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 4, Week 6, 12 November
Unsung heroes of our College community
So often I see staff and students of the College doing random acts of kindness, or truly living out Mary MacKillop’s motto of ‘never see a need without doing something about it'. Yesterday was one of those days. As I was jumping in my car to rush off to a meeting, I watched in awe of our beautiful traffic lady Vicki combing the footpaths of the carpark with a bag collecting rubbish.
Most of you would know Vicki who looks after the MacKillop and St Peter’s students as they cross our busy crossing morning and afternoon. Vicki isn’t paid to collect rubbish, nor is it part of her role but she sees a need and does something about it. It's not the first time I have seen Vicki do this and I have also seen her strategically placing a small container of water near some of the trees in our school where our koala’s live during the hot summer months. What a wonderful role model Vicki is for our young people. Don’t forget to stop and say hi, or thank you, to her as you do the school drop-off and pick-up run.
Thanks Vicki, you are a gem.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my concerns on hearing that some of our young people were participating in illegal and risky behaviours at beach parties.
I have had some parents contact me for some support, on managing teenage challenging and risk-taking behaviour, and so I thought this week, I would share a great article I recently read about having conversations with young people. My biggest take-away from the article is the importance of the adult doing most of the listening and allowing the young person to do most of the talking. Not easy for either party and not the natural tendency, but certainly in my experience it gets the best results.
And because I think we all need to smile a little more during these challenges, I share this little quote I came across that put a big smile on my face! I’d like a dollar for every time I say to parents and family members “if there is one thing I have learned in my work with young people, never say never!”.
Talking with Young Pople (by Michael Herbert)
There is a saying that when your children are teenagers, it is important to have a dog so that someone is happy to see you! Probably unfair stereotyping! However, it can be difficult to have a conversation with some young people. Keep in mind - the harder it is to have the conversation, the more important it may be to them.
As parents and educators, we are in a position to influence young people with supportive and empowering conversations. Below is a framework for those conversations.
Create the right environment. Make sure:
- The conversation takes place in a neutral spot, wherever possible.
- You, as the adult should avoid standing over the young person.
- Avoid a rushed conversation, allow plenty of time.
- Offer reassurance they are not in trouble.
(Note: If the environment is not right, there is a real chance you will end up with a filtered version of the real story.)
Remember you have two ears and one tongue.
Therefore, you need to listen twice as much as you speak. Lots of talking on our part is often a sign that we are floundering. Our job is to hear the whole story. Only then are we in a position to be helpful to a young person.
Be clear about the conversation you need to have.
Prepare well, especially if it has the potential to be a difficult conversation. If you are not sure what you are talking about, the young person will have even less idea.
Respect what this might look like/feel for the young person.
Just because a young person looks ok or is smiling, it doesn’t mean they are happy and comfortable. We are adults and we are in a position of authority. Think about what that might look like and how it might feel for a young person.
Assistant Principal's Update
This week we wish all our Year 12 students best of luck as they embark on their final exams. They are to be congratulated on the calm and patient manner in which they conducted themselves through the screening process. I would like to remind all of Year 12 on the importance of checking the start time for their exams, and staying informed by reading the HSC Fact Sheet for the latest information available.
Year 11 have a very busy few weeks ahead as they approach their first HSC Assessment Task. All students will have begun receiving notifications of their upcoming tasks, and should be using their time wisely to prepare for both their upcoming exams and Hand-In assessments.
The majority of Year 10 have now completed their HSC Minimum Standards Testing in reading, writing and numeracy. For those students who were absent on the day of the task, catch up exams have been organised and it is important that all students attend a catch up upon their return to school. In order for Year 10 to receive their results from the testing they will need to register for Students Online. Instructions on how to do this have been emailed to all Year 10 students earlier this week. Any student who is yet to meet the minimum standard will be spoken to, in addition to an email being sent home to their parents or guardians outlining the next steps in the process. Once all catch ups are complete, results will be released via the Students Online portal.
Finally, as we approach the end of term it is important to remember that it is a busy assessment and reporting time for both staff and students. As NSW opens up and families wish to travel to see loved ones, can I please remind students on the importance of following our Assessment Policy in regards to missed assessments.
Please do not hesitate to make contact with either myself, or Sarah Warby if you have any concerns or questions in regards to assessment.
Assistant Principal Learning & Teaching
“Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” (Isaiah 58:10)
Christmas Hamper Appeal
Imitating the compassion of Jesus and being a Christian example to others, MacKillop College will provide a total of 24 Christmas Hampers to help families celebrate Christmas.
We offer these beautiful gifts to families who have experienced difficulties over the past year. This may be due to poor health, a death in the family, financial hardship or other stressful circumstances.
What will be in the Hampers?
- Each PC will work with another PC group to put together a hamper for a family that the parish has identified may appreciate the love and support that comes with the gift of a hamper.
- EVERY PC member will be asked to collect enough money and/or donations to provide each family with food or vouchers for fruit & vegetables, butchers, which will help alleviate meal worries.
- This year the focus will be on food for families, with a group gift that help bring families together.
A focus on a balance of meals and a couple of special things (not lots of puddings, chocolates or biscuits). Smaller juices (tetra packs) and soft drinks are preferable as they are less bulky and heavy. A nice idea may be to have the makings of four meals complimented by vouchers for fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood or bakery goods.
The hampers WILL NOT include:
- Second hand toys or out of date food.
- Products requiring refrigeration.
- Cash or alcohol.
Thank you in anticipation of the generous donations that you will be making as a family.
Sunday Mass and Gospel Reflection
Please check the link for Mass times and COVID precautions for Masses in the St Agnes' Parish.
You may also like to spend some time in reflection on the Gospel for this coming Sunday.
Leader of Evangesliation
Congratulations to the following students who have received a Leader of Pastoral Care Award: Bridie Baird, Cooper Beukers, Abbie Brennan, Aiden Finch, Lachlan Ford, Megan Goldie, Isabella Menjivar and Gilbert White.
Area Health Immunisations – Thursday, 25 November.
A reminder to all parents and guardians of Year 7 students that North Coast Area Health Service will hold an Immunisation Clinic at MacKillop College on Thursday, 25 November as follows:
All Year 7 students - HPV dose 2 – Prior consent has been given for immunisations.
Any Year 7 student who has returned their consent form and who missed their Boostrix and HPV dose 1 at the clinic in March, 2021 may attend for these immunisations. These students will then receive their HPV dose 2 at the Year 7, 2022 Immunisation Day.
Year 8 students who may have missed HPV Dose 2 in 2020.
Year 10 students who may have missed their Meningococcal vaccine in May, 2021.
Please note: There is a minimum dosing interval of 7 days between any routine school vaccinations (HPV, dTpa and Meningococcal ACWY) and any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please follow the link below for information for parents from NSW Health in relation to Covid-19 safety measures.
All students to receive immunisation are asked to wear their sport uniform for ease of administering the immunisation.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Lindsay Lucas at the Public Health Unit on 0429 046 229. A record of immunisation will be kept by the Area Health Service and a copy will be provided to the vaccinated student for their records on the day. No records in relation to immunisations are kept at MacKillop College.
Year 7 Acting Leader of Pastoral Care
Congratulations to the following students who have received a Leader of Pastoral Care Award: Charlee Bailey, Emily Butt and Makennah Collins.
Year 8 Leader of Pastoral Care
To call into question
In the coming weeks Year 9 will be completing their final assessments and exams for the 2021 school year. Success in this process is largely achieved by having the right skills and knowing the right answers. These things are both important and testable.
A most important skill, or more correctly a particular approach to life, is to question. Some people take a passive approach to life. Others take a more questioning approach. For the Catholic school, learning to question should be of fundamental importance. Our society is premised upon structures and institutions and we need to live within certain constraints, but this never means simply accepting things the way they are.
One of the major advances, both in education and in the church, over the last few decades has been the encouraging and training of individuals to question and challenge the ‘status quo’. Here the image of Jesus as ‘social critic’ serves us well. The power of the question lies in its ability to move us beyond the present into new ways of being and acting.
I pray that we are training our youth to question.
Some people see things as they are and say, “Why?”
Others see things that have never been and say, “Why not?”
The asking of good questions is more difficult than giving right answers.
Year 9 Leader of Pastoral Care
“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
Thank you to all students, ensembles and directors involved in the painstaking process of recording during this term. Recording sessions across all ensembles come to an end this week. Mixing of recordings will take place in Week 7 and recordings will be released to ensemble members during Week 8 via Google Classroom to share with family at home.
Some recordings will also be used at the Year 12 Graduation Dinner, the College Christmas Mass and during the Presentation of Co-curricular Awards at the end of the year.
Whilst performances and showcase opportunities for the ensembles have been limited this year the recording process has been interesting and engaging. Furthermore, it has enable our college music community to continue making music. For this we are grateful.
Links & Forms
Youth Mass: Week 10 - Sunday 5 December, 4:15pm - 6:00pm, St Agnes' Parish Church, Collective Praise Band (singers only).
Please contact Rob Denham with any questions relating to the co-curricular music program at MacKillop College.
All volunteers must QR code in at the front office and provide proof of double vaccination before proceeding to the canteen.
Monday 15 November
Natasha Day, Sandy Green and Amanda Lorger
Tuesday 16 November
Anthea Romer, Sandy Green and Vanessa Wilson
Wednesday 17 November
Heather Sheers and Judy Ryan
Thursday 18 November
Stuart Ward and Jaci Sarno
Friday 19 November
Kristine Fallon and Mel Carroll
Parents please also ensure your child knows about their online order. There are a signifcant amount of orders daily that are not being claimed.
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!