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 7, 27 August
As you are no doubt well aware, the government has announced that lockdown will continue until 10 September. Please refer to the letter sent from Sally Towns yesterday for further details.
I remind parents that under the Public Health Order, if one parent is working from home then the expectation is the student should be engaging in Blended Learning from home. If both parents are essential workers then those students, or students who are vulnerable, may attend school where they will be supervised whilst engaging in their Blended Learning.
SOCIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY - 29 AUGUST
Each year the Australian Catholic Bishops release a social justice statement. Through this tradition, they contribute to the development of local Catholic Social Teaching and encourage the Catholic community to reflect and act on social, economic and ecological issues. They remind us of the social dimension of the mission of the Church. Social Justice teachings also form an important part of the curriculum our young people learn through their studies here at MacKillop.
Hear from the Bishops in the video below, or you may like to read the full statement; Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
As we approach Social Justice Sunday, I encourage you to reflect and ask yourself and your family, 'What will you do?'
HASTINGS EDUCATION FUND
The Hastings Education Fund has been a great supporter of MacKillop students for many years. Applications are open now and close on 30 September for HEF grants to assist local young people starting post-school education or training in 2022. Click the link below to find information and the online application system, or to donate to the fund: https://cef.org.au/foundations/hastings/
VINNIES WINTER APPEAL
This year in order to support the ‘Vinnies Sleep Out’, and follow the rules of our continuing lockdown, we challenged students to sleep out in their backyard or do some couch surfing in their lounge room on Friday, 20 August.
Year 7 student Mia Perkins, and Year 9 student Harmony Mitchell, both chose to couch surf for the night, remembering that most of the homeless people within Australia are sleeping on the streets or have to resort to staying with others, as they do not have a safe space to sleep at night.
This ministry is one that is close to our hearts, and anyone who would like to, can donate via this link.
Please watch the video below to hear a message from our College Captains.
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 – Year 7 & 8 (Tuesday Lunch 1, 11:00am)
DIRECTION – Year 9 & 10 (Wednesday Lunch 2, 1:35pm)
SENIOR YOUTH MINISTRY (Wednesday Lunch 1, 11:00am)
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
ST MONICA (Feast 27 August)
“Nothing is far from God.”
It would be nice to suppose that behind every great saint there is a saintly mother. If so, few have been so ably memorialised by their children as St Monica, the mother of St Augustine. In his Confessions he gives her special credit for his conversion, noting that “in the flesh she brought me to birth in the world: in her heart she brought me to birth in your eternal light.”
Monica, like her son, was an African, born near Carthage of Christian parents. Though she was devout in her faith, her parents arranged her marriage to a non-Christian, Patricius. It seems their relationship was marked more by mutual respect than warmth. Nevertheless, before his death, Patricius followed Monica’s pious example and was received into the church. They had three children, of whom Augustine was the eldest. Augustine’s account suggests that from the moment of his birth in 354 until her death 33 years later, Monica’s relationship with her brilliant and sometimes prodigal son was the centre of her life.
She had great hopes for Augustine and encouraged his academic ambitions. But her hopes extended beyond his worldly success, and she suffered greatly from the fact that he did not share her faith. Her sufferings were compounded by his amoral conduct and later by his immersion in the Manichean Cult. She was consoled, however, by a prophetic vision which an angel assured her, “Your Son is with you.” When she repeated this to Augustine, he replied flippantly that this might just as well foretell her own apostasy. No, she corrected, “He did not say that I was with you: he said that you were with me.”
She did not cease to suffer on his behalf, praying constantly for his conversion and weeping over his sins. Finally, a sympathetic bishop reassured her: Go now, I beg you, it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”
When Augustine left for Rome to study rhetoric, Monica was determined to travel with him. Though Augustine tricked her and left without saying goodbye, Monica went in pursuit. She finally found him in Millan, where he confronted her with the joyous news that he wished to become a Christian They both received spiritual direction from the holy bishop of Milan, St Ambrose. Augustine’s baptism came in 387.
Soon thereafter they traveled to Ostia, awaiting a ship for their return to North Africa. Augustine describes a conversation there that lasted most of a day concerning the mysteries of faith and the joys of heaven. The beauty of this moment was such that “for one fleeting instant” they seemed to touch the eternal Wisdom for which they both longed. Monica sensed that her life was drawing to a close. She confided to her son that she found no further pleasure in this life. “There was one reason, and one alone, why I wished to remain a little longer in this life and that was to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. God has granted my wish…What is there left for me to do in this world?” In fact, within days she fell mortally ill. When asked whether she did not fear dying so far from home, she replied, “Nothing is far from God.”
Adapted from All Saints, Robert Ellsberg
St Monica is named by the church as patron saint of mothers. She might equally be named patron saint and inspiration of all long suffering parents. Like almost all parents, she wished only the best for her child. Monica actively encouraged her son’s academic pursuits. She wished for him to attain the fullness of life. For Monica this involved not only achieving academic goals, but placing God at the Centre of life. In spite of great resistance and sometimes apparent failure, Monica remained resolute and faithful. Her approach ultimately won through.
I have spoken with numerous parents in the past week. Some, only half joking, have told me that they are on the verge of expelling their child from home school. Such is the level of resistance they are experiencing from their child towards completing their Blended Learning tasks. Some tell me that their child is saying that nobody else has parents insisting that they complete their online schoolwork. Such comments remind me of the words of Paul Sweeney, children are very adept at comprehending modern statistics. When they say, ‘Everyone else is allowed to’, it is usually based on a survey of one.
In this time of pandemic lockdown and indeed in times of parenting trial it may be wise to remember and turn to the example of Monica. Be resolute. Persist with that which you know to be good and right. Goodness and God will prevail.
YEAR 9 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
WEEK TWO OF LOCKDOWN
Blended Learning is difficult for everyone, students, teachers and parents.
I thought the following article from Reach Out.com would be a great read for all parents:
This week Year 11 received information about their assessment block in Week 9. Whilst a couple of subjects will be completing hand in assessment tasks, that follow “normal” policies and procedures for digital submission, others are going to an online open book format.
This procedure has worked very well for Year 12 during their Trials and will be a great way to finalise assessment for the preliminary course for our Year 11 students.
This week students attended a special zoom in extended PC, where I went through the procedures for online exams as well as the best way to be organised and prepared for such exams. The students also received a lengthy email from myself and Christine Harmer (Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching), detailing all they need to know about the upcoming assessments.
My key points were:
- Be organised and up to date with your study notes. Still prepare and revise for the exam the same way you would if it was face to face and not open book. Open book exams are NOT easy! You don’t want to waste valuable time looking for the answers.
- Ensure that your study notes are clear and easily accessible in case you do need to refer to them (waste as little time as possible).
- Have a clear desk space and study area to complete the exam where you will not be interrupted. You will be on zoom with the camera on whilst you work. This is a MUST so those who do not have cameras available will need to sort this out before then. Contact me directly if this is not possible.
- Ensure the rest of the family understands that you are doing an exam and ask them to give you space for that time frame.
- Be patient, the upload of the task will take extra time and is not factored into the exam time frame. So be aware you will be at your desk for longer than a face to face exam.
So far I have had lots of positive feedback from both Year 11 students, and their teachers, about how students are handling the workload and the working conditions of Blended Learning. A huge congratulations to you all, including the families for helping to make this work!
Keep getting out to exercise within the rules and enjoy the time with your family.
YEAR 11 LEADER OF PASTORAL CARE
I am so proud of your sons and daughters and the way in which they have conducted themselves under such difficult circumstances these past couple of weeks. I am sure you have been privy to lots of emotion at home, and I have definitely seen some glimpses of that but honestly they have been so impressive with their 'let's get this done' can do attitude. They have:
- Advocated for themselves and their peers.
- Been where they needed to be at the right time.
- Set up their spaces the way they needed to be set up.
- Adjusted quickly to new deadlines.
- Been patient whilst awaiting another round of changes.
- Accepted cancellations of performance subjects.
- Troubleshot technical problems.
- Listened carefully and followed all instructions to the letter.
- Applied themselves diligently throughout tasks.
- Focused on affecting what was in their control and accepting what was not.
- Lived by Mary MacKillop's quote 'be calm and full of hope'.
- Checked in on each other (and me)!
- Have been pretty amazing all round.
I don't know what the end of this term is going to look like, let alone next term, but I am not concerned because I do know one thing for certain: the young men and women from MacKillop's Year 12 are going to get the job done no matter what comes their way.
Well done - you are awesome. Have a good weekend.
YEAR 12 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 what is worthwhile and gives us meaning and purpose.
Mental Health Challenge: MEANING and PURPOSE
There’s an important link between having meaning in our life and our sense of wellbeing. Psychologists have found that people who find meaning in their lives have greater overall happiness, have a more positive outlook, are more resilient, and are better at dealing with stress.
With a strong sense of purpose, it’s also easier to change unhealthy behaviours, and lead a healthier life.
One of the keys to finding what gives us meaning is to reflect on your strengths. We have a bigger (and easier) chance of finding meaning if we’re using our strengths to engage in something we care about.
How can parents/carers help?
Talk to your young person about what gives them meaning.
Ask questions like:
- What are you passionate about?
- Where are your personal strengths?
- Do the above two questions have any common answers?
- Are these things truly meaningful to you? How do they give you meaning?
- Do they give you a sense of worth? When you’re feeling sad, do these things give you a lift?
I invite all families to know about 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
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 communications 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 the details outlined in the rehearsal schedule below.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact your Ensemble Director or Rob Denham.
Many aspiring music students of today often find “DIY” musical instrument teaching resources through online courses, apps and youtube courses. Whilst such technology is a good aid for learning, research states that the best way to learn a musical instrument is through individual tuition from an expert teacher. Furthermore, the Stage 6 music curriculum requires students to perform for assessment on an instrument of their choice. It is therefore necessary for schools with an interest in music excellence to provide opportunities for students to learn an instrument. As part of the MacKillop College Co-curricular Music Program students are provided with the opportunity to arrange private instrumental tuition directly with tutors at their homes or studios or at school in breaks or during class time.
Students wishing to join the Music Tuition program are invited to complete the form below with a parent/carer. The Co-curricular Music Coordinator will then provide you with the contact details for a suitable tutor. It is then the responsibility of families to arrange an appropriate lesson time with that tutor either at school or at their own private studio.
Currently drum kit, percussion, saxophone, clarinet, keyboard and vocal tuition takes place on campus at the college. Other instrumental tutors will be invited to operate from the college when the demand is there.
Generally, the best time to contact tutors to arrange lesson times is during Terms 4 (as HSC students move on) and Term 1. It is more likely that tutors will have available time-slots during these terms.
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'. Details are below, and a video to provide inspiration!
Theme: hope (sacred or secular).
Length: no longer than 3mins 30secs.
Lyrics (optional): positive content with no offensive or disrespectful messages.
Format: PDF chord chart with lyrics AND mp3 audio file.
Upload: in google classroom jmxwpf4
Due: Friday, Week 9 (10 September 3pm).
Recording: Use a music sequencing program such as soundtrap or garageband. Alternatively, use voice memos or another audio recording app on your device.
What happens next: You will be invited to record your song with The MacKillop College Collective Praise Band as your band. This recording may be used for future Mass services in our college and within our parish community.
NOTE: You can work on this project with a friend - some of the best songwriters worked in pairs!
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
By now I imagine many students are missing their sport doubles that they would normally participate in. I am sure many of you are finding ways to be physically active in your own time doing things that you love such as running, bike riding, swimming, surfing and so on. We certainly are blessed to live where we do and be able to exercise and be physically active in a beautiful environment.
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
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 (18th Oct)
- NSW All Schools U16 Hockey Tri Series (21 October)
- NSW All Schools Triathlon Individual ONLY (25th 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) email@example.com
- Diocesan Team - John Coociola (Leader of Sport Lismore Diocese firstname.lastname@example.org
- NSWCCC Trial or team – Robert Rush or Ann-Marie Miranda (CSNSW Sport) Robert.email@example.com
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
Sports currently open for registration/ trials are:
No Sports are available to register for.
Click on this link to register http://moodle.pmaclism.catholic.edu.au/course/view.php?id=650
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
TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES
On Tuesday night we saw the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games commence with the Opening Ceremony. Ryley Batt shared the honour of carrying the national flag alongside Danni Di Toro representing the Australian contingent of 179 Para-athletes. Being a Flag Bearer is an amazing honour and no doubt is one of the highlights of Ryley’s athletic career.
Ryley is an ex-student of our school and is a dual wheelchair rugby gold medallist. Our school and community are extremely proud of Ryley’s accomplishments and we wish him and all of the athlete’s success and fun at the Games.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, Oi, Oi.
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!