MSPC Newsletter - Term 1 Week 4, 23rd February 2023
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Rituals, Ash Wednesday and Lent
Rituals play an important role in our lives. Over a person’s life we celebrate their birth, graduations, marriage and death amongst other events. We celebrate the anniversaries of these events also, with traditionally 18th and 21st birthdays having a larger celebration. Rituals often follow a familiar scaffold, this underlines their importance and helps us to be comfortable with the moment. Schools are full of rituals that are practised everyday as are religions. Therefore, it is no surprise that as a Catholic school we value the importance of rituals in our lives. A normal school day’s homeroom ritual includes, acknowledgement of country, prayer, notices. There are many more as we move throughout the day and these help us feel safe and part of the community.
Last week I attended the Year 12 retreat. Another school ritual that signifies the beginning of the final year at the College and seeks to bring the group closer together. I attended, not as principal, although it's hard to avoid that role, but as another staff member. I felt a strong connection amongst the cohort and with the staff. There were many activities in both large and small groups that gave space for spiritual reflection, thought about the future and fun. It is always a privilege to spend time with our students. I thank Ms Molloy and all the staff who attended for their willingness to be with the students. I thank the students for their willingness to enter into the retreat in a warm and thoughtful manner.
The College observed an Ash Wednesday liturgy in the Sacred Heart Parish church this week. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent in the Catholic Church which is a 6 week period of preparation for Easter. The ritual of receiving ashes on the forehead can be traced back at least as far as the tenth century. The ashes typically come from the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. The ashes, given to all, symbolise our solidarity as a community, our humility and all desire to head on a journey of repentance and renewal during Lent. The symbolism of 40 days is deep in our faith, being repeated in both the Old Testament with Noah’s Ark and the great flood and Moses fasting on Mount Sinai, and in the New Testament with Jesus fasting and being tempted in the desert.
During Lent it is typical to encourage people to make a sacrifice of something they like. When I was at school, we were encouraged to make that sacrifice, often giving up a favourite treat and donating the money we saved to Caritas through Project Compassion. The Project Compassion boxes still exist in our homerooms today and I encourage people to donate to this great cause which makes a real difference to people’s lives.
Another opportunity that Lent offers is making a change to our lives, the Church often uses the term metanoia for this change of heart. This may be doing some good for others, some service or it may be just reflecting and making a change for the better in the way you live your life.
There is much opportunity for all of us at Mount St Patrick College and rituals such as Ash Wednesday assist in opening us up to them.
Be the Good and God Bless,
Assistant Principal - Mission
All staff and students will have a portrait/ID photo taken on Wednesday 1st or Thursday 2nd March. Advanced Life order envelopes have been sent home with students and the ordering process can be completed online. Families who want a photo of siblings, at the College, need to pick up an order envelope from the Front Office.
Online orders can be made by going to www.advancedlife.com.au using the College’s order code : B8V DPW 9YB
Attention Parents of Year 7 and 10 Students – Free Vaccination Programs
As part of the NSW School vaccination program. Students in Year 7 are offered free vaccines for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa) and human papillomavirus (HPV). In Year 10, students are offered the meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Year 7 HPV/Boostrix vaccinations will be held on Wednesday 29/3 in the Gilbey Hall and Year 10 Meningococcal injections on Wednesday 7/6.
Parental consent is required for your child to receive routine vaccinations at school. If your child is in Year 7 or Year 10 this year, you can now provide this consent through the online consent portal by clicking login with a Service NSW Account. Previously NSW Health provided hard copy Information Kits with Consent Forms enclosed for all students. In 2023 this will not be the case although if there are parents with no internet or computer access the College has been given a few hard copy Information Kits. They can be accessed from the Front Office.
From February 2023, children in Year 7 will now only need one does of HPV vaccination. This change has been endorsed by ATAGI based on evidence showing that one dose provides the same level of protection against HPV as two doses. If your child previously missed their second dose of HPV vaccine, they are now considered fully vaccinated and do not require a second dose. For more information on school vaccination visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/schoolvaccination
Parent Engagement Model
Parent representative bodies such as P & Fs and Parent Forums are important ways for schools and families to work together for the good of the whole school community. All schools in the Lismore Diocese are being encouraged to adopt one of two approved models for parent representation in our schools over the next 3 years.
Click the link below to find out about the 2 proposed models of representation. There will be a quick survey sent to parents and caregivers in the near future to register your preference.
Parent Reminder Regarding Road Safety for Secondary Students
Please click the link below for Road Safety information
Assistant Principal: Mission
Year 12 Retreat
Thank you to the Year 12 cohort for their attendance and wonderful participation at their retreat last week. It was a wonderful time up at Camp Bornhoffen. I very big thank you to all the staff who attended over the three days. Mr Paul Reidy, Mrs Maureen Reynolds, Mr Sam Priddis, Mrs Clara Cahill, Miss Keeley Serone, Mr Blake Reynolds, Mrs Vanessa Galvin, Mr Jake Hetherington, Mrs Michelle Delaney, Mr Simon Holder, Mr Sidney Willis and our YMOs, Halle McClymont and Eliza Blunn.
Yr 12 Retreat experience
On Wednesday 22nd February, Year 12 students were welcomed to the serene Bornhoffen PCYC camp in the mountains of Springbrook National Park for the annual Year 12 Retreat. Despite the soggy sandwiches on arrival, which reflected the overall conditions of the day, many still enjoyed the majestic views and the chance for some leisure in the midst of a busy school term.
The retreat also offered an opportunity to reaffirm old relationships and grow closer as a cohort. This unity will serve us throughout our final year and allow us to better support each other. Many of us opened up to our peers about the challenges we are facing which established empathy and affirmed an understanding of each other’s value.
This was shown further in our willingness to step outside our comfort zones and maintain an open mind to the experiences and participate to the best of our ability, whether it was getting involved with a bit of arts and crafts, or admiring wildlife on the highly regarded ‘Reidy Run’ to Natural Bridge.
The retreat created a haven to escape the frenetic year ahead and centre ourselves before embarking as young adults on our final year of secondary education. It equipped us with compassion and strength for the challenges ahead as a united team.
On retreat in Year 10 we discovered that we each are layered and multi-faceted, akin to an onion, but now we realise we have grown into a salad of diverse, talented individuals with great aspirations for the year ahead.
Tabitha Stratton Yr 12
Year 10 Retreat
Just a reminder that the Year 10 Retreat is in Week 8 this term from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd March. Attendance at retreat is compulsory. The Compass event is live for parents to pay. Year 10 parents/caregivers, please check your emails for more information and instructions regarding the retreat.
LEAD is a two-day Catholic leadership event for senior students who have been engaged in Youth Ministry and wish to develop further as Youth Ministry leaders. LEAD is a Student Leaders Conference that
enhances Senior Ministry Teams of Year 11 and 12 students to be equipped for ministry in their
schools by nurturing their own faith and developing them into supportive communities. Returning
from LEAD, these students will be encouraged to meet regularly to support each other and to facilitate
Youth Ministry initiatives within their own school communities and at regional events such as SHINE.
We encourage you to have a discussion with your child about attending the LEAD Conference. LEAD is on the 9th and 10th March at McAuley Catholic College, Grafton. Students will depart the College on the morning of Thursday 9th Marchy (time TBC) and depart Grafton at 1:30pm on Friday 10th March. Students interested in attending LEAD need to contact our YMOs Halle and Eliza and complete the online Compass event form. The cost is $20 per student which is non-refundable. Students interested in attending need to confirm this by tomorrow Friday 24th February.
Transitus is a retreat for Year 7 students to grow in their discipleship of Jesus Christ, membership of His Church and to strengthen their transition into Catholic Secondary School. The word ‘transitus’ was chosen because it is the Latin word for passage, crossing, movement over, transition, transit. We encourage you to have a discussion with your child about attending Transitus If they wish to attend please ensure that your child speaks to the Leader of School Evangelisation, Miss Grace Molloy or our YMOs, Halle and Eliza, to have
their name included for the retreat. Applications close on Friday 10th April and shortly after you will receive all of the details of the retreat through the events module in your Compass portal where you can give consent for your child to attend. Transitus is on Thursday 30th - Friday 31st March, 2023 at Tyalgum Ridge Retreat, Tyalgum. Students will leave Mount St Patrick College, Murwillumbah on Thursday 30th March, 2023 and will return the following day to school.
Cost: Nil. All transport and booking expenses will be met by the Catholic Schools Office.
Thank you to all those students who supported the Shrove Tuesday pancake sale. A special thank you to the Vinnies team, the captains and co-house captains. Thank you also to Mrs Carroll-Bennett, Mrs Lewis and their classes for making the pancakes and providing the toppings. Altogether, we raised over $350 for Vinnies.
Year 11 Reflection Day
On Friday 3rd March, Year 11 will be participating in an all day reflection/retreat day here at the college. The Retreat will be run by the Passionist Youth Retreat Team. Students will be challenged to explore their faith and understanding of self through story-telling, multimedia, games, liturgy, music and other activities. The day is a compulsory school day here at the college. Students can wear their sports uniform on the day. Recess and Lunch will be at normal times and students can use the canteen as normal on the day.
Leader of Evangelisation
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
The students are to be congratulated on how quickly they are settling into learning at Mt St Pats 2023. As I walk around the College it is evident that students are engaged in their learning.
A Focus on Writing
The College continues to focus on writing for learning with the support of the Diocese’s Lynn Sharratt initiative. On Wednesday Mrs Chaffer our Leader of Pedagogy is leading the Year 7 English teachers to examine a piece of writing from all year 7 students so that they can analyse where the students are in their writing at the start of the year. The teachers can then decide on strategies to help all students to move along the literacy progressions.
This year Case Management Meetings are being introduced where 4 teachers will meet and discuss a student's writing. The teachers will then make suggestions about how they can specifically assist that student to improve. The teachers will then try the new strategies and, hopefully, other students will also benefit. The group of teachers will then meet again after 4 weeks to discuss improvement and further strategies. The approach was trialed last year with some great success.
It is obvious from the school calendar that the shackles of COVID 19 have been released and many learning activities and excursions have been scheduled. It is uplifting to see the students out and about experiencing these activities. At the last assembly Mrs Tilsley presented a video of the Lady Musgrave Excursion that was organised for the Year 9 accelerated Science students. This was an amazing experience for these students aimed at them witnessing what it is like to be a Marine Biologist in the field. I am sure there will be many students going down this career path after such a wonderful experience. A video of highlights can be viewed on the College FaceBook page.
Year 12 Art and Drama students travelled to Sydney to be engaged in workshops and witness the HSC exhibitions of great HSC works. The students have reported it was a beneficial experience and appreciate the time Mr Lill and Miss Devine devoted to providing them with this opportunity.
Solomon Islands Immersion Program
Another experience that is starting for the first time in 3 years is the Solomon Island Immersion program. 15 students from Year 11 have been selected to travel to the Solomons in June. The students are: Kai Mumford, Sean Wegemund, Raphael Paul, Austen Capner, Bryce Wilson, Will Molloy, Filipos Mackney, Monique McDougall, Kiana Tyack, Hannah Millar, Gabriella Bennett, Zara Martin, Saskia Gray, Lara Brown and Caitlyn Bice.
We congratulate these students on their selection and wish them well as they fundraise for the community service aspect of the venture. The students will spend time in Visalle assisting the retired Marist nuns in their nursing home. We will mow lawns, garden, complete repairs and paint the buildings.
Students from our sister school in the Solomons, Bishop Epalle, are planning to visit Mt St Pats in August this year. This will be a great opportunity for all students in the College to be involved in this eye-opening program.
Assistant Principal: Learning and Teaching
LITERACY AND LEARNING
Students in Years 7 and 9 will be sitting online NAPLAN tests in Weeks 7 and 8 (March 15th to 22nd). Further information can be found here:
An email will be sent to parents of these students in Week 5.
If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime please contact Mr Simon Holder (Literacy: Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language tests) or Mrs Kyllie Bevan (Numeracy test).
Drop Everything and Read is an invaluable opportunity for students in Years 7-10 to take time out of their otherwise busy lives to stop and enjoy ‘the benefits of reading’. All students are expected to bring their own reading materials, whether that be a fiction or non-fiction book, or an appropriate magazine (sports; current affairs; science and nature; etc.) Please support your child by sharing with them your awareness of the benefits of reading as both an exercise in pleasure and calmness, but also the lifelong skills it helps to develop.
Leader of Literacy
This year we have introduced two initiatives to help monitor and improve the social and emotional intelligence of our students.
The first is “Pulse”. This platform requires students to log how they feel. The Leader of Wellbeing can monitor this and provide early intervention if a student feels they aren’t coping well. The students are required to complete the simple task each Monday morning in their homeroom. It only takes 30 seconds to complete and gives us valuable insight to help students that may otherwise not feel comfortable approaching an adult. Although we ask them to complete it on Monday, students can submit another entry at any time if their mood changes.
The second initiative is a platform called ‘Wellio’. This platform provides wellbeing lessons on a range of topics, which have been developed by educators and psychologists. Each year group has one timetabled Wellbeing Lesson each fortnight and the topics vary to address age appropriate needs. The lessons are interactive and designed to induce discussions which are facilitated by the teacher.
‘Wellio’ will also provide a parent webinar once a term on issues pertinent to adolescent development. More information to follow soon about this.
The link to the website is below and I encourage you to take a closer look at what Wellio can provide.
Please talk to your children about Pulse and Wellio
Leader of Welfare
It is Week 4 and students have met their teachers and settled into their learning routines. This is the time when good study habits should be formed. No doubt you will have heard the maxim that the key to effective learning is to ‘work smarter and not harder’. Students are encouraged to be organised, focused and regularly complete their coursework and homework to the best of their ability. They should be recording their homework and assessment details on a daily basis into their online calendar. There is also a blank Google School Calendar on the Assessment Portal which students can download to record their study commitments. Students should regularly check the Academic Calendar on the Assessment Portal to ensure that dates have not changed.
Our recommended hours for homework and study are as follows:
Years 7 and 8 - 1 hour per night
Years 9 and 10 - 1.5 hours per night
Year 11 - 2 hours per night
Year 12 - 3 hours per night
Students are encouraged to set personal goals to improve their learning. Setting realistic goals such as planning a regular home study routine and sticking to it, or focusing on a key learning area could be a realistic goal.
Students are encouraged to be proactive and seek advice from their teachers if they are struggling or unsure of what is required. Sending an email to a teacher can be an effective way to ask for clarification or ask for assistance.
There is an electronic study planner that can be downloaded to help students keep track of their coursework, homework and assessment tasks for each of their subjects. Students can detail their commitments on a daily, weekly and term basis. Students can find planners on the MSPC Assessment Portal on their year group page.
The Assessment Policy is detailed on the front page of the Assessment Portal which can be accessed on the MSPC Moodle Page: https://moodle.mursclism.catholic.edu.au/
If a student is sick and unable to complete an assessment on the due date, Years 7, 8 and 9 require a letter from a parent / carer detailing the student’s circumstances for non-completion of an assessment task. For Years 10, 11 and 12 a medical practitioner is required to complete the MSPC Assessment Variation Illness Form. A copy of this document can be found on the student’s year page of the Assessment Portal
Click the link below for a copy of the Assessment Task Rules .
As always, we encourage open communication between parents, students, and teachers. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's progress, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the teaching team. We are here to support your child's learning and wellbeing.
Leader of Curriculum
VISUAL ARTS SYDNEY EXCURSION
The Year 12 Visual Art class attended a three day excursion to Sydney at the end of Week 2. Students were kept busy viewing a range of Art exhibitions across Sydney, which included Artexpress at the Art Gallery of NSW and the recently opened Contemporary Art section of this gallery. It also included exhibitions at White Rabbit Gallery, Red Lab, Barangaroo and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Students also accompanied their fellow Drama students when viewing Onstage Performances at the Seymour Centre.
The students are to be commended on their involvement, behaviour and cooperation throughout the three days. It was a pleasure to take this class on such an enjoyable and worthwhile cultural experience.
Visual Arts Teacher
YEAR 12 DRAMA EXCURSION TO SYDNEY
A group of Drama students and I had the great pleasure of visiting Sydney on February 8-10 to attend a variety of workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances. The excursion began with a visit to The Actors Centre and a question and answer session with Adam Cook who is currently in rehearsal of a production of ‘The Laramie Project which is one of the plays that Year 12 are currently studying. We also attended Milk Crate Theatre Company where the Artistic Director, Margot Politis provided a comprehensive and inspiring insight into the Company’s aims and developmental and creative process.
A visit to two exhibitions at Carriageworks on Thursday morning proved to be a stimulating and interactive experience. This was followed by a playbuilding workshop at Belvoir Street Theatre which provided the students with an opportunity to explore different ways and techniques to develop original ideas. The excursion culminated in the On Stage exhibitions and performances. The students had the opportunity to observe an exemplary range of Design Projects, a Video Drama, a moved reading of a very clever and funny script as well as an array of stylistically diverse Individual and Group Performances.
The trip was incredibly worthwhile and will greatly assist the students in the creation of their own Individual and Group Projects.
Leader of Learning: English
PREMIER’S ANZAC MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship gives NSW Year 10 and 11 History students the opportunity to travel on a study tour to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war. Accompanied by a military historian the tour includes visits to significant historical sites to learn about and commemorate the service of Australian men and women in the World Wars and other conflicts.
In 2023, the PAMS study tour will visit places in Singapore and Darwin and takes place from 22 September to 4 October.
Applications close 13 March 2023 at 11.59pm.
For further information please go to https://www.veterans.nsw.gov.au/education/premiers-anzac-memorial-scholarship/how-to-apply/
AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHY COMPETITION
The Australian Geography Competition is a contest for Australian secondary school students, assessing their geographical knowledge and skills. The Competition aims to encourage student interest in geography and to reward student excellence.
The HSIE department invite all students in Years 7 to 10 to enter the Australian Geography Competition, which will be held online in May and has an entry fee of $4. The Competition consists of mainly multiple-choice questions testing geographical knowledge and skills. All participants receive results and certificates (top 1% in Australia, high distinction, distinction, credit or participation).
To enter, parents can provide consent and pay via Compass for their student/s.
For further information please speak to your Geography or History teacher, or contact Ms Blazek.
AUSTRALIAN HISTORY COMPETITION
Join 34,000 students Australia-wide to test your critical thinking skills.
It’s not a memory test. No prior history knowledge required!
Get practice at sitting exams and a certificate showing your level of achievement to include in your high school portfolio.
Entry fee is $7, takes 45 minutes to complete. Each student will receive a question paper, a source booklet and a computer answer sheet. There will be 50 multiple choice questions graded from easy to challenging and catering to a range of abilities. There will be a variety of questions, with the primary focus on skills and understanding.
To enter, parents can provide consent and pay via Compass for their student/s.
For further information please speak to your Geography or History teacher, or contact Ms Blazek.
Leader of Learning: HSIE
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE
On Friday 10th February the School celebrated the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The event was about inspiring girls to become more than what they think they are capable of achieving.
During the celebration the girls listened to past students talking about their career and their inspirations.
I’m sure that the girls were inspired to want to make a difference. Now, they just have to decide, what kind of difference they want to make.
Follow the link below to watch a video presentation of alumni girls.
FROM THE SPORTS DESK
ZOE GRAY - SURFING
Zoe Gray from Year 9 loves to surf. She competes for her local board riders club at Blackrocks in Pottsville. This club receives a wildcard entry in the Tweed Coast pro each year and as Zoe was one of the top performing female surfers in the club last year she was selected to compete. The Tweed Coast pro has women who have competed at a World Championship tour level competing so this was a pretty big step up for Zoe but she really embraced the opportunity and put her best foot forward competing against some very experienced competition. Well done Zoe!
Things are beginning to heat up on the sporting scene. Open Basketball trials have begun in preparation for the event in Port Macquarie on March 23rd. Mt St Patrick had 6 students invited to attend diocesan trials this week at Coffs Harbour, if successful they will join the team to travel to Wagga Wagga later in the term. Here is a brief outline of the next few weeks to set up your calendars:
Week 5 Thursday 2nd March Diocesan Swimming, Kempsey
Week 5 Friday 3rd March tbc Hockey Gala Day, Lismore
Week 6 Tuesday 7th March Diocesan Winter Sports Trials for successful applicants in U15 and Open Boys Rugby League, U16 and Open Rirls Rugby League at St Johns College, Woodlawn and Open Boys and Girls Football at Thistles Soccer Club Military Rd East Lismore
Week 6 Wednesday 8th March Girls Oz Tag, Murwillumbah
Week 6 Friday 10th March Diocesan Tennis, Arkinstall Park
Week 7 Friday 17th March Cross Country at Kingscliff
BILL TURNER CUP AND TROPHY 2023
The teams for both the boys and girls 2023 Bill Turner Cup Competition (U15 Soccer) will be meeting and holding trials over the next few weeks. Students are reminded to read all Daily Bulletin notices and attend meetings when called. If coaches call meetings and training sessions and you do not attend, then you will miss sporting opportunities.
Round 1 for both boys and girls is due to be played by the end of Term 1.
NORTHERN RIVERS RAIL TRAIL (NRRT) OPENING
Mt St Patrick College has received an official invitation to attend the opening of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail on Wednesday 1st March. College representatives Mr Reidy, Mr Hetherington, Miss Loughman along with 7 of our House Sport and Community leaders will attend. During Covid whilst planning for the implementation of Integrated sport, an opportunity arose to purchase bikes for the school so that students could use the NRRT as part of their sport programs across Years 9 - 11. During Term 2 and 3 all students across these age groups will be able to ride the NRRT twice. Thirty bikes and helmets have been purchased for student use. During weekly sport sessions, one class per year group will get a bikes to suit their height and a helmet, walk to the NRRT head and ride for approx 1hr. Students will only need to bring a water bottle capable of fitting into a bike water bottle cage.
There is sure to be media attention so stay tuned to the local news to hopefully catch a glimpse of staff and students attending the opening and riding off into the distance.
DIOCESAN TOUCH FOOTBALL TRIALS
Congratulations to the 6 MSPC representatives who were invited to attend the Diocesan Touch Football trials last Tuesday 21st Februrary in Toormina. There were some outstanding talent from across the Diocese all trialling for a spot in the Lismore teams to compete in the NSWCCC Touch Football Championships in Wagga Wagga on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th April.
Kate Pryke was selected in the Girls U15 Lismore team. Peppa Alcorn Savins and Ayla East were named as the first shadow reserves. Well done girls!