MacKillop College Newsletter
“Enabling every student to achieve the fullness of life.”
“MacKillop College will be a place that nurtures authentic, courageous, faith-filled people with a passion for learning, respect for relationships and an ability to contribute to a global community.”
Term 3, Week 8, 3 September
WHY I LOVE MY JOB…
I must admit I was a little stuck as to what to write this week, having no students on-site, and not having our usual busy calendar of wonderful activities and events occurring. And also feeling a little ZOOMED out after a couple of days of working from home and not keen to spend more time on my laptop.
So I decided to ask the students for some inspiration and reminders of things we should be grateful for during our lockdown.
Well all I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW. What awesome young people I have the privilege to work with. Within ten minutes of asking a few questions, I received 150 responses. I just could not keep the response to myself and so I invite you to be inspired, as I am, by these great young men and women. And if parents or teachers ever feel under-appreciated you most certainly need to read on.
During this Blended Learning time I am most grateful for...follow this link to read students unedited feedback.
Supporting Parents during Blended learning from home
As we face uncertainty on how long Blended Learning will continue, I encourage parents to continue to liaise with school staff and your children’s teachers.
EMAIL is the most effective channel of communication, however the College office is also staffed each day and members of the leadership team rostered on-site each day if urgent.
If a teacher is concerned about your child’s wellbeing, engagement or learning they will contact you, in the first instance, via email. Please check your email regularly. Teachers are also using this to communicate to parents and students positive affirmation of effort and engagement in learning.
Every student is expected to be online for PC Zoom at 8:45am each morning. Students should not be in bed for any school based activity. The morning PC Zoom creates a routine and opportunity for students to ‘wake up, get up and suit up’ (get dressed) - the three ups that my elderly mum has followed since going into lockdown on the Central Coast on 26 June. I do encourage parents to ensure students are in the Zoom each day.
All student work is sent to students daily via GOOGLE CLASSROOM. If you haven’t yet checked out your child’s Google classroom I encourage you to do so and also to watch the presentation below to better understand the GOOGLE CLASSROOM environment.
Once again I sincerely thank you for your support for your sons and daughters during this time. I appreciate the juggle of working your own jobs from home, running a household and trying to support and assist children with their school work is no easy feat. Remember ‘your best is enough’, take time for yourself, playing and laughing with your kids is just as important as their learning and make sure they cook you a meal at least once a week!
This is a letter of thanks to MacKillop College for the wonderful donation of funds to St Vincent de Paul, from our Winter Woolies Appeal.
Dear MacKillop College,
Thanks so much for supporting the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Your gift of $2039.40 allows the St Vincent de Paul Society to provide more than immediate help, it provides something much more valuable - the opportunity of a better life.
We couldn't do it without you. Thanks to your donation, we can provide support to Australians doing it tough.
The Vinnies Team
A piece by Harmony Mitchell on her experience with the Vinnies Sleep out.
"There are many people each night who experience sleeping on the streets, and can even come across some of the worst conditions, with nothing by their sides except a simple blanket or pillow. Some might not even have this. For many reasons such as this, is why I chose to donate and take part in the Vinnies Sleep out for 2021. This not only gives me an experience and the insight into what the vulnerable go through, but it hopefully helps to raise awareness to the everyday person in the hope that they might take part in the Vinnies Winter appeal in the future.
In saying this, whilst I was on the couch for the night with only my pillow and sleeping bag, I really appreciated my nightly routine of sleeping in my warm bed with comfort. It made me think that even one night in the cold made my sleep harder to handle than most nights. In the long run, it definitely is something that everyone should experience to not only raise awareness for those who need it, but to definitely gain an appreciation and be thankful for all that we have.
Thank you so much,
MACKILLOP COLLEGE YOUTH GROUPS AND INSTAGRAM
Our amazing Youth Ministry Officers have continued their work in offering our students faith and wellbeing experiences, through our MacKillop Youth Instagram (mackillop_youth_ministry) and our Youth Groups.
All students have been invited to continue to meet in their respective Youth Groups, through an email from YMO's Ella and Jules and their Google Classroom. These meeting are taking place over ZOOM and offer a chance for students to meet up outside the school classrooms.
WONDER & DIRECTION – Year 7 & 10 (Tuesday Lunch 2 – 1:35 pm)
SENIOR YOUTH MINISTRY (Wednesday Lunch 1 – 11:00am)
CRY OF THE EARTH, CRY OF THE POOR
Last Sunday, 29 August the Catholic Church in Australia celebrated Social Justice Sunday. In preparation for the day, the Bishops of Australia have put together a statement, called Cry of the Earth; Cry of the Poor, which invites everyone to explore how they are going to respond to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.
In the Statement, the Bishops invite the whole Catholic community to join them in taking up Pope Francis’ invitation to a seven-year journey towards total ecological sustainability, guided by seven Laudato Si’ Goals.
These Goals are:
- Response to the cry of the earth.
- Response to the cry of the poor.
- Ecological economics.
- Sustainable lifestyles.
- Ecological spirituality.
- Ecological education.
- Community engagement and participatory action.
How can we each make a difference?
SUNDAY MASS AND GOSPEL REFLECTION
While our St Agnes' Parish Church is temporarily closed, there are still ways for everyone to access a Mass online or Gospel Reflections.
Bishop Greg continues to provide Sunday Mass online via the Diocese of Lismore YouTube channel.
Mass on Demand is accessible at CathNews – YouTube
Father Paul will continue to provide his reflections each day, Monday to Saturday, to help us through this time. To have the reflections arriving automatically in your inbox each day, please contact the parish office on the following email address; firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can spend some time reflecting on the Sunday Gospel below.
LEADER OF EVANGELISATION
With students, parents and teachers into the swing of things with online BL continuing across all of NSW, it is a good time to touch base to ensure students are giving themselves the best opportunity to return to the classroom seamlessly when we return from lockdown.
A few reminders that a routine may reduce stress for all involved:
- all lesson instructions will be accessed through Google Classroom; this will then direct students to other platforms or activities for their lessons. Most teachers will also post their compulsory weekly Zoom links there;
- PC Zoom at 8:45am, with students following their regular timetable for the remainder of the day;
- College sports shirts should be worn on all Zoom calls, joining with video on and audio (microphone) off until asked to unmute sound to speak;
- movement breaks are essential; setting a timer to act as ‘the bell’ may be helpful to remind students to get up and move, just like they would between classes at school. Their eyes will need a break and their legs will need to wriggle!
- if students are sick, parents are asked to email the College office staff (email@example.com) asap from 8:00am, so that teachers can be informed that a student is unwell and will not be joining in learning or Zoom conferences for the day;
- if students are unsure or worried about their work - please encourage them to email their teachers or to let them know during Zoom meetings. We know some students are struggling, but if they are not letting us know when we ask, we have to assume the ‘nods’ and ‘thumbs up’ mean they understand. Parents, teachers are happy to give you a quick call if you need some guidance too, just let us know so we can arrange a time to give you a ring.
As always, I would encourage parents to ‘check in’ frequently with your children, as their experiences of BL in primary school may be vastly different from their current experiences in high school. If you have any concerns or require support for your child or family throughout this period of BL, please contact either your child’s PC, subject teacher or myself. To quote an expression used frequently at the beginning of the pandemic which still rings true today, “We’re all in this together.” We can help.
Please feel free to engage in the Parenting Webinar below for some helpful strategies for digital distractions.
I would also like to congratulate parents for their overwhelming support and assistance during this challenging period of BL. In many households the demands of chores and parenting have increased, often together with the added pressure of working from home yourselves; then taking on the role of tutor/organisation manager/school room supervisor and more! Amidst it all there have no doubt been some successes, some challenges and some tantrums - and I’m sure the students have had theirs too! Thank you for helping them so much when we can’t be there to do so in person. We all appreciate your help and support. Gold stars for everyone!
YEAR 7 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
Last week during extended PC, I encouraged Year 8 to have a break from their screens and to get into the kitchen, get outside or pick up a pencil! The challenge was to either make an ultimate sandwich or cook something amazing, do 100 burpees and record a time, or create flip book drawing.
These are just some of the results below.
- Brayden Champion – 4:28
- Cooper Sheldon – 4:48
- Cooper Lorger – 5:28
- Miya Freeman – 5:52
- Freycin Hostettler – 6:30
- Emily Kirkpatrick
- Jason Shuttleworth
- Rachel Nichols
Well done to all for giving it a go. I managed to create an ultimate chicken burger with potato gems for lunch and got a time of 8:30 for the burpees. I just wish I did the challenge in the opposite order!
Keep at it Year 8 and remember to ask for help if you need.
YEAR 8 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
We celebrate Spring’s returning and the rejuvenation of the natural world. Let us be moved by this vast gentle insistence that goodness shall return, that warmth and life shall succeed, and help us to understand our place in this miracle.
Let us see that as a bird builds nests, bravely, with bits and pieces, so we must build human faith. It is our simple duty; it is our highest art; it is our natural and vital role within the miracle of Spring: the creation of faith.
The Institute of Positive Education has produced activities to help maintain and enhance wellbeing during periods of isolation due to COVID restrictions. These have been shared with teachers by our Leader of Wellbeing, Nicole O’Connell.
I have attached the activities suggested for Year 9. Participation in these would not only be good for your child in Year 9, but for every member of the family. Please take time to find the positives in your life and give thanks – it’s actually very good for your health.
I am Adam.
As a father I experienced the joys of fatherhood and the disappointments of my children, Cain and Abel. I am the father of all who know the joy and frustration of parenthood.
I am Noah.
As a father of three children, I know the satisfaction of being heard – by Shem, Ham and Jepheth – even when others doubted my mind. I am the father of all who are trusted by their children.
I am Abraham.
As a late stage father, I understand the preciousness of children and the promise that all things are possible for God, no matter how hopeless the situation. I am the father of all who hope in a future for their children.
I am Joseph.
God’s plan for me was special: to protect Jesus and Mary, even to the point of leaving family and country. I am the father of all who defend the safety of their children.
I am your God.
I will never abandon you for you are all my children and I love you with an everlasting love.
Fathers’ Day is an opportunity for families to give thanks for the gift of a loving father. It may also serve as a reminder to fathers of the unique opportunity they have to influence, for the better, the growth and development of another human being. Being a father is a lifetime commitment, the magnitude of which is impossible to appreciate until you are living it.
I wish all dads a great Father’s Day.
YEAR 9 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
Below is a link to an excellent article by Michael Grose, it touches on some great advice around building resilience during the pandemic. I think the advice rings true for parents of all aged children.
Last week I managed to touch base with every Year 11 student via email. Whilst my plan was to make sure they knew they were being seen and heard even if only from a distance, surprisingly the overwhelming result was a boost in my own wellbeing. I was truly touched by the replies from these lovely young men and women who sincerely thanked me for my email and genuinely enquired about my own welfare. It was lovely to hear how many of them are spending their time and it is clear to see that many of them are displaying resilience through these challenging times. I miss my walks around the playground where I can quickly gauge the feelings, emotions and concerns of the year group. Those walks are always a highlight of my day where I get to chat even just briefly to all of the students. Inevitably they give me a laugh or two and quite often some great fresh ideas for a yummy lunch!
On Thursday we had a practice online exam session which should have helped students to feel comfortable with the process for their exams. If your child still feels uneasy about the process, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email. Alternatively, you can call the school office who will make contact with me and I will call you back.
Last weekend a great friend invited me to join her on a walk. We walked from Lake Cathie to Watonga Rocks - it was basically the “Walkathon in reverse”. It was a glorious day and we talked the entire way, in fact by the time we reached Watonga Rocks nearly two hours later we stayed another 10 minutes in the car park to finish our conversation! The point is that we all need contact with friends at the moment and exercise is the one thing we are allowed to do with another person outside our family home. I encourage Year 11 to step away from the computer, reach out to a friend and go for a walk together. It doesn’t have to be 10km but it's great for the mind, body and soul! Thank God for great friends!
YEAR 11 LEADER OF PASTORA CARE
It has been nice this past week to get back to 'normal' lessons and into the routine of our school timetable. Blended Learning is going as smoothly as possible, and the majority of students are doing what they should be doing - attending PC each morning and getting work done as per their normal school day.
I have had a lot of contact this week from students asking for help because they are struggling with their motivation. My first comment to them after this statement is 'well I'm not surprised given all the change and uncertainty over the past couple of weeks!' What they often don't realise is that this dip in motivation is completely and utterly expected, and normal post trials. The week following the Trials is often the hardest for a teacher as students are mentally and physically exhausted from the demands of what they have just been through, it is very difficult to get them to maintain their momentum and keep pushing hard towards the HSC. We are in a privileged position of having additional time, hence I am encouraging the Year 12 students to allow that dip in momentum to happen without guilt. Keep up with the day to day school demands, but just ease off on the extra work. Set a timeframe to enjoy this and then once the self-imposed 'momentum lull period' ends start making plans on how to get themselves back to completing additional practice papers, study notes etc.
I am mindful that the separation of your child from their peers at this time is causing stress, and not what any of us envisaged the end of their high school life would look like. It is difficult to know how best to alleviate that stress, but we are in regular contact with all our young men and women offering suggestions on how best to cope and are always available for a personal chat. This week a Year 12 Covid Challenge Classroom (google classroom) started which has a number of challenges for them to try, uploading a photo or video for me to share with the rest of the cohort - a small way that aims to keep them connected and enjoying the 'company' of each other. I also advocate setting up study zooms, or even when working during class time if not with the teacher, virtually getting together with the ones they usually sit with as they go through work - another simple way of being connected.
I can imagine that it is excessively difficult for families to keep up with the changes to school events, and in particular the changes to Trials and the HSC exam timetable. Last Friday I sent a letter to all families with quite a bit of information included, and already some of that has changed. The HSC, at the time of writing this, will now begin on Tuesday, 9 November. Changes to any other school events or Year 12 schooling will be communicated as soon as it is known and decided. I wholeheartedly thank you for the patience that you have exhibited and the support you have extended as we have done our best to navigate recent events. Can I please remind families to send through the photo as was requested in my letter as soon as they can to firstname.lastname@example.org, as we are busy organising the end of Year 12 events for when they are held.
I strongly encourage you to contact me directly via email email@example.com or through the school office if you have concerns or questions that you wish to discuss.
Stay connected and have a great weekend.
YEAR 12 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
Mental Health Challenge: OPTIMISM and HOPE
Optimism = the belief that you will achieve your future goals
Hope = that same belief with a PLAN. It is worthwhile and gives us meaning and purpose.
This week we are reminded of the importance of strengthening our mental health just as we need to exercise and build up our physical health.
Blended Learning challenges us all to draw on sustaining hope and optimism to keep on track and get where we want to be. Optimism and hope also helps when the going gets tough. If we’re faced with a hurdle or hit a roadblock, keeping our goal and plan in mind and staying hopeful can really help keep us moving in the right direction.
How can parents and carers help?
Optimism is a choice about how you interpret situations and perceive the future. Here are a few activities we can do easily that can shift our mindset to that of an optimist:
Help your young person to develop problem-solving skills, when problems arise use these:
- don’t blow things out of proportion. See the problem as temporary – something that can be solved and contained; and
- dig deep and find the confidence to adjust, find a solution (which may involve getting some professional advice), recover and move forward.
Help your young person develop hope. When they have hope they believe that the best possible future is something they can create. Optimism is the belief that you will achieve your future goals. Hope is that same belief with a plan.
Help your young person to develop a goal and the strategies to achieve that goal. Teach them about pathways. That there is at least one (and hopefully more than one) way that we might achieve those goals. And your young person needs agency, the belief that we can actually make things happen along those pathways in order to get the goal.
If you have missed any of the previous newsletter articles and want to know how to help your young person build their mental health fitness see The BITE BACK MENTAL HEALTH FITNESS CHALLENGE which your young person can access online for free. It operates on the premise 'we need to build up our mental health fitness as we do our physical fitness'.
BITE BACK is an online resource for educators created by the Black Dog Institute to engage students in activities that build their mental health fitness. The activities can be completed online or downloaded. These activities are designed to be fun, but they are also research-driven, evidence-based activities to help young people feel better about themselves, build resilience and wellbeing.
LEADER OF WELLBEING
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”- Martin Luther
We live in a culture full of music. Music is a wonderful gift God has given us. Music is universal. Whether Orchestra, Band, Choir or Music Therapy. It can be used to soothe the soul. It is amazing how sometimes when someone is feeling depressed or anxious, a song can lift them up. Whether music for congregational worship, resonating through the chapel, the classroom or recital, be it instrumental or vocal, the study and practice of music holds a unique place in the history of the world. Music is capable of expressing a variety of moods and feelings, joy and sorrow, hope and fear, or faith and doubt. Making music, sharing music during these very challenging and isolating times of sheltering in place, creates community and connectivity.
1 Chronicles 15:16 (NIV)
David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their kindred as the singers to play on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise loud sounds of joy.
Let us pray.
God of all creation, we thank you today for your gift of musicians. WE know that every good and perfect gift comes from you. We thank you for the custodians of the music of the divine service. We thank you string instruments, wind instruments, percussion and singers. Lord God we ask that you bless all who guide through the ministry of music worship. May musicians facilitate music that brings you glory. Music that transcends barriers that divide race, class, gender, denominationalism, ethnicity or geography. May their gifts create the atmosphere that lifts you up, for you said “If you be lifted up from the earth you will draw all people unto you” today we celebrate musicians for the healers that they are. Providing light and renewal to their soul.
Lord God, gracious and merciful, we pray for their strength, and the strength of their families and loved ones. We ask that you continue to cause them to create and share the gift of music through instrument and voice. May they find joy in their work and may it fill them with peace, comfort and purpose. Fill musicians with your light and love as they generously share with the world. Lord let all creation sing your praise and the host make music in your presence. Bless musicians as only you can. In your name we pray.
April 8, 2020
Rev. Babette Chatman (Augsburg University)
ENSEMBLE REHEARSALS DURING LOCKDOWN
Whilst in lockdown, Ensemble Directors will be doing all they can to encourage students to remain engaged in music making. We hope to achieve this through a combination of online communication in the form of Zoom, Google Classroom and email. I am sure that students and families understand the role that music plays in maintaining student wellbeing, social and spiritual engagement, not to mention cognitive development and academic confidence. With this in mind I encourage families to continue to support and encourage music at home.
Even though long term planning is problematic at this point, I am hopeful that in the event that live performance doesn’t eventuate in Term 4 we can move towards audio recording the work ensembles have put together throughout the year, either in the rehearsal room or online through the use of collaborative sequencing software.
In the meantime, I encourage students to continue to practice ensemble repertoire at home and to take note of details outlined in the rehearsal schedule below. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact your Ensemble Director or myself.
THE HOPE PROJECT 2021
Is lockdown stifling your creativity? Why not try songwriting! As a student at MacKillop College your challenge is to write a 'Song of Hope'. Click on the link for project details.
Need inspiration? How to write a worship song in 5 minutes or less
LINKS & FORMS
MUSIC JOKE OF THE WEEK
Accordion to a recent survey, inserting musical instruments randomly into sentences often goes unnoticed.
Please contact Rob Denham with any questions relating to the co-curricular music program at MacKillop College.
LEADER OF MUSIC
TERM 3 SPORT 2021
Please refer to the College website or the side panel of this newsletter for the Sport Programs for Year 7-10 Term 3 Sport.
YEAR 7 -10 SPORT CHALLENGE
How did you go last week with your physical activity levels? Did you manage to rack up 60 points from the matrix or at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day?
We recommend students are engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. To help you plan we have created a Physical Activity Matrix that you can choose to use during your sport doubles.
The aim is to reach at least 60 points each week. You can keep a track of the activity that you complete by using the Activity Tracker table.
Both the Physical Activity Matrix and Activity Tracker can be found on the MacKillop College Moodle page by clicking on the Representative Sport link in the left hand side.
YEAR 9 and 10 TERM 4 ELECTIVE SPORT SELECTIONS
Students in Year 9 and 10 selected their Term 4 sport this week. Once the sport groups are finalised students will be emailed the sport that they have been allocated.
COVID Sports Restrictions – Update
Cancelled All Schools events in Term 4
In line with the Premier’s announcement regarding COVID-19 restrictions and back to school roll out, we wish to advise the following events have been cancelled:
- NSWCCC Secondary Rugby League Girls 16s Trials.
- NSW All Schools Cross Country Championship.
- NSW All Schools Secondary Hockey 16 years Tri-Series, Broadmeadow.
- NSWCCC Basketball Championships.
- NSWCCC Berg and Downie Cricket Championships.
We understand the disappointment that may follow this announcement, however, as always, the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community was at the heart of this decision.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging time.
CSNSW SPORT TEAM
Unfortunately, the following Representative Sports have been CANCELLED for the year:
- Lismore Diocesan Touch Football
- Lismore Diocesan Athletics
- Lismore Diocesan Netball
- Lismore Junior and Intermediate Diocesan Basketball Championships
- NSWCCC Hockey Championships
- NSWCCC Football (Soccer) Knockout
- NSWCCC Athletics
- All Schools Water Polo
- All Schools Open Touch
- Netball NSW Schools Cup Competition
The following events have been RESCHEDULED for Term 4:
- NSW All Schools Triathlon Individual ONLY, 25 October
- Cochrane Cup, 13 October Coffs Harbour
- MNC Rugby 10s, 15 September Port Macquarie (Boys and Girls)
No official announcements have been made yet on the following events:
- Katrina Fanning Cup (Girls Rugby League)
MACKILLOP COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVE SPORT
If your child registers for a Representative sport at any level (School, Diocesan, NSWCCC) and can no longer attend can you please notify the relevant person so our attendance records are accurate.
- MacKillop College – Erin Denham (Leader of Sport) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diocesan Team - John Coociola (Leader of Sport Lismore Diocese) email@example.com
- NSWCCC Trial or team – Robert Rush or Ann-Marie Miranda (CSNSW Sport) Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO REGISTER FOR A MACKILLOP COLLEGE SPORT TEAM
To register to trial for a MacKillop College sport team follow the steps below:
- Log into the school Moodle page.
- Click on the Student Links tab on the left hand side
- Click on the Representative Sports Registrations link.
- Click on the relevant sport and fill out the google form.
- Listen to notices and check your emails for relevant trial information
NSWCCC SPORT REGISTRATIONS 2021 FOR PATHWAY SPORTS
- Registrations are via the sportportal.
- For instructions on how to register go to – Guide For Parents – Sport Registrations >>
- For further information, go to the CSNSW Sport Website Sport pages https://csnsw.sport
MNC Rugby Union 10s Boys and Girls Port Macquarie
TBC Term 4
Lismore Diocesan Volleyball Coffs Harbour
Under 14 Cochrane Cup
If your child has achieved outstanding sporting results in their community sport, we would love to hear about it. Please email myself, or your child’s respective Leader of Pastoral Care, so we can acknowledge these achievements.
If you have any questions regarding sport at MacKillop College, please do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone at the College.
LEADER OF SPORT
No helpers currently needed for canteen assistance.
For your attention; the canteen is still operational for students attending the college during lockdown.
To order from the canteen:
1. Orders can be written out at the canteen (bags supplied free of charge).
2. Orders can be written out at home and handed in at the canteen.
3. Download the QKR! app and order on line.
ALL ORDERS TO BE IN BY 8:30AM PLEASE
Please remind your child/children if you have ordered for them, and what their order is.
If your child is sick and you have ordered, please phone the canteen (6583 2632) to arrange a credit.
From the Mathematics Vault
Welcome to our weekly Maths Vault!
We will provide a mathematics problem for solving, with the answer published the week after underneath a new problem. Good luck!