451697742/ 1300 885 508 https://agradetraining.nsw.
- UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: New Astrophysics and Life Sciences programs available. The Astrophysics program will allow students to explore astronomy and astrophysics, through a physics major and additional units in data science, cosmology, mathematics and more. The Life Sciences program will teach students about a range of interconnected disciplines including, biology, biochemistry, genetics, and more. Both can be accessed through the B. Science or B. Science/B. Advanced Studies.
- UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: New major in High-Performance Sport. Students will learn about sports science, how interdisciplinary factors influence high performance, the athletic development process, the application of measurement and testing techniques to evaluate athletic performance, and how to design appropriate training/intervention programs.¿ This major is available across a range of degrees, from the B. Arts to the B. Applied Science (Exercise and Sport). https://www.sydney.edu.au/
- WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY: The School of Education has a new Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) degree. It is designed to meet the growing demand for early childhood teachers across Sydney and New South Wales. Find more information and how to apply, visit here: https://www.westernsydney.edu.
au/future/study/courses/ undergraduate/bachelor-of- education-early-childhood?cid= em:EGMT-CAA-SoE-New-Early- Childhood_Nov22
Courses & Workshops for Students
- ACADEMY OF INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT: An AIE Event Officer will bring an industry expert teacher along to run students through a Design, Programming or Art workshop aimed at giving students hands-on experience with software used in the Game and Film Industry. Register Here: https://aie.edu.au/school-
- ACTA COLLEGE: ACTA College is currently taking enrolments for the following 2 Fee Free* qualifications, the CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction and the CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry. Both courses are funded by Smart and Skilled for the eligible students. Call Mayssa on 0474 500 470 or email: email@example.com for more information.
- AUSTRALIAN NEWSROOM JOURNALISM Australian Newsroom Journalism supports students wishing to follow a career in media. ANJ have produced the first of a planned series of bulletins aimed at providing ongoing up-to-date information on material available on the website. The bulletins, also free of charge, are on the same website as the posts: www.writelikeajournalist.com.
Hospital Careers Day
During HEAL last week our Years 7 and 8 girls attended an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Careers Day at the Grafton Base Hospital. The event was organsied by Maddy Richey (Aboriginal registered nurse) alongside other Aboriginal employees at the Hospital.
The day included simulation and skill stations, a chance for the students to talk to experienced health professionals and a Q&A style yarning circle.
The aim of the day was that through developing relationships and skills in numerous health disciplines, the students will be able to clearly identify pathways available to them and be excited about a career in healthcare.
Our girls thoroughly enjoyed the day and took so much away from the opportunity. We once again would like to thank Maddy Richey and all hospital staff/community members for the organisation, kindness and knowledge that was included and shared with us on the day.
Indigenous Youth Forum
On the 9th of November, we took 3 of our students, Sienna Clifton, Noah Burchell, our Indigenous student leaders for 2023, and Kaydnce Kilduff our School Captain for 2023, to an Indigenous Youth forum at Lennox Head Cultural Centre run by the North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance (supported by Aboriginal Affairs) and the Office for Regional Youth.
The day allowed our students to:
- Discuss issues impacting Aboriginal young people living in the North Coast region,
- Inspire ideas and actions for change,
- Connect with young people from across the region,
- Identify opportunities to create meaningful leadership structures to influence the systems and structures that impact Aboriginal people
The forum concluded with a session on ways forward, identifying key recommendations and potential pathways to creating long-lasting changes that will empower Aboriginal young people for generations to come.
Our students also had the chance to nominate themself to become the North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance Leaders. Selected youths get to represent their culture and have a say on Aboriginal issues and challenges affecting youth in our community.
Our 3 students took away so much from this opportunity and have also been invited to attend a Youth leadership training session facilitated by trainer Scott Dutton on the 28th of November in Ballina.
IEW (Indigenous Education Worker)
Eight students from Year 8 were selected to attend an overnight youth gathering on the 10th of November, called Festa Christi, at the Coffs Coast Adventure Centre. These lucky students were; Amber, Annabelle, Aaliyah, Beckett, Eleora, Molly, Mikayla and Raimi. This overnight experience allowed relationships to be built with other students from throughout the diocese as well as a chance for students to talk about and share their faith journey.
As students, we were able to participate in a number of Adventure activities around the park. This included; the mud-ridden Commando Course and the death-defying Giant Swing. Additionally, we participated in team building activities like building the tallest tower we could using spaghetti and marshmallows.
We thank the Catholic Schools Office for meeting the expenses involved in this opportunity. We thank Mrs Robinson and Mrs Doyle for their hard work organising our attendance and Miss McAlister for accompanying us to the event. If you’re a Year 8 student in 2023, considering your involvement in the upcoming CSYMA class, this opportunity is for you. When Festa Christi is advertised, make sure to nominate yourself quickly and hope to be one of the lucky students selected to represent your school.
Vaping: Why is it attractive? (Part 2 of a 3 part series)
Young people can be drawn to vaping for a number of different reasons including peer pressure, accessibility and affordability, the belief that vaping is harmless and curiosity. Sometimes a family member who vapes can also influence children and young people to try vaping.
This short Video provides some insights into why vaping is attractive to young people and is important to view before parents and carers use the conversation starters at home.
Be ready to have these conversations with your child with a sense of calmness and interest in what they have to say. Be ready to listen to their responses without jumping in too quickly to correct them. Choose your timing wisely, perhaps during a relaxed moment at home, when driving somewhere together, or when no other stress or distractions are present.
- Why do you think more children and teens are vaping? Listen to understand. Your child may mention one of the reasons listed above or have another opinion. This conversation starter opens the door to healthy dialogue.
- Could you confidently say no if you were offered a vape? How could you do this? Help your young person create an ‘exit plan’ if they are offered a vape.
- How do you think the person offering you the vape would react to you saying no? How might that make you feel about this friendship?
Now might be a good time to talk about what your child values in their friends.
Peer pressure can be powerful, so coming up with realistic action steps and practising them together in a safe environment will prepare and empower your child to make good choices when it matters. Remind them that not everyone is vaping. There are many young people making healthy choices to say no.
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.
- Plans (Rend Collective)
We turn to You Heavenly Father for direction, clarity, and wisdom. Guide our steps by Your Holy Spirit, let Your word guide our choices and we humbly ask for Your guidance and direction today as we journey through life.
Rest On Us (Maverick City Music ft Brandon Lake)
Fill our lives, Lord, with your presence.
Do You Have Room (Fear Not)
“Do you have room for the Saviour, and do you seek Him anew? Have you a place for the one who lived and died for you? Are you as humble as a shepherd boy or as wise as men of old? Would you have come that night? Would you have sought the light? Do you have room?”