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 6, 20 August
This week I just wanted to take the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all members of the College community for your efforts, adaptability and support in switching so smoothly to Blended Learning.
To our staff, who have worked tirelessly to provide seamless transition to online learning. Special thanks to Christine Harmer, Sarah Warby and Lisa Kable and their many supporters who have ensured the Year 12 students have been able to continue with their HSC trial exams.
To our parents, who continue to work in partnership with the staff to assist and support students during this time. Special thanks to Year 7 parents who have helped students adjust to a much more intensive Blended Learning model than they may have experienced in Year 6.
Finally, a massive thank you to MacKillop’s awesome students who have been so resilient, positive and cooperative in adapting to the Blended learning model.
Week 6 Blended Learning Learnings; “How can parents help their children further”.
*Check the Google Classroom every morning for the lessons and instructions for the day.
*Do a list of classes and ZOOMs in your diary each morning.
*Remember to do your Monday WELLBEING check-in using the Pulse App.
*A reminder to have the camera on for all ZOOM's.
*Check the updated Assessment calendars via Moodle each Monday.
*Ask for SUPPORT whenever you need it.
*Get fresh air and exercise every day for at least one hour.
Watch this great Parents Guide to Google Classroom put together by our Study Centre Supervisor Karen Faichney.
For any concerns or questions please contact your Child’s PC teacher, class teacher or relevant person listed on the ‘Who can help’ page of the MacKillop College Education Continuity Plan.
PRINCIPAL’S KOVID Ks CHALLENGE 2021
In an effort to ensure students focus on their wellbeing during lockdown, I have invited all students to join me in maintaining their physical and mental health each day. The Principal’s KOVID Ks Challenge is to walk, run or ride 5km every day during lockdown.
Exercise and fresh air are both essential for our wellbeing. At the same time as doing this for our own wellbeing, it provides an opportunity to help others.
Students are asked to raise money (20c per km) for our SRC Mary MacKillop Fund, which donates to student nominated charities. Our charity this year will be Beyond Blue who help make a difference to mental health and wellbeing in Australia.
Students can sign-up HERE and record their kilometres each day.
VINNIES WINTER APPEAL
This year we have decided to go with the Vinnies SLEEP-OUT@HOME event
We have encouraged students to Facetime with a friend who is also doing the challenge as they SLEEP-OUT@HOME in their backyard or do some "couch surfing" in their lounge room tonight (20 August).
Anyone who adds $10.00 or more in sponsorship is welcome to send in a photo to add to our "SLEEP-OUT@HOME Facebook post and the MacKillop Ministry Instagram post.
Share this link so that your sponsors can donate directly to the Vinnies organisation.
This ministry is a really important one, so we ask everyone to carefully think how YOU can make a difference.
YEAR 8 MASS
On Friday, 6 August our Year 8 students were able to celebrate their Mass lead by Father Roland.
The theme of the Mass, was remembering our Mary MacKillop quote "Find happiness in making others happy", and the Homily reminded us all that it is easy to be kind to our friends, but the challenge is to always be kind to those who are not yet our friends.
Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who did the readings, carried crosses and candles and helped out in preparation and the incredible Music Ministry team who provided our music for the Mass.
By now students, parents and teachers would be getting into the swing of things with online Blended Learning (BL) happening across all of NSW this week. This will be a challenging time for some students and families - teachers’ families included - as we try and navigate our way through a different method of teaching and learning primarily at home. Experiences from 2020 in BL, however, have meant that as educators we have been able to improve upon past challenges and prepare proactively for our current circumstance of BL.
A few reminders that may help set up a routine and 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.
- Usual daily routines should be the norm, with PC starting promptly on Zoom at 8:45am and then, 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 wake up and feel unwell (and wouldn’t go to school normally if sick), parents are asked to email the College office staff asap (email@example.com) so that teachers can be informed that a student is unwell and will not be joining in learning or Zoom conferences for the day.
- Please also note that teachers will be recording online engagement and recording absences during Zooms. If students have a legitimate reason for not engaging, parents should inform the Office or relevant PC/subject teacher to discuss this asap, and support will be offered where possible. Otherwise, Leaders of Learning or Pastoral Care may need to ring home if previous arrangements have not been successfully made.
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 teacher, 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.
YEAR 7 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
I recently revisited a book by former Children's Court Magistrate, Barbara Holborow. It contains plenty of wisdom for parents. On the subject of adolescents and rules Barbara writes:
"Teenagers want rules, they're out there looking for them, even if they don't realise it themselves. It's good to make clear such things as when their curfew is, when they've got to study and what the rules of the house are. If there are arguments developing about the hours they are keeping, and sitting down discussing it doesn't appear to be achieving anything, it's often good to do a bit of compromising on paper. For example, let your child write down a 'wish list' - the time they want to get in at night, what days they want to go out, and the other important things in their lives over which you have some control. Then you set out what you want these things to be and, just like the trades unions, come to a compromise. But always leave the lines open for further discussion. Even though you think you've dealt with a problem, there's no guarantee that it might not come back in another form. If kids break the rules, then they've got to know what they're going to lose as a result - what the consequences will be. In my experience, it's better to establish this early, and it's worth pointing out to them that these rules will be modified and loosened once the child gets older and shows that he or she can cope."
Kids, Loving for Life, by Barbara Holborow with Cliff Neville, pp 40-41
This week saw us all welcomed back to the world of Blended Learning. Whilst teachers have deliberately reduced the workload, there is still great potential for some students to become overwhelmed. The greatest obstacles to progress, and success, in the online learning environment are lack of organisation and lack of motivation.
Students will be checking in with their PC teacher at the commencement of each day. Just as with regular school, if a child is absent for three mornings, the PC teacher will make contact the parents/carers.
Year 9 students will be all receiving their work through Google Classroom. Parents can support their child by working with them to create a weekly schedule for the work set by subject teachers. A template has been sent to each student in Year 9. Creating the weekly schedule can introduce immediate accountability at home by allowing parents to check the work completed at the end of each day.
YEAR 9 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
Hopefully, everyone has survived their first week of Blended Learning. I have emailed all of Year 10 a table that Jo Pilgrim put together to assist students with their organisation. This was sent to students’ emails on Tuesday morning.
If you feel your child needs assistance please do not hesitate to ask your class teacher, PC teacher or myself. Each student should be attending Zoom with their PC teacher in the morning, this is a great chance to flag any concerns.
Please make sure students have a balance in their schedule and spend some time during breaks away from devices like they would at school.
YEAR 10 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
If we have to look at the positives in this tumultuous time of change, then I am choosing to enjoy this extra time at home with my older teenagers while it lasts. Too soon they will be gone and I will be looking back fondly on the time I was locked at home with them during lockdown, even if they drove me mad while it was happening!
While you are at home trying even more than usual to 'do it all', these words really sum up why I enjoy teaching and might help you through your days…
In terms of stress your Year 11 students may be experiencing, please reach out to your child's PC teacher or myself if there is anything we can help with or concerns you have.
Year 12 Jerseys for 2022 are now able to be ordered. The students have been sent the link and will be ordered online. Students have been made aware that their nicknames must be approved before the orders will go ahead. Nicknames should be names that friends or family use to refer to the student. The jersey costs $89.00 and are completely optional.
YEAR 11 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
This week we were 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 our strengths and appreciate the varied strengths of others who surround us.
MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGE: STRENGTHS
Strengths are an important part of our personality and who we are in general. Strengths are what come naturally to us - they’re part of who we are.
Knowing our character strengths means we can apply them in our day-to-day life more consciously and reap the rewards. If we know our strengths and play to them, we’ll be more motivated, capable, and up for life’s challenges.
Research has shown that applying our character strengths can buffer against mental illness and answer a lot of 'how tos' such as:
- How to increase life satisfaction.
- How to increase self-esteem.
- How to improve self-confidence.
- How to deal with school stress.
How can parents/ carers help?
Each family member could complete the Character Strengths survey. Discuss each other’s strengths, how you use them and one that you could develop further. Take the free survey
I invite all families to know about The BITE BACK MENTAL HEALTH FITNESS CHALLENGE which your young person can log in to and 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
Find a way to make your practice routine exciting!
And when it isn’t exciting anymore, change up the routine.
LEADER OF MUSIC
TERM 3 SPORT 2021
Please refer to the College website for the Sport Programs for Year 7-10 Term 3 Sport.
YEAR 9 and 10 TERM 4 ELECTIVE SPORT SELECTIONS
We have delayed the Year 9 and 10 sport selections that were due to take place this Thursday. A reminder that students will receive an email with a unique code to select a sport. Parents will be sent a separate email with a digital permission note to authorise the students sport choice.
The sport selections will open on Wednesday, 25 August at 8:50am and will close on Friday, 27 August at 3:00pm.
COVID Sports Restrictions - Update
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
The following events have been RESCHEDULED for Term 4
- NSW All Schools Cross Country (18 Oct)
- NSW All Schools U16 Hockey Tri Series (21 October)
- NSW All Schools Triathlon Individual ONLY (25 October)
- Cochrane Cup 13 October Coffs Harbour
- MNC Rugby 10s Wednesday, 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
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
Lismore Diocesan Volleyball Coffs Harbour
Under 14 Cochrane Cup
TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020 HIGHLIGHTS
The recent Tokyo Olympics was a welcomed distraction with what is going on globally with the pandemic.
It was great to watch so many inspirational athletes from many different countries compete at the top of their sport.
Once again, Australia demonstrated its ability to ‘punch above its weight’ and do our nation proud in so many sports. Seeing Mountain Biking, Skateboarding and Surfing all making their debut, certainly was exciting.
We look forward to the Paralympics getting underway next week and wish Ryley Batt, an ex-student of MacKillop College all the best as he represents Australia in Wheelchair Rugby.
Some highlights below from the TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS.
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. We are currently having our volunteers spend quite a bit of time searching for students who have not collected their lunch orders.
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!